Aims and Scope
W. Keith Moser
COMPLEX FOREST ECOSYSTEMS: FROM TREE TO LANDSCAPE
The Second Complex Forest Ecosystems conference was held in conjunction with the Southern Mensurationists annual meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, October 7-9, 2013. Organized under the umbrella of IUFRO Working Group 4.03 — Informatics, Modeling and Statistics — the 2013 event included research topics of interest for the southern region of the United States, such as management of loblolly pine or bottomland hardwoods. In addition, the conference initiated a conversation within the forest research community that expanded the scope beyond assessment and modeling to also include the computational complexity of the methods used to estimate parameters and to develop models of forests.
This issue of Forest Science includes a special section comprised of five articles from the Second Complex Forest Ecosystem conference:
NINTH NORTH AMERICAN FOREST ECOLOGY WORKSHOP
The North American Forest Ecology Workshop (NAFEW) series was conceived by John Zasada and Terry Sharik in 1993 to fill a knowledge transfer void for forest ecologists. At the time, national meetings largely focused on basic ecological science or on policy and technology transfer to practicing field foresters. NAFEW filled that void by providing a platform specific to forest ecology, allowing scientists and managers across North America to discuss the latest basic and applied forest ecological research.
MOUNTAIN PINE BEETLE, A MAJOR DISTURBANCE AGENT IN US WESTERN CONFEROUS FORESTS: A SYNTHESIS OF THE STATE OF KNOWLEDGE
It is well documented in the scientific and popular literature that large-scale bark beetle outbreaks are occurring across many coniferous forests in the western United States. One of the major species exhibiting extensive eruptive populations resulting in high levels of tree mortality is the mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae (Hopkins). The literature on D. ponderosae is extensive and "navigating" through the many outlets in seeking information and summarizing it can be a daunting task. This special section of Forest Science contains 10 papers concerning different aspects of the biology, ecology, and management of D. ponderosae. A number of relevant topics are reviewed and available literature synthesized for use by land managers, forest health specialists, scientists, and students from a variety of disciplines. Novel research results are also presented in select papers.
FOURTH FOREST VEGETATION SIMULATOR (FVS) CONFERENCE
UNCERTAINTY IN INDIVIDUAL TREE VOLUME/BIOMASS MODELS
Vol. 60, No. 1 (February 2014)
This issue includes four papers on the general topic of uncertainty associated with individual tree volume/biomass models:
SOUTHERN FOREST SCIENCE IN SUPPORT OF A LOW CARBON ECONOMY
Vol. 58, No. 5 (October 2012)
Editors: Chris Maier, Kurt Johnsen, John Butnor, and Dana Nelson
Articles in this special issue result from a special session held at the 16th Biennial Southern Silviculture Research Conference, February 15-17, 2011 in Charleston, South Carolina. The transition to a low carbon economy in the United States presents significant opportunities and challenges for the forestry sector. The bounty of forests in the southern United States presents an opportunity for southern landowners to help stabilize greenhouse gas emissions in the United States over the coming decades. At the same time, the forestry sector will be a vital source of biomass for energy and liquid fuel production in emerging bioenergy markets. Thus, the forest sector in the south is poised to develop technologies that both produce energy with little or no net greenhouse gas emissions and help sequester carbon from the atmosphere. The potential economic benefits from carbon offset payments and biomass for energy creates incentives for landowners to practice sustainable management to maintain existing forests, afforest nominal agriculture land, and increase forest productivity. However, the co-benefits and costs of changing forest management practices to meet the goals of reduced CO2 emissions and energy security are not well understood. The special session was organized to address the state of science in the forest carbon cycle research, political and technical barriers in developing carbon accounting systems, bioenergy systems, economics of carbon sequestration, and co-benefits and costs as the southern region moves toward a low carbon economy.
HARMONIZING NATIONAL FOREST INVENTORIES
Vol. 58, No. 3 (June 2012)
Editors: Ronald E. McRoberts, Erkki O. Tomppo, Klemens Schadauer, and Göran Ståhl
International agreements increasingly require that countries report estimates of national forest resources. National forest inventories (NFIs) are a primary source of data for national and large-area assessments of sustainability and biodiversity and for international forest resource reporting. However, estimates produced by different countries lack comparability because of differences in NFI definitions, plot configurations, measured variables, and measurement protocols.
