International Journal of Forestry Research The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2016 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Tree Species Diversity, Richness, and Similarity in Intact and Degraded Forest in the Tropical Rainforest of the Congo Basin: Case of the Forest of Likouala in the Republic of Congo Mon, 08 Aug 2016 09:33:46 +0000 Trees species diversity, richness, and similarity were studied in fifteen plots of the tropical rainforests in the northeast of the Republic of Congo, based on trees inventories conducted on fifteen 0.25 ha plots installed along different types of forests developed on terra firma, seasonally flooded, and on flooded terra. In all of the plots installed, all trees with diameter at breast height, DBH ≥ 5 cm, were measured. The Shannon diversity index, species richness, equitability, and species dominance were computed to see the variation in tree community among plots but also between primary forest and secondary forest. A total of 1611 trees representing 114 species and 35 families were recorded from a total area of 3.75 ha. Euphorbiaceae was the dominant family in the forest with 12 species, followed by Fabaceae-Mimosoideae (10 species) and Phyllanthaceae (6 species) and Guttiferae (6 species). The biodiversity did not vary greatly from plot to plot on the whole of the study area (3.75 ha). The low value of Shannon index was obtained in plot 11 () whereas the highest value was obtained in plot 12 (). The values of this index vary from 0.23 to 0.95 in plots P11 and P15, respectively. Results obtained revealed high biodiversity of trees of the forest of Impfondo-Dongou. The information on tree species structure and function can provide baseline information for conservation of the biodiversity of the tropical forest in this area. Suspense Averti Ifo, Jean-Marie Moutsambote, Félix Koubouana, Joseph Yoka, Saint Fédriche Ndzai, Leslie Nucia Orcellie Bouetou-Kadilamio, Helischa Mampouya, Charlotte Jourdain, Yannick Bocko, Alima Brigitte Mantota, Mackline Mbemba, Dulsaint Mouanga-Sokath, Roland Odende, Lenguiya Romarick Mondzali, Yeto Emmanuel Mampouya Wenina, Brice Chérubins Ouissika, and Loumeto Jean Joel Copyright © 2016 Suspense Averti Ifo et al. All rights reserved. Synchrony in Leafing, Flowering, and Fruiting Phenology of Senegalia senegal within Lake Baringo Woodland, Kenya: Implication for Conservation and Tree Improvement Tue, 10 May 2016 08:01:21 +0000 Leafing, flowering, and fruiting patterns of Senegalia senegal were studied over a period of 24 months from January 2014 to December 2015. The phenological events of the species are bimodal and follow the rainfall patterns. The leafing phase starts during the onset of rains and lasts for 18 weeks. New leaves continued to appear on the new shoots while old leaves persisted to the leaf fall period. Flowering event takes 12 weeks and is concentrated in the months of high relative humidity (April and October) with one-month peak flowering period. Fruiting phase starts at the peak of the rainy seasons (May and November) and peaks in June and December. This phase lasted for 14 weeks. The fruits mature towards the end of the rainy season (January/February and July/August). The fruits open for dispersal mainly in February/March and September during the peak dry season. High synchrony index (SI) was found in leafing (SI: 0.87), flowering (SI: 0.75), and fruiting (SI: 0.85) events among the populations. Temperature, precipitation, and soil moisture content were significantly correlated with the phenological events. Significant variations in floral morphology and fruits traits were also evident. Seed collections should be undertaken in the months of January/February and July/August. Stephen F. Omondi, David W. Odee, George O. Ongamo, James I. Kanya, and Damase P. Khasa Copyright © 2016 Stephen F. Omondi et al. All rights reserved. Role of Forest Resources to Local Livelihoods: The Case of East Mau Forest Ecosystem, Kenya Wed, 16 Mar 2016 14:13:00 +0000 Forests in Kenya are threatened by unsustainable uses and conversion to alternative land uses. In spite of the consequences of forest degradation and biodiversity loss and reliance of communities on forests livelihoods, there is little empirical data on