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Forests, Volume 8, Issue 12 (December 2017)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) We elaborate a strategy for unlocking European Union (EU) forests and forest sector potential based [...] Read more.
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Open AccessEditorial REDD+ Crossroads Post Paris: Politics, Lessons and Interplays
Forests 2017, 8(12), 508; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120508
Received: 18 December 2017 / Revised: 19 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 20 December 2017
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Abstract
This article introduces the special issue “REDD+ crossroads post Paris: politics, lessons and interplays”. The contributions to the special issue demonstrate, first, that REDD+ design in the studied countries has generally lacked social legitimacy and sidelined key actors that have an important role
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This article introduces the special issue “REDD+ crossroads post Paris: politics, lessons and interplays”. The contributions to the special issue demonstrate, first, that REDD+ design in the studied countries has generally lacked social legitimacy and sidelined key actors that have an important role in shaping land-use sector dynamics. Second, they show that REDD+ early actions have tended to oversimplify local realities and have been misaligned with other policy goals and local needs. Third, REDD+ efforts have remained constrained to the forestry or climate mitigation policy sectors and have thus suffered from a lack of harmonization across local, national and international concerns, specifically of contradictory policy. As REDD+ moves from its preparedness to its implementation phase, more research efforts should be aimed at analysing the power relations that underpin and determine the design and implementation of REDD+ policies and actions, the potential for and limits to the vertical and horizontal harmonization of land-use policies and management, and the processes of resistance to or accommodation of REDD+ practices on the ground. In doing so, we advocate for multi-and transdisciplinary research that does not take for granted the benefits of REDD+ and which critically scrutinizes the multiple goals of this ambitious international policy framework, and where it sits within the broader Paris Agreement implementation agenda. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Value Retention, Service Life, Use Intensity and Long-Term Productivity of Wood Chippers as Obtained from Contractor Records
Forests 2017, 8(12), 503; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120503
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 16 December 2017 / Accepted: 18 December 2017 / Published: 20 December 2017
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Abstract
Acknowledging the absence of up-to-date empirical data on the value retention, service life and annual use of chipping machinery, in 2017 the authors surveyed the records kept by 50 contractors offering biomass chipping services. The machine fleet and operations in this survey could
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Acknowledging the absence of up-to-date empirical data on the value retention, service life and annual use of chipping machinery, in 2017 the authors surveyed the records kept by 50 contractors offering biomass chipping services. The machine fleet and operations in this survey could be taken as representative for most of Europe, where the biomass sector is well established and is facing further expansion. Data collection included the whole chipping unit, comprised of chipper, carrier and loader. Manually-fed units were excluded from the survey. The data pointed at a service life up to and exceeding 10,000 h and 10 years, which relieved any concerns about poor durability. Value retention was good, and may exceed that of other mainstream forestry equipment. Engine power was the main explanatory variable in any models to predict purchase price and productivity. The effect of this variable could explain most of the variability (>80%) in the purchase price and productivity data. Results also pointed at the essential equivalence in price and productivity between PTO-driven (i.e., tractor powered) and independent-engine chippers, once differences in engine power are accounted for. However, the distribution of purchase price between different components of the chipping unit was different between the two unit types, with the chipper accounting for a larger proportion of the total investment in independent-engine units. Machine power was also different, with most PTO-driven units being significantly smaller than independent-engine units, due to the limitations of existing tractors. Furthermore, half of the carriers assigned to a PTO-driven unit were subject to flexible use, i.e., they were not solely used for chipping work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Operations, Engineering and Management) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Temporal Variation of Ecological Factors Affecting Bird Species Richness in Urban and Peri-Urban Forests in a Changing Environment: A Case Study from Milan (Northern Italy)
Forests 2017, 8(12), 507; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120507
Received: 20 October 2017 / Revised: 10 December 2017 / Accepted: 15 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
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Abstract
Urban and peri-urban forests determine different habitat services for biodiversity according to their characteristics. In this study, we relate ecological characteristics of urban and peri-urban forests to forest bird species richness and we assess whether their effect changed over time due to the
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Urban and peri-urban forests determine different habitat services for biodiversity according to their characteristics. In this study, we relate ecological characteristics of urban and peri-urban forests to forest bird species richness and we assess whether their effect changed over time due to the urban sprawl within the urban region of Milan, Italy. We analyse two periods (1998–2002 and 2010–2014) using weighted generalized linear models that considered urban and peri-urban forests collectively and urban and peri-urban forests separately. Patch area, proximity to source areas and number of surrounding urban and peri-urban forests were the main factors predicting species richness within urban and peri-urban forests in both periods. While there were no differences in factors affecting bird richness in peri-urban forests between the two periods, the negative effect of urban matrix density was statistically significant for birds inhabiting urban forests in the second period. Moreover, protected areas within urban and peri-urban forests and urban forests in the second period were important determinants in providing suitable habitat for birds at the regional scale. This study offered important insights regarding urban and peri-urban forests characteristics that should be maintained to ensure biodiversity conservation across changing urban landscapes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Individual-Tree Diameter Growth Models for Mixed Nothofagus Second Growth Forests in Southern Chile
Forests 2017, 8(12), 506; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120506
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 7 December 2017 / Accepted: 12 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
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Abstract
Second growth forests of Nothofagus obliqua (roble), N. alpina (raulí), and N. dombeyi (coihue), known locally as RORACO, are among the most important native mixed forests in Chile. To improve the sustainable management of these forests, managers need adequate information and models regarding
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Second growth forests of Nothofagus obliqua (roble), N. alpina (raulí), and N. dombeyi (coihue), known locally as RORACO, are among the most important native mixed forests in Chile. To improve the sustainable management of these forests, managers need adequate information and models regarding not only existing forest conditions, but their future states with varying alternative silvicultural activities. In this study, an individual-tree diameter growth model was developed for the full geographical distribution of the RORACO forest type. This was achieved by fitting a complete model by comparing two variable selection procedures: cross-validation (CV), and least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) regression. A small set of predictors successfully explained a large portion of the annual increment in diameter at breast height (DBH) growth, particularly variables associated with competition at both the tree- and stand-level. Goodness-of-fit statistics for this final model showed an empirical coefficient of correlation (R2emp) of 0.56, relative root mean square error of 44.49% and relative bias of −1.96% for annual DBH growth predictions, and R2emp of 0.98 and 0.97 for DBH projection at 6 and 12 years, respectively. This model constitutes a simple and useful tool to support management plans for these forest ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Inventory, Quantitative Methods and Remote Sensing)
