Special Issue "Biodiversity and Conservation in Forests"
A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2015)
Prof. Dr. Diana F. Tomback
Department of Integrative Biology, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, Colorado, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: evolutionary ecology, forest ecology, and conservation biology; specifically, the evolution, ecology, and population biology of bird-dispersed pines and their corvid dispersers; and the conservation and restoration of five-needle white pines in western North America
Global forest communities cover only about 30% of land areas, but they provide important ecosystem services, such as watershed protection, carbon sequestration, and oxygen production, as well as renewable forest products for human subsistence and markets. Forests also support the majority of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity. Although land conversion for agriculture and pastureland has historically resulted in fragmentation and declining forested areas, forests worldwide are now experiencing change at an unprecedented rate due to various anthropogenic activities and growing human populations. Global warming trends are altering snowpack and hydrology, fostering outbreaks of native forest pests, and accelerating the loss of older tree age classes. Modeling suggests that future fire regimes in temperate regions will have shorter return intervals, with more severe wildfires. In addition, a by-product of trade and travel globalization has been the accelerated transport of plants and animals, and plant and animal diseases, around the world. Exotic species have altered community composition, especially where foundational tree species are affected. Every forest community worldwide is challenged by some of these problems. In this Special Issue of the journal Forests we explore the unique biodiversity supported by forest communities, how forest communities are rapidly changing, and conservation approaches to preserving forest biodiversity.
Prof. Dr. Diana F. Tomback
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forests is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- global warming
- exotic species
The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.
Type of Paper: Review
Title: A Synthesis of Species Interactions, Metacommunities, and the Conservation of Avian Diversity in Hemiboreal and Boreal Forests
Authors: Alexis R. Grinde and Gerald J. Niemi, Natural Resources Research Institute and Department of Biology, University of Minnesota, 5013 Miller Trunk Highway, Duluth MN 55811 USA
Abstract: The rate at which climate is changing in northern latitudes presents a significant threat to bird populations that rely on boreal forests. Alterations in the distributions of trees and other plants as a result of warming will alter the habitat suitability of vast regions of boreal and hemiboreal forests. Climate change associated habitat alterations along with range expansions of bird species are likely to have substantial consequences on avian communities and biodiversity. Identifying factors that contribute to species coexistence and community assembly processes at local and regional scales will facilitate predictions about the impact of climate change on avian communities in these forest ecosystems. This paper provides a comprehensive review of historic and current theories of community ecology dynamics providing a theoretical synthesis that links the evolution of species traits at the individual level, the dynamics of species interactions, and the overall maintenance of biodiversity. Integration of these perspectives is necessary to provide the scientific means to face growing environmental challenges in boreal ecosystems.
Keywords: avian, biodiversity, metacommunity, metapopulation, hemiboreal, boreal, forests
Title: Community Structure, Biodiversity, and Ecosystem Services in Treeline Whitebark Pine Communities: Potential Impacts from a Non-Native Pathogen
Authors: Diana F. Tomback 1,*, Lynn M. Resler 2, Robert E. Keane 3, Elizabeth R. Pansing 1, Andrew J. Andrade 1 and Aaron C. Wagner 1
Affiliations: 1 Department of Integrative Biology, CB 171, University of Colorado Denver, P. O. Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217, USA 2 Department of Geography, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 115 Major Williams Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA 3 U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory, 5775 US Hwy 10 West, Missoula, MT 59808, USA
Abstract: Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) has the largest and most northerly distribution of any white pine (Subgenus Strobus) in North America, encompassing 18˚ latitude and 21˚ longitude in western mountains. Within this broad range, whitebark pine occurs within a narrow elevational zone, including upper subalpine and treeline forests, but functions generally as an important keystone and foundation species for high elevation communities. In the Rocky Mountains, whitebark pine also facilitates the development of treeline conifer communities and thus provides capacity for critical ecosystem services such as snow retention and soil stabilization. The invasive, exotic pathogen Cronartium ribicola, which causes white pine blister rust, now occurs nearly rangewide in whitebark pine, to its northern limits. Here, we document geographic variation in structure, conifer species, and understory plants in whitebark pine treeline communities and the role of these communities in snow retention and regulating downstream flows. Whitebark pine mortality is predicted to alter treeline community composition, structure, and function, as well as response to climate warming. Efforts to restore whitebark pine have thus far been limited to subalpine communities, particularly through planting blister rust-resistant seedlings. We discuss whether restoration strategies might be appropriate for treeline communities.
Keywords: whitebark pine; treeline communities; biodiversity; community structure; keystone species; foundation species; ecosystem services; exotic pathogen; white pine blister rust; restoration
Title: Species Distribution Modelling for Management of an Invasive Vine in Forestlands
Authors: Hsiao-Hsuan Wang and William E. Grant
Affiliation: Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
Abstract: In the twentieth century, the U.S. alone has experienced an economic loss of approximately 97 billion dollars due to the presence of 79 non-indigenous species, and invasive plant species have degraded forest ecosystems without control or reclaimed action. Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) was the most prevalent invasive tree in the forestlands of eastern Texas in 2006. Japanese honeysuckle can have negative effects on the native vegetation of the communities in which it is prevalent. It has been shown to decrease diversity, modify vegetation structure, and inhibit growth and reproduction of native species under certain circumstances. There are currently no predators or pathogens in the introduced range which have significant detrimental effects on Japanese honeysuckle. We analyzed an extensive data set collected as part of the Forest Inventory and Analysis Program of the USDA Forest Service to quantify the range expansion of Japanese honeysuckle from 2006 to 2011. Our results indicated that the presence of Japanese honeysuckle on sampled plots increased 10% during this period. Japanese honeysuckle spread extensively toward the north. Results of multiple logistic regression indicated that the probability of invasion was correlated positively with water bodies, temperature, site productivity, species diversity, and private land ownership, slope, stand age, artificial regeneration, distance to the nearest road, and fire disturbance. Habitats most at risk of further invasion under current conditions occurred primarily in northeastern Texas, with a few invasion hotspots in the South. Estimated probabilities of further invasion were reduced the most by site preparation and artificial regeneration, with habitats most at risk again occurring primarily in northeastern Texas.