Forest Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stability

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 February 2023) | Viewed by 27703

Special Issue Editors

College of Landscape Architecture, Changchun University, Changchun 130022, China
Interests: urban biodiversity; forest ecology; carbon cycling; ecosystem services
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Key Laboratory of Wetland Ecology and Environment, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130102, China
Interests: urban forest; urban biodiverstiy; ecological function; landscape multifunction; remote sensing
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Forestry, Jiangxi Agricultural University, Nanchang 330045, China
Interests: forest soil carbon cycling; urban forest soil ecology; forest soil microbial ecology; and plant-soil interaction
College of Forestry, Shandong Agricultural University, 61 Daizong Street, Taian, China
Interests: analysis of factors affecting distribution of alien plants in forests; evaluation of forest ecosystem services value; forest degradation, reforestation; ecological implications of forest soil disturbances

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biodiversity is the basis for human survival and development. It provides diverse production and living necessities for human beings and plays an important role in maintaining ecosystem stability. With the rapid loss of global biodiversity, the study of the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem services has attracted wide attention. Forest ecosystems play an important role in biodiversity protection and maintenance and providing ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, air pollution mitigation, heat island alleviation, water, and soil conservation, etc. However, the mechanisms by which biodiversity sustains ecosystem stability and its services remain unclear. In addition, climate change, human activities, and alien species invasion will have significant impacts on the forest biodiversity and ecosystem services, thus affecting ecosystem stability. The objective of this Special Issue is to bring together successful case studies, lessons learned, and experiences on:

  1. The effect of forest biodiversity on ecosystem stability;
  2. Relationship between forest biodiversity and ecosystem services;
  3. Remote sensing estimation of forest plant diversity;
  4. Spatial-temporal assessment of forest ecosystem services;
  5. Response of forest carbon sinks to climate change and its mechanisms;
  6. Impacts of human activities and alien plant invasions on forest ecosystem services.

Dr. Dan Zhang
Dr. Zhibin Ren
Dr. Qiong Wang
Dr. Kun Li
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Published Papers (15 papers)

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18 pages, 2349 KiB  
Article
Stand Characteristics Rather than Soil Properties Contribute More to the Expansion of Moso Bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis) into Its Neighboring Forests in Subtropical Region
by Zhiqiang Ge, Shigui Huang, Ming Ouyang, Fenggang Luan, Xiong Fang, Qingpei Yang, Jun Liu and Qingni Song
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2159; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122159 - 16 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1381
Abstract
Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis), once highly praised worldwide, has been found to be a problematic species due to its unconstrained expansion into adjacent woodlands and negative effects on the function services of forest ecosystems. To determine the major factors affecting bamboo [...] Read more.
Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis), once highly praised worldwide, has been found to be a problematic species due to its unconstrained expansion into adjacent woodlands and negative effects on the function services of forest ecosystems. To determine the major factors affecting bamboo expansion into neighbor woodlands, we investigated the expansion characteristics of moso bamboo and the properties of stand structure and soil for 58 bamboo–woodland interfaces (BWIs) across Jiangxi province in China. Then, we analyzed the relationships between the variables of bamboo expansion and the properties of interfaces through a redundancy analysis. The characteristics (the expansion distance and the number and size of new culms) of moso bamboo expansion into disturbed forests were more significant (p < 0.01) than those into non-disturbed forests. The bamboo expansion into deciduous broad-leaved forest was much faster (1.33 m/yr) than evergreen broad-leaved forest (0.82 m/yr) and needle-leaved forest (1.08 m/yr). The characteristics of stand structure had more direct explanatory power (58.8%) than soil properties (4.3%) and their interaction (10.0%) for the variations in bamboo expansion. The canopy closure of recipient forests was identified as the most significant factor negatively correlated to bamboo expansion. The number of parent culms and the ratio of deciduous to evergreen trees ranked in sequence, and both imposed positive effects on the expansion. Regarding soil properties, only the water content was identified for its explanatory power and negative influence on bamboo expansion. Our findings illustrated that the expansion of moso bamboo showed remarkable variations when facing different woodlands. Stand characteristics (canopy closure, canopy height, etc.) of good explanatory power were the major variables affecting the expansion of moso bamboo. In order to control the expansion of bamboo and protect woodlands, disturbances (extracting timber, girdling trunks) should be prevented in bamboo–woodland interfaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stability)
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19 pages, 2905 KiB  
Article
Impact of Aspect on Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Diversity and Community Composition in a Natural Toona ciliata var. pubescens Forest in Subtropical China
by Qiong Wang, Jianfeng Pan, Yunfang Ke, Suqin Yu, Philip J. Murray, Tianyu Luo, Lu Zhang and Wei Liu
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2100; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122100 - 9 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1356
Abstract
The aspect can affect plant communities and soil physical and chemical properties through different microclimates. However, little is known about the effect of aspect on arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal diversity and community composition, although AM fungi are beneficial for plant nutrient absorption and [...] Read more.
