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Forests, Volume 9, Issue 4 (April 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) In a long-term experiment in Costa Rica, we evaluated the effects of four native tree species on [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle A Participatory Approach to Evaluating Strategies for Forest Carbon Mitigation in British Columbia
Forests 2018, 9(4), 225; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040225
Received: 26 March 2018 / Revised: 18 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 23 April 2018
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Abstract
To be successful, actions for mitigating climate change in the forest and forest sector will not only need to be informed by the best available science, but will also require strong public and/or political acceptability. This paper presents the results of a novel
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To be successful, actions for mitigating climate change in the forest and forest sector will not only need to be informed by the best available science, but will also require strong public and/or political acceptability. This paper presents the results of a novel analytical-deliberative engagement process that brings together stakeholders and Indigenous Peoples in participatory workshops in the interior and coastal regions of British Columbia (BC) to evaluate a set of potential forest carbon mitigation alternatives. In particular, this study examines what objectives are prioritized by stakeholders and Indigenous Peoples when discussing forest carbon mitigation in BC’s forests, as well as the perceived effectiveness of, and levels of support for, six forest-based carbon mitigation strategies. We start by describing the methodological framework involving two series of workshops. We then describe the results from the first round of workshops where participants identified 11 objectives that can be classified into four categories: biophysical, economic, social, and procedural. Afterwards, we discuss the second series of workshops, which allowed participants to evaluate six climate change mitigation strategies against the objectives previously identified, and highlight geographical differences, if any, between BC’s coastal and interior regions. Our results effectively illustrate the potential and efficacy of our novel methodology in informing a variety of stakeholders in different regions, and generating consistent results with a surprising degree of consensus on both key objectives and preference for mitigation alternatives. We conclude with policy recommendations on how to consider various management objectives during the design and implementation of forest carbon mitigation strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Participatory Forestry: Involvement, Information and Science)
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Open AccessArticle The Impact of Green Space Layouts on Microclimate and Air Quality in Residential Districts of Nanjing, China
Forests 2018, 9(4), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040224
Received: 6 February 2018 / Revised: 31 March 2018 / Accepted: 16 April 2018 / Published: 23 April 2018
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Abstract
This study numerically investigates the influence of different vegetation types and layouts on microclimate and air quality in residential districts based on the morphology and green layout of Nanjing, China. Simulations were performed using Computational Fluid Dynamics and the microclimate model ENVI-met. Four
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This study numerically investigates the influence of different vegetation types and layouts on microclimate and air quality in residential districts based on the morphology and green layout of Nanjing, China. Simulations were performed using Computational Fluid Dynamics and the microclimate model ENVI-met. Four green indices, i.e., the green cover ratio, the grass and shrub cover ratio, the ecological landscaping plot ratio and the landscaping isolation index, were combined to evaluate thermal and wind fields, as well as air quality in district models. Results show that under the same green cover ratio (i.e., the same quantity of all types of vegetation), the reduction of grass and shrub cover ratio (i.e., the quantity of grass and shrubs), replaced by trees, has an impact, even though small, on thermal comfort, wind speed and air pollution, and increases the leisure space for occupants. When trees are present, a low ecological landscaping plot ratio (which expresses the weight of carbon dioxide absorption and is larger in the presence of trees) is preferable due to a lower blocking effect on wind and pollutant dispersion. In conjunction with a low landscaping plot ratio, a high landscaping isolation index (which means a distributed structure of vegetation) enhances the capability of local cooling and the general thermal comfort, decreasing the average temperature up to about 0.5 °C and the average predicted mean vote (PMV) up to about 20% compared with the non-green scenario. This paper shows that the relationship vegetation-microclimate-air quality should be analyzed taking into account not only the total area covered by vegetation but also its layout and degree of aggregation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Forest Bioenergy Development Strategies in Indochina: Collaborative Effort to Establish Regional Policies
Forests 2018, 9(4), 223; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040223
Received: 26 March 2018 / Revised: 9 April 2018 / Accepted: 17 April 2018 / Published: 21 April 2018
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Abstract
We conducted a feasibility study in Indochina (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam) with the aim of promoting biomass and bioenergy markets, technology transfer, rural development, and income generation. Policy development is guided by the International Union of Forest Research Institutions (IUFRO) Task
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We conducted a feasibility study in Indochina (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam) with the aim of promoting biomass and bioenergy markets, technology transfer, rural development, and income generation. Policy development is guided by the International Union of Forest Research Institutions (IUFRO) Task Force “Sustainable Forest Bioenergy Network”. In this paper, we highlight the achievements up to now and present results of a multi-stakeholder questionnaire in combination with a quantitative analysis of the National Bioenergy Development Plans (NBDPs). We found a gap between official documents and working group assessments. NBDPs are focused on the market development, technology transfer, and funding possibilities of a regional bioenergy strategy, while the respondents of a questionnaire (working groups) favored more altruistic goals, i.e., sustainable resource management, environmental protection and climate change mitigation, generation of rural income, and community involvement, etc. We therefore suggest the following measures to ensure regulations that support the original aims of the network (climate change mitigation, poverty alleviation, sustainable resource use, and diversification of energy generation): (i) Consideration of science-based evidence for drafting bioenergy policies, particularly in the field of biomass production and harvesting; (ii) invitation of stakeholders representing rural communities to participate in this process; (iii) development of sustainability criteria; (iv) feedback cycles ensuring more intensive discussion of policy drafts; (v) association of an international board of experts to provide scientifically sound feedback and input; and (vi) establishment of a local demonstration region, containing various steps in the biomass/bioenergy supply chain including transboundary collaboration in the ACMECS region. Full article
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Open AccessArticle First-Year Vitality of Reforestation Plantings in Response to Herbivore Exclusion on Reclaimed Appalachian Surface-Mined Land
Forests 2018, 9(4), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040222
Received: 30 March 2018 / Revised: 18 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 21 April 2018
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Abstract
Conventional Appalachian surface-mine reclamation techniques repress natural forest regeneration, and tree plantings are often necessary for reforestation. Reclaimed Appalachian surface mines harbor a suite of mammal herbivores that forage on recently planted seedlings. Anecdotal reports across Appalachia have implicated herbivory in the hindrance