the role of forest resources in livelihoods of the local communities. Socioeconomic, demographic, and forest use data were obtained by interviewing 367 households. Forest product market survey was undertaken to determine prices of various forest products for valuation of forest use. Forest income was significant to households contributing 33% of total household income. Fuel wood contributed 50%, food (27%), construction material (18%), and fodder, and thatching material 5% to household forest income. Absolute forest income and relative forest income (%) were not significantly different across study locations and between ethnic groups. However, absolute forest income and relative forest income (%) were significantly different among wealth classes. Poor households were more dependent on forests resources. However, in absolute terms, the rich households derived higher forest income. These results provide valuable information on the role of forest resources to livelihoods and could be applied in developing forest conservation policies for enhanced ecosystem services and livelihoods. D. K. Langat, E. K. Maranga, A. A. Aboud, and J. K. Cheboiwo Copyright © 2016 D. K. Langat et al. All rights reserved. Biomass and Soil Carbon Stocks in Wet Montane Forest, Monteverde Region, Costa Rica: Assessments and Challenges for Quantifying Accumulation Rates Mon, 29 Feb 2016 09:48:50 +0000 We measured carbon stocks at two forest reserves in the cloud forest region of Monteverde, comparing cleared land, experimental secondary forest plots, and mature forest at each location to assess the effectiveness of reforestation in sequestering biomass and soil carbon. The biomass carbon stock measured in the mature forest at the Monteverde Institute is similar to other measurements of mature tropical montane forest biomass carbon in Costa Rica. Local historical records and the distribution of large trees suggest a mature forest age of greater than 80 years. The forest at La Calandria lacks historical documentation, and dendrochronological dating is not applicable. However, based on the differences in tree size, above-ground biomass carbon, and soil carbon between the Monteverde Institute and La Calandria sites, we estimate an age difference of at least 30 years of the mature forests. Experimental secondary forest plots at both sites have accumulated biomass at lower than expected rates, suggesting local limiting factors, such as nutrient limitation. We find that soil carbon content is primarily a function of time and that altitudinal differences between the study sites do not play a role. Lawrence H. Tanner, Megan T. Wilckens, Morgan A. Nivison, and Katherine M. Johnson Copyright © 2016 Lawrence H. Tanner et al. All rights reserved. Allometric Models for Estimating Tree Volume and Aboveground Biomass in Lowland Forests of Tanzania Thu, 14 Jan 2016 07:29:28 +0000 Models to assist management of lowland forests in Tanzania are in most cases lacking. Using a sample of 60 trees which were destructively harvested from both dry and wet lowland forests of Dindili in Morogoro Region (30 trees) and Rondo in Lindi Region (30 trees), respectively, this study developed site specific and general models for estimating total tree volume and aboveground biomass. Specifically the study developed (i) height-diameter (ht-dbh) models for trees found in the two sites, (ii) total, merchantable, and branches volume models, and (iii) total and sectional aboveground biomass models of trees found in the two study sites. The findings show that site specific ht-dbh model appears to be suitable in estimating tree height since the tree allometry was found to differ significantly between studied forests. The developed general volume models yielded unbiased mean prediction error and hence can adequately be applied to estimate tree volume in dry and wet lowland forests in Tanzania. General aboveground biomass model appears to yield biased estimates; hence, it is not suitable when accurate results are required. In this case, site specific biomass allometric models are recommended. Biomass allometric models which include basic wood density are highly recommended for improved estimates accuracy when such information is available. Wilson Ancelm Mugasha, Ezekiel Edward