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[en] Aim of the study: The aim of the present study was to understatnd the forest composition, structure, diversity and regeneration potential along altitudinal gradient. Area of study: The study was carried out in Dhanaulti forest which falls under temperate region of Garhwal Himalaya in Uttarakhand state, India. Material and Methods: Vegetation analysis was carried out using 10 quadrats at each altitude using a quadrate size of 10×10 m2. In each quadrate, categories of trees >30 cm cbh were considered as trees, 10-30cm cbh as saplings and <10 cm cbh as seedlings. The data were quantitatively analyzed. Main results: In upper and middle altitudes, Cedrus deodara was reported dominant tree whereas, in lower altitude Quercus leucotrichophora was reported dominant. Tree density was highest in lower altitude which reduced middle and upper altitudes whereas, total basal cover increased with increasing altitude. The increasing total basal cover with altitude could be because of the presence of Cedrus deodara trees having higher girth classes. In tree, sapling and seedling layers, diversity (H) and equitabiltiy (EC) decreased with increasing altitude. However, concentrations of dominace (CD) and beta diversity (BD have shown reverse trend with H and EC which increased with increasing altitudes, in each layer of tree, sapling and seedling. The distribution pattern of most species in all layers of trees, saplings and seedlings was contagious. The regeneration potential of the species has shown that some of the species in the absence of tree layer are still regenerating particularly, Rhododendron arboreum, Benthamidia capitata, Neolitsea pallens etc. It indicates that most of the species are shifting upward as they are getting suitable conditions. Research highlights: Altitude influence species composition, diversity and regeneration potential of species. (Author)
[en] Aim of study: The paper is a scientific commented discussion with the aim of defining a framework which allows both a comprehensive vision of forest dynamics, as well as an adaptive management approach and policy procedures more suited to a changing and inherently unpredictable world. Main results: We identify the main challenges facing forestry in relation to recent developments in forestry thinking, i.e. the paradox of aiming at sustainability in a changing environment, a shifting perception of the relationship between ecological and social systems, the recognition of forest ecosystems as complex adaptive systems, the need for integrating the social and ecological dimensions of forestry into a single framework, and the growing awareness of the importance of the ethical approach to the forest. We propose the concept of “systemic forestry” as a paradigm for better understanding forest dynamics and for guiding management and public actions at various levels. We compare the systemic approach with different silvicultural and forest management approaches which have been proposed in the last decades. Research highlights: Our analysis shows that a systemic approach to forestry has five main consequences: 1. forestry is viewed as a part of landscape dynamics through a multi-sectoral coordination, 2. the logic of action changes from norm to process, 3. conservation is a dynamic search for resilience, 4. multi-functionality is achieved through a multi-entries approach integrating ecological, social and economic components of sustainability, 5. forestry institutions are reframed to address the issue of changing interactions among actors, 6. a change in the ethical approach to the forest is needed.
[en] Ever since man became conscious of the finite dimensions of Planet Earth, he has worried about his ability to survive in an ever-more crowded environment. This paper reports that the fundamental question underlying this concern is sustainability: Can we indefinitely supply, maintain, and prolong that which we have? This question is, of course, multifaceted. Man's early concerns quickly polarized the scientists and economists of this world into two philosophical camps---the Malthusians and the Cornucopians. Over time, economists learned that Malthus seriously underestimated the capacity of technology to enhance productivity, although Malthusian sympathizers (both scientists and economists) continually raised the specter of imminent doom. Much of what lies ahead will provide a series of daunting challenges for us all, and the engine that drives sustainability has to be technology. The central issue is to ensure that the right kind of technology is available, and that it is used widely to ensure sustainability
[en] This paper postulates that forests dominated by younger seral stages are less vulnerable to climate change that those composed of mature and overmature stands. To support this analysis, an overview of expected changes in climate conditions was provided. Expected changes include higher maximum temperatures, higher minimum temperatures and a decrease in periods of intense cold and fewer frost days; reduction in the diurnal temperature range; an increase in the apparent heat index; greater numbers of intense precipitation; and, increased risk of drought associated with air mass movements. A comparison between conditions in a managed forest mosaic and natural forests was made, with managed forests differing due to efforts to regulate the age structure. The inversion in the age structure of forest mosaics creates significant changes in structural characteristics and composition, including greater hardwood components and more even-aged stands. It was concluded that in Canada, managed boreal forests are younger and have less black spruce and more hardwoods and fir, making younger forests less vulnerable to fire and more amenable to fire control due to increased accessibility. It was also noted that because of their relative youth, managed forests are more vulnerable to regeneration failure and that managed forests with more balsam fir and trembling aspen are at greater risk for insect outbreaks. In addition, wind throw, a threat to older forests, is not significant in managed forests. 15 refs., 1 tab., 2 figs
[en] Aim of study: To test the use of LiDAR data from a single acquisition in order to estimate volume overbark variations ina 5-yr period of Pinus radiata D. Don. Area of study: Province of Bizkaia in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country (Spain). Material and methods: Two field plot measurements were made in 2011 and 2015 and two wood volume models (one for each year) were fitted using the metric variables of the 2012 LiDAR points cloud. The models were Applied to a 26.59 m raster covering the study area and the increase in volume at each pixel was calculated by subtraction. Main results: The increase in estimated wood volume, when added to the volume of timber extracted in the area during the 5-yr period under consideration, yielded an average increase of 13.74 m3 ha-1 yr-1, which corresponds to the average growth of the P. radiata in that area. The harvest area estimated using this procedure largely coincides with the actual harvest area in the same period. The value of R2 (85%) of the wood volume model for 2011 is similar to that obtained in other studies. However, as expected, the one obtained for the wood volume model for 2015 (80%) is significantly lower. Research highlights: The increase in wood volume can be estimated using a single LiDAR flight and field data from the 5-yr period provided that data from plots subjected to this kind of harvest is included in the models.
