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Forests, Volume 13, Issue 12 (December 2022) – 221 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): This study aimed to develop a spatial approach to obtain high-resolution maps of Italian forest above-ground biomass (ITA-BIO) and current annual volume increment (ITA-CAI), based on remotely sensed and meteorological data. The ITA-BIO estimates were compared with those obtained with two available biomass maps developed in the framework of two international projects (i.e., the Joint Research Center and the European Space Agency biomass maps, termed JRC-BIO and ESA-BIO). The estimates from ITA-BIO, JRC-BIO, ESA-BIO, and ITA-CAI were compared with the 2nd Italian NFI (INFC) official estimates at a regional level (NUT2). View this paper
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13 pages, 2401 KiB  
Article
Relationship between Photosynthetic Characteristics, Anatomical Structure, and Physiological Indexes of Two Halophytes in Different Habitats
by Yaling Chang, Yuxian Fan, Zhoukang Li and Guanghui Lv
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2189; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122189 - 19 Dec 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1149
Abstract
Drought and salinity are considered to be the major limiting factors for plant growth in desert areas. Halophytes can maintain their growth in extreme salt environments. However, few studies have linked the photosynthetic characteristics of halophytes with their anatomical structures and leaf water [...] Read more.
Drought and salinity are considered to be the major limiting factors for plant growth in desert areas. Halophytes can maintain their growth in extreme salt environments. However, few studies have linked the photosynthetic characteristics of halophytes with their anatomical structures and leaf water potential to jointly explain the effects of drought and salt on leaf internal water use efficiency (WUEi). For this reason, two different halophytes, Nitraria sibirica and Alhagi sparsifolia, were selected to analyze the leaf physiological traits in response to different water and salt gradients. The analysis further revealed the influence of soil water and salt content and anatomical characteristics on plant photosynthesis. The results showed that the leaf water potential, morphology, anatomical parameters, and photosynthetic parameters of the two plants in different habitats showed significant species-specific physiological responses. The value of WUEi of N. sibirica was negatively correlated with net photosynthetic rate (Pn), stomatal conductance (Gs), tightness of palisade tissue (CTR), and soil factors, while the WUEi of A. sparsifolia was positively correlated with Pn, Gs, and CTR. The indirect effects of soil salinity and soil moisture on WUEi were also found to be species-specific. This study will help to improve the understanding of the ecological adaptability of plants to water and salt stress and provide a theoretical basis for clarifying the drought tolerance and salt tolerance adaptation strategies of halophytes in arid areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
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18 pages, 3164 KiB  
Article
Mycorrhizal Fungi Synergistically Promote the Growth and Secondary Metabolism of Cyclocarya paliurus
by Tingting Zhao, Bangyou Yu, Mengjia Zhang, Shuying Chen and Bo Deng
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2188; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122188 - 19 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1257
Abstract
Cyclocarya paliurus has traditionally been used as medicine or a nutraceutical food. This study aims at investigating whether the growth and secondary metabolism of C. paliurus could be simultaneously promoted by inoculating with mycorrhizal fungi, and if so, to uncover the underlying regulatory [...] Read more.
Cyclocarya paliurus has traditionally been used as medicine or a nutraceutical food. This study aims at investigating whether the growth and secondary metabolism of C. paliurus could be simultaneously promoted by inoculating with mycorrhizal fungi, and if so, to uncover the underlying regulatory mechanism. A mycorrhizal microbial inoculum, consisting of the superficial layer fine roots and rhizosphere soil collected from the natural forest of C. paliurus, was used to infect aseptic seedlings of C. paliurus. Roots of aseptic seedlings were successfully infected by mycorrhizal fungi with a 59.7% colonization rate. For mycorrhizal seedlings of C. paliurus, the induced endogenous auxin, net photosynthetic rate, nitrogen absorption, and growth-related genes resulted in a significantly higher growth and biomass accumulation. In addition, a systemic defense response was observed in response to mycorrhizal fungal colonization, such that jasmonic acid biosynthesis and signaling were induced and the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites and antioxidant systems were up-regulated. The improved growth and accumulation of secondary metabolites ultimately facilitated the yield of health-promoting substrates per plant. Overall, mycorrhizal fungal colonization had a significant positive effect both on growth and production of secondary metabolites in C. paliurus. The results can provide the basis for overcoming the limitation of soil nutrient regulation in cultivation practice and offering a simpler alternative to improve the quality of medicinal plants. Full article
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13 pages, 3287 KiB  
Article
Plant Functional Trait Responses to Dolomite and Limestone Karst Forests in Southwest China
by Hua Zhou, Xuelei Xu, Xia Jiang, Bo Ding, Peng Wu and Fangjun Ding
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2187; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122187 - 19 Dec 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1514
Abstract
Southwest China is distributed with the largest area of limestone and dolomite karst landscapes in the world, and its ecological environment is very fragile; the problem of rock desertification is particularly prominent. Karst lithological differences make habitats and soil heterogeneity more complex, and [...] Read more.
Southwest China is distributed with the largest area of limestone and dolomite karst landscapes in the world, and its ecological environment is very fragile; the problem of rock desertification is particularly prominent. Karst lithological differences make habitats and soil heterogeneity more complex, and vegetation has developed certain morphological and physiological structural characteristics to adapt to these special environments, which will most likely lead to differentiation in vegetation functional characteristics, such as seed size, wood density, life type and flowering time, thus affecting the number and growth of seedlings and young trees and the future succession potential of forest stands in karst-vegetation restoration. Therefore, it is important to understand the differences in species composition and the functional characteristics of dolomite and limestone karst forests. Over a 2-year period, we investigated a total of 3170 individuals from 123 species and analyzed the relationship between the species compositions and the functional characteristics of two karst-forest areas with different lithology (i.e., limestone and dolomite karst). It was found that the average number of species with medium-diameter seeds and medium wood density in dolomite plots was obviously greater than the average number of species in limestone plots, but this reached no significant difference. However, with the gradual restoration of each forest, the height and carbon sequestration capacity of the trees began to diverge, with the relative abundance of species with tall trees and high wood density being significantly higher in limestone plots than in dolomite plots. The species richness of evergreen trees was significantly higher in the limestone plots than in the dolomite plots. There was no significant difference in the relative species richness of flowering plants in the two karst-forest areas during spring–summer and winter–spring seasons; however, the species richness of flowering plants in the limestone karst forests was significantly higher than that of flowering plants in the dolomite karst forests during summer and autumn seasons. These significant traits were very closely related to the species richness of the understory plants. Further insight into the temporal aspects of karst-forest succession is needed to grasp how functional traits affect the restorations of different lithological karst forests to their primary states. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant–Soil Interactions in Karst Regions)
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20 pages, 7395 KiB  
Article
Remote Sensing Monitoring and Evaluation of Vegetation Changes in Hulun Buir Grassland, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China
by Xi Dong and Chunming Hu
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2186; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122186 - 19 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1201
Abstract
Constantly increasing vegetation changes pose serious challenges to the sustainable use of global ecosystems. Thus, facing the increasingly serious climate and ecological environment problems and improving vegetation coverage is crucial to the sustainable development of the region. Along these lines, in this work, [...] Read more.
