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Special Issue "Forest Restoration and Regeneration"

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A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 July 2013)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Jean-Claude Ruel (Website)

Département des Sciences du Bois et de la Forêt, Faculté de Foresterie, de Géographie et de Géomatique, Université Laval, Pavillon Abitibi-Price, Local 2148, 2405, rue de la Terrasse, Québec G1V 0A6, Canada
Fax: 418 656 5262
Interests: windthrow; silviculture; applied ecology; forest management; ecosystem management; forest regeneration

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Old-forests provide an array of economic and ecological services. However, past pressures on these forests have induced profound modifications of their structure and function. Among the most important shifts are a simplification of stand structure, a reduction of tree species diversity and of the dead wood component. All these changes are likely to impact animal species that depend on these attributes. In some other cases, tree quality has been reduced and future yields may be compromised, limiting the use that can be made of these forests in the future. Given the current interest for sustainable forest management and the protection of biodiversity, a number of initiatives have been taken to reintroduce some of these attributes. Sharing the knowledge issued from these initiatives will provide guidance for future restoration attempts.
The special issue on “Forest Restoration and Regeneration” is targeting papers dealing with restoring old-forests attributes. This includes regeneration of vulnerable species or species that were previously more abundant, as well as practices to modify the structure of existing stands or to improve tree quality in high-graded stands. In the planned special issue, Forests can accept both research papers and comprehensive review articles.

Prof. Dr. Jean-Claude Ruel
Guest Editor

Submission

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. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as 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 refereed through a 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 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs).

Keywords

  • restoration
  • regeneration
  • old forests
  • dead wood
  • stand structure
  • species composition
  • high-grading

