Previous Issue

E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Table of Contents

Forests, Volume 8, Issue 12 (December 2017)

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-45
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review, Other

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; doi:10.3390/f8120438
Received: 14 August 2017 / Revised: 24 October 2017 / Accepted: 7 November 2017 / Published: 28 November 2017
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)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Assessing Forest Classification in a Landscape-Level Framework: An Example from Central European Forests
Forests 2017, 8(12), 461; doi:10.3390/f8120461
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 30 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 November 2017 / Published: 23 November 2017
PDF Full-text (5251 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Traditional land classifications developed on the basis of what was once prevailing expert knowledge have since largely become obsolete. We assessed expert knowledge based landscape-level units delineated in central European temperate forests: Natural Forest Areas (NFA) and Forest Vegetation Zones (FVZ). Our focus
[...] Read more.
Traditional land classifications developed on the basis of what was once prevailing expert knowledge have since largely become obsolete. We assessed expert knowledge based landscape-level units delineated in central European temperate forests: Natural Forest Areas (NFA) and Forest Vegetation Zones (FVZ). Our focus was determining to what degree these units reflect vegetation-environmental relationships. After considering as many as 49,000 plots with vegetation and 25,000 plots with environmental data within a territory of the Czech Republic, we analyzed 11,885 plots. We used multivariate statistics to discriminate between the landscape-level units. While NFAs performed extremely well, FVZ results were less successful. Classification of the environment provided better results than classification of vegetation for both the Hercynicum and Carpaticum phytogeographic part of the Czech Republic. Taking into account significance of the environment in our analysis, a delimitation of FVZs and similar vegetation-driven structures worldwide via explicit a priori stratification by tree species without consideration of environmental limits would not be supported by our analysis. We suggest not relying only on vegetation in classification analyses, but also including the significant environmental factors for direct classification of FVZ and units in particular in altered vegetation composition setting such as the central European forests. We propose a novel interpretation of FVZ via appropriate vegetation stratification throughout the environment used in conjunction with the zonal concept. Understanding of coarse-scaled vegetation-environmental relationships is not only fundamental in forest ecology and forest management, but is also essential for improving lower classification levels. Valuable expert knowledge should be combined with formal quantification, which is consistent with recent calls for advanced multidisciplinary ecological classifications in Europe and North America and for forming classifications in Asia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Hoof Growth Rates of the European Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus) for Dating the Hoof’s Isotopic Archive
Forests 2017, 8(12), 462; doi:10.3390/f8120462
Received: 6 October 2017 / Revised: 17 November 2017 / Accepted: 21 November 2017 / Published: 24 November 2017
PDF Full-text (2206 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Hooves preserve the isotopic information laid down during their growth and may be used for reconstruction of animal feeding history. To assign certain positions along hooves to corresponding times, growth rates are required. Hoof growth rates are known for domestic animals; however, they
[...] Read more.
Hooves preserve the isotopic information laid down during their growth and may be used for reconstruction of animal feeding history. To assign certain positions along hooves to corresponding times, growth rates are required. Hoof growth rates are known for domestic animals; however, they cannot be obtained easily in wild animals. We estimated the hoof growth rate of the European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus L.) by using the immediate drop in δ13C along the hoof as a tag that is assigned to the date of maize (Zea mays L.) harvest. Keratin samples were taken each mm along 17 hooves and analyzed for their δ13C. A linear regression between (1) time differences of expected maize harvest to animal death and (2) distances between the points of the δ13C drop to the periople yielded the growth rate. Mean hoof growth rate was 0.122 mm/day (95% CI 0.014 mm/day) and 0.365%/day (±0.026%/day) of the hoof length and within the range of domestic animals. The method may be applied to determine growth rates of other incrementally growing tissues. Our estimated growth rate fosters dating isotopic information in hooves, facilitating research on feed resources and space use of roe deer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Isotope Application in Forest Growth Assessment)
Figures

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Influence of Chain Filing, Tree Species and Chain Type on Cross Cutting Efficiency and Health Risk
Forests 2017, 8(12), 464; doi:10.3390/f8120464
Received: 11 October 2017 / Revised: 19 November 2017 / Accepted: 21 November 2017 / Published: 24 November 2017
PDF Full-text (1393 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As one of the major parts of the chainsaw, the cutting chain has an important impact on productivity and health risk in motor-manual harvesting. The efficiency of cross cutting and quantity of sawdust produced in relation to different cutting chain settings, chain producers
[...] Read more.
As one of the major parts of the chainsaw, the cutting chain has an important impact on productivity and health risk in motor-manual harvesting. The efficiency of cross cutting and quantity of sawdust produced in relation to different cutting chain settings, chain producers and wood species has been measured. The trial was set up to include two tree species (fir and beech) and saw chains from two different producers. The chains were filed at three different top plate filing angles and depth height gauges. All factors were significant in terms of cutting efficiency and wood dust production. The top plate angle recommended by producers proved to be the most efficient, with the smallest quantity of inhalable wood dust. Cutting chain settings can be adapted to the specific requirements of the user; however, safe working practices should be followed. Significant differences between chain producers mean that users should conduct rational decision making when choosing a saw chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Operations, Engineering and Management)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A Dynamic System of Growth and Yield Equations for Pinus patula
Forests 2017, 8(12), 465; doi:10.3390/f8120465
Received: 1 October 2017 / Revised: 22 November 2017 / Accepted: 23 November 2017 / Published: 28 November 2017
PDF Full-text (2110 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Sustainable forest management needs tools that can predict how silvicultural treatments will affect cutting stands. Growth and yield systems are an example of these tools because they can represent periods of growth and yield of a stand in numerical terms. The aim of
[...] Read more.
Sustainable forest management needs tools that can predict how silvicultural treatments will affect cutting stands. Growth and yield systems are an example of these tools because they can represent periods of growth and yield of a stand in numerical terms. The aim of this research was to develop a dynamic growth and yield timber system with the stand-level models approach for Pinus patula in even-aged forests of Ixtlán de Juárez, Oaxaca, Mexico. The data was obtained from two consecutive remeasurements of 66 permanent 400 m2 plots. With this information, prediction and projection equations in the algebraic difference approach for mean diameter at breast height (DBH), basal area and total volume per hectare were fitted through the seemingly unrelated regression technique. Mortality was fitted by the non-linear least squares method. A model of dominant height and site index (Levakovic II) with polymorphism was related to basal area, DBH, total volume ha−1 and mortality equations. The growth system generated an average optimal age rotation of 32 years when the current annual increment (CAI) was the same as the mean annual increment (MAI) for the mean site index and a density of 1500 trees ha−1 at five years. The growth and yield system developed is an important tool for planning forest management of even-aged P. patula forests. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Applying Topographic Classification, Based on the Hydrological Process, to Design Habitat Linkages for Climate Change
Forests 2017, 8(12), 466; doi:10.3390/f8120466
Received: 22 September 2017 / Revised: 30 October 2017 / Accepted: 24 November 2017 / Published: 27 November 2017
PDF Full-text (10312 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The use of biodiversity surrogates has been discussed in the context of designing habitat linkages to support the migration of species affected by climate change. Topography has been proposed as a useful surrogate in the coarse-filter approach, as the hydrological process caused by
[...] Read more.
The use of biodiversity surrogates has been discussed in the context of designing habitat linkages to support the migration of species affected by climate change. Topography has been proposed as a useful surrogate in the coarse-filter approach, as the hydrological process caused by topography such as erosion and accumulation is the basis of ecological processes. However, some studies that have designed topographic linkages as habitat linkages, so far have focused much on the shape of the topography (morphometric topographic classification) with little emphasis on the hydrological processes (generic topographic classification) to find such topographic linkages. We aimed to understand whether generic classification was valid for designing these linkages. First, we evaluated whether topographic classification is more appropriate for describing actual (coniferous and deciduous) and potential (mammals and amphibians) habitat distributions. Second, we analyzed the difference in the linkages between the morphometric and generic topographic classifications. The results showed that the generic classification represented the actual distribution of the trees, but neither the morphometric nor the generic classification could represent the potential animal distributions adequately. Our study demonstrated that the topographic classes, according to the generic classification, were arranged successively according to the flow of water, nutrients, and sediment; therefore, it would be advantageous to secure linkages with a width of 1 km or more. In addition, the edge effect would be smaller than with the morphometric classification. Accordingly, we suggest that topographic characteristics, based on the hydrological process, are required to design topographic linkages for climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Topography Impacts Forests under Global Change?)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Inventory of Close-to-Nature Forests Based on the Combination of Airborne LiDAR Data and Aerial Multispectral Images Using a Single-Tree Approach
Forests 2017, 8(12), 467; doi:10.3390/f8120467
Received: 15 October 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 27 November 2017 / Published: 28 November 2017
PDF Full-text (4015 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study is concerned with the assessment of application possibilities for remote sensing data within a forest inventory in close-to-nature forests. A combination of discrete airborne laser scanning data and multispectral aerial images separately evaluated main tree and forest stand characteristics (i.e., the
[...] Read more.