Constantly increasing vegetation changes pose serious challenges to the sustainable use of global ecosystems. Thus, facing the increasingly serious climate and ecological environment problems and improving vegetation coverage is crucial to the sustainable development of the region. Along these lines, in this work, a monitoring model of vegetation cover change was proposed and developed by using Landsat TM (1989, 1999, and 2011) and Landsat OLI-TIRS (2021) data. More specifically, it was used to assess vegetation change. Based on this model, the vegetation change in the core area of Hulun Buir Grassland was systematically analyzed., From the acquired results, the existence of spatial differences in the vegetation coverage changes in the study area were demonstrated. The total area of vegetation coverage changes was 758.95 km2, and the area from low vegetation coverage to high vegetation coverage was 456.41 km2, accounting for 60.14% of the total change area. The area from high vegetation coverage to low vegetation coverage was 302.57 km2, accounting for 39.86% of the total change area, whereas the area of the area without vegetation coverage was 1963.92 km2, accounting for 72.13% of the study area, and the overall vegetation coverage is improving. Vegetation cover change monitoring models can also be used to reveal and describe large-scale vegetation landscape changes and obtain clear vegetation change results through easy-to-obtain data; our work suggests that in the process of pursuing regional economic development and accelerating urbanization, industrialization, and agricultural modernization, human beings should assume more responsibilities and pursue the sustainable development of the natural environment. The results of this work are of great importance to further study the potential driving mechanism of the vegetation coverage changes and provide theoretical guidance for relevant managers to formulate vegetation restoration measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Inventory, Modeling and Remote Sensing)
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12 pages, 9874 KiB  
Article
Analysis on the Fire Progression and Severity Variation of the Massive Forest Fire Occurred in Uljin, Korea, 2022
by Seungil Baek, Joongbin Lim and Wonkook Kim
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2185; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122185 - 19 Dec 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1747
Abstract
Analysis of the progression of forest fires is critical in understanding fire regimes and managing the risk of active fires. Major fire events in Korea mostly occur in the eastern mountainous areas (Gangwon Province), where the wind and moisture conditions are prone to [...] Read more.
Analysis of the progression of forest fires is critical in understanding fire regimes and managing the risk of active fires. Major fire events in Korea mostly occur in the eastern mountainous areas (Gangwon Province), where the wind and moisture conditions are prone to fire in the late winter season. Despite the significance of the fire events in the area both in terms of frequency and severity, their spatial progression characteristics and their dependency on forest types have not been sufficiently analyzed so far, particularly with satellite data. This study first derived the severity map for the Uljin fire which occurred in March 2022, using a series of satellite images acquired over the fire period with very high frequency (every 5 days), and analyzed the characteristics of spatio-temporal progression in terms of forest types. The analysis revealed that the core fire area expanded very rapidly in the first few days, followed by an intensification phase that elevated severity in the active areas with marginal expansion in the peripheral areas. The analysis of the progression showed that the fire did not expand selectively by the forest type, despite the clear difference in their severity levels in the burned areas, where coniferous forest exhibited 3 times higher severity than deciduous forest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Inventory, Modeling and Remote Sensing)
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13 pages, 2527 KiB  
Article
Effects of Edaphic Factors at Different Depths on β-Diversity Patterns for Subtropical Plant Communities Based on MS-GDM in Southern China
by Wei Xu, Miguel Ángel González-Rodríguez, Zehua Li, Zhaowei Tan, Ping Yan and Ping Zhou
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2184; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122184 - 19 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1575
Abstract
Previous research on the relationship between edaphic factors and species diversity patterns has mostly focused on topsoil between 0 and 30 cm, with less attention paid to deeper layers where many plant root systems are concentrated. Since considering deeper edaphic layers might help [...] Read more.
Previous research on the relationship between edaphic factors and species diversity patterns has mostly focused on topsoil between 0 and 30 cm, with less attention paid to deeper layers where many plant root systems are concentrated. Since considering deeper edaphic layers might help to unravel the maintenance mechanisms of plant diversity, in the present study we explored the relationship between vegetation β-diversity and a comprehensive set of soil chemical attributes at different depths. Based on vegetation and soil data from subtropical broad-leaved forest plots in the Nanling Mountains, China, we analyzed the driving factors of β-diversity patterns of trees, shrubs, and herbs using multi-site generalized dissimilarity modeling (MS-GDM). We found that the species composition dissimilarity of trees, shrubs, and herbs layers in the study area was highly diversified and dominated by species turnover components. Topsoil chemical properties were the best explainers for the β-diversity of trees (52.5%), followed by herbs (40.3%) and shrubs (21.8%). With the increase of soil depth, especially for depth >60 cm, soil chemical elements gradually lost explanatory power. Regarding the β-diversity of trees, it was mainly affected by altitude and available nitrogen (AN), total iron (Fe), and nickel (Ni) content in the soil of 0–60 cm depth. Concerning shrubs, the best β-diversity explainers were altitude, geographical distance, and nutrient elements of the soil above 40 cm. The main factors driving the β-diversity of herbs were altitude, total boron (B), total cadmium (Cd), and total nickel (Ni) of 0–40 cm soil. Overall, our results suggest that the environmental filtration process driven by altitude and soil factors, and dispersal limitations represented by geographical distance, affected the β-diversity patterns of Nanling forest communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maintenance of Forest Biodiversity)
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17 pages, 8244 KiB  
Article
Causes of Changing Woodland Landscape Patterns in Southern China
by Jianping Lin, Chenhui Zhu, Aizhen Deng, Yunping Zhang, Hao Yuan, Yangyang Liu, Shurong Li and Wen Chen
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2183; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122183 - 19 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1500
Abstract
Forests are composed of landscape spatial units (patches) of different sizes, shapes, and characteristics. The forest landscape pattern and its trends are closely related to resistance to disturbance, restoration, stability, and the biodiversity of the forest landscape and directly influence the benefits and [...] Read more.
Forests are composed of landscape spatial units (patches) of different sizes, shapes, and characteristics. The forest landscape pattern and its trends are closely related to resistance to disturbance, restoration, stability, and the biodiversity of the forest landscape and directly influence the benefits and sustainable exploitation of forest landscape resources. Therefore, forest landscape patterns and the driving forces have increasingly attracted the attention of researchers. The present study analyzed the spatial and temporal dynamics of woodland landscape patterns in typical hilly mountainous areas in southern China using ArcGIS, landscape pattern index, and morphological spatial pattern analysis. Meanwhile, a logistic regression model was used to analyze the drivers of woodland change in Anyuan County from three aspects: natural, geographic location, and socio-economic conditions. The total area of woodland decreased during the 10-year study period, with a net decrease of 4959.27 ha, mainly due to conversion into cultivated land, garden land, and construction land. Patch density, edge density, and aggregation index of woodlands increased over time, indicating enhanced fragmentation, stable and complex patch edges, and increased patch connectivity. Conversely, the highest patch index values exhibited decreasing trends, indicating decreases in the dominant patch type. Morphological spatial pattern analysis results showed that the core area was dominant and the islet area increased over time, which also indicates enhanced fragmentation. Forest landscape change is the result of environmental change, ecological processes, and human disturbance, with geographical location and social economy having greater influences on forest landscape change. Human activities such as navel orange cultivation, returning cultivated land to forest, and land occupation for construction were the major factors driving woodland change. The results provide reference that could facilitate forest management and sustainable forest resource utilization. Full article
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19 pages, 12034 KiB  
Article
Research on a Regional Landslide Early-Warning Model Based on Machine Learning—A Case Study of Fujian Province, China
by Yanhui Liu, Junbao Huang, Ruihua Xiao, Shiwei Ma and Pinggen Zhou
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2182; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122182 - 19 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2019
Abstract
China’s landslide disasters are serious, and regional landslide disaster early-warning is one of the important means of disaster prevention and mitigation. The traditional regional landslide disaster early-warning model, however, is limited by the complex landslide induction mechanism, limited data accumulation, and insufficient big [...] Read more.
