ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0275.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: forest bathing; forest medicine; human health
Online: 19 January 2022 (14:24:50 CET)
According to several evidence, forest environmental seems able to provide beneficial effects on functional and psychological parameters, related to cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory functions as well depression and anxiety. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of a one-day forest walking in Selva di Castelfidardo (AN, Italy) on 37 participants aged 21-68, most of them living in either urban or suburban areas of large cities. We observed a statistically significant effect on sympathovagal balance by the means of heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, body temperature, skin temperature, skin conductance, HRV parameters (AVNN, SDNN, rMSSD, pNN50, LF, HF, LF/HF ratio), oxygen oximetry, PEF, FEV1. A significant difference was also detected on the Perceived Stress Scale responses (19.27 pre vs 13.81 post-immersion, p=<0,05; -28,3% variation). Our data contribute to increase the body of literature about the effect of forest walking, adding data on an Italian area qualified for forest bathing.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0343.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: forest environments; forest experience; psychometric test
Online: 15 August 2020 (08:34:05 CEST)
In this study a method for predicting the preferred pleasantness induced by different forest environments, represented by virtual photographs, was proposed and evaluated using a novel Anti-Environmental Forest Experience Scale psychometric test. The evaluation questionnaire contained twenty-one items divided into four different subscales. The factor structure was assessed in two separate samples collected online (sample 1: N = 254, sample 2: N = 280). The internal validity of the four subscales was confirmed using an exploratory factor analysis. Discriminant validity was tested and confirmed using the Amoebic Self Scale (Spatial-Symbolic domain). Concurrent validity was confirmed using the Connectedness to Nature Scale. Predictive validity was based on assessment of pleasantness induced by nine different photographs (control – urban landscapes, forest landscapes, dense forest landscapes), with subscales differently correlated with the level of pleasantness assessed for each photograph. This evaluation instrument is appropriate for predicting preferred pleasantness induced by different forest environments.
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: forest inventory; data harvesting; forest modeling; forest growth; macroecology; public data
Online: 26 November 2020 (10:38:58 CET)
Net CO2 emissions and sequestration from European forests are the result of removal and growth of flora. To arrive at aggregated measurements of these processes at a country's level, local observations of increments and harvest rates are up-scaled to national forest areas. Each country releases these statistics through their individual National Forest Inventory using their particular definitions and methodologies. In addition, five international processes deal with the harmonization and comparability of such forest datasets in Europe, namely the IPCC, SOEF, FAOSTAT, HPFFRE, FRA (definitions follow in the article). In this study, we retrieved living biomass dynamics from each of these sources for 27 European Union member states. To demonstrate the reproducibility of our method, we release an open source python package that allows for automated data retrieval and analysis, as new data becomes available. The comparison of the published values shows discrepancies in the magnitude of forest biomass changes for several countries. In some cases, the direction of these changes also differ between sources. The scarcity of the data provided, along with the low spatial resolution, forbids the creation or calibration of a pan-European forest dynamics model, which could ultimately be used to simulate future scenarios and support policy decisions. To attain these goals, an improvement in forest data availability and harmonization is needed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0548.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: Non-Timber Forest Product; Sustainable Development Goals; Sustainable Forest Management; forest policy; forest degradation; endangered species
Online: 30 January 2023 (09:19:49 CET)
Globally, non-timber forest products (NTFPs) continue to contribute vastly to addressing the food, poverty reduction, income, and livelihood requirements of people in rural areas. However, as at now, there is no specific existing data highlighting periodic contributions of NTFPs to the economy of the Eastern region and the country. The study analyses the contribution of NTFPs towards economic development in the Eastern region and the achievement of SDGs in Ghana. Through Focus Group Discussions and qualitative analysis, it was concluded that NTFPs contribute immensely towards the economic development of the Eastern region and the country through employment and direct taxes. Ultimately, it is evident from the study that the destruction of the Atiwa forest reserve for the purpose of bauxite mining will widely hinder the country’s achievement of the SDGs. Also, the study found out that residents will continue to exploit forest resources if the core concerns of institutional deficiencies and rural poverty are not addressed. To curb this situation, there should be sustainable, regulated, and authorized harvesting of NTFPs/NWFPs, community/user empowerment, sectoral education and training programmes, etc. Even though these are common solutions, the study found them extremely rare in the study area.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0001.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: boreal forest; forest fire; ENSO; Altai Mountain
Online: 1 August 2020 (16:18:27 CEST)
Warming-induced drought stress and El Nino associated summer precipitation failure are responsible for increased forest fire intensities of tropical and temperate forests in Asia and Australia. However, both effects are unclear for boreal forests, the largest biome and carbon stock over land. Here we combined fire frequency, burned area and climate data in the Altai boreal forests, the southmost extension of Siberia boreal forest into China, and explored their link with ENSO (El Nino and South Oscillation). Surprisingly, both summer drought severity and fire occurrence have shown significant (P<0.05) teleconnections with La Nina events of the previous year, and therefore provide an important reference for forest fire prediction and prevention in Altai. Despite a significant warming trend, the increased moisture over Altai has largely offset the effect of warming-induced drought stress, and lead to an insignificant fire frequency trend in the last decades, and largely reduced burned area since the 1980s. The reduced burned area could also benefit from the fire suppression efforts and greatly increased investment in fire prevention since 1987.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0438.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: forest fires; forest fires policy; social media; Indonesia
Online: 23 August 2021 (13:17:01 CEST)
Early detection that results in early warning of forest fires occurrences in Indonesia, which are strongly related to land management practices (including peatlands), is necessary to mitigate land and forest fires in Indonesia. Riau has been chosen in this study because of its vulnerability to forest fires. The remoteness of this region is one reason for developing alternative warning tools using meteorological and social media information. This study identified tweets related to fires using carefully selected keywords, geoparsed to select messages relevant to fire occurrences, and binned within several Indonesian sub-regions in Riau Province. Content analysis was performed for 31 related online local newspapers. Assessment to study the correlation between meteorological and Twitter information with the forest fires was conducted. Existing approaches that the BMKG and other Indonesian agencies use to detect fire activities are reviewed, and a novel approach based on crowdsourcing of tweets is proposed. The results show a correlation between meteorological information and Twitter activity with satellites derived hotspot information. The policy implications of these results suggest that information should be included in the fire management system in Indonesia to support fire early detection as part of fire disaster mitigation efforts.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0261.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: Deforestation; Forest Degradation; Forest restoration; Livelihood; Bonn challenge
Online: 9 April 2021 (13:28:08 CEST)
Deforestation and forest degradation mostly caused by human interventions affects the capacity of forest ecosystem to provide ecosystem services and livelihood benefits. Forest Land Restoration (FLR) is an emerging concept which focuses on the improvement of ecosystem as well as livelihood of the people at the landscape level. Nepal has successfully recovered degraded forest land mainly from the hilly region through forest restoration initiatives especially community based forestry. However, the Terai region is still experiencing deforestation and forest degradation. This study navigated the gaps related to forest restoration in the existing policies and practices and revealed that the persistence of deforestation and forest degradation in Terai is a result of a complex socio-economic structure, limitation of government to implement appropriate management modality, unplanned infrastructure, and urban development. We suggest that forest restoration should focus on ecological and social wellbeing pathways at the landscape level, to reverse the trend of deforestation and forest degradation in the Terai regions of Nepal. The study provides a critical insight to the policy makers and practitioners of Nepal and other countries (with similar context) who are engaged in forest/ecosystem restoration enterprise.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0360.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Landsat; MODIS; change detection; forest disturbance; forest health
Online: 25 May 2018 (10:48:32 CEST)
The Operational Remote Sensing (ORS) program leverages Landsat and MODIS data to detect forest disturbances across the conterminous United States (CONUS). The ORS program was initiated in 2014 as a collaboration between the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service Geospatial Technology and Applications Center (GTAC) and the Forest Health Assessment and Applied Sciences Team (FHAAST). The goal of the ORS program is to supplement the Insect and Disease Survey (IDS) and MODIS Real-Time Forest Disturbance (RTFD) programs with imagery-derived forest disturbance data that can be used to augment traditional IDS data. We developed three algorithms and produced ORS forest change products using both Landsat and MODIS data. These were assessed over Southern New England and the Rio Grande National Forest. Reference data were acquired using TimeSync to conduct an independent accuracy assessment of IDS, RTFD, and ORS products. Overall accuracy for all products ranged from 77.64% to 93.51% (kappa 0.09–0.59) in the Southern New England study area and 59.57% to 79.57% (kappa 0.09–0.45) in the Rio Grande National Forest study area. In general, ORS products met or exceeded the overall accuracy and kappa of IDS and RTFD products. This demonstrates the current implementation of ORS is sufficient to provide data to augment IDS data.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0464.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: picoides dorsalis; old-growth forest; forest management; conservation; protected areas; boreal forest; clear-cutting
Online: 18 December 2020 (12:03:01 CET)
The southern extent of the boreal forest in North America has experienced intensive human disturbance in the past decades. Among these, forest harvesting leads to the substantial loss of late-successional stands that include key habitat attributes for several avian species. The American Three-toed Woodpecker, Picoides dorsalis, is associated with continuous old spruce forests in the eastern part of its range. In this study, we assess the influence of habitat characteristics at different scales on the occupancy of American Three-toed Woodpecker in a heavily managed boreal landscape of northeastern Canada, and we inferred species occupancy at the regional scale. We conducted 185 playback stations over two breeding seasons and modelled the occupancy of the species while taking into account the probability of detection. American Three-toed Woodpecker occupancy was lower in stands with large areas recently clear-cut, and higher in landscapes with large extents of old-growth forest dominated by black spruce. At the regional scale, areas with high probability of occupancy were scarce and mostly within protected areas. Habitat requirements of the American Three-toed Woodpecker during the breeding season, coupled with over-all low occupancy rate in our study area, challenge its long-term sustainability in such heavily managed landscapes. Additionally, the scarcity of areas of high probability of occupancy in the region suggest that the ecological role of old forest outside protected areas could be compromised.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1826.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: Forest Ecosystem Management Decision Support System; Rule-Based System; Forest Planning; Harvest Scheduling; Forest optimization
Online: 26 May 2023 (03:23:19 CEST)
Linear programming formulations of forest ecosystem management (FEM) problems proposed in the 60s have been adapted and improved upon over the years. Generating management alternatives for forest management planning is a key step in building these models. Global forests are diverse, and a variety of models have been developed to simulate management alternatives. Climate change has made forest management calculations even more complex, requiring flexibility, diverse parameters, models, and methods. Despite this complexity, consistent concepts can be applied in developing management alternatives for forest management planning. This work describes iGen, a flexible forest prescription generator that applies the AI technique Rule-Based System (AI-RBS). iGen projects the state and associated inputs and outputs for a set of management units using rules from its knowledge base. An Inference Engine uses the rules to simulate a set of prescriptions in a tree-like graph structure. Without needing IT specialists, forest managers can describe the potential development of their forest through variables, rules, formulas, functions, and procedures. A key feature of iGen is that it is not limited to, adapted to, or focused on any specific region, landscape, forest condition, projection method, or yield function. Instead, it aims to maximize generality, enabling it to address a broad range of FEM problems. This article introduces iGen, explaining its concepts, structure, and algorithms through two FEM problems: natural regeneration with shelterwood harvests and plantation/coppice. For data and iGen source programs, visit github.com/…/iGen.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0198.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: deforestation; forest degradation; forest reference level; forest reference emission level; REDD+; intensity analysis; GHG; Togo
Online: 14 May 2018 (12:57:50 CEST)
Accurate forest reference and emission level (FRL, FREL) with related policies and regulations are the key determinants in establishing sustainable forest ecosystem management programmes (e.g. REDD+). This fundamental is for promoting and sustaining climate smart agricultural practices in a changing climate. With the aim to deliver better knowledge to the scientific community and policy makers on regulations and existing tools for more rigorous scientific communication when it comes to FRL and FREL accountability and policies. Thus, this review investigates forest in the changing climate and policies and underlines the performance of land use transition and intensity analysis towards deforestation with some key examples and achievements (e.g. Togo). Simply put, (i) forest as break of greenhouse gas (GHGs) and ecosystem regulator, (ii) policies and REDD+ actions, (iii) potential drivers and (iv) transition and intensity analysis approach for their accountability are discussed. In sum, impressive studies, policies and regulations are under initiations and implementations regarding the role, place and evaluation of forest losses and its ecosystem functions and services. However, there are still some gaps when it comes to: the choice of the evaluation methods in the real context of a specific ecosystem as well as the firm implementations of formulating policies in developing countries. This paper concludes with some policy measures for forest sustainability, carbon enhancement and accountability.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0031.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: forestry; forest management; forest products; land-use; West Africa.
Online: 5 January 2022 (10:43:27 CET)
According to this study, approximately half of Africa's forests are utilized primarily or partially for the production of wood and non-wood commodities. Aims to evaluate Africa's forestry and forest products, namely Wood Forest Products (WFPs) and Non-wood Forest Products (NWFPs) in the sixteen (16) West African countries. While adhering to the following guidelines: wood extraction and preparation, analyzing wood primarily used as an energy source in Africa, identifying non-wood forest products in Africa, the state of export, trade, and customs procedures in West Africa, and examining the role of forests and forest stakeholders in Africa's low-carbon economy transition. An exploratory literature review of selected wood forest products and non-wood forest products (plants and animals) in West Africa identifying the country, the natural land area with the natural habitat issues of the forest, the species most harvested and traded in the West African sub-region. The study reemphasized some government legislation, policies, and market trade failures and limitations while also stating that trees may help in the low-carbon revolution through interventions aimed at maintaining, improving, and restoring natural capital have demonstrated that high environmental requirements of sustainable forest management (SFM) may be met in both natural and planted forests. The study identified a systematic assessment of the most common forest products (wood and non-wood forest products) considering the available data on the national forest reserves of the selected countries in West Africa. The study also revealed the need for biodiversity conservation of the available forest reserves to help mitigate the impact of global warming targeting the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 13- Climate Action. Which is focused on integrating climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning signs into the national policies, improving forest planning and management education, awareness-raising, and institutional capacity within the sub-region.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0173.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: fire risk; forest fire; ecohydrology; Eucalyptus forest; temperate rainforest
Online: 4 March 2021 (18:17:00 CET)
Fire risk can be defined as the probability that a fire will spread. Reliable monitoring of fire risk is essential for effective landscape management. Compilation of fire risk records enable identification of seasonal and inter-annual patterns and provide a baseline to evaluate the trajectories in response to climate change. Typically, fire risk is estimated from meteorological data. In regions with sparse meteorological station coverage environmental proxies provide important additional data stream for estimating past and current fire risk. Here we use a 60-year record of daily flows from two rivers (Franklin and Davey) in the remote Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) to characterize seasonal patterns in fire risk in temperate Eucalyptus and rainforests. We show that river flows are strongly related to landscape soil moisture estimates derived from down-scaled re-analysis of meteorological data available since 1990. To identify river flow thresholds where forests are likely to burn, we relate river flows to known forest fires that have occurred in the previously defined ecohydrological domains that surround the Franklin and Davey catchments. Our analysis shows that the fire season in the TWWHA is centered on February (70% of all years below the median threshold), with shoulders on December-January and March. Since 1954 forest fire can occur in at least one month for all but four summers in the ecohydrological domain that includes the Franklin catchment, and since 1964 fire fires could occur in at least one month in every summer in the ecohydrological domain that includes the Davey catchment. Our analysis shows that mangers can use river flows as a simple index that provide a landscape-scale forest fire risk in the TWWHA.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0339.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Remote Sensing Keywords: ALS; forest ecology; forest structure; NEON; macrosystems biology; TLS
Online: 23 March 2020 (06:42:29 CET)
Structural diversity is a key feature of forest ecosystems that influences ecosystem functions from local to macroscales. The ability to measure structural diversity in forests with varying ecological composition and management history can improve the understanding of linkages between forest structure and ecosystem functioning. Terrestrial LiDAR has often been used to provide a detailed characterization of structural diversity at local scales, but it is largely unknown whether these same structural features are detectable using aerial LiDAR data that are available across larger spatial scales. We used univariate and multivariate analyses to quantify cross-compatibility of structural diversity metrics from terrestrial versus aerial LiDAR in seven National Ecological Observatory Network sites across the eastern USA. We found strong univariate agreement between terrestrial and aerial LiDAR metrics of canopy height, openness, internal heterogeneity, and leaf area, but found marginal agreement between metrics that describe heterogeneity of the outer most layer of the canopy. Terrestrial and aerial LiDAR both demonstrated the ability to distinguish forest sites from structural diversity metrics in multivariate space, but terrestrial LiDAR was able to resolve finer-scale detail within sites. Our findings indicate that aerial LiDAR can be of use in quantifying broad-scale variation in structural diversity across macroscales.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0082.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: ecology; disturbance; forest ecosystems; lidar; disturbance detection; forest structure
Online: 8 November 2019 (03:31:45 CET)
The study of vegetation community and structural change has been central to ecology for over a century, yet how disturbances reshape the physical structure of forest canopies remains relatively unknown. Moderate severity disturbance including fire, ice storms, insect and pathogen outbreaks, affects different canopy strata and plant species, which may give rise to variable structural outcomes and ecological consequences. Terrestrial lidar (light detection and ranging) offers an unprecedented view of the interior arrangement and distribution of canopy elements, permitting the derivation of multidimensional measures of canopy structure that describe several canopy structural traits with known linkages to ecosystem functioning. We used lidar-derived canopy structural measured within a machine learning framework to detect and differentiate among various disturbance agents, including moderate severity fire, ice storm damage, age-related senescence, hemlock woolly adelgid, beech bark disease, and chronic acidification. We found that disturbance agents such as fire and ice storms primarily affected the amount and position of vegetation within canopies, while acidification, pathogen and insect infestation, and senescence altered canopy arrangement and complexity. Only two of the six disturbance agents significantly reduced leaf area, indicating that this commonly quantified canopy feature is insufficient to characterize many moderate severity disturbances. Rather, measures of canopy structure, including those that describe multidimensional change, are needed to characterize disturbance at moderate severities because structural changes from these events are spatially and quantitatively variable. Our findings suggest that standard disturbance detection methods, such as optical based remote sensing platforms, may currently be limited in their ability to detect, differentiate, and characterize disturbance. Further, we conclude that a more broadly inclusive definition of ecological disturbance that incorporates multiple aspects of canopy structure change will improve the modeling, detection, and prediction of functional implications of moderate severity disturbance.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0336.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Remote Sensing Keywords: forest disturbance; deforestation; sustainability; fractal analysis; entropy; forest management.
