Tree Regeneration by Seeds in Natural Forests

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (5 April 2021) | Viewed by 16985

Special Issue Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Seed production plays a major role in forest ecosystem dynamics, directly affecting the possibility of seeds spreading in space and survival in time by contributing to the soil bank of seeds. Knowledge of natural regeneration of forest is important to developing scientific techniques and guidelines to conserve dwindling natural forest areas. Seed quality and seed production are major factors governing the regeneration, structure, and succession of vegetation in natural forests.

Compared to human-made forests, natural forests represent landscape wealth and heritage. Forest regeneration by seeds is a natural dynamic process that is self-regulating and may lead to landscape formation. Seed germination must not only be seen as a physiological process, but also as an important factor in development of an optimal state of vegetation, communities, and ecosystems.

This Special Issue, Tree Regeneration by Seeds in Natural Forests, aims to present the recent advances in the knowledge on seed biology in relation to the regeneration of natural forests. Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • using natural regeneration in forest ecology;
  • seed production in relation to forest regeneration and the biodiversity of forest ecosystems;
  • seed germination and seedling development as crucial processes in the natural forest community;
  • how fungal diseases of seeds and fruits affect seed production;
  • animal impact on natural seed dispersal in forests;
  • soil seed bank in forest ecology;
  • dynamics of the seedling population of various species in forest ecology;
  • intraspecific and interspecific competitions in tree seedlings.

The aim of this Special Issue of Forests is to contribute to a better understanding of the key role seeds in the natural regeneration of various forests around the world and to disseminate new information on this topic.

Dr. Božena Šerá
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • forest regeneration
  • seed germination
  • seedling development
  • soil seed bank

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Editorial

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3 pages, 664 KiB  
Editorial
Tree Regeneration by Seeds in Natural Forests
by Božena Šerá
Forests 2021, 12(10), 1346; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12101346 - 02 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1367
Abstract
Seed quality and production are major factors governing the regeneration, structure, and succession of trees in natural forests [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tree Regeneration by Seeds in Natural Forests)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

