Recent Submissions

  • Journal Article

    Mating System in a Native Norway Spruce (Picea abies [L.] KARST.) Stand-Relatedness and Effective Pollen Population Size Show an Association with the Germination Percentage of Single Tree Progenies 

    Caré, Oliver; Gailing, Oliver; Müller, Markus; Krutovsky, Konstantin V.; Leinemann, Ludger
    Diversity 2020; 12(7) p.1-18: Art. 266
    Norway spruce differs little in neutral genetic markers among populations and provenances often reported, but in terms of putative adaptive traits and their candidate genes, some clear differences have been observed. This has previously been shown for crown morphotypes. Stands with mostly narrow crown shapes are adapted to high elevation conditions, but these stands are scattered, and the forest area is often occupied by planted stands with predominantly broad crowned morphotypes. This raises questions on whether this differentiation can remain despite gene flow, and on the level of gene flow between natural and planted stands growing in close neighbourhood. The locally adapted stands are a valuable seed source, the progeny of which is expected to have high genetic quality and germination ability. The presented case study is useful for spruce plantation by demonstrating evaluation of these expectations. Immigrant pollen and seeds from planted trees could be maladaptive and may alter the genetic composition of the progeny. This motivated us to study single tree progenies in a locally adapted stand with narrow crowned trees in a partial mast year at nuclear genomic simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. Spruce is a typical open-pollinated conifer tree species with very low selfing rates, which were also observed in our study (s = 0.3–2.1%) and could be explained by efficient cross-pollination and postzygotic early embryo abortion, common in conifers. The estimated high amount of immigrant pollen found in the pooled seed lot (70.2–91.5%) is likely to influence the genetic composition of the seedlings. Notably, for individual mother trees located in the centre of the stand, up to 50% of the pollen was characterised as local. Seeds from these trees are therefore considered to retain most of the adaptive variance of the stand. Germination percentage varied greatly between half-sib families (3.6–61.9%) and was negatively correlated with relatedness and positively with effective pollen population size of the respective families. As pollen mostly originated from outside the stand and no family structures in the stand itself were found, germination differences can likely be explained by diversity differences in the individual pollen cloud.
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  • Journal Article

    Towards Tree Green Crown Volume: A Methodological Approach Using Terrestrial Laser Scanning 

    Zhu, Zihui; Kleinn, Christoph; Nölke, Nils
    Remote Sensing 2020; 12(11) p.1-12: Art. 1841
    Crown volume is a tree attribute relevant in a number of contexts, including photosynthesis and matter production, storm resistance, shadowing of lower layers, habitat for various taxa. While commonly the total crown volume is being determined, for example by wrapping a convex hull around the crown, we present here a methodological approach towards assessing the tree green crown volume (TGCVol), the crown volume with a high density of foliage, which we derive by terrestrial laser scanning in a case study of solitary urban trees. Using the RGB information, we removed the hits on stem and branches within the tree crown and used the remaining leaf hits to determine TGCVol from k-means clustering and convex hulls for the resulting green 3D clusters. We derived a tree green crown volume index (TGCVI) relating the green crown volume to the total crown volume. This TGCVI is a measure of how much a crown is “filled with green” and scale-dependent (a function of specifications of the k-means clustering). Our study is a step towards a standardized assessment of tree green crown volume. We do also address a number of remaining methodological challenges.
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  • Journal Article

    De novo transcriptome assembly of cold stressed clones of the hexaploid Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don) Endl. 

    Breidenbach, Natalie; Sharov, Vadim V.; Gailing, Oliver; Krutovsky, Konstantin V.
    Scientific Data 2020; 7(1) p.1-8: Art. 239
    Coast redwood is a very important endemic conifer timber species in Southern Oregon and Northern California in the USA. Due to its good wood properties and fast growth rate it can be considered as a prospective timber species also in other countries with similar or changing toward similar climatic conditions due to global climate warming, such as Germany. In general, it is frost sensitive and suffers from freezing temperatures. To study genetic mechanisms of frost resistance in this species and to select the most frost tolerant trees we tested 17 clones in climate control chamber experiments and generated two de novo assemblies of the coast redwood transcriptome from a pooled RNA sample using Trinity and CLC Genomic Workbench software, respectively. The hexaploid nature of the coast redwood genome makes it very challenging to successfully assemble and annotate the coast redwood transcriptome. The de novo transcriptome assembly generated by Trinity and CLC considering only reads with a minimum length of 180 bp and contigs no less than 200 bp long resulted in 634,772 and 788,464 unigenes (unique contigs), respectively.
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  • Journal Article

    Initial Survival and Development of Planted European Beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) and Small-Leaved Lime (Tilia cordata Mill.) Seedlings Competing with Black Cherry (Prunus serotina Ehrh.) 

    Hasstedt, Sarah L.; Annighöfer, Peter
    Plants 2020; 9(6) p.1-17: Art. 677
    Black cherry (Prunus serotina Ehrh.) is considered one of the most invasive tree species in central Europe and causes problems for both nature conservation and silviculture. Besides mechanical control treatments, a suggested control method to prevent its ongoing spread is to underplant shade-tolerant native tree species. Therefore, we combined two mechanical treatments, with underplanting of European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) or small-leaved lime (Tilia cordata Mill.) on fenced and unfenced plots. After the first growing season, survival rates were evaluated, and selected seedlings were destructively harvested to analyze their growth performance and leaf morphology in association with the different light regimes resulting from mechanical treatments Survival rates for both seedlings were very high (>95%). Survival rates were higher on fenced plots than on unfenced plots, most likely as result of browsing. The mortality of F. sylvatica decreased with increasing light availability on fenced plots. The mortality of T. cordata did not change along the light gradient. After one vegetation period no differences with respect to biomass allocation could be detected along the light gradient. However, the specific leaf areas of both species responded similarly, decreasing with increasing light availability. In summary, both species were able to establish and survive in the dense P. serotina understory and might have the potential to outcompete the invasive alien species in the long run.
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  • Journal Article

    Precipitation is the most crucial factor determining the distribution of moso bamboo in Mainland China 