Online: 18 July 2018 (15:36:57 CEST)
Monitoring the ratio of forested and deforested areas plays a key role in studying the dynamics of forest areas. Appropriate mapping of anthropogenic forest disturbances is particularly important in the context of sustainable forest management. It provides ecological, social and economic information which is crucial for forest policymakers. In the last two decades, the forest areas of the Moldo-Transylvanian Carpathians have been subject to a high rate of deforestation which at present state lacks proper quantification. We present a novel methodology for monitoring the forest disturbance dynamics in Moldo-Transylvanian Carpathians by use of fractal analysis including entropy, Fractal Fragmentation Index (FFI) and Tug-of-War lacunarity (Λ_(T-o-W)). This was necessary to quantify and identify the disorder (entropy), the fragmentation (FFI) and heterogeneity of the spatial distribution (Λ_(T-o-W)) patterns. Based on satellite images of the forest areas (annually 2000-2014), increased fragmentation was demonstrated by FFI increase, a measure of the degree of disorder (entropy) and heterogeneity (lacunarity). Our results revealed that textural and fractal analysis can be an effective tool for the extraction of quantitative information about the spatiotemporal dynamics of forest disturbance. The methods developed, and results obtained are a complementary approach to forest disturbance mapping (based on traditional image classification) for future development and adaptation of forestry management policies to ensure a sustainable management and exploitation of forest areas.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0750.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Remote Sensing Keywords: forest model; radiative transfer; vegetation indices; individual based; forest reflectance
Online: 12 June 2023 (03:41:12 CEST)
To understand forest dynamics under today’s changing environmental conditions, it is important to analyze the state of forests at large scales. Forest inventories are not available for all regions, so it is important to use other additional sources of information, e.g. remote sensing observations. Increasingly, remotely sensed data based on optical instruments and airborne LIDAR are becoming widely available for forests. There is great potential in analyzing these measurements and gaining an understanding of forests state. In this work, we combine the new generation radiative transfer model mScope with the individual-based forest model FORMIND to generate reflectance spectra for forests. Combining the two models allows us to account for species diversity at different height layers in the forest. We compare the generated reflectances for forest stands in Finland, in the region of North Karelia, with Sentinel-2 measurements. We investigate which level of forest representation gives the best results. For the majority of the forest stands, we generated good reflectances with all levels forest representation compared to the measured reflectance. Good correlations were also found for the vegetation indices (especially NDVI with R²=0.62). This work provides a forward modelling tool for relating forest reflectance to forest characteristics. With this tool it is possible to generate a large set of forest stands with corresponding reflectances. This opens the possibility to understand how reflectance is related to succession and different forest conditions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0392.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: forest management methods; adaptive forest management; climate change; ecological norm
Online: 27 July 2022 (04:40:00 CEST)
The compelling effects of climate change on forests may have been underestimated in the past few decades in practical forestry. Although the first attempts to draw attention to this complex problem appeared almost half a century ago, the debate has been conceptual rather than experimental and applicative. At first glance, the con-cerns were mainly related to sustainable forest management (SFM) issues, which obviously needed attention. Over time, the effects of climate change have been mainly considered in the context of the SFM; they started from various and somewhat different scales and goals. Over time, more research and awareness of the im-portance of SFM under the pressure of climate change have led to the development of a clearer field that can be defined as ‘adaptive forest management’ - to climate change. One of the characteristics of this discipline is to be featured by the absence of univocal methods and / or objectives to be pursued but to identify, verify, and adapt methods to the various climatic and forest types and conditions found in the field. Therefore, this work shows some phases of forest planning and management concepts and criteria over time and recalls some innovative and / or adaptive methods related to the approach to forest planning and management under climate change
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0051.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: Forestry; Forest industries; forest products trade; modeling; Cobweb; COVID-19
Online: 5 May 2021 (12:34:06 CEST)
The GFPMX projects forest area and stock, consumption, production, imports, exports, and prices of industrial roundwood, fuelwood, sawnwood, wood-based panels, wood-pulp, and paper and paperboard, in 180 countries, and currently from 2018 to 2070. The core principle of the model is the Cobweb theorem, according to which markets are not necessarily in equilibrium, but take some time to adjust to shocks, such as demand shifts, leading to oscillatory dynamics of prices and quantities. The paper presents the model structure and the estimation of its parameters from international statistics on production, trade, forest area, and forest stock. This is followed by an application of the GFPMX to the impact on the global forest sector of the economic recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0191.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: forest types; forest mapping; Sentinel-2; SAR; LiDAR; canopy metrics
Online: 16 July 2019 (08:12:02 CEST)
Indigenous forests cover 24% of New Zealand and provide valuable ecosystem services. However, a national map of forest types, that is, physiognomic types, which would benefit conservation management, does not currently exist at an appropriate level of detail. While traditional forest classification approaches from remote sensing data are based on spectral information alone, the joint use of space-based optical imagery and structural information from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and canopy metrics from air-borne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) facilitates more detailed and accurate classifications of forest structure. We present a support vector machine (SVM) classification using data from ESA’s Sentinel-1 and 2 missions, ALOS PALSAR, and airborne LiDAR to produce a regional map of physiognomic types of indigenous forest in New Zealand. A five-fold cross-validation of ground data showed that the highest classification accuracy of 80.9% is achieved for bands 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 11, and 12 from Sentinel-2, the ratio of bands VH and VV from Sentinel-1, HH from PALSAR, and mean canopy height and 97th percentile canopy height from LiDAR. The classification based on the optical bands alone was 73.1% accurate and the addition of structural metrics from SAR and LiDAR increased accuracy by 7.8%. The classification accuracy is sufficient for many management applications for indigenous forest in New Zealand, including biodiversity management, carbon inventory, pest control, ungulate management, and disease management. National application of the method will be possible in several years, once national LiDAR coverage is achieved, and a national canopy height model is available.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201904.0078.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: forest recreation; forest landscape; landscape image; landscape image sketching technique
Online: 8 April 2019 (09:08:30 CEST)
The landscape image is the bridge of communication between people and forests, and the cut point of the supply-side reform of forest tourism products. The research collected 140 copies in total of forest landscape image drawings from non-art-major graduate students by randomly sampling during April and May, 2018, and constructed the landscape image conceptual model of forest by utilizing the landscape image sketching technique. The results showed that (1) In regard to linguistic knowledge, the natural landscape elements for instance, herbaceous plants, terrains, creatures, water and sky, and the broad-leaf forest objectively reflected not only the real forest landscape and the local native vegetation, but the variation of forest species with little attention. (2) On the perspective of spatial view, the sideways view indicated that graduate students preferred to watch forests at a moderate distance externally and few looked at forests internally. (3) In the view of self-orientation, the objective landscape indicated that graduate students preferred to demonstrate forest landscapes, they did not realize to interact with the environment. (4) On the aspect of social meaning, the scenic view and forest structure stated that graduate students preferred rural forest landscapes, not significantly for other special interests for forest. In conclusions, (1) the forest is thought to be a feature of people's life world and of rural scenes around homes, not an objective perception of the forest. (2) The forest is regarded as an important habitat for animals and a limited resource for people's life, production and recreation needs, into which people will go only to meet such needs. (3) The natural values of forests, like the ecology and aesthetics, etc. get more attention, while the social values of forests, like the life, production and culture receives rather low attention.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0382.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: forest road surface; forest road damage; vibration measurements; vibration software
Online: 19 September 2018 (10:43:25 CEST)
Regarding number of vehicles, forest roads are characterized by low traffic intensity, but on the other hand great values of ground pressure between wheels of timber truck units and forest road surface occur, often with pressures values above 80 kN which additionally causes damage of the upper and lower forest road layer. There are currently several methods for assessing condition of a forest road surface which are mainly used for assessing state of public roads, but can be used in forestry as well. Assessing condition of forest road surface was done by measuring vibrations with a specially developed software for Android OS installed on a Huawei MediaPad 7 Lite. Software measured vibrations in all three axes, coordinates of device, speed of the vehicle and time. Aim of this research was to determine accuracy of collected data so that this method can be used for scientific and practical purposes. Research was carried out on the segment of a forest road during driving a vehicle equipped with a measuring device. Tests were performed in both driving direction of the forest road segment with different measuring frequencies, tyre inflation pressures and driving speeds. Values of vibrations were classified and translated on a map of forest road together with devices’ measured coordinates. Vibration values were compared with places of recorded forest road surface damages. Research results show no significant difference in vibration values between 1 Hz and 10 Hz of measurement frequencies. Based on the analysis of collected data and obtained results, it is clear that it is possible to assess the condition of a forest road surface by measuring vibrations. The greatest values of vibrations were recorded on the most damaged parts of the forest road. Vibrations do not depend on tyre inflation pressure, but ranges of vibrations are decreasing with decreasing driving speed. Accuracy of collected data depends on GPS signal quality, so it is recommended that each segment of forest road is recorded twice so that location of damages on forest road can be confirmed with certainty.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201706.0100.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: biodiversity; climate change; climate refugia; forest conservation policies; forest conversion
Online: 3 August 2017 (06:11:35 CEST)
A scenario-based approach to the impacts of land use and climate change can help in identifying future policy directions. This study models the impacts of different land use and climate change scenarios on the forest ecosystems of South Korea to identify national-scale forest policy options. Climatically suitable forest areas for 1,031 climate vulnerable plant species were identified for current time and for 2050. We calculated change in species richness under four climate projections. We built forest conversion models and created four 2050 forest scenarios: (1) forest loss continues at current rates; (2) similar loss, but with conservation in areas with suitable future climates; (3) a reduction of loss by 50%; and (4) a combination of preservation and overall reduction of loss by 50%. We then crossed the forest conversion models with the climate-driven change in species richness, and categorized current forest areas into four classes to offer forest policy alternatives. By deploying the scenarios which preserve climatically suitable forests, the average species richness where forests converting to other land uses reduced significantly. We suggest conserving forests with suitable climates for biodiversity conservation and the establishment of forest plantations targeted to areas where species richness will decline based on our results.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0418.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: tree vigor; ponderosa pine; remote sensing; aerial imagery; dry pine forest; fuel treatments; forest restoration; random forest
Online: 16 March 2021 (11:58:20 CET)
Ponderosa pine is an integral part of the forested landscape in the western US; it is the dominant tree species on landscapes that provide critical ecosystem services. Moderate drought tolerance allows it to occupy the transition zone between forests and open woodlands and grasslands. Increases in stand density resulting from wildfire suppression, combined with lengthening, intensifying and more frequent droughts have resulted in reduced tree vigor and stand health in dry ponderosa pine throughout its range. To address a management need for efficient landscape-level surveys of forest health, we used Random Forests to develop an object-oriented classification of individual tree crowns (ITCs) into vigor classes using existing, agency acquired 4-band aerial imagery. Classes of tree vigor were based on quantitative physiological and morphological attributes established in a previous study. We applied our model across a landscape dominated by ponderosa pine with a variety of forest treatments to assess their impacts on tree vigor and stand health. We found that stands that were both thinned and burned had the lowest proportion of low vigor ITCs, and that stands treated before the 2014-2016 drought had lower proportions of low vigor ITCs than stands treated more recently (2016). Upland stands had significantly higher proportions of low vigor trees than lowland stands. Maps identifying the low vigor ITCs would assist managers in identifying priority stands for treatment and marking trees for harvest or retention. These maps can be created using already available imagery and GIS software.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0235.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: forest resources; forest and tree species distribution; machine learning; multi-sensor data fusion; National Forest Inventory data
Online: 12 January 2021 (17:35:56 CET)
Mapping forest extent and forest cover classification are important for the assessment of forest resources in socio-economic as well as ecological terms. Novel developments in the availability of remotely sensed data, computational resources, and advances in areas of statistical learning have enabled fusion of multi-sensor data, often yielding superior classification results. Most former studies of nemoral forests fusing multi-sensor and multi-temporal data have been limited in spatial extent and typically to a simple classification of landscapes into major land cover classes. We hypothesize that multi-temporal, multi-censor data will have a specific strength in further classification of nemoral forest landscapes owing to the distinct seasonal patterns of the phenology of broadleaves. This study aimed to classify the Danish landscape into forest/non-forest and further into forest types (broadleaved/coniferous) and species groups, using a cloud-based approach based on multi-temporal Sentinel 1 and 2 data and machine learning (random forest) trained with National Forest Inventory (NFI) data. Mapping of non-forest and forest resulted in producer accuracies of 99% and 90 %, respectively. The mapping of forest types (broadleaf and conifer) within the forested area resulted in producer accuracies of 95% for conifer and 96% for broadleaf forest. Tree species groups were classified with producer accuracies ranging 34-74%. Species groups with coniferous species were the least confused whereas the broadleaf groups, especially Oak, had higher error rates. The results are applied in Danish National accounting of greenhouse gas emissions from forests, resource assessment and assessment of forest biodiversity potentials.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0246.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: bioactive compounds; forest air; forest bathing; forest therapy; hiking trails; human health; monoterpenes; stress; volatile organic compounds
Online: 21 November 2019 (04:19:17 CET)
Forest healing effects are increasingly valued for their contribution to human psychological and physiological health, motivating further advances aimed at improving the knowledge of the relevant forest resources. Biogenic volatile organic compounds, emitted by the plants and accumulating in the forest atmosphere, are essential contributors to the forest healing effects, and represent the focus of this study. Using a photoionization detector, we investigated the high frequency variability, in time and space, of the concentration of total volatile organic compounds, on a hilly site, as well as along forest paths and long hiking trails on Italian northern Apennines. The scale of concentration variability was found to be comparable to absolute concentration levels, within time scales of less than one hour, and spatial scales of several hundred meters. During daylight hours, the concentration peaked from noon to early afternoon, followed by early morning, with lowest levels in late afternoon. Based on a conceptual model, these results were related to meteorological variables, including the atmospheric vertical stability profile. Moreover, preliminary evidence pointed to higher concentration of volatile organic compounds in forests dominated by conifer trees, in comparison with pure beech forests.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0841.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Remote Sensing Keywords: land cover; sentinel-2 images; random forest; boreal forest; alpine tundra
Online: 12 July 2023 (13:39:19 CEST)
A land cover map of two arctic catchments, nearby the Abisko Scientific Research Station, was obtained from a classification of a Sentinel-2 satellite image and a ground survey performed in July 2022. The two contiguous catchments, Miellajokka and Stordalen, are covered by various ecotypes, from boreal forest to alpine tundra and peatland. The random forests algorithm correctly identified 88% of polygon pixels reserved for testing. The developed workflow relied solely on open source software and acquired ground observations. Space organization was directed by the altitude as demonstrated by the intersection of the land cover with the topography. Comparison between this new land cover map and previous ones based on data acquired between 2008 and 2011 shows some trends of vegetation cover evolution in response to climate change in the considered area.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0061.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Plant Sciences Keywords: plant functional traits; forest gaps; colonizing plants; Dinaric fir-beech forest
Online: 3 July 2023 (11:29:23 CEST)
In the research, we studied the typical functional plant traits and life forms of plants that colonize forest gaps. In the research, we analysed functional plant traits of plant species growing on five forest gaps in the Dinaric fir-beech forest in Slovenia. The forest gaps were created as a result of natural disturbances. We selected 18 functional plant traits, whose values were obtained from the BiolFlor database. With the help of the JUICE program, we calculated the frequency of its occurrence on individual forest gap for each functional plant trait. Then we calculated Sperman's correlation coefficient at p<0.05, between the occurrence of individual functional plant traits and single forest gap. We found out that forest gaps are mainly colonized by perennials and herbaceous perennials and hamephytes. These are plant species that begin to flower in June and July, bloom for two or three months and are pollinated by insects, mainly hover flys and wild bees. Characteristic of colonizing plant species is also that, in addition to reproducing by seeds and spores, they also reproduce vegetatively. Besides that, birds and forest mammals are the vectors of fruit and seed dispersal of colonizing plant species.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0653.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Remote Sensing Keywords: land cover; sentinel-2 images; random forest; boreal forest; alpine tundra
Online: 20 April 2023 (10:51:55 CEST)
