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Forests, Volume 13, Issue 1 (January 2022) – 135 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Understanding factors driving fire activity helps reveal the degree and geographical variability in the resilience of boreal vegetation to large scale climate forces. We studied the association between sea ice cover in the Baffin Bay and the Labrador Sea and observational records of forest fires in two Nordic countries (Norway and Sweden) over 1913–2017. We found a positive correlation between ice proxies and regional fire activity records suggesting that the Arctic climate and the associated changes in North Atlantic circulation exercise an important control on the levels of fire activity in Scandinavia. View this paper
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Article
Classifying Forest Types over a Mountainous Area in Southwest China with Landsat Data Composites and Multiple Environmental Factors
Forests 2022, 13(1), 135; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/f13010135 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 701
Abstract
Accurate information about forest type and distribution is critical for many scientific applications. It is possible to make a forest type map from the satellite data in a cost effective way. However, forest type mapping over a large and mountainous geographic area is [...] Read more.
Accurate information about forest type and distribution is critical for many scientific applications. It is possible to make a forest type map from the satellite data in a cost effective way. However, forest type mapping over a large and mountainous geographic area is still challenging, due to complex forest type compositions, spectral similarity among various forest types, poor quality images with clouds or cloud shadows and difficulties in managing and processing large amount data. Based on the Google Earth Engine (GEE) cloud platform, a method of forest types mapping using Landsat-8 OLI imagery and multiple environmental factors was developed and tested within Yunnan Province (about 390,000 km2) of China. The proposed approach employed a pixel-based seasonal image compositing method to produce two types of seasonal composite images, i.e., four 7-spectral-band composite images and four 5-VI-band composite images associated in spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Then, single-season feature bands and multi-seasonal feature bands were combined with the feature bands of topography, temperature, and precipitation, respectively, and resulting in 17 feature combinations. Finally, using a random forest (RF) classifier, 17 feature combinations were separately experimented to classify the forest type over the study area. The study area was firstly classified into the forest and the non-forest, and then the forest was sub-classified into five forest types (evergreen needleleaf forest, deciduous needleleaf forest, evergreen broadleaf forest, deciduous broadleaf forest, and mixed forest). The results showed that the pixel-based multi-seasonal median composite can produce a cloud-free image for the entire region and is suitable for forest type mapping. Compared with a single-season composite, a multi-seasonal composite can distinguish different forest types more effectively. The environmental factors also improve the accuracy of forest type mapping. With the ground survey samples as reference values, the classification performance of 17 feature combinations was compared, and the optimal feature combination was found out. For the optimal feature combination, its overall accuracy of the forest/non-forest cover map and the forest type map reached 97.57% (Kappa = 0.950) and 70.30% (Kappa = 0.628), respectively. The proposed approach has demonstrated strong potential of high classification accuracy and convenient calculation when mapping forest types over a national or global scale, and its product of 30 m resolution forest type map is capable of contributing to forest resource management. Full article
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Article
Place-Based Analysis of Satellite Time Series Shows Opposing Land Change Patterns in the Copperbelt Region of Zambia
Forests 2022, 13(1), 134; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/f13010134 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 454
Abstract
The process of land degradation needs to be understood at various spatial and temporal scales in order to protect ecosystem services and communities directly dependent on it. This is especially true for regions in sub-Saharan Africa, where socio economic and political factors exacerbate [...] Read more.
The process of land degradation needs to be understood at various spatial and temporal scales in order to protect ecosystem services and communities directly dependent on it. This is especially true for regions in sub-Saharan Africa, where socio economic and political factors exacerbate ecological degradation. This study identifies spatially explicit land change dynamics in the Copperbelt province of Zambia in a local context using satellite vegetation index time series derived from the MODIS sensor. Three sets of parameters, namely, monthly series, annual peaking magnitude, and annual mean growing season were developed for the period 2000 to 2019. Trend was estimated by applying harmonic regression on monthly series and linear least square regression on annually aggregated series. Estimated spatial trends were further used as a basis to map endemic land change processes. Our observations were as follows: (a) 15% of the study area dominant in the east showed positive trends, (b) 3% of the study area dominant in the west showed negative trends, (c) natural regeneration in mosaic landscapes (post shifting cultivation) and land management in forest reserves were chiefly responsible for positive trends, and (d) degradation over intact miombo woodland and cultivation areas contributed to negative trends. Additionally, lower productivity over areas with semi-permanent agriculture and shift of new encroachment into woodlands from east to west of Copperbelt was observed. Pivot agriculture was not a main driver in land change. Although overall greening trends prevailed across the study site, the risk of intact woodlands being exposed to various disturbances remains high. The outcome of this study can provide insights about natural and assisted landscape restoration specifically addressing the miombo ecoregion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Vegetation Monitoring through Remote Sensing Technologies)
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Article
Environmental Heterogeneity Affecting Community Assembly Patterns and Phylogenetic Diversity of Three Forest Communities at Mt. Huangshan, China
Forests 2022, 13(1), 133; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/f13010133 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 419
Abstract
Studying community assembly has always been a central issue in ecological research and is necessary for understanding mechanisms of species coexistence and biodiversity. Environmental heterogeneity is a driver of biodiversity, but much remains to be learned about how evolutionary processes are affected by [...] Read more.
Studying community assembly has always been a central issue in ecological research and is necessary for understanding mechanisms of species coexistence and biodiversity. Environmental heterogeneity is a driver of biodiversity, but much remains to be learned about how evolutionary processes are affected by environmental factors. We aimed to clarify the evolutionary processes in different vegetation communities in the Huangshan Scenic Area, Anhui Province, China. We constructed a phylogenetic tree of these communities based on a constraint tree and three DNA barcode regions. Community I was characterized by a weakly overdispersed phylogenetic structure for all three plant groups. The structure of Community II showed clustered for total plants and shrubs, overdispersed for trees. However, the phylogenetic structure was clustered for total plants, overdispersed for trees and shrubs in Community III. The main drivers of these patterns were spatial and climatic factors. Phylogenetic α-diversity had a significant positive relationship with species richness. The values of phylogenetic β-diversity reached their maximum at intermediate elevations among three vegetation communities for total plants. The main factors that affected diversity patterns were spatial variables, not climatic factors, indicating that environmental heterogeneity determined the mechanisms of biodiversity and species coexistence in the community. Our results showed that deterministic processes may control community assembly in three different vegetation regions. Full article
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Article
Anatomical, Physical, Chemical, and Biological Durability Properties of Two Rattan Species of Different Diameter Classes
Forests 2022, 13(1), 132; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/f13010132 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 497
Abstract
Rattan cane is an important forest product with economic value. Its anatomical, physical, and biological properties vary with the cane height. This makes it difficult to select the appropriate cane diameter for harvesting. Understanding the material properties of rattan cane with different diameter [...] Read more.