16 pages, 4580 KiB  
Article
The Possibility of Regenerating a Pine Stand through Natural Regeneration
by Paweł Przybylski, Monika Konatowska, Szymon Jastrzębowski, Anna Tereba, Vasyl Mohytych, Łukasz Tyburski and Paweł Rutkowski
Forests 2021, 12(8), 1055; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12081055 - 08 Aug 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2076
Abstract
Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) is a widespread species in Eurasia, but its natural range can be significantly altered by a variety of stressors. The ability of pine to regenerate naturally is significantly reduced by its occurrence in unsuitable habitats. The processes [...] Read more.
Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) is a widespread species in Eurasia, but its natural range can be significantly altered by a variety of stressors. The ability of pine to regenerate naturally is significantly reduced by its occurrence in unsuitable habitats. The processes of natural selection of pine from select habitats can be followed in stands of national parks where forestry activities are excluded. The possibility of pine regeneration is influenced by the following factors: characteristics of produced seeds, competition, and genetic characteristics. In the present study, selected factors associated with limiting the natural regeneration potential of pine were analysed. The present work generated important information related to the natural regeneration potential of pine in Central and Eastern Europe. The main objective of the analyses was to discuss the possibility of the natural regeneration of pine stands without human intervention. In addition, the genetic diversity of naturally germinating seedlings was analysed. The obtained results confirmed the high reproductive potential of pine despite the advanced age of the studied trees. The obtained seeds produced by old growth Scots pine trees had high viability, while a significant difference was observed in terms of the average number of cones per dominant tree between studied stands. Thus, the number of cones was the main element determining the regeneration potential of the stands. It should be emphasised that the number of cones did not influence the occurrence of natural regeneration. Based on the obtained results, the regeneration potential of pine stands depends mainly on the habitat and the competitive pressure. In addition, a correlation between genetic parameters and the regeneration potential of stands should be established, which may be the beginning of further research on the process discussed in this publication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tree Regeneration by Seeds in Natural Forests)
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22 pages, 3178 KiB  
Article
Seedling Growth Performance of Four Forest Species with Different Techniques of Soil Tillage Used in Romanian Nurseries
by Nicuşor Boja and Stelian Alexandru Borz
Forests 2021, 12(6), 782; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12060782 - 14 Jun 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2313
Abstract
Providing high quality seedlings for use in forestry applications is one of the main challenges faced by the forest nurseries, and it depends on the practices used in such facilities. For instance, controlled experiments have shown that seedling growth is affected by the [...] Read more.
Providing high quality seedlings for use in forestry applications is one of the main challenges faced by the forest nurseries, and it depends on the practices used in such facilities. For instance, controlled experiments have shown that seedling growth is affected by the soils’ physical condition, which in turn is rather difficult to manipulate by the equipment used; this raises the question on whether changing the operational procedures could enable better physical properties of the seedbeds’ soils, in such a way that they will contribute to a better seedling growth. This study compares two seedbed tillage systems, termed as traditional (T, plowing, disk harrowing and cultivation) and minimal (M, scarifying and rototilling) in terms of physical properties of the soils and seedling growth, accounting for the variation induced by the local soil and climate conditions (three forest nurseries) as a separate factor. The results indicate highly significant gains in growth of the root collar diameter and shoot height for four tested species (pedunculate oak, common ash, wild cherry and Norway spruce), which accounted for 16 to 109% and for 10 to 134%, respectively, when using the M system. Root volume growth, which was tested for pedunculate oak, has also shown significant gains, accounting for 49 to 59% as of using M instead of T. In general, the seedlings resulted from the M treatment were found to be more homogeneous in terms of morphological characteristics, though the association and dependence between their features and physical properties of the soils were poorer. These gains in growth seem to be more related to the tillage systems rather than to local soil and climate conditions, as no or marginally significant differences were found to support their relation to the forest nurseries taken into study. The main conclusion of the study is that changing the regular seedbed tillage system by the minimal one could contribute not only at improving the growth of the seedlings, but also to the responsivity of forest nurseries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tree Regeneration by Seeds in Natural Forests)
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16 pages, 2412 KiB  
Article
Impact of Thermotherapy and Short-Term Storage on Quercus robur L. Acorn Mycobiota and Germination
by Jelena Kranjec Orlović, Damir Drvodelić, Marko Vukelić, Matea Rukavina, Danko Diminić and Milan Oršanić
Forests 2021, 12(5), 528; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12050528 - 25 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1922
Abstract
When natural regeneration of Quercus robur stands is hampered by an insufficient acorn yield, human assisted sowing of acorns collected in non-affected stands and stored for some period of time is performed. To inhibit the development of fungi and acorn deterioration during storage, [...] Read more.
When natural regeneration of Quercus robur stands is hampered by an insufficient acorn yield, human assisted sowing of acorns collected in non-affected stands and stored for some period of time is performed. To inhibit the development of fungi and acorn deterioration during storage, thermotherapy is usually applied by submerging acorns for 2.5 h in water heated to 41 °C. This research aimed to test the effect of four thermotherapy treatments of different durations and/or applied temperatures as well as short-term storage at −1 °C or 3 °C on acorn internal mycobiota and germination. Fungal presence in cotyledons was analyzed in 450 acorns by isolation of mycelia on artificial media, followed by a DNA-based identification. Germination of 2000 acorns was monitored in an open field trial. Thermotherapy significantly decreased fungal diversity, while storage at 3 °C increased the isolation frequency of several fungi, mainly Penicillium spp. The most frequently isolated fungi did not show a negative impact on acorn germination after short-term storage. The study confirmed the efficiency of thermotherapy in the eradication of a part of acorn internal mycobiota, but also its effect on the proliferation of fast-colonizing fungi during storage. However, the latter showed to be more stimulated by storage conditions, specifically by storage at 3 °C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tree Regeneration by Seeds in Natural Forests)
