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Special Issue "Adaptation of Forests and Forest Management to Climate Change"

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A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2011)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Rodney J. Keenan (Website)

The University of Melbourne 221 Bouverie St Carlton, VIC, 3053, Australia
Phone: +61428330886
Fax: +61 (0) 3 9349 4218
Interests: forests and climate change (mitigation and adaptation); forest assessment and planning; ecology and nutrient cycling; computer modelling of ecosystem functioning; forest and international development policy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Forests are a critical component of the global carbon cycle and have an important role in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change. Forests will also be fundamentally affected by climate change in their composition, functioning and distribution. Different management approaches will be required that anticipate and address the potential implications of climate change whether forests are being managed primarily for conservation, production, protection or other uses. Forests are also a vital part of comprehensive, landscape-scale adaptation responses to climate change particularly in the developing world.

This special issue is seeking contributions on climate change adaptation in the management of planted and natural forests. It provides an opportunity for researchers to present the results of studies on the biophysical impacts of climate change on forests and for those working on potential management or policy responses to climate change. It aims to provide an up-to-date compendium of recent research in this field from around the world.

Prof. Dr. Rodney J. Keenan
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • forests
  • climate change
  • adaptation response
  • adaptive management
  • disturbance
  • resilience
  • sustainable forest management
  • scenarios

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessCommunication Adaptation of Forests and Forest Management to Climate Change: An Editorial
Forests 2012, 3(1), 75-82; doi:10.3390/f3010075
Received: 4 January 2012 / Revised: 9 January 2012 / Accepted: 9 January 2012 / Published: 30 January 2012
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (45 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Climate change presents potential risks to forests and challenges for forest managers. Adaptation to climate change involves monitoring and anticipating change and undertaking actions to avoid the negative consequences and take advantage of potential benefits of those changes. Forest managers are accustomed [...] Read more.
Climate change presents potential risks to forests and challenges for forest managers. Adaptation to climate change involves monitoring and anticipating change and undertaking actions to avoid the negative consequences and take advantage of potential benefits of those changes. Forest managers are accustomed to considering the long-term implications of their decisions. However, many are now responding to much shorter term economic or political imperatives. Climate change potentially increases the consequences of many existing challenges associated with environmental, social or economic change. Some current management measures may continue to be suitable in responding to increasing pressures under climate change, while for other situations new measures will be required. This special issue presents papers from Africa, Europe, and North America that provide examples of the type of analysis being implemented to support forest management in a changing climate. The implications in the context of uncertainty in climate projections and ecosystem responses are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptation of Forests and Forest Management to Climate Change)
Open AccessArticle Climate Change Mitigation Through Reduced-Impact Logging and the Hierarchy of Production Forest Management
Forests 2012, 3(1), 59-74; doi:10.3390/f3010059
Received: 21 November 2011 / Revised: 30 December 2011 / Accepted: 10 January 2012 / Published: 20 January 2012
PDF Full-text (270 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The proposed hierarchy of production forest management provides modus operandi for forest concessions to move incrementally towards Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) via Reduced-Impact Logging (RIL) and forest certification. Financial benefits are sourced in the “Additionality Zone”, financing the rise in the hierarchy [...] Read more.