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Open AccessArticle Assessing Ecosystem Services in Rubber Dominated Landscapes in South-East Asia—A Challenge for Biophysical Modeling and Transdisciplinary Valuation
Forests 2017, 8(12), 505; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120505
Received: 2 November 2017 / Revised: 1 December 2017 / Accepted: 13 December 2017 / Published: 15 December 2017
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Abstract
The concept of ecosystem services (ESS) has been increasingly recognized for its potential in decision making processes concerning environmental policy. Multidisciplinary projects on rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) cultivation, integrating research on a variety of ESS, have been few and far between. More
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The concept of ecosystem services (ESS) has been increasingly recognized for its potential in decision making processes concerning environmental policy. Multidisciplinary projects on rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) cultivation, integrating research on a variety of ESS, have been few and far between. More than three years of iterative workshops with regional stakeholders resulted in the development of future land use scenarios for our study area in Xishuangbanna, PR China. We used the InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Trade-offs) modeling framework to analyze their impact on sediment retention, water yield, habitat quality, and carbon sequestration and developed a model for assessing rubber yields. We investigated the percentage deviations of integrated ESS indices in each scenario, as compared to the initial state of 2015 and as a novelty used different statistical weighting methods to include rankings for the preference of ESS from three contrasting stakeholder groups. The business-as-usual scenario (BAU, continuous rubber expansions) revealed an increase in rubber yields trading off against all other ESS analyzed. Compared to BAU, the measures introduced in the balanced-trade-offs scenario (reforestation, reduced herbicide application, riverine buffer zones, etc.) reduced the total amount of rubber yield but enhanced habitat quality and regulating ESS. The results show that the integrated indices for the provisioning of ESS would be overestimated without the inclusion of the stakeholder groups. We conclude that policy regulations, if properly assessed with spatial models and integrated stakeholder feedback, have the potential to buffer the typical trade-off between agricultural intensification and environmental protection. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Management Goals and Performance: Clustering State Forest Management Organizations in Europe with Multivariate Statistics
Forests 2017, 8(12), 504; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120504
Received: 9 October 2017 / Revised: 6 December 2017 / Accepted: 7 December 2017 / Published: 15 December 2017
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Abstract
State Forest Management Organizations (SFMOs) play a crucial role in the European forest sector, managing almost half of the forests in the region. SFMOs are often only managed for timber production, whereas, being publicly owned, they should play an important role in providing
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State Forest Management Organizations (SFMOs) play a crucial role in the European forest sector, managing almost half of the forests in the region. SFMOs are often only managed for timber production, whereas, being publicly owned, they should play an important role in providing a vast range of public goods (e.g., soil protection, biodiversity conservation). Their management goals depend on the history and current conditions of the forest sector at a national level, as well as different challenges and the potential for development. Although there is a lack of knowledge about the current performance of SFMOs, there have been recent changes to their management goals and practices in response to the new demands expressed by society (e.g., transparency, social inclusion). The main purpose of this study was to analyze the current situation of SFMOs by grouping them with the help of a Cluster Analysis according to indicators that reflect the three pillars of the common understanding of the sustainable forest management (SFM) concept. Additionally, in light of the differences in the forest practices and management priorities in each country, we used Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to group countries according to common characteristics of the forest sector at the national level. The results showed three main clusters of SFMOs in Europe. The first cluster had a rather small but commercially-oriented forestry unit together with other business activities and a strong focus on public services. The second focused on public interest, rather than commercially-oriented organizations. The third is mainly profit-seeking. The existence of diverse SFMO clusters shows the possibility of different approaches for SFM with a focus on different goals (e.g., profit gaining, public service delivery). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Economics and Human Dimensions)
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Open AccessArticle Certifying Forests to Achieve Sustainability in Industrial Plantations: Opinions of Stakeholders in Spain
Forests 2017, 8(12), 502; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120502
Received: 17 October 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 7 December 2017 / Published: 13 December 2017
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Abstract
Forest certification is a practice that has been consolidated worldwide in recent years as a result of certification often being associated with sustainability. However, there is not much research available on the perception of stakeholders and experts of that association. This study evaluates
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Forest certification is a practice that has been consolidated worldwide in recent years as a result of certification often being associated with sustainability. However, there is not much research available on the perception of stakeholders and experts of that association. This study evaluates how key stakeholders relate certification to sustainability, and its implications for forest management. A survey was implemented in the eucalyptus plantations of Galicia, northwestern Spain, to assess how forest managers; advisors; environmental organizations; researchers; and members from the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), PEFC (the Program for Endorsement of Forest Certification), and forest companies and associations, perceive this relationship. The opinions indicate that it should not be assumed that certified plantations are necessarily perceived as the most sustainable ones, that there is always a direct relationship between certification, nor that forest owners and managers certify their woodlands in order to guarantee sustainability. The results also showed that perceptions of certification and sustainability were not influenced by the opinions of different groups of stakeholders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Forest Management and Forest Certification)
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Open AccessArticle Combined Analysis of mRNAs and miRNAs to Identify Genes Related to Biological Characteristics of Autotetraploid Paulownia
Forests 2017, 8(12), 501; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120501
Received: 20 September 2017 / Revised: 5 December 2017 / Accepted: 8 December 2017 / Published: 13 December 2017
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Abstract
Autopolyploid plants and their organs are larger than their corresponding diploid ancestors, and they attract considerable attention for plant breeding. Paulownia is a fast-growing tree. To identify genes related to the biological characteristics of tetraploid Paulownia, transcriptome and small RNA sequencing were used
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Autopolyploid plants and their organs are larger than their corresponding diploid ancestors, and they attract considerable attention for plant breeding. Paulownia is a fast-growing tree. To identify genes related to the biological characteristics of tetraploid Paulownia, transcriptome and small RNA sequencing were used to identify the key gene expression regulation in tetraploid Paulownia fortunei and tetraploid P. tomentosa and their corresponding diploids. A total of 1977 common differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and 89 differentially expressed miRNAs (DEMs) (38 conserved and 51 novel) were obtained in tetraploid vs. diploid comparisons of the two Paulownia species, and 18 target genes were identified by target prediction. Finally, by analyzing the expression profiles of the DEGs and DEMs and their target genes, we discovered that Pau-miR169, Pau-miR408 and Pau-miR156 interacted with their target gene nuclear transcription factor Y subunit A-9 (NF-YA9), serine/threonine protein phosphatase (PP1) and s-adenosyl-methionine-sterol-c-methyltransfera—se (SAM:SMT) to regulate the abiotic stress tolerance and the timber quality of the tetraploid Paulownia. This study lays a molecular biology foundation for understanding autotetraploid Paulownia and will benefit future breeding work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Climate Change on the Climatic Niches of Warm-Adapted Evergreen Plants: Expansion or Contraction?