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11 pages, 2228 KiB  
Article
Intermediate Epicotyl Physiological Dormancy in the Recalcitrant Seed of Quercus chungii F.P.Metcalf with the Elongated Cotyledonary Petiole
by Xi-Qing Sun, Yi-Gang Song, Bin-Jie Ge, Xi-Ling Dai and Gregor Kozlowski
Forests 2021, 12(3), 263; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12030263 - 25 Feb 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2759
Abstract
Control of seed germination and dormancy is important in seed plant adaptation and evolution. When studying seed dormancy of Quercus species, we observed a substantially delayed shoot emergence following a fast root emergence in Quercus chungii F.P.Metcalf. Since epicotyl physiological dormancy (PD) has [...] Read more.
Control of seed germination and dormancy is important in seed plant adaptation and evolution. When studying seed dormancy of Quercus species, we observed a substantially delayed shoot emergence following a fast root emergence in Quercus chungii F.P.Metcalf. Since epicotyl physiological dormancy (PD) has not been reported in Quercus section Cyclobalanopsis, we examined seed morphology and germination in Q. chungii and aimed to document epicotyl PD in the seeds. The embryo was fully developed in fresh ripe seeds. The elongating cotyledonary petiole pushed the embryo axis out of the seed during germination, which differed from observations in other Quercus species. Shoots emerged from seeds with developing roots after 3 months of warm stratification (35/25 °C), reaching the highest percentage of shoot emergence in seeds after 5 months. Seeds were recalcitrant and displayed a yet unreported epicotyl PD type, for which we propose the formula Cnd(root) ‒ Cp’’ 2b(shoot). Early emergence and development of the root system in Q. chungii seeds with epicotyl PD appears to be a mechanism to maintain a constant water supply to the shoot during plumule development and emergence. Our documentation of seed germination will provide guidance for the conservation and restoration of this species from seeds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tree Regeneration by Seeds in Natural Forests)
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10 pages, 1290 KiB  
Article
Modeling Tree Diameter Growth of Bertholletia excelsa Bonpl. in the Brazilian Amazon
by Anderson Batista, Paula Gomides Vitor Scolforo, Henrique Ferraço Scolforo, José Marcio de Mello, Marcelino Guedes and José Roberto Soares Scolforo
Forests 2020, 11(12), 1309; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11121309 - 08 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1864
Abstract
Modeling the growth of Bertholletia excelsa Bonpl. (B. excelsa) trees in natural forests is important for understanding the species’ ecology and for better defining site-specific management. In this sense, this study aimed to model the diameter growth rate of B. excelsa [...] Read more.
Modeling the growth of Bertholletia excelsa Bonpl. (B. excelsa) trees in natural forests is important for understanding the species’ ecology and for better defining site-specific management. In this sense, this study aimed to model the diameter growth rate of B. excelsa trees in contrasting forest environments in the Brazilian Amazon. This study was conducted in the Extractive Reserve Rio Cajari (RESEX Cajari). Growth models were fitted at species level to predict diameter growth rate in the two Amazonian forest environments. Subsequently, the age at which the B. excelsa tree in each forest environment reaches the minimum diameter for seed production was calculated by integrating the growth models. In each forest environment, the negative exponential behavior of the diametric growth rate of the tree species was fitted by an appropriate model. The time required for B. excelsa trees to reach the minimum diameter was shorter in the secondary forest environment when compared with that of the old growth terra firme forest (47 and 78 years to reach the diameter of 25 cm in the secondary and old growth terra firme forest, respectively). While the average growth pattern indicated higher diameter growth rates of B. excelsa in the secondary forest environment, the high level of uncertainty in the model’s estimation makes this inference complex. In conclusion, the secondary forest seems a favorable forest environment for the growth of B. excelsa trees, which may be an indicator of the potential for secondary forest environments to produce B. excelsa seeds in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tree Regeneration by Seeds in Natural Forests)
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11 pages, 1622 KiB  
Article
Non-Thermal Plasma Can Be Used in Disinfection of Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) Seeds Infected with Fusarium oxysporum
by Magdalena Świecimska, Mirela Tulik, Božena Šerá, Patrycja Golińska, Juliána Tomeková, Veronika Medvecká, Helena Bujdáková, Tomasz Oszako, Anna Zahoranová and Michal Šerý
Forests 2020, 11(8), 837; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11080837 - 01 Aug 2020
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3307
Abstract
The aim of this study was to use diffuse coplanar surface barrier discharge (DCSBD) non-thermal plasma for the disinfection of pine seed surfaces infected with Fusarium oxysporum spores. Artificially infected seeds of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) were treated with plasma for [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to use diffuse coplanar surface barrier discharge (DCSBD) non-thermal plasma for the disinfection of pine seed surfaces infected with Fusarium oxysporum spores. Artificially infected seeds of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) were treated with plasma for the following exposure times: 1 s, 3 s, 5 s, 10 s, 15 s, 20 s, 30 s, and 60 s, and subsequently germinated on agar medium in Petri dishes at room temperature for the estimation of seed germination and disinfection effect of plasma treatment. Results of the treated samples were compared to the control samples, which were prepared as follows: seeds uninfected and non-treated with plasma (first control); seeds infected with F. oxysporum and non-treated with plasma (second control); and seeds infected with F. oxysporum, non-treated with plasma, but sterilized with 30% perhydrol (third control). Obtained results indicate that 3 s plasma treatment was an optimal time to inhibit F. oxysporum growth, and at the same time, increase the seed germination. In addition, our results are the first to show the practical application of non-thermal plasma in disinfecting infected Scots pine seeds and improving their germination. According to the results of this study, non-thermal plasma can serve as a seed surface disinfectant in the regeneration of different pine species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tree Regeneration by Seeds in Natural Forests)
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