Volume 42 No.2

Evaluating the Effects of Improving Forest Road Standards on Economic Value of Forest Products

volume: 42, issue:

Forest roads are the key infrastructures that provide access to forest areas for sustainable management, protection, and utilization of forest resources. In order to benefit from the important functions of forest roads, they should be built in with adequate technical road standards. The road network with low technical standards require more frequent major repairs to ensure continues access to forest resources. In addition, only small trucks with low load capacity can move on the low standard roads. Furthermore, the low road standards limit the truck speed that increases vehicle travel time. These negative effects increase the transportation costs which are an important part of the timber production costs in Turkey. Thus, improving the road standards and developing forest transportation planning should be evaluated together in the most appropriate way. Large logging trucks with high load capacity are generally preferred for efficient transportation of wood-based forest products. In Turkey, large logging trucks, however, cannot operate on the most of the forest roads because insufficient technical road standards (road width, curve radius, surface materials, road structures) limit the maneuverability of large logging trucks. In this study, the objective is to determine the effects of improving forest road standards on total net profit of forest products by using the NETWORK 2000 program, a heuristic approach for solving forest transportation problems. Three Forest Enterprise Chiefs (FECs) located in Mustafakemalpaşa Forest Enterprise Directorate (FED) in Bursa Forest Regional Directorate were selected as the study area. The digital data layers for forest road network was generated by using ArcGIS 10.4 software. In the solution process, firstly, the optimum routes that minimize the transportation cost and maximize the total net profit of forest products on existing forest road networks were investigated for a truck type (15 ton) currently used in the region. In the second case, forest transportation was planned for the high load capacity truck (29 ton) moving on the forest roads with improved standards. In the first case, the transportation costs and annual major repair costs were considered in the calculation of the net profit of forest products, while one time cost of road improvement activities (i.e. road improvement construction, road structure installation, road surface construction) and annual maintenance costs were considered along with transportation costs in the second case. In both cases, the costs of other forest operations (i.e. felling, logging, etc.) were not considered since it was assumed that they do not vary with the forest transportation alternatives. As a result of the transportation plan developed for high load capacity truck, the annual transportation cost decreased by 46.85% comparing to the local logging trucks with low load capacity. Using improved road standards, the total road costs computed for the time period of 30 years (i.e. the average expected life cycle of forest roads) were reduced by 4.64%. The total net profit of forest products transported by using a high load capacity truck was 473,340 Euro more than that of using low load capacity truck on the existing forest road network. Thus, improving road standards might result in some additional costs in the road construction stage, but total net profit of forest products increase since transportation costs along with maintenance and repair costs considerably decrease in the long term.

Vertical Crown Fuel Distributions in Natural Calabrian Pine (Pinus brutia Ten.) Stands

volume: 42, issue:

Calabrian pine (Pinus brutia Ten.) is the most widely distributed coniferous species in Turkey. Forests mostly composed of Calabrian pine constitute the most flammable forests in fire sensitive regions of the country. Especially, regenerated and immature stands of this species have the most fire-prone fuel type. This study evaluates the results of vertical crown fuel distribution and develops some crown fuel models to explain canopy fuel characteristics in natural Calabrian pine stands. A total of 35 trees were cut down and crown fuels were determined vertically. The highest crown fuel load was generally situated in the middle part of tree crown. The percentage of needles in each crown section increased gradually from the beginning of lower parts to the upper parts of tree crowns for three stand types. Total crown fuel loads were determined as 5.66 kg for regenerated stands, 11.57 kg for immature stands and 17.44 kg for middle age stands, respectively. Correlation and regression analyses were performed to determine the relationship between needles, branches, available fuels, total crown fuels and tree properties. The results of crown fuel distribution and the allometric equations developed in this study can be used to predict vertical fuel load at any height from ground to the top of Calabrian pine stands. The results of this study will contribute to the verification and evaluation of fuel load prediction models in use, and enhance the understanding of crown fire behavior mechanism in forest fires.