A land cover map of two arctic catchments, nearby the Abisko Scientific Research Station, was obtained from a classification of a Sentinel-2 satellite image and a ground survey performed in July 2022. The two contiguous catchments, Miellajokka and Stordalen, are covered by various ecotypes, from boreal forest to alpine tundra and peatland. The Random Forest algorithm correctly identified 83% of polygon pixels reserved for testing. The developed workflow relied solely on open source software and acquired ground observations. Space organization was directed by the altitude as shown by the intersection of the land cover with the topography. Comparison between this new land cover map and previous ones based on data acquired between 2008 and 2011 demonstrates some trends of vegetation cover evolution in response to climate change in the considered area. The potential applications in terms of permafrost modeling (hiperborea.omp.eu) are finally discussed.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0287.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: agroforestry activities; anthropogenic global warming; conservation policies; forest management; forest products
Online: 23 May 2022 (06:09:21 CEST)
Indigenous trees have great economic potential and ecological benefits for enhancing environmental prosperity, mostly in forestry and the forest products sector in the developing countries of Sub-Sahara Africa. The baobab (Adansonia Digitata L.) is known as the African green jewel in both fruit production and medicinal benefits also remarkable for so many forest products exported across the world. Research conducted in the different Sub-Saharan African sub-regions has shown this iconic tree with a majestic outlook has a priority tree species for local and foreign use and conservation. However, data on the benefits and conservation of baobab trees in Africa, especially the Sub-Saharan countries is limited. This study aimed to assess the predominant geo-graphical distribution of the tree, the indigenous (cultural, socio-economic, ecological, and medical/health) benefits, and the conservation strategies of the baobab resources in Sub-Saharan Africa. The baobab tree's succulent roots, bulbs, branches, fruit, pods, foliage, and petals are all nourishing. Baobab parts have been used for diverse reasons in Africa, some countries of Asia, and Europe for the past two centuries due to their medicinal well-being properties. In addition, the medicinal applications of the plant parts are discussed. Many authors have highlighted the baobab tree as one of the most important trees to be saved and localized in Africa because of its high indigenous usage and commercial worth. Anthropogenic global warming may induce a drop in baobab species, which could inflict negative impacts on African economies. As a result, it's critical to research the species' likely future distribution and develop conservation policies. Literature was consulted for records and availability of this tree in the Western, Central, Eastern, and Southern African species records and it was also analyzed what percentage of the current environment would be appropriate in the future. Recent studies suggested that farmers and the locals be provided free seeds and seedlings to encourage biological rejuvenation to maximize the plant's potential, people should be informed about the additional uses of baobab that have been discovered. Individuals must also be educated on simple sustainable agroforestry activities that can be performed in plant and forest management.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0300.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: forest change; remote sensing; natural phenomena; growth; tree health; forest operations
Online: 21 February 2020 (02:53:34 CET)
In this review, we summarize the current state-of-the-art in the utilization of close-range sensing in forest monitoring. We include technologies, such as terrestrial and mobile laser scanning as well as unmanned aerial vehicles, which are mainly used for collecting detailed information from single trees, forest patches or small forested landscapes. Based on the current published scientific literature, the capacity to characterize changes in forest ecosystems using close-range sensing has clearly been recognized. Forest growth has been the most investigated cause for changes and terrestrial laser scanner the most applied sensor for capturing forest structural changes. Unmanned aerial vehicles, on the other hand, have been used to acquire aerial imagery for detecting tree height growth and monitoring forest health. Mobile laser scanning has not yet been used in forest change monitoring except for a few early investigations. Considering the length of the forest growth process, investigated time spans have been rather short, less than 10 years. In addition, data from only two time points have been used in many of the studies, which has further been limiting the capability of understanding dynamics related to forest growth. In general, method development and quantification of changes have been the main interests so far regardless of the driver of change. This shows that the close-range remote sensing community has just started to explore the time dimension and its possibilities for forest characterization.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201612.0020.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: natural secondary forest; planted forest; vegetation biomass carbon; soil organic carbon
Online: 3 December 2016 (09:25:48 CET)
Forest ecosystems make a greater contribution to carbon (C) stocks than any other terrestrial ecosystem. To understand the role of regional forest ecosystems in global climate change and carbon exchange, forest C stock and its spatial distribution within the small (2,300 km2) Liuxihe River basin were analyzed to determine the different contributors to the C stock. Forest C stocks were quantified by measuring the biomass of trees, understory vegetation, litter and roots, as well as soil organic C, using data from field samples and laboratory experiments. The results showed that forests stored 38.04 Tg C in the entire basin, with secondary and planted forests accounting for 89.82% and 10.18%, respectively, of the stored C. Five types of forests, a subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest, a subtropical coniferous and broad-leaved mixed forest, a subtropical coniferous forest, a timber forest, and a non-wood forest, stored 257.55 ± 15.01, 218.92 ± 9.59, 195.24 ± 18.29, 177.42 ± 17.55, and 117.86 ± 6.04 Mg C ha−1, respectively. In the forest ecosystem C stocks of the basin, soils averagely contribute about 73.78%, not including root underground biomass. It provides a comprehensive method for forest ecosystem carbon investigation and forest management in small basin scale.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1630.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning Keywords: Random Forest; Loan Risk
Online: 22 June 2023 (12:50:50 CEST)
As people's consumption habits change, loan plays a crucial role in our modern society. It provides individuals who do not have sufficient money with funds to purchase residential property or start a business. However, for avoiding unpleasant loan defaults, all financial institutions will first assess the borrower's risk index. By predicting the default risk of the borrower to decide whether to lend money. Machine learning algorithms, including random forest, linear regression and so on, have been benefited most of the real-world applications. With the development of machine learning methods, this paper, based on the personal history loan data of an institution studies the loan default risk, and uses the random forest classification model to predict the possibility of loan default. The result showed that the accuracy of this method was 85.62%, which show its application ability of real-world loan prediction and benefits the manager to decide the degree of risk for loan grant.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1222.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: urbanization; soil microbial community; beech forest; forest characteristics; trophic groups; fungal guilds
Online: 19 September 2023 (03:50:33 CEST)
The functioning of forest ecosystems depends on the taxonomic and ecological diversity of soil fungi. Urbanization is increasing worldwide and is regarded a major driver of environmental change altering local species assemblages in urban forest. We investigated whether the degree of urbanization and local forest characteristics affect the soil fungal community in 20 beech forests located along a rural–urban gradient in the city of Basel and its suburbs (Switzerland). We analyzed their soil fungal communities by DNA metabarcoding of the rDNA ITS2 region and related these data to local forest vegetation characteristics and soil properties. The number of fungal OTUs in the 20 forests examined ranged from 170 to 303. Richness, diversity and evenness of fungal OTUs were all significantly affected by the degree of urbanization, but in different ways. OTU richness was highest in forests in areas with a low degree of urbanization and lowest in forests in rural areas. In contrast, the diversity of OTUs increased with increasing degree of urbanization. Different fungal phyla and fungal guilds showed distinct patterns in their relative abundance along the rural-urban gradient. The degree of urbanization reduced the relative abundance of symbiotrophic fungi, but increased that of saprotrophic and pathotrophic fungi. Our results show that urbanization alters soil fungal community, which in turn can lead to changes in forest ecosystems.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0151.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Other Keywords: forest landowner; management willingness; forest ecological products; minority regions; Sustainable Livelihoods Framework
Online: 2 June 2023 (08:00:27 CEST)
Forest resources are an important material basis for ecological protection and economic devel-opment, and are responsible for the dual mission of guaranteeing national ecological safety and grain safety. Forest land is an important carrier of forest resources, and forest landowner is a direct component of forest land management. Forest landowners’ willingness to engage in forest man-agement affects whether the important value function of forest resources can be implemented. Are there differences in the willingness and behavior of forest management between ethnic minority foresters and ordinary foresters? How to stimulate the forest management willingness and behavior of forest farmers in ethnic minority areas?These questions will be about the realization of the value of forest resources. Through the analysis of 185 questionnaires in Yunnan Province, this paper clarifies the current situation of forest management of forest farmers in minority areas. Then, using the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework, we select three indicators including the socio-economic at-tributes of individual farmers, the cognition and experience of forest landowners, and policy guidance. And we use the binary logistic regression model to analyze the factors affecting the willingness of forester to participate in forest management. Through the above analysis, we find that: (1) Forest landowners' willingness to engage in forest management in minority regions is relatively high, at 71.98%. (2) Individual farmers’ socioeconomic attributes have the most significant degree of influence on willingness to engage in forest management, while forest landowners' cognitive and related experiences, policy guidance and other related variables influence willingness to engage in forest management at the macro level. (3) Literacy has a significant positive contribution to man-agement intentions, while forest land area, living standard, whether they are compensated by public welfare forest, and whether they participate in the project of returning farmland to forest and grass have a significant negative effect on management intentions. (4) There are significant differences between forest landowners' willingness to engage in forest management and the influencing factors between minority regions and non-minority regions. Finally, we suggest to improve the willingness to engage in forest management and forestry industry development in minority regions through innovative management methods, concentrated and continuous large-scale management, en-couraging capital investment and driving forest landowners to "nearby employment", optimizing the logging quota system and raising the compensation standard for public welfare forests. This study has important practical significance for promoting the realization of forest ecological products value, consolidating the achievement of poverty alleviation in forest areas and realizing rural re-vitalization in China.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0241.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: forest carbon offset scheme, South Korea, economic assessment, forest management, climate change
Online: 11 May 2021 (11:09:29 CEST)
Under the “Korean emission trading system in the forestry sector (KETSF)” initiative, the South Korean government has developed several greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction programs that include forestry activities as the cornerstones of the initiative. Forest management is deemed to be a major strategy to implement KETSF; this has been confirmed by most participants in the program, who have shown their preference for forest management projects as the most effective and encouraging strategy to participate in the KETSF program. For a successful implementation of KETSF projects is essential to explore methods that optimize the positive impacts of such strategies, thereby maximizing the economic returns and carbon stocks that result from the implementation of forest management activities. Thus, this study investigated several value-added KETSF projects in South Korea, which included simulated scenarios under two main forest management strategies: one based on an extension of the rotation age, and a second one based on reforestation with new species. Five forest management scenarios were examined and evaluated in their ability to maximize carbon stocks and economic returns. Based on the results, Scenarios 2 and 4 were identified as the best KETSF projects in terms of carbon stock increments. Additionally, the results indicated that projects including reforestation with new species added more economic value than projects that considered an extension of the rotation age. The study also revealed that KETSF projects generated revenue in both scenarios, by either extending the rotation age or by implementing reforestation with new species.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0022.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: Wildfire; Private Forest; Reforestation; Southeast Germany; Qualitative Study; Pine Monoculture; Mixed Forest
Online: 4 May 2021 (14:13:31 CEST)
Due to climate change, droughts have been occurring more frequently in Germany in recent years. More frequent and prolonged drought affects the health of trees and increases the risk of forest fires. A large-scale forest fire broke out near Treuenbrietzen, Brandenburg, in the summer of 2018 in pine monospecific forests. In addition to evaluating the damage caused, future reforestation is discussed, which is related mainly to the expectations of the forest owners. A telephone survey of seven affected forest owners was conducted using a semi-structured guided interview. The results from our interview demonstrated the support of private forest owners for mixed forests over monospecific pine forests. Most forest owners do not prioritize economic benefit with the forest land as forestry was not the primary source of income. Instead, the ownership of the forest tends to be linked to idealistic, cultural, and family values. The motives for reforestation vary but are often externally influenced. Different goals of forest owners lead to the challenge of finding consensus among them. We conclude that forestry advice by the federal and state governments is essential, especially on how climate change can affect local forests, to sensitize private forest owners to this problem.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201710.0054.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Business And Management Keywords: state ownership; forest management; forest enterprise; public enterprise; cluster analysis; European forestry
Online: 9 October 2017 (17:32:07 CEST)
State Forest Management Organizations (SFMOs) play a crucial role in the European forest sector, managing almost half the forests in the region. SFMOs are often managed for timber production only whereas, being publicly owned, they should play an important role in providing a vast range of public goods (e.g. soil protection, biodiversity conservation). Their management goals depend on the history and current conditions of the forest sector at a national level, as well as different challenges and the potential for development. Although there is a lack of knowledge about the current performance of SFMOs, there have been recent changes to their management goals and practices in response to the new demands expressed by society (e.g. transparency, social inclusion). The main purpose of this study is to analyse the current situation of SFMOs by clustering them according to indicators that reflect three pillars of the common understanding of sustainable forest management (SFM) concept. With the help of Principal Component Analysis (PCA), we grouped countries according to common characteristics of the forest sector at the national level. Results show three main clusters of SFMOs in Europe. The first cluster has rather small but commercially-oriented forestry unit together with other business activities and a strong focus on public services. The second sees itself as the protector of public interest, rather than commercially-oriented organisations. The third is mainly profit-seeking. The existence of diverse SFMO clusters shows the possibility of different approaches for SFM with a focus on different goals (e.g. profit gaining, public service delivery).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0059.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: deciduous forest; female; forest bathing; forest therapy; Positive and Negative Affect Schedule; Profile of Mood States; Restorative Outcome Scale; restoration; Shinrin-Yoku; snow covered forest; Subjective Vitality Scale; winter
Online: 5 August 2019 (08:56:32 CEST)
Forest recreation can be successfully conducted for the purpose of psychological relaxation, as has been proven in previous scientific studies. During the winter in many countries, when snow cover occurs frequently, forest recreation (walking, relaxation, photography, etc.) is common. Nevertheless, whether forest therapy conducted in a forest environment with a snow cover will also have a positive effect on psychological indicators remains unknown. Furthermore, male subjects frequently participate in forest therapy experiments, whereas females are rarely involved. Thus, in this study, the effectuality of forest recreation during winter and with snow cover was tested on 32 young females. For these reasons, the experiment involved 15-minute periods of relaxation in a forest environment or in an urban environment, in addition to a pre-test under indoor conditions. Four psychological questionnaires (POMS, PANAS, ROS, SVS) were administered to participants before and after interventions. Results showed that participants’ levels of negative mood, as measured by different aspects of the POMS questionnaire (tension-anxiety, anger-hostility, depression-dejection, confusion, fatigue), decreased after exposure to the forest environment. In contrast, both tension-anxiety and anger-hostility increased in the urban environment. The indicator of negative affect from the PANAS questionnaire also increased after exposure to the urban environment, whereas the indicator of positive affect based on PANAS was higher in the forest environment than in the urban environment. Restorativeness and subjective vitality exhibited higher values after exposure to the forest environment in comparison to those from the control and pre-test. The changes in these indicators demonstrates that forest recreation in the snow during winter can significantly increase psychological relaxation in young females, as well as showing that recreation can be successfully conducted under these winter conditions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1127.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: traditional knowledge; forest degradation; socio-economic value; non-timber forest products; miombo woodlands
Online: 18 September 2023 (08:52:46 CEST)
The overexploitation of forest resources in the charcoal production basin of the city of Lubum-bashi (DR Congo) is reducing the resilience of miombo woodlands and threatening the survival of the riparian as well as urban human populations that depend on it. We assessed the socio-economic value and availability of plant-based non-timber forest products NTFPs in the rural area of Lubumbashi through ethnobotanical (100 respondents) and socio-economic (90 respondents) interviews, supplemented with floristic inventories, in two village areas selected on the basis of the level of forest degradation. The results show that 60 woody species, including 46 in the degraded forest (Maksem) and 53 in the intact forest (Mwawa), belonging to 22 families are used as sources of NTFPs in both villages. Among these species, 25 are considered priority species. NTFPs are collected for various purposes, including handcrafting, hut building, and traditional medicine. Moreover, the ethnobotanical lists reveal a similarity of almost 75%, indicating that both local communities surveyed use the same species for collecting plant-based NTFPs, despite differences in the level of degradation of the miombo woodlands in the two corresponding study areas. However, the plant-based NTFPs that are collected from miombo woodlands and traded in the urban markets have significant economic value, which ranges from 0.5 to 14.58 USD per kg depending on the species and uses. NTFPs used for handicraft purposes have a higher economic value than those used for other purposes. However, the sustainability of this activity is threatened due to unsustainable harvesting practices that include stem slashing, root digging, and bark peeling of woody species. Consequently, there is a low availability of plant-based NTFPs, particularly in the village area where forest degradation is more advanced. It is imperative that policies for monitoring and regulation of harvesting, and promoting sustainable management of communities’ plant-based NTFPs priority, be undertaken to maintain their resilience.