    Shi, Peijian; Preisler, Haiganoush K.; Quinn, Brady K.; Zhao, Jie; Huang, Weiwei; Röll, Alexander; Cheng, Xiaofei; Li, Huarong; Hölscher, Dirk
    Global Ecology and Conservation 2020; 22 p.1-15: Art. e00924
    Moso bamboo is widespread in natural forests and is cultivated over large areas in China. This study investigated how climate controls its distribution, about which little is known. We collected moso bamboo presence-absence data from 674 sites with long-term climate data in Mainland China. Generalized additive models that included location and climate variables were used to test the effects of these predictors on the species’occurrence. We identified the best model as the one with the lowest Akaike’s Information Criterion value that contained only statistically significant predictors. We found precipitation, especially the mean (APRE) and interannual standard deviation (SDPRE) of the annual precipitation at each site, rather than temperature, to be the main factors determining the distribution of moso bamboo in Mainland China. In addition, we found that there was a significant power law relationship between the mean and interannual variance of precipitation, which made it possible to make long-term predictions. The SDPRE in climate scenarios of changes in the APRE could then be calculated using thefitted power law relationship. We simulated six climate scenarios, in which the APRE increased/decreased by 25, 50, and 75%. We used the 0.5 and 0.9 probability contour lines of model predictions to represent the suitable and core distributions, respectively, of moso bamboo under each scenario. The current core distribution of moso bamboo in Mainland China predicted by our model agreed with actual observations. Our model suggested that the middle and lower reaches of the Huaihe River Plain in eastern China should be climatically suitable for the growth of moso bamboo; it seems likely that its current absence there has resulted from intensive land use. Our model predicted that changes in APRE can strongly alter the distribution of moso bamboo. Increased APRE would expand the core distribution of moso bamboo into southern Shandong Province and over all of Chongqing and most of Guizhou Provinces, which are areas not currently in the species’core distribution. Conversely, decreased APRE would shrink the core distribution of moso bamboo to the junction of Anhui, Fujian, Jiangxi, and Zhejiang Provinces. We showed that the current distribution of moso bamboo is mainly determined by annual precipitation rather than temperature. The deviations between the moso distributions predicted by the climate model and the current distribution in some plain areas might have resulted from human activities. Future changes in annual precipitation will probably change the distribution of moso bamboo considerably.
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  • Journal Article

    Mycorrhizal Phosphorus Efficiencies and Microbial Competition Drive Root P Uptake 

    Clausing, Simon; Polle, Andrea
    Frontiers in Forests and Global Change 2020; 3 p.1-15: Art. 54
    Phosphorus (P) availability shows large differences among different soil types, affecting P nutrition of forest trees. Chemical binding of P to soil moieties affects partitioning of P between soil particles and solution, influencing soluble P concentrations upon which plants, their associated mycorrhizal symbionts, and microbes feed. The goal of this study was to characterize root P uptake by mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal root tips in competition with microbes in situ in the organic and mineral layer of a P-rich and a P-poor forest. We used intact soil cores (0.2 m depth) from beech (Fagus sylvatica) forests to tracing the fate of $^{33}$P in soil, plant and microbial fractions.We used the dilution of $^{33}$P in the rhizosphere of each soil layer to estimate the enrichment with new P in mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal root tips and root P uptake. In soil cores from P-rich conditions, 25 and 75% of root P uptake occurred in the organic and mineral layer, respectively, whereas in the P-poor forest, 60% occurred in the organic and 40% in the mineral layer. Mycorrhizal P efficiency, determined as enrichment of new P in mycorrhizal root tips, differed between soil layers. Root P uptake was correlated with mycorrhizal P efficiency and root tip abundance but not with root tip abundance as a single factor. This finding underpins the importance of the regulation of mycorrhizal P acquisition for root P supply. The composition of mycorrhizal assemblages differed between forests but not between soil layers. Therefore, differences in P efficiencies resulted from physiological adjustments of the symbionts. Non-mycorrhizal root tips were rare and exhibited lower enrichment with new P than mycorrhizal root tips. Their contribution to root P supply was negligible. Microbes were strong competitors for P in P-poor but not in P-rich soil. Understory roots were present in the P-rich soil but did not compete for P. Our results uncover regulation of mycorrhizal P efficiencies and highlight the complexity of biotic and abiotic factors that govern P supply to trees in forest ecosystems.
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  • Journal Article

    Differences in Root Nitrogen Uptake Between Tropical Lowland Rainforests and Oil Palm Plantations 

    Edy, Nur; Yelianti, Upik; Irawan, Bambang; Polle, Andrea; Pena, Rodica
    Frontiers in Plant Science 2020; 11 p.1-9: Art. 92
    Conversion of lowland tropical rainforests to intensely fertilized agricultural land-use systems such as oil palm ($\textit{Elaeis guineensis}$) plantations leads to changes in nitrogen (N) cycling. Although soil microbial-driven N dynamics has been largely studied, the role of the plant as a major component in N uptake has rarely been considered. We address this gap by comparing the root N contents and uptake in lowland rainforests with that in oil palm plantations on Sumatra, Indonesia. To this aim, we applied $^{15}$N-labeled ammonium to intact soil, measured the $^{15}$N recovery in soil and roots, and calculated the root relative N uptake efficiency for 10 days after label application. We found that root N contents were by one third higher in the rainforest than oil palm plantations. However, $^{15}$N uptake efficiency was similar in the two systems. This finding suggests that lower N contents in oil palm roots were likely caused by plant internal utilization of the absorbed N (e.g., N export to fruit bunches) than by lower ability to take up N from the soil. $^{15}$N recovery in roots was primarily driven by the amount of root biomass, which was higher in oil palm plantation than rainforest. The oil palms unveiled a high capacity to acquire N, offering the possibility of enhancing sustainable plantation management by reducing N fertilizer application.
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  • Journal Article

    Leaf Bilateral Symmetry and the Scaling of the Perimeter vs. the Surface Area in 15 Vine Species 

    Shi, Peijian; Niinemets, Ülo; Hui, Cang; Niklas, Karl J.; Yu, Xiaojing; Hölscher, Dirk
    Forests 2020; 11(2) p.1-18: Art. 246
    The leaves of vines exhibit a high degree of variability in shape, from simple oval to highly dissected palmatifid leaves. However, little is known about the extent of leaf bilateral symmetry in vines, how leaf perimeter scales with leaf surface area, and how this relationship depends on leaf shape. We studied 15 species of vines and calculated (i) the areal ratio (AR) of both sides of the lamina per leaf, (ii) the standardized symmetry index (SI) to estimate the deviation from leaf bilateral symmetry, and (iii) the dissection index (DI) to measure leaf-shape complexity. In addition, we examined whether there is a scaling relationship between leaf perimeter and area for each species. A total of 14 out of 15 species had no significant differences in average ln(AR), and mean ln(AR) approximated zero, indicating that the areas of the two lamina sides tended to be equal. Nevertheless, SI values among the 15 species had significant differences. A statistically strong scaling relationship between leaf perimeter and area was observed for each species, and the scaling exponents of 12 out of 15 species fell in the range of 0.49-0.55. These data show that vines tend to generate a similar number of left- and right-skewed leaves, which might contribute to optimizing light interception. Weaker scaling relationships between leaf perimeter and area were associated with a greater DI and a greater variation in DI. Thus, DI provides a useful measure of the degree of the complexity of leaf outline.
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  • Journal Article

