Special Issue "Wood Formation and Environmental Constraints: Multiscale Approach"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 September 2021) | Viewed by 5540

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Veronica De Micco
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Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, via Università, 100, 80055 Portici (Naples), Italy
Interests: functional anatomical traits; plant hydraulics; quantitative wood anatomy; dendro-sciences; xylogenesis; intra-annual density fluctuations; plant morpho-functional adaptation in natural environments and in crop production; plant adaptation to extreme environments
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Angela Balzano
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Guest Editor
Department of Wood Science and Technology, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Jamnikarjeva Ulica 101, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Interests: wood and phloem formation; intra-annual density fluctuation; functional wood traits; quantitative wood anatomy; drought response; mediterranean ecosystems; scanning electron microscopy
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Dr. Arturo Pacheco
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Guest Editor
Department of Science and Environmental, Biological and Pharmaceutical Technologies (DiSTABiF) University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Via Vivaldi 43, Caserta, Italy
Interests: intra-annual density fluctuation; tree adaptation to drought and flooding conditions; quantitative wood anatomy; Mediterranean; alpine and artic ecosystems; automatic plant tissue image analysis
Prof. Dr. Giovanna Battipaglia
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental, Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technologies University of Campania “L. Vanvitelli”, Via Vivaldi 43, I-81100 Caserta, Italy
Interests: forest ecology; stable isotopes; tree-rings; carbon and water cycle; drought; xylogenesis; Intra-annual density fluctuation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Cambial activity and wood formation are determined by the combination of intrinsic (e.g., phylogenetic, phenology and ecophysiological traits, root architecture) and extrinsic (biogeography, climate, pollution, biotic interactions) factors. Their combined effects on all the phases of xylogenesis are expressed in the morphology of the wood cell traits, which thus enclose a trace of all factors affecting secondary growth.

Therefore, it is important to deeply understand not only the individual processes behind wood formation but also their relations and possible feedbacks, since these may reveal the environment–growth relationships. Indeed, the traditional premise of stable growth–climate relationships is no longer the norm, and research methods need to be adapted to an increasingly unstable environment, in order to foresee possible altered responses consequent to ongoing climate changes.

The combination of a multidisciplinary approach integrating the analysis of xylogenesis with the retrospective reconstruction of past plant growth behaviour through the quantification of functional anatomical and isotopic traits in long-term tree-ring series has already proven to be a powerful tool to provide invaluable information on plant responses to environmental changes. However, given the large variability of involved factors in plant–environment interactions, it is necessary to apply combined multiscale approaches to achieve a better understanding of the complex wood formation process.

This Special Issue of Forests invites contributions in line with a multiscale approach covering a range of different disciplines from the cellular level (genetic, xylogenesis) to individuals (dendrochronology, maximum latewood density, blue intensity, wood anatomy, photosynthesis and flow measurements) and population (modeling).

Prof. Dr. Veronica De Micco
Dr. Angela Balzano
Dr. Arturo Pacheco
Prof. Dr. Giovanna Battipaglia
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 2000 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

  • xylogenesis
  • dendrochronology
  • quantitative wood anatomy
  • functional anatomical traits
  • isotopic analysis
  • blue intensity
  • environment–growth relationships

