School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences - Research Publications

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    Long-Term Response of Fuel to Mechanical Mastication in South-Eastern Australia
    Pickering, BJ ; Burton, JE ; Penman, TD ; Grant, MA ; Cawson, JG (MDPI, 2022-06-01)
    Mechanical mastication is a fuel management strategy that modifies vegetation structure to reduce the impact of wildfire. Although past research has quantified immediate changes to fuel post-mastication, few studies consider longer-term fuel trajectories and climatic drivers of this change. Our study sought to quantify changes to fuel loads and structure over time following mastication and as a function of landscape aridity. Measurements were made at 63 sites in Victoria, Australia. All sites had been masticated within the previous 9 years to remove over-abundant shrubs and small trees. We used generalised additive models to explore trends over time and along an aridity gradient. Surface fuel loads were highest immediately post-mastication and in the most arid sites. The surface fine fuel load declined over time, whereas the surface coarse fuel load remained high; these trends occurred irrespective of landscape aridity. Standing fuel (understorey and midstorey vegetation) regenerated consistently, but shrub cover was still substantially low at 9 years post-mastication. Fire managers need to consider the trade-off between a persistently higher surface coarse fuel load and reduced shrub cover to evaluate the efficacy of mastication for fuel management. Coarse fuel may increase soil heating and smoke emissions, but less shrub cover will likely moderate fire behaviour.
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    Optimum plant density and harvest age for maximizing productivity and minimizing competition in a Calliandra short-rotation-coppice plantation in West Java, Indonesia
    Widyati, E ; Sutiyono, ; Darwo, ; Mindawati, N ; Yulianti, M ; Prameswari, D ; Abdulah, L ; Yuniarti, K ; Baral, H (Informa UK Limited, 2022-01-01)
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    Multi-scale politics in climate change: the mismatch of authority and capability in federalizing Nepal
    Khatri, DB ; Nightingale, AJ ; Ojha, H ; Maskey, G ; 'Tsumpa', PNL (TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2022-06-30)
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    Performance of GEDI Space-Borne LiDAR for Quantifying Structural Variation in the Temperate Forests of South-Eastern Australia
    Dhargay, S ; Lyell, CS ; Brown, TP ; Inbar, A ; Sheridan, GJ ; Lane, PNJ (MDPI, 2022-08-01)
    Monitoring forest structural properties is critical for a range of applications because structure is key to understanding and quantifying forest biophysical functioning, including stand dynamics, evapotranspiration, habitat, and recovery from disturbances. Monitoring of forest structural properties at desirable frequencies and cost globally is enabled by space-borne LiDAR missions such as the global ecosystem dynamics investigation (GEDI) mission. This study assessed the accuracy of GEDI estimates for canopy height, total plant area index (PAI), and vertical profile of plant area volume density (PAVD) and elevation over a gradient of canopy height and terrain slope, compared to estimates derived from airborne laser scanning (ALS) across two forest age-classes in the Central Highlands region of south-eastern Australia. ALS was used as a reference dataset for validation of GEDI (Version 2) dataset. Canopy height and total PAI analyses were carried out at the landscape level to understand the influence of beam-type, height of the canopy, and terrain slope. An assessment of GEDI’s terrain elevation accuracy was also carried out at the landscape level. The PAVD profile evaluation was carried out using footprints grouped into two forest age-classes, based on the areas of mountain ash (Eucalyptus regnans) forest burnt in the Central Highlands during the 1939 and 2009 wildfires. The results indicate that although GEDI is found to significantly under-estimate the total PAI and slightly over-estimate the canopy height, the GEDI estimates of canopy height and the vertical PAVD profile (above 25 m) show a good level of accuracy. Both beam-types had comparable accuracies, with increasing slope having a slightly detrimental effect on accuracy. The elevation accuracy of GEDI found the RMSE to be 10.58 m and bias to be 1.28 m, with an R2 of 1.00. The results showed GEDI is suitable for canopy densities and height in complex forests of south-eastern Australia.
