Special Issue "Importance of Genetic Diversity for Forest and Landscape Restoration"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 25 October 2022 | Viewed by 3106

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Heino Konrad
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Federal Research and Training Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards and Landscape, Seckendorff-Gudent-Weg 8, A-1131 Vienna, Austria
Interests: conservation genetics; forest genetics; population genetics
Dr. Konrad Celiński
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Department of Genetics, Institute of Experimental Biology, Faculty of Biology, School of Natural Sciences, Adam Mickiewicz University, Uniwersytetu Poznańskiego 6, 61-614 Poznań, Poland
Interests: population genetics; conservation genetics; phylogenetic analysis; barcoding DNA, taxonomic puzzles, closely related taxa

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The importance of forests as cornerstone terrestrial ecosystems to mitigate the impacts of climate change is generally accepted. The stability of these ecosystems will have a decisive part in the current struggle to improve and conserve biodiversity as the basis of welfare for humankind. Forest tree species are the basic components of the whole ecosystem; their genetic diversity, in turn, is the basis of ecosystems’ resilience. Anthropogenic influence on forest ecosystems, notably the fragmentation of hitherto continuous populations, is endangering the genetic diversity and long-term resilience of forest ecosystems worldwide. Forest and landscape restoration tackles the issue of fragmentation by re-planting deforested and devastated land, but in many cases, the procurement of forest reproductive material of sufficient genetic diversity is either neglected or creating obstacles for proper implementation. In this Special Issue, we encourage the submission of papers on all topics related to the recruitment of forest reproductive material for forest and landscape restoration, especially on lesser studied species of currently low economic importance, papers on gene flow and the effects of fragmentation on seed set and seed quality, as well as papers dealing with the practical implementation of forest restoration with seed and plant material of sufficient genetic diversity, and the effect of the planting material on the success of the respective restoration measure.

Dr. Heino Konrad
Prof. Dr. Konrad Celiński
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 2000 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

  • forest restoration
  • landscape restoration
  • genetic diversity
  • tree species
  • fragmentation
  • gene flow
  • seed production
  • nurseries
  • masting