This study is concerned with the assessment of application possibilities for remote sensing data within a forest inventory in close-to-nature forests. A combination of discrete airborne laser scanning data and multispectral aerial images separately evaluated main tree and forest stand characteristics (i.e., the number of trees, mean height and diameter, tree species, tree height, tree diameter, and tree volume). We used eCognition software (Trimble GeoSpatial, Munich, Germany) for tree species classification and reFLex software (National Forest Centre, Zvolen, Slovakia) for individual tree detection as well as for forest inventory attribute estimations. The accuracy assessment was conducted at the ProSilva demo site Smolnícka Osada (Eastern Slovakia, Central Europe), which has been under selective management for more than 60 years. The remote sensing data were taken using a scanner (Leica ALS70-CM) and camera (Leica RCD30) from an average height of 1034 m, and the ground reference data contained the measured positions and dimensions of 1151 trees in 45 plots distributed across the region. This approach identified 73% of overstory and 28% of understory trees. Tree species classification within overstory trees resulted in an overall accuracy slightly greater than 65%. We also found that the mean difference between the remote-based results and ground data was −0.3% for tree height, 1.1% for tree diameter, and 1.9% for stem volume. At the stand level, the mean difference reached values of 0.4%, 17.9%, and −21.4% for mean height, mean diameter, and growing stock, respectively. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Characteristics of Logging Businesses across Virginia’s Diverse Physiographic Regions
Forests 2017, 8(12), 468; doi:10.3390/f8120468
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 17 November 2017 / Accepted: 21 November 2017 / Published: 28 November 2017
PDF Full-text (1788 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Logging businesses play an important role in implementing forest management plans and delivering the raw material needed by forest products mills. Understanding the characteristics of the logging workforce can help forest managers make better decisions related to harvesting operations. We surveyed logging business
[...] Read more.
Logging businesses play an important role in implementing forest management plans and delivering the raw material needed by forest products mills. Understanding the characteristics of the logging workforce can help forest managers make better decisions related to harvesting operations. We surveyed logging business owners across Virginia’s three physiographic regions (Mountains, Piedmont, and Coastal Plain). Overall, logging businesses reported an average production rate of 761.37 t/business/week, but this varied substantially by region, with the highest production rates in the Coastal Plain (1403.55 t/business/week), followed by the Piedmont (824.69 t/business/week) and the Mountains (245.42 t/business/week). Many operations in the Mountains rely primarily on manual felling (66.6% of respondents) and these operations often have lower production rates. Across all regions, 81.7% of reported production came from operations that primarily utilized rubber-tired feller-bunchers for felling. Logging businesses were sorted based on reported production capacity and then divided into three groups (high, medium, and low production) based on total reported production. Across all regions, the majority of reported production was produced by the high production logging businesses. This was highest in the Piedmont, where the high production businesses accounted for 74.8% of total reported production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Operations, Engineering and Management)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Modeling Fuel Treatment Leverage: Encounter Rates, Risk Reduction, and Suppression Cost Impacts
Forests 2017, 8(12), 469; doi:10.3390/f8120469
Received: 4 October 2017 / Revised: 16 November 2017 / Accepted: 21 November 2017 / Published: 29 November 2017
PDF Full-text (4872 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The primary theme of this study is the cost-effectiveness of fuel treatments at multiple scales of investment. We focused on the nexus of fuel management and suppression response planning, designing spatial fuel treatment strategies to incorporate landscape features that provide control opportunities that
[...] Read more.
The primary theme of this study is the cost-effectiveness of fuel treatments at multiple scales of investment. We focused on the nexus of fuel management and suppression response planning, designing spatial fuel treatment strategies to incorporate landscape features that provide control opportunities that are relevant to fire operations. Our analysis explored the frequency and magnitude of fire-treatment encounters, which are critical determinants of treatment efficacy. Additionally, we examined avoided area burned, avoided suppression costs, and avoided damages, and combined all three under the umbrella of leverage to explore multiple dimensions with which to characterize return on investment. We chose the Sierra National Forest, California, USA, as our study site, due to previous work providing relevant data and analytical products, and because it has the potential for large, long-duration fires and corresponding potential for high suppression expenditures. Modeling results generally confirmed that fire-treatment encounters are rare, such that median suppression cost savings are zero, but in extreme years, savings can more than offset upfront investments. Further, reductions in risk can expand areas where moderated suppression response would be appropriate, and these areas can be mapped in relation to fire control opportunities. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Genetic Diversity and Its Spatial Distribution in Self-Regenerating Norway Spruce and Scots Pine Stands
Forests 2017, 8(12), 470; doi:10.3390/f8120470
Received: 11 September 2017 / Revised: 20 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 1 December 2017
PDF Full-text (3799 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Tree genetic diversity is among the most important factors determining the sustainability of forest ecosystems. The main aim of the present study was to track possible changes in genetic diversity of regenerating populations of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst) and
[...] Read more.
Tree genetic diversity is among the most important factors determining the sustainability of forest ecosystems. The main aim of the present study was to track possible changes in genetic diversity of regenerating populations of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in areas subjected either to a natural disturbance (windthrows and subsequent clear-cutting of the affected spruce stand) or to a changed land-use legacy (pine regeneration on abandoned agricultural land) with the aim of testing whether the new forest generation retains the genetic diversity of the putative maternal stand. Eight highly polymorphic microsatellite loci were used to reveal the genetic diversity and its spatial distribution in the studied tree populations. Self-regenerating juveniles of Norway spruce and Scots pine were spatially random and as genetically diverse as in the putative maternal populations. Genetic differentiation between putatively maternal trees and regenerating juveniles was low for both species. A high genetic diversity and random spatial genetic structure revealed in the regenerating populations provides a basis for the formation of evolutionary and ecologically sound stands able to adapt to ever-changing climatic conditions. Information on the genetic dynamics of the studied natural populations of long-lived coniferous tree species may be important for evaluating possible changes in genetic diversity at a local scale following forest ecosystem disturbances and changes in land-use legacies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Predicting Future Seed Sourcing of Platycladus orientalis (L.) for Future Climates Using Climate Niche Models
Forests 2017, 8(12), 471; doi:10.3390/f8120471
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 17 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 1 December 2017
PDF Full-text (19916 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Climate niche modeling has been widely used to assess the impact of climate change on forest trees at the species level. However, geographically divergent tree populations are expected to respond differently to climate change. Considering intraspecific local adaptation in modeling species responses to
[...] Read more.
Climate niche modeling has been widely used to assess the impact of climate change on forest trees at the species level. However, geographically divergent tree populations are expected to respond differently to climate change. Considering intraspecific local adaptation in modeling species responses to climate change will thus improve the credibility and usefulness of climate niche models, particularly for genetic resources management. In this study, we used five Platycladus orientalis (L.) seed zones (Northwestern; Northern; Central; Southern; and Subtropical) covering the entire species range in China. A climate niche model was developed and used to project the suitable climatic conditions for each of the five seed zones for current and various future climate scenarios (Representative Concentration Pathways: RCP2.6, RCP4.5, RCP6.0, and RCP8.5). Our results indicated that the Subtropical seed zone would show consistent reduction for all climate change scenarios. The remaining seed zones, however, would experience various degrees of expansion in suitable habitat relative to their current geographic distributions. Most of the seed zones would gain suitable habitats at their northern distribution margins and higher latitudes. Thus, we recommend adjusting the current forest management strategies to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Response of Runoff and Sediment on Skid Trails of Varying Gradient and Traffic Intensity over a Two-Year Period
Forests 2017, 8(12), 472; doi:10.3390/f8120472
Received: 19 November 2017 / Revised: 30 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 2 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1470 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Compacted soil has lower water infiltration and hydraulic conductivity, which contributes to increased runoff and erosion on slopes. The aim of the present study was to assess runoff and sediment on three skidding trail longitudinal gradients (15%, 25%, and 35%) and different levels
[...] Read more.
Compacted soil has lower water infiltration and hydraulic conductivity, which contributes to increased runoff and erosion on slopes. The aim of the present study was to assess runoff and sediment on three skidding trail longitudinal gradients (15%, 25%, and 35%) and different levels of machine traffic (low, medium, and high), over a two-year period following the impact in the Hyrcanian forest, Iran. The results show that trail gradient and traffic intensity have a significant effect on soil bulk density and total porosity on the skid trails. The average runoff amount varied significantly among trail gradients and ranged from 1.59 mm on the 15% trail gradient and 2.76 mm on the 25% trail gradient, to 4.76 mm on the 35% trail gradient in the low traffic intensity. Average sediment also increased significantly with increasing trail gradient. Average sediment was 0.01 kg m−2, 0.03 kg m−2, and 0.05 kg m−2 on the low traffic intensity in the first year for the 15%, 25%, and 35% trail gradients, respectively. The largest runoff and sediment occurred in the first year and stressed the need for applying forestry Best Management Practices such as the use of brush mats during harvesting operations, as well as the installation of water diversion structures or seeding immediately after initial soil compaction and disturbance, in order to protect the bare soil from heavy rainfall. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
Figures

Figure 1

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; doi: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)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Physical Conditions Regulate the Fungal to Bacterial Ratios of a Tropical Suspended Soil
Forests 2017, 8(12), 474; doi:10.3390/f8120474
Received: 20 August 2017 / Revised: 3 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 2 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1710 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As a source of ‘suspended soils’, epiphytes contribute large amounts of organic matter to the canopy of tropical rain forests. Microbes associated with epiphytes are responsible for much of the nutrient cycling taking place in rain forest canopies. However, soils suspended far above
[...] Read more.
