ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0275.v1
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: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences 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: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences 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: Social Sciences, Other 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
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: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science 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: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science 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: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences 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, Ecology 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.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0198.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences 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: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences 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: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science 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: Earth Sciences, Geoinformatics 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, Ecology 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: Earth Sciences, Other 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/preprints202207.0392.v2
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences 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: Social Sciences, 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: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences 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: Behavioral Sciences, Social 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, 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: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences 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: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science 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: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science 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: Life Sciences, Biochemistry 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.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0287.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences 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, 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, 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.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0241.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science 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: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science 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: Social Sciences, Business And Administrative Sciences 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, 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/preprints202112.0099.v1
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
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/preprints202207.0285.v1
Subject: Biology, 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, 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/preprints201910.0360.v1
Subject: Biology, Other 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: Behavioral Sciences, Social 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: Social Sciences, Other 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.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0168.v1
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 & Pharmacology, Nursing & Health Studies 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.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0106.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science 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: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences 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: Behavioral Sciences, Cognitive & Experimental Psychology 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/preprints202301.0557.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Other 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: Life Sciences, 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, Anatomy & Morphology 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: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science 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 & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & 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
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, Agricultural Sciences & 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: Earth Sciences, Geoinformatics 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: Social Sciences, 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: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences 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: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences 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: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences 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, Animal Sciences & 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/preprints202207.0330.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences 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: Social Sciences, Microeconomics And Decision Sciences 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: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science 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: Social Sciences, Accounting 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
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
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, 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: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences 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: Mathematics & Computer Science, 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.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0018.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Metabolomics, Biomarker, Random Forest.
Online: 1 August 2018 (11:30:39 CEST)
Background: Diabetes is among the most prevalent diseases worldwide, of all the affected individuals a significant proportion of the population remains undiagnosed because of a lack of specific symptoms early in this disorder and inadequate diagnostics. Diabetes and its associated sequela, i.e., comorbidity are associated with microvascular and macrovascular complications. As diabetes is characterized by an altered metabolism of key metabolites and regulatory pathways. Metabolic phenotyping can provide us with a better understanding of the unique set of regulatory perturbations that predispose to diabetes and its associated comorbidities. Methodology: The present study utilizes the analytical platform NMR spectroscopy coupled with Random Forest statistical analysis to identify the discriminatory metabolites of diabetes (DB) and diabetes-related comorbidity (DC) along with the healthy control (HC) subjects. A combined and pairwise analysis was performed, between the serum samples of HC (n=50), and DB (n=38), and DC (n=35) individuals to identify the discriminatory metabolites responsible for class separation. The perturbed metabolites were further rigorously validated using t-test, AUROC analysis to examine the statistical significance of the identified metabolites. Results: The DB and DC patients were well discriminated from HC. However, 15 metabolites were found to be significantly perturbed in DC patients compared to DB, the identified panel of metabolites are TCA cycle (succinate, citrate), methylamine metabolism (trimethylamine, methylamine, betaine), -intermediates; energy metabolites (glucose, lactate, pyruvate); and amino acids (valine, arginine, glutamate, methionine, proline and threonine). The metabolites were further used to identify the perturbed metabolic pathway and correlation of metabolites in DC patients. Conclusion: The 1H NMR metabolomics may prove a promising technique to differentiate and predict diabetes and its comorbidities on their onset or progression by determining the altered levels of the metabolites in serum.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0042.v1
Subject: Biology, Forestry Keywords: species, edible, food bearing, diversity, neighborhoods, urban forest
Online: 3 July 2018 (12:10:53 CEST)