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: climate-smart forestry; forest resilience; adaptive forest management; climate change mitigation; SFM; bioeconomy
Online: 19 June 2023 (10:52:43 CEST)
This essay review explores the concept of climate-smart forestry as an approach to mitigating and adapting to climate change. It highlights the need for a holistic approach to forestry that considers regional differences and synergies between ecosystem services. The essay discusses various management strategies at different scales, including species selection, mixed species cultivation, and the promotion of the bioeconomy. It also examines the trade-offs and synergies between different forest uses and the effects of forest management on ecosystem services. Furthermore, the review addresses major abiotic and biotic damage risks to forests, such as wildfires, windstorms, and bark beetle attacks, and proposes risk management strategies. Lastly, the review delves into the management of peatland forests, discussing the role of drainage, the impact of ditch network maintenance, and the challenges of peat ash fertilization. Overall, the review provides valuable insights into climate-smart forestry and its potential to contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0099.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: forest experience; open dump; waste
Online: 7 December 2021 (11:30:56 CET)
Forest recreation can be successfully used for the psychological relaxation of respondents and can be used as a remedy for common problems with stress. The special form of forest recreation intended for restoration is forest bathing. These activities might be distracted by some factors, such as viewing buildings in the forest or using a computer in nature, which interrupt psychological relaxation. One factor that might interrupt psychological relaxation is the occurrence of an open dump in the forest during an outdoor experience. To test the hypothesis that an open dump might decrease psychological relaxation, a case study was planned that used a randomized, controlled crossover design. For this purpose, two groups of healthy young adults viewed a control forest or a forest with an open dump in reverse order and filled in psychological questionnaires after each stimulus. A pretest was used. Participants wore oblique eye patches to stop their visual stimulation before the experimental stimulation, and the physical environment was monitored. The results were analyzed using the two-way repeated measures ANOVA. The measured negative psychological indicators significantly increased after viewing the forest with waste, and the five indicators of the Profile of Mood States increased: Tension-Anxiety, Depression-Dejection, Anger-Hostility, Fatigue, and Confusion. In addition, the negative aspect of the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule increased in comparison to the control and pretest. The measured positive indicators significantly decreased after viewing the forest with waste, the positive aspect of the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule decreased, and the Restorative Outcome Scale and Subjective Vitality scores decreased (in comparison to the control and pretest). The occurrence of an open dump in the forest might interrupt a normal restorative experience in the forest by reducing psychological relaxation. Nevertheless, the mechanism of these relevancies is not known, and thus, it will be further investigated. In addition, in a future study, the size of the impact of these open dumps on normal everyday experiences should be investigated. It is proposed that different mechanisms might be responsible for these reactions; however, the aim of this manuscript is to only measure this reaction. The identified psychological reasons for these mechanisms can be assessed in further studies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0355.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Paleontology Keywords: Bovid; forest; habitat; model; Pleistocene
Online: 16 September 2020 (08:33:49 CEST)
The migration routes have facilitated the distribution of mammals from south east Asian mainland to the Sundaland including Java island in the early Pleistocene. One of species that has migrated through that route is antelope-like bovid Duboisia santeng. In the present study, the potential distribution areas and the suitable habitats of D. santeng have been projected and modeled. The modeled habitat was a forest river basin sizing 302.91 Ha in the central of Java island. The model has classified and reconstructed the habitat suitability ranged from low to high back to Pleistocene. The surrounding areas of forest were mostly classified as medium and low related to the limited tree covers. Most suitable habitats were identified in the middle of forest river basin where the tree covers were presented
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0667.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Remote Sensing Keywords: Forest stock volume; Dual Polarization SAR; Polarization modes; Non-growing season; Coniferous planted forest
Online: 11 July 2023 (10:42:19 CEST)
Polarimetric Synthetic Aperture Radar (PolSAR) images with dual polarization modes have great potential to map FSV by excellent penetration capabilities and distinct microwave scattering processes. However, the response of these SAR data to FSV is still uncertain at non-growing season. To further interpret the response of forest FSV to these dual-polarization SAR images, three types of dual polarization SAR images (GF-3, Sentinel-1, and ALOS-2) were initially acquired in coniferous planted forest at non-growing season. Then, sensitivity between FSV and all alternative features extracted from each type of SAR images were analyzed to express the difference of bands and polarization modes in deciduous (Larch) and evergreen (Chinese pine) forests. Finally, mapped FSVs using single and combined dual polarization images were derived by optimal feature sets and four machine learning models, respectively. The combined effects were also analyzed to clarify the response of FSV to dual polarization SAR images with bands and polarization modes at non-growing season. The results demonstrated that the difference of backscattering energy from different sensors is significant in Chinese pine forests, and the difference is gradually reduced in Larch forests. it is also implied that polarization mode is more important than penetration capability in mapping forest FSV in deciduous forest at non-growing season. By comparing the accuracy of mapped FSV using single and combined images, combined images have more capability to improve the accuracy and reliability of mapped FSV. Meanwhile, it is also confirmed that compensation effect with bands and polarization modes not only have great potential to delay the saturation phenomenon, but also have capability to reduce errors caused by over-estimation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1776.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: forest management; forest carbon; carbon sequestration; greenhouse gas (GHG); sustainable forestry; inventory; grid modeling
Online: 26 June 2023 (09:56:01 CEST)
Visual data on the geographic distribution of carbon storage helps policy maker to formulate countermeasures on global warming. However, Taiwan, as an island showing diversity in climate and topography, had lacked valid visual data in distribution of forest carbon storage between the last to forest surveys (1993-2015). This study established a model to achieve an estimation that capable to demonstrate the distribution of forest carbon storage. This model uses land use, stand morphology, carbon conversion coefficient databases accordingly for 51 types of major forest in Taiwan. An estimation on 2006 was conducted and shows an overall carbon storage of 165.65 Mt C, with forest carbon storage per unit area of 71.56 t C ha–1, where natural forests and plantations respectively contributed of 114.15 Mt C (68.9%) and 51.50 Mt C (31.1%). By assuming no change in land use type, the carbon sequestration from 2006 to 2007 by the 51 forest types was estimated to be 5.21 Mt C yr–1 using historical tree growth and mortality rates. The result reflects the reality of the land use status and event of coverage shifting with time by combining to the two forest surveys in Taiwan.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0285.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: Uneven-aged forest management; Forest growth modelling; Machine learning; Diameter distribution; Silvicultural decision support
Online: 19 July 2022 (10:03:36 CEST)
Growth models of uneven-aged forests on the diameter class level can support silvicultural decision making. Machine learning brings added value to the modeling of dynamics at the stand or individual tree level based on data from permanent plots. The objective of this study is to explore the potential of machine learning for modeling growth dynamics in uneven-aged forests at the diameter class level based on inventory data from practice. Two main modeling approaches are conducted and compared: i) fine-tuned linear models differentiated per diameter class, ii) an artificial neural network (multilayer perceptron) trained on all diameter classes. The models are trained on the inventory data of the Canton of Neuchâtel (Switzerland), which are area-wide data without individual tree-level growth monitoring. Both approaches produce convincing results for predicting future diameter distributions. The linear models perform better at the individual diameter class level with test R2 typically between 50 and 70% for predicting increments in the numbers of stems at the diameter class level. From a methodological perspective, the multilayer perceptron implementation is much simpler than the fine-tuning of linear models. The linear models developed in this study achieve sufficient performance for practical decision support.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0218.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Plant Sciences Keywords: palynology; Pyrenees; Middle Ages; forest dynamics; forest management; resilience; deforestation; land use; climatic change
Online: 14 October 2021 (13:04:11 CEST)
This paper compares the Medieval (ca. 400–1500 CE) dynamics of forests from low-mountain (Montcortès; ca. 1000 m a.s.l.) and high-mountain (Sant Maurici; 1900 m a.s.l.) areas of the Iberian Pyrenees, both of which experienced similar climatic forcing but different anthropogenic pressures. The main aim is to identify forest changes over time and associate them with the corresponding climatic and anthropogenic drivers (or synergies among them) to test how different forests at different elevations respond to external forcings. This could be useful to evaluate the hypothesis of general Pyrenean deforestation during the Middle Ages leading to present-day landscapes and to improve the background for forest conservation. The study uses palynological analysis of lake sediments, historical documents and paleoecological reconstructions based on pollen-independent proxies. The two sites studied showed different forest trajectories. The Montcortès area was subjected to intense human pressure during regional deforestation up to a maximum of ca. 1000 CE. Further forest recovery took place until the end of the Middle Ages due to a change in forest management, including the abandonment of slash-and-burn practices. Climatic shifts indirectly influenced forest trends by regulating human migrations and the resulting shifts in the type and intensity of forest exploitation. The highland Sant Maurici forests exhibited a remarkably long-standing constancy and an exceptional resilience to climatic shifts, which were unable to affect forest extension and composition, and to local human pressure, from which they rapidly recovered. The Montcortès and Sant Maurici records did not follow the rule of an irreversible forest clearing during the Middle Ages leading to present-day landscapes. The present Montcortès landscape was shaped after a Medieval forest recovery, a new Modern-Age deforestation and a further forest recovery during the last centuries. The Sant Maurici forests remained apparently untouched since the Bronze Age and were never cleared during the Middle Ages. The relevance of these findings for forest conservation is briefly addressed, and the need for the development of more high-resolution studies on Pyrenean forest dynamics is highlighted.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1718.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Keywords: forest education; innovations in teaching; transformative learning; strategy games; sustainable forest landscape governance; social innovation
Online: 25 May 2023 (03:07:38 CEST)
Forest education is pivotal for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and promoting sustainable forest management in the face of global challenges. However, existing programs struggle to keep up with rapidly changing crises and uncertainties that contribute to deforestation and forest degradation. To address these challenges, integrating innovative approaches into forest education is crucial. This paper demonstrates the transformative use of a role-playing game as an innovative teaching method for integrated forest management. The game provides students with practical experience and a comprehensive understanding of landscape approaches, using the Congo Basin as a case study. Our research focuses on sustainable forest governance, stakeholder roles, and valuing natural assets and ecosystem services, supporting the transformation of economic, political, and social/cultural relationships at various scales. We highlight the potential of innovative forest education to foster sustainability, trigger critical thinking, resolve conflicts, and prevent costly forest losses.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0360.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Mathematical And Computational Biology Keywords: Random Forest; Iterative Random Forest; gene expression networks; high performance computing; X-AI-based eQTL
Online: 31 October 2019 (02:33:17 CET)
As time progresses and technology improves, biological data sets are continuously increasing in size. New methods and new implementations of existing methods are needed to keep pace with this increase. In this paper, we present a high performance computing(HPC)-capable implementation of Iterative Random Forest (iRF). This new implementation enables the explainable-AI eQTL analysis of SNP sets with over a million SNPs. Using this implementation we also present a new method, iRF Leave One Out Prediction (iRF-LOOP), for the creation of Predictive Expression Networks on the order of 40,000 genes or more. We compare the new implementation of iRF with the previous R version and analyze its time to completion on two of the world's fastest supercomputers Summit and Titan. We also show iRF-LOOP's ability to capture biologically significant results when creating Predictive Expression Networks. This new implementation of iRF will enable the analysis of biological data sets at scales that were previously not possible.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0156.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: forest beauty; outdoor recreation; graphic elicitation technique; controlled burning; red-cockaded woodpecker, Ocala National Forest
Online: 12 April 2018 (04:46:34 CEST)
Prescribed burning and other active forest management treatments have been proven to be essential for maintaining suitable habitat conditions for many wildlife species, including the federally endangered red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW). This study examines the perception of forest management treatments of recreation users participating in various activities (hunting, hiking/backpacking, camping, off-highway vehicle riding, and canoeing/kayaking) in terms of scenic beauty and recreation satisfaction. We used photographic images to capture various forest management treatments of different intensity levels and times after treatments, and assessed users’ perception of scenic beauty and recreation satisfaction. Results indicated variation among users participating in different recreation activities, but that good quality RCW habitat offered both higher scenic beauty and higher recreation satisfaction than poor quality habitat for most user groups. Finally, recreation satisfaction was statistically equal to perceived scenic beauty from both good and poor-quality RCW habitats for most of the user groups, thus suggesting the importance of scenic beauty on forest sites in determining recreation users’ attainment of visit satisfaction. Findings conclude that forest sites developed as good quality RCW habitat in the present state also offer quality experience to recreation users, thus supporting multi-objective forestry practices in public forests.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201704.0140.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: common lands; baldios; wild mushrooms; non-timber forest products; Portugal; community; community forestry; forest governance
Online: 24 May 2017 (17:01:57 CEST)
Forest community connections are crucial to ensure forest stewardship and sustainability. We explored the potential of mushrooming to enable such connections in contexts where these connections have been historically broken, alienating local people from forests. Taking the case of the recent devolution of a community forest (baldios) in central Portugal to the local population, we present a five-year pilot project to rework mycology from a mushroom-centered approach to a mushroom-in-baldios approach. Mushrooms were used as an entry-point to connect the forest ecology with the challenges of governance and community building. The devised activities provided an opportunity for people inside and outside the local community to adventure into the woods and find out more about their socio-ecological history, develop communal and convivial relationships and engage in the responsible gathering of wild mushrooms. However, the hosting of mushroomers to know, value and engage with the community forest recovery has constantly working against the enclosure of mushrooms to provide marketable forms of leisure. The outcome of these activities depends on the relationships established between mushrooms, mycologists, local administrators, commoners and poachers, all operating within a framework that favors the eradication of resources instead of long-term relationships that sustain places.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.2160.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Astronomy And Astrophysics Keywords: QSOs; LightGBM; CatBoost; XGBoost; random forest
Online: 30 September 2023 (08:04:34 CEST)
We tested selecting data randomly or proportionally in class imbalanced sample. Collecting data into the training and test set according to the initial ratio of QSOs, galaxies and stars were rec-ommended. We experimented using the original imbalanced data or introducing the class balance technologies: SMOTE, SMOTEENN, SMOTETomek, ADASYN, BorderlineSMOTE1, Border-lineSMOTE2, and RandomUndersampling. The SMOTEENN performed the best in the Sample 1. The LightGBM, CatBoost, XGBoost, and RF were compared when adopting the SMOTEENN using the petroMag_u, petroMag_g, petroMag_r, petroMag_i, petroMag_z, J, H, Ks, W1, W2, W3, W4 magnitudes as features. All of the precisions or recalls exceeded 0.94. The RF cost a little more time than the other three algorithms, but resulted in the best evaluating indicators. Utilizing the SMOTEENN +RF technology, the precision, recall and f1-score for QSOs (galaxies, stars) could achieve 0.98 (0.99, 0.98), 0.99 (0.96, 1.00), 0.98 (0.97, 0.99) respectively in Sample 1. Utilizing the SMOTEENN +RF technology, the precision, recall and f1-score for QSOs (galaxies, stars) could achieve 0.94 (0.96, 0.96), 0.98 (0.90, 0.97), 0.96 (0.93, 0.97) using the petroMag_u, petroMag_g, petroMag_r, petroMag_i, petroMag_z, W1, W2, W3, W4 magnitudes as features.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1969.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy And Rehabilitation Keywords: urban forest healing program; depression; anxiety