The aspect can affect plant communities and soil physical and chemical properties through different microclimates. However, little is known about the effect of aspect on arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal diversity and community composition, although AM fungi are beneficial for plant nutrient absorption and natural restoration. In this study, AM fungal community and diversity distribution patterns in the rhizosphere soil and roots of seven widespread plants in a natural Toona ciliata var. pubescens (Tc) forest on the north-facing (NF) aspect and south-facing (SF) aspect were investigated using Illumina PE250 high-throughput sequencing in the Guanshan National Nature Reserve, Jiangxi Province, China. Our results exhibited that aspect did not affect AM fungal diversity but significantly affected AM fungal community structure and composition. Glomeraceae was the most common and abundant family in the Tc natural forest. The Glomeromycota sequence proportion of root AM fungal community was significantly larger on NF than on SF (p < 0.05). The relative abundance of Acaulosporaceae of root AM fungal community differed significantly with aspect, being greater on NF than on SF (p < 0.05). In addition, the number of Glomeromycota sequences was significantly larger on SF than on NF, while the number of OTUs and the relative abundance of unclassified fungi in rhizosphere soil in Tc showed the opposite trend (p < 0.05). The soil properties (organic matter, nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and pH) were significantly correlated with these changes. These findings indicate that the habitat of NF with low insolation, high soil moisture, and high nutrient content might promote the functional realization of AM fungi; the habitat of SF with high insolation, low soil moisture, and low soil nutrient content might be beneficial for the proliferation and preservation of AM fungal groups. This study provides important information on the ecological processes of AM fungal community construction and microbiological mechanisms in natural Tc forests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stability)
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17 pages, 2931 KiB  
Article
Species Composition and Diversity of Middle-Aged Trees among Different Urban Green Space Types and Tree Age Classes in Changchun, Northeast China
by Yibo Yang, Xuewen Sheng, Chang Zhai, Zihan Wang, Junjie Wu and Dan Zhang
Forests 2022, 13(12), 1997; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13121997 - 25 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1424
Abstract
Middle-aged trees refer to trees aged between 50 and 99 years, which are the reserve resources of old trees (trees ≥ 100 years of age). They are vital parts of the urban ecosystem, with important ecological, landscape, cultural, and historical value. Conservation of [...] Read more.
Middle-aged trees refer to trees aged between 50 and 99 years, which are the reserve resources of old trees (trees ≥ 100 years of age). They are vital parts of the urban ecosystem, with important ecological, landscape, cultural, and historical value. Conservation of middle-aged trees in urban areas is important for the development of large old trees in the future. In this study, we investigated the middle-aged trees in Changchun city and analyzed the species composition and diversity characteristics of different urban green space types and tree age classes. The results showed that there were 72 species and 22,376 plants of middle-aged trees in Changchun city, and the coniferous species prevailed. The top five species with a high importance value (IV) were Pinus tabuliformis var. mukdensis, Lavix olgensis, Salix matsudana, Ulmus pumila, and Abies holophylla. Green space type and tree age were important factors influencing the richness and diversity of middle-aged trees. Tree growth spaces were relatively sufficient, and land use was stable for park green spaces (PGS) and attached green spaces (AGS), which resulted in the abundant, richer, and diverse species richness (SR) of middle-aged trees. Road green spaces (RGS) and square green spaces (SGS) had fewer trees and lower species richness, Margalef richness index (dMa), Shannon–Wiener index (He) and evenness index (Je) which could be attributed to the high intensity of human interference and poor environmental quality. The SR of middle-aged trees decreased with an increase in age class, and the values of SR in Age Class 80–89 years and Age Class 90–99 years were lower than in Age Class 50–59 years. Age Class 70–79 years had the lowest values of dMa, He, and Je, which need to be protected urgently. The results of this study can provide a basis for the conservation and management of middle-aged trees in urban areas and the choice of species for urban greening. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stability)
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15 pages, 3620 KiB  
Article
Effects of Rhus typhina Invasion on Soil Physicochemical Properties and Carbon Emissions in Urban Green Spaces
by Zihan Wang, Junjie Wu, Dan Zhang, Chao Gong, Qiong Wang, Chang Zhai and Xinzhu Dai
Forests 2022, 13(11), 1827; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13111827 - 2 Nov 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1352
Abstract
Alien plants invasion have become a hot issue in the field of ecology. The invasion of alien plants is usually accompanied by changes in the physical and chemical properties of the soil, the ensuing negative feedback creates a favorable environment for its own [...] Read more.
