Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems and Forest Products Technology

Athens, Greece

Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems and Forest Products Technology

Athens, Greece
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Koutsias N.,University of Ioannina | Xanthopoulos G.,Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems and Forest Products Technology | Founda D.,Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development | Xystrakis F.,University of Ioannina | And 4 more authors.
International Journal of Wildland Fire | Year: 2013

Historical fire records and meteorological observations, spanning more than 1 century (1894-2010), were gathered and assembled in a database, to provide long-term fire-weather associations. We investigated the relationships between forest fire activity and meteorological parameters and sought to find temporal patterns and trends in these historical records and to identify any linkages between meteorological parameters and fire occurrence in the eastern Mediterranean region. Trend analysis of the time series revealed a statistically significant increase in the number of fires and air temperature, particularly after the mid-1970s. Fire occurrence, expressed as the annual number of fires and total burnt area, was strongly correlated with the mean maximum and the absolute maximum air temperature which, in turn, was related to the occurrence of summer heat waves. Total burnt area was also strongly negatively correlated with fire-season precipitation, and positively correlated with 2-year-lagged annual and summer precipitation, underlying the effect of precipitation in controlling fuel production and moisture. These findings support the argument that although annually lagged precipitation totals may have a marginal effect on fire risk by influencing biomass production and accumulation, the lag0 weather parameters are the main drivers of fire spread by directly controlling fuel moisture. © 2013 IAWF.


Daskalakou E.N.,Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems and Forest Products Technology | Albanis K.,Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems and Forest Products Technology | Skouteri A.,Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems and Forest Products Technology | Thanos C.A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
New Forests | Year: 2014

A regeneration predictor (RP) has been elaborated to forecast the minimal inter-fire period, required for full recovery (assumed at 1,000 mature stems ha-1, a typical value for a dense pine forest) of an even-aged, postfire regenerating Pinus halepensis population after a subsequent wildfire, in the future. The study has been conducted in three Aleppo pine forests of northern Euboea Island, Greece. Postfire field surveys of sapling growth, sapling density and reproductive dynamics (cone-bearing population fraction, annual cone and seed production per sapling, canopy seed bank build-up) were carried out for three, consecutive growing seasons (years). Additional postfire parameters, with values estimated from literature data, have been also included in order to devise the RP. In the cases of the three populations studied, the application of this RP provides time-windows for full recovery after a recurrent fire, as short as 10-15, 8-11 and 7-11 years, respectively (values corresponding to best and worst scenarios). It is suggested that in even-aged, postfire regenerating Aleppo pine populations, the minimal inter-fire period required for full recovery can be predicted by monitoring a few selected variables, namely (a) sapling density, (b) vegetative to reproductive shift dynamics, and (c) cones/sapling and germinable seeds/cone, for at least 2 years (either consecutive or 2-3 years apart) at a postfire age of 7-12 years. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Karali A.,Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development | Hatzaki M.,Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development | Giannakopoulos C.,Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development | Roussos A.,Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development | And 2 more authors.
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences | Year: 2014

Current trends in the Mediterranean climate, and more specifically in Greece, indicate longer and more intense summer droughts that even extend out of season. In connection to this, the frequency of forest fire occurrence and intensity is on the rise. In the present study, the Canadian Fire Weather Index (FWI) is used in order to investigate the relationship between fire risk and meteorological conditions in Greece. FWI is a meteorologically based index designed in Canada and used worldwide, including the Mediterranean Basin, to estimate fire danger in a generalised fuel type based solely on weather observations. Here, an evaluation of the index is initially performed for the Greek territory using fire observations that cover a 15 yr period. Three critical fire risk threshold values are established for the area of Greece based on daily mean meteorological data: FWI Combining double low line 15, FWI Combining double low line 30 and FWI Combining double low line 45, increasing from the northwest to the southeast. Subsequently, a regional climate model is employed providing input for the FWI system to investigate the impacts of climate change on fire risk for two future time periods, 2021-2050 and 2071-2100, under the A1B emissions scenario. Days with critical fire risk are expected to increase by as many as 50 days per year by the end of the century.


Lykidis C.,Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems and Forest Products Technology | Grigoriou A.,Aristotle University of Thessaloniki | Barboutis I.,Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Wood Material Science and Engineering | Year: 2014

Abstract: This paper investigates the potential of utilising wood biomass from fruit tree branches and evergreen hardwood shrubs as raw materials in the production of particleboards when mixed with Greek fir wood particles. The main mechanical properties of the boards made therefrom were determined and compared with those made of typical industrial wood (IW) particles. The highest modulus of rupture and elasticity (30.0 N/mm2and 4330 N/mm2, respectively) in bending and screw withdrawal (SW) resistance (127.8 N/mm) were reported for boards made of Greek fir and were downgraded when the fruit tree branches or evergreen hardwood shrub particles also participated. The participation of fruit tree branch particles in proportions higher than 50% improved the internal bond (IB) of fir produced boards, while the highest IB strength(0.95 N/mm2)was reported for boards made of fruit tree branches. Particleboards made of evergreen hardwood shrubs showed inferior mechanical properties compared with those made of IW particles. The latter also showed superior bending strength but inferior SW resistance compared with boards made of fruit tree branches. Hygroscopic and other properties are under determination and will be presented and discussed in the second part of the work. © 2014, © 2014 Taylor & Francis.