As a source of ‘suspended soils’, epiphytes contribute large amounts of organic matter to the canopy of tropical rain forests. Microbes associated with epiphytes are responsible for much of the nutrient cycling taking place in rain forest canopies. However, soils suspended far above the ground in living organisms differ from soil on the forest floor, and traditional predictors of soil microbial community composition and functioning (nutrient availability and the activity of soil organisms) are likely to be less important. We conducted an experiment in the rain forest biome at the Eden Project in the U.K. to explore how biotic and abiotic conditions determine microbial community composition and functioning in a suspended soil. To simulate their natural epiphytic lifestyle, bird’s nest ferns (Asplenium nidus) were placed on a custom-built canopy platform suspended 8 m above the ground. Ammonium nitrate and earthworm treatments were applied to ferns in a factorial design. Extracellular enzyme activity and Phospholipid Fatty Acid (PLFA) profiles were determined at zero, three and six months. We observed no significant differences in either enzyme activity or PLFA profiles between any of the treatments. Instead, we observed decreases in β-glucosidase and N-acetyl-glucosaminidase activity, and an increase in phenol oxidase activity across all treatments and controls over time. An increase in the relative abundance of fungi during the experiment meant that the microbial communities in the Eden Project ferns after six months were comparable with ferns sampled from primary tropical rain forest in Borneo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Fungi in Tropical Forest Systems)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Phytoremediation Efficacy of Salix discolor and S. eriocephela on Adjacent Acidic Clay and Shale Overburden on a Former Mine Site: Growth, Soil, and Foliage Traits
Forests 2017, 8(12), 475; doi:10.3390/f8120475
Received: 27 October 2017 / Revised: 17 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 2 December 2017
PDF Full-text (3728 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Plants regularly experience suboptimal environments, but this can be particularly acute on highly-disturbed mine sites. Two North American willows—Salix discolor Muhl. (DIS) and S. eriocephala Michx. (ERI)—were established in common-garden field tests on two adjacent coal mine spoil sites: one with high
[...] Read more.
Plants regularly experience suboptimal environments, but this can be particularly acute on highly-disturbed mine sites. Two North American willows—Salix discolor Muhl. (DIS) and S. eriocephala Michx. (ERI)—were established in common-garden field tests on two adjacent coal mine spoil sites: one with high clay content, the other with shale overburden. The high clay content site had 44% less productivity, a pH of 3.6, 42% clay content, high water holding capacity at saturation (64%), and high soil electrical conductivity (EC) of 3.9 mS cm−1. The adjacent shale overburden site had a pH of 6.8, and after removing 56.5% stone content, a high sand content (67.2%), low water holding capacity at saturation (23%), and an EC of 0.9 mS cm−1. The acidic clay soil had significantly greater Na (20×), Ca (2×), Mg (4.4×), S (10×), C (12×) and N (2×) than the shale overburden. Foliar concentrations from the acidic clay site had significantly greater Mg (1.5×), Mn (3.3×), Fe (5.6×), Al (4.6×), and S (2×) than the shale overburden, indicating that these elements are more soluble under acidic conditions. There was no overall species difference in growth; however, survival was greater for ERI than DIS on both sites, thus overall biomass yield was greater for ERI than DIS. Foliar concentrations of ERI were significantly greater than those of DIS for N (1.3×), Ca (1.5×), Mg (1.2×), Fe (2×), Al (1.5×), and S (1.5×). There were no significant negative relationships between metal concentrations and growth or biomass yield. Both willows showed large variation among genotypes within each species in foliar concentrations, and some clones of DIS and ERI had up to 16× the Fe and Al uptake on the acidic site versus the adjacent overburden. Genetic selection among species and genotypes may be useful for reclamation activities aimed at reducing specific metal concentrations on abandoned mine sites. Results show that, despite having a greater water holding capacity, the greater acidity of the clay site resulted in greater metal mobility—in particular Na—and thus a greater EC. It appears that the decline in productivity was not due to toxicity effects from the increased mobility of metals, but rather to low pH and moisture stress from very high soil Na/EC. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Aboveground Biomass Equations for Small Trees of Brutian Pine in Turkey to Facilitate Harvesting and Management
Forests 2017, 8(12), 477; doi:10.3390/f8120477
Received: 12 October 2017 / Revised: 28 November 2017 / Accepted: 30 November 2017 / Published: 3 December 2017
PDF Full-text (2031 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Brutian pine (Pinus brutia Ten.) is the most widespread conifer species in the Eastern Mediterranean. Aboveground biomass equations for small diameter brutian pine trees are needed for accurate fuel inventory and to assess carbon sequestration potential. In this study, we developed tree
[...] Read more.
Brutian pine (Pinus brutia Ten.) is the most widespread conifer species in the Eastern Mediterranean. Aboveground biomass equations for small diameter brutian pine trees are needed for accurate fuel inventory and to assess carbon sequestration potential. In this study, we developed tree biomass models based on 143 brutian pine saplings measured in 11 research plots. Aboveground biomass (AGB) was modeled with a nonlinear mixed effects model which accounted for the variability among plots. The predicted total AGB was then distributed into foliage, branch and stem components. The Beta, Dirichlet, and multinomial logistic regressions were unbiased in their estimates of biomass component proportions. The Dirichlet regression has the advantage of an additive property and does not require non-standard data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Operations, Engineering and Management)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle On the Use of Hedonic Price Indices to Understand Ecosystem Service Provision from Urban Green Space in Five Latin American Megacities
Forests 2017, 8(12), 478; doi:10.3390/f8120478
Received: 7 October 2017 / Revised: 19 November 2017 / Accepted: 23 November 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
PDF Full-text (2328 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Latin American (LA) megacities are facing enormous challenges to provide welfare to millions of people who live in them. High rates of urbanization and limited administrative capacity of LA cities to plan and control urban growth have led to a critical deficit of
[...] Read more.
Latin American (LA) megacities are facing enormous challenges to provide welfare to millions of people who live in them. High rates of urbanization and limited administrative capacity of LA cities to plan and control urban growth have led to a critical deficit of urban green space, and therefore, to sub-optimal outcomes in terms of urban sustainability. This study seeks to assess the possibility of using real estate prices to provide an estimate of the monetary value of the ecosystem services provided by urban green space across five Latin American megacities: Bogota, Buenos Aires, Lima, Mexico City and Santiago de Chile. Using Google Earth images to quantify urban green space and multiple regression analysis, we evaluated the impact of urban green space, crime rates, business density and population density on real estate prices across the five mentioned megacities. In addition, for a subset of the data (Lima and Buenos Aires) we analyzed the effects of landscape ecology variables (green space patch size, connectivity, etc.) on real estate prices to provide a first insight into how the ecological attributes of urban green space can determine the level of ecosystem service provision in different urban contexts in Latin America. The results show a strong positive relationship between the presence of urban green space and real estate prices. Green space explains 52% of the variability in real estate prices across the five studied megacities. Population density, business density and crime had only minor impacts on real estate prices. Our analysis of the landscape ecology variables in Lima and Buenos Aires also show that the relationship between green space and price is context-specific, which indicates that further research is needed to better understand when and where ecological attributes of green space affect real estate prices so that managers of urban green space in LA cities can optimize ecological configuration to maximize ecosystem service provision from often limited green spaces. Full article
Figures

Figure 1a

Open AccessArticle A Linkage among Tree Diameter, Height, Crown Base Height, and Crown Width 4-Variate Distribution and Their Growth Models: A 4-Variate Diffusion Process Approach
Forests 2017, 8(12), 479; doi:10.3390/f8120479
Received: 23 October 2017 / Revised: 19 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 4 December 2017
PDF Full-text (4107 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The evolution of the 4-variate probability distribution of the diameter at the breast height, total height, crown base height, and crown width against the age in a forest stand is of great interest to forest management and the evaluation of forest resources. This
[...] Read more.
The evolution of the 4-variate probability distribution of the diameter at the breast height, total height, crown base height, and crown width against the age in a forest stand is of great interest to forest management and the evaluation of forest resources. This paper focuses on the Vasicek type 4-variate fixed effect stochastic differential equation (SDE) to quantify the dynamic of tree size components distribution against the age. The new derived 4-variate probability density function and its marginal univariate, bivariate, trivariate, and conditional univariate distributions are applied for the modeling of stand attributes such as the mean diameter, height, crown base height, crown width, volume, and slenderness. All parameters were estimated by the maximum likelihood procedure using a dataset of 1630 Scots pine trees (12 stands). The results were validated using a dataset of 699 Scots pine trees (five stands). A newly developed 4-variate simultaneous system of SDEs incorporated covariance structure driving changes in tree size components and improved predictions in one tree size component given the other tree size components in the system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Inventory, Quantitative Methods and Remote Sensing)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Genetic Structure and Population Demographic History of a Widespread Mangrove Plant Xylocarpus granatum (Meliaceae) across the Indo-West Pacific Region
Forests 2017, 8(12), 480; doi:10.3390/f8120480
Received: 29 August 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
PDF Full-text (2350 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Xylocarpus granatum (Meliaceae) is one of the most widespread core component species of mangrove forests in the Indo-West Pacific (IWP) region, and as such is suitable for examining how genetic structure is generated across spatiotemporal scales. We evaluated the genetic structure of this
[...] Read more.
