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Forests, Volume 6, Issue 5 (May 2015) – 17 articles , Pages 1397-1747

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Open AccessArticle
A Benchmark of Lidar-Based Single Tree Detection Methods Using Heterogeneous Forest Data from the Alpine Space
Forests 2015, 6(5), 1721-1747; https://doi.org/10.3390/f6051721 - 15 May 2015
Cited by 108 | Viewed by 8778
Abstract
In this study, eight airborne laser scanning (ALS)-based single tree detection methods are benchmarked and investigated. The methods were applied to a unique dataset originating from different regions of the Alpine Space covering different study areas, forest types, and structures. This is the [...] Read more.
In this study, eight airborne laser scanning (ALS)-based single tree detection methods are benchmarked and investigated. The methods were applied to a unique dataset originating from different regions of the Alpine Space covering different study areas, forest types, and structures. This is the first benchmark ever performed for different forests within the Alps. The evaluation of the detection results was carried out in a reproducible way by automatically matching them to precise in situ forest inventory data using a restricted nearest neighbor detection approach. Quantitative statistical parameters such as percentages of correctly matched trees and omission and commission errors are presented. The proposed automated matching procedure presented herein shows an overall accuracy of 97%. Method based analysis, investigations per forest type, and an overall benchmark performance are presented. The best matching rate was obtained for single-layered coniferous forests. Dominated trees were challenging for all methods. The overall performance shows a matching rate of 47%, which is comparable to results of other benchmarks performed in the past. The study provides new insight regarding the potential and limits of tree detection with ALS and underlines some key aspects regarding the choice of method when performing single tree detection for the various forest types encountered in alpine regions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A New Collaborative Methodology for Assessment and Management of Ecosystem Services
Forests 2015, 6(5), 1696-1720; https://doi.org/10.3390/f6051696 - 13 May 2015
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3398
Abstract
Collaborative management is a new framework to help implement programmes in protected areas. Within this context, the aim of this work is twofold. First, to propose a robust methodology to implement collaborative management focused on ecosystem services. Second, to develop indicators for the [...] Read more.
Collaborative management is a new framework to help implement programmes in protected areas. Within this context, the aim of this work is twofold. First, to propose a robust methodology to implement collaborative management focused on ecosystem services. Second, to develop indicators for the main functions of ecosystem services. Decision makers, technical staff and other stakeholders are included in the process from the beginning, by identifying ecosystem services and eliciting preferences using the AHP method. Qualitative and quantitative data are then integrated into a PROMETHEE based method in order to obtain indicators for provisioning, maintenance and direct to citizens services. This methodology, which has been applied in a forest area, provides a tool for exploiting available technical and social data in a continuous process, as well as providing easy to understand graphical results. This approach also overcomes the difficulties found in prioritizing management objectives in a multiple criteria context with limited resources and facilitates consensus between all of the people involved. The new indicators define an innovative approach to assessing the ecosystem services from the supply perspective and provide basic information to help establish payment systems for environmental services and compensation for natural disasters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Services from Forests)
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Open AccessArticle
How Sensitive Are Ecosystem Services in European Forest Landscapes to Silvicultural Treatment?
Forests 2015, 6(5), 1666-1695; https://doi.org/10.3390/f6051666 - 13 May 2015
Cited by 68 | Viewed by 5936
Abstract
While sustainable forestry in Europe is characterized by the provision of a multitude of forest ecosystem services, there exists no comprehensive study that scrutinizes their sensitivity to forest management on a pan-European scale, so far. We compile scenario runs from regionally tailored forest [...] Read more.
While sustainable forestry in Europe is characterized by the provision of a multitude of forest ecosystem services, there exists no comprehensive study that scrutinizes their sensitivity to forest management on a pan-European scale, so far. We compile scenario runs from regionally tailored forest growth models and Decision Support Systems (DSS) from 20 case studies throughout Europe and analyze whether the ecosystem service provision depends on management intensity and other co-variables, comprising regional affiliation, social environment, and tree species composition. The simulation runs provide information about the case-specifically most important ecosystem services in terms of appropriate indicators. We found a strong positive correlation between management intensity and wood production, but only weak correlation with protective and socioeconomic forest functions. Interestingly, depending on the forest region, we found that biodiversity can react in both ways, positively and negatively, to increased management intensity. Thus, it may be in tradeoff or in synergy with wood production and forest resource maintenance. The covariables species composition and social environment are of punctual interest only, while the affiliation to a certain region often makes an important difference in terms of an ecosystem service’s treatment sensitivity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Allelic Variation in Cinnamyl Alcohol Dehydrogenase (LoCAD) Associated with Wood Properties of Larix olgensis
Forests 2015, 6(5), 1649-1665; https://doi.org/10.3390/f6051649 - 12 May 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2520
Abstract
Cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase (CAD) catalyzes the key step in the lignin monomer biosynthesis pathway, but little is known about CADs in larch (Larix olgensis). Larch is one of the most important conifer plantation species and is used worldwide for reforestation and [...] Read more.
Cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase (CAD) catalyzes the key step in the lignin monomer biosynthesis pathway, but little is known about CADs in larch (Larix olgensis). Larch is one of the most important conifer plantation species and is used worldwide for reforestation and paper making. However, the presence of lignin is a significant barrier in the conversion of plant biomass to bioethanol. In the current study, 240 individuals from the Northeast Forest University provenance progeny trial population were evaluated, and 47 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified in the CAD gene. We used a candidate gene-based association mapping approach to identify CAD gene allelic variants that were associated with growth and wood property traits in L. olgensis. We found that LoCAD harbors high single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) diversity (πT = 0.00622 and θW = 0.00646). The results of an association analysis indicated that nine SNPs and six haplotypes were significantly associated with wood property and growth traits, explaining between 1.35% and 18.4% of the phenotypic variance. There were strong associations between SNP (g.590G > T) and SNP (g.1184A > T) in LoCAD. These SNPs might represent two quantitative trait nucleotides that are important for the analysis of lignin content. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Variation in Trembling Aspen and White Spruce Wood Quality Grown in Mixed and Single Species Stands in the Boreal Mixedwood Forest
Forests 2015, 6(5), 1628-1648; https://doi.org/10.3390/f6051628 - 12 May 2015
Viewed by 2138
Abstract
The Canadian boreal forest is largely represented by mixed wood forests of white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) and trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx). In this study, a total of 300 trees originating from three sites composed of trembling aspen and [...] Read more.
The Canadian boreal forest is largely represented by mixed wood forests of white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) and trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx). In this study, a total of 300 trees originating from three sites composed of trembling aspen and white spruce with varying compositions were investigated for wood quality traits: one site was composed mainly of aspen, one mainly of spruce and a third was a mixed site. Four wood quality traits were examined: wood density, microfibril angle (MFA), fibre characteristics, and cell wall chemistry. Social classes were also determined for each site in an attempt to provide a more in-depth comparison. Wood density showed little variation among sites for both species, with only significant differences occurring between social classes. The aspen site showed statistically lower MFAs than the aspen from the mixed site, however, no differences were observed when comparing spruce. Fibre characteristics were higher in the pure species sites for both species. There were no differences in carbohydrate contents across sites, while lignin content varied. Overall, the use of social classes did not refine the characterization of sites. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Wooded Area Reduction by Airborne Laser Scanning
Forests 2015, 6(5), 1613-1627; https://doi.org/10.3390/f6051613 - 07 May 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2868
Abstract
Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) data hold a great deal of promise in monitoring the reduction of single trees and forests with high accuracy. In the literature, the canopy height model (CHM) is the main input used frequently for forest change detection. ALS also [...] Read more.
Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) data hold a great deal of promise in monitoring the reduction of single trees and forests with high accuracy. In the literature, the canopy height model (CHM) is the main input used frequently for forest change detection. ALS also has the key capability of delivering 3D point clouds, not only from the top canopy surface, but also from the entire canopy profile and also from the terrain. We investigated the use of two additional parameters, which exploit these capabilities for assessing the reduction of wooded area: Slope-adapted echo ratio (sER) and Sigma0. In this study, two ALS point cloud data sets (2005 and 2011) were used to calculate Digital Surface Model (DSM), sER, and Sigma0 in 1.5 km2 forest area in Vorarlberg, Austria. Image differencing was applied to indicate the change in the three difference models individually and in their combinations. Decision trees were used to classify the area of removed trees with the minimum mapping unit of 13 m2. The final results were evaluated by a knowledge-based manual digitization using completeness and correctness measures. The best result is achieved using the combination of sER and DSM, namely a correctness of 92% and a completeness of 85%. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Extinction Risk of Pseudotsuga Menziesii Populations in the Central Region of Mexico: An AHP Analysis
Forests 2015, 6(5), 1598-1612; https://doi.org/10.3390/f6051598 - 05 May 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2815
Abstract
Within the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) framework, a hierarchical model was created considering anthropogenic, genetic and ecological criteria and sub-criteria that directly affect Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.)) risk of extinction in central Mexico. The sub-criteria values were standardized, weighted, and ordered by [...] Read more.