Evaluation of an HSM 208F 14tone HVT-R2 Forwarder Prototype under Conditions of Steep-Terrain Low-Access Forests

volume: 42, issue:

Forwarding technology is well established in use around the world but, at the same time, forwarders are expensive machines that require a good planning to ensure the sustainability of operations. In addition, forwarder market is characterized by a limited pool of customers, therefore innovation attempts may be limited compared to other product development industries. Since the steps towards a full automation of operations are still at their beginning, improvements of forwarder machines may rest in developing and integrating components that could contribute to an increased effectiveness. To respond to such challenges, the Forwarder2020 project developed innovative components that were integrated in a number of forwarder prototypes based on a market pull approach that resulted in a flexible adaptation to customer requirements and work environments. Since one of the typical work environments was that of low access forests, some components (i.e. suspended cabin and transmission system) were engineered to enable faster and safer operations and to economize fuel. As a common validation step is that of bringing field evidence on the performance improvement, this study evaluated the operational speed, productivity and fuel consumption of a forwarder prototype in conditions of a steep-terrain low-access forest. The main findings were very promising as the prototype was able to operate at significantly increased speeds and the fuel savings were evident. For an average forwarding distance of about 1.5 km, net productivity and efficiency rates were estimated at 14.4 m3/h and 0.07 h/m3, respectively. They were related to the availability of wood, and further improvement of such figures is possible by a better organization of tree felling and processing. Operational speed was affected by the condition of skid roads used for forwarding, which were harsh. During the transportation tasks developed on roads typical for forwarding, the machine was able to sustain average speeds estimated at 8 km/h. As a matter of fact, in such tasks, the dominant operational speed (almost in 100% of the cases) was higher than 5 km/h irrespective of the road condition. Hourly fuel consumption was estimated based on the time in which the engine was working and it amounted to 17.1 l/h. More importantly, by considering the forwarded payload in terms of volume and mass, the unit fuel consumption was estimated to be 1.25 l/m3 and 1.47 l/t, respectively. These results bring evidence on the performance improvement by modular innovation. In fact, such solutions could answer the challenges related to the sustainability of forest operations in low access forests.

Developing an Automated Monitoring System for Cable Yarding Systems

volume: 42, issue:

Cable yarders are often the preferred harvesting system when extracting trees on steep terrain. While the practice of cable logging is well established, productivity is dependent on many stand and terrain variables. Being able to continuously monitor a cable yarder operation would provide the opportunity not only to manage and improve the system, but also to study the effect on operations in different conditions.

This paper presents the results of an automated monitoring system that was developed and tested on a series of cable yarder operations. The system is based on the installation of a Geographical Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) onto the carriage, coupled with a data-logging unit and a data analysis program. The analysis program includes a set of algorithms able to transform the raw carriage movement data into detailed timing elements. Outputs include basic aspects such average extraction distance, average inhaul and outhaul carriage speed, but is also able to distinguish number of cycles, cycle time, as well as break the cycles into its distinct elements of outhaul, hook, inhaul and unhook.

The system was tested in eight locations; four in thinning operations in Italy and four clear-cut operations in New Zealand, using three different rigging configuration of motorized slack-pulling, motorized grapple and North Bend. At all locations, a manual time and motion study was completed for comparison to the data produced by the newly developed automated system. Results showed that the system was able to identify 98% of the 369 cycles measured. The 8 cycles not detected were directly attributed to the loss of GNSS signal at two Italian sites with tree cover. For the remaining 361 cycles, the difference in gross cycle time was less than 1% and the overall accuracy for the separate elements of the cycle was less than 3% when considered at the rigging system level. The study showed that the data analyses system developed can readily convert GNSS data of the carriage movement into information useful for monitoring and studying cable yarding operations.

Ground Pressure Changes Caused by MHT 8002HV Crawler Harvester Chassis

volume: 42, issue:

Ground contact pressures exerted by elements of the machine chassis on the ground in the forest are associated with the machine impact on the soil during its operation. In the case of a crawler system, determining the ground contact pressure appears simple, which is not entirely true. The aim of the study was to analyze the loads on the ground (forest soil) exerted by the MHT 8002HV crawler harvester chassis. The measurements were made in Forest School Enterprise in Kostelec nad Černými Lesy, Central Bohemia Region in the Czech Republic, on brown soil made of clay on stony formations, fresh mixed mountain forest (FMMF), with the use of a hydraulic scale when extending the harvester crane forward along and perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the machine. The calculations were carried out with a simulated load of the crane on the tree in question, assuming that the impact on the ground of the crawler system is heterogeneous and that the point impact comes from the crawler support wheels. As it was shown, the average ground contact pressures under the crawler track of the analyzed harvester generally do not exceed 70 kPa. The crane extension with a simulated load, which would have caused the crawler track to act on the ground with an average pressure exceeding 70 kPa, was limited by machine stability. On the other hand, high ground contact pressures may occur under a more loaded section of the crawler track if the active length of the crawler track is shortened. As it was shown in the case of a weak track tension, the course of ground contact pressures exerted on the soil deviates from the assumed usually homogeneous impact over the entire length of the crawler.