Xylocarpus granatum (Meliaceae) is one of the most widespread core component species of mangrove forests in the Indo-West Pacific (IWP) region, and as such is suitable for examining how genetic structure is generated across spatiotemporal scales. We evaluated the genetic structure of this species using maternally inherited chloroplast (cp) and bi-parentally inherited nuclear DNA markers, with samples collected across the species range. Both cp and nuclear DNA showed generally similar patterns, revealing three genetic groups in the Indian Ocean, South China Sea (with Palau), and Oceania, respectively. The genetic diversity of the Oceania group was significantly lower, and the level of population differentiation within the Oceania group was significantly higher, than in the South China Sea group. These results revealed that in addition to the Malay Peninsula—a common land barrier for mangroves—there is a genetic barrier in an oceanic region of the West Pacific that prevents gene flow among populations. Moreover, demographic inference suggested that these patterns were generated in relation to sea level changes during the last glacial period and the emergence of Sahul Shelf which lied northwest of Australia. We propose that the three genetic groups should be considered independent conservation units, and that the Oceania group has a higher conservation priority. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Genomics of Forest Trees)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Fire-Driven Decline of Endemic Allosyncarpia Monsoon Rainforests in Northern Australia
Forests 2017, 8(12), 481; doi:10.3390/f8120481
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 16 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
PDF Full-text (4330 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although contemporary fire regimes in fire-prone Australian savannas are recognised as having major impacts on an array of biodiversity and environmental values, a number of studies have observed significant monsoon rainforest expansion in recent decades. Here we assess the status of a locally
[...] Read more.
Although contemporary fire regimes in fire-prone Australian savannas are recognised as having major impacts on an array of biodiversity and environmental values, a number of studies have observed significant monsoon rainforest expansion in recent decades. Here we assess the status of a locally extensive endemic monsoon rainforest type, dominated by Allosyncarpia ternata (Myrtaceae), restricted to sandstone terrain including in the World Heritage property, Kakadu National Park. We undertook assessments of: (1) geographic correlates of Allosyncarpia forest distribution; (2) change in canopy cover at 40 representative forest patches at topographically exposed sites with reference to a 60-year aerial photo and fine-scale image archive, and fire mapping data; and (3) structural characteristics associated with sites exhibiting stable, contracting, and increasing canopy cover. Mean canopy cover at sampled forest patches declined by 9.5% over the study period. Most canopy loss occurred at the most fire-susceptible patches. Assessment of structural characteristics at sampled sites illustrated that canopy expansion represented vegetative recovery rather than expansion de novo. The study (1) confirms the vulnerability of exposed margins of this forest type to fire incursions; (2) illustrates the magnitude of, and describes solutions for addressing, the regional conservation management challenge; and (3) serves as a reminder that, in savanna environments, severe fire regimes can substantially outweigh the woody growth-enhancing effects of other regional (e.g., increased rainfall) and global-scale (e.g., atmospheric CO2 fertilisation) drivers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Suitability of Soil Erosion Models for the Evaluation of Bladed Skid Trail BMPs in the Southern Appalachians
Forests 2017, 8(12), 482; doi:10.3390/f8120482
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 30 November 2017 / Accepted: 30 November 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
PDF Full-text (14416 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This project measured soil erosion rates from bladed skid trails in the mountains of Virginia following a timber harvest, and compared measured erosion to four erosion model predictions produced by Universal Soil Loss Equation—Forest (USLE-Forest), Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation, v.2 (RUSLE2), Water
[...] Read more.
This project measured soil erosion rates from bladed skid trails in the mountains of Virginia following a timber harvest, and compared measured erosion to four erosion model predictions produced by Universal Soil Loss Equation—Forest (USLE-Forest), Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation, v.2 (RUSLE2), Water Erosion Prediction Project—Road (WEPP-Road) using default files, and WEPP-Road using modified files in order to assess the utility of the models for these conditions. Skid trails were segregated into six blocks where each block had similar trail slopes and soils. Each block contained four skid trail closure treatments: (1) bare soil (Control); (2) residual limbs and tops (Slash); (3) grass seed (Seed); and (4) fertilizer, seed, and straw mulch (Mulch). All treatments had waterbars, the minimum trail closure best management practice (BMP), to provide upslope and downslope borders of experimental units. Site cover characteristics on each experimental unit were collected quarterly as input parameters for erosion models. The suitability of soil erosion models were evaluated based upon statistical summaries, linear relationships with measured erosion rates, Nash-Sutcliffe Model Efficiency, and a nonparametric analysis. Treatments were measured to have erosion rates of 15.2 tonnes ha−1 year−1 (Control), 5.9 tonnes ha−1 year−1 (Seed), 1.1 tonnes ha−1 year−1 (Mulch), and 0.8 tonnes ha−1 year−1 (Slash). It was determined that WEPP-Road: Modified (p-value = 0.643) and USLE-Forest (p-value = 0.307) were the most suitable models given their accuracy; however USLE-Forest may be better for making management decisions given its practicality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Operations, Engineering and Management)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Vicariance and Oceanic Barriers Drive Contemporary Genetic Structure of Widespread Mangrove Species Sonneratia alba J. Sm in the Indo-West Pacific
Forests 2017, 8(12), 483; doi:10.3390/f8120483
Received: 19 October 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 30 November 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
PDF Full-text (3084 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Patterns of genetic structure are essential for a comprehensive understanding of the evolution and biogeography of a species. Here, we investigated the genetic patterns of one of the most widespread and abundant mangrove species in the Indo-West Pacific, Sonneratia alba J. Sm., in
[...] Read more.
Patterns of genetic structure are essential for a comprehensive understanding of the evolution and biogeography of a species. Here, we investigated the genetic patterns of one of the most widespread and abundant mangrove species in the Indo-West Pacific, Sonneratia alba J. Sm., in order to gain insights into the ecological and evolutionary drivers of genetic structure in mangroves. We employed 11 nuclear microsatellite loci and two chloroplast regions to genotyped 25 S. alba populations. Our objectives were to (1) assess the level of genetic diversity and its geographic distribution; and (2) determine the genetic structure of the populations. Our results revealed significant genetic differentiation among populations. We detected a major genetic break between Indo-Malesia and Australasia, and further population subdivision within each oceanic region in these two major clusters. The phylogeographic patterns indicated a strong influence of vicariance, oceanic barriers and geographic distance on genetic structure. In addition, we found low genetic diversity and high genetic drift at range edge. This study advances the scope of mangrove biogeography by demonstrating a unique scenario whereby a widespread species has limited dispersal and high genetic divergence among populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle By 2050 the Mitigation Effects of EU Forests Could Nearly Double through Climate Smart Forestry
Forests 2017, 8(12), 484; doi:10.3390/f8120484
Received: 3 November 2017 / Revised: 22 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1203 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In July 2016, the European Commission (EC) published a legislative proposal for incorporating greenhouse gas emissions and removals due to Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) into its 2030 Climate and Energy Framework. The Climate and Energy Framework aims at a
[...] Read more.
In July 2016, the European Commission (EC) published a legislative proposal for incorporating greenhouse gas emissions and removals due to Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) into its 2030 Climate and Energy Framework. The Climate and Energy Framework aims at a total emission reduction of 40% by 2030 for all sectors together as part of the Paris Agreement. The LULUCF proposal regulates a “no debit” target for LULUCF (Forests and Agricultural soils), and regulates the accounting of any additional mitigation potential that might be expected of it. We find that the forest share of the LULUCF sector can achieve much more than what is in the regulation now. We elaborate a strategy for unlocking European Union (EU) forests and forest sector potential based on the concept of “climate smart forestry” (CSF). We find that to-date, European policy has not firmly integrated forest potential into the EU climate policy framework. Nor have climate objectives been firmly integrated into those of the forest and forest sector at either the EU or national level. Yet a wide range of measures can be applied to provide positive incentives for more firmly integrating these climate objectives into the forest and forest sector framework. With the right set of incentives in place at EU and Member States levels, we find the current literature supports the view that the EU has the potential to achieve an additional combined mitigation impact through CSF of 441 Mt CO2/year by 2050. In addition, CSF, through reducing and/or removing greenhouse gas emissions, adapting and building forest resilience, and sustainably increasing forest productivity and incomes, tackles multiple policy goals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Smart Forestry)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Use, Utilization, Productivity and Fuel Consumption of Purpose-Built and Excavator-Based Harvesters and Processors in Italy
Forests 2017, 8(12), 485; doi:10.3390/f8120485
Received: 4 November 2017 / Revised: 1 December 2017 / Accepted: 4 December 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
PDF Full-text (2754 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Annual use, utilization, productivity and fuel consumption of three purpose-built and three excavator-based harvesters and processors were monitored for one work year. All machines were owned and operated by private contractors and were representative of the Italian machine fleet. Despite challenging mountain terrain,
[...] Read more.