In Africa, 80% of households in urban areas are food insecure and is coupled with a dramatically changing urban food culture towards increased consumption of sugary and fatty foods. Consequently, incidences of obesity and undernourishment in many African cities are becoming escalating. Urban and peri-urban forestry emerges as a complementary measure to contribute towards elimination of urban hunger and improved nutritional security. However, there is scanty knowledge about the composition, diversity and socioeconomic contributions of urban food trees in African cities and this hinders policy discussions integrating urban forestry into the food security discourse. This paper examines the diversity and composition of the urban forest and food trees of Accra and sheds light on perceptions of urbanites regarding food tree cultivation and availability in the city. Using a mixed methods approach, about 105 respondents in six neighbourhoods of Accra were interviewed while over 200 100-m2 plots were surveyed across five land use types. Twenty-two out of the 70 woody species in Accra are edible. The food tree abundance in the city is about half of the total number of trees enumerated. The species richness and abundance of the edible trees and all trees in the city were significantly different among land use types (p<0.0001) and neighbourhood types (p<0.0001). The diversity of food bearing tree species was much higher in the poorer neighbourhoods than in the wealthier neighbourhoods. Respondents in wealthier neighbourhoods indicated that tree and fruit tree cover of the city was generally low and showed greater interests in cultivating fruit trees and expanding urban forest cover than poorer neighbourhoods. These findings demonstrate the need for urban food policy reforms that integrate urban grown tree foods in the urban food system/culture.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0063.v1
Subject: Biology, Forestry Keywords: forest certification; market segmentation; cluster analysis; motivation schemes
Online: 3 May 2018 (09:21:17 CEST)
Forest certification is considered a viable market-based policy instrument to promote forest sustainability. It has an important role of play in meeting the objective of modern forestry development in China, which is to sustain ecological and environmental benefits of forests. To understand differences in attitudes, opinions, and interests in forest certification, this study segmented respondents of a landowner’s survey in Shandong, China based on their level of interest in participating in forest certification under different program requirements. Multivariate cluster analysis revealed three distinct groups: likely-, potential-, and unlikely-landowners. We further examined the heterogeneity of these groups in terms of their demographics, ownership characteristics, management objectives, and perceived benefits and challenges with adopting forest certification. The results suggested the necessity of differentiating landowners in formulating and designing specific motivation-based incentives and tailor outreach efforts and communication strategies to improve their interests in forest certification. Findings are useful and interesting to forest policymakers interested in promoting forest certification among landowners in China and other countries facing similar circumstances.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0108.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geoinformatics Keywords: Forest fire danger index; MODIS; MOD11; MOD09; MOD14
Online: 14 March 2018 (15:38:35 CET)
Forest fire is a major ecological disaster, which has economic, social and environmental impacts on humans and also causes the loss of biodiversity. Forest officials issue the warnings to the public on the basis of fire danger index classes. There is no fire danger index for the country India due to the sparsely distributed meteorological stations. Previous studies suggest that Static Fire Danger Index (SFDI) as well as Dynamic Fire Danger Index (DFDI) have been derived from the satellite datasets. In this study, we have made an attempt to integrate both the Static and Dynamic fire danger indices and also used the Near Real Time (NRT) data sets that can be available for download through NASA FTP server after one hour of the satellite overpass. In this study, DFDI has been calculated from the MODIS Terra NRT Land Surface Temperature (MOD11_L2) and MODIS TERRA NRT surface reflectance MOD09. Finally, The Forest Fire Danger Index (FFDI) has been developed from the static and dynamic fire danger indices by the additive model and the overall accuracy was around 81.27%. Thus, the FFDI has been useful to predict the fire danger accurately and can be useful anywhere, where the meteorological stations are un-available.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0684.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: climate analogue; climate change; model ensemble; twin region; analogue region; national forest inventories; species suitability; forest adaptation; forestry practice; Europe
Online: 29 March 2021 (11:28:36 CEST)
Climate analogues provide forestry practice empirical evidence of how forests are managed in “twin” regions, i.e. regions where the current climate is comparable to the expected future climate at a site of interest. But the uncertain future climate creates uncertainty in how to adapt the forests. We therefore investigate how the uncertainty in future climate affects tree species suitability and whether there is a common underlying pattern. Like most studies we employ different ensemble variants of RCP 4.5 and 8.5. But instead of focusing on a single point in future time, we resolve each variant in a climate trajectory from 2000 to 2100. We calculate climatic distances between the climate trajectories of our site of interest and the current climate in Europe, generating maps with twin regions from 2000 to 2100. Forest inventories from the twin regions allow us to trace the changes in the prevalence of 23 major tree species. We find that it is not the direction but rather the velocity of the change that differs between the scenarios. We use this pattern to propose a tree species suitability concept that integrates the uncertainty in future climate. Twin regions provide further information on silvicultural practices, pest management, product chains etc.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0493.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: California Air Resources Board; carbon trading; Climate Action Reserve; eddy covariance; forest carbon protocols; forest carbon supply chain; Green New Deal; Howland Forest; net ecosystem exchange; social cost of CO2, CH4, N2O
Online: 19 March 2021 (08:23:11 CET)
Forest carbon sequestration is a widely accepted natural climate solution, however, methods to determine net carbon offsets are limited to commercial carbon proxies and CO2 eddy covariance research. Non-CO2 greenhouse gases (GHG) (e.g., CH4, N2O) receive less attention in the context of forests, in part, due to emphasis on CO2 and the operational requirements and cost for three-gas eddy covariance platforms. In this study, Howland forest flux tower (CO2, CH4) and soil flux data (CO2, CH4, N2O), representing net emission reductions, are linked to their respective social costs to estimate commercial revenue if sold as a GHG social cost forest offset product (GHG-SCF). Estimated annual revenue for GHG-SCF products, applicable to realization of a Green New Deal, range from 120,000 covering the site area of 557 acres in 2021, to 12,000,000 for extrapolation to 40,000 acres in 2040, assuming a 3% discount rate. The Howland Forest CO2 flux record for two adjacent towers is compared to California Air Resources Board forest carbon proxy data for compliance sequestration offsets, the only project site where these approaches overlap. Overcrediting, incomplete carbon accounting with annual errors of up to 2,256%, inadequate third-party verification, and limited application to non-CO2 GHG’s are established. In contrast, direct measurement of one or more GHG’s offers new forest products and revenue incentives to restore and conserve forests worldwide.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0408.v1
Subject: Biology, Plant Sciences Keywords: abiotic variables; altitude; immobilization; mineralization; mixed oak-pine forest
Online: 22 November 2022 (07:04:44 CET)
