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Forests, Volume 15, Issue 5 (May 2024) – 159 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Koiliaris watershed (northwest of Crete Island, Greece) represents a relevant case study as past land-use changes via deforestation and intense cultivation practices induce soil organic matter losses, making soils susceptible to water erosion and desertification. The restoration of native riparian forests has been identified as the most effective nature-based solution (NBS) for the area. Through modeling, our study assessed the effectiveness of this NBS in addressing flood risk and erosion while providing additional ecosystem services (carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation). A cost–benefit analysis was then implemented to also investigate the sustainability of the investment from an economic point of view. View this paper
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23 pages, 19881 KiB  
Article
Identification of Damaged Canopies in Farmland Artificial Shelterbelts Based on Fusion of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle LiDAR and Multispectral Features
by Zequn Xiang, Tianlan Li, Yu Lv, Rong Wang, Ting Sun, Yuekun Gao and Hongqi Wu
Forests 2024, 15(5), 891; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15050891 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 318
Abstract
With the decline in the protective function for agricultural ecosystems of farmland shelterbelts due to tree withering and dying caused by pest and disease, quickly and accurately identifying the distribution of canopy damage is of great significance for forestry management departments to implement [...] Read more.
With the decline in the protective function for agricultural ecosystems of farmland shelterbelts due to tree withering and dying caused by pest and disease, quickly and accurately identifying the distribution of canopy damage is of great significance for forestry management departments to implement dynamic monitoring. This study focused on Populus bolleana and utilized an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) multispectral camera to acquire red–green–blue (RGB) images and multispectral images (MSIs), which were fused with a digital surface model (DSM) generated by UAV LiDAR for feature fusion to obtain DSM + RGB and DSM + MSI images, and random forest (RF), support vector machine (SVM), maximum likelihood classification (MLC), and a deep learning U-Net model were employed to build classification models for forest stand canopy recognition for the four image types. The model results indicate that the recognition performance of RF is superior to that of U-Net, and U-Net performs better overall than SVM and MLC. The classification accuracy of different feature fusion images shows a trend of DSM + MSI images (Kappa = 0.8656, OA = 91.55%) > MSI images > DSM + RGB images > RGB images. DSM + MSI images exhibit the highest producer’s accuracy for identifying healthy and withered canopies, with values of 95.91% and 91.15%, respectively, while RGB images show the lowest accuracy, with producer’s accuracy values of 79.3% and 78.91% for healthy and withered canopies, respectively. This study presents a method for identifying the distribution of Populus bolleana canopies damaged by Anoplophora glabripennis and healthy canopies using the feature fusion of multi-source remote sensing data, providing a valuable data reference for the precise monitoring and management of farmland shelterbelts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue UAV Application in Forestry)
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19 pages, 2568 KiB  
Review
Advances in Endangered Plant Research: Ammopiptanthus’s Responses to Biotic and Abiotic Stressors
by Shuyao Wang, Shenghua Liang, Yahui Liu and Yingying Chen
Forests 2024, 15(5), 890; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15050890 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 341
Abstract
Ammopiptanthus, a unique evergreen broadleaf shrub endemic to the desert regions of Northwest China, exhibits a remarkable capacity for aeolian erosion control and dune stabilization. Attributed to its robust tolerance in terms of xerotolerance, halophytic adaptations, extreme thermotolerance, resistance to biotic and [...] Read more.
Ammopiptanthus, a unique evergreen broadleaf shrub endemic to the desert regions of Northwest China, exhibits a remarkable capacity for aeolian erosion control and dune stabilization. Attributed to its robust tolerance in terms of xerotolerance, halophytic adaptations, extreme thermotolerance, resistance to biotic and abiotic degradation and its defensive strategies against herbivory, Ammopiptanthus has emerged as an exemplary model organism for the study of plant resilience to diverse environmental stressors. Current research on Ammopiptanthus is scattered, lacking a systematic review, which poses a disadvantage for subsequent in-depth studies and the effective conservation of this endangered resource. In recent years, natural Ammopiptanthus communities have been severely disrupted, and the species’ natural range is rapidly shrinking. Here, this review summarizes the signaling pathways in the Ammopiptanthus response to biotic stress (especially the early signaling events), as well as the research advances in the resistance interactions between biotic and abiotic stresses. Then, the synergistic effects of multiple environmental pressures on Ammopiptanthus could be established, which may provide guidance for further studies on the resistance mechanism of Ammopiptanthus and be beneficial to its natural community protection and reconstruction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress in Tree Species)
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41 pages, 80924 KiB  
Review
The Pivotal Role of Microscopy in Unravelling the Nature of Microbial Deterioration of Waterlogged Wood: A Review
by Adya P. Singh, Jong Sik Kim, Ralf Möller, Ramesh R. Chavan and Yoon Soo Kim
Forests 2024, 15(5), 889; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15050889 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 372
Abstract
This review focuses on the pivotal role microscopy has played in diagnosing the type(s) of microbial attacks present in waterlogged ancient wooden objects, and to understand the nature and extent of deterioration of such objects. The microscopic journey began with the application of [...] Read more.
This review focuses on the pivotal role microscopy has played in diagnosing the type(s) of microbial attacks present in waterlogged ancient wooden objects, and to understand the nature and extent of deterioration of such objects. The microscopic journey began with the application of light microscopy (LM) to examine the deterioration of waterlogged woods, notably foundation piles supporting historic buildings, progressing into the use of high-resolution imaging tools (SEM and TEM) and techniques. Although bacteria were implicated in the deterioration of foundation piles, confirmation that bacteria can indeed degrade wood in its native state came when decaying wood from natural environments was examined using electron microscopy, particularly TEM, which enabled bacterial association with cell wall regions undergoing degradation to be clearly resolved. The information base has been a catalyst, stimulating numerous studies in the past three decades or so to understand the nature of microbial degradation of waterlogged archaeological wood more precisely, combining LM, SEM, and TEM with high-resolution chemical analytical methods, including chemical microscopy. The emerging information is aiding targeted developments towards a more effective conservation of ancient wooden objects as they begin to be uncovered from burial and waterlogging environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood as Cultural Heritage Material—Volume II)
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19 pages, 3133 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Granting of Forest Certificates on Farmers’ Income—Intermediation Effects Based on Forestland Lease
by Lishan Li, Meifang Liu, Yuchao Yang, Fangting Xie and Xiaojin Liu
Forests 2024, 15(5), 888; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15050888 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 262
Abstract
This study examines the impact of granting forest certificates on farmer income. Linear regression and mediating effect models were used to analyze repeated survey data of 505 households in 50 villages in Jiangxi Province in 2017 and 2018. We examined the impacts of [...] Read more.
This study examines the impact of granting forest certificates on farmer income. Linear regression and mediating effect models were used to analyze repeated survey data of 505 households in 50 villages in Jiangxi Province in 2017 and 2018. We examined the impacts of granting forest certificates on forestry income and the total income of rural households, taking into account forestland leases. We draw the following conclusions: first, granting forest certificates has a significant positive effect on total household income but not on forestry income. Second, farmers prefer forestland leasing in their behavior. Granting forest certificates can promote forestland lease out, but the effect on forestland lease in is not obvious. Third, granting forest certificates contributes to the increase in total household income through forestland lease out. Our analysis suggests that the government should increase the proportion of granted forest certificates and improve the policies related to the lease of forestland so as to realize an increase in farmer income. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Economics, Policy, and Social Science)
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21 pages, 4462 KiB  
Article
Forest Management Type Identification Based on Stacking Ensemble Learning
by Jiang Liu, Jingmin Chen, Shaozhi Chen and Keyi Wu
Forests 2024, 15(5), 887; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15050887 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 280
Abstract
Forest management is the fundamental approach to continuously improve forest quality and achieve the quadruple functions of forests. The identification of forest management types is the basis of forest management and a key technical link in the formulation of forest management plans. However, [...] Read more.