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Conventional Appalachian surface-mine reclamation techniques repress natural forest regeneration, and tree plantings are often necessary for reforestation. Reclaimed Appalachian surface mines harbor a suite of mammal herbivores that forage on recently planted seedlings. Anecdotal reports across Appalachia have implicated herbivory in the hindrance and failure of reforestation efforts, yet empirical evaluation of herbivory impacts on planted seedling vitality in this region remains relatively uninitiated. First growing-season survival, height growth, and mammal herbivory damage of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.), shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata Mill.), and white oak (Quercus alba L.) are presented in response to varying intensities of herbivore exclusion. Seedling survival was generally high, and height growth was positive for all species. The highest herbivory incidence of all tree species was observed in treatments offering no herbivore exclusion. While seedling protectors lowered herbivory incidence compared with no exclusion, full exclusion treatments resulted in the greatest reduction of herbivore damage. Although herbivory from rabbits, small mammals, and domestic animals was observed, cervids (deer and elk) were responsible for 95.8% of all damaged seedlings. This study indicates that cervids forage heavily on planted seedlings during the first growing-season, but exclusion is effective at reducing herbivory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seedling Production and Field Performance of Seedlings)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Interaction between Ailanthus altissima and Native Robinia pseudoacacia in Early Succession: Implications for Forest Management
Forests 2018, 9(4), 221; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040221
Received: 12 March 2018 / Revised: 16 April 2018 / Accepted: 17 April 2018 / Published: 20 April 2018
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Abstract
The goal of this study was to discover the nature and intensity of the interaction between an exotic invader Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle and its coexisting native Robinia pseudoacacia L. and consider management implications. The study occurred in the Mid-Appalachian region of the
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The goal of this study was to discover the nature and intensity of the interaction between an exotic invader Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle and its coexisting native Robinia pseudoacacia L. and consider management implications. The study occurred in the Mid-Appalachian region of the eastern United States. Ailanthus altissima can have a strong negative influence on community diversity and succession due to its allelopathic nature while R. pseudoacacia can have a positive effect on community diversity and succession because of its ability to fix nitrogen. How these trees interact and the influence of the interaction on succession will have important implications for forests in many regions of the world. An additive-replacement series common garden experiment was established to identify the type and extent of interactions between these trees over a three-year period. Both A. altissima and R. pseudoacacia grown in monoculture were inhibited by intraspecific competition. In the first year, A. altissima grown with R. pseudoacacia tended to be larger than A. altissima in monoculture, suggesting that R. pseudoacacia may facilitate the growth of A. altissima at the seedling stage. After the second year, R. pseudoacacia growth decreased as the proportion of coexisting A. altissima increased, indicating inhibition of R. pseudoacacia by A. altissima even though the R. pseudoacacia plants were much larger aboveground than the A. altissima plants. In early successional sites A. altissima should be removed, particularly in the presence of R. pseudoacacia in order to promote long-term community succession. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology and Management of Invasive Species in Forest Ecosystems)
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Open AccessReview Forest Accountancy Data Networks—A European Approach of Empirical Research, Its Achievements, and Potentials in Regard to Sustainable Multiple Use Forestry
Forests 2018, 9(4), 220; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040220
Received: 1 March 2018 / Revised: 22 March 2018 / Accepted: 17 April 2018 / Published: 19 April 2018
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Abstract
A Forest Accountancy Data Network represents an intermediate approach of empirical economic research between surveys based on questionnaires on the one hand and case studies on the other, with time as a third dimension. Over the past decades, the few institutions operating such
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A Forest Accountancy Data Network represents an intermediate approach of empirical economic research between surveys based on questionnaires on the one hand and case studies on the other, with time as a third dimension. Over the past decades, the few institutions operating such networks have accumulated a bulk of experience with this methodology and the possibilities for its adaptation to upcoming requirements. By summarizing and evaluating the potential of this methodology, we provide an up-to-date reference for designing empirical studies in forest economics at the enterprise level. Aspects of sustainability as well as the economics of multiple use forestry are specifically addressed. Forestry-specific extensions to existing agricultural networks could be a cost saving approach for investigating such crucial questions like the role of forestry for regional development and for the livelihood of farms. The study is based on an extended literature research which has been complemented by expert interviews. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue At the Frontiers of Knowledge in Forest Economics)
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Open AccessArticle Discriminating between Seasonal and Chemical Variation in Extracellular Enzyme Activities within Two Italian Beech Forests by Means of Multilevel Models
Forests 2018, 9(4), 219; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040219
Received: 10 March 2018 / Revised: 16 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 19 April 2018
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Abstract
Enzymes play a key-role in organic matter dynamics and strong scientific attention has been given to them lately, especially to their response to climate and substrate chemical composition. Accordingly, in this study, we investigated the effects of chemical composition and seasons on extracellular
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Enzymes play a key-role in organic matter dynamics and strong scientific attention has been given to them lately, especially to their response to climate and substrate chemical composition. Accordingly, in this study, we investigated the effects of chemical composition and seasons on extracellular enzyme activities (laccase, peroxidase, cellulase, chitinase, acid phosphomonoesterase, and dehydrogenase) by means of multilevel models within two Italian mountain beech forests. We used chemical variables as the fixed part in the model, season as random variation and layers (decomposition continuum for leaf litter and 0–5, 5–15, 15–30, and 30–40 cm for soil) as nested factors within the two forests. Our results showed that seasonal changes explained a higher amount of variance in enzyme activities compared to substrate chemistry in leaf litter, whereas chemical variation had a stronger impact on soil. Moreover, the effect of seasonality and chemistry was in general larger than the differences between forest sites, soils, and litter layers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon, Nitrogen and Phosphorus Cycling in Forest Soils)
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Open AccessArticle Fine Scale Determinants of Soil Litter Fauna on a Mediterranean Mixed Oak Forest Invaded by the Exotic Soil-Borne Pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi
Forests 2018, 9(4), 218; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040218
Received: 24 February 2018 / Revised: 16 April 2018 / Accepted: 17 April 2018 / Published: 19 April 2018
