Latvian State Forest Research Institute

Salaspils, Latvia

Latvian State Forest Research Institute

Salaspils, Latvia
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Lefevre F.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Koskela J.,Third University of Rome | Hubert J.,Japan Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute | Kraigher H.,Slovenian Forestry Institute | And 36 more authors.
Conservation Biology | Year: 2013

Dynamic conservation of forest genetic resources (FGR) means maintaining the genetic diversity of trees within an evolutionary process and allowing generation turnover in the forest. We assessed the network of forests areas managed for the dynamic conservation of FGR (conservation units) across Europe (33 countries). On the basis of information available in the European Information System on FGR (EUFGIS Portal), species distribution maps, and environmental stratification of the continent, we developed ecogeographic indicators, a marginality index, and demographic indicators to assess and monitor forest conservation efforts. The pan-European network has 1967 conservation units, 2737 populations of target trees, and 86 species of target trees. We detected a poor coincidence between FGR conservation and other biodiversity conservation objectives within this network. We identified 2 complementary strategies: a species-oriented strategy in which national conservation networks are specifically designed for key target species and a site-oriented strategy in which multiple-target units include so-called secondary species conserved within a few sites. The network is highly unbalanced in terms of species representation, and 7 key target species are conserved in 60% of the conservation units. We performed specific gap analyses for 11 tree species, including assessment of ecogeographic, demographic, and genetic criteria. For each species, we identified gaps, particularly in the marginal parts of their distribution range, and found multiple redundant conservation units in other areas. The Mediterranean forests and to a lesser extent the boreal forests are underrepresented. Monitoring the conservation efficiency of each unit remains challenging; however, <2% of the conserved populations seem to be at risk of extinction. On the basis of our results, we recommend combining species-oriented and site-oriented strategies. © 2012 Society for Conservation Biology.

Waldner P.,Swiss Federal Institute of forest | Marchetto A.,CNR Institute of Ecosystem Study | Thimonier A.,Swiss Federal Institute of forest | Schmitt M.,Swiss Federal Institute of forest | And 33 more authors.
Atmospheric Environment | Year: 2014

Atmospheric deposition to forests has been monitored within the International Cooperative Programme on Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Forests (ICP Forests) with sampling and analyses of bulk precipitation and throughfall at several hundred forested plots for more than 15 years. The current deposition of inorganic nitrogen (nitrate and ammonium) and sulphate is highest in central Europe as well as in some southern regions. We compared linear regression and Mann-Kendall trend analysis techniques often used to detect temporal trends in atmospheric deposition. The choice of method influenced the number of significant trends. Detection of trends was more powerful using monthly data compared to annual data. The slope of a trend needed to exceed a certain minimum in order to be detected despite the short-term variability of deposition. This variability could to a large extent be explained by meteorological processes, and the minimum slope of detectable trends was thus similar across sites and many ions. The overall decreasing trends for inorganic nitrogen and sulphate in the decade to 2010 were about 2% and 6%, respectively. Time series of about 10 and 6 years were required to detect significant trends in inorganic nitrogen and sulphate on a single plot. The strongest decreasing trends were observed in western central Europe in regions with relatively high deposition fluxes, whereas stable or slightly increasing deposition during the last 5 years was found east of the Alpine region as well as in northern Europe. Past reductions in anthropogenic emissions of both acidifying and eutrophying compounds can be confirmed due to the availability of long-term data series but further reductions are required to reduce deposition to European forests to levels below which significant harmful effects do not occur according to present knowledge. © 2014 The Authors.

Menkis A.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Burokiene D.,Institute of Botany at the Nature Research Center | Gaitnieks T.,Latvian State Forest Research Institute | Uotila A.,University of Helsinki | And 5 more authors.
FEMS Microbiology Ecology | Year: 2012

The aim of this study was to assess belowground occurrence, persistence and possible impact of the biocontrol agent Phlebiopsis gigantea (Fr.) Jülich on soil fungi. Sampling of soil and roots of Picea abies (L.) H. Karst. was carried out at 12 P. gigantea-treated and five nontreated control sites representing 1- to 60-month-old clear-cuts and thinned forest sites in Finland and Latvia. The 454-sequencing of ITS rRNA from fine roots, humus and mineral soil resulted in 8626 high-quality fungal sequences. Phlebiopsis gigantea represented 1.3% of all fungal sequences and was found in 14 treated and nontreated sites and in all three substrates. In different substrates, the relative abundance of P. gigantea at stump treatment sites either did not differ significantly or was significantly lower than in nontreated controls. No significant correlation was found between the time elapsed since the tree harvesting and/or application of the biocontrol and abundance of P. gigantea in different substrates. In conclusion, the results demonstrate that P. gigantea occasionally occurs belowground in forest ecosystems but that stump treatment with the biocontrol agent has little or no impact on occurrence and persistence of P. gigantea belowground, and consequently no significant impact on soil fungi. © 2012 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Menkis A.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Uotila A.,University of Helsinki | Arhipova N.,Latvian State Forest Research Institute | Vasaitis R.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Mycorrhiza | Year: 2010

The objectives of this study were to investigate impact of stump and slash removal on growth and mycorrhization of Picea abies seedlings outplanted on a forest clear-cut. Four non-replicated site preparation treatments included: (1) mounding (M), (2) removal of stumps (K), (3) mounding and removal of logging slash (HM) and (4) removal of logging slash and stumps (HK). Results showed that height increment of the seedlings was highest in K and lowest in M after the third growing season, and similar pattern remained after the fourth season. Ectomycorrhizal (ECM) colonisation of seedling roots was highest in M (96.6%) and lowest in K (72.3%), and even in HK (76.0%) and HM (76.3%). Morphotyping and sequencing of internal transcribed spacer of fungal ribosomal DNA revealed a total of 13 ECM species. Among those, Thelephora terrestris and Cenococcum geophilum were the most common, found on 27.4% and 26.3% of roots, respectively. The rest of species colonised 26.6% of roots. Richness of ECM species was highest in M (10 species) and lowest in K (three species). Consequently, stump and slash removal from clear-felled sites had a positive effect on growth of outplanted spruce seedlings, but negative effect on their mycorrhization. This suggests that altered soil conditions due to site disturbance by stump and slash removal might be more favourable for tree growth than more abundant mycorrhization of their root systems in less disturbed soil. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Stafford R.,University of the Sea | Stafford R.,Bournemouth University | Clitherow T.J.,Bournemouth University | Howlett S.J.,Latvian State Forest Research Institute | And 6 more authors.
Ocean and Coastal Management | Year: 2016

Evaluating potential effects of conservation and management actions in marine reserves requires an understanding not only of the biological processes in the reserve, and between the reserve and the surrounding ocean, but also of the effects of the wildlife on the wider political and economic processes. Such evaluations are made considerably more difficult in the absence of good ecological data from within reserves or consistent data between reserves and the wider marine environment, as is the case in much of mainland Ecuador. We present an approach to evaluate the effects of a wide range of possible management processes on the marine ecology of the Machalilla National Park, as well as that of the surrounding marine environments (including recently established reserves) and related socio-economic pressures. The approach is based on Bayesian belief networks, and as such can be used in the presence of sparse data from multiple and disparate sources. We show that currently there are no observable benefits of marine reserves to reef and fish community structure, and that high value (normally predatory) fish, which are sought by fishers and shark finners are frequently absent from reef systems. We demonstrate that there is broad similarity in ecological communities between most shallow marine systems, in or out of marine reserves, and predict there can be a strong effect from actions outside the reserve on what is present within it. We also show that establishing a stronger link between (responsible) ecotourism and the marine environment could reduce the need for income in other more destructive areas, such as fishing and particularly shark finning, and discuss ways that high value, low impact eco-tourism could be introduced. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

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