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Special Issue "Forest Sustainable Management"

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 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Peter Wolter

Associate Professor, Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Iowa State University, 2310 Pammel Dr. Ames, IA 50011, USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +1 (515) 294-7312
Interests: forest ecosystem monitoring; remote sensing; forest structure; forest fire

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The departure and steep trajectory of climate trends over past norms threatens the resilience of our forest ecosystems and all that depend on them, including us. The current state of forests across northern latitudes and the cascade of associated ecological linkages and services that have been shaped slowly over thousands of years are now facing rapidly changing pressures for which there is no modern analog. Already, the frequency and severity of natural disturbance events, such as periods of drought, wildfire, and insect outbreak are on the rise. Stand-replacing disturbance events under current climate pressures may initiate new trajectories in forest succession and ecosystem response at different scales that are unprecedented and difficult to forecast given our current knowledge. New and coordinated forest management strategies offer both opportunities to better understand novel successional effects of climate change, as well as time to conserve and bolster the resilience of existing forest ecosystems. Hence, studies from all aspects of forest management and forest ecology research are encouraged, including, but not limited to, ecological forestry, monitoring approaches and forecast modeling, to contribute to this Special Issue in order to promote knowledge and adaptation strategies for the preservation, management and future development of forest ecosystems.

Dr. Peter Wolter
Guest Editor

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

  • Satellite Monitoring of Forest Ecosystems
  • Forest Disturbance and Change Detection
  • Spruce Budworm Outbreaks
  • Forest Structure Modeling
  • Ecological Forest Management
  • Forest Fuels Mapping
  • Forest Fires, Regeneration
  • Forest Succession & Modeling

