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Forests, Volume 7, Issue 7 (July 2016)

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Open AccessArticle
Spatial Heterogeneity of Climate Change Effects on Dominant Height of Larch Plantations in Northern and Northeastern China
Forests 2016, 7(7), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7070151
Received: 27 January 2016 / Revised: 26 June 2016 / Accepted: 30 June 2016 / Published: 22 July 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1509 | PDF Full-text (2879 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Determining the response of dominant height growth to climate change is important for understanding adaption strategies. Based on 550 permanent plots from a national forest inventory and climate data across seven provinces and three climate zones, we developed a climate-sensitive dominant height growth [...] Read more.
Determining the response of dominant height growth to climate change is important for understanding adaption strategies. Based on 550 permanent plots from a national forest inventory and climate data across seven provinces and three climate zones, we developed a climate-sensitive dominant height growth model under a mixed-effects model framework. The mean temperature of the wettest quarter and precipitation of the wettest month were found to be statistically significant explanatory variables that markedly improved model performance. Generally, future climate change had a positive effect on stand dominant height in northern and northeastern China, but the effect showed high spatial variability linked to local climatic conditions. The range in dominant height difference between the current climate and three future BC-RCP scenarios would change from −0.61 m to 1.75 m (−6.9% to 13.5%) during the period 2041–2060 and from −1.17 m to 3.28 m (−9.1% to 41.0%) during the period 2061–2080 across provinces. The impacts of climate change on stand dominant height decreased as stand age increased. Forests in cold and warm temperate zones had a smaller decrease in dominant height, owing to climate change, compared with those in the mid temperate zone. Overall, future climate change could impact dominant height growth in northern and northeastern China. As spatial heterogeneity of climate change affects dominant height growth, locally specific mitigation measures should be considered in forest management. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Removal of PM10 by Forests as a Nature-Based Solution for Air Quality Improvement in the Metropolitan City of Rome
Forests 2016, 7(7), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7070150
Received: 30 March 2016 / Revised: 24 June 2016 / Accepted: 11 July 2016 / Published: 21 July 2016
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1910 | PDF Full-text (6226 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nature-based solutions have been identified by the European Union as being critical for the enhancement of environmental qualities in cities, where urban and peri-urban forests play a key role in air quality amelioration through pollutant removal. A remote sensing and geographic information system [...] Read more.
Nature-based solutions have been identified by the European Union as being critical for the enhancement of environmental qualities in cities, where urban and peri-urban forests play a key role in air quality amelioration through pollutant removal. A remote sensing and geographic information system (GIS) approach was applied to the Metropolitan City (MC) of Rome to assess the seasonal particulate matter (PM10) removal capacity of evergreen (broadleaves and conifers) and deciduous species. Moreover, a monetary evaluation of PM10 removal was performed on the basis of pollution externalities calculated for Europe. Deciduous broadleaves represent the most abundant tree functional group and also yielded the highest total annual PM10 deposition values (1769 Mg). By contrast, PM10 removal efficiency (Mg·ha−1) was 15%–22% higher in evergreen than in deciduous species. To assess the different removal capacity of the three functional groups in an area with homogeneous environmental conditions, a study case was performed in a peri-urban forest protected natural reserve (Castelporziano Presidential Estate). This study case highlighted the importance of deciduous species in summer and of evergreen communities as regards the annual PM10 removal balance. The monetary evaluation indicated that the overall PM10 removal value of the MC of Rome amounted to 161.78 million Euros. Our study lends further support to the crucial role played by nature-based solutions for human well-being in urban areas. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cost-Effectiveness of Fuel Removals in Mediterranean Wildland-Urban Interfaces Threatened by Wildfires
Forests 2016, 7(7), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7070149
Received: 27 April 2016 / Revised: 14 July 2016 / Accepted: 16 July 2016 / Published: 20 July 2016
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1383 | PDF Full-text (1946 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
One of the most important environmental issues in Europe is the expansion of wildland-urban interfaces (WUIs) and how this trend may affect the occurrence of wildfires. Land use changes, the abandonment of farmland, and reduced grazing has led to an increase in forested [...] Read more.