Influence of Saturated Organic Matter on the Accuracy of In-Situ Measurements Recorded with a Nuclear Moisture and Density Gauge

volume: 42, issue:

The impact of machines on forest soils is regularly assessed and quantified using absolute bulk density, which is most frequently obtained by soil cores. However, to allow for repeated measurements at the exact same locations, non-destructive devices are increasingly being used to determine soil bulk density and moisture content in field studies. An example of such a device is a nuclear moisture and density gauge (NMDG), originally designed as a control measurement for soil bulk density and moisture content in geotechnical applications. Unlike road construction or foundation projects that use mineral soil or gravel, forest soils have complex structures and the presence of organic matter, which can skew moisture and density readings from a NMDG. To gain further knowledge in this respect, we performed controlled tests in a sandbox to quantify the influence of varying amounts of saturated organic matter (3, 5, 10, and 15%) mixed with mineral soil in different layers (0–5, 0–10, 0–20 and 0–40 cm) on the accuracy of soil moisture content obtained by a NMDG and soil theta probe at varying depths. Main results illustrated that the presence of saturated organic matter per se was not problematic but moisture content overestimations and related underestimation of dry bulk density occurred when the tested measurement depth was below the created organic layer. Since forest soils often exhibit higher organic matter contents in the upper horizon, correction factors are suggested to minimize the moisture content variations between NMDG and reference method. With the use of correction factors, NMDG can present a non-destructive, fast, and accurate method of measuring soil moisture and bulk density in forestry applications.

Skyline Tensile Forces in Cable Logging: Field Observations vs. Software Calculations

volume: 42, issue:

Skyline tensile forces have been shown to frequently exceed the recommended safety limits during ordinary cable logging operations. Several models for skyline engineering analyses have been proposed. Although skyline tensile forces assume a dynamic behaviour, practical solutions are based on a static approach without consideration of the dynamic nature of the cable systems.

The aim of this study was to compare field data of skyline tensile forces with the static calculations derived by dedicated available software such as SkylineXL. To overcome the limitation of static calculation, this work also aimed to simulate the actual response of the tensile fluctuations measured in the real environment by mean of a finite element model (FEM).

Field observations of skyline tensile forces included 103 work cycles, recorded over four different cable lines in standing skyline configuration. Payload estimations, carriages positions, and time study of the logging operations were also collected in the field. The ground profiles and the cable line geometries were analysed using digital elevation models. The field data were then used to simulate the work cycles in SkylineXL. The dynamic response of six fully-suspended loads in a single-span cable line was also simulated by a dedicated FEM built through ANSYS®. The observed data and the software calculations were then compared.

SkylineXL resulted particularly reliable in the prediction of the actual tensile forces, with RMSE ranging between 7.5 and 13.5 KN, linked to an average CV(RMSE) of 7.24%. The reliability in predicting the peak tensile forces was lower, reporting CV(RMSE) of 10.12%, but still not likely resulting in a safety or performance problem. If properly set-up and used, thus, SkylineXL could be considered appropriate for operational and practical purposes. This work, however, showed that finite element models could be successfully used for detailed analysis and simulation of the skyline tensile forces, including the dynamic oscillations due to the motion of the carriage and payload along the cable line. Further developments of this technique could also lead to the physical simulation and analysis of the log-to-ground interaction and the investigation of the breakout force during lateral skidding.

Efficiency of Different Anti-Dust Agents in Reducing Dust Emission from Forest Road and Deposition on Leaf Surface

volume: 42, issue:

Dust is often generated from the dry surfaces of unpaved forest roads as a result of vehicular traffic. Dust particles can negatively affect vegetative growth, water quality and road traffic quality. In this study, some environmental friendly anti-dust agents including sugar cane molasses, polyacrylamide (PAM) and bentonite were used to control dust emission from the road surface under three different concentrations within the 3, 9, 27 and 81 day timeframe. Rear-mounted spray system and dustometer devices were used for implementation of treatments and dust emission recording, respectively. Leaf samples were collected from trees adjacent to road to measure the dust deposited on the leaves by centrifuging dust solution. The results showed that molasses achieved higher efficiencies in term of dust reduction and cost effectiveness than those of PAM and bentonite in Loveh forest, where high levels of fines are present in the road surface materials. 2% and 4% PAM were the most efficient dosages in terms of dust control and cost effectiveness in Shastkalateh and Kouhmian forests, respectively. It was detected that in all sites most of the dust emitted from the road surface was deposited on the leaves of Carpinus betulus L. and Alnus subcordata L., while smooth surface of the leaves retained lower amount of dust in Parrotia persica CAM. It is concluded that the amount of fine aggregates in surfacing materials, type and dosage of anti-dust agent play an important role in the effectiveness and longevity of treatment.