Rattan cane is an important forest product with economic value. Its anatomical, physical, and biological properties vary with the cane height. This makes it difficult to select the appropriate cane diameter for harvesting. Understanding the material properties of rattan cane with different diameter sizes is important to enhance its utilization and performance for different end uses. Thus, the present study was performed on two rattan species, Calamus zollingeri and Calamus ornatus, at two different cane heights (bottom/mature and top/juvenile). Calamus zollingeri was studied at diameter classes of 20 mm and 30 mm, while Calamus ornatus was analyzed at a diameter class of 15 mm. The anatomical properties, basic density, volumetric swelling, dynamic moisture sorption, and biological durability of rattan samples were studied. The results showed that C. zollingeri with a 20 mm diameter exhibited the highest basic density, hydrophobicity, dimensional stability, and durability against mold and white-rot (Trametes versicolor) fungi. As confirmed by anatomical studies, this could be due to the higher vascular bundle frequency and longer thick-walled fibers that led to a denser structure than in the other categories. In addition, the lignin content might have a positive effect on the mass loss of different rattan canes caused by white-rot decay. Full article
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Article
Declining Growth Response of Siberian Spruce to Climate Variability on the Taiga–Tundra Border in the Putorana Mountains (Northwest Siberia)
Forests 2022, 13(1), 131; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/f13010131 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 563
Abstract
Global warming is most pronounced at high latitudes where temperatures increase twice as fast as the global average. Boreal forest growth is generally limited by low temperatures, so elevated temperature is supposed to enhance biomass production and carbon sequestration. A large amount of [...] Read more.
Global warming is most pronounced at high latitudes where temperatures increase twice as fast as the global average. Boreal forest growth is generally limited by low temperatures, so elevated temperature is supposed to enhance biomass production and carbon sequestration. A large amount of evidence has recently shown inconsistent responses of tree growth derived from annual tree rings to increasing temperature. We studied Siberian spruce growth in the remote and isolated Putorana Mts, Western Siberia in populations at its natural distribution limit. Tree ring cores were sampled along vertical transect in 100, 200 and 350 m a.s.l. as the aim was to identify the tree growth rate at different altitudes. Detailed sampling site descriptions served to identify possible factors controlling the growth rate in extremely heterogeneous environments. Monthly climate data for the period 1900–2020 were extracted from the gridded CRU database. Tree ring chronologies confirmed long-lasting limited growth, and despite high year-to-year ring width variability, synchronous growth at vertical study sites dominantly controlled by climate. The positive tree ring growth response to summer temperature was significant for most of the 20th century but dramatically changed in recent decades, when unusually warm summers were reported. There was no, or even a negative growth rate correlation with precipitation, which indicates a sufficient water supply at the study sites. Elevated temperature in this region with a continental climate might turn the study localities to water-limited areas with many negative consequences on tree growth and related ecosystem services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate-Smart Forestry (CSF) in Mountain Regions)
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Article
Assessing the Economic Contribution of Forest Use to Rural Livelihoods in the Rubi-Tele Hunting Domain, DR Congo
Forests 2022, 13(1), 130; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/f13010130 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 442
Abstract
Forest utilization makes a significant economic contribution to the livelihoods of rural households, especially those living in developing countries. This study was conducted to determine the absolute and relative forest income and measure the distributional impact of forest income on economic inequalities among [...] Read more.
Forest utilization makes a significant economic contribution to the livelihoods of rural households, especially those living in developing countries. This study was conducted to determine the absolute and relative forest income and measure the distributional impact of forest income on economic inequalities among rural households in the Rubi-Tele Hunting Domain (RTHD), Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo). Household socioeconomic data and other qualitative informations were collected using structured household-level surveys, focus group discussions, and key informant interviews. The study used descriptive statistical analysis, Gini coefficient, and Lorenz curve computation. Additionally, the non-parametric alternative Kruskal–Wallis Test was also used. Findings revealed that 89.76% of the households’ sample were involved in forest-based activities. The annual average income from these forest-based activities was estimated at CDF 1,219,951.58 (USD 659.08) per household, contributing 32.46% to total annual household income. Other income sources share constituted 37.09%, 10.04%, 8.30%, 7.63%, 2.41%, and 2.08% from crop, livestock keeping, business activities, fishing, and non-forest environmental activities, paid employment, and other income sources, respectively. There was a significant difference between annual household income in terms of income sources (p < 0.5). Forest income constituted the second most crucial income portfolio after crop income. Bushmeat income share was higher than other forest products income share. However, the proportion of households involved in firewood extraction was substantial (80.70%). Gini coefficient and Lorenz curve analysis proved that forest income helped reduce economic inequality among the sampled households by 11%. Therefore, reducing access to forest would significantly impact rural households’ welfare and could increase income disparities. The present study provides valuable information for developing sustainable forest management policies and strategies to maintain and enhance the economic benefit of forest use without damaging biodiversity conservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Dynamic Interaction between People and Forest Ecosystems)
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Article
Predicting Potential Habitat of a Plant Species with Small Populations under Climate Change: Ostryarehderiana
Forests 2022, 13(1), 129; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/f13010129 - 17 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 425
Abstract
Ostrya rehderiana is a famous plant species with extremely small populations. With ongoing global climate change, the extremely small populations would face more uncertainties and risks, including the loss of genetic diversity and extirpation. Thus, assessing the impact of climate change on suitable [...] Read more.
Ostrya rehderiana is a famous plant species with extremely small populations. With ongoing global climate change, the extremely small populations would face more uncertainties and risks, including the loss of genetic diversity and extirpation. Thus, assessing the impact of climate change on suitable habitat of O. rehderiana is particularly important for its conservation and restoration. Here, we built niche models with climate variables and soil and human footprint variables. Furthermore, new methods were applied to avoid confounding effects between climate and soil and human footprint variables to simulate the potential habitats of O. rehderiana in current and future climates. We found that the Hargreaves climatic moisture deficit, degree-days below 0 °C, chilling degree-days, and the temperature difference between mean warmest month temperature and mean coldest month temperature, or continentality, were the most important climate factors. The topsoil USDA texture classification, topsoil cation exchange capacity of (clay), and topsoil sodicity (ESP) were the key soil factors determining the suitable distribution of O. rehderiana. Compared with soil factors, human footprint has less influence on the suitable distribution of O. rehderiana. The niche range of this species was projected to expand and shift to north in the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5 scenario for the 2050s. Our study results could be referenced in further extremely small populations ecological restoration studies and provide the scientific strategies for the conservation and restoration of O. rehderiana. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Simulation Models of the Dynamics of Forest Ecosystems)
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Article
Chamomile and Anise Cultivation in Olive Agroforestry Systems
Forests 2022, 13(1), 128; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/f13010128 - 17 Jan 2022
Viewed by 542
Abstract
Agroforestry systems have been practiced for hundreds of years with multiple benefits both environmentally and economically in terms of productivity. Olive cultivation is widespread in the countries of the Mediterranean basin, including Greece. Agroforestry practices are common in olive groves, but little research [...] Read more.