One of the most important environmental issues in Europe is the expansion of wildland-urban interfaces (WUIs) and how this trend may affect the occurrence of wildfires. Land use changes, the abandonment of farmland, and reduced grazing has led to an increase in forested areas with an accumulation and continuity of surface fuels available for combustion. Policies based exclusively on extensive fire suppression have become ineffective in different parts of Europe. To reduce the threat of damaging and costly wildfires, European countries must develop integrated fuel management programs. This approach has proven to be one of the most cost-effective for preventing wildfires and reducing economic loss. To this end, we have conducted a cost-effectiveness analysis to estimate how much fuel must be treated to determine fuel load removals with the lowest cost per hectare of unaffected WUIs threatened by wildfires in southern Italy (Apulia region). The analysis was carried out in three stages: (i) simulation of fire behavior in different fuel load reduction and wind direction scenarios; (ii) estimation of WUIs affected by wildfires within the study landscape; and (iii) the application of a cost-effectiveness ratio. Our results highlight the need to provide a method to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of fuel removal given the increasing number and extent of WUIs in the Mediterranean landscape of Europe. Optimizing the cost-effectiveness analysis of fuel removals offers the basis for appropriately assessing wildfire prevention and budgeting financial resources. Further, this method may be readily applied toward allocating any type of intervention in landscape management. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Modeling Prices for Sawtimber Stumpage in the South-Central United States
Forests 2016, 7(7), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7070148
Received: 27 June 2016 / Revised: 12 July 2016 / Accepted: 13 July 2016 / Published: 20 July 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1589 | PDF Full-text (2127 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The South-Central United States, which includes the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and Arkansas, represents an important segment of the softwood sawtimber market. By using the Seemingly Unrelated Regression (SUR) method to account for the linkage among the four contiguous timber markets, this [...] Read more.
The South-Central United States, which includes the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and Arkansas, represents an important segment of the softwood sawtimber market. By using the Seemingly Unrelated Regression (SUR) method to account for the linkage among the four contiguous timber markets, this study examines the dynamics of softwood sawtimber stumpage markets within the region. Based on quarterly data from 1981 to 2014, the findings reveal that both pulpwood and chip-and-saw (CNS) prices have a positive influence on the Texas and Arkansas sawtimber markets. Moreover, Granger-causality tests suggest that unidirectional causality runs from pulpwood and CNS markets to the respective sawtimber market. Compared to the pre-financial crisis period, sawtimber prices in these four states are 9%–17% lower in the recent years. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Second-Log Branching in Multiaged Redwood and Douglas-Fir: Influence of Stand, Site, and Silviculture
Forests 2016, 7(7), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7070147
Received: 7 May 2016 / Revised: 12 July 2016 / Accepted: 12 July 2016 / Published: 16 July 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1480 | PDF Full-text (2506 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
We studied branching in Sequoia sempervirens (Lamb. ex D. Don) Endl. (coast redwood) and Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco var. menziesii (coast Douglas-fir) because of their commercial value to coastal northern California. We focused on branching in the second log, which constitutes an important [...] Read more.
We studied branching in Sequoia sempervirens (Lamb. ex D. Don) Endl. (coast redwood) and Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco var. menziesii (coast Douglas-fir) because of their commercial value to coastal northern California. We focused on branching in the second log, which constitutes an important part of a tree’s wood volume and potential value. We quantified branch size and branch growth of overstory trees in multiaged stands in Mendocino County, California, in response to topographic, silvicultural, and stand- and tree-related variables. Higher stand density—a measure of competition averaged across the sample plot—did not correlate with size of the largest second-log branch measured but was associated with a smaller average diameter of the largest branches measured on all sides of the study tree. The largest branch measured was smaller when in closer proximity to branches of its immediate neighbor tree. Redwood had larger branches than Douglas-fir but their size was more sensitive to an ecological gradient of soil-moisture deficit. Branches responded differently to individual tree selection harvest of conifers versus herbicide control of hardwoods. Residual conifer branches in harvested plots responded almost immediately with increased growth, but this release was short-lived. Branches in herbicide-treated plots exhibited a delayed release, giving more consistent branch growth throughout two five-year measurement periods after treatment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
City “Green” Contributions: The Role of Urban Greenspaces as Reservoirs for Biodiversity
Forests 2016, 7(7), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7070146
Received: 31 March 2016 / Revised: 5 July 2016 / Accepted: 6 July 2016 / Published: 15 July 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2212 | PDF Full-text (1308 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urbanization poses important environmental, social, and ecological pressures, representing a major threat to biodiversity. However, urban areas are highly heterogeneous, with some greenspaces (e.g., urban forests, parks, private gardens) providing resources and a refuge for wildlife communities. In this study we surveyed 10 [...] Read more.