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
Description of Intra-Annual Changes in Cambial Activity and Differentiation of Secondary Conductive Tissues of Aesculus hippocastanum Trees Affected by the Leaf Miner Cameraria ohridella
Forests 2021, 12(11), 1537; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12111537 - 08 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 627
Abstract
Aesculus hippocastanum trees are commonly infested by the leaf miner Cameraria ohridella, whose larval activity causes the destruction of the leaf parenchyma and induces defoliation. Pest attacks result in, e.g., production of smaller fruits and tree re-flowering in autumn. Concerning pest influence [...] Read more.
Aesculus hippocastanum trees are commonly infested by the leaf miner Cameraria ohridella, whose larval activity causes the destruction of the leaf parenchyma and induces defoliation. Pest attacks result in, e.g., production of smaller fruits and tree re-flowering in autumn. Concerning pest influence on stem structure only scarce information of narrower annual growth rings of wood has been published. Therefore, we determined the effect of the presence of the leaf miner infestation on intra-annual cambial activity and on differentiation of conductive tissues. These data were compared with phenological phases and pest activity. Pest feeding resulted in changes in onset, cessation and duration of cambial divisions, and differentiation of secondary xylem. The duration of cambial activity was about a month shorter in heavily infested trees and was connected with premature tree defoliation. Affected trees were characterised by a reduction in cambial divisions and earlier cessation of wood differentiation resulting in narrower wood rings. Furthermore, the infested trees exhibited altered wood structure, with more vessels of smaller diameters, however these changes did not affect its theoretical hydraulic conductivity. Interestingly, pest attack did not influence secondary phloem differentiation. The probable influence of long-term infestation on tree growth and condition was discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Formation and Environmental Constraints: Multiscale Approach)
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Article
Ray Traits of Juvenile Wood and Mature Wood: Pinus massonia and Cunninghamia lanceolata
Forests 2021, 12(9), 1277; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12091277 - 17 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 788
Abstract
Ray traits affect secondary xylem development and wood properties. Pinus massonia and Cunninghamia lanceolata, commercially important timber species, were chosen to study the differences in wood ray traits of juvenile versus mature wood. Seven ray traits, i.e., percentage of rays, ray spacing, [...] Read more.
Ray traits affect secondary xylem development and wood properties. Pinus massonia and Cunninghamia lanceolata, commercially important timber species, were chosen to study the differences in wood ray traits of juvenile versus mature wood. Seven ray traits, i.e., percentage of rays, ray spacing, ray number, uniseriate ray height, fusiform ray height, ray parenchyma cell length and ray tracheid length, as well as eight wood axial tissue traits, were investigated quantitatively. Intraspecific variations in ray traits and axial tissue traits between juvenile wood and mature wood were displayed in violin plots. The results showed that anatomical differences between juvenile wood and mature wood were significant for both ray traits and axial tissue traits. Juvenile wood generally possessed the larger percentage of rays, higher ray spacing and ray number, smaller ray height and shorter ray cells than mature wood. A positive correlation was present between the ray parenchyma cell length and ray tracheid length. Negative correlations of the ray number and ray spacing with uniseriate ray height were found. Additionally, the axial tracheid cell wall thickness all had Pearson’s correlations with ray spacing, ray number and ray parenchyma cell length. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Formation and Environmental Constraints: Multiscale Approach)
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Article
Tree Species Composition in Mixed Plantations Influences Plant Growth, Intrinsic Water Use Efficiency and Soil Carbon Stock
Forests 2021, 12(9), 1251; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12091251 - 15 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 927
Abstract
Species interactions in mixed plantations can influence tree growth, resources capture and soil fertility of the stands. A combined approach of tree-ring analyses and carbon stable isotope was used to check tree growth and water use efficiency of two species, Populus alba L. [...] Read more.
Species interactions in mixed plantations can influence tree growth, resources capture and soil fertility of the stands. A combined approach of tree-ring analyses and carbon stable isotope was used to check tree growth and water use efficiency of two species, Populus alba L. and Juglans regia L., intercropped with each other and with N-fixing or competitive production species. Furthermore, soil analyses were performed to understand how the different intercropping systems can influence soil characteristics, in particular soil carbon stock. Dendrochronological data showed that during the first years, the growth of principal species was favored by intercropping. This positive effect decreased in the following years in most of intercropped stands, due to light competition with the crown of companion species. Carbon isotope data showed that P. alba and J. regia had the highest intrinsic water use efficiency when growing with Elaeagnus umbellata Thunb, a shrubby species with a shallow root system that favors a non-competitive exploitation of soil water resources. Finally, the intercropping of the principal species with Corylus avellana L. promoted the highest soil C stock. Our findings confirmed the importance to consider the plantation dynamics and wood formation in the long-run and to apply appropriate thinning and pruning interventions to counteract interspecific competition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Formation and Environmental Constraints: Multiscale Approach)
