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International Journal of Forestry Research publishes research about the management and conservation of trees or forests, including tree biodiversity, sustainability, habitat protection and the social and economic aspects of forestry.
International Journal of Forestry Research maintains an Editorial Board of practicing researchers from around the world, to ensure manuscripts are handled by editors who are experts in the field of study.
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Monitoring Implementation Impact of the EU-Indonesia’s VPA on SME Livelihood
The Europe Union (E.U.) has agreed to grant the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) license to Indonesia as the first country in the world to receive it. FLEGT VPA (Voluntary Partnership Agreement) is a bilateral agreement between the European Union (E.U.) and wood exporting countries, to improve forest governance sector and ensure that timber and wood products imported into the E.U. are produced by the laws and regulation of partner countries. The Indonesian government has obliged to implement Article 12 relating to social safeguards. Indonesia has to periodically monitor to see the extent to which the VPA has an environmental and social impact that affect the lives and welfare of vulnerable and marginalised groups. The purpose of this study is to analyse how the effect of implementation of the Sistem Verifikasi Legalitas Kayu (SVLK) as part of VPA in the small and medium forestry industry sector. Methodology survey with focus group discussions, structured interviews, and semistructured interviews to find out the response and opinion of SME’s owner and employee addressed the effect of SVLK in East Java and Central Java, Indonesia. The theory of change (ToC) was used to consider the implications of SVLK implementation on the sustainable livelihood of small and medium enterprises (SME’s). The results of this study showed that SVLK had a more significant impact on livelihoods, as follows. First, the vulnerable and marginalised groups need to be supported by stakeholders to encourage readiness in faces of SVLK impact. Second, SVLK is susceptible to the effects and at risk of losing livelihoods for women and disabled groups in a short time. This group includes vulnerable groups of aspects of adaptability and sensitivity to the effect. Third, SME’s worker groups who do not have a labour organisation are sensitive to the impact on the workplace company. This group is classified as a group that is quite vulnerable if the effect lasts long enough and on a large scale of impact.
Comparative Analysis of Understorey Floristic Diversity and Carbon Stocks in Poorly and Intensively Managed Tectona grandis Plantations
The role of forest plantations in carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation is a topical issue among researchers and policymakers globally. This study compares understorey floristic diversity and carbon stock of a 15-year-old monoculture Tectona grandis plantation under intensive and poor management in a dry semideciduous ecological zone of Ghana. The study employed a nested plot design with twelve (12) 50 m × 50 m plots laid at 50 m intervals along a diagonal line transect on both study sites for the sampling of Tectona grandis trees. Understorey trees, shrubs, and climbers were sampled within 10 m × 10 m subplot, whilst grasses and herbs were sampled within 1 m × 1 m quadrats. The study revealed a significantly higher understorey species diversity in the intensively managed plantation (Shannon index; species richness) compared with that of the poorly managed plantation. Similarly, total biomass (189.80 ± 1.846 Mg/ha) and carbon stock (94.90 ± 0.92 Mg C/ha) in the intensively managed plantation were observed to be significantly higher than the poorly managed plantation (biomass: 138.54 ± 3.70 Mg/ha; carbon stock: 64.27 ± 1.85 Mg C/ha), whiles the species composition between the two sites was different (Sorenson’s similarity index: 0.47). The study, therefore, concludes that silvicultural forest management interventions improve the understorey floristic diversity and carbon stock in monoculture plantations. Consequently, the study recommends the adoption of silvicultural interventions in plantation management in Ghana to improve their contributions to carbon sequestration and floristic diversity conservation.
Estimating the Aboveground Biomass of an Evergreen Broadleaf Forest in Xuan Lien Nature Reserve, Thanh Hoa, Vietnam, Using SPOT-6 Data and the Random Forest Algorithm
Forest biomass is an important ecological indicator for the sustainable management of forests. The aim of this study was to estimate forest aboveground biomass (AGB) by integrating SPOT-6 data with field-based measurements using the random forest (RF) algorithm. In total, 52 remote sensing variables, including spectral bands, vegetation indices, topography data, and textures, were extracted from SPOT-6 images to predict the forest AGB of Xuan Lien Nature Reserve, Vietnam. To determine the optimal predictor variables for AGB estimation, 10 different RF models were built. To evaluate these models, 10-fold cross-validation was applied. We found that a combination of spectral and vegetation indices and topography variables offer the highest prediction results ( = 0.74 and RMSE = 61.24 Mg ha−1). Adding texture features into the predictor variables did not improve the model performance. In addition, the SPOT-6 sensor has the potential to predict forest AGB using the RF algorithm.
