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Special Issue "Coarse Woody Debris of Forests in a Changing World"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 April 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Yowhan Son

Division of Environmental Science and Ecological Engineering, Korea University 145 Anam-ro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 136-701, Korea
Website | E-Mail

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Coarse woody debris (CWD) plays an important role in forests by providing habitats for animals, plants, insects, and microbes, contributing to carbon and nutrient cycling, and forming micro-geomorphology. Even though there are numerous studies on CWD, our knowledge is still quite limited in terms of distribution, function, and decomposition of CWD. First, quantifying CWD at different temporal and spatial scales is necessary, especially differences among physical characteristics, including topography, stand structures, and successional stages of forests and factors influencing temporal and spatial variations in CWD should be determined. Second, the role of CWD in carbon and nutrient cycling needs to be clarified. Carbon storage in CWD to climate change is being examined not only in scientific aspects but also in socio-economic aspects. In addition, cycling nitrogen and other nutrients through CWD is important for newly-germinated seedlings and existing plants. Third, the processes of CWD decomposition including leaching, fragmentation, respiration and biological and physical transformation should be examined and biotic and abiotic factors influencing those processes should be determined. Especially, the effects of termites on CWD decomposition could be more focused on, as termites expand rapidly geographically.

Dr. Yowhan Son
Guest Editor

 

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Keywords

  • Carbon and Nutrients
  • Climate Change
  • Coarse Woody Debris
  • Decomposition
  • Temporal and Spatial Variations
  • Termites

