Special Issue "Forest Biodiversity under the Changing Land Use and Climate"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Ecology and Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Jakub Horák
Website
Guest Editor
Czech Univ Life Sci Prague, Fac Forestry & Wood Sci, Kamycka 129, CZ-16500 Prague 6, Suchdol, Czech Republic
Interests: Biodiversity; Conservation Biology; Ecology and Evolution; Conservation; Ecology; Ecosystem Ecology; Species Diversity; Wildlife Conservation; Invasive Species; Biodiversity Monitoring

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Forests are dramatically changing all over the world. This change is dynamic and irreversible. Therefore, there is a high probability that the forests we see now will be completely different for our descendants.
Human beings are presently the most important factor (at least one of factors) that drives the conspicuous changes of the forests on Earth. One of the most important factors of the ongoing changes to forest environment (e.g., spatial structure, dominant tree-species survival, or interconnection with other ecosystems) is the global change of climate and land use. It is presumed that these changes are much more intensive than they have been in the past after the last Glaciation. Hence, global changes have a strong impact on the actual biological diversity of forests.
Forests are most probably the most biodiverse ecosystems on our planet. Mainly, the presence of biomass from trees and its combination with specific climate and soil conditions appear to be important factors that make forests places of high species numbers, often with a presence of unique biota. Many studies in the past evaluated the effect of changing forest environments on individual taxa (e.g., birds, fungi, or beetles). More recently, several authors have been trying to compare the effects of diverse forest conditions from the multi-taxa point of view. Both approaches, together with the evaluation of the environment, are important when it comes to the knowledge of forest biodiversity.
This Special Issue should bring one important piece of knowledge to the mosaic of forest biodiversity—a point of view of different scientists from different countries with different specializations to the groups of biota and evaluation of environment. This could be a synthesis of an important document of our present for future generations.

Dr. Jakub Horák
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • forest management
  • biodiversity conservation
  • forest ecology
  • species richness
  • forest loss
  • disturbance regimes

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Temperature-Dominated Driving Mechanisms of the Plant Diversity in Temperate Forests, Northeast China
Forests 2020, 11(2), 227; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020227 - 18 Feb 2020
Abstract
Climate, topography, and tree structure have different effects on plant diversity that vary with spatial scale. In this study, we assessed the contribution of these drivers and how they affect the vascular plant richness of different functional groups in a temperate forest ecosystem [...] Read more.
Climate, topography, and tree structure have different effects on plant diversity that vary with spatial scale. In this study, we assessed the contribution of these drivers and how they affect the vascular plant richness of different functional groups in a temperate forest ecosystem in Northeast China. We investigated about 0.986 million plants from 3160 sites to quantify the impact of annual mean temperature, sunshine duration, annual precipitation, standard deviation of diameter at breast height, and forest type on richness of vascular plants (total species, tree, treelet, shrub, and herb, separately) using the gradient boosting model. The results show that annual mean temperature had the strongest impact on plant richness. The tree richness peaked at intermediate annual mean temperature and sunshine duration and increased with annual precipitation. The Shannon diversity index and Simpson dominance index increased with annual precipitation and standard deviation of diameter at breast height, decreased with sunshine duration, and peaked at intermediate annual mean temperature and forest type. The total richness and understory richness increased with annual mean temperature and standard deviation of diameter at breast height and peaked at intermediate sunshine duration and annual precipitation. A comprehensive mechanism was found to regulate the plant diversity in forest ecosystems. The relationship between tree richness and annual mean temperature with latitudinal effect could be affected by the differences in number and size of tree individuals, indicating that plant diversity varies with the utilization of energy. The force driving plant richness varied with the functional group due to the different environmental resource requirements and the life history strategies of plants layers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Biodiversity under the Changing Land Use and Climate)
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Open AccessArticle
Disentangling the Roles of Topography, Patch, and Land Use on Conservation Trait Status of Specialist Birds in Marginal Forest Land Use Types
Forests 2020, 11(1), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11010103 - 14 Jan 2020
Abstract
One of the main questions in ecology and conservation is how organisms are governed and affected by their traits within the context of abiotic gradients. The main question of our study addresses how patch, topography, and land use influence conservation trait status (rarity [...] Read more.