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Article
Xylem and Phloem Formation Dynamics in Quercus ilex L. at a Dry Site in Southern Italy
Forests 2021, 12(2), 188; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12020188 - 07 Feb 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1231
Abstract
Quercus ilex L. dieback has been recently reported at numerous Mediterranean sites. Wood and phloem formation dynamics and tree-ring series of anatomical traits can be used to evaluate growth conditions of trees. We monitored cambial activity in Q. ilex trees growing at a [...] Read more.
Quercus ilex L. dieback has been recently reported at numerous Mediterranean sites. Wood and phloem formation dynamics and tree-ring series of anatomical traits can be used to evaluate growth conditions of trees. We monitored cambial activity in Q. ilex trees growing at a site in southern Italy in order to assess how xylem and phloem production are affected by harsh seasonal climatic variation during a dry year. We followed xylogenesis by counting the number of cambial cells and detecting the occurrence of post-cambial cells throughout the year. As phloem did not show clear growth rings and boundaries between them, we followed the development of phloem fibres—their morphological traits during development and the distance from the cambium served as a reference point to evaluate the phloem production during the year. We detected a multimodal pattern in cambial activity, with wood production in three periods of the year and consequent formation of intra-annual density fluctuations (IADFs). The lowest production of xylem cells was observed in the dry late spring and summer period (likely due to the low water availability), while the highest occurred in autumn (the wettest period). Although we could not differentiate between early and late phloem, the analysis of phloem traits was useful to follow the dynamics of phloem production, which is generally difficult in Mediterranean tree species. We found cambial production of phloem throughout the year, even in the periods without xylem production. The results showed that if tree growth was constrained by environmental limitations, the ratio between xylem to phloem cells decreased and, in the most severely affected trees, more cells were formed preferentially in the phloem compared to xylem. We also briefly report the way in which to solve technical problems with tissue preparation due to extreme hardness and to the peculiar structure of Q. ilex wood and outer bark. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Formation and Environmental Constraints: Multiscale Approach)
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Article
Streamflow Variability Indicated by False Rings in Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum (L.) Rich.)
Forests 2020, 11(10), 1100; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11101100 - 16 Oct 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1099
Abstract
Despite growing in wet lowland and riparian settings, Taxodium distichum (L.) Rich. (bald cypress) has a strong response to hydroclimate variability, and tree ring chronologies derived from bald cypress have been used extensively to reconstruct drought, precipitation and streamflow. Previous studies have also [...] Read more.
Despite growing in wet lowland and riparian settings, Taxodium distichum (L.) Rich. (bald cypress) has a strong response to hydroclimate variability, and tree ring chronologies derived from bald cypress have been used extensively to reconstruct drought, precipitation and streamflow. Previous studies have also demonstrated that false rings in bald cypress appear to be the result of variations in water availability during the growing season. In this study 28 trees from two sites located adjacent to the Choctawhatchee River in Northwestern Florida, USA were used to develop a false ring record extending from 1881 to 2014. Twenty false ring events were recorded during the available instrumental era (1931–2014). This record was compared with daily and monthly streamflow data from a nearby gage. All 20 of the false-ring events recorded during the instrumental period occurred during years in which greatly increased streamflow occurred late in the growing season. Many of these wet events appear to be the result of rainfall resulting from landfalling tropical cyclones. We also found that the intra-annual position of false rings within growth rings reflects streamflow variability and combining the false-ring record with tree ring width chronologies improves the estimation of overall summer streamflow by 14%. Future work using these and other quantitative approaches for the identification and measurement of false ring variables in tree rings may improve tree-ring reconstructions of streamflow and potentially the record of tropical cyclone rainfall events. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Formation and Environmental Constraints: Multiscale Approach)
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