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Special Issue "The Forest Renewal Issue: New Problems and Findings in the Establishment of Tree Regeneration"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Emanuele Lingua

Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry (TESAF), University of Padova, Viale dell’Università 16, 35020, Legnaro(PD), Italy
Website | E-Mail
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Raffaella Marzano

Department of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences (DISAFA), University of Torino, L.go Paolo Braccini 2, 10095, Grugliasco (TO), Italy
Website | E-Mail

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Tree regeneration is key to sustainable forestry. Dealing with stand renewal has always been of crucial relevance in forest management since it is the first stage in all silvicultural systems, actually named after their respective regeneration methods. Not only in regular forest management, the regeneration issue is also very important in post-disturbance restoration dynamics and management and whenever forest ecosystem rehabilitation is involved.

Defining the most suitable species, type of material (i.e. bare root or container seedlings, seeds, cuttings), timing and planting arrangement in afforestation, or understanding the processes and mechanisms that influence natural tree seedlings establishment (e.g. seed dispersal, predation, microsite characteristics) and survivorships (e.g. herbivory, competition and facilitation) are among the most actively investigated topics in forestry.

New approaches and investigations are still needed to counteract old and new problems (e.g. ungulate pressure, climate change) related to this issue and the possible consequences of their interactions. Future forest generations rely on our ability to respond promptly to this challenge, finding effective solutions and practices to adapt to continuously changing environments.

We encourage studies from all fields, including experimental and multidisciplinary investigations, focusing on tree regeneration, both natural and artificial, to contribute to this Special Issue in order to promote knowledge on regeneration processes and dynamics, and to implement sustainable forest management, enhancing ecosystem resilience.

Prof. Dr. Emanuele Lingua
Prof. Dr. Raffaella Marzano
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.

Keywords

  • Regeneration structure
  • Forest restoration
  • Forest establishment
  • Early stand dynamics
  • Forest management
  • Resilience
  • Land use policies
  • Seed dispersal and predation
  • Herbivory