China’s landslide disasters are serious, and regional landslide disaster early-warning is one of the important means of disaster prevention and mitigation. The traditional regional landslide disaster early-warning model, however, is limited by the complex landslide induction mechanism, limited data accumulation, and insufficient big data analysis methods, and has problems such as limited early-warning accuracy and insufficient refinement. In this paper, a machine learning method was introduced into the field of regional landslide disaster warning. From the model construction process of training sample-set construction, sample learning and training, model parameter optimization, model preservation, warning output, and so on, a method for constructing a regional landslide early-warning model based on machine learning was systematically proposed. In the sample learning and training, 80% of the training sample-set was used as the training set, and 20% was used as the test set for five-fold cross validation. The Bayesian Optimization algorithm was used to optimize the model parameters, and the accuracy, ROC curve, and AUC value were used to verify the model accuracy and model generalization ability. With China’s Fujian province as an example, based on nine years of geological and meteorological data (2010–2018), geological environment factors, factors of hazard-affected bodies and historical disaster situations, and rainfall-induced factors in four categories, a total of 26 indicators were used as input characteristic parameters. Six machine learning algorithms were adopted to improve model training; the results showed that the Random Forest algorithm performed the best, giving an accuracy of 92.3%, and was the model with the best generalization ability (AUC was 0.955). The second best was the Artificial Neural Network model, with an accuracy of 0.937 and an AUC of 0.935. Next were the Nearest Neighbor model, the Logistic Regression model, and the Support Vector Machine; the poorest results were from the Decision Tree model. Finally, the typical rainfall-type landslide disaster process in Fujian Province was selected as an example to verify the Random Forest algorithm model. The results showed that compared with the early-warning results of the original explicit statistical model, the hit rate of the new model was 6 times, or equal to that of the original model, and the landslide density in the early-warning area of the new model was 1.6–1.7 times that of the original model. Preliminary verification showed that the new model based on the Random Forest method has obvious advantages, a higher hit rate and a smaller warning area, and can achieve more accurate warnings. The follow-up will continue to track the new landslide disaster situation in the study area and carry out model verification and correction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landslides in Forests around the World: Causes and Mitigation)
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19 pages, 4436 KiB  
Article
Biochar-Based Fertilizer Decreased Soil N2O Emission and Increased Soil CH4 Uptake in a Subtropical Typical Bamboo Plantation
by Enhui Wang, Ning Yuan, Shaofeng Lv, Xiaoping Tang, Gang Wang, Linlin Wu, Yufeng Zhou, Guomo Zhou, Yongjun Shi and Lin Xu
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2181; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122181 - 19 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1395
Abstract
Soil is a crucial contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from terrestrial ecosystems to the atmosphere. The reduction of GHG emissions in plantation management is crucial to combating and mitigating global climate change. A 12-month field trial was conducted to explore the effects [...] Read more.
Soil is a crucial contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from terrestrial ecosystems to the atmosphere. The reduction of GHG emissions in plantation management is crucial to combating and mitigating global climate change. A 12-month field trial was conducted to explore the effects of different fertilization treatments (control, without fertilizer (CK); biochar-based fertilizer treatment (BFT); chemical fertilizer treatment (CFT); and mixture of 50% BFT and 50% CFT (MFT)) on the soil GHG emissions of a typical bamboo (Pleioblastus amarus (Keng) Keng f.) plantation. The results demonstrated that compared with the CK, BFT reduced the annual cumulative soil N2O emission by 16.3% (p < 0.01), while CFT and MFT significantly increased it by 31.0% and 23.3% (p < 0.01), respectively. Meanwhile, BFT and MFT increased the annual cumulative soil CH4 uptake by 5.8% (p < 0.01) and 7.5% (p < 0.01), respectively, while there was no statistically significant difference between CFT and the control. In addition, BFT, CFT, and MFT significantly increased the annual cumulative soil CO2 emission by 9.4% (p < 0.05), 13.0% (p < 0.01), and 26.5% (p < 0.01). The global warming potential (GWP) of BFT did not change significantly, while CFT and MFT increased the GWP by 13.7% (p < 0.05) and 28.6% (p < 0.05), respectively, compared with the control. Structural equation modeling revealed different treatments affected soil N2O and CH4 emission by changing soil labile carbon and labile nitrogen pools. This study suggests utilizing BFT new ideas and strategies for mitigating GHG emissions from soils in subtropical Pleioblastus amarus plantations. Full article
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23 pages, 1444 KiB  
Review
Challenges Facing the Improvement of Forest Management in the Hyrcanian Forests of Iran
by Zahra Goushehgir, Jahangir Feghhi and John L. Innes
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2180; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122180 - 19 Dec 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2457
Abstract
We address two main challenges facing the implementation of sustainable forest management (SFM) in the Hyrcanian forest of Iran: inconsistent forest policy and the use of outdated science and techniques. We propose the Sustainable Hyrcanian Forest Management Model (SHFMM) as the best currently [...] Read more.
We address two main challenges facing the implementation of sustainable forest management (SFM) in the Hyrcanian forest of Iran: inconsistent forest policy and the use of outdated science and techniques. We propose the Sustainable Hyrcanian Forest Management Model (SHFMM) as the best currently available solution to achieve improved management of the northern forests of Iran. The management of the Hyrcanian forests suffers from a lack of scientific knowledge and state-of-the-art technologies. There is a pronounced difference in the mindsets of older and new-school forestry scholars regarding how to approach these deficiencies: the old-school mentality prefers conventional forestry despite its limitations, whereas more recently trained scholars believe that the adoption of 21st-century technological advances would lead to improved management. The lack of trust between policymakers and local communities is another significant challenge and has resulted in conflicts over management practices in the Hyrcanian forests. We suggest that the Hyrcanian Sustainable Forest management model (SHFMM) would provide a hierarchical framework for making decisions. Using this model, each sector—whether state or private—is empowered to make decisions. Further, it encourages all sectors to work together in its holistic implementation. The SHFMM is based on the outcomes of several independent studies of forest management in the Hyrcanian forest. Despite its site specificity, many lessons learned during its development could be applied elsewhere. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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19 pages, 2579 KiB  
Article
Biomass Price Prediction Based on the Example of Poland
by Aleksandra Górna, Marek Wieruszewski, Alicja Szabelska-Beręsewicz, Zygmunt Stanula and Krzysztof Adamowicz
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2179; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122179 - 19 Dec 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1570
Abstract
The aim of the study was to test the applicability of forecasting in the analysis of the variability of prices and supply of wood in Poland. It relies on the autoregressive integrated model (ARIMA) that takes into account the level of cyclic, seasonal, [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to test the applicability of forecasting in the analysis of the variability of prices and supply of wood in Poland. It relies on the autoregressive integrated model (ARIMA) that takes into account the level of cyclic, seasonal, and irregular fluctuations and the long-term trend as tools for the assessment of the predictions of the prices of selected medium-sized wood assortments. Elements of the time series were determined taking into account the cyclical character of the quarterly distribution. The data included quarterly information about the supply (amount) and prices (value) of wood sold by state forests in the years 2018–2022. The analysis was conducted for the most popular assortments: logging slash (M2, M2ZE), firewood S4, and medium-sized wood S2AP. In the period studied (years 2018–2022), the average rate of price variation was widely scattered. The average rate of price variation for the M2ZE assortment amounted to 7%. The average rate for M2 assortment was 1%, while the medium-sized S2AP assortment displayed the greatest variation of 99%. This means that between 2018 and the present, the price increased by nearly 100%. No major fluctuations were observed for the S4 assortment and its average rate of variation amounted to 0%. The analysis found seasonal variation was observed only for S4 firewood, the price of which went up each year in October, November, and December. For this reason, the forecast was made with the seasonal autoregressive integrated moving average (SARIMA) version of the model. It is difficult to forecast the price of wood due to variations in the market and the impact of global factors related to fluctuations in supply. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Assessment, Modelling and Management in a Changing World)
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14 pages, 3614 KiB  
Article
Soil Chemical Properties Strongly Influence Distributions of Six Kalidium Species in Northwest China
by Decheng Liu, Zongqiang Chang, Xiaohui Liang and Yuxia Wu
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2178; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122178 - 19 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1030
Abstract
The degrees of adaptive responses of different halophytes to saline–alkali soil vary substantially. Kalidium (Amaranthaceae), a genus comprised of six species of succulent euhalophytes with significantly differing distributions in China, provides ideal material for exploring the ecophysiological relationships involved in these variations. Thus, [...] Read more.
