Adaptive Forest Management to Climatic Change

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Ecology and Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2021) | Viewed by 34592

Special Issue Editors

Laboratory of Dendrochronology, Silviculture and Climate Change, ERSAF, Department of Forestry, School of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Cordoba, Edif. Leonardo da Vinci, 14071 Córdoba, Spain
Interests: adaptive forestry; dendrochronology; remote sensing
Research group in Forest Science and Technology, Universitat Politècnica de València, Valencia, Spain
Interests: ecohydrology; forest management; climate change; wildfire prevention; adaptive silviculture
Research Institute of Water and Environmental Engineering (IIAMA), Universitat Politècnica de València, Valencia, Spain
Interests: ecohydrology; forest management; climate change; wildfire prevention; adaptive silviculture
Department of Innovation of Biological Systems, Food and Forestry DIBAF, University of Cordoba (Spain), Córdoba, Spain
Interests: forest management; forest ecology; climatic change; adaptative silviculture; plant pathology; environmental modelling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Climate change will impact forest ecosystem goods and services such as timber yield, water availability, habitat for wildlife, or biodiversity. Present evidence shows how different forest types and structures are greatly affected, with forest dieback and tree mortality processes in the most extreme cases. Current forest management schemes may be considered suitable for adapting some forests, but new approaches are required for situations in which future ecological conditions will dramatically worsen. Adaptive forest management (AFM) is required to minimize the risks and impacts of climate change by reducing forest vulnerability. To address this challenge, quantitative information from several perspectives is needed. Silvicultural and ecophysiological field data, modelling studies, and remote sensing tools are crucial for AFM. In this Special Issue, we would like to cover a variety of situations in which the impact of adaptive forest management is assessed, with particular attention to regions where projected climatic conditions are expected to be more limiting such as those in dry areas (Mediterranean and tropical areas). We invite experimental studies which quantify adaptive forest management impacts (thinning, restoration, species selection, assistance migration, fertilization, no action, etc.) from the fields of silviculture, ecophysiology, forest hydrology, wildfire prevention, carbon sequestration, soil conservation, and biodiversity. In addition, modelling approaches assessing relationships between AFM impacts with projected climate scenarios and other ecosystem characteristics are welcome. Articles in this Special Issue will contribute to the development of strategies to increase forest adaptation and resilience to climate change.

Dr. Rafael M Navarro Cerrillo
Dr. Antonio Del Campo
Dr. Antonio Molina
Dr. Francisco José Ruiz Gómez
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Forest management
  • Biotic and abiotic stressors
  • Forest decline
  • Adaptive silviculture
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Forest models
  • Pro-active silviculture
  • Dry tropical and Mediterranean areas
  • Vulnerability

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 2116 KiB  
Article
Long-Term Carbon Sequestration in Pine Forests under Different Silvicultural and Climatic Regimes in Spain
Forests 2022, 13(3), 450; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13030450 - 12 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3721
Abstract
Proactive silviculture treatments (e.g., thinning) may increase C sequestration contributing to climate change mitigation, although, there are still questions about this effect in Mediterranean pine forests. The aim of this research was to quantify the storage of biomass and soil organic carbon in [...] Read more.
