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Special Issue "Competition and Facilitation in Mixed Species Forests"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (5 August 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Sonia Condés

Department of Systems & Natural Resources, School of Forestry & Natural Resources, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Ciudad Universitaria s/n. 28040, Madrid, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +34 91 336 63 97.

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Growth and yield in mixed species forests has been a much-investigated issue recently, due to the importance of these forests under changing societal demands on functions and services, or under aspects related with their higher resilience to changing climate conditions or to biotic damages. The dynamic of this type of forests is driven by mixing effects, i.e., phenomena of competition and facilitation consequence of the different use of above- and below-ground resources between the tree species composing the mixture. Moreover, these mixing effects, which are species-specific, are also modified by environmental conditions, as soil or climate, and other factors such as stand density or age. However, despite the increasing number of studies focusing on mixed forests, there are yet a number of remaining research challenges, such as the influence of horizontal and vertical distribution patterns of species in the mixing effects, the change in net species interactions along abiotic gradients, or the factors to consider for studying the net stand growth emerging from the tree level interactions. Therefore, we encourage studies from all fields, including experimental studies from triplets, monitoring approaches and models, to contribute to this Special Issue in order to promote the better understanding, knowledge and management of mixed forests.

Dr. Sonia Condés
Guest Editor

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 1400 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

  • Mixing Effects
  • Species Interactions
  • Inter- and Intra-Specific Competition
  • Use of Above- and Below-Ground Resources
  • Growth and Yield
  • Productivity of Mixed Stands
  • Overyielding
  • Growth Efficiency
  • Mixed and Pure Stands Comparison
  • Site Conditions-Competition Interactions

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Effect of Species Complementarity on Financial Return in Mixed Stands of European Beech and Scots Pine in Northern Spain
Forests 2018, 9(9), 559; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9090559
Received: 4 August 2018 / Revised: 7 September 2018 / Accepted: 9 September 2018 / Published: 12 September 2018
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Abstract
The research on mixed-species forestry has rapidly increased in recent decades because there is a growing interest in these types of stands for environmental reasons. Their positive influence on ecosystem biodiversity, stability and resilience, as well as their role in the new challenge
[...] Read more.
The research on mixed-species forestry has rapidly increased in recent decades because there is a growing interest in these types of stands for environmental reasons. Their positive influence on ecosystem biodiversity, stability and resilience, as well as their role in the new challenge brought up by the adaptation to global change, have been the object of many research works. However, the economic implications of mixed-species forest management have not deserved the same attention. The objective of this work is to study the effect of species interactions on productivity, and to economically assess this effect. This research is focused on the analysis of financial return and risk in even aged mixed stands of Pinus sylvestris and Fagus sylvatica in Northern Spain. Growth and yield projections for monospecific and mixed stands of Scots pine and European beech were made by means of a previous model developed from a set of the Spanish National Forest Inventory plots in the region of Navarre. Data from yield tables for both species were used. The effect of species proportion on total stand yield was assessed and transgressive overyielding was found for some mixing ratios. A data series on average stumpage price for both species in Spain over a 29-year period was compiled and the joint probability distribution of price data was used to generate 500 price scenarios. Different management alternatives based on species proportion and rotation age were considered and evaluated in terms of profitability and risk. Some management recommendations can be derived from the results obtained, which point at an optimum mixing ratio from 30% to 40% Scots pine and 70% to 60% European beech. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Competition and Facilitation in Mixed Species Forests)
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Open AccessArticle Ecological Interactions between Cork Oak (Quercus suber L.) and Stone Pine (Pinus pinea L.): Results from a Pot Experiment
Forests 2018, 9(9), 534; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9090534
Received: 27 July 2018 / Revised: 28 August 2018 / Accepted: 30 August 2018 / Published: 1 September 2018
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Abstract
Portuguese cork oak (Quercus suber L.) extended mortality and lack of regeneration have been the drivers of important changes in the traditional cork oak woodlands (savanna-like) montado. The decrease in tree cover fosters the mixture with stone pine (Pinus pinea
[...] Read more.
Portuguese cork oak (Quercus suber L.) extended mortality and lack of regeneration have been the drivers of important changes in the traditional cork oak woodlands (savanna-like) montado. The decrease in tree cover fosters the mixture with stone pine (Pinus pinea L.) for pine-nut production providing shelter for oak regeneration. The use of nurse species, namely pines, to help Quercus spp. regeneration is known, but whether cork oak could be favoured by the mixture with stone pine remains a question. A pot experiment with cork oak (Qs) and stone pine (Pp) growing in inter-(Qs×Pp) and intraspecific mixtures (Qs×Qs, Pp×Pp) combinations and in monocultures, was installed in a greenhouse in Lisbon, Portugal. Morphological measurements of above- and belowground biomass components were carried out in 3 harvesting campaigns at 4, 8 and 11 months. Leaf nitrogen content and mycorrhizal symbiotic formations were quantified. During the seedling stage and under comfort water and nutrient conditions, the root growth and morphology of Qs and Pp showed contrasting patterns, suggesting complementary soil exploitation interactions in interspecific mixtures and potential competition in intraspecific mixtures. The mixture of Qs with Pp seems to be advantageous in the first stages of plant growth as Pp develop abundant mycorrhizae symbiosis formations which elicit mycorrhization of Qs plants coexisting in the same pot. This study suggests that stone pine can potentially help in establishing cork oak as seedlings, possibly facilitating nutrient uptake through mycorrhizae. However, complementary field studies are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Competition and Facilitation in Mixed Species Forests)
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Open AccessArticle Estimation and Uncertainty of the Mixing Effects on Scots Pine—European Beech Productivity from National Forest Inventories Data
Forests 2018, 9(9), 518; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9090518
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 22 August 2018 / Accepted: 25 August 2018 / Published: 28 August 2018
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Abstract
An increasing amount of research is focusing on comparing productivity in monospecific versus mixed stands, although it is difficult to reach a general consensus as mixing effects differ both in sign (over-yielding or under-yielding) and magnitude depending on species composition as well as
[...] Read more.
An increasing amount of research is focusing on comparing productivity in monospecific versus mixed stands, although it is difficult to reach a general consensus as mixing effects differ both in sign (over-yielding or under-yielding) and magnitude depending on species composition as well as on site and stand conditions. While long-term experimental plots provide the best option for disentangling the mixing effects, these datasets are not available for all the existing mixtures nor do they cover large gradients of site factors. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects and uncertainties of tree species mixing on the productivity of Scots pine–European beech stands along the gradient of site conditions in Europe, using models developed from National and Regional Forest Inventory data. We found a positive effect of pine on beech basal area growth, which was slightly greater for the more humid sites. In contrast, beech negatively affected pine basal area growth, although the effects switched to positive in the more humid sites. However, the uncertainty analysis revealed that the effect on pine at mid- and more humid sites was not-significant. Our results agree with studies developed from a European transect of temporal triplets in the same pine–beech mixtures, confirming the suitability of these datasets and methodology for evaluating mixing effects at large scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Competition and Facilitation in Mixed Species Forests)
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Open AccessArticle Over- and Underyielding in Time and Space in Experiments with Mixed Stands of Scots Pine and Norway Spruce
Forests 2018, 9(8), 495; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9080495
Received: 7 May 2018 / Revised: 24 July 2018 / Accepted: 31 July 2018 / Published: 13 August 2018
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Abstract
Pine-spruce forests are one of the commonest mixed forest types in Europe and both tree species are very important for wood supply. This study summarized nine European studies