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Forests, Volume 14, Issue 11 (November 2023) – 160 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): This graphical abstract presents the work performed to analyse the feasibility for wood supply of the forest resources present in the study area, Galicia (NW of Spain). Information about legal and technical constraints present in the study were integrated according to decision rules. This enabled the classification of the territory into three classes: favorable, intermediate or unfavorable. Additionally, updated forest-oriented land cover maps were produced to analyze the feasibility for wood supply of the forest resources present in the region. These maps may help in the quest for more sustainable forest management in the region and aid in boosting the competitiveness of the regional forest value chain. View this paper
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15 pages, 11175 KiB  
Article
BIOCLIM Modeling for Predicting Suitable Habitat for Endangered Tree Tapiscia sinensis (Tapisciaceae) in China
Forests 2023, 14(11), 2275; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14112275 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 787
Abstract
Climate change jeopardizes species survival, particularly for endangered species. This risk extends to the endangered Chinese endemic tree Tapiscia sinensis. The factors underpinning T. sinensis’s habitat distribution are poorly understood, and its potential response to future climate scenarios remains unclear. With [...] Read more.
Climate change jeopardizes species survival, particularly for endangered species. This risk extends to the endangered Chinese endemic tree Tapiscia sinensis. The factors underpinning T. sinensis’s habitat distribution are poorly understood, and its potential response to future climate scenarios remains unclear. With six shortlisted climate factors and 117 occurrence records, we modeled T. sinensis’s potential distribution across China using the BIOCLIM model. We applied principal component analysis to examine the primary climate factors restricting its geographical range. The findings indicate that T. sinensis’ range is principally located in China’s middle subtropical climatic zone at low–mid altitudes. The principal component analysis identified two critical factors representing temperature and precipitation. Temperature was the most critical factor limiting T. sinensis distribution, especially the effect of temperature seasonality and isothermality. The habitat suitability model generated by BIOCLIM under current climate conditions demonstrated strong concordance between the predicted suitable areas and the present actual distribution range. These results verify that the model can reliably identify habitats conducive to T. sinensis growth and survival. However, under a hypothetical future climate scenario of doubled atmospheric CO2 concentrations for 2100, the model indicates a precipitous reduction and fragmentation in the areas with excellent suitability conditions. This predicted decline highlights the considerable threats posed by climate change to the long-term survival of this endangered species in China. Our habitat modeling yields critical insights that inform the development of science-based strategies and best practices to improve conservation management plans for research, protection, nursery cultivation, and sustainable planting in China. Habitat suitability knowledge could aid introduction and cultivation efforts for T. sinensis globally in places with analogous climates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Relationship between Forest Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function)
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15 pages, 15674 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Identification and Expression Analysis of the Walnut C-Repeat Binding Factor Gene Family under Low-Temperature Stress
Forests 2023, 14(11), 2274; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14112274 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 714
Abstract
The walnut (Juglans regia) is a nut with a high nutritional value and has been recognized throughout the world as an economically important woody plant. However, the walnut is vulnerable to abiotic stresses, especially low-temperature freezes, which can severely impede their [...] Read more.
The walnut (Juglans regia) is a nut with a high nutritional value and has been recognized throughout the world as an economically important woody plant. However, the walnut is vulnerable to abiotic stresses, especially low-temperature freezes, which can severely impede their growth and development, resulting in substantial financial losses. The CBF (C-repeat binding factor) gene, a unique plant transcription factor classified within the AP2/ERF (ethylene response factor) family, plays a vital role in the process of plants coping with abiotic stress, particularly low temperatures. This study utilized bioinformatics techniques to identify eight JrCBF genes within the walnut genome, distributed across six chromosomes. The upstream promoter sequences of these genes are rich in cis-regulatory elements related to hormonal responses and non-biotic stresses. Transcriptome data and qRT-PCR analysis revealed that JrCBF1 and JrCBF2 were significantly upregulated under low temperatures. JrCBF1 and JrCBF2 also responded positively to high-temperature stress. Under drought stress, JrCBF5 and JrCBF8 had a significant difference in their expression relative to other genes. To gain further insights into their functionality, subcellular localization experiments were conducted on JrCBF1 and JrCBF2, confirming their nuclear localization. These results provide valuable insights into the specific functions of CBF gene in enhancing the resistance of walnut to abiotic stress. Full article
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22 pages, 981 KiB  
Article
China’s Climate Change Policy Attention and Forestry Carbon Sequestration Growth
Forests 2023, 14(11), 2273; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14112273 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 627
Abstract
Forest carbon sinks play an important role in climate change mitigation and adaptation. The Chinese government has demonstrated its proactive approach to addressing climate change by setting development targets for low-carbon transformation and making solemn commitments to peak carbon emissions before 2030 and [...] Read more.
Forest carbon sinks play an important role in climate change mitigation and adaptation. The Chinese government has demonstrated its proactive approach to addressing climate change by setting development targets for low-carbon transformation and making solemn commitments to peak carbon emissions before 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. In this article, the Chinese Government’s Work Reports and Five-Year Plans are used to construct an index named China’s Climate Change Policy Attention (CCPA), which reflects the government’s emphasis on climate change and forestry in China. This article aims to examine the impact of CCPA, the adjusted Climate Policy Uncertainty (CPU) index from the U.S., and the Economic Policy Uncertainty (EPU) index from China on the Chinese forest carbon stocks (FCS) comprehensively. On this basis, we are interested in clarifying the channels by which CCPA promotes the growth of forest carbon sequestration in China. Specifically, panel data from 30 provinces in China from 2000 to 2017 are used for empirical analysis, and the following results are obtained: (1) The baseline regression indicates that CCPA significantly promotes the growth of FCS, while CPU or EPU inhibits its growth. (2) The interactive regression shows that the effect of CCPA on the growth of FCS can mitigate the inhibiting impact of CPU or EPU. (3) Mediation analysis documents that CCPA promotes FCS growth by increasing the forest tending area, expanding the existing forest area, increasing renewable energy consumption, and improving green investment. (4) Heterogeneity analysis reveals a clear differentiation in the effect of CCPA on FCS under different situations. Finally, policy implications are proposed based on the results. This article is expected to provide a theoretical basis for the Chinese government to develop relevant policies from the perspective of promoting FCS growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Economics, Policy, and Social Science)
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16 pages, 1125 KiB  
Article
Does the Distance from the Formal Path Affect the Richness, Abundance and Diversity of Geophytes in Urban Forests and Parks?
Forests 2023, 14(11), 2272; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14112272 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 668
Abstract
Geophytes are a characteristic element of deciduous forests in the temperate zone, as well as a common component of urban green spaces due to their early flowering and high decorative value. Nevertheless, in urban areas, geophytes are constantly threatened by recreational activities, especially [...] Read more.
