International Journal of Forestry Research The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2015 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. A Structure Analysis for Ecological Management of Moist Tropical Forests Sun, 22 Mar 2015 13:07:55 +0000 Human interventions alter stand structure, species composition, and regeneration capacity of the forest. There is no enough information on how different management systems affect the forest structure. The main objective of this study was to analyze the differences on stand structure and species composition caused by different logging intensities. The study was conducted in a lowland evergreen moist forest of 22 000 ha in Cameroon. The forest was subdivided into three forest types with different human impacts: 2-Logged, 1-Logged, and Unlogged. The diameter corresponding to mean basal area of stems of 2-Logged (31.8 cm, ) was almost equal to that of Unlogged (30.1 cm, ). 1-Logged had a lower diameter of 27.7 cm, . In the three forest types, the diameter distribution followed the inverse J-shaped curve frequently observed in natural forests. The stand basal area increased from 29.4 m2/ha in 2-Logged, to 32 m2/ha in 1-Logged, and to 35.3 m2/ha in Unlogged. These results indicated that logging affected natural regeneration in 2-Logged. Above 60 cm dbh, the logging effect was not visible. On 103 tree species found in the sample forest, only nine were classified as harvestable commercial species. Adrien Djomo Njepang Copyright © 2015 Adrien Djomo Njepang. All rights reserved. The Land Use and Cover Change in Miombo Woodlands under Community Based Forest Management and Its Implication to Climate Change Mitigation: A Case of Southern Highlands of Tanzania Mon, 09 Mar 2015 12:31:27 +0000 In Tanzania, miombo woodland is the most significant forest vegetation with both ecological and socioeconomic importance. The vegetation has been threatened from land use and cover change due to unsustainable utilization. Over the past two decades, community based forest management (CBFM) has been practiced to address the problem. Given the current need to mitigate global climate change, little is known on the influence of CBFM to the land use and cover change in miombo woodlands and therefore compromising climate change mitigation strategies. This study explored the dynamic of land use and covers change and biomass due to CBFM and established the implication to climate change mitigation. The study revealed increasing miombo woodland cover density with decreasing unsustainable utilization. The observed improvement in cover density and biomass provides potential for climate change mitigation strategies. CBFM also developed solidarity, cohesion, and social control of miombo woodlands illegal extraction. This further enhances permanence, reduces leakage, and increases accountability requirement for carbon credits. Collectively with these promising results, good land use plan at village level and introduction of alternative income generating activities can be among the best options to further reduce land use change and biomass loss in miombo woodlands. Z. J. Lupala, L. P. Lusambo, Y. M. Ngaga, and Angelingis A. Makatta Copyright © 2015 Z. J. Lupala et al. All rights reserved. Relationships between Plant Biodiversity and Soil Fertility in a Mature Tropical Forest, Costa Rica Thu, 26 Feb 2015 10:15:19 +0000 We aimed to study relationships between plant biodiversity and soil chemical fertility in a mature tropical forest of Costa Rica. Soil samples were collected in nine sampling plots (5 m by 25 m) in order to identify P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Zn, Mn, Cu, and Al and total N contents, soil fertility index, CEC, pH, and C/N ratio. Furthermore, species richness, Shannon-Wiener and Simpson’s species diversities, structural richness, and structural diversity were calculated for each plot. Simple linear regression analyses were conducted. Tree species richness was inversely related to concentration levels of K, Ca, and P, CEC, and soil fertility index. Therefore, higher tree species richness tended to be found on sites with lower soil fertility, which is the complete opposite of temperate forests. As a result, tropical and temperate forest ecology should be considered separately. Shannon-Wiener tree species diversity was positively correlated to C/N ratio. Herb structural richness was positively correlated with soil fertility index and P concentration. Therefore, herb structural richness may be a good indicator of soil fertility. This study gives important insights on ecological relationships between plant biodiversity and soil chemical fertility in a primary tropical forest. Martin B. Nadeau and Thomas P. Sullivan Copyright © 2015 Martin B. Nadeau and Thomas P. Sullivan. All rights reserved. Thorough Characterization of Brazilian New Generation of Eucalypt Clones and Grass for Pulp Production Mon, 23 Feb 2015 11:20:40 +0000 Eucalypt wood is becoming the most important raw material for the pulp industries in South America. However, due to the high wood cost in comparison to other raw material sources, nonwoody materials are also being investigated aiming at pulp production. In this way, this paper aimed at the evaluation of eighteen eucalypt clones obtained from the Brazilian Genolyptus project, regarding their potential characteristics for pulp production. Aiming at the same goal, two species of elephant grass were also evaluated as alternative raw material sources. Through the analyses of the anatomic and chemical characteristics, five eucalypt clones and one elephant grass species were indicated for pulp production and biorefinery application. The