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Late-Successional and Old-Growth Forests in the Northeastern United States: Structure, Dynamics, and Prospects for Restoration
Forests 2013, 4(4), 1055-1086; doi:10.3390/f4041055
Received: 2 July 2013 / Revised: 9 November 2013 / Accepted: 14 November 2013 / Published: 26 November 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1655 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Restoration of old-growth forest structure is an emerging silvicultural goal, especially in those regions where old-growth abundance falls below the historic range of variability. However, longitudinal studies of old-growth dynamics that can inform silvicultural and policy options are few. We analyzed the [...] Read more.
Restoration of old-growth forest structure is an emerging silvicultural goal, especially in those regions where old-growth abundance falls below the historic range of variability. However, longitudinal studies of old-growth dynamics that can inform silvicultural and policy options are few. We analyzed the change in structure, including stand density, diameter distribution, and the abundance of large live, standing dead, and downed dead trees on 58 late-successional and old-growth plots in Maine, USA, and compared these to regional data from the U.S. Forest Inventory and Analysis program. Structural dynamics on the late-successional plots reflected orderly change associated with density-dependent growth and mortality, but dynamics on the old-growth plots were more variable. Some plots experienced heavy mortality associated with beech bark disease. Diameter distributions conformed poorly to a classic exponential distribution, and did not converge toward such a distribution at the plot scale. Although large live trees showed a broad trend of increasing density in regional forests, recent harvesting patterns offset a considerable fraction of those gains, while mean diameter was static and the number of large dead trees was weakly declining. Even though forests of the northeast are aging, changes in silviculture and forest policy are necessary to accelerate restoration of old-growth structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Restoration and Regeneration)
Open AccessArticle Assessing the Potential Stem Growth and Quality of Yellow Birch Prior to Restoration: A Case Study in Eastern Canada
Forests 2013, 4(4), 766-785; doi:10.3390/f4040766
Received: 2 July 2013 / Revised: 17 September 2013 / Accepted: 22 September 2013 / Published: 30 September 2013
PDF Full-text (828 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Past silvicultural treatments have resulted in the high-grading mixed temperate forests of Québec, Canada. Despite recognition of this issue, the low occurrence of yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis Britton) within current stands raises questions about the potential of the species to grow [...] Read more.
Past silvicultural treatments have resulted in the high-grading mixed temperate forests of Québec, Canada. Despite recognition of this issue, the low occurrence of yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis Britton) within current stands raises questions about the potential of the species to grow and eventually constitute a high-quality forest resource. The objective of this study was to assess this potential using tree characteristics, forest structure and additional site and climatic conditions as predictors. A total of 145 trees were sampled in two areas located in the same bioclimatic zone. Lower-Saguenay-Charlevoix was chosen as an area where a restoration plan could be implemented, whereas Portneuf was selected as a reference. We used nonlinear mixed models to investigate which environmental factors are likely to influence the radial growth and stem quality of yellow birch sample trees. Our results suggest that topographic and climatic conditions, as well as the competitive environment of the trees, are important factors to consider in the evaluation of yellow birch production. Despite the limited occurrence of yellow birch, the potential for growth and quality was high in the Lower-Saguenay-Charlevoix area. For equivalent topographic, climatic, and competitive environment conditions, there was no significant difference in either radial growth or stem quality with Portneuf. We suggest that the economic interest of producing high quality timber should be used to justify the implementation of a restoration strategy in the Lower-Saguenay-Charlevoix area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Restoration and Regeneration)
Open AccessArticle Distribution and Variation of Forests in China from 2001 to 2011: A Study Based on Remotely Sensed Data
Forests 2013, 4(3), 632-649; doi:10.3390/f4030632
Received: 7 June 2013 / Revised: 7 July 2013 / Accepted: 15 July 2013 / Published: 2 August 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (848 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Forests are one of the most important components of the global biosphere and have critical influences on the Earth’s ecological balance. Regularly updated forest cover information is necessary for various forest management applications as well as climate modeling studies. However, map products [...] Read more.
Forests are one of the most important components of the global biosphere and have critical influences on the Earth’s ecological balance. Regularly updated forest cover information is necessary for various forest management applications as well as climate modeling studies. However, map products are not widely updated at continental or national scales because the current land cover products have overly coarse spatial resolution or insufficiently large training data sets. This study presents the results of forests distribution and variation information over China using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) time series data with the first layer of MODIS Land Cover Type product (MODIS LC-1). The NDVI time series histogram characteristic curves for forestland were estimated from MODIS LC-1 and MODIS NDVI time series data. Based on the differences of histograms among different forests, we obtained the 2001–2011 forests distribution for China at a spatial resolution of 500-m × 500-m. The overall accuracy of validation was 80.4%, an increase of 12.8% relative to that obtained using MODIS LC-1 data. The 2001–2011 forestland pure and mixed pixels of China accounted for an average of 33.72% of all pixels. There is a gradual increase in China’s forestland coverage during 2001–2011; however, the relationship is not statistically significant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Restoration and Regeneration)
Open AccessArticle Seed Size, the Only Factor Positively Affecting Direct Seeding Success in an Abandoned Field in Quebec, Canada
Forests 2013, 4(2), 500-516; doi:10.3390/f4020500
Received: 23 April 2013 / Revised: 6 June 2013 / Accepted: 14 June 2013 / Published: 21 June 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (621 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Direct tree seeding is potentially an economical technique for restoring forests on abandoned fields. However, the success of tree establishment depends on many factors related to species and seed characteristics, environmental conditions, competition and predation. We compared seedling emergence, survival and growth [...] Read more.