Alien plants invasion have become a hot issue in the field of ecology. The invasion of alien plants is usually accompanied by changes in the physical and chemical properties of the soil, the ensuing negative feedback creates a favorable environment for its own growth and expansion. Invasive plans have a strong ability to sequester carbon, which can greatly affect the original local ecological environment. In this study, we selected Rhus typhina, an invasive plant widely used for greening, as the experimental subject and natural growing grassland as the control. The aims were to investigate the effects of different degrees of invasion of R. typhina on soil physicochemical properties and carbon emissions, and to explore the influential factors on carbon emission. The results showed that R. typhina invasion significantly increased soil pH, total nitrogen content, easy extraction of glomalin-related soil protein (EEG) and cumulative CO2 emissions (CEM). It is worth noting that the CEM increased significantly during the severe invasion by R. typhina. The significant increase in soil NH4+-N content and the decrease in soil NO3-N content indicate that the soil after the invasion of R. typhina has better uptake of NH4+-N. Temperature and soil moisture content had significant direct effects on CEM, while NH4+-N, NO3-N, EEG and temperature sensitivity of soil organic carbon mineralization Q10 (30 °C/20 °C) had a direct but non-significant effect on CEM. The above findings suggest that R. typhina can generate positive feedback by influencing the physicochemical properties and CEM of the soil, opening the way for its own expansion, which can be targeted to prevent the destruction of local ecosystems during the introduction of cultivation and subsequent management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stability)
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15 pages, 2683 KiB  
Article
Effects of Structural and Diversity Attributes on Biomass in Different Types of Urban Forests in Changchun, Northeast China, and Suggestions for Urban Forest Planning
by Junjie Wu, Zihan Wang, Dan Zhang, Chao Gong, Chang Zhai and Yuanyuan Wang
Forests 2022, 13(11), 1805; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13111805 - 30 Oct 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1678
Abstract
Understanding of the relationship between structural and diversity attributes and biomass is important for plant biodiversity conservation, ecosystem service function enhancement and sustainable development of urban forest ecosystems. In this study, road forest (RF), attached forest (AF) and landscape and relaxation forest (LF) [...] Read more.
Understanding of the relationship between structural and diversity attributes and biomass is important for plant biodiversity conservation, ecosystem service function enhancement and sustainable development of urban forest ecosystems. In this study, road forest (RF), attached forest (AF) and landscape and relaxation forest (LF) were selected as research objects. We systematically evaluated the diversity attributes and above ground biomass (AGB) at two dimensions of different diameter at breast height (DBH) grades and different tree height grades of urban forests in Changchun, Northeast China. Structural equation modeling (SEM) analyses of the correlation between structure attributes, diversity attributes and biomass among different types of urban forests were carried out. The results showed that species richness (SR) and Shannon–Wiener index (H′) of shrubs were lower than those of trees. Under the DBH grades, H′ in each forest type was highest in the 0–10 m grades and SR was highest in the 10–20 m grades. Under tree height grades, both H′ and SR of each type were at the top of the list. AGB was highest in each forest type under 5–10 m height grades. The relationship between AGB and H′ was better in LF, but with no significant relationships in the other forest types. SEM highlighted that in the overall aspect, the effect of forest type on biomass was mediated by structure and diversity attributes. Particularly in LF, there were direct and indirect effects between structure attributes and biomass mediated by diversity attributes. The improvement of the H′, evenness index (J′) and SR could enhance urban forest services, especially for the biomass and diversity of LF. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stability)
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13 pages, 3658 KiB  
Article
Effects of Poplar Shelterbelt Plantations on Soil Aggregate Distribution and Organic Carbon in Northeastern China
by Yan Wu, Qiong Wang, Huimei Wang, Wenjie Wang, Zhaoliang Zhong and Guili Di
Forests 2022, 13(10), 1546; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13101546 - 21 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1464
Abstract
This study aimed to determine the distribution, stability, and soil organic carbon (SOC) of aggregates, and the contribution of soil aggregate proportion, stability index, and aggregate-associated SOC to the total SOC. Three hundred and sixty soil samples were gathered from shelterbelts and neighboring [...] Read more.
