Special Issue "Characterization and Regionalization of Disturbance Regimes Affecting 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 (31 January 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Sylvie Gauthier
Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Research Scientist, Forest and Fire Ecology, Laurentian Forestry Centre, 1055 Du P.E.P.S. Street, P.O. Box 10380, Québec, QC G1V 4C7, Canada
Interests: fire ecology; fire management; forest ecology; forest management; climate change; boreal forest
Dr. Louis De Grandpré
Website
Guest Editor
Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Laurentian Forestry Centre, 1055 du PEPS, P.O. Box 10380, Stn. Ste-Foy, Québec, QC, G1V 4C7, Canada
Interests: boreal forest ecology; community ecology; impact of disturbances on forest development; climate change and forest growth; sustainable forest management; ecosystem based management; climatic and biotic stresses and tree mortality

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Disturbances are affecting forest ecosystem processes and functions in all forest biomes of the world. As disturbance regimes vary in space and time, as a function of regional climatic variability, physical set-up and biota, they will be subject to global change impacts. Their characterization (distribution of shape, size, interval, and severity/intensity) and regionalization are therefore essential to understand forest ecosystem at various spatial and temporal scales. In this Special Issue, we invite papers describing regional disturbance regimes of various types such as fire, insect, windstorms, landslides, etc., and the factors influencing their characteristics. We also invite papers discussing the synergism/antagonism or the interaction between different disturbance types (biotic and/or abiotic) and/or with forest management. Methods developed to regionalise disturbance regimes are also welcome.

Dr. Sylvie Gauthier
Dr. Louis De Grandpré
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

  • fire
  • insect
  • windthrow
  • landslides
  • drought
  • avalanche
  • disturbance
  • synergism/antagonism
  • dendroecology paleoecology
  • boreal forest
  • temperate forest
  • tropical forest