The proposed hierarchy of production forest management provides modus operandi for forest concessions to move incrementally towards Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) via Reduced-Impact Logging (RIL) and forest certification. Financial benefits are sourced in the “Additionality Zone”, financing the rise in the hierarchy and offsetting prohibitive forest and carbon certification costs. RIL carbon registration components consist of developing credible baseline, additionality and leakage arguments around the business-as-usual scenario through the quantification of historical forest inventory and production records, forest infrastructure records and damage to the residual forest. If conventional harvesting is taken as a baseline, research indicates RIL can potentially reduce emissions by approximately 1–7 tCO2e ha−1yr−1. The current market price of USD $7.30 per tCO2e may result in over USD $50 ha−1yr−1 in additional revenue, well above the estimated USD $3–5 ha−1 in carbon transaction costs. Concessions in Sabah Malaysia demonstrate the financial viability of long-term RIL and certification planning. This may act as a basis for future planned forest management activities involving RIL, carbon and forest certification through the hierarchy of production forest management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptation of Forests and Forest Management to Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle Structure and Regeneration Patterns of Pinus nigra subsp. salzmannii Natural Forests: A Basic Knowledge for Adaptive Management in a Changing Climate
Forests 2011, 2(4), 1013-1030; doi:10.3390/f2041013
Received: 12 September 2011 / Revised: 17 October 2011 / Accepted: 2 December 2011 / Published: 9 December 2011
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (360 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since climate change projections contain many uncertainties and are normally unable to predict the direction and magnitude of change at the small scale needed by forest managers, some understanding about the functioning of the target forest should be obtained before a robust [...] Read more.
Since climate change projections contain many uncertainties and are normally unable to predict the direction and magnitude of change at the small scale needed by forest managers, some understanding about the functioning of the target forest should be obtained before a robust management strategy can be applied. Structure and regeneration patterns are related to key ecosystem processes which, on the other hand, can be modified by silvicultural treatments. In this research, the structure and recruitment dynamics of two stands with different histories of management were investigated in the southern limit of the range of Pinus nigra subsp. salzmannii (Southeast Spain). We described forest structure and facilitation effects by forest canopies and nurse shrubs, and quantified the processes affecting each stage of regeneration (dispersed seed, first year seedling and second year seedling) in different microhabitats. Forest structure was more complex in the stand scarcely influenced by human activities. Juniperus communis shrubs seemed to facilitate the establishment of tree saplings. Most seedlings died of desiccation during their first summer. At best, 190 out of 10,000 emerged seedlings survived the first summer. In light of these results, the possibilities of applying close-to-nature forestry in the study forests and other aspects of silviculture under a frame of adaptive forest management are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptation of Forests and Forest Management to Climate Change)
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Open AccessCommunication Making the National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) More Responsive to the Livelihood Needs of Tree Planting Farmers, Drawing on Previous Experience in Dryland Sudan
Forests 2011, 2(4), 948-960; doi:10.3390/f2040948
Received: 21 September 2011 / Revised: 21 October 2011 / Accepted: 3 November 2011 / Published: 9 November 2011
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (125 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recently, tree planting has become popular under NAPA. For decades, many tree planting projects were implemented to reduce the vulnerability of ecosystems and societies. Despite all of these, tree-dependent livelihoods remain vulnerable, which leaves doubt on the benefit of tree planting to [...] Read more.
Recently, tree planting has become popular under NAPA. For decades, many tree planting projects were implemented to reduce the vulnerability of ecosystems and societies. Despite all of these, tree-dependent livelihoods remain vulnerable, which leaves doubt on the benefit of tree planting to enhance the resilience of livelihoods to climatic shocks. This suggests that much can be learned from the past to improve future tree planting adaptation projects. This paper draws on the experience of farmers involved in gum arabic agroforestry in Sudan in order to understand the needs of tree-related adaptation projects that should be addressed. Surveyed farmers appreciated the different environmental services rendered by trees. Their priority areas for an adaptation project however, remain issues tied to gum producer price, rainfall pattern, and locust attacks as well as extension services and to a lesser extent access to micro credits. Moreover, Sudan’s Gum Arabic Company (GAC) and Forests National Corporation play key roles in governance but are not yet considered as key adaptation players particularly the unsupportive role of the monopoly of gum exportation by GAC to tree planting as an adaptation activity. By focusing the design and implementation on tree related livelihood obstacles, adaptation projects are likely to be more responsive to the needs of vulnerable groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptation of Forests and Forest Management to Climate Change)
Open AccessArticle Modeling Effects of Climate Change and Fire Management on Western White Pine (Pinus monticola) in the Northern Rocky Mountains, USA
Forests 2011, 2(4), 832-860; doi:10.3390/f2040832
Received: 1 August 2011 / Revised: 13 September 2011 / Accepted: 23 September 2011 / Published: 12 October 2011
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (2701 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Climate change is projected to profoundly influence vegetation patterns and community compositions, either directly through increased species mortality and shifts in species distributions or indirectly through disturbance dynamics such as increased wildfire activity and extent, shifting fire regimes, and pathogenesis. Mountainous landscapes [...] Read more.