Forest management is the fundamental approach to continuously improve forest quality and achieve the quadruple functions of forests. The identification of forest management types is the basis of forest management and a key technical link in the formulation of forest management plans. However, due to insufficient application of forestry informatization and digitization, there are problems in the organization and application of management types, such as inaccurate identification, diversified standards, long organizational cycles, and low decision-making efficiency. Typical technical models are difficult to widely promote and apply. To address these challenges, this study proposes the Stacking Ensemble Forest Management Type Identification (SEFMTI) method based on Stacking ensemble learning. Initially, four typical forest management types from the sustainable forest management pilot of the Yichun Forestry Group were selected as research subjects, and 19 stand parameters were chosen to form the research data, training various recognition models. Subsequently, the Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO) regression and random forest (RF) methods were used to analyze key decision-making indicators for forest management type recognition and compare the performance of different models. The results show that (1) the SEFMTI model achieved an accuracy rate of 97.14%, effectively improving the accuracy of forest management type recognition while ensuring stability; (2) average age (AG), age group (AGG), crown density (CD), and stand origin (SO) are key decision-making indicators for recognizing forest management types; and (3) after feature selection, the SEFMTI model significantly enhanced the efficiency of model training while maintaining a high accuracy rate. The results validate the feasibility of the SEFMTI identification method, providing a basis for the gradual implementation of sustainable forest management pilots and aiding in the precise improvement of forest quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economy and Sustainability of Forest Natural Resources)
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15 pages, 2308 KiB  
Article
Assessing Carbon Sequestration Potential in State-Owned Plantation Forests in China and Exploring Feasibility for Carbon Offset Projects
by Zheng Chen, Buddhi Dayananda, Huaqiang Du, Guomo Zhou and Guangyu Wang
Forests 2024, 15(5), 886; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15050886 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 376
Abstract
In the pursuit of carbon neutrality, state-owned forests are prime candidates for carbon offset projects due to their unique tenure and management characteristics. Employing methodologies endorsed by the International Panel on Climate Change and logistic growth curves, this study assesses the carbon stocks [...] Read more.
In the pursuit of carbon neutrality, state-owned forests are prime candidates for carbon offset projects due to their unique tenure and management characteristics. Employing methodologies endorsed by the International Panel on Climate Change and logistic growth curves, this study assesses the carbon stocks and sequestration potential of established state-owned plantation forests across 31 Chinese provinces from 2023 to 2060, encompassing seven forestry industry groups. This study projects that by 2060, these forests will amass a carbon stock of 558.25 MtC, with the highest stock in Northeast China (122.09 MtC) and the lowest in Northwest China (32.27 MtC), notably showing the highest growth rate at 91.15%. Over the forecast period, they are expected to accumulate a carbon sink of 637.07 MtCO2e, translating to an average annual carbon sink of 17.22 MtCO2e and an average annual carbon sink per unit of 1.41 tons of CO2 per hectare per year. Additionally, state-owned forests have the potential to offset approximately 0.15%–0.17% of annual carbon emissions, aligning with international climate goals. However, it is essential to note that the conversion of these carbon sinks into tradable carbon credits is subject to specific methodology requirements. Therefore, the future development of carbon offset projects in China’s state-owned forests should consider the advancement of carbon market mechanisms, including the Chinese Certified Emission Reduction and the introduction of a carbon inclusion mechanism and natural forest methodology, to fully realize their potential contributions to carbon neutrality. In summary, these findings offer valuable insights for shaping the future of carbon offset initiatives within China’s state-owned forests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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16 pages, 6102 KiB  
Article
Growth Rings in Nine Tree Species on a Neotropical Island with High Precipitation: Coco Island, Costa Rica
by Róger Moya, Carolina Tenorio and Luis Acosta-Vargas
Forests 2024, 15(5), 885; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15050885 - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 419
Abstract
Coco Island, located 530 km off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, experiences rainfall of over 7000 mm/year. This study aims to explore the distinctiveness of the growth ring boundaries and the dendrochronological potential (DP) of nine tree species found on Coco Island. [...] Read more.
Coco Island, located 530 km off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, experiences rainfall of over 7000 mm/year. This study aims to explore the distinctiveness of the growth ring boundaries and the dendrochronological potential (DP) of nine tree species found on Coco Island. The distinctiveness was classified into type 1: density variation; type 2: marginal parenchyma; type 3: fiber/parenchyma pattern; type 4: vessel distribution, and type 5: fiber band. Cecropia pittieri and Henriettella fascicularis lacked growth ring boundaries and, therefore, did not present any DP. Growth ring type 1 occurred in Ardisia compressa, Henriettea succosa, Henriettella odorata, and Psychotria cocosensis. Ocotea insularis and Sacoglottis holdridgei exhibited type 5 growth rings, with sufficient distinctiveness. Finally, Eugenia pacifica possessed growth rings of type 3 and type 4, but with limited distinctiveness in the growth ring boundary. In relation to DP, A. compressa, E. pacifica, and P. cocosensis presented low DP; meanwhile, H. succosa, H. odorata, O. insularis, and S. holdridgei demonstrated medium DP. If these species are found in abundance with a diameter exceeding 60 cm, a cross-dating technique like bomb-spike dating is established to confirm the annual growth of the ‘bands’. As these species exhibit some DP, they can be used to establish a chronology spanning 50–130 years, which could be utilized to create climate proxies or derive ecologically and climatically meaningful information. Additionally, the information presented could pave the way for future studies of sites that also have very high rainfall, where trees are presumed to lack annual growth rings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Climate Change on Tree-Ring Growth)
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23 pages, 6230 KiB  
Article
Influence of Picea Abies Logs on the Distribution of Vascular Plants in Old-Growth Spruce Forests
by Anastasiya V. Kikeeva, Ivan V. Romashkin, Anna Yu. Nukolova, Elena V. Fomina and Alexandr M. Kryshen
Forests 2024, 15(5), 884; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15050884 - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 308
Abstract
The deadwood contributes to an increase in soil heterogeneity due to the changing the microrelief (by the formation of windthrow-soil complexes), as well as changes in physical and chemical characteristics of decaying wood directly during xylolysis. We hypothesized that fallen logs as an [...] Read more.