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Abstract
There is growing recognition of the importance of soil fauna for modulating nutrient cycling processes such as litter decomposition. However, little is known about the drivers promoting changes in soil fauna abundance on a local scale. We explored this gap of knowledge in
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There is growing recognition of the importance of soil fauna for modulating nutrient cycling processes such as litter decomposition. However, little is known about the drivers promoting changes in soil fauna abundance on a local scale. We explored this gap of knowledge in a mixed oak forest of Southern Spain, which is under decline due to the invasion of the exotic soil-borne pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi. Meso-invertebrate abundance found in soil litter was estimated at the suborder level. We then explored their statistical correlations with respect to light availability, tree and litter characteristics, and P. cinnamomi abundance. Oribatida and Entomobryomporpha were the most abundant groups of Acari and Collembola, respectively. According to their trophic level, predator and detritivore abundances were positively correlated while detritivores were, in turn, positively correlated with pathogen abundance and negatively influenced by light availability and tree defoliation. These overall trends differed between groups. Among detritivores, Diplopoda preferred highly decomposed litter while Oribatida and Psocoptera preferred darker environments and Poduromorpha were selected for environments with lower tree defoliation. Our results show the predominant role of light availability in influencing litter fauna abundances at local scales and suggest that the invasive soil-borne pathogen P. cinnamomi is integrated in these complex relationships. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology and Management of Invasive Species in Forest Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle Contrast Effects of Vegetation Cover Change on Evapotranspiration during a Revegetation Period in the Poyang Lake Basin, China
Forests 2018, 9(4), 217; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040217
Received: 5 March 2018 / Revised: 16 April 2018 / Accepted: 17 April 2018 / Published: 19 April 2018
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Abstract
It is known that evapotranspiration (ET) differs before and after vegetation change in watersheds. However, impacts of vegetation change on ET remain incompletely understood. In this paper, we investigated the process-specific, nonclimatic contribution (mainly vegetation coverage changes) to ET at grid, sub-basin, and
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It is known that evapotranspiration (ET) differs before and after vegetation change in watersheds. However, impacts of vegetation change on ET remain incompletely understood. In this paper, we investigated the process-specific, nonclimatic contribution (mainly vegetation coverage changes) to ET at grid, sub-basin, and basin scales using observation and remote sensing data. The Poyang Lake Basin was selected as the study area, which experienced a fast vegetation restoration from 1983 to 2014. Our results showed that vegetation cover change produced contrasting effects on annual ET in magnitude and direction during shifts from a less covered to a more covered stage. At the early stage (1983–1990), with vegetation cover of 30%, vegetation cover change produced negative effects on ET over the basin. At the middle stage (1990–2000), the vegetation coverage increased at a fast pace and the negative effects gradually shifted to positive. At the late stage (2000–2014), the vegetation coverage remained high (over 60%) and maintained a positive relationship with ET. In summary, the vegetation effects are collaboratively influenced by both vegetation coverage and its change rate. Our findings should be helpful for a comprehensive understanding of complicated hydrological responses to anthropogenic revegetation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Afforestation and Reforestation: Drivers, Dynamics, and Impacts)
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Open AccessArticle Visualizing Individual Tree Differences in Tree-Ring Studies
Forests 2018, 9(4), 216; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040216
Received: 29 March 2018 / Revised: 11 April 2018 / Accepted: 16 April 2018 / Published: 19 April 2018
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Abstract
Averaging tree-ring measurements from multiple individuals is one of the most common procedures in dendrochronology. It serves to filter out noise from individual differences between trees, such as competition, height, and micro-site effects, which ideally results in a site chronology sensitive to regional
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Averaging tree-ring measurements from multiple individuals is one of the most common procedures in dendrochronology. It serves to filter out noise from individual differences between trees, such as competition, height, and micro-site effects, which ideally results in a site chronology sensitive to regional scale factors such as climate. However, the climate sensitivity of individual trees can be modulated by factors like competition, height, and nitrogen deposition, calling attention to whether average chronologies adequately assess climatic growth-control. In this study, we demonstrate four simple but effective methods to visually assess differences between individual trees. Using individual tree climate-correlations we: (1) employed jitter plots with superimposed metadata to assess potential causes for these differences; (2) plotted the frequency distributions of climate correlations over time as heat maps; (3) mapped the spatial distribution of climate sensitivity over time to assess spatio-temporal dynamics; and (4) used t-distributed Stochastic Neighborhood Embedding (t-SNE) to assess which trees were generally more similar in terms of their tree-ring pattern and their correlation with climate variables. This suite of exploratory methods can indicate if individuals in tree-ring datasets respond differently to climate variability, and therefore, should not solely be explored with climate correlations of the mean population chronology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Open AccessEditorial Decision Support Approaches in Adaptive Forest Management
Forests 2018, 9(4), 215; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040215
Received: 9 April 2018 / Revised: 14 April 2018 / Accepted: 16 April 2018 / Published: 18 April 2018
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Abstract
Climate and social changes place strong demands on forest managers. Forest managers need powerful approaches and tools, which could help them to be able to react to the rapidly changing conditions. However, the complexity of quantifying forest ecosystems services as well as the
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Climate and social changes place strong demands on forest managers. Forest managers need powerful approaches and tools, which could help them to be able to react to the rapidly changing conditions. However, the complexity of quantifying forest ecosystems services as well as the complexity of current decision theories, technologies and operation research methods, complicate the creation of one general tool. The continuous research and development in this area is an indispensable part of the success of adaptive management as well as the sharing of knowledge and information between research teams around the world. The Community of Practice of Forest Management Decision Support Systems provides a platform for broad discussion among scientists, researchers as well as forest professionals. This special issue provides papers which resulted from a conference session of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations’ (IUFRO) 125th Anniversary Congress in Freiburg, Germany in 2017. The joint sessions and other meetings (and resulting publications) are appropriate opportunities for knowledge sharing on these important methods and systems for protecting and managing forest ecosystems in the future. Full article
Open AccessArticle Simulating Forest Dynamics of Lowland Rainforests in Eastern Madagascar
Forests 2018, 9(4), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040214
Received: 22 February 2018 / Revised: 9 April 2018 / Accepted: 11 April 2018 / Published: 18 April 2018
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Abstract