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Coarse Woody Debris Following Silviculture Treatments in Southwest Mixed-Conifer Forest
Forests 2018, 9(6), 347; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9060347
Received: 25 May 2018 / Revised: 7 June 2018 / Accepted: 8 June 2018 / Published: 12 June 2018
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Abstract
Coarse woody debris (CWD) is an important component in the structure and function of southwestern mixed-conifer forest ecosystems. However, fire suppression and exclusion policies have changed the structure and fuel loads, including CWD, during the last 130 years. Consequently, managers are faced with [...] Read more.
Coarse woody debris (CWD) is an important component in the structure and function of southwestern mixed-conifer forest ecosystems. However, fire suppression and exclusion policies have changed the structure and fuel loads, including CWD, during the last 130 years. Consequently, managers are faced with the threat of stand replacement fires over large spatial areas and are seeking solutions to these challenges using silvicultural techniques. Our paper presents CWD characteristics based on 100-h and 1000-h time-lag fuels before (2006) and after (2016) silvicultural treatments including harvest, prescribed fire, and no treatment (control) on mixed-conifer forests in southcentral New Mexico, USA. Results indicated late-season broadcast burns characterized by mild fire behavior reduced 100-h CWD (Mg ha−1) and potentially 1000-h CWD. However, because control sites also saw reduced 1000-h CWD, this result was confounded. Harvest treatments maintained 1000-h CWD, which could be considered a compensatory response given the decrease in CWD on adjacent control sites over the same time period. This was supported by an increase in 1000-h logs per 75 m transect on harvest sites as compared to control sites. Silvicultural prescriptions including prescribed fire are useful tools to increase or decrease CWD to meet management objectives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coarse Woody Debris of Forests in a Changing World)
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Open AccessArticle Dynamics of Coarse Woody Debris Characteristics in the Qinling Mountain Forests in China
Forests 2017, 8(10), 403; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8100403
Received: 15 September 2017 / Revised: 18 October 2017 / Accepted: 20 October 2017 / Published: 23 October 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2752 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Coarse woody debris (CWD) is an essential component in defining the structure and function of forest ecosystems. Long-term dynamics of CWD characteristics not only affect the release rates of chemical elements from CWD, but also the species diversity of inhabiting plants, animals, insects, [...] Read more.
Coarse woody debris (CWD) is an essential component in defining the structure and function of forest ecosystems. Long-term dynamics of CWD characteristics not only affect the release rates of chemical elements from CWD, but also the species diversity of inhabiting plants, animals, insects, and microorganisms as well as the overall health of ecosystems. However, few quantitative studies have been done on the long-term dynamics of CWD characteristics in forest ecosystems in China. In this study, we conducted nine tree censuses between 1996 and 2016 at the Huoditang Experimental Forest in the Qinling Mountains of China. We quantified forest biomass including CWD and CWD characteristics such as decay states and diameter classes during this period and correlated with stand, site, and climatic variables. The forest biomass was dominated by live tree biomass (88%); followed by CWD mass (6%–10%). Understory biomass contributed only a small portion (1%–4%) of the overall biomass. Significant differences in average annual increment of CWD mass were found among forest stands of different species (p < 0.0001). Forest biomass, stand age, forest type, aspect, slope, stand density, annual average temperature, and precipitation were all significantly correlated with CWD mass (p < 0.05), with forest type exhibiting the strongest correlation (r2 = 0.8256). Over time, the annual mass of different CWD characteristics increased linearly from 1996–2016 across all forest types. Our study revealed that forest biomass, including CWD characteristics, varied by forest type. Stand and site characteristics (forest biomass, forest type, aspect, slope and stand density) along with temperature and precipitation played a major role in the dynamics of CWD in the studied forest ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coarse Woody Debris of Forests in a Changing World)
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Open AccessFeature PaperCommunication Differential Effects of Coarse Woody Debris on Microbial and Soil Properties in Pinus densiflora Sieb. et Zucc. Forests
Forests 2017, 8(8), 292; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8080292
Received: 25 July 2017 / Revised: 8 August 2017 / Accepted: 10 August 2017 / Published: 11 August 2017
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1801 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although coarse woody debris (CWD) is important for soil functioning, the mechanism which affects soil properties beneath CWD are unclear. Here, initial changes in microbial and soil properties were studied using homogenous CWD samples in eight Korean red pine (Pinus densiflora Sieb. [...] Read more.
Although coarse woody debris (CWD) is important for soil functioning, the mechanism which affects soil properties beneath CWD are unclear. Here, initial changes in microbial and soil properties were studied using homogenous CWD samples in eight Korean red pine (Pinus densiflora Sieb. et Zucc.) forests. For each forest, CWD samples (diameter: 11.1 ± 0.1 cm; length: 10.2 ± 0.0 cm) from similarly aged Korean red pine trees were laid on the mineral soil surface from May to June, 2016, and soils were sampled at points beneath CWD and at a distance of 1 m from the CWD after 1 year. Soils beneath the CWD had higher moisture but lower inorganic nitrogen (N) and a higher microbial biomass C (carbon)/N ratio than those sampled 1 m from the CWD. No differences in total C and N, labile C, pH, and C substrate utilization between the soils were significant. The difference in inorganic N between the soils decreased with increasing CWD decomposition, whereas that for microbial biomass fraction in total C and N increased correspondingly. Our results showed that soil microbial affinity for retaining N might become higher than that for retaining C under the presence of CWD, which possibly alters N availability and generates a spatial heterogeneity in forest soils. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coarse Woody Debris of Forests in a Changing World)
