Special Issue "Effects of Forest Management and Climate Change on Forest Vegetation"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 May 2021) | Viewed by 7264

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Marcin K. Dyderski
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Dendrology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Parkowa 5, 62-035 Kórnik, Poland
Interests: invasive tree species; invasion ecology; urban ecosystems; climate change; forest productivity; vegetation ecology; biodiversity conservation; forest management; functional traits
Dr. Patryk Czortek
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Białowieża Geobotanical Station, Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw, Sportowa 19, 17-230 Białowieża, Poland
Interests: biodiversity conservation; biological invasions; climate change; ecology of alpine ecosystems; ecosystem services; forest ecology; functional ecology; urban ecology

Special Issue Information

Forest vegetation changes have been a subject of ecological studies for over 100 years. Within this time, human impact on forest ecosystems has drastically increased, leading to habitat transformation, biodiversity loss, and species extinction. Forest ecosystems are especially susceptible to changing climate, leading to shifts in species composition. Moreover, forest management has tended to homogenize forests into monocultures of fast-growing trees. These two factors are the main drivers of transformations in forest vegetation, which can both mitigate each other or amplify their effects. In this issue, we would like to consider the impacts of climate change and forest management on a wide range of forest vegetation, with no limitations as to the degree of transformation. We invite field studies based on vegetation surveys or long-term observations from all biomes, with particular attention to regions with low data coverage. Studies might cover wide temporal, spatial, climatic, or management gradients and focus on various strata of forest ecosystems, including reconstructions of past forest vegetation as well as future predictions of changes in the geographical distribution of forest biomes driven by climatic and anthropogenic factors. We especially encourage authors to assess impacts on a wide range of biodiversity metrics and aspects, recognizing not only effects but especially mechanisms of revealed impacts. Submissions may cover widely defined forest management aspects, e.g., alien species introduction, thinning, logging, fencing, or fertilization as well as various climate change effects, e.g., species transition, herbivore and pathogen outbreaks, drought, or flooding.

Dr. Marcin K. Dyderski
Dr. Patryk Czortek
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • understory species composition
  • functional diversity
  • landscape ecology
  • stand structure dynamics
  • forest connectivity
  • species optimum shifts
  • environmental filtering
  • thinning
  • species distribution models
  • range expansion
  • species turnover