Financial Assessment of Forest Management Systems in the Community Forests: A Case Study from the Midhills of Nepal
In Nepal, forest management priority is shifting to scientific management from conventional management. Though, the forest officials claims that scientific management is beneficial to the forest user groups, comparative financial assessment with conventional management remains unexplored. Following a case study approach, this study compares financial efficiency of two forest management systems in the community forests, focusing on benefit-cost ratio. The study conducted documents review, focus group discussions, and rapid survey to quantify costs and benefits from each forest management system. Conventional management gave a higher benefit-cost ratio to the forest user groups, irrespective of whether forest products are sold at a subsidized price or par with the market price. However, scientific management required high forest management costs and thus had a lower benefit-cost ratio. Sensitivity analysis between two systems revealed that conventional management gave a higher benefit-cost ratio in all cases. The study concludes that forest user groups would bear financial loss if they do not fix the price of the timber at par with the market in scientific management, and in such a case, the tagged price will be beyond affordability of the forest users. Furthermore, scientific management has discouraged kind contribution of users in managing forest. Besides, social and environmental consequences of scientific management cannot be ignored. Hence, the study argues for reconsidering current scientific management considering likely economic and social consequences to the forest user groups.
The Effects of Mesquite (Prosopis juliflora) on Soils and Plant Communities in the Deserted Rangelands of Bahrain
The influence of mesquite trees (Prosopis juliflora (Swartz) D.C.) on the physicochemical properties of soils and annual understory plants was investigated in the deserted rangelands of Bahrain. Soil properties were measured in the understory and the uncanopied adjacent areas of mesquite trees. Likewise, the number of plant species was assessed in four 1 × 1 m randomly distributed quadrates in the understory and the uncanopied adjacent areas. The results showed that sand particles exceed 96% of soil composition. Soil bulk density at the 0–5 cm soil depth was significantly higher in the understory of trees compared to the uncanopied adjacent areas. However, moisture at a depth of 40–60 cm was significantly higher in the uncanopied adjacent areas. No differences in the pH, EC, K, Na, and Ca were found between understory and the uncanopied areas in all soil depths. Levels of N, P, Mg, and organic matter were significantly higher in the understory of trees compared to the uncanopied adjacent areas. Organic matter was twice the amount in the upper 20 cm of soil layers in the understory of mesquite trees. Species richness did not differ between the understory and the uncanopied areas. Nevertheless, the density of ephemerals in the understory of mesquite trees was higher than the uncanopied areas by 18%. The Shannon-Weaver index of diversity was higher in the uncanopied areas compared to the understory. The study concluded that the canopy effects of mesquite trees on soil vary with depth. Nonetheless, the influence of mesquite on flora could be beneficial for annual understory plants but subject to many operating factors, including density and cover of mesquite trees.
Can Carbon Sequestration in Tasmanian “Wet” Eucalypt Forests Be Used to Mitigate Climate Change? Forest Succession, the Buffering Effects of Soils, and Landscape Processes Must Be Taken into Account
Small areas of the wetter parts of southeast Australia including Tasmania support high-biomass “wet” eucalypt forests, including “mixed” forests consisting of mature eucalypts up to 100 m high with a rainforest understorey. In Tasmania, mixed forests transition to lower biomass rainforests over time. In the scientific and public debate on ways to mitigate climate change, these forests have received attention for their ability to store large amounts of carbon (C), but the contribution of soil C stocks to the total C in these two ecosystems has not been systematically researched, and consequently, the potential of wet eucalypt forests to serve as long-term C sinks is uncertain. This study compared soil C stocks to 1 m depth at paired sites under rainforest and mixed forests and found that there was no detectable difference of mean total soil C between the two forest types, and on average, both contained about 200 Mg·ha−1 of C. Some C in subsoil under rainforests is 3000 years old and retains a chemical signature of pyrogenic C, detectable in NMR spectra, indicating that soil C stocks are buffered against the effects of forest succession. The mean loss of C in biomass as mixed forests transition to rainforests is estimated to be about 260 Mg·ha−1 over a c. 400-year period, so the mature mixed forest ecosystem emits about 0.65 Mg·ha−1·yr−1 of C during its transition to rainforest. For this reason and because of the risk of forest fires, setting aside large areas of wet eucalypt forests as reserves in order to increase landscape C storage is not a sound strategy for long-term climate change mitigation. Maintaining a mosaic of managed native forests, including regenerating eucalypts, mixed forests, rainforests, and reserves, is likely to be the best strategy for maintaining landscape C stocks.