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1.
Private forest owner willingness to mobilise wood from dense, small-diameter tree stands
Matevž Triplat, Satu Helenius, Ruben Laina, Nike Krajnc, Thomas Kronholm, Zdenka Ženko, Teppo Hujala, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: Forests are a source of renewable biomass, and their utilisation will play a vital role in the transition towards a climate-neutral economy. Small-diameter tree management could contribute to this transition via providing renewable biomass for sustainable uses and fostering tree growth towards long-lifecycle bioproducts. The utilisation of small-diameter trees in the EU is still low since new technologies and work models are required to make the operations economically profitable, environmentally sound, and socially attractive. The supply of biomass from small-diameter tree stands is dependent on forest owners with diverse perceptions on their forests and diverse ownership objectives. However, there is scarce research on forest owner perceptions on small-diameter tree management, which encompasses home consumption, self-active work, and commercial forestry services. A survey in four EU countries was designed to identify the main factors affecting the motivation of forest owners to mobilise biomass from small-diameter stands. Factor and clustering analyses were used to identify four forest owner segments: weakly-engaged traders, well-being seekers, self-active profit-seekers, and well-informed service users. The willingness to utilise biomass from small-diameter tree stands and participate in the market was shaped by forest owner knowledge of forestry, economic and socio-cultural motivations, and sensitivity to service offerings. Forest owner preferences for market participation are heterogenous, and thus different policy implementation approaches are needed and proposed.
Keywords: customer profiles, factor analysis, forestry services, management objectives, biomass, communication strategies
Published in DiRROS: 05.01.2023; Views: 119; Downloads: 35
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2.
Hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae) as biodiversity indicators for assessing urban forest habitats
Maarten De Groot, Primož Simončič, Andrej Verlič, Urša Vilhar, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Urban and peri-urban forests are important habitats for maintaining biodiversity in cities. In this paper, we report a method for using hoverflies as biodiversity indicators in urban forest habitats. As a case study, forest habitats in three peri-urban and urban forests were assessed and compared to rural forests in Slovenia. Rožnik (Ljubljana) was chosen as the urban forest site, Mestni log (Ljubljana) and Brdo (Kranj) were chosen as the peri-urban sites, and eight sites were chosen in rural forests in different ecoregions in Slovenia. Forest hoverfly species richness and the species composition of different biological traits were compared between the peri-urban forests, urban forest and rural forest sites. In addition, species richness was assessed for changes in response to weather conditions between years. The number of species with the investigated traits in the urban and peri-urban forests was within the range of the number of species observed in the rural forests. The number of saproxylic species was higher in the urban forest but lower in the peri-urban forests compared to the rural forests. The proportions of species with different feeding modes and different development times were similar between the peri-urban, urban and rural forests. The proportions of species with development times of less than 2 months or more than 1 year and of predatory species were similar in the urban and peri-urban forests but higher in the rural forests. The species composition of the other biological traits differed between the peri-urban, urban and rural forests. Species richness and abundance displayed large differences in phenological patterns between 2012 and 2013; these differences are related to differences in the minimum temperature for these years. The results are discussed in relation to forest management in urban forests, the usefulness of hoverflies as a biodiversity indicator and possible extrapolation to other species groups.
Keywords: biological traits, ecosystem services, forest management, saproxylic species, Syrphidae, urban forest
Published in DiRROS: 30.12.2022; Views: 254; Downloads: 137
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3.
Forest genetics research in the mediterranean basin : bibliometric analysis, knowledge gaps, and perspectives
Bruno Fady, Edoardo Esposito, Khaled Abulaila, Jelena M. Aleksic, Ricardo Alía, Paraskevi Alizoti, Ecaterina-Nicoleta Apostol, Filipos Aravanopoulos, Dalibor Ballian, Magda Bou Dagher Kharrat, Hojka Kraigher, Marjana Westergren, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Purpose of Review Recognizing that in the context of global change, tree genetic diversity represents a crucial resource for future forest adaptation, we review and highlight the major forest genetics research achievements of the past decades in biodiversity-rich countries of the Mediterranean region. For this, we conducted a bibliometric analysis of the scientific literature spanning the past thirty years (1991–2020). Putting together the representative regionwide expertise of our co-authorship, we propose research perspectives for the next decade. Recent Findings Forest genetics research in Mediterranean countries is organized into three different scientific domains of unequal importance. The domain “Population diversity and Differentiation” related to over 62% of all publications of the period, the domain “Environmental conditions, growth and stress response” to almost 23%, and the domain “Phylogeography” to almost 15%. Citation rate was trending the opposite way, indicating a strong and sustained interest in phylogeography and a rising interest for genetics research related to climate change and drought resistance. The share of publications from Asia and Africa to the total within the Mediterranean increased significantly during the 30-year period analyzed, reaching just below 30% during the last decade. Summary Describing poorly known species and populations, including marginal populations, using the full potential of genomic methods, testing adaptation in common gardens, and modeling adaptive capacity to build reliable scenarios for forest management remain strategic research priorities. Delineating areas of high and low genetic diversity, for conservation and restoration, respectively, is needed. Joining forces between forest management and forest research, sharing data, experience, and knowledge within and among countries will have to progress significantly, e.g., to assess the potential of Mediterranean genetic resources as assisted migration material worldwide.
