» Forests and Forestry

Forest Community Schools: A Child-centered Strategy for Mitigating Leakage in REDD+.

A 13-page white paper prepared to inform a report on biodiversity loss. A critical strategic opportunity exists to ‗insure‘ the resiliency, effectiveness, and overall return on investment on 20-30 year REDD projects by investing in innovative school-based integrated educational approaches which empower young people to build better futures through life-sustaining values, practical skills and knowledge. Read More

An Examination of the Riparian Bottomland Forest in North Central Texas through Ecology, History,Field Study, and Computer Simulation

This paper explores the characterization of a riparian bottomland forest in north central Texas in two ways: field study, and computer simulation with the model ZELIG. First, context is provided in Chapter One with a brief description of a southern bottomland forest, the ecological services it provides, and a history of bottomland forests in Texas from the nineteenth century to the present. A report on a characterization study of the Lake Ray Roberts Greenbelt forest comprises Chapter Two. The final chapter reviews a phytosocial study of a remnant bottomland forest within the Greenbelt. Details of the ZELIG calibration process follow, with a discussion of ways to improve ZELIG’s simulation of bottomland forests. Read More

Thresholds in Avian Communities at Multiple Scales: RelationshipsBetween Birds, Forests, Habitats, and Landscapes in the Ray Roberts Greenbelt, Denton

Environmental management agencies make efforts to reduce pollution loading in streams and rivers by promoting vegetated buffer zones between human activity and water. Most of these efforts do not mesh water quality-based buffer zone width requirements with conservation and wildlife values, specifically, the use of these riparian forest corridors for wildlife dispersal between habitats in highly fragmented landscapes. Forest interior birds are of the most concern to management in riparian forests due to their population declines across much of their breeding range. This dissertation investigates the role that landscape-level and habitat-level factors play on the presence of breeding birds in riparian forests, particularly the landscape and habitat factors that are influenced by human-caused fragmentation. This study describes research at the Ray Roberts Greenbelt, Denton, Texas, that explores the relationships between the landscape and forest habitats of the Greenbelt with its breeding bird community. The major findings of this study are that bird communities in the corridor forests are associated with a greater array of factors than are bird communities in patches, suggesting that the birds of patch forests are somewhat insulated from landscape-scale effects. Also, habitat values can be maintained in corridors, but there does not seem to be a significant relationship between the bird communities and the habitat. Forest factors are the primary influences (as inferred from the number of associations and the relative strength of these associations) on the bird communities of the Ray Roberts Greenbelt. Thresholds of richness or abundance in the amount of forest as compared with the forest interior bird community suggest that patches are better than corridors to support this community, and that the more interior forest available, the better for forest interior birds. The suggested minimum amount of forest derived from these thresholds is 35% of the amount of forest within 1 kilometer of any given part of the Greenbelt. Thresholds in forest width for avian communities suggest a minimum width of 200 m for any corridor. Thresholds in distance from interior forest suggest that the forest interior bird community can be best supported by shorter corridors that connect larger patches, with a suggested maximum corridor length of 125 m. Read More

Our Planet : Climate Change - Copenhagen: Seal the Deal

Our Planet is a periodical magazine published by the United Nations Environment Programme. This issue is devoted to the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference, know as the Copenhagen Summit, which sought an international agreement on climate change mitigation. Read More

Comparison of IKONOS Derived Vegetation Index and LiDAR Derived Canopy Height Model for Grassland Management

Forest encroachment is understood to be the main reason for prairie grassland decline across the United States. In Texas and Oklahoma, juniper has been highlighted as particularly opportunistic. This study assesses the usefulness of three remote sensing techniques to aid in locating the areas of juniper encroachment for the LBJ Grasslands in Decatur, Texas. An object based classification was performed in eCognition and final accuracy assessments placed the overall accuracy at 94%, a significant improvement over traditional pixel based methods. Image biomass was estimated using normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) for 1 meter resolution IKONOS winter images. A high correlation between the sum of NDVI for tree objects and field tree biomass was determined where R = 0.72, suggesting NDVI sum of a tree area is plausible. However, issues with NDVI saturation and regression produced unrealistically high biomass estimates for large NDVI. Canopy height model (CHM) derived from 3-5m LiDAR data did not perform as well. LiDAR typically used for digital elevation model (DEM) production was acquired for the CHM and produced correlations of R = 0.26. This suggests an inability for this particular dataset to identify juniper trees. When points that registered a tree height where correlated with field … Read More

Our Planet: The magazine of the United Nations Environment Programme

Our Planet is a periodical magazine published by the United Nations Environment Programme. This issue is devoted to the economic importance of biodiversity and how protecting or restoring habitats can significantly reduce the costs in a variety of industries and infrastructures. Read More

U.S. Climate Action Report 2010

The Fifth U.S. Climate Action Report presents a detailed outline of the actions the U.S. is taking to address climate change, contains updated projections on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and underscores the United States commitment to address climate change. Read More

Living Planet Report 2010: Biodiversity, Biocapacity, and Development

A 57-page report on biodiversity, human demand, natural resource usage, ecosystems, carbon storage, and freshwater provision, including charts and graphs of data. (Large file, may take a long time to download.) Read More

Climate Change Handbook: A Citizen’s Guide to Thoughtful Action

Climate change is the topic of our day. Unfortunately, it isn’t a topic that’s going away. Scientists all over the world agree—and most people are beginning to realize—that climate change is real. Even so, understanding the issue of climate change and learning what to do to help can seem overwhelming! Read More

Global Warming: Forest Solutions

Tropical deforestation produces more global warming pollution than every car, truck, plane, ship, and train on earth. It’s the largest source of heat-trapping emissions in some developing countries, and it accounts for about 15 percent of the world’s heat-trapping emissions. Reducing deforestation is a practical, cost-effective way to help avert global warming—and it also makes important contributions to saving biodiversity and supporting sustainable development. Read More


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