The degrees of adaptive responses of different halophytes to saline–alkali soil vary substantially. Kalidium (Amaranthaceae), a genus comprised of six species of succulent euhalophytes with significantly differing distributions in China, provides ideal material for exploring the ecophysiological relationships involved in these variations. Thus, in a large-scale field survey in 2014–2018, samples of soil (at 20 cm depth intervals spanning 0 to 100 cm) and seeds were collected from areas where these six species are naturally distributed. Chemical properties of soils in the areas and germinability of the species’ seeds in media with 0–500 mM NaCl and 0–250 mM Na2SO4 were then analyzed to test effects of salinity-related factors on the species’ distributions. The pH of the soil samples mainly ranged between 8.5 and 10.5 and positively correlated with their mean total salt contents. Germination rates of all six species’ seeds were negatively correlated with concentrations of NaCl and Na2SO4 in the media, and their recovery germination rates in distilled water were high (>74%). The results show that the species’ distributions and chemical properties of their saline soils are strongly correlated, notably the dominant cation at all sites is Na+, but the dominant anions at K. cuspidatum and K. caspicum sites are Cl and SO42−, respectively. Species-associated variations in concentrations of Ca2+ were also detected. Thus, our results provide clear indications of major pedological determinants of the species’ geographic ranges and strong genotype-environment interactions among Kalidium species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Adaptation to Extreme Environments in Drylands)
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18 pages, 17505 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Spatial and Temporal Changes of Carbon Storage in Different Development Scenarios in Foshan, China
by Lihua Chen and Yuan Ma
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2177; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122177 - 19 Dec 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1559
Abstract
Carbon storage (CS) is strongly associated with climate change and ecosystem services. Herein, taking Foshan City, Guangdong Province, China as the study object, analysis was performed upon the potential impacts of the urban–rural relationship of CS by combining the Integrated Assessment of Ecosystem [...] Read more.
Carbon storage (CS) is strongly associated with climate change and ecosystem services. Herein, taking Foshan City, Guangdong Province, China as the study object, analysis was performed upon the potential impacts of the urban–rural relationship of CS by combining the Integrated Assessment of Ecosystem Services and Trade-offs (InVEST) and the Patch Generation Land-use Simulation (PLUS) models. Based on three different development plans under regional policies, land-use/ land-cover (LULC) changes in Foshan City in 2035 were simulated. The results show that (i) Foshan City experienced rapid urban expansion from 2010 to 2020 spreading from the central area to the outer circle in a cascading manner. Urban land use mainly encroached on ecological land during these 10 years. (ii) The CS in Foshan City from 2010 to 2020 showed an increase followed by a decrease, and the simulations estimated a continuous loss of the CS in Foshan City by 2035. (iii) There was spatial heterogeneity in the CS changes in Foshan. From 2010 to 2020, the northern part of Sanshui District and the eastern part of Chancheng District experienced the greatest economic loss of CS. The carbon loss will further increase in future development scenarios. This research can provide vital references for government administrators to formulate valid development patterns and ecological conservation strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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3 pages, 645 KiB  
Editorial
Carbon and Nutrient Transfer via Above- and Below-Ground Litter in Forests
by Fuzhong Wu, Zhenfeng Xu and Wanqin Yang
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2176; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122176 - 18 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1036
Abstract
Plants periodically shed more than 90% of their biomass production as above- and below-ground litter, including leaves, twigs, flowers, logs, roots and other tissues [...] Full article
14 pages, 1889 KiB  
Article
Testing the Efficiency of the Push-and-Pull Strategy during Severe Ips typographus Outbreak and Extreme Drought in Norway Spruce Stands
by Rastislav Jakuš, Roman Modlinger, Jaroslav Kašpar, Andrej Majdák, Miroslav Blaženec, Nataliya Korolyova, Anna Jirošová and Fredrik Schlyter
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2175; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122175 - 18 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1471
Abstract
Protection of Norway spruce stands using anti-attractants was tested during an outbreak of bark beetles (Ips typographus) in their spring flight. The aims of this study were as follows: (1) to test the proposed experimental design for tree protection; (2) to [...] Read more.
Protection of Norway spruce stands using anti-attractants was tested during an outbreak of bark beetles (Ips typographus) in their spring flight. The aims of this study were as follows: (1) to test the proposed experimental design for tree protection; (2) to evaluate height-specific alternatives for dispenser installation on trees; and (3) to evaluate the efficiency of tree protection measures using anti-attractants under bark beetle infestation and drought stress. The experiment was conducted at the forest edges adjacent to recent clearcuts on 10 blocks in the eastern Czech Republic. Each block had three adjacent experimental areas, with 20 trees growing in two rows at the recently cut forest edge (10 trees per row). In front of a block in each of the three areas, four pheromone traps were installed. The treatment area was protected by anti-attractants. The second area served as a so-called switch area, where beetles from the treatment area, as the outflux redirected from the anti-attractant, would start new attacks if not caught in nearby pheromone traps. The third area was a control. We attached anti-attractant tube dispensers on each tree trunk of the treated area at two heights. The results suggest a redirecting effect of anti-attractants, pushing beetles into the switch area and causing subsequent attacks, which was greater than in areas containing treated trees. There was no difference between two dispensers placed at 1 and 8 m height and both at 1 m. A switching effect of beetle attacks occurring outside of the treated areas was observed. Mounting anti-attractant dispensers on tree trunks at one low position above the ground can be substantially less labour-intensive and as efficient as positioning them at two different heights. For areas affected by severe drought and extremely dense bark beetle populations, the use of anti-attractants did not prove effective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Chemical Ecology of Forest Insects)
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43 pages, 20842 KiB  
Review
Inter- and Intraxylary Phloem in Vascular Plants: A Review of Subtypes, Occurrences, and Development
by Kishore S. Rajput, Kailas K. Kapadane, Dhara G. Ramoliya, Khyati D. Thacker and Amit D. Gondaliya
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2174; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122174 - 17 Dec 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4510
Abstract
Phloem is one of the vital tissues of the vascular system that plays a crucial role in the conduction of photosynthates. In vascular plants, it develops external to the vascular cambium but in a small fraction of eudicots (formerly known as dicots), it [...] Read more.