Annual use, utilization, productivity and fuel consumption of three purpose-built and three excavator-based harvesters and processors were monitored for one work year. All machines were owned and operated by private contractors and were representative of the Italian machine fleet. Despite challenging mountain terrain, annual use ranged from 675 to 1525 h per year, and production from 3200 to 27,400 m3 per year. Productivity was lower for excavator-based units, and for machines working under a yarder, due to limited yarder capacity. Purpose-built machines offered higher utilization, productivity and fuel efficiency compared with excavator-based machines. Fuel consumption per m3 was 2.4 times greater for excavator-based units, compared with purpose-built machines. Excavator-based units offered financial and technical advantages, but their long-term market success will likely depend on future improvements in fuel efficiency, in the face of increasing fuel prices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Operations, Engineering and Management)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Comprehensive Analysis of the Cork Oak (Quercus suber) Transcriptome Involved in the Regulation of Bud Sprouting
Forests 2017, 8(12), 486; doi:10.3390/f8120486
Received: 7 October 2017 / Revised: 20 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 6 December 2017
PDF Full-text (3701 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Cork oaks show a high capacity of bud sprouting as a response to injury, which is important for species survival when dealing with external factors, such as drought or fires. The characterization of the cork oak transcriptome involved in the different stages of
[...] Read more.
Cork oaks show a high capacity of bud sprouting as a response to injury, which is important for species survival when dealing with external factors, such as drought or fires. The characterization of the cork oak transcriptome involved in the different stages of bud sprouting is essential to understanding the mechanisms involved in these processes. In this study, the transcriptional profile of different stages of bud sprouting, namely (1) dormant bud and (2) bud swollen, vs. (3) red bud and (4) open bud, was analyzed in trees growing under natural conditions. The transcriptome analysis indicated the involvement of genes related with energy production (linking the TCA (tricarboxylic acid) cycle and the electron transport system), hormonal regulation, water status, and synthesis of polysaccharides. These results pinpoint the different mechanisms involved in the early and later stages of bud sprouting. Furthermore, some genes, which are involved in bud development and conserved between species, were also identified at the transcriptional level. This study provides the first set of results that will be useful for the discovery of genes related with the mechanisms regulating bud sprouting in cork oak. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Genomics of Forest Trees)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Mapping Net Stocked Plantation Area for Small-Scale Forests in New Zealand Using Integrated RapidEye and LiDAR Sensors
Forests 2017, 8(12), 487; doi:10.3390/f8120487
Received: 4 October 2017 / Revised: 30 November 2017 / Accepted: 2 December 2017 / Published: 7 December 2017
PDF Full-text (4473 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In New Zealand, approximately 70% of plantation forests are large-scale (over 1000 ha) with accurate resource description. In contrast, the remaining 30% of plantation forests are small-scale (less than 1000 ha). It is forecasted that these small-scale forests will supply nearly 40% of
[...] Read more.
In New Zealand, approximately 70% of plantation forests are large-scale (over 1000 ha) with accurate resource description. In contrast, the remaining 30% of plantation forests are small-scale (less than 1000 ha). It is forecasted that these small-scale forests will supply nearly 40% of the national wood production in the next decade. However, in-depth description of these forests, especially those under 100 ha, is very limited. This research evaluates the use of remote sensing datasets to map and estimate the net stocked plantation area for small-scale forests. We compared a factorial combination of two classification approaches (Nearest Neighbour (NN), Classification and Regression Tree (CART)) and two remote sensing datasets (RapidEye, RapidEye plus LiDAR) for their ability to accurately classify planted forest area. CART with a combination of RapidEye and LiDAR metrics outperformed the other three combinations producing the highest accuracy for mapping forest plantations (user’s accuracy = 90% and producer’s accuracy = 88%). This method was further examined by comparing the mapped plantations with manually digitised plantations based on aerial photography. The mapping approach overestimated the plantation area by 3%. It was also found that forest patches exceeding 10 ha achieved higher conformance with the digitised areas. Overall, the mapping approach in this research provided a proof of concept for deriving forest area and mapping boundaries using remote sensing data, and is especially relevant for small-scale forests where limited information is currently available. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Inventory, Quantitative Methods and Remote Sensing)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Growth, Physiological, Biochemical, and Ionic Responses of Morus alba L. Seedlings to Various Salinity Levels
Forests 2017, 8(12), 488; doi:10.3390/f8120488
Received: 14 September 2017 / Revised: 17 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 7 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1694 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Mulberry (Morus alba L.), a moderately salt-tolerant tree species, is considered to be economically important. In this study, 1-year-old mulberry seedlings cultivated in soil under greenhouse conditions were treated with five concentrations of sodium chloride (NaCl; 0%, 0.1%, 0.2%, 0.3%, and 0.5%)
[...] Read more.
Mulberry (Morus alba L.), a moderately salt-tolerant tree species, is considered to be economically important. In this study, 1-year-old mulberry seedlings cultivated in soil under greenhouse conditions were treated with five concentrations of sodium chloride (NaCl; 0%, 0.1%, 0.2%, 0.3%, and 0.5%) for 3 and 21 days. Plant growth parameters were not affected by 0.1% NaCl, but significant reductions were observed after treatment with 0.2%, 0.3%, and 0.5% NaCl. The malondialdehyde content and cell membrane stability of mulberry seedlings exposed to 0.1% NaCl did not change, indicating that mulberry is not significantly affected by low-salinity conditions. The Na contents of various organs did not increase significantly in response to 0.1% NaCl, but the K:Na, Mg:Na, and Ca:Na ratios of various organs were affected by NaCl. Marked changes in the levels of major compatible solutes (proline, soluble sugars, and soluble proteins) occurred in both the leaves and roots of NaCl-treated seedlings relative to control seedlings. Under severe saline conditions (0.5% NaCl), the ability of mulberry to synthesize enzymatic antioxidants may be impaired. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Warming Effects on Pinus sylvestris in the Cold–Dry Siberian Forest–Steppe: Positive or Negative Balance of Trade?
Forests 2017, 8(12), 490; doi:10.3390/f8120490
Received: 10 November 2017 / Revised: 1 December 2017 / Accepted: 5 December 2017 / Published: 7 December 2017
PDF Full-text (11083 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Understanding climate change impacts on drought-prone forests is a critical issue. We investigated ring-width and stable isotopes (Δ13C and δ18O) in two Pinus sylvestris stands of the cold–dry Siberian forest–steppe growing under contrasting climatic trends over the last 75
[...] Read more.
Understanding climate change impacts on drought-prone forests is a critical issue. We investigated ring-width and stable isotopes (Δ13C and δ18O) in two Pinus sylvestris stands of the cold–dry Siberian forest–steppe growing under contrasting climatic trends over the last 75 years. Despite regional warming, there was increasing precipitation during the growing period at the southern site (MIN) but increasing water deficit (WD) at the northern site (BER). Intrinsic water use efficiency (WUEi) increased similarly (ca. 22%) in response to warming and rising atmospheric CO2. However, the steady increase in WUEi was accompanied by divergent growth patterns since 1980: increasing basal area increment (BAI) in MIN (slope = 0.102 cm2 year−2) and decreasing BAI in BER (slope = −0.129 cm2 year−2). This suggests that increased precipitation, mediated by CO2 effects, promoted growth in MIN, whereas intensified drought stress led to decreased carbon gain and productivity in BER. When compared to warm–dry stands of eastern Spain, the WUEi dependence on WD was three-fold greater in Siberia. Conversely, BAI was more affected by the relative impact of water stress within each region. These results indicate contrasting future trajectories of P. sylvestris forests, which challenge forecasting growth and carbon sequestration in cold–dry areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Isotope Application in Forest Growth Assessment)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Association of Fruit and Seed Traits of Sapindus mukorossi Germplasm with Environmental Factors in Southern China
Forests 2017, 8(12), 491; doi:10.3390/f8120491
Received: 3 November 2017 / Revised: 2 December 2017 / Accepted: 5 December 2017 / Published: 7 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1905 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sapindus mukorossi is widely distributed in tropical and subtropical areas of southern China; the seed kernel oil is potential biodiesel material, and the saponins extracted from fruit pericarp are very valuable efficient natural surfactants. Therefore, S. mukorossi is an ideal tree species for
[...] Read more.