Urbanization poses important environmental, social, and ecological pressures, representing a major threat to biodiversity. However, urban areas are highly heterogeneous, with some greenspaces (e.g., urban forests, parks, private gardens) providing resources and a refuge for wildlife communities. In this study we surveyed 10 taxonomic groups to assess their species richness and composition in six greenspaces that differ in size, location, management, and human activities. Species richness differed among taxonomic groups, but not all differed statistically among the studied greenspaces (i.e., sac fungi, bats). Plants, basidiomycetous and sac fungi, and birds showed intermediate assemblage composition similarity (<54%). The composition of assemblages of copro-necrophagous beetles, grasshoppers, amphibians, and bats was related to the specific traits of greenspaces, mainly size and location. The species richness contribution of each greenspace considering all studied taxonomic groups was highest in the largest greenspace that is located at the southeastern border of the city, while the lowest contribution was recorded in the smallest ones, all of them closer to the city’s center. Our results shed some light on the way in which different taxonomic groups respond to an array of neotropical urban greenspaces, providing an important basis for future studies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Do Indigenous Street Trees Promote More Biodiversity than Alien Ones? Evidence Using Mistletoes and Birds in South Africa
Forests 2016, 7(7), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7070134
Received: 19 April 2016 / Revised: 23 June 2016 / Accepted: 29 June 2016 / Published: 13 July 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1833 | PDF Full-text (1134 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Trees in urban landscapes provide a range of ecosystem services, including habitat, refugia, food, and corridors for other fauna and flora. However, there is some debate whether the richness and abundance of other biodiversity supported is influenced by the provenance of trees, i.e., [...] Read more.
Trees in urban landscapes provide a range of ecosystem services, including habitat, refugia, food, and corridors for other fauna and flora. However, there is some debate whether the richness and abundance of other biodiversity supported is influenced by the provenance of trees, i.e., native or non-native. This study assessed the presence of mistletoes and birds (and nests) in 1261 street trees. There were marked differences between native and non-native street trees, with the former having a significantly higher prevalence of birds (and nests) and supporting more species and in greater densities, whilst the latter supported a higher prevalence of mistletoes. Additionally, for birds, the proximity to green space, tree size and species were also important, whilst for mistletoes, the proximity to green space, slope aspect, and tree species were significant. Preference ratios indicated that some tree species had a higher than random occurrence of birds or mistletoes, whilst others had a low abundance. The indigenous tree species, Acacia karroo Hayne was the only reasonably abundant street tree species that was important for birds, nests, and mistletoes. At the street scale, there was a positive relationship between street tree species richness and bird species richness. These results emphasise the importance of selecting appropriate tree species if biodiversity conservation is a core outcome. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sales of Forestry-Related Specialty License Plates in the Southern United States: A County Level Empirical Analysis
Forests 2016, 7(7), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7070145
Received: 15 February 2016 / Revised: 24 June 2016 / Accepted: 7 July 2016 / Published: 12 July 2016
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Abstract
In recent years, specialty license plates have become an increasingly popular way to raise awareness and show support for a myriad of issues with which the plate is linked. Several states and various organizations that provide forestry education have developed forestry license plates. [...] Read more.
In recent years, specialty license plates have become an increasingly popular way to raise awareness and show support for a myriad of issues with which the plate is linked. Several states and various organizations that provide forestry education have developed forestry license plates. Vehicle owners can purchase the plates to show their support towards forestry by buying the forestry license plates, which generates revenue for the provider organization. Using county-level data from five states in the Southeastern United States, a statistical model was developed to examine explanatory factors of forestry-based specialty license plate sales in 2014. Using linear count regression modeling, we observed that the significant predictor variables of plate sales were income per capita, population density, the percentage of acres that are forested in the county, acres of forest in the county that are privately owned, percentage of people who are 65 or older, and presence of the forest industry in the county. Plate sales were positively correlated with the presence of the forest industry in the county. Full article
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Open AccessErratum
Erratum: Spatial Patterns of Irradiance and Advanced Reproduction along a Canopy Disturbance Severity Gradient in an Upland Hardwood Stand. Forests 2016, 7, 73
Forests 2016, 7(7), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7070144
Received: 12 June 2016 / Revised: 13 June 2016 / Accepted: 13 June 2016 / Published: 12 July 2016
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Abstract
Due to a mistake during the production process, there was one error in paragraph 3 of the introduction in the original published version [1].[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Evaluating the Performance of High-Altitude Aerial Image-Based Digital Surface Models in Detecting Individual Tree Crowns in Mature Boreal Forests
Forests 2016, 7(7), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7070143
Received: 30 November 2015 / Revised: 28 June 2016 / Accepted: 5 July 2016 / Published: 12 July 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2134 | PDF Full-text (4136 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Height models based on high-altitude aerial images provide a low-cost means of generating detailed 3D models of the forest canopy. In this study, the performance of these height models in the detection of individual trees was evaluated in a commercially managed boreal forest. [...] Read more.