Geophytes are a characteristic element of deciduous forests in the temperate zone, as well as a common component of urban green spaces due to their early flowering and high decorative value. Nevertheless, in urban areas, geophytes are constantly threatened by recreational activities, especially in parks where intensive trampling occurs. In this study, we tested the effect of the distance from formal paths on the species richness, abundance and diversity of geophytes in relation to habitat conditions in urban forests and parks. We established a total of 400 plots (1 m × 1 m) located close (CL) to and further (FU) from paths in 10 forests and 10 parks in Kraków, southern Poland, in spring 2022. We recorded 23 species from nine groups of geophytes forming different underground storage organs, i.e., bulbs (B), hypocotyl bulbs (HB), rhizomes (RH), runners (RU), runners and rhizomes (RU-RH), runner-like rhizomes (RL-RH), runners and runners with tuberous tip (RU-TU), runners and shoot tubers (RU-ST) and root tubers (RT). The differences in the number, share and cover-abundance of geophytes between the CL and FU plots were statistically insignificant. In contrast, the total number, share and cover-abundance of geophytes were significantly higher in forests than in parks. Additionally, the share and cover-abundance of RH and RT were significantly higher in forests than in parks. Moreover, in CL plots in forests and parks, the cover-abundance of RH and RT were negatively correlated with soil compaction. Urban forests provide a high abundance of RH, RU-RH and RT, while parks support a high abundance of BU. To protect forest geophytes in urban forests and parks, it is recommended to limit trampling and soil eutrophication, as well as reduce the increase in soil pH along paths. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Urban Forestry)
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14 pages, 1731 KiB  
Article
An Efficient and Light Transformer-Based Segmentation Network for Remote Sensing Images of Landscapes
Forests 2023, 14(11), 2271; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14112271 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 689
Abstract
High-resolution image segmentation for landscape applications has garnered significant attention, particularly in the context of ultra-high-resolution (UHR) imagery. Current segmentation methodologies partition UHR images into standard patches for multiscale local segmentation and hierarchical reasoning. This creates a pressing dilemma, where the trade-off between [...] Read more.
High-resolution image segmentation for landscape applications has garnered significant attention, particularly in the context of ultra-high-resolution (UHR) imagery. Current segmentation methodologies partition UHR images into standard patches for multiscale local segmentation and hierarchical reasoning. This creates a pressing dilemma, where the trade-off between memory efficiency and segmentation quality becomes increasingly evident. This paper introduces the Multilevel Contexts Weighted Coupling Transformer (WCTNet) for UHR segmentation. This framework comprises the Mult-level Feature Weighting (MFW) module and Token-based Transformer (TT) designed to weigh and couple multilevel semantic contexts. First, we analyze the multilevel semantics within a local patch without image-level contextual reasoning. It avoids complex image-level contextual associations and eliminates the misleading information carried. Second, MFW is developed to weigh shallow and deep features for enhancing object-related attention at different grain sizes from multilevel semantics. Third, the TT module is introduced to couple multilevel semantic contexts and transform them into semantic tokens using spatial attention. Then, we can capture token interactions and obtain clearer local representations. The suggested contextual weighting and coupling of single-scale patches empower WCTNet to maintain a well-balanced relationship between accuracy and computational overhead. Experimental results show that WCTNet achieves state-of-the-art performance on two UHR datasets of DeepGlobe and Inria Aerial. Full article
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12 pages, 1935 KiB  
Article
Periodic Flooding Decoupled the Relations of Soil C, N, P, and K Ecological Stoichiometry in a Coastal Shelterbelt Forest of Eastern China
Forests 2023, 14(11), 2270; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14112270 - 20 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 647
Abstract
Understanding the variation in soil nutrients found in coastal shelterbelt forests in response to periodic flooding is crucial for restoring the soil quality of flooded stands. In this study, we examined soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), total potassium [...] Read more.
Understanding the variation in soil nutrients found in coastal shelterbelt forests in response to periodic flooding is crucial for restoring the soil quality of flooded stands. In this study, we examined soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), total potassium (TK) contents and their ecological stoichiometry, as well as soil organic matter and soil-available N, P, and K contents at three soil depths (0–10, 10–20 and 20–30 cm), in a shelterbelt forest of eastern China that was affected by periodic flooding. Results showed that soil C, N, and P contents all had a clear decreasing trend after being flooded, with significant decreases in SOC, TN and hydrolyzable N of 0–10 cm soil, as well as TP of 10–20 cm soil. Soil K content, however, had minimal changes after flooding across different soil layers. Soil C:N ratio increased significantly in 0–10 cm layer, while soil C:P, C:K, N:P, N:K, and P:K ratios decreased notably in both 0–10 cm and 20–30 cm layers following the flooding. Additionally, periodic flooding partially decoupled the correlations among SOC, TN, TP, TK and their ratios. For example, the connection between TK and N:P reversed into a negative correlation in 10–20 cm soil, while SOC and TK became negatively correlated with TP and P:K in the 20–30 cm layer. Principal component analysis revealed the effects of periodic flooding on soil C, N, P, and K availability, in which the total explained variance was decreased from 94% to 86.6%. Specifically, flooding significantly reduced the SOC and soil TN contents on the first axis, influencing C- and N-related ratios. On the second axis, flooding mainly affected soil TK content, which subsequently influenced the correlation between SOC and TK. Thus, periodic flooding notably affected the soil C, N, P, and K ecological stoichiometries of the coastal forest, but the variation patterns were depth-dependent. The insights gained from these results can contribute to the restoration of soil quality in degraded stands caused by flooding in the coastal shelterbelts regions of Eastern China. Full article
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16 pages, 1423 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of the Degree of the Value Realization of Ecological Products of the Forest Ecological Bank in Shunchang County
Forests 2023, 14(11), 2269; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14112269 - 19 Nov 2023
Viewed by 865
Abstract
The forest ecological bank (FEB) plays a vital role in the transformation of ecological assets into ecological capital. The purpose of this study is to clarify the role of Shunchang County’s FEB in promoting the realization of the value of forest ecological products [...] Read more.
The forest ecological bank (FEB) plays a vital role in the transformation of ecological assets into ecological capital. The purpose of this study is to clarify the role of Shunchang County’s FEB in promoting the realization of the value of forest ecological products and the degree of the value realization of FEB ecological products so as to provide data support and policy reference for sustainable forest management and an ecological product value realization model. The ratio of the sum of the material supply value and the forest premium benefit of the forest ecosystem of the state-owned forest land to the total production value of the forest ecosystem of the state-owned forest land in Shunchang County is taken as a quantitative index of the realization degree of the ecological product value of the FEB in Shunchang County. (1) The difference in the production value of the forest ecosystem per unit area between state-owned forest land and non-state-owned forest land is USD 340.17, and the production value of the ecosystem brought about by the scientific cultivation of the FEB has increased by USD 25.92 million. (2) The base price of state-owned forest land in Shunchang County is USD 378.30, the base price of non-state-owned forest land is USD 247.23, and the value-added premium value of forest land is USD 30.19 million. (3) The realization degree of the ecological product value of the FEB in Shunchang County is 85.51%. These results show that the FEB can accelerate the progress of forest ecological products and play an important role in the construction of the ecological civilization proposed by China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Services and the Forest Economy)
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18 pages, 2747 KiB  
Article
Multi-Omics Analysis of Gene and microRNA Expression in Diploid and Autotetraploid Poplar under Drought Stress by Transcriptome, microRNA, and Degradome Sequencing
Forests 2023, 14(11), 2268; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14112268 - 19 Nov 2023
Viewed by 805
Abstract
Drought-induced forest death has become a global phenomenon, which is hindering the development of sustainable forestry. Polyploidy breeding has been considered as an effective method of genetic improvement for tree stress resistance. However, the response mechanisms of tetraploid poplars to drought stress are [...] Read more.