Agroforestry systems have been practiced for hundreds of years with multiple benefits both environmentally and economically in terms of productivity. Olive cultivation is widespread in the countries of the Mediterranean basin, including Greece. Agroforestry practices are common in olive groves, but little research has been conducted on the productivity of such systems, especially with medicinal–aromatic plants (MAPs) as understory crops. Natural populations of MAPs can be found in various ecosystems, while some of them are cultivated. The purpose of this research was to study the effects of fertilization and shading both on yield and chemical composition of essential oils derived from chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.) and anise (Pimpinella anisum L.), grown in olive silvoarable systems. Fertilization and shading increased the plant height of chamomile and delayed the flowering. In addition, fertilization increased the concentration of α-bisabolol oxide A and (Z)–spiroether, and reduced the α-bisabolone oxide A and hamazulen. Shade also reduced α-bisabolone oxide A and hamazulen but increased the α-bisabolol oxide B. In the case of anise, fertilization increased plant height, decreased the concentration of limonene, and increased the concentration of E-anethole. Shading reduced plant height. Intercropping of olive trees with chamomile and anise yielded essential oils rich in the substances defined by the commercial specifications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-wood Forest Products)
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Article
A Static Pulling Test Is a Suitable Method for Comparison of the Loading Resistance of Silver Birch (Betula pendula Roth.) between Urban and Peri-Urban Forests
Forests 2022, 13(1), 127; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/f13010127 - 16 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 425
Abstract
In urbanized areas, wind disturbances can be intensified by anthropogenic stresses under which trees may become hazardous, creating serious threats and damages to nearby targets. Therefore, species with notably lower both wood mechanical properties and compartmentalization, such as pioneers, are considered to have [...] Read more.
In urbanized areas, wind disturbances can be intensified by anthropogenic stresses under which trees may become hazardous, creating serious threats and damages to nearby targets. Therefore, species with notably lower both wood mechanical properties and compartmentalization, such as pioneers, are considered to have higher wind damage risk if subjected to unfavorable growing conditions. Eurasian aspen (Populus tremula L.) and silver birch (Betula pendula Roth.), are frequently found in both urban and peri-urban forests in Northeastern and Central parts of Europe, which strengthen the necessity for the evaluation of mechanical stability of such species. Therefore, static pulling tests were performed to compare the mechanical stability of the studied species in both urban and peri-urban forests. The loading resistance of the studied species differed, with birch being more stable than aspen, indicating aspen to be more prone to wind damage. Additionally, the mechanical stability of birch did not differ between trees growing in urban and peri-urban forests, suggesting static pulling tests are a suitable method for comparing trees from completely different growing conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tree Stability and Tree Risk Analysis)
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Article
Maxent Modelling Predicts a Shift in Suitable Habitats of a Subtropical Evergreen Tree (Cyclobalanopsis glauca (Thunberg) Oersted) under Climate Change Scenarios in China
Forests 2022, 13(1), 126; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/f13010126 - 16 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 490
Abstract
Climate change has caused substantial shifts in the geographical distribution of many species. There is growing evidence that many species are migrating in response to climate change. Changes in the distribution of dominant tree species induced by climate change can have an impact [...] Read more.
Climate change has caused substantial shifts in the geographical distribution of many species. There is growing evidence that many species are migrating in response to climate change. Changes in the distribution of dominant tree species induced by climate change can have an impact not only on organisms such as epiphytes and understory vegetation, but also on the whole ecosystem. Cyclobalanopsis glauca is a dominant tree species in the mingled evergreen and deciduous broadleaf forests of China. Understanding their adaptive strategies against climate change is important for understanding the future community structure. We employed the Maxent framework to model current suitable habitats of C. glauca under current climate conditions and predicted it onto the climate scenarios for 2041–2060 and 2081–2100 using 315 occurrence data. Our results showed that annual precipitation was the most critical factor for the distribution of C. glauca. In the future, increasing precipitation would reduce the limitation of water on habitats, leading to an expansion of the distribution to a higher latitude and higher altitude. At the same time, there were habitat contractions at the junction of the Jiangxi and Fujian Provinces. This study can provide vital information for the management of C. glauca, and serve as a reminder for managers to protect C. glauca in the range contraction areas. Full article
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Review
Long-Term Effects of Climate and Litter Chemistry on Rates and Stable Fractions of Decomposing Scots Pine and Norway Spruce Needle Litter—A Synthesis
Forests 2022, 13(1), 125; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/f13010125 - 16 Jan 2022
Viewed by 422
Abstract
We have reviewed information on early-, late- and limit-value decomposition stages for litter of Norway spruce (Picea abies) and Scots pine (Pinus silvestris). This synthesis covers c 16 studies/papers made along a climatic gradient; range in mean annual temperature [...] Read more.
We have reviewed information on early-, late- and limit-value decomposition stages for litter of Norway spruce (Picea abies) and Scots pine (Pinus silvestris). This synthesis covers c 16 studies/papers made along a climatic gradient; range in mean annual temperature (MAT) from −1 to +7 °C and mean annual precipitation (MAP) from 425 to 1070 mm. Scots pine has an early stage dominated by carbohydrate decomposition and a late stage dominated by decomposition of lignin; Norway spruce has just one stage dominated by lignin decomposition. We used data for annual mass loss to identify rate-regulating factors in both stages; climate data, namely, MAT and MAP, as well as substrate properties, namely, nitrogen (N), acid unhydrolyzable residue (AUR), manganese (Mn). Early-stage decomposition for Scots pine litter was dominated positively by MAT; the late stage was dominated negatively by MAT, N, and AUR, changing with decomposition stage; there was no effect of Mn. Norway spruce litter had no early stage; decomposition in the lignin-dominated stage was mainly negative to MAP, a negative relationship to AUR and non-significant relationships to N and MAT. Mn had a positive relationship. Limit values for decomposition, namely, the accumulated mass loss at which decomposition is calculated to be zero, were related positively to Mn and AUR for Scots pine litter and negatively to AUR for Norway spruce litter. With different sets of rate-regulating factors as well as different compounds/elements related to the limit values, the decomposition patterns or pathways are different. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vulnerability of Forests to Climate Variability and Change)
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Article
Fuel-Specific Aggregation of Active Fire Detections for Rapid Mapping of Forest Fire Perimeters in Mexico
Forests 2022, 13(1), 124; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/f13010124 - 15 Jan 2022
Viewed by 650
Abstract
Context and Background. Active fires have the potential to provide early estimates of fire perimeters, but there is a lack of information about the best active fire aggregation distances and how they can vary between fuel types, particularly in large areas of [...] Read more.