Proactive silviculture treatments (e.g., thinning) may increase C sequestration contributing to climate change mitigation, although, there are still questions about this effect in Mediterranean pine forests. The aim of this research was to quantify the storage of biomass and soil organic carbon in Pinus forests along a climatic gradient from North to South of the Iberian Peninsula. Nine experimental Pinus spp trials were selected along a latitudinal gradient from the pre-Pyrenees to southern Spain. At each location, a homogeneous area was used as the operational scale, and three thinning intensity treatments: unthinned or control (C), intermediate thinning (LT, removal of 30–40% of the initial basal area) and heavy thinning (HT, removal of 50–60%) were conducted. Growth per unit area (e.g., expressed as basal area increment-BAI), biomass, and Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) were measured as well as three sets of environmental variables (climate, soil water availability and soil chemical and physical characteristics). One-way ANOVA and Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) were used to study the effect of thinning and environmental variables on C sequestration. Biomass and growth per unit area were higher in the control than in the thinning treatments, although differences were only significant for P. halepensis. Radial growth recovered after thinning in all species, but it was faster in the HT treatments. Soil organic carbon (SOC10, 0–10 cm depth) was higher in the HT treatments for P. halepensis and P. sylvestris, but not for P. nigra. SEM showed that Pinus stands of the studied species were beneficed by HT thinning, recovering their growth quickly. The resulting model explained 72% of the variation in SOC10 content, and 89% of the variation in silvicultural condition (basal area and density) after thinning. SOC10 was better related to climate than to silvicultural treatments. On the other hand, soil chemical and physical characteristics did not show significant influence over SOC10- Soil water availability was the latent variable with the highest influence over SOC10. This work is a new contribution that shows the need for forest managers to integrate silviculture and C sequestration in Mediterranean pine plantations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptive Forest Management to Climatic Change)
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15 pages, 2995 KiB  
Article
A Study of the Distribution of Forest Density in Inner Mongolia Based on Environmental Factors
Forests 2022, 13(2), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020313 - 14 Feb 2022
Viewed by 2345
Abstract
With the intensification of global climate change, exploring the impact of environmental factors on tree density can provide technical support for sustainable forest management. In this paper, the random forest parameters nTree and mtry were optimized using a particle swarm optimization algorithm. The [...] Read more.
With the intensification of global climate change, exploring the impact of environmental factors on tree density can provide technical support for sustainable forest management. In this paper, the random forest parameters nTree and mtry were optimized using a particle swarm optimization algorithm. The density, average temperature, soil thickness, forest water consumption, slope, slope direction, slope position, soil type, and diameter at breast height (DBH) of the dominant tree species in Inner Mongolia were fitted using random forest regression with a satisfactory fitting effect (R2 > 0.60). The results show that the average temperature, soil thickness, and forest water consumption were the main factors restricting tree density, and the influence of each factor changed depending on the stage of tree growth. Based on 2018 forest resource data of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, four diameter class models were used to calculate tree density, and Kriging interpolation was used to form a density distribution grid map of the main tree species according to diameter class toward providing a theoretical basis and data support for afforestation and forest management strategies that are justified according to the available environmental resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptive Forest Management to Climatic Change)
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15 pages, 2402 KiB  
Article
Carbon Sequestration in Carob (Ceratonia siliqua L.) Plantations under the EU Afforestation Program in Southern Spain Using Low-Density Aerial Laser Scanning (ALS) Data
Forests 2022, 13(2), 285; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020285 - 10 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2339
Abstract
Climate change is one of the environmental issues of global dominance and public opinion, becoming the greatest environmental challenge and of interest to researchers. In this context, planting trees on marginal agricultural land is considered a favourable measure to alleviate climate change, as [...] Read more.
Climate change is one of the environmental issues of global dominance and public opinion, becoming the greatest environmental challenge and of interest to researchers. In this context, planting trees on marginal agricultural land is considered a favourable measure to alleviate climate change, as they act as carbon sinks. Aerial laser scanning (ALS) data is an emerging technology for quantitative measures of C stocks. In this study, an estimation was made of the gains of C in biomass and soil in carob (Ceratonia siliqua L.) plantations established on agricultural land in southern Spain. The average above-ground biomass (AGB) corresponded to 85.5% of the total biomass (average 34.01 kg tree−1), and the root biomass (BGB) was 14.5% (6.96 kg tree−1), with a BGB/AGB ratio of 0.20. The total SOC stock in the top 20 cm of the soil (SOC-S20) was 60.70 Mg C ha−1 underneath the tree crown and 43.63 Mg C ha−1 on the non-cover (implantation) area for the C. siliqua plantations. The allometric equations correlating the biomass fractions with the dbh and Ht as independent variables showed an adequate fit for the foliage (Wf, R2adj = 0.70), whereas the fits were weaker for the rest of the fractions (R2adj < 0.60). The individual trees were detected using colour orthophotography and the tree height was estimated from 140 crowns previously delineated using the 95th percentile ALS-metric. The precision of the adjusted models was verified by plotting the correlation between the LiDAR-predicted height (HL) and the field data (R2adj = 0.80; RMSE = 0.53 m). Following the selection of the independent variable data, a linear regression model was selected for dbh estimation (R2adj = 0.64), and a potential regression model was selected for the SOC (R2adj = 0.81). Using the segmentation process, a total of 8324 trees were outlined in the study area, with an average height of 3.81 m. The biomass C stock, comprising both above- and below-ground biomass, was 4.30 Mg C ha−1 (50.67 kg tree−1), and the SOC20-S was 37.45 Mg C ha−1. The carbon accumulation rate in the biomass was 1.94 kg C tree−1 yr−1 for the plantation period. The total C stock (W-S and SOC20-S) reached 41.75 Mg ha−1 and a total of 4091.5 Mg C for the whole plantation. Gleaned from the synergy of tree cartography and these models, the distribution maps with foreseen values of average C stocks in the planted area illustrate a mosaic of C stock patterns in the carob tree plantation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptive Forest Management to Climatic Change)
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14 pages, 1308 KiB  
Article
Effects of Thinning Intensity on Forest Floor and Soil Biochemical Properties in an Aleppo Pine Plantation after 13 Years: Quantity but Also Quality Matters
Forests 2022, 13(2), 255; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020255 - 06 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1517
Abstract
In order to quantify the impacts of silvicultural treatments in semiarid forests, it is necessary to know how they affect key aboveground processes and also properties characterizing the forest floor and mineral soil compartments. The general objective of this work is to study [...] Read more.