Ecological modeling and forecasting are essential tools for the understanding of complex vegetation dynamics. The parametric demands of some of these models are often lacking or scant for threatened ecosystems, particularly in diverse tropical ecosystems. One such ecosystem and also one of the
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Ecological modeling and forecasting are essential tools for the understanding of complex vegetation dynamics. The parametric demands of some of these models are often lacking or scant for threatened ecosystems, particularly in diverse tropical ecosystems. One such ecosystem and also one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, Madagascar’s lowland rainforests, have disappeared at an alarming rate. The processes that drive tree species growth and distribution remain as poorly understood as the species themselves. We investigated the application of the process-based individual-based FORMIND model to successfully simulate a Madagascar lowland rainforest using previously collected multi-year forest inventory plot data. We inspected the model’s ability to characterize growth and species abundance distributions over the study site, and then validated the model with an independently collected forest-inventory dataset from another lowland rainforest in eastern Madagascar. Following a comparative analysis using inventory data from the two study sites, we found that FORMIND accurately captures the structure and biomass of the study forest, with r2 values of 0.976, 0.895, and 0.995 for 1:1 lines comparing observed and simulated values across all plant functional types for aboveground biomass (tonnes/ha), stem numbers, and basal area (m2/ha), respectively. Further, in validation with a second study forest site, FORMIND also compared well, only slightly over-estimating shade-intermediate species as compared to the study site, and slightly under-representing shade-tolerant species in percentage of total aboveground biomass. As an important application of the FORMIND model, we measured the net ecosystem exchange (NEE, in tons of carbon per hectare per year) for 50 ha of simulated forest over a 1000-year run from bare ground. We found that NEE values ranged between 1 and −1 t Cha−1 year−1, consequently the study forest can be considered as a net neutral or a very slight carbon sink ecosystem, after the initial 130 years of growth. Our study found that FORMIND represents a valuable tool toward simulating forest dynamics in the immensely diverse Madagascar rainforests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Simulation Modeling of Forest Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle Radial Growth Behavior of Pines on Romanian Degraded Lands
Forests 2018, 9(4), 213; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040213
Received: 20 February 2018 / Revised: 6 April 2018 / Accepted: 9 April 2018 / Published: 17 April 2018
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Abstract
More than a third of Romania’s surface has low-productive soils, at the same time exposed to risks of climatic phenomena and generating high economic loss. Afforestation with pine has been the most common solution for the recovery of sheet erosion. Many of the
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More than a third of Romania’s surface has low-productive soils, at the same time exposed to risks of climatic phenomena and generating high economic loss. Afforestation with pine has been the most common solution for the recovery of sheet erosion. Many of the pines grown on such land have run down. This paper presents the results of the first dendroecological investigation of degraded lands in Romania, 80 years after the first ecological reconstruction. In this way, the effects of reconstruction were assessed, supporting the adoption of future solutions for the improvement and efficiency of recovered ecosystems. Reconstructed radial growth was set against rainfall, air temperature, and management history. A total of 330 black pine and Scots pine trees (Pinus sylvestris L. and Pinus nigra Arn.) of different ages and social positions from 11 stands of different densities were cored for retrospective tree-ring analysis. Scots pine has made better use of these sites, with a better growth rate than black pine especially in plantations with lower survival and on dominant trees. The dynamics of radial growth distinguish the two pine species, with Scots pine showing an accentuated juvenile growth spurt and bigger growth range. The growth decline is predominantly a maturation effect that begins when the tree is around 40 years old and seems to be irreversible. After this age, weak or moderated removal is not enough to revive growth. The contribution of climate (air temperature and rainfall) to the last radial increments in decline is 3–57% and is higher than in the previous decades. On moderately degraded land by farming and grazing, the mixture of Scots pine and black pine, rather than monocultures, proved to be a sustainable solution. Dendrochronological surveying of restored ecosystems allows development of management strategies, which becomes critically important in the circumstances of climate warming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Management of Pine Forests)
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Open AccessArticle An Inventory-Based Regeneration Biomass Model to Initialize Landscape Scale Simulation Scenarios
Forests 2018, 9(4), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040212
Received: 18 March 2018 / Revised: 5 April 2018 / Accepted: 12 April 2018 / Published: 17 April 2018
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Abstract
Dynamic landscape simulation of the forest requires an initial regeneration stock specific to the characteristics of each simulated stand. Forest inventories, however, are sparse with regard to regeneration. Moreover, statistical regeneration models are rare. We introduce an inventory-based statistical model type that (1)
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Dynamic landscape simulation of the forest requires an initial regeneration stock specific to the characteristics of each simulated stand. Forest inventories, however, are sparse with regard to regeneration. Moreover, statistical regeneration models are rare. We introduce an inventory-based statistical model type that (1) quantifies regeneration biomass as a fundamental regeneration attribute and (2) uses the overstory’s quadratic mean diameter (Dq) together with several other structure attributes and the Site Index as predictors. We form two such models from plots dominated by European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.), one from national forest inventory data and the other from spatially denser federal state forest inventory data. We evaluate the first one for capturing the predictors specific to the larger scale level and the latter one to infer the degree of landscape discretization above which the model bias becomes critical due to yet unquantified determinants of regeneration. The most relevant predictors were Dq, stand density, and maximum height (significance level p < 0.0001). If plot data sets for evaluation differed by the forest management unit in addition to the average diameter, the bias range among them increased from 0.1-fold of predicted biomass to 0.3-fold. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Simulation Modeling of Forest Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle Toward an Elasticity of Chip-N-Saw: Demand and Supply Models of Chip-N-Saw Stumpage in Louisiana
Forests 2018, 9(4), 211; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040211
Received: 19 February 2018 / Revised: 10 April 2018 / Accepted: 12 April 2018 / Published: 17 April 2018
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Abstract
Softwood chip-n-saw (CNS) is a relatively new stumpage product in the sawtimber- and pulpwood-dominated stumpage markets in the U.S. South. Based on a quarterly data series from 2003 to 2016, this study estimates the demand and supply models of the softwood CNS stumpage
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Softwood chip-n-saw (CNS) is a relatively new stumpage product in the sawtimber- and pulpwood-dominated stumpage markets in the U.S. South. Based on a quarterly data series from 2003 to 2016, this study estimates the demand and supply models of the softwood CNS stumpage market in Louisiana. The two-stage least squares (2SLS) results reveal that own price elasticity of demand (PED) is price elastic, and the cross-price elasticity (XED)with sawtimber approaches unit elasticity. On the supply side, CNS is price inelastic in supply (PES), but more responsive to own price changesthan sawtimber quantity supplied. Further, severance tax increases are found to decrease the supply of CNS, indicating that suppliers are responsive to severance tax incidence. As the first empirical estimation of CNS, the findings should be of interest to those involved in the analysis of Southeastern stumpage markets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Economics and Human Dimensions)