Height models based on high-altitude aerial images provide a low-cost means of generating detailed 3D models of the forest canopy. In this study, the performance of these height models in the detection of individual trees was evaluated in a commercially managed boreal forest. Airborne digital stereo imagery (DSI) was captured from a flight altitude of 5 km with a ground sample distance of 50 cm and corresponds to regular national topographic airborne data capture programs operated in many countries. Tree tops were detected from smoothed canopy height models (CHM) using watershed segmentation. The relative amount of detected trees varied between 26% and 140%, and the RMSE of plot-level arithmetic mean height between 2.2 m and 3.1 m. Both the dominant tree species and the filter used for smoothing affected the results. Even though the spatial resolution of DSI-based CHM was sufficient, detecting individual trees from the data proved to be demanding because of the shading effect of the dominant trees and the limited amount of data from lower canopy levels and near the ground. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Ecosystem Carbon Stock Loss after Land Use Change in Subtropical Forests in China
Forests 2016, 7(7), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7070142
Received: 11 May 2016 / Revised: 21 June 2016 / Accepted: 7 July 2016 / Published: 12 July 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1747 | PDF Full-text (1430 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Converting secondary natural forests (SFs) to Chinese fir plantations (CFPs) represents one of the most important (8.9 million ha) land use changes in subtropical China. This study estimated both biomass and soil C stocks in a SF and a CFP that was converted [...] Read more.
Converting secondary natural forests (SFs) to Chinese fir plantations (CFPs) represents one of the most important (8.9 million ha) land use changes in subtropical China. This study estimated both biomass and soil C stocks in a SF and a CFP that was converted from a SF, to quantify the effects of land use change on ecosystem C stock. After the forest conversion, biomass C in the CFP (73 Mg·ha−1) was significantly lower than that of the SF (114 Mg·ha−1). Soil organic C content and stock decreased with increasing soil depth, and the soil C stock in the 0–10 cm layer accounted for more than one third of the total soil C stock over 0–50 cm, emphasizing the importance of management of the top soil to reduce the soil C loss. Total ecosystem C stock of the SF and the CFP was 318 and 200 Mg·ha−1, respectively, 64% of which was soil C for both stands (205 Mg·ha−1 for the SF and 127 Mg·ha−1 for the CFP). This indicates that land use change from the SF to the CFP significantly decreased ecosystem C stock and highlights the importance of managing soil C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Impacts on the Dynamics of Forest Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle
Thinning Intensity Affects Soil-Atmosphere Fluxes of Greenhouse Gases and Soil Nitrogen Mineralization in a Lowland Poplar Plantation
Forests 2016, 7(7), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7070141
Received: 6 May 2016 / Revised: 5 July 2016 / Accepted: 6 July 2016 / Published: 12 July 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1485 | PDF Full-text (3172 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Thinning is one of the intensive forest management techniques commonly applied to increase the merchantable timber volume. However, how thinning affects soil–atmospheric fluxes of greenhouse gases (GHGs) is poorly understood. A field experiment with four treatments (CK: unthinned; MB: medium intensity thinning from [...] Read more.
Thinning is one of the intensive forest management techniques commonly applied to increase the merchantable timber volume. However, how thinning affects soil–atmospheric fluxes of greenhouse gases (GHGs) is poorly understood. A field experiment with four treatments (CK: unthinned; MB: medium intensity thinning from below; HB: high intensity thinning from below; and HI: high intensity thinning by removing every alternative row of trees) was conducted to assess the impact of thinning regimes on soil–atmospheric fluxes of GHGs (CO2, CH4, and N2O) and soil nitrogen mineralization in a poplar plantation established on a lowland. Thinning significantly increased soil water content and water table in the high thinning treatments (HB and HI) and tended to increase soil temperature (p < 0.10). The result of the one-year study showed that estimated annual emissions of CO2 and CH4 were higher in HB and HI than in other treatments, while the highest emission of N2O was in the CK. The thinning treatments increased the annual emission of CO2 by 23%–64% and that of CH4 by 190%–1200%, but decreased that of N2O by 41%–62%. Thinning increased annual N mineralization by 50.3% in HI and 30.1%in HB. Changes in soil temperature and water table drove CO2, CH4, and N2O emissions, while soil water content was the most important factor driving CH4 emission. We conclude that the moderate thinning (MB) regime is the best thinning option to minimize the impact on GHG emissions for lowland poplar plantations with similar conditions to those tested in this study. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Simulating Water-Use Efficiency of Piceacrassi folia Forest under Representative Concentration Pathway Scenarios in the Qilian Mountains of Northwest China
Forests 2016, 7(7), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7070140
Received: 25 April 2016 / Revised: 21 June 2016 / Accepted: 7 July 2016 / Published: 12 July 2016
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Abstract
The current study used the Biome-Bio Geochemical Cycle (Biome-BGC) model to simulate water-use efficiency (WUE) of Piceacrassi folia (P. crassifolia) forest under four representative concentration pathway (RCP) scenarios, and investigated the responses of forest WUE to different combinations of climatic changes [...] Read more.