Drought-induced forest death has become a global phenomenon, which is hindering the development of sustainable forestry. Polyploidy breeding has been considered as an effective method of genetic improvement for tree stress resistance. However, the response mechanisms of tetraploid poplars to drought stress are unclear. In this study, based on high-throughput sequencing of transcriptome, small RNA, and degradome for these samples, which selected three genotypes of tetraploid poplars and their counterpart diploids for drought stress and rewatering trial in the experiment, we performed multi-omics analyses to investigate the distinction in drought resistance between tetraploid and diploid. A total of 3391 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were found from the Dro-Di vs. CK-Di, 3753 DEGs from the Re-Di vs. Dro-Di, 3857 DEGs from the Dro-Te vs. CK-Te, and 4177 DEGs from the Re-Te vs. Dro-Te. Of the above DEGs, 1646 common-DEGs were identified significantly related to drought-stress response, 2034 common-DEGs related to rewater response, 158 and 114 common-DEGs showed opposite expression patterns between diploid and tetraploid, implying that these DEGs might play important roles in response to drought stress as a result of differences in ploidy. Additionally, 586 known miRNAs and 72 novel miRNAs were identified through analysis of 18 small RNA libraries, among which eight common-miRNAs were significantly related to drought-stress response, and four were related to rewater response. The degradome sequencing analysis revealed that 154 target transcripts for 24 drought-stress-associated differentially expressed miRNAs (DEmiRs), and 90 for 12 rewatering-associated DEmiRs were identified in the tetraploid based on both degradome and TargetFinder analyses. These findings provide valuable information for further functional characterization of genes and miRNAs in response to drought stress in Populus polyploidy, and potentially contribute to drought-resistant breeding of polypoid in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress in Tree Species)
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27 pages, 1240 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of the Sustainable Forest Management Performance in Forestry Enterprises Based on a Hybrid Multi-Criteria Decision-Making Model: A Case Study in China
Forests 2023, 14(11), 2267; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14112267 - 18 Nov 2023
Viewed by 982
Abstract
Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) can fully use forest resources and improve the economic, environmental, and social sustainability of forest areas. Forestry enterprises play a crucial role in the implementation of SFM. However, the previous literature on SFM pays little attention to the subject [...] Read more.
Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) can fully use forest resources and improve the economic, environmental, and social sustainability of forest areas. Forestry enterprises play a crucial role in the implementation of SFM. However, the previous literature on SFM pays little attention to the subject of forestry enterprises. This paper aims to extend research on SFM from a macro perspective to the micro level of forestry enterprises. Taking the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) as a theoretical framework and the Montreal Process Criteria and Indicators (MP C&Is) as a basis, this paper constructs an indicator system to evaluate the performance of SFM of forestry enterprises from economic, social, and environmental aspects. Then, we apply the hybrid Multi-Criteria Decision-Making (MCDM) methods, i.e., the Best–Worst Method (BWM) and the VlseKriterijumska Optimizacija I Kompromisno Resenje (VIKOR) method, to construct the methodological system for SFM performance evaluation of forestry enterprises. Through a questionnaire survey of 68 academics and researchers, we determine the weights of the SFM indicators and select a representative forestry enterprise as a case study. The effectiveness of this SFM performance evaluation model is then demonstrated through its application to the case study of forestry enterprises in China. Through the application of the model, this paper evaluates the enterprise’s SFM performance over the five-year period 2017–2021 and proposes appropriate policy recommendations and improvements. It is found that environmental factors are the primary factors of SFM in forestry enterprises. Forestry enterprises should not only pay attention to economic benefits but also to the use of forest resources and the protection of forest ecosystems to better achieve SFM. Full article
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25 pages, 3953 KiB  
Review
Modification and Application of Bamboo-Based Materials: A Review—Part II: Application of Bamboo-Based Materials
Forests 2023, 14(11), 2266; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14112266 - 18 Nov 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1521
Abstract
Bamboo, with its inherently porous composition and exceptional renewability, stands as a symbolic embodiment of sustainability. The imperative to fortify the utilization of bamboo-based materials becomes paramount for future developments. These materials not only find direct applications in the construction and furniture sectors [...] Read more.
Bamboo, with its inherently porous composition and exceptional renewability, stands as a symbolic embodiment of sustainability. The imperative to fortify the utilization of bamboo-based materials becomes paramount for future developments. These materials not only find direct applications in the construction and furniture sectors but also exhibit versatility in burgeoning domains such as adsorption materials and electrode components, thereby expanding their consequential influence. This comprehensive review meticulously delves into both their explicit applications and the nuanced panorama of derived uses, thereby illuminating the multifaceted nature of bamboo-based materials. Beyond their current roles, these materials hold promise for addressing environmental challenges and serving as eco-friendly alternatives across diverse industries. Lastly, we provide some insights into the future prospects of bamboo-based materials, which are poised to lead the way in further development. In conclusion, bamboo-based materials hold immense potential across diverse domains and are set to play an increasingly pivotal role in sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Wood Science and Forest Products)
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3 pages, 653 KiB  
Editorial
Biomonitoring with Lichens and Mosses in Forests
Forests 2023, 14(11), 2265; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14112265 - 17 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 676
Abstract
Currently, forest ecosystems are often located in remote areas, far from direct sources of air pollution [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomonitoring with Lichens and Mosses in Forests)
15 pages, 6586 KiB  
Article
Dendrochronological Analysis of One-Seeded and Intermediate Hawthorn Response to Climate in Poland
Forests 2023, 14(11), 2264; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14112264 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 593
Abstract
Although the hawthorn is not a forest-forming species, and it has no high economic significance, it is a very valuable component of forests, mid-field woodlots or roadside avenues. The literature, however, lacks information on the growth rate, growth phases, or growth–climate–habitat relationship for [...] Read more.
Although the hawthorn is not a forest-forming species, and it has no high economic significance, it is a very valuable component of forests, mid-field woodlots or roadside avenues. The literature, however, lacks information on the growth rate, growth phases, or growth–climate–habitat relationship for trees of this genus. This work aimed to establish the rate of growth of Craraegus monogyna and C. xmedia Bechst growing in various parts of Poland, in various habitats; analyze the growth–climate relationship; and distinguish dendrochronological regions for these species. Samples were taken using a Pressler borer from nine populations growing in different parts of Poland, from a total of 192 trees (359 samples). The tree-ring width was measured down to 0.01 mm. The average tree-ring width in the studied hawthorn populations ranged from 1.42 to 3.25 mm/year. Using well-established cross-dating methods, nine local chronologies were compiled with tree ages between 45 and 72 years. Dendroclimatic analyses (pointer year analysis, correlation and response function analysis) were performed for a 33-year period from 1988 to 2020, for which all local chronologies displayed EPS > 0.85. The tree-ring width in the hawthorn populations depended mostly on temperature and rainfall through the May–August period. High rainfall and the lack of heat waves through these months cause an increase in cambial activity and the formation of wide tree rings. Conversely, rainfall shortages through this period, in conjunction with high air temperatures, caused growth depressions. Cluster analysis enabled the identification of two dendrochronological regions among the hawthorn in Poland: a western and eastern region, and a single site (CI), whose separation was most likely caused by contrasting habitat and genetic conditions. The obtained results highlight the need for further study of these species in Poland and other countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tree Growth in Relation to Climate Change)
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15 pages, 2694 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of the Environmental Burden of Cross-Laminated Timber Manufacturing in Japan Using the Input–Output Analysis
Forests 2023, 14(11), 2263; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14112263 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 752
Abstract
Japan is actively promoting the application of cross-laminated timber (CLT) in construction to utilize plantation forests efficiently and fulfil its climate commitments. Although CLT has unique structural properties and environmental advantages, understanding the environmental burden of CLT manufacturing remains scarce. This study uses [...] Read more.