Economic Feasibility of Electrical Power Cogeneration from Forestry Biomass in an Engineered Wood Panel Industrial Facility

volume: 42, issue:

The use of sugarcane bagasse, straw, and chaff for electrical power generation in sugar-ethanol mills has been established; more recently, the recovery of forest biomass has been increasing in an attempt to reduce the use of fossil fuels and to increase electrical power generation focused on self-consumption. The potential for power generation in this segment is considerable, but the use of biomass in cogeneration processes depends on an attractive return on investments. This study was designed to analyze the economic feasibility of investment in thermal and electrical power generation equipment that makes it possible to use forest and logging residues and wood chips to replace the current gas-fired power generation in an engineered wood panel industry facility (Scenario 1) or investment only in thermal generation equipment (Scenario 2). Results showed that the investment to replace natural gas with forest biomass is economically viable not only for the generation of both types of energy but also for the generation of thermal energy itself. High costs of energy inputs such as natural gas and electricity for the industry explain the results, despite the requirement for high investments in cogeneration systems.

Forest Machinery Fires: Trends in New Zealand Forest Harvesting Sector

volume: 42, issue:

Fires in forest machines are typically catastrophic in terms of machine destruction and can develop rapidly to be a risk to the machine operator. They are an issue worldwide and there can be larger consequences such as starting a major forest fire. This paper describes trends in machine fire occurrences in the New Zealand forest harvesting sector. A total of 224 machinery fire incidents were recorded over an 8 year period from 2007 to 2014. Trends in forest machinery fires in the sector were identified and summarized. Late morning (10 am-noon) and mid-afternoon (2–4 pm) showed the highest incidence of machine fire, corresponding to periods with the highest level of work. Excluding the main holiday months, there was a correlation of machine fires to average monthly temperature. Summary statistics on causes of fire ignition showed that 40% were attributed to electrical and hydraulic faults; however, some remain unidentified as the fires commenced after work was completed. A short survey of industry managers was carried out to ascertain machine fire perceptions. 67% agreed that machine fire was an issue, and only 33% thought the current industry procedures were sufficient to mitigate them. The report concludes with proactive measures to reduce the incidence of forest machine fire risk.

Impact of Rainy and Dry Seasons on Eucalypt Fuelwood Quality Logs Stored in Piles: a Case Study in Brazil

volume: 42, issue:

The natural drying of fuelwood is a common practice to improve its quality and increase the efficiency in the biomass-based energy supply chain. The objective of this work was to analyze the effect of seasons on the physical and chemical properties of wood logs stored in piles for energy purposes. The logs of Eucalyptus urophylla were stored in two periods of 160 days each throughout the year, autumn–winter (dry season) and spring–summer (rainy season). During the 320 days, the moisture content of wood and the weather parameters were measured daily. After the natural drying, the moisture content (wet basis) of wood reached 29.6%, and there was an increase of 47.6% in the low heating value (12.4 MJ kg-1 wet basis) after the storage in the autumn–winter, which is the most suitable period for air–drying of logs. The rainy storage reduced the higher heating value of wood, which suggested a biological degradation of biomass.

Construction and Accuracy Analysis of a BDS/GPS-Integrated Positioning Algorithm for Forests

volume: 42, issue:

The objective of this study was to construct a BeiDou navigation satellite system (BDS)/global positioning system (GPS)-integrated positioning algorithm that meets the accuracy requirement of forest surveys and to analyze its accuracy to provide theoretical and technical support for accurate positioning and navigation in forests. The Quercus variabilis broad-leaved forest in Jiufeng National Forest Park and the Sabina Coniferous forest in Dongsheng Bajia forest farm were selected as the study area. A Sanding T-23 multi-frequency three-constellation receiver and a u-blox NEO-M8T multi-constellation receiving module were used for continuous observation under the forest canopy. Compared with T-23, the u-blox NEO-M8T is much lighter and more flexible in the forest. The BDS/GPS-integrated positioning algorithm for forests was constructed by temporally and spatially unifying the satellite systems and using a reasonable observed value weighting method. Additionally, the algorithm is also written into the RTKLIB software to calculate the three-dimensional (3D) coordinates of the forest observation point in the World Geodetic System 1984 (WGS-84) coordinate system. Finally, the results were compared with the positioning results obtained using GPS alone. The experimental results indicated that, compared with GPS positioning, there were 13–27 visible satellites available for the BDS/GPS-integrated positioning algorithm for forests, far more than the satellites available for the GPS positioning algorithm alone. The Position Dilution of Precision (PDOP) values for the BDS/GPS-integrated positioning ranged from 0.5 to 1.9, lower than those for GPS positioning. The signal noise ratio (SNR) of the BDS/GPS-integrated satellite signals and GPS satellite signals were both in the range of 10–50 dB-Hz. However, because there were more visible satellites for the BDS/GPS-integrated positioning, the signals from the BDS/GPS-integrated satellites were stronger and had a more stable SNR than those from the GPS satellites alone. The results obtained using the BDS/GPS-integrated positioning algorithm for forests had significantly higher theoretical and actual accuracies in the X, Y and Z directions than those obtained using the GPS positioning algorithm. This suggests that the BDS/GPS-integrated positioning algorithm can obtain more accurate positioning results for complex forest environments.

