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  • Open access
  • 77 Reads
Forest Certification of Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) in India: Study of NTFP harvest of Rhododendrons in Western Himalayas for its Sustainable Use

Forest certification has emerged as an efficient tool for using important and economically viable forest products and linking them to the sustainable forest management practices ensuring their sustainable utilization. It includes social, economic, and environmental facets, thereby helping reduce the anthropogenic pressures on the forest-based resources and maintaining forest ecosystem services. The Western Himalayas offers a range of Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) that are utilized by the locals providing various livelihood opportunities to the native Himalayan communities. Rhododendron species belonging from the genera of Ericaceae family, is one such economically viable NTFP in the Himalayas which is harvested extensively for its varied medicinal and economic benefits. Among the many products made from the Rhododendrons like jams, juice, tea and local beverages, the harvest of R.arboreum which is found at an altitude of 1500m-3000m in the Himalayan region with bright red-pinkish flowers remains prominent as it provides a huge market value in the study region. As the current trends on forest certification is gaining increasing momentum and its positive impact on people, supply chains (timber and non-wood products), and ecosystem services is rising in both from developed and developing countries, our study caters to the need of forest certification for the harvest of Rhododendrons as a Non-timber forest product (NTFP) in Western Himalayas. The study lies in exploring the case of forest certification for the Rhododendrons in Western Himalayas through the principles, criteria and indicators of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) which is globally one of the most leading forest certification agency, as certification for Rhododendrons can be used as an efficient mechanism for encouraging sustainable forest practices which allows consumers to gain benefit from the forests without influencing the health of the forest-based resources in the long run.

  • Open access
  • 149 Reads
Reliable post-fire regeneration of Pinus sabiniana (gray pine)
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Pinus sabiniana (grey pine), an endemic tree species in California, has been little-studied because of its limited commercial value. This study seeks to understand whether grey pine is capable of behaving as a serotinous species; i.e. one that reliably has viable seeds on hand any time a fire might occur. Repeated field surveys were conducted along HWY 299 to Redding to observe the cone production and scale opening and to estimate post-fire seedling density. We found that (a) the minimum diameter for producing the first cone was about 16 cm (diameter at breast height), and that subsequently trees always initiate cones each year; (b) how by germinating seeds from burned cones in the greenhouse, the flexure is insufficient to release the bulk of their seeds; (c) lacking this protection, all but 8% of the seeds died during passage of the flaming front, as we show by germinating seeds from burned cones in the greenhouse; (d) the wind rather than rodents abscise the burned cones; (e) once on the ground, rodents cache the seeds; (f) the great majority of recruits are found within 20 m of a burnt gray pine, averaging about two regenerating stems per tree; and (g) there is little mortality for a regenerating cohort after the first post-fire summer. We conclude that gray pine reliably self-replaces following fire. While it is possible that all recruits observed in the field represent seeds cached prior to the fire, we think it more likely that the small fraction of seeds surviving the flames are the source of the regeneration.

Financial assistance by Agricultural Research Institute (grant #S4104), and HSU Loyalty Fund (A6735) are gratefully acknowledged.

  • Open access
  • 132 Reads
Forest cover change analysis using remote sensing and its impact on forest sustainability at Fasiakhali Wildlife Sanctuary.

Anthropogenic activities within and around the protected areas are one of the major reasons for damaging forest cover and threat to the sustainable management of the forest. In Bangladesh, many protected areas are facing constant anthropogenic threats to their biodiversity and forest cover. Fasiakhali Wildlife Sanctuary (FWS) is one of the few protected areas in Bangladesh, the last resort for a few herds of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). The presence of Asian elephants is under constant threat as the forest cover is changing rapidly, leading to exposure to elephant-human conflict. However, there is not enough scientific analysis on forest cover change of Fasiakhali Wildlife Sanctuary. This study was conducted to understand the forest cover change dynamics from 1990-2020 using Landsat 5 TM and Landsat 8 OLI/TIRS images. Landsat 5 TM of 1990 and 2005 and Landsat 8 OLI of 2020 had been used to determine the forest cover change. A supervised classification technique was used for forest cover mapping using a maximum likelihood classification algorithm. The study showed that about 6.8% and 8.6% of forest cover were transformed into non-forest use (e.g., agricultural land and bare land) between 1990-2005 and 2005-2020. Most of the conversion has happened to agricultural land, which was about 200 ha from 1990 to 2020. Primarily, it was found that illegal tree cutting and transforming forest land to the agricultural field were the anthropogenic reasons behind forest cover change. This study could be the essence for a better understanding of habitat fragmentation and monitoring illegal activities inside the Fasiakhali Wildlife Sanctuary for prospects.