This study assessed the periodic ﬂuctuations among microbial biomass Carbon (C), Nitrogen (N) and Phosphorus (P), and the consequences of variations in altitude and abiotic factors on the soil microbial biomass (C, N and P) in a temperate mixed-oak pine forest of Central Himalaya. This research was directed at three forest stands along an altitudinal gradient. Samples were collected in triplicates, seasonally from each selected site and microbial C, N and P were determined through the fumigation extraction method. Microbial biomass C, N and P decreased significantly (P<0.01, correlation coefficient -0.985, -0.963, -0.948, respectively) with increasing altitude, while the rainy season showed the highest values, and winter season revealed the least values. Microbial biomass C, N and P showed positive correlation with silt particles, water holding capacity, bulk density, porosity, soil moisture, organic C, total N and P, and negative correlations with sand particles and soil pH. The microbial biomass C showed strong associations with soil microbial N (r=0.80, P<0.01) and P (r=0.89, P<0.01) contents, while the soil microbial biomass N and P also showed strong positive correlation (r=0.92, P< 0.01). Soil microbial biomass was greatly inﬂuenced by the altitude and abiotic variables whereas, weakly by temporal variation. The microbial C: N ratio indicated that fertility of soil is inﬂuenced by the species assemblage. Our findings suggest that high microbial biomass and low C: N ratio during rainy season could be considered as a strategy to conserve nutrients by temperate mixed-oak pine forest ecosystem.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0462.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Finance Keywords: Machine Learning; Random Forest; Google Trends; Predictability; Banks; Greece
Online: 29 July 2022 (13:07:42 CEST)
Background/Objectives: Accurate prediction of stock prices is an extremely challenging task because of factors such as political conditions, global economy, unexpected events, market anomalies, and relevant companies’ features. In this work, the random forest has been used to forecast the prices of the four major Greek systemic banks Methods/Analysis: We make use of a set of financial variables based on intraday data: (i) Open stock price, (ii) High stock price, (iii) Low stock price, and (iv) Close stock price of a particular Greek systemic bank. Results/Findings: The variables used here are crucial in predicting systemic banks' stock closing prices. These provide a better prediction of the next day's closing price of the bank series. Novelty /Improvement: To our knowledge, this is the first study that employs machine learning techniques in Greek systemic banks.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0138.v2
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: Yield mapping; vegetation index; Stepwise; SR; Random Forest; KNN
Online: 9 December 2021 (15:39:34 CET)
The use of machine learning techniques to predict yield based on remote sensing is a no-return path and studies conducted on farm aim to help rural producers in decision-making. Thus, commercial fields equipped with technologies in Mato Grosso, Brazil, were monitored by satellite images to predict cotton yield using supervised learning techniques. The objective of this research was to identify how early in the growing season, which vegetation indices and which machine learning algorithms are best to predict cotton yield at the farm level. For that, we went through the following steps: 1) We observed the yield in 398 ha (3 fields) and eight vegetation indices (VI) were calculated on five dates during the growing season. 2) Scenarios were created to facilitate the analysis and interpretation of results: Scenario 1: All Data (8 indices on 5 dates = 40 inputs) and Scenario 2: best variable selected by Stepwise regression (1 input). 3) In the search for the best algorithm, hyperparameter adjustments, calibrations and tests using machine learning were performed to predict yield and performances were evaluated. Scenario 1 had the best metrics in all fields of study, and the Multilayer Perceptron (MLP) and Random Forest (RF) algorithms showed the best performances with adjusted R2 of 47% and RMSE of only 0.24 t ha-1, however, in this scenario all predictive inputs that were generated throughout the growing season (approx. 180 days) are needed, so we optimized the prediction and tested only the best VI in each field, and found that among the eight VIs, the Simple Ratio (SR), driven by the K-Nearest Neighbor (KNN) algorithm predicts with 0.26 and 0.28 t ha-1 of RMSE and 5.20% MAPE, anticipating the cotton yield with low error by ±143 days, and with important aspect of requiring less computational demand in the generation of the prediction when compared to MLP and RF, for example, enabling its use as a technique that helps predict cotton yield, resulting in time savings for planning, whether in marketing or in crop management strategies.
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: Microbiome; Diazotroph; Nitrogen fixation bacteria; Random Forest; Network; Trichomona
Online: 23 August 2021 (12:15:31 CEST)
Biofertilizer, an environment-friendly and renewable plant nutrient source, has been widely applied and studied to reduce dependency on chemical fertilizers. However, most studies focus on the effects of biofertilizer on the bacterial and fungal communities, and we still lack an understanding of biofertilizer on the protistan community. Here, the effects of biofertilizer application on the composition and interaction of the protistan community in the wheat rhizosphere were investigated based on a 4-year field experiment. Biofertilizer application altered soil physicochemical properties and the protistan community composition (ANOSIM, p < 0.001), and significantly induced an alpha diversity decline. Random forecast and redundancy analysis demonstrated that nitrogenase activity and available phosphorus were the main drivers. Trichomonas classified to the phylum Metamonada was enriched by biofertilizer, and was significantly positive connections with soil nitrogenase activity and some function genes involved in nitrogen-fixation and nitrogen-dissimilation. Biofertilization loosely connected biotic interactions, while did not affect the stability of the protistan community. Besides, biofertilizer promoted the connections of protists with fungi, bacteria, and archaea. Combined with the conjunct biotic network (protist, fungi, bacteria, and archaea) and interactions between protists and soil physicochemical properties/function genes, protists may act as keystone taxa potentially driving soil microbiome composition and function.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0356.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: Land-use change; forest conversion; species loss; fragmentation; deforestation
Online: 17 August 2021 (10:10:09 CEST)
Remote sensing/GIS techniques are a versatile tool for x-raying serial forest structural changes in retrospect. It would be impossible to evaluate past occurrences and changes in forest extents in past decades at Effan Forest Reserve without non-conventional means. Therefore, we adopted remote sensing technology using Landsat images to evaluate land-use change and degradation rates in the area with a view to ascertaining causal factors for possible minimization of forest degradation in Effan Forest Reserve. Land-use/land-cover changes were analyzed using USGS-Landsat TM and ETM images of 1987, 2002, 2014 and 2019. Field-data were collected using handheld GPS receiver and spatial statistical analyses were conducted using the ground control points (GCPs). For inventory data, a systematic sampling technique was adopted using ten 1.05 km-transects at 500 m intervals. A total of 50 sample plots of 50 × 50 m were used. All tree species with Dbh ≥10 cm were enumerated. Nineteen tree species in ten families were encountered with Vitellaria paradoxa as the most-frequently occurring species in the area. IUCN-listed endangered Pterocarpus erinaceus, hitherto abundant in the area, was rarely encountered during the survey, while Vitellaria paradoxa is gradually shrinking, going the relative abundance in the area. The result further showed that primary and secondary forests decreased considerably by 258.03 ha (46.72%) and 9.18 ha (3.63%), respectively, with a total forest loss of 50.3% in 32 years (8.4 hayr-1, 1.6% per annum). While forest plantation size doubled by 369.72 ha within the period. This is worrisome as the remaining fragmented forests appeared to be on the decline, except the riparian vegetation, due to inaccessibility to the riparian by loggers. It thus appeared that forest protection approaches were ineffective. Increased protection efforts could save this forest reserve, and the concerned authority should consider a focused-enrichment planting involving indigenous species for ecosystem-repair.