One of the main questions in ecology and conservation is how organisms are governed and affected by their traits within the context of abiotic gradients. The main question of our study addresses how patch, topography, and land use influence conservation trait status (rarity and red-list index) of birds generally, and of farmland and woodland specialists specifically, in marginal forest landscape types. We sampled birds from 68 traditional fruit orchards existing as remnants of agroforestry within the Pardubice Region of the Czech Republic during two consecutive years. We recorded 57 bird species, of which 31 species were forest dwellers and 16 farmland dwellers. Topographical predictors played the most significant role in influencing traits of the bird community as a whole. Farmland bird traits indicated the most balanced values, as they were significantly influenced by all studied predictor sets. Their responses nevertheless differed among the studied traits and also showed a more complex pattern because the values of interaction between some predictor categories were relatively high. Traits of woodland birds were most influenced by the patch configuration. We found that a structurally diversified marginal habitat type of traditional fruit orchards is able to promote a number of specialist species and also reveals important relationships between bird conservation traits and different predictor sets. Researchers should pay more attention to the conservation traits of birds and their interactions with environmental predictors. Furthermore, conservationists should be more attentive to the biodiversity value and sustainable management of traditional fruit orchards. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Biodiversity under the Changing Land Use and Climate)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Deadwood on Ectomycorrhizal Colonisation of Old-Growth Oak Forests
Forests 2019, 10(6), 480; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10060480 - 31 May 2019
Abstract
Although the importance of coarse woody debris (CWD) for species diversity is recognized, the effects of coarse woody debris decay class on species composition have received little attention. We examined how the species composition of ectomycorrhizal fungi (ECM) changes with CWD decay. We [...] Read more.
Although the importance of coarse woody debris (CWD) for species diversity is recognized, the effects of coarse woody debris decay class on species composition have received little attention. We examined how the species composition of ectomycorrhizal fungi (ECM) changes with CWD decay. We describe ectomycorrhizal root tips and the diversity of mycorrhizal fungal species at three English oak (Quercus robur L.) sites. DNA barcoding revealed a total of 17 ECM fungal species. The highest degree of mycorrhizal colonization was found in CWDadvanced (27.2%) and CWDearly (27.1%). Based on exploration types, ectomycorrhizae were classified with respect to ecologically relevant soil features. The short distance type was significantly correlated with soil P2O5, while the contact type was correlated with soil C/N. The lowest mean content of soil Corg was found in the CWDabsent site. The difference in total soil N between sites decreased with increasing CWD decomposition, whereas total C/N increased correspondingly. In this study we confirmed that soil CWD stimulates ectomycorrhizal fungi, representing contact or short-distance exploration types of mycelium. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Biodiversity under the Changing Land Use and Climate)
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Open AccessArticle
A Survey of the Knowledge of Truffles among Polish Foresters and Implications for Environmental Education
Forests 2019, 10(5), 365; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10050365 - 27 Apr 2019
Abstract
While the use of truffles in Poland has a long tradition, for historical reasons this knowledge was almost lost. Currently, truffles and truffle orchards are again receiving public attention. For example, the Polish State Forests supported the establishment of truffle orchards by the [...] Read more.