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    Mainstreaming Ecosystem Services from Indonesia’s Remaining Forests
    Nugroho, HYSH ; Nurfatriani, F ; Indrajaya, Y ; Yuwati, TW ; Ekawati, S ; Salminah, M ; Gunawan, H ; Subarudi, S ; Sallata, MK ; Allo, MK ; Muin, N ; Isnan, W ; Putri, IASLP ; Prayudyaningsih, R ; Ansari, F ; Siarudin, M ; Setiawan, O ; Baral, H (MDPI AG, 2022-10-01)
    With 120 million hectares of forest area, Indonesia has the third largest area of biodiversity-rich tropical forests in the world, and it is well-known as a mega-biodiversity country. However, in 2020, only 70 percent of this area remained forested. The government has consistently undertaken corrective actions to achieve Sustainable Development Goal targets, with a special focus on Goals #1 (no poverty), #2 (zero hunger), #3 (good health and well-being), #7 (affordable and clean energy), #8 (decent work and economic growth), #13 (climate action), and #15 (life on land). Good environmental governance is a core concept in Indonesia’s forest management and includes mainstreaming ecosystem services as a framework for sustainable forest management. This paper analyzes efforts to mainstream Indonesia’s remaining forest ecosystem services. We review the state of Indonesia’s forests in relation to deforestation dynamics, climate change, and ecosystem service potential and options and provide recommendations for mainstreaming strategies regarding aspects of policy, planning, and implementation, as well as the process of the articulation of ecosystem services and their alternative funding.
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    Using Remote Sensing to Estimate Understorey Biomass in Semi-Arid Woodlands of South-Eastern Australia
    Riquelme, L ; Duncan, DH ; Rumpff, L ; Vesk, PA (MDPI, 2022-05-01)
    Monitoring ground layer biomass, and therefore forage availability, is important for managing large, vertebrate herbivore populations for conservation. Remote sensing allows for frequent observations over broad spatial scales, capturing changes in biomass over the landscape and through time. In this study, we explored different satellite-derived vegetation indices (VIs) for their utility in estimating understorey biomass in semi-arid woodlands of south-eastern Australia. Relationships between VIs and understorey biomass data have not been established in these particular semi-arid communities. Managers want to use forage availability to inform cull targets for western grey kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus), to minimise the risk that browsing poses to regeneration in threatened woodland communities when grass biomass is low. We attempted to develop relationships between VIs and understorey biomass data collected over seven seasons across open and wooded vegetation types. Generalised Linear Mixed Models (GLMMs) were used to describe relationships between understorey biomass and VIs. Total understorey biomass (live and dead, all growth forms) was best described using the Tasselled Cap (TC) greenness index. The combined TC brightness and Modified Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index (MSAVI) ranked best for live understorey biomass (all growth forms), and grass (live and dead) biomass was best described by a combination of TC brightness and greenness indices. Models performed best for grass biomass, explaining 70% of variation in external validation when predicting to the same sites in a new season. However, we found empirical relationships were not transferrable to data collected from new sites. Including other variables (soil moisture, tree cover, and dominant understorey growth form) improved model performance when predicting to new sites. Anticipating a drop in forage availability is critical for the management of grazing pressure for woodland regeneration, however, predicting understorey biomass through space and time is a challenge. Whilst remotely sensed VIs are promising as an easily-available source of vegetation information, additional landscape-scale data are required before they can be considered a cost-efficient method of understorey biomass estimation in this semi-arid landscape.
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    Recovery of Carbon and Vegetation Diversity 23 Years after Fire in a Tropical Dryland Forest of Indonesia
    Adinugroho, WC ; Prasetyo, LB ; Kusmana, C ; Krisnawati, H ; Weston, CJ ; Volkova, L (MDPI, 2022-06-01)
    Understanding the recovery rate of forest carbon stocks and biodiversity after disturbance, including fire, is vital for developing effective climate-change-mitigation policies and actions. In this study, live and dead carbon stocks aboveground, belowground, and in the soil to a 30 cm depth, as well as tree and shrub species diversity, were measured in a tropical lowland dry forest, 23 years after a fire in 1998, for comparison with adjacent unburned reference forests. The results showed that 23 years since the fire was insufficient, in this case, to recover live forest carbon and plant species diversity, to the level of the reference forests. The total carbon stock, in the recovering 23-year-old forest, was 199 Mg C ha−1 or about 90% of the unburned forest (220 Mg C ha−1), mainly due to the contribution of coarse woody debris and an increase in the 5–10 cm soil horizon’s organic carbon, in the burned forest. The carbon held in the live biomass of the recovering forest (79 Mg C ha−1) was just over half the 146 Mg C ha−1 of the reference forest. Based on a biomass mean annual increment of 6.24 ± 1.59 Mg ha−1 yr−1, about 46 ± 17 years would be required for the aboveground live biomass to recover to equivalence with the reference forest. In total, 176 plant species were recorded in the 23-year post-fire forest, compared with 216 in the unburned reference forest. The pioneer species Macaranga gigantea dominated in the 23-year post-fire forest, which was yet to regain the similar stand structural and compositional elements as those found in the adjacent unburned reference forest.