results of this study indicate the high technological quality of Eucalyptus clones evaluated and indicate that they can be used for biorefinery applications since they have the suitable characteristics. In general, the eucalypt clones are less moist and denser and contain fewer minerals and extraneous materials than the elephant grass species, which make them more attractive for utilization in deconstruction studies aiming at production of bioproducts. Fernando José Borges Gomes, Jorge Luiz Colodette, Auphélia Burnet, Larisse Aparecida Ribas Batalha, Fernando Almeida Santos, and Iara Fontes Demuner Copyright © 2015 Fernando José Borges Gomes et al. All rights reserved. Germination and Early Growth Assessment of Tamarindus indica L in Sokoto State, Nigeria Sun, 22 Feb 2015 10:05:04 +0000 Germination and early growth assessment of Tamarindus indica L. were conducted to determine the suitable medium for germination and seedlings establishment of the species in Sokoto State, Nigeria. The viable seeds of the study species were treated with Conc. H2SO4 for 30 minutes and boiling water for one hour and by soaking in water at room temperature for 12 hours. The treated seeds were placed in Petri dishes containing filter paper for germination assessment. The results indicated 68–95% germination of T. indica seeds within 3–19 days. Conc. H2SO4 treatment gave the highest germination percentage of 95%. T. indica seeds were treated with Conc. H2SO4 for 30 minutes and sown into four (4) different potting mixtures for early growth assessment. Collar diameter, seedlings height, and leaf number were the parameters measured. Seedlings grown in the mixture of river sand and cow dung (2 : 1) had the highest seedlings height and leaf number, while the highest collar diameter was obtained from seedlings grown in the mixture of river sand and poultry droppings (2 : 1). However, growing T. indica in the mixture of river sand and cow dung (2 : 1) after 30 minutes pretreatment was recommended. Abubakar Gwaram Bello and Zubairu Yakubu Gada Copyright © 2015 Abubakar Gwaram Bello and Zubairu Yakubu Gada. All rights reserved. Effects of Catastrophic Insect Outbreaks on the Harvesting Solutions of Dahurian Larch Plantations Wed, 18 Feb 2015 13:15:47 +0000 Optimal harvesting under pest outbreak risk was studied on a set of even-aged Dahurian larch (Larix gmelinii) stands in northeastern Inner Mongolia, China. The effects of catastrophic pest outbreaks caused by the Siberian moth (Dendrolimus sibiricus) on the economic harvesting plan are compared through both deterministic and stochastic cases. Stand simulation is based on an individual-tree growth system. A scenario approach is applied when simulating the effects of catastrophic pest outbreaks. Insect damage is assumed to be a Poisson process with an average rate of 0.1 per year. One hundred scenarios of insect damage are created using the Poisson process to simulate the distribution of bare land value of each of the optimal regimes. Numerical results show that the optimal rotation is shortened with an increasing probability of a catastrophe. The average bare land values in the stochastic case are approximately 14.8% to 22.9% lower. Numbers of thinnings are decreased for most plots when seeking a highest bare land value, compared to the deterministic optima. If given a constant thinning rate, increasing risk-taking shortens the optimum rotation, as the model set used. Qi Jin, Lauri Valsta, Kari Heliövaara, Jing Li, Youqing Luo, and Juan Shi Copyright © 2015 Qi Jin et al. All rights reserved. Issues concerning Landowner Management Plan Adoption Decisions: A Recursive Bivariate Probit Approach Tue, 03 Feb 2015 12:01:29 +0000 Despite the likely benefits of having a written forest management plan, a small number of landowners in the United States have the one. A recursive bivariate probit model was used to identify the possible relationship between landowners’ decision to obtain a management plan and their interest in future timber harvesting. Our study results based on recursive bivariate model suggest that landowners having larger land ownerships, longer forest ownership tenure, and higher education were more likely to have a forest management plan and future timber harvesting interest. While the landowners having interest for wildlife management were also interested to have a written management plan, they did not prefer to harvest in future. Study results indicate that written management plan means more than a timber harvesting strategy to landowners in general. Many elderly landowners with a low level of income and less formal education and those having small or medium sized tracts of forestland are less likely to own a written management plan. Therefore, this group requires special attention in various government sponsored forest management related extension activities. Future research on understanding landowner perception behind written management plan is recommended. Omkar Joshi, Donald L. Grebner, Ian A. Munn, and Robert K. Grala Copyright © 2015 Omkar Joshi et al. All rights reserved. Thinning Intensity and Pruning Impacts on Eucalyptus Plantations in Brazil Tue, 13 Jan 2015 06:36:14 +0000 A thinning intensity experiment using the Eucalyptus grandis × E. urophylla hybrid was conducted at three sites in Bahia State, Brazil. The treatments were a combination of thinning intensities and pruning: 20%, 35%, and 50% basal area removed with no pruning and 35% basal area removed plus pruning (at 27 months). Plots were measured roughly annually from 27 to 165 months. Thinning was implemented on all sites at 58 months and again at 142 months at two of the sites. One of the