This study aimed to determine the distribution, stability, and soil organic carbon (SOC) of aggregates, and the contribution of soil aggregate proportion, stability index, and aggregate-associated SOC to the total SOC. Three hundred and sixty soil samples were gathered from shelterbelts and neighboring farmlands in five layers of 1 m profiles in Songnen Plain, northeastern China. The shelterbelt plantations were found to increase by 69.5% and 103.8% in >2 mm and 0.25–2 mm soil aggregates, respectively, and their R0.25, mean weight diameter (MWD), and geometric mean diameter (GMD) were enhanced by 96.3%, 33.2%, and 40.0%, respectively, compared to those of farmlands in soil layers at 0–20 cm depth (p < 0.05). The total SOC content increased by 13.3% at 0–20 cm soil depth, and the SOC content and stock in >2 mm aggregates increased by 21.5% and 18.7% in the 20–40 cm layer (p < 0.05), respectively. The SOC content and stock in total soil had a significantly positive relationship with the proportion of >2 mm soil aggregates and a negative relationship with the value of fractal dimension (D). The enhancement in the SOC of the total soil was dependent on the increase in aggregate-associated SOC, with larger-particle aggregates having a greater contribution. Based on the study results, afforestation improved soil stability and the structure of soil aggregates, and SOC accumulation in the total soil was not only governed by SOC concentration and stock within the aggregate size class, but also the proportion of >2 mm soil aggregates and the value of the fractal dimension. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stability)
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13 pages, 2784 KiB  
Article
Urban Forest Locations and Patch Characteristics Regulate PM2.5 Mitigation Capacity
by Chang Zhai, Guangdao Bao, Dan Zhang and Yinghu Sha
Forests 2022, 13(9), 1408; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13091408 - 1 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1279
Abstract
Atmospheric pollution caused by fine particulate matter (PM2.5) seriously damages human health. Urban forests have the ecological function of purifying the atmosphere, which can effectively reduce the ambient PM2.5 concentration. This paper analyzed the ability of different forest types to [...] Read more.
Atmospheric pollution caused by fine particulate matter (PM2.5) seriously damages human health. Urban forests have the ecological function of purifying the atmosphere, which can effectively reduce the ambient PM2.5 concentration. This paper analyzed the ability of different forest types to mitigate PM2.5 pollution and explored the effects of forest quality and morphological parameters on PM2.5 concentration on the forest patch level. The results concluded that the PM2.5 concentration of the Landscape and Relaxation Forest (LF) was significantly lower than that of the Roadside Forest (RF) and Affiliated Forest (AF) due to the environmental quality of their location. The effective distance of LF on PM2.5 reduction was 80 m, which was significantly higher than RF and AF. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), which indicated forest growth status, was the most effective parameter for improving the urban forest PM2.5 mitigation ability. The concentration of PM2.5 decreased linearly with the increase in NDVI. The area and perimeter of the forest patches had a significant nonlinear negative correlation with PM2.5 concentration. In addition, the more irregular the shape of the forest patch, the lower the PM2.5 concentration of the forest. Moreover, the simpler shape of RF and AF helped to alleviate PM2.5 pollution. The round shape of AF more efficiently reduced PM2.5 concentration. Our study demonstrated that the surrounding environment, forest growth status, and patch forms determined the PM2.5 reduction capacity of an urban forest. The corresponding management and adjustment methods should be implemented in future urban forest management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stability)
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16 pages, 2116 KiB  
Article
Leaf and Root Litter Species Identity Influences Bacterial Community Composition in Short-Term Litter Decomposition
by Ying Lu, Liudong Zhang, Kun Li, Ruiqiang Ni, Rongchu Han, Chuanrong Li, Caihong Zhang, Weixing Shen and Zhongjun Zhang
Forests 2022, 13(9), 1402; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13091402 - 1 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1457
Abstract
Microorganisms play a crucial role in litter decomposition in terrestrial ecosystems. The leaf and fine root litters of Robinia pseudoacacia Linn., Quercus acutissima Carr., Pinus tabulaeformis Carr. and Pinus densiflora Sieb. were analysed using the nylon litter bag method and Illumina MiSeq high-throughput [...] Read more.