In order to quantify the impacts of silvicultural treatments in semiarid forests, it is necessary to know how they affect key aboveground processes and also properties characterizing the forest floor and mineral soil compartments. The general objective of this work is to study the mid-term effects of thinning intensity on forest floor and soil properties after 13 years following the intervention. The experimental design consisted of a randomized block design with four thinning treatments (3 thinning intensity plots plus a control or unmanaged plot) and three blocks or replicates. Several determinations, such as total organic carbon, dissolved organic carbon, or basal respiration, were performed for characterizing forest floor and mineral soil by considering three random sampling points per experimental plot. Thirteen years after thinning, total organic content, the different organic carbon fractions studied, and basal respiration were higher in the forest floor of the unmanaged plot. These results, however, were contrasted to those obtained for the mineral soil, where significant differences between the treatments were only observed in basal respiration and C/N ratio, while the different organic carbon fractions were not affected by thinning intensity. Our results suggest better soil quality where biological activity is enhanced as a consequence of improved environmental conditions and also litterfall input. The latter is especially important in forests with tree leaves of low biodegradability, where new understorey species promoted by thinning can provide higher nutrient availability for the remaining trees and, therefore, better forest resilience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptive Forest Management to Climatic Change)
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20 pages, 4175 KiB  
Article
On the Need to Further Refine Stock Quality Specifications to Improve Reforestation under Climatic Extremes
Forests 2022, 13(2), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020168 - 22 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2010
Abstract
The achievement of goals in forest landscape restoration strongly relies on successful plantation establishment, which is challenging in drylands, especially under climate change. Improvement of field performance through stock quality has been used for decades. Here, we use machine learning (ML) techniques to [...] Read more.
The achievement of goals in forest landscape restoration strongly relies on successful plantation establishment, which is challenging in drylands, especially under climate change. Improvement of field performance through stock quality has been used for decades. Here, we use machine learning (ML) techniques to identify key stock traits involved in successful survival and to refine previous specifications that were developed under more conventional stock quality assessments carried out at the lifting–shipping phases in the nursery. Two differentiated stocklots in each species were used, both fitting in the regional quality standard. ML was used to infer a set of attributes for planted seedlings that were subsequently related to survival at the short-term (two years) and mid-term (ten years) in six different species planted in a harsh site with shallow soil that suffered the driest year on record during this study. Whilst stocklot quality, as measured in the lifting–shipping stage, had very poor importance to the survival response, individual plant traits presented a moderate to high diagnostic ability for seedling survival (area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve between 0.59 and 0.99). Early growth traits catch most of the importance in these models (≈40%), followed by individual morphology traits (≈28%) and site variation (≈2%), with overall means varying across species. Aleppo pine and Phoenician juniper stocklots presented survival rates of 66–78% after ten years, and these rates were below 27% for the remaining species that suffered during the historical drought. In Aleppo pine, the plant attributes related to early field performance (growth in the first growing season) were more important in the drought-mediated mid-term performance than stock quality at the nursery stage. Within the technical framework of this study, our results allow for both testing and refining the regional quality standard specifications for harsh conditions such as those found in our study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptive Forest Management to Climatic Change)
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14 pages, 1778 KiB  
Article
Land Suitability for Biological Wastewater Treatment in Lebanon and the Litani River Basin Using Fuzzy Logic and Analytical Hierarchy Process
Forests 2022, 13(2), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020139 - 18 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1797
Abstract
Biological wastewater treatment (BWWT) has been demonstrated to be a suitable procedure to degrade organic pollutants by utilizing natural processes. This paper presents a validated model to map land suitability for BWWT systems under the climatic conditions of Lebanon and the Litani River [...] Read more.
