Forest Ecosystems

http://link.springer.com/journal/40663

List of Papers (Total 137)

Functional trait and community phylogenetic analyses reveal environmental filtering as the major determinant of assembly of tropical forest tree communities in the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot in India

BackgroundImproved understanding of the processes shaping the assembly of tropical tree communities is crucial for gaining insights into the evolution of forest communities and biological diversity. The climate is thought to be the first order determinant of abundance and distribution patterns of tree species with contrasting traits such as evergreen and deciduous leaf phenology...

Young and old forest in the boreal: critical stages of ecosystem dynamics and management under global change

The circumboreal forest encompasses diverse landscape structures, dynamics and forest age distributions determined by their physical setting, and historical and current disturbance regimes. However, due to intensifying forest utilisation, and in certain areas due to increasing natural disturbances, boreal forest age-class structures have changed rapidly, so that the proportion of...

Predicting the provisioning potential of forest ecosystem services using airborne laser scanning data and forest resource maps

BackgroundRemote sensing-based mapping of forest Ecosystem Service (ES) indicators has become increasingly popular. The resulting maps may enable to spatially assess the provisioning potential of ESs and prioritize the land use in subsequent decision analyses. However, the mapping is often based on readily available data, such as land cover maps and other publicly available...

Drought can favour the growth of small in relation to tall trees in mature stands of Norway spruce and European beech

BackgroundClimate change triggered many studies showing that trends and events of environmental conditions can reduce but also accelerate growth at the stand and individual tree level. However, it is still rather unknown how climate change modifies the growth partitioning between the trees in forest stands.MethodsBased on long-term girth-tape measurements in mature monospecific...

Forests, atmospheric water and an uncertain future: the new biology of the global water cycle

Theory and evidence indicate that trees and other vegetation influence the atmospheric water-cycle in various ways. These influences are more important, more complex, and more poorly characterised than is widely realised. While there is little doubt that changes in tree cover will impact the water-cycle, the wider consequences remain difficult to predict as the underlying...

Estimating upper stem diameters and volume of Douglas-fir and Western hemlock trees in the Pacific northwest

BackgroundVolume and taper equations are essential for obtaining estimates of total and merchantable stem volume. Taper functions provide advantages to merchantable volume equations because they estimate diameter inside or outside bark at specific heights on the stem, enabling the estimation of total and merchantable stem volume, volume of individual logs, and a height at a given...

Linking forest diversity and tree health: preliminary insights from a large-scale survey in Italy

Forest health is currently assessed in Europe (ICP Forests monitoring program). Crown defoliation and dieback, tree mortality, and pathogenic damage are the main aspects considered in tree health assessment. The worsening of environmental conditions (i.e., increase of temperature and drought events) may cause large-spatial scale tree mortality and forest decline. However, the...

The enduring link between forest cover and rainfall: a historical perspective on science and policy discussions

BackgroundThis article traces the history of scientific ideas connecting forest cover with rainfall to inform ongoing debates about whether forests are net users or producers of water in the hydrological cycle. Scholars of the supply-side school argue that forests are net producers and magnifiers that increase rainfall at regional scales. Supply-side scholars seek to challenge...

Tropical forest canopies and their relationships with climate and disturbance: results from a global dataset of consistent field-based measurements

Background Canopy structure, defined by leaf area index (LAI), fractional vegetation cover (FCover) and fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (fAPAR), regulates a wide range of forest functions and ecosystem services. Spatially consistent field-measurements of canopy structure are however lacking, particularly for the tropics. Methods Here, we introduce the...

Adaptation of Colophospermum mopane to extra-seasonal drought conditions: site-vegetation relations in dry-deciduous forests of Zambezi region (Namibia)

BackgroundThe drought-tolerant tree species Colophospermum mopane is focussed at for an assessment of the impact of water stress, as well as for the specific adaptation potential of the species. Three differing sites (‘Forest’, ‘Shrubs’ and ‘Swamp’) under three different seasonal situations (advanced dry season, drought and early rain season), in the mopane woodland of north...

Big data of tree species distributions: how big and how good?

Background Trees play crucial roles in the biosphere and societies worldwide, with a total of 60,065 tree species currently identified. Increasingly, a large amount of data on tree species occurrences is being generated worldwide: from inventories to pressed plants. While many of these data are currently available in big databases, several challenges hamper their use, notably...

Plant diversity patterns and conservation status of eastern Himalayan forests in Arunachal Pradesh, Northeast India

Background The State of Arunachal Pradesh is part of the Himalaya biodiversity hotspots distributed over an area with the largest elevation gradients in the world, ranging from lowland tropical forests to alpine vegetation. Methods The vegetation was surveyed along an elevation gradient ranging from 87 to 4161 m in 354 belt transects (500 m × 10 m in size) and analyzed using...