sites was harvested at 87 months of age. A linear mixed model was applied separately to each installation to test for differences among treatments for mean increment of height, dominant height, quadratic mean diameter, and volume outside bark at the plot level. Additionally, differences in mean monthly increment of basal area and volume outside bark as a percentage of the value at the beginning of the increment period were examined. Increased thinning intensity increased all tree-level variables except dominant height. Pruning had no impact. Observed mortality on all plots was quite low. Thinning intensity response varied among sites and with time since thinning; however, the thinning intensity response was consistent through time among the installations. Gilciano Saraiva Nogueira, Peter L. Marshall, Helio Garcia Leite, and João Carlos Chagas Campos Copyright © 2015 Gilciano Saraiva Nogueira et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Deer Grazing on Vegetation and Ground-Dwelling Insects in a Larch Forest in Okutama, Western Tokyo Mon, 12 Jan 2015 06:51:20 +0000 Sika deer (Cervus nippon) have experienced a rapid increase in the Japanese archipelago. Although the effects of deer grazing have been widely studied, the indirect effects have received little attention. Using an eight-year-old deer exclosure in western Tokyo (Japan), we studied the direct effects on plants and the indirect effects on insects and microenvironments. Plant biomass was 14 times higher inside the exclosure than outside. Shrubs (e.g., Aralia elata and Hydrangea paniculata) and trees (e.g., Symplocos sawafutagi and Clethra barbinervis) were more abundant inside, whereas only unpalatable trees in poor condition grew outside (e.g., Pterostyrax hispida and Cynanchum caudatum). In the summer months, the maximum temperature was 8–10°C higher outside the exclosure and humidity was lower. Soil movement was 80 times more pronounced outside than inside. These results suggest that the abiotic environment became less stable for ground-dwelling insects. Carabid beetles were less abundant outside than inside, suggesting that deer grazing reduced plants and subsequently lowered habitat quality for these beetles. In contrast, carrion beetles, dung beetles, and camel crickets were more abundant outside. The increase in these insects is attributed to the availability of deer feces and carcasses and is a direct effect of deer presence. Hodaka Yamada and Seiki Takatsuki Copyright © 2015 Hodaka Yamada and Seiki Takatsuki. All rights reserved. Influence of Plantation Establishment on Discharge Characteristics in a Small Catchment of Tropical Forest Tue, 16 Dec 2014 13:52:03 +0000 A study was conducted on the impact of forest clearance on discharge from newly established Hopea odorata plantations catchment (14.4 ha). The stands were two years old when this study commenced in year 2006 and the data collection was carried out for two years. The forested catchment (C3) was clear-cut during the preparation of the forest plantation and catchment C1 was left undisturbed. Discharge and rainfall were measured continuously for two years. The discharge measured from years 1997 to 2003 was used also to determine the water yield before and after forest clear-cut. This study showed that the plantation catchment is more responsive to storm with higher total water yield than in the forested catchment. The effect of forest clear cutting to discharge was clearly shown by the increment in the amount following the clear-cut activities and time taken for the recovery of the discharge back to its original state was almost three years. The peak discharge in C3 also was affected in which the biggest change was obtained during the forest clear-cutting period compared with during calibration and after clearing periods. This study is useful as basis for improving the existing guidelines on forest plantation establishment. Siti Aisah Shamsuddin, Zulkifli Yusop, and Shoji Noguchi Copyright © 2014 Siti Aisah Shamsuddin et al. All rights reserved. Management, Growth, and Carbon Storage in Miombo Woodlands of Tanzania Thu, 09 Oct 2014 11:21:24 +0000 Despite the local livelihoods support function provided by miombo woodlands of Tanzania under participatory forest management, its growth still has potential for carbon storage and sequestration attractive to REDD+ initiatives. This study has revealed the average growth to be significant, despite the local community livelihoods support function. However, climate change mitigation strategy needs to be more innovative to optimize carbon storage and local livelihoods’ potentials in forest-dependent communities like miombo woodlands. Carbon credits resulting from the increased carbon stock and sequestration should contribute to sustainable development. This should also help promote participatory forest management and secure miombo woodland products and services upon which billions of people depend. Z. J. Lupala, L. P. Lusambo, and Y. M. Ngaga Copyright © 2014 Z. J. Lupala et al. All rights reserved. A Step Prior to REDD+ Implementation: A Socioeconomic Study Mon, 01 Sep 2014 07:53:22 +0000 Phase 2 of the United Nations’ REDD+ climate change mitigation initiative is underway in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Meanwhile, activities are being implemented to assess the reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. REDD+ projects need to include a social dimension; thus, the aim of this research was to understand how land-use relationships vary across communities in an area where a REDD+ project is planned. Specifically, we aimed to identify the primary income-generating activities, the variation in