Biological wastewater treatment (BWWT) has been demonstrated to be a suitable procedure to degrade organic pollutants by utilizing natural processes. This paper presents a validated model to map land suitability for BWWT systems under the climatic conditions of Lebanon and the Litani River basin, using the Geographic Information System (GIS) and a machine learning approach for the Litani River Basin and Lebanon. The model was validated using fuzzy theory and the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) modeling theory, and a final suitability map was created in Lebanon that combined potential areas for Biological Wastewater Treatment (BWWT) based on particular criteria. Results show that spatial distribution of the suitable areas for BWWT sites differs for each of the criteria and the total extent of these potential areas is 162.94 km2 all over Lebanon and 42.62 km2 in the Litani basin areas. This area covers around 1.55% of the Lebanese areas and can help more than 30 regions while the total number of beneficiaries can reach a minimum of 60,000 and a maximum of 180,000 which represents between 1.5% and 3.75% of the total population. These potential areas are identified through land suitability classes to sustain the remaining BWWT areas and can contribute to the riparian forest ecosystem and mitigate the impact of climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptive Forest Management to Climatic Change)
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18 pages, 12297 KiB  
Article
Can Forest-Related Adaptive Capacity Reduce Landslide Risk Attributable to Climate Change?—Case of Republic of Korea
Forests 2022, 13(1), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13010049 - 02 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1851
Abstract
Recent cases of climate disasters such as the European floods in 2021 and Korea’s longest rainy season in 2020 strongly imply the importance of adaptation to climate change. In this study, we performed a numerical prediction on how much climate change adaptation factors [...] Read more.
Recent cases of climate disasters such as the European floods in 2021 and Korea’s longest rainy season in 2020 strongly imply the importance of adaptation to climate change. In this study, we performed a numerical prediction on how much climate change adaptation factors related to forest policy can reduce climate disasters such as landslides. We focused on the landslide in Korea and applied a machine learning model reflecting adaptive indicators in the representative concentration pathway 8.5 climate scenario. The changes in the landslide probability were estimated using the Random Forest model, which estimated the landslide probability in the baseline period (2011) with excellent performance, and the spatial adaptation indicators used in this study contributed approximately 20%. The future landslide risk predicting indicated a significant increase in the Very High and High risk areas, especially in 2092. The application of the forest-related adaptation indices based on the policy scenario showed that in 2050, the effect was not pronounced, but in 2092, when the risk of landslides was much higher, the effect increased significantly. In particular, the effect was remarkable in the Seoul metropolitan and southern coastal regions. Even with the same adaptive capacity, it exerted a larger effect on the enhanced disasters. Our results suggest that the enhancement of adaptive capacity can reduce landslide risk up to 70% in a Very High risk region. In conclusion, it implies an importance to respond to the intensifying climate disasters, and abundant follow-up studies are expected to appear in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptive Forest Management to Climatic Change)
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27 pages, 8147 KiB  
Communication
SilvAdapt.Net: A Site-Based Network of Adaptive Forest Management Related to Climate Change in Spain
Forests 2021, 12(12), 1807; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12121807 - 20 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2914
Abstract
Adaptive forest management (AFM) is an urgent need because of the uncertainty regarding how changes in the climate will affect the structure, composition and function of forests during the next decades. Current research initiatives for the long-term monitoring of impacts of silviculture are [...] Read more.