Within the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) framework, a hierarchical model was created considering anthropogenic, genetic and ecological criteria and sub-criteria that directly affect Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.)) risk of extinction in central Mexico. The sub-criteria values were standardized, weighted, and ordered by importance in a pairwise comparison matrix; the model was mathematically integrated to quantify the degree of extinction risk for each of the 29 populations present in the study area. The results indicate diverse levels of risk for the populations, ranging from very low to very high. Estanzuela, Presa Jaramillo, Peñas Cargadas and Plan del Baile populations have very low risk, with values less than 0.25. On the other hand, Vicente Guerrero, Morán, Minatitlán, La Garita and Tonalapa populations have very high risk (>0.35) because they are heavily influenced by anthropogenic (close to roads and towns), ecological (presence of exotic species and little or no natural regeneration) and genetic (presence of mature to overmature trees and geographic isolation) factors. In situ conservation activities, prioritizing their implementation in populations at most risk is highly recommended; in addition, germplasm collection for use of assisted gene flow and migration approaches, including artificial reforestation, should be considered in these locations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Conservation in Forests)
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Open AccessArticle
Timing of Drought Triggers Distinct Growth Responses in Holm Oak: Implications to Predict Warming-Induced Forest Defoliation and Growth Decline
Forests 2015, 6(5), 1576-1597; https://doi.org/10.3390/f6051576 - 05 May 2015
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 2880
Abstract
Droughts negatively impact forests by reducing growth and increasing defoliation leading to forest dieback as the climate becomes warmer and drier. However, the timing and severity of droughts determine how differently or intensively water shortage affects primary (shoot and leaf formation) and secondary [...] Read more.
Droughts negatively impact forests by reducing growth and increasing defoliation leading to forest dieback as the climate becomes warmer and drier. However, the timing and severity of droughts determine how differently or intensively water shortage affects primary (shoot and leaf formation) and secondary growth (stem radial growth based on tree-ring widths). We compare the impact of two severe droughts (2005, 2012), showing different climatic characteristics on the growth responses of three Mediterranean holm oak stands in northeastern Spain. We also quantify climate trends and drought severity. Then, we use remote sensing data to infer how those droughts impacted forest productivity. Both droughts were characterized by warm and dry spring conditions leading to reduced budburst, low shoot production, asynchrony in primary growth and decreased productivity and scarce radial growth, particularly in 2005. However, defoliation peaked in 2012 when radial growth showed minimum values and early spring and late summer temperatures reached maximum values. We discuss how uncoupled and resilient are the responses of primary and secondary growth to drought. Finally, these findings are used to gain insight into the drought-related drivers of defoliation in Spanish holm oak forests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responses of Forest Trees to Drought)
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Open AccessArticle
Lichen Monitoring Delineates Biodiversity on a Great Barrier Reef Coral Cay
Forests 2015, 6(5), 1557-1575; https://doi.org/10.3390/f6051557 - 05 May 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3746
Abstract
Coral islands around the world are threatened by changing climates. Rising seas, drought, and increased tropical storms are already impacting island ecosystems. We aim to better understand lichen community ecology of coral island forests. We used an epiphytic lichen community survey to gauge [...] Read more.