access to land, the potential for the development of community projects, and the implementation of alternative income-generating activities. In the summer of 2013, we assessed a REDD+ pilot project in and around the Luki Biosphere Reserve, Bas-Congo Province. We used participatory rural appraisal (PRA) methods in four communities located both inside and outside the reserve. We found that current subsistence income activities led to the destruction of forest habitat due to population pressure and a lack of alternative income-generating activities. Customary land tenures overlay statutory rights, which can often mean that community rights are threatened. To achieve their targets, REDD+ projects should consider the actual land-use patterns of local communities in order to generate sustainable income from the land. Anne Bernard and Nancy Gélinas Copyright © 2014 Anne Bernard and Nancy Gélinas. All rights reserved. Developing a Topographic Model to Predict the Northern Hardwood Forest Type within Carolina Northern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus coloratus) Recovery Areas of the Southern Appalachians Thu, 28 Aug 2014 11:23:53 +0000 The northern hardwood forest type is an important habitat component for the endangered Carolina northern flying squirrel (CNFS; Glaucomys sabrinus coloratus) for den sites and corridor habitats between boreo-montane conifer patches foraging areas. Our study related terrain data to presence of northern hardwood forest type in the recovery areas of CNFS in the southern Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina, eastern Tennessee, and southwestern Virginia. We recorded overstory species composition and terrain variables at 338 points, to construct a robust, spatially predictive model. Terrain variables analyzed included elevation, aspect, slope gradient, site curvature, and topographic exposure. We used an information-theoretic approach to assess seven models based on associations noted in existing literature as well as an inclusive global model. Our results indicate that, on a regional scale, elevation, aspect, and topographic exposure index (TEI) are significant predictors of the presence of the northern hardwood forest type in the southern Appalachians. Our elevation + TEI model was the best approximating model (the lowest AICc score) for predicting northern hardwood forest type correctly classifying approximately 78% of our sample points. We then used these data to create region-wide predictive maps of the distribution of the northern hardwood forest type within CNFS recovery areas. Andrew Evans, Richard Odom, Lynn Resler, W. Mark Ford, and Steve Prisley Copyright © 2014 Andrew Evans et al. All rights reserved. Using Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA to Assess Genetic Diversity and Structure of Natural Calophyllum brasiliense (Clusiaceae) Populations in Riparian Forests Thu, 21 Aug 2014 06:23:56 +0000 The objective of this study was to assess the genetic variability in two natural populations of Calophyllum brasiliense located along two different rivers in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, using RAPD molecular markers. Eighty-two polymorphic fragments were amplified using 27 primers. The values obtained for Shannon index () were 0.513 and 0.530 for the populations located on the margins of the Rio Grande and Rio das Mortes, respectively, demonstrating the high genetic diversity in the studied populations. Nei’s genetic diversity () was 0.341 for the Rio Grande population and 0.357 for the Rio das Mortes population. These results were not significantly different between populations and suggest a large proportion of heterozygote individuals within both populations. AMOVA showed that 70.42% of the genetic variability is found within populations and 29.58% is found among populations (). The analysis of kinship coefficients detected the existence of family structures in both populations. Average kinship coefficients between neighboring individuals were 0.053 () in Rio das Mortes and 0.040 () in Rio Grande. This could be due to restricted pollen and seed dispersal and the history of anthropogenic disturbance in the area. These factors are likely to contribute to the relatedness observed among these genotypes. Evânia Galvão Mendonça, Anderson Marcos de Souza, Fábio de Almeida Vieira, Regiane Abjaud Estopa, Cristiane Aparecida Fioravante Reis, and Dulcinéia de Carvalho Copyright © 2014 Evânia Galvão Mendonça et al. All rights reserved. The Cost of Managing Forest Carbon under REDD+ Initiatives: A Case of Kolo Hills Forests in Kondoa District, Dodoma, Tanzania Wed, 20 Aug 2014 08:50:37 +0000 Countries considering participating in a REDD+ mechanism need information on what it would cost them to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. This study was conducted to estimate the cost of managing forest carbon under REDD+ initiatives in Kolo Hills Forest, Kondoa, Tanzania. Socioeconomic and biophysical information was collected through structured questionnaires, focus group discussions, and forest inventory, respectively. Results show that the community participated in managing the forest by undertaking a range of activities such as tree planting, patrolling, and fire protection. The estimated total cost was USD 418,349.38 while the average cost was USD 79.06/ha. The average carbon stored was 19.75 tC ha−1, which is equivalent to 72.48 tCO2 ha−1. Costs incurred by managing the forest in relation to tCO2 stored were USD 1.0485 tCO2 e−1ha−1. The project was found to be economically feasible at 5%, 10%, 15%, and 20% discount rates with NPVs of USD 107,102,331.83, USD 33,986,255.86, USD 10,312,945, and