Sapindus mukorossi is widely distributed in tropical and subtropical areas of southern China; the seed kernel oil is potential biodiesel material, and the saponins extracted from fruit pericarp are very valuable efficient natural surfactants. Therefore, S. mukorossi is an ideal tree species for developing forestry bioenergy and multiple other products. In this study, 42 S. mukorossi fruits from mother trees were collected from 39 distinct locations in 12 Chinese provinces to infer fruit and seed trait responses to environmental factors. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) was conducted using 21 horticultural fruit traits and 10 environmental factors that represented different climatic and geographic conditions throughout southern China. CCA revealed well-developed patterns of natural phenotypic variation, and insight into the ecological factors that are potentially important in shaping this variation. The results presented here further elucidate the natural distribution and ecological adaptations of wild S. mukorossi resources, which will be valuable for S. mukorossi cultivation by helping identify ideal planting areas. The germplasm resources with extensive morphological variation can also contribute to S. mukorossi breeding in the future by helping develop new cultivars with high saponin yield. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Development of Multiplexed Marker Sets to Identify the Most Relevant Poplar Species for Breeding
Forests 2017, 8(12), 492; doi:10.3390/f8120492
Received: 18 September 2017 / Revised: 5 December 2017 / Accepted: 6 December 2017 / Published: 8 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1637 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Within the genus Populus, about 30 species are classified into six sections, of which some are cross-compatible. Besides naturally occurring hybrids, huge breeding programs have led to a high number of artificially produced hybrids, for which the determination of genetically involved species
[...] Read more.
Within the genus Populus, about 30 species are classified into six sections, of which some are cross-compatible. Besides naturally occurring hybrids, huge breeding programs have led to a high number of artificially produced hybrids, for which the determination of genetically involved species by morphological characteristics is often difficult. This necessitates the use of molecular markers for the identification of both maternal as well as paternal species, and in the case of complex hybrids, the genealogy. For this reason, we developed new chloroplast and nuclear markers for the differentiation of up to 19 poplar species, with one to 32 individuals per species regularly used in breeding programs based on already known barcoding, other chloroplast regions, and nuclear genes of interest. We developed methods to identify species by either species-specific nucleotide variations or, when no initial information for the species was given, by using a set of markers either in a procedure of exclusion or in a multiplexed marker set. The developed markers can all be used with low-cost equipment, and some can additionally be applied using a genetic analyzer. We combined these markers in multiplexes for a very fast and easy-to-use application for the identification of poplar species and their hybrids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gene-Based SNP Discovery and Diversity of Forests Trees)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Characterisation of Beaver Habitat Parameters That Promote the Use of Culverts as Dam Construction Sites: Can We Limit the Damage to Forest Roads?
Forests 2017, 8(12), 494; doi:10.3390/f8120494
Received: 5 October 2017 / Revised: 24 November 2017 / Accepted: 5 December 2017 / Published: 9 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1554 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The use of forest roads as foundations for dam construction by beavers is a recurrent problem in the management of forest road networks. In order to limit the damage to forest roads, our goal was to calculate the probability of beaver dam installation
[...] Read more.
The use of forest roads as foundations for dam construction by beavers is a recurrent problem in the management of forest road networks. In order to limit the damage to forest roads, our goal was to calculate the probability of beaver dam installation on culverts, according to surrounding habitat parameters, which could allow for improvement in the spatial design of new roads that minimise conflicts with beavers. Comparisons of culverts with (n = 77) and without (n = 51) dams in northwestern Quebec showed that catchment surface, cumulate length of all local streams within a 2-km radius, and road embankment height had a negative effect on the probability of dam construction on culverts, while flow level and culvert diameter ratio had a positive effect. Nevertheless, predicted probabilities of dam construction on culverts generally exceeded 50%, even on sites that were less favourable to beavers. We suggest that it would be more reasonable to take their probable subsequent presence into account at the earliest steps of road conception. Installing mitigation measures such as pre-dams during road construction would probably reduce the occurrence of conflicts with beavers and thus reduce the maintenance costs of forest roads. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Genetic Diversity and Structure of Natural Quercus variabilis Population in China as Revealed by Microsatellites Markers
Forests 2017, 8(12), 495; doi:10.3390/f8120495
Received: 3 November 2017 / Revised: 6 December 2017 / Accepted: 7 December 2017 / Published: 11 December 2017
PDF Full-text (3353 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Quercus variabilis is a tree species of ecological and economic value that is widely distributed in China. To effectively evaluate, use, and conserve resources, we applied 25 pairs of simple sequence repeat (SSR) primers to study its genetic diversity and genetic structure in
[...] Read more.
Quercus variabilis is a tree species of ecological and economic value that is widely distributed in China. To effectively evaluate, use, and conserve resources, we applied 25 pairs of simple sequence repeat (SSR) primers to study its genetic diversity and genetic structure in 19 natural forest or natural secondary forest populations of Q. variabilis (a total of 879 samples). A total of 277 alleles were detected. Overall, the average expected heterozygosity (He) was 0.707 and average allelic richness (AR) was 7.79. Q. variabilis manifested a loss of heterozygosity, and the mean of inbreeding coefficient (FIS) was 0.044. Less differentiation among populations was observed, and the genetic differentiation coefficient (FST) was 0.063. Bayesian clustering analysis indicated that the 19 studied populations could be divided into three groups based on their genetic makeup, namely, the Southwest group, Central group, and Northeastern group. The Central group, compared to the populations of the Southwest and Northeast group, showed higher genetic diversities and lower genetic differentiations. As a widely distributed species, the historical migration of Q. variabilis contributed to its genetic differentiation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Genomics of Forest Trees)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Mortality and Recovery of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (Adelges tsugae) in Response to Winter Temperatures and Predictions for the Future
Forests 2017, 8(12), 497; doi:10.3390/f8120497
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 30 November 2017 / Accepted: 5 December 2017 / Published: 12 December 2017
PDF Full-text (4243 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Eastern (Tsuga canadensis) and Carolina hemlocks (T. caroliniana) of eastern North America have been attacked by the non-native hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae Annand) (HWA) since the first half of the 20th century. Unlike most insects, HWA develops
[...] Read more.
Eastern (Tsuga canadensis) and Carolina hemlocks (T. caroliniana) of eastern North America have been attacked by the non-native hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae Annand) (HWA) since the first half of the 20th century. Unlike most insects, HWA develops through one generation from fall to late winter, exposing this insect to the lethal effects of winter temperatures. The mortality inflicted by winter temperatures on HWA determines the surviving population density as well as its ability to spread to uninfested areas. With the ongoing changes in climate, knowledge of this species’ ability to survive and spread in the future can help land managers prepare for its management. This study began during the winter of 2014 and ended in the spring of 2017. During this period, winter mortality of HWA was recorded at 100 sites from Maine to Georgia (n = 209). Changes in population density from the sistens to the succeeding progrediens generation were recorded at 24 sites (n = 35). Models were developed to predict HWA mortality using the lowest minimum temperature prior to the mortality assessment date, the number of days with mean temperature <−1 °C, and the mean daily temperature of the three days preceding that minimum. Models were also developed to predict population density changes from the overwintering sistens generation to the following progrediens generation. Future projections under climate change showed increases in winter survival and population growth rates over time. Especially towards the northeastern edge of T. canadensis’ distribution as minimum temperatures are predicted to increase at a greater rate. This will result in an increase in density throughout its current distribution and expansion northward causing an increase in its impact on eastern Tsuga spp. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Modeling and Predicting Carbon and Water Fluxes Using Data-Driven Techniques in a Forest Ecosystem
Forests 2017, 8(12), 498; doi:10.3390/f8120498
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 4 December 2017 / Accepted: 8 December 2017 / Published: 12 December 2017
PDF Full-text (3034 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Accurate estimation of carbon and water fluxes of forest ecosystems is of particular importance for addressing the problems originating from global environmental change, and providing helpful information about carbon and water content for analyzing and diagnosing past and future climate change. The main
[...] Read more.
Accurate estimation of carbon and water fluxes of forest ecosystems is of particular importance for addressing the problems originating from global environmental change, and providing helpful information about carbon and water content for analyzing and diagnosing past and future climate change. The main focus of the current work was to investigate the feasibility of four comparatively new methods, including generalized regression neural network, group method of data handling (GMDH), extreme learning machine and adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS), for elucidating the carbon and water fluxes in a forest ecosystem. A comparison was made between these models and two widely used data-driven models, artificial neural network (ANN) and support vector machine (SVM). All the models were evaluated based on the following statistical indices: coefficient of determination, Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency, root mean square error and mean absolute error. Results indicated that the data-driven models are capable of accounting for most variance in each flux with the limited meteorological variables. The ANN model provided the best estimates for gross primary productivity (GPP) and net ecosystem exchange (NEE), while the ANFIS model achieved the best for ecosystem respiration (R), indicating that no single model was consistently superior to others for the carbon flux prediction. In addition, the GMDH model consistently produced somewhat worse results for all the carbon flux and evapotranspiration (ET) estimations. On the whole, among the carbon and water fluxes, all the models produced similar highly satisfactory accuracy for GPP, R and ET fluxes, and did a reasonable job of reproducing the eddy covariance NEE. Based on these findings, it was concluded that these advanced models are promising alternatives to ANN and SVM for estimating the terrestrial carbon and water fluxes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water and Gas Exchanges in Forests)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Community Earth System Model Simulations Reveal the Relative Importance of Afforestation and Forest Management to Surface Temperature in Eastern North America
Forests 2017, 8(12), 499; doi:10.3390/f8120499
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 30 November 2017 / Accepted: 2 December 2017 / Published: 13 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1468 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Afforestation changes the land surface energy balance, though the effects on climate in temperate regions is uncertain, particularly the changes associated with forest management. In this study, we used idealized Community Earth System Model simulations to assess the influence of afforestation and afforestation
[...] Read more.
