Special Issue "Enhancing Forest Productivity, Value, and Health through Silviculture in a Changing World"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Nelson Thiffault
Website
Guest Editor
Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, Natural Resources Canada, Quebec, Quebec, G1V 4C7, Canada
Interests: silviculture; reforestation; regeneration; boreal forest; plantation; vegetation management; site preparation; stock type; competition; nutrition; conifers
Dr. Brad Pinno
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2E3, Canada
Interests: silviculture; trembling aspen; seedling establishment; site preparation; forest soil; forest ecology; enhanced forest management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Global change is inducing important stresses to forests worldwide. For example, increases in the frequency and intensity of drought events and invasions by new exotic invasive plants and insects have started to modify forest dynamics, including regeneration, recruitment, and growth, with significant effects on the provision of ecosystem services. Meanwhile, the world population is exerting a growing pressure on forest ecosystems as a source of materials supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy. Silviculture, the art and science of controlling the establishment, growth, composition, and quality of forest vegetation to achieve management objectives, offers the opportunity to create and maintain forest ecosystems that can meet these challenges. There is a vibrant need to conduct and disseminate silviculture research that provides the knowledge required to favor the resistance, resilience, or transition of forest ecosystems in the face of climate change.

This Special Issue of Forests is focused on silviculture. We invite the submission of review papers or research articles that focus on any functions of silviculture (regeneration, stand tending, and harvesting) or their combinations, including, but not restricted to the development of new silviculture treatments that will help to adapt forests to climate change, interactions between silviculture and climate, site characteristics, genetics, and biotic pressures, such as browsing or diseases. Studies with a focus on the development of planting material (e.g., species, stock type) or other aspects of forest management (e.g., enhanced forest inventories, wood quality, social license, modeling) should include interactions with silvicultural treatments or systems (e.g., site preparation, fertilization, vegetation management, partial harvest).

Dr. Nelson Thiffault
Dr. Brad Pinno
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. 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.

Keywords

  • Regeneration
  • Plantation
  • Stand restoration
  • Site preparation
  • Fertilization
  • Vegetation management
  • Thinning
  • Harvesting
  • Partial harvesting