The current study used the Biome-Bio Geochemical Cycle (Biome-BGC) model to simulate water-use efficiency (WUE) of Piceacrassi folia (P. crassifolia) forest under four representative concentration pathway (RCP) scenarios, and investigated the responses of forest WUE to different combinations of climatic changes and CO2 concentrations in the Qilian Mountains of Northwest China. The model was validated by comparing simulated forest net primary productivity and transpiration under current climatic condition with independent field-measured data. Subsequently, the model was used to predict P. crassi folia forest WUE response to different climatic and CO2 change scenarios. Results showed that (1) increases in temperature, precipitation and atmospheric CO2 concentrations led to associated increases in WUE (ranging from 54% to 66% above the reference climate); (2) effect of CO2 concentration (increased WUE from 36% to 42.3%) was more significant than that of climate change (increased WUE from 2.4% to 15%); and (3) forest WUE response to future global change was more intense at high elevations than at low ones, with CO2 concentration being the main factor that controlled forest WUE variation. These results provide valuable insight to help understand how these forest types might respond to future changes in climate and atmospheric CO2 concentration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Impacts on the Dynamics of Forest Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle
Detecting Local Drivers of Fire Cycle Heterogeneity in Boreal Forests: A Scale Issue
Forests 2016, 7(7), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7070139
Received: 30 May 2016 / Revised: 24 June 2016 / Accepted: 29 June 2016 / Published: 12 July 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1744 | PDF Full-text (4168 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Severe crown fires are determining disturbances for the composition and structure of boreal forests in North America. Fire cycle (FC) associations with continental climate gradients are well known, but smaller scale controls remain poorly documented. Using a time since fire map (time scale [...] Read more.
Severe crown fires are determining disturbances for the composition and structure of boreal forests in North America. Fire cycle (FC) associations with continental climate gradients are well known, but smaller scale controls remain poorly documented. Using a time since fire map (time scale of 300 years), the study aims to assess the relative contributions of local and regional controls on FC and to describe the relationship between FC heterogeneity and vegetation patterns. The study area, located in boreal eastern North America, was partitioned into watersheds according to five scales going from local (3 km2) to landscape (2800 km2) scales. Using survival analysis, we observed that dry surficial deposits and hydrography density better predict FC when measured at the local scale, while terrain complexity and slope position perform better when measured at the middle and landscape scales. The most parsimonious model was selected according to the Akaike information criterion to predict FC throughout the study area. We detected two FC zones, one short (159 years) and one long (303 years), with specific age structures and tree compositions. We argue that the local heterogeneity of the fire regime contributes to ecosystem diversity and must be considered in ecosystem management. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Estimating Aboveground Biomass and Carbon Stocks in Periurban Andean Secondary Forests Using Very High Resolution Imagery
Forests 2016, 7(7), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7070138
Received: 30 April 2016 / Revised: 4 July 2016 / Accepted: 4 July 2016 / Published: 9 July 2016
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2807 | PDF Full-text (2918 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Periurban forests are key to offsetting anthropogenic carbon emissions, but they are under constant threat from urbanization. In particular, secondary Neotropical forest types in Andean periurban areas have a high potential to store carbon, but are currently poorly characterized. To address this lack [...] Read more.
Periurban forests are key to offsetting anthropogenic carbon emissions, but they are under constant threat from urbanization. In particular, secondary Neotropical forest types in Andean periurban areas have a high potential to store carbon, but are currently poorly characterized. To address this lack of information, we developed a method to estimate periurban aboveground biomass (AGB)—a proxy for multiple ecosystem services—of secondary Andean forests near Bogotá, Colombia, based on very high resolution (VHR) GeoEye-1, Pleiades-1A imagery and field-measured plot data. Specifically, we tested a series of different pre-processing workflows to derive six vegetation indices that were regressed against in situ estimates of AGB. Overall, the coupling of linear models and the Ratio Vegetation Index produced the most satisfactory results. Atmospheric and topographic correction proved to be key in improving model fit, especially in high aerosol and rugged terrain such as the Andes. Methods and findings provide baseline AGB and carbon stock information for little studied periurban Andean secondary forests. The methodological approach can also be used for integrating limited forest monitoring plot AGB data with very high resolution imagery for cost-effective modelling of ecosystem service provision from forests, monitoring reforestation and forest cover change, and for carbon offset assessments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Developing Two Additive Biomass Equations for Three Coniferous Plantation Species in Northeast China
Forests 2016, 7(7), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7070136
Received: 12 May 2016 / Revised: 20 June 2016 / Accepted: 30 June 2016 / Published: 8 July 2016
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1549 | PDF Full-text (2221 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Accurate quantification of tree biomass is critical and essential for calculating carbon storage, as well as for studying climate change, forest health, forest productivity, nutrient cycling, etc. Tree biomass is typically estimated using statistical models. In this study, a total of 289 trees [...] Read more.