Context and Background. Active fires have the potential to provide early estimates of fire perimeters, but there is a lack of information about the best active fire aggregation distances and how they can vary between fuel types, particularly in large areas of study under diverse climatic conditions. Objectives. The current study aimed at analyzing the effect of aggregation distances for mapping fire perimeters from active fires for contrasting fuel types and regions in Mexico. Materials and Methods. Detections of MODIS and VIIRS active fires from the period 2012–2018 were used to obtain perimeters of aggregated active fires (AGAF) at four aggregation distances (750, 1000, 1125, and 1500 m). AGAF perimeters were compared against MODIS MCD64A1 burned area for a total of 24 fuel types and regions covering all the forest area of Mexico. Results/findings. Optimum aggregation distances varied between fuel types and regions, with the longest aggregation distances observed for the most arid regions and fuel types dominated by shrubs and grasslands. Lowest aggregation distances were obtained in the regions and fuel types with the densest forest canopy and more humid climate. Purpose/Novelty. To our best knowledge, this study is the first to analyze the effect of fuel type on the optimum aggregation distance for mapping fire perimeters directly from aggregated active fires. The methodology presented here can be used operationally in Mexico and elsewhere, by accounting for fuel-specific aggregation distances, for improving rapid estimates of fire perimeters. These early fire perimeters could be potentially available in near-real time (at every satellite pass with a 12 h latency) in operational fire monitoring GIS systems to support rapid assessment of fire progression and fire suppression planning. Full article
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Article
The Effects of Plant and Soil Characteristics on Partitioning Different Rainfalls to Soil in a Subtropical Chinese Fir Forest Ecosystem
Forests 2022, 13(1), 123; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/f13010123 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 578
Abstract
The climate-induced changes in soil water patterns pose a serious threat to subtropical plantations. Mixed species stands have been advocated as an efficient way to enhance ecosystem stability. However, little is known about their possible impact on the soil water-holding capacity in the [...] Read more.
The climate-induced changes in soil water patterns pose a serious threat to subtropical plantations. Mixed species stands have been advocated as an efficient way to enhance ecosystem stability. However, little is known about their possible impact on the soil water-holding capacity in the subtropics. In this study, we employed a stable hydrogen isotope to assess the contribution of rainfall to soil water (CRSW) in a pure Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata) plantation and in two mixtures of Chinese fir with Cinnamomum camphora or with Alnus cremastogyne after three different magnitudes of rainfall events in subtropical China. Furthermore, we used structure equation modeling (SEM) to quantify the relative importance of vegetation and soil properties on the CRSW. The results indicated that the CRSW did not differ among these three Chinese fir plantations after light rainfall, whereas the CRSW of moderate and heavy rainfall to soil water were 15.95% and 26.06% higher in Chinese fir plantation with Cinnamomum camphora, and 22.67% and 22.93% higher in Chinese fir plantation with Alnus cremastogyne than that in the pure Chinese fir plantation, respectively. SEM analysis showed that the vegetation biomass and soil properties significantly affected the CRSW following light rainfall, but the soil properties were the most important factors influencing the CRSW under moderate and heavy rainfall. Our findings demonstrate that the mixed conifer–broad-leaved plantation is a more effective strategy for improving the soil water-holding capacity than the pure conifer plantation in subtropical regions, which is conducive to coping with the frequent seasonal droughts and extreme precipitation events. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Hydrology)
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Article
Global Analysis of the WOX Transcription Factor Gene Family in Populus × xiaohei T. S. Hwang et Liang Reveals Their Stress−Responsive Patterns
Forests 2022, 13(1), 122; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/f13010122 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 353
Abstract
The WUSCHEL−related homeobox (WOX) family is a group of plant−specific transcription factors that play important regulatory roles in embryo formation, stem cell stability, and organogenesis. To date, there are few studies on the molecular mechanisms involved in this family of genes in response [...] Read more.
The WUSCHEL−related homeobox (WOX) family is a group of plant−specific transcription factors that play important regulatory roles in embryo formation, stem cell stability, and organogenesis. To date, there are few studies on the molecular mechanisms involved in this family of genes in response to stress. Thus, in this study, eight WOX genes were obtained from an endemic Chinese resilient tree species, Populus × xiaohei T. S. Hwang et Liang. Bioinformatic analysis showed that the WOX genes all contained a conserved structural domain consisting of 60 amino acids, with some differences in physicochemical properties. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that WOX members were divided into three evolutionary clades, with four, one, and three members in the ancient, intermediate, and modern evolutionary clades, respectively. The conserved structural domain species as well as the organization and gene structure of WOX genes within the same subfamily were highly uniform. Chromosomal distribution and genome synteny analyses revealed seven segmental−duplicated gene pairs among the PsnWOX gene family that were mainly under purifying selection conditions. Semi−quantitative interpretation (SQ−PCR) analysis showed that the WOX gene was differentially expressed in different tissues, and it was hypothesized that the functions performed by different members were diverse. The family members were strongly and differentially expressed under CdCl2, NaCl, NaHCO3, and PEG treatments, suggesting that WOX genes function in various aspects of abiotic stress defense responses. These results provide a theoretical basis for investigating the morphogenetic effects and abiotic stress responses of this gene family in woody plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Genetics and Molecular Biology)
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Article
Heterotrophic Bacteria Play an Important Role in Endemism of Cephalostachyum pingbianense (Hsueh & Y.M. Yang ex Yi et al.) D.Z. Li & H.Q. Yang, 2007, a Full-Year Shooting Woody Bamboo
Forests 2022, 13(1), 121; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/f13010121 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 341
Abstract
The previous studies show soil microbes play a key role in the material and nutrient cycles in the forest ecosystem, but little is known about how soil microbes respond to plant distribution, especially in the soil bacterial community in woody bamboo forests. Cephalostachyum [...] Read more.