Phloem is one of the vital tissues of the vascular system that plays a crucial role in the conduction of photosynthates. In vascular plants, it develops external to the vascular cambium but in a small fraction of eudicots (formerly known as dicots), it occurs within (interxylary) and inside (intraxylary) the secondary xylem. Ontogenetically, it is classified as Strychnos, Combretum, Azima, and Calycopteris types. In all four cases, phloem islands remain enclosed within the secondary xylem but each has unique origins. Similarly, the deposition of the phloem at the pith margin is common in several plants. It develops from procambial derivatives or adjacent pith cells or by initiating an intraxylary phloem cambium. Functionally, this cambium can produce only phloem or both secondary xylem and phloem. In some instances, the deposition of the secondary xylem and phloem in the same direction has also been documented. Some experimental evidence is available on the role of phloem but is it applicable to inter- and intraxylary phloem? The presence of inter- and intraxylary phloem is attributed to a defence mechanism against insects or plants that show sudden and enormous flowering or it can correlate with high temperatures or an unconducive climate in a desert region where sieve tube elements have become nonfunctional due to high temperatures. The present review is an attempt to analyse the role of interxylary and intraxylary phloem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intrinsic Regulation of Diameter Growth in Woody Plants)
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14 pages, 4844 KiB  
Article
Changing Spring Phenology of Northeast China Forests during Rapid Warming and Short-Term Slowdown Periods
by Fengyuan Zhang, Binhui Liu, Mark Henderson, Xiangjin Shen, Yuanhang Su and Wanying Zhou
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2173; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122173 - 17 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1947
Abstract
The vast forests of Northeast China are under great pressure from climate change. Understanding the effects of changing climate conditions on spring phenology is of great significance to assessing the stability of regional terrestrial ecosystems. Using Normalized Difference Vegetation Index data from 1982 [...] Read more.
The vast forests of Northeast China are under great pressure from climate change. Understanding the effects of changing climate conditions on spring phenology is of great significance to assessing the stability of regional terrestrial ecosystems. Using Normalized Difference Vegetation Index data from 1982 to 2013, this paper investigated the changes in the start date of the vegetation growing season (SOS) of two main forest types in Northeast China, analyzing the changes in temporal and spatial patterns of forest spring phenology before and during the recent short-term warming slowdown, and exploring the effects of day and night temperatures and precipitation on the start of the growing season. The results showed that, during the rapid warming period (1982–1998), the SOS of deciduous needleleaf forests (DNF) was significantly advanced (−0.428 days/a, p < 0.05), while the rate of advance of SOS of deciduous broadleaf forests (DBF) was nonsignificant (−0.313 days/a, p > 0.10). However, during the short-term slowdown (1998–2013), the SOS of DBF was strongly delayed (0.491 days/a, p < 0.10), while the change in SOS of DNF was not significant (0.169 days/a, p > 0.10). The SOS was sensitive to spring maximum temperature for both forest types during the analysis period. Increases in winter precipitation influenced the SOS during the rapid warming period for DNF; this combined with the increase in the spring maximum temperature contributed to the advance in SOS. The decrease in the spring maximum temperature during the short-term slowdown, combined with a decrease in the previous summer maximum temperature, contributed to the rapid delay of SOS for DBF. DBF SOS was also more influenced by lagged effects of prior conditions, such as previous autumn to spring precipitation during the rapid warming period and previous summer maximum temperature during the short-term slowdown. In general, SOS was mainly determined by changes in daytime thermal conditions; DNF is more sensitive to temperature increases and DBF is more sensitive to decreases. Different regional climate conditions lead to differences in the distribution of DNF and DBF, as well as in the response of SOS to climate change during the rapid warming and short-term slowdown periods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Detection and Mitigation of Forest Degradation and Fragmentation)
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17 pages, 27091 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Undergrowth under the Canopy of Deciduous Forests on Very Fertile Soils in the Lithuanian Hemiboreal Forest
by Marius Šilingas, Vytautas Suchockas and Iveta Varnagirytė-Kabašinskienė
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2172; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122172 - 17 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1678
Abstract
In the hemiboreal forest zone, the first-generation natural forests of Betula spp., Populus tremula L., and Alnus incana (L.) Moench, which develop after clearcutting on very fertile forest sites, change to deciduous hardwood forests (Quercus robur L., and Fraxinus excelsior L.) due [...] Read more.
In the hemiboreal forest zone, the first-generation natural forests of Betula spp., Populus tremula L., and Alnus incana (L.) Moench, which develop after clearcutting on very fertile forest sites, change to deciduous hardwood forests (Quercus robur L., and Fraxinus excelsior L.) due to successive processes. These processes also cause a specific response to the development of undergrowth species, which can have a decisive influence on forest regeneration. The undergrowth species in the mature Betula spp. (Betula pendula Roth. And Betula pubescens Ehrh.), Populus tremula, and Alnus incana forest stands were evaluated to provide knowledge on undergrowth species composition and development under different soil conditions, and to identify the forest stand age’s impact on undergrowth species. The evaluation was based on the standwise forest inventory data and limited to the analysis of pioneer tree species forests usually developed as first-generation natural forests after clearcutting. The study results showed that deciduous forests have rich undergrowth species diversity with a dominance of the Corylus avellana L., Padus avium L., Frangula alnus Mill., Sorbus aucuparia L., and Salix spp., which are typical undergrowth species in the hemiboreal forest zone. The dense and medium density undergrowth with the predominant Corylus avellana was rather common in the Betula spp. and Populus tremula stands; and Padus avium was more abundant in the Alnus incana stands on very fertile sites. Larger areas with dense undergrowth were obtained in the low mixed and mixed Alnus incana stands than in the pure stands, while no clear relationship between the stand mixture and undergrowth density was obtained in the Betula spp. and Populus tremula stands. The area of Corylus avellana significantly increased, while the area of Padus avium decreased in all studied forests with increasing stand age. Other dominant undergrowth species–Sorbus aucuparia, Frangula alnus, and Salix spp.–decreased with increasing age of the Betula spp. and Populus tremula stands. In the context of biodiversity, a higher number of undergrowth species was obtained in the mixed Betula spp. stands than in the pure and low mixed stands. New insights about the undergrowth species and their development patterns under the canopy of pioneer deciduous forests on very fertile soils were provided. However, these findings do not strongly suggest that an unmanaged forest regime wins over conventional forest management in mature and older deciduous forests on fertile soils as regards the biodiversity and other ecological services provided by the undergrow species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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27 pages, 1461 KiB  
Article
The Potential of Smart Factories and Innovative Industry 4.0 Technologies—A Case Study of Different-Sized Companies in the Furniture Industry in Central Europe
by Luboš Červený, Roman Sloup and Tereza Červená
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2171; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122171 - 17 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2388
Abstract
New innovative technologies of Industry 4.0 are the key to the future development of the furniture industry, which is outdated because of its atypical production and small-series production. For applying the novel trends of Industry 4.0 to the furniture sector, the methodical support [...] Read more.