Afforestation changes the land surface energy balance, though the effects on climate in temperate regions is uncertain, particularly the changes associated with forest management. In this study, we used idealized Community Earth System Model simulations to assess the influence of afforestation and afforestation management in eastern North America on climate via changes in the biophysics of the land surface. Afforestation using broadleaf deciduous trees maintained at high leaf area index (LAI) in the southern part of the study region provided the greatest climate benefit by cooling summer surface air temperatures (Tsa). In contrast, the greatest warming occurred in the northern extent of the study region when afforesting with needleleaf evergreen trees maintained at high LAI. Forest management had an equal or greater influence on Tsa than the overall decision to afforest land in the southern extent of the region. Afforestation had a greater influence on Tsa than forest management in the northern extent. Integrating our results, focused on biophysical processes, with other research quantifying carbon cycle sensitivity to management can help guide the use of temperate afforestation to optimize climate benefits. Further, our results highlight the potential importance of including forest management in simulations of past and future climate. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Effects of Climate Change on the Climatic Niches of Warm-Adapted Evergreen Plants: Expansion or Contraction?
Forests 2017, 8(12), 500; doi:10.3390/f8120500
Received: 3 September 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 27 November 2017 / Published: 13 December 2017
PDF Full-text (9252 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Climate change has modified the structure and functions of ecosystems, affecting human well-being. Evergreen plants in the warm-temperate ecosystems will lose climatically suitable habitats under climate change but have not drawn much scholarly interest. Therefore, the present research aimed to predict the future
[...] Read more.
Climate change has modified the structure and functions of ecosystems, affecting human well-being. Evergreen plants in the warm-temperate ecosystems will lose climatically suitable habitats under climate change but have not drawn much scholarly interest. Therefore, the present research aimed to predict the future climatic niches of eight coastal warm-adapted evergreen trees under climate change to provide information for an effective management practice. For this purpose, we used the ensemble species distribution models (SDMs) weighted by the TSS value in modelling the climatic niches of those evergreen trees and then ensembled their future distributions predicted under 20 future climate scenarios. Except for Neolitsea sericea (True Skill Statistic (TSS) = 0.79), all projections for the current climatic niches of evergreens showed excellent predictive powers (TSS > 0.85). The results showed that the climatic niches of the four evergreens—Castanopsis cuspidata, Pittosporum tobira, Raphiolepis indica var. umbellate, and Eurya emarginata—would expand to the northern part of the Korean Peninsula (KP) under climate change, but the ones of the remaining four—Kadsura japonica, Neolitsea sericea, Ilex integra, and Dendropanax morbiferus—would shrink. While the climatic niches of Pittosporum tobira showed the rapidest and greatest expansion under climate change, Dendropanax morbiferus was predicted to experience the greatest loss of habitat. On the other hand, regardless of whether the future distributions of climatically suitable habitats would expand or contract, the highly suitable habitats of all species were predicted to decline under climate change. This may indicate that further climate change will degrade habitat suitability for all species within the distribution boundary and restrict continuous habitat expansions of expanding species or accelerate habitat loss of shrinking species. In addition, the future distributions of most coastal evergreens were found to be confined to coastal areas; therefore, sea-level rise would accelerate their habitat loss under climate change. The present study provides primary and practical knowledge for understanding climate-related coastal vegetation changes for future conservation planning, particularly on the Korean Peninsula. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Combined Analysis of mRNAs and miRNAs to Identify Genes Related to Biological Characteristics of Autotetraploid Paulownia
Forests 2017, 8(12), 501; doi:10.3390/f8120501
Received: 20 September 2017 / Revised: 5 December 2017 / Accepted: 8 December 2017 / Published: 13 December 2017
PDF Full-text (3147 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Autopolyploid plants and their organs are larger than their corresponding diploid ancestors, and they attract considerable attention for plant breeding. Paulownia is a fast-growing tree. To identify genes related to the biological characteristics of tetraploid Paulownia, transcriptome and small RNA sequencing were used
[...] Read more.
Autopolyploid plants and their organs are larger than their corresponding diploid ancestors, and they attract considerable attention for plant breeding. Paulownia is a fast-growing tree. To identify genes related to the biological characteristics of tetraploid Paulownia, transcriptome and small RNA sequencing were used to identify the key gene expression regulation in tetraploid Paulownia fortunei and tetraploid P. tomentosa and their corresponding diploids. A total of 1977 common differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and 89 differentially expressed miRNAs (DEMs) (38 conserved and 51 novel) were obtained in tetraploid vs. diploid comparisons of the two Paulownia species, and 18 target genes were identified by target prediction. Finally, by analyzing the expression profiles of the DEGs and DEMs and their target genes, we discovered that Pau-miR169, Pau-miR408 and Pau-miR156 interacted with their target gene nuclear transcription factor Y subunit A-9 (NF-YA9), serine/threonine protein phosphatase (PP1) and s-adenosyl-methionine-sterol-c-methyltransfera—se (SAM:SMT) to regulate the abiotic stress tolerance and the timber quality of the tetraploid Paulownia. This study lays a molecular biology foundation for understanding autotetraploid Paulownia and will benefit future breeding work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Certifying Forests to Achieve Sustainability in Industrial Plantations: Opinions of Stakeholders in Spain
Forests 2017, 8(12), 502; doi:10.3390/f8120502
Received: 17 October 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 7 December 2017 / Published: 13 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1494 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Forest certification is a practice that has been consolidated worldwide in recent years as a result of certification often being associated with sustainability. However, there is not much research available on the perception of stakeholders and experts of that association. This study evaluates
[...] Read more.
Forest certification is a practice that has been consolidated worldwide in recent years as a result of certification often being associated with sustainability. However, there is not much research available on the perception of stakeholders and experts of that association. This study evaluates how key stakeholders relate certification to sustainability, and its implications for forest management. A survey was implemented in the eucalyptus plantations of Galicia, northwestern Spain, to assess how forest managers; advisors; environmental organizations; researchers; and members from the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), PEFC (the Program for Endorsement of Forest Certification), and forest companies and associations, perceive this relationship. The opinions indicate that it should not be assumed that certified plantations are necessarily perceived as the most sustainable ones, that there is always a direct relationship between certification, nor that forest owners and managers certify their woodlands in order to guarantee sustainability. The results also showed that perceptions of certification and sustainability were not influenced by the opinions of different groups of stakeholders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Forest Management and Forest Certification)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Management Goals and Performance: Clustering State Forest Management Organizations in Europe with Multivariate Statistics
Forests 2017, 8(12), 504; doi:10.3390/f8120504 (registering DOI)
Received: 9 October 2017 / Revised: 6 December 2017 / Accepted: 7 December 2017 / Published: 15 December 2017
PDF Full-text (2403 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
State Forest Management Organizations (SFMOs) play a crucial role in the European forest sector, managing almost half of the forests in the region. SFMOs are often only managed for timber production, whereas, being publicly owned, they should play an important role in providing
[...] Read more.
State Forest Management Organizations (SFMOs) play a crucial role in the European forest sector, managing almost half of the forests in the region. SFMOs are often only managed for timber production, whereas, being publicly owned, they should play an important role in providing a vast range of public goods (e.g., soil protection, biodiversity conservation). Their management goals depend on the history and current conditions of the forest sector at a national level, as well as different challenges and the potential for development. Although there is a lack of knowledge about the current performance of SFMOs, there have been recent changes to their management goals and practices in response to the new demands expressed by society (e.g., transparency, social inclusion). The main purpose of this study was to analyze the current situation of SFMOs by grouping them with the help of a Cluster Analysis according to indicators that reflect the three pillars of the common understanding of the sustainable forest management (SFM) concept. Additionally, in light of the differences in the forest practices and management priorities in each country, we used Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to group countries according to common characteristics of the forest sector at the national level. The results showed three main clusters of SFMOs in Europe. The first cluster had a rather small but commercially-oriented forestry unit together with other business activities and a strong focus on public services. The second focused on public interest, rather than commercially-oriented organizations. The third is mainly profit-seeking. The existence of diverse SFMO clusters shows the possibility of different approaches for SFM with a focus on different goals (e.g., profit gaining, public service delivery). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Economics and Human Dimensions)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Assessing Ecosystem Services in Rubber Dominated Landscapes in South-East Asia—A Challenge for Biophysical Modeling and Transdisciplinary Valuation
Forests 2017, 8(12), 505; doi:10.3390/f8120505 (registering DOI)
Received: 2 November 2017 / Revised: 1 December 2017 / Accepted: 13 December 2017 / Published: 15 December 2017
PDF Full-text (7052 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The concept of ecosystem services (ESS) has been increasingly recognized for its potential in decision making processes concerning environmental policy. Multidisciplinary projects on rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) cultivation, integrating research on a variety of ESS, have been few and far between. More
[...] Read more.