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Open AccessArticle Exploring the Future of Fuel Loads in Tasmania, Australia: Shifts in Vegetation in Response to Changing Fire Weather, Productivity, and Fire Frequency
Forests 2018, 9(4), 210; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040210
Received: 23 February 2018 / Revised: 7 April 2018 / Accepted: 9 April 2018 / Published: 16 April 2018
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Abstract
Changes to the frequency of fire due to management decisions and climate change have the potential to affect the flammability of vegetation, with long-term effects on the vegetation structure and composition. Frequent fire in some vegetation types can lead to transformational change beyond
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Changes to the frequency of fire due to management decisions and climate change have the potential to affect the flammability of vegetation, with long-term effects on the vegetation structure and composition. Frequent fire in some vegetation types can lead to transformational change beyond which the vegetation type is radically altered. Such feedbacks limit our ability to project fuel loads under future climatic conditions or to consider the ecological tradeoffs associated with management burns. We present a “pathway modelling” approach to consider multiple transitional pathways that may occur under different fire frequencies. The model combines spatial layers representing current and future fire danger, biomass, flammability, and sensitivity to fire to assess potential future fire activity. The layers are derived from a dynamically downscaled regional climate model, attributes from a regional vegetation map, and information about fuel characteristics. Fire frequency is demonstrated to be an important factor influencing flammability and availability to burn and therefore an important determinant of future fire activity. Regional shifts in vegetation type occur in response to frequent fire, as the rate of change differs across vegetation type. Fire-sensitive vegetation types move towards drier, more fire-adapted vegetation quickly, as they may be irreversibly impacted by even a single fire, and require very long recovery times. Understanding the interaction between climate change and fire is important to identify appropriate management regimes to sustain fire-sensitive communities and maintain the distribution of broad vegetation types across the landscape. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Stock Volume Dependency of Forest Drought Responses in Yunnan, China
Forests 2018, 9(4), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040209
Received: 20 February 2018 / Revised: 5 April 2018 / Accepted: 13 April 2018 / Published: 16 April 2018
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Abstract
Revealing forest drought response characteristics and the potential impact factors is quite an important scientific issue against the background of global climate change, which is the foundation to reliably evaluate and predict the effects of future drought. Due to the high spatial heterogeneity
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Revealing forest drought response characteristics and the potential impact factors is quite an important scientific issue against the background of global climate change, which is the foundation to reliably evaluate and predict the effects of future drought. Due to the high spatial heterogeneity of forest properties such as biomass, forest age, and height, and the distinct differences in drought stress in terms of frequency, intensity, and duration, current studies still contain many uncertainties. In this research, we used the forests in Yunnan Province in Southwest China as an example and aimed to reveal the potential impacts of forest properties (i.e., stock volume) on drought response characteristics. Specifically, we divided the forest into five groups of stock volume density values and then analyzed their drought response differences. To depict forest response to drought intensity, the standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI) was chosen as the explanatory variable, and the change in remote sensing-based enhanced vegetation index (deficit of MODIS-EVI, dEVI) was chosen as the response variable of drought stress. Given that the SPEI has different time scales, we first analyzed the statistical dependency of SPEIs with different time scales (1 to 36 months) to the response variable (i.e., dEVI). The optimal time scale of SPEI (SPEIopt) to interpret the maximum variation of dEVI (R-square) was then chosen to build the ultimate statistical models for the five groups of stock volume density. The main findings were as follows: (1) the impacts of drought showed hysteresis and cumulative effects, and the length of the hysteresis increased with stock volume densities; (2) forests with high stock volume densities required more soil water and were therefore more sensitive to the changes in water deficit; (3) compared with the optimal time scale of SPEI (SPEIopt), the SPEI with the commonly used time scale (e.g., 1, 6, and 12 months) could not well reflect the impacts of drought on forests and the simulation error of dEVI increased with stock volume densities; and (4) forests with higher stock volume densities were likely to experience a greater risk of degradation following higher atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5). As a result, both the time scale of the meteorological drought index and the spatial difference in forest stock volumes should be considered when evaluating forest drought responses at regional and global scales. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remotely Sensing of Drought-Induced Forest Change and Recovery)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of CMIP5 Projections on Volume Growth, Carbon Stock and Timber Yield in Managed Scots Pine, Norway Spruce and Silver Birch Stands under Southern and Northern Boreal Conditions
Forests 2018, 9(4), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040208
Received: 5 March 2018 / Revised: 9 April 2018 / Accepted: 13 April 2018 / Published: 16 April 2018
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Abstract
We investigated how recent-generation (CMIP5) global climate model projections affect the volume growth, carbon stock, timber yield and its profitability in managed Scots pine, Norway spruce and Silver birch stands on medium fertile upland sites under southern and northern boreal conditions in Finland.
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We investigated how recent-generation (CMIP5) global climate model projections affect the volume growth, carbon stock, timber yield and its profitability in managed Scots pine, Norway spruce and Silver birch stands on medium fertile upland sites under southern and northern boreal conditions in Finland. Forest ecosystem model simulations were conducted for the current climate and changing climate, under two representative concentration pathways (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5), using 10 individual global climate model (GCM) projections. In addition to the baseline thinning, we maintained either 20% higher or lower stocking in thinning over a 90-year period. In the south, the severe climate projections, such as HadGEM2-ES RCP8.5 and GFDL-CM3 RCP8.5, as opposed to MPI-ESM-MR RCP4.5, considerably decreased the volume growth, carbon stock and timber yield, as well as its profitability, in Norway spruce stands, but also partially in Scots pine stands, compared to the current climate. Silver birch gained the most from the climate change in the south and Scots pine in the north. The impacts of the thinning regime varied, depending on tree species, site and climate applied. Depending on the severity of the climate change, even opposing adaptive management measures may be needed in different boreal regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Open AccessArticle Stem Photosynthesis of Twig and Its Contribution to New Organ Development in Cutting Seedlings of Salix Matsudana Koidz.