    Airborne Tree Crown Detection for Predicting Spatial Heterogeneity of Canopy Transpiration in a Tropical Rainforest 

    Ahongshangbam, Joyson; Röll, Alexander; Ellsäßer, Florian; Hendrayanto; Hölscher, Dirk
    Remote Sensing 2020; 12(4) p.1-16: Art. 651
    Tropical rainforests comprise complex 3D structures and encompass heterogeneous site conditions; their transpiration contributes to climate regulation. The objectives of our study were to test the relationship between tree water use and crown metrics and to predict spatial variability of canopy transpiration across sites. In a lowland rainforest of Sumatra, we measured tree water use with sap flux techniques and simultaneously assessed crown metrics with drone-based photogrammetry. We observed a close linear relationship between individual tree water use and crown surface area (R$^2$ = 0.76, n = 42 trees). Uncertainties in predicting stand-level canopy transpiration were much lower using tree crown metrics than the more conventionally used stem diameter. 3D canopy segmentation analyses in combination with the tree crown–water use relationship predict substantial spatial heterogeneity in canopy transpiration. Among our eight study plots, there was a more than two-fold difference, with lower transpiration at riparian than at upland sites. In conclusion, we regard drone-based canopy segmentation and crown metrics to be very useful tools for the scaling of transpiration from tree- to stand-level. Our results indicate substantial spatial variation in crown packing and thus canopy transpiration of tropical rainforests.
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  • Journal Article

    Alternative Quantifications of Landscape Complementation to Model Gene Flow in Banded Longhorn Beetles [Typocerus v. velutinus (Olivier)] 

    Borthwick, Richard; de Flamingh, Alida; Hesselbarth, Maximilian H. K.; Parandhaman, Anjana; Wagner, Helene H.; Abdel Moniem, Hossam E. M.
    Frontiers in Genetics 2020; 11 p.1-12: Art. 307
    Rapid progression of human socio-economic activities has altered the structure and function of natural landscapes. Species that rely on multiple, complementary habitat types (i.e., landscape complementation) to complete their life cycle may be especially at risk. However, such landscape complementation has received little attention in the context of landscape connectivity modeling. A previous study on flower longhorn beetles (Cerambycidae: Lepturinae) integrated landscape complementation into a continuous habitat suitability ‘surface’, which was then used to quantify landscape connectivity between pairs of sampling sites using gradient-surface metrics. This connectivity model was validated with molecular genetic data collected for the banded longhorn beetle (Typocerus v. velutinus) in Indiana, United States. However, this approach has not been compared to alternative models in a landscape genetics context. Here, we used a discrete land use/land cover map to calculate landscape metrics related to landscape complementation based on a patch mosaic model (PMM) as an alternative to the previously published, continuous habitat suitability model (HSM). We evaluated the HSM surface with gradient surface metrics (GSM) and with two resistance-based models (RBM) based on least cost path (LCP) and commute distance (CD), in addition to an isolation-by-distance (IBD) model based on Euclidean distance. We compared the ability of these competing models of connectivity to explain pairwise genetic distances (RST) previously calculated from ten microsatellite genotypes of 454 beetles collected from 17 sites across Indiana, United States. Model selection with maximum likelihood population effects (MLPE) models found that GSM were most effective at explaining pairwise genetic distances as a proxy for gene flow across the landscape, followed by the landscape metrics calculated from the PMM, whereas the LCP model performed worse than both the CD and the isolation by distance model. We argue that the analysis of a continuous HSM with GSM might perform better because of their combined ability to effectively represent and quantify the continuous degree of landscape complementation (i.e., availability of complementary habitats in vicinity) found at and in-between sites, on which these beetles depend. Our findings may inform future studies that seek to model habitat connectivity in complex heterogeneous landscapes as natural habitats continue to become more fragmented in the Anthropocene.
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  • Journal Article

    The Presence of IUCN Red List Tree Species in Dependence of Site Characteristics in the Vietnamese Cat Ba National Park 

    Pham, Van Vien; Ammer, Christian; Annighöfer, Peter
    Diversity 2020; 12(3) p.1-17: Art. 104
    Rare or endangered tree species are important components of forest ecosystems and play a crucial role in management and conservation. Understanding what influences their presence is critical for managers, conservationists and planners. This study presents results of a comprehensive inventory of the tree species and site characteristics in the Vietnamese Cat Ba National Park (CBNP). An adaptive cluster sampling technique was applied to study the effect of human disturbance, soil properties, and terrain conditions on the presence of IUCN Red List tree species (all individuals > 5 cm diameter at breast height) in three strictly protected areas in CBNP, which have varying levels of isolation. Data from 239 sample plots (500 m2 each) were analyzed. Tree species recorded during the inventory were assigned to two categories: IUCN Red List and other. Our results showed that site characteristics differed in the three protected areas along with the presence of IUCN Red List tree species. IUCN Red List tree species were more frequently found on less favorable soils (low soil depth) and in terrain with more pronounced slopes and with a higher rock surface area (%). However, there is no indication from existing information on the autecology of the different Red List species that the site conditions hosting the species are the ones favored by the species, even on the contrary for some. Although direct signs of human activity (paths, animal traps) could not be related to the presence of Red List tree species, the data suggest that the accessibility of the sites is a strong negative driver for the presence of Red List tree species. We conclude that protection of the forests of the Cat Ba Island should be stricter to allow the IUCN Red List tree species to grow under more appropriate conditions, which then would allow studying their ecology in more detail. This would further allow deriving more precise recommendations for their future protection.
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  • Journal Article

    Effects of reproductive resource allocation and pollen density on fertilization success in plants 