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Article
Dynamic Patterns of the Vertical Distribution of Vegetation in Heihe River Basin since the 1980s
Forests 2021, 12(11), 1496; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12111496 - 29 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 475
Abstract
The vertical distribution of vegetation in Heihe River Basin has presented a significant dynamic change in the different elevation zones since the 1980s. To explore the dynamic patterns of vegetation types located in the different elevation zones of Heihe River Basin, this study [...] Read more.
The vertical distribution of vegetation in Heihe River Basin has presented a significant dynamic change in the different elevation zones since the 1980s. To explore the dynamic patterns of vegetation types located in the different elevation zones of Heihe River Basin, this study collected 440 field sampling datapoints of vegetation types, remote sensing images, climatic observation data, and DEM and preprocessed them. On the basis of the vegetation distribution and the terrain characteristics of Heihe River Basin, this study classified the vertical distribution of vegetation in Heihe River Basin into six vegetation zones, namely, the oasis farmland and desert zone, desert-steppe zone, dry scrub-steppe zone, mountain forest-steppe zone, subalpine scrub-meadow zone, and alpine cold desert-meadow zone. Moreover, the mean annual biotemperature (MAB) and total annual average precipitation (TAP) were used to analyze the relationship between vegetation change and climate change in the different elevation zones. The results show that the change rate of vegetation was up to 25.75% in Heihe River Basin. The area of vegetation that changed in the oasis farmland and desert zone was the largest (7224 km2), and the rate of vegetation that changed in the mountain forest-steppe zone was up to 56.93%. The mean annual biotemperature (MAB) and total annual average precipitation (TAP) in the six elevation zones showed an increasing trend, in which the increased rate of TAP presented a downward trend with the increase of elevation, and that of MAB showed a continuous upward trend with the increase of elevation. The change rate of vegetation was generally higher than that of MAB and TAP in the low and middle vegetation zones. The influence intensity of human activities on vegetation change in the lower and middle elevation zones of Heihe River Basin was greater than that in the high elevation zone between the 1980s and the 2010s. MAB is the major impact factor to vegetation change in the alpine cold zone of Heihe River Basin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Forest Management and Climate Change on Forest Vegetation)
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Article
Impact of the Disturbances for Forest Grazing on Flora Composition in a Natural Forest
Forests 2021, 12(7), 872; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12070872 - 01 Jul 2021
Viewed by 918
Abstract
Daegwallyeong is a mountain pass at an altitude of 832 m, which has been designated a conservation area because of its essential role in Korea’s forest ecosystem. Simultaneously, this area is considered a suitable place for forest grazing due to the cool temperature [...] Read more.
Daegwallyeong is a mountain pass at an altitude of 832 m, which has been designated a conservation area because of its essential role in Korea’s forest ecosystem. Simultaneously, this area is considered a suitable place for forest grazing due to the cool temperature during the summer. Some areas have been converted to grassland for livestock feeding, and the scale has continued increasing. Although livestock in a forest area is more ecofriendly than industrialized facilities, it could impact the native ecosystem, especially in terms of the flora and vegetation. We investigated the changes in flora and vegetation of Daegwallyeong before and after the grassland formation. The total number of vascular plant species changed throughout the survey period. It was decreased by thinning and forest floor removal in 2015. However, it bounced back to the original number in 2016, even after grazing. However, there was a dramatic decrease after the second forest floor removal and 3 months of grazing in 2017. The number of flora slightly increased after the fallow of grazing in 2019, but it did not fully recover. Although the number of flora seemed back to normal, the composition of the flora in 2019 was significantly changed from the forest without disturbance in 2014. First, there was the invasion of naturalized plants such as Taraxacum officinale and Barbarea vularis, as well as ecosystem-disturbing flora such as Carex callitrichos var. nana and Rumex acetosa. Second, the coverage of those species expanded after thinning and grazing. Most importantly, we lost five valuable rare species, Anemone koraiensis, Viola diamantiaca, Chionanthus retusus, Scopolia japonica, and Streptopus ovalis, from the area. Additionally, the ground condition of the area was severely damaged, and plants no longer grow in some areas. The survey and analysis of plants in this study showed the adverse effects of forest grazing practices on rare plants in Daegwallyeong. Forest grazing practices should be carefully conducted to preserve vulnerable plant species and a healthy ecosystem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Forest Management and Climate Change on Forest Vegetation)
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Article
Effect of Prunus serotina Ehrh. Volatile Compounds on Germination and Seedling Growth of Pinus sylvestris L.
Forests 2021, 12(7), 846; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12070846 - 26 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 682
Abstract
In temperate European forests invaded by Prunus serotina Ehrh. (black cherry), a reduction in the spontaneous regeneration capacity of Pinus sylvestris L. (Scots pine) is observed. It could be caused by various factors, including allelopathic properties of this invasive plant. In this study [...] Read more.
In temperate European forests invaded by Prunus serotina Ehrh. (black cherry), a reduction in the spontaneous regeneration capacity of Pinus sylvestris L. (Scots pine) is observed. It could be caused by various factors, including allelopathic properties of this invasive plant. In this study the phytotoxic effect of P. serotina volatile compounds on P. sylvestris and the seasonal variation in this effect were assessed. Simple assays showed that volatiles emitted from P. serotina leaves significantly inhibited root growth of P. sylvestris seedlings. Their negative effect on stem growth was much weaker. The strongest phytotoxic effect on Scots pine seedlings was caused by the volatiles emitted from the youngest black cherry leaves. In fresh foliage of P. serotina, nineteen volatile organic compounds were identified by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS). The dominant compound was benzaldehyde. On the basis of tests of linalool alone, it was found that this monoterpene present in the volatile fraction has a strong allelopathic potential and inhibits germination, root elongation and shoot elongation of pine seedlings. The results of our research suggest that volatile compounds from P. serotina leaves could limited survival of P. sylvestris individuals in the seedling phase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Forest Management and Climate Change on Forest Vegetation)
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Article
Shifts in Lichen Species and Functional Diversity in a Primeval Forest Ecosystem as a Response to Environmental Changes
Forests 2021, 12(6), 686; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12060686 - 27 May 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1502
Abstract