Microorganisms play a crucial role in litter decomposition in terrestrial ecosystems. The leaf and fine root litters of Robinia pseudoacacia Linn., Quercus acutissima Carr., Pinus tabulaeformis Carr. and Pinus densiflora Sieb. were analysed using the nylon litter bag method and Illumina MiSeq high-throughput sequencing for the amplification of bacterial 16S rRNA V4–V5. We assessed the effects of leaf and root litter species on the bacterial community after one year’s decomposition. The results showed that (1) the remaining mass of fine root litter was smaller than that of the leaf litter for R. pseudoacacia and Q. acutissima, while the opposite result was found for P. tabulaeformis and P. densiflora. (2) The bacterial community structure in leaf litter was most highly correlated with the initial N content and N:P, while that in fine roots was most highly correlated with the lignin content. (3) The bacterial phyla Bacteroidetes, Acidobacteria and Gemmatimonadetes were significantly affected by litter and species, whereas the relative abundances of Firmicutes and Chloroflexi were only affected by litter tissues. The relative abundances of Acidobacteria, Firmicutes and Chloroflexi in fine root litter were higher than those in leaf litter, while the opposite result was found for Bacteroidetes. The bacterial genera Burkholderia-Paraburkholderia, Sphingomonas and Mucilaginibacter were affected by litter tissues (p < 0.05). The relative abundance of Burkholderia-Paraburkholderia in fine root litter was higher than that in leaf litter, while the opposite result was found for Bradyrhizobium, Sphingomonas and Mucilaginibacter. Pearson’s correlation analysis showed that the relative abundances of the dominant phyla and genera were affected by the initial litter properties, especially for Bacteroides, Acidobacteria, Burkholderia and Sphingomonas. These findings indicate that litter tissues and their interactions with species are more important than the species in shaping the bacterial diversity and community composition, which was affected by the initial chemical properties of the litter. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stability)
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16 pages, 1412 KiB  
Article
Genetic Structure of Pinus Populations in the Urals
by Nikita Chertov, Yulia Nechaeva, Andrei Zhulanov, Nina Pystogova, Maria Danilova, Svetlana Boronnikova and Ruslan Kalendar
Forests 2022, 13(8), 1278; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13081278 - 12 Aug 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1694
Abstract
The sustainable use and conservation of forest resources must be carried out with a detailed study of the main forest-forming plant species. Coniferous forests form the basis of boreal forest ecosystems and are of great economic importance. Representatives of forest-forming boreal coniferous species [...] Read more.
The sustainable use and conservation of forest resources must be carried out with a detailed study of the main forest-forming plant species. Coniferous forests form the basis of boreal forest ecosystems and are of great economic importance. Representatives of forest-forming boreal coniferous species are species of the genus Pinus, including Siberian pine (Pinus sibirica Du Tour) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), which are valuable and widely used woody plant species. The purpose of this research was to conduct an extended study of genetic diversity, genetic structure, and differentiation of P. sibirica and P. sylvestris populations under the conditions of their habitat in the Middle and Northern Urals. We studied twelve populations of two Pinus species using the inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR)-based DNA polymorphism detection PCR method. Populations are characterized by relatively high levels of genetic diversity (P. sylvestris: He = 0.163; ne = 1.270; I = 0.249; P. sibirica: He = 0.148; ne = 1.248; I = 0.225). Analysis of the intrapopulation genetic structure reveals that the studied populations are highly differentiated (P. sylvestris: GST = 0.362; P. sibirica: GST = 0.460). The interpopulation component comprised 36% and 46% of the total genetic diversity for P. sylvestris and P. sibirica, respectively. Using various algorithms to determine the spatial genetic structure, it was determined that P. sylvestris populations form two groups according to their location at a certain altitude above sea level. P. sibirica populations form two clusters, with an additional subdivision of the two populations into subclusters identified. The data obtained during the study may be useful for further research as well as for conservation management planning and related forestry practices aimed at preserving the genetic resources of valuable forest plant species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stability)
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14 pages, 3378 KiB  
Article
Extracellular Enzyme Stoichiometry Reveals Soil Microbial Carbon and Phosphorus Limitations in the Yimeng Mountain Area, China
by Lu Wang, Kun Li, Jianyao Guo, Xiumei Liu, Jinhui Gao, Liang Ma, Jinhui Wei, Min Lu and Chuanrong Li
Forests 2022, 13(5), 692; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13050692 - 29 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2170
Abstract
Soil extracellular enzymes are considered key components in ecosystem carbon and nutrient cycling, and analysing their stoichiometry is an effective way to reveal the resource limitations on soil microbial metabolism. In this study, the soil and litter of Quercus acutissima plots, Pinus thunbergii [...] Read more.
