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Special Issue "Forest Biomass Production and Transport Planning"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. John Sessions

College of Forestry, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: developing techniques for transportation planning; tactical forest planning; strategic forest planning; decision support systems for road management; biomass collection and transport
Guest Editor
Dr. Rene Zamora-Cristales

World Resources Institute, the USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: spatial economics; climate change; optimization; GIS programming; forest planning
Guest Editor
Dr. Francisca Belart

College of Forestry, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: forest planning; biomass; forest roads; forest engineering; worker safety; new technologies for forest operations; small-scale forestry

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Energy production from forest biomass represents a technically-feasible option for liquid fuels and electricity production. The generation of energy from biomass has a key role in current international strategies to mitigate climate change and enhance energy security. Forest biomass production strategies vary from full tree chipping of energy plantations to various levels of harvest residue utilization including small trees, tops, branches, and stumps. A barrier to effective use of forest biomass has been the high cost of collection and transport. A number of strategies have developed to overcome these challenges including integrated biomass and conventional wood recovery, special transport vehicles, moisture management, and intermediate collection and processing facilities to improve transport efficiency and product quality. In addition to the operational strategies, public instruments such as credits and tax incentives have been implemented to reduce the production costs and stimulate the growth of the forest biomass for energy supply chains.

This Special Issue of Forests is focused on forest biomass production and transport and methodologies (operational or policy driven) to reducing barriers to cost effective utilization of forest biomass. Research articles may focus on any aspect of forest biomass production and transport supply chain at the strategic, tactical, or operational planning level. Biomass production can be from energy plantations or forest harvest residues. Topics could include, but are not limited to, new decision support systems, improved systems for densification, methods for mitigating potential environmental impacts from biomass removal, improving equipment utilization, use of depots or transportable facilities, appropriate equipment selection, and the effect of policy instruments on operational costs.

Prof. Dr. John Sessions
Dr. Rene Zamora-Cristales
Dr. Francisca Belart
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forests is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • forest biomass utilization
  • supply chain planning
  • forest transport
  • renewable energy policy instruments

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Management Implications of Using Brush Mats for Soil Protection on Machine Operating Trails during Mechanized Cut-to-Length Forest Operations
Forests 2019, 10(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10010019
Received: 20 November 2018 / Revised: 18 December 2018 / Accepted: 25 December 2018 / Published: 29 December 2018
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Abstract
Mechanized cut-to-length forest operations often rely on the use of brush mats created from harvesting debris (tree limbs, tops, and foliage) to reduce soil disturbances as a result of in-stand machine traffic. These brush mats, placed directly on the forest floor within machine [...] Read more.
Mechanized cut-to-length forest operations often rely on the use of brush mats created from harvesting debris (tree limbs, tops, and foliage) to reduce soil disturbances as a result of in-stand machine traffic. These brush mats, placed directly on the forest floor within machine operating trails, distribute loads of timber harvesting and extraction machinery to a greater area, thereby reducing peak pressures exerted to the ground and rutting for maintaining technical trafficability of operating trails. Forest biomass has also been promoted as a source of green and renewable energy, to reduce carbon emissions from energy production. However, to maintain sufficient quality of biomass for bioenergy operations (high heating value and low ash content), brush needs to be free of contaminants such as mineral soil. This constraint eliminates the possibility of the dual use of brush, first as a soil protective layer on machine operating trails and afterwards for bioenergy generation. Leaving machine operating trails uncovered will cause machine loads to be fully and directly applied to the soil, thus increasing the likelihood of severe soil disturbance, tree growth impediment and reducing trail trafficability. The main objective of this study was to quantify the effect of varying machine operating trail spacing and width on the amount of brush required for soil protection. This was achieved by creating five model forest stands (four mature and one immature), commonly found in New Brunswick, Canada, and using their characteristics as input in the Biomass Opportunity and Supply Model (BiOS) from FPInnovations. BiOS provided several key biomass related outputs allowing the determination of the amount of biomass available for soil protection, which was the main focus of this research. The simulation results showed that regardless of trail area tested, all four mature forest stands were able to support uniform distribution of 20 kg m−2 brush mats (green mass) throughout their entire trail network during clear-cut operations but not during partial harvests. From the three factors assessed (brush amount, trail width, and trail spacing), trail width had the highest effect on the required brush amount for trail protection, which in turn has a direct impact on the amount of brush that could be used for bioenergy generation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Biomass Production and Transport Planning)
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Open AccessArticle Stand Volume Production in the Subsequent Stand during Three Decades Remains Unaffected by Slash and Stump Harvest in Nordic Forests
Forests 2018, 9(12), 770; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9120770
Received: 8 October 2018 / Revised: 10 December 2018 / Accepted: 12 December 2018 / Published: 13 December 2018
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Abstract
The renewable energy policies of the European Union rely on forest biomass in achieving climate mitigation targets. In Sweden, where secondary residues from the forest industries are fully utilized, primary residues following harvest such as stumps and slash offer a potential as an [...] Read more.
The renewable energy policies of the European Union rely on forest biomass in achieving climate mitigation targets. In Sweden, where secondary residues from the forest industries are fully utilized, primary residues following harvest such as stumps and slash offer a potential as an additional biomass source. Stump and slash harvest may, however, have adverse effects on site productivity due to increased nutrient loss from the site which could negatively impact the stand volume production of the subsequent stand. Stand volume production is also affected by seedling survival, seedling input from natural regeneration and management of the regenerated stand. In this study, we evaluate the effects of stump and slash harvest on stand volume production of the subsequent stand based on data from eight experimental sites across Sweden planted with Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) or Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) over period of 31–34 years after clearcut with (1) traditional stem-only harvest; (2) stem and stump harvest; (3) stem and slash harvest; and (4) stem, stump and slash harvest. With the goal to explain treatment differences in stand volume production, treatment effects on site productivity estimated through initial height growth (10–19 years after planting), seedling survival, and input of seedlings through natural regeneration were also analyzed. We found that stand volume production was higher following stump harvest as compared to slash harvest, but stand volume production for the more intense harvest treatments (2)–(4) did not differ from stem-only harvest (1). Initial height growth (i.e., site productivity) did not differ between treatments, but followed the trend in stand volume production with (2) > (4) > (3) > (1). Survival of planted seedlings was not affected by the treatments, whereas natural regeneration after 5 years was significantly increased after both treatments including slash harvest (3) and (4) in comparison to stem-only harvest. However, since most of that natural regeneration was removed in subsequent pre-commercial thinnings, this initial increase did not affect stand volume production. The absence of a significant interaction between treatment and species planted for all independent variables tested suggests that there were no species related response differences. Since the experimental design did not allow for site-level analyses, we cannot exclude the possibility that site-specific harvest treatment effects might have masked general effects across all sites. Thus, slash and stump harvest effects at the site level need to be further studied. These results suggest, at least over a 3-decade perspective, that logging residues like stumps and slash can provide an additional renewable energy source to help achieving climate change mitigation goals in the Nordic countries without depleting the future forest biomass resource. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Biomass Production and Transport Planning)
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