Willems W.,FirmoLin Technologies BV | Willems W.,University of Gottingen | Lykidis C.,Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems and Forest Products Technology | Altgen M.,University of Gottingen | Clauder L.,Eberswalde University Of Applied Sciences
Holzforschung | Year: 2015

Thermally modified wood (TMW) is currently produced commercially by a range of processes across many countries. A prerequisite of the commercial success is an efficient quality control (QC), and methods with this regard are discussed in this review. When direct measurement of the key attribute of the material is not feasible, QC is based on a suitably chosen physical or chemical "marker". A critical evaluation of currently applied markers reveals that most of them only provide data for comparative purposes for a particular species and/or over a narrow process range. Such markers do not allow making an objective judgment of quality, which is independent of process information or reference samples provided by the manufacturer. On the other hand, they can be very useful for monitoring product variability in the TMW factory and wood during the heat treatment. Recommendations for future development are the general validation of (combinations of) known TMW markers for different wood species and processes, resulting in (1) a reliable and fast laboratory QC method for given samples of unknown origin, (2) a simple and fast indicative QC test for end users, and (3) in-line product markers for feedback-controlled production. © 2015 by De Gruyter.


Lykidis C.,Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems and Forest Products Technology | Barboutis I.,Aristotle University of Thessaloniki | Grigoriou A.,Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Wood Material Science and Engineering | Year: 2014

This paper investigates the basic hygroscopic properties and formaldehyde content (FC) of particleboards produced with wood biomass from fruit tree branches and evergreen hardwood shrubs as substitute raw materials for fir particles. One-layer laboratory particleboards with two distinct target densities (0.63 g/cm3 and 0.69 g/cm3) were produced using various mixtures of the above materials. Industrially produced wood particles were also used for comparison purposes. The results showed that the replacement of fir wood (FW) by evergreen hardwood material significantly upgraded board's quality in terms of thickness swelling (TS) and water absorption (WA) (except boards with density of 0.63 g/cm3) after immersion in water for 24 h and residual swelling (RS) after reconditioning. The contribution of branch-wood (BW) particles in the production of FW boards with density of 0.63 g/cm3 induced increase of TS, WA, and RS while for boards with density of 0.69 g/cm3 did not result to significant changes except for RS. In terms of FC, boards made of BW and evergreen hardwood showed significantly lower FC compared to those produced by FW and industrial particles. © 2014 Taylor & Francis


Lykidis C.,Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems and Forest Products Technology | Nikolakakos M.,Technological Educational Institute of Athens | Sakellariou E.,Technological Educational Institute of Athens | Birbilis D.,Technological Educational Institute of Athens
Materials and Structures/Materiaux et Constructions | Year: 2016

Purpose of this study was to assess a modification to the hardness determination method in order to mitigate the effect of visual measurements on the consistency of Brinell method and accuracy of the results. The amendment has been previously proposed by other researchers and refers to the automated determination of indentation diameter and relies on the ability of modern testing machines to accurately measure indentation depth, through which the calculation of indentation diameter is possible. From the results of this study it was shown that the hardness values acquired by the proposed modification presented statistically significant difference compared to those acquired using the visual method described in EN1534 (Wood and parquet flooring—determination of resistance to indentation (Brinell)—test method, 2000). Moreover, compared to the standard methodology, the application of the proposed amendment led to hardness values which are better correlated to density as well as Janka hardness for the six different solid wood species tested. Furthermore, the proposed modification resulted to hardness values which seem to be less affected by the presence of varnish coatings. © 2015, RILEM.


Lykidis C.,Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems and Forest Products Technology | Bak M.,University of West Hungary | Mantanis G.,Design Science | Nemeth R.,University of West Hungary
European Journal of Wood and Wood Products | Year: 2016

In this work, the biological resistance of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) wood impregnated with nano-sized zinc oxide and zinc borate against the fungi Daedalea quercina, Poria placenta and Serpula lacrymans was evaluated. It can be concluded that nano-sized zinc oxide inhibited the biological degradation of pine wood against Serpula lacrymans, while it was ineffective against the brown-rot fungus Poria placenta. Pine wood treated with nano-sized zinc borate exhibited higher biological resistance against the fungi Serpula lacrymans and Poria placenta. © 2016 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg


Karma S.,National Technical University of Athens | Zorba E.,National Technical University of Athens | Pallis G.C.,National Technical University of Athens | Statheropoulos G.,National Technical University of Athens | And 7 more authors.
International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction | Year: 2015

Search and Rescue (SaR) in forest fires is usually applied in a broad area, under foggy or smoky conditions. It mostly involves location of entrapped fire crew or people in between fire fronts, as well as, safely removing them away from the dangerous zone. Moreover, SaR is applied in evacuation of rural residential areas due to heavy smoke impacts, or fire front approaching. Experiences achieved during a field trial, in which unmanned aerial and ground vehicles were deployed and used in a simulated forest fire SaR scenario, are presented. For planning and running the field trial a number of parameters were taken into consideration; logistics, safety plan, contingency plan, different agencies cooperation, time frames and ethical issues. Advantages of using unmanned aerial and ground vehicles in SaR operations include capability of planning and monitoring the operations, integration with the manned resources, connectivity with command and control centers, as well as, coordination of the different unmanned aerial and ground vehicles' platforms. Significant increase of personnel safety is possible through the capabilities of air quality monitoring and search over dangerous areas. Current limitations include limited heat resistance of vehicles and limited flying capability in strong winds and turbulence. Failure of communications is also possible due to rough terrain (autonomy limitations). Against all the limitations, a number of unmanned vehicles already exist that can be adapted successfully for SaR operations in forest fires. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

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