Keywords: conservation ·, forest genetic resources, genetic diversity, global change, Mediterranean, sustainable management
Published in DiRROS: 09.12.2022; Views: 78; Downloads: 37
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4.
The status and role of genetic diversity of trees for the conservation and management of riparian ecosystems : a European experts' perspective
Filip Alimpić, Jelena Milovanović, Remigiusz Pielech, Georgi Hinkov, Roland Jansson, Simon Dufour, Marcin Beza, Nebi Bilir, Luis Santos del Blanco, Gregor Božič, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Riparian vegetation supports high biodiversity providing many services and is, therefore, an important landscape element. Riparian ecosystems are subject to numerous pressures leading to population decline and genetic erosion of riparian plants. This may have cascading effects at various ecosystem levels, including decreasing ecosystem services, so identifying the current status of genetic diversity of riparian tree species is vital to improve the effectiveness of restoration efforts. We aimed to elicit expert views on the status and importance of genetic diversity of tree species, and conservation needs across European riparian ecosystems. Sharing of such information among researchers, managers and policymakers has the potential to enhance ecological restoration and management of riparian ecosystems. We identified experts in riparian genetic resources conservation and management across Europe. These included stakeholders with different perspectives, ranging from researchers to practitioners. We designed a set of questionnaires where our identified experts were asked to answer questions related to the status and conservation of genetic diversity of riparian tree species in their respective countries. Specifically, we asked about societal awareness, legislative tools, good practices and conservation or restoration projects accounting for intraspecific genetic diversity and differentiation of tree species in riparian ecosystems. Questionnaire responses were analysed and discussed in light of the scientific literature to define needs and priorities related to the management and conservation of genetic diversity of riparian tree species. The experts recognized that a combination of in situ and ex situ measures and/or integrative conservation of riparian ecosystems is the most appropriate option for conserving the genetic diversity of riparian tree species. Simultaneous application of conservation measures at the level of priority species, identified by experts, and protection of riparian areas are required. Synthesis and applications. This study revealed the importance of recognizing the ecological processes that shape the genetic diversity of riparian tree species in hydrographic networks (dendritic spatial configuration, specific patterns of gene flow among riparian populations, fragmentation of river by dams) but also the need to overcome socio-economic barriers, such as lack of policy priority, deficiency in funding and weak legislation framework.
Keywords: biodiversity conservation, genetic erosion, genetic resources conservation, knowledge transfer, management, riparian genetic diversity, vegetation
Published in DiRROS: 08.12.2022; Views: 91; Downloads: 50
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5.
Citizen science and monitoring forest pests : a beneficial alliance?
Maarten De Groot, Michael J.O. Pocock, Jochem Bonte, Pilar Fernandez-Conradi, Elena Valdés-Correcher, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Purpose of the Review One of the major threats to tree health, and hence the resilience of forests and their provision of ecosystem services, is new and emerging pests. Therefore, forest health monitoring is of major importance to detect invasive, emerging and native pest outbreaks. This is usually done by foresters and forest health experts, but can also be complemented by citizen scientists. Here, we review the use of citizen science for detection and monitoring, as well as for hypothesis-driven research and evaluation of control measures as part of forest pest surveillance and research. We then examine its limitations and opportunities and make recommendations on the use of citizen science for forest pest monitoring. Recent Findings The main opportunities of citizen scientists for forest health are early warning, early detection of new pests, monitoring of impact of outbreaks and scientific research. Each domain has its own limitations, opportunities and recommendations to follow, as well as their own public engagement strategies. The development of new technologies provides many opportunities to involve citizen scientists in forest pest monitoring. To enhance the benefits of citizen scientists’ inclusion in monitoring, it is important that they are involved in the cocreation of activities. Summary Future monitoring and research may benefit from tailor-made citizen science projects to facilitate successful monitoring by citizen scientists and expand their practice to countries where the forest health sector is less developed. In this sense, citizen scientists can help understand and detect outbreaks of new pests and avoid problems in the future.