Online: 29 August 2023 (10:16:01 CEST)
Depression is considered a widespread mental health problem worldwide. Moreover, anxiety symptoms are very closely related to depression patients, and it is known that the coexistence rate of depression and anxiety diagnosed simultaneously is high. Treatment and preventive management of depression and anxiety are essential for public health. Forest healing is attracting attention as a form of low-cost preventive medicine that is safe and has no side effects. However, although the physiological and psychological effects have been scientifically proven, it is insufficient to reveal a direct relationship between forest healing and depression. This study investigated the benefits of an urban forest healing program on depression and anxiety symptoms of depressive disorders. We employed a randomized controlled trial design. Forty-seven depression patients were randomly divided into an urban forest healing program group and a control group. Measures included the Montgomery-Asberg depression rating scale (MADRS), the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HARS), and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) questionnaires. Our results revealed that the combination of general treatment and forest healing programs for patients with depression is more effective in improving depression and anxiety than routine treatment alone. We expect our work to serve as a starting point for more sophisticated research in discussing the availability of non-pharmacological treatments in forest healing.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1800.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Fruit; forest; ecosystem; wood; native; Ecuador
Online: 26 July 2023 (12:22:04 CEST)
This study investigated the presence and characteristics of Juglans neotropica in three ecosystems in Southern Ecuador: Montane Evergreen Forest, Evergreen Seasonal Lower Montane Forest, and Semideciduous Foot Montane Forest. The main focus was on the species' multipurpose nature as both a fruit and timber source. Six study sites, totaling at least 0.5 hectares each, were established, with four in Loja province and two in Zamora Chinchipe province.The results showed significant differences in dendrometric variables across the sites, with the most favorable growth recorded in The Tundo, where trees exhibited an average diameter at breast height (DBH) of 45.16 cm, basal area (G) of 1.41 m2, total height (TH) of 19.22 m, canopy height (CH) of 13 m, cubic volume (CV) of 3.55 m3, and total volume (TV) of 5.22 m3. The species displayed a clumped distribution pattern, as indicated by a Morisita index greater than 1. Regarding abundance, the highest density of 297 trees per hectare was found in Argelia, while Victoria had the lowest density of 46 trees per hectare. This research highlights the importance of Juglans neotropica as a multipurpose species, providing both valuable fruits and wood resources in the studied ecosystems of Southern Ecuador.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0599.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Genetics; forest; ecosystem; wood; native; extinction
Online: 8 June 2023 (07:13:55 CEST)
The study was carried out in zone 7 of Ecuador, in ecosystems of the Southern Montane Evergreen Forest of the Eastern Cordillera of the Andes that goes from 2200 to 3000 masl. In the Evergreen Seasonal Lower Montane Forest of Catamayo-Alamor, which ranges from 1600-2000 meters above sea level and finally in the Semideciduous Foot Montane Forest of Catamayo-Alamor, which ranges from 400-1600 meters above sea level. The objective was to know the occurrence, structure and abundance of J. neotropica. The investigation consisted of collecting secondary information on the occurrence of the species, to later verify it in situ. Six sites with areas ≥ 0.5 hectares were identified, four in the province of Loja and two in the province of Zamora Chinchipe. Regarding the structure, it was determined that there are significant statistical differences as well as in the dasometric variables between one site and another, presenting better growths El Tundo with average values in DAP(cm)= 45.16; G(m2) = 1.41; HT(m)= 19.22; HC(m)= 13; VC(m3) = 3.55; VT(m3) = 5.22. Regarding the Morisita index, the species presents adistribution pattern >1. Regarding abundance, it was determined that Algeria presented a maximum of 297 (ind/ha), and La Victoria 46 (ind/ha) with a minimum.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0206.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: Africa; forest; savanna; phylogenetic; diversity; transition
Online: 4 May 2023 (06:04:39 CEST)
In tropical Africa, forests and savannas are the two most widespread biomes and potentially represent alternative stable states with divergent species composition. A classic, but untested, hypothesis posited by White (1983) suggests that the transition zones between forests and savannas contain a floristically impoverished assemblage with few representatives from each biome. Further, the evolutionary dimension of diversity has received limited attention, despite its importance for understanding the biogeographic history of biomes. Here, we quantify species richness and several measures of evolutionary diversity in 1° grid cells, using c. 300K occurrence records of trees and shrubs combined with biome affiliation data for 3,125 species. We find that assemblages in transition zones hold fewer woody species than assemblages in forest and savanna zones, as posited by White. However, transition zones hold more phylogenetic diversity than expected given their species richness, whether one considers forest and savanna assemblages separately or together. We also show that the Congo basin forest has low levels of phylogenetic diversity given the number of species and highlight south-eastern African savannas as a centre of savanna woody species richness and phylogenetic diversity. Regions with high phylogenetic diversity given the number of both forest and savanna species were centred around the Dahomey Gap and Cameroon, mainly in transition zones. Overall, our study shows that even if floristically impoverished, transition zones lead to unexpectedly high evolutionary diversity, suggesting they are important centres of evolutionary innovation and diversification.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0814.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: environmental geotechnology; landscape ecology; forest recovery
Online: 24 April 2023 (03:53:36 CEST)
Ecological corridors function as a viable way to mitigate the environmental impact arising from forest fragmentation by interconnecting forest fragments through various techniques. In this context, the objective of this study is to propose a route for the implementation of an ecological corridor in the Itapemirim river watershed. The specific objectives were: (i) to delimit the permanent preservation areas (APP) of the Itapemirim river watershed and compare land use and land cover in the delimited areas; (ii) to calculate landscape ecology indices and select the forest fragments with the highest potential for ecological corridor implementation using Fuzzy logic; (iii) to assess costs and trace the best route for ecological corridor implementation, considering distance and physical impediments; (iv) to assess land costs and expropriation costs to delimit the ecological corridor in the study area. To map land use and land cover, the MapBiomas platform was used, based on Landsat 8 satellite images. The permanent preservation areas were delimited according to criteria established by Law No. 12.651 of May 25, 2012, which establishes parameters, definitions, and limits for APP. The characterization and structural quantification of some landscape ecology indices were performed using the QGIS 3.26 computational application, through the LecoS 3.0.1 plugin and Fragstats 4.2. The connected forest fragments were the Caparaó National Park, the Serra das Torres State Natural Monument, and the fragments selected through the application of Fuzzy logic to the landscape ecology indices. The corridor was delimited according to the lowest cost route, considering land use and land cover, APP, fragment potential, slope, and subnormal clusters. For each cost raster image, its respective statistical weights were calculated using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) hierarchical method, as well as for the analysis of priority areas for forest restoration, considering land use and land cover, APP, pedology, lithology, and biological importance. The interconnection between protected areas and fragments with the ecological corridor followed the orientation described by CONAMA nº 09/96. Based on the development of the work, the following results were identified: the highest land use and land cover class is pasture. Of the area designated for permanent preservation, 68.58% is in conflicting use with the legislation. The bare land value per hectare of the pasture class is the second highest among the bare land value per LULC values, representing 64.28% of the total. The priority area map showed that 31.86% of the area was classified as of very high or high importance and 42.97% as low or very low priority for forest restoration. Thus, it is concluded that the least cost path algorithm associated with the result generated by the multi-criteria decision method (AHP) constitutes an important tool for planning and implementing an ecological network by taking into account the primary factors for decision-making regarding the location of the best route.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0168.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Plant Sciences Keywords: forest health; plant health; tree disease;
Online: 10 May 2020 (14:48:23 CEST)
Trees provide key ecosystem services, but the health and sustainability of these plants is under increasing biotic and abiotic threat, including from the growing incidences of non-native invasive plant pests (including pathogens). The island of Ireland (Ireland and Northern Ireland) is generally accepted to have a high plant health status, in part due to its island status and because of the national and international regulations aimed at protecting plant health. To establish a baseline of the current pest threats to tree health for the island of Ireland, the literature and unpublished sources were reviewed to produce a dataset of pests of trees on the island of Ireland. The dataset contains 396 records of pests of trees on the island of Ireland, the majority of pests being arthropods and fungi, and indicating potentially more than 44 non-native pest introductions. The reliability of many (378) of the records was judged to be high, therefore the dataset provides a robust assessment of the state of pests of trees recorded on the island of Ireland. We analyse this dataset and review the history of plant pest invasions, including (i) discussion on notable native and non-native pests of trees, (ii) pest interceptions at borders and (iii) pests and climate change. The dataset establishes an important baseline for the knowledge of plant pests on the island of Ireland, and will be a valuable resource for future plant health research and policy making.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201703.0077.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Psychiatry And Mental Health Keywords: systematic review; forest therapy; depression; adults
Online: 14 March 2017 (08:45:56 CET)
The purpose of this study was to systematically review forest therapy programs designed to decrease the level of depression among adults and subsequently identify the gaps in the literature. This systematic review was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. The authors independently screened full-text articles from various databases using the following criteria: 1) intervention studies assessing the effects of forest therapy on depression in adults aged 18 years and over; 2) studies including at least one control group or condition; 3) been peer-reviewed; and 4) been published either in English or Korean before July 2016. The Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline Network (SIGN) measurement tool was used to assess the risk of bias in each trial. In the final sample, a total of 28 articles (English: 13, Korean: 15) were included in the present systematic review. This review concluded that forest therapy is one of the emerging and effective interventions for decreasing the level of depression in adults. However, the studies included in this review lacked methodological rigor. Future studies assessing the long-term effect of forest therapy on depression using rigorous study designs are needed.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0411.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: Sylviculture; forestry; forest management; forest dynamics; humipedon; humus system; carbon cy-cle; global change; soil biodiversity
Online: 7 November 2023 (10:26:10 CET)
We propose a silviculture with a purely biological logic that takes soil into account. The article is divided into three parts: 1) presentation of the issue in the context of biodiversity and forest pro-tection; 2) impact of the soil functioning on forestry; 3) possible implementation of soil functioning in forestry practice, to support and protect a non-or minimally anthropized evolution of the forest. The first chapter illustrates the importance of the forest for the future of the planet and our human species, referring to recently published works on the topic of climate warming and biodiversity. The second illustrates the aspects that link soil dynamics to the silvogenetic cycle, focusing on the humipedon (organic and organo-mineral surface horizons, approximately the first 30 cm of forest soil), and more significant carbon storage in old forests since up to 2/3 is found in the soil. In the third chapter we consider the possibility of lengthening the forestry cycle, to allow the return of nutrients to the soil. Theoretical graphs and distribution models of the number of trees as a func-tion of diameter and age are reported, with examples of logging in uneven Alpine forests, with reference to Swiss fir-beech forests published on the Pro-Silva website.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0106.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: social ecological system; tree canopy goal; urban conservation; urban forest equity; urban forest goals; urban tree canopy
Online: 7 June 2022 (11:08:20 CEST)
Urban forests are critical infrastructure for mitigating environmental and social challenges cities face. Municipalities and non-governmental entities, among others, often set goals (e.g., tree planting or canopy targets) to support urban forests and their benefits. We focus on canopy goals and develop conceptual underpinnings for an analysis of where additional canopy, as one important dimension of the urban forest, can fit within the landscape, while considering factors that influence where trees can be planted and where canopy can grow – ‘practical canopy.’ We apply this in New York City (NYC) to inform the setting of a canopy goal by the NYC Urban Forest Task Force (UFTF) for the NYC Urban Forest Agenda, which may trigger a virtuous cycle that supports the urban forest there. We further develop framing for a ‘priority canopy’ analysis to understand where urban forest expansion should be prioritized given more context (e.g., environmental hazards, local preferences), which can inform how expansion of the urban forest is achieved. We estimate an opportunity for 15,899 ha of new canopy in NYC given existing opportunities and constraints (practical canopy), which, if leveraged, could result in nearly doubling the canopy as of 2017 (17,253 ha). However, like existing canopy, practical canopy is not evenly distributed, in general, or across jurisdictions and land uses. Relying solely on areas identified as practical canopy to expand the urban forest would exacerbate inequities in its distribution. We discuss how the NYC UFTF established an aspirational but achievable goal of 30% canopy cover by 2035, which was informed by this analysis and guided by priorities of equity, health, and resilience. Achievement of this goal will ultimately require a combination of protecting and stewarding the existing resource, and leveraging opportunities for tree planting. Achieving a more equitable urban forest will also require identification of priority canopy, and, in cases, creation of new opportunities for tree planting and canopy expansion. Overall, the collaborative establishment of such goals based on local context can be instrumental in creating a virtuous cycle, moving conservation actors toward exercising influence and agency within the social ecological system.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0514.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: forest transition; land-use change; returning forests; global change; growing stock; stand structure; composition; diversity; forest policy
Online: 21 December 2020 (11:32:35 CET)
The forest transition – or forest-area transition – has been put forward as a land-use concept by A.S. Mather in 1992 (The forest transition. Area 24, 367-379), to describe the historical trend generally observed in the forest area of developed countries, embodied in a V-shaped curve of the forest area over time, and that may serve as a paradigm to understand and anticipate deforestation in the developing world. Well in line with a geographical approach to forests, forest transition has thus been defined as one-dimensional, forest area being the reference state variable. From a forestry perspective, the analysis appears to be reductive, as forests are described by many other state variables than area, including forest growing stock, composition in tree species, or stand structure. Whether the drivers of forest transition (population dynamics, economic modes of production and consciousness, as classified by Mather) also impact these other forest state variables in a general way thus comes forth as a logical issue.From a deductive analysis of forest transition drivers, and from forest trends brought to light in Europe, France, and at other places in the world, we here argue that the forest transition concept can be extended to a multi-dimensional space of forest attributes, characterized by typical ideal dynamics. Cumulative impacts onto forests and irreversible losses in forest biodiversity over a forest transition are hence highlighted. Global change, as a parallel consequence of countries’ developing process, further appears as one additional albeit less coupled dimension of forest transition, as it modifies forest productivity and vitality over time. Since forest ecosystem services and forest profitability primarily depend on such attributes, we argue that the extension of the forest transition concept has significance for land-use change and forest protection issues. A prospect on future changes in the forests of developed countries with the European space as a benchmark is finally proposed that leads to extend the temporal significance of forest transition. Though poorly described, returning forests on abandoned agricultural lands are significant, and deserve greater attention.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0707.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Cognitive Science Keywords: Anxiety; Audio-Visual stimulation; COVID-19; Environmental enrichment; Forest environments; Forest therapy; Lockdown; Mental health; Stress; Quarantine
Online: 31 August 2020 (05:20:50 CEST)