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Effects of Mechanical Site Preparation on Microsite Availability and Growth of Planted Black Spruce in Canadian Paludified Forests
Forests 2019, 10(8), 670; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10080670 - 08 Aug 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Low productivity caused by paludification in some parts of the closed black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) B.S.P) dominated boreal forest threatens the provision of ecosystem services, including wood fiber production. The accumulation, over time, of organic matter in paludified soils leads to [...] Read more.
Low productivity caused by paludification in some parts of the closed black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) B.S.P) dominated boreal forest threatens the provision of ecosystem services, including wood fiber production. The accumulation, over time, of organic matter in paludified soils leads to an anaerobic environment that reduces microbial activity, decelerates decomposition of organic matter, and generates nutrient-poor microsites for regeneration. Consequently, it results in significant impacts on site productivity. Considering its ability to disturb the soil, mechanical site preparation (MSP) is viewed as a potential treatment that can help restore productivity of paludified sites following harvesting. We conducted a field experiment to verify if (1) the availability of microsites conducive to reforestation varies with MSP, microtopography (slope and aspect) and initial OLT conditions; (2) the growth of planted seedlings depends on the intensity of mechanical disturbance of the organic layer, type of microsite, planting density, presence of Ericaceae, and the planting position and depth; (3) there are direct and indirect causal relationships between microsites availability after MSP, OLT, microtopography, planting quality and seedlings growth; and (4) if mechanical site preparation and microsite type exposed affect the Ericaceae cover after planting. Our results confirmed that MSP is effective in establishing conditions that permit a productive regeneration cohort on these paludified sites. To ensure successful establishment of plantations on these sites, it is necessary, however, to distinguish between those that are slightly or moderately paludified from those that are highly paludified, as treatment effectiveness of different MSP types depends on organic layer thickness. Our results also show that preference should be given to some microsite types as clay and mixed-substrate microsites for planting to ensure sufficient availability of water and nutrients for seedlings. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Timing is Not Everything: Assessing the Efficacy of Pre- Versus Post-Harvest Herbicide Applications in Mitigating the Burgeoning Birch Phenomenon in Regenerating Hardwood Stands
Forests 2019, 10(4), 324; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10040324 - 11 Apr 2019
Abstract
Sweet birch (Betula lenta L.) is aggressively recruiting in temperate forest understories of the eastern United States and often dominates the post-disturbance seedling community, diminishing diversity and hindering sustainable silviculture. The type and timing of silvicultural actions affect birch recruitment via their [...] Read more.
Sweet birch (Betula lenta L.) is aggressively recruiting in temperate forest understories of the eastern United States and often dominates the post-disturbance seedling community, diminishing diversity and hindering sustainable silviculture. The type and timing of silvicultural actions affect birch recruitment via their effects on seedling recruitment, survival, and growth. Here, we examine birch regeneration under two contrasting treatment sequences: pre- versus post-shelterwood harvest herbicide application (H–S vs. S–H) in combination with white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus Zimmerman) browsing (fenced vs. unfenced) at 22 sites in northwestern Pennsylvania, USA. Additionally, we examine how treatments interact with additional site factors, including potential propagule sources and site productivity (i.e., integrated moisture index). We found the S–H sequence initially reduced birch density by 71% relative to the H–S sequence; however, the magnitude of this reduction waned over five growing seasons. Furthermore, birch proliferated following the H–S sequence only where mature birch were present. Deer browsing reduced birch height by 29% relative to fenced areas protected from browsing; however, by the fifth growing season birch seedlings were over twice as tall as other hardwood species across all treatments. Finally, increasingly mesic sites enhanced birch height growth. In sum, although post-harvest herbicide (S–H) provides short-lived control over birch, land managers should also consider browse pressure, seed source, and site productivity, as these may enhance or diminish the efficacy of post-shelterwood herbicide sequence effects on birch. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Abundance and Impacts of Competing Species on Conifer Regeneration Following Careful Logging in the Eastern Canadian Boreal Forest
Forests 2019, 10(2), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10020177 - 19 Feb 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Managing competing vegetation is crucial in stand establishment strategies; forecasting the abundance, composition, and impact of competing vegetation after harvesting is needed to optimize silviculture scenarios and maintain long-term site productivity. Our main objective was to identify factors influencing the short-term abundance and [...] Read more.
Managing competing vegetation is crucial in stand establishment strategies; forecasting the abundance, composition, and impact of competing vegetation after harvesting is needed to optimize silviculture scenarios and maintain long-term site productivity. Our main objective was to identify factors influencing the short-term abundance and composition of competing vegetation over a large area of the Canadian boreal forest. Our second objective was to better understand the mid-term evolution of the regeneration/competing vegetation complex in cases of marginal regeneration conditions. We used operational regeneration surveys of 4471 transects sampled ≈5 years after harvesting that contained data on regeneration, competing vegetation, elevation, ecological classification, soil attributes, and pre-harvest forest stands. We performed a redundancy analysis to identify the relationships between competing vegetation, harvesting and biophysical variables. We then estimated the probability of observing a given competing species cover based on these variables. In 2015, we re-sampled a portion of the sites, where conifer regeneration was marginal early after harvesting, to assess the temporal impact of different competing levels and species groups on the free-to-grow stocking, vigour and basal area of softwood regeneration. Results from the first inventory showed that, after careful logging around advance growth, ericaceous shrubs and hardwoods were not associated with the same sets of site attributes. Ericaceous shrubs were mainly found on low fertility sites associated with black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) BSP) or jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.). The distinction between suitable environments for commercial shade-intolerant hardwoods and non-commercial hardwoods was less clear, as they responded similarly to many variables. Analysis of data from the second inventory showed a significant improvement in conifer free-to-grow stocking when commercial shade-intolerant hardwood competing levels were low (stocking 0%–40%) and when ericaceous shrubs competing levels were moderate (percent cover 26%–75%). In these conditions of marginal regeneration, the different types and intensities of competition did not affect the vigour or basal area of softwood regeneration, 9–14 years after harvesting. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

  1. Title: Reforestation Options under Global Change: 25-Year Results from the Montane Alternative Silvicultural Systems (MASS)

Authors: Filipescu, C.N., and Beese, W.J.

 

  1. Title: Effects of Biophysical Factors on Tree Regeneration in Partially Harvested Boreal Mixedwood Stands

Authors: Freddy Nguema Allogo, Benoît Lafleur and Brian D. Harvey

 

  1. Title: Development of Shelterwood and Seed-Tree Systems in North-American Boreal Forests: Effects on Stand Production and Economic Value

Authors: Jean-Martin Lussier, Miguel Montoro Girona, Hubert Morin and Michel Soucis

 

  1. Title: Profitability of Commercial Thinning in Natural Black Spruce Stands in Quebec, Canada

Authors: Fifanou G. Vodouhe, Nancy Gélinas, Jean-Claude Ruel and Stéphane Tremblay

 

  1. Title: Silvicultural Options for White Spruce Establishment and Productivity in the North American Boreal Forest. [review]

Authors: Brad Pinno and Nelson Thiffault

 

  1. Title: Forest Vegetation Management in Canada: Challenges and Opportunities in a Changing World. [review]

Authors: Nelson Thiffault and Michael Hoepting

 

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