Accurate quantification of tree biomass is critical and essential for calculating carbon storage, as well as for studying climate change, forest health, forest productivity, nutrient cycling, etc. Tree biomass is typically estimated using statistical models. In this study, a total of 289 trees were harvested and measured for stem, root, branch, and foliage biomass from three coniferous plantation species in northeastern P.R. China. We developed two additive systems of biomass equations based on tree diameter (D) only and both tree diameter (D) and height (H). For each system, likelihood analysis was used to verify the error structures of power functions in order to determine if logarithmic transformation should be applied on both sides of biomass equations. The model coefficients were simultaneously estimated using seemingly unrelated regression (SUR). The results indicated that stem biomass had the largest relative contribution to total biomass, while foliage biomass had the smallest relative proportion for the three species. The root to shoot ratio averaged 0.27 for Korean pine, 0.25 for larch, and 0.23 for Mongolian pine. The two additive biomass systems obtained good model fitting and prediction performance, of which the model Ra2 > 0.80, and the percent mean absolute bias (MAB%), was <17%. The second additive system (D and H) had a relatively greater Ra2 and smaller root mean square error (RMSE). The model coefficient for the predictor H was statistically significant in eight of the twelve models, depending on tree species and biomass component. Adding tree height into the system of biomass equations can marginally improve model fitting and performance, especially for total, aboveground, and stem biomass. The two additive systems developed in this study can be applied to estimate individual tree biomass of three coniferous plantation species in the Chinese National Forest Inventory. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Ponderosa Pine Forest Restoration Treatment Longevity: Implications of Regeneration on Fire Hazard
Forests 2016, 7(7), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7070137
Received: 14 April 2016 / Revised: 25 June 2016 / Accepted: 2 July 2016 / Published: 7 July 2016
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Abstract
Restoration of pine forests has become a priority for managers who are beginning to embrace ideas of highly heterogeneous forest structures that potentially encourages high levels of regeneration. This study utilizes stem-mapped stands to assess how simulated regeneration timing and magnitude influence longevity [...] Read more.
Restoration of pine forests has become a priority for managers who are beginning to embrace ideas of highly heterogeneous forest structures that potentially encourages high levels of regeneration. This study utilizes stem-mapped stands to assess how simulated regeneration timing and magnitude influence longevity of reduced fire behavior by linking growth and yield model outputs to a crown fire prediction model. Treatment longevity was assessed as return time to within 10% of pre-treatment predicted wind speeds for the onset of passive (Torching) and active (Crowning) crown fire behavior. Treatment longevity in terms of Torching and Crowning was reduced 5 years for every 550 and 150 seedlings ha−1, respectively. Introducing regeneration as a single pulse further reduced Torching treatment longevity 10 years compared to other regeneration distributions. Crowning treatment longevity increased at higher site indices, where a 6 m increase in site index increased longevity 4.5 year. This result was contrary to expectations that canopy openings after treatments would close faster on higher productivity sites. Additionally, Torching longevity was influenced by the rate of crown recession, were reducing the recession rate decreased longevity in areas with higher site indices. These dependencies highlight a need for research exploring stand development in heterogeneous sites. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Wood Density and Mechanical Properties of Pinus kesiya Royle ex Gordon in Malawi
Forests 2016, 7(7), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7070135
Received: 24 May 2016 / Revised: 21 June 2016 / Accepted: 1 July 2016 / Published: 7 July 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1773 | PDF Full-text (6630 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Successful development of an appropriate tree breeding strategy and wood utilization requires information on wood properties. This study was therefore conducted to assess wood density and mechanical properties of Pinus kesiya Royle ex Gordon grown in Malawi. Wood samples from six families of [...] Read more.
