Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems

Athens, Greece

Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems

Athens, Greece
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Karavoltsos S.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Fotiadis F.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Michopoulos P.,Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems | Sakellari A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | And 6 more authors.
Chemosphere | Year: 2017

The complexing capacity for Cu ions (LT) and the apparent stability constant values (logKapp) were measured in throughfall (TF) and open field bulk deposition (BD), at two Mediterranean forest ecosystems of western Greece. LT was measured for the first time in the TF of natural forests. Concentrations of LT were three-to-four-fold higher in TF (mean ± 2014 ± 769 nM for Varetada and 1565 ± 595 nM for Karpenissi) compared to those in BD (531 ± 517 nM and 468 ± 321 nM, respectively). In all TF and BD samples, LT concentrations were significantly higher than the corresponding total Cu concentrations, indicating that Cu was fully complexed. The LT/TOC ratios in TF were found comparable between the two study sites (235 ± 149 nM mg−1 C for Varetada and 256 ± 233 nM mg−1 C for Karpenissi) and with those of BD (226 ± 257 and 163 ± 163 nM mg−1 C, respectively). The determined mean logKapp values were almost identical in TF (6.8 ± 0.7 at Varetada; 6.8 ± 0.6 at Karpenissi) and BD (6.5 ± 0.6 at Varetada; 6.8 ± 0.3 at Karpenissi), pointing to the fact that regardless of the enrichment of TF in ligands (LT(TF) > LT(BD)) the type of binding sites remain the same. The logKapp values which were obtained herewith are similar to those obtained for humic-like substances (HULIS), indicating them as the most widespread type of ligands in BD and TF. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd

Papakosta P.,TU Munich | Xanthopoulos G.,Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems | Straub D.,TU Munich
International Journal of Wildland Fire | Year: 2017

Loss prediction models are an important part of wildfire risk assessment, but have received only limited attention in the scientific literature. Such models can support decision-making on preventive measures targeting fuels or potential ignition sources, on fire suppression, on mitigation of consequences and on effective allocation of funds. This paper presents a probabilistic model for predicting wildfire housing loss at the mesoscale (1km2) using Bayesian network (BN) analysis. The BN enables the construction of an integrated model based on causal relationships among the influencing parameters jointly with the associated uncertainties. Input data and models are gathered from literature and expert knowledge to overcome the lack of housing loss data in the study area. Numerical investigations are carried out with spatiotemporal datasets for the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The BN is coupled with a geographic information system (GIS) and the resulting estimated house damages for a given fire hazard are shown in maps. The BN model can be attached to a wildfire hazard model to determine wildfire risk in a spatially explicit manner. The developed model is specific to areas with house characteristics similar to those found in Cyprus, but the general methodology is transferable to any other area, as well as other damages. © IAWF 2017.

Diakakis M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Xanthopoulos G.,Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems | Gregos L.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
International Journal of Wildland Fire | Year: 2016

Although forest fires are considered an integral part of forest ecosystems, the abundance of human activities in forested areas has led to a significant number of human casualties and to important effects on properties and infrastructure. Over recent decades, Greece has suffered extensive forest fire disasters, with a significant number of fatalities being recorded. However, there is no coherent inventory of human losses from fires in the country. This work develops and examines a database of 208 fatalities occurring in 78 forest fires in Greece between 1977 and 2013 to provide a better understanding of the circumstances under which fatal incidents occur. Around three-quarters of the victims were civilians; the remainder were firefighters, forest service officials and aircraft crews. Most deaths occurred in July and August, generally under adverse meteorological conditions. Male and older individuals showed an overrepresentation among the victims. A significant number of fatalities occurred in open space, mostly in wildland-urban interface areas and in tall forest vegetation. Late evacuation on foot or in a vehicle and firefighting were the most common activities of victims at the time of the incidents. © IAWF 2016.

Tsopelas P.,Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems | Palavouzis S.,Agricultural University of Athens | Tzima A.K.,Agricultural University of Athens | Tsopelas M.A.,Agricultural University of Athens | And 2 more authors.
Forest Pathology | Year: 2015

The fungus Ceratocystis platani was detected in various localities of the Gjirokastër prefecture in southern Albania, where it was causing widespread mortality on Platanus orientalis trees. The identification of the fungus was based on both morphological characteristics in culture and DNA sequencing. The pathogenicity of C. platani was confirmed in inoculations on seedlings of P. orientalis. To our knowledge, this is the first report of C. platani in Albania. © 2015 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

Mitsopoulos I.,Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems | Trapatsas P.,ComSys | Xanthopoulos G.,Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems
Computers and Electronics in Agriculture | Year: 2016

The main objective of this study is the design and the development of a fire management software tool for Mediterranean pine forests of Greece. The system operates as a standalone application and allows the end users to apply various fire environment (meteorology, topography, fuel) scenarios in order to estimate the characteristics of fuel complexes in Mediterranean pine stands, to predict the expected fire behavior, as well as to implement and evaluate fuel treatments for reducing the intensity and severity of fires in such ecosystems. The system simulates fire behavior (probability of crown fire initiation, type of fire, rate of spread and fireline intensity) in different types of understory vegetation and stand overstory structure under different weather conditions using current well-tested fire behavior prediction models. All user interaction with the software is done via a friendly and modern Graphical User Interface (GUI), designed in Windows Presentation Foundation/eXtensible Application Markup Language (WPF/XAML), a framework with User Interface (UI) elements coded in C# .NET. The proposed system is expected to assist forest researchers, forest service officials and land managers to evaluate fuel hazard and assess the potential for initiation and spread of wildfires in Aleppo and Calabrian pine forests in Greece. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Tsopelas P.,Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems | Barnes I.,University of Pretoria | Soulioti N.,Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems | Wingfield M.J.,University of Pretoria
Plant Disease | Year: 2013