The prolonged lockdown imposed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic prevented many people from direct contact with nature and greenspaces, raising alarms for a possible worsening of mental health. This study investigates the effectiveness of a simple and affordable remedy for improving psychological well-being, based on audio-visual stimuli brought by a short computer video showing forest environments, with an urban video as a control. Randomly selected participants were assigned the forest or urban video, to look at and listen early in the morning, and filled questionnaires. In particular, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) Form Y, collected in baseline condition and at the end of the study, and the Part II of the Sheehan Patient Rated Anxiety Scale (SPRAS), collected every day immediately before and after watching the video. The virtual exposure to forest environments showed effective to reduce perceived anxiety levels in in people forced by lockdown in limited spaces and environmental deprivation. Although significant, the effects were observed only in the short term, highlighting the limitation of the virtual experiences. The reported effects might also represent a benchmark to disentangle the determinants of health effects due to real forest experiences, for example, the inhalation of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOC).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.1347.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: oak seedlings; weed control; herbicides; forest regeneration
Online: 20 October 2023 (12:30:21 CEST)
In regenerated oak forests, weeds are present throughout the year, the ones appearing in early spring representing a major problem. Hence, the aim of this study was to examine herbicides for early spring broadleaved weed control in the regenerated oak forests while the seedlings are in a dormant stage. During 2019 and 2020 two experiments were set up in regenerated pedunculate oak forests with 2-yar and 3-year-old seedlings and two herbicides were applied in two doses: fluroxypyr at dose 360 g a.i. ha-1 and 540 g a.i. ha-1 and clopyralid at dose 100 g a.i. ha-1 and 120 g a.i. ha-1. The results from the two-year investigations showed that fluroxypyr and clopyralid significantly reduced early spring broadleaved weeds in the regenerated pedunculate oak forests but both doses of fluroxypyr provided greater control of presented weeds than the applied doses of clopyralid. The manual weeding reduced broadleaved weeds in experiments, but that method did not have a long-term effect on the reduction of weeds. Applied doses of herbicides fluroxypyr and clopyralid did not cause phytotoxicity symptoms in dormant oak seedlings. All investigated treatments significantly reduced fresh broadleaved weed biomass compared to the control. Generally, it can be concluded that fluroxypyr and clopyralid can be successfully used for control of many early spring broadleaved weeds in the regenerated pedunculate oak forests, but oak seedlings must be in the dormant stage.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0607.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Pollution Keywords: ammonia; emission modelling; emission inventory; random forest
Online: 11 September 2023 (05:26:24 CEST)
Ammonia is an atmospheric pollutant, predominantly emitted from agriculture, leading acidification and eutrophication of soil and water and contributing to secondary PM2.5. The implementation of accurate emission inventories with high spatial and time resolution plays a fundamental role in the development of air modelling simulation and in the impact assessment of actions for air quality improvement. The development and release of new algorithms and the increase of data availability are supporting the implementation of machine learning approaches in environmental and air quality data analysis. In this paper we present a methodology developed by the application of the Random Forest algorithm to bottom-up local emission inventories of ammonia to validate annual time series of ammonia emissions and calculate high resolution temporal profiles. The model has been trained and tested by the hourly measurements of ammonia concentrations and atmospheric turbulence parameters starting from a constant emission scenario. The initial values of emissions are calculated based on a bottom-up emission inventory detailed at the municipal basis and considering a circular area of about 4 km radius centered on measurement sites. By comparing predicted and measured concentrations, the emissions are modified, the model's training and testing are repeated, and the model converges to a very high performance in predicting ammonia concentrations and establishing an hourly time changing emission profile. The site-specific emissions profiles, estimated by the proposed methodology, clearly show a nonlinear relation with measured concentrations and allow to identify the effect of atmospheric turbulence on pollutant accumulation. The estimated time series well confirm the available data of the emission inventories and the monthly emission profiles have been compared with estimated data from satellite.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0127.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: fire; climate; savanna; forest; rainforest; productivity; satellite
Online: 4 September 2023 (03:46:48 CEST)
Tropical forest and savanna biomes are pivotal in the functioning of the Earth system. Tropical forests are one of the largest terrestrial biosphere carbon pools, whereas savannas exchange carbon between the biosphere and atmosphere via frequent and extensive landscape fires. Both are biodiverse and under increasing threat due to land clearing and anthropogenic climate change. Reliable mapping of tropical forest and savanna is essential to provide understanding of how anthropogenic impacts are affecting the extent of these biomes. Using Google Maps satellite imagery, we manually classified 24,239 random points as forest, savanna, or anthropogenic landscapes within the tropics. Because fire and climate are correlated, we developed separate geospatial models to rank the importance of climate, topography, and human influence on vegetation present. This modelling confirmed that those areas with more fires had lower probabilities of tropical forest, that forest was most likely in areas with high mean annual rainfall with little seasonal variation in precipitation, and that anthropogenic factors disrupt this environmental predictability. We found there were environments where tropical forest and savanna were equally probable are geographically restricted. These relationships suggest that future drier climates projected under anthropogenic climate change, combined with clearing and burning that have reduced tropical forest extent to a subset of its theoretical distribution, will lead to irreversible loss of tropical forests. Our modelling provides global mapping that can be used track further changes to distribution of rainforests.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1579.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Ecology Keywords: species composition; tree diversity; regeneration; forest management
Online: 25 July 2023 (05:37:03 CEST)
Tropical forests provide habitats for diverse flora and fauna. In addition, they are essential in regulating the climate while at the same time millions of people depend on them for their livelihoods. As seen by rising political commitment and worldwide promises to reduce rates of deforestation and boost restoration of degraded forest ecosystems, forests are becoming more widely acknowledged for their role as a nature-based solution to many sustainable development concerns. Understanding tropical forest dynamics and their conservation have so become more important. This study analyzed, the forest stand structure, tree species composition, abundance and diversity and the regeneration status of Londiani Forest. Londiani Forest is divided into three blocks, namely Kedowa, Chebewor and Londiani and from each of these blocks belt transects 25 m wide and 1 km long were established 100 m from the edge of the forest to reduce edge effects. At every 200 m along the transect, 25 m × 25 m quadrats were set up in which, an inventory of all tree species was done. For tree species that could not be identified in the field, the local name was provided by para-taxonomists who participated in the data collection and the species name was later identified with the help of a taxonomist or a manual of woody tree species of Londiani Forest. The diameter at breast height (DBH) was measured at 1.3 m from the ground using a diameter tape. Tree height was measured using a Suunto angular clinometer. A nested quadrat 5 m x 5 m quadrat within the 25 m x 25 m quadrat was used to sample saplings while a 1 m x 1 m quadrat was used for sampling seedlings. Regeneration status was assessed using the number of seedlings and saplings. Stumps of trees cut were counted including identifying tree species from which the tree stump was derived. Data from the quadrats were entered into Microsoft Excel. Total stem density, species density, basal area, species basal area, relative density and species diversity were determined. A total of 1,308 individual trees belonging to 34 different species from 24 families were recorded. Kedowa had the highest (27) species richness followed by Chebewor (19) then Londiani (14). There was a statistically significant difference in species richness among the three forest blocks (p<0.05). There were no statistically significant differences in the mean DBH (F=0.560; p=0.729) and height class distribution (F= 0.821, p=.558) among the three forest blocks. There was a statistically significant difference in stem density (F=12.22; p=0.005) and woody species diversity (F=0.32; p=0.001) within the three forests blocks. There was no statistically significant difference in the basal area distribution within the three forest blocks p>0.005. The similarity index ranged from 0.34 to 0.47. In all the forest blocks, there was evidence of seedlings and saplings indicating that there was regeneration. Results clearly show that while the Londiani Forest shows variation in characteristics, there is clear evidence that it is regenerating.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1624.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: anthropogenic; land cover change; mitigation; protected forest
Online: 17 July 2023 (10:51:58 CEST)
Mount Hamiding Protected Forest is located in North Halmahera Regency, North Maluku Province, the Wallace zone has an important role in providing protection functions, life support systems and regulating water management, preventing floods, preventing seawater intrusion, and controlling soil fertility. The protected forest area in the Wallace Zone is globally renowned for its endemic characteristics of flora and fauna. The condition of the protected forest of Mount Hamiding HMPF is currently experiencing anthropogenic damage as a result of forest encroachment, illegal logging, shifting cultivation, grazing and poaching to meet social needs. Anthropogenic damage has been in the spotlight for decades and has become a global issue. This study aims to determine damage to protected forests, changes in land cover, and mitigation of protected forest areas. This research uses quantitative and descriptive qualitative methods. Determination of research locations by purposive sampling. Parameters measured in this study were damage to protected forests, changes in land cover and area mitigation strategies. To identify forest damage, snowball sampling was carried out, and land cover changes through land cover data processing were obtained from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia. Then using Imagery 7 ETM+ and 8 OLI to calculate changes in forested land to non-forested from 2006 -2021, analysis of land cover change using supervised classification, developing a strategy based on identity verification of forest damage and analysis of land cover change. The results showed that damage to protected forests was caused by anthropogenic disturbances in the form of forest encroachment, shifting cultivation, illegal logging, grazing and hunting of wild animals. Changes in land cover experienced the greatest damage in 2006-2021 amounting to 1,796.54 ha (16.17%). Strategic efforts are carried out using forest engineering, namely the agroforestry system and social engineering through community empowerment, namely training and outreach.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1753.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Plant Sciences Keywords: Botryosphaeriaceae; DNA sequence; Forest; Pseudofusicoccumaceae; Fungal Taxonomy
Online: 26 June 2023 (07:20:15 CEST)
The Botryosphaeriales order are best known for the diseases they cause in woody plants, as primary pathogens or latent pathogens residing in the woody tissue of asymptomatic hosts. In the first instance, Botryosphaeriales species have been identified in Venezuela using morphological de-scriptions in the 80's and 90's, and later, the mid-2000s using molecular techniques. The mor-phological descriptions of the asexual morphs were initially used for the identification of Botry-osphaeriales genera and species. Lasiodiplodia spp., (as L. theobromae) was the most isolated fungus in Venezuela within the Botryosphaeriales and has been found in more than 50% of the hosts in native and non-native plants, followed by Diplodia, Dothiorella, Fusicoccum, Lasiodiplodia, Micro-diplodia, Macrophomina, Neofusicoccum, Sphaeropsis, and Botryosphaeria, considered all of them cosmopolitan group. With molecular studies, that included DNA sequence data from multiple genes, such as the internal transcribed spacer of rDNA (ITS), translation elongation factor-1α (tef1), and β-tubulin (btub) used on the fungi isolated from woody plants, mainly trees or forest species, resulted in the presence of two families within the Botryosphaeriales order for Venezuela. Botryosphaeriaceae family with the genera: Botryosphaeria, Cophinforma, Diplodia, Lasiodiplodia and Neofusicoccum, and the Pseudofusicoccumaceae family that includes the genus Pseudofusicoccum. In Botryosphaeriaceae family was again the Lasiodiplodia genus the most predominant in most hosts, and the specie L. theobromae the most isolated in native and non-native plants; Botryosphaeria dothidea, Cophinforma atrovirens, Diplodia scrobiculata (syn. Diplodia guayanensis), Lasiodiplodia brasi-liensis, L. crassispora, L. pseudotheobromae, Neofusicoccum arbuti (syn. N. andinum), N. parvum, and N. ribis are cosmopolitan species, and they were isolated from native and non-native plants; while Pseudofusicoccum stromaticum was found in plantations non-native of Acacia mangium, E. urophylla x E. grandis, Eucalyptus urophylla, and reported exclusively in South America; Lasiodiplodia venezue-lensis has only been reported in Venezuela, from native and non-native plants. The presence, distribution, diversity, and symptoms of these fungi, mainly of the new genus, new species, and reports found in Venezuela and other parts of the world, were also reviewed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0247.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: Kakamega Rain Forest; Conservation; Biodiversity; Complementarity; Agroforestry
Online: 14 March 2023 (06:14:00 CET)
A primary challenge facing conservationists is reconciling the human needs of forest adjacent communities with the needs of conserving forest biodiversity, especially in tropical regions with growing populations of rural poor. Agroforestry has the potential to simultaneously provide for human needs and enhance forest biodiversity, but the complex interactions and feedbacks between the social and natural dimensions are relatively undescribed and thus systematic implementation is rare. The attributes of trees on farms required for human needs and conservation value may conflict. For example, exotic species in monoculture may provide the most economic value for farmers, while relic or planted indigenous tree mixtures may be more valuable for biological conservation. The objective of this study was to explore whether agroforestry practices in a moist tropical forest ecosystem in Kenya can simultaneously provide timber and fuelwood value to small-holder farmers while extending forest tree biodiversity. We described the agroforestry attributes on farms around a tropical forest, assessed the relationship between number and biomass of timber/fuelwood trees and tree biodiversity, and explored the relationships between forest tree diversity attributes and farm tree diversity attributes on a landscape scale using spatial analysis. We found that the diversity and number of trees on farms in this area are extensive yet variable, but that no significant relationship exists between the number of timber/fuelwood trees and tree diversity. This suggests that the two values of agroforestry may not be in conflict, due mainly to the high diversity of trees used for fuelwood. We also found that trees on farms in the larger landscape add to the conservation value of forest tree biodiversity and could be important components in conservation management. If agroforestry is to play an increasingly active role in conserving biodiversity in human-dominated landscapes, particularly in areas of dense subsistence farmer populations, increase recognition needs to be given to farmer’s perception of the value of trees and their selection of what trees to plant or maintain.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0557.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning Keywords: PDF; Malware; Machine Learning; Python; Random Forest
Online: 30 January 2023 (12:55:47 CET)
Portable Document Format (PDF) is one of the most widely used files types worldwide in data exchange, this has encourage hackers to utilize such files to spread any malicious content through PDF, utilizing different methods and techniques to accomplish that, on the other hand, security researches kept trying to improve detection methods to cope up to the rapidly increasing number of malwares daily, one of the commonly used detection technique nowadays is by utilizing artificial intelligence and Machine learning classificat; thision to help detecting PDF Malwares, in this paper, we utilize machine learning classifier Random Forest on a newly released PDF Malware dataset CIC-Evasive-PDFMal2022 to achieve the main goal of detecting malicious PDF documents, results showing a detection accuracy of around 99.5%
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0175.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biology And Biotechnology Keywords: antimicrobial peptide prediction; sequence analysis; random forest
Online: 14 February 2022 (11:57:01 CET)
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are considered as promising alternatives to conventional antibiotics in order to overcome the growing problems of antibiotic resistance. Computational prediction approaches receive an increasing interest to identify and design the best candidate AMPs prior to the in-vitro tests. In this study, we focused on the linear cationic peptides with non-hemolytic activity, which are downloaded from the Database of Antimicrobial Activity and Structure of Peptides (DBAASP). Referring to the MIC (Minimum inhibition concentration) values, we have assigned a positive label to a peptide if it shows antimicrobial activity; otherwise the peptide is labeled as negative. Here, we focused on the peptides showing antimicrobial activity against Gram-negative and against Gram-positive bacteria separately, and we created two datasets accordingly. Ten different physico-chemical properties of the peptides are calculated and used as features in our study. Following data exploration and data preprocessing steps, a variety of classification algorithms are used with 100-fold Monte Carlo Cross Validation to build models and to predict the antimicrobial activity of the peptides. Among the generated models, Random Forest has resulted in the best performance metrics for both Gram-negative dataset (Accuracy: 0.98, Recall: 0.99, Specificity: 0.97, Precision: 0.97, AUC: 0.99, F1: 0.98) and Gram-positive dataset (Accuracy: 0.95, Recall: 0.95, Specificity: 0.95, Precision: 0.90, AUC: 0.97, F1: 0.92) after outlier elimination is applied. This prediction approach might be useful to evaluate the antibacterial potential of a candidate peptide sequence before moving to the experimental studies.