  • Open access
  • 84 Reads
Tree detection using UAV based imagery system based on Random Forest classification

Recent advances in remote sensing have provided access to UAV aerial imagery, among different sensors mountable on UAVs optical cameras are the most cost-effective ones. Therefore, in this study, an optical camera is used to extract the class of trees from other urban features. Two sets of data are used, the first area has an area of ​​3.07 hectares and a GSD of 2.23cm, and the second one has an area of ​​104.5 hectares and a GSD of 8.75cm. The classification is done in two cases using Random Forest, in the first case we use only the visible image and the feature vectors extracted from it. In the second scenario, considering that both study sites are related to urban areas and the land is almost flat, in addition to the image, DSM is also used as a feature vector. The results show that with the addition of the digital surface model (DSM) the total accuracy of the classification compared to only visible data in the two study areas increases by about 16 and 12 percent, respectively, and reaches 93 and 90 percent. In the second part of the article, we examine the effect of reducing feature space using PCA and compare it with the situation in which all features are used for classification. According to the results, if all the extracted features are used, the processing time will increase and the total accuracy will decrease due to the dependencies in some feature spaces.

  • Open access
  • 47 Reads
Nutritional edaphic limitations on Quercus robur L. temperate forests: relationship to soil quality and attributes

We have analysed several edaphic and nutritional factors influencing the soil conservation in 19 native temperate forests dominated by Quercus robur L. in Galicia (north-western Spain). Oak forests represent the climax communities in the study area. Show a high variety of vascular plants and commonly occurs in mixed stands, known as “fragas”, along with other tree species as Castanea sativa Mill., Betula alba L., Corylus avellana L., and often Taxus baccata L. Other oak species that hybridize easily between them may also could be present, e.g., Quercus petraea (Matts.) Lielb., and Quercus pyrenaica Willd. These forests are especially vulnerable because of the anthropic impacts to which they are exposed. Poor soil conditions and nutrient removal due to forest fires, in addition to the application of unsuitable management rotations, could limit tree nutrition and influence the conservation of these ecosystems. So, we have described the soil type on which the stands are located and their main edaphic properties. Also, we have assessed the nutritional status from the result of foliar analysis. Most soils are acidic or highly acidic and all are rich in organic matter. The foliar analysis showed that the most important limitations for the oak forests were normally the low concentration of macronutrients, even in some soils there were also deficient level of nitrogen. These deficiencies may to be linked to the low availability of these nutrients in the soil. Such restrictions may reduce the possibilities of conservation of these ecosystems, something that should be considered in future silvicultural treatments aimed to their sustainable protection and management.

  • Open access
  • 280 Reads
Preferential use of Bamboos for Industrial Production of Incense sticks

Incense stick, known as "agarbatti" in India, is used exclusively worldwide for religious and other purposes in almost every home. Bamboo, popularly known as green gold or poor man's timber, forms the only significant raw material for the incense stick industry. The primary concern of the stakeholders of the bamboo sector is identifying the right choice of raw material to maximize the industrial production which otherwise contributes to low outturn in India presently as compared to other major stick producing countries. The market functionaries take advantage of farmers' lack of knowledge, and make substantial gains. Therefore, the paper investigates the preference of the notable species, age, and the part of the culm of bamboo used for the production of incense sticks, amongst > 100 stick makers (artisans/workers) and entrepreneurs in Tripura, India, by a questionnaire developed using the five-point Likert scale ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree continuum. The data obtained were statistically analyzed using MS –Excel. The results indicated that all study parameters were significantly different among eight species viz., Bambusa polymorpha, B. vulgaris, B. cacherensis, B. tulda, B. balcooa, M. baccifera, Dendrocalamus asper, and D. longispathus which formed part of the experiment. Among the bamboo species Bambusa tulda is the most preferred one having a mean likert scale of 4.89 followed by Dendrocalamus longispathus (4.06), Bambusa cacharensis (3.54), Bambusa polymorpha (3.50), and so on. The most preferred bamboo age is third year culm (4.32), followed by fourth and second year culms. It can be concluded that third year culms of B. tulda should be preferably harvested and from which, middle portion of the culm should be extracted to become the most promising raw material for agarbatti industry for better outturn and profitability of the agarbatti industry.

  • Open access
  • 48 Reads
Water absorption behaviour and dimensional stability of a thermally modified tropical hardwood (Triplochiton scleroxylon K. Schum)

The thermal modification of wood is well known and widespread as method to improve the dimensional stability and natural durability of this interesting material with biological origin. This work aims to evaluate the effect of a 3 hour at 215°C thermal modification cycle, carried out with an industrial system with a slight initial vacuum, on some physical properties of ayous wood (Triplochiton scleroxylon K. Schum). This research will offer an overview on the dimensional stability and the water absorption behaviour of the material, comparing these properties between untreated and heat-treated ayous wood. To collect the data, the ISO reference standard was adopted. The data here presented highlight the influence of the thermal modification in the reduction of wood hygroscopicity. It has been possible to verify that heat-treated wood shows less swelling and reaches a lower humidity than untreated wood with the same environmental conditions. Therefore, the dimensional stability of the heat-treated wood was also improved, making the material more suitable for outdoor use.