Forests 2017, 8(12), 500; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120500
Received: 3 September 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 27 November 2017 / Published: 13 December 2017
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Abstract
Climate change has modified the structure and functions of ecosystems, affecting human well-being. Evergreen plants in the warm-temperate ecosystems will lose climatically suitable habitats under climate change but have not drawn much scholarly interest. Therefore, the present research aimed to predict the future
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Climate change has modified the structure and functions of ecosystems, affecting human well-being. Evergreen plants in the warm-temperate ecosystems will lose climatically suitable habitats under climate change but have not drawn much scholarly interest. Therefore, the present research aimed to predict the future climatic niches of eight coastal warm-adapted evergreen trees under climate change to provide information for an effective management practice. For this purpose, we used the ensemble species distribution models (SDMs) weighted by the TSS value in modelling the climatic niches of those evergreen trees and then ensembled their future distributions predicted under 20 future climate scenarios. Except for Neolitsea sericea (True Skill Statistic (TSS) = 0.79), all projections for the current climatic niches of evergreens showed excellent predictive powers (TSS > 0.85). The results showed that the climatic niches of the four evergreens—Castanopsis cuspidata, Pittosporum tobira, Raphiolepis indica var. umbellate, and Eurya emarginata—would expand to the northern part of the Korean Peninsula (KP) under climate change, but the ones of the remaining four—Kadsura japonica, Neolitsea sericea, Ilex integra, and Dendropanax morbiferus—would shrink. While the climatic niches of Pittosporum tobira showed the rapidest and greatest expansion under climate change, Dendropanax morbiferus was predicted to experience the greatest loss of habitat. On the other hand, regardless of whether the future distributions of climatically suitable habitats would expand or contract, the highly suitable habitats of all species were predicted to decline under climate change. This may indicate that further climate change will degrade habitat suitability for all species within the distribution boundary and restrict continuous habitat expansions of expanding species or accelerate habitat loss of shrinking species. In addition, the future distributions of most coastal evergreens were found to be confined to coastal areas; therefore, sea-level rise would accelerate their habitat loss under climate change. The present study provides primary and practical knowledge for understanding climate-related coastal vegetation changes for future conservation planning, particularly on the Korean Peninsula. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Open AccessArticle Community Earth System Model Simulations Reveal the Relative Importance of Afforestation and Forest Management to Surface Temperature in Eastern North America
Forests 2017, 8(12), 499; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120499
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 30 November 2017 / Accepted: 2 December 2017 / Published: 13 December 2017
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Abstract
Afforestation changes the land surface energy balance, though the effects on climate in temperate regions is uncertain, particularly the changes associated with forest management. In this study, we used idealized Community Earth System Model simulations to assess the influence of afforestation and afforestation
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Afforestation changes the land surface energy balance, though the effects on climate in temperate regions is uncertain, particularly the changes associated with forest management. In this study, we used idealized Community Earth System Model simulations to assess the influence of afforestation and afforestation management in eastern North America on climate via changes in the biophysics of the land surface. Afforestation using broadleaf deciduous trees maintained at high leaf area index (LAI) in the southern part of the study region provided the greatest climate benefit by cooling summer surface air temperatures (Tsa). In contrast, the greatest warming occurred in the northern extent of the study region when afforesting with needleleaf evergreen trees maintained at high LAI. Forest management had an equal or greater influence on Tsa than the overall decision to afforest land in the southern extent of the region. Afforestation had a greater influence on Tsa than forest management in the northern extent. Integrating our results, focused on biophysical processes, with other research quantifying carbon cycle sensitivity to management can help guide the use of temperate afforestation to optimize climate benefits. Further, our results highlight the potential importance of including forest management in simulations of past and future climate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Inventory, Quantitative Methods and Remote Sensing)
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Open AccessArticle Modeling and Predicting Carbon and Water Fluxes Using Data-Driven Techniques in a Forest Ecosystem
Forests 2017, 8(12), 498; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120498
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 4 December 2017 / Accepted: 8 December 2017 / Published: 12 December 2017
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Abstract
Accurate estimation of carbon and water fluxes of forest ecosystems is of particular importance for addressing the problems originating from global environmental change, and providing helpful information about carbon and water content for analyzing and diagnosing past and future climate change. The main
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Accurate estimation of carbon and water fluxes of forest ecosystems is of particular importance for addressing the problems originating from global environmental change, and providing helpful information about carbon and water content for analyzing and diagnosing past and future climate change. The main focus of the current work was to investigate the feasibility of four comparatively new methods, including generalized regression neural network, group method of data handling (GMDH), extreme learning machine and adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS), for elucidating the carbon and water fluxes in a forest ecosystem. A comparison was made between these models and two widely used data-driven models, artificial neural network (ANN) and support vector machine (SVM). All the models were evaluated based on the following statistical indices: coefficient of determination, Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency, root mean square error and mean absolute error. Results indicated that the data-driven models are capable of accounting for most variance in each flux with the limited meteorological variables. The ANN model provided the best estimates for gross primary productivity (GPP) and net ecosystem exchange (NEE), while the ANFIS model achieved the best for ecosystem respiration (R), indicating that no single model was consistently superior to others for the carbon flux prediction. In addition, the GMDH model consistently produced somewhat worse results for all the carbon flux and evapotranspiration (ET) estimations. On the whole, among the carbon and water fluxes, all the models produced similar highly satisfactory accuracy for GPP, R and ET fluxes, and did a reasonable job of reproducing the eddy covariance NEE. Based on these findings, it was concluded that these advanced models are promising alternatives to ANN and SVM for estimating the terrestrial carbon and water fluxes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water and Gas Exchanges in Forests)