Mwakalukwa, Emannuel Luoga, Rogers Ernest Malimbwi, Eliakimu Zahabu, Dos Santos Silayo, Gael Sola, Philippe Crete, Matieu Henry, and Almas Kashindye Copyright © 2016 Wilson Ancelm Mugasha et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Disturbance Regimes on Spatial Patterns of Tree Species in Three Sites in a Tropical Evergreen Forest in Vietnam Mon, 11 Jan 2016 08:05:11 +0000 The effects of disturbance regimes on the spatial patterns of the five most abundant species were investigated in three sites in a tropical forest at Xuan Nha Nature Reserve, Vietnam. Three permanent one-ha plots were established in undisturbed forest (UDF), lightly disturbed forest (LDF), and highly disturbed forest (HDF). All trees ≥5 cm DBH were measured in twenty-five 20 m × 20 m subplots. A total of 57 tree species belonging to 26 families were identified in the three forest types. The UDF had the highest basal area (30 m2 ha−1), followed by the LDF (17 m2 ha−1) and the HDF (13.0 m2 ha−1). The UDF also had the highest tree density (751 individuals ha−1) while the HDF held the lowest (478 individuals ha−1). Across all species, there were 417 “juveniles,” 267 “subadults,” and 67 “adults” in the UDF, while 274 “juveniles,” 230 “subadults,” and 36 “adults” were recorded in the LDF. 238 “juveniles,” 227 “subadults,” and 13 “adults” were obtained in the HDF. The univariate and bivariate data with pair- and mark-correlation functions of intra- and interspecific interactions of the five most abundant species changed in the three forest types. Most species indicated clumping or regular distributions at small scale, but a high ratio of negative interspecific small-scale associations was recorded in both the LDF and HDF sites. These were, however, rare in the UDF. Do Thi Ngoc Le, Nguyen Van Thinh, Nguyen The Dung, and Ralph Mitlöhner Copyright © 2016 Do Thi Ngoc Le et al. All rights reserved. Agricultural and Forest Land Use Potential for REDD+ among Smallholder Land Users in Rural Ghana Wed, 06 Jan 2016 09:46:11 +0000 Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation with other benefits (REDD+) mechanism is supposed to address the reversal of forest-based land degradation, conservation of existing carbon stocks, and enhancement of carbon sequestration. The Bosomtwe District is predominantly agrarian with potentials for climate change mitigation through REDD+ mechanism among smallholder farmers. The limited knowledge and practices of this strategy among farmers are limiting potentials of mitigating climate change. This paper assesses the REDD+ potentials among smallholder farmers in the district. Using a triangulation of quantitative and qualitative design, 152 farmer-respondents were purposively sampled and interviewed, using snowballing method from 12 communities. Quantitative data gathered were subjected to the tools of contingency and frequencies analysis, embedded in the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) v.16. The qualitative data were analyzed thematically. Results indicate that respondents have knowledge of REDD+ but not the intended benefit sharing regimes that can accrue to the smallholder farmers. Farmers’ willingness to practice REDD+ will be based on the motivation and incentive potentials of the strategies. The Forestry Services Division should promote the practice of REDD+ among smallholder farmers through education, to whip and sustain interest in the strategy. Divine O. Appiah, John T. Bugri, Eric K. Forkuo, and Sampson Yamba Copyright © 2016 Divine O. Appiah et al. All rights reserved. An Evaluation of the Use of Simulated Annealing to Optimize Thinning Rates for Single Even-Aged Stands Mon, 30 Nov 2015 11:15:19 +0000 We evaluated the potential of simulated annealing as a reliable method for optimizing thinning rates for single even-aged stands. Four types of yield models were used as benchmark models to examine the algorithm’s versatility. Thinning rate, which was constrained to 0–50% every 5 years at stand ages of 10–45 years, was optimized to maximize the net present value for one fixed rotation term (50 years). The best parameters for the simulated annealing were chosen from 113 patterns, using the mean of the net present value from 39 runs to ensure the best performance. We compared the