Japan is actively promoting the application of cross-laminated timber (CLT) in construction to utilize plantation forests efficiently and fulfil its climate commitments. Although CLT has unique structural properties and environmental advantages, understanding the environmental burden of CLT manufacturing remains scarce. This study uses input–output analysis to evaluate the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from CLT manufacturing. An extended input–output table was created to measure the GHG emissions by investigating the revenue and expenditure data of the largest CLT manufacturers in Japan in 2020, combined with the energy and emission intensity data. The results showed that electricity, activities not elsewhere classified, road freight transportation (except self-transportation), timber, and logs were the main sectors contributing to GHG emissions from CLT manufacturing. In addition, the environmental burdens of the cement and steel sectors were evaluated for comparison with the same increase in the final demand. We found that CLT manufacturing emits significantly fewer GHGs than the cement and steel sectors. These findings highlight the potential of CLT in reducing environmental burden, particularly in construction and civil engineering, emphasizing the importance of renewable energy use and efficient raw material transportation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Wood Science and Forest Products)
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23 pages, 3308 KiB  
Article
Financial Comparison of Afforestation Using Redwood and Radiata Pine within New Zealand for Regimes That Derive Value from Timber and Carbon
Forests 2023, 14(11), 2262; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14112262 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 691
Abstract
Carbon sequestration has become an important source of supplementary revenue from forest plantations. Although there are many financial comparisons of species based on timber revenue, there have been few regional comparisons that integrate revenue from carbon. Within New Zealand, radiata pine is the [...] Read more.
Carbon sequestration has become an important source of supplementary revenue from forest plantations. Although there are many financial comparisons of species based on timber revenue, there have been few regional comparisons that integrate revenue from carbon. Within New Zealand, radiata pine is the most widely planted species, but there has been a recent upsurge in planting rates for coast redwood. Under New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme, areas that are newly afforested under clear-fell rotational forestry receive carbon payments up to a set age, intended to represent the long-term average under successive rotations. Using growth models for both species, the objectives of this research were to regionally quantify (i) how the rotation length and the carbon averaging age influenced the profitability of growing redwood and (ii) compare carbon, timber yields, and profitability between radiata pine and redwood. The results showed the legislated carbon averaging age of 22 years for redwood underestimated the actual mid-points of carbon accumulation, which averaged 26, 28, and 31 years across rotation lengths of 40, 45, and 50 years, respectively. The optimal rotation length for redwood varied markedly by region and carbon price but was most often 40 years, increasing to 50 years at higher carbon prices, particularly for southern regions. Under regimes where revenue was only derived from timber, the redwood internal rate of return (IRR) exceeded that of radiata pine for eight of the nine New Zealand regions. When revenue was received from carbon and timber, redwood had a higher IRR than radiata pine up to carbon prices ranging from 29 to 50 NZD/tonne CO2 for the North Island and 23 to 34 NZD/tonne CO2 in all South Island regions apart from Otago. The IRR of radiata pine exceeded that of redwood at carbon prices above these values for the eight regions and at all carbon prices within the cold, dry Otago region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Valuation of Forest Resources)
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13 pages, 13167 KiB  
Article
Application of the YOLOv6 Combining CBAM and CIoU in Forest Fire and Smoke Detection
Forests 2023, 14(11), 2261; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14112261 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 787
Abstract
Forest fires are a vulnerable and devastating disaster that pose a major threat to human property and life. Smoke is easier to detect than flames due to the vastness of the wildland scene and the obscuring vegetation. However, the shape of wind-blown smoke [...] Read more.
Forest fires are a vulnerable and devastating disaster that pose a major threat to human property and life. Smoke is easier to detect than flames due to the vastness of the wildland scene and the obscuring vegetation. However, the shape of wind-blown smoke is constantly changing, and the color of smoke varies greatly from one combustion chamber to another. Therefore, the widely used sensor-based smoke and fire detection systems have the disadvantages of untimely detection and a high false detection rate in the middle of an open environment. Deep learning-based smoke and fire object detection can recognize objects in the form of video streams and images in milliseconds. To this end, this paper innovatively employs CBAM based on YOLOv6 to increase the extraction of smoke and fire features. In addition, the CIoU loss function was used to ensure that training time is reduced while extracting the feature effects. Automatic mixed-accuracy training is used to train the model. The proposed model has been validated on a self-built dataset containing multiple scenes. The experiments demonstrated that our model has a high response speed and accuracy in real-field smoke and fire detection, which provides intelligent support for forest fire safety work in social life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Hazards and Risk Management)
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11 pages, 1924 KiB  
Article
Reference Curves for Central Appalachian Red Spruce
Forests 2023, 14(11), 2260; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14112260 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 744
Abstract
Red spruce (Picea rubens Sarg.) was a prized timber species in West Virginia during the era of resource exploitation in the late 1800s and early 1900s. As a result, central Appalachian red spruce comprise a much smaller component of high-elevation stand composition [...] Read more.
Red spruce (Picea rubens Sarg.) was a prized timber species in West Virginia during the era of resource exploitation in the late 1800s and early 1900s. As a result, central Appalachian red spruce comprise a much smaller component of high-elevation stand composition and a greatly constricted presence across the region. Widespread restoration efforts are underway to re-establish red spruce across this landscape. However, without benchmarks to gauge growth rates and stand developmental patterns, it is unclear whether these efforts are successful. Our goal was to develop reference curves predicting centile height growth for understory red spruce (≤7.6 m) across the region. We reconstructed the height growth patterns of over 250 randomly selected red spruce seedlings and saplings from 22 high-elevation stands in West Virginia. We also harvested 24 mature red spruce from the same stands to develop juvenile growth curves up to 7.6 m to compare understory growth rates of historical to contemporary rates from the reference curves. Our constructed reference curves showed height growth tended to peak between 10 and 30 years of age. Total heights ranged from 0.95 m to 6.85 m after 50 years. We identified two demographic populations in the mature red spruce trees. All the mature red spruce trees that established after 1890 exceeded the 97% growth centile by age 80. By contrast, only two trees from the pre-1890 population reached the same level by age 80. This work highlights the varied ascension pathways to the overstory for red spruce. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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20 pages, 11263 KiB  
Article
Cost–Benefit Evaluation of Walnut and Jujube Orchards under Fruit Tree–Crop Intercropping Conditions in Southern Xinjiang
Forests 2023, 14(11), 2259; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14112259 - 16 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 651
Abstract
Fruit planting plays an essential role in achieving zero hunger, ensuring food security, and increasing the income of local people. As one of China’s principal fruit-planting areas, southern Xinjiang possesses more than 80% of the total fruit-planting areas of Xinjiang. However, the spatial [...] Read more.