While standardization of nomenclature, definitions, and methods may be the best long-term solution, harmonization acknowledges that individual countries have developed the unique features of their NFIs for specific purposes and focuses on developing methods for producing comparable estimates despite the lack of standardization.
Action E43, "Harmonization of National Forest Inventories in Europe: Techniques for Common Reporting" of the European program, Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST), focused on developing methods for producing harmonized NFI estimates. The papers in this special issue
CARBON IN NORTHERN FORESTS
Vol. 57, No. 6 (December 2011)
Editors: Christopher Swanston and Andrew Burton
Northern forests store substantial amounts of carbon in biomass and soils, and carbon is receiving increased emphasis in forest management. In addition, climate change intensifies the need not only for a better scientific understanding of the interactive role of carbon in forested ecosystems but also for management strategies that increase carbon sequestration and fossil fuel substitution. In June 2009, several organizations jointly hosted a conference entitled "Carbon in Northern Forests: Integration of Research and Management." The 2-day conference was attended by more than 80 people and included 25 oral and 33 poster presentations in sessions on forest carbon cycles, disturbance and climate effects on carbon, carbon quantification, bioenergy, and management interaction with carbon. This special issue of Forest Science includes several of the papers presented at the conference.
The articles in this special issue span a range of ideas, techniques, scales, and ecosystems. These data and ideas will help inform decisions on carbon management as it continues to emerge as an objective within broader forest management goals. This range is itself informative, however. Even this small group of studies shows not only the breadth of ideas that can be considered in carbon science and management but also the importance of context and detail in these considerations.
ECOLOGICAL CONSEQUENCES OF ALTERNATIVE FUEL REDUCTION TREATMENTS IN SEASONALLY DRY FORESTS: THE NATIONAL FIRE AND FIRE SURROGATE STUDY
Vol. 56, No. 1 (February 2010)
Editors: James D. McIver and Christopher J. Fettig
This special issue of Forest Science features the national Fire and Fire Surrogate study (FFS), a multisite, multivariate research project that evaluates the ecological consequences of prescribed fire and its mechanical surrogates in seasonally dry forests of the United States. ??The primary goal of the FFS study was to measure the economics, effectiveness, and ecological consequences of commonly used fuel reduction treatments. Study participants applied treatments intended to reduce potential fire risk at each of 12 sites (seven sites in the western United States and five sites in the eastern United States). The treatments were conducted in cooperation with local experts, including fire management personnel, fuel specialists, and silviculturists, and included an untreated control, prescribed fire only (surface fire), mechanical treatment only (usually thinning from below), and a mechanical plus prescribed fire treatment. At each of the 12 FFS study sites, treatments (exclusive of the untreated control) were designed and implemented to achieve stand conditions such that if impacted by a head fire under 80th percentile weather conditions, at least 80% of the basal area represented by dominant and codominant trees would survive (80/80 rule). Treatments were assigned randomly to at least three replicate units, each measuring at least 10 ha. The effects of these treatments were measured on a wide variety of response variables, including the structure and composition of trees and understory vegetation, fuel beds and coarse woody debris, soils, bark beetle activity, and small mammal and avian species abundance. ??The 11 contributions in this special issue include a lead-off article that describes the history, development, and organization of the FFS study; three articles that document treatment responses on stand structure, fuels, or fire behavior; two articles on the abundance and impacts of bark beetles; and five articles on vertebrate and invertebrate responses to the FFS treatments. ??The FFS is one of the largest and most comprehensive forestry research projects ever undertaken, and is providing answers to many of the important questions that surround the issue of hazardous fuel reduction and ecological restoration in seasonally dry forests of the United States.
SCIENCE AND MANAGEMENT OF FOREST HEADWATER STREAMS
Vol. 53, No. 2 (April 2007)
Editors: Robert J. Danehy and George G. Ice
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Best management practices for forestry and forest practice rules have historically focused on protecting high-order fish bearing streams, but foresters and watershed managers are now recognizing that headwater streams comprise the majority of stream networks and are often strongly influenced by adjacent land. As a result, aquatic stewardship approaches and requirements for headwater streams in managed forests have recently received considerable attention. This attention, particularly in the Pacific Northwest, is focused on anadromous salmonids and the perception that lack of protection to headwater streams leads to deleterious impacts on the physical habitat and water quality of downstream reaches. There is also an emerging recognition that headwater reaches can support important non-fish communities including amphibians.