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Open AccessArticle Carbon and Nitrogen Accumulation and Decomposition from Coarse Woody Debris in a Naturally Regenerated Korean Red Pine (Pinus densiflora S. et Z.) Forest
Forests 2017, 8(6), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8060214
Received: 13 April 2017 / Revised: 6 June 2017 / Accepted: 13 June 2017 / Published: 16 June 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1475 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The contribution of coarse woody debris (CWD) to forest carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) dynamics is poorly quantified. This study quantified total C and N content in CWD and estimated the decomposition rates of CWD at different decay stages in a 70-year-old naturally [...] Read more.
The contribution of coarse woody debris (CWD) to forest carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) dynamics is poorly quantified. This study quantified total C and N content in CWD and estimated the decomposition rates of CWD at different decay stages in a 70-year-old naturally regenerated Korean red pine forest (Pinus densiflora S. et Z.). The N concentration in CWD varied among species and decay classes (from 0.15% to 0.82%), and exhibited a decreasing pattern in C:N ratios with increasing decay class. Total CWD amounts of 4.84 Mg C ha−1, dominated by pine logs (45.4%) and decay class III (40.0%), contained total N of 20.48 kg N ha−1, which was approximately nine times the N input from annual tree mortality. In addition, this study demonstrated that the decay constant rate k was 0.2497 for needle litter, whereas k values were 0.0438, 0.0693, 0.1054, and 0.1947 for red pine CWD of decay class I, II, III, and IV, respectively. The decay rates were significantly related to wood density, N concentration, and C:N ratio across the decay classes of CWD. The results suggest that the C:N ratio of CWD is a key factor affecting its decomposition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coarse Woody Debris of Forests in a Changing World)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Carbon Stocks of Fine Woody Debris in Coppice Oak Forests at Different Development Stages
Forests 2017, 8(6), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8060199
Received: 14 April 2017 / Revised: 31 May 2017 / Accepted: 2 June 2017 / Published: 8 June 2017
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Abstract
Dead woody debris is a significant component of the carbon cycle in forest ecosystems. This study was conducted in coppice-originated oak forests to determine carbon stocks of dead woody debris in addition to carbon stocks of different ecosystem compartments from the same area [...] Read more.
Dead woody debris is a significant component of the carbon cycle in forest ecosystems. This study was conducted in coppice-originated oak forests to determine carbon stocks of dead woody debris in addition to carbon stocks of different ecosystem compartments from the same area and forests which were formerly elucidated. Weight and carbon stocks of woody debris were determined with recent samplings and compared among development stages (diameter at breast height (DBH, D1.3m)), namely small-diameter forests (SDF) = 0–8 cm, medium diameter forests (MDF) = 8–20 cm, and large-diameter forests (LDF) = 20–36 cm). Total woody debris was collected in samplings; as bilateral diameters of all woody debris parts were less than 10 cm, all woody parts were in the “fine woody debris (FWD)” class. The carbon concentrations of FWD were about 48% for all stages. Mass (0.78–4.92 Mg·ha−1) and carbon stocks (0.38–2.39 Mg·ha−1) of FWD were significantly (p > 0.05) different among development stages. FWD carbon stocks were observed to have significant correlation with D1.3m, age, basal area, and carbon stocks of aboveground biomass (Spearman rank correlation coefficients; 0.757, 0.735, 0.709, and 0.694, respectively). The most important effects on carbon budgets of fine woody debris were determined to be coppice management and intensive utilization. Also, national forestry management, treatments of traditional former coppice, and conversion to high forest were emphasized as having substantial effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coarse Woody Debris of Forests in a Changing World)
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Open AccessArticle Plant Debris and Its Contribution to Ecosystem Carbon Storage in Successional Larix gmelinii Forests in Northeastern China
Forests 2017, 8(6), 191; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8060191
Received: 11 April 2017 / Revised: 27 May 2017 / Accepted: 31 May 2017 / Published: 31 May 2017
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Abstract
Plant debris, including woody debris and litter, is an essential but frequently overlooked component of carbon (C) storage in forest ecosystems. Here, we examined the C storage of plant debris and its contribution to total ecosystem C storage in an age sequence of [...] Read more.
Plant debris, including woody debris and litter, is an essential but frequently overlooked component of carbon (C) storage in forest ecosystems. Here, we examined the C storage of plant debris and its contribution to total ecosystem C storage in an age sequence of six larch (Larix gmelinii) forest stands (15, 36, 45, 54, 65, and 138 years old) in northeastern China. The plant debris C storage increased from 6.0 ± 0.5 Mg·C·ha−1 in the 15-year-old stand to a maximum of 9.3 ± 1.8 Mg·C·ha−1 in the 138-year-old stand. The C storage of woody debris increased during stand development in a sigmoidal pattern, increasing from 0.7 ± 0.2 Mg·C·ha−1 in the 15-year-old stand to 4.7 ± 1.3 Mg·C·ha−1 in the 138-year-old stand. However, the C storage of litter (4.6−5.4 Mg·C·ha−1) did not vary with stand age in this larch chronosequence. In addition, the ratio of woody debris to live tree biomass C storage was relatively stable across stands (approximately 3.3%). These results highlight the importance of considering successional development and stand characteristics in assessing changes of plant debris and total ecosystem C storage in the larch forest ecosystem Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coarse Woody Debris of Forests in a Changing World)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Branch Wood Decomposition of Tree Species in a Deciduous Temperate Forest in Korea