Adaptive forest management (AFM) is an urgent need because of the uncertainty regarding how changes in the climate will affect the structure, composition and function of forests during the next decades. Current research initiatives for the long-term monitoring of impacts of silviculture are scattered and not integrated into research networks, with the consequent losses of opportunities and capacity for action. To increase the scientific and practical impacts of these experiences, it is necessary to establish logical frameworks that harmonize the information and help us to define the most appropriate treatments. In this context, a number of research groups in Spain have produced research achievements and know-how during the last decades that can allow for the improvement in AFM. These groups address the issue of AFM from different fields, such as ecophysiology, ecohydrology and forest ecology, thus resulting in valuable but dispersed expertise. The main objective of this work is to introduce a comprehensive strategy aimed to study the implementation of AFM in Spain. As a first step, a network of 34 experimental sites managed by 14 different research groups is proposed and justified. As a second step, the most important AFM impacts on Mediterranean pines, as one of the most extended natural and planted forest types in Spain, are presented. Finally, open questions dealing with key aspects when attempting to implement an AFM framework are discussed. This study is expected to contribute to better outlining the procedures and steps needed to implement regional frameworks for AFM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptive Forest Management to Climatic Change)
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30 pages, 18048 KiB  
Article
Strategic Application of Topoclimatic Niche Models in Managing Forest Change
Forests 2021, 12(12), 1780; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12121780 - 15 Dec 2021
Viewed by 1934
Abstract
Forest management traditionally has been based on the expectation of a steady climate. In the face of a changing climate, management requires projections of changes in the distribution of the climatic niche of the major species and strategies for applying the projections. We [...] Read more.
Forest management traditionally has been based on the expectation of a steady climate. In the face of a changing climate, management requires projections of changes in the distribution of the climatic niche of the major species and strategies for applying the projections. We prepared climatic habitat models incorporating heatload as a topographic predictor for the 14 upland tree species of southwestern Colorado, USA, an area that has already seen substantial climate impacts. Models were trained with over 800,000 points of known presence and absence. Using 11 climate scenarios for the decade around 2060, we classified and mapped change for each species. Projected impacts are extensive. Except for the low-elevation woodland species, persistent habitat is rare. Most habitat is lost or threatened and is poorly compensated by emergent habitat. Three species may be locally extirpated. Nevertheless, strategies are described that can use the projections to apply management where it is likely to be most effective, to facilitate or assist migration, to favor species likely to be suited in the future, and to identify potential climate refugia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptive Forest Management to Climatic Change)
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12 pages, 1424 KiB  
Article
Thinning Effect of C Sequestration along an Elevation Gradient of Mediterranean Pinus spp. Plantations
Forests 2021, 12(11), 1583; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12111583 - 17 Nov 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1517
Abstract
Forests are key elements in mitigating the effects of climate change due to the fact of their carbon sequestration capacity. Forest management can be oriented to optimise the carbon sequestration capacity of forest stands, in line with other productive objectives and the generation [...] Read more.
Forests are key elements in mitigating the effects of climate change due to the fact of their carbon sequestration capacity. Forest management can be oriented to optimise the carbon sequestration capacity of forest stands, in line with other productive objectives and the generation of ecosystem services. This research aimed to determine whether thinning treatments have a positive influence on the growth patterns of some of the main Mediterranean pine species and, therefore, on their Carbon (C) fixation capacity, both in terms of living biomass and soil organic carbon. The results obtained show that C sequestration capacity (biomass and SOC) increased at higher thinning intensities due to the induced alterations in tree growth patterns. We observed almost a 1.5-fold increase in P. nigra and P. sylvestris, respectively, and over a two-fold increase in P. pinaster under heavy thinning treatments; SOC stocks were affected by the intensity of the thinning treatments. These results can contribute to improving silvicultural practices aimed at C sequestration in forest plantations located in dry areas of the Mediterranean. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptive Forest Management to Climatic Change)
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14 pages, 1926 KiB  
Article
Deforestation and Biomass Production in Miombo Forest in Huambo (Angola): A Balance between Local and Global Needs
Forests 2021, 12(11), 1557; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12111557 - 11 Nov 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2158
Abstract
Miombo is one of the most widely distributed ecosystems in Angola, with a great social and environmental value. Thus, the rural population uses the biomass as fuel and miombo provides important ecosystem services, such as its carbon sequestration capacity. The objectives of this [...] Read more.