New innovative technologies of Industry 4.0 are the key to the future development of the furniture industry, which is outdated because of its atypical production and small-series production. For applying the novel trends of Industry 4.0 to the furniture sector, the methodical support of managers, the key users of these technologies, is essential. As there is a lack of knowledge regarding implementation of Industry 4.0, this study focuses on the evaluation of the current status of furniture companies in terms of production structure and Industry 4.0 benefits/threats with the aim of proposing methodological solutions for the implementation of this trend across different-sized enterprises. Data are collected using conduct-structured interviews with project managers who describe their own experience with Industry 4.0 implementation in central Europe. All interviews are analyzed using qualitative content analysis. According to the stakeholders, innovative production and non-production technologies are essential for their enterprises. Application of such technologies increases the efficiency of the whole operation by 30%–50% over the five years since the first innovations were introduced, especially in enterprises with atypical production and large enterprises. This study should serve as the tool for adapting the environmental changes and promoting the innovation approaches of the Industry 4.0 strategies on the central European level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novelties in Wood Engineering and Forestry)
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18 pages, 16386 KiB  
Article
Generalization of U-Net Semantic Segmentation for Forest Change Detection in South Korea Using Airborne Imagery
by JongCheol Pyo, Kuk-jin Han, Yoonrang Cho, Doyeon Kim and Daeyong Jin
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2170; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122170 - 17 Dec 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1947
Abstract
Forest change detection is essential to prevent the secondary damage occurring by landslides causing profound results to the environment, ecosystem, and human society. The remote sensing technique is a solid candidate for identifying the spatial distribution of the forest. Even though the acquiring [...] Read more.
Forest change detection is essential to prevent the secondary damage occurring by landslides causing profound results to the environment, ecosystem, and human society. The remote sensing technique is a solid candidate for identifying the spatial distribution of the forest. Even though the acquiring and processing of remote sensing images are costly and time- and labor-consuming, the development of open source data platforms relieved these burdens by providing free imagery. The open source images also accelerate the generation of algorithms with large datasets. Thus, this study evaluated the generalizability of forest change detection by using open source airborne images and the U-Net model. U-Net model is convolutional deep learning architecture to effectively extract the image features for semantic segmentation tasks. The airborne and tree annotation images of the capital area in South Korea were processed for building U-Net input, while the pre-trained U-Net structure was adopted and fine-tuned for model training. The U-Net model provided robust results of the segmentation that classified forest and non-forest regions, having pixel accuracies, F1 score, and intersection of union (IoU) of 0.99, 0.97, and 0.95, respectively. The optimal epoch and excluded ambiguous label contributed to maintaining virtuous segmentation of the forest region. In addition, this model could correct the false label images because of showing exact classification results when the training labels were incorrect. After that, by using the open map service, the well-trained U-Net model classified forest change regions of Chungcheong from 2009 to 2016, Gangwon from 2010 to 2019, Jeolla from 2008 to 2013, Gyeongsang from 2017 to 2019, and Jeju Island from 2008 to 2013. That is, the U-Net was capable of forest change detection in various regions of South Korea at different times, despite the training on the model with only the images of the capital area. Overall, this study demonstrated the generalizability of a deep learning model for accurate forest change detection. Full article
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9 pages, 1858 KiB  
Article
Analytical Pyrolysis as a Tool to Assess Residual Lignin Content and Structure in Maritime Pine High-Yield Pulp
by Ana Alves, José Graça and José Rodrigues
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2169; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122169 - 17 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1017
Abstract
The residual lignin content of unbleached maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Aiton) Kraft pulps was assessed by analytical pyrolysis (Py-lignin) and the results were compared to the Klason lignin content and kappa number. Thirty samples, each from an individual tree, were delignified under [...] Read more.
The residual lignin content of unbleached maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Aiton) Kraft pulps was assessed by analytical pyrolysis (Py-lignin) and the results were compared to the Klason lignin content and kappa number. Thirty samples, each from an individual tree, were delignified under identical conditions. The residual lignin content of the pulps varied widely as assessed by Py-lignin (5.9%–9.2%), Klason (8.2–15.1), and kappa number (59–112). Despite a systematic difference between Py-lignin and Klason, they were strongly correlated (R2 = 0.90). The H/G ratio of the residual pulp lignin ranged from 0.145 to 0.195, with a mean of 0.165, which is more than two times the average H/G ratio of Maritime pine wood lignin (0.064). The results show that Kraft pulping, which selectively degrades lignin with more labile inter-unit links, changed the pattern of pyrolysis products of pulp lignin considerably and, consequently, its structure. This pattern shows an enrichment in H-lignin-derived products, namely phenol, p-cresol, and m-cresol, and in some G-lignin-derived products such as guaiacol and 4-mthylguaiacol, and a decrease in coniferylaldehyde, homovanillin, and eugenol. Principal component analysis (PCA) of the G- and H-lignin-derived pyrolysis products shows that pulps are distributed along PC 1 based on their residual lignin content. The loadings plot shows that this separation is mainly due to a small number of G-lignin products, including 4-methyl guaiacol, 4-vinyl guaiacol, isoeugenol (trans), and guaiacol, which are more abundant in pulps with higher residual lignin content. The obtained results show that analytical pyrolysis is an appropriate method for quantifying the residual lignin content and H/G ratio of unbleached Kraft pulps and provide information regarding how lignin is degraded during the pulping process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lignin: The Hidden Forest Product)
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14 pages, 3365 KiB  
Article
May Temperature Drives Cambial Resumption in the Boreal Black Spruce
by Qiao Zeng, Afsheen Khan, Annie Deslauriers and Sergio Rossi
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2168; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122168 - 17 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1184
Abstract
The timings of the onset and ending of xylogenesis define the time window when environmental conditions are suitable for xylem formation. The relationship between the occurrence of xylem phenological events and the related climatic factors is critical to revealing how xylem formation responds [...] Read more.
The timings of the onset and ending of xylogenesis define the time window when environmental conditions are suitable for xylem formation. The relationship between the occurrence of xylem phenological events and the related climatic factors is critical to revealing how xylem formation responds to the changing climate. Given that temperature is the most important factor influencing growth in the boreal forest, we monitored air temperature and xylem phenology at five permanent plots of black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) BSP) along a latitudinal gradient of the boreal forest of Quebec, Canada. Microcores were collected weekly or biweekly from five to ten trees per site during the growing seasons from 2002 to 2019. We compared the relationships between air temperature and timings of the onset and termination of xylogenesis, testing the hypothesis that spring temperatures trigger the initiation of cambial activity. The onset of xylogenesis occurred from late May (DOY 149) to mid-June (DOY 163), and it terminated between late August (DOY 240) and late September (DOY 270). The spring phases of xylem phenology showed similar inter-annual variation among sites, while the variation in autumnal phases was less correlated among sites. The onset of xylogenesis was negatively correlated with the mean May temperature, and the correlations were consistent among sites, with r ranging from −0.61 to −0.77. The warmer May temperatures would advance cambial resumption, allowing the initial hypothesis that spring temperatures are a driving factor of xylogenesis to be accepted. With an increase of 1 °C in the mean May temperature, cambial resumption could be advanced by 2.7 days. Yet, no relationship between the termination of xylem phenology and monthly temperature was established, suggesting that other factors, possibly endogenous, could have affected the xylem phenology in autumn. Under warming conditions, we expect an advancement in the onset of xylogenesis, which may lengthen the growing season and potentially enhance cell production in black spruce. Full article
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15 pages, 2151 KiB  
Article
A Higher Lignin Content in ugt72b37 Poplar Mutants Indicates a Role of Monolignol Glycosylation in Xylem Lignification
by Hadjara Amadou Hassane, Marc Behr, Claire Guérin, Richard Sibout, Adeline Mol, Moussa Baragé, Mondher El Jaziri and Marie Baucher
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2167; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122167 - 17 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1779
Abstract
Plant UDP-glycosyltransferases (UGT) transfer sugars to small acceptor molecules and thereby play key roles in the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, including phenylpropanoids. Some of those metabolites are involved in the xylem lignification of a broad range of terrestrial plants, particularly trees. Here, we [...] Read more.