Fruit planting plays an essential role in achieving zero hunger, ensuring food security, and increasing the income of local people. As one of China’s principal fruit-planting areas, southern Xinjiang possesses more than 80% of the total fruit-planting areas of Xinjiang. However, the spatial distribution, extent, and types of fruit trees remain unknown, generating uncertainty in calculating the economic benefits of orchards in this area. In this paper, we used walnut and jujube orchards under fruit tree–crop intercropping conditions in the Hotan Oasis in southern Xinjiang as the research object. Walnut and jujube orchards were precisely characterized using object-oriented and decision tree classification methods. Then, the economic benefits for farmers were estimated based on field surveys and statistical data. From 2003 to 2020, the area of jujube orchards rapidly increased from 1.91 × 103 ha to 33.59 × 103 ha, while that of walnut orchards steadily increased from 18.05 × 103 ha to 40.24 × 103 ha. The expansion areas of walnut orchards were mainly transformed from other orchards in the oasis, while the expansion areas of jujube orchards mainly originated from newly cultivated land in the desert. The increases in areas and yields largely offset the increase in planting costs and the decrease in purchase prices, resulting in an increasing trend in the total net income of the orchards. From 2003 to 2020, the total net income of walnut orchards increased by 68.96%, and the total net income of jujube orchards significantly increased by 23.37 times. However, the output/input ratios of walnut orchards under intercropping conditions were approximately two times higher than those of jujube orchards under monocropping conditions. The increase in investment slightly offset the decreases in yields and purchase prices, resulting in increases of 5.24% and 18.64% in the output/input ratios of walnuts and jujubes, respectively, in orchards exhibiting standardized cultivation. In the future, it is necessary to significantly expand the area of orchards involving standardized cultivation and improve the yield and quality of fruits, thereby increasing the yields and income levels of local farmers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainability in Agri-Food and Forestry Ecosystems)
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16 pages, 8577 KiB  
Article
Functional Diversity Accelerates the Decomposition of Litter Recalcitrant Carbon but Reduces the Decomposition of Labile Carbon in Subtropical Forests
Forests 2023, 14(11), 2258; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14112258 - 16 Nov 2023
Viewed by 733
Abstract
The biodiversity of litter can regulate carbon and nutrient cycling during mixed decomposition. It is common knowledge that the decomposition rates of mixed litters frequently deviate from those predicted for these component litter species. However, the direction and magnitude of the nonadditive effects [...] Read more.
The biodiversity of litter can regulate carbon and nutrient cycling during mixed decomposition. It is common knowledge that the decomposition rates of mixed litters frequently deviate from those predicted for these component litter species. However, the direction and magnitude of the nonadditive effects on the degradation of mixed litters remain difficult to predict. Previous studies have reported that the different carbon fractions of leaf litters responded to litter mixture differently, which may help to explain the ambiguous nonadditive effect of diversity on bulk litter decomposition. Therefore, we conducted decomposition experiments on 32 litter mixtures from seven common tree species to test the responses of different carbon fractions to litter diversity in subtropical forests. We found that the overall mass loss of the mixed litter was faster than that estimated from single species. The relative mixing effects (RMEs) of different carbon fractions exhibited different patterns to litter diversity and were driven by different aspects of litter functional dissimilarity. Soluble carbon fractions decomposed more slowly than expected from single species, while lignin fractions decayed more quickly. Moreover, we found that the RMEs of bulk litter decomposition may be determined by the lignin fraction decomposition. Our findings further support that distinguishing the response of different carbon fractions to litter diversity is important for elucidating the nonadditive effects of total litter decomposition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Litter Decompositions: From Individuals to Ecosystems)
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20 pages, 4544 KiB  
Article
The Ecological Healthcare Benefits and Influences of Plant Communities in Urban Wetland Parks
Forests 2023, 14(11), 2257; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14112257 - 16 Nov 2023
Viewed by 855
Abstract
Plant communities in urban wetland parks (UWP) have significant eco-healthcare benefits in terms of regulating the climate and improving the human living environment. However, factors influencing the regulation of eco-healthcare benefits are unclear. Taking Huaxi Ten Mile Beach National Urban Wetland Park as [...] Read more.
Plant communities in urban wetland parks (UWP) have significant eco-healthcare benefits in terms of regulating the climate and improving the human living environment. However, factors influencing the regulation of eco-healthcare benefits are unclear. Taking Huaxi Ten Mile Beach National Urban Wetland Park as an example, the urban wetland park comprehensive healthcare index (UPCHI) was constructed based on an outdoor survey and indoor analysis to evaluate the UWP’s eco-healthcare benefits. Pathway analysis was used to investigate how climatic, geographic, and plant factors interact to affect the UPCHI. The results show that, over the whole year, tree–shrub–herb showed the best performance in terms of reducing PM2.5, PM10, and noise, as well as raising negative air ion concentrations; however, human comfort performed the worst. The UPCHI was generally beyond level Ⅲ (0.49–0.58) in the spring and summer, indicating that there are eco-healthcare benefits. Overall, the deciduous tree–shrub–herb community had the highest annual mean UPCHI, and more than half of the plant communities’ eco-healthcare benefits were class Ⅱ, which is very beneficial for eco-healthcare. The main direct factors on UPCHI were illumination intensity (0.68) and tree height (0.90), while canopy height (0.64–0.59) and tree crown radius/canopy height (0.72–0.14) directly or indirectly influenced UPCHI. The distance from the edge of the mountain (−0.39–−0.322) had a direct negative, but minor, effect on UPCHI. This study will assist residents with selecting suitable times and places for wetland recreation and healthcare activities, and it offers a valuable reference for the future planning and design of UWP plant communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest, Trees, Human Health and Wellbeing)
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26 pages, 4664 KiB  
Article
A Simulation Study of the Impact of Urban Street Greening on the Thermal Comfort in Street Canyons on Hot and Cold Days
Forests 2023, 14(11), 2256; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14112256 - 16 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 831
Abstract
The urban heat island effect has become a widely concerning issue worldwide. Many researchers have made great efforts to improve the summer thermal comfort of urban street canyons by optimizing street greening. Relatively less research has focused on how to improve the thermal [...] Read more.