The previous studies show soil microbes play a key role in the material and nutrient cycles in the forest ecosystem, but little is known about how soil microbes respond to plant distribution, especially in the soil bacterial community in woody bamboo forests. Cephalostachyum pingbianense (Hsueh & Y.M. Yang ex Yi et al.) D.Z. Li & H.Q. Yang, 2007 is known as the only bamboo species producing shoots all year round in natural conditions. Endemic to the Dawei mountain in Yunnan of China, this species is a good case to study how soil bacteria respond to plant endemic distribution. In this work, we assayed the soil chemical properties, enzyme activity, changes in the bacterial community along the distribution range of the C. pingbianense forest. The results showed that soil nutrients at the range edge were nitrogen-rich but phosphorus-deficient, and soil pH value and soil urease activity were significantly lower than that of the central range. No significant difference was detected in soil bacterial diversity, community composition, and function between the central and marginal range of C. pingbianense forest. Notably, the relative abundance of heterotrophy bacteria, such as Variibacter and Acidothermus, in the soil of the C. pingbianense forest was significantly higher than that of the outside range, which may lead to a higher soil organic carbon mineralization rate. These results imply that abundant heterotrophy bacteria were linked to the endemism and full-year shooting in C. pingbianense. Our study is amongst the first cases demonstrating the important role of heterotrophy bacteria in the distribution formation of endemic woody bamboos in special soil habitats, and provides insight into germplasm conservation and forest management in woody bamboos. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Soil–Plant–Microorganisms Interactions)
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Article
Genome-Wide Identification and Analysis of Cell Cycle Genes in Birch
Forests 2022, 13(1), 120; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/f13010120 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 292
Abstract
Research Highlights: This study identified the cell cycle genes in birch that likely play important roles during the plant’s growth and development. This analysis provides a basis for understanding the regulatory mechanism of various cell cycles in Betula pendula Roth. Background and [...] Read more.
Research Highlights: This study identified the cell cycle genes in birch that likely play important roles during the plant’s growth and development. This analysis provides a basis for understanding the regulatory mechanism of various cell cycles in Betula pendula Roth. Background and Objectives: The cell cycle factors not only influence cell cycles progression together, but also regulate accretion, division, and differentiation of cells, and then regulate growth and development of the plant. In this study, we identified the putative cell cycle genes in the B. pendula genome, based on the annotated cell cycle genes in Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. It can be used as a basis for further functional research. Materials and Methods: RNA-seq technology was used to determine the transcription abundance of all cell cycle genes in xylem, roots, leaves, and floral tissues. Results: We identified 59 cell cycle gene models in the genome of B. pendula, with 17 highly expression genes among them. These genes were BpCDKA.1, BpCDKB1.1, BpCDKB2.1, BpCKS1.2, BpCYCB1.1, BpCYCB1.2, BpCYCB2.1, BpCYCD3.1, BpCYCD3.5, BpDEL1, BpDpa2, BpE2Fa, BpE2Fb, BpKRP1, BpKRP2, BpRb1, and BpWEE1. Conclusions: By combining phylogenetic analysis and tissue-specific expression data, we identified 17 core cell cycle genes in the Betulapendula genome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Genetics and Molecular Biology)
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Article
Species Mixing Proportion and Aridity Influence in the Height–Diameter Relationship for Different Species Mixtures in Mediterranean Forests
Forests 2022, 13(1), 119; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/f13010119 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 402
Abstract
Estimating tree height is essential for modelling and managing both pure and mixed forest stands. Although height–diameter (H–D) relationships have been traditionally fitted for pure stands, attention must be paid when analyzing this relationship behavior in stands composed of more than one species. [...] Read more.
Estimating tree height is essential for modelling and managing both pure and mixed forest stands. Although height–diameter (H–D) relationships have been traditionally fitted for pure stands, attention must be paid when analyzing this relationship behavior in stands composed of more than one species. The present context of global change makes also necessary to analyze how this relationship is influenced by climate conditions. This study tends to cope these gaps, by fitting new H–D models for 13 different Mediterranean species in mixed forest stands under different mixing proportions along an aridity gradient in Spain. Using Spanish National Forest Inventory data, a total of 14 height–diameter equations were initially fitted in order to select the best base models for each pair species-mixture. Then, the best models were expanded including species proportion by area (mi) and the De Martonne Aridity Index (M). A general trend was found for coniferous species, with taller trees for the same diameter size in pure than in mixed stands, being this trend inverse for broadleaved species. Regarding aridity influence on H–D relationships, humid conditions seem to beneficiate tree height for almost all the analyzed species and species mixtures. These results may have a relevant importance for Mediterranean coppice stands, suggesting that introducing conifers in broadleaves forests could enhance height for coppice species. However, this practice only should be carried out in places with a low probability of drought. Models presented in our study can be used to predict height both in different pure and mixed forests at different spatio-temporal scales to take better sustainable management decisions under future climate change scenarios. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Effect on Mixed-Species Forest Management)
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Article
Influence of Topographic Conditions on Teak Growth Performance in Mountainous Landscapes of Lao PDR
Forests 2022, 13(1), 118; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/f13010118 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 311
Abstract
Teak is a globally valuable hardwood tree species, as its growth performance is important for timber productivity. The purpose of this study was to establish an effective management system for teak plantations in the Lao PDR. Using diameter at breast height (DBH) and [...] Read more.
Teak is a globally valuable hardwood tree species, as its growth performance is important for timber productivity. The purpose of this study was to establish an effective management system for teak plantations in the Lao PDR. Using diameter at breast height (DBH) and height growth as significant indicators of growth performance, we investigated the relationship between tree growth curve parameters of teak and topographic conditions. Stem analysis data for 81 sample trees (three trees selected in canopy trees with predominant height in each plot) were examined for growth performance using the Mitscherlich growth function. The results of Spearman’s partial rank correlation indicated that the upper limits of DBH and tree height growth had significant negative correlations with the slope gradient and stand density. The curvature of DBH and tree height growth curves showed significant positive correlations with the slope form. Moreover, the elevation and slope gradient showed significant negative correlations with the curvature of tree height growth curve. However, the time lag of DBH growth showed a significant negative correlation with the slope position, while the slope gradient was positively correlated with the time lag of tree height growth. These results suggest that teak planted at lower slopes has faster growth rates and that there is an interaction with the gentle concave slope of this area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Article
Life Stage and Neighborhood-Dependent Survival of Longleaf Pine after Prescribed Fire
Forests 2022, 13(1), 117; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/f13010117 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 782
Abstract
Determining mechanisms of plant establishment in ecological communities can be particularly difficult in disturbance-dominated ecosystems. Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) and its associated plant community exemplify systems that evolved with disturbances, where frequent, widespread fires alter the population dynamics of longleaf pine [...] Read more.