Plant UDP-glycosyltransferases (UGT) transfer sugars to small acceptor molecules and thereby play key roles in the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, including phenylpropanoids. Some of those metabolites are involved in the xylem lignification of a broad range of terrestrial plants, particularly trees. Here, we focused on poplar UGT72B37, coding for an enzyme glycosylating monolignols by investigating CRISPR/Cas9 mutant lines. The cell wall characterization revealed a 10% lignin content increase in the xylem of three-month-old mutant lines compared to the wild type. No ectopic lignification was evidenced in the pith of the stems of the mutants, suggesting that the increased lignin deposition is restricted to lignified cell walls. The analysis of the expression level of lignin biosynthesis and polymerization genes did not show significant changes between the WT and the ugt72b37 mutants, except for CINNAMOYL-COA REDUCTASE 2 which was significantly upregulated by 1.2–1.5-fold. Noticeably, UGT72B38, the closest related gene to UGT72B37, is upregulated in mutant lines, suggesting a functional compensation between UGT72B37 and UGT72B38 possibly linked with lignin biosynthesis and accumulation in poplar. Overall, these results reinforce a plausible role of monolignol glycosylation in the cell wall lignification process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
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11 pages, 2379 KiB  
Article
Effects of Larix olgensis Henry Stumps and Coarse Roots on Phosphorus Fractions and Availability in Plantation Microsite Soils
by Yang Yue, Xiuli Men, Zhihu Sun and Xiangwei Chen
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2166; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122166 - 17 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1065
Abstract
This study quantified the horizontal influence range of larch stumps and coarse roots on the phosphorus (P) fraction and availability of microsite soils and explored whether this influence range changes with different plantation types. The total P, available P and P fractions were [...] Read more.
This study quantified the horizontal influence range of larch stumps and coarse roots on the phosphorus (P) fraction and availability of microsite soils and explored whether this influence range changes with different plantation types. The total P, available P and P fractions were measured in microsite soils at 0–75 cm horizontal distances from stumps and coarse roots at soil depths of 0–40 cm in a pure larch (Larix olgensis Henry) plantation and a mixed larch–ash (Fraxinus mandshurica Rupr.) plantation. Soils at horizontal distances of 85–95 cm from the stumps and coarse roots were used as the controls. Larch stumps and coarse roots affected the total P concentration at depths of 0–40 cm in the mixed plantations, and the maximum horizontal influence range reached 75 cm. However, in the pure plantation, only the total P at 0–10 cm depths were affected, and the maximum influence range was 35 cm. The NaOH-Pi and NaOH-Po changes in the pure plantation were similar to those of total P, while those of HCl-Pi, HCl-Po and NaHCO3-Po in the mixed plantation were similar to those of total P. Larch stumps and coarse roots could affect the total P and P fraction concentrations in microsite soils. The horizontal distance of soil total P and P fractions concentrations affected by larch stumps and coarse roots in the mixed plantation was greater than that in the pure plantation. These results suggest that the position of stumps and coarse roots should be considered when reforestation sites are selected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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19 pages, 3398 KiB  
Article
Listening to Indigenous Voices, Interests, and Priorities That Would Inform Tribal Co-Management of Natural Resources on a California State University Forest
by Zachary J. Erickson, Kevin Boston, Michael J. Dockry and John-Pascal Berrill
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2165; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122165 - 17 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1969
Abstract
Indigenous communities have experienced a loss of access and ability to contribute to the management of natural resources due to removal from lands, marginalization, and conflicting knowledge systems. Currently, there is increasing momentum toward re-engaging tribes as stewards of their ancestral lands. This [...] Read more.
Indigenous communities have experienced a loss of access and ability to contribute to the management of natural resources due to removal from lands, marginalization, and conflicting knowledge systems. Currently, there is increasing momentum toward re-engaging tribes as stewards of their ancestral lands. This article outlines tribal views on co-management and identifies the forest management objectives of a tribal partner to help better inform a forest co-management partnership between a Native American Tribe (Wiyot Tribe) and a California Polytechnic State University (Humboldt). Qualitative research methods were used to analyze 13 semi-structured interviews utilizing an adaptive co-management framework with enrolled tribal members and representatives to understand the expectations and perceived barriers to a successful co-management relationship. Interviewees repeatedly mentioned interest in the management of wildlife, forest health and resilience, and fuels reduction. Participants also expressed interest in incorporating education and training of tribal youth in the management of forest resources and traditional ecological knowledge. The semi-structured interviews provided participants a platform to share their thoughts and express their feelings regarding the future stewardship of ancestral forest lands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Economics, Policy, and Social Science)
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16 pages, 4438 KiB  
Article
Effect of Prescribed Burning on Tree Diversity, Biomass Stocks and Soil Organic Carbon Storage in Tropical Highland Forests
by Susana del Carmen López-Cruz, Deb Raj Aryal, Carlos Alberto Velázquez-Sanabria, Francisco Guevara-Hernández, Andrea Venegas-Sandoval, Fernando Casanova-Lugo, Manuel Alejandro La O-Arias, José Apolonio Venegas-Venegas, Mariela Beatriz Reyes-Sosa, René Pinto-Ruiz, Adalberto Hernández-López, Francisco Javier Medina-Jonapá, Roselia Ramírez-Diaz, Alonso López-Cruz and Alejandro Alcudia-Aguilar
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2164; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122164 - 16 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1848
Abstract
Fire has been an integral part of ecosystem functioning in many biomes for a long time, but the increased intensity and frequency of wildfires often affect plant diversity and carbon storage. Prescribed burning is one of the alternatives to forest fuel management where [...] Read more.
Fire has been an integral part of ecosystem functioning in many biomes for a long time, but the increased intensity and frequency of wildfires often affect plant diversity and carbon storage. Prescribed burning is one of the alternatives to forest fuel management where the fire is controlled and carried out under a determined set of weather conditions and objectives. The effect of prescribed burning on plant diversity and carbon (C) storage has not been studied widely. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of prescribed burning on plant diversity indices, biomass stocks, and soil C storage in the tropical highland forests of Southern Mexico. We assessed plant diversity and carbon stocks at 21 sampling sites: seven with prescribed burning, seven non-burning, and seven with wildfires. We calculated tree biodiversity indices, stand structural properties, and species composition among burning treatments. We quantified C stocks in vegetation biomass by using an allometric equation and forest litter by direct sampling. We analyzed 252 soil samples for soil organic C content and other properties. The results showed that the biodiversity index was higher in sites with prescribed burning (Shannon index, H = 1.26) and non-burning (H = 1.14) than in wildfire sites (H = 0.36). There was a greater similarity in plant species composition between non-burning and prescribed burning sites compared to wildfire sites. Prescribed burning showed a positive effect on soil carbon storage (183.9 Mg C ha−1) when compared to wildfire (144.3 Mg C ha−1), but the difference was not statistically significant (p > 0.05) in biomass stocks. Prescribed burning in this study conserved plant diversity as well as soil carbon stocks compared to non-burning, the opposite of what we found in wildfires. Full article
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14 pages, 3505 KiB  
Article
Cold Hardiness of Prunus mume ‘Xiang Ruibai’ and Its Parents Based on Biological Indexes and Physical Parameters
by Anqi Ding, Fei Bao, Aiqin Ding and Qixiang Zhang
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2163; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122163 - 16 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1281
Abstract
Low temperature is a primary factor limiting the distribution of Prunus mume. In order to produce a variety that has both cold tolerance and the characteristic fragrance of true mume, previous researchers crossbred a strong-tolerance variety apricot mei, P. mume ‘DF’ (‘Dan [...] Read more.
