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Special Issue "Natural Plant Regeneration Ecology in 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: 15 December 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Maria Calvino-Cancela

Department of Ecology and Animal Biology, University of Vigo, Vigo 36310, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Biological invasions, Conservation biology, Forest ecology, Forest management, Frugivory, Plant-animal interactions, Plant-regeneration ecology, Seed dispersal.

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Natural plant regeneration is a very important ecological process for forest ecosystems. It comprises a cycle of life stages from seeds to seedlings to adult plants and drives the succession of forest communities as well as their restoration following disturbances. It has important implications both at the population level, by determining a population growth and abundance, and at the community level, by determining the patterns of species turnover, as affected by interspecific differences in the success or timing of recruitment under different conditions. Plant regeneration thus shapes community dynamics, is essential for maintaining forest biodiversity and ecosystem functioning and, therefore, for forest conservation planning.

This Special Issue deals with all the natural processes related to plant regeneration in forest ecosystems, such as pollination, seed dispersal, seed predation, or seedling emergence and establishment. We welcome studies focusing on single species, either dominant trees or understory plants, as well as studies at the community level. Studies focused on the response of forest plant regeneration to abiotic and biotic factors typical of forest ecosystems as well as to human disturbances are especially welcome.

Prof. Dr. Maria Calvino-Cancela
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.


  • flowering
  • fruiting
  • herbivory
  • plant demography
  • pollination
  • recruitment
  • seed dispersal
  • seed germination
  • seed predation

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Converting Larch Plantations to Larch-Walnut Mixed Stands: Effects of Spatial Distribution Pattern of Larch Plantations on the Rodent-Mediated Seed Dispersal of Juglans mandshurica
Forests 2018, 9(11), 716; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9110716
Received: 3 October 2018 / Revised: 12 November 2018 / Accepted: 14 November 2018 / Published: 18 November 2018
PDF Full-text (2557 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Larch (Larix spp.) is planted after a clear-cut of secondary forests (SFs) to meet the timber demand of Northeast China. However, the declination of soil fertility and the acidification of surface runoff in larch plantations (LPs) resulting from mono-species composition have threatened [...] Read more.
Larch (Larix spp.) is planted after a clear-cut of secondary forests (SFs) to meet the timber demand of Northeast China. However, the declination of soil fertility and the acidification of surface runoff in larch plantations (LPs) resulting from mono-species composition have threatened the sustainable development of LPs. Converting pure LPs into larch-walnut mixed forests can solve those problems, in which it is crucial to promote the seed regeneration of Juglans mandshurica in LPs. The success of walnut seed regeneration is dependent on rodent removing seed away from mother trees and the dispersal processes rely on the stand structure. The spatial distribution pattern between LPs and SFs is a type of stand structure that might affect seed dispersal. There are two typical spatial patterns in Northeast China due to different topographical conditions, that is, contour type (C-T, LPs and SFs located at the same slope position and aspect) and downslope type (D-T, LPs located at the down slope of the adjacent SF in the same aspect). The objectives of our study were to verify the effects of the spatial distribution pattern of LPs on rodent-mediated seed dispersal and to determine the optimal spatial distribution type for seed dispersal. The field trial was conducted by releasing tagged J. mandshurica seeds at three stages of seed rain during two continuous growing seasons in two types of spatial distribution patterns for LPs. We found that contour type had a substantial advantage in the rodent-mediated seed dispersal, that is, the dispersal rate and the proportion of scatter-hoarded seeds in LPs of C-T stands were much higher than in D-T stands, respectively. These differences may be caused by the variation in the topographic factor for these two types of spatial distribution pattern of LPs. In the C-T stands, it was a translational motion for rodents to remove walnuts from SFs to LPs, which would be an energy efficient and favorable method of seed dispersal. Fluctuation of seed abundance had an effect on rodent behaviors and seed fates, that is, there was a faster dispersal rate and lower proportion of seeds in situ in the non-masting year of 2015 than in the masting year of 2016 and proportion of scatter-hoarded seeds reached the highest during the early stage and lowest at the middle stage of seed rain. Thus, the contour type of LPs with a favorable terrain advantage is potentially conducive to dispersing walnut seeds by rodents during early stage of seed rain and converting larch plantations into larch-walnut mixed forests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Plant Regeneration Ecology in Forest Ecosystems)

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