  • Open access
  • 51 Reads
Tree size structure of Tectona grandis (Linn f.) stand in Valley-Bottom and Hilltop of Omo Forest Reserve

Competition for growth resources contributes to size hierarchy in tree populations. Competition hierarchy of trees is dependent on rate of growth and stages of stand development. Competition hierarchy may not cause size symmetry in tree populations. Size structure of even-aged stand can identify tree competition mechanisms for growth resources. The study investigated tree size structure of Teak stand in Valley-Bottom and Hilltop of Omo Forest Reserve.

Ten (10) years old Teak plantation was divided into Valley-Bottom and Hilltop stands base on topography. Five (30m x 30m) sample plots were systematically demarcated in each of Valley-Bottom and Hilltop stands. Tree stems were enumerated and stem densities of both stands were estimated. Diameter at -breast height and total height were measured using Girth tape and Spiegel Relaskop. Stem size inequality, diversity and evenness of both stands were evaluated. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive, correlation, regression analysis and t-test at α0.05.

Mean diameter and height of Valley-Bottom (11.42±4.83cm dbh and 3.46±1.35m) were not significantly different from Hilltop stands (10.29±4.59 cm dbh and 3.41±1.55m). Stem density of Hilltop (1431.0 stems/ha) was higher than Valley-Bottom stands (1248.0stems/ha). Coefficient of determination (R2) of Height-Diameter allometry for Valley-Bottom (0.59) was higher than Hilltop stands (0.45). Diameter distribution of Valley-Bottom and Hilltop expressed bimodality and unimodality, respectively. Height distribution of Valley-Bottom and Hilltop expressed positive skewed unimodality. Inequality was higher in Hilltop than Valley-Bottom for height and diameter. Elevation affected the stem form and size hierarchy of Teak stems in Hilltop habitat than Valley-Bottom habitat.

  • Open access
  • 74 Reads
Effect of tree age and diameter on selected parameters of black locust wood fibers

The study investigates selected parameters describing the fibers of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) wood with regard to the tree age and diameter. The material was collected in south-western Poland. We selected three stands aged 38, 61 and 71 growing on the mesotrophic site. In each stand, according to Hartig’s method, we chose and felled trees from three diameter classes (class I – the thinnest, class II – medium thick, and class III - the thickest). From each tree, from the section 0.8-1.8 m above the ground we took wood from which we produced samples of 30×20×20 mm. In total, we obtained 34 samples from 17 trees (5 aged 38, 6 aged 61 and 6 aged 71 years). Using Leica SM 2000 R sliding microtome we cut slices from the tangential plane. Subsequently, the slices were macerated and stained with Etzold's dye. OLYMPUS PROVIS AX70 microscope with the OLYMPUS UC90 camera as well as the cellSens Standard software were used to take pictures of single fibers, 15 cells per each sample. On the obtained photos, using ImageJ software we measured fibre dimensional parameters and based on these results calculated the coefficients characterizing the fibres‘ shape. The following parameters were determined: length, diameter, light, cell wall thickness, slenderness, rigidity, Runkel ratio, flexibility, Mühlsteph's ratio and compactness. Wood of medium thick 61-years-old trees characterized by the smallest variability of analysed features. It turned out that the age of trees had a significant influence on the examined anatomical parameters of black locust fibers. The impact of tree diameter was less important. The youngest wood would be potentially the least useful for the paper industry.

  • Open access
  • 64 Reads
The selected properties of wood structure of Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) Diverse Genetic Origin

Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) is the main forest-forming species of Poland. This work contains the results of research into the structure of wood from Scots pine trees of diverse genetic origin, grown on an experimental plot at the Forest Experimental Station in Rogów (51°49' N, 19°53' E, ca. 190 m a.s.l – central Poland). There are seven parent stands numbered: 5 (the Tucholskie Forest 130 m a.s.l.), 7 (the Napiwodzko–Ramuckie Forest 145 m a.s.l.), 10 (the Piska Forest 145 m a.s.l.), 12 (the Biała Forest 95 m a.s.l.), 13 (the Namysłowsko–Ostrzeszowskie Forest 190 m a.s.l.), 15 (the Knyszyńska Forest 165 m a.s.l.), and 16 (the Nowotarskie Forest 590 m a.s.l.). The research material came from 100 trees in total.

The aim of the study was to determine the relationship between the origin and the quality of Scots pine wood. We determined the tree-ring width (TWR) and latewood width values (LW). Tree-ring widths were measured with an accuracy of 0,01 mm using the graphic files in CooRecorder ( Next, material was cross-dated (particular years were assigned to respective annual rings) and measurement accuracy was checked in CDdendro software (

Investigated origins from Forest Experimental Station in Rogów (central Poland) were shown to have a significant influence on tree-ring width (TWR) and latewood width values (LW).