solutions with those from coarse full enumeration to evaluate the method’s reliability and with 39 runs of random search to evaluate its efficiency. In contrast to random search, the best run of simulated annealing for each of the four yield models resulted in a better solution than coarse full enumeration. However, variations in the objective function for two yield models obtained with simulated annealing were significantly larger than those of random search. In conclusion, simulated annealing with optimized parameters is more efficient for optimizing thinning rates than random search. However, it is necessary to execute multiple runs to obtain reliable solutions. Kai Moriguchi, Tatsuhito Ueki, and Masashi Saito Copyright © 2015 Kai Moriguchi et al. All rights reserved. A Hidden Pitfall for REDD: Analysis of Power Relation in Participatory Forest Management on Whether It Is an Obstacle or a Reliever on REDD Pathway Tue, 10 Nov 2015 14:14:39 +0000 Power relation among stakeholders is a key concept in collaborative approaches. This study aims to examine the reality of the acclaimed power sharing in Participatory Forest Management (PFM) and implication of existing power relation to the national REDD+ programme in Tanzania. The study involved a review of PFM policy and legal supporting documents; meta-analysis of previous studies done at two sites known to have succeeded in PFM; and empirical study at Kolo-Hills forests. Methods used include the meta-analysis of existing literature; Household Questionnaire Survey; Focused Group Discussion; and key person unstructured interviews. Results revealed that a large part of the PFM processes involved power struggle instead of power sharing. REDD+ pilot was perceived to have succeeded in improving PFM only in villages where the majority of the community about 70% experienced higher levels of inclusiveness and power balance with other PFM stakeholders in PFM processes. Power imbalance and power struggle were also noted in the REDD+ project adoption processes. Thus power relations exercised under PFM fall under potential obstacle rather than a reliever to the REDD+ programme. The study recommends reviewing of PFM legal frameworks to strengthen community empowerment for effectiveness of REDD+ on PFM platform. Angelingis Akwilini Makatta, Faustin Peter Maganga, and Amos Enock Majule Copyright © 2015 Angelingis Akwilini Makatta et al. All rights reserved. Phenotypic Variation in Fruit Morphology among Provenances of Sclerocarya birrea (A. Rich.) Hochst. Thu, 15 Oct 2015 14:07:10 +0000 Sclerocarya birrea (A. Rich.) Hochst. is a multipurpose fruit tree which is very useful in providing food security and meeting nutritional and economic needs. This study was conducted to assess eighteen provenances of Sclerocarya birrea planted in Mangochi, Malawi. The trial was assessed for fruit traits at fifteen years of age. There were significant () variations among the provenances in number of fruits, fruit weight, pulp weight, seed weight, fruit length, and diameter. Magunde provenance from Mozambique had the highest mean number of fruits, 2196 ± 200. Mangochi and Moamba provenances from Malawi and Mozambique were the most outstanding in the other parameters measured attaining the mean fruit weight of 20.89 ± 0.25 g and 25.67 ± 0.67 g, pulp weight of 25.70 ± 0.08 g and 21.55 ± 0.83 g, seed weight of 4.81 ± 0.35 g and 4.12 ± 0.18 g, fruit length of 2.61 ± 0.14 cm and 2.33 ± 0.07 cm, and fruit diameter of 2.33 ± 0.15 cm and 1.97 ± 0.08 cm, respectively. There was no significant () correlation between number of fruits and the other fruit traits. However, there were significant () and strong positive relationships between fruit weight and pulp weight () and fruit length and diameter (). This suggests that fruit weight can be used indirectly for selection of pulp. Further studies should investigate fruit taste quality of products from the fruits. Idah Mkwezalamba, Chimuleke R. Y. Munthali, and Edward Missanjo Copyright © 2015 Idah Mkwezalamba et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Spacing Regimes on Growth, Yield, and Wood Properties of Tectona grandis at Longuza Forest Plantation, Tanzania Thu, 13 Aug 2015 11:21:07 +0000 This study examined the effects of planting spacing