    Gillet, Elizabeth M; Gregorius, Hans-Rolf
    BMC Ecology. 2020 May 02;20(1):26
    Abstract Background Declining resources due to climate change may endanger the persistence of populations by reducing fecundity and thus population fitness via effects on gamete production. The optimal mode of generative reproduction allocates the limited resources to ovule and pollen production in proportions that maximize the number of fertilized ovules in the population. In order to locate this optimum and derive reproduction modes that compensate for declined resources to maintain reproductive success, a model of gamete production, pollen dispersal, and ovule fertilization is developed. Specification of opportunities for compensation is given priority over specification of physiological or evolutionary mechanisms of adaptation. Thus model parameters summarize gametic production resources, resource investment per gamete, resource allocation as proportion of resources invested in ovules, and pollen density as size of the pollen dispersal range and proportion of pollen retained within the range. Retained pollen disperses randomly, and an ovule is fertilized if at least one pollen settles on its surface. The outcome is the expected number of fertilized ovules. Results Maximization of fertilization success is found to require the investment of more gametic production resources in ovules than in pollen, irrespective of the parameter values. Resource decline can be compensated by adjusting the resource allocation if the maximum expected number of fertilized ovules after the decline is not less than the expected number the population experienced before the decline. Compensation is also possible under some conditions by increasing the pollen density, either by raising a low pollen retention or by shrinking the dispersal range. Conclusion Fertilization success in populations affected by resource decline may be maintainable by adjustment of the sexual allocation of gametic production resources or by increasing pollen density. The results have implications for insect pollination, sexual allocation bias, management measures, and metapopulation fragmentation.
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  • Journal Article

    Generic parameters of first-order kinetics accurately describe soil organic matter decay in bare fallow soils over a wide edaphic and climatic range 

    Menichetti, Lorenzo; Ågren, Göran I.; Barré, Pierre; Moyano, Fernando; Kätterer, Thomas
    Scientific Reports 2019; 9(1): Art. 20319
    The conventional soil organic matter (SOM) decay paradigm considers the intrinsic quality of SOM as the dominant decay limitation with the result that it is modelled using simple first-order decay kinetics. This view and modelling approach is often criticized for being too simplistic and unreliable for predictive purposes. It is still under debate if first-order models can correctly capture the variability in temporal SOM decay observed between different agroecosystems and climates. To address this question, we calibrated a first-order model (Q) on six long-term bare fallow field experiments across Europe. Following conventional SOM decay theory, we assumed that parameters directly describing SOC decay (rate of SOM quality change and decomposer metabolism) are thermodynamically constrained and therefore valid for all sites. Initial litter input quality and edaphic interactions (both local by definition) and microbial efficiency (possibly affected by nutrient stoichiometry) were instead considered site-specific. Initial litter input quality explained most observed kinetics variability, and the model predicted a convergence toward a common kinetics over time. Site-specific variables played no detectable role. The decay of decades-old SOM seemed mostly influenced by OM chemistry and was well described by first order kinetics and a single set of general kinetics parameters.
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  • Journal Article

    The Unfolded Protein Response Regulates Pathogenic Development of Ustilago maydis by Rok1-Dependent Inhibition of Mating-Type Signaling 

    Schmitz, Lara; Schwier, Melina Ayaka; Heimel, Kai
    Scientific Reports 2019; 10(6): Art. 20319
    The conventional soil organic matter (SOM) decay paradigm considers the intrinsic quality of SOM as the dominant decay limitation with the result that it is modelled using simple first-order decay kinetics. This view and modelling approach is often criticized for being too simplistic and unreliable for predictive purposes. It is still under debate if first-order models can correctly capture the variability in temporal SOM decay observed between different agroecosystems and climates. To address this question, we calibrated a first-order model (Q) on six long-term bare fallow field experiments across Europe. Following conventional SOM decay theory, we assumed that parameters directly describing SOC decay (rate of SOM quality change and decomposer metabolism) are thermodynamically constrained and therefore valid for all sites. Initial litter input quality and edaphic interactions (both local by definition) and microbial efficiency (possibly affected by nutrient stoichiometry) were instead considered site-specific. Initial litter input quality explained most observed kinetics variability, and the model predicted a convergence toward a common kinetics over time. Site-specific variables played no detectable role. The decay of decades-old SOM seemed mostly influenced by OM chemistry and was well described by first order kinetics and a single set of general kinetics parameters.
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  • Journal Article

    Impact Assessment of Timber Harvesting Operations for Enhancing Sustainable Management in a Secondary Atlantic Forest 

    Britto, Pedro C.; Jaeger, Dirk; Hoffmann, Stephan; Robert, Renato C. G.; Vibrans, Alexander C.; Fantini, Alfredo C.
    Sustainability 2019; 11(22): Art. 6272
    Conservation and management of forest ecosystems are currently largely conflicting goals in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest biome. At present, all parts of the Atlantic Forest are protected and commercial logging is highly restricted. However, sustainable forest management systems can offer significant income opportunities for landholders, and thereby actively support the process of ecosystem rehabilitation and protection of the Atlantic Forest. This research is intended to contribute to enhancing the development of environmentally sound forest management alternatives in the Atlantic Forest biome. Through a case study, the harvesting impact of a conventional harvesting method (CM) was evaluated and compared with an alternative and improved harvesting method (AM), performed by a well-trained professional chainsaw operator experienced in reduced impact logging techniques, and included the use of a snatch block and a skidding cone. Following a full pre-harvest inventory, 110 different tree species were identified. The harvesting impact on the residual stand was classified and evaluated through a successive post-harvest inventory. Damage maps were developed based on interpolation of tree damage intensities with the triangular irregular networks (TIN) methodology. Our results showed noticeable high rates of tree hang-ups, observed for both harvesting methods. Furthermore, the harvesting damaged trees mainly in the lower diameter at breast height (DBH) classes. In comparison to winching, the felling process caused most of the damage to remnant trees for both methods, at 87% (CM) and 88% (AM). The number of damaged trees (above 11.9 cm DBH) per harvested tree, for CM, ranged from 0.8 trees to 2.5 trees and, for AM, ranged from 0.6 trees to 2.2 trees. Improvements of the AM method (operator skills, skidding cone and snatch block) over CM allowed for a reduction of the damaged basal area, a reduction of the “high damaged area” per plot, and a reduction of the winching disturbed ground area. Nonetheless, a suitable harvesting system should consider further improvements in the felling technique, and additionally integrate the local knowledge of CM regarding forest and tree species with the technical improvements of AM.
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  • Journal Article

    Response of tree diversity and community composition to forest use intensity along a tropical elevational gradient 

