Special Issue "Wood Science and Tropical Forest Ecology"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2019
Dr. Hans Beeckman
Service of Wood Biology, Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA), Leuvensesteenweg 13, 3080 Tervuren, Belgium
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Phone: + 32 (0) 2 769 56 11
Interests: Wood biology understood as the study of wood as a result of growth, the compartmentalization of it in cells and tissues and its variability; xylem anatomy; dendrochronology; carrying capacity of populations and communities of trees and of forest ecosystems; Central African rainforests and woodlands; tropical forests resilience; trait-based ecology; research relevant for development cooperation; epistemology of ecology
Tropical forests stockpile more than half of the terrestrial organic carbon. 98 % of this carbon is wood. The prominence of lignified tissues provides a resounding plea for implying wood research into investigations of the structure and function of tropical forests, their climatic buffering capacities and the resources they contain for local and global economies.
Several aspects of wood science support tropical forest ecology, management and conservation.
Analysis of wood traits help understanding the performance of individual trees. Together with properties, such as wood density, these traits hold key information for ecosystem models on carbon fluxes.
Carbon sequestration processes can be studied using retrospective growth analysis of pith-to-bark samples and through vegetation reconstructions from fossil wood and charcoal.
Wood technological endeavors provide the best understanding of which timber qualities are optimally-suited to which applications, and, as such, help to avoid wasting valuable materials.
Finally, public concern for the fate of tropical forests has resulted in the creation of a number of mechanisms for assuring biodiversity conservation and sustainable production of goods and services. Implementation and enforcement of these instruments very often imply various tools from the domain of wood science. Verification of the authenticity of a material is, for instance, done through microscopic or chemical identification.
Altogether, tropical wood science comprises a firm foundation of global change research. The special issue will illustrate this statement with papers on different applications of wood research.
Dr. Hans Beeckman
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.
- trait-based ecology
- wood anatomy
- tropical forests
- wood technology
- carbon fluxes
- climate changes
- vegetation history
- sustained yield
- forest resilience
The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.
Title: Wood anatomical traits of mangroves related to salinity stress
Auhtor: Peter Kitin
Abstract: Xylem vessel diameter, vessel frequency, number of bars in scalariform perforation plates, intervessel cell wall thickness, intervessel pit diameter, and vessel/ fiber/parenchyma proportions were measured in roots and stems of five species of mangroves with contrasting saline tolerance and saline desalination physiology. A relative non-mangrove species of Rhizophoraceae was included in the analysis as control. Traits, such as small vessel diameter and thick cell wall which are known to be related to safer water transport are also clearly linked to higher salinity tolerance. The wood anatomical structure of mangroves is discussed in terms of the adaptation to salinity and bio-mechanics required in the coastal environment.
Title: Meta-analysis of liana wood hydraulic traits reveals their competitive advantage for water uptake and transport
Authors: Long Nguyen Hoang, Félicien Meunier, Manfredo di Porcia, Hans Verbeeck
Abstract： While liana proliferation could constitute one of the most important structural changes that tropical forests experience, little is known about the liana vs tree competition for water in tropical ecosystems. It was shown in many studies that woody vines exhibit contrasted water uptake and transport properties as compared to self-supporting trees. To clarify the picture, we performed a meta-analysis of the literature to collect the available data about hydraulic traits of lianas alongside with their wood and leaf structural traits. Relationships between functional and structural traits of lianas were derived and then compared with similar state-of-the-art functions established for tropical trees.
Statistical differences were observed for hydraulic properties between the two groups (lianas vs trees). In particular, for the same wood density, lianas exhibit larger stem conductivities with a ‘riskier’ strategy for water uptake, experiencing more severe cavitation.
The significant correlations between functional and structural parameters were then implemented in a dynamic vegetation model (i.e. the Ecosystem Demography model, ED2). ED2 is an integrated terrestrial biosphere model incorporating hydrology, land-surface biophysics, vegetation dynamics, and soil carbon and nitrogen biogeochemistry being able to represent fine-scale processes and scale them up to the ecosystem level. Among other processes, ED2 simulates the water fluxes and competition in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. Taking into account the plant hydraulic trait diversity, it was recently demonstrated that the plant water uptake and transport properties were responsible for the differentiated responses to water stress in seasonally dry forests.
Site simulations with different levels of drought stress were run to quantitatively assess the impacts of such trait differences in terms of transpiration and biomass distribution. The model runs revealed the competitive advantage of liana hydraulic properties for water uptake and transport for moderate droughts.
Title: Growth rings in Diploknema butyracea – a potential tool for understanding indigenous land rights in Himalayan foothills of Nepal
Running head: D. butyracea growth rings reveal indigenous slush-and-burn history
Authors: Qumrurraman Chowdhury
Abstract: Slash-and-burn is a traditional farming practice of the indigenous (Chepang) community in Himalayan foothills of Nepal. The land tenure system of this community is based on customary oral tradition. However, government’s persistent denial of indigenous land rights has fueled the indigenous land right conflicts in the last few decades. Deliverance of scientific evidence-based arguments may act as a catalyst in the on-going conflict-resolution dialogues between the government authority and indigenous communities. Therefore, dating growth rings of the slash-and-burn trees might offer an opportunity for the indigenous people to proof their land rights in the mountainous landscapes. In this pilot study, we examine the potential of Diploknema butyracea growth rings for documenting land use history of Nepalese indigenous slash-and-burn farming practices. It is an economically important and interesting (as it flushes leaves when everything is dry and sheds leaves while everything is green) deciduous tree species belonging to Sapotacece family and widely distributed in Sub-Himalayan tracts. Five stem discs were studied from the xylarium (RMCA, Tervuren) which were originated from Chitawan district, Nepal. Distinct growth rings were observed in the studied samples which are marked by fiber with thicker cell walls. Growth-ring anomalies, i.e., wedging and partially missing rings were also found. Four out of five samples could be cross-dated at marginal level (GLK ≥ 60 and t ≥ 2.0) which indicating the annual nature of growth rings. However, correlation between growth ring index and precipitation (December - June) was not significant (r = 0.17, n = 82). One sample showed black spots of oxidized wood which are traces of fire and suggesting the evidence of historical slash-and-burn practices in the area since 1933. This study explores the potentials of D. butyracea for growth ring analysis to reconstruct indigenous land use history in Nepal.
Keyword: slash-and-burn practice, growth rings, fire traces, indigenous community, D. butyracea, Nepal