Low temperature is a primary factor limiting the distribution of Prunus mume. In order to produce a variety that has both cold tolerance and the characteristic fragrance of true mume, previous researchers crossbred a strong-tolerance variety apricot mei, P. mume ‘DF’ (‘Dan Fenghou’) and the weak-tolerance variety of true mume, P. mume ‘BY’ (‘Beijing Yudie’). They gained an offspring variety named P. mume ‘XR’ (‘Xiang Ruibai’), but its cold tolerance is unknown at this point. Here, three varieties (XR, BY, and DF) were selected as the materials, and different low-temperature treatments were used, with temperature as the only variable. Conventional biological methods, such as ion leakage rate, different tissues, and plant viability statistics, were used, as well as an innovative use of infrared engineering and moisture monitoring for dynamic observation of the water-to-ice process in tissues. The results were as follows: DF cold tolerance was the highest, followed by XR and then BY. The LT50 of XR was increased by 6 °C after five days of cold priming at 4 °C, which indicated a stronger cold acclimation ability than the parent varieties. The XR variety enhanced the antioxidant capacity by increasing SOD and POD enzyme activities during low temperature treatment, thus enhancing the cold tolerance. The antioxidant enzyme genes PmSOD3, PmPOD2, PmPOD19, and PmPOD22 had important regulatory roles in XR’s cold acclimation process. Full article
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15 pages, 5294 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Suillus luteus Inoculation on the Diversity of Fungal Communities and Their Structures in the Soil under Pinus massoniana Located in a Mining Area
by Peiyi Yu, Chen Ning, Jingzhen Chen, Fan Zhu, Yujing Sun, Airong Shen, Wenbin Zeng and Lijuan Jiang
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2162; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122162 - 16 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1593
Abstract
As important decomposers and plant symbionts, soil fungal communities play a major role in remediating heavy-metal-polluted soils. However, the diversity and structures of fungal communities generally remain unclear in mining areas. This study aimed to assess the rhizospheric fungal-community composition of Masson pine [...] Read more.
As important decomposers and plant symbionts, soil fungal communities play a major role in remediating heavy-metal-polluted soils. However, the diversity and structures of fungal communities generally remain unclear in mining areas. This study aimed to assess the rhizospheric fungal-community composition of Masson pine (Pinus massoniana) in the lead-zinc mining area of Suxian District, Hunan Province, China. This experiment undertook the following three treatments: Masson pine inoculated with or not inoculated with Suillus luteus, and bulk soil without plants as a control. The results thereof showed that inoculation of ectomycorrhizal fungi could enlarge plants’ capability to absorb heavy metals and secrete soil enzymes. The richness and diversity of fungi in the rhizospheric soil were significantly higher than of those in the bulk soil (p < 0.05), but no significant difference was noted between the rhizospheric soils inoculated with and not inoculated with ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi as the community structure changed. The rhizospheric fungi belonged to 6 phyla, 25 classes, 65 orders, 115 families, and 150 genera, and the dominant phyla were Chytridiomycota (50.49%), Ascomycota (38.54%), and Basidiomycota (9.02%). Through use of LEfSe and heatmapping, the relative abundances of Suillus, Paraglomus, Agaricus, and Tulasnella were found to be the highest in the soil with ECM fungus inoculation. RDA showed that the community structure nearly changed with ECM-fungus inoculation; this was significantly related to soil water content, the carbon–nitrogen ratio, bulk density, available potassium, and soil enzymes. Altogether, inoculation with ECM fungi may change the habitation environments of microorganisms and dominant fungi in soil, providing keystone screenings in heavy-metal-contaminated mining areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Soil)
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15 pages, 2762 KiB  
Article
Douglas Fir Multiproxy Tree-Ring Data Glimpse MIS 5 Environment in the U.S. Pacific Northwest
by Irina P. Panyushkina, Steven W. Leavitt, David M. Meko, Bryan A. Black, A. J. Timothy Jull, Peter Van de Water, Joe Squire and Nicholas R. Testa
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2161; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122161 - 16 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1298
Abstract
Proxy records from the late Quaternary help in understanding climate variability on extended time scales. An ancient landslide deposit in Oregon U.S.A. preserved large logs from Douglas fir trees (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) and afforded an opportunity to explore the response of [...] Read more.
Proxy records from the late Quaternary help in understanding climate variability on extended time scales. An ancient landslide deposit in Oregon U.S.A. preserved large logs from Douglas fir trees (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) and afforded an opportunity to explore the response of tree growth to climate on annual and decadal scales. High-precision radiocarbon dating indicates an age exceeding 63 ka, i.e., the trees grew within the generally cool Marine Isotope Stage 5 (MIS 5), likely during a warmer interval optimal for Douglas fir establishment. This would include the prolonged warm MIS 5e (ca. 110–130 ka), corresponding approximately to the Eemian interglacial, which was warm like the current Holocene interglacial. A 297-year tree-ring width chronology from 12 Douglas fir logs and 227-year tree-ring δ13C and δ18O records are analyzed with spectral and wavelet analysis. Variance of the ancient rings is consistent with modern Douglas fir growth sensitive to moisture and ecological disturbances. Spectra of ancient and modern chronologies are dominated by low frequencies with significant spectral peaks appearing at high frequencies (2.1–4 years) and cyclic behavior transient over centuries. It is conceivable that the O-isotopes track moisture and that C-isotopes track temperature or sunlight. The findings illustrate the challenges in assessing the response of ancient tree-ring properties to late Quaternary climate variability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stable Isotopes in Dendroecology)
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23 pages, 3072 KiB  
Review
A Systematic Review of the Physicochemical and Microbial Diversity of Well-Preserved, Restored, and Disturbed Mangrove Forests: What Is Known and What Is the Way Forward?
by Jiayong Lai, Wee Cheah, Kishneth Palaniveloo, Rempei Suwa and Sahadev Sharma
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2160; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122160 - 16 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4698
Abstract
Mangrove forests are salt-tolerant intertidal vegetation in tropical and subtropical areas. Mangrove ecosystems provide commercial products, valuable fisheries, and aquaculture resources, protect and stabilize coastlines, and are important carbon sinks. However, they are threatened globally by human activities such as deforestation, pollution, and [...] Read more.
Mangrove forests are salt-tolerant intertidal vegetation in tropical and subtropical areas. Mangrove ecosystems provide commercial products, valuable fisheries, and aquaculture resources, protect and stabilize coastlines, and are important carbon sinks. However, they are threatened globally by human activities such as deforestation, pollution, and development causing fragmentation between the well-preserved, restored, and disturbed mangrove forests. Despite this, mangroves can adapt and strive well and are notable well associated with microbial diversity. Here, we investigate the diversity of microbes in different environmental settings using preferred reporting items for systematic and meta-analyses (PRISMA) analysis for publications from Scopus and the Web of Science databases. We report publications since 1987, and observed an exponential increase in publications beginning in the year 2000, which may be associated with the development of molecular and sequencing technologies. Differences in bacterial diversity was observed across the well-preserved, restored, and disturbed mangrove environments. Disturbed mangrove forests had a higher diversity (70 unique taxon orders reported) compared to well-preserved (33 unique taxon orders reported) and restored forests (38 unique taxon orders reported). Based on our analysis, we found that the microbial community plays an important role in the survival and adaptability of mangroves under varying environmental conditions. Thus, there is a need and a lot of potential for research in the area of mangrove microbiology with reference to ecology, biogeochemistry, and geomorphology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity, Health, and Ecosystem Services of Mangroves)
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