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Open AccessArticle Mortality and Recovery of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (Adelges tsugae) in Response to Winter Temperatures and Predictions for the Future
Forests 2017, 8(12), 497; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120497
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 30 November 2017 / Accepted: 5 December 2017 / Published: 12 December 2017
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Abstract
Eastern (Tsuga canadensis) and Carolina hemlocks (T. caroliniana) of eastern North America have been attacked by the non-native hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae Annand) (HWA) since the first half of the 20th century. Unlike most insects, HWA develops
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Eastern (Tsuga canadensis) and Carolina hemlocks (T. caroliniana) of eastern North America have been attacked by the non-native hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae Annand) (HWA) since the first half of the 20th century. Unlike most insects, HWA develops through one generation from fall to late winter, exposing this insect to the lethal effects of winter temperatures. The mortality inflicted by winter temperatures on HWA determines the surviving population density as well as its ability to spread to uninfested areas. With the ongoing changes in climate, knowledge of this species’ ability to survive and spread in the future can help land managers prepare for its management. This study began during the winter of 2014 and ended in the spring of 2017. During this period, winter mortality of HWA was recorded at 100 sites from Maine to Georgia (n = 209). Changes in population density from the sistens to the succeeding progrediens generation were recorded at 24 sites (n = 35). Models were developed to predict HWA mortality using the lowest minimum temperature prior to the mortality assessment date, the number of days with mean temperature <−1 °C, and the mean daily temperature of the three days preceding that minimum. Models were also developed to predict population density changes from the overwintering sistens generation to the following progrediens generation. Future projections under climate change showed increases in winter survival and population growth rates over time. Especially towards the northeastern edge of T. canadensis’ distribution as minimum temperatures are predicted to increase at a greater rate. This will result in an increase in density throughout its current distribution and expansion northward causing an increase in its impact on eastern Tsuga spp. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
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Open AccessReview The Contribution of Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Practices to Forest Management: The Case of Northeast Asia
Forests 2017, 8(12), 496; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120496
Received: 9 November 2017 / Revised: 7 December 2017 / Accepted: 8 December 2017 / Published: 12 December 2017
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Abstract
This study aims to introduce the potential applicability of traditional ecological knowledge and community forestry in Northeast Asia, including China, Japan, and South Korea. In ancient Northeast Asia, forest policies and practices were based on Fengshui (an old Chinese concept regarding the flow
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This study aims to introduce the potential applicability of traditional ecological knowledge and community forestry in Northeast Asia, including China, Japan, and South Korea. In ancient Northeast Asia, forest policies and practices were based on Fengshui (an old Chinese concept regarding the flow of vital forces), with which forests were managed under community forestry. However, these traditional systems diminished in the twentieth century owing to the decline of traditional livelihood systems and extreme deforestation. Recently, legacies from traditional ecological knowledge and community forestry have been revisited and incorporated into forest policies, laws, and management practices because of growing needs for sustainable forest use in China, Japan, and Korea. This reevaluation of traditional ecological knowledge and community forestry has provided empirical data to help improve forestry systems. Although traditional ecological knowledge and community forestry in Northeast Asia have been scarcely theorized, they play a significant role in modifying forest management practices in the face of socioeconomic changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Participatory Forestry: Involvement, Information and Science)
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Open AccessArticle Genetic Diversity and Structure of Natural Quercus variabilis Population in China as Revealed by Microsatellites Markers
Forests 2017, 8(12), 495; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120495
Received: 3 November 2017 / Revised: 6 December 2017 / Accepted: 7 December 2017 / Published: 11 December 2017
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Abstract
Quercus variabilis is a tree species of ecological and economic value that is widely distributed in China. To effectively evaluate, use, and conserve resources, we applied 25 pairs of simple sequence repeat (SSR) primers to study its genetic diversity and genetic structure in
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Quercus variabilis is a tree species of ecological and economic value that is widely distributed in China. To effectively evaluate, use, and conserve resources, we applied 25 pairs of simple sequence repeat (SSR) primers to study its genetic diversity and genetic structure in 19 natural forest or natural secondary forest populations of Q. variabilis (a total of 879 samples). A total of 277 alleles were detected. Overall, the average expected heterozygosity (He) was 0.707 and average allelic richness (AR) was 7.79. Q. variabilis manifested a loss of heterozygosity, and the mean of inbreeding coefficient (FIS) was 0.044. Less differentiation among populations was observed, and the genetic differentiation coefficient (FST) was 0.063. Bayesian clustering analysis indicated that the 19 studied populations could be divided into three groups based on their genetic makeup, namely, the Southwest group, Central group, and Northeastern group. The Central group, compared to the populations of the Southwest and Northeast group, showed higher genetic diversities and lower genetic differentiations. As a widely distributed species, the historical migration of Q. variabilis contributed to its genetic differentiation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Genomics of Forest Trees)
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Open AccessArticle Characterisation of Beaver Habitat Parameters That Promote the Use of Culverts as Dam Construction Sites: Can We Limit the Damage to Forest Roads?