Forests 2018, 9(4), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040207
Received: 27 February 2018 / Revised: 29 March 2018 / Accepted: 5 April 2018 / Published: 16 April 2018
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Abstract
The objective of this study was to illustrate the photosynthetic characteristics of current twigs of Salix matsudana Koidz., and clarify the effect of stem photosynthesis on the new organ development in cutting seedlings. Excised twigs were taken as the experimental samples. The response
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The objective of this study was to illustrate the photosynthetic characteristics of current twigs of Salix matsudana Koidz., and clarify the effect of stem photosynthesis on the new organ development in cutting seedlings. Excised twigs were taken as the experimental samples. The response of the stem photosynthesis rate to increasing light intensity and the effective photochemical efficiency of the cross section of the twig were determined. Then, twigs were used as cuttings and exposed to 0, 20, and 100 μmol m−2 s−1 light intensities, respectively, to achieve distinctive stem photosynthetic rates. After 14 days of treatment, stem water and non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) content, as well as the biomass and carbon isotopic composition, of new organs in the cutting seedlings under different light treatments were examined. The results showed that the gross photosynthetic rate significantly increased within 400 μmol m−2 s−1 of light intensity, and the maximum rate was approximately 1.27 μmol m−2 s−1. The effective photochemical efficiency of the PSⅡ of the cortex was significantly higher than the inner tissues in the cross section of the twig. When twig cuttings were exposed to different light intensities, stem water and starch content, as well as bud and root biomass, were significantly higher in the cutting seedling subjected to 100 μmol m−2 s−1 than the case treated in darkness; however, the bud δ13C trend was the opposite. Stem photosynthesis played a positive role in the maintenance of stem water and starch supply for the cutting seedlings, and 13C depleted assimilates produced by stem photosynthesis contributed to bud biomass, revealing that stem photosynthesis promotes organ development in cutting seedlings of Salix matsudana. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Delimbing and Cross-cutting of Coniferous Trees–Time Consumption, Work Productivity and Performance
Forests 2018, 9(4), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040206
Received: 15 March 2018 / Revised: 11 April 2018 / Accepted: 13 April 2018 / Published: 15 April 2018
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Abstract
This research established the time consumption, work time structure, and productivity for primary processing in felling areas of coniferous trees felled with a chainsaw. Delimbing and partial cross-cutting were taken into consideration. The research was conducted in a mixed spruce and fir tree
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This research established the time consumption, work time structure, and productivity for primary processing in felling areas of coniferous trees felled with a chainsaw. Delimbing and partial cross-cutting were taken into consideration. The research was conducted in a mixed spruce and fir tree stand situated in the Carpathian Mountains. The team of workers consisted of a chainsaw operator and assistant with over 10 years of experience. The results indicated a total time of 536.32 s·m−3 (1145.26 s·tree−1), work performance (including delays) of 6.716 m3·h−1 (3.14 tree·h−1), and work productivity (without delays) of 35.459 m3·h−1 (16.58 tree·h−1). The chainsaw productivity during tree cross-cutting was 82.29 cm2·s−1. Delimbing accounted for 96.18% of the real work time, while cross-cutting accounted for 3.82%. The time consumption for delimbing and cross-cutting, as well as the work productivity and performance in the primary processing of coniferous trees in the felling area, were influenced by the breast height diameter, stem length, and tree volume, while the chainsaw productivity was influenced by the diameter of the cross-cut sections. The relationships between the aforementioned dependent and independent variables were determined by simple and linear multiple regression equations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Operations: Planning, Innovation and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Drought Decreases Growth and Increases Mortality of Coexisting Native and Introduced Tree Species in a Temperate Floodplain Forest
Forests 2018, 9(4), 205; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040205
Received: 9 March 2018 / Revised: 2 April 2018 / Accepted: 11 April 2018 / Published: 13 April 2018
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Abstract
Forest dieback and mortality events induced by drought stress are widely reported. However, few studies have jointly examined the role played by drought on growth and mortality in tree species inhabiting floodplain forests. Here, we focused on mortality events occurring since the early
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Forest dieback and mortality events induced by drought stress are widely reported. However, few studies have jointly examined the role played by drought on growth and mortality in tree species inhabiting floodplain forests. Here, we focused on mortality events occurring since the early 2000s on large areas in a floodplain forest located within the Ticino regional park in Northwest Italy, where affected native (pedunculate oak, Quercus robur L.) and introduced tree species (black locust, Robinia pseudoacacia L.) coexist. We related growth with climate data and drought severity to discern if these species were similarly affected by drought. Then, we: (i) evaluated the presence of pathogens of the genus Phytophthora in recently dead oak trees since this was the most affected species and pathogens are often associated with oak decline cases; and (ii) compared xylem vessel diameter and tree-ring C isotope discrimination (δ13C) to highlight differences in water-use strategies between living and dead trees in both species. The radial growth of living and dead trees started diverging in the 1970s, although only after warm-drought periods occurred during 1990s did this divergence become significant. Growth of trees that died responded more negatively to drought than in the case of living trees. Moreover, trees that died formed smaller xylem vessels in the past than living trees and also showed more negative δ13C values in both tree species, indicating a higher intrinsic water-use efficiency in living than in dead trees. The pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi Rands was only detected in one recently dead tree, suggesting that it is unlikely that dead oaks were predisposed to drought damage by the pathogen. We conclude that a climate shift from wet to warm-dry summer conditions in the early 1990s triggered forest dieback and induced mortality in both tree species. Temperate floodplain forests are susceptible to drought-induced dieback. The drought-sensitivity of both species could lead to successional shifts driven by a reduction of N inputs through N-fixing by black locust and the replacement of oak by drought-tolerant species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tree-Ring Records of Climatic Impacts on Forests)
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Open AccessArticle Variation in Soil Methane Fluxes and Comparison between Two Forests in China
Forests 2018, 9(4), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040204
Received: 23 January 2018 / Revised: 26 March 2018 / Accepted: 5 April 2018 / Published: 13 April 2018
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Abstract
Methane (CH4) is a vital greenhouse gas with a 28-fold higher global warming potential than carbon dioxide when considering a molar basis for the time horizon of 100 years. Here, we investigated the variation of soil CH4 fluxes, soil physiochemical
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Methane (CH4) is a vital greenhouse gas with a 28-fold higher global warming potential than carbon dioxide when considering a molar basis for the time horizon of 100 years. Here, we investigated the variation of soil CH4 fluxes, soil physiochemical properties, and CH4-related bacteria community composition of two forests in China. We measured CH4 fluxes using static chambers and analyzed soil bacterial communities using next-generation high-throughput sequencing in a temperate broad-leaved deciduous forest at Baotianman Nature Reserve (TBDF-BTM) and a tropical rainforest at Jianfengling National Natural Reserve (TRF-JFL). Our results showed that the soils from both sites were CH4 sinks. Significant variation in soil CH4 fluxes was found at TBDF-BTM exclusively, while no seasonal variation in the CH4 uptake was observed at TRF-JFL. The CH4 fluxes at TBDF-BTM were substantially higher than those at TRF-JFL during all seasons. One genus of methanotrophs and three genera of methylotrophs were detected at both sites, though they had no direct relationship with soil CH4 fluxes. Water-filled pore space and soil total carbon content are the main factors controlling the soil CH4 fluxes at TBDF-BTM. At TRF-JFL, the soil CH4 fluxes showed no significant correlations with any of the soil properties. This study improves our understanding of soil CH4 fluxes and their influencing factors in forests in different climatic zones and provides a reference for future investigation of forest soil CH4 fluxes, the forest ecosystem carbon cycle, and the forest CH4 model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Phytophthora cinnamomi Colonized Reclaimed Surface Mined Sites in Eastern Kentucky: Implications for the Restoration of Susceptible Species
Forests 2018, 9(4), 203; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040203
Received: 21 March 2018 / Revised: 9 April 2018 / Accepted: 12 April 2018 / Published: 13 April 2018
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Abstract
Appalachian forests are threatened by a number of factors, especially introduced pests and pathogens. Among these is Phytophthora cinnamomi, a soil-borne oomycete pathogen known to cause root rot in American chestnut, shortleaf pine, and other native tree species. This study was initiated
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Appalachian forests are threatened by a number of factors, especially introduced pests and pathogens. Among these is Phytophthora cinnamomi, a soil-borne oomycete pathogen known to cause root rot in American chestnut, shortleaf pine, and other native tree species. This study was initiated to characterize the incidence of P. cinnamomi on surface mined lands in eastern Kentucky, USA, representing a range of time since reclamation (10, 12, 15, and 20 years since reclamation). Incidence of P. cinnamomi was correlated to soil properties including overall soil development, as indicated by a variety of measured soil physical and chemical parameters, especially the accumulation of soil organic carbon. P. cinnamomi was detected in only two of the four sites studied, aged 15 and 20 years since reclamation. These sites were generally characterized by higher organic matter accumulation than the younger sites in which P. cinnamomi was not detected. These results demonstrate that P. cinnamomi is capable of colonizing reclaimed mine sites in Appalachia; additional research is necessary to determine the impact of P. cinnamomi on susceptible tree species at these sites. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Optimizing Conservation Strategies for a Threatened Tree Species: In Situ Conservation of White Ash (Fraxinus americana L.) Genetic Diversity through Insecticide Treatment
Forests 2018, 9(4), 202; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040202
Received: 20 February 2018 / Revised: 9 April 2018 / Accepted: 10 April 2018 / Published: 13 April 2018
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Abstract
Forest resources face numerous threats that require costly management. Hence, there is an increasing need for data-informed strategies to guide conservation practices. The introduction of the emerald ash borer to North America has caused rapid declines in ash populations (Fraxinus spp. L.).