The urban heat island effect has become a widely concerning issue worldwide. Many researchers have made great efforts to improve the summer thermal comfort of urban street canyons by optimizing street greening. Relatively less research has focused on how to improve the thermal comfort of street canyons by optimizing street greening during cold days. Many researchers have proposed strategies to improve the summer thermal comfort of street canyons using road greening. This may have a significant negative impact on the winter thermal comfort of street canyons due to the lack of consideration of the impact on hot and cold days simultaneously, especially when the road green space is mainly composed of evergreen tree species. We aimed to explore the impacts of urban street greening on thermal comfort on hot and cold days at the same time. We used Zhutang West Road in Changsha, China, as an example and built six different models to explore the impacts of the street vegetation types, number of street trees, tree heights, crown widths, and Leaf Area Index on the thermal comfort of the street canyon. In addition, we also considered the impact of different building features and wind directions on the thermal comfort of the street canyon. We employed ENVI-met (version 5.5.1) to simulate different urban street greening models. The results show that the model with a high tree canopy density, tall trees, large and dense crowns, and sufficient building shade has good thermal comfort on hot days (the average physiological equivalent temperature (PET) is 31.1 °C for the study period) and bad thermal comfort on cold days (the PET is 13.3 °C) when it is compared with the other models (the average PETs are 36.2 °C, 31.5 °C, 41.5 °C, 36.2 °C, and 35.5 °C, respectively, on hot days and for other models). In addition, the model with a very large number of short hedges has a positive impact on thermal comfort during hot days (the PET is 31.1 °C). The PET value of another comparable model which does not have hedges is 31.5 °C. Even if the model with a small building area has good ventilation, the small building shade area in the model has a more obvious impact and the model has relatively good thermal comfort during cold days (the PET is 14.2 °C) when it is compared to models with bigger building areas (the PET is 13.9 °C). In summer, when the wind is parallel to the direction of the street canyon, the wind speed in the street canyon is high and the model has relatively good thermal comfort (the PET is 35.5 °C) compared with another model which has different wind direction and lower wind speed at the street canyon (the PET is 36.2 °C). In winter, when the wind is perpendicular to the direction of the street canyon, buildings and trees have a strong windproof effect and this is beneficial to the improvement of thermal comfort (the PET is 15.3 °C for this model and 13.9 °C for another comparable model). This research lays a solid foundation and encourages people to think about the impact of building and tree composition and configuration on the thermal comfort of street canyons during hot and cold days simultaneously. Full article
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13 pages, 2099 KiB  
Article
Temporal Variability in Soil Greenhouse Gas Fluxes and Influencing Factors of a Primary Forest on the Eastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau
Forests 2023, 14(11), 2255; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14112255 - 16 Nov 2023
Viewed by 670
Abstract
Soil greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes relate to soil carbon and nitrogen budgets and have a significant impact on climate change. Nevertheless, the temporal variation and magnitude of the fluxes of all three major GHGs (CO2, CH4 and N2O) [...] Read more.
Soil greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes relate to soil carbon and nitrogen budgets and have a significant impact on climate change. Nevertheless, the temporal variation and magnitude of the fluxes of all three major GHGs (CO2, CH4 and N2O) and their influencing factors have not been elucidated clearly in primary forests on the eastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Herein, field chamber GHG fluxes from May to November, soil microbial community and enzyme activity were analyzed in a fir-dominated (Abies fargesii var. faxoniana) primary forest. The emission rates of CO2 and N2O ranged between 64.69–243.22 mg CO2 m−2 h−1 and 1.69–5.46 ug N2O m−2 h−1, exhibiting a temporally unimodal pattern with a peak in July. The soil acted as a CH4 sink, and the uptake rate varied between 52.96 and 84.67 μg CH4 m−2 h−1 with the higher uptake rates in June and November. The temporal variation in the CO2 flux was significantly correlated with the geometric mean of enzyme activities, suggesting that the soil CO2 flux was determined by microbial activity rather than soil microbial biomass. The soil N2O flux was positively related to nitrate concentration with marginal significance, probably because N2O was a byproduct of nitrification and denitrification processes. The soil CH4 uptake was closely associated with methanotrophic biomass (18:1ω7c). The results highlight divergent temporal dynamics of GHG fluxes owing to different driving mechanisms and an important CH4 sink in the primary forest soil, helping to evaluate the carbon and nitrogen budgets of primary forests on the eastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Soil)
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19 pages, 8308 KiB  
Article
Combining Artificial Neural Network and Response Surface Methodology to Optimize the Drilling Operating Parameters of MDF Panels
Forests 2023, 14(11), 2254; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14112254 - 16 Nov 2023
Viewed by 687
Abstract
Most of the parts of furniture made of medium density fiberboards (MDF) require at least one hole to be assembled. The drilling technological parameters influence the quality of holes. Factors such as tip angle of the drill bit, feed rate, type and diameter [...] Read more.
Most of the parts of furniture made of medium density fiberboards (MDF) require at least one hole to be assembled. The drilling technological parameters influence the quality of holes. Factors such as tip angle of the drill bit, feed rate, type and diameter of the drill bit, and spindle rotational speed could affect the drilling process. Therefore, the right choosing of drilling parameters is a mandatory condition to improve the drilling efficiency that is expressed through tool durability, cost, and quality of the drilling. Thus, in this work, we are proposed an approach that consists in combining two modelling techniques, which were successfully applied in various fields, namely artificial neural network (ANN) and response surface methodology (RSM), to analyze and optimize the drilling process of MDF boards. Four artificial neural network models with a reasonable accuracy were developed to predict the analyzed responses, namely delamination factor at inlet, delamination factor at outlet, thrust force, and drilling torque. These models were used to complete the experimental design that was requested by the RSM. The optimum values of the selected factors and their influence on the drilling process of the MDF boards were revealed. A part of optimum combinations among analyzed factors could be used both during the drilling of the MDF boards and prelaminated wood particleboards. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Quality and Wood Processing)
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18 pages, 4739 KiB  
Article
Response of Common Garden Plant Leaf Traits to Air Pollution in Urban Parks of Suzhou City (China)
Forests 2023, 14(11), 2253; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14112253 - 16 Nov 2023
Viewed by 597
Abstract
In this study, to comprehensively investigate the impact of garden plants on air quality, we measured the leaves of 18 common garden plants in three different areas, namely, Suzhou industrial parks (clean air area (CAA)), Xiangcheng district parks (lightly polluted area (LPA)), and [...] Read more.
In this study, to comprehensively investigate the impact of garden plants on air quality, we measured the leaves of 18 common garden plants in three different areas, namely, Suzhou industrial parks (clean air area (CAA)), Xiangcheng district parks (lightly polluted area (LPA)), and Huqiu district parks (highly polluted area (HPA)). We also measured the leaf functional traits of different life-types of plants. To explore the trade-off strategies of the leaf traits of common garden plants in response to air pollution and to assess the adaptive capacity of different life types of plants to air pollution. The results show that plants in the polluted area had higher leaf dry matter content (LDMC) and leaf nitrogen content per unit mass (Nmass), and a lower specific leaf area (SLA), maximum net photosynthetic rate per unit area (Aarea), transpiration rate (Tr), stomatal conductance (Gs), and chlorophyll value (SPAD). Pearson correlation analysis showed that SLA was significantly positively correlated with Nmass, Tr, photosynthetic use efficiency (PNUE), and SPAD, and significantly negatively correlated with LDMC, while Aarea was significantly positively correlated with chlorophyll value. Redundancy analysis revealed that the correlation between each leaf functional trait and atmospheric pollution factors was as follows: LDMC > Nmass > SLA > LA > Aarea > Tr > PNUE > SPAD. The results suggest that different plant types have varying levels of adaptability to environmental conditions. Trees were found to be the most adaptable, followed by shrubs, herbs, and lianas. Additionally, under the stress of air pollution, herbs and lianas exhibited characteristics of “fast investment-return” on the leaf economic spectrum, meaning they were able to quickly allocate resources to maximize their return. However, trees and shrubs displayed traits of “slow investment-return”, indicating a more conservative approach to resource allocation. These results provide valuable insights into the leaf trade-off strategies of plants in Suzhou Park under air pollution stress and can guide the selection of suitable plant species in similar environments. Full article
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15 pages, 8153 KiB  
Article
Driving Factors of Chinese Pine Population Distribution in the Ridge Habitats of the Southern Slope of the Mid-Qinling Mountains, China
Forests 2023, 14(11), 2252; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14112252 - 16 Nov 2023
Viewed by 601
Abstract
The Chinese pine (Pinus tabuliformis) community on the ridge is one of the most important zonal forest communities on the southern slope of the mid-Qinling Mountains. This study aimed to investigate the driving factors of Chinese pine population distribution in the ridge [...] Read more.
