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Bhubaneshwar, India

von Gadow K.,University of Gottingen | von Gadow K.,Stellenbosch University | Zhao X.H.,Beijing Forestry University | Tewari V.P.,Himalayan Forest Research Institute | And 4 more authors.
European Journal of Forest Research

With Ernst Assmann’s appointment to the chair of Forest Yield Science in Munich in 1951, he assumed responsibility for the maintenance of the extensive network of growth-and-yield plots of the Bavarian Forest Research Institute. This network, with some plots having been remeasured since 1870, proved to be a rich source of observations, and constituted the empirical basis for Assmann’s fundamental theories in production ecology. Realizing the strategic value of long-term field observations, scientists are using (a) designed experiments and (b) observational studies to study forest structure and dynamics. This contribution is an attempt to clarify fundamental differences, and to present examples, of these two approaches. We present recent developments regarding the installation of DesignedExperiments and show that rigorous experimental design, usually found in planted forests and based on very specific manipulations, that are normally not found in the natural environment is required to address a particular hypothesis that cannot be tested by merely using available observations. We also present examples of new Forest Observational Networks established in China, India, Africa and America. These alternative research infrastructures are especially suitable for the study of natural forests that exhibit a high diversity of tree species with varying size and age structures. Our conclusion is that Forest Observational Studies are emerging as an important alternative to Designed Experiments because they provide a vast amount of information about complex natural forest communities rather quickly. However, long-term commitment is essential to ensure a steady flow of observations about forest dynamics. Manipulated experiments and observational studies can be complementary, but the optimum use of both installations requires careful planning and coordination. © 2016 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg Source

Tewari V.P.,Institute of Wood Science and Technology | Sukumar R.,Indian Institute of Science | Kumar R.,Forest Survey of India | Gadow K.V.,University of Gottingen | Gadow K.V.,Stellenbosch University
Forest Ecology and Management

Long term forest research sites in India, going by different names including Linear Tree Increment Plots, Linear Increment Plots, Linear Sample Plots and Permanent Preservation Plots, cover diverse plant communities and environmental conditions. Presently, some of these long-term observational studies are functional, some are disturbed and others have almost been lost. The accumulated data will become increasingly important in the context of environmental modelling and climate change, especially if the plots and data can be maintained and/or revived. This contribution presents the history and current state of forest research plots in India, including details of locations and re-measurements. We provide a brief introduction of the National Forest Inventory (NFI), Preservation Plots in natural forests, the 50-ha Mudumalai Forest Dynamics Plot as part of the Centre for Tropical Forest Science and Smithsonian Institution Global Earth Observatories network (CTFS-SIGEO), and research plots established in plantations for tree growth studies and modelling. We also present some methodological details including assessment and analysis for two types of observational studies, the Tree Count Plots (TCP) and Tree Re-measurement Plots (TRP). Arguments are presented in favour of enumeration and analysis methods which are consistent with current approaches in forest ecological research. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. Source

DeFries R.,University of Maryland College Park | Pandey D.,Forest Survey of India
Land Use Policy

Urbanization is currently a major force in tropical land use transitions as economic activities aggregate in urban centers, particularly in Asia. This paper examines relationships among urbanization, household energy source, and forest cover at the state level in India using available census, survey, and remote sensing analysis from the 1990s and 2000s. Central questions include (1) how rapidly are urban and rural households switching from traditional to modern fuel sources; and (2) what are the consequences of changing household energy sources for fuelwood demand and forest cover. Country-wide, 30 and 78% of urban and rural households respectively used fuelwood for cooking in 1993. In urban households, the percentage decreased to 22% by 2005 with a shift towards liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). The shift occurred across almost all income classes. In rural areas, the use of LPG increased fourfold but 75% of households still rely on fuelwood. Despite the decline in percentage households using traditional fuels, fuelwood demand continued to increase from 1993 to 2005 at a national scale due to an increasing total number of households. However, 25% of states and union territories experienced declines in rural fuelwood demand and over 70% declines in urban fuelwood demand. Forest cover has remained steady or increased slightly over the time period, reaffirming the conclusion that fuelwood demand may lead to local degradation but not large-scale deforestation. At the state level, increases in percent forest cover between 2000 and 2004 are positively associated with percent of total households that are urban (corresponding to fewer percentage households using wood) but not related to changes in fuelwood demand. Plantations are a primary cause of increases in forest area, where benefits to ecosystem services such as biodiversity and hydrologic function are controversial. Results suggest that households will continue to climb the energy ladder with future urbanization, resulting in substantial development benefits and reduced exposure to indoor air pollution. Implications of reduced fuelwood demand for forest cover are less certain but the limited data suggest that urbanization will promote a transition to increasing forest cover in the Indian context. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Sharma J.,Indian Institute of Science | Upgupta S.,Indian Institute of Science | Kumar R.,Forest Survey of India | Chaturvedi R.K.,Indian Institute of Science | And 2 more authors.
Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change

Assessment of vulnerability is an important step in building long-term resilience in the forestry sector. The objective of this paper is to present a methodological approach to assess inherent vulnerability of forests at landscape level. The approach involves use of vulnerability indicators, the pairwise comparison method, and geographic information system (GIS) tools. We apply this approach to assess the inherent vulnerability of forests of the Western Ghats Karnataka (WGK) landscape, which is a part of the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot in India. Four vulnerability indicators, namely biological richness, disturbance index, canopy cover, and slope, are selected. We find that forests in 30, 36, 19, and 15 % grid points in this region show low, medium, high, and very high inherent vulnerability, respectively. The forest showing high and very high inherent vulnerability are mostly dry deciduous forests and plantations located largely on the eastern side of the landscape. We also find that canopy cover is one of the key indicators that determine the inherent vulnerability of forests, and natural forests are inherently less vulnerable than man-made plantations. Spatial assessment of inherent vulnerability of forests at landscape level is particularly useful for developing strategies to build resilience to current stressors and climate change in future. © 2015 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht Source

Ajai,Space Applications Center | Bahuguna A.,Space Applications Center | Chauhan H.B.,Space Applications Center | Sen Sarma K.,Institute of Environmental Studies and Wetland Management | And 6 more authors.
National Academy Science Letters

Mangroves are salt tolerant plants that occur between 32 N and 38 S latitudes. Mangroves play an important role in stabilizing shoreline and protect the coast against storm surges and heavy tides. Though the mangrove inventory has been done earlier in India using satellite data but no systematic attempts has been made to map the mangroves at the community level for the entire country. The present paper reports the mangrove inventory at community level for India using Resourcesat-1 satellite data. State wise inventory on the mangrove area and the dominant communities are presented. Total area under mangrove based on the satellite data of 2005-2007 is 495,620 ha. West Bengal has the highest area under mangrove. © 2012 The National Academy of Sciences, India. Source

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