Climate change is projected to profoundly influence vegetation patterns and community compositions, either directly through increased species mortality and shifts in species distributions or indirectly through disturbance dynamics such as increased wildfire activity and extent, shifting fire regimes, and pathogenesis. Mountainous landscapes have been shown to be particularly sensitive to climate changes and are likely to experience significant impacts under predicted future climate regimes. Western white pine (Pinus monticola), a five-needle pine species that forms the most diverse of the white pine forest cover types in the western United States, is vulnerable to an interacting suite of threats that includes climate change, fire suppression, white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola), and mountain pine beetles (Dendroctonus ponderosae) that have already caused major changes in species distribution and abundance. We used the mechanistic simulation model FireBGCv2 to simulate effects of climate change and fire management on western white pines in a mountainous watershed in Glacier National Park, Montana, USA. Our results suggest that warming temperatures favor increased abundance of western white pine over existing climax and shade tolerant species in the study area, mainly because warmer conditions potentiate fire dynamics, including increased wildfire frequency and extent, which facilitates regeneration. Suppression of wildfires reduced the area dominated by western white pine, but fire suppression was less effective at limiting burned area extent and fire frequency in a warmer and drier climate. Wildfires created canopy gaps that allowed for western white pine regeneration at a high enough rate to escape local extirpation from white pine blister rust. Western white pine appears to be a resilient species even under fairly extreme warming trajectories and shifting fire regimes, and may provide a hedge against vegetation community shifts away from forest types and toward grass and shrublands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptation of Forests and Forest Management to Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle A Flexible Hybrid Model of Life Cycle Carbon Balance for Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda L.) Management Systems
Forests 2011, 2(3), 749-776; doi:10.3390/f2030749
Received: 13 May 2011 / Revised: 3 August 2011 / Accepted: 1 September 2011 / Published: 15 September 2011
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (727 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study we analyzed the effects of silvicultural treatments on carbon (C) budgets in Pinus taeda L. (loblolly pine) plantations in the southeastern United States. We developed a hybrid model that integrated a widely used growth and yield model for loblolly [...] Read more.
In this study we analyzed the effects of silvicultural treatments on carbon (C) budgets in Pinus taeda L. (loblolly pine) plantations in the southeastern United States. We developed a hybrid model that integrated a widely used growth and yield model for loblolly pine with published allometric and biometric equations to simulate in situ C pools. The model used current values of forest product conversion efficiencies and forest product decay rates to calculate ex situ C pools. Using the model to evaluate the effects of silvicultural management systems on C sequestration over a 200 year simulation period, we concluded that site productivity (site quality), which can be altered by silviculture and genetic improvement, was the major factor controlling stand C density. On low productivity sites, average net C stocks were about 35% lower than in stands with the default average site quality; in contrast, on high quality sites, C stocks were about 38% greater than average productivity stands. If woody products were incorporated into the accounting, thinning was C positive because of the larger positive effects on ex situ C storage, rather than smaller reductions on in situ C storage. The use of biological rotation age (18 years) was not suitable for C sequestration, and extended rotation ages were found to increase stand C stock density. Stands with an 18-year-rotation length had 7% lower net C density than stands with a 22-year-rotation length; stands with a 35-year-rotation length had only 4% more C than stands harvested at age 22 years. The C sequestered in woody products was an important pool of C storage, accounting for ~34% of the average net C stock. Changes in decomposition rate, associated with possible environmental changes resulting from global climate change, affected C storage capacity of the forest. When decay rate was reduced to 10% or increased to 20%, the C stock in the dead pool (forest floor and coarse woody debris) was reduced about 11.8 MgC∙ha−1 or increased about 13.3 MgC∙ha−1, respectively, compared to the average decay rate of 15%. The C emissions due to silvicultural and harvest activities were small (~1.6% of the gross C stock) compared to the magnitude of total stand C stock. The C model, based on empirical and biological relationships, appears appropriate for use in regional C stock assessments for loblolly pine plantation ecosystems in the southern U.S. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptation of Forests and Forest Management to Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle Assessing Seven Decades of Carbon Accumulation in Two U.S. Northern Hardwood Forests
Forests 2011, 2(3), 730-740; doi:10.3390/f2030730
Received: 5 July 2011 / Revised: 8 August 2011 / Accepted: 29 August 2011 / Published: 5 September 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (699 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Forests play a key role in the global carbon cycle, and programs aimed at mitigating greenhouse gas emissions through the protection and enhancement of forest carbon stocks are growing in number. Adding greenhouse gas mitigation as a management objective presents managers with [...] Read more.
