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Special Issue "Impacts of Nonnative Species on the Health of Natural and Planted Forests"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2019)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Qinfeng Guo

USDA FS Southern Research station, 3041 Cornwallis Rd., Research Triangle Park, NC, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: community ecology; biogeography; biodiversity; biological invasions
Guest Editor
Dr. Kevin Potter

North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: landscape genetics; evolutionary ecology; forest tree population genetics; gene conservation; landscape ecology; biodiversity; forest health; invasive species
Guest Editor
Dr. Kurt Riitters

USDA Forest Service, 3041 Cornwallis Rd., Research Triangle Park, NC, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: forest health monitoring, analysis, and assessment; landscape pattern assessment, modeling and mapping landscape pattern resilience and vulnerability
Guest Editor
Dr. Frank H. Koch

USDA Forest Service, 3041 East Cornwallis Road, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: biological invasions; pest risk modeling and analysis; human-mediated dispersal; impact modeling; urban forest health

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Despite conservation efforts, most forest ecosystems worldwide are greatly affected by global change including through biotic invasions, but the impacts are uneven across different regions and forest types around the globe. The relative contribution of the main causes of biotic invasions such as propagule pressure (e.g., due to human population, travel/trade), climate and land use, and habitat invasibility remain uncertain. This Special Issue aims to examine the following: (1) the impacts of nonnative species (measured as level of invasions) in various forest ecosystems (e.g., natural vs. planted) of the world; and (2) the contributions of management (harvesting, fire, and grazing), biotic factors (diversity and invasibility), human activity, and climate change to invasion. Additionally, we will focus on nonnative plant and animal (e.g., pests and mammals) co-invasions (i.e., cross-trophic levels) in forest systems. The findings will help identify invasion hotspots and causes, and inform policy makers to develop adaptive strategies to effectively practice prevention, early detection/eradication, and better management. The goal of this Special Issue is to facilitate timely communications among scientists and managers in different regions to make future invasion control more effective and ultimately to improve forest health and maintain long-term sustainability.

Dr. Qinfeng Guo
Dr. Kevin Potter
Dr. Kurt Riitters
Dr. Frank H. Koch
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

  • Cross-trophic invasions
  • Natural vs. planted forests
  • Invasion hotspots
  • Invasion pathways/drivers
  • Invasion control and management