Determining mechanisms of plant establishment in ecological communities can be particularly difficult in disturbance-dominated ecosystems. Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) and its associated plant community exemplify systems that evolved with disturbances, where frequent, widespread fires alter the population dynamics of longleaf pine within distinct life stages. We identified the primary biotic and environmental conditions that influence the survival of longleaf pine in this disturbance-dominated ecosystem. We combined data from recruitment surveys, tree censuses, dense lidar point clouds, and a forest-wide prescribed fire to examine the response of longleaf pine individuals to fire and biotic neighborhoods. We found that fire temperatures increased with increasing longleaf pine neighborhood basal area and decreased with higher oak densities. There was considerable variation in longleaf pine survival across life stages, with lowest survival probabilities occurring during the bolt stage and not in the earlier, more fire-resistant grass stage. Survival of grass-stage, bolt-stage, and sapling longleaf pines was negatively associated with basal area of neighboring longleaf pine and positively related to neighboring heterospecific tree density, primarily oaks (Quercus spp.). Our findings highlight the vulnerability of longleaf pine across life stages, which suggests optimal fire management strategies for controlling longleaf pine density, and—more broadly—emphasize the importance of fire in mediating species interactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Hazards and Risk Management)
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Article
Fire Impacts on Recruitment Dynamics in a Seasonal Tropical Forest in Continental Southeast Asia
Forests 2022, 13(1), 116; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/f13010116 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 406
Abstract
The effects of forest fires on tree recruitment dynamics in tropical forests is important for predicting forest dynamics and ecosystem function in Southeast Asia. To our knowledge, no studies have examined the effects of fire intensity on community-level recruitment patterns in tropical forests [...] Read more.
The effects of forest fires on tree recruitment dynamics in tropical forests is important for predicting forest dynamics and ecosystem function in Southeast Asia. To our knowledge, no studies have examined the effects of fire intensity on community-level recruitment patterns in tropical forests due to the rarity of long-term observation datasets in fire-impacted tropical forests and the difficulty of quantifying fire intensity. We addressed two questions: (1) is tree recruitment among species affected by fire intensity? and if so, (2) are there specific plant functional traits associated with these responses? We used data from a long-term forest dynamics plot at the Huai Kha Khaeng (HKK) Wildlife Sanctuary in Thailand. The HKK plot occurs in a strongly seasonal tropical environment and has experienced several fires since its establishment in 1994. We found 46 tree species (52% of the 89 species analysed) showed evidence of reduced recruitment rates with increasing fire intensities during the most recent fire in 2005. Tree species in this flammable landscape have various leaf and wood functional traits associated with fire. Spatial and temporal variability in fire activity may lead to alterations in long-term taxonomic and functional composition of the forest due to selection on fire-related traits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Article
Analysis of the Structure and Ecological Function of an Extreme Landscape in a Tropical Region of West Java, Indonesia
Forests 2022, 13(1), 115; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/f13010115 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 410
Abstract
An extreme landscape is a spatially heterogeneous area with unusual topography that is prone to natural disasters but still exhibits interrelated structures and functions. One of the important functions of an extreme landscape is its ecological function. This study aimed to determine the [...] Read more.
An extreme landscape is a spatially heterogeneous area with unusual topography that is prone to natural disasters but still exhibits interrelated structures and functions. One of the important functions of an extreme landscape is its ecological function. This study aimed to determine the structure and reveal the ecological functions of an extreme landscape in a tropical region of West Java, with special reference to Rongga Sub-district. The method used was a combination of remote sensing techniques and geographic information systems, which were required to process, analyze, and interpret Landsat 8 OLI/TIRS data. The landscape structure was quantified by landscape metrics, after which an analysis of ecological functions was carried out based on the constituent elements of the landscape. The results showed that the landscape structure of Rongga Sub-district consists of various elements of agroforestry land, open fields, settlements, shrubs, plantations, and rainfed and irrigated rice fields. Additionally, secondary forest land acted as a landscape matrix where rivers crossed as natural corridors. The amount of each element varied; agroforestry land had the highest value, indicating that this element showed a high degree of human intervention. Each patch was adjacent to other patch types, and the landscape diversity was quite high. The extreme topography of Rongga Sub-district supports the landscape connectivity and consequently the presence of wild animals in this area. Therefore, Rongga Sub-district has an essential ecological function as a refuge for protected animals living in non-conservation areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Forests and Landscape Ecology)
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Article
Promoting Effect of Choline-Phosphate Cytidylyltransferase Gene (pcyt-1) on Departure of Pinewood Nematode from Monochamus alternatus
Forests 2022, 13(1), 114; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/f13010114 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 282
Abstract
In order to study the key gene in internal causes of pinewood nematode (PWN), Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, a departure from its vector beetle, Monochamus alternatus, we collected PWNs extracted from newly emerged M. alternatus and beetles 7 days after emergence. The total [...] Read more.
In order to study the key gene in internal causes of pinewood nematode (PWN), Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, a departure from its vector beetle, Monochamus alternatus, we collected PWNs extracted from newly emerged M. alternatus and beetles 7 days after emergence. The total RNAs of the two groups of PWNs were extracted, transcriptomes sequencing was performed, and gene expression differences between the two groups of PWN were analyzed. It was found that the expression of the choline-phosphate cytidylyltransferase gene (pcyt-1) was markedly up-regulated. After inhibition of pcyt-1 expression by RNA interference, the rate of lipid degradation in PWN decreased significantly, and the motility of PWN also decreased significantly. The analysis identified that phosphatidylcholine could promote the emulsification and degradation of neutral lipid granules in PWN, which provides sufficient energy for PWN departure from M. alternatus. The up-regulation of the gene pcyt-1 is an important internal factor for PWN departure from its vector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Pathology and Entomology—Series II)
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Article
Investigation of the Impact of Micro-Structuring on the Bonding Performance of Beechwood (Fagus Sylvatica L.)
Forests 2022, 13(1), 113; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/f13010113 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 503
Abstract
Although glueing softwood is well mastered by the industry, predicting and controlling bond quality for hardwood is still challenging after years of research. Parameters such as the adhesive type, resin–hardener ratio, and the penetration behaviour of the wood are determinants for the bond [...] Read more.