Soil extracellular enzymes are considered key components in ecosystem carbon and nutrient cycling, and analysing their stoichiometry is an effective way to reveal the resource limitations on soil microbial metabolism. In this study, the soil and litter of Quercus acutissima plots, Pinus thunbergii plots, Quercus acutissima–Pinus thunbergii mixed-plantation plots, herb plots, and shrub plots in the state-owned Dawa Forest Farm in the Yimeng Mountain area were studied. The total carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) contents of litter and the physical and chemical properties of soil were analyzed, along with the activities of four extracellular enzymes related to the soil C, N, and P cycle: β-1,4-glucosidase (BG), β-1,4-N-acetylglucosaminidase (NAG), L-leucine aminopeptidase (LAP), and acid phosphatase (AP). The extracellular enzyme stoichiometric model was used to study and compare the metabolic limitations of soil microorganisms in different plots, and the driving factors of microbial metabolic limitations were explored by redundancy and linear regression analyses. The results showed that the values of BG/(NAG + LAP) were all higher than 1, the values of (NAG + LAP)/AP all lower than 1, and the vector angles of the five plots all greater than 45°, which indicated that the soil microorganisms were relatively limited by C and P. Redundancy and linear regression analysis revealed that soil physical properties (e.g., soil moisture) and litter total C make greater contributions to soil extracellular enzymes and stoichiometry than the other investigated soil parameters, whereas soil chemical properties (e.g., soil organic C and available P) predominantly controlled vector properties. Therefore, microbial metabolism limitations are greatly regulated by soil physical and chemical properties and litter total C and N. Compared with the forest plots, the soil microbial C (1.67) and P (61.07°) limitations of herb plots were relatively higher, which means that the soil microbial communities of forest plots are more stable than those of herb plots in the Yimeng Mountain area. Forest plots were more conducive than other plots to the improvement of soil microbial ecology in this area. This study could be important for illuminating soil microbial metabolism and revealing soil nutrient cycling in the Yimeng Mountain area ecosystem of China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stability)
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20 pages, 1462 KiB  
Article
Characteristics of Soil Mites Communities Structure under Vegetation Vertical Gradient in the Shibing World Natural Heritage Property, China
by Yuanyuan Zhou, Qiang Wei, Niejia Xiao, Ju Huang, Tong Gong, Yifan Fei, Zheng Shi and Hu Chen
Forests 2022, 13(4), 598; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13040598 - 11 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2167
Abstract
In montane environments, as elevation increases, the combination of hydrothermal factors changing and vegetation types changing can cause changes to the soil mite community. To reveal the influence of different vertical vegetation types on the structure and diversity of soil mite communities in [...] Read more.