Successful development of an appropriate tree breeding strategy and wood utilization requires information on wood properties. This study was therefore conducted to assess wood density and mechanical properties of Pinus kesiya Royle ex Gordon grown in Malawi. Wood samples from six families of P. kesiya at the age of 30 years were used for the study. The estimated mean wood density, Modulus of Elasticity (MoE), Modulus of Rupture (MoR) and moisture content were 0.593 ± 0.001 g/cm3, 13.46 ± 0.07 GPa, 113.67 ± 0.57 MPa and 12.08% ± 0.03%, respectively. There were statistically significant (p < 0.001) differences in wood density and mechanical properties along the radial direction and stem height. Wood density and mechanical properties increased from pith to bark and decreased from the butt upwards. There were no significant (p > 0.05) differences in wood density and mechanical properties among the families. This is an indication that any tree among the families can be selected for tree improvement programs if density is considered as a variable. Wood density had a strong positive significant linear relationship with both MoE (r = 0.790; p < 0.001) and MoR (r = 0.793; p < 0.001). This suggests that it has the potential to simultaneously improve the wood density and mechanical properties of this species. Therefore, controlling wood density for the tree improvement program of P. kesiya in Malawi would have a positive impact on mechanical properties. Full article
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Open AccessCorrection
Correction: Trishkin, M., et al. Assessment of a Company’s Due Diligence System against the EU Timber Regulation: A Case Study from Northwestern Russia. Forests 2015, 6, 1380–1396
Forests 2016, 7(7), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7070133
Received: 21 June 2016 / Revised: 21 June 2016 / Accepted: 23 June 2016 / Published: 28 June 2016
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Abstract
The authors wish to make the following corrections to this paper [1]: The authors would like to apologize for any inconvenience caused to the readers by these changes.[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Regional Differences in Upland Forest to Developed (Urban) Land Cover Conversions in the Conterminous U.S., 1973–2011
Forests 2016, 7(7), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7070132
Received: 27 March 2016 / Revised: 14 June 2016 / Accepted: 15 June 2016 / Published: 28 June 2016
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Abstract
In this U.S. Geological Survey study of forest land cover across the conterminous U.S. (CONUS), specific proportions and rates of forest conversion to developed (urban) land were assessed on an ecoregional basis. The study period was divided into six time intervals between 1973 [...] Read more.
In this U.S. Geological Survey study of forest land cover across the conterminous U.S. (CONUS), specific proportions and rates of forest conversion to developed (urban) land were assessed on an ecoregional basis. The study period was divided into six time intervals between 1973 and 2011. Forest land cover was the source of 40% or more of the new urban land in 35 of the 84 ecoregions located within the CONUS. In 11 of these ecoregions this threshold exceeded in every time interval. When the percent of change, forest to urban, was compared to the percent of forest in each ecoregion, 58 ecoregions had a greater percent of change and, in six of those, change occurred in every time interval. Annual rates of forest to urban land cover change of 0.2% or higher occurred in 12 ecoregions at least once and in one ecoregion in all intervals. There were three ecoregions where the above conditions were met for nearly every time interval. Even though only a small number of the ecoregions were heavily impacted by forest loss to urban development within the CONUS, the ecosystem services provided by undeveloped forest land cover need to be quantified more completely to better inform future regional land management. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Quantifying Fire Cycle from Dendroecological Records Using Survival Analyses
Forests 2016, 7(7), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7070131
Received: 12 May 2016 / Accepted: 16 June 2016 / Published: 28 June 2016
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Abstract
Quantifying fire regimes in the boreal forest ecosystem is crucial for understanding the past and present dynamics, as well as for predicting its future dynamics. Survival analyses have often been used to estimate the fire cycle in eastern Canada because they make it [...] Read more.
Quantifying fire regimes in the boreal forest ecosystem is crucial for understanding the past and present dynamics, as well as for predicting its future dynamics. Survival analyses have often been used to estimate the fire cycle in eastern Canada because they make it possible to take into account the censored information that is made prevalent by the typically long fire return intervals and the limited scope of the dendroecological methods that are used to quantify them. Here, we assess how the true length of the fire cycle, the short-term temporal variations in fire activity, and the sampling effort affect the accuracy and precision of estimates obtained from two types of parametric survival models, the Weibull and the exponential models, and one non-parametric model obtained with the Cox regression. Then, we apply those results in a case area located in eastern Canada. Our simulation experiment confirms some documented concerns regarding the detrimental effects of temporal variations in fire activity on parametric estimation of the fire cycle. Cox regressions appear to provide the most accurate and robust estimator, being by far the least affected by temporal variations in fire activity. The Cox-based estimate of the fire cycle for the last 300 years in the case study area is 229 years (CI95: 162–407), compared with the likely overestimated 319 years obtained with the commonly used exponential model. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Quantitative Analysis of Uncertainty in Financial Risk Assessment of Road Transportation of Wood in Uruguay
Forests 2016, 7(7), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7070130
Received: 7 April 2016 / Revised: 11 June 2016 / Accepted: 18 June 2016 / Published: 27 June 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1827 | PDF Full-text (1282 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The uncertainty in road transportation of wood is inherent to its operational costs, to the amount of transported wood, to the traveled distance, to its revenue, and more. Although it is not possible to measure this uncertainty fully, it can be quantified by [...] Read more.