While the use of truffles in Poland has a long tradition, for historical reasons this knowledge was almost lost. Currently, truffles and truffle orchards are again receiving public attention. For example, the Polish State Forests supported the establishment of truffle orchards by the Forestry Research Institute. In recent years, knowledge concerning these unique hypogeous fungi has been disseminated systematically through scientific and popular publications, films, and electronic media. This study investigates the awareness of economically and culinary valued truffle fungi (Tuber spp.) among more than 1400 Polish foresters. The results show that 70% of interviewees were familiar with historical and contemporary information about growing and using truffles in Poland. Based on respondents’ age, education, type of work, and gender we attempted to identify whether these elements were associated with the state of knowledge about truffles. The results indicated that younger foresters were better informed about the presence of truffles in Poland and also about their use in the past in Polish cuisine. Environmental education was an important source of knowledge about truffle harvesting and the soils that are conducive to truffle development. Foresters who have provided forest ecology education and who are 36–65 years of age generally possessed better knowledge about truffles than other age cohorts. More than 30% of respondents expressed interest in educational courses to improve their knowledge of truffles. The results point to the need for forestry education concerning truffles and indicate the need for fostering sustainable agroforestry-centered initiatives disseminating this knowledge to the public. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Biodiversity under the Changing Land Use and Climate)
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Open AccessArticle
Diversity and Genetic Structure Inferred with Microsatellites in Natural Populations of Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco (Pinaceae) in the Central Region of Mexico
Forests 2019, 10(2), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10020101 - 28 Jan 2019
Abstract
The amount and structure of the genetic diversity in Mexican populations of Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco, is almost unknown, since most genetic studies have been carried out on populations from Canada and the United States. Here, we applied a set of 12 microsatellite [...] Read more.
The amount and structure of the genetic diversity in Mexican populations of Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco, is almost unknown, since most genetic studies have been carried out on populations from Canada and the United States. Here, we applied a set of 12 microsatellite markers to 12 populations (234 trees) from the central region of Mexico in order to determine values of genetic diversity and differentiation. Seventy-three different alleles were identified: an average number of alleles per locus (Na) of 6.083, effective number of alleles (Ne) of 2.039, observed heterozygosity (Ho) of 0.229, and expected heterozygosity (Ht) of 0.417. Genetic differentiation was high: the coefficient of differentiation (θ) was 0.270, while the coefficient of structure (Φst) was 0.278. Bayesian analysis identified two genetic groups in central Mexico. The PCoA and the dendrogram were in concordance with the two genetic groups. The results of the analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) indicate that genetic variation exists mainly within populations (72.149%). Therefore, conservation efforts should focus on as many individuals within populations as possible, to maintain this variation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Biodiversity under the Changing Land Use and Climate)
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Open AccessArticle
Ectomycorrhizal Colonisation in Declining Oak Stands on the Krotoszyn Plateau, Poland
Forests 2019, 10(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10010030 - 04 Jan 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
We describe the ectomycorrhizal (ECM) root tips and the diversity of mycorrhizal fungal species at three English oak (Quercus robur) sites (two 120 year old sites and one 60 year old site). The three oak stands in decline, located in western [...] Read more.
We describe the ectomycorrhizal (ECM) root tips and the diversity of mycorrhizal fungal species at three English oak (Quercus robur) sites (two 120 year old sites and one 60 year old site). The three oak stands in decline, located in western Poland, were characterized by a low degree of vital ECM colonization: 30.2%, 29.1% and 25.6% at Krotoszyn (K), Piaski (P) and Karczma Borowa (KB), respectively. DNA (ITS) barcoding revealed a total of 18 ECM fungal species. Based on exploration types, ectomycorrhizae were classified with respect to ecologically relevant features. The contact type was significantly correlated with C:N and Corg, while the short distance type was correlated with Ca, phosphorus (P2O5) and pH. The medium distance exploration type was significantly correlated with fine-grained soil particle size fractions: coarse silt (0.05–0.02 mm) and fine silt (0.02–0.002 mm), and clay (<0.002 mm). The long distance type showed a similar pattern to the medium distance smooth type, but was also correlated with nitrate (N). The values of biometric root parameters of oak trees at the analysed forest sites were arranged as follows: K > P > KB, and were opposite to the condition of the tree crowns. A negative correlation of vital ECM root tip abundance with the crown health status of oaks was observed, whereas higher ECM diversity reflected better crown health in the oak stands studied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Biodiversity under the Changing Land Use and Climate)
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