The deadwood contributes to an increase in soil heterogeneity due to the changing the microrelief (by the formation of windthrow-soil complexes), as well as changes in physical and chemical characteristics of decaying wood directly during xylolysis. We hypothesized that fallen logs as an element of microrelief influence the species composition and cover structure of vascular plants. We studied the influence of Picea abies (L.) Karst fallen logs of moderate and advanced decay stages on the horizontal distribution and heterogeneity of vascular plant cover in different microsite types (small boreal grass type, blueberry type, small boreal grass-blueberry type, herbs, and blueberry type) in old-growth middle taiga spruce forest in the Kivach State Nature Reserve (Republic of Karelia, Russia). The fallen deadwood acts as a factor of heterogeneity, causing reversible changes in the homogeneity of the original plant cover. The decaying logs influence the horizontal distribution of small herbs by changing the occurrence and density of shoots of Oxalis acetosella L., Maianthemum bifolium (L.) F.W. Schmidt, Vaccinium myrtillus L., and Vaccinium vitis-idaea L., as well as the occurrence of Luzula pilosa (L.) Willd. and Calamagrostis arundinacea (L.) Roth. Its impact on the heterogeneity parameters can be traced up to 20 cm from the log. The differences in vascular plant cover between fallen logs and the surrounding forest floor depend on the soil conditions of the microsite. The heterogeneity of conditions created by the logs smoothed out with increasing decay class, resulting in decreasing differences in the heterogeneity parameters of vascular plant cover between deadwood and forest floor. The changes in the homogeneity of the initial vascular plant cover by deadwood and the gradual smoothing of heterogeneity between the logs and the forest floor in rich and poor conditions have different, mainly opposite, trends. Finally, the structure of the vegetation cover reaches a state that is typical of particular growth conditions beyond deadwood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Soil)
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19 pages, 12703 KiB  
Article
Predicting Impacts of Climate Change on Suitable Distribution of Critically Endangered Tree Species Yulania zenii (W. C. Cheng) D. L. Fu in China
by Haoran Wang, Feiyun Zhi and Guangfu Zhang
Forests 2024, 15(5), 883; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15050883 - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 340
Abstract
The ancient Magnoliaceae family is being seriously threatened by climate change, especially for Yulania trees under threat. Little is currently understood regarding the appropriate geographic range of Yulania zenii, as well as how it has reacted to various climate situations from past [...] Read more.
The ancient Magnoliaceae family is being seriously threatened by climate change, especially for Yulania trees under threat. Little is currently understood regarding the appropriate geographic range of Yulania zenii, as well as how it has reacted to various climate situations from past to present. Here, we chose MaxEnt for final modeling after first using ten Biomod2 models to approximate its possible distribution in China. The findings indicated that the three main environmental parameters impacting its distribution were the monthly mean diurnal range of temperature, the precipitation seasonality of variation coefficient, and elevation. Currently, its appropriate distribution is primarily in southern Anhui, eastern Hunan, central Hubei, southern Jiangsu, and both northern Jiangxi and Zhejiang. The total suitable area of Y. zenii was found to be 14.68 × 104 km2, only taking up 1.53% of China’s total territory, which is larger than known. During the Last Interglacial and Middle Holocene, its suitable habitats were larger than they are currently, exhibiting a relatively continuous distribution. Under various future climate scenarios, its suitable habitats may averagely decrease by 20.26% compared with the current case, and these habitats may become more fragmented. Collectively, the centroid of Y. zenii is expected to migrate towards the southeast in the future. Therefore, our findings demonstrate, for the first time, that climate change has had an adverse effect on this species in terms of its distribution from the past to the current and into the future. Our study could contribute to the conservation, management, introduction, and cultivation of Y. zenii in China and provide a reference for other endangered Yulania species in this country under the conditions of climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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20 pages, 4617 KiB  
Article
Possible Factors of Poplar Susceptibility to Large Poplar Borer Infestation
by Valentyna Meshkova, Kateryna Zhupinska, Oleksandr Borysenko, Olga Zinchenko, Yuriy Skrylnyk and Natalia Vysotska
Forests 2024, 15(5), 882; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15050882 - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 334
Abstract
Poplars (Populus spp.) are of significant ecological and economic importance. Long-term breeding efforts were aimed mainly at obtaining fast-growing and productive plants and less considered resistance to pests. This study aimed to identify patterns of susceptibility or resistance to Saperda carcharias (Linnaeus, [...] Read more.
Poplars (Populus spp.) are of significant ecological and economic importance. Long-term breeding efforts were aimed mainly at obtaining fast-growing and productive plants and less considered resistance to pests. This study aimed to identify patterns of susceptibility or resistance to Saperda carcharias (Linnaeus, 1758) (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) infestation among clones of Populus hybrids and pure species, focusing on the influence of their placement, seasonal development, stem diameter, height increment, and crossing combinations. Among 34 clones of poplar species and hybrids of Ukrainian and foreign selection, in 2019–2023 S. carcharias infested 14 clones every year. Six clones (‘Ivantiivska’, ‘Kytaiska × pyramidalna’, ‘Volosystoplidna’, ‘Novoberlinska-3’, ‘Robusta’, and ‘Lada’) were the most susceptible to the infestation by S. carcharias. The clones of all presented poplar sections and their crossing combinations, except the Tacamahaca and Leucoides cross, were infested. Greater height increment promoted the infestation by S. carcharias. Ambiguous results were obtained regarding the susceptibility of Populus hybrids compared to pure species to S. carcharias infestations. Considering infestation by S. carcharias and plant placement in the site, it can be concluded that the clones ‘Sakrau45-51’, ‘Deltopodibna’, ‘Rosijska’, ‘Slava Ukrayiny’, ‘Lubenska’, ‘Rohanska’, and ‘Nocturne’ are resistant to this pest. Selecting native species clones or creating mixed clone plantations could enhance the resilience of poplar plantations to pest threats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Resistance to Insect Pests)
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13 pages, 2365 KiB  
Article
Validation of the Physical and Mechanical Properties of Eucalyptus benthamii Maiden & Cambage Wood and Cross Laminated Timber Panels Using the Finite Element Method
by Matheus Zanghelini Teixeira, Rodrigo Figueiredo Terezo, Alexsandro Bayestorff da Cunha, Gustavo Faggiani Tomio, Hector Bovo Coelho and Camila Alves Corrêa
Forests 2024, 15(5), 881; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15050881 - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 400
Abstract
Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) is a structurally complex panel that poses challenges in analysis due to the anisotropic nature of wood and the orthotropic characteristics of the composite. Numerical modeling using the Finite Element Method (FEM) offers a viable solution for analysis, particularly [...] Read more.
Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) is a structurally complex panel that poses challenges in analysis due to the anisotropic nature of wood and the orthotropic characteristics of the composite. Numerical modeling using the Finite Element Method (FEM) offers a viable solution for analysis, particularly for addressing boundary value problems that are analytically challenging. Therefore, it is crucial to validate the experimental properties to ensure accurate results. The objective of this study was to validate the physical and mechanical properties for structural modeling using FEM, based on the characterization of Eucalyptus benthamii Maiden & Cambage wood and CLT panels. For wood characterization, the basic and apparent density were determined, and mechanical tests, including static bending, parallel-to-grain compression, and shear tests, were conducted. Utilizing the same batch of wood, three-layer CLT panels were manufactured and subjected to a non-destructive three-point bending test. This test was simulated in RFEM finite element software, employing Mindlin’s theory, and the displacements obtained were compared with the experimental method. The results from a Student’s t-test at a 5% significance level indicated no significant difference between the experimental and numerical methods, suggesting that the properties of the experimental E. benthamii CLT panel can be accurately represented by FEM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Materials in the Forest Products Industry)
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15 pages, 4539 KiB  
Article
Exploring a New Physical Scenario of Virtual Water Molecules in the Application of Measuring Virtual Trees Using Computational Virtual Measurement
by Zhichao Wang, Xiaoning Zhang, Xiaoyuan Zhang, Xinli Pan, Tiantian Ma, Zhongke Feng and Christiane Schmullius
Forests 2024, 15(5), 880; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15050880 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 349
Abstract
Our previous studies discussed the potential of measuring virtual trees using computational virtual measurement (CVM). CVM is a general methodology that employs observational techniques in lieu of mathematical processing. The advantage of CVM lies in its ability to circumvent mathematical assumptions of tree [...] Read more.