Miombo is one of the most widely distributed ecosystems in Angola, with a great social and environmental value. Thus, the rural population uses the biomass as fuel and miombo provides important ecosystem services, such as its carbon sequestration capacity. The objectives of this work were (i) to assess deforestation in miombo forest in Huambo province (Angola) during the last 20 years, (ii) to evaluate carbon storage capacity of miombo, and (iii) to calculate the charcoal productive capacity of those forests. From 2000 to 2019, 359,130 ha (12.96%) were deforested in Huambo province. Thirty-six woody species were identified as major components of miombo forest, the most frequent being Albizia anthunesiana, Brachystegia spiciformis, Julbernardia paniculata, Monote spp., Brachystegia boemii, Isoberlinea angolensis, Anisophyllea boehmii, Syzygium guineense, and Erythrophleum africanum. The total biomass estimated in miombo forest was 195.05 Mg ha−1 (55.02 Mg ha−1 radical and 140.04 Mg ha−1 area), with a total wood volume of 78.57 m3 ha−1. This represents values of 91.67 Mg ha−1 of accumulated carbon and 336.13 Mg ha−1 of CO2 equivalent. The potential charcoal productivity was 15,359.9 kg ha−1, corresponding to 24.78 trees ha−1. The Annual Allowable Cutting Volume was 10.77 m3 ha−1 year−1, 14.13 m3 ha−1 year−1, 21.17 m3 ha−1, and 32.85 m3 ha−1 year−1 for rotation lengths of 55, 40, 25, and 15 years, respectively, corresponding to a potential annual charcoal productivity of 2107.08 Kg ha−1 year−1, 2762.96 Kg ha−1 year−1, 4139.21 Kg ha−1, and 422.56 Kg ha−1 year−1. However, deforestation rates in the last 19 years and low charcoal productive capacity could compromise the sustainability of the Miombo ecosystem and its value as an ecosystem service provider in the province if appropriate management strategies are not developed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptive Forest Management to Climatic Change)
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16 pages, 3173 KiB  
Article
Mid-Term Effects of Forest Thinning on N Mineralization in a Semi-Arid Aleppo Pine Forest
Forests 2021, 12(11), 1470; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12111470 - 27 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1147
Abstract
In order to assess the sustainability of silvicultural treatments in semiarid forests, it is necessary to know how they affect the nutrient dynamics in the forest. The objective of this paper is to study the effects of silvicultural treatments on the net N [...] Read more.
In order to assess the sustainability of silvicultural treatments in semiarid forests, it is necessary to know how they affect the nutrient dynamics in the forest. The objective of this paper is to study the effects of silvicultural treatments on the net N mineralization and the available mineral N content in the soil after 13 years following forest clearings. The treatments were carried out following a randomized block design, with four treatments and two blocks. The distance between the two blocks was less than 3 km; they were located in Chelva (CH) and Tuéjar (TU) in Valencia, Spain. Within each block, four experimental clearing treatments were carried out in 1998: T0 control; and T60, T75 and T100 where 60%, 75% and 100 of basal area was eliminated, respectively. Nitrogen dynamics were measured using the resin tube technique, with disturbed samples due to the high stoniness of the plots. Thirteen years after the experimental clearings, T100, T75 and T60 treatments showed a twofold increase in the net mineralization and nitrification rates with respect to T0 in both blocks (TU and CH). Within the plots, the highest mineralization was found in sites with no plant cover followed by those covered by undergrowth. These results can be explained in terms of the different litterfall qualities, which in turn are the result of the proportion of material originating from Pinus halepensis Mill. vs. more decomposable undergrowth residues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptive Forest Management to Climatic Change)
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17 pages, 2418 KiB  
Article
Evaluating Strategies for the Management of Douglas-Fir in Central Europe
Forests 2021, 12(8), 1040; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12081040 - 05 Aug 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1656
Abstract
In view of the increasing demand for forest resources in Europe, it is an option to foster the use of non-native tree species that can keep pace with the rapidly changing environmental conditions, such as Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii). Thus, sufficient knowledge [...] Read more.