Dothistroma needle blight (DNB) is caused by two ascomycete fungi, Dothistroma septosporum with a worldwide distribution and D. pini found in the United States, Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, and France (1). DNB has been known in Greece since the early 1980s (3) and the species responsible for the disease was reported as D. pini. In December 2011, needles were collected from three trees in Lagada, Thessaloniki regional unit of Central Macedonia (northern Greece), where the disease was first recorded. DNB infection seems to be limited to a valley in this area in Pinus nigra and P. brutia plantations established more than 50 years ago in an originally deciduous oak forest. Infections were observed over an area of 50 to 60 ha of pine plantations. Although the majority of pine trees were infected by the pathogen, the severity of the disease was relatively low and mortality of infected trees was not observed. Infections were limited to the lower branches in the 50-year-old trees, while on a limited number of younger trees of P. brutia (10 to 15 years old), infection was more severe, extending to the entire crowns of the trees. DNB does not appear to be very common in Greece. Infected needles had reddish-brown bands, usually with necrotic tips or entirely necrotic needles. Black sub-epidermal fruiting bodies (acervuli) were observed with the needle epidermis split and raised. Isolations were made from fruiting structures on needles of P. nigra and P. brutia (50-year-old trees) and P. brutia (10-year-old trees) after surface disinfection with 70% ethanol. Conidia from single fruiting bodies were transferred onto 3% malt extract agar (MEA) in petri dishes and incubated at 20°C. Colonies on MEA had a radial growth rate of 1.3 to 1.6 mm per week, were crustose, brown to grey-brown, and partly covered with slimy masses of conidia. The agar surrounding the colonies had a reddish color. Conidia from acervuli on the needles and the cultures were similar in shape and size, filiform, hyaline, 2 to 4 septate, and 1.8 to 2.5 (3.3) × 22 to 47 μm long. DNA was extracted from three cultures: one from P. nigra (CMW 37966) and two from P. brutia (CMW 37965, CMW 37967) using a standard phenol/chloroform method. The internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region was amplified and sequenced (1). Sequences were 100% identical to D. septosporum isolates in GenBank (e.g., AY808291). In addition, up to 12 randomly selected acervuli were excised directly from the needles of each of the three trees and DNA was extracted using PrepMan solution (Applied Biosystems). The mating types of these samples were determined using species-specific mating type primers for D. pini and D. septosporum (2). All acervuli were confirmed to be those of D. septosporum. Both mating types were found on needles from P. brutia and P. nigra. However, the teleomorph of D. septosporum was not detected on infected needles. © The American Phytopathological Society.

Tedim F.,University of Porto | Leone V.,University of Basilicata | Xanthopoulos G.,Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems
International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction | Year: 2016

The current wildfire policies in European Union countries have not solved the wildfire problem and probably will not be effective in the future, as all the initiatives focus on suppression and minimize the use of fire embedded in the Traditional Ecologic Knowledge of European communities. The traditional fire use as a tool for land management has been handled and almost criminalized by an urban-centric perspective and anti-fire bias. These policies are poorly adapted to, and cannot cope with, the complex nature of the wildfire phenomenon since they neglect its social roots. This paper presents a forward-looking and innovative model of wildfire management focused not at the landscape, or community, or forest level but at the territory scale. Fire Smart Territory (FST) is the proposed theoretical, the context specific, and place-based operational framework. The grounding assumptions of FST are that fire is a dual and ambiguous process, that it is not merely a biophysical process with social overtones but a social process, and it is a complex issue which can be understood only in the coupled human and natural systems where it occurs. FST advocates that the current wildfire challenges cannot be solved by a check list of theoretically adequate procedures, but through locally understanding the wildfire problem and strategically preparing each territory to be less wildfire prone, and its inhabitants to be less vulnerable, and more resilient, in the scope of economic valorization, sustainable development, and safety of the territory resources. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Mitsopoulos I.,Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems | Xanthopoulos G.,Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2016

In this study we examined the effect of stand, topographic, and climatic factors on the fuel complex characteristics of Aleppo (Pinus halepensis Mill.) and Calabrian (Pinus brutia Ten.) pine forests of Greece, based on measurements in fifty six (56) plots dominated by Aleppo pine (28 plots) and Calabrian pine (28 plots) in four different forest sites. The data were analyzed through Random Forest regression, linear regression, and quantile regression. The results showed that for all the examined factors, basal area, stand density index and stand height were the most important factors explaining fuel complex characteristics in the region for both species. Topography and climate factors were not found to be significant factors for canopy fuels. However, elevation and annual precipitation showed a minor effect mainly on the shrub fuel layer of Calabrian pine. The analysis and the conclusions of the study can be important inputs for forest management decisions (thinning, fuel treatments, stand regeneration planning) quantifying the effect that certain fuel management actions can have on the fuel hazard that the stands of these two important Mediterranean pines represent. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

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