Direct tree seeding is potentially an economical technique for restoring forests on abandoned fields. However, the success of tree establishment depends on many factors related to species and seed characteristics, environmental conditions, competition and predation. We compared seedling emergence, survival and growth of six tree species of different seed sizes in a forest restoration project of abandoned fields. Species were seeded in plots with and without herbaceous vegetation and with and without protection from bird and mammal predation. Yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis) did not emerge in all treatments, paper birch (Betula papyrifera) and tamarack (Larix laricina) had a seedling emergence rate lower than 1%, and sugar maple (Acer saccharum) had a low overall emergence rate of 6%. Seedling emergence reached 57% for northern red oak (Quercus rubra) and 34% for red pine (Pinus resinosa), but survival of oak after one year was much higher (92%) than pine seedlings (16%). Overall, protection from birds and mammals and elimination of the herbaceous vegetation cover had no detectable effects on seedling emergence, survival and height. Nonetheless, red oak seedlings growing in the presence of vegetation had a smaller diameter and shoot biomass and a larger specific leaf area. We conclude that only large seeded species, such as oak, should be used for forest restoration of abandoned fields by direct seeding in our region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Restoration and Regeneration)
Open AccessArticle Afforestation of Boreal Open Woodlands: Early Performance and Ecophysiology of Planted Black Spruce Seedlings
Forests 2013, 4(2), 433-454; doi:10.3390/f4020433
Received: 16 April 2013 / Revised: 24 May 2013 / Accepted: 29 May 2013 / Published: 20 June 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1352 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Open lichen woodlands (LWs) are degraded stands that lack the ability to regenerate naturally due to a succession of natural and/or anthropogenic disturbances. As they represent both interesting forest restoration and carbon sequestration opportunities, we tested disc scarification and planting of two [...] Read more.
Open lichen woodlands (LWs) are degraded stands that lack the ability to regenerate naturally due to a succession of natural and/or anthropogenic disturbances. As they represent both interesting forest restoration and carbon sequestration opportunities, we tested disc scarification and planting of two sizes of containerized black spruce (Picea mariana Mill. (BSP)) seedlings for their afforestation. We compared treatment of unproductive LWs to reforestation of harvested, closed-crown black spruce-feathermoss (BSFM) stands. After one year, seedling survival and nutritional status were equivalent among stand types but despite higher root elongation index (REI), planted seedlings in LWs had lower relative growth rate, smaller total biomass and stem diameter than those in BSFM stands. Soil fertility variables, soil temperature, nor seedling water potential, helped at explaining this early growth response. Disc scarification significantly improved seedling first-year survival, biomass and foliar nutrient concentrations of P, Ca, and Mg. Smaller planting stock showed higher REI, higher shoot water potential, and higher foliar nutrient concentration of all but one of the measured nutrients (N, P, K and Mg). Hence, preliminary results suggest that planting of smaller containerized black spruce stock, combined with disc scarification, shows potential for afforestation of unproductive LWs. The impact of the lichen mat and other potential growth limiting factors on afforestation of these sites requires further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Restoration and Regeneration)
Open AccessArticle Ecosystem Responses to Partial Harvesting in Eastern Boreal Mixedwood Stands
Forests 2013, 4(2), 364-385; doi:10.3390/f4020364
Received: 25 March 2013 / Revised: 9 May 2013 / Accepted: 10 May 2013 / Published: 22 May 2013
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (820 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Partial harvesting has been proposed as a key aspect to implementing ecosystem management in the Canadian boreal forest. We report on a replicated experiment located in boreal mixedwoods of Northwestern Quebec. In the winter of 2000–2001, two partial harvesting treatments, one using [...] Read more.
Partial harvesting has been proposed as a key aspect to implementing ecosystem management in the Canadian boreal forest. We report on a replicated experiment located in boreal mixedwoods of Northwestern Quebec. In the winter of 2000–2001, two partial harvesting treatments, one using a dispersed pattern, and a second, which created a (400 m2) gap pattern, were applied to a 90-year-old aspen-dominated mixed stand. The design also included a clear cut and a control. Over the course of the following eight years, live tree, coarse woody debris, regeneration and ground beetles were inventoried at variable intervals. Our results indicate that all harvesting treatments created conditions favorable to balsam fir (Abies balsamea) sapling growth and trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) sapling recruitment. However, balsam fir and trembling aspen regeneration and ground beetles response to gap cuts were closer to patterns observed in clear cuts than in dispersed harvesting. The underlying reasons for these differing patterns can be linked to factors associated with the contrasting light regimes created by the two partial harvesting treatments. The study confirms that partially harvesting is an ecologically sound approach in boreal mixedwoods and could contribute to maintaining the distribution of stand ages at the landscape level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Restoration and Regeneration)
Open AccessArticle Allometry for Biomass Estimation in Jatropha Trees Planted as Boundary Hedge in Farmers’ Fields
Forests 2013, 4(2), 218-233; doi:10.3390/f4020218
Received: 19 February 2013 / Revised: 25 March 2013 / Accepted: 26 March 2013 / Published: 11 April 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (699 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Regrowth and planted trees in agricultural landscapes are rarely protected from clearing under national Forest Acts. There is, therefore, some question over the long-term security of any value they might provide to biodiversity and the global carbon cycle. Engaging landholders in carbon [...] Read more.
Regrowth and planted trees in agricultural landscapes are rarely protected from clearing under national Forest Acts. There is, therefore, some question over the long-term security of any value they might provide to biodiversity and the global carbon cycle. Engaging landholders in carbon credits that are conditioned on planted areas being maintained into the future could improve the situation. To begin carbon trading, landholders need precise and accurate estimates of the carbon sequestered by the trees in their fields. Accurate estimates of carbon stocks depend to a greater degree on the availability and adequacy of the allometric equations that are used to estimate tree biomass. The present study has developed an allometric model for estimating the woody biomass of Jatropha trees planted as boundary hedges in agricultural landscapes under smallholder farming systems in Malawi. The predictive performance of the model was assessed and was subsequently compared with the published Jatropha models. The results showed that the statistical fits of our model were generally good, enabling one to use it with confidence for estimating wood biomass in Jatropha stands from which they were derived. The published Jatropha models consistently overestimated the woody biomass by as much as 55%, rendering them unsuitable for application in estimating woody biomass in our study sites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Restoration and Regeneration)
Figures