Forests 2017, 8(12), 494; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120494
Received: 5 October 2017 / Revised: 24 November 2017 / Accepted: 5 December 2017 / Published: 9 December 2017
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Abstract
The use of forest roads as foundations for dam construction by beavers is a recurrent problem in the management of forest road networks. In order to limit the damage to forest roads, our goal was to calculate the probability of beaver dam installation
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The use of forest roads as foundations for dam construction by beavers is a recurrent problem in the management of forest road networks. In order to limit the damage to forest roads, our goal was to calculate the probability of beaver dam installation on culverts, according to surrounding habitat parameters, which could allow for improvement in the spatial design of new roads that minimise conflicts with beavers. Comparisons of culverts with (n = 77) and without (n = 51) dams in northwestern Quebec showed that catchment surface, cumulate length of all local streams within a 2-km radius, and road embankment height had a negative effect on the probability of dam construction on culverts, while flow level and culvert diameter ratio had a positive effect. Nevertheless, predicted probabilities of dam construction on culverts generally exceeded 50%, even on sites that were less favourable to beavers. We suggest that it would be more reasonable to take their probable subsequent presence into account at the earliest steps of road conception. Installing mitigation measures such as pre-dams during road construction would probably reduce the occurrence of conflicts with beavers and thus reduce the maintenance costs of forest roads. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Open AccessPerspective Adaptation to Climate Change in Forestry: A Perspective on Forest Ownership and Adaptation Responses
Forests 2017, 8(12), 493; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120493
Received: 24 September 2017 / Revised: 16 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 9 December 2017
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Abstract
Adaptation to climate change has often been discussed from the perspectives of social vulnerability and community vulnerability, recognising that characteristics at local level will influence the particular adaptations undertaken. However, the extent to which national-level systemic factors influence and shape measures defined as
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Adaptation to climate change has often been discussed from the perspectives of social vulnerability and community vulnerability, recognising that characteristics at local level will influence the particular adaptations undertaken. However, the extent to which national-level systemic factors influence and shape measures defined as adaptations has seldom been recognised. Focusing on adaptation to climate change in forestry, this study uses the example of two countries in the northern hemisphere with different forest ownership structures, forestry industry and traditions: Sweden, with strong private, non-industrial ownership, dominant forest industry and long forestry traditions; and Scotland, with forest ownership dominated by large estates and investment forestry based on plantations of exotic conifer species. The study shows how adaptation to climate change is structurally embedded and conditioned, which has resulted in specific challenges and constraints for different groups of forest owners within these two different contexts. This produces a specific set of political spaces and policy tools by rendering climate change in relation to forestry manageable, negotiable and practical/logical in specific ways. It is recommended that the focus of future work on climate-related issues and development of adaptation measures and policy should not be primarily on climate-related factors, but on institutional analysis of structural factors and logics in target sectors, in order to critically explore concepts of agency and power within these processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
Open AccessReview Tropical and Highland Temperate Forest Plantations in Mexico: Pathways for Climate Change Mitigation and Ecosystem Services Delivery
Forests 2017, 8(12), 489; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120489
Received: 26 September 2017 / Revised: 7 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 9 December 2017
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Abstract
Forest plantations are a possible way of increasing forest productivity in temperate and tropical forests, and therefore also increasing above- and belowground carbon pools. In the context of climate change, monospecific plantations might become an alternative to mitigate global warming; however, their contribution
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Forest plantations are a possible way of increasing forest productivity in temperate and tropical forests, and therefore also increasing above- and belowground carbon pools. In the context of climate change, monospecific plantations might become an alternative to mitigate global warming; however, their contribution to the structural complexity, complementarity, and biodiversity of forests has not been addressed. Mixed forest plantations can ensure that objectives of climate change mitigation are met through carbon sequestration, while also delivering anticipated ecosystem services (e.g., nutrient cycling, erosion control, and wildlife habitat). However, mixed forest plantations pose considerable operational challenges and research opportunities. For example, it is essential to know how many species or functional traits are necessary to deliver a set of benefits, or what mixture of species and densities are key to maintaining productive plantations and delivering multiple ecosystem services. At the same time, the establishment of forest plantations in Mexico should not be motivated solely by timber production. Forest plantations should also increase carbon sequestration, maintain biodiversity, and provide other ecosystem services. This article analyzes some matters that affect the development of planted forests in the Mexican national context, and presents alternatives for forest resources management through the recommendation of mixed forest plantations as a means of contributing to climate change mitigation and the delivery of ecosystem services. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Development of Multiplexed Marker Sets to Identify the Most Relevant Poplar Species for Breeding
Forests 2017, 8(12), 492; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120492
Received: 18 September 2017 / Revised: 5 December 2017 / Accepted: 6 December 2017 / Published: 8 December 2017
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Abstract
Within the genus Populus, about 30 species are classified into six sections, of which some are cross-compatible. Besides naturally occurring hybrids, huge breeding programs have led to a high number of artificially produced hybrids, for which the determination of genetically involved species
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Within the genus Populus, about 30 species are classified into six sections, of which some are cross-compatible. Besides naturally occurring hybrids, huge breeding programs have led to a high number of artificially produced hybrids, for which the determination of genetically involved species by morphological characteristics is often difficult. This necessitates the use of molecular markers for the identification of both maternal as well as paternal species, and in the case of complex hybrids, the genealogy. For this reason, we developed new chloroplast and nuclear markers for the differentiation of up to 19 poplar species, with one to 32 individuals per species regularly used in breeding programs based on already known barcoding, other chloroplast regions, and nuclear genes of interest. We developed methods to identify species by either species-specific nucleotide variations or, when no initial information for the species was given, by using a set of markers either in a procedure of exclusion or in a multiplexed marker set. The developed markers can all be used with low-cost equipment, and some can additionally be applied using a genetic analyzer. We combined these markers in multiplexes for a very fast and easy-to-use application for the identification of poplar species and their hybrids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gene-Based SNP Discovery and Diversity of Forests Trees)
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Open AccessArticle Association of Fruit and Seed Traits of Sapindus mukorossi Germplasm with Environmental Factors in Southern China
Forests 2017, 8(12), 491; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120491
Received: 3 November 2017 / Revised: 2 December 2017 / Accepted: 5 December 2017 / Published: 7 December 2017
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Abstract
Sapindus mukorossi is widely distributed in tropical and subtropical areas of southern China; the seed kernel oil is potential biodiesel material, and the saponins extracted from fruit pericarp are very valuable efficient natural surfactants. Therefore, S. mukorossi is an ideal tree species for
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Sapindus mukorossi is widely distributed in tropical and subtropical areas of southern China; the seed kernel oil is potential biodiesel material, and the saponins extracted from fruit pericarp are very valuable efficient natural surfactants. Therefore, S. mukorossi is an ideal tree species for developing forestry bioenergy and multiple other products. In this study, 42 S. mukorossi fruits from mother trees were collected from 39 distinct locations in 12 Chinese provinces to infer fruit and seed trait responses to environmental factors. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) was conducted using 21 horticultural fruit traits and 10 environmental factors that represented different climatic and geographic conditions throughout southern China. CCA revealed well-developed patterns of natural phenotypic variation, and insight into the ecological factors that are potentially important in shaping this variation. The results presented here further elucidate the natural distribution and ecological adaptations of wild S. mukorossi resources, which will be valuable for S. mukorossi cultivation by helping identify ideal planting areas. The germplasm resources with extensive morphological variation can also contribute to S. mukorossi breeding in the future by helping develop new cultivars with high saponin yield. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Warming Effects on Pinus sylvestris in the Cold–Dry Siberian Forest–Steppe: Positive or Negative Balance of Trade?