Our previous studies discussed the potential of measuring virtual trees using computational virtual measurement (CVM). CVM is a general methodology that employs observational techniques in lieu of mathematical processing. The advantage of CVM lies in its ability to circumvent mathematical assumptions of tree shapes at the algorithmic level. However, due to the current computational limitations of desktop computers, the previously developed CVM application, namely, virtual water displacement (VWD), could only act as a primary theoretical testimonial using an idealized point cloud of a tree. The key problem was that simulating a massive number of virtual water molecules (VMMs) consumed most of the computational resources. As a consequence, an unexpected empirical formula for volume calibration had to be applied to the output measurement results. Aiming to create a more realistic simulation of what occurs when water displacement is used to measure tree volume in the real world, in this study, we developed a new physical scenario for VWMs. This new scenario, namely, a flood area mechanism (FAM), employed footprints of VWMs instead of quantifying VWM counts. Under a FAM, the number of VMMs was reduced to a few from several thousands, making the empirical mathematical process (of the previously developed physical scenario of VWMs) unnecessary. For the same ideal point clouds as those used in our previous studies, the average volume overestimations were found to be 6.29% and 2.26% for three regular objects and two artificial stems, respectively. Consequently, we contend that FAM represents a closer approximation to actual water displacement methods for measuring tree volume in nature. Therefore, we anticipate that the VWD method will eventually utilize the complete tree point cloud with future advancements in computing power. It is necessary to develop methods such as VWD and more CVM applications for future applications starting now. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Measurements for Precision Forestry)
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21 pages, 782 KiB  
Article
The Impact of the Digital Economy on Supply Chain Security: Evidence from China’s Wooden Furniture Industry
by Yiyi Luo, Yilin Chen, Chenlu Tao, Chao Yang, Futao Xiang, Chang Xu and Fanli Lin
Forests 2024, 15(5), 879; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15050879 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 362
Abstract
Supply chain security is a major prerequisite for China’s successful industrial modernization, while the digital economy has significantly contributed to industrial transformation and upgrading. This study considers China’s wooden furniture industry as its research object, constructing an evaluation index system of the digital [...] Read more.
Supply chain security is a major prerequisite for China’s successful industrial modernization, while the digital economy has significantly contributed to industrial transformation and upgrading. This study considers China’s wooden furniture industry as its research object, constructing an evaluation index system of the digital economy and supply chain security of the wooden furniture industry. Then, it studies the impact of the digital economy on supply chain security through theoretical analysis and empirical methods using the two-way fixed model of provinces and time. The findings demonstrate that the digital economy effectively enhances the level of supply chain security in China’s wooden furniture industry, further validating the digital economy’s positive externality impact on the traditional real economy. The impact mechanism test shows that inventory turnover capacity is the focal point for the digital economy to improve the supply chain security of the wood furniture industry, specifying the starting point for that industry’s digital transformation. The heterogeneity findings show that the role of the digital economy in improving the wood furniture industry’s level of supply chain security is more significant in inland areas than in coastal areas. Additional analyses found a threshold effect of the digital economy’s impact on supply chain security, indicating its limitations. This study explores the impact of the digital economy on the real economy from a traditional manufacturing industry, enriching research on the positive externalities of the digital economy as well as providing a reference for traditional manufacturing industries, such as that of wooden furniture, to probe the embedding points of the digital economy and appropriate digital transformation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Global Economic Changes on the Wood-Based Industry)
17 pages, 8211 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Spatial Heterogeneity of Urban Green Space on Surface Temperature
by Mengru Zhang, Jianguo Wang and Fei Zhang
Forests 2024, 15(5), 878; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15050878 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 329
Abstract
Urban green space (UGS) has been recognized as a key factor in enhancing the urban ecosystem balance, particularly in arid areas. It is often considered an effective means to mitigate the urban heat island (UHI) effect. In this study, the reference comparison method [...] Read more.
Urban green space (UGS) has been recognized as a key factor in enhancing the urban ecosystem balance, particularly in arid areas. It is often considered an effective means to mitigate the urban heat island (UHI) effect. In this study, the reference comparison method was utilized to optimize the process of nighttime lighting data; the random forest classification method was employed to extract UGS data; and the radiative transfer method was applied in land surface temperature (LST) inversion. Additionally, moving window analysis was conducted to assess the robustness of the results. The objective of this research was to analyze the spatial distribution characteristics of UGS and LST and to explore their bivariate local spatial autocorrelations by calculating four landscape metrics, including the aggregation index (AI), edge density (ED), patch density (PD), and area-weighted mean shape index (Shape_am). It was found that the distribution of UGS in the study area was uneven, with higher temperatures in the eastern and western regions and lower temperatures in the central and southern regions. The results also revealed that ED, PD, and Shape_am were negatively correlated with LST, with correlation coefficients being −0.469, −0.388, and −0.411, respectively, indicating that UGS in these regions were more effective in terms of cooling effect. Conversely, AI was found to be positively correlated with LST (Moran’ I index of 0.449), indicating that surface temperatures were relatively higher in regions of high aggregation. In essence, the fragmented, complex, and evenly distributed green patches in the study area provided a better cooling effect. These findings should persuade decision makers and municipal planners to allocate more UGS in cities for UHI alleviation to improve quality of life and enhance recreational opportunities. Full article
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19 pages, 3159 KiB  
Article
Generic Carbon Budget Model for Assessing National Carbon Dynamics toward Carbon Neutrality: A Case Study of Republic of Korea
by Youngjin Ko, Cholho Song, Max Fellows, Moonil Kim, Mina Hong, Werner A. Kurz, Juha Metsaranta, Jiwon Son and Woo-Kyun Lee
Forests 2024, 15(5), 877; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15050877 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 419
Abstract
Forests play a crucial role in South Korea’s carbon neutrality goal and require sustainable management strategies to overcome age-class imbalances. The Generic Carbon Budget Model (GCBM) offers a spatially explicit approach to simulate carbon dynamics at a regional scale. In this study, we [...] Read more.
Forests play a crucial role in South Korea’s carbon neutrality goal and require sustainable management strategies to overcome age-class imbalances. The Generic Carbon Budget Model (GCBM) offers a spatially explicit approach to simulate carbon dynamics at a regional scale. In this study, we utilized the GCBM to analyze the carbon budget of forests in South Korea and produce spatiotemporal maps for distribution of the forest biomass. The growth parameters of five representative tree species (Pinus densiflora Siebold & Zucc., Larix kaempferi Carr., Pinus koraiensis Siebold & Zucc., Quercus mongolica Fisch. ex Ledeb., Quercus variabilis Blume), which are the main species in South Korea, were used to operate the model. In addition, spatial data for harvest and thinning management activities were used to analyze the effects of anthropogenic activities. In 2020, the aboveground and belowground biomass were 112.98 and 22.84 tC ha−1, and the net primary productivity was 8.30 tC ha−1 year−1. These results were verified using comparison with statistics, a literature review, and MODIS NPP. In particular, broadleaf is higher than conifer forest in net primary production. The Canadian GCBM with Korean forest inventory data and yield curves successfully estimated the aboveground and belowground biomass of forests in South Korea. Our study demonstrates that these estimates can be mapped in detail, thereby supporting decision-makers and stakeholders in analyzing the carbon budget of the forests in South Korea and developing novel schemes that can serve regional and national aims related to forest management, wood utilization, and ecological preservation. Further studies are needed to improve the initialization of dead organic matter pools, given the large-scale afforestation efforts in recent decades that have established South Korea’s forests on predominantly non-forest sites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Inventory, Modeling and Remote Sensing)
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27 pages, 11184 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Multi-Sensory Coupling Relationship of Open Space on a Winter Campus
by Shumin Li, Yijing Zhang, Qiqi Zhang, Pingting Xue, Hao Wu, Wenjian Xu, Jing Ye, Lingyan Chen, Tianyou He and Yushan Zheng
Forests 2024, 15(5), 876; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15050876 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 384
Abstract
Exploring the combined effects of multisensory interactions in open spaces can help improve the comfort of campus environments. Nine typical spaces on a university campus in Fuzhou were selected for this study. Subjects perceived the environment and then completed an on-site subjective questionnaire. [...] Read more.