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Mulching for Reducing Soil Erosion in Cut Slope and Fill Slope of Forest Roads in Hyrcanian Forests

volume: 42, issue:

Forest operations often enhance runoff and soil loss in roads and skid trails, where cut slopes and fill slopes are the most important source of sediment. This study evaluated the effectiveness of four erosion control treatments applied to cut slope and fill slope segments of forest roads of different ages in the Hyrcanian forest in northern Iran. The treatment combinations, each replicated three times, included four classes of mulch cover (bare soil [BS], wood chips cover [WCH], sawdust cover [SC], and rice straw cover [RSC]), two levels of side slope (cut slope and fill slope), two levels of side slope gradient (20–25% and 40–45%), and three levels of road age (three, 10 and 20 years after construction). Mulch cover treatments significantly reduced average surface runoff volume and sediment yield compared to BS. Regardless of erosion control treatment, greater surface runoff volume and soil loss under natural rainfall occurred on steeper slope gradients in all road age classes and decreased with increasing road age on both slope gradients. On cut slopes, average runoff and soil loss from the plots covered with WCH (17.63 l per plot, 2.43 g m–2) was lower than from those covered with SC (22.81 l per plot, 3.50 g m–2), which was lower than from those covered with RSC (29.13 l per plot, 4.41 g m–2 and BS (34.61 l per plot, 4.94 g m–2). On fill slopes, average runoff and soil loss from the plots covered with WCH (14.13 l per plot, 1.99 g m–2) was lower than from plots covered with SC (20.01 l per plot, 3.23 g m–2), which was lower than from plots covered with RSC (24.52 l per plot, 4.06 g m–2) and BS (29.03 l per plot, 4.47 g m–2). Surface cover successfully controlled erosion losses following road construction, particularly on steep side slopes with high erosion potential.

Green Infrastructure Mapping in Urban Areas Using Sentinel-1 Imagery

volume: 42, issue:

High temporal resolution of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery (e.g., Sentinel-1 (S1) imagery) creates new possibilities for monitoring green vegetation in urban areas and generating land-cover classification (LCC) maps. This research evaluates how different pre-processing steps of SAR imagery affect classification accuracy. Machine learning (ML) methods were applied in three different study areas: random forest (RF), support vector machine (SVM), and extreme gradient boosting (XGB). Since the presence of the speckle noise in radar imagery is inevitable, different adaptive filters were examined. Using the backscattering values of the S1 imagery, the SVM classifier achieved a mean overall accuracy (OA) of 63.14%, and a Kappa coefficient (Kappa) of 0.50. Using the SVM classifier with a Lee filter with a window size of 5×5 (Lee5) for speckle reduction, mean values of 73.86% and 0.64 for OA and Kappa were achieved, respectively. An additional increase in the LCC was obtained with texture features calculated from a grey-level co-occurrence matrix (GLCM). The highest classification accuracy obtained for the extracted GLCM texture features using the SVM classifier, and Lee5 filter was 78.32% and 0.69 for the mean OA and Kappa values, respectively. This study improved LCC with an evaluation of various radiometric and texture features and confirmed the ability to apply an SVM classifier. For the supervised classification, the SVM method outperformed the RF and XGB methods, although the highest computational time was needed for the SVM, whereas XGB performed the fastest. These results suggest pre-processing steps of the SAR imagery for green infrastructure mapping in urban areas. Future research should address the use of multitemporal SAR data along with the pre-processing steps and ML algorithms described in this research.


Web of Science Impact factor (2022): 3.200
Five-years impact factor: 3.000

Quartile: Q1 - Forestry

Subject area

Agricultural and Biological Sciences