Keywords: forest health, community science, forest management, awareness raising, forest protection
Published in DiRROS: 28.11.2022; Views: 105; Downloads: 46
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A methodological proposal for the climate change risk assessment of coastal habitats based on the evaluation of ecosystem services : lessons learnt from the INTERREG project ECO-SMART
Alberto Barausse, Cécil J. W. Meulenberg, Irene Occhipinti, Marco Abordi, Lara Endrizzi, Giovanna Guadagnin, Mirco Piron, Francesca Visintin, Liliana Vižintin, Alessandro Manzardo, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Climate change is seriously impacting coastal biodiversity and the benefits it provides to humans. This issue is particularly relevant in the case of the European Union’s Natura 2000 network of areas for nature protection, where the sensitivity of local ecosystems calls for intervention to increase resistance and resilience to climate-related risks. Given the complex ways in which climate can influence conservation hotspot areas, there is a need to develop effective strategic approaches and general operational models to identify priorities for management and inform adaptation and mitigation measures. Here, a novel methodological proposal to perform climate risk assessment in Natura 2000 sites is presented that implements the systematic approach of ISO 14090 in combination with the theoretical framework of ecosystem services assessment and local stakeholder participation to identify climate-related issues for local protected habitats and improve the knowledge base needed to plan sustainable conservation and restoration measures. The methodology was applied to five Natura 2000 sites located along the Adriatic coast of Italy and Slovenia. Results show that each of the assessed sites, despite being along the coast of the same sea, is affected by different climate-related issues, impacting different habitats and corresponding ecosystem services. This novel methodology enables a simple and rapid screening for the prioritization of conservation actions and of the possible further investigations needed to support decision making, and was found to be robust and of general applicability. These findings highlight the importance of designing site-specific adaptation measures, tailored to address the peculiar response to climate change of each site in terms of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Keywords: ecosystem, ecosystem services, climate change adaptation, nature conservation, sustainability, coastal management
Published in DiRROS: 01.07.2022; Views: 243; Downloads: 161
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9.
Private forest owner's cooperation in the machinery ring : is it a solution for wood mobilization from small-scale private forests?
Špela Pezdevšek Malovrh, Nike Krajnc, Matevž Triplat, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Legislation and policy makers have recognized private forest owners cooperation in machinery ring as an instrument to support wood mobilization through efficient use of machinery. The study analyzes private forest owner’s cooperation in the machinery ring in Slovenia and determines whether this cooperation contributes to wood mobilization from small-scale private forests. The research was conducted in two phases. In the first phase, the survey was conducted among the members of machinery rings at their annual general meetings (24 machinery rings participated in the survey, representing 64.9% of the total number of machinery rings). The questionnaire was distributed to all members present at the annual general meetings (n=529) and only those who were private forest owner or provided services within machinery rings were eligible to complete the questionnaire (n=438). In the second phase, data on the amount of service provided by machinery ring members were compared with the amount of felling in private forests for 2019 to gain insight into the extend of forestry work (timber harvesting) carried out in a private forest under neighbourhood assistance.The results show that machinery rings members are predominantly male, on average 50 years old, mainly with high school education and occupation in agriculture, owning on average 15.2 ha of forest. Regardless of forest management activities, machinery ring members perform forest management activities in their forest by themselves or with the help of family members. Only a small proportion of members use neighbourhood assistance to carry out the work. This most often occurs in the transport of timber. A very small proportion of members provide forest services through the machinery ring, but their scope of services is not insignificant. In 2019, machinery ring members most often performed harvesting activities with the chain saw, followed by timber skidding as a service. Equipment with machinery for providing services is good among members – about three quarters of them have a chainsaw and an adapted agricultural tractor, but this machinery is quite old, showing that machinery is insufficiently used for forestry operations. The results show that machinery rings are nowadays an essential part of strategic (operational) management in Slovenian agriculture and forestry, and provide important insights into the possibilities to improve forestry operations and the future development cooperation between private forest owners in machinery rings to support wood mobilization from small-scale private forests.
Keywords: private forest management, harvesting intensity, cooperation, machinery cooperation, neighbourhood assistance
Published in DiRROS: 25.04.2022; Views: 280; Downloads: 201
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10.
"Kosovo, My Land"? : Slovenians, Albanians, and the Limits of Yugoslav Social Cohesion
Jure Ramšak, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: The author examines the Kosovo crisis in the context of the pluralisation and democratisation of Slovenian society in the 1980s and early 1990s. This issue became a catalyst not only for the repositioning of structures of party leadership in relation to Belgrade, but also with respect to general public debates. By charting individual stages of the critical decade of 1981%1991, the author presents Slovenian perceptions of Kosovo%s political, economic, and social issues, first through the works of neo-Marxist critics and later through the activism of a group of left-liberal intellectuals, which included the provision of legal support and a high-profile social action related to the violations of Kosovar Albanian human rights. The author discusses the constraints encountered by this brief attempt to establish a pan-Yugoslav civil society initiative. At the same time, he shows how the complexities of the Kosovo crisis were used to coalesce the Slovenian nation into flight from Yugoslavia.
Keywords: self-management socialism, human rights, social cohesion, dissolution of Yugoslavia, Kosovo, Slovenia
Published in DiRROS: 23.12.2021; Views: 409; Downloads: 391
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