USD 1,245,905.11, respectively. The internal rate of return was 21.21% which is much higher than the World Bank rate of 15.8% and the Tanzania rate of 14.8%. We therefore conclude that the decision to undertake this REDD+ project was worthwhile and should be favoured against the “do nothing” alternative. Kabura John, Dos Santos A. Silayo, and Arild Vatn Copyright © 2014 Kabura John et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Different Pretreatments to the Seed on Seedling Emergence and Growth of Acacia polyacantha Wed, 06 Aug 2014 11:35:53 +0000 Acacia polyacantha Willd. is a multipurpose tree species prioritised as one of the agroforestry tree species in Malawi. However, its use in agroforestry practices is limited by the low seedling growth and survival at the nursery stage. A study was conducted to evaluate the seedling growth and survival of Acacia polyacantha as affected by different pretreatments on the seeds at Malawi College of Forestry and Wildlife nursery, Malawi. Seeds were subjected to five presowing seed treatments methods, namely, immersion in cold water at room temperature for 24 hours, immersion in hot water (100°C) for 5 minutes, immersion in concentrated sulfuric acid (0.3 M H2SO4) for 20 minutes, scarification by mechanically nicking using secateurs, and a control where seeds were sown without any treatment. The results indicate that presowing seed treatments have positive influence on the seedling growth and survival percentage. Nicked seeds exhibited the highest significant () performance for vegetative characteristics of height, root collar diameter, number of leaves, and survival percentage compared to other pretreatments. Therefore, it is suggested to use nicking as a pretreatment method on Acacia polyacantha seeds in order to enhance the speed and the amount of early seedling growth at the nursery stage. Edward Missanjo, Alfred Chioza, and Chikondi Kulapani Copyright © 2014 Edward Missanjo et al. All rights reserved. Forest Sustainability in North Lebanon: A Challenging Complexity in a Changing Environment Wed, 16 Jul 2014 10:25:15 +0000 Forests sustainability is a challenging task in a complex socioeconomic context. North Lebanon is a critical zone harboring forests of key ecological value and is one of the most deprived regions in Lebanon with high poverty rates, where forests are heavily impacted by unsustainable anthropogenic practices. In the global frame of climate change scenarios, this paper tests a multistakeholder, multidisciplinary approach for forest management, combining a joint participatory methodology with stakeholders along with field ecological surveys in the upper Akkar watershed (north Lebanon). A set of participatory tools including stakeholder’s analysis, problem tree, objective tree, and scenario building are tailored to reach this goal. Results exhibit that forest management is not only related to forests per se but also very much linked to the surrounding socioeconomic situation. Involving not only strict silviculture interventions but also a definite consideration of community needs and local economy, the adoption of a multitool, multidisciplinary, multistakeholder approach combines all possible aspects of a challenging context and unfolds complementary processes which all feed back into one target. Yet, it is a time-consuming process, which can easily drown financial and temporal resources and which can sometimes raise unrealistic expectations that are difficult to meet. Rita El-Hajj, Dalia Al-Jawhary, Tala Moukaddem, and Carla Khater Copyright © 2014 Rita El-Hajj et al. All rights reserved. Ecological Features of Cultivated Stands of Aquilaria malaccensis Lam. (Thymelaeaceae), a Vulnerable Tropical Tree Species in Assamese Homegardens Tue, 08 Jul 2014 09:35:51 +0000 Research was conducted in twenty-seven selected villages located in Jorhat and Golaghat districts of upper Assam, northeast India, for population estimation, quantitative ecological analysis, and evaluation of Aquilaria malaccensis (Thymelaeaceae). Vegetation sampling was done by quadrat method and A. malaccensis is the most dominant tree species in all twenty-seven different study sites of upper Assam contributing 10–54% of the total tree density with a mean of . Density of the species varied from 6,236 individuals ha−1 to 429 individuals ha−1 with a mean of 1,609 individuals , whereas frequency of occurrence is very high ranging from 93% to 100% with a mean of in different study sites. Distribution of A. malaccensis is found contagious in all twenty-six study sites on the basis of abundance to frequency ratio except in KBG, Golaghat, where its distribution is random with 0.04 abundance to frequency ratio. The widespread cultivation of A. malaccensis in upper Assam, northeast India, offers a potential ex situ reservoir for the future conservation and management of this threatened tree. P. Saikia and M. L. Khan Copyright © 2014 P. Saikia and M. L. Khan. All rights reserved. Effects of Supply Chain Strategy on Stump Fuel Cost: A Simulation Approach Mon, 30 Jun 2014 11:23:20 +0000 In Sweden, stump fuel extraction for energy purposes is not a well-established practice and this major resource is currently left in the forest. The stump fuel supply chain is both challenging and complex, due to distance between resource and end user, material bulkiness, and the number of subprocesses involved. This study examined the impact of different aspects such as site characteristics, fuel quality, biomass losses, and machine performance on fuel cost. Two systems, including transport of comminuted and uncomminuted fuel, were studied. Discrete-event simulation was used to model systems