Coral islands around the world are threatened by changing climates. Rising seas, drought, and increased tropical storms are already impacting island ecosystems. We aim to better understand lichen community ecology of coral island forests. We used an epiphytic lichen community survey to gauge Pisonia (Pisonia grandis R.BR.), which dominates forest conditions on Heron Island, Australia. Nine survey plots were sampled for lichen species presence and abundance, all tree diameters and species, GPS location, distance to forest-beach edge, and dominant forest type. Results found only six unique lichens and two lichen associates. A Multi-Response Permutation Procedures (MRPP) test found statistically distinct lichen communities among forest types. The greatest group differences were between interior Pisonia and perimeter forest types. Ordinations were performed to further understand causes for distinctions in lichen communities. Significant explanatory gradients were distance to forest edge, tree density (shading), and Pisonia basal area. Each of these variables was negatively correlated with lichen diversity and abundance, suggesting that interior, successionally advanced, Pisonia forests support fewer lichens. Island edge and presumably younger forests—often those with greater tree diversity and sunlight penetration—supported the highest lichen diversity. Heron Island’s Pisonia-dominated forests support low lichen diversity which mirrors overall biodiversity patterns. Lichen biomonitoring may provide a valuable indicator for assessing island ecosystems for conservation purposes regionally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Conservation in Forests)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Temporal Dynamics, Nut Weight and Nut Size on Growth of American Chestnut, Chinese Chestnut and Backcross Generations in a Commercial Nursery
Forests 2015, 6(5), 1537-1556; https://doi.org/10.3390/f6051537 - 30 Apr 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2370
Abstract
Blight-resistant American chestnut (Castanea dentata) may soon be commercially available, but few studies have tested methods to produce high quality seedlings that will be competitive after planting. This study evaluated the performance of one American, one Chinese (C. mollissima), [...] Read more.
Blight-resistant American chestnut (Castanea dentata) may soon be commercially available, but few studies have tested methods to produce high quality seedlings that will be competitive after planting. This study evaluated the performance of one American, one Chinese (C. mollissima), one second-generation backcross (BC3F2), and 10 third-generation backcross chestnut families (BC3F3). We examine growth over one year in a commercial tree nursery in east Tennessee. We examined relationships among nut size and weight and seedling growth, between germination timing and seedling survival, and between germination percentage and growth. Across the population tested, a 1 g increase in nut weight corresponded to a 6 cm increase in seedling height, a 0.5 mm increase in root collar diameter and one additional first order lateral root, but models had low predictive power. BC3F3 chestnuts grew similarly to American chestnuts, with substantial differences in growth among chestnut families within generation. Nuts that germinated by 23 April had greater than 1955 odds of surviving the first growing season than nuts that germinated in late May. American and backcross chestnut growth slowed in late June, presumably due to exhaustion of their cotyledons before leaf expansion. These results will help nursery managers refine cultural practices to maximize growth of backcross chestnuts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Multi-level Governance of Land Use Changes in the Brazilian Amazon: Lessons from Paragominas, State of Pará
Forests 2015, 6(5), 1516-1536; https://doi.org/10.3390/f6051516 - 30 Apr 2015
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 4397
Abstract
Land use governance in the Brazilian Amazon has undergone significant changes in the last decade. At the national level, law enforcement capacity has increased and downstream industries linked to commodity chains responsible for deforestation have begun to monitor some of their suppliers’ impacts [...] Read more.
Land use governance in the Brazilian Amazon has undergone significant changes in the last decade. At the national level, law enforcement capacity has increased and downstream industries linked to commodity chains responsible for deforestation have begun to monitor some of their suppliers’ impacts on forests. At the municipal level, local actors have launched a Green Municipality initiative, aimed at eliminating deforestation and supporting green supply chains at the territorial level. In this paper, we analyze the land use transition since 2001 in Paragominas—the first Green Municipality—and discuss the limits of the governance arrangements underpinning these changes. Our work draws on a spatially explicit analysis of biophysical variables and qualitative information collected in interviews with key private and public stakeholders of the main commodity chains operating in the region. We argue that, up to now, the emerging multi-level scheme of land governance has not succeeded in promoting large-scale land use intensification, reforestation and rehabilitation of degraded lands. Moreover, private governance mechanisms based on improved product standards, fail to benefit from potential successful partnerships between the public and private sector at the territorial level. We propose a governance approach that adopts a broader territorial focus as a way forward. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Governing Forest Landscapes: Challenges and Ways Forward)
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Open AccessArticle
An Area-Based Matrix Model for Uneven-Aged Forests
Forests 2015, 6(5), 1500-1515; https://doi.org/10.3390/f6051500 - 30 Apr 2015
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2613
Abstract
In this paper a new concept for modeling uneven-aged forests (UEAF) is presented. The term UEAF in this article encloses all forests that deviate from the even-aged structure. The matrix model is area-based, in that the forest under study is described by a [...] Read more.