    Monge‐González, María Leticia; Craven, Dylan; Krömer, Thorsten; Castillo‐Campos, Gonzalo; Hernández‐Sánchez, Alejandro; Guzmán‐Jacob, Valeria; Guerrero‐Ramírez, Nathaly; Kreft, Holger
    Applied Vegetation Science 2019; 23(1) p.69-79
    Question: Land-use change and intensification are currently the most pervasive threats to tropical biodiversity. Yet, their effects on biodiversity change with eleva-tion are unknown. Here, we examine how tree diversity and community composition vary with elevation and how the effects of forest use intensity on tree diversity and community composition change within elevations.Location: Eastern slopes of the Cofre de Perote mountain, state of Veracruz, Mexico.Methods: We assessed tree diversity and composition using a sampling design in which elevation was crossed with three levels of forest use intensity: old-growth, degraded, and secondary forests. We established 120 20 m × 20 m forest plots, lo-cated at eight sites between 0 m and 3,545 m. At each site, five replicate plots were inventoried for each level of forest use intensity.Results: Our analyses revealed an interactive effect between elevation and forest use intensity affecting tree diversity and community composition along the eleva-tional gradient. Contrasting effects of forest use intensity within elevation resulted in tree diversity following a low-plateau pattern for old-growth and a bimodal pat-tern for degraded and secondary forests. Along the entire elevational gradient, there were 217 tree species distributed within 154 genera and 80 families. Species accu-mulation curves revealed that forests at 0 m and 1,500 m elevation showed differ-ences in species richness among forest use intensities. In contrast, species richness did not differ between old-growth forest and the other forest use intensities in five of the eight studied elevations. In terms of community composition, secondary forests differed from old-growth and degraded forests.Conclusion: Our results suggest that the interactive effects of elevation and for-est use intensity change tree diversity patterns and community composition along a tropical elevational gradient. Degraded forests were similar to old-growth forests in terms of species diversity and composition, suggesting that they may act as a safe-guard of tree diversity in human-dominated tropical landscapes.
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  • Journal Article