Research highlights: shifts in the composition and functional diversity of lichen biota reflect changes in the environment caused by climate warming and eutrophication. Background and objectives: studies on lichen functional diversity and refinement in the functional traits of lichen biota under the pressure [...] Read more.
Research highlights: shifts in the composition and functional diversity of lichen biota reflect changes in the environment caused by climate warming and eutrophication. Background and objectives: studies on lichen functional diversity and refinement in the functional traits of lichen biota under the pressure of changing environmental factors are currently of great scientific interest. The obtained results are interpreted in relation to specific habitat properties and their modifications due to the potential effects of climate change and atmospheric pollution. The aim of the work was to investigate changes in lichen species composition and functional diversity, as well as to identify factors responsible for them at different forest ecosystem scales. Materials and Methods: we identified factors responsible for changes in lichen biota in a unique Białowieża Forest ecosystem by analyzing shifts in species optima and functional diversity at the forest community, tree phorophyte, and substrate levels. We examined individual lichen species’ responses and temporal shifts in the species composition for each historical and resampled dataset using a community-weighted means of functional lichen traits and Wirth ecological indicator values. Results: the most evident change took place at the level of individual species, which shifted their realized optima: 25 species demonstrated a shift to co-occur with lichens of higher nitrogen demands, 15 demonstrated higher light demands, 14 demonstrated higher temperature preferences, and six demonstrated lower moisture preferences. At the level of forest communities, biota shifted towards the higher proportion of nitrogen-demanding and the lower proportion of moisture-demanding species. At the level of phorophyte species, biota changed towards an increased proportion of lichens of higher temperature preferences. For the substrate level, no directional shifts in lichen species composition were found. Conclusions: climate change has influenced lichen biota in Białowieża Forest, but the main driver of lichen species composition was found to be eutrophication. We suppose that other overlapping factors may contribute to biota shifts, e.g., the extinction and expansion of phorophyte tree species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Forest Management and Climate Change on Forest Vegetation)
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Article
Using Direct and Indirect Methods to Assess Changes in Riparian Habitats
Forests 2021, 12(4), 504; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12040504 - 17 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 704
Abstract
Hydrological regime disturbances in riparian ecosystems affect the interactions between soil properties and vegetation. The proper assessment of changes occurring in river valley forests is a basis for planning in sustainable forest management. The existing habitat conditions in plant communities can be assessed [...] Read more.
Hydrological regime disturbances in riparian ecosystems affect the interactions between soil properties and vegetation. The proper assessment of changes occurring in river valley forests is a basis for planning in sustainable forest management. The existing habitat conditions in plant communities can be assessed by both direct and indirect measurements. The aim of the study was to compare the results obtained with direct and indirect methods of data collection. We also evaluated the validity of the studied variables. Our study was based on data from plots established in 90-year-old forests in the Odra river valley (SW Poland). Habitat features, such as soil moisture (F), nitrogen (N), and soil reaction (R), were expressed directly using field measurements and indirectly using Ellenberg’s indicator values, calculated based on the presence/absence of species in a plot (aEIVs) as well as on species cover (wEIVs). Only in the case of nitrogen did the use of both methods of estimating habitat features give the same results for selected riverside forests. In ordination and regressive analyses, use of direct or indirect methods strongly influences the results of calculations. Analyses conducted on the basis of selected parameters indicate a significant decrease in soil moisture and a change in soil reaction in the riparian forest located on the edge of the floodplain, which indicates that the habitat transformation has already begun. We concluded that the use of Ellenberg’s indicator values (EIVs) for monitoring riparian habitats has numerous disadvantages, and therefore data based on direct measurement should be preferred. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Forest Management and Climate Change on Forest Vegetation)
Article
Long-Term Changes of Softwood Floodplain Forests—Did the Disappearance of Wet Vegetation Accelerate the Invasion Process?
Forests 2020, 11(11), 1218; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11111218 - 19 Nov 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1886
Abstract
Objectives: We followed the long-term changes of softwood floodplain forests strongly altered by water regime changes and examine the behaviour of neophytes in this environment. Here we ask: (1) How did the composition of neophyte and native species change? (2) How did the [...] Read more.
Objectives: We followed the long-term changes of softwood floodplain forests strongly altered by water regime changes and examine the behaviour of neophytes in this environment. Here we ask: (1) How did the composition of neophyte and native species change? (2) How did the presence of species that prefer wetter conditions change? (3) What traditionally distinguished type of softwood floodplain forests (a wetter one or a more mesophilous one) do neophytes prefer? (4) What environmental factors affect the native species richness and the occurrence and cover of neophytes? Materials and Methods: Historical and recent phytosociological relevés of the association Salicetum albae of the Slovak part of the inland delta of the Danube River were used (177 plots together). For each plot, the number and cover of neophytes and number of native species were measured, and the Shannon-Wiener diversity index, the stand structure (cover of tree, shrub and herb layer) and the mean of Ellenberg indicator values were calculated and compared among time periods. Temporal trends of the soil moisture characterized by indicator values calculated for each plot were determined using a Linear Model. The synoptic table of traditional vegetation types was done to show preferences of neophytes for particular softwood forest types. The effect of site conditions on native species richness and occurrence of neophytes was determined using the Generalized Linear Model. Results: The relative number and cover of neophyte species increased and the absolute number of native species decreased over time; the vegetation of the area has changed from variable hygrophilous and mesophilous to homogenised mesophilous; most non-native species prefer the mesophilous vegetation of the floodplain forests; the wetter parts of the floodplain more successfully resisted invasions. Conclusions: The vegetation of the researched area has considerably changed over time to become less diverse and less hygrophilous, and has more invasive species. To preserve floodplain forests, natural hydrological and connectivity patterns should be adequately protected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Forest Management and Climate Change on Forest Vegetation)
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