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: forest fire; image recognition; graph neural network;
Online: 13 July 2021 (11:31:18 CEST)
Forest fire identification is important for forest resource protection. Effective monitoring of forest fires requires the deployment of multiple monitors with different viewpoints, while most traditional recognition models can only recognize images from a single source. By ignoring the information from images with different viewpoints, these models produce high rates of missed and false alarms. In this paper, we propose a graph neural network model based on the similarity of dynamic features of multi-view images to improve the accuracy of forest fire recognition. The input features of the nodes on the graph are converted into relational features of different gallery pairs by establishing pairs (nodes) representing different viewpoint images and gallery images. The new feature library relationship is used to update the image gallery with dynamic features in order to achieve the estimation of similarity between images and improve the image recognition rate of the model. In addition, to reduce the complexity of image pre-processing process and extract key features in images effectively, this paper also proposes a dynamic feature extraction method for fire regions based on image segment ability. By setting the threshold value of HSV color space, the fire region is segmented from the image, and the dynamic features of successive frames of the fire region are extracted. The experimental results show that, compared with the baseline method Resnet, this paper's method is more effective in identifying forest fires, and its recognition accuracy is improved by 2%. And the scheme of this paper can adapt to different forest fire scenes, with better generalization ability and anti-interference ability.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0339.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: Modeling; forest structure; silviculture; pine; oaks; juniper
Online: 14 May 2021 (14:05:32 CEST)
Tree biomass and diversity relationship in mixed forest impacts on forest ecosystem services provisions. Tree biomass yield is driven by several aspects such as species identity, site condition, stand density, tree age as well as tree diversity expressed as species mingling and structural diversity. By comparing diverse degrees of tree mixture in natural forests we can insight on the ecosystem services provision level and dynamic. Two monitoring sites in the Castilian Northern Plateau (Spain) have been analyzed to disentangle the relationships between biodiversity levels and tree biomass yield. Two permanent one ha squared plots were established at Llano de San Marugan and Valdepoza. In each plot all individual trees were measured (diameter and height), georeferenced and its species identity defined. Tree species in the two sites were Pinus sylvestris, Pinus nigra, Pinus pinea, Quercus pyrenaica, Quercus ilex, Quercus faginea and Juniperus thurifera. From these datasets ten diversity indices that fall in three categories (species richness indices, species compositional/mingling indices and vertical structural indices) were used as predictor variables to fit several candidate models. By merging the trees by site (without considering the species identity) selected models include individual tree basal area as explanatory variable combining by addition or interaction with diversity indices. When species are analyzed independently structural diversity impacts on biomass yield in combination (additive or multiplicative) with tree size is negative Pinus nigra and positive for the other species.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0498.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: proximal hyperspectral sensing; precision agriculture; random forest
Online: 22 February 2021 (17:20:41 CET)
A strategy to reduce qualitative and quantitative losses in crop-yields refers to early and accurate detection of insect-damage caused in plants. Remote sensing systems like hyperspectral proximal sensors are a promising strategy for managing crops. In this aspect, machine learning predictions associated with clustering techniques may be an interesting approach mainly because of its robustness to evaluate high dimensional data. In this paper, we model the spectral response of insect-herbivory-damage in maize plants and propose an approach based on machine learning and a clustering method to predict whether the plant is herbivore-attacked or not using leaf reflectance measurements. We differentiate insect-type damage based on the spectral response and indicate the most contributive wavelengths to perform it. For this, we used a maize experiment in semi-field conditions. The maize plants were submitted to three different treatments: control (health plants); plants submitted to Spodoptera frugiperda herbivory-damage, and; plants submitted to Dichelops melacanthus herbivory-damage. The leaf spectral response of all plants (controlled and submitted to herbivory) was measured with a FieldSpec 3.0 Spectroradiometer from 350 to 2500 nm for eight consecutive days. We evaluated the performance of different learners like random forest (RF), support vector machine (SVM), extreme gradient boost (XGB), neural networks (MLP), and measured the impact of a day-by-day analysis into the prediction. We proposed a novel framework with a ranking strategy, based on the accuracy returned by predictions, and a clusterization method based on a self-organizing map (SOM) to identify important regions in the reflectance measurement. Our results indicated that the RF-based framework algorithm is the overall best learner to deal with this type of data. After the 5th day of analysis, the accuracy of the algorithm improved substantially. It separated the three treatments into different groups with an F-measure equal to 0.967, 0.917, and 0.881, respectively. We also verified that the most contributive spectral regions are situated in the near-infrared domain. We conclude that the proposed approach with machine learning methods is adequate to monitor herbivory-damage of S. frugiperda and stink bugs like Dichelops melacanthus in maize, differentiating the types of insect-attack early on. We also demonstrate that the framework proposed for the analysis of the most contributive wavelengths is suitable to highlight spectral regions of interest.
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pharmacology And Toxicology Keywords: Cannabis; Metabolite; Principal Component Analysis; Random Forest
Online: 5 September 2020 (07:51:50 CEST)
The many strains of Cannabis spp. are associated with many effects on users and contain many different potentially psychoactive metabolites, but the links between metabolite profiles and user effects are unclear. Here we take a statistical approach to linking cause (i.e. metabolites) to effects in Cannabis spp. through the prism of strains, using quantitative data for metabolite composition and user effects. We find that species (indica vs. sativa) explains <2% of the variability in metabolite profiles, while strain explains 1/3 of variability, indicating species is nonindicative of metabolite composition, while strain is approximately indicative. Using random forests we generate a table of potential metabolite-effect links. We also find that effect-weighted metabolite composition can effectively be described in terms of four values representing the concentrations of pairs or triplets of particular compounds.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0246.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: E. urophylla × E. grandis; plantation; forest yield
Online: 17 February 2020 (15:21:39 CET)
Background and Objectives: The site types of Eucalyptus urophylla × Eucalyptus grandis clonal plantations in southern Yunnan were compared, aiming to provide basis for site selection and scientific plantations management. Materials and Methods: In this study, 80 standard plots were set up in the 6−9-year-old Eucalypts plantations in Pu'er City and Lincang City. Furthermore, the quantitative theory I model and canonical correlation analysis were used to analyze the relationship between dominant tree growth traits and site factors, and evaluate the growth potential of E. urophylla × E. grandis plantation. Results: The multiple correlation coefficient between 8 site factors (altitude, slope, slope level, soil thickness, slope direction, texture, soil bulk density, and litter thickness) and the quantitative growth of the dominant wood was 0.825 (P < 0.05). According to the correlation coefficient of the quantitative regression model, slope, altitude, and soil thickness were the main factors for the classification of E. urophylla × E. grandis plantations in southern Yunnan. In addition, E. urophylla × E. grandis plantations grew best downhill and mid uphill at relatively low altitude, where the soil layer was thick and composed of weathered red soil. Contrastingly, E. urophylla × E. grandis plantation growth was extremely poor in uphill sites at higher altitude, where the soil layer was thin and composed of semi-weathered purple soil. Furthermore, total N, and available B, Cu, and Zn content, as well as soil organic matter content in the soil had a great influence on the growth of E. urophylla × E. grandis. Conclusions: Nitrogen and phosphate fertilizer as well as trace elements such as B, Zn, and Cu can be properly applied in middle- and low-yield forests to promote the growth and development of E. urophylla × E. grandis plantations.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints201906.0001.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: forest soils; soil enzyme aktivity; soil microorganisms
Online: 3 June 2019 (04:45:20 CEST)
Soil proteases are involved in the transformation of organic matter and thus influence the nutrient turnover in the ecosystem. Phytohormones, similarly to proteases, are synthesized and secreted into the soil by fungi and microorganisms and regulating their activity in the rhizosphere. The aim of our work was to find out how the presence of auxins, cytokinins, ethephone and chlorocholine chloride affects the activity of native soil proteases at the spruce tree stand. Auxins stimulated the native proteolytic activity in the spruce tree stand. Synthetic auxins most stimulated the activity of 2-naphthoxyacetic acid and the naturally occurring auxins of indole-3-acetic acid in the organic horizon of the spruce forest. Cytokinins, ethephone and chlorocholine chloride inhibited the activity of native soil proteases in the spruce tree stand. The highest inhibitory effect was found in ethephone and chlorocholine chloride. Overall, the negative effect of phytohormones on the activity of the native proteolytic activity may slow down the decomposition of organic matter and thus make plant nutrition more difficult. The outcomes of our work assist with understanding of the effect of substances produced by the rhizosphere on the activity of soil microorganisms and the soil nitrogen cycle.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0250.v3
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Remote Sensing Keywords: Built-settlements; urban features; spatial growth; , random forest; dasymetric modelling; population
Online: 9 October 2019 (10:48:20 CEST)
Mapping settlement extents at the annual time step has a wide variety of applications in demography, public health, sustainable development, and many other fields. Recently, while more multitemporal urban feature or human settlement datasets have become available, issues still exist in remotely-sensed imagery due to coverage, adverse atmospheric conditions, and expenses involved in producing such feature sets. These challenges make it difficult to increase temporal coverage while maintaining high fidelity in the spatial resolution. Here we demonstrate an interpolative and flexible modeling framework for producing annual built-settlement extents. We use a combined technique of random forest and spatio-temporal dasymetric modeling with open source subnational data to produce annual 100m x 100m resolution binary settlement maps in four test countries of varying environmental and developmental contexts for test periods of five-year gaps. We find that in the majority of years, across all study areas, the model correctly identified between 85-99% of pixels that transition to built-settlement. Additionally, with few exceptions, the model substantially out performed a model that gave every pixel equal chance of transitioning to the category “built” in each year. This modelling framework shows strong promise for filling gaps in cross-sectional urban feature datasets derived from remotely-sensed imagery, provide a base upon which to create future built/settlement extent projections, and further explore the relationships between built area and population dynamics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0022.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: cooperatives; membership heterogeneity; random forest; collective action
Online: 2 April 2018 (11:01:16 CEST)
The effects of heterogeneity of cooperative membership on cooperative and collective action sustainability has been previously discussed. However, despite the importance of membership heterogeneity in recent theoretical frameworks, empirical examinations have been limited. We determine the effect of changes to cooperative member heterogeneity on cooperative sustainability and discuss changes to heterogeneity overtime that can advance our understanding to cooperative sustainability long-term. This study uses USDA Agricultural Management Resource Survey data, coupled with USDA-Rural Development cooperative financial data at the state level, to quantify effects of cooperative member heterogeneity to sustainability of U.S. farmer cooperatives. We use random forest regression to interpret the significance of heterogeneity with cooperative sustainability at an aggregate level. The findings of this empirical study narrowly reconciles the theoretical understanding of the emergence of intra-cooperative issues while providing consistent empirical evidence and expectations for the sustainability of cooperatives in the near term.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201711.0131.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: LAI; NVDI; stand structure; urban forest; Thailand
Online: 20 November 2017 (16:52:53 CET)
Rapid urbanization has changed the structure and function of natural ecosystems, especially the floodplain ecosystems in SE Asia. This paper describes the ecological structure of vegetation stands and the usefulness of satellite images to characterize a disturbed tropical urban forest located in the lower floodplain of the Chao Phraya River, Thailand. Nine representative plots were established in Bang Kachao peninsula in 4 tropical urban forest types: rehabilitation forest, home-garden agroforestry, mangrove and park. The correlation between NDVI and LAI obtained from satellite images and plant structure from field surveys were analyzed. The NDVI had the highest relationship with stand factors for the number of families, number of species, Shannon-Weiner’s diversity index and total basal area. The LAI had the highest correlation with total basal area, number of canopy layers, stand density and canopy density. Linear regression predicted the correlation between NDVI and LAI with stand factors as show above. The trend in NDVI and LAI reflected the urban forest type, being high in rehabilitation and mangrove forests, moderate in home-gardens and low in parks. Future urban planning of the Bang Kachao peninsula should focus on rehabilitation to increase the biodiversity and complexity of the urban forest.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201607.0081.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: resilience, land management, wildfire, Mediterranean dry forest
Online: 27 July 2016 (10:01:44 CEST)
Wildfires have always been a part of the history of Mediterranean forests. However, forest regeneration after a wildfire is not certain. It depends on many factors, some of which may be influenced by land management activities. Failure of regeneration will cause a regime shift in the ecosystem, reducing the provision of ecosystem services and ultimately leading to desertification. How can we increase Mediterranean forests’ resilience to fire? To answer this question, we did a literature review, investigating chains of processes that allow forests to regenerate (which we label “regeneration mechanisms”), and assessed the impact of selected management practices documented in the WOCAT database on the regeneration mechanisms. We identified three distinct regeneration mechanisms that enable Mediterranean forests to recover, as well as the time frame before and after a fire in which they are at work, and factors that can hinder or support resilience. The three regeneration mechanisms enabling a forest to regenerate after a fire consist of regeneration (1) from a seed bank; (2) from resprouting individuals; and (3) from unburned plants that escaped the fire. Management practices were grouped into four categories: (1) fuel breaks, (2) fuel management, (3) afforestation, and (4) mulching. We assessed how and under what conditions land management modifies the ecosystem’s resilience. The results show that land management influences resilience by interacting with resilience mechanisms before and after the fire, and not just by modifying the fire regime. Our analysis demonstrates a need for adaptive – i.e. context- and time-specific – management strategies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201801.0275.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: forest biomass; aboveground biomass; airborne lidar; monitoring; regional forest inventory; variable selection; Bayesian model averaging; multiple linear regression
Online: 30 January 2018 (04:05:36 CET)
Historical forest management practices in the southwestern US have left forests prone to high intensity, stand-replacement fires. Effective management to reduce the cost and impact of forest-fire management and allow fires to burn freely without negative impact depends on detailed knowledge of stand composition, in particular, above-ground biomass (AGB). Lidar-based modeling techniques provide opportunities to reduce costs and increase ability of managers to monitor AGB and other forest metrics. Using Bayesian Model Averaging (BMA), we develop a regionally applicable lidar-based statistical model for Ponderosa pine and mixed conifer forest systems of the southwestern USA, using previously collected field data. The selected regional model includes a mid and low canopy height metric, a canopy cover, and height distribution term. It explains 72% of the variability in field estimates of AGB, and the RMSE of the two independent validation data sets are 23.25 and 32.82 Mg/ha. The regional model developed is structured in accordance with previously described models fit to local data, and performs equivalently to models designed for smaller scale application. Developing regional models for broad scale application provides a cost-effective, robust approach for managers to monitor and plan adaptively at the landscape scale.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0014.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: Bengal slow loris; masked palm civet; common palm civet; conservation; forest canopy; density; Satchari National Park; tropical forest; Bangladesh
Online: 2 August 2020 (11:09:08 CEST)
Tropical forests harbor complex communities that are linked together by biotic relationships. Asian forests in particular have lost many apex predators due to habitat loss. We studied a small forest patch in northeastern Bangladesh, Satchari National Park, to determine density and diversity of nocturnal mammals and evaluate their relationships. Transects were walked from February 2015 to July 2016 and density was estimated using distance sampling. Nine species of mammals (5 arboreal and 4 ground-dwelling) were encountered. Densities of the common palm civets, Paradoxurus hermaphrodites, Bengal slow loris, Nycticebus bengalensis, were the highest (19.48 and 15.03 individuals/km2). Density of small Indian civets, large Indian civets and Indian mongoose were lower (2.31-5.55 individuals/km2). Unexpectedly, a wide range of nocturnal mammals co-existed in this forest patch, in spite of fragmentation and severe disturbance. We did not find any significant association between any of the species studied, although this could be an artifact of low sample size. Conservation in Bangladesh remains a challenge due to high human population density. Thus, strict conservation measures are needed to permit the long-term survival of these species.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1966.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: forest management; sustainability; FSC; PEFC; research; market share
Online: 30 November 2023 (09:12:37 CET)
Keywords: Forest management; sustainability; FSC; PEFC; research; market share
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.1412.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: access and control; forest, livelihood; Orang Rimba; sustainability
Online: 23 October 2023 (09:01:16 CEST)
Forests, as a form of natural resource, play a significant role in the social, ecological, and economic aspects of community life. One of the communities that live in the forest and dependent on the forest is Orang Rimba in Jambi. The objectives of this research are to investigate changes in ownership and access systems of natural resources within the Orang Rimba community, the factors driving these changes, and the impacts of changes in access and control over natural resources on the socio-cultural conditions of the Orang Rimba community. This research was conducted using a qualitative approach. The result of this research shows that the Orang Rimba community has experienced changes in access and control of forest resources. Many factors contribute to these changes, mainly from the Government and market forces. Moreover, these changes bring about some fundamental changes in Orang Rimba’s livelihood and even their live in general.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1270.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: Forest; Treecover; LST; AOD; Remote Sensing; Himalayan; Nightlight
