Current issue: 54(2)
Under compilation: 54(3)
Using fine-resolution satellite imagery from multiple satellite data products, we assessed the change in forest cover of a state-managed Reserve Forest (RF) located in India’s Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hot-spot. 4.6% of forest cover was lost from Papum RF between 2013 and 2017 at the rate of 8.2 km2 year–1. Three species of hornbills: Great Hornbill Buceros bicornis Linnaeus, 1758, Wreathed Hornbill Rhyticeros undulatus (Shaw, 1811) and Oriental Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros albirostris (Shaw, 1808), that are functionally important are found here with nesting habitat in the areas affected by illegal logging. Therefore, we assessed the habitat loss within a 1 km radius around 29 nest trees. From 2011 to 2019, forest cover declined from 38.55 km2 to 21.94 km2 around these hornbill nest trees. Illegal logging is the main driver that is depleting forest cover within this important bird area. Our results highlight the ongoing threats to biologically-rich forests and the need for urgent measures to halt this loss. We suggest that this study has practical implications for the monitoring and governance of state-managed forests in Arunachal Pradesh.
In northern Europe, largest part of non-wood forest products (NWFPs) are gathered for recreational purposes and household consumption, but considerable amount of forest berries and mushrooms are sold as well. Retail market, largely invisible for the official statistics, reveals the lifestyle-related aspects of NWFP trade and may help to understand the flows of this ecosystem service when information on wholesale trade is inaccessible. The prices and flows of most common NWFPs – edible berries, mushrooms and tree sap – in the retail market in Latvia in 2017 and 2018 were analysed based on direct interviews with the sellers in marketplaces and telephone interviews with online retailers. The mean retail prices of NWFPs were compared between statistical regions and years and correlated with socio-economic data and forest characteristics. The directions of the NWFP flows were analysed according to the place of origin and place of retail sales. The highest prices were recorded for stinkhorn (Phallus impudicus Pers.) and Boletes spp. among mushrooms, for wild strawberries (Fragaria vesca L.) among berries and for maple (Acer platanoides L.) sap in the product group of tree sap. The retail price of the same products differed between years, most likely due to the product availability, largely caused by meteorological conditions. In more than half of the cases of recorded sales, NWFPs were consumed in the same region as they were gathered. For other cases of sales, the capital, Rīga, was the main service benefitting area of NWFP retail trade, and the largest part of the products originated from the two closest statistical regions.
To preliminary evaluate the potential wood utilization of Betula platyphylla Sukaczev trees naturally regenerated in Mongolia, growth characteristics (stem diameter and tree height), wood properties (annual ring width, basic density, and compressive strength parallel to grain at the green condition) of core samples, and stress-wave velocity in stems were investigated for Betula platyphylla trees grown naturally in three different sites in Selenge, Mongolia. Betula platyphylla trees, naturally grown in Nikko, Japan, were also examined to compare wood properties between the two regions. The mean values of stem diameter, tree height, stress-wave velocity of stems, annual ring width, basic density, and compressive strength parallel to grain at green condition in Mongolian B. platyphylla were 17.6 cm, 14.1 m, 3.50 km s–1, 1.27 mm, 0.51 g cm–3, and 20.4 MPa, respectively. Basic density and compressive strength were decreased first from the pith, and then gradually increased toward the bark. The wood properties of B. platyphylla trees grown naturally in Mongolia were similar to those in B. platyphylla trees grown in Japan. Growth characteristics, especially stem diameter, were positively correlated with the stress-wave velocity of stems and basic density. Early evaluation of basic density in B. platyphylla trees is possible by using wood located 2 cm from the pith. Basic density at the position from the 1st to the 15th annual ring from the pith showed significant between-site differences in Mongolian B. platyphylla. Based on the results, it is concluded that the wood of B. platyphylla trees grown in Mongolia may be used for industrial products as well as those from similar species in other countries.
A major after-use option for former peat harvesting areas has been afforestation. The profitability of afforestation with Scots pine trees (Pinus sylvestris L.) was studied in two 31–32-year old experiments in southern and northern Finland. The stands were established by seeding and planting, and various fertilization treatments and drainage intensities were tested. The financial performance for each plot was assessed in three steps. First, the costs occurred during the measurement time were summed up according to their present value. Then, for the rest of the rotation (i.e., from the age of 31/32 onwards) the stand management was optimized in order to maximize the net present value (MaxNPV). Finally, bare land values (BLVs) were calculated by summing up the present value of costs and the MaxNPV and converting the sum of the series into infinity. The afforestation method did not affect the mean annual increment (MAI; 9.2–9.5 m3 ha–1 a–1) in the southern experiment. In the northern experiment the afforestation method, ditch spacing and fertilization had significant effects on the MAI of the stands. The average MAI of the planted pines was 8.9 m3 ha–1 a–1, and for seeded pines it was 7.5 m3 ha–1 a–1. The BLV at an interest rate of 3% was positive for all stands in both regions. In the northern region afforestation method, ditch spacing and fertilization also had a significant effect on the BLV. When the interest rate was 5%, almost two thirds of the stands had a negative BLV in both regions.
Although crop tree release (CTR) in hardwood stands is an accepted variant of precommercial thinning (PCT), the lack of an affordable and feasible method hinders its adoption. CTR implies selecting between 150 and 500 trees ha–1 when trees are between 7 and 12 m high and cutting only stems competing with the target crop trees. We performed a field trial of a CTR variant of PCT in a 27.8 ha hardwood stand using a backpack mounted chain saw. A detailed time study was performed to document the trial over 13 days. Compared to conventional PCT performed earlier in the life of a stand, precommercial crop tree release required cutting larger stems, which showed to be feasible and productive using a backpack mounted chain saw. Productivity varied between 0.22 to 0.47 ha h–1 during the trial, Although productivity could vary with stand characteristics and worker, this proof of concept trial demonstrates some of the potential uses that this new saw configuration offers and sets the basis for an eventual larger scale deployment of this treatment.