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Within-Site Variation in Seedling Survival in Norway Spruce Plantations
Forests 2019, 10(2), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10020181
Received: 23 December 2018 / Revised: 12 February 2019 / Accepted: 18 February 2019 / Published: 19 February 2019
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Abstract
Seedling survival was evaluated from inventories of a large set of Norway spruce plantations in privately owned forests in southern Sweden. The inventories were conducted at the time of planting and a subset was re-inventoried three years later. This enabled comparison of regeneration [...] Read more.
Seedling survival was evaluated from inventories of a large set of Norway spruce plantations in privately owned forests in southern Sweden. The inventories were conducted at the time of planting and a subset was re-inventoried three years later. This enabled comparison of regeneration success after soil scarification and planting. The acquired data enabled evaluation of annual and climatic variation of seedling mortality since inventories were made on newly established clearcuts distributed spatially throughout three regions in southern Sweden and repeated in five consecutive years. Within-site variation was also captured via the use of a large number of sample plots on each clearcut. To do so, thirty sample plots were established within weeks of planting on 150 clearcuts. Small- and large-scale site and management variables were recorded as well as the numbers of suitable planting spots and planted seedlings. Three years later, 60 of the initially surveyed clearcuts were revisited and the numbers of both planted and naturally regenerated seedlings counted. On average, 2000 seedlings ha−1 were planted and 1500 seedlings ha−1 had survived after three years. However, there was high variation, and in 42% of the revisited sample plots no mortality was recorded. Important variables for seedling survival identified by linear regression analysis included the number of suitable planting spots, soil moisture conditions and annual variation in available soil water. Full article
Open AccessArticle Plant Attributes that Drive Dispersal and Establishment Limitation in Tropical Agricultural Landscapes
Forests 2018, 9(10), 620; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9100620
Received: 3 August 2018 / Revised: 30 September 2018 / Accepted: 1 October 2018 / Published: 10 October 2018
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Abstract
Factors that influence tropical-forest regeneration have been of interest across the tropics. We tested the degree of dispersal and establishment limitation of pioneer and non-pioneer tree species with different dispersal modes and seed sizes, using data on both seed fall and seedling establishment [...] Read more.
Factors that influence tropical-forest regeneration have been of interest across the tropics. We tested the degree of dispersal and establishment limitation of pioneer and non-pioneer tree species with different dispersal modes and seed sizes, using data on both seed fall and seedling establishment in primary forest, secondary forest, and pasture excluded from livestock. The study took place in a lowland tropical rain forest in southeastern Mexico. To calculate dispersal and establishment limitation, we used a density-weighted index that considers: (1) whether a seed or seedling of a given species has arrived in the sample area; and (2) the fraction of seeds or seedlings contributed by a given species relative to the total number of seeds or seedlings arriving at a sampling station. Dispersal limitation of non-pioneer species and animal-dispersed species decreased with succession. The secondary forest had less dispersal limitation for wind-dispersed pioneers than pasture, resulting in a dense aggregation of species with seeds dispersed by wind. Overall, establishment limitation differed between animal-dispersed and wind-dispersed species in the primary forest, and was negatively correlated with seed size. The low capacity of most species to arrive, germinate, and establish as seedlings in pastures slows succession back to forest. To overcome barriers to natural succession in pastures, transplanting seedlings of non-pioneer species is suggested because most of them show high dispersal and establishment limitation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Integrating Density into Dispersal and Establishment Limitation Equations in Tropical Forests
Forests 2018, 9(9), 570; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9090570
Received: 12 July 2018 / Revised: 5 September 2018 / Accepted: 5 September 2018 / Published: 15 September 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2200 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Plant recruitment in tropical forests reflects the chance that seeds arrive at a site resulting in seedling establishment. To inform tropical forest restoration, we ask how seed and seedling densities differentially affect dispersal and establishment limitation in successional habitats in a tropical agricultural [...] Read more.
Plant recruitment in tropical forests reflects the chance that seeds arrive at a site resulting in seedling establishment. To inform tropical forest restoration, we ask how seed and seedling densities differentially affect dispersal and establishment limitation in successional habitats in a tropical agricultural landscape. Methods: In Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve, we calculated indices of dispersal and establishment limitation using data on seed rain and seedling establishment in old-growth forest, secondary forest, and fenced pasture. We present an index that considers variations in dispersal- and establishment-limitation including density-weighted calculations. Results: There were greater dispersal and establishment limitations in pasture than in forests. Substantial differences in both dispersal and establishment limitation occurred among the 33 species for which seed and seedling data were available. Only 5% of all species had mid to low limitation in both dispersal and establishment. In contrast, 60% of all species showed high dispersal and establishment limitation. Plant recruitment in pastures is impeded by low seed arrival, given that 77% of the recorded species showed extremely high dispersal limitation (>90%). Conclusions: The low capacity of most species to arrive, seeds to germinate and seedlings to establish in pastures slow down succession back to forest. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Building Resistance and Resilience: Regeneration Should Not be Left to Chance
Forests 2018, 9(5), 270; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9050270
Received: 4 April 2018 / Revised: 1 May 2018 / Accepted: 14 May 2018 / Published: 16 May 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1547 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Contemporary forest planning has tasked managers with developing goals associated with resistance and resilience. In practice, silviculturists use forest structure and tree species composition to characterize goals and desired future conditions, write prescriptions, and monitor outcomes associated with resistance and resilience. Although rarely [...] Read more.
Contemporary forest planning has tasked managers with developing goals associated with resistance and resilience. In practice, silviculturists use forest structure and tree species composition to characterize goals and desired future conditions, write prescriptions, and monitor outcomes associated with resistance and resilience. Although rarely discussed in the exploding literature relating to forest resistance and resilience, silvicultural regeneration methods are important and underutilized tools to meet these goals. We propose alternative silvicultural systems for building resistance and resilience to two common large-scale bark beetle disturbance agents in the Intermountain West, United States: mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins) and spruce beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis Kirby). Shelterwood, and shelterwood-with-reserves, silvicultural systems provide the desirable facilitative characteristics of a mature overstory on maintaining advance reproduction and the establishment of new cohorts of desirable tree species. These also allow the timely regeneration of large treatment areas necessary to rapidly promote desired future conditions in the face of inevitable disturbance. When implemented proactively, regeneration treatments allow silviculturists to take advantage of currently existing vegetation for the creation of age class and tree species diversity. In general, these examples illustrate the need for proactive planning for regeneration in response to any disturbance where desired future conditions include particular species. Furthermore, we argue that timely silvicultural interventions that focus on regenerating trees may be a key factor in achieving goals relating to resilience to specific disturbance types. Waiting until after the disturbance has occurred could result in the lost opportunity to establish desired species composition or stand structure—and may well result in a considerable restoration challenge. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Ecological Factors Influencing Norway Spruce Regeneration on Nurse Logs in a Subalpine Virgin Forest
Forests 2018, 9(3), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9030120
Received: 8 February 2018 / Revised: 26 February 2018 / Accepted: 2 March 2018 / Published: 5 March 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1433 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Regeneration of Picea abies in high-elevation mountain forests often depends on the presence of coarse woody debris (CWD), as logs provide sites with more favorable conditions for spruce regeneration compared to the forest floor. However, there is little quantitative knowledge on the factors [...] Read more.
Regeneration of Picea abies in high-elevation mountain forests often depends on the presence of coarse woody debris (CWD), as logs provide sites with more favorable conditions for spruce regeneration compared to the forest floor. However, there is little quantitative knowledge on the factors that are conducive to or hindering spruce establishment on CWD. We examined spruce regeneration on CWD by sampling 303 plots (50 cm × 50 cm each) on 56 downed logs in a virgin forest in the Swiss Alps. Variables describing microsite conditions were measured, and fungi were isolated from wood samples. To investigate the relationship between the ecological factors and establishment success, two models were fitted with seedling and sapling density as response variables, respectively. Besides log diameter, the models identified different ecological factors as significant for seedling and sapling establishment, i.e., regeneration depends on different factors in different development stages. Seedling density depended on the type of rot, log inclination, and decay stage. Sapling density depended mainly on light availability, cover by bark and moss, the time of tree fall, and the distance between the log surface and the forest floor. A total of 22 polypore fungi were isolated from the wood samples, four of them being threatened species. White- and brown-rot fungi were found in all decay stages. The visual assessment of the type of rot in the field corresponded in only 15% of cases to the type of rot caused by the isolated fungi; hence caution is needed when making field assessments of rot types. Full article
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