Online: 19 September 2023 (08:17:17 CEST)
The study sheds light on the impact of urbanization on fragile ecosystems such as the western Himalayas. We use Haldwani in Uttarakhand as an example of human encroachment and loss of ecosystem services. Several environmental parameters such as Nighttime light (NTL), Land Surface Temperatures (LSTs), Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) and forest cover are used based on satellite imagery to allow a bidecadal comparison (between 2000 and 2020) of the status of these parameters for the city based on these parameters shows a decline in ecosystem services. Significant statistical differences for LSTs and AOD (p < 0.001) can be found in the bidecadal comparison. Furthermore, a strong negative correlation was found between LST-NDVI (r = -0.69) and between NTL-NDVI (r = -0.58) in earlier and last decade intervals. In addition, long-term multi-spectral satellite imagery also shows a decline in tree cover in the reserved forest. Therefore, focusing on ecosystem services related to tree cover in reserved forest areas, particularly in the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) must be part of a broader action plan to address these issues to further protect fragile Himalayan ecosystems.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.2075.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: land use changes; zoning; community forest; resilience; Togo
Online: 30 May 2023 (07:57:57 CEST)
Affem Boussou community forest (AFC) abounds in important biological resources. This study, which contributes to its better management, examines the spatiotemporal dynamics of the vegetation and its ecological and structural characteristics to propose a zoning plan for the said forest. The analysis of the spatiotemporal dynamics of land use in the AFC from Google Earth images of 2015, 2018, and 2021 revealed a regressive trend of formations: crops and fallows (-33.98%), dense dry forests (-7.92%), gallery forests (-3.46%), plantations (-100%), grassy savannahs and meadows (-18.84%) except for tree/shrub savannahs (484.23%). The floristic inventory identified 163 species divided into 129 genera and 55 families. Fabaceae (14.02%), and Combretaceae (10.55%) are the most represented families. Anogeissus leiocarpa (5.19%) and Vitellaria paradoxa (4.72%) are the most frequent species. We note the dominance of individuals of small diameters. The regeneration potential of the AFC is 64 feet/ha due to 21 feet/ha of suckers, 29 feet/ha of seedlings, and 14 feet/ha of shoots. As a zoning plan, the AFC was subdivided into four series: the agroforestry zone (18.80%), the sustainable production forest zone (42.22%), the buffer zone (11%), and the biological conservation zone (28%). These results constitute a scientific basis for testing ecological indicators of sustainable management of community forests in Togo.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0957.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Soil Science Keywords: enzyme degradation; nitrogen; phosphorus; protease; forest soil; tropics
Online: 12 May 2023 (13:45:17 CEST)
Soil enzyme activity can be affected by both production and degradation, as enzymes can be degraded by proteases. However, the impact of nutrient addition on enzyme activity is often solely attributed to changes in enzyme production without fully considering degradation. Here, we demonstrated that the activities of β-1,4-glucosidase (BG), β-D-cellobiohydrolase (CBH), β-1,4-Xylosidase (BX), and β-1,4-N-acetyl-glucosaminnidase (NAG) were comparable in nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fertilized soils and the unfertilized control under field conditions, but the reduction in activity was substantially greater in the fertilized soils during short-term laboratory incubation. The results show that the interruption of the natural, continuous supply of organic matter or non-soil microbial-derived enzymes, which typically occurs under field conditions, leads to a more significant reduction in apparent enzyme activities in fertilized soils compared to unfertilized control. This may be attributed to the higher abundance of protease in fertilized soils, resulting in faster enzyme degradation. Interestingly, P fertilization alone did not have a similar effect, indicating that N fertilization is likely the main cause of the larger decreases in enzyme activity during incubation in fertilized soils compared to unfertilized control soils, despite our study site being poor in P and rich in N. These findings highlight the importance of considering enzyme degradation when investigating material dynamics in forest ecosystems, including the impact of nutrient addition on enzyme activity, as enzyme production alone may not fully explain changes in apparent enzyme activity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.1222.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Toxicology Keywords: aromatic compounds; CYP2E1; phenylalanine; molecular simulation; random forest
Online: 29 April 2023 (07:32:55 CEST)
The amino acid composition of the active site in an enzyme is influential on its substrate selectivity. For CYP2E1, the role of PHE residues in the formation of effective orientations for its activity toward aromatic substrates remains unclear. In this study, molecular docking and molecular dynamics analysis were performed toward the interactions between PHEs in the active site of human CYP2E1 and various aromatic compounds as confirmed CYP2E1 substrates. The results indicated that the orientation of 1-methylpyrene (1-MP) in the active site was highly modulated by the PHEs, PHE478 contributing to the binding free energy most significantly. Furthermore, by building a random forest model the relationship between each of 19 molecular descriptors of PCB congeners (from molecular docking, quantum mechanics, and physicochemical properties) and established human CYP2E1-dependent mutagenicity of a series of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which have been proven to be human carcinogens and endocrinal disrupters, was investigated. The presence of PHEs did not appear to significantly modify the electronic or structural feature of each bound ligand (PCB), instead, the flexibility of the molecular conformation of PHEs contributed substantially to the effective binding energy and orientation. It is supposed that PHE residues adjust their own conformation to permit a suitable space for the ligand binding and form an orientation favorable for a biochemical reaction. This study has provided some insights into the role of PHEs in guiding the interactive adaptation of the active site of human CYP2E1 for the binding and metabolism of aromatic substrates.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0024.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: random forest; gaussian plume; GEM-AQ; downscalling; PM10
Online: 3 April 2023 (10:40:09 CEST)
High PM10 concentrations are still a significant problem in many parts of the world. In many countries, including Poland, 50μg/m3 is the permissible threshold for a daily averaged PM10 concentration. The number of people affected by this threshold’s exceedance is challenging to estimate and requires high-resolution concentration maps. This paper presents an application of random forests for downscaling regional model air quality results. As policymakers and other end users are eager to receive a detailed resolution PM10 concentration maps, we propose a technique which utilizes the results of regional CTM (GEM-AQ, with 2.5km resolution) and local Gaussian plume model. As a result, we receive a detailed, 250-meter resolution PM10 distribution, which resembles the complex emission pattern in a foothill area in southern Poland. The random forest results are highly consistent with the GEM-AQ and observed concentration. We also discuss different strategies of data training random forest - using additional features and selecting target variables.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0330.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Forest nutrition; soil chemistry; geology; cumulative distribution functions
Online: 21 July 2022 (13:26:46 CEST)
Successful fertilization treatments targeted to improve stand productivity while reducing operational complexities and cost depend on a clear understanding of soil nutrient availability under varying environmental conditions. Soil nutrient data collected from 154 forest sites throughout the Inland Northwest, USA were analyzed to examine soil nutrient characteristics on different geologic soil parent materials and to rank soil fertility. Results show that soil parent material explains significant differences in soil nutrient availability. Soils developed from volcanic rocks have the highest CEC and are relatively high in P, K, S, Mg, Cu, Ca, and B, but generally poor in N. Forest soils developed from plutonic rocks exhibit the lowest CEC and are low in N, S, K, Mg, Cu, and Ca, but higher in P. Some soils located on mixed glacial till are low only in K, Cu, Mg, and Ca, but many glacial soils are relatively rich in other nutrients, albeit the second lowest CEC. Soils developed from metasedimentary and sedimentary rocks are among those with lowest soil nutrient availability for P and B. Sulfur was found to have the highest concentrations in metasedimentary influenced soils and the least in sedimentary derived soils. Our results should be useful in designing site-specific fertilizer and nutrient management prescriptions for forest stands growing on soils developed from these major geologies within the Inland Northwest region of the United States.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0029.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: Sawn wood; Socio-economic; Timber marketing; Forest enterprise
Online: 1 September 2021 (16:16:19 CEST)
Forest enterprise has been identified as a means of generating income among people; plays a vital role in enhancing the quality of life of forest-dependent people. Despite the opportunities timber marketing offers the people, the disparities in the income generation of the marketers in the Bodija sawn wood Market and the effect of socio-economic factors on income generation of the marketers is not well understood. This study was conducted to assess the socio-economic determinants of contributions of timber marketing to the income of timber merchants in Bodija sawn-wood Market. One hundred structured questionnaires were administered randomly in five zones of the sawn wood Market to obtain information on the socio-economic background of the sawn wood marketers and the contribution of timber trade to their incomes. The result indicated that 99.0% of the respondents were male while females constituted 1.00%. Seventy-five percent of the marketers had post-primary education and 25% had primary education. Two percent of the marketers had below 10 years of marketing experience, twenty-six percent had between 11 and 20 years, 57.00% had between 21 and 30 years, and 15.00% had more than 30years experience. Fifty-eight percent of the respondents earned between ₦10000-₦60000 (1US$ = 360.00) from timber marketing, thirty-one percent earned between ₦60001 and ₦110000, 7% earned between ₦110001 and ₦160000, while 4% earned above ₦160000 per month. Chi-square analysis of the socio-economic characteristics of the respondents and income generation at α level of 0.05 indicated that ethnicity (0.001) and years of experience (0.009) significantly influenced income while the level of education (0.101), age (0.122), and religion (0.745) had no significant influence on the incomes of marketers. Experience is an important factor in sawn wood marketing and a major determinant of the contribution of timber marketing to the income of timber marketers in Bodija sawn wood Market.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0727.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: Boreal Forest; LiDAR; Landsat 8; Surface Reflectance; Alaska
Online: 30 June 2021 (09:51:47 CEST)
Forests are critical in regulating the world’s climate and they maintain overall Earth’s energy balance. The variability in forest canopy structure, topography and underneath vegetation background condition creates uncertainty in the estimation and modelling of Earth’s surface radiation particularly for boreal regions in high latitude. We studied seasonal variation in surface reflectance with respect to land cover classes, canopy structures, and topography in a boreal region of Alaska by fusing together Landsat 8 surface reflectance and LiDAR-derived canopy matrices. Our study shows that canopy structure and topography interplay and influence surface reflectance in a complex way particularly during the snow season. Topographic aspect and elevation control vegetation growth, type and structure. The southern slope is featured with more deciduous and taller trees having greater rugosity than the northern slope. Higher elevation is associated with taller trees for both vegetation types, particularly in the southern slope. In general, surface reflectance shows similar relationships with canopy cover, height and rugosity, mainly due to close relationships between these parameters. Surface reflectance decreases with canopy cover, tree height, and rugosity especially for evergreen forest. Deciduous forest shows larger variability of surface reflectance, particularly in March, mainly due to the mixing effect of snow and vegetation. The relationship between vegetation structure and surface reflectance is greatly impacted by topography. The negative relationship between elevation and surface reflectance may be due to taller and denser vegetation distribution in higher elevation. Surface reflectance in the southern slope is slightly larger than the northern slope for both deciduous and evergreen forest. The shadow effect from topography and tree crowns on surface reflectance play a different role for deciduous and evergreen forests. For deciduous forest, topographic shadow effect on surface reflectance is stronger than from tree shadowing in all seasons. For evergreen forest, shadow effects from topography and tree crowns on surface reflectance are both equally dominant, however tree shadow effect is more significant in March than in May and August. The generalized additive models (GAM) based on non-linear relationships between response (surface reflectance) and predictor (canopy structures and topography) variables confirms such observations. Our study not only provides accurate quantification of surface radiation budget but also helps in parametrization of climate change models.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0273.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Accounting And Taxation Keywords: Landscape Ecology; Lake; River; Urban Ecosystem; Urban Forest
Online: 11 February 2021 (09:46:04 CET)
Within the town, Abiotic is a built environment that includes buildings, roads, pedestrians, and other elements that interact with biotics, which are living things including plants, animals, and humans. From a landscape ecological perspective, the urban structure consists of (1) a matrix, which is a collection of dominant buildings and homogeneous elements, (2) Patches are grouped as housing, urban forests, parks, lakes, and finally (3) Corridors such as roads, rivers, and pedestrians. The dominance of watertight areas over green open spaces in urban development can lead to increased temperatures and runoff. The condition of the soil structure and the steep slope of the soil can cause landslides, therefore urban development must pay attention to the natural conditions of the area being built. This research was conducted in Kota Baru, Bogor, South Tangerang, and Cikarang (Bekasi Regency). The purpose of this study is to determine the natural environment and the built environment as well as changes in the ecosystem and their consequences for the new town and its surroundings. This research uses quantitative and qualitative approaches. Analysis of land-use change uses spatial and temporal methods, while Nieuwolt's equation is used to measure comfort. This study finds comfortable environmental planning, with green open spaces such as urban forests, city parks, and bodies of water, such as lakes, as a space for interaction between fellow new city residents and people outside the new towns.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0266.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: Tannin, forest regions; bioeconomy; polyphenols; chestnut; organic electrodes
Online: 10 February 2021 (16:18:39 CET)
Produced in many world’s countries at over 1 million tonne/year rate by extraction of certain woods and barks with boiling water, tannin is a class of high molecular weight biophenols increasingly used in a number of industries. This study offers a new bioeconomy insight into an old natural product that, we argument in this study, will play a crucial role in the development of the bioeconomy of forest regions. After providing an updated picture of key economic and production aspects, we show how flourishing research on tannin’s biological activity and technological applications has revealed many new properties which are likely to drive significant growth in demand in the near and mid-term future. The study concludes with selected recommendations for bioeconomy scholars and for policy-makers based in forest areas.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0432.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: Flora; Vascular plants; Reserve forest; Threatened plants; Kaptai
Online: 18 September 2020 (11:22:12 CEST)
A botnical survey was conducted in Kaptai reserve forests under Rangamati district in Bangladesh to study the flora of Karnaphuli range from May 2015 to October 2018. The survey was accompanied by a collection of voucher specimens enumerates 464 plant species belonging to 334 genera under 117 families from the forest range. The survey has confirmed 31 threatened forest species from this area along with many near threatened plant species.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0413.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Forestry Keywords: flora; vascular plants; reserve forest; threatened plants; Kaptai
Online: 18 September 2020 (03:58:13 CEST)
A botnical survey was conducted in Kaptai reserve forests under Rangamati district in Bangladesh to study the flora of Karnaphuli range from May 2015 to October 2018. The survey was accompanied by a collection of voucher specimens enumerates 464 plant species belonging to 334 genera under 117 families from the forest range. The survey has confirmed 31 threatened forest species from this area along with many near threatened plant species.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0327.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: chlorophyll fluorescence; remote sensing; ecosystems; spring-summer; forest
Online: 14 August 2020 (12:11:37 CEST)
The European heatwave of 2018 led to record-breaking temperatures and extremely dry conditions in many parts of the continent resulting in widespread decrease in agricultural yield, early tree-leaf senescence, and increase in forest fires in Northern Europe. Our study aims to capture the impact of the 2018 European heatwave on terrestrial ecosystem through the lens of a high-resolution solar-induced fluorescence (SIF) data acquired from the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2) satellite. SIF is proposed to be a direct proxy for gross primary productivity (GPP) and thus can be used to draw inferences about changes in photosynthetic activity in vegetation due to extreme events. We explore spatial and temporal SIF variation and anomaly during spring and summer months across different vegetation types (agriculture, broadleaved forest, coniferous forest, and mixed forest) during the European heatwave of 2018 and compare it to non-drought conditions (most of Southern Europe). About one-third of Europe’s land area experienced a consecutive spring and summer drought in 2018. Comparing 2018 to mean (2015-2017) conditions, we found a change in intra-spring season SIF dynamics for all vegetation types, with lower SIF during the start of spring followed by an increase in fluorescence from mid-April. Summer, however, showed a significant decrease in SIF. Our results show that particularly agricultural areas were severely affected by the hotter drought of 2018. Furthermore, the intense heat wave in Central Europe showed about 31% decrease in SIF values during July and August as compared to the mean over three previous years. Furthermore, our MODIS and OCO-2 comparative results indicate that especially for forests, OCO-2 SIF has a quicker response and possible higher sensitivity to drought in comparison to MODIS’s fPAR and NDVI when considering shorter reference periods, which highlights the added value of remotely sensed solar-induced fluorescence for studying the impact of drought on vegetation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0093.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Probability And Statistics Keywords: fia; forest inventory; small area estimation; survey weight
Online: 9 October 2019 (07:38:07 CEST)
We propose a new estimator for creating expansion factors for survey plots in the USDA Forest Inventory and Analysis program. This is a regularized version of the raking estimator widely used in sample surveys. The regularized raking method differs from other predictive modeling methods for integrating survey and ancillary data in that it produces a single set of expansion factors that can have general purpose use to produce small area estimates and wall-to-wall maps of any plot characteristic. This method also differs from other more widely used survey techniques, such of GREG estimation, in that it is guaranteed to produce positive expansion factors. We extend the previous method here to include cross-validation, and provide a comparison to expansion factors between the regularized raking and ridge GREG survey calibration.