and to analyse the dynamics of the supply chain and its various components. For a distance of 10 km, transportation of uncomminuted fuel gave the lowest costs. For distances from 30 to 70 km, site size (odt) determined whether to comminute or not before transport. For longer distances, comminution before transport proved to be necessary. Well-planned stump storage was shown to reduce the delivery costs significantly, while high moisture content (>45%) had detrimental effects on system costs per unit energy delivered. However, the most influential parameters were productivity level and site characteristics (distance and site size). Anders Eriksson, Lars Eliasson, Per-Anders Hansson, and Raida Jirjis Copyright © 2014 Anders Eriksson et al. All rights reserved. Land Use and Land Cover Change, and Woody Vegetation Diversity in Human Driven Landscape of Gilgel Tekeze Catchment, Northern Ethiopia Thu, 12 Jun 2014 06:19:44 +0000 Land use and land cover (LULC) change through inappropriate agricultural practices and high human and livestock population pressure have led to severe land degradation in the Ethiopian highlands. This has led to further degradation such as biodiversity loss, deforestation, and soil erosion. The study examined woody vegetation diversity status and the impact of drivers of change across different LULC types and agroecological zones in Gilgel Tekeze catchment, northern Ethiopian highlands. LULC dynamics were assessed using GIS techniques on 1976, 1986, and 2008 satellite images. Vegetation data were collected from 135 sample plots (20 m × 20 m) from five LULC types, namely, forest, shrub-bush, grazing, settlement, and cultivated land, in the three agroecological zones; Kolla, Weyna-Dega, and Dega. Differences in vegetation structure and composition and their relationship to agroecological zones were tested using two-way ANOVA and PCA technique. The results show that vegetation structure and composition significantly differed across all LULC types in different agroecological zones particularly in sapling density, tree height, and shrub height and in each agroecological zone between forest land, shrub-bush land, and settlement area. Overall, Weyna-Dega agroecological zone and the shrub-bush land had more structural and compositional diversity than the other agroecological zones and LULC types. Samuale Tesfaye, Etefa Guyassa, Antony Joseph Raj, Emiru Birhane, and Gebeyehu Taye Wondim Copyright © 2014 Samuale Tesfaye et al. All rights reserved. Leaf Litter Decomposition and Nutrient Dynamics Associated with Common Horticultural Cropland Agroforest Tree Species of Bangladesh Wed, 04 Jun 2014 07:40:24 +0000 Mangifera indica, Zizyphus jujuba, Litchi chinensis, and Artocarpus heterophyllus are the most common cropland agroforest horticultural tree species of Bangladesh. This study focused on leaf litter decomposition and nutrient (N, P, and K) dynamics during the decomposition process. This experiment was conducted for 180 days by using litter bag technique during dry and wet seasons. Mass loss was the highest (49% and 57%) for A. heterophyllus and the lowest (25%) was found for L. chinensis. The highest initial rates (0.75% and 2.35%/day) of decomposition were observed for Z. jujuba and the lowest (0.50% and 0.79%/day) for L. chinensis. The highest decay constant was observed for A. heterophyllus (2.14 and 2.34) and the lowest (0.88 and 0.94) for L. chinensis. Leaf litter of all the studied species showed a similar pattern (K > N > P) of nutrient release during the decomposition process. Zizyphus jujuba showed comparatively higher return of N, P, and K than others. However, a significant () higher amount of mass loss, rate of decomposition, decay constant, and amount of nutrient return from leaf litter were observed during the wet season. Md. Hasanuzzaman and Mahmood Hossain Copyright © 2014 Md. Hasanuzzaman and Mahmood Hossain. All rights reserved. Variability in Growth, Physiological, and Biochemical Characteristics among Various Clones of Dalbergia sissoo in a Clonal Seed Orchard Tue, 03 Jun 2014 08:45:20 +0000 Growth and physiological variability among clones of Dalbergia sissoo growing in a CSO revealed maximum height and GBH in Gonda clones (C196 and C198) and minimum growth attributes in Rajasthan clones. All biochemical constituents except sugar were also maximum in Gonda clones. Maximum chl. a, total chl., and chlorofluorescence (CF) were recorded in C235 and C123 while chl. b was maximum in C198. Among tested clones, sugar content was maximum in C60 (Chhachhrauli) while C198 (Gonda) revealed maximum protein content. Heritability estimates of 8 characters at 99% revealed strong genetic control of total chls., sugars, proteins, and chl. b; however, maximum genetic gains of 117% and 80% were recorded for sugar and protein content, respectively. Correlation matrix revealed a positive correlation between height and GBH and CF. Among biochemical constituents, chl. a, and chl. b, chl. b, and total chl. were correlated significantly at 0.1% level. Regarding contribution of different parameters to variability, height and GBH were the greatest contributors. Clustering of clones on the basis of all three parameters separated clones in one major and six minor clusters. Average distance from centroid was found to be 22.61 whereas the maximum distance from centroid was 50.75. Arvind Sharma and Meena Bakshi Copyright © 2014 Arvind Sharma and Meena Bakshi. All rights reserved. Volume and Aboveground Biomass Models for Dry Miombo Woodland in Tanzania Thu, 22 May 2014 06:04:27 +0000 Tools to accurately estimate tree volume and biomass are scarce for most forest types in East Africa, including