Exploring the combined effects of multisensory interactions in open spaces can help improve the comfort of campus environments. Nine typical spaces on a university campus in Fuzhou were selected for this study. Subjects perceived the environment and then completed an on-site subjective questionnaire. At the same time, meteorological data (global radiation, air temperature, globe temperature, wind speed, relative humidity, and illumination intensity) were measured to determine the interactions between visual and acoustic and thermal perceptions. Differences in the meteorological parameters between the measuring points were described using a one-way ANOVA and Tukey’s post hoc test, and a chi-square test of independence was used to determine significant associations between thermal, acoustic, and visual comfort, which in turn led to the study of interactions between visual, acoustic, and thermal comfort using a two-way ANOVA. The following conclusions were drawn: (1) the Thermal Comfort Vote (TCV) increased with the increasing Acoustic Comfort Vote (ACV) at all levels of thermal stress. (2) The highest and lowest Acoustic Sensation Vote (ASV) values for each sound type were derived from either “slightly cold” or “warm” conditions. Both the Thermal Comfort Vote (TCV) and the Acoustic Comfort Vote (ACV) were positively correlated. (3) When “neutral”, the Thermal Sensation Vote (TSV) increased with increasing illumination intensity (LUX). (4) The Sunlight Sensation Vote (SSV) increased with the increasing Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI) when illumination intensity (LUX) was moderate and bright. (5) The highest and lowest Acoustic Sensation Vote (ASV) values for each sound type came from either “slightly cold” or “warm” conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Urban Forestry)
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16 pages, 6779 KiB  
Article
Fractionation of Inorganic Phosphorus in Cold Temperate Forest Soils: Associating Mechanisms of Soil Aggregate Protection and Recovery Periods after Forest Fire Disturbance
by Bing Wang, Ruihua Li, Zihao Wang and Rula Sa
Forests 2024, 15(5), 875; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15050875 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 343
Abstract
The soil aggregate is the fundamental unit of soil structure. The fractionation characteristics and influencing factors of phosphorus (P) in soil aggregates inherently link its geochemical characteristics and recycling mechanism. This work investigated the fractionation characteristics of inorganic P in cold temperate forest [...] Read more.
The soil aggregate is the fundamental unit of soil structure. The fractionation characteristics and influencing factors of phosphorus (P) in soil aggregates inherently link its geochemical characteristics and recycling mechanism. This work investigated the fractionation characteristics of inorganic P in cold temperate forest soils and studied the impacts of recovery periods after forest fires and soil aggregate protection mechanisms on P fractionation. Our results showed that the TP, active P, stable P, and total organic carbon (TOC) contents varied with increasing recovery years after forest fire disturbance. The TP content in the coarse particulate organic matter fraction (cPOM) exhibited an increasing trend with the number of recovery years. Redundancy analysis (RDA) and correlation analysis indicated that TOC played a crucial role in influencing the dynamics of P fractionation during the recovery process. The order of TP levels in different soil aggregate fractions was as follows: μClay > dClay > LF > cPOM > dSilt > μSilt > iPOM, with significant contributions from the cPOM and dSilt fractions. The ranking of P fractions in bulk soils was as follows: ACa-P > Fe-P > Oc-P > Or-P > De-P > Al-P > Ex-P. The protective mechanism of soil aggregates had a more significant effect on TOC than TP, with the order of protective abilities being: Phy×biochem-protected > Biochem-protected > Phy-protected > Non-protected mechanism. TOC and recovery years emerged as critical factors influencing the dynamics of different P fractions during post-fire recovery. Soil aggregate protection mechanisms demonstrated significantly higher effects on TOC than on TP. This study provides insights into the fractionation mechanisms of P in the soil–forest ecosystem of the Greater Khingan Mountains, contributing to the sustainable development and utilization of cold temperate forest ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Soil)
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20 pages, 6149 KiB  
Article
Aboveground Spatiotemporal Carbon Storage Model in the Changing Landscape of Jatigede, West Java, Indonesia
by Susanti Withaningsih, Annas Dwitri Malik and Parikesit Parikesit
Forests 2024, 15(5), 874; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15050874 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 306
Abstract
Land use and land cover (LULC) change is the variable with the maximum influence on carbon storage in terrestrial ecosystems, due to a fundamental alteration of the ecosystem, structure, function, and variability over time. Understanding the dynamics of aboveground carbon stocks in underway [...] Read more.
Land use and land cover (LULC) change is the variable with the maximum influence on carbon storage in terrestrial ecosystems, due to a fundamental alteration of the ecosystem, structure, function, and variability over time. Understanding the dynamics of aboveground carbon stocks in underway constructions and urban expansions is crucial to provide a basis for land use management and planning. The objective of this study was to analyze the spatiotemporal dynamics of aboveground carbon storage and assess how the LULC change is affected by human intervention, as well as how aboveground carbon stocks respond to these changes in the tropical highland landscape of Jatigede. In this study, changes in aboveground carbon stocks were investigated between 2014 and 2021 by using the integrated valuation of ecosystem services and tradeoffs (InVEST) model. The results revealed that the total aboveground carbon stock decreased between 2014 and 2021. Forests showed the greatest decline in the aboveground carbon stock in terms of space. The primary cause of the reduction in the aboveground carbon stock was the conversion of vegetated land to agricultural and urban land cover. The aboveground carbon stock change was also caused by the continuing construction, which resulted in the extension of construction zones. However, an increase in the aboveground carbon stock was mostly observed in mixed gardens that were close to forest areas. The preservation of mixed gardens as a tree-based agroforestry system can be suggested for enhancing the aboveground carbon stock, as mixed gardens play a significant role in carbon storage in the midst of the increasingly massive deforestation due to the expansion of urban areas. Full article
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23 pages, 7293 KiB  
Article
A Transcriptomic Analysis Sheds Light on the Molecular Regulation of Wood Formation in Populus trichocarpa during Drought Stress
by Lijuan Dai, Bhavana Chaudhari, Tianyi Wang, Xiang Li, Dong Zeng, Chunming Li and Guanzheng Qu
Forests 2024, 15(5), 873; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15050873 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 397
Abstract
Wood is an abundant and essential renewable resource whose production is threatened in some parts of the world by drought. A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying wood formation during drought is critical to maintaining wood production under increasingly adverse environmental conditions. [...] Read more.