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Forest resources face numerous threats that require costly management. Hence, there is an increasing need for data-informed strategies to guide conservation practices. The introduction of the emerald ash borer to North America has caused rapid declines in ash populations (Fraxinus spp. L.). Natural resource managers are faced with a choice of either allowing ash trees to die, risking forest degradation and reduced functional resilience, or investing in conserving trees to preserve ecosystem structure and standing genetic diversity. The information needed to guide these decisions is not always readily available. Therefore, to address this concern, we used eight microsatellites to genotype 352 white ash trees (Fraxinus americana L.) across 17 populations in the Allegheny National Forest; a subset of individuals sampled are part of an insecticide treatment regimen. Genetic diversity (number of alleles and He) was equivalent in treated and untreated trees, with little evidence of differentiation or inbreeding, suggesting current insecticidal treatment is conserving local, neutral genetic diversity. Using simulations, we demonstrated that best practice is treating more populations rather than more trees in fewer populations. Furthermore, through genetic screening, conservation practitioners can select highly diverse and unique populations to maximize diversity and reduce expenditures (by up to 21%). These findings will help practitioners develop cost-effective strategies to conserve genetic diversity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Improved Water Consumption Estimates of Black Locust Plantations in China’s Loess Plateau
Forests 2018, 9(4), 201; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040201
Received: 7 March 2018 / Revised: 27 March 2018 / Accepted: 11 April 2018 / Published: 11 April 2018
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Abstract
Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) is a major tree species in China’s large-scale afforestation. Despite its significance, black locust is underrepresented in sap flow literature; moreover, the published water consumption data might be biased. We applied two field methods to estimate water
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Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) is a major tree species in China’s large-scale afforestation. Despite its significance, black locust is underrepresented in sap flow literature; moreover, the published water consumption data might be biased. We applied two field methods to estimate water consumption of black locust during the growing seasons in 2012 and 2013. The application of Granier’s original sap flow method produced a very low transpiration rate (0.08 mm d−1) while the soil water balance method yielded a much higher rate (1.4 mm d−1). A dye experiment to determine the active sapwood area showed that only the outermost annual ring is responsible for conducting water, which was not considered in many previous studies. Moreover, an in situ calibration experiment was conducted to improve the reliability of Granier’s method. Validation showed a good agreement in estimates of the transpiration rate between the different methods. It is known from many studies that black locust plantations contribute to the significant decline of discharge in the Yellow River basin. Our estimate of tree transpiration at stand scale confirms these results. This study provides a basis for and advances the argument for the development of more sustainable forest management strategies, which better balance forest-related ecosystem services such as soil conservation and water supply. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Afforestation and Reforestation: Drivers, Dynamics, and Impacts)
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Open AccessArticle Toward a Social-Ecological Theory of Forest Macrosystems for Improved Ecosystem Management
Forests 2018, 9(4), 200; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040200
Received: 6 March 2018 / Revised: 29 March 2018 / Accepted: 2 April 2018 / Published: 11 April 2018
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Abstract
The implications of cumulative land-use decisions and shifting climate on forests, require us to integrate our understanding of ecosystems, markets, policy, and resource management into a social-ecological system. Humans play a central role in macrosystem dynamics, which complicates ecological theories that do not
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The implications of cumulative land-use decisions and shifting climate on forests, require us to integrate our understanding of ecosystems, markets, policy, and resource management into a social-ecological system. Humans play a central role in macrosystem dynamics, which complicates ecological theories that do not explicitly include human interactions. These dynamics also impact ecological services and related markets, which challenges economic theory. Here, we use two forest macroscale management initiatives to develop a theoretical understanding of how management interacts with ecological functions and services at these scales and how the multiple large-scale management goals work either in consort or conflict with other forest functions and services. We suggest that calling upon theories developed for organismal ecology, ecosystem ecology, and ecological economics adds to our understanding of social-ecological macrosystems. To initiate progress, we propose future research questions to add rigor to macrosystem-scale studies: (1) What are the ecosystem functions that operate at macroscales, their necessary structural components, and how do we observe them? (2) How do systems at one scale respond if altered at another scale? (3) How do we both effectively measure these components and interactions, and communicate that information in a meaningful manner for policy and management across different scales? Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Open AccessArticle Susceptibility of Trees to Windthrow Storm Damage in Partially Harvested Complex-Structured Multi-Species Forests
Forests 2018, 9(4), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040199
Received: 23 March 2018 / Revised: 4 April 2018 / Accepted: 5 April 2018 / Published: 11 April 2018
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Abstract
In Canada and elsewhere, logging practices in natural-origin forests have shifted toward retention systems where variable levels of mature trees are retained post-logging to promote a diversity of values. We examine multiple sites that experienced a wide range of prior harvest regimes (0–76%
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In Canada and elsewhere, logging practices in natural-origin forests have shifted toward retention systems where variable levels of mature trees are retained post-logging to promote a diversity of values. We examine multiple sites that experienced a wide range of prior harvest regimes (0–76% basal area removal) to evaluate how harvest intensity and proximity to a logging-created edge affects susceptibility to windthrow for a suite of tree species in complex-structured mature and old-growth mixed-species stand types in British Columbia. We found no increased susceptibility to windthrow as a function of the level of partial harvesting. We observed a reduced susceptibility to windthrow of smaller trees after partial harvesting. There were clear differences in susceptibility to windthrow among different tree species close to the edge of gaps and small openings (<1 ha in size) created by partial harvesting. Hemlock and redcedar, the two most common trees species, were unaffected by edge environments, whereas the less common conifers and deciduous species were more susceptible to windthrow along partial harvest edges. This suggests tree-marking guidelines should remove the species most prone to windthrow from edges around small openings in these forest types. Our study and others suggest use of retention systems in structurally diverse, multi-species forests does not lead to elevated risk of windthrow, especially if retention levels exceed 20–30%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Vertical Canopy Architecture on Transpiration, Thermoregulation and Carbon Assimilation
Forests 2018, 9(4), 198; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040198
Received: 5 March 2018 / Revised: 3 April 2018 / Accepted: 9 April 2018 / Published: 11 April 2018
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Abstract
Quantifying the impact of natural and anthropogenic disturbances such as deforestation, forest fires and vegetation thinning among others on net ecosystem—atmosphere exchanges of carbon dioxide, water vapor and heat—is an important aspect in the context of modeling global carbon, water and energy cycles.