on growth, yield, and wood properties of teak planted at square spacing regimes of 2 m, 3 m, and 4 m at Longuza Forest Plantation, Tanzania. To achieve this, tree, stand, and wood properties were studied at age of 14 years. Results showed that diameter at breast height and total height increased with increasing spacing. Mean annual increment increased significantly with increasing spacing while spacing did not have significant effect on total volume production and basal area. Basic density is also not affected by spacing while heartwood proportion increases as planting spacing increases. All studied wood properties (modulus of rupture, modulus of elasticity, compression strength tangential to grain, and shear tangential to the grain) except cleavage tangential to grain were not significantly affected by increasing spacing. It is recommended to use the spacing of 3 × 3 m, but if thinning can be done before onset of competition at 5 years, the currently used spacing of 2.5 × 2.5 m can still be used. However, the use of a spacing of 4 × 4 m can give at least 50% heartwood at shorter rotation age of 30 years. Eliakimu Zahabu, Tumaini Raphael, Shabani Athumani Omari Chamshama, Said Iddi, and Rogers Ernest Malimbwi Copyright © 2015 Eliakimu Zahabu et al. All rights reserved. Structural Characterization of Prosopis africana Populations (Guill., Perrott., and Rich.) Taub in Benin Wed, 29 Jul 2015 07:40:49 +0000 The structural characterization of Prosopis africana of Benin was studied on the basis of forest inventory conducted in three different vegetation types (savannah, fallow, and field) and three climate zones. The data collected in 139 plots of 1000 m2 each related to the diameter at breast (1.3 m above ground), total height, identification, and measurement of DBH related P. africana species height. Tree-ring parameters such as Blackman and Green indices, basal area, average diameter, height of Lorey, and density were calculated and interpreted. Dendrometric settings of vegetation type and climate zone (Guinea, Sudan-Guinea, and Sudan) were compared through analysis of variance (ANOVA). There is a significant difference in dendrometric settings according to the type of vegetation and climate zone. Basal area, density, and average diameter are, respectively, 4.47 m2/ha, 34.95 stems/ha, and 37.02 cm in the fields; 3.01 m2/ha, 34.74 stems/ha, and 33.66 cm in fallows; 3.31 m2/ha, 52.39 stems/ha, and 29.61 cm in the savannahs. The diameter distribution and height observed at the theoretical Weibull distribution show that the diameter and height of the populations of the species are present in all positively skewed distributions or asymmetric left, a characteristic of single-species stands with predominance of young individuals or small diameters or heights. Towanou Houètchégnon, Dossou Seblodo Judes Charlemagne Gbèmavo, Christine Ajokè Ifètayo Nougbodé Ouinsavi, and Nestor Sokpon Copyright © 2015 Towanou Houètchégnon et al. All rights reserved. Evaluation of Forest Fire Danger Indexes for Eucalypt Plantations in Bahia, Brazil Thu, 02 Jul 2015 12:28:04 +0000 A Forest Fire Danger Index is a valuable tool in forest fire prevention and firefight because it grades fire occurrence possibility on a daily basis. Six Fire Danger Indexes were tested for accuracy based on forest fire occurrence in eucalyptus plantations of the north coast of Bahia, Brazil. They are Angstron, Nesterov, Telicyn Logarithmic Index, Monte Alegre, Rodríguez and Moretti, and Modified Monte Alegre. The results were analyzed using two parameters of the Heidke Skill Score test: Skill Score index and Percentage of Success. The Telicyn Logarithmic Index proved to be the most accurate for the study area. Larissa Alves Secundo White, Benjamin Leonardo Alves White, and Genésio Tâmara Ribeiro Copyright © 2015 Larissa Alves Secundo White et al. All rights reserved. Height Growth of Korean Pine Seedlings Planted under Strip-Cut Larch Plantations in Northeast China Wed, 01 Jul 2015 09:46:20 +0000 To develop two-storied forest management of larch plantations in Northeast China, this study examined the height growth of Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis Sieb. et Zucc.) seedlings planted under strip-cut larch canopies. We measured the height