    TRY plant trait database – enhanced coverage and open access 

    Kattge, Jens; Bönisch, Gerhard; Díaz, Sandra; Lavorel, Sandra; Prentice, Iain Colin; Leadley, Paul; Tautenhahn, Susanne; Werner, Gijsbert D. A.; Aakala, Tuomas; Abedi, Mehdi; et al.
    Acosta, Alicia T. R.Adamidis, George C.Adamson, KairiAiba, MasahiroAlbert, Cécile H.Alcántara, Julio M.Alcázar C, CarolinaAleixo, IzabelaAli, HamadaAmiaud, BernardAmmer, ChristianAmoroso, Mariano M.Anand, MadhurAnderson, CarolynAnten, NielsAntos, JosephApgaua, Deborah Mattos GuimarãesAshman, Tia‐LynnAsmara, Degi HarjaAsner, Gregory P.Aspinwall, MichaelAtkin, OwenAubin, IsabelleBaastrup‐Spohr, LarsBahalkeh, KhadijehBahn, MichaelBaker, TimothyBaker, William J.Bakker, Jan P.Baldocchi, DennisBaltzer, JenniferBanerjee, ArindamBaranger, AnneBarlow, JosBarneche, Diego R.Baruch, ZdravkoBastianelli, DenisBattles, JohnBauerle, WilliamBauters, MarijnBazzato, ErikaBeckmann, MichaelBeeckman, HansBeierkuhnlein, CarlBekker, ReneeBelfry, GavinBelluau, MichaelBeloiu, MirelaBenavides, RaquelBenomar, LahcenBerdugo‐Lattke, Mary LeeBerenguer, ErikaBergamin, RodrigoBergmann, JoanaBergmann Carlucci, MarcosBerner, LoganBernhardt‐Römermann, MarkusBigler, ChristofBjorkman, Anne D.Blackman, ChrisBlanco, CarolinaBlonder, BenjaminBlumenthal, DanaBocanegra‐González, Kelly T.Boeckx, PascalBohlman, StephanieBöhning‐Gaese, KatrinBoisvert‐Marsh, LauraBond, WilliamBond‐Lamberty, BenBoom, ArnoudBoonman, Coline C. F.Bordin, KauaneBoughton, Elizabeth H.Boukili, VanessaBowman, David M. J. S.Bravo, SandraBrendel, Marco RichardBroadley, Martin R.Brown, Kerry A.Bruelheide, HelgeBrumnich, FedericoBruun, Hans HenrikBruy, DavidBuchanan, Serra W.Bucher, Solveig FranziskaBuchmann, NinaBuitenwerf, RobertBunker, Daniel E.Bürger, JanaBurrascano, SabinaBurslem, David F. R. P.Butterfield, Bradley J.Byun, ChaehoMarques, MarciaScalon, Marina C.Caccianiga, MarcoCadotte, MarcCailleret, MaximeCamac, JamesCamarero, Jesús JulioCampany, CourtneyCampetella, GiandiegoCampos, Juan AntonioCano‐Arboleda, LauraCanullo, RobertoCarbognani, MicheleCarvalho, FabioCasanoves, FernandoCastagneyrol, BastienCatford, Jane A.Cavender‐Bares, JeannineCerabolini, Bruno E. L.Cervellini, MarcoChacón‐Madrigal, EduardoChapin, KennethChapin, F. StuartChelli, StefanoChen, Si‐ChongChen, AnpingCherubini, PaoloChianucci, FrancescoChoat, BrendanChung, Kyong‐SookChytrý, MilanCiccarelli, DanielaColl, LluísCollins, Courtney G.Conti, LuisaCoomes, DavidCornelissen, Johannes H. C.Cornwell, William K.Corona, PiermariaCoyea, MarieCraine, JosephCraven, DylanCromsigt, Joris P. G. M.Csecserits, AnikóCufar, KatarinaCuntz, MatthiasSilva, Ana CarolinaDahlin, Kyla M.Dainese, MatteoDalke, IgorDalle Fratte, MicheleDang‐Le, Anh TuanDanihelka, JiríDannoura, MasakoDawson, SamanthaBeer, Arend JacobusDe Frutos, AngelDe Long, Jonathan R.Dechant, BenjaminDelagrange, SylvainDelpierre, NicolasDerroire, GéraldineDias, Arildo S.Diaz‐Toribio, Milton HugoDimitrakopoulos, Panayiotis G.Dobrowolski, MarkDoktor, DanielDřevojan, PavelDong, NingDransfield, JohnDressler, StefanDuarte, LeandroDucouret, EmilieDullinger, StefanDurka, WalterDuursma, RemkoDymova, OlgaE‐Vojtkó, AnnaEckstein, Rolf LutzEjtehadi, HamidElser, JamesEmilio, ThaiseEngemann, KristineErfanian, Mohammad BagherErfmeier, AlexandraEsquivel‐Muelbert, AdrianeEsser, GerdEstiarte, MarcDomingues, Tomas F.Fagan, William F.Fagúndez, JaimeFalster, Daniel S.Fan, YingFang, JingyunFarris, EmmanueleFazlioglu, FatihFeng, YanhaoFernandez‐Mendez, FernandoFerrara, CarlottaFerreira, JoiceFidelis, AlessandraFinegan, BryanFirn, JenniferFlowers, Timothy J.Flynn, Dan F. B.Fontana, VeronikaForey, EstelleForgiarini, CristianeFrançois, LouisFrangipani, MarceloFrank, DorotheaFrenette‐Dussault, CedricFreschet, Grégoire T.Fry, Ellen L.Fyllas, Nikolaos M.Mazzochini, Guilherme G.Gachet, SophieGallagher, RachaelGanade, GisleneGanga, FrancescaGarcía‐Palacios, PabloGargaglione, VerónicaGarnier, EricGarrido, Jose LuisGasper, André LuísGea‐Izquierdo, GuillermoGibson, DavidGillison, Andrew N.Giroldo, AeltonGlasenhardt, Mary‐ClaireGleason, SeanGliesch, MarianaGoldberg, EmmaGöldel, BastianGonzalez‐Akre, ErikaGonzalez‐Andujar, Jose L.González‐Melo, AndrésGonzález‐Robles, AnaGraae, Bente JessenGranda, ElenaGraves, SarahGreen, Walton A.Gregor, ThomasGross, NicolasGuerin, Greg R.Günther, AngelaGutiérrez, Alvaro G.Haddock, LillieHaines, AnnaHall, JeffersonHambuckers, AlainHan, WenxuanHarrison, Sandy P.Hattingh, WesleyHawes, Joseph E.He, TianhuaHe, PengchengHeberling, Jacob MasonHelm, AveliinaHempel, StefanHentschel, JörnHérault, BrunoHereş, Ana‐MariaHerz, KatharinaHeuertz, MyriamHickler, ThomasHietz, PeterHiguchi, PedroHipp, Andrew L.Hirons, AndrewHock, MariaHogan, James AaronHoll, KarenHonnay, OlivierHornstein, DanielHou, EnqingHough‐Snee, NateHovstad, Knut AndersIchie, TomoakiIgić, BorisIlla, EstelaIsaac, MarneyIshihara, MasaeIvanov, LeonidIvanova, LarissaIversen, Colleen M.Izquierdo, JordiJackson, Robert B.Jackson, BenjaminJactel, HervéJagodzinski, Andrzej M.Jandt, UteJansen, StevenJenkins, ThomasJentsch, AnkeJespersen, Jens Rasmus PlantenerJiang, Guo‐FengJohansen, Jesper LiengaardJohnson, DavidJokela, Eric J.Joly, Carlos AlfredoJordan, Gregory J.Joseph, Grant StuartJunaedi, DeckyJunker, Robert R.Justes, EricKabzems, RichardKane, JeffreyKaplan, ZdenekKattenborn, TejaKavelenova, LyudmilaKearsley, ElizabethKempel, AnneKenzo, TanakaKerkhoff, AndrewKhalil, Mohammed I.Kinlock, Nicole L.Kissling, Wilm DanielKitajima, KaoruKitzberger, ThomasKjøller, RasmusKlein, TamirKleyer, MichaelKlimešová, JitkaKlipel, JoiceKloeppel, BrianKlotz, StefanKnops, Johannes M. H.Kohyama, TakashiKoike, FumitoKollmann, JohannesKomac, BenjaminKomatsu, KimberlyKönig, ChristianKraft, Nathan J. B.Kramer, KoenKreft, HolgerKühn, IngolfKumarathunge, DushanKuppler, JonasKurokawa, HirokoKurosawa, YokoKuyah, ShemLaclau, Jean‐PaulLafleur, BenoitLallai, ErikLamb, EricLamprecht, AndreaLarkin, Daniel J.Laughlin, DanielLe Bagousse‐Pinguet, YoannMaire, GuerricRoux, Peter C.Roux, ElizabethLee, TaliLens, FredericLewis, Simon L.Lhotsky, BarbaraLi, YuanzhiLi, XineLichstein, Jeremy W.Liebergesell, MarioLim, Jun YingLin, Yan‐ShihLinares, Juan CarlosLiu, ChunjiangLiu, DaijunLiu, UdayanganiLivingstone, StuartLlusià, JoanLohbeck, MadelonLópez‐García, ÁlvaroLopez‐Gonzalez, GabrielaLososová, ZdeňkaLouault, FrédériqueLukács, Balázs A.Lukeš, PetrLuo, YunjianLussu, MicheleMa, SiyanMaciel Rabelo Pereira, CamillaMack, MichelleMaire, VincentMäkelä, AnnikkiMäkinen, HarriMalhado, Ana Claudia MendesMallik, AzimManning, PeterManzoni, StefanoMarchetti, ZuleicaMarchino, LucaMarcilio‐Silva, ViniciusMarcon, EricMarignani, MichelaMarkesteijn, LarsMartin, AdamMartínez‐Garza, CristinaMartínez‐Vilalta, JordiMašková, TerezaMason, KellyMason, NormanMassad, Tara JoyMasse, JacyntheMayrose, ItayMcCarthy, JamesMcCormack, M. LukeMcCulloh, KatherineMcFadden, Ian R.McGill, Brian J.McPartland, Mara Y.Medeiros, Juliana S.Medlyn, BelindaMeerts, PierreMehrabi, ZiaMeir, PatrickMelo, Felipe