Coniferous species have a key role in global ecological processes: a large terrestrial carbon stock is present in the soils and biomass of coniferous-dominated forests. Conifers also have high economic value in the forest industry in the production of softwood lumber and paper, as well as in providing sources for non-wood products (e.g., nuts, resin, anti-cancer agents, essential oils) and modern wood-derived products to replace e.g., oil or petroleum-based products.
This book covers wide-ranging coverage of the different types of coniferous forests found all over the world and their ecosystems. Litterfall is an important part of the nutrient cycle in forest ecosystems. Conifers are traditionally considered to be less-suitable nutrient cycling improvers and/or maintainers compared to broadleaves. Long-term observations plus information from both domestic and international publications showed an important role of conifers in the process of accumulation and decomposition of the forest floor. This book also shows relations between litterfall and forest floor amounts due to thinning. Coniferous species are present in almost all major vegetation biomes on Earth, though they are the most abundant in the northern hemisphere, where they form the northern tree and forest lines close to the Arctic Circle. Monitoring coniferous forests with satellite and airborne remote sensing is active, due to the forests’ great ecological and economic importance. The book also reviews the current understanding of the spectral behavior of different components forming coniferous forests. We look at the spatial, directional, and seasonal variations in the needle, shoot woody element, and understory spectra in coniferous forests, based on measurements.
However, in forest management, planning is necessary to enhance the health and recreational functions of forests; to use them continuously and comfortably, more information on how to manage the physical environments of forests. The growth of coniferous trees is sensitive to a wide range of physical factors. The dominant factors include sunlight, temperature, and humidity of the environment. These abiotic factors determine the kinetics of the growth of tree rings. Their effect on the physiology of trees forms the main subject of dendrochronology and dendroclimatology. Therefore, in this book, we study the growth kinetics on the basis of the data on tree physiology, using as the basic parameter the tree ring area instead of its width. In order to identify the common patterns of growth, we analyze the data on a series of standard increments of tree rings for conifers. The intended book will be of value to the students, scientists, researchers, and other stakeholders associated with the subject area.