Wood is an abundant and essential renewable resource whose production is threatened in some parts of the world by drought. A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying wood formation during drought is critical to maintaining wood production under increasingly adverse environmental conditions. In this study, we investigated wood formation in black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) during drought stress. The morphological changes during drought stress in P. trichocarpa included the wilting and drooping of leaves, stem water loss, and a reduction in whole plant biomass. The water embolism rate indicated that the water transport in stems was blocked under drought conditions. An anatomical analysis of the xylem and cambium revealed that drought stress changed the structure of vessel cells, increased lignin accumulation, and decreased the cambium cell layers. We subsequently identified 12,438 and 9156 differentially expressed genes from stem xylem and cambium tissues under well-watered and drought conditions, respectively. Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) enrichment analyses revealed that these genes were mainly involved in hormone signal transduction and amino sugar and nucleotide sugar metabolism. To further explore the molecular mechanism of wood formation in response to drought, we analyzed the expression patterns of the genes involved in lignin, cellulose, and hemicellulose biosynthesis in xylem and the genes involved in cambial activity in the cambium. To better understand the regulatory networks governing xylem development and cambium activity in response to drought, we analyzed the MYB (138), AP2 (130), bHLH (89), and NAC (81) transcription factor families to shed light on the interactions between the TFs in these families and the genes they regulate. Identifying the key genes that regulate wood formation in P. trichocarpa during drought provides a genetic foundation for further research on the molecular regulatory networks and physiology underpinning wood formation during drought stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Genetics and Molecular Biology)
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24 pages, 10834 KiB  
Article
Carbon Emissions and Vegetation Dynamics: Assessing the Spatiotemporal Environmental Impacts of Hydropower Dams in the Lancang River Basin
by Yu Liu, Xiaomao Wang, Gang Ma, Wei Zhou and Xiang Cheng
Forests 2024, 15(5), 872; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15050872 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 361
Abstract
Recent decades in the Lancang River Basin have witnessed extensive construction of hydropower dams, profoundly impacting the local environment. Utilizing high-precision satellite data, we conducted a comprehensive analysis of vegetation cover and carbon emissions, integrating data-driven time series and spatial analysis models to [...] Read more.
Recent decades in the Lancang River Basin have witnessed extensive construction of hydropower dams, profoundly impacting the local environment. Utilizing high-precision satellite data, we conducted a comprehensive analysis of vegetation cover and carbon emissions, integrating data-driven time series and spatial analysis models to capture both temporal and spatial dynamics. Our findings reveal that hydropower dam construction in the Lancang River Basin has significantly promoted vegetation restoration and growth, concurrently facilitating a reduction in regional carbon emissions. Employing deep learning models for time-series prediction, we observed a substantial increase in the sum of the local normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) post-construction, with an average rise of from 16.15% to a maximum of 20.12% during the pivotal hydropower dams’ operational phase. Between 2001 and 2020, the construction of hydropower dams in the basin corresponded to notable changes in ecological and carbon metrics. Specifically, vegetation cover expansion intensity (VCEI) reversed from a negative mean of −0.009 to a positive mean of 0.008. Additionally, the carbon emission intensity (CEI) around these dams drastically reduced, shifting from an average of 0.877 to 0.052. Importantly, the Global Moran’s I for VCEI significantly increased from 0.288 pre-2016 to 0.679 post-2015, reflecting a stronger spatial autocorrelation in vegetation patterns. Accordingly, these findings illustrate the complex interplay between hydropower dams and environmental outcomes, underscoring the critical role of pivotal hydropower dam construction in ecological improvement. The research results have improved and complemented those of previous studies on the environmental impact of hydraulic engineering, providing valuable insights for the construction management and policy formulation of hydropower dams in other similar river basins around the world. Full article
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4 pages, 879 KiB  
Editorial
The Ecological Management and Sustainable Development of Forests
by Chao Wang, Fan Zhang and Wei Liu
Forests 2024, 15(5), 871; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15050871 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 387
Abstract
Forest ecosystems play a dominant role in regulating climate change and sustainable development [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Ecological Management and Sustainable Development of Forests)
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14 pages, 3277 KiB  
Article
Radial Variation and Early Prediction of Wood Properties in Pinus elliottii Engelm. Plantation
by Chunhui Leng, Jiawei Wang, Leiming Dong, Min Yi, Hai Luo, Lu Zhang, Tingxuan Chen, Wenlei Xie, Haiping Xie and Meng Lai
Forests 2024, 15(5), 870; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15050870 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 379
Abstract
To explore the radial variation in wood properties of slash pine (Pinus elliottii Engelm.) during its growth process and to achieve the early prediction of these properties, our study was carried out in three slash pine harvest-age plantations in Ganzhou, Jian, and [...] Read more.
To explore the radial variation in wood properties of slash pine (Pinus elliottii Engelm.) during its growth process and to achieve the early prediction of these properties, our study was carried out in three slash pine harvest-age plantations in Ganzhou, Jian, and Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province of South China. Wood core samples were collected from 360 sample trees from the three plantations. SilviScan technology was utilized to acquire wood property parameters, such as tangential fiber widths (TFWs), radial fiber widths (RFWs), fiber wall thickness (FWT), fiber coarseness (FC), microfibril angle (MFA), modulus of elasticity (MOE), wood density (WD) and ring width (RD). Subsequent systematic analysis focused on the phenotypic and radial variation patterns of wood properties, aiming to establish a clear boundary between juvenile and mature wood. Based on determining the boundary between juvenile and mature wood, a regression equation was used to establish the relationship between the properties of juvenile wood and the ring ages. This relationship was then extended to the mature wood section to predict the properties of mature wood. Our results indicated significant differences in wood properties across different locations. The coefficients of variation for RD and MOE were higher than other properties, suggesting a significant potential for selective breeding. Distinct radial variation patterns in wood properties from the pith to the bark were observed. The boundary between juvenile and mature wood was reached at the age of 22. The prediction models developed for each wood property showed high accuracy, with determination coefficients exceeding 0.87. Additionally, the relative and standard errors between the measured and predicted values were kept below 10.15%, indicating robust predictability. Mature wood exhibited greater strength compared to juvenile wood. The approach of using juvenile wood properties to predict those of mature wood is validated. This method provides a feasible avenue for the early prediction of wood properties in slash pine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Quality and Mechanical Properties)
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20 pages, 3894 KiB  
Article
Detection of the Pine Wilt Disease Using a Joint Deep Object Detection Model Based on Drone Remote Sensing Data
by Youping Wu, Honglei Yang and Yunlei Mao
Forests 2024, 15(5), 869; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15050869 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 370
Abstract
Disease and detection is crucial for the protection of forest growth, reproduction, and biodiversity. Traditional detection methods face challenges such as limited coverage, excessive time and resource consumption, and poor accuracy, diminishing the effectiveness of forest disease prevention and control. By addressing these [...] Read more.