To address these concerns, the Headwaters Research Cooperative (HRC) was founded in 2001 to augment the body of science on headwater streams. The Cooperative, formed by private and public organizations, hosted a meeting in the fall of 2001 to identify ongoing research and research needs related to forest headwater streams. The meeting attracted approximately 100 researchers and policy makers from throughout the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia, and across the United States, who interacted in focus groups on specific topics to develop lists of research priorities. The larger group then developed overall research priorities through consensus. This list became the roadmap for HRC to fund research efforts. HRC-funded research and other research that addressed the priorities list became the material for this special issue of Forest Science.
A valuable reference for foresters and watershed managers.
US-CANADA FOREST PRODUCTS TRADE
Vol. 52, No. 4 (August 2006)
Editor: Runsheng Yin
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The US lumber industry has long claimed that Canada's administratively determined stumpage prices are a subsidy to Canadian producers, prompting the United States to impose restrictions and tariffs on Canadian imports. Canadian strategic responses have included increasing exports to offset losses and pursuing legal remedies. Against this background, a symposium was held jointly by bilateral academic and governmental institutions in the eastern United States and Canada on March 7-8, 2005. It addressed North American market relationships and industry trends; impacts of past, current, and future US trade restrictions; and views of and approaches to US and Canadian stumpage pricing. The goal was to lend scholarship to the discussion and enhance the understanding of any related policy actions. This special issue of Forest Science includes 14 thought-provoking articles from this symposium.
A must-read for industry executives, policymakers, business analysts, and academic researchers.
FOREST GROWTH AND YIELD
Vol. 52, No. 2 (April 2006)
Editors: Chris J. Cieszewski and Mike Strub
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This special issue of Forest Science showcases selected articles from the Second International Conference on Forest Measurements and Quantitative Methods and Management, which took place on June 15-18, 2004 at Hot Springs, Arkansas. The aim of this conference series is to conglomerate the diverse aspects of the quantitative methods used in forest inventory and management under a general umbrella of quantitative forestry. This collection includes articles on:
SIERRAN MIXED-CONIFER RESEARCH
Vol. 51, No. 3 (June 2005)
Editors: Malcolm North and Jiquan Chen
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Many of the forests of the western United States have been severely altered by a century of fire suppression, prompting both regional and national restoration efforts. The success of these efforts requires a better understanding of past forest conditions and the ecological processes that affect forest health. This special issue of Forest Science, collected from a coordinated ecosystem-level experiment, investigates the connections between structure, composition, and function on 72 hectares of old-growth mixed-conifer in California's Sierra Nevada.
Vol. 50, No. 3 (June 2004)
Editors: Jiquan Chen and Geoffrey Parker
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In this special issue, leading researchers highlight the growing importance of canopy research to enhance foresters' knowledge of the processes that drive tree and stand development.??Articles include, among others:
Vol. 49, No. 3 (June 2003)
Editor: Randolph Wynne
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Although remote sensing has been an integral part of forestry since the operational integration of aerial photographs into forest inventory in Canada in the 1920s, the rapid pace of sensor development and information needs in the past three decades has led to an explosion of forestry remote sensing research and applications.
"Demands on forests are increasing and the information required to sustainably manage forests in the face of this demand must also increase," writes Randolph Wynne, associate professor of forestry at Virginia Tech and editor of the special issue. "Foresters are being asked to increase production of wood and fiber on an ever-decreasing land base while concomitantly maintaining the important supplies of public goods (viable fish and wildlife populations, clean water, and recreational opportunities) that well-managed forests have always provided. To meet this challenge, forest managers will require new types of information, and remote sensing will be an important piece of the overall information puzzle. The research results reported in this special issue of Forest Science will eventually lead to better information on, and therefore better management of, our forest resources."
The papers in this special issue are a cross-section of the scope of data and applications in forestry remote sensing. Remotely sensed data types include aerial photographs, lidar data, hyperspectral images, radar data, and Earth resource satellite data. The data is being used for forest inventory, ecological land type delineation, harvest detection, chlorophyll mapping and monitoring, windthrow detection and mapping, and global forest cover mapping.
FOREST WILDLIFE-HABITAT RELATIONSHIPS: POPULATION AND COMMUNITY RESPONSES TO FOREST MANAGEMENT
Vol. 48, No. 2 (May 2002)
Editors: Stephen DeStefano and Robert G. Haight
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This issue presents current research on the interface between forests and wildlife. The 26 papers, which cover work being conducted by state and federal agencies, private industry and institutions, and universities across America, are divided into seven sections representing major research topics: