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  • Open access
  • 67 Reads

In order to ensure safety at work, chainsaw operators are required to have adequate knowledge of the saw’s operation, how to work safety with it, as well as use of appropriate auxiliary equipment and protective clothes. Polish regulations require that a logger starting work must complete appropriate training and obtain a license to harvest trees.

The aim of the study was the assessment of trainings provided for chainsaw operators and identification of the potential hazards by logging operations.

In order to assess the state of knowledge of chainsaw operators and their occupational safety during logging, a survey was carried out. The survey covered 15 forest districts. Questionnaire forms were delivered to 354 chainsaw operators, of which 209 completed the forms and returned them.

A large group of respondents acquired chainsaw operating skills on their own, while some of them were qualified in courses lasting 2-3 days.

Chainsaw operators assess their knowledge and skills in working with a chainsaw at a relatively high level. The longer they have been licensed and the longer they have worked as a logger, the higher they rated their skills.

Safely working with a chainsaw depends not only on the techniques of the work, so the study also asked respondents about personal protective equipment and the use of auxiliary tools in the logging process and the operation of chainsaws. A lack of the use of personal protective equipment was also observed.

25% of the surveyed chainsaw operators had had an accident or suffered an injury during logging, the main cause of which was tripping, a fallen tree or a falling branch. A large group of respondents stated that the most frequent cause of accidents was failure to observe safety rules, the lack of personal protective equipment or the improper use of working tools. 76% of sustained injuries were not reported to the employer as accidents occurring in the course of work.

The identified deficiencies in the training of chainsaw operators and the declared behaviors indicating the assumption of a routine approach as one’s service in forestry lengthened, indicate the need to introduce periodic continuing education and training courses. Such training should become a permanent element of the system of increasing the safety of logging with a chainsaw.

  • Open access
  • 59 Reads
Integrated Use of AHP and GIS Techniques for Generating Forest Fire Risk Map in Karacabey Flooded Forest

The flooded forests are very important ecosystems that are rich in terms of diverse flora and fauna. However, they are mostly degraded in many parts of the world and remaining fragmented areas are in critical condition. Forest fires are one of the major environmental disasters that cause serious damages on forest ecosystem and negatively affect sustainability of forest resources. In order to minimize the potential effects of fires on forest ecosystems, forest fire risk maps should be generated and thereby necessary precaution measures can be taken in these areas according to fire risk levels. Geographical Information System (GIS) techniques integrated with Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) method can be effectively used to develop risk maps for natural hazards such as forest fires, winter storms, floods, etc. In this study, GIS techniques integrated with AHP (Analytic Hierarchy Process) method was used to generate forest fire risk map. The study was implemented in the Karacabey Flooded Forest located in the city of Bursa in Turkey. In the solution process, the forest fire risk was evaluated considering two major risk factors including stand structures (tree species, crown closure, and tree stage) and topographic factors (slope and aspect). In this study, vegetation factor under climate control was considered instead of directly using data of climatic elements such as temperature and humidity. The results indicated that 25.28% of the forest area was of high fire risk, while 53.17% and 21.55% was of medium and low fire risk, respectively. It was found that the most effective criterion was tree species, followed by tree stages. The aspect had the least effective criterion on forest fire risk. It was revealed that GIS techniques integrated with MCDA methods can be used effectively to estimate forest fire risk zones.

  • Open access
  • 69 Reads
How the virtual thinning can help to control the changing of genetic structure in Scots pine stands?

The purpose of the work was to determine the changes in the gene pool (at the DNA level) of the pine stand, under the influence of various kinds of forest-tending cuts. The area in which the trials are carried out falls within the Warsaw Regional Directorate of the State Forests and its Forest District of Ostrów Mazowiecka, approximately 95 km towards the north-east of Warsaw.

Genetic structure was specified using five nSSR sequences and six cpSSR loci, while the five thinning variants trialled were: sanitation cutting, low thinning of 30% intensity, schematic thinning, selective thinning and destructive lumbering. The control variant was left untreated. It was virtual rather than real-life thinning that was pursued, using the ForestSimulator BWINPro program. Changes in the structure of the stand after a further 10 years were also simulated.

The different thinning variants were shown to cause change in the gene pool and level of genetic diversity of trees in the study area. In terms of maintaining genetic variability in the stand, the least-favourable method proved to be thinning from below–which resulted in the removal of 22% of nDNA rare alleles and 43% of cpDNA rare alleles. Destructive selection cutting was in turn most beneficial in terms of the preservation of genetic structure, with the reduction in rare alleles being more limited than in any other analysed variant. An increase in genetic diversity was also to be noted. It was with the selective thinning variant that the final number of trees, stand structure and level of genetic variation resembled the situation in the control most closely. This suggests that selective thinning provides for a rather accurate replication of processes occurring in nature.

  • Open access
  • 855 Reads

The quantification of the solid wood content in a wood stack is an object of investigation since the 18th century. Especially the log parameters exert a considerable influence on the volume of the stack. Some important parameters which were analyzed by this method are (1) log midpoint diameter, (2) average bark thickness, (3) crookedness and (4) log taper. Although many of these parameters have already been studied and some are already considered in many countries when measuring wood stacks, their influence has not been analyzed individually so far since a broad statistical database is needed and the data collection is very costly. Consequently 3D-simulation model was developed based on a cross-platform game engine. This model generates virtual wood stacks based on a data set of logs which are defined by the user. One simulation cycle needs a few seconds and each stack generated can be visualized once all iterations are done. The simulation results are the stacked cubic volume, solid wood cubic volume and the respective conversion factors. The model, fed with both real collected and user-defined data, allows a detailed analysis of the effect of each parameter on the results, as the user can vary their values discretionary as well. To obtain the first results from real data, 400 logs of Norway spruce were measured. The first simulations based on these data showed reliable results and it was possible to quantify the influence of the parameters described above on stack volume. In addition, the results are highly in line with the real trials that have already been done in parallel around the world. Although a further scientific evaluation and statistical analysis will be done in a second study phase, the model provides a reasonable tool that is easy to apply for the forest and wood industry in order to make the most accurate estimate possible of the solid wood content.

  • Open access
  • 37 Reads

A necessary condition for the functioning of the biosphere is to preserve and increase the area of forests. Forest ecosystems in most regions of the world suffer from fires. According to recent data, the tense and complicated situation with forest fires has also developed in Ukraine, and this issue requires constant study and research.

The aim of the work was to analyze the dynamics of forest fires in Ukraine's forests, including those related to the management State Forest Resources Agency of Ukraine (SFRAU), to identify the extent and depth of forests in various forestry and administrative areas of Ukraine.

The data of forest fires in the forests of Ukraine from 2000 to 2017 and on the territory belonging to them and referred to the sphere of management of the State Forest Resources Agency of Ukraine. The average annual number and area and the relative burning of the forests of these territories for the period from 2007 to 2017 are determined. These data are comparatively natural and anthropogenic in different administrative and forestry areas.

Due to the determination of spatial tendencies of fires in different forestry and administrative regions of Ukraine, it is established that the number and area of fires are significantly different, having its own features and explanations. Also, there is an extremely large difference in relative burning.

The number of forest fires depends on arid anomalous conditions. The area of the fires will depend on the timeliness of detection and the effectiveness of extinguishing

  • Open access
  • 83 Reads
An external Agribusiness risk analysis using KBDI: A case of veldfires in the Northern Territory of Australia

The 2019/20 Australian bushfires burned over 46 million acres of land, killed 34 people and left 3500 individuals homeless. Majority of deaths and buildings destroyed were in New South Wales, while the Northern Territory accounted for approximately 1/3 of the burned area. Many of the buildings that were lost were farm buildings, adding to the challenge of agricultural recovery that is already complex because of ash-covered farmland accompanied by historic levels of drought. The current therefore aimed at characterising veldfire risk in the study area using Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI). A 39 year-long time series data was obtained from an online NASA database. Both homogeneity and stationarity tests were deployed using a non-parametric Pettitt’s and Dicky-Fuller tests respectively for data quality checks. Major results revealed a non-significant two-tailed Mann Kendall trend test with a p-value=0.789 > 0.05 significance level. A suitable probability distribution was fitted to the annual KBDI time series where both Kolmogorov-Smirnov and Chi-square tests revealed Gamma (1) as a suitably fitted probability distribution. Return level computation from the Gamma (1) distribution using XLSTAT computer software, resulted in a cumulative 40-year return period of moderate to high fire risk potential. With this low probability and 40-year long return level, the study found the area less prone to fire risks detrimental to animal and crop production. More agribusiness investments can safely be executed in the Northern Territory without high risk aversion.

  • Open access
  • 87 Reads
FORTLS: an R package for processing TLS data and estimating stand variables in forest inventories

Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) enables rapid, automatic and detailed 3D representation of surfaces with an easily handled device (scanner). TLS is therefore of great potential use in Forest Inventories (FIs). However, the lack of well established algorithms for TLS data processing hampers operational use of the scanner for FI purposes. Here we present FORTLS, an R package specifically developed to automate TLS point cloud data processing for forestry purposes. The FORTLS package enables (i) detection of trees and estimation of their diameter at breast height (dbh), (ii) estimation of some stand variables (e.g. density, basal area, mean and dominant height), (iii) computation of metrics related to important tree attributes estimated in FIs at stand level, and (iv) optimization of plot design for combining TLS data and field measured data. FORTLS can be used with single-scan TLS data, thus improving data acquisition and shortening the processing time, as well as increasing sample size in a cost-efficient manner. The package also includes several methodologies for correcting occlusion problems to obtain more accurate estimates of stand variables. These features of the FORTLS package will enable the operational use of TLS in FIs, in combination with inference techniques based on model-based and model-assisted approaches.

  • Open access
  • 85 Reads
Prediction of tree age distribution based on survival analysis in natural forests: a case study of preserved permanent plots in the University of Tokyo Hokkaido Forest, northern Japan

In forests, tree mortality is strongly determined by complex interactions between multiple biotic and abiotic factors, and analysis of tree mortality is widely implemented in forest management. However, age-based tree mortality remains poorly evaluated quantitatively at the stand scale. The objective of this study is to predict the age distribution of living and dead trees based on survival analyses. We used a combination of tree-ring and census data from the two preserved permanent plots in the University of Tokyo Hokkaido Forest in pan-mixed and sub-boreal natural forests, northern Hokkaido, Japan, to derive site-specific survival models. All the living trees (diameter at breast height ≥ 5 cm in 2000) were targeted to identify tree ages using a RESISTOGRAPH, a semi non-destructive device. Periodical tree age data with a 10-year age class were used during two observation periods of 2000–2009 and 2010–2019, and all the changes (i.e., death and new in-growth) during the periods were recorded. In the analyses, one plot was affected with a typhoon in 2016, so wind caused tree deaths were excluded from the plots to maintain the time stabilities of survival functions between the periods. The results showed that the parametric survival analysis with Weibull distribution successfully yielded the mortality rate, mortality probability, and survival probability in each plot. In addition, the calculated mean lifetime of each plot was facilitated to make decisions on the biological mortality of the uneven forest stands. Finally, we predicted the future age class distribution of living and dead trees of each plot based on the results of survival analyses and discussed its management implications.

  • Open access
  • 42 Reads
Determination of the Safest Route for Logging Trucks based on Road Types and Conditions

Hauling of wood-based forest products is a complex problem that requires evaluation of many alternative routes. The forest transportation has been generally done by using logging trucks with high carrying capacity. The logging truck driving is one of the dangerous occupations in forestry, particularly in Turkey where forest lands are mostly located in mountainous regions with steep slope. The safety risk of truck driving mainly depends on the road standards and conditions. The majority of the forest roads in Turkey has low standards that limit the maneuverability of logging trucks. In such conditions, forest transportation should be planned by considering not only transportation costs but also safety of logging truck driving. In this study, GIS-based network analysis method was used to develop the optimum transportation plans for two scenarios. In the first scenario, optimum plan that minimized the total transportation cost was developed while transportation plan that ensured the safest logging truck driving was optimized in the second scenario. The safety score was assigned to each road section based on the road type (asphalt, gravel, forest road) and road conditions (good, medium, poor). In the study area, located in the city of Bursa in Turkey, there were three forest depots and five landings. The results indicated that the transportation cost increased by %15.76 when the safety of logging truck driving was prioritized. In this scenario, forest products from three landings were transported to different depots, compared to the first scenario. In order to ensure safe driving of logging trucks, forest roads should be properly reconstructed and regularly maintained considering the technical and safety requirements. Although reengineering of the forest roads requires some investment, improved forest roads will provide better access to forest resources for many forestry activities such as reforestation, protection, management, logging operations, and recreations.

  • Open access
  • 63 Reads
What can native trees provide in re-vegetating tropical degraded land? An experience of man-made Dipterocarp forest in Indonesia

Revegetation is a major activity undertaken to restore degraded landscapes. The environmental benefits of revegetation include ecosystem services provided by the successful planted vegetations. This paper described a successful initiative on revegetation of tropical degraded land using several native trees. More than 300 hectares of intact landscape in Gunung Dahu, West Java - Indonesia have been successfully revegetated using 32 Dipterocarp species. The success of this 20-years-old revegetated landscape was revealed by timber volume, natural regeneration, soil characteristics, ectomycorrhiza fruiting body’s occurrence, and ecotourism potential. The results showed that the average diameter and height were varied from 12 cm to 43 cm and 10 m to 23 m; diameter mean annual increment were at 0.6 cm/year to 2.1 cm/year; standing stock per hectares were at 10 m3/ha - 215 m3/ha. The major causes of the variations might due to the differences of planted species, spacing distance and planting technique. The natural regeneration success was observed by the offspring’s occurrence from six Shorea species and supported by mycorrhiza fruiting bodies predominantly by the genus Rusula. Planted trees also improved the availability of organic materials to the soils as described by good total soil porosity (51,06%-52,32%) and infiltration rate 120-155,33 mm/hr at the site. The landscape also provided springs with continuous water supply and allowed tourists to experience the serenity of the tropical forest. Hence, revegetation using native tree is prospective and proven to deliver wider benefit in ecological, economic, and social aspect.