Special Issue "Monitoring Plant Diversity and Community Assembly in Forest Ecosystems"

A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Diversity".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Giandiego Campetella
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Biosciences & Veterinary Medicine - Plant Diversity and Ecosystems Management unit University of Camerino, Italy
Interests: Forest ecology, plant diversity, plant community assembly, plant traits–environment relationship, disturbance ecology, grasslands experiment, climate change ecology
Dr. Stefano Chelli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Università degli Studi di Camerino, Camerino, Italy
Interests: forest understory, plant functional traits, climate change, forest management, traits–environment relationship, land use change.

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Covering nearly one-third of biosphere lands, forests represent the most complex terrestrial ecosystem. They contain over 80% of terrestrial biodiversity and are able to support a huge amount of processes and relative functions. Recently, the awareness about the importance of potential direct and indirect contributions of forest ecosystems to human well-being (i.e., forest ecosystem services) has been increasing. However, the impact provided by anthropogenic disturbances, such as nitrogen deposition, timber over-exploitation, altered disturbance regimes, invasive species, land-use change, and climate change, calls for new scientific contributions to explore the basic ecological mechanisms supporting forest plant diversity and relative functions, as well as new performant approaches to monitor their dynamics and naturalness degree. In this respect, as there is a spontaneous tendency to study predominantly the tree vegetation layer, where most of the biomass and key organisms are located, more emphasis should be placed on the understory vegetation, where most of the plant biodiversity is present, as this was proven to serve a crucial role in preserving the structure and function of forests.

In this "Diversity" Special Issue entitled “Monitoring Plant Diversity and Community Assembly in Forest Ecosystems”, we encourage researchers to submit their manuscripts on the following topics:

  • Effects of climate and land-use changes on forest plant communities;
  • Spatio-temporal patterns of plant diversity and assembly rules in forests;
  • Functional trait-based assembly rules;
  • Long-term ecological research studies (LTER network) in forests;
  • Aspects related to the observer’s bias in monitoring activities;
  • Trees spatial point pattern analysis;
  • Structural and biological indicators
Dr. Giandiego Campetella
Dr. Stefano Chelli
Guest Editors

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. Diversity 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.

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
What is the Long-Term Effect of Bamboo Dominance on Adult Trees in the Araucaria Forest? A Comparative Analysis between Two Successional Stages in Southern Brazil
Diversity 2019, 11(9), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11090165 - 16 Sep 2019
Abstract
Bamboos are opportunistic species that rapidly colonize open areas following forest disturbance, forming dense clusters that alter the regenerative processes and maintain lower levels of tree diversity. Widespread forest degradation, especially in Latin America and Asia, and human-induced introduction have allowed native and [...] Read more.
Bamboos are opportunistic species that rapidly colonize open areas following forest disturbance, forming dense clusters that alter the regenerative processes and maintain lower levels of tree diversity. Widespread forest degradation, especially in Latin America and Asia, and human-induced introduction have allowed native and non-native bamboo species to thrive, hindering successional pathways that would otherwise lead to more diverse forests; such a large-scale phenomenon is a key concern in the conservation of forest resources around the globe. Despite previous research on this phenomenon, little is known about the long-term effects of bamboo dominance on forest structure and composition and the corresponding interaction with natural regeneration. As such, we sought to evaluate the long-term effects of bamboo dominance on the dynamics of adult forest populations considering two forest types (Bamboo Forest—BF and Araucaria Forest—AF) over an 11-year period in the Embrapa Research Station in Caçador, Brazil. We monitored 20 plots (15 × 15 m) in each forest type where we tagged, identified, and measured the height and diameter of all the trees taller than 1.5 m (H) and diameter at breast height (DBH) greater than 3.18 cm. Comparisons were based on forest species diversity and structure parameters. In BF, diversity of species increased after the bamboo die-off that occurred in 2006 with a subsequent reduction in the number of pioneer species overtime. However, secondary species remained stagnant demonstrating that recruitment and transition into higher size classes is restricted to the immediate die-off aftermath. On the other hand, plant diversity and structure in the relatively bamboo-free AF were stable with secondary species accounting for the most richness. Our results confirm that BF maintains significantly lower levels of diversity that are restricted to pioneer species; AF structure and diversity are not significantly affected by bamboo die-off and recolonization; and BF tree species are caught in a closed cycle of arrested successional development. The widespread presence of bamboos as dominant species in the region should become a part of the conversation pertaining to forest management and conservation in Brazil and other countries in south America and Asia. Full article
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