Forest Science Special Issues



Vol. 61, No. 3 (June 2015)
Editors: Bogdan M. Strimbu and Harold E. Burkhart

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.



Vol. 60, No. 5 (October 2014)
Editors: Michael R. Saunders, Michael A. Jenkins, Charles H. Michler, and Christopher R. Webster

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. The 11 papers included within this special section of Forest Science represent the broad array of topics and geographical regions discussed at the Nineth NAFEW meeting. 


Vol. 60, No. 3 (June 2014)
Editors: Jose F. Negron and Christopher J. Fettig

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.


Vol. 60, No. 2 (April 2014)
Editors: Leah Rathbun, Coeli Hoover, Robert Keefe, and Tessa Nicolet

The Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS) is a family of models that simulate growth and yield in an individual-tree and distance-dependent fashion. Starting in 1973 as the Prognosis model in northern Idaho, it has since expanded across the country using local data to produce variants tailored to a specific region. Scientists have developed extensions that incorporate the effects of disturbance, such as fire, insects, and disease, on forest stands. FVS can produce reports of estimated stored carbon in forest stands, and a new climate extension estimates the effects of modeled climate change on forest stands.

The Fourth Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS) Conference was held in Fort Collins, Colorado, April 17-19, 2012. In this special section, we present six papers representing the latest research in all phases of FVS knowledge generation and dissemination. The papers represent the full range of FVS-related opportunities, from evaluating the accuracy and scale of source information from inventories and satellite imagery, to modeling different stand structures, seed productivity, and forest health, fuel modeling, and fire effects analysis, and finally, to evaluating different methods of carbon stock estimation. 


Vol. 60, No. 1 (February 2014)
This issue includes four papers on the general topic of uncertainty associated with individual tree volume/biomass models:

  • Sample-Based Estimation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Forests-A New Approach to Account for Both Sampling and Model Errors
    G. Ståhl, J. Heikkinen, H. Petersson, J. Repola, and S. Holm
  • Effects of Measurement Errors on Individual Tree Stem Volume Estimates for the Austrian National Forest Inventory
    Berger, T. Gschwantner, R.E. McRoberts, and K. Schadauer
  • Quantifying the Model-Related Variability of Biomass Stock and Change Estimates in the Norwegian National Forest Inventory
    J. Breidenbach, C. Antón-Fernández, H. Petersson, R.E. McRoberts, and R. Astrup
  • Effects of Uncertainty in Model Predictions of Individual Tree Volume on Large Area Volume Estimates
    R.E. McRoberts and J.A. Westfall



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.


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 review the international reporting requirements, previous international harmonization efforts, and the Action's objectives, methods, and accomplishments; report a mathematical approach for comparing national and international definitions; describe issues related to constructing bridge definitions to span the gap between national and reference definitions; report the development and testing of bridge definitions; overview how NFIs can contribute to biodiversity assessments; and provide a comprehensive review of the forest naturalness concept and NFI variables appropriate for estimating relevant indicators.



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 included oral and poster presentations on forest carbon cycles, disturbance and climate effects on carbon, carbon quantification, bioenergy, and management interaction with carbon. 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. 


Vol. 57, No. 1 (February 2011)
Editors: Rob Harrison, Dan Richter, and Tom Fox

Although soils are a key component of the critical zone that sustains life on earth, they remain one of the least understood components of terrestrial ecosystems. Though recognized by many scientists as the most biocomplex component of the ecosystem, a greater understanding of the soil is key to understanding ecosystem function for developing sustainable management practices.The eight articles in this special volume of Forest Science give readers insight into the importance of deep soil from a variety of standpoints. Each contribution is unique and varied, but the articles document the importance of deep soil carbon as a pool and sink for atmospheric carbon, the impacts of management on deep soil carbon, deep rooting as a response to seasonal water availability and resistance to fire, methods for rapid, accurate estimation of soil depth, and the potential for changes in conclusions of studies of ecosystem response to management and global change seen by sampling the soil profile more deeply.



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. 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.



Vol. 53, No. 2 (April 2007)
Editors: Robert J. Danehy and George G. Ice

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.

In 2001, the Headwaters Research Cooperative (HRC) was founded to address these concerns and hosted a meeting to identify ongoing research and research needs related to forest headwater streams. The meeting attendees 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.



Vol. 52, No. 4 (August 2006)
Editor: Runsheng Yin

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.


Vol. 52, No. 2 (April 2006)
Editors: Chris J. Cieszewski and Mike Strub

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 classification/mapping with satellite imagery; growth and yield modeling; self-referencing functions; special inventory topics; and habitat modeling. 



Vol. 51, No. 3 (June 2005)
Editors: Malcolm North and Jiquan Chen

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 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 

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. 



Vol. 49, No. 3 (June 2003)
Editor: Randolph Wynne

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. 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.



Vol. 48, No. 2 (May 2002)
Editors: Stephen DeStefano and Robert G. Haight
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 including current issues and insights connecting management of forests and wildlife; forest structure and the question of scale; responses of wildlife to natural and anthropogenic changes in vegetative cover; responses of wildlife to forest structural stages; responses of wildlife to specific silvicultural treatments; influences of road and roadlike structures on forest structure and wildlife; and special structural requirements of selected forest species.