Subject: Biology, Forestry Keywords: aboveground biomass, Belowground biomass, Biteyu forest, Carbon stocks, disturbance
Online: 14 July 2021 (14:07:11 CEST)
The carbon stocks in the forests originated from the atmosphere and are accumulated in the organic matter of trees and soils. Forests play major roles in providing ecosystem services like climate change mitigation through carbon sequestration and nutrient flow dynamics. Therefore, the major objective of this study was to estimate carbon stocks of Biteyu forest by quantifying the aboveground biomass of trees, belowground carbon, soil carbon, and carbon stocks of litter pool. Systematic sampling technique was employed for vegetation and carbon data collection. The total of 10 line transects were laid along elevational gradients. The transects were 500 m apart and sampling plots were 300 m apart from each other. Each transect has comprised of a minimum of 4 plots to a maximum of six totaling 50 plots representing the forest for the investigation. A square sample plot of 900 m2 was used to collect vegetation data with a DBH ≥ 2.5 cm and a height of 2 m and above. To sample herbaceous vegetation in the forest floor, five smaller subplots of 1 m x 1 m = 1 m2 (four at the corner and one at the centre of the main plot) were established. The disturbance level was also determined using the cattle interference and selective cutting of trees. The appropriate allometric models were applied for both aboveground and belowground biomass estimations. The findings showed that cattle interference affects the forest understory from growing and recruitment. The mean of cattle interference was 4.77±2.12 per ha and the mean of wood stump was 26.67±9.37 per ha. The size class analysis showed that the smallest diameter class (2.5-10 cm) in the forests represented 37.05% of the total stem density. The diameter classes between 10 and 30 cm comprised a stem density of 41.08%. It was estimated that the total carbon stock of Biteyu forest was about 166.67 ± 16.4 ha-1. The carbon stock in AGB and BGB was estimated to be 87.13 ± 11.80 t ha-1 and 22.94 ± 2.84 t ha-1, respectively. Moreover, the contribution of soil and litter carbon pools to the total carbon in the forest ecosystem were 56.37 ± 1.73 and 0.26 ± 0.01 t ha-1 , respectively. From the present study it can be concluded that estimated mean carbon stock of the forest is smaller than that of other similar forests in the dry evergreen montane forest, which was attributed to the higher anthropogenic disturbances. Therefore, the interventions, which reduce the climate change effect, would be very important in the maintenance of forest ecosystem functioning.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0530.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: airborne LiDAR; forest attributes; multivariate power model; sample size
Online: 22 June 2021 (13:03:33 CEST)
Exploring the effect of the sample size on the estimation accuracy of airborne LiDAR forest attributes in a large-scale area can help in optimizing the technical application scheme of operational ALS-based large-scale forest stand inventories. In our study, sample datasets composed of different sample plots were constructed by repeated sampling from 1003 sample plots in a subtropical study area covering 2376 × 103 km2. Sixteen multiplicative power models were built in each forest type consisting of four forest attributes. Through these models, the variations of standard deviation (SD) and coefficient of variation (CV) of R2 and rRMSE of forest attribute estimation models for different quantity levels of sample plots were also analyzed. The results showed that, first, when the sample size increased from 30 to the top limit, the SD of the forest attributes and LiDAR variables showed a decreasing trend. Second, as the sample size increased, the rRMSE of the 16 forest attribute estimation models gradually decreased, while the R2 gradually increased. Third, when the sample size was small, both the SD of R2 and rRMSE of the models were large, and the SD of R2 and rRMSE gradually decreased as the sample size increased. In 50 models conducted for each attribute at the same sample size, for the mean standard deviations of forest attributes, the ten best performing models were lower than those of the total 50 models, and the worst ten models were the opposite. When the sample size increased, the accuracy of each forest attribute estimation model for each forest type gradually improved. The variation of forest attributes and the LiDAR variable of the construction model are critical factors that affect the model’s accuracy. To efficiently apply airborne LiDAR in order to survey large-scale subtropical forest resources, the sample size of the Chinese fir forest, pine forest, eucalyptus forest, and broad-leaved forest should be 110, 80, 85, and 70, respectively.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0162.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Amazon forest; capirona; molecular markers; genetic diversity; population structure
Online: 7 June 2021 (10:06:14 CEST)
Capirona (Calycophyllum spruceanum Benth) is a tree species of commercial importance widely distributed in South American forests and is traditionally used for its medicinal properties and wood quality. Studies on this tree species have been focused mainly on wood properties, propagation and growth. Genetic studies on capirona are very limited to date. Today it is possible to explore genetic diversity and population structure in a fast and reliable manner by using molecular markers. We here used 10 Random Amplified Polymorphic DNAs (RAPDs) markers to analyze genetic diversity and population structure of 59 samples of capirona that were sampled from four provinces located in the eastern region of the Peruvian amazon. A total of 186 bands were manually scored, generating a 59 x 186 presence/absence matrix. We used R software to calculate genetic distances based on provesti coefficient. A dendrogram was generated using the UPGMA clustering algorithm and showed four groups that correspond to the geographic origin of the capirona samples. Similarly, a discriminant analysis of principal components (DAPC) confirmed that capirona is grouped into four clusters. However, we also noticed few accessions are intermingled. Genetic diversity estimation was conducted considering the four groups (populations) identified by adegenet package in R. Nei's genetic diversity estimate varied from 0.26 to 0.39 and Shannon index ranged from 2.48 to 2.83. AMOVA analysis revealed the greatest variation exist within populations (69.7%) and indicated that variability among populations is 31.5%. To our best knowledge, this is the first investigation employing molecular markers in capirona in Peru considering their natural distribution, and sheds light towards its modern genetic improvement and for the sustainable management of forests in Peru.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0752.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: Random Forest; machine learning; multispectral imagery; deforestation; PFBC landscapes
Online: 30 December 2020 (11:57:18 CET)
The evaluation of deforestation by optical remote sensing remains a challenge in the humid tropical region due to high cloud cover. This paper develops a simple and reproducible method for mapping deforestation of the old-growth forest using open access software. A map of old-growth forest depletion was created using composites from three different dates (2003, 2010, 2016). Four models were tested: the first model using spectral bands (nir, swir1, swir2 and red), the second model was based on the association of spectral bands and spectral indices (NDVI, B54R, NDWI and NBR), the third model was constructed using spectral bands and geomorphological indices (DEM, Slope and Roughness) and the last model combined spectral bands, spectral indices and geomorphological indices. The optimal random forest ntrees and Mtry parameters were determined for each model to optimize the mapping in each model. The out-of-bag error for these four models was 2.15 %, 2.05 %, 1.86 % and 1.85 %, respectively. The fourth model had the lowest error and was hence used to predict deforestation of the old-growth forest. The annual rates of deforestation amounted 0.26 % (69861 ha) and 0.66 % (145768 ha) between 2003 – 2010 and 2010 – 2016, respectively. The area of the old-growth forest in 2016 was 3601607 ha and 215629 ha of forest lost between 2003 and 2016. These results showed that the Random Forest Classification (RFC) model was able to effectively map the reduction of old-growth forests.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0152.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Wind farm noise; Amplitude modulation; Random Forest; AM detection
Online: 7 December 2020 (12:51:54 CET)
Amplitude modulation (AM) is a characteristic feature of wind farm noise and has the potential to contribute to annoyance and sleep disturbance. This study aimed to develop an AM detection method using a random forest approach. The method was developed and validated on 6,000 10-second samples of wind farm noise manually classified by a scorer via a listening experiment. Comparison between the random forest method and other widely-used methods showed that the proposed method consistently demonstrated superior performance. This study also found that a combination of low-frequency content features and other unique characteristics of wind farm noise play an important role in enhancing AM detection performance. Taken together, these findings support that using machine learning-based detection of AM is well suited and effective for in-depth exploration of large wind farm noise data sets for potential legislative and research purposes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0469.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: forest canopy parameters; UAV-based photogrammetric; land surface modelling
Online: 22 October 2020 (22:08:17 CEST)
Taking a typical forest underlying surface as the research area, this study employed the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) photogrammetry to explore more accurate canopy parameters including tree height and canopy radius, which were used to improve the Noah-MP land surface model conducted in Dinghushan Forest Ecosystem Research Station (CN-Din). While the canopy radius was fitted as a Burr distribution, the canopy height of CN-Din forest followed a Weibull distribution. The replacement of the parameters by these observed UAV would result in the Noah-MP model. It was found that the influence on the simulation of the energy fluxes could not be negligible, and the main influence of these canopy parameters was on the latent heat flux which could decrease up to -11% in the midday while increase up to 15% in the nighttime. Additionally, this work indicated that the description of the canopy characteristics for the land surface model should be improved to accurately deliver the heterogeneity for the underlying surface.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0375.v1
Subject: Biology, Forestry Keywords: Firewood; Forest dependence; Gender; Household income; Livelihoods; Wealth status
Online: 23 May 2020 (10:56:38 CEST)
Rural households across developing countries rely on diversified sources of income and forest resource play important role in this regard. This study is designed with the objectives of assessing the contribution of forests to annual income of rural households and identifying its determinants with the case of Essera woreda forest in western Ethiopia. It also examined the gender dimensions of forest income and how this income varies with the wealth status of households key informants interview focus group discussion and household based questionnaire survey were used to collect data. On average income from crop production accounted for (40.7%) of the total annual household income. Forest income is second in importance contributing (32.6%), income from livestock off and non-farm activities and woodlots accounted for (13.6%), (11.4%) and (1.7%) of the total household income respectively. Firewood is the most used forest product and constituted the largest proportion (79%) of the total forest income. Forest income is more important for poor households (47.3%) than for medium (30.5%) or rich (20.2%) households. It is also more important for female headed households (58.2%) than for male headed households (29%). The gender dimension of forest income is also important within the household. Female members generated about four times more forest income (77% of the household forest income) than male members (23%). Policy to promote new forest management arrangement such as participatory forest management (PFM) needs to take in to account the major forest users and the types of products they depend on and be accompanied with other poverty reduction measures so that improved forest conservation outcome will not have negative consequences on local livelihoods particularly on poor and women who depend most on the forest.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0141.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Anthropology & Ethnography Keywords: conservation; biodiversity; human rights; livelihood; forest-dependent community; impact
Online: 9 April 2020 (08:18:52 CEST)
Background and Research Highlights: Despite all the concerns and initiatives, natural resources like forests, as well as biodiversity are decreasing at an alarming rate worldwide. Conservation is considered as one of the major tools to prevent such loss and rapid degradation. Evidence around the world shows the adverse effects of conservation laws and policies on indigenous peoples and other local communities. Objectives: This study was conducted in one of the forest-dependent communities situated in Sundarban (world’s largest mangrove forest) to understand the impact of conservation laws and policies on their livelihood. Materials and Methods: A qualitative methodology was designed to collect data, using focus group discussions and case study with community people, and individual interviews with the personnel from NGOs and relevant government departments. Findings: Strict conservation policies and restrictions in accessing forest resources made lives and livelihoods of the local community insecure and unstable, thus putting the community in a vulnerable situation. The had to leave their traditional mode of income and look for alternative livelihood options. Almost no evidence was found in relation to upkeeping their rights in conservation activities. Prohibited movement, provision of punishment for entering into the forest without proper permission and struggles in everyday life were some of the highlighted issues. They had no participation in conservation activities, management of alternative livelihood options, and even they were not sensitized before putting restrictions. Although they had a history of emotional and physical attachment with the forest, existing activities did not consider these issues. In addition, corruption and abuse of power by law enforcement agencies towards the local community intensified the sufferings. Conclusion: This study argues that the realization of human rights in conservation activities and the sensitization of the implementing stakeholders are prerequisites for ensuring the sustainability of both biodiversity and the affected people.
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography Keywords: agricultural activities; central region; forest cover depletion; LULC; urbanization
Online: 18 February 2020 (10:54:53 CET)
Cameroon territory is experiencing significant land use and land cover (LULC) changes since its independence in 1960. But the main relevant impacts are recorded since 1990 due to intensification of agricultural activities and urbanization. LULC effects and dynamics vary from one region to another according to the type of vegetation cover and activities. Using remote sensing, GIS and subsidiary data, this paper attempted to model the land use and land cover (LULC) change in the Centre Region of Cameroon that host Yaoundé metropolis. The rapid expansion of the city of Yaoundé drives to the land conversion with farmland intensification and forest depletion accelerating the rate at which land use and land cover (LULC) transformations take place. This study aims at assessing the impacts of both agriculture and urbanization on the LULC change in the Centre Region of Cameroon. A detailed LULC map from MAPBOX high resolution images and three LULC maps were produced from Landsat TM-OLI images (1984-2015). A maximum likelihood classification techniques using ERDAS Imagine, showed forest decline with a total loss of 54% in thirty years. Also, Landsat and MAPBOX images to which we added 1951 aerial photograph and SPOT 6 (2006) were used to analyse urban growth in the city of Yaoundé. The results show a remarkable urban spatial spread of the metropolis between 1951 and 2015, with a peak in 2000. Images processing enabled us to analyse the long term dynamics of LULC change since the 1950s in this Region using ArcGIS & QGIS software’s. Based on this dynamic, a LULC projection map was produced using Markov model on IDRISI Selva, demonstrating the decrease of the dense forest (45% in 2015 to 0.25% in 2050). It was estimated that by 2050, the entire dense forest can be depleted if nothing is done, while only 12.67% of the secondary forest would remain in the Region. Such a projected map is very useful to decision makers for council development and urban planning. This effective forest depletion ties with the hypothesis that urbanization of Yaoundé and its secondary surrounding satellite cities (within a radius of 30-100km) is a veritable driving force of deforestation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0108.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Information Technology & Data Management Keywords: machine learning; decision tree; random forest; crime data analytics
Online: 9 February 2020 (16:02:03 CET)
Machine learning plays a key role in present day crime detection, analysis and prediction. The goal of this work is to propose methods for predicting crimes classified into different categories of severity. We implemented visualization and analysis of crime data statistics in recent years in the city of Boston. We then carried out a comparative study between two supervised learning algorithms, which are decision tree and random forest based on the accuracy and processing time of the models to make predictions using geographical and temporal information provided by splitting the data into training and test sets. The result shows that random forest as expected gives a better result by 1.54% more accuracy in comparison to decision tree, although this comes at a cost of at least 4.37 times the time consumed in processing. The study opens doors to application of similar supervised methods in crime data analytics and other fields of data science
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0754.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Economics Keywords: forest pest; control effeciency; pest-induced losses; spatially differentiated
Online: 2 November 2018 (09:32:22 CET)
China historically exhibits spatial differentiation from population distribution to ecological or economic development, and the forest pest control work is an epitome of this tendency. In recent times, global warming, man-made monoculture tree plantations, increasing human population density and intensified international trade aggravate forest pest outbreaks. Although Chinese government has complied with the internationally recommended practices, few stones remain unturned due to existing differential regional imbalance of forest pest distribution and control abilities. Evidence shows that the high-income provinces in the south have taken advantage of economic and technological superiority, resulting in the adoption of more efficient pest-control measures. To the contrary, in economically underdeveloped provinces of the northwest, a paucity of financial support has led to serious threats of pest damage that almost mirrored the demarcations of the Hu Huanyong Line. In this paper, we propose introducing public-private partnership (PPP) model into forest pest control and combining the national strategies to enact regional prevention measures in order to break the current spatially differentiated trends in China.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0555.v1
Subject: Biology, Ecology Keywords: alternative states; secondary succession; tropical dry forest; Pteridium aquilinum
Online: 24 October 2018 (07:48:46 CEST)
Understanding the role of invasive species in ecosystem functioning represents one of the main challenges in ecology. Pteridium aquilinum is a successful cosmopolitan invasive species with negative effects on the ecological mechanisms that allow secondary succession. In this study we evaluated whether P. aquilinum favours the establishment of alternative states, as well as the effect of recovery strategies on the secondary succession. A random stratified sampling was established with three treatments, each one with at least 50 year of fern invasion and with variations on the periodicity of fires and cuttings (chapeos) vs one control without fern bracken We determined the species richness and composition, as well as the relative importance value (IVI) in each treatment. We found that P. aquilinum decreases the action of the mechanisms that allow secondary succession, particularly facilitation. The recovery strategies consist in monthly cuttings and control fires allow to recover the secondary succession and eventually, the regeneration of areas invaded by P. aquilinum. Our study has relevant implications on the ecology of alternative state, and in practical strategies to maintain tropical forests, as well as for the maintenance of environmental services and sustainability.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0379.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: Climate change, Developing countries, Environmental change, Forest, Population growth
Online: 21 August 2018 (14:00:04 CEST)
This review paper is intended to exhibit the interplays between environmental change and rapid population growth in developing countries. In the course of discussion, the impacts of rapidly population growing on the environment have been discussed, and evidence, from various parts of the world have been traced. Studies on the impacts of population pressure on environment have been critically reviewed. It is revealed that all across the developing countries, farm size is shrinking as farmers continue to subdivide holdings among their children. In countries such as Malawi, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Haiti, Nepal and Bangladesh, population growth rates are high, and the non-farm sector is still in its early stages of development. Demographic pressure, land scarcity, and land fragmentation drive greater rural vulnerability and poverty, marked by decreased food security, inadequate response to such natural disasters such as drought or pest infestations, weakened resilience to shocks, and poor health. It is not just the supply of food, fodder, and fuel wood but the resource base itself and the lives that depend upon it are being affected. The evidences pinpoints that man through his non-sustainable production and consumption patterns, is placed at the heart of environmental changes. However, contradictory view, and practices are also in place that the population growth has positive impacts environmental restoration and improvements, while other evidences show insignificant effect of population on the environment. This contradicting scenario puts scholars in argument, and still need further research. Hence, it would be a blind generalization to draw conclusion from this relationship alone, rather, another factor that acts beyond population pressure must also be considered to justify the impact of population on environmental changes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0135.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography Keywords: climate finance; REDD+; forest conservation; peacebuilding; sustainable food systems