Open AccessArticle American Chestnut Growth and Survival Five Years after Planting in Two Silvicultural Treatments in the Southern Appalachians, USA
Forests 2012, 3(4), 1017-1033; doi:10.3390/f3041017
Received: 20 August 2012 / Revised: 26 October 2012 / Accepted: 31 October 2012 / Published: 9 November 2012
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (234 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The ability to restore American chestnut (Castanea dentata) through the planting of blight-resistant (Cryphonectria parasitica) trees is currently being tested. Forest-based research on the species’ silvicultural requirements and chestnut blight development are lacking. Pure American chestnut seedlings were [...] Read more.
The ability to restore American chestnut (Castanea dentata) through the planting of blight-resistant (Cryphonectria parasitica) trees is currently being tested. Forest-based research on the species’ silvicultural requirements and chestnut blight development are lacking. Pure American chestnut seedlings were planted in a two-age shelterwood forest with low residual basal area and in a midstory-removal treatment with high residual basal area. Survival did not differ between silvicultural treatments and averaged 67 percent across both treatments by the fifth year. Trees in the two-age shelterwood were 2.36 m and 16.8 mm larger in height and ground-line diameter, respectively, compared to trees in the midstory-removal by the fifth growing season. Blight occurrence was not affected by silvicultural treatment. Exploratory analyses indicated that seedling grading at planting and keeping trees free-to-grow through competition control would have resulted in a two-year gain in height and GLD growth in the two-age shelterwood treatment. The two-age shelterwood represented the most efficacious prescription for chestnut restoration, but the midstory-removal prescription may offer a reasonable alternative in areas where harvesting must be delayed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Restoration and Regeneration)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Managing Understory Vegetation for Maintaining Productivity in Black Spruce Forests: A Synthesis within a Multi-Scale Research Model
Forests 2013, 4(3), 613-631; doi:10.3390/f4030613
Received: 14 June 2013 / Revised: 11 July 2013 / Accepted: 12 July 2013 / Published: 23 July 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1450 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainable management of boreal ecosystems involves the establishment of vigorous tree regeneration after harvest. However, two groups of understory plants influence regeneration success in eastern boreal Canada. Ericaceous shrubs are recognized to rapidly dominate susceptible boreal sites after harvest. Such dominance reduces [...] Read more.
Sustainable management of boreal ecosystems involves the establishment of vigorous tree regeneration after harvest. However, two groups of understory plants influence regeneration success in eastern boreal Canada. Ericaceous shrubs are recognized to rapidly dominate susceptible boreal sites after harvest. Such dominance reduces recruitment and causes stagnant conifer growth, lasting decades on some sites. Additionally, peat accumulation due to Sphagnum growth after harvest forces the roots of regenerating conifers out of the relatively nutrient rich and warm mineral soil into the relatively nutrient poor and cool organic layer, with drastic effects on growth. Shifts from once productive black spruce forests to ericaceous heaths or paludified forests affect forest productivity and biodiversity. Under natural disturbance dynamics, fires severe enough to substantially reduce the organic layer thickness and affect ground cover species are required to establish a productive regeneration layer on such sites. We succinctly review how understory vegetation influences black spruce ecosystem dynamics in eastern boreal Canada, and present a multi-scale research model to understand, limit the loss and restore productive and diverse ecosystems in this region. Our model integrates knowledge of plant-level mechanisms in the development of silvicultural tools to sustain productivity. Fundamental knowledge is integrated at stand, landscape, regional and provincial levels to understand the distribution and dynamics of ericaceous shrubs and paludification processes and to support tactical and strategic forest management. The model can be adapted and applied to other natural resource management problems, in other biomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Restoration and Regeneration)

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