Forests 2017, 8(12), 490; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120490
Received: 10 November 2017 / Revised: 1 December 2017 / Accepted: 5 December 2017 / Published: 7 December 2017
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Abstract
Understanding climate change impacts on drought-prone forests is a critical issue. We investigated ring-width and stable isotopes (Δ13C and δ18O) in two Pinus sylvestris stands of the cold–dry Siberian forest–steppe growing under contrasting climatic trends over the last 75
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Understanding climate change impacts on drought-prone forests is a critical issue. We investigated ring-width and stable isotopes (Δ13C and δ18O) in two Pinus sylvestris stands of the cold–dry Siberian forest–steppe growing under contrasting climatic trends over the last 75 years. Despite regional warming, there was increasing precipitation during the growing period at the southern site (MIN) but increasing water deficit (WD) at the northern site (BER). Intrinsic water use efficiency (WUEi) increased similarly (ca. 22%) in response to warming and rising atmospheric CO2. However, the steady increase in WUEi was accompanied by divergent growth patterns since 1980: increasing basal area increment (BAI) in MIN (slope = 0.102 cm2 year−2) and decreasing BAI in BER (slope = −0.129 cm2 year−2). This suggests that increased precipitation, mediated by CO2 effects, promoted growth in MIN, whereas intensified drought stress led to decreased carbon gain and productivity in BER. When compared to warm–dry stands of eastern Spain, the WUEi dependence on WD was three-fold greater in Siberia. Conversely, BAI was more affected by the relative impact of water stress within each region. These results indicate contrasting future trajectories of P. sylvestris forests, which challenge forecasting growth and carbon sequestration in cold–dry areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Isotope Application in Forest Growth Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle Growth, Physiological, Biochemical, and Ionic Responses of Morus alba L. Seedlings to Various Salinity Levels
Forests 2017, 8(12), 488; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120488
Received: 14 September 2017 / Revised: 17 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 7 December 2017
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Abstract
Mulberry (Morus alba L.), a moderately salt-tolerant tree species, is considered to be economically important. In this study, 1-year-old mulberry seedlings cultivated in soil under greenhouse conditions were treated with five concentrations of sodium chloride (NaCl; 0%, 0.1%, 0.2%, 0.3%, and 0.5%)
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Mulberry (Morus alba L.), a moderately salt-tolerant tree species, is considered to be economically important. In this study, 1-year-old mulberry seedlings cultivated in soil under greenhouse conditions were treated with five concentrations of sodium chloride (NaCl; 0%, 0.1%, 0.2%, 0.3%, and 0.5%) for 3 and 21 days. Plant growth parameters were not affected by 0.1% NaCl, but significant reductions were observed after treatment with 0.2%, 0.3%, and 0.5% NaCl. The malondialdehyde content and cell membrane stability of mulberry seedlings exposed to 0.1% NaCl did not change, indicating that mulberry is not significantly affected by low-salinity conditions. The Na contents of various organs did not increase significantly in response to 0.1% NaCl, but the K:Na, Mg:Na, and Ca:Na ratios of various organs were affected by NaCl. Marked changes in the levels of major compatible solutes (proline, soluble sugars, and soluble proteins) occurred in both the leaves and roots of NaCl-treated seedlings relative to control seedlings. Under severe saline conditions (0.5% NaCl), the ability of mulberry to synthesize enzymatic antioxidants may be impaired. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Mapping Net Stocked Plantation Area for Small-Scale Forests in New Zealand Using Integrated RapidEye and LiDAR Sensors
Forests 2017, 8(12), 487; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120487
Received: 4 October 2017 / Revised: 30 November 2017 / Accepted: 2 December 2017 / Published: 7 December 2017
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Abstract
In New Zealand, approximately 70% of plantation forests are large-scale (over 1000 ha) with accurate resource description. In contrast, the remaining 30% of plantation forests are small-scale (less than 1000 ha). It is forecasted that these small-scale forests will supply nearly 40% of
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In New Zealand, approximately 70% of plantation forests are large-scale (over 1000 ha) with accurate resource description. In contrast, the remaining 30% of plantation forests are small-scale (less than 1000 ha). It is forecasted that these small-scale forests will supply nearly 40% of the national wood production in the next decade. However, in-depth description of these forests, especially those under 100 ha, is very limited. This research evaluates the use of remote sensing datasets to map and estimate the net stocked plantation area for small-scale forests. We compared a factorial combination of two classification approaches (Nearest Neighbour (NN), Classification and Regression Tree (CART)) and two remote sensing datasets (RapidEye, RapidEye plus LiDAR) for their ability to accurately classify planted forest area. CART with a combination of RapidEye and LiDAR metrics outperformed the other three combinations producing the highest accuracy for mapping forest plantations (user’s accuracy = 90% and producer’s accuracy = 88%). This method was further examined by comparing the mapped plantations with manually digitised plantations based on aerial photography. The mapping approach overestimated the plantation area by 3%. It was also found that forest patches exceeding 10 ha achieved higher conformance with the digitised areas. Overall, the mapping approach in this research provided a proof of concept for deriving forest area and mapping boundaries using remote sensing data, and is especially relevant for small-scale forests where limited information is currently available. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Inventory, Quantitative Methods and Remote Sensing)
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Open AccessArticle Comprehensive Analysis of the Cork Oak (Quercus suber) Transcriptome Involved in the Regulation of Bud Sprouting
Forests 2017, 8(12), 486; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120486
Received: 7 October 2017 / Revised: 20 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
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Abstract
Cork oaks show a high capacity of bud sprouting as a response to injury, which is important for species survival when dealing with external factors, such as drought or fires. The characterization of the cork oak transcriptome involved in the different stages of
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Cork oaks show a high capacity of bud sprouting as a response to injury, which is important for species survival when dealing with external factors, such as drought or fires. The characterization of the cork oak transcriptome involved in the different stages of bud sprouting is essential to understanding the mechanisms involved in these processes. In this study, the transcriptional profile of different stages of bud sprouting, namely (1) dormant bud and (2) bud swollen, vs. (3) red bud and (4) open bud, was analyzed in trees growing under natural conditions. The transcriptome analysis indicated the involvement of genes related with energy production (linking the TCA (tricarboxylic acid) cycle and the electron transport system), hormonal regulation, water status, and synthesis of polysaccharides. These results pinpoint the different mechanisms involved in the early and later stages of bud sprouting. Furthermore, some genes, which are involved in bud development and conserved between species, were also identified at the transcriptional level. This study provides the first set of results that will be useful for the discovery of genes related with the mechanisms regulating bud sprouting in cork oak. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Genomics of Forest Trees)