Online: 7 August 2018 (07:42:05 CEST)
Linking climate action with sustainable development goals (SDGs) might incentivize social and political support to forest conservation. However, further examination of the conceptual entry points for linking efforts for reducing forest-based emissions with those for delivering SDGs is required. This review paper aims to contribute to fulfilling this research need. It provides insights into the links between conserving forests for climate change mitigation and peacebuilding. Specifically, the paper examines opportunities to harness climate finance for conserving forests and achieving long-lasting peace. It does so via a literature review and the examination of the Orinoquia region of Colombia. Findings from the literature review suggest that harnessing climate finance for conserving forests and peacebuilding is, in theory, viable if activities are designed in accordance with social, institutional, and economic factors. Meanwhile, the Orinoquia region provides evidence that these two seemingly intractable problems are proposed to be solved together. At a time when efforts for reducing forest-based emissions are being designed and targeted at (post-) conflict areas in Colombia and elsewhere, the paper’s findings might demonstrate to government agencies — both environmental and non-environmental — the compatibility of programs aimed at reducing forest-based emissions with efforts relating to peacebuilding and sustainable food.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201801.0088.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geoinformatics Keywords: wheat classification; random forest; spectral gradient difference; vegetation indices
Online: 10 January 2018 (09:13:02 CET)
The early-season area estimation of the winter wheat crop as a strategic product is important for decision makers. Classification of multi-temporal images is an approach which is affected by many factors like appropriate training sample size, proper frequency and acquisition times, vegetation indices (VIs) type, temporal gradient of spectral bands and VIs, appropriate classifier and missed values because of cloudy conditions. This paper addresses the impact of appropriate frequency and acquisition times and VIs type along with the spectral and VI gradient on random forest (RF) classifier when missed values exist in multi-temporal images. To investigate the appropriate temporal resolution for image acquisition, the study area was selected on an overlapping area between two LDCM paths. In our developed method, the miss values of cloudy bands for each pixel are retrieved by the mean of k-nearest ordinary pixels. Then the multi-temporal image analysis is performed by considering different scenarios provided by decision makers in terms of desired crop types that should be extracted at early-season in the study areas. The classification results obtained by the RF decrease by 1.6% when temporally missed values retrieved by the proposed method, which is an acceptable result. Moreover, the experimental results demonstrated that if temporal resolution of Landsat 8 increased to one week the classification task can be conducted earlier with almost better results in terms of OA and kappa. The impact of incorporating VIs along with the temporal gradients of spectral bands and VIs as new features in RF demonstrated that the OA and Kappa are improved 3.1% and 6.6%, respectively. Furthermore, the obtained result showed that if only one image from seasonal changes of crops is available, the temporal gradient of VIs and spectral bands play the main role to discriminate remarkably wheat from barley. The experiments also demonstrated that if both wheat and barley merge to a single class the crop area can be estimated two months earlier with 97.1 and 93.5 in terms of OA and kappa, respectively.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201703.0141.v3
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: Forest ecosystem; Fluxnet; Soil respiration; Net ecosystem Exchange; Phenology
Online: 15 June 2017 (15:45:04 CEST)
Understanding the dynamics of Organic Carbon mineralization is fundamental in forecasting biosphere to atmosphere Net Carbon Ecosystem Exchange (NEE). With this perspective, we developed 3D-CMCC-PSM, a new version of the hybrid Process Based Model 3D‐CMCC FEM where also heterotrophic respiration (Rh) is explicitly simulated. The aim was to quantify NEE as a forward problem, by subtracting Ecosystem Respiration (Reco) to Gross Primary Productivity (GPP). To do so, we developed a simplification of the Soil Carbon dynamics routine proposed in DNDC . The method calculates decomposition as a function of soil moisture, temperature, state of the organic compartments, and relative abundance of microbial pools. Given the pulse dynamics of soil respiration, we introduced modifications in some of the principal constitutive relations involved in phenology and littering sub-routines. We quantified the model structure related uncertainty in NEE, by running our training simulations over 1000 random parameter-sets extracted from parameters distributions expected from literature. 3D-CMCC-PSM predictability was tested on independent time series for 6 Fluxnet sites. The model resulted in daily and monthly estimations highly consistent with the observed time series. It showed lower predictability in Mediterranean ecosystems, suggesting that it may need further improvements in addressing evapotranspiration and water dynamics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201611.0085.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: Parameterization, climate, Lightning, Atmosphere, Modelling, Thunderstorm, Convection, Forest, fires.
Online: 16 November 2016 (13:50:05 CET)
We use the third version of the Canadian Local Climate Model as a diagnostic tool to study the climatology of observed CG lightning activity at Maniwaki (latitude: 46,23°N; Longitude: 75,58°W). We examine the dependence between the hourly lightning activity and the related atmospheric variables during the warm season of sixteen years (between 1984 and 2004). The goal of this research is: a) to evaluate the atmospheric static state evolution and its moisture contents for conditions having generated lightning occurrence, b) to develop a CG lightning parameterization, and c) to verify this CG lightning parameterization on other Canadian areas. The freezing level altitude and the precipitable water content are used to estimate the static air instability and its moisture content respectively. These two parameters are served to develop the CG lightning parameterization. A comparison between the observations and simulations CG lightning occurrence and frequency at Maniwaki showed a mean absolute error rate of 27% and 55% respectively. We apply this parameterization at four Canadian regions, distributed from west to east. The simulated CG lightning results are comparable to observed CG lightning at Maniwaki and tested regions. The application of the CG lightning parameterization to the daily data enabled us to find the monthly results. This application represents a preliminary stage for validation this parameterization in regional numerical models in Canada during the historic period.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0402.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Other Keywords: QSAR; q-RASAR; random forest; machine learning; TiO2-based nanoparticles
Online: 26 October 2022 (07:36:50 CEST)