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Effects of Prescribed Fire, Site Factors, and Seed Sources on the Spread of Invasive Triadica sebifera in a Fire-Managed Coastal Landscape in Southeastern Mississippi, USA
Forests 2019, 10(2), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10020175
Received: 27 January 2019 / Revised: 15 February 2019 / Accepted: 15 February 2019 / Published: 19 February 2019
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Abstract
In the Gulf of Mexico coastal region, prescribed fire has been increasingly used as a management tool to restore declining native ecosystems, but it also increases the threat posed by biological invasion, since the treated sites are more susceptible to invasive species such [...] Read more.
In the Gulf of Mexico coastal region, prescribed fire has been increasingly used as a management tool to restore declining native ecosystems, but it also increases the threat posed by biological invasion, since the treated sites are more susceptible to invasive species such as Chinese tallow (Triadica sebifera). We chose Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge (MSCNWR), a fire-managed landscape, to examine the potential effect of prescribed fire and landscape/community features on tallow invasion and spread. We took a complete survey of roadways and fire lines for tallow and measured a systematic sample of 144 10 × 3 m2 rectangular plots along two selected roadways and a simple random sample of 56 0.04-ha circular plots across burn units. We used pair correlation function for marked point pattern data, zero-inflated negative binomial models for count data, as well as multivariate Hotelling’s T2 test, to analyze the effect of prescribed fire and landscape/community characteristics on tallow invasion and spread along habitat edges and into interiors. Our results show that tallow spread along habitat edges and into interiors in a spatially clustered pattern. Tallow invasion risk decreases with the distance to seed trees and shrub coverage, and with the time since last fire if seed trees are outside the effective seed dispersal range (~300 m), but increases with the time since last fire if seed trees are within the effective seed dispersal range. Tallow seedling (≤2 years old) densities increase with the time since last fire and with increasing overstory tree basal area, but decrease with the distance to seed trees. Tallow-invaded interior plots have significantly shorter mean fire return intervals (2.7 years), lower shrub coverage (8.6%), and are closer to edges (20.3 m) than non-invaded plots (4.3 years, 18.4%, 167.6 m, respectively). Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Invasive Spartina alterniflora Loisel. and Subsequent Ecological Replacement by Sonneratia apetala Buch.-Ham. on Soil Organic Carbon Fractions and Stock
Forests 2019, 10(2), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10020171
Received: 29 December 2018 / Revised: 12 February 2019 / Accepted: 14 February 2019 / Published: 17 February 2019
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Abstract
Background and Objectives: The rapid spread of invasive Spartina alterniflora Loisel. in the mangrove ecosystems of China was reduced using Sonneratia apetala Buch.-Ham. as an ecological replacement. Here, we studied the effects of invasion and ecological replacement using S. apetala on soil organic [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The rapid spread of invasive Spartina alterniflora Loisel. in the mangrove ecosystems of China was reduced using Sonneratia apetala Buch.-Ham. as an ecological replacement. Here, we studied the effects of invasion and ecological replacement using S. apetala on soil organic carbon fractions and stock on Qi’ao Island. Materials and Methods: Seven sites, including unvegetated mudflat and S. alterniflora, rehabilitated mangroves with different ages (one, six, and 10 years) and mature native Kandelia obovata Sheue, Liu, and Yong areas were selected in this study. Samples in the top 50 cm of soil were collected and then different fractions of organic carbon, including the total organic carbon (TOC), particulate organic carbon (POC), soil water dissolved carbon (DOC) and microbial biomass carbon (MBC), and the total carbon stock were measured and calculated. Results: The growth of S. alterniflora and mangroves significantly increased the soil TOC, POC, and MBC levels when compared to the mudflat. S. alterniflora had the highest soil DOC contents at 0–10 cm and 20–30 cm and the one-year restored mangroves had the highest MBC content. S. alterniflora and mangroves both had higher soil total carbon pools than the mudflat. Conclusions: The invasive S. alterniflora and young S. apetala forests had significantly lower soil TOC and POC contents and total organic carbon than the mature K. obovata on Qi’ao Island. These results indicate that ecological replacement methods can enhance long term carbon storage in Spartina-invaded ecosystems and native mangrove species are recommended. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Iterative Models for Early Detection of Invasive Species across Spread Pathways
Forests 2019, 10(2), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10020108
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 20 December 2018 / Accepted: 21 December 2018 / Published: 29 January 2019
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Abstract
Species distribution models can be used to direct early detection of invasive species, if they include proxies for invasion pathways. Due to the dynamic nature of invasion, these models violate assumptions of stationarity across space and time. To compensate for issues of stationarity, [...] Read more.
Species distribution models can be used to direct early detection of invasive species, if they include proxies for invasion pathways. Due to the dynamic nature of invasion, these models violate assumptions of stationarity across space and time. To compensate for issues of stationarity, we iteratively update regionalized species distribution models annually for European gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar dispar) to target early detection surveys for the USDA APHIS gypsy moth program. We defined regions based on the distances from the invasion spread front where shifts in variable importance occurred and included models for the non-quarantine portion of the state of Maine, a short-range region, an intermediate region, and a long-range region. We considered variables that represented potential gypsy moth movement pathways within each region, including transportation networks, recreational activities, urban characteristics, and household movement data originating from gypsy moth infested areas (U.S. Postal Service address forwarding data). We updated the models annually, linked the models to an early detection survey design, and validated the models for the following year using predicted risk at new positive detection locations. Human-assisted pathways data, such as address forwarding, became increasingly important predictors of gypsy moth detection in the intermediate-range geographic model as more predictor data accumulated over time (relative importance = 5.9%, 17.36%, and 35.76% for 2015, 2016, and 2018, respectively). Receiver operating curves showed increasing performance for iterative annual models (area under the curve (AUC) = 0.63, 0.76, and 0.84 for 2014, 2015, and 2016 models, respectively), and boxplots of predicted risk each year showed increasing accuracy and precision of following year positive detection locations. The inclusion of human-assisted pathway predictors combined with the strategy of iterative modeling brings significant advantages to targeting early detection of invasive species. We present the first published example of iterative species distribution modeling for invasive species in an operational context. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Occurrence of the Invasive Bark Beetle Phloeosinus aubei on Common Juniper Trees in the Czech Republic
