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Special Issue "Forest Invasive Species: Spread, Impact and Management"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Ari M. Hietala

Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, Dept. of Forest Health, Pb. 115, NO-1431 Ås/Vinnaveien 38, 7512 Stjørdal, Norway
Website | E-Mail
Interests: biodiversity; ecology and genetics of fungi associated with forest trees; invasive species; tree-microbe interaction

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Globalization is facilitating the movement of species around the world. An invasive species is a plant, animal, or microbe species that is not native to a specific location, and that has a tendency to spread to a degree that causes socio-cultural, economic, or environmental harm. In the absence of natural predators, competitors, and parasites, invasive species can prosper in new environments and spread at the expense of native species, affecting entire ecosystems and landscapes. The longevity and generally high maturity age of trees slow down the adaptation of forest ecosystems to new threats, such as invasive species. Once established in an area, introduced species have proven to be very difficult to eliminate. In addition to unintentionally-introduced organisms, such as harmful insects and pathogenic microbes, invasive species include also organisms deliberately introduced to gain economic, environmental, or social benefits; there are, for example, striking examples of planting of alien forest tree species that are effectively dispersing in the landscape and causing a potential threat to several ecosystems.

The goal of this Special Issue is to provide an up-to-date compilation of representative case studies that address the spread, ecological and economic impact, and strategies of control of invasive plant, animal and microbe species associated with forests.  

Dr. Ari M. Hietala
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.

Keywords

  • Best practice management
  • Biological invasions
  • Ecological and economic impacts
  • International trade

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Genetic Analyses of the Laurel Wilt Pathogen, Raffaelea lauricola, in Asia Provide Clues on the Source of the Clone that is Responsible for the Current USA Epidemic
Forests 2019, 10(1), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10010037
Received: 11 December 2018 / Revised: 21 December 2018 / Accepted: 28 December 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Laurel wilt is caused by the fungus Raffaelea lauricola T.C. Harr., Fraedrich and Aghayeva, a nutritional symbiont of its vector the redbay ambrosia beetle, Xyleborus glabratus Eichhoff. Both are native to Asia but appeared in Georgia in the early 2000s. Laurel wilt has [...] Read more.
Laurel wilt is caused by the fungus Raffaelea lauricola T.C. Harr., Fraedrich and Aghayeva, a nutritional symbiont of its vector the redbay ambrosia beetle, Xyleborus glabratus Eichhoff. Both are native to Asia but appeared in Georgia in the early 2000s. Laurel wilt has since spread to much of the southeastern United States killing >300 million host trees in the Lauraceae plant family. The aims of this research were to elucidate the genetic structure of populations of R. lauricola, to examine its reproductive strategy, and determine how often the pathogen had been introduced to the USA. A panel of 12 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers identified 15 multilocus genotypes (MLGs) in a collection of 59 isolates from the USA (34 isolates), Myanmar (18), Taiwan (6) and Japan (1). Limited diversity in the USA isolates and the presence of one MAT idiotype (mating type locus) indicated that R. lauricola was probably introduced into the country a single time. MLG diversity was far greater in Asia than the USA. Only three closely related MLGs were detected in the USA, the most prevalent of which (30 of 34 isolates) was also found in Taiwan. Although more work is needed, the present results suggest that a Taiwanese origin is possible for the population of R. lauricola in the USA. Isolates of R. lauricola from Myanmar were distinct from those from Japan, Taiwan and the USA. Although both MAT idiotypes were present in Myanmar and Taiwan, only the population from Taiwan had the genetic structure of a sexually reproducing population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Invasive Species: Spread, Impact and Management)
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Open AccessArticle Context-Dependence of Urban Forest Vegetation Invasion Level and Alien Species’ Ecological Success
Forests 2019, 10(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10010026
Received: 2 November 2018 / Revised: 29 December 2018 / Accepted: 2 January 2019 / Published: 3 January 2019
PDF Full-text (1492 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Research Highlights: Urban ecosystems are claimed to be more invaded than natural vegetation. Despite numerous studies, the patterns of alien species occurrence in urban forests are rarely linked to invasion ecology hypotheses. Background and Objectives: We assumed that patterns of invasion [...] Read more.
Research Highlights: Urban ecosystems are claimed to be more invaded than natural vegetation. Despite numerous studies, the patterns of alien species occurrence in urban forests are rarely linked to invasion ecology hypotheses. Background and Objectives: We assumed that patterns of invasion level (i.e., neophyte richness) and neophyte ecological success (cover) are context-dependent, i.e., depend on the type of vegetation, and that hypotheses connected with empty niche and biotic acceptance will have the strongest support in urban forests. We also tested biotic resistance, habitat filtering, disturbance, resource availability, and environmental heterogeneity hypotheses. Materials and Methods: Using a random forest algorithm, we tested the importance of factors related to invasion ecology hypotheses in a dataset of urban forest vegetation plots (n = 120). We studied seven types of forest plant communities occurring in Poznań (W Poland) and we assessed the vegetation’s taxonomic and functional composition. Results: We found that models of alien species richness and cover explained 28.5% and 35.0% of variance, respectively. Vegetation type was of the highest importance in both cases, suggesting that the occurrence of alien plant species is context-dependent. Resource availability and disturbance ecological indicator values were also of high importance. Conclusions: Our study supported resource availability and habitat filtering hypotheses as explanations of the level of invasion and ecological success of alien species in an urban forest, with partial support for the disturbance hypothesis. Our study revealed that predictors of invasion level are context-dependent, as patterns of alien species richness and cover differed among vegetation types. We highlight context-dependence of alien species invasion patterns in different vegetation types due to the habitat-forming role of dominant tree species and different availability of resources and disturbance levels, as well as different pools of native species. Thus, prevention and management of biological invasions in urban forests should account for forest vegetation type. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Invasive Species: Spread, Impact and Management)
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