Read-Across Structure-Activity Relationship (RASAR) is an emerging cheminformatic approach that combines the usefulness of a QSAR model and similarity-based Read-Across predictions. In this work, we have generated a simple, interpretable, and transferable quantitative-RASAR (q-RASAR) model which can efficiently predict the cytotoxicity of TiO2-based multi-component nanomaterials. The data set involves 29 TiO2-based nanomaterials which contain specific amounts of noble metal precursors in the form of Ag, Au, Pd, and Pt. The data set was rationally divided into training and test sets and the Read-Across-based predictions for the test set were generated using the tool Read-Across-v4.1 available from https://sites.google.com/jadavpuruniversity.in/dtc-lab-software/home. The hyperparameters were optimized based on the training set data and using this optimized setting, the Read-Across-based predictions for the test set were obtained. The optimized hyperparameters and the similarity approach, which yields the best predictions, were used to calculate the similarity and error-based RASAR descriptors using the tool RASAR-Desc-Calc-v2.0 available from https://sites.google.com/jadavpuruniversity.in/dtc-lab-software/home. These RASAR descriptors were then clubbed with the physicochemical descriptors and were subjected to features selection using the tool Best Subset Selection v2.1 available from https://dtclab.webs.com/software-tools. The final set of selected descriptors was used to develop multiple linear regression based q-RASAR models, which were validated using stringent criteria as per the OECD guidelines. Finally, a random forest model was also developed with the selected descriptors. The final machine learning model can efficiently predict the cytotoxicity of TiO2-based multi-component nanomaterials superseding previously reported models in the prediction quality.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0070.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: vegetation indices; NDVI; RGB images; Deep Forest; Random Kernel Forests
Online: 7 October 2022 (07:26:52 CEST)
Vegetation indexes help perform precision farming because they provide useful information regarding moisture, nutrient content, and crop health. Primary sources of those indexes are satellites and unmanned aerial vehicles equipped with expensive multispectral sensors. Reducing the price of obtaining such information would increase the availability of precision farming for small farms. Several studies have proposed deep neural network methods to estimate the indexes from RGB color images. However, these methods report relatively large errors for mature plants when highly non-linear relationships of images and vegetation indexes arise. One could apply multilayer random forest-based models (Deep Forests) to solve this problem, but the discriminative power of such models is limited: they cannot catch complex dependencies between image features. In this paper, we propose a method that combines ideas of deep forests, random forests of kernel trees, and global pruning of random forests to tackle the problem. As a result, the method considers the properties of objects with a complex structure: the presence of relationships between groups of features, displacement, and scaling of objects. The experimental results show that the proposed method outperforms neural network-based solutions in several datasets.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0356.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Numerical Analysis & Optimization Keywords: optimization; video segmentation; decision tree; random forest; gradient boost tree
Online: 27 June 2022 (08:56:21 CEST)
Video segmentation is crucial in a variety of practical applications especially in computer visions. Most of recent works in video segmentation are focusing on Deep learning based video segmentation, there are rooms for improvement in respect of the evolutionary algorithms. This paper aims to propose the novel method to video segmentation by using the optimization of segmentation parameters based on ensemble-based random forest and gradient boosting decision tree. The experimental results show Pareto front of segmentation parameters (hue, brightness, luminance, and saturation). Our optimization model yields accuracy: 85% +/-8.85 % (micro average: 85.00 %), average class precision: 84.88%, and average class recall: 85%. We also show the video segmentation results based on our optimization method and compare our results with Kinect-based video segmentation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0053.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: aerosol; PM2.5; forest fires; AERONET; aerosol optical depth; Angstrom exponent
Online: 3 March 2022 (07:07:12 CET)
Extraordinary high aerosol contamination observed in the atmosphere over Kyiv city, Ukraine, during the March – April 2020 period. The source of contamination was the large grass and forest fires in the northern part of Ukraine and the Kyiv region. The level of PM2.5 load investigated using newly established AirVisual sensors mini-network in five areas of the city. The aerosol data from the Kyiv AERONET sun-photometer site analyzed for that period. Aerosol optical depth, Angstrom exponent, and the aerosol particles properties (particles size distribution, single-scattering albedo, and complex refractive index) were analyzed using AERONET sun-photometer observations. The smoke particles observed at Kyiv site during the fires in general correspond to aerosol with optical properties of biomass burning particles. The variability of the optical properties and chemical composition indicates that the aerosol particles in the smoke plumes over Kyiv were produced by different burning material and phases of vegetation fires at different time. The case of enormous PM2.5 aerosol contamination in Kyiv city reveals the need to accept strong measures for forest fire control and prevention in Kyiv region, especially in the north-west region where radioactive contamination from Chornobyl disaster is still significant.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0143.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: NDVI; Rainfall; Air temperature; vegetation response; Fina Forest Reserve; Mali
Online: 5 April 2021 (14:24:12 CEST)
Forests constitute a key component of the Earth system but the sustainability of the forest reserves in the semi-arid zone is a real concern since its vegetation is very sensitive to the climate fluctuation. The understanding of the mechanisms for the interaction vegetation-climate is poorly studied in the context of African Sahel. In this study, the characteristics of the vegetation response to the fluctuations of precipitation and temperature is determined for the forest reserve of Fina. Rainfall estimates, air temperature and NDVI are used to establish the lag correlations between fluctuations of vegetation and climate variables at both seasonal and interannual bases. Results shows increasing tendency of NDVI started from the 1990s coinciding the recovery of the rainfall from the 1980s drought and the obtained correlation(r=0.66) is statistically significant (pvalue<0.01). The strongest responses of vegetation to rainfall and temperature fluctuations were found after 30 and 15 days, respectively. Moreover, at shorter time lag (e.g. 15 days) more pronounced vegetation responses to both rainfall and temperature were found in agricultural dominated land while at longer time lag (e.g. 30 days) stronger response was observed in Bare dominated land. The vegetation response to the climate fluctuation is modulated by the land use/cover dynamics. Keywords: NDVI, Rainfall, Air temperature, vegetation response, Fina Forest Reserve, Mali.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0040.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: wildfire; hazard; modelling; stochastic; fuel treatment; fuel breaks; forest management
Online: 1 March 2021 (18:23:23 CET)
The disastrous 2017 fire season in Portugal lead to widespread recognition of the need for a paradigm shift in forest and fire management. We focused our study on Alvares, a parish in central Portugal which had 60% of its area burned in 2017, with a large record of historical. We evaluated how different fuel treatment strategies can reduce wildfire hazard in Alvares, through i) a fuel break network with different priorities and ii) random fuel treatments resulting from stand-level management intensification. To assess this, we developed a stochastic fire simulation system (FUNC-SIM) that integrates uncertainties in fuel distribution over the landscape. If the landscape remains unchanged, Alvares will have large burn probabilities in the north, northeast, and center-east areas of the parish that are very often associated with high fire line intensities. The different fuel treatment scenarios decreased burned area between 12.1-31.2%, resulting from 1%-4.6% increases in annual treatment area, and reduced 10%-40% the likelihood of wildfires larger than 5000 ha. On average, simulated burned area decreased 0.22% per each ha treated, and effectiveness decreased with increasing area treated. Overall, both fuel treatment strategies effectively reduced wildfire hazard and should be part of a larger, holistic and integrated plan to reduce the vulnerability of the Alvares parish to wildfires.