Forests 2017, 8(5), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8050176
Received: 11 April 2017 / Revised: 11 May 2017 / Accepted: 12 May 2017 / Published: 19 May 2017
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Abstract
Woody debris, which is supplied by branch litter, is an important component of forest ecosystems as it contains large quantities of organic matter and nutrients. We evaluated changes in branch wood dry weight and nutrient content of six common species (Fraxinus rhynchophylla [...] Read more.
Woody debris, which is supplied by branch litter, is an important component of forest ecosystems as it contains large quantities of organic matter and nutrients. We evaluated changes in branch wood dry weight and nutrient content of six common species (Fraxinus rhynchophylla, Pinus densiflora, Prunus sargentii, Quercus mongolica, Acer pseudosieboldianum, and Symplocos chinensis for. pilosa) in a deciduous temperate forest in Korea for 40 months. Branch wood disk samples 1.4–1.6 cm thick were cut, and mass loss was measured over time using the litterbag method. No significant differences in mass loss were recorded among the six tree species. Further, mass loss was negatively correlated with initial lignin concentration and positively correlated with both initial cellulose concentration and wood density for each species. Species with high wood cellulose content had high wood density while the lignin content in wood was relatively low. Accordingly, cellulose contributed to wood density, creating a relatively lower lignin content, and the decreased lignin concentration increased the wood decomposition rate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coarse Woody Debris of Forests in a Changing World)
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Open AccessArticle Critical Habitat Elements, with an Emphasis on Coarse Woody Debris, Associated with Ant Presence or Absence in the Moist Cold Sub-Boreal Forests of the Interior of British Columbia
Forests 2017, 8(4), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8040129
Received: 28 March 2017 / Revised: 14 April 2017 / Accepted: 17 April 2017 / Published: 20 April 2017
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Abstract
Given both the ubiquity and ecological roles described for ants in British Columbia, an understanding of the habitat elements critical to predicting their presence is desirable. We used logistic regression to model the presence and absence of ants in sub-boreal lodgepole pine ( [...] Read more.
Given both the ubiquity and ecological roles described for ants in British Columbia, an understanding of the habitat elements critical to predicting their presence is desirable. We used logistic regression to model the presence and absence of ants in sub-boreal lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia Engelm. ex S. Watson) forests of west-central British Columbia (BC). Methodological emphasis was placed on the association between ants and coarse woody debris (CWD) because of a high degree of utilization of this resource for nesting. Five species of ants, Camponotus herculeanus (L.), Formica aserva Forel, F. neorufibarbis Emery, Leptothorax muscorum (Nylander), and Myrmica alaskensis Wheeler, comprised approximately 90% of all captures in samples of CWD within five seral ages (2–3, 8–10, 13–15, 23–25 years post-harvest, and non-harvested stands). Seral age, presence of other ant colonies of the same species, decay class of CWD, its surface area, and whether the wood was downed woody debris (DWD) or a stump, were significant variables affecting ant presence or absence. These results are explained in the context of ant species autecology as it relates to living in cool climates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coarse Woody Debris of Forests in a Changing World)
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Responses of Ground-Dwelling Invertebrates to Gap Formation and Accumulation of Woody Debris from Invasive Species, Wind, and Salvage LoggingRunning Title: Perry and Herms: Responses of Ground-Dwelling Invertebrates
Forests 2017, 8(5), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8050174
Received: 12 April 2017 / Revised: 12 May 2017 / Accepted: 13 May 2017 / Published: 18 May 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1123 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Natural and anthropogenic disturbances alter canopy structure, understory vegetation, amount of woody debris, and the litter and soil layers in forest ecosystems. These environmental changes impact forest communities, including ground-dwelling invertebrates that are key regulators of ecosystem processes. Variation in frequency, intensity, duration, [...] Read more.
Natural and anthropogenic disturbances alter canopy structure, understory vegetation, amount of woody debris, and the litter and soil layers in forest ecosystems. These environmental changes impact forest communities, including ground-dwelling invertebrates that are key regulators of ecosystem processes. Variation in frequency, intensity, duration, and spatial scale of disturbances affect the magnitude of these environmental changes and how forest communities and ecosystems are impacted over time. We propose conceptual models that describe the dynamic temporal effects of disturbance caused by invasive insects, wind, and salvage logging on canopy gap formation and accumulation of coarse woody debris (CWD), and their impacts on ground-dwelling invertebrate communities. In the context of this framework, predictions are generated and their implications for ground-dwelling invertebrate communities are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coarse Woody Debris of Forests in a Changing World)
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