Disease and detection is crucial for the protection of forest growth, reproduction, and biodiversity. Traditional detection methods face challenges such as limited coverage, excessive time and resource consumption, and poor accuracy, diminishing the effectiveness of forest disease prevention and control. By addressing these challenges, this study leverages drone remote sensing data combined with deep object detection models, specifically employing the YOLO-v3 algorithm based on loss function optimization, for the efficient and accurate detection of tree diseases and pests. Utilizing drone-mounted cameras, the study captures insect pest image information in pine forest areas, followed by segmentation, merging, and feature extraction processing. The computing system of airborne embedded devices is designed to ensure detection efficiency and accuracy. The improved YOLO-v3 algorithm combined with the CIoU loss function was used to detect forest pests and diseases. Compared to the traditional IoU loss function, CIoU takes into account the overlap area, the distance between the center of the predicted frame and the actual frame, and the consistency of the aspect ratio. The experimental results demonstrate the proposed model’s capability to process pest and disease images at a slightly faster speed, with an average processing time of less than 0.5 s per image, while achieving an accuracy surpassing 95%. The model’s effectiveness in identifying tree pests and diseases with high accuracy and comprehensiveness offers significant potential for developing forest inspection protection and prevention plans. However, limitations exist in the model’s performance in complex forest environments, necessitating further research to improve model universality and adaptability across diverse forest regions. Future directions include exploring advanced deep object detection models to minimize computing resource demands and enhance practical application support for forest protection and pest control. Full article
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23 pages, 11297 KiB  
Article
Continuous Leaf Area Index (LAI) Observation in Forests: Validation, Application, and Improvement of LAI-NOS
by Zhentao Gao, Yunping Chen, Zhengjian Zhang, Tianxin Duan, Juncheng Chen and Ainong Li
Forests 2024, 15(5), 868; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15050868 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 362
Abstract
The leaf area index (LAI) is one of the core parameters reflecting the growth status of vegetation. The continuous long-term observation of the LAI is key when assessing the dynamic changes in the energy exchange of ecosystems and the vegetation’s response indicators to [...] Read more.
The leaf area index (LAI) is one of the core parameters reflecting the growth status of vegetation. The continuous long-term observation of the LAI is key when assessing the dynamic changes in the energy exchange of ecosystems and the vegetation’s response indicators to climate change. The errors brought about by non-standard operations in manual LAI measurements hinder the further research utilization of this parameter. The long-term automatic LAI observation network is helpful in reducing errors from manual measurements. To further test the applicability of automatic LAI observation instruments in forest environments, this study carried out comparative validation research of the LAI-NOS (LAI automatic network observation system) at the Wanglang Mountain Ecological Remote Sensing Comprehensive Observation Station, China, comparing it with the results measured by the LAI-2200 Plant Canopy Analyzer (LI-COR, Lincoln, NE, USA), the LAI-probe handheld instrument, and a fisheye lens digital camera (DHP method). Instead of using the original “smoothest window” method, a new method, the “sunrise–sunset” method, is used to extract daily LAI-NOS LAI, and the corresponding confidence level is used to filter the data. The results of the data analysis indicate the following: LAI-NOS has a high data stability. The automatically acquired daily data between two consecutive days has a small deviation and significant correlations. Single-angle/multi-angle LAI measurement results of the LAI-NOS have good correlations with the LAI-2200 (R2 = 0.512/R2 = 0.652), the LAI-probe (R2 = 0.692/R2 = 0.619), and the DHP method (R2 = 0.501/R2 = 0.394). The daily LAI obtained from the improved method, when compared to the original method, both show the same vegetation growth trend. However, the improved method has a smaller dispersion. This study confirms the stability and accuracy of automatic observation instruments in mountainous forests, demonstrating the distinct advantages of automatic measurement instruments in the long-term ground observation of LAIs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Inventory, Modeling and Remote Sensing)
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15 pages, 5215 KiB  
Article
Afforestation Enhances Potential Bacterial Metabolic Function without Concurrent Soil Carbon: A Case Study of Mu Us Sandy Land
by Yang Zheng, Jiuying Pei, Zhun Tian, Pingxing Wan and Danfeng Li
Forests 2024, 15(5), 867; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15050867 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 415
Abstract
Elucidating the impact of afforestation on soil bacterial community composition and its potential function in afforestation is imperative for comprehending the biochemical processes of land use change. This study employed high-throughput genomic sequencing to determine the bacterial phylogenetic assembly and assess functional groups [...] Read more.
Elucidating the impact of afforestation on soil bacterial community composition and its potential function in afforestation is imperative for comprehending the biochemical processes of land use change. This study employed high-throughput genomic sequencing to determine the bacterial phylogenetic assembly and assess functional groups following afforestation encompassing shrubland and woodland. Compared with non-afforested cropland, the soil organic carbon (SOC) remained unchanged, but significant alterations were observed in the bacterial composition and potential functions under afforestation. Afforestation enhanced bacterial diversity and even shifted the bacteria from the r- to K-strategy, as indicated by higher oligotroph/copiotroph ratios. Soil properties explained 66.45% and 68.9% of the total variation in bacterial community composition at the phylum level and the functional group. A 60.44% decrease in soil water content, a 3.82% increase in pH, a 7.5% increase in bulk density, and a 66.8% decrease in available phosphorus (AP) were the main soil factors affecting both bacterial community composition and functional traits in afforestation. In particular, lower available nutrients, AP, and nitrate nitrogen in afforestation drive the bacterial life history strategies. We conclude that changes in bacterial metabolic functions due to reduced soil available nutrients from dryland afforestation might be the main driver for microbial-inhibited SOC accumulation. These results could provide strong microbiological evidence to help further evaluate the importance of dryland afforestation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Forest Soil Carbon in a Changing World)
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17 pages, 4023 KiB  
Article
Soil Requirements, Genetic Diversity and Population History of the Juniperus sabina L. Varieties in Europe and Asia
by Katarzyna A. Jadwiszczak, Małgorzata Mazur, Agnieszka Bona, Katarzyna Marcysiak and Adam Boratyński
Forests 2024, 15(5), 866; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15050866 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 431
Abstract
Trees and shrubs belonging to the genus Juniperus L. are pivotal species in arid and semiarid ecosystems in the Northern Hemisphere. However, unfavourable phenomena are observed in their populations due to global warming. We aimed to investigate the soil requirements, genetic diversity and [...] Read more.
Trees and shrubs belonging to the genus Juniperus L. are pivotal species in arid and semiarid ecosystems in the Northern Hemisphere. However, unfavourable phenomena are observed in their populations due to global warming. We aimed to investigate the soil requirements, genetic diversity and population history of Juniperus sabina L. from Europe, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan. Genetic resources were evaluated in 16 populations using nuclear microsatellites, while past demographic events were described based on the chloroplast DNA haplotypes. Seven chemical parameters in 36 soil samples from the European range of J. sabina were compared. In the studied area, three distinct phylogenetic lineages corresponding to different varieties of J. sabina, namely var. sabina, var. balkanensis, and the Asian variety, were revealed. Unimodal mismatch distributions and significantly negative Tajima’s D and Fu’s Fs parameters indicated that the sabina and balkanensis varieties underwent a population expansion. Microsatellite variation was moderate, potentially influenced by inbreeding, clonal propagation, and limited gene flow between populations. Bayesian clustering revealed five genetic groups. Compared to var. sabina, the balkanensis variety occupies areas with significantly higher potassium content in the soil, which probably mitigates the adverse effects of drought in its localities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Mediterranean Biodiversity)
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16 pages, 3971 KiB  
Article
Population Status of the Endangered Semi-Mangrove Dolichandrone spathacea on Hainan Island, China
by Mi Tian, Xinran Ke, Ming Li, Kaixuan Deng, Yong Yang, Zanshan Fang, Cairong Zhong, Shen Li, Zhengjie Zhu, Nora Fung-Yee Tam, Tao Lang and Haichao Zhou
Forests 2024, 15(5), 865; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15050865 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 353
Abstract
In China, Dolichandrone spathacea is a rare and endangered semi-mangrove plant species with an extremely small population, naturally distributed only in Zhanjiang City and the east coast of Hainan Island. Despite conservation concerns, the population status of D. spathacea has received little scientific attention. In [...] Read more.