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
The Jujube TCP Transcription Factor ZjTCP16 Regulates Plant Growth and Cell Size by Affecting the Expression of Genes Involved in Plant Morphogenesis
Forests 2022, 13(5), 723; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13050723 - 05 May 2022
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Abstract
Jujube production is threatened by jujube witches’ broom (JWB) disease, which is caused by JWB phytoplasma. The jujube TCP transcription factor (TF) ZjTCP16 may be involved in the interaction of jujube plants with JWB phytoplasma. In this study, qRT-PCR proved that the expression [...] Read more.
Jujube production is threatened by jujube witches’ broom (JWB) disease, which is caused by JWB phytoplasma. The jujube TCP transcription factor (TF) ZjTCP16 may be involved in the interaction of jujube plants with JWB phytoplasma. In this study, qRT-PCR proved that the expression pattern of ZjTCP16 was altered by JWB phytoplasma. The gene functions of ZjTCP16 were analyzed by its overexpression in Arabidopsis and jujube, as well as knock-down in. The overexpression of ZjTCP16 in Arabidopsis and jujube resulted in dwarfism and small leaves, while the zjtcp16 CRISPR mutants were higher than the WT. Microscopic observation of paraffin sections of jujube stems showed that ZjTCP16 affected the size of cells. The interactions of ZjTCP16 with ZjAS2 and ZjLOB in both the cytoplasm and nucleus were demonstrated by yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) and bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) assays. Yeast one-hybrid (Y1H) assays and qRT-PCR further confirmed that ZjTCP16 affected the expression of genes involved in leaf morphogenesis and cell proliferation (ZjAS1, ZjKNAT1, ZjKNAT2 and ZjKNAT6) at the mRNA level through the ZjAS2 and ZjLOB pathways. In conclusion, ZjTCP16 regulates plant growth and cell size by altering the expression pattern of morphogenesis-related genes in jujube. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Importance of Genetic Diversity for Forest and Landscape Restoration)
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Article
Population Differentiation in Acer platanoides L. at the Regional Scale—Laying the Basis for Effective Conservation of Its Genetic Resources in Austria
Forests 2022, 13(4), 552; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13040552 - 31 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 637
Abstract
Norway maple (Acer platanoides L.) is a widespread forest tree species in Central and Northern Europe but with a scattered distribution. In the debate on climate change driven changes in species selection in the forest, Norway maple has recently received raised interest [...] Read more.
Norway maple (Acer platanoides L.) is a widespread forest tree species in Central and Northern Europe but with a scattered distribution. In the debate on climate change driven changes in species selection in the forest, Norway maple has recently received raised interest because of its comparatively high drought resistance (higher than in sycamore maple). Therefore, it is an interesting species for sites high in carbonates and where other native tree species have become devastated by pathogens (e.g., elm, ash). In Austria, the demand on saplings is currently rising, while there is only very little domestic reproductive material available (on average more than 95% of saplings are imported from neighboring countries). This study was undertaken to identify genetic diversity and population structure of Norway maple in Austria to lay the foundation for the establishment of respective in situ and ex situ conservation measures. In addition, samples from planted stands and imported reproductive material from other countries were included to study the anthropogenic influence on the species in managed forests. We used 11 novel microsatellites to genotype 756 samples from 27 putatively natural Austrian populations, and 186 samples derived from two planted stands and five lots of forest reproductive material; in addition, 106 samples from other European populations were also genotyped. Cross species amplification of the new markers was tested in 19 Acer species from around the world. Population clustering by STRUCTURE analysis revealed a distinct pattern of population structure in Austria and Europe, but overall moderate differentiation. Sibship analysis identifies several populations with severe founding effects, highlighting the need for proper selection of seed sources of sufficient genetic diversity in the species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Importance of Genetic Diversity for Forest and Landscape Restoration)
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Article
Genetic Diversity Maximization as a Strategy for Resilient Forest Ecosystems: A Case Study on Norway Spruce
Forests 2022, 13(3), 489; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13030489 - 21 Mar 2022
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Abstract
Norway spruce, economically and ecologically one of the most important European forest tree species, rapidly declines due to massive bark beetle outbreaks across many countries. As a prerequisite of ecosystem stability facing climate changes of uncertain predictions, the reforestation management promoting locally adapted [...] Read more.
Norway spruce, economically and ecologically one of the most important European forest tree species, rapidly declines due to massive bark beetle outbreaks across many countries. As a prerequisite of ecosystem stability facing climate changes of uncertain predictions, the reforestation management promoting locally adapted resources of broad genetic diversity should be prioritized, especially in nature conservation areas. In our case study carried out in the national park, Krkonoše Mountains (the Giant Mountains, the Czech Republic), we demonstrated a tree breeding strategy aiming at maximizing genetic diversity. More than four hundred unique Norway spruce accessions were genotyped on 15 microsatellite loci (Ne = 5.764, I = 1.713 and He = 0.685). Two core collection selection approaches were proposed to establish a new deployment population providing local gene sources of high genetic diversity. Namely, the Core Hunter selection algorithm, with average entry-to-nearest-entry distance (EN) optimization, was applied to identify the most diverse core collection set with the highest genetic diversity parameters obtained for 57 selected individuals (Ne = 6.507, I = 1.807, and He = 0.731). The latter core collection method proposed is innovative, based on choosing appropriate genotypes from a clustered heatmap. For simplicity, we demonstrated the principle of selection strategy on a reduced dataset. It is vital to promote panmixia of a newly established production population from a core collection to complete the conservation breeding effort. Thus, we demonstrated the utilization of the Optimum Neighborhood Algorithm (ONA) deployment that outperformed other deployment algorithms, especially in the case of balanced clone representation and uneven shapes of planting plots. We believe that the case study presented can be generalized and considered as a guideline for analogical tree breeding intentions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Importance of Genetic Diversity for Forest and Landscape Restoration)
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Article
Genetic Diversity Analysis and Potential Distribution Prediction of Sophora moorcroftiana Endemic to Qinghai–Tibet Plateau, China
Forests 2021, 12(8), 1106; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12081106 - 18 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 654
Abstract
Sophora moorcroftiana (Benth.) Baker is an endemic woody species distributed in the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau (QTP), a part of the world characterized by high altitude and cold weather. In this study, the genetic diversity of S. moorcroftiana was evaluated based on 300 representative samples [...] Read more.
Sophora moorcroftiana (Benth.) Baker is an endemic woody species distributed in the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau (QTP), a part of the world characterized by high altitude and cold weather. In this study, the genetic diversity of S. moorcroftiana was evaluated based on 300 representative samples of 15 populations using 20 polymorphic SSR markers, and its potential distribution was predicted according to 19 bioclimatic factors using MaxEnt modeling. Results showed the population genetic diversity of S. moorcroftiana was generally not high (around 0.5), and the range of variation was small (0.437–0.539). Altitude, rather than other environmental factors, was the key factor affecting the present genetic diversity. Moreover, due to climate change in the QTP, the suitable area is increasing and will continue to increase by 48.35%, 84.44%, 101.98%, and 107.30% in the four future periods of 2030s, 2050s, 2070s, and 2090s, respectively, compared to the present, which is beneficial for S. moorcroftiana. These results will provide a theoretical basis for the development of germplasm conservation strategies for S. moorcroftiana and enrich information on the impacts of climate change on plants in the QTP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Importance of Genetic Diversity for Forest and Landscape Restoration)
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