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    Allometric Equations for the Biomass Estimation of Calophyllum inophyllum L. in Java, Indonesia
    Basuki, TM ; Leksono, B ; Baral, H ; Andini, S ; Wahyuni, NS ; Artati, Y ; Choi, E ; Shin, S ; Kim, R ; Yang, AR ; Samsudin, YB ; Windyarini, E (MDPI AG, 2022-07-01)
    Reliable data on CO2 quantification is increasingly important to quantify the climate benefits of forest landscape restoration and international commitments, such as the Warsaw REDD+ Framework and Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement. Calophyllum inophyllum L. (nyamplung as a local name or tamanu tree for the commercial name) is an increasingly popular tree species in forest landscape restoration and bioenergy production for a variety of reasons. In this paper, we present allometric equations for aboveground biomass (AGB), belowground biomass (BGB), and total above- and belowground biomass (TABGB) predictions of C. inophyllum L. Data collection was carried out twice (2017 and 2021) from 40 trees in Java, Indonesia. Allometric equations using the natural logarithm of diameter at breast height (lnDBH) and ln height (lnH) for biomass prediction qualified the model’s fit with statistical significance at 95% of the confidence interval for AGB, BGB, and TABGB predictions. The results showed that the linear models using both lnDBH and lnH were well fit and accurate. However, the model with lnDBH is more precise than the model using lnH. Using lnDBH as a predictor, the R2 values were 0.923, 0.945, and 0.932, and MAPE were 24.7, 37.0, and 25.8 for AGB, BGB, and TABGB, respectively. Using lnH as a predictor, the R2 values were 0.887, 0.918, and 0.898 and MAPE were 37.4, 49.0, and 39.8 for AGB, BGB, and TABGB, respectively. Consequently, the driven allometric equations can help accurate biomass quantification for carbon-trading schemes of C. inophyllum L.
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    Open Science for Accelerating the Sustainable Development Goals: Status and Prospects in Asia and the Pacific
    Camkin, J ; Neto, S ; Bhattarai, B ; Ojha, H ; Khan, S ; Sugiura, A ; Lin, J ; Nurritasari, FA ; Karanja, JM (Frontiers Media SA, 2022-06-29)
    Achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is increasingly challenging due to widening inequality in access to scientific and technological knowledge and resources. With science remaining too discipline based, and policymakers too often science averse, there is a need for greater understanding of the opportunities and challenges of open science for science practitioners, policy makers and communities. Acknowledging that open science can be a powerful tool to reduce inequalities, UNESCO has been supporting the shift to open science. Following global multistakeholder consultation, the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science was adopted in November 2021, establishing a universal definition, common standards and shared set of values and principles. In 2021, the UNESCO Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific partnered with the Institute for Study and Development Worldwide on local and national mapping to identify implementation strategies and mechanisms already in place to enable open science in Asia and the Pacific, and to identify what more is needed. Focused on Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Pakistan, Samoa and Uzbekistan, the study showed that while there are many examples of good practice in aspects of open science, none of the focus countries currently has in place all the policies, infrastructure, awareness and capacity building needed. Typically, clear policies on open science have not yet been articulated and funding mechanisms not yet established. Trust is a key pre-requisite for open science. Current inequities in access to open science infrastructure will need to be addressed or implementation may be unbalanced, exacerbating existing inequities at national, regional, and global scales. There are many opportunities to learn from existing efforts toward open science, but there will be no generic model; each country will need to design an open science model and implementation pathway suited to its context. A predominant message from this research was that the convening power of UNESCO should continue to be harnessed to engage countries on open science implementation. Further, those committed to open science will need to work hard, with UNESCO, to democratize science and encourage an ethos of “policy for science, science for policy - science for society and society for science”.
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    Editorial: Urban soil formation, properties, classification, management, and function
    Scharenbroch, BC ; Trammell, TL ; Paltseva, A ; Livesley, SJ ; Edmondson, J (FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2022-08-19)