Although glueing softwood is well mastered by the industry, predicting and controlling bond quality for hardwood is still challenging after years of research. Parameters such as the adhesive type, resin–hardener ratio, and the penetration behaviour of the wood are determinants for the bond quality. The aim of this work was to assess to what extent the glueing behaviour of beechwood can be improved by using structural planing. The different surfacing methods were characterised by their roughness. The bond strength of the micro-structured surfaces was determined according to EN 302-1, and the delamination resistance was tested as indicated by EN 302-2 for type I adhesives. Micro-structured surfaces were compared with different surfaces (generated by surfacing methods such as dull/sharp planing and sanding). In dry test conditions, all surfacing methods gave satisfying results. In the wet stage, the bond strength on the finer micro-structured surface slightly outperformed the coarse structure surface. For the delamination resistance, a clear improvement could be observed for melamine-formaldehyde-bonded specimens since, when using the recommended amount of adhesive, micro-structured surfaces fulfilled the requirements. Nevertheless, structural planing cannot lead to a reduction in the applied grammage since no sample with a smaller amount fulfilled EN 302-2 requirements even by observing the recommended closed assembly waiting time. Adhesion area enlargement of the micro-structuring is minor. The good delamination performance without waiting time (CAT) is not caused by surface enlargement, since finer micro-structured surface with negligible area increase and delivered even better delamination resistance. Subsurface analysis should be carried out to thoroughly investigate this phenomenon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Wood Science and Forest Products)
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Article
Morphological Variation in Absorptive Roots in Downy Birch (Betula pubescens) and Norway Spruce (Picea abies) Forests Growing on Drained Peat Soils
Forests 2022, 13(1), 112; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/f13010112 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 409
Abstract
Peatland drainage based on ditch systems is a widely used forestry management practice in the boreal and hemiboreal forests to improve tree growth. This study investigated the morphological variation in absorptive roots (first- and second-order roots) across the distance gradient from the ditch [...] Read more.
Peatland drainage based on ditch systems is a widely used forestry management practice in the boreal and hemiboreal forests to improve tree growth. This study investigated the morphological variation in absorptive roots (first- and second-order roots) across the distance gradient from the ditch with four sampling plots (5, 15, 40, and 80 m) in six drained peatland forests dominated by Downy birch and Norway spruce. The dominating tree species had a significant effect on the variation in absorptive root morphological traits. The absorptive roots of birch were thinner with a higher specific root area and length (SRA and SRL), higher branching intensity (BI), and lower root tissue density (RTD) than spruce. The distance from the ditch affected the absorptive root morphological traits (especially SRA and RTD), but this effect was not dependent on tree species and was directionally consistent between birch and spruce. With increased distance from the ditch (from plot 5 to plot 80), the mean SRA increased by about 10% in birch and 5% in spruce; by contrast, the mean RTD decreased by about 10% in both tree species, indicating a potential shift in nutrient foraging. However, soil physical and chemical properties were not dependent on the distance from the ditch. We found a species-specific response in absorptive root morphological traits to soil properties such as peat depth, pH, and temperature. Our results should be considered when evaluating the importance of morphological changes in absorptive roots when trees acclimate to a changing climate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Article
Investments in Pinus elliottii Engelm. Plantations: Real Options Analysis in Discrete Time
Forests 2022, 13(1), 111; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/f13010111 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 369
Abstract
Background: The commonly used methods for the financial evaluation of plantation forest investment projects do not incorporate uncertainties and ignore the value related to flexibility. The real options analysis makes it possible to capture these values in investment projects, increasing their value and [...] Read more.
Background: The commonly used methods for the financial evaluation of plantation forest investment projects do not incorporate uncertainties and ignore the value related to flexibility. The real options analysis makes it possible to capture these values in investment projects, increasing their value and return. Despite this, studies involving real options in forest investment projects are scarce, specifically those related to Pinus spp. Therefore, this study aimed to: (a) analyze whether the real options analysis adds value to investment projects of Pinus elliottii Engelm. plantations; and (b) make the real options analysis more accessible to forest managers and potentially increase its use in the investment projects of Pinus spp. plantations. Methods: We evaluated two investment projects in P. elliottii plantations in southern Brazil, which differed in the way of obtaining the land for planting: with lease or purchase of land on a planning horizon of 21 years. In the real options analysis, we used deferral, expansion, and abandonment. Results: Individually, the deferral, expansion, and abandonment options add value to investment projects in Pinus elliottii plantations. The option to expand the forested area is one that adds the most value to the investment project with land lease. In the investment project with land purchase, it is abandonment. Conclusions: Investment projects in Pinus elliotti plantations that contemplate the land purchase analyzed through the real options analysis present higher financial returns than those that consider land lease, inverting the result provided by the traditional analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Economics, Policy, and Social Science)
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Article
Carbon Emission and Redistribution among Forest Carbon Pools, and Change in Soil Nutrient Content after Different Severities of Forest Fires in Northeast China
Forests 2022, 13(1), 110; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/f13010110 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 403
Abstract
Forest fires are a significant factor that affects the boreal forest carbon distribution which emits carbon into the atmosphere and leads to carbon redistribution among carbon pools. However, knowledge about how much carbon was transferred among pools and the immediate changes in soil [...] Read more.
Forest fires are a significant factor that affects the boreal forest carbon distribution which emits carbon into the atmosphere and leads to carbon redistribution among carbon pools. However, knowledge about how much carbon was transferred among pools and the immediate changes in soil nutrient contents in areas that were burned by fires of various severities are still limited. In this study, we surveyed eight wildfire sites that are located in northeast China within three months after the fires occurred. Our results indicate that the total soil nitrogen, phosphorus, and organic carbon contents significantly increased after moderate- and high-severity fires. The carbon emissions were 3.84, 5.14, and 12.86 Mg C/ha for low-, moderate-, and high-severity fires, respectively. The amount of carbon transferred among pools increased with fire severity except for the charcoal pool, storing the highest amounts of carbon in moderate-severity fires. Although the charcoal and ash pools accounted for a small proportion of the total ecosystem, they are important for biogeochemical cycles and are worthy of attention. The carbon redistribution information in our study is important for accurately estimating the forest carbon budget and providing crucial parameters for forest carbon cycling models to incorporate the carbon transfer process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Hazards and Risk Management)
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Article
Soil Compaction after Increasing the Number of Wheeled Tractors Passes on Forest Soils in West Carpathians
Forests 2022, 13(1), 109; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/f13010109 - 12 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 363
Abstract
Soil disturbance and compaction are inherent in ground-based harvesting operations. These changes are affected by numerous factors, related mainly to the technical parameters of the machines, soil conditions, and the technology used. This study aimed to analyze the changes of surface layers of [...] Read more.