P. L.Mencuccini, MaurizioMeredieu, CélineMessier, JulieMészáros, IlonaMetsaranta, JuhaMichaletz, Sean T.Michelaki, ChrysanthiMigalina, SvetlanaMilla, RubenMiller, Jesse E. D.Minden, VanessaMing, RayMokany, KarelMoles, Angela T.Molnár, AttilaMolofsky, JaneMolz, MartinMontgomery, Rebecca A.Monty, ArnaudMoravcová, LenkaMoreno‐Martínez, AlvaroMoretti, MarcoMori, Akira S.Mori, ShigetaMorris, DaveMorrison, JaneMucina, LadislavMueller, SandraMuir, Christopher D.Müller, Sandra CristinaMunoz, FrançoisMyers‐Smith, Isla H.Myster, Randall W.Nagano, MasahiroNaidu, ShawnaNarayanan, AyyappanNatesan, BalachandranNegoita, LukaNelson, Andrew S.Neuschulz, Eike LenaNi, JianNiedrist, GeorgNieto, JhonNiinemets, ÜloNolan, RachaelNottebrock, HenningNouvellon, YannNovakovskiy, AlexanderNystuen, Kristin OddenO'Grady, AnthonyO'Hara, KevinO'Reilly‐Nugent, AndrewOakley, SimonOberhuber, WalterOhtsuka, ToshiyukiOliveira, RicardoÖllerer, KingaOlson, Mark E.Onipchenko, VladimirOnoda, YusukeOnstein, Renske E.Ordonez, Jenny C.Osada, NoriyukiOstonen, IvikaOttaviani, GianluigiOtto, SarahOverbeck, Gerhard E.Ozinga, Wim A.Pahl, Anna T.Paine, C. E. TimothyPakeman, Robin J.Papageorgiou, Aristotelis C.Parfionova, EvgeniyaPärtel, MeelisPatacca, MarcoPaula, SusanaPaule, JurajPauli, HaraldPausas, Juli G.Peco, BegoñaPenuelas, JosepPerea, AntonioPeri, Pablo LuisPetisco‐Souza, Ana CarolinaPetraglia, AlessandroPetritan, Any MaryPhillips, Oliver L.Pierce, SimonPillar, Valério D.Pisek, JanPomogaybin, AlexandrPoorter, HendrikPortsmuth, AngelikaPoschlod, PeterPotvin, CatherinePounds, DevonPowell, A. ShaferPower, Sally A.Prinzing, AndreasPuglielli, GiacomoPyšek, PetrRaevel, ValerieRammig, AnjaRansijn, JohannesRay, Courtenay A.Reich, Peter B.Reichstein, MarkusReid, Douglas E. B.Réjou‐Méchain, MaximeDios, Victor RescoRibeiro, SabinaRichardson, SarahRiibak, KerstiRillig, Matthias C.Riviera, FiammaRobert, Elisabeth M. R.Roberts, ScottRobroek, BjornRoddy, AdamRodrigues, Arthur ViniciusRogers, AlistairRollinson, EmilyRolo, VictorRömermann, ChristineRonzhina, DinaRoscher, ChristianeRosell, Julieta A.Rosenfield, Milena FerminaRossi, ChristianRoy, David B.Royer‐Tardif, SamuelRüger, NadjaRuiz‐Peinado, RicardoRumpf, Sabine B.Rusch, Graciela M.Ryo, MasahiroSack, LawrenSaldaña, AngelaSalgado‐Negret, BeatrizSalguero‐Gomez, RobertoSanta‐Regina, IgnacioSantacruz‐García, Ana CarolinaSantos, JoaquimSardans, JordiSchamp, BrandonScherer‐Lorenzen, MichaelSchleuning, MatthiasSchmid, BernhardSchmidt, MarcoSchmitt, SylvainSchneider, Julio V.Schowanek, Simon D.Schrader, JulianSchrodt, FranziskaSchuldt, BernhardSchurr, FrankSelaya Garvizu, GaliaSemchenko, MarinaSeymour, ColleenSfair, Julia C.Sharpe, Joanne M.Sheppard, Christine S.Sheremetiev, SergeShiodera, SatomiShipley, BillShovon, Tanvir AhmedSiebenkäs, AlrunSierra, CarlosSilva, VascoSilva, MateusSitzia, TommasoSjöman, HenrikSlot, MartijnSmith, Nicholas G.Sodhi, DarwinSoltis, PamelaSoltis, DouglasSomers, BenSonnier, GrégorySørensen, Mia VedelSosinski, Enio EgonSoudzilovskaia, Nadejda A.Souza, Alexandre F.Spasojevic, MarkoSperandii, Marta GaiaStan, Amanda B.Stegen, JamesSteinbauer, KlausStephan, Jörg G.Sterck, FrankStojanovic, Dejan B.Strydom, TanyaSuarez, Maria LauraSvenning, Jens‐ChristianSvitková, IvanaSvitok, MarekSvoboda, MiroslavSwaine, EmilySwenson, NathanTabarelli, MarceloTakagi, KentaroTappeiner, UlrikeTarifa, RubénTauugourdeau, SimonTavsanoglu, CagatayBeest, MariskaTedersoo, LehoThiffault, NelsonThom, DominikThomas, EvertThompson, KenThornton, Peter E.Thuiller, WilfriedTichý, LubomírTissue, DavidTjoelker, Mark G.Tng, David Yue PhinTobias, JosephTörök, PéterTarin, TonantzinTorres‐Ruiz, José M.Tóthmérész, BélaTreurnicht, MartinaTrivellone, ValeriaTrolliet, FranckTrotsiuk, VolodymyrTsakalos, James L.Tsiripidis, IoannisTysklind, NiklasUmehara, ToruUsoltsev, VladimirVadeboncoeur, MatthewVaezi, JamilValladares, FernandoVamosi, JanaBodegom, Peter M.Breugel, MichielVan Cleemput, ElisaWeg, MartineMerwe, StephniPlas, FonsSande, Masha T.Kleunen, MarkVan Meerbeek, KoenraadVanderwel, MarkVanselow, Kim AndréVårhammar, AngelicaVarone, LauraVasquez Valderrama, Maribel YeseniaVassilev, KirilVellend, MarkVeneklaas, Erik J.Verbeeck, HansVerheyen, KrisVibrans, AlexanderVieira, ImaVillacís, JaimeViolle, CyrilleVivek, PandiWagner, KatrinWaldram, MatthewWaldron, AnthonyWalker, Anthony P.Waller, MartynWalther, GabrielWang, HanWang, FengWang, WeiqiWatkins, HarryWatkins, JamesWeber, UlrichWeedon, James T.Wei, LipingWeigelt, PatrickWeiher, EvanWells, Aidan W.Wellstein, CamillaWenk, ElizabethWestoby, MarkWestwood, AlanaWhite, Philip JohnWhitten, MarkWilliams, MathewWinkler, Daniel E.Winter, KlausWomack, ChevonneWright, Ian J.Wright, S. JosephWright, JustinPinho, Bruno X.Ximenes, FabianoYamada, ToshihiroYamaji, KeikoYanai, RuthYankov, NikolayYguel, BenjaminZanini, Kátia JanainaZanne, Amy E.Zelený, DavidZhao, Yun‐PengZheng, JingmingZheng, JiZiemińska, KasiaZirbel, Chad R.Zizka, GeorgZo‐Bi, Irié CasimirZotz, GerhardWirth, Christian
    Global Change Biology 2019; 26(1) p.119-188
    Plant traits-the morphological, anatomical, physiological, biochemical and phenological characteristics of plants-determine how plants respond to environmental factors, affect other trophic levels, and influence ecosystem properties and their benefits and detriments to people. Plant trait data thus represent the basis for a vast area of research spanning from evolutionary biology, community and functional ecology, to biodiversity conservation, ecosystem and landscape management, restoration, biogeography and earth system modelling. Since its foundation in 2007, the TRY database of plant traits has grown continuously. It now provides unprecedented data coverage under an open access data policy and is the main plant trait database used by the research community worldwide. Increasingly, the TRY database also supports new frontiers of trait-based plant research, including the identification of data gaps and the subsequent mobilization or measurement of new data. To support this development, in this article we evaluate the extent of the trait data compiled in TRY and analyse emerging patterns of data coverage and representativeness. Best species coverage is achieved for categorical traits-almost complete coverage for 'plant growth form'. However, most traits relevant for ecology and vegetation modelling are characterized by continuous intraspecific variation and trait-environmental relationships. These traits have to be measured on individual plants in their respective environment. Despite unprecedented data coverage, we observe a humbling lack of completeness and representativeness of these continuous traits in many aspects. We, therefore, conclude that reducing data gaps and biases in the TRY database remains a key challenge and requires a coordinated approach to data mobilization and trait measurements. This can only be achieved in collaboration with other initiatives.
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  • Journal Article