In montane environments, as elevation increases, the combination of hydrothermal factors changing and vegetation types changing can cause changes to the soil mite community. To reveal the influence of different vertical vegetation types on the structure and diversity of soil mite communities in the Shibing Karst World Natural Heritage Property, in September 2021, specimen collection and identification of soil mites were carried out under the four typical vegetation zones of coniferous broad-leaved mixed forests (CBF), evergreen broad-leaved forests (EBF), deciduous broad-leaved forests (DBF), and river beach scrubs (RBS) in the Heritage Property. This occurred in order to analyze the community structure of soil mites. A total of 10,563 soil mites were captured in this region, belonging to 3 orders, 67 families, 137 genera; Perscheloribates and Scheloribates are the dominant groups in the area. The number of soil mite genera (CBF > EBF > DBF > RBS) and the number of individuals (RBS > DBF > CBF > EBF) differed between vegetation types. The dominant soil mite genera were not entirely consistent, with the highest values for each soil mite community diversity parameter being in the EBF habitat. The number of soil mite genera and individuals differed among vegetation types in different soil layers. It showed an apparent aggregation towards the surface layer, with complex diversity and richness indices changes. The highest community similarity indices were found between CBF and DBF, which were moderately similar. The cluster analysis results further showed that soil mite communities differed in different vegetation zones and among the same vegetation zones. The predatory gamasid mite structure is mainly r-selective. The ecological groups of oribatid mites are all O-type in the number of groups and P-type in the number of individuals. Lasiobelba, Nanhermannia, Tectocepheus, and Mochlozetes, among others, represent the group of nutrient functions that make up the soil mites in the study area. The study shows that the soil mite community of the Shibing Karst World Natural Heritage Property is rich in groups and shows gradient differences with the vegetation spectrum, and based on the unique subtropical canyon karst habitat of the Heritage Property, the community structure of soil mites will be in the process of adaptation and dynamic change, so long-term dynamic monitoring and in-depth study of the soil mites community structure of the Heritage Property are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stability)
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12 pages, 2962 KiB  
Article
Phosphorus Limitation of Trees Influences Forest Soil Fungal Diversity in China
by Lamei Zheng and Wenchen Song
Forests 2022, 13(2), 223; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020223 - 1 Feb 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1971
Abstract
Fungal-biogeography studies have shown global patterns of biotic interactions on microbial biogeography. However, the mechanisms underlying these patterns remain relatively unexplored. To determine the dominant factors affecting forest soil fungal diversity in China, soil and leaves from 33 mountain forest reserves were sampled, [...] Read more.
Fungal-biogeography studies have shown global patterns of biotic interactions on microbial biogeography. However, the mechanisms underlying these patterns remain relatively unexplored. To determine the dominant factors affecting forest soil fungal diversity in China, soil and leaves from 33 mountain forest reserves were sampled, and their properties were measured. We tested three hypotheses and established the most realistic one for China. The results showed that the soil fungal diversity (Shannon index) varied unimodally with latitude. The relative abundance of ectomycorrhizae was significantly positively correlated with the leaf nitrogen/phosphorus. The effects of soil available phosphorus and pH on fungal diversity depended on the ectomycorrhizal fungi, and the fungal diversity shifted by 93% due to available phosphorus, potassium, and pH. Therefore, we concluded that latitudinal changes in temperature and the variations in interactions between different fungal guilds (ectomycorrhizal, saprotrophic, and plant pathogenic fungi) did not have a major influence. Forest soil fungal diversity was affected by soil pH, available phosphorus, and potassium, which are driven by the phosphorus limitation of trees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stability)
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15 pages, 2849 KiB  
Article
Application of a Panel Data Quantile-Regression Model to the Dynamics of Carbon Sequestration in Pinus kesiya var. langbianensis Natural Forests
by Chang Liu, Guanglong Ou, Yao Fu, Chengcheng Zhang and Cairong Yue
Forests 2022, 13(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13010012 - 22 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2249
Abstract
Even though studies on forest carbon storage are relatively mature, dynamic changes in carbon sequestration have been insufficiently researched. Therefore, we used panel data from 81 Pinus kesiya var. langbianensis forest sample plots measured on three occasions to build an ordinary regression model [...] Read more.
Even though studies on forest carbon storage are relatively mature, dynamic changes in carbon sequestration have been insufficiently researched. Therefore, we used panel data from 81 Pinus kesiya var. langbianensis forest sample plots measured on three occasions to build an ordinary regression model and a quantile-regression model to estimate carbon sequestration over time. In the models, the average carbon reserve of the natural forests was taken as the dependent variable and the average diameter at breast height (DBH), crown density, and altitude as independent variables. The effects of the DBH and crown density on the average carbon storage differed considerably among different age groups and with time, while the effect of altitude had a relatively insignificant influence. Compared with the ordinary model, the quantile-regression model was more accurate in residual and predictive analyses and removed large errors generated by the ordinary model in fitting for young-aged and over-mature forests. We are the first to introduce panel-data-based modeling to forestry research, and it appears to provide a new solution to better grasp change laws for forest carbon sequestration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stability)
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15 pages, 4212 KiB  
Article
Remarkable Effects of Urbanization on Forest Landscape Multifunctionality in Urban Peripheries: Evidence from Liaoyuan City in Northeast China
by Jinghui Han, Yulin Dong, Zhibin Ren, Yunxia Du, Chengcong Wang, Guangliang Jia, Peng Zhang and Yujie Guo
Forests 2021, 12(12), 1779; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12121779 - 15 Dec 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2515
Abstract
Forest landscape multifunctionality (FLM) provides multiple benefits, such as climate regulation, water storage, and biodiversity maintenance. However, the external factors limiting FLM have not been fully identified, although addressing them could contribute to sustainable development. The present study aimed to identify and quantify [...] Read more.