The uncertainty in road transportation of wood is inherent to its operational costs, to the amount of transported wood, to the traveled distance, to its revenue, and more. Although it is not possible to measure this uncertainty fully, it can be quantified by the investment risk, which is the probability and degree of financial loss. The objective of this study is to quantify the financial risk of the investment in wood transportation through Monte Carlo simulation, which uses realistic situations to estimate the operational cost of vehicles used for road transportation of wood. We quantify these uncertainties by assessing financial risk and building pseudorandom scenarios with the Monte Carlo simulation method, in addition to the Net Present Value techniques, the Modified Internal Rate of Return, and the Profitability Index, all commonly used in financial investment projects. The results show that the estimated operational costs are equivalent to the actual ones, along with the evidence that the cost of fuel, the driver’s manpower, and tires are components that mainly increase the degree of financial risk for an investment project in road transportation of wood. In contrast, optimizing the amount of transported wood and maximizing wood transportation cost have a significant and positive correlation with the volume of transported wood and the average price of wood transportation, leading to a reduction in the degree of financial risk. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Spatiotemporal Variability of Wildland Fuels in US Northern Rocky Mountain Forests
Forests 2016, 7(7), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7070129
Received: 3 May 2016 / Revised: 1 June 2016 / Accepted: 12 June 2016 / Published: 27 June 2016
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Abstract
Fire regimes are ultimately controlled by wildland fuel dynamics over space and time; spatial distributions of fuel influence the size, spread, and intensity of individual fires, while the temporal distribution of fuel deposition influences fire’s frequency and controls fire size. These “shifting fuel [...] Read more.
Fire regimes are ultimately controlled by wildland fuel dynamics over space and time; spatial distributions of fuel influence the size, spread, and intensity of individual fires, while the temporal distribution of fuel deposition influences fire’s frequency and controls fire size. These “shifting fuel mosaics” are both a cause and a consequence of fire regimes. This paper synthesizes results from two major fuel dynamics studies that described the spatial and temporal variability of canopy and surface wildland fuel characteristics found in US northern Rocky Mountain forests. Eight major surface fuel components—four downed dead woody fuel size classes (1, 10, 100, 1000 h), duff, litter, shrub, and herb—and three canopy fuel characteristics—loading, bulk density and cover—were studied. Properties of these fuel types were sampled on nested plots located within sampling grids to describe their variability across spatiotemporal scales. Important findings were that fuel component loadings were highly variable (two to three times the mean), and this variability increased with the size of fuel particles. The spatial variability of loadings also varied by spatial scale with fine fuels (duff, litter, 1 h, 10 h) varying at scales of 1 to 5 m; coarse fuels at 10 to 150 m, and canopy fuels at 100 to 600 m. Fine fuels are more uniformly distributed over both time and space and decayed quickly, while large fuels are rare on the landscape but have a high residence time. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Linear Programming Model to Biophysically Assess Some Ecosystem Service Synergies and Trade-Offs in Two Irish Landscapes
Forests 2016, 7(7), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7070128
Received: 24 February 2016 / Revised: 8 June 2016 / Accepted: 14 June 2016 / Published: 23 June 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1825 | PDF Full-text (2864 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ecosystem service provisions are becoming more frequently used to assess land-use related conflicts in recent decades. This study investigates the current spatial and research information available to quantify ecosystem services relative to forest land-use planning in Ireland. A model is developed using the [...] Read more.
Ecosystem service provisions are becoming more frequently used to assess land-use related conflicts in recent decades. This study investigates the current spatial and research information available to quantify ecosystem services relative to forest land-use planning in Ireland. A model is developed using the linear-programming method in Remsoft’s Woodstock platform. This model is applied to two case study areas in Ireland: Western Peatlands and Newmarket. Each case study area was chosen to assess a unique issue in the Irish and European context on the provision of ecosystem services. Western Peatlands was chosen to assess the effects of forest and alternative land-use options and Newmarket was chosen to investigate the effect of afforestation. The synergies and trade-offs of biophysically optimising the provisions of each ecosystem service are presented and discussed. The study quantitatively determines that trade-offs among provisions of some ecosystem services are required when optimising an ecosystem service while other ecosystem services are synergistic when the provision of a single ecosystem service is optimised. Full article
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