The Chinese pine (Pinus tabuliformis) community on the ridge is one of the most important zonal forest communities on the southern slope of the mid-Qinling Mountains. This study aimed to investigate the driving factors of Chinese pine population distribution in the ridge habitats and its adaptability characteristics. Population age structure and the relationship between regeneration dynamics and environmental factors were investigated in 32 plots in the Huoditang Forest region. The results showed that the niche of Chinese pine was wide but overlapped greatly with that of Quercus aliena var. acutiserrat, an oak species. The population in the ridge habitats exhibited an expansion trend, while that inhabiting slope habitats was declining. Seedling density in ridge habitats was much higher than that of the understory in the slope habitats. Still, the seedling growth rate in both ridge and understory habitats was much lower than that characteristic of gap habitats. Seedling density positively correlated with understory solar conditions, while growth positively correlated with soil fertility, indicating that environmental factors significantly influence the regeneration process. Thus, light conditions and intrinsic biological traits of Pinus tabuliformis influence its distribution. In ridge habitats, sufficient light conditions promote Pinus tabuliformis regeneration and recruitment of larger classes, but poor soil conditions also limit its growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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14 pages, 5965 KiB  
Article
Assessing and Mapping Changes in Forest Growing Stock Volume over Time in Bashkiriya Nature Reserve, Russia
Forests 2023, 14(11), 2251; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14112251 - 16 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 740
Abstract
There is growing recognition that forest ecosystems are a key component in the global carbon cycle, and there is a clear demand for their study. This research is a comparative analysis of forest growing stock volume (GSV) and determination of annual growth in [...] Read more.
There is growing recognition that forest ecosystems are a key component in the global carbon cycle, and there is a clear demand for their study. This research is a comparative analysis of forest growing stock volume (GSV) and determination of annual growth in Bashkiriya Nature Reserve (Russia) for 1979 and 2015 using 8395 and 8405 observation plots, respectively. Also, we evaluated the spatial distribution and produced digital maps of the species and their GSV for each year. The results showed that pine and birch were the dominant species (60.5 and 24.8% of the area in 2015, respectively) and there were no significant changes in the area of stands during the 36-year period. We found that the GSV in the reserve had increased by an average of 23.2% over the 36-year period. Specifically, the total forest GSV increased from 7,678,960 in 1979 to 10,003,890 m3 in 2015, representing an annual gain of 0–1.5 m3/ha. The increase in GSV was mainly associated with an increase in birch and pine trees. The annual growth of GSV was determined as 1.8–2.1 and 1.4 m3/ha per year for pine and birch forests, respectively. However, these types of trees belong to the age categories of mature and overmature stands, i.e., with reduced intensity of GSV gain. Digital maps produced as part of this study provide a visual representation of the changes in forest spatial patterns and GSV over time, highlighting areas of the reserve where the stock has increased or decreased. This study leveraged a substantial dataset, which provided valuable retrospective insights into the dynamics of pristine forest ecosystems, allowing for the assessment of changes over a 36-year period. Overall, this study highlights the importance of the ongoing monitoring and assessment of GSV levels, especially in the context of rapidly changing environments and climates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Greenhouse Gas Dynamics and Balance in Forest-Peatland Ecosystem)
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11 pages, 1648 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Top-Layer Sliced Lamella Thickness and Core Type on Surface-Checking in Engineered Wood Flooring
Forests 2023, 14(11), 2250; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14112250 - 15 Nov 2023
Viewed by 776
Abstract
Surface-checking is a significant quality issue of veneer and sliced lamellae-based wood products. This study explores how surface-checking in sliced lamellae-based engineered wood Flooring (EWF) is influenced by two key structure parameters: core type and top-layer thickness. The core types assessed were a [...] Read more.
Surface-checking is a significant quality issue of veneer and sliced lamellae-based wood products. This study explores how surface-checking in sliced lamellae-based engineered wood Flooring (EWF) is influenced by two key structure parameters: core type and top-layer thickness. The core types assessed were a standard solid wood lamellae with a veneer back-end layer (S), a standard solid wood lamellae core with veneer back-end layers on the two sides (DS), and a single-layer oriented strand board (OS) core. The EWF element’s top-layer lamellae were plain sliced at nominal dimensions of 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, and 4.5 mm from freshly sawn slabs of European oak (Quercus spp.). The surface-checking of EWF specimens was quantified based on a digital image correlation (DIC) method, which outputs a surface-checking index. The surface-checking results were evaluated using a Tweedie compound Poisson data distribution to fit a general linear model. The model evaluated the impact of individual factors, sliced lamellae thickness and core type, and their interaction. The checking index confidence intervals were estimated using a bootstrapping technique. Findings reveal a significant interaction between studied factors and provide insight into optimizing top-layer thickness and core construction to diminish surface-checking. A low sliced lamella thickness on standard solid wood lamellae core resulted in low surface-checking, deemed relevant for further research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic New Challenges in Wood and Wood-Based Materials)
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12 pages, 1882 KiB  
Article
Micro-Fibrillated Cellulose in Lignin–Phenol–Formaldehyde Adhesives for Plywood Production
Forests 2023, 14(11), 2249; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14112249 - 15 Nov 2023
Viewed by 712
Abstract
Petrochemical-based phenol–formaldehyde (PF) adhesives are widely used in plywood production. To substitute phenol in the synthesis of PF adhesives, lignin can be added due to its structural similarity to phenol. Moreover, micro-fibrillated cellulose (MFC) can further enhance the bond performance, mechanical properties, and [...] Read more.