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Open AccessArticle Use, Utilization, Productivity and Fuel Consumption of Purpose-Built and Excavator-Based Harvesters and Processors in Italy
Forests 2017, 8(12), 485; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120485
Received: 4 November 2017 / Revised: 1 December 2017 / Accepted: 4 December 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
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Abstract
Annual use, utilization, productivity and fuel consumption of three purpose-built and three excavator-based harvesters and processors were monitored for one work year. All machines were owned and operated by private contractors and were representative of the Italian machine fleet. Despite challenging mountain terrain,
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Annual use, utilization, productivity and fuel consumption of three purpose-built and three excavator-based harvesters and processors were monitored for one work year. All machines were owned and operated by private contractors and were representative of the Italian machine fleet. Despite challenging mountain terrain, annual use ranged from 675 to 1525 h per year, and production from 3200 to 27,400 m3 per year. Productivity was lower for excavator-based units, and for machines working under a yarder, due to limited yarder capacity. Purpose-built machines offered higher utilization, productivity and fuel efficiency compared with excavator-based machines. Fuel consumption per m3 was 2.4 times greater for excavator-based units, compared with purpose-built machines. Excavator-based units offered financial and technical advantages, but their long-term market success will likely depend on future improvements in fuel efficiency, in the face of increasing fuel prices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Operations, Engineering and Management) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle By 2050 the Mitigation Effects of EU Forests Could Nearly Double through Climate Smart Forestry
Forests 2017, 8(12), 484; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120484
Received: 3 November 2017 / Revised: 22 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
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Abstract
In July 2016, the European Commission (EC) published a legislative proposal for incorporating greenhouse gas emissions and removals due to Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) into its 2030 Climate and Energy Framework. The Climate and Energy Framework aims at a
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In July 2016, the European Commission (EC) published a legislative proposal for incorporating greenhouse gas emissions and removals due to Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) into its 2030 Climate and Energy Framework. The Climate and Energy Framework aims at a total emission reduction of 40% by 2030 for all sectors together as part of the Paris Agreement. The LULUCF proposal regulates a “no debit” target for LULUCF (Forests and Agricultural soils), and regulates the accounting of any additional mitigation potential that might be expected of it. We find that the forest share of the LULUCF sector can achieve much more than what is in the regulation now. We elaborate a strategy for unlocking European Union (EU) forests and forest sector potential based on the concept of “climate smart forestry” (CSF). We find that to-date, European policy has not firmly integrated forest potential into the EU climate policy framework. Nor have climate objectives been firmly integrated into those of the forest and forest sector at either the EU or national level. Yet a wide range of measures can be applied to provide positive incentives for more firmly integrating these climate objectives into the forest and forest sector framework. With the right set of incentives in place at EU and Member States levels, we find the current literature supports the view that the EU has the potential to achieve an additional combined mitigation impact through CSF of 441 Mt CO2/year by 2050. In addition, CSF, through reducing and/or removing greenhouse gas emissions, adapting and building forest resilience, and sustainably increasing forest productivity and incomes, tackles multiple policy goals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Smart Forestry)
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Open AccessArticle Vicariance and Oceanic Barriers Drive Contemporary Genetic Structure of Widespread Mangrove Species Sonneratia alba J. Sm in the Indo-West Pacific
Forests 2017, 8(12), 483; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120483
Received: 19 October 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 30 November 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
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Abstract
Patterns of genetic structure are essential for a comprehensive understanding of the evolution and biogeography of a species. Here, we investigated the genetic patterns of one of the most widespread and abundant mangrove species in the Indo-West Pacific, Sonneratia alba J. Sm., in
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Patterns of genetic structure are essential for a comprehensive understanding of the evolution and biogeography of a species. Here, we investigated the genetic patterns of one of the most widespread and abundant mangrove species in the Indo-West Pacific, Sonneratia alba J. Sm., in order to gain insights into the ecological and evolutionary drivers of genetic structure in mangroves. We employed 11 nuclear microsatellite loci and two chloroplast regions to genotyped 25 S. alba populations. Our objectives were to (1) assess the level of genetic diversity and its geographic distribution; and (2) determine the genetic structure of the populations. Our results revealed significant genetic differentiation among populations. We detected a major genetic break between Indo-Malesia and Australasia, and further population subdivision within each oceanic region in these two major clusters. The phylogeographic patterns indicated a strong influence of vicariance, oceanic barriers and geographic distance on genetic structure. In addition, we found low genetic diversity and high genetic drift at range edge. This study advances the scope of mangrove biogeography by demonstrating a unique scenario whereby a widespread species has limited dispersal and high genetic divergence among populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Suitability of Soil Erosion Models for the Evaluation of Bladed Skid Trail BMPs in the Southern Appalachians
Forests 2017, 8(12), 482; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120482
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 30 November 2017 / Accepted: 30 November 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
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Abstract
This project measured soil erosion rates from bladed skid trails in the mountains of Virginia following a timber harvest, and compared measured erosion to four erosion model predictions produced by Universal Soil Loss Equation—Forest (USLE-Forest), Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation, v.2 (RUSLE2), Water