The concept of ecosystem services (ESS) has been increasingly recognized for its potential in decision making processes concerning environmental policy. Multidisciplinary projects on rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) cultivation, integrating research on a variety of ESS, have been few and far between. More than three years of iterative workshops with regional stakeholders resulted in the development of future land use scenarios for our study area in Xishuangbanna, PR China. We used the InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Trade-offs) modeling framework to analyze their impact on sediment retention, water yield, habitat quality, and carbon sequestration and developed a model for assessing rubber yields. We investigated the percentage deviations of integrated ESS indices in each scenario, as compared to the initial state of 2015 and as a novelty used different statistical weighting methods to include rankings for the preference of ESS from three contrasting stakeholder groups. The business-as-usual scenario (BAU, continuous rubber expansions) revealed an increase in rubber yields trading off against all other ESS analyzed. Compared to BAU, the measures introduced in the balanced-trade-offs scenario (reforestation, reduced herbicide application, riverine buffer zones, etc.) reduced the total amount of rubber yield but enhanced habitat quality and regulating ESS. The results show that the integrated indices for the provisioning of ESS would be overestimated without the inclusion of the stakeholder groups. We conclude that policy regulations, if properly assessed with spatial models and integrated stakeholder feedback, have the potential to buffer the typical trade-off between agricultural intensification and environmental protection. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research, Other

Open AccessReview Impacts of Global Change on Mediterranean Forests and Their Services
Forests 2017, 8(12), 463; doi:10.3390/f8120463
Received: 21 September 2017 / Revised: 13 November 2017 / Accepted: 15 November 2017 / Published: 24 November 2017
PDF Full-text (3670 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The increase in aridity, mainly by decreases in precipitation but also by higher temperatures, is likely the main threat to the diversity and survival of Mediterranean forests. Changes in land use, including the abandonment of extensive crop activities, mainly in mountains and remote
[...] Read more.
The increase in aridity, mainly by decreases in precipitation but also by higher temperatures, is likely the main threat to the diversity and survival of Mediterranean forests. Changes in land use, including the abandonment of extensive crop activities, mainly in mountains and remote areas, and the increases in human settlements and demand for more resources with the resulting fragmentation of the landscape, hinder the establishment of appropriate management tools to protect Mediterranean forests and their provision of services and biodiversity. Experiments and observations indicate that if changes in climate, land use and other components of global change, such as pollution and overexploitation of resources, continue, the resilience of many forests will likely be exceeded, altering their structure and function and changing, mostly decreasing, their capacity to continue to provide their current services. A consistent assessment of the impacts of the changes, however, remains elusive due to the difficulty of obtaining simultaneous and complete data for all scales of the impacts in the same forests, areas and regions. We review the impacts of climate change and other components of global change and their interactions on the terrestrial forests of Mediterranean regions, with special attention to their impacts on ecosystem services. Management tools for counteracting the negative effects of global change on Mediterranean ecosystem- services are finally discussed. Full article
Figures

Open AccessReview Tropical and Highland Temperate Forest Plantations in Mexico: Pathways for Climate Change Mitigation and Ecosystem Services Delivery
Forests 2017, 8(12), 489; doi:10.3390/f8120489
Received: 26 September 2017 / Revised: 7 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 9 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1862 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Forest plantations are a possible way of increasing forest productivity in temperate and tropical forests, and therefore also increasing above- and belowground carbon pools. In the context of climate change, monospecific plantations might become an alternative to mitigate global warming; however, their contribution
[...] Read more.
Forest plantations are a possible way of increasing forest productivity in temperate and tropical forests, and therefore also increasing above- and belowground carbon pools. In the context of climate change, monospecific plantations might become an alternative to mitigate global warming; however, their contribution to the structural complexity, complementarity, and biodiversity of forests has not been addressed. Mixed forest plantations can ensure that objectives of climate change mitigation are met through carbon sequestration, while also delivering anticipated ecosystem services (e.g., nutrient cycling, erosion control, and wildlife habitat). However, mixed forest plantations pose considerable operational challenges and research opportunities. For example, it is essential to know how many species or functional traits are necessary to deliver a set of benefits, or what mixture of species and densities are key to maintaining productive plantations and delivering multiple ecosystem services. At the same time, the establishment of forest plantations in Mexico should not be motivated solely by timber production. Forest plantations should also increase carbon sequestration, maintain biodiversity, and provide other ecosystem services. This article analyzes some matters that affect the development of planted forests in the Mexican national context, and presents alternatives for forest resources management through the recommendation of mixed forest plantations as a means of contributing to climate change mitigation and the delivery of ecosystem services. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview The Contribution of Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Practices to Forest Management: The Case of Northeast Asia
Forests 2017, 8(12), 496; doi:10.3390/f8120496
Received: 9 November 2017 / Revised: 7 December 2017 / Accepted: 8 December 2017 / Published: 12 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1971 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study aims to introduce the potential applicability of traditional ecological knowledge and community forestry in Northeast Asia, including China, Japan, and South Korea. In ancient Northeast Asia, forest policies and practices were based on Fengshui (an old Chinese concept regarding the flow
[...] Read more.
This study aims to introduce the potential applicability of traditional ecological knowledge and community forestry in Northeast Asia, including China, Japan, and South Korea. In ancient Northeast Asia, forest policies and practices were based on Fengshui (an old Chinese concept regarding the flow of vital forces), with which forests were managed under community forestry. However, these traditional systems diminished in the twentieth century owing to the decline of traditional livelihood systems and extreme deforestation. Recently, legacies from traditional ecological knowledge and community forestry have been revisited and incorporated into forest policies, laws, and management practices because of growing needs for sustainable forest use in China, Japan, and Korea. This reevaluation of traditional ecological knowledge and community forestry has provided empirical data to help improve forestry systems. Although traditional ecological knowledge and community forestry in Northeast Asia have been scarcely theorized, they play a significant role in modifying forest management practices in the face of socioeconomic changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Participatory Forestry: Involvement, Information and Science)
Figures

Figure 1

Other

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessOpinion Forest Planning Heuristics—Current Recommendations and Research Opportunities for s-Metaheuristics
Forests 2017, 8(12), 476; doi:10.3390/f8120476
Received: 16 October 2017 / Revised: 15 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 3 December 2017
PDF Full-text (1128 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Adaptive forest management requires planning and implementation of activities designed to maintain or improve forest conditions, and in support of these endeavors knowledge of silviculture, economics, operations research, and other allied fields are necessary. With regard to forest planning, traditional (exact) mathematical techniques
[...] Read more.
Adaptive forest management requires planning and implementation of activities designed to maintain or improve forest conditions, and in support of these endeavors knowledge of silviculture, economics, operations research, and other allied fields are necessary. With regard to forest planning, traditional (exact) mathematical techniques along with heuristics have been demonstrated as useful in developing alternative courses of action for forest managers to consider. In this discussion paper, we present six areas of future work with regard to investigations into the development of heuristics, along with several recommendations that are based on our experiences. These areas include process improvements, reversion strategies, destruction and reconstruction strategies, intelligent or dynamic parameterization approaches, intelligent termination or transitioning approaches, and seeding strategies. We chose the six areas based on our experiences in developing forest planning heuristics. These areas reflect our opinion of where future research might concentrate. All of these areas of work have the potential to enhance the capabilities and effectiveness of heuristic approaches when applied to adaptive forest management problems. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessPerspective Adaptation to Climate Change in Forestry: A Perspective on Forest Ownership and Adaptation Responses
Forests 2017, 8(12), 493; doi:10.3390/f8120493
Received: 24 September 2017 / Revised: 16 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 9 December 2017
PDF Full-text (723 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Adaptation to climate change has often been discussed from the perspectives of social vulnerability and community vulnerability, recognising that characteristics at local level will influence the particular adaptations undertaken. However, the extent to which national-level systemic factors influence and shape measures defined as
[...] Read more.
Adaptation to climate change has often been discussed from the perspectives of social vulnerability and community vulnerability, recognising that characteristics at local level will influence the particular adaptations undertaken. However, the extent to which national-level systemic factors influence and shape measures defined as adaptations has seldom been recognised. Focusing on adaptation to climate change in forestry, this study uses the example of two countries in the northern hemisphere with different forest ownership structures, forestry industry and traditions: Sweden, with strong private, non-industrial ownership, dominant forest industry and long forestry traditions; and Scotland, with forest ownership dominated by large estates and investment forestry based on plantations of exotic conifer species. The study shows how adaptation to climate change is structurally embedded and conditioned, which has resulted in specific challenges and constraints for different groups of forest owners within these two different contexts. This produces a specific set of political spaces and policy tools by rendering climate change in relation to forestry manageable, negotiable and practical/logical in specific ways. It is recommended that the focus of future work on climate-related issues and development of adaptation measures and policy should not be primarily on climate-related factors, but on institutional analysis of structural factors and logics in target sectors, in order to critically explore concepts of agency and power within these processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
Back to Top