Tanzania. Based on a sample of 142 trees and 57 shrubs from a 6,065 ha area of dry miombo woodland in Iringa rural district in Tanzania, regression models were developed for volume and biomass of three important species, Brachystegia spiciformis Benth. (), Combretum molle G. Don (), and Dalbergia arbutifolia Baker () separately, and for broader samples of trees (28 species, ), shrubs (16 species, ), and trees and shrubs combined (44 species, ). Applied independent variables were log-transformed diameter, height, and wood basic density, and in each case a range of different models were tested. The general tendency among the final models is that the fit improved when height and wood basic density were included. Also the precision and accuracy of the predictions tended to increase from general to species-specific models. Except for a few volume and biomass models developed for shrubs, all models had values of 96–99%. Thus, the models appear robust and should be applicable to forests with similar site conditions, species, and diameter ranges. Ezekiel Edward Mwakalukwa, Henrik Meilby, and Thorsten Treue Copyright © 2014 Ezekiel Edward Mwakalukwa et al. All rights reserved. Invasive Alien Species of Terrestrial Vegetation of North-Eastern Uttar Pradesh Mon, 12 May 2014 12:53:40 +0000 The vegetational landscape of north-eastern Terai region at the foot hills of Central Himalayas is a mosaic of grassland, old-field, wasteland, and forest ecosystems. Like many other parts of the country, this region is also infested with alien intruders which not only interfere with the growth and production of food crops but also exercise adverse effects on the biodiversity of native species. The present study attempts to catalogue the invasive alien species of the terrestrial vegetation of north-eastern Uttar Pradesh especially with reference to their habit, taxonomic position, and nativity. A total of 1135 plant species within 580 genera under 119 families are so far known to occur in the region. Of these, only 149 species within 100 genera under 41 families have been found to be invasive aliens as evident from their center of origin, past history, nature of aggregation, and invasion observed under field conditions. About 80% of these invaders have been introduced from neotropics. Out of 173 invasive plants across India, this region shares 149 species, out of which 66% of species have come from Tropical America, 14% from African continent, and the rest from other countries. A better planning in the form of early identification and reporting of infestation and spread of noxious weeds is needed for their control. Sumit Srivastava, Ashish Dvivedi, and Ravindra Prasad Shukla Copyright © 2014 Sumit Srivastava et al. All rights reserved. Change in Soil and Forest Floor Carbon after Shelterwood Harvests in a New England Oak-Hardwood Forest, USA Tue, 06 May 2014 00:00:00 +0000 There has been effort worldwide to quantify how much carbon forests contain in order to designate appropriate offset credits to forest carbon climate mitigation. Carbon pools on or immediately below the soil surface are understood to be very active in response to environmental change but are not well understood. Our study focused on the effects of shelterwood regeneration harvests in New England on the carbon stored in litter, woody debris, and surface soil carbon. Results demonstrate significant difference in surface (0–10 cm) soil carbon between control (nonharvested) and harvested sites, with higher carbon percentage on control sites. Results showed a significant difference in coarse woody debris with higher amounts of carbon per area on harvested sites. No significant difference in litter mass was recorded between harvested and control sites. When coarse woody debris and litter are included with soil carbon, total carbon did not have a significant decline over 20 years following shelterwood treatment to the forest to secure regeneration, but there was considerable variability among sites. When taking all surface soil carbon measurements together, our results suggest that for accounting purposes the measurement of below-ground carbon after shelterwood harvests is not necessary for the southern New England region. Kayanna L. Warren and Mark S. Ashton Copyright © 2014 Kayanna L. Warren and Mark S. Ashton. All rights reserved. Assessing the Influence of Summer Organic Fertilization Combined with Nitrogen Inhibitor on a Short Rotation Woody Crop in Mediterranean Environment Tue, 15 Apr 2014 00:00:00 +0000 The European Union Directive 91/676/EEC, known as Nitrates Directive, has dictated basic agronomic principles regarding the use of animal manure source as well as livestock and waste waters from small food companies. The use of nitrification inhibitors together with animal effluents as organic fertilizers could be beneficial for nutrient recycling, plant productivity, and greenhouse gas emission and could offer economic advantages as alternative to conventional fertilizers especially in the Mediterranean region. The aim of the present study was to investigate differences in plant productivity between bovine effluent treatments with (or without) addition of a nitrification inhibitor (3,4 DMPP) in a short rotation woody crop system. Results of the field experiment carried out in a Mediterranean dry environment indicated that the proposed strategy could improve tree growth with indirect, beneficial effects for agroforestry systems. Anita Maienza, Giovanni Mughini, Luca Salvati, Anna Benedetti, and Maria Teresa Dell'Abate Copyright © 2014 Anita Maienza et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Seed Size of Afzelia quanzensis on Germination and