Nonantecedent Stress Impacts on Forest Ecosystems

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 February 2021) | Viewed by 2704

Special Issue Editor

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Guest Editor
USDA Forest Service, 3041 E. Cornwallis Dr., Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA
Interests: extreme climatic events; disturbances
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The climate and climate variability are changing in ways that have not been experienced in human history. Extremes and shifts in, for example, precipitation and air temperature are in turn impacting fire risk, storm intensity, insect and disease outbreaks, and other forest perturbations.  Climate has always influenced ecosystem stress, but the extent and severity of stress is becoming increasingly more unprecedented (i.e., nonantecedent). These nonantecedent impacts are particularly difficult to predict, because, by their very nature, there has been no previous example on which to base a forecast of risk. This Special Issue of Forests will present a series of example papers where unique combinations of antecedent and nonantecedent factors (e.g., drought, wind, fire, and flood) combine to produce a nonantecedent event (e.g., a unique shift in forest ecosystem structure or function). All forest-ecosystem-related studies (e.g., fisheries, insect, vegetation, and megafauna) that result in unique or unexpected findings will be appropriate for this Special Issue. The objective of the Special Issue is to begin collecting examples of nonantecedent forest ecosystem occurrences with the goal of developing a pattern that would allow for the development of tools to make nonantecedent events more predictable.

Dr. Steven McNulty
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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  • Forest function
  • Forest structure
  • Ecosystem
  • Nonantecedent
  • Extreme
  • Unprecedented
  • Disturbance
  • Unique
  • Disturbance
  • Forest management.

Published Papers (1 paper)

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14 pages, 2922 KiB  
Short-Term Dynamics of Vegetation Diversity and Aboveground Biomass of Picea abies (L.) H. Karst. Forests after Heavy Windstorm Disturbance
by František Máliš, Bohdan Konôpka, Vladimír Šebeň, Jozef Pajtík and Katarína Merganičová
Forests 2021, 12(1), 97; - 17 Jan 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2298
Although forest disturbances have become more frequent and severe due to ongoing climate change, our understanding of post-disturbance development of vegetation and tree–herb layer interactions remains limited. An extreme windstorm, which occurred on 19 November 2004, destroyed Picea abies (L.) H. Karst dominated [...] Read more.
Although forest disturbances have become more frequent and severe due to ongoing climate change, our understanding of post-disturbance development of vegetation and tree–herb layer interactions remains limited. An extreme windstorm, which occurred on 19 November 2004, destroyed Picea abies (L.) H. Karst dominated forests in the High Tatra Mts. Here, we studied short-term changes in diversity, species composition, and aboveground biomass of trees and herb layer vegetation, including mutual relationships that elucidate tree–herb interactions during post-disturbance succession. Assessment of species composition and tree biomass measurements were performed at 50 sample plots (4 × 4 m) along two transects 12, 14, and 16 years after the forest destruction. Heights and stem base diameters of about 730 trees were measured and subsequently used for the calculation of aboveground tree biomass using species-specific allometric relationships. Aboveground biomass of herb layer was quantified at 300 subplots (20 × 20 cm) by destructive sampling. Species richness and spatial vegetation heterogeneity did not significantly change, and species composition exhibited small changes in accordance with expected successional trajectories. While aboveground tree biomass increased by about 190%, biomass of annual herb shoots decreased by about 68% and biomass of perennial herb shoots was stable during the studied period. The contribution of trees to total aboveground biomass increased from 83% to 97%. After 16 years of forest stands recovery, tree biomass represented approximately 13% of forest biomass before the disturbance. Herb layer biomass, particularly the biomass of annual herb shoots, was more closely related to tree cover than to tree biomass and its decline could be assigned to gradual tree growth. Our study provides clear evidence that short-term successional processes in post-disturbance vegetation are much better detectable by biomass than by diversity or compositional measures and emphasized the importance of light conditions in tree–herb competitive interactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nonantecedent Stress Impacts on Forest Ecosystems)
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