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This project measured soil erosion rates from bladed skid trails in the mountains of Virginia following a timber harvest, and compared measured erosion to four erosion model predictions produced by Universal Soil Loss Equation—Forest (USLE-Forest), Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation, v.2 (RUSLE2), Water Erosion Prediction Project—Road (WEPP-Road) using default files, and WEPP-Road using modified files in order to assess the utility of the models for these conditions. Skid trails were segregated into six blocks where each block had similar trail slopes and soils. Each block contained four skid trail closure treatments: (1) bare soil (Control); (2) residual limbs and tops (Slash); (3) grass seed (Seed); and (4) fertilizer, seed, and straw mulch (Mulch). All treatments had waterbars, the minimum trail closure best management practice (BMP), to provide upslope and downslope borders of experimental units. Site cover characteristics on each experimental unit were collected quarterly as input parameters for erosion models. The suitability of soil erosion models were evaluated based upon statistical summaries, linear relationships with measured erosion rates, Nash-Sutcliffe Model Efficiency, and a nonparametric analysis. Treatments were measured to have erosion rates of 15.2 tonnes ha−1 year−1 (Control), 5.9 tonnes ha−1 year−1 (Seed), 1.1 tonnes ha−1 year−1 (Mulch), and 0.8 tonnes ha−1 year−1 (Slash). It was determined that WEPP-Road: Modified (p-value = 0.643) and USLE-Forest (p-value = 0.307) were the most suitable models given their accuracy; however USLE-Forest may be better for making management decisions given its practicality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Operations, Engineering and Management) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Fire-Driven Decline of Endemic Allosyncarpia Monsoon Rainforests in Northern Australia
Forests 2017, 8(12), 481; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120481
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 16 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
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Abstract
Although contemporary fire regimes in fire-prone Australian savannas are recognised as having major impacts on an array of biodiversity and environmental values, a number of studies have observed significant monsoon rainforest expansion in recent decades. Here we assess the status of a locally
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Although contemporary fire regimes in fire-prone Australian savannas are recognised as having major impacts on an array of biodiversity and environmental values, a number of studies have observed significant monsoon rainforest expansion in recent decades. Here we assess the status of a locally extensive endemic monsoon rainforest type, dominated by Allosyncarpia ternata (Myrtaceae), restricted to sandstone terrain including in the World Heritage property, Kakadu National Park. We undertook assessments of: (1) geographic correlates of Allosyncarpia forest distribution; (2) change in canopy cover at 40 representative forest patches at topographically exposed sites with reference to a 60-year aerial photo and fine-scale image archive, and fire mapping data; and (3) structural characteristics associated with sites exhibiting stable, contracting, and increasing canopy cover. Mean canopy cover at sampled forest patches declined by 9.5% over the study period. Most canopy loss occurred at the most fire-susceptible patches. Assessment of structural characteristics at sampled sites illustrated that canopy expansion represented vegetative recovery rather than expansion de novo. The study (1) confirms the vulnerability of exposed margins of this forest type to fire incursions; (2) illustrates the magnitude of, and describes solutions for addressing, the regional conservation management challenge; and (3) serves as a reminder that, in savanna environments, severe fire regimes can substantially outweigh the woody growth-enhancing effects of other regional (e.g., increased rainfall) and global-scale (e.g., atmospheric CO2 fertilisation) drivers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Open AccessArticle Genetic Structure and Population Demographic History of a Widespread Mangrove Plant Xylocarpus granatum J. Koenig across the Indo-West Pacific Region
Forests 2017, 8(12), 480; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120480
Received: 29 August 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
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Abstract
Xylocarpus granatum J. Koenig is one of the most widespread core component species of mangrove forests in the Indo-West Pacific (IWP) region, and as such is suitable for examining how genetic structure is generated across spatiotemporal scales. We evaluated the genetic structure of
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Xylocarpus granatum J. Koenig is one of the most widespread core component species of mangrove forests in the Indo-West Pacific (IWP) region, and as such is suitable for examining how genetic structure is generated across spatiotemporal scales. We evaluated the genetic structure of this species using maternally inherited chloroplast (cp) and bi-parentally inherited nuclear DNA markers, with samples collected across the species range. Both cp and nuclear DNA showed generally similar patterns, revealing three genetic groups in the Indian Ocean, South China Sea (with Palau), and Oceania, respectively. The genetic diversity of the Oceania group was significantly lower, and the level of population differentiation within the Oceania group was significantly higher, than in the South China Sea group. These results revealed that in addition to the Malay Peninsula—a common land barrier for mangroves—there is a genetic barrier in an oceanic region of the West Pacific that prevents gene flow among populations. Moreover, demographic inference suggested that these patterns were generated in relation to sea level changes during the last glacial period and the emergence of Sahul Shelf which lied northwest of Australia. We propose that the three genetic groups should be considered independent conservation units, and that the Oceania group has a higher conservation priority. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Genomics of Forest Trees)
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Open AccessArticle On the Use of Hedonic Price Indices to Understand Ecosystem Service Provision from Urban Green Space in Five Latin American Megacities
Forests 2017, 8(12), 478; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120478
Received: 7 October 2017 / Revised: 19 November 2017 / Accepted: 23 November 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
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Abstract
Latin American (LA) megacities are facing enormous challenges to provide welfare to millions of people who live in them. High rates of urbanization and limited administrative capacity of LA cities to plan and control urban growth have led to a critical deficit of
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Latin American (LA) megacities are facing enormous challenges to provide welfare to millions of people who live in them. High rates of urbanization and limited administrative capacity of LA cities to plan and control urban growth have led to a critical deficit of urban green space, and therefore, to sub-optimal outcomes in terms of urban sustainability. This study seeks to assess the possibility of using real estate prices to provide an estimate of the monetary value of the ecosystem services provided by urban green space across five Latin American megacities: Bogota, Buenos Aires, Lima, Mexico City and Santiago de Chile. Using Google Earth images to quantify urban green space and multiple regression analysis, we evaluated the impact of urban green space, crime rates, business density and population density on real estate prices across the five mentioned megacities. In addition, for a subset of the data (Lima and Buenos Aires) we analyzed the effects of landscape ecology variables (green space patch size, connectivity, etc.) on real estate prices to provide a first insight into how the ecological attributes of urban green space can determine the level of ecosystem service provision in different urban contexts in Latin America. The results show a strong positive relationship between the presence of urban green space and real estate prices. Green space explains 52% of the variability in real estate prices across the five studied megacities. Population density, business density and crime had only minor impacts on real estate prices. Our analysis of the landscape ecology variables in Lima and Buenos Aires also show that the relationship between green space and price is context-specific, which indicates that further research is needed to better understand when and where ecological attributes of green space affect real estate prices so that managers of urban green space in LA cities can optimize ecological configuration to maximize ecosystem service provision from often limited green spaces. Full article
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