Seedling Growth Wed, 26 Mar 2014 09:17:41 +0000 Afzelia quanzensis Welw is a valuable timber producing tree species in Africa. A study was conducted to evaluate the influence of seed size on seed germination and seedlings quality of Afzelia quanzensis. Seed was categorized into three groups in regard to their length, small (<1.5 cm), medium (≥ 1.5 ≤ 2.5 cm), and large (>2.5 cm). The treatments were completely randomized into four replications. Germination percentage was not significantly different between the treatments, although large seeds had the highest germination percentage of 94.9%. There were significant differences in seedling height and root collar diameter among the different seed sizes, with large seeds having the highest seedlings height and largest root collar diameter. This was attributed to differences in the food reserves. Survival of transplants from shoot dieback was significantly different such that seedlings from large seed attained the highest survival of 92%. It is therefore recommended that, for production of high quality transplants in the nursery, large seeds should be used. Kupatsa Mtambalika, Chimuleke Munthali, Dominic Gondwe, and Edward Missanjo Copyright © 2014 Kupatsa Mtambalika et al. All rights reserved. Brazil Nut (Bertholletia excelsa, Lecythidaceae) Regeneration in Logging Gaps in the Peruvian Amazon Tue, 25 Mar 2014 07:56:14 +0000 Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa Bonpl.) extraction serves as an important economic resource in the Madre de Dios region of Peru simultaneously promoting forest conservation, yet, under current management, it cannot compete with other land uses. This study investigated the effects of logging gaps on Brazil nut natural regeneration. A total of 48 paired logging gap-understory sites were visited in Brazil nut concessions in the Tambopata province of Madre de Dios, Peru. At each site, the number of Brazil nut recruits was counted and canopy openness and gap area were measured. Significantly higher levels of recruit density were found in logging gaps than in understory sites. Additionally, recruit density was positively correlated with canopy openness. Further, in experimental plantings in paired gap and understory sites, canopy openness, height, total leaf area, and number were recorded from August 2011 to February 2012. Height, total leaf area, and leaf number were significantly higher for tree-fall gap grown seedlings, lending further evidence to improved recruitment success of Brazil nuts in forest gaps. These results suggest that multiple-use forest management could be considered as an alternative for the sustainable extraction of Brazil nuts but also highlight that further studies are required. Julian Moll-Rocek, Matthew E. Gilbert, and Eben N. Broadbent Copyright © 2014 Julian Moll-Rocek et al. All rights reserved. Remote Sensing of Aboveground Biomass in Tropical Secondary Forests: A Review Sun, 23 Mar 2014 13:47:20 +0000 Tropical landscapes are, in general, a mosaic of pasture, agriculture, and forest undergoing various stages of succession. Forest succession is comprised of continuous structural changes over time and results in increases in aboveground biomass (AGB). New remote sensing methods, including sensors, image processing, statistical methods, and uncertainty evaluations, are constantly being developed to estimate biophysical forest changes. We review 318 peer-reviewed studies related to the use of remotely sensed AGB estimations in tropical forest succession studies and summarize their geographic distribution, sensors and methods used, and their most frequent ecological inferences. Remotely sensed AGB is broadly used in forest management studies, conservation status evaluations, carbon source and sink investigations, and for studies of the relationships between environmental conditions and forest structure. Uncertainties in AGB estimations were found to be heterogeneous with biases related to sensor type, processing methodology, ground truthing availability, and forest characteristics. Remotely sensed AGB of successional forests is more reliable for the study of spatial patterns of forest succession and over large time scales than that of individual stands. Remote sensing of temporal patterns in biomass requires further study, in particular, as it is critical for understanding forest regrowth at scales useful for regional or global analyses. J. M. Barbosa, E. N. Broadbent, and M. D. Bitencourt Copyright © 2014 J. M. Barbosa et al. All rights reserved. Forest Biomass, Carbon Stocks, and Macrofungal Dynamics: A Case Study in Costa Rica Thu, 20 Mar 2014 10:05:20 +0000 There are few published studies providing information about macrofungal biology in a context of forest dynamics in tropical areas. For this study, a characterization of above-ground standing tree biomass and carbon stocks was performed for four different forest subtypes within two life zones in Costa Rica. Fungal productivity and reproductive success were estimated and analyzed in the context of the forest systems studied and results showed fungal dynamics to be a complex and challenging topic. In the present study, fungal productivity was higher in forest patches with more tree density but independent from life zones, whereas fungal biomass was higher in premontane areas with ectomycorrhizal dominant trees. Even though some observed patterns could be explained in terms of climatic differences and biotic relationships, the high fungal productivity observed in dry forests was an interesting finding and represents a topic for further studies. Carlos Rojas and Erick Calvo Copyright © 2014 Carlos Rojas and Erick Calvo. All rights reserved.