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Quantifying the impact of natural and anthropogenic disturbances such as deforestation, forest fires and vegetation thinning among others on net ecosystem—atmosphere exchanges of carbon dioxide, water vapor and heat—is an important aspect in the context of modeling global carbon, water and energy cycles. The absence of canopy architectural variation in horizontal and vertical directions is a major source of uncertainty in current climate models attempting to address these issues. This manuscript demonstrates the importance of considering the vertical distribution of foliage density by coupling a leaf level plant biophysics model with analytical solutions of wind flow and light attenuation in a horizontally homogeneous canopy. It is demonstrated that plant physiological response in terms of carbon assimilation, transpiration and canopy surface temperature can be widely different for two canopies with the same leaf area index (LAI) but different leaf area density distributions, under several conditions of wind speed, light availability, soil moisture availability and atmospheric evaporative demand. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Defining, Quantifying, Observing and Modeling Forest Canopy Traits)
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Open AccessArticle Elastic and Strength Properties of Heat-Treated Beech and Birch Wood
Forests 2018, 9(4), 197; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040197
Received: 20 February 2018 / Revised: 20 March 2018 / Accepted: 8 April 2018 / Published: 10 April 2018
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Abstract
This paper deals with the impact of heat treatment on the elastic and strength properties of two diffuse porous hardwoods, namely Fagus sylvatica and Betula pendula. Two degrees of the heat treatment were used at temperatures of 165 °C and 210 °C.
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This paper deals with the impact of heat treatment on the elastic and strength properties of two diffuse porous hardwoods, namely Fagus sylvatica and Betula pendula. Two degrees of the heat treatment were used at temperatures of 165 °C and 210 °C. The dynamic and static elasticity modulus, bending strength, impact toughness, hardness, and density were tested. It is already known that an increase in treatment temperature decreases the mechanical properties and, on the other hand, leads to a better shape and dimensional stability. Higher temperatures of the heat treatment correlated with lower elastic and strength properties. In the case of higher temperature treatments, the decline of tested properties was noticeable as a result of serious changes in the chemical composition of wood. It was confirmed that at higher temperature stages of treatment, there was a more pronounced decrease in beech properties compared to those of the birch, which was the most evident in their bending strength and hardness. Our research confirmed that there is no reason to consider birch wood to be of a lesser quality, although it is regarded by foresters as an inferior tree species. After the heat treatment, the wood properties are almost the same as in the case of beech wood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Biomass Carbon Sequestration Potential by Riparian Forest in the Tarim River Watershed, Northwest China: Implication for the Mitigation of Climate Change Impact
Forests 2018, 9(4), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040196
Received: 14 February 2018 / Revised: 30 March 2018 / Accepted: 3 April 2018 / Published: 10 April 2018
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Abstract
Carbon management in forests has become the most important agenda of the first half of the 21st century in China in the context of the mitigation of climate change impact. As the main producer of the inland river basin ecosystem in arid region
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Carbon management in forests has become the most important agenda of the first half of the 21st century in China in the context of the mitigation of climate change impact. As the main producer of the inland river basin ecosystem in arid region of Northwest China, the desert riparian forest maintains the regional environment and also holds a great significance in regulating the regional/global carbon cycle. In this study, we estimated the total biomass, carbon storage, as well as monetary ecosystem service values of desert riparian Populus euphratica Oliv. in the lower reaches of the Tarim River based on terrestrial forest inventory data within an area of 100 ha (100 plots with sizes of 100 m × 100 m) and digitized tree data within 1000 ha (with 10 m × 10 m grid) using a statistical model of biomass estimation against tree height (TH) and diameter at breast height (DBH) data. Our results show that total estimated biomass and carbon storage of P. euphratica within the investigated area ranged from 3.00 to 4317.00 kg/ha and from 1.82 to 2158.73 kg/ha, respectively. There was a significant negative relationship (p < 0.001) between biomass productivity of these forests and distance to the river and groundwater level. Large proportions of biomass (64% of total biomass) are estimated within 200 m distance to the river where groundwater is relatively favorable for vegetation growth and biomass production. However, our data demonstrated that total biomass showed a sharp decreasing trend with increasing distance to the river; above 800 m distance, less biomass and carbon storage were estimated. The total monetary value of the ecosystem service “carbon storage” provided by P. euphratica was estimated to be $6.8 × 104 USD within the investigated area, while the average monetary value was approximately $70 USD per ha, suggesting that the riparian forest ecosystem in the Tarim River Basin should be considered a relevant regional carbon sink. The findings of this study help to establish a better understanding of the spatial distribution pattern of P. euphratica forest under water scarcity and can also provide an alternative approach to local decision-makers for efficient and precise assessment of forest carbon resources for emission reduction programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Hydrology and Watershed)
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