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Special Issue "Interactions Matter — Complex Effects of Competition, Disturbances, and Climate on Tree Growth"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Giorgio Vacchiano

Università degli Studi di Milano, DISAA Via Celoria 2, 20143 Milan, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Forest dynamics; Forest management; Simulation modelling; Climate change; Natural disturbances
Guest Editor
Dr. Daniele Castagneri

Università degli Studi di Padova, TESAF Via dell’Università 16, 35020 Legnaro PD, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +39 0498272752
Interests: Dendrochronology; Wood anatomy; Ecophysiology; Forest dynamics; Stand structure

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Tree growth is the keystone ecological process that shapes forest ecosystem structure and drives the provision of ecosystem services to humans by the world forests. Decades of dendroecological research have showed how several biotic and abiotic factors, such as climate, stand dynamics, natural disturbances, and forest management, affect tree development and regulate growth rates. Traditionally, such factors have been analyzed one at a time, while controlling for confounding interactions. However, an increasing body of literature has demonstrated that when two of more factors are taken into account (e.g., by analyzing the effect of competition on growth response to climate), their action is compounded in a non-linear way, generating indirect, threshold, or emergent tipping-point processes.

We now encourage all researchers to contribute to a special issue of the journal Forests that focuses on tree growth response to multiple, interacting factors. Studies using a suite of dendrochronological variables (ring width, wood density, xylem anatomical features, and stable isotopes) are welcome, as long as they investigate the effect of interacting exogenous factors on elements of tree growth. Both retrospective studies and simulation of future growth (validated by dendrochronological techniques) are suitable for the Special issue. The issue will contribute to the advancement of dendrochronology and forest ecology knowledge, helping researchers globally to better understand tree growth patterns and processes under the simultaneous influence of multiple drivers. This will improve our capacity to model forest growth, use tree rings as accurate proxies for ecological and climatic processes, and develop management practices and strategies to face climate change.

Dr. Giorgio Vacchiano
Dr. Daniele Castagneri
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.


  • Tree growth
  • Dendrochronology
  • Dendroecology
  • Xylem anatomy
  • Stable isotopes
  • Natural disturbances
  • Competition Forest management
  • Climate change
  • Extreme events
  • Drought
  • Simulation models

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Relationships between Tree Age and Climate Sensitivity of Radial Growth in Different Drought Conditions of Qilian Mountains, Northwestern China
Forests 2018, 9(3), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9030135
Received: 16 January 2018 / Revised: 4 March 2018 / Accepted: 6 March 2018 / Published: 12 March 2018
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (10940 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
The response of radial growth to climate and the climate sensitivity of tree growth at different ages in different drought conditions are essential for predicting forest dynamics and making correct forest management policies. In this study, we analyzed the growth responsiveness of Picea [...] Read more.
The response of radial growth to climate and the climate sensitivity of tree growth at different ages in different drought conditions are essential for predicting forest dynamics and making correct forest management policies. In this study, we analyzed the growth responsiveness of Picea crassifolia Kom. to climate and explored the relationship between age and climate sensitivity of radial growth at the individual tree scale in the wetter eastern area and drier western area of the Qilian Mountains. Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated between the chronology of each tree and climatic factors to examine the climate-growth relationships. Linear fitting, quadratic polynomial fitting and exponential fitting were used to test the relationships between age and mean sensitivity, standard deviation and radial growth’s response to climate. Trees in the wetter eastern area showed a weaker response to climate than those in the drier western area and were significantly correlated with precipitation and mean temperature in the previous and current mid-late summer. Trees in the drier western area were mainly limited by precipitation of the previous August, the current May and June, as well as limited by temperature in the previous and current early-middle summer. In the wetter area, the younger trees were more sensitive to both precipitation and temperature than the older trees. In the drier area, younger/older trees showed a stronger sensitivity to precipitation in the current August and September/May, whereas trees 120–140 years old showed a stronger correlation with temperature factors in the summer. It was determined that mature trees in the drier area were more strongly influenced by the climate, especially in the context of increasing temperature. These trees should be paid special attention in forest management. Full article

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