Special Issue "Forest Adaptation and Restoration in a Changing Environment"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (5 January 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Robert Jandl
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Austrian Research Centre for Forests (BFW), Vienna, Austria
Interests: forest ecology, climate change adaptation, soil carbon dynamics.

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Forest adaptation to climate change effects is immediately needed. Forest managers have created a vision on the effects of climate change on forest ecosystems. However, there is concern that the current pace of warming and the associated change in weather patterns such as the frequency and intensity of extreme events. The IPCC is its 1.5°C report has clearly stated that human activities are responsible for global warming. Forests are particularly hit because the site conditions that define the ecological range of trees are swiftly changing. The international ambition of counteracting climate change is laudable but not yet sufficiently ambitious and will not alleviate the pressure on forests in the short term. Forests in Central Europe have been repeatedly hit by biotic damages that are linked to climate change, boreal forests are affected by wildfires to a larger extent than expected, more reports on forest damages are given from North America and concerns are raised whether the existing strategies of forest management are fully instrumental to cope with emerging challenges. Foresters need to develop and implement adaptation strategies in order to ensure that forests stay vital and continuously are able to fulfill the manifold expectations of society on forests. Functional forests are providing ecosystem services and play an important part in climate change mitigation. Silvicultural strategies are sought that increase the stability and resilience of forests. They will have repercussions on the timber market and the wood processing industries. An important aspect is the restoration of degraded forests in order to ensure that forests are lasting carbon sinks and habitats for biodiversity. Restoration of degraded ecosystems is the target of several international initiatives such as the New York Declaration on Forests (restoration of 350 million ha by 2030), land net degradation neutrality by 2030 set by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and the goals of no net biodiversity loss, and net positive impacts on biodiversity given by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). In this special issue of forests we seek reports of successful adaptation measures from different parts of the world that include a thorough problem analysis and the implementation of countermeasures. The submission of manuscripts is encouraged that cover the fields of forest ecology and forest policy.

Dr. Robert Jandl
Guest Editor

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 1800 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.


  • Adaptive forest management
  • Climate change
  • Sustainable forest management
  • Forest Restoration

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Tree-Ring Analysis Reveals Density-Dependent Vulnerability to Drought in Planted Mongolian Pines
Forests 2020, 11(1), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11010098 - 13 Jan 2020
Population density influences tree responses to environmental stresses, such as drought and high temperature. Prolonged drought negatively affects the health of Mongolian pines in forests planted by the Three-North Shelter Forest Program in North China. To understand the relationship between stand density and [...] Read more.
Population density influences tree responses to environmental stresses, such as drought and high temperature. Prolonged drought negatively affects the health of Mongolian pines in forests planted by the Three-North Shelter Forest Program in North China. To understand the relationship between stand density and drought-induced forest decline, and to generate information regarding the development of future management strategies, we analyzed the vulnerability to drought of planted Mongolian pines at three stand densities. A tree-ring width index for trees from each density was established from tree-ring data covering the period 1988–2018 and was compared for differences in radial growth. Resistance (Rt), recovery (Rc), resilience (Rs), and relative resilience (RRs) in response to drought events were calculated from the smoothed basal area increment (BAI) curves. The high-density (HDT) group showed a consistently lower tree-ring width than the border trees (BT) and low-density (LDT) groups. The BAI curve of the HDT group started to decrease five years earlier than the LDT and BT groups. Pearson correlation analysis revealed that the radial growth of all of the groups was related to precipitation, relative humidity (RH), potential evapotranspiration (ET0), and standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI) in the previous October and the most recent July, indicating that Mongolian pine trees of different densities had similar growth–climate relationships. Over the three decades, the trees experienced three severe drought events, each causing reduced tree-ring width and BAI. All of the groups showed similar Rc to each drought event, but the HDT group exhibited significantly lower Rt, Rs, and RRs than the BT group, suggesting that the HDT trees were more vulnerable to repeated drought stress. The RRs of the HDT group decreased progressively after each drought event and attained <0 after the third event. All of the groups showed similar trends regarding water consumption under varying weather conditions, but the HDT group showed significantly reduced whole-tree hydraulic capability compared with the other two groups. From these results, HDT trees exhibit ecophysiological memory effects from successive droughts, including sap flux dysfunction and higher competition index, which may prevent recovery of pre-drought growth rates. HDT trees may be at greater risk of mortality under future drought disturbance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Adaptation and Restoration in a Changing Environment)
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