    How can forest management increase biomass accumulation and CO2 sequestration? A case study on beech forests in Hesse, Germany 

    Krug, Joachim H. A.
    Carbon Balance and Management 2019; 14(1): Art. 17
    BACKGROUND: While the capability of forests to sequester carbon dioxide (CO2) is acknowledged as an important component in fighting climate change, a closer look reveals the difficulties in determining the actual contribution by forest management when indirect and natural impacts are to be factored out. The goal of this study is to determine the direct human-induced impacts on forest growth by cumulative biomass growth and resulting structural changes, exemplified for a dominating forest species Fagus sylvatica L. in central Europe. In 1988, forest reserves with directly adjacent forest management areas (under business as usual management) were established in the federal state of Hesse, Germany. Thereof, 212 ha of forest reserve and 224 ha of management area were selected for this study. Biomass changes were recorded for a time span of 19 to 24 years by methods used in the National Inventory Report (NIR) and structural changes by standard approaches, as well as by a growth-dominance model. RESULTS: The results indicate a higher rate of cumulative biomass production in the investigated management areas and age classes. The cumulative biomass growth reveals a superior periodic biomass accumulation of about 16%. For beech alone, it is noted to be about 19% higher in management areas than in forest reserves. When harvests are not included, forest reserves provide about 40% more biomass than management areas. The analysis of growth-dominance structures indicates that forest management led to a situation where trees of all sizes contributed to biomass increment more proportionally; a related increase in productivity may be explained by potentially improved resource-use efficiency. CONCLUSIONS: The results allow a conclusion on management-induced structural changes and their impact on carbon sequestration for Fagus sylvatica L., the dominating forest species in central Germany. This affirms a potential superiority of managed forests to forests where the management was abandoned in terms of biomass accumulation and reveal the impact and effect of the respective interventions. Especially the analysis of growth-dominance structures indicates that forest management resulted in more balanced dominance structures, and these in higher individual biomass increment. Forest management obviously led to a situation where trees of all sizes contributed to biomass increment more proportionally.
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  • Journal Article

    Tensile and Impact Bending Properties of Chemically Modified Scots Pine 

    Bollmus, Susanne; Beeretz, Cara; Militz, Holger
    Forests 2020; 11(1): Art. 84
    This study deals with the influence of chemical modification on elasto-mechanical properties of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.). The elasto-mechanical properties examined were impact bending strength, determined by impact bending test; tensile strength; and work to maximum load in traction, determined by tensile tests. The modification agents used were one melamine-formaldehyde resin (MF), one low molecular weight phenol-formaldehyde resin, one higher molecular weight phenol-formaldehyde resin, and a dimethylol dihydroxyethyleneurea (DMDHEU). Special attention was paid to the influence of the solution concentration (0.5%, 5%, and 20%). With an increase in the concentration of each modification agent, the elasto-mechanical properties decreased as compared to the control specimens. Especially impact bending strength decreased greatly by modifications with the 0.5% solutions of each agent (by 37% to 47%). Modification with DMDHEU resulted in the highest overall reduction of the elasto-mechanical properties examined (up to 81% in work to maximum load in traction at 20% solution concentration). The results indicate that embrittlement is not primarily related to the degree of modification depended on used solution concentration. It is therefore assumed that molecular size and the resulting ability to penetrate into the cell wall could be crucial. The results show that, in the application of chemically modified wood, impact and tensile loads should be avoided even after treatment with low concentrations.
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  • Journal Article

    Climatic and vegetational drivers of insect beta diversity at the continental scale 

    Chesters, Douglas; Beckschäfer, Philip; Orr, Michael C.; Adamowicz, Sarah J.; Chun, Kwok‐Pan; Zhu, Chao‐Dong
    Ecology and Evolution 2019; 9(24) p.13764-13775
    Aim: We construct a framework for mapping pattern and drivers of insect diversity at the continental scale and use it to test whether and which environmental gradients drive insect beta diversity. Location: Global; North and Central America; Western Europe. Time period: 21st century. Major taxa studied: Insects. Methods: An informatics system was developed to integrate terrestrial data on insects with environmental parameters. We mined repositories of data for distribution, climatic data were retrieved (WorldClim), and vegetation parameters inferred from remote sensing analysis (MODIS Vegetation Continuous Fields). Beta diversity between sites was calculated and then modeled with two methods, Mantel test with multiple regression and generalized dissimilarity modeling. Results: Geographic distance was the main driver of insect beta diversity. Independent of geographic distance, bioclimate variables explained more variance in dissimilarity than vegetation variables, although the particular variables found to be significant were more consistent in the latter, particularly, tree cover. Tree cover gradients drove compositional dissimilarity at denser coverages, in both continental case studies. For climate, gradients in temperature parameters were significant in driving beta diversity more so than gradients in precipitation parameters. Main conclusions: Although environmental gradients drive insect beta diversity independently of geography, the relative contribution of different climatic and vegetational parameters is not expected to be consistent in different study systems. With further incorporation of additional temporal information and variables, this approach will enable the development of a predictive framework for conserving insect biodiversity at the global scale.
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