In this paper a new concept for modeling uneven-aged forests (UEAF) is presented. The term UEAF in this article encloses all forests that deviate from the even-aged structure. The matrix model is area-based, in that the forest under study is described by a distribution of areas over fixed state-spaces spanned by stem number and volume per hectare classes. Dynamics is introduced as transitions of areas inside the state-space during the simulation. Harvesting activities and the occurrence of calamities are explicitly handled. The model is designed to be suitable for large-scale analyses. The concept was tested in an application to Austrian National Forest Inventory (NFI) data. Results shown, including a comparison to older inventory data, indicate that it is worth further elaborating on the concept and the model. The work will be continued and in the next step the model concept will be applied in several other countries. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Tools for Assessing the Impacts of Climate Variability and Change on Wildfire Regimes in Forests
Forests 2015, 6(5), 1476-1499; https://doi.org/10.3390/f6051476 - 30 Apr 2015
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4069
Abstract
Fire is an intrinsic element of many forest ecosystems; it shapes their ecological processes, determines species composition and influences landscape structure. However, wildfires may: have undesirable effects on biodiversity and vegetation coverage; produce carbon emissions to the atmosphere; release smoke affecting human health; [...] Read more.
Fire is an intrinsic element of many forest ecosystems; it shapes their ecological processes, determines species composition and influences landscape structure. However, wildfires may: have undesirable effects on biodiversity and vegetation coverage; produce carbon emissions to the atmosphere; release smoke affecting human health; and cause loss of lives and property. There have been increasing concerns about the potential impacts of climate variability and change on forest fires. Climate change can alter factors that influence the occurrence of fire ignitions, fuel availability and fuel flammability. This review paper aims to identify tools and methods used for gathering information about the impacts of climate variability and change on forest fires, forest fuels and the probability of fires. Tools to assess the impacts of climate variability and change on forest fires include: remote sensing, dynamic global vegetation and landscape models, integrated fire-vegetation models, fire danger rating systems, empirical models and fire behavior models. This review outlines each tool in terms of its characteristics, spatial and temporal resolution, limitations and applicability of the results. To enhance and improve tool performance, each must be continuously tested in all types of forest ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Forest Fire)
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Open AccessArticle
Deciphering Corporate Governance and Environmental Commitments among Southeast Asian Transnationals: Uptake of Sustainability Certification
Forests 2015, 6(5), 1454-1475; https://doi.org/10.3390/f6051454 - 29 Apr 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3664
Abstract
Promoting tropical forest sustainability among corporate players is a major challenge. Many tools have been developed, but without much success. Southeast Asia has become a laboratory of globalization processes, where the development and success of agribusiness transnationals raises questions about their commitment to [...] Read more.
Promoting tropical forest sustainability among corporate players is a major challenge. Many tools have been developed, but without much success. Southeast Asia has become a laboratory of globalization processes, where the development and success of agribusiness transnationals raises questions about their commitment to environmental concerns. An abundance of literature discusses what determines the behavior of Asian corporations, with a particular emphasis on cultural factors. Our hypothesis is that financial factors, such as ownership structure, may also have a fundamental role. We analyzed the audited accounts of four major Asian agribusiness transnationals. Using network analysis, we deciphered how the 931 companies relate to each other and determine the behavior of the transnationals to which they belong. We compared various metrics with the environmental commitment of these transnationals. We found that ownership structures reflect differences in flexibility, control and transaction costs, but not in ethnicities. Capital and its control, ownership structure, and flexibility explain 97% of the environmental behavior. It means that existing market-based tools to promote environmental sustainability do not engage transnationals at the scale where most of their behavior is determined. For the first time, the inner mechanisms of corporate governance are unraveled in agricultural and forest sustainability. New implications such as the convergence of environmental sustainability with family business sustainability emerged. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Governing Forest Landscapes: Challenges and Ways Forward)
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Open AccessArticle
Applying Effective Population Size Estimates of Kandelia obovata Sheue, Liu and Yong to Conservation and Restoration Management
Forests 2015, 6(5), 1439-1453; https://doi.org/10.3390/f6051439 - 28 Apr 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2656
Abstract
Effective population size (Ne) is a crucial metric for evaluating the current status of genetic diversity and conservation management. Population of Kandelia obovata, a mangrove species that is patchily distributed along the estuaries off Southeastern China, is genetically structured. Here, [...] Read more.
Effective population size (Ne) is a crucial metric for evaluating the current status of genetic diversity and conservation management. Population of Kandelia obovata, a mangrove species that is patchily distributed along the estuaries off Southeastern China, is genetically structured. Here, we applied skyline analyses to infer the demographic history of K. obovata based on Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphisms (AFLP) data. Congruent trends of population growth rate among populations, but concurrent change in Ne estimates, were inferred in all populations. The recent rapid habitat expansion explains the high census population size but small Ne of populations in Northern Taiwan. Our study also revealed lower Ne of reforested populations than their sources. In silico demographic analyses simulate the small or biased sampling of seedlings for reforestation and revealed over 90% and 99% Ne reduction when only 1/2 and 1/10 samples were collected, respectively. These results emphasize the importance of a comprehensive sampling of seeds for restoration. Overall, this study rendered, not only the current Ne of K. obovata populations, but also indicates the importance of Ne estimation on restoration. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Modeling Forest Lightning Fire Occurrence in the Daxinganling Mountains of Northeastern China with MAXENT
Forests 2015, 6(5), 1422-1438; https://doi.org/10.3390/f6051422 - 24 Apr 2015
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 3369
Abstract
Forest lightning fire is a recurrent and serious problem in the Daxinganling Mountains of northeastern China. Information on the spatial distribution of fire danger is needed to improve local fire prevention actions. The Maxent (Maximun Entropy Models), which is prevalent in modeling habitat [...] Read more.
Forest lightning fire is a recurrent and serious problem in the Daxinganling Mountains of northeastern China. Information on the spatial distribution of fire danger is needed to improve local fire prevention actions. The Maxent (Maximun Entropy Models), which is prevalent in modeling habitat distribution, was used to predict the possibility of lightning fire occurrence in a 1 × 1 km grid based on history fire data and environment variables in Daxinganling Mountains during the period 2005–2010.We used a jack-knife test to assess the independent contributions of lightning characteristics, meteorological factors, topography and vegetation to the goodness-of-fit of models and evaluated the prediction accuracy with the kappa statistic and AUC (receiver operating characteristic curve) analysis. The results showed that rainfall, number of strikes and lightning current intensity were major factors, and vegetation and geographic variable were secondary, in affecting lightning fire occurrence. The predicted model performs well in terms of accuracy, with an average AUC and maximum kappa value of 0.866 and 0.782, respectively, for the validation sample. The prediction accuracy also increased with the sample size. Our study demonstrated that the Maxent model can be used to predict lightning fire occurrence in the Daxinganling Mountains. This model can provide guidance to forest managers in spatial assessment of daily fire danger. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Forest Fire)
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Open AccessArticle
An Exploratory Spatial Analysis of Social Vulnerability and Smoke Plume Dispersion in the U.S. South
Forests 2015, 6(5), 1397-1421; https://doi.org/10.3390/f6051397 - 24 Apr 2015
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2991
Abstract
This study explores the spatial association between social vulnerability and smoke plume dispersion at the census block group level for the 13 southern states in the USDA Forest Service’s Region 8. Using environmental justice as a conceptual basis, we use Exploratory Spatial Data [...] Read more.
This study explores the spatial association between social vulnerability and smoke plume dispersion at the census block group level for the 13 southern states in the USDA Forest Service’s Region 8. Using environmental justice as a conceptual basis, we use Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis to identify clusters or “hot spots” for the incidence of both higher than average socially marginal populations and plume dispersion. The larger health disparities and environmental justice literature suggests that lower income and minority populations in the U.S. face greater exposure than middle/upper income, non-minority populations to environmental pollutants; however, we are aware of only a few studies examining this relationship in the context of population exposure to wildfires or prescribed fires in the U.S. South, despite the high occurrence of wildfires in the region. Analyses were conducted across five ecoregions in the South and for winter and spring/summer seasons. Results by ecoregion show significant spatial clustering of high social vulnerability block groups in the vicinity of block groups with a high number of smoke plumes (i.e., “hot spots”). Overall, however, socially vulnerable communities are not exposed to more smoke than non-socially vulnerable communities. Data limitations and suggestions for further research are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Forest Fire)
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