growth of the underplanted seedlings 4 years after planting. The larch canopies were of varying stand age (12, 17, and 37 years) and strip-cut width (4.5, 6.0, and 7.5 m). We measured the seedling height growth in an open site (i.e., a site with no canopy). Underplanted seedlings had a smaller height growth (12.1–20.1 cm year−1) than the seedlings planted in the open site (23.7 cm year−1). The seedlings underplanted in the wider strip-cuts tended to have greater height growth than the seedlings underplanted in the narrowest strip-cuts. A generalized linear mixed model analysis predicted the greatest seedling height growth in the open site. A 36–47% reduction in annual height growth was predicted for the narrowest strip-cuts (4.5 m) versus the open site, while a 13–36% reduction in annual height growth was predicted for the wider strip-cuts (6.0–7.5 m) versus the open site. To maintain adequate height growth, forest managers are recommended to create wider strip-cuts (i.e., ≥6.0 m) for the purpose of underplanting Korean pine seedlings in larch plantations. Toshiaki Owari, Shinichi Tatsumi, Liangzhi Ning, and Mingfang Yin Copyright © 2015 Toshiaki Owari et al. All rights reserved. Selective Herbicides for Cultivation of Eucalyptus urograndis Clones Wed, 13 May 2015 08:13:53 +0000 Competition control is essential for successful eucalyptus plantation establishment, yet few selective herbicides have been identified. Five herbicides, flumioxazin, imazamox, imazapic, oxyfluorfen, and sulfometuron methyl, were evaluated for selective weed control in the establishment of genetically modified frost tolerant Eucalyptus urograndis clones. Herbicides were applied at two or three rates, either before or after weed emergence, and compared to a nontreated control and to near-complete weed control obtained with glyphosate directed sprays. Applications prior to weed emergence were most effective for weed control and, with the exception of imazapic, all resulted in enhanced eucalyptus growth relative to the nontreated control. Among postemergent treatments, only imazamox enhanced stem volume. Among selective herbicide treatments, preemergent 2240 g ha−1 oxyfluorfen produced the best growth response, resulting in stem volume index that was 860% greater than the nontreated control, although only 15% of the volume index obtained with near-complete weed control. Imazapic was the most phytotoxic of all herbicides, resulting in 40% mortality when applied preemergent. Survival was 100% for all other herbicide treatments. This research found the previously nontested herbicides imazamox and imazapic to be effective for selective weed control and refined application rate and timing of five herbicides for use in clonal plantations. Patrick J. Minogue and Anna Osiecka Copyright © 2015 Patrick J. Minogue and Anna Osiecka. All rights reserved. Biomass Modelling of Androstachys johnsonii Prain: A Comparison of Three Methods to Enforce Additivity Wed, 29 Apr 2015 06:53:11 +0000 Three methods of enforcing additivity of tree component biomass estimates into total tree biomass estimates for Androstachys johnsonii Prain were studied and compared, namely, the conventional (CON) method (a method that consists of using the same independent variables for all tree component models, and for total tree model, and the same weights to enforce additivity), seemingly unrelated regression (SUR) with parameter restriction, and nonlinear seemingly unrelated regression (NSUR) with parameter restriction. The CON method was found to be statistically superior to any other method of enforcing additivity, yielding excellent fit statistics and unbiased biomass estimates. The NSUR method ranked second best but was found to be biased. The SUR method was found to be the worst; it exhibited large bias and had a poor fit for the biomass. Therefore, we recommend that only the CON and NSUR methods should be used for further estimates, provided that their limitations are considered, that is, exclusion of contemporaneous correlations for the CON method and consideration of the significant bias of the NSUR method. Tarquinio Mateus Magalhães and Thomas Seifert Copyright © 2015 Tarquinio Mateus Magalhães and Thomas Seifert. 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.