In China, Dolichandrone spathacea is a rare and endangered semi-mangrove plant species with an extremely small population, naturally distributed only in Zhanjiang City and the east coast of Hainan Island. Despite conservation concerns, the population status of D. spathacea has received little scientific attention. In this study, we evaluated the current status of D. spathacea on Hainan Island, China, in order to propose sustainable conservation strategies for future ecological restoration of its natural population. D. spathacea on Hainan Island can be divided into four populations. All the D. spathacea populations present a state of overall dispersion, local concentration, and occasionally sporadic existence, and they exist in geographical isolation. The young, middle, and old D. spathacea plants account for 20.42%, 66.20%, and 13.38%, respectively, indicating that the D. spathacea population on Hainan Island is declining. Furthermore, instead of temporal structure, we used diameter at breast height (DBH) to establish a static life table, draw a population survival curve, and quantify the future development trend through population dynamic analysis and time-series prediction. These results suggest that the D. spathacea population in the Bamen Gulf (Wenchang) and Qingmei Harbor (Sanya) on Hainan Island is sensitive to external disturbances and possesses two main increases in mortality rate—namely, in its juvenile and mature stages—due to competition and anthropogenic interferences, which might be the most important reasons for its endangered status. Depending on the current conditions of the D. spathacea population, we should conserve and expand mature trees in situ, preserve their germplasm resources, rehabilitate their habitats to promote provenance restoration, and conduct artificial cultivation and spreading planting in order to realize the sustainable conservation and management of D. spathacea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Mangrove Ecosystems on Coastal Ecology and Climate Change)
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31 pages, 12783 KiB  
Article
Chloroplast Haplotype Diversity in the White Oak Populations of the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, and Sardinia
by Romeo Di Pietro, Luca Quaranta, Claudia Mattioni, Marco Cosimo Simeone, Piera Di Marzio, Elisa Proietti and Paola Fortini
Forests 2024, 15(5), 864; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15050864 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 399
Abstract
A phylogeographic study on the chloroplast DNA of natural white oak forests (Quercus subgen. Quercus, sect. Quercus) was carried out to identify possible haplotype-structured distribution within the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, and Sardinia. Sixty white oak populations belonging to Q. frainetto [...] Read more.
A phylogeographic study on the chloroplast DNA of natural white oak forests (Quercus subgen. Quercus, sect. Quercus) was carried out to identify possible haplotype-structured distribution within the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, and Sardinia. Sixty white oak populations belonging to Q. frainetto, Q. robur and the collective groups Q. petraea and Q. pubescens were considered and analyzed by combining five Chloroplast Simple Sequence Repeat (cpSSR) markers. A total of 28 haplotypes were detected. Central and southern Italy displayed the highest variability (14 and 10 haplotypes, respectively), followed by northern Italy (7), Sardinia (7), and Sicily (5). A complex geographical structure of the haplotype distribution emerged, highlighting (i) a high number of low-frequency haplotypes; (ii) the marked isolation of Sardinia; (iii) the occurrence of haplotypes widely distributed throughout the Italian Peninsula; (iv) the idiosyncrasy of Sicily, which exhibits exclusive haplotypes, and haplotypes shared with Sardinia and the rest of the Italian Peninsula. The haplotype distribution was also found to be partially related to the taxonomic identity of the specimens, with the following features emerging: a geographic separation between the central Italy and southern Italy Q. frainetto populations, an unexpected discontinuity between the Calabrian and Sicilian Q. petraea subsp. austrotyrrhenica populations, and the absence of the most common haplotype among the Q. pubescens populations of central and southern Italy. Full article
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21 pages, 3059 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Spatial Differentiation of NDVI and Climate Factors on the Upper Limit of Montane Deciduous Broad-Leaved Forests in the East Monsoon Region of China
by Zhiyong Wang, Fang Han, Chuanrong Li, Kun Li and Zhe Wang
Forests 2024, 15(5), 863; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15050863 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 415
Abstract
The vertical transition zone of mountain vegetation is characterized by high species diversity, and the width of the transition zone may serve as an indirect indicator of climate change. However, research into the differential characteristics of vegetation response to climate changes at the [...] Read more.
The vertical transition zone of mountain vegetation is characterized by high species diversity, and the width of the transition zone may serve as an indirect indicator of climate change. However, research into the differential characteristics of vegetation response to climate changes at the boundary of vertical transition zones has been limited. This study employs MODIS and climate data spanning 2001 to 2018 to investigate spatiotemporal trends in precipitation (PRE), temperature (TMP), radiation (RAD), and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) across nine montane deciduous broad-leaved forests in the eastern monsoon region of China. It explores the time-lag and -accumulation effects of climatic variables on NDVI, quantifying their relative contributions to both its short-term and interannual variations. Results show that, notably, with the Qinling-Daba Mountains as a demarcation, northern regions exhibit significant increases in RAD (0.874–2.047 W m−2/a), whereas southern regions demonstrate notable rises in TMP (0.59–0.73 °C/10a). Areas of lower annual PRE correspond to the most rapid increases in annual average NDVI (5.045 × 10−3/a). NDVI’s lag time and cumulative duration responses to TMP are the shortest (0 and 2~4 periods), while its correlation with RAD is the strongest (0.815–0.975), generally decreasing from higher to lower latitudes. TMP significantly affects NDVI variations, impacting both short-term and interannual trends, with PRE driving short-term fluctuations and RAD dictating long-term shifts. This research provides critical data and a theoretical framework that enhances our understanding of how regional vegetation’s vertical zonation responds to climate change, thereby making a substantial contribution to the study of mountain vegetation’s diverse adaptability to climatic variations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Meteorology and Climate Change)
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18 pages, 6101 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Green Stormwater Infrastructures on Urban-Tier Human Thermal Comfort—A Case Study in High-Density Urban Blocks
by Haishun Xu, Jianhua Liao and Yating Hong
Forests 2024, 15(5), 862; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15050862 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 387
Abstract
Green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) is a key approach to greening and cooling high-density blocks. Previous studies have focused on the impact of a single GSI on thermal comfort on sunny days, ignoring rainwater’s role and GSI combinations. Therefore, based on measured data of [...] Read more.
Green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) is a key approach to greening and cooling high-density blocks. Previous studies have focused on the impact of a single GSI on thermal comfort on sunny days, ignoring rainwater’s role and GSI combinations. Therefore, based on measured data of a real urban area in Nanjing, China, this study utilized 45 single-GSI and combination simulation scenarios, as well as three local climate zone (LCZ) baseline scenarios to compare and analyze three high-density blocks within the city. Among the 32 simulations specifically conducted in LCZ1 and LCZ2, 2 of them were dedicated to baseline scenario simulations, whereas the remaining 30 simulations were evenly distributed across LCZ1 and LCZ2, with 15 simulations allocated to each zone. The physiological equivalent temperature (PET) was calculated using the ENVI-met specification to evaluate outdoor thermal comfort. The objective of this research was to determine the optimal GSI combinations for different LCZs, their impact on pedestrian thermal comfort, GSI response to rainwater, and the effect of GSI on pedestrian recreation areas. Results showed that GSI combinations are crucial for improving thermal comfort in compact high-rise and mid-rise areas, while a single GSI suffices in low-rise areas. In extreme heat, rainfall is vital for GSI’s effectiveness, and complex GSI can extend the thermal comfort improvement time following rainfall by more than 1 h. Adding shading and trees to GSI combinations maximizes thermal comfort in potential crowd activity areas, achieving up to 54.23% improvement. Future GSI construction in high-density blocks should focus on different combinations of GSI based on different LCZs, offering insights for GSI planning in Southeast Asia. Full article
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