Soil disturbance and compaction are inherent in ground-based harvesting operations. These changes are affected by numerous factors, related mainly to the technical parameters of the machines, soil conditions, and the technology used. This study aimed to analyze the changes of surface layers of soil caused by skidder traffic without loads on the Cambisols of Western Carpathians. We observed changes in the soil bulk density and penetration resistance. The results showed that only machine traffic caused a 0.32 to 0.35 (g cm−3) increase in soil bulk density. Besides machine traffic, bulk density was affected by soil moisture content. Penetration resistance of soil increased by 0.15 to 1.04 (MPa) after traffic of 40 machines. Penetration resistance showed a lower increase after traffic, and regression and correlation analysis proved a relationship between penetration resistance, skeleton content, and penetration depth, besides the number of machine passes (r = 0.33–0.55). Observing the changes in the physical properties of soils caused by machine traffic allows for a more detailed view of the effects of forest harvesting machinery on forest soils. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Operations and Engineering)
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Article
Comprehensive Identification and Profiling of miRNAs Involved in Terpenoid Synthesis of Gleditsia sinensis Lam.
Forests 2022, 13(1), 108; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/f13010108 - 12 Jan 2022
Viewed by 340
Abstract
Gleditsia sinensis Lam. is a tree with worldwide distribution and important economic and medicinal values; its pods contain terpenoids including gleditsioside, thiamine, and brassinosteroids. However, thus far, there are few studies on the terpenoid regulation of G. sinensis at the molecular level. microRNA [...] Read more.
Gleditsia sinensis Lam. is a tree with worldwide distribution and important economic and medicinal values; its pods contain terpenoids including gleditsioside, thiamine, and brassinosteroids. However, thus far, there are few studies on the terpenoid regulation of G. sinensis at the molecular level. microRNA (miRNA) is a class of small RNAs with conserved and crucial roles in the regulation of diverse biological processes during plant growth and development. To identify the miRNAs of G. sinensis and evaluate their involvement in terpenoid synthesis, this investigation quantified the content changes in saponins in pods at three developmental stages: May (pod-setting stage), July (elongation stage), and September (browning stage), and then we performed genome-wide miRNA profiles during the three development stages of the G. sinensis pods. A total of 351 conserved miRNAs belonging to 216 families were identified, among which 36 conserved miRNAs exist specifically in legumes. Through target analysis, 708 unigenes were predicted to be candidate targets of 37 differentially expressed miRNAs. The targets of miR838-3p and miR2093-5p were involved in the derived branches of monoterpenes and gleditsioside, in brassinosteroid biosynthesis (BRB), and in indole alkaloid biosynthesis (IAB). Intriguingly, the targets of miR829-3p.1 were predicted to take part in thiamine biosynthesis, and the targets of miR4414b and miR5037a were involved in the main process of cytokinin synthesis. The corresponding targets participated in BRB, IAB, and terpenoid backbone biosynthesis, which were enriched significantly, suggesting that miR2093-5p, miR4414b, miR5037a, miR829-3p.1, and miR838-3p play indispensable roles in the regulation of triterpenoid saponin and monoterpenoid biosynthesis. To date, this is the first report of miRNA identification in G. sinensis and miRNA expression profiles at different developmental stages of G. sinensis pods, which provides a basis for further uncovering the molecular regulation of terpenoid synthesis in G. sinensis and new insights into the role of miRNAs in legumes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Regulation of Metabolites in Forest Plants)
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Article
Correlation between Genetic Characteristics, Cell Structure and Material Properties of Moso Bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis (Carriere) J. Houzeau) in Different Areas of China
Forests 2022, 13(1), 107; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/f13010107 - 12 Jan 2022
Viewed by 348
Abstract
Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis (Carriere) J. Houzeau), native to China, is one of the most economically and ecologically important bamboo species. Since the economic interests and the strong clonality, it has been widely cultivated in southern China, which inevitably reduces the natural [...] Read more.
Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis (Carriere) J. Houzeau), native to China, is one of the most economically and ecologically important bamboo species. Since the economic interests and the strong clonality, it has been widely cultivated in southern China, which inevitably reduces the natural stands and leads to gene loss in this species. In this study, three natural populations of Moso bamboo distributed in Anhui, Guangxi, and Zhejiang province, were used to analyze the correlation between phenotypic traits, cell structure, and material properties from the perspective of phenotypic, genetic, and environmental. Among those traits and properties, fiber width was correlated with wall thickness at breast height and average nodes length under branch positively. Leaf length was correlated positively with fiber lumen diameter and parenchyma lumen diameter. Furthermore, it showed a very close correlation between moisture content, bending strength, modulus of elasticity, and diameter at breast height, clear height, and leaf length. The lumen diameter of fiber cell wall thickness is positively correlated with bending strength and modulus of elasticity. Density is positively correlated with parenchyma cell wall thickness. The experimental design is relatively detailed and representative, and the workload is huge. This study reflects the research objectives with scientific and rational experiments and data. This study will analyze the differences of various indicators from the perspective of genetic to build a bridge between micro-structure and macro-structure for rational utilization of the whole area of Moso bamboo resources in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protection and Modification of Wood and Bamboo Materials)
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Article
Variation and Genetic Control of the Heartwood, Sapwood, Bark, Wood Color Parameter, and Physical and Mechanical Properties of Dipteryx panamensis in Costa Rica
Forests 2022, 13(1), 106; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/f13010106 - 12 Jan 2022
Viewed by 291
Abstract
The Dipteryx genus has a natural distribution throughout several tropical countries in Latin America. This taxon has several tree species, all recognized for their high-density wood. The objective of this research was to study the variation and genetic control of several wood properties, [...] Read more.
The Dipteryx genus has a natural distribution throughout several tropical countries in Latin America. This taxon has several tree species, all recognized for their high-density wood. The objective of this research was to study the variation and genetic control of several wood properties, including bark, sapwood, heartwood, green density (GD), specific gravity (SG), moisture content in green condition (MC-G), and mechanical properties, in a Dipteryx panamensis provenance/progeny test at 8 years old. The results showed that bark varied little among families and provenances, but heartwood (diameter and percentage) showed high genetic variation. SG and MC-G showed significant variation between provenances and families, while GD showed little variation. Among the mechanical properties evaluated, the greatest genetic variation was observed in the MOR in bending and shear stress. Families from the Coope San Juan provenance registered the highest values in all wood properties investigated, and families from Puerto Viejo obtained the lowest. Family heritability and the coefficient of genetic variation exhibited high values in heartwood/sapwood and the MOR in bending (h2 > 0.9 and CV > 20%) and lower values in SG, MC-G, compression stress, and shear stress. D. panamensis wood properties have a high potential to be improved through breeding programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Wood Science and Forest Products)
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