Forests play a key role in the global carbon cycle, and programs aimed at mitigating greenhouse gas emissions through the protection and enhancement of forest carbon stocks are growing in number. Adding greenhouse gas mitigation as a management objective presents managers with a considerable challenge, because data and guidelines are scarce. Long-term inventory datasets have the potential to serve as a useful resource, providing data on carbon accumulation over time, as well as offering insight on strategies for managing forests for the objective of climate mitigation in the face of changing climate and disturbance regimes. We present long-term estimates of carbon accumulation developed from biometric measurements from two northern hardwood forests in the northeastern USA. The Bartlett Experimental Forest in central New Hampshire, USA, stored an estimated net average annual 0.53 tC/ha/yr between 1932–2001, for an increase of 50% in carbon stock per unit area; there were significant differences in accrual rates between age classes (38% for old unmanaged stands and 78% for younger unmanaged stands). The Kane Experimental Forest in northwestern Pennsylvania, USA, exhibited a 140% increase in carbon stored per unit area between 1932 and 2006, with an average annual accumulation rate of 0.89 tC/ha/yr. While both forests have experienced management activity and natural disturbances and differ in species composition, the average age of the forests is an important factor driving the differences in net accumulation rates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptation of Forests and Forest Management to Climate Change)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Reviewing the Science and Implementation of Climate Change Adaptation Measures in European Forestry
Forests 2011, 2(4), 961-982; doi:10.3390/f2040961
Received: 5 July 2011 / Revised: 29 August 2011 / Accepted: 3 November 2011 / Published: 11 November 2011
Cited by 51 | PDF Full-text (196 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Developing adaptation measures in forestry is an urgent task because the forests regenerated today will have to cope with climate conditions that may drastically change during the life of the trees in the stand. This paper presents a comprehensive review of potential [...] Read more.
Developing adaptation measures in forestry is an urgent task because the forests regenerated today will have to cope with climate conditions that may drastically change during the life of the trees in the stand. This paper presents a comprehensive review of potential adaptation options in forestry in Europe based on three pillars: a review of the scientific literature, an analysis of current national response strategies, and an expert assessment based on a database compiled in the COST Action ECHOES (Expected Climate Change and Options for European Silviculture). The adaptation measures include responses to both risks and opportunities created by climate change and address all stages of forestry operations. Measures targeted to reduce vulnerability to climate change may either aim to reduce forest sensitivity to adverse climate change impacts or increase adaptive capacity to cope with the changing environmental conditions. Adaptation measures mitigating drought and fire risk such as selection of more drought resistant species and genotypes are crucial. For adaptation to be successful it is of the utmost importance to disseminate the knowledge of suitable adaptation measures to all decision makers from the practice to the policy level. The analysis of the ECHOES database demonstrates that this challenge is well recognized in many European countries. Uncertainty about the full extent of climate change impacts and the suitability of adaptation measures creates a need for monitoring and further research. A better understanding of how to increase adaptive capacity is also needed, as well as regional vulnerability assessments which are crucial for targeting planned adaptation measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptation of Forests and Forest Management to Climate Change)

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