Forests 2019, 10(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10010012
Received: 28 November 2018 / Revised: 20 December 2018 / Accepted: 20 December 2018 / Published: 25 December 2018
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Abstract
The small cypress bark beetle Phloeosinus aubei is considered an invasive pest in several central European countries, and we have determined its current distribution on common juniper trees (Juniperus communis) in the Czech Republic. The results indicated that P. aubei is [...] Read more.
The small cypress bark beetle Phloeosinus aubei is considered an invasive pest in several central European countries, and we have determined its current distribution on common juniper trees (Juniperus communis) in the Czech Republic. The results indicated that P. aubei is widely distributed in the country but is more common in the east than in the west. The beetle was mainly detected on older, damaged trees and on stems with diameters > 3 cm. The apparently widespread and abundant populations of P. aubei could explain infestations of the beetle on Thuja spp. and Juniperus spp. in gardens (three confirmed cases during the last 10 years). We consider P. aubei to be a potential pest on older, naturally occurring J. communis in protected areas where its population density could increase on weakened and damaged trees. We suggest that P. aubei can be monitored via simple inspection of dying and dead J. communis trees in the field. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Subcontinental Analysis of Forest Fragmentation Effects on Insect and Disease Invasion
Forests 2018, 9(12), 744; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9120744
Received: 24 October 2018 / Revised: 16 November 2018 / Accepted: 27 November 2018 / Published: 29 November 2018
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Abstract
The influences of human and physical factors on species invasions have been extensively examined by ecologists across many regions. However, how habitat fragmentation per se may affect forest insect and disease invasion has not been well studied, especially the related patterns over regional [...] Read more.
The influences of human and physical factors on species invasions have been extensively examined by ecologists across many regions. However, how habitat fragmentation per se may affect forest insect and disease invasion has not been well studied, especially the related patterns over regional or subcontinental scales. Here, using national survey data on forest pest richness and fragmentation data across United States forest ecosystems, we examine how forest fragmentation and edge types (neighboring land cover) may affect pest richness at the county level. Our results show that habitat fragmentation and edge types both affected pest richness. In general, specialist insects and pathogens were more sensitive to fragmentation and edge types than generalists, while pathogens were much less sensitive to fragmentation and edge types than insect pests. Most importantly, the developed land edge type contributed the most to the richness of nonnative insects and diseases, whether measured by the combination of all pest species or by separate guilds or species groups (i.e., generalists vs. specialists, insects vs. pathogens). This observation may largely reflect anthropogenic effects, including propagule pressure associated with human activities. These results shed new insights into the patterns of forest pest invasions, and it may have significant implications for forest restoration and management. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Exposure of Protected and Unprotected Forest to Plant Invasions in the Eastern United States
Forests 2018, 9(11), 723; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9110723
Received: 24 October 2018 / Revised: 14 November 2018 / Accepted: 17 November 2018 / Published: 20 November 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1855 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Research Highlights: We demonstrate a macroscale framework combining an invasibility model with forest inventory data, and evaluate regional forest exposure to harmful invasive plants under different types of forest protection. Background and Objectives: Protected areas are a fundamental component of natural [...] Read more.
Research Highlights: We demonstrate a macroscale framework combining an invasibility model with forest inventory data, and evaluate regional forest exposure to harmful invasive plants under different types of forest protection. Background and Objectives: Protected areas are a fundamental component of natural resource conservation. The exposure of protected forests to invasive plants can impede achievement of conservation goals, and the effectiveness of protection for limiting forest invasions is uncertain. We conducted a macroscale assessment of the exposure of protected and unprotected forests to harmful invasive plants in the eastern United States. Materials and Methods: Invasibility (the probability that a forest site has been invaded) was estimated for 82,506 inventory plots from site and landscape attributes. The invaded forest area was estimated by using the inventory sample design to scale up plot invasibility estimates to all forest area. We compared the invasibility and the invaded forest area of seven categories of protection with that of de facto protected (publicly owned) forest and unprotected forest in 13 ecological provinces. Results: We estimate approximately 51% of the total forest area has been exposed to harmful invasive plants, including 30% of the protected forest, 38% of the de facto protected forest, and 56% of the unprotected forest. Based on cumulative invasibility, the relative exposure of protection categories depended on the assumed invasibility threshold. Based on the invaded forest area, the five least-exposed protection categories were wilderness area (13% invaded), national park (18%), sustainable use (26%), nature reserve (31%), and de facto protected Federal land (36%). Of the total uninvaded forest area, only 15% was protected and 14% had de facto protection. Conclusions: Any protection is better than none, and public ownership alone is as effective as some types of formal protection. Since most of the remaining uninvaded forest area is unprotected, landscape-level management strategies will provide the most opportunities to conserve it. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Red Palm Weevil in the City of Bari: A First Damage Assessment
Forests 2018, 9(8), 452; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9080452
Received: 11 June 2018 / Revised: 17 July 2018 / Accepted: 23 July 2018 / Published: 26 July 2018
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Abstract
Phoenix canariensis Chabaud (Canary Palm) is one of the most distinctive landscape elements of several coastal urban centers in Italy. However, over the past few years, international trade has increased the risk of the introduction of Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Red Palm Weevil) in the [...] Read more.
Phoenix canariensis Chabaud (Canary Palm) is one of the most distinctive landscape elements of several coastal urban centers in Italy. However, over the past few years, international trade has increased the risk of the introduction of Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Red Palm Weevil) in the country, causing the death of numerous plants. In this work we assessed the damage caused by the insect to Canary Palm in the City of Bari, Apulia Region, furnishing useful information to decision makers and communities for proper preservation measures in favor of this important urban-green resource. The findings shed light on effective and efficient spending strategies of public funds for urban green inside areas affected by the Red Palm Weevil, also based on cost-benefit approaches. Full article
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