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Twenty-Five Years of Aboveground Biomass and Carbon Accumulation Following Extreme Wind Damage in an Old-Growth Forest
Forests 2019, 10(3), 289; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10030289 - 23 Mar 2019
Abstract
Modeling of carbon dynamics at the landscape, regional, and continental scales is currently limited by few empirical studies of biomass and carbon accumulation after some types of disturbances. For temperate forests of North America, only three previous studies described biomass and carbon accumulation [...] Read more.
Modeling of carbon dynamics at the landscape, regional, and continental scales is currently limited by few empirical studies of biomass and carbon accumulation after some types of disturbances. For temperate forests of North America, only three previous studies described biomass and carbon accumulation after wind disturbances, and those were limited by either coarse temporal resolution of the first several decades, or limited time span. Here, 25 years of aboveground biomass and carbon accumulation following severe wind disturbance of an old-growth hemlock-northern hardwoods forest of northwestern Pennsylvania are documented to characterize the temporal trends with fine temporal resolution and extend into the third decade post-disturbance. Mature undisturbed forest at the site supported roughly 296 Mg ha−1 live aboveground biomass and 148 Mg ha−1 of carbon. The disturbance reduced the aboveground woody biomass to ~7 Mg ha−1, and carbon to ~3.5 Mg ha−1. During regrowth, biomass and carbon accumulated slowly at first (e.g., 2–4 Mg ha−1 year−1 for biomass and 1–2 Mg ha−1 year−1 for carbon), but at increasing rates up through approximately 17 years post-disturbance, after which accumulation slowed somewhat to roughly 3.4 Mg ha−1 year−1 of biomass and 1.7 Mg ha−1 year−1 of carbon. It appears that the rates reported here are similar to rates observed after wind disturbance of other temperate forests, but slower than accumulation in some tropical systems. Notably, in tropical forests, post-windthrow accumulation is often very rapid in the first decade followed by decreases, while in the results reported here, there was slow accumulation in the first several years that increased in the second decade and then subsequently slowed. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Influence of Natural and Anthropogenic Linear Canopy Openings on Forest Structural Patterns Investigated Using LiDAR
Forests 2018, 9(9), 540; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9090540 - 02 Sep 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
In much of the commercial boreal forest, dense road networks and energy corridors have been developed to access natural resources with unintended and poorly understood effects on surrounding forest structure. In this study, we compare the effects of anthropogenic and natural linear openings [...] Read more.
In much of the commercial boreal forest, dense road networks and energy corridors have been developed to access natural resources with unintended and poorly understood effects on surrounding forest structure. In this study, we compare the effects of anthropogenic and natural linear openings on surrounding forest conditions in black spruce stands (gap fraction, tree and sapling height, and density). Forest structure within a 100 m band around the edges of anthropogenic (roads and power lines), natural linear openings (streams), and a reference black spruce forest was measured by identifying individual stems and canopy gaps on recent high density airborne LiDAR canopy height models. CUSUM curves were used to assess the distance of edge influence. Forests surrounding anthropogenic openings were found to be gappier, less dense, and have smaller trees than those around natural openings. Forests were denser around natural and anthropogenic linear openings than in the reference forest with edge effects observed up to 24–75 m and 18–54 m, respectively, into the forest. A high density of saplings in the gappier forests surrounding anthropogenic openings may eventually lead to a higher forest biomass in the zone area surrounding roads as is currently observed around natural openings. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Development of a New TRIPLEX-Insect Model for Simulating the Effect of Spruce Budworm on Forest Carbon Dynamics
Forests 2018, 9(9), 513; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9090513 - 24 Aug 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
The spruce budworm (SBW) defoliates and kills conifer trees, consequently affecting carbon (C) exchanges between the land and atmosphere. Here, we developed a new TRIPLEX-Insect sub-model to quantify the impacts of insect outbreaks on forest C fluxes. We modeled annual defoliation (AD), cumulative [...] Read more.
The spruce budworm (SBW) defoliates and kills conifer trees, consequently affecting carbon (C) exchanges between the land and atmosphere. Here, we developed a new TRIPLEX-Insect sub-model to quantify the impacts of insect outbreaks on forest C fluxes. We modeled annual defoliation (AD), cumulative defoliation (CD), and tree mortality. The model was validated against observed and published data at the stand level in the North Shore region of Québec and Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Canada. The results suggest that TRIPLEX-Insect performs very well in capturing tree mortality following SBW outbreaks and slightly underestimates current annual volume increment (CAI). In both mature and immature forests, the simulation model suggests a larger reduction in gross primary productivity (GPP) than in autotrophic respiration (Ra) at the same defoliation level when tree mortality was low. After an SBW outbreak, the growth release of surviving trees contributes to the recovery of annual net ecosystem productivity (NEP) based on forest age if mortality is not excessive. Overall, the TRIPLEX-Insect model is capable of simulating C dynamics of balsam fir following SBW disturbances and can be used as an efficient tool in forest insect management. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Revised Historical Fire Regime Analysis in Tunisia (1985–2010) from a Critical Analysis of the National Fire Database and Remote Sensing
Forests 2018, 9(2), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9020059 - 26 Jan 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
Long-term fire history reconstructions provide fruitful information in the context of global change. Global remotely-sensed burned areas offer a uniform estimate of fire regimes worldwide, but hardly capture small fire events and cover only the last 20 years. Burned areas from national statistics [...] Read more.
Long-term fire history reconstructions provide fruitful information in the context of global change. Global remotely-sensed burned areas offer a uniform estimate of fire regimes worldwide, but hardly capture small fire events and cover only the last 20 years. Burned areas from national statistics often lack credibility due to discrepancies in fire report protocols between countries, partial data records and uncertain burned area estimates from field observations. However, they constitute a unique and valuable alternative long-term key source of information. We provide here a detailed critical analysis of the fire database in Tunisia, on the southern boundary of the Mediterranean basin and with a contrasted socio-economic environment compared to the more studied European side. We analyzed the fire record database with a quality checking protocol, combined with remote sensing burned area characterization from Landsat images. The high uncertainties in fire numbers could not lead to any conclusion for an accurate trend estimate. The corrected burned area lead to an average yearly burned area of 1799 ha year−1 compared to previous estimates of 1017 ha year−1, leading to a fraction of burnable land affected by fires of 0.19%, on the lowest range of observations in the Mediterranean basin. From this corrected database, we revised the usually assumed burned area decrease in this region, with no significant trend detected over the 1985–2010 period. We conclude on the need for thorough assessment of data quality in fire history reconstruction from national statistics to prevent misleading conclusions, and for an increased credibility, in order to be further used in fire models benchmarking or fire weather analysis. Our results can contribute to the under-represented fire regime analysis on the southern boundary of the Mediterranean basin. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Incorporating Insect and Wind Disturbances in a Natural Disturbance-Based Management Framework for the Boreal Forest
Forests 2018, 9(8), 471; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9080471 - 02 Aug 2018
Cited by 18
Abstract
Natural disturbances are fundamental to forest ecosystem dynamics and have been used for two decades to improve forest management, notably in the boreal forest. Initially based on fire regimes, there is now a need to extend the concept to include other types of [...] Read more.
Natural disturbances are fundamental to forest ecosystem dynamics and have been used for two decades to improve forest management, notably in the boreal forest. Initially based on fire regimes, there is now a need to extend the concept to include other types of disturbances as they can greatly contribute to forest dynamics in some regions of the boreal zone. Here we review the main descriptors—that is, the severity, specificity, spatial and temporal descriptors and legacies, of windthrow and spruce bud worm outbreak disturbance regimes in boreal forests—in order to facilitate incorporating them into a natural disturbance-based forest management framework. We also describe the biological legacies that are generated by these disturbances. Temporal and spatial descriptors characterising both disturbance types are generally variable in time and space. This makes them difficult to reproduce in an ecosystem management framework. However, severity and specificity descriptors may provide a template upon which policies for maintaining post harvesting and salvage logging biological legacies can be based. In a context in which management mainly targets mature and old-growth stages, integrating insect and wind disturbances in a management framework is an important goal, as these disturbances contribute to creating heterogeneity in mature and old-growth forest characteristics. Full article
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