Petrochemical-based phenol–formaldehyde (PF) adhesives are widely used in plywood production. To substitute phenol in the synthesis of PF adhesives, lignin can be added due to its structural similarity to phenol. Moreover, micro-fibrillated cellulose (MFC) can further enhance the bond performance, mechanical properties, and toughness of adhesive systems. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the adhesion performance of lignin–PF (LPF) adhesives reinforced with MFC. In LPF formulations, three levels of MFC (0, 15, and 30 wt% based on the total solid content of adhesives) were added to the homogenous adhesive mixture. Three-layer plywood panels from birch (Betula pendula Roth.) veneers were assembled after hot pressing at 130 °C under two pressing durations, e.g., 60 and 75 s/mm. Tensile shear strength was measured at dry (20 °C and 65% RH) and wet conditions (water soaked at room temperature for 24 h). The results indicated that the addition of lignin reduced the strength of LPF adhesives in both dry and wet conditions compared to the control PF adhesive. However, MFC reinforcement enhanced the shear strength properties of the plywood. Furthermore, a longer pressing time of 75 s/mm slightly increased the shear strength. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Materials in the Forest Products Industry)
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23 pages, 20392 KiB  
Article
Combining Multisource Data and Machine Learning Approaches for Multiscale Estimation of Forest Biomass
Forests 2023, 14(11), 2248; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14112248 - 15 Nov 2023
Viewed by 778
Abstract
Forest biomass is an important indicator of forest ecosystem productivity, and it plays vital roles in the global carbon cycling, global climate change mitigating, and ecosystem researches. Multiscale, rapid, and accurate extraction of forest biomass information is always a research topic. In this [...] Read more.
Forest biomass is an important indicator of forest ecosystem productivity, and it plays vital roles in the global carbon cycling, global climate change mitigating, and ecosystem researches. Multiscale, rapid, and accurate extraction of forest biomass information is always a research topic. In this study, comprehensive investigation of a larch (Larix olgensis) plantation was performed using remote sensing and field-based monitoring methods, in combination with LiDAR-based multisource data and machine learning methods. On this basis, a universal, multiscale (single tree, stand, management unit, and region), and unit-high-precision continuous monitoring method was proposed for forest biomass components. The results revealed the following. (1) Airborne LiDAR point cloud variables exhibited significant correlation with the aboveground components (except leaves) and the whole-plant biomass (Radj2 > 0.91), suitable for extraction or estimation of forest parameters such as biomass and stock volume. (2) In terms of biomass monitoring at forest stand and management unit scale, a random forest model performed well in fitting accuracy and generalization ability, whereas a multiple linear regression model produced clearer explanation regarding the biomass of each forest component. (3) Using seasonal phenological characteristics in the study area, larch distribution information was extracted effectively. The overall accuracy reached 90.0%, and the kappa coefficient reached 0.88. (4) A regional-scale forest biomass component estimation model was constructed using a long short-term memory model, which effectively reduced the probability of biomass underestimation while ensuring good estimation accuracy, with R2 exceeding 0.6 for the biomass of the aboveground and whole-plant components. This research provides theoretical support for rapid and accurate acquisition of large-scale forest biomass information. Full article
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14 pages, 3343 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Metal Elements and Biochemical Constituents of Wild Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor) Mushrooms Collected from the Shivalik Foothills of the Himalayas, India
Forests 2023, 14(11), 2247; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14112247 - 15 Nov 2023
Viewed by 736
Abstract
Wild medicinal mushrooms are known to contain significant amounts of essential biochemical compounds with potential health benefits. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the metal elements and biochemical constituents of wild turkey tail (Trametes versicolor) mushrooms collected from the Shivalik foothills [...] Read more.
Wild medicinal mushrooms are known to contain significant amounts of essential biochemical compounds with potential health benefits. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the metal elements and biochemical constituents of wild turkey tail (Trametes versicolor) mushrooms collected from the Shivalik foothills of the Himalayas, India. Mushroom samples were purposefully collected from eleven (11) sampling sites located in three (3) districts of North Indian states (Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand). The results of this study indicated that wild T. versicolor showed the presence of eight metal elements (Cd: 0.011–0.139, Cr: 0.225–0.680, Cu: 1.073–3.108, Fe: 4.273–8.467, Mn: 2.157–3.892, Zn: 3.069–4.478, Ni: 0.065–0.186, and Co: 0.035–0.120 mg/kg). The samples also showed a significant presence of total phenolics (51.81–70.13 mg GAE/g), flavonoids (9.02–14.01 mg QE/mg), lycopene (0.02–0.08 mg/g), and β-carotene (0.31–0.72 mg/g). The proximate analysis also showed that T. versicolor is a good source of carbohydrate (38.33%–41.94%), protein (8.12%–11.06%), fat (0.93%–1.26%), moisture (63.80%–70.64%), dietary fiber (9.59%–14.30%), and total ash (2.42%–3.48%). In addition, gas chromatography (GC-FID) analysis revealed the presence of the five most dominant fatty acids, including linoleic acid (18:2n6c), palmitic acid (C16:0), oleic acid (18:1n9c), linolenic acid (18:3n3), and stearic acid (C18:0). Principal component analysis (PCA) and hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) were helpful in identifying variations and similarities among different constituents of T. versicolor at selected sampling sites. Due to its low metal element content and rich biochemical profile, T. versicolor was highlighted in this research for its significant potential as a functional food or nutraceutical ingredient. This work promotes its sustainable use in the healthcare and food industries and lays the groundwork for further research into its therapeutic applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Truffle Hunting and Mushrooms Ecology in Forest Ecosystems)
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14 pages, 5038 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the Water Leakage Rate from the Cells of Nursery Containers
Forests 2023, 14(11), 2246; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14112246 - 14 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 705
Abstract
In container production, the key issue is proper irrigation and fertilization. Typically, the water required for plant growth is supplied through an irrigation ramp system, which can also perform fertilization. The frequency of irrigation and the amount of water supplied by the ramp [...] Read more.
In container production, the key issue is proper irrigation and fertilization. Typically, the water required for plant growth is supplied through an irrigation ramp system, which can also perform fertilization. The frequency of irrigation and the amount of water supplied by the ramp depends on several factors, such as the species of plants grown, the container used, the substrate, and atmospheric factors accompanying production. For effective irrigation, the substrate in the container cell must retain the supplied water long enough for plant absorption. However, any excess water should drain from the container. To optimize irrigation, it is important to determine the parameter of the water outflow speed from the container cell, which is difficult to determine. This work proposes a new solution for a station that can measure the water outflow speed from various container cells (patent application P.443675 2022). In tests, the water outflow speed was assessed for two Styrofoam container types (V150—650/312/150 mm, 74 cells, and 0.145 dm3 cell volume; and V300—650/312/180 mm, 53 cells, and 0.275 dm3 cell volume). Both were filled with a peat and perlite substrate (95/5%) using the Urbinati Ypsilon line (V150 substrate moisture 75.7 ± 1.1%, and V300 75.9 ± 2.1%, efficiency of the line 400 containers∙h−1, vibration intensity of the vibrating table—maximum acceleration 12 G). The results indicated that the water outflow speed varied between container types. The V300 container had a higher outflow speed (0.0344 cm·s−1) compared to the V150 (0.0252 cm·s−1). This discrepancy may be due to differences in dry bulk density, with a correlation of r = −0.523. The V300 had a lower actual and dry bulk density (0.418 g·cm−3; 0.079 g·cm−3) compared to V150 (0.322 g·cm−3; 0.103 g·cm−3). This highlights the need for individual selection of parameters on the backfilling line for different container types when filling. Using identical parameters for diverse containers can lead to varying substrate volume densities, impacting water outflow rates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Machinery and Mechanization)
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