Forest landscape multifunctionality (FLM) provides multiple benefits, such as climate regulation, water storage, and biodiversity maintenance. However, the external factors limiting FLM have not been fully identified, although addressing them could contribute to sustainable development. The present study aimed to identify and quantify the role of urbanization as an external factor that affects FLM. To this end, impervious area changes in Liaoyuan, China, were observed from 2000 to 2018, and 10 buffer zones at 500 m intervals were established outside the city. Within each buffer zone, we analyzed changes in forest landscape functions, including habitat maintenance, carbon sequestration, and water yield, as well as changes in the multifunctionality of their composition. The urbanization of Liaoyuan was significant in 2000–2018. The functions of the forest landscape became stronger and more stable as they were located further away from the urban edge. We refer to this pattern as the gradient effect of urbanization. Specifically, urbanization affected the investigated functions at a distance of 1000–2500 m. The FLM showed a more significant gradient effect of urbanization. The impact distance of urbanization on the FLM increased from 3000 m in 2000 to over 5000 m in 2018. This impact distance increased significantly whenever urbanization strengthened significantly (i.e., in 2005–2010 and 2015–2018). These findings are instructive for forest and urban managers working to achieve multiple Sustainable Development Goals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stability)
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23 pages, 4213 KiB  
Essay
Correlation and Community Stability Analysis of Herbaceous Plants in Dashiwei Tiankeng Group, China
by Ming Chen, Fuyan Mo, Lili Zheng, Guoliang Bin, Ziyu Zou, Peiqi Chen and Yuegui Xue
Forests 2023, 14(6), 1244; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14061244 - 15 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1311
Abstract
Studying the interspecific association and stability of herbaceous communities in different developmental stages of tiankeng is helpful to understand the relationship between tiankeng vegetation and the environment, and can provide an important theoretical basis for the protection and restoration of the karst tiankeng [...] Read more.
Studying the interspecific association and stability of herbaceous communities in different developmental stages of tiankeng is helpful to understand the relationship between tiankeng vegetation and the environment, and can provide an important theoretical basis for the protection and restoration of the karst tiankeng ecosystem. In this study, the herbaceous community of the Dashiwei Tiankeng Group in Guangxi was studied to analyze the interspecific relationships and community stability of herbaceous plants in four different habitats (the earlier stage, middle stage, late stage and the external forest of tiankeng), and to explore whether the herbaceous community structure gradually stabilized with the development of tiankeng. The variance ratio (VR), X2 test, association coefficient (JI) and the Spearman rank correlation coefficient test were used to analyze the interspecific association of the main herbaceous plants in different developmental stages of tiankeng. The stability of the herbaceous community was analyzed by the stability measurement method of M. Godron. The results showed that: (1) the logarithm of the middle stage of tiankeng negatively correlated species was the highest (56.7%), and the logarithm of the later stage of tiankeng positively correlated species was the highest (57.2%). The positive and negative correlation ratio of main herbs decreased first and then increased, indicating that the middle stage of development was the period of high competition among herbs and the biggest difference in resource utilization. The ecological habits of herbaceous plants will be changed from sciophiles to hygrophytes to heliophiles and drought-enduring plants. (2) The earlier stage and middle stage of tiankeng overall relevance had a significant negative correlation, the later stage and external forest of tiankeng overall correlation were not significant positive correlation, and the X2 test and the Spearman rank correlation coefficient of different developmental stages of tiankeng most major herbaceous species were not significant correlation, suggesting that the major herbs in tiankengs had weak association and strong independence. (3) The distance from the intersection point to the stable point (20, 80) was 19.799, 17.867, 18.922 and 17.706, respectively, of the four regression models of tiankengs herb community, which further indicated that the forest herb layers were in an unstable state. The forest outside is relatively more stable than the herbaceous community inside the tiankeng. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stability)
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