In view of the increasing demand for forest resources in Europe, it is an option to foster the use of non-native tree species that can keep pace with the rapidly changing environmental conditions, such as Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii). Thus, sufficient knowledge of how to manage such introduced species is highly required. In this study, we investigate theoretical silvicultural management options of Douglas-fir for forests in central Europe. We follow a three-step approach: (i) we collect the current central European management practices based on 434 Douglas-fir stands managed by 19 forest companies in Eastern Austria and Southern Germany using a survey. (ii) We calibrate and validate a Douglas-fir parameter set for the tree growth simulator MOSES so that we are able to (iii) simulate the silvicultural management options of Douglas-fir management. Our simulation results suggest: in mixed stands, Douglas-fir should be planted in mono-species patches. This leads to about six times higher productivity compared to a random arrangement. Natural regeneration is possible but requires active management at further development since the productivity might decrease up to 86% when growing in association with the highly competitive native tree species, Common beech (Fagus sylvatica). Intensive tending, as well as thinning, yields a surplus stem volume production of more than 30% in comparison with a moderate intervention. Even if our simulation results were not validated in the field, this analysis suggests that modeling as a heuristic tool is a useful instrument for forest managers in the decision-making process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptive Forest Management to Climatic Change)
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17 pages, 15806 KiB  
Article
Increased Post-Drought Growth after Thinning in Pinus nigra Plantations
Forests 2021, 12(8), 985; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12080985 - 24 Jul 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2083
Abstract
In Mediterranean seasonally dry regions, the rise in dieback and mortality episodes observed in pine afforestations has been related to higher drought intensity and lack of appropriate management, which enhance competition between trees for water and light. However, there is little understanding of [...] Read more.
In Mediterranean seasonally dry regions, the rise in dieback and mortality episodes observed in pine afforestations has been related to higher drought intensity and lack of appropriate management, which enhance competition between trees for water and light. However, there is little understanding of the benefits of silviculture for plantations under seasonal drought stress. A combination of dendrochronology and wood C and O isotope analyses was used in three Black pine (Pinus nigra) plantations to work out the responses of radial growth (BAI, basal area increment) and water-use efficiency (WUEi) to thinning treatments (removal of 40% of the stand basal area). Thinning had a positive effect on BAI and WUEi, reduced drought sensitivity, and reduced the temporal dependence on the previous year’s growth. These results were significant even 13–14 years after thinning and coherent for the three study sites. Differences were found between the sites regarding the physiological mechanisms of adaptation. In two sites, we inferred the enhanced WUEi was due to increased photosynthetic rates (A) at constant stomatal conductance (gs). In the third site, which had higher tree density and therefore competition, we inferred increases in both A and gs, with the former being proportionally larger than the latter. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptive Forest Management to Climatic Change)
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16 pages, 2373 KiB  
Article
Antagonistic Potential of Native Trichoderma spp. against Phytophthora cinnamomi in the Control of Holm Oak Decline in Dehesas Ecosystems
Forests 2021, 12(7), 945; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12070945 - 17 Jul 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3221
Abstract
Phytophthora root rot caused by the pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi is one of the main causes of oak mortality in Mediterranean open woodlands, the so-called dehesas. Disease control is challenging; therefore, new alternative measures are needed. This study focused on searching for natural biocontrol [...] Read more.
Phytophthora root rot caused by the pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi is one of the main causes of oak mortality in Mediterranean open woodlands, the so-called dehesas. Disease control is challenging; therefore, new alternative measures are needed. This study focused on searching for natural biocontrol agents with the aim of developing integrated pest management (IPM) strategies in dehesas as a part of adaptive forest management (AFM) strategies. Native Trichoderma spp. were selectively isolated from healthy trees growing in damaged areas by P. cinnamomi root rot, using Rose Bengal selective medium. All Trichoderma (n = 95) isolates were evaluated against P. cinnamomi by mycelial growth inhibition (MGI). Forty-three isolates presented an MGI higher than 60%. Twenty-one isolates belonging to the highest categories of MGI were molecularly identified as T. gamsii, T. viridarium, T. hamatum, T. olivascens, T. virens, T. paraviridescens, T. linzhiense, T. hirsutum, T. samuelsii, and T. harzianum. Amongst the identified strains, 10 outstanding Trichoderma isolates were tested for mycoparasitism, showing values on a scale ranging from 3 to 4. As far as we know, this is the first report referring to the antagonistic activity of native Trichoderma spp. over P. cinnamomi strains cohabiting in the same infected dehesas. The analysis of the tree health status and MGI suggest that the presence of Trichoderma spp. might diminish or even avoid the development of P. cinnamomi, protecting trees from the worst effects of P. cinnamomi root rot. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptive Forest Management to Climatic Change)
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