[en] Aim of study: We analyzed the hypothesized causal effects of relative density, density, height, species richness, species diversity, temperature, precipitation, and slope on above ground biomass growth (AGBG). Area of study: Eastern region of the USA. Materials and methods: We used the USDA Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) database. A total of 2554 plots from all stand ages, regardless of disturbance history, were selected from the state of Alabama and 967 plots of stand age under 30 years and no prior disturbance were selected from the eastern US. We analyzed the data using descriptive statistics and structural equation modeling. Main results: Relative stand density exhibited a strong positive direct effect on AGBG, especially in the young forests (path coefficient 0.79), but a weaker indirect effect through species richness/diversity. Tree height influenced positively AGBG directly and indirectly through relative density and species richness. The effect of temperature and slope was greater than the effect of species richness/diversity on AGBG in the young forests of the eastern US. Research highlights: For the forests of the eastern US, greater tree species diversity did not appear to result in neither greater nor lower productivity. The diversity-productivity relationship was negative in forests of Alabama, however, where prior management likely resulted in removal of select dominant trees from valuable species (i.e., high-grading).
[en] Frost heaving can be a leading cause of tree seedling mortality in many places in the boreal forest of Northern Sweden. The aim of this investigation was to improve our understanding of frost heaving of planted tree seedlings as related to snow cover, scarification, planting methods and soil types. The thesis is based on a review paper, three field experiments and one laboratory experiment. The experiments focus on different methods to control frost heaving of forest tree seedlings and on a number of factors affecting the extent of frost heaving. The review paper identifies the many aspects of frost heaving of forest tree seedlings and agricultural crops based on an intensive review of the research contributions made during the last century. Even if many investigations have been carried out with the aim to decrease the extent of frost heaving, very little quantitative results are available for tree seedlings. In a field experiment, the choice of planting positions was effective in decreasing frost heaving of planted seedlings following mounding or disc-trenching. Seedlings planted in the depressions were largely affected by frost heaving with a maximal vertical displacement of 5.4 cm while frost heaving did not occur on the top of the mound. On the other hand, the planting time and planting depth had no influence on the extent of frost heaving. In another field experiment the size of the scarified patches was strongly correlated to frost heaving which reached between 7.6 and 11.5 cm in 4 and 8-dm patches compared to between 4.4 and 5.3 in non-scarified soil and in a 1-dm patch. Ground vegetation probably decreases the diurnal temperature variation and the number of freezing-thawing cycles. The duration and magnitude of frost temperatures, the frost hour sum, increased with patch size. The difference between the 8-dm and 1-dm patch increased to 2064 hour-degrees at the end of the winter. In larger patches, the planting depth seemed to be effective in reducing the maximum frost heaving of the seedlings. In the third field experiment snow cover also showed to be an important factor in regard to frost heaving of tree seedlings. In a snow-free treatment combined with soil scarification, an uplift of 14.6 cm was measured during a winter season. In contrast no vertical displacement was observed under a simulated snow cover. The strong influence of snow on the extent of frost heaving indicates that further investigation should be focused on the interaction between maximum frost heaving and snow depth. In the laboratory freezing chamber experiment it was demonstrated that soil from spodic B horizon is less susceptible to frost heaving than soil from E horizon. Needle ice did not grow at all on soil samples from E horizon during a 3-day test, neither on fresh, nor on oven dried samples. On fresh samples of soil from Bs horizon, needle ices reached a maximum height of 9.7 cm in average. The use of theodolite and wooden dowels to estimate the extent of frost heaving in this study allowed to follow the process during the frost heaving period. A vertical uplift in millimetres could be recorded. A development of reliable measuring methods which allow a continuous estimation of the extent of frost heaving damage during the whole process, would undoubtedly represent an important step towards a better understanding of frost heaving of tree seedlings
[en] Aim of study: Uneven-aged (UEA) management systems can achieve multiple-use objectives, however, use of UEA techniques to manage longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) forests are still open to question, because of the species’ intolerance of competition. It was our aim to examine the influence of different levels (9.2, 13.8 and 18.4 m2 ha-1) of residual basal area (RBA) on longleaf pine seedling survival and growth following three growing seasons. Area of study: This study was conducted at the Escambia Experimental Forest, located on the Southern Coastal Plain of Alabama, in the southeastern United States. Material and Methods: Selection silviculture was implemented with the Proportional-Basal Area (Pro-B) method. Prescribed burning was conducted before seed dispersal and in the second year after germination. Photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) was measured under the canopy in the study plots. Survival and growth of longleaf pine seedlings were observed for three growing seasons. Main results: An inverse relationship was found between the number of germinants and RBA, but the mortality of germinants and planted seedlings was not affected by RBA. At age three, an inverse relationship was observed between root-collar diameter (RCD) growth of the germinants and RBA, but RCD growth of planted seedlings was not affected by RBA. Most of the study plots contained more than the projected number of seedlings needed to sustain the target diameter structure. Research highlights: Long-term continuous monitoring of seedling development and recruitment into canopy is required to determine the efficacy of UEA management. However, current data suggest that UEA methods may be a viable alternative to the use of even-aged (EA) methods in longleaf ecosystems.