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Predicting Shifts in the Suitable Climatic Distribution of Walnut (Juglans regia L.) in China: Maximum Entropy Model Paves the Way to Forest Management
Forests 2018, 9(3), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9030103
Received: 15 November 2017 / Revised: 20 February 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (14238 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cultivation of woody oil plants in environmentally suitable habitats is a successful ecological solution for oil development and forest management. In this study, we predicted the influences of future climate change on the potentially suitable climatic distribution of an important woody oil plant [...] Read more.
Cultivation of woody oil plants in environmentally suitable habitats is a successful ecological solution for oil development and forest management. In this study, we predicted the influences of future climate change on the potentially suitable climatic distribution of an important woody oil plant species (walnut; Juglans regia L.) in China based on given climate change scenarios and the maximum entropy (MaxEnt) model. The MaxEnt model showed that the minimum temperature of the coldest month and annual precipitation were the most important determinant variables limiting the geographical distribution of J. regia. We have found that the current suitable environmental habitat of J. regia is mainly distributed in central and southwestern China. Results of the MaxEnt model showed that global warming in the coming half-century may lead to an increase in the area size of environmentally suitable habitats for J. regia in China, indicating more lands available for artificial cultivation and oil production. However, those suitable habitat gains may be practically inaccessible due to over-harvest and urban development, and effective management strategies are urgently needed to establish those forests. This research will provide theoretical suggestions for the protection, cultivation management, and sustainable utilization of J. regia resources to face the challenge of global climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Sustainable Management)
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Open AccessArticle Groundwater Depth and Soil Properties Are Associated with Variation in Vegetation of a Desert Riparian Ecosystem in an Arid Area of China
Forests 2018, 9(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9010034
Received: 23 November 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 12 January 2018 / Published: 15 January 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3307 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Groundwater is a major driving force for plant community distribution in arid areas worldwide. Although it is well known that groundwater has a significant impact on soil and vegetation, there is little information on how groundwater depth affects soil and vegetation in an [...] Read more.
Groundwater is a major driving force for plant community distribution in arid areas worldwide. Although it is well known that groundwater has a significant impact on soil and vegetation, there is little information on how groundwater depth affects soil and vegetation in an arid inland basin desert riparian ecosystem. Therefore, quantitative analysis of the relationships among groundwater depth, soil properties and plant community distribution is necessary. A desert riparian ecosystem in the lower reaches of the Heihe River in an arid area of Northwest China was used to determine quantitative relationships among groundwater depth, soil and vegetation. Groundwater depth significantly increased with increased distance from the river. Soil and vegetation characteristics showed a significant trend with increasing groundwater depth. With increasing groundwater depth, soil water content, soil total nitrogen, soil total carbon, soil available phosphorus and soil available potassium decreased, while the soil bulk density and soil carbon:nitrogen (C:N) ratio increased. Soil pH and soil electrical conductivity followed quadratic function relationships with groundwater depth. Species richness, aboveground biomass, community coverage, community height, foliage projective cover and leaf area index all significantly decreased with increased groundwater depth. Groundwater depth and soil were associated with vegetation variance, explaining 85.8% of the vegetation variance. Groundwater depth was more important in explaining vegetation variance than soil properties (soil bulk density) and soil pH. Our observations indicate that changes in groundwater depth would have a significant influence on desert riparian forest vegetation, and that maintaining appropriate groundwater depth is necessary to preserve the riparian ecosystem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Sustainable Management)
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Open AccessArticle Forest Site Classification in the Southern Andean Region of Ecuador: A Case Study of Pine Plantations to Collect a Base of Soil Attributes
Forests 2017, 8(12), 473; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120473
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 17 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 2 December 2017
PDF Full-text (2296 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Forest site classification adapted to the respective site conditions is one prerequisite for sustainable silviculture. This work aims to initiate the forest site classification for pine plantations in the southern Andean region of Ecuador. Forest productivity, estimated by the dominant height of 20-year-old [...] Read more.
Forest site classification adapted to the respective site conditions is one prerequisite for sustainable silviculture. This work aims to initiate the forest site classification for pine plantations in the southern Andean region of Ecuador. Forest productivity, estimated by the dominant height of 20-year-old trees (DH20), was related to data from climate, topography, and soil using 23 plots installed in pine plantations in the province of Loja. Forest site productivity was classified as: low (class C: 13.4 m), middle (class B: 16.6 m), and high (Class A: 22.3 m). Strong determinants to differentiate the forest site classes were: the short to medium term available Ca and K stocks (organic layer + mineral soil standardized to a depth of 60 cm), soil acidity, the C:N ratio, clay and sand content, forest floor thickness, altitude, and slope. The lowest forest productivity (Class C) is mainly associated with the lowest short to medium term available K and Ca stocks. Whereas, in site classes with the highest forest productivity, pines could benefit from a more active microbial community releasing N and P, since the soil pH was about 1 unit less acidic. This is supported by the lowest forest floor thickness and the narrowest C:N ratio. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Sustainable Management)
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Open AccessArticle Sequential Management of Commercial Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora Ducke) Plantations in Central Amazonia: Seeking Sustainable Models for Essential Oil Production
Forests 2017, 8(12), 438; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120438
Received: 14 August 2017 / Revised: 24 October 2017 / Accepted: 7 November 2017 / Published: 28 November 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (19389 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora Ducke) is an endangered tree that produces essential oil of high commercial value. However, technical-scientific knowledge about cultivation is scarce and studies are needed to examine the management viability. The current study evaluated rosewood aboveground biomass management, measuring the [...] Read more.
Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora Ducke) is an endangered tree that produces essential oil of high commercial value. However, technical-scientific knowledge about cultivation is scarce and studies are needed to examine the management viability. The current study evaluated rosewood aboveground biomass management, measuring the export of nutrients resulting from harvesting and testing sustainable management models. The crown of 36 rosewood trees were pruned and 108 trees cut at 50 cm above the soil in two regions in Central Amazonia. Post-harvest performance of sprouting shoots was evaluated and after, sprouting shoots were pruned so that the development of two, three and all shoots was permitted. Nutrient stock estimation was calculated as the product of mass and nutrient concentration, which allowed nutritional replacement to be estimated. The pruning facilitates regrowth by 40.11% of the initial mass while by cut regrow 1.45%. Chemical attributes of regrowth biomass differed significantly prior to management and regrowth had a significant correlation with the reserves in root tissues and with the pre -management status of the individual tree. Driving sprouts resulted in significantly larger growth increments and may provide a form of management that can viably be adopted. Biomass sequential management resulted in high nutrient exports and the amount of fertilizer needed for replenishment depended on the intensity and frequency of cropping. Compared with the cut of the tree, pruning the canopy reduces fertilizers that are required to replenish amount by 44%, decreasing to 26.37% in the second rotation. The generated knowledge contributes to this silvicultural practice as it becomes ecologically and economically viable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Sustainable Management)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Forest Management and Social-Ecological Systems: An Institutional Analysis of Caatinga, Brazil
Forests 2017, 8(11), 454; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8110454
Received: 10 October 2017 / Revised: 14 November 2017 / Accepted: 16 November 2017 / Published: 18 November 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1737 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) has globally gained support as a strategy to use and manage forest resources while maintaining forest ecosystem services. However, type, relevance, and utilisation of forest ecosystem services vary across eco-regions, countries, and policy implementation pathways. As such, the concept [...] Read more.
Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) has globally gained support as a strategy to use and manage forest resources while maintaining forest ecosystem services. However, type, relevance, and utilisation of forest ecosystem services vary across eco-regions, countries, and policy implementation pathways. As such, the concept of SFM is subject to a series of translations within the social-ecological context in which it is implemented. This article discusses translations of SFM in Caatinga biome—a tropical dry forest in the north-eastern semi-arid region of Brazil. Our analysis is based on a qualitative analysis of 24 semi-structured interviews and 30 documents. We discuss SFM and the interplay of resources, governance, and actors. Results for Caatinga show that (1) a technical approach to SFM that focuses on firewood and charcoal production is dominant; that (2) SFM implementation practices hardly address the needs and interests of local populations; and that (3) local actors show little support for the implementation of SFM. We conclude that the social-ecological context of Caatinga shapes translations of SFM mostly in a techno-bureaucratic rather than a socially embedded way. As a result, local practices of forest use are excluded from the regional SFM approach, which negatively affects its implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Sustainable Management)
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Open AccessArticle The Impact of Assumed Uncertainty on Long-Term Decisions in Forest Spatial Harvest Scheduling as a Part of Sustainable Development
Forests 2017, 8(9), 335; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8090335
Received: 9 August 2017 / Revised: 31 August 2017 / Accepted: 7 September 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1093 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The paper shows how the aspects of uncertainty in spatial harvest scheduling can be embedded into a harvest optimization model. We introduce an approach based on robust optimization that secures better scheduling schematics of the decision maker while eliminating a significant portion of [...] Read more.
The paper shows how the aspects of uncertainty in spatial harvest scheduling can be embedded into a harvest optimization model. We introduce an approach based on robust optimization that secures better scheduling schematics of the decision maker while eliminating a significant portion of uncertainty in the decisions. The robust programming approach presented in this paper was applied in a real management area of Central Europe. The basic harvest scheduling model with harvest-flow constraints was created. The uncertainty that is assessed here is due to forest inventory errors and growth prediction errors of stand volume. The modelled results were compared with randomly simulated errors of stand volume. The effects of different levels of robustness and uncertainty on harvest-flow were analyzed. The analysis confirmed that using the robust approach for harvest decisions always ensures significantly better solutions in terms of the harvested volume than the worst-case scenarios created under the same constraints. The construction of a mathematical model as well as the methodology of simulations are described in detail. The observed results confirmed obvious advantages of robust optimization. However, many problems with its application in forest management must still be solved. This study helps to address the need to develop and explore methods for decision-making under different kinds of uncertainty in forest management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Sustainable Management)
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Open AccessArticle Irregular Shelterwood Cuttings Promote Viability of European Yew Population Growing in a Managed Forest: A Case Study from the Starohorské Mountains, Slovakia
Forests 2017, 8(8), 289; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8080289
Received: 26 June 2017 / Revised: 3 August 2017 / Accepted: 3 August 2017 / Published: 9 August 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3068 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The increasing probability of Taxus baccata (L.) decline given climate change brings forth many uncertainties for conservation management decisions. In this article, the authors present the effects of applying regeneration cuttings since the year 2000 on the viability of the understory yew population. [...] Read more.
The increasing probability of Taxus baccata (L.) decline given climate change brings forth many uncertainties for conservation management decisions. In this article, the authors present the effects of applying regeneration cuttings since the year 2000 on the viability of the understory yew population. By collecting data from a stand located at the centre of the largest population of European yew in Slovakia, containing approximately 160,000 individuals, and analysing tree-ring records from 38 sampled trees, the improved performance of yews, including stem growth, seed production, and number of regenerated individuals, was revealed. Thinning the canopy by removing 15% of the growing stock volume per decade, combined with the subsequent irregular shelterwood cuttings, was assessed as a useful strategy. Moreover, lower radial growth of females compared to males, but simultaneously their similar response to climate, suggests a possible trade-off between reproduction and growth. Release cuttings of up to 30% of the standing volume in the vicinity of the female trees, executed in the rainy summers following warmer winters, and consistent elimination of deer browsing, can further enhance the positive effects of applied cuts on yew viability. Overall, the suggested active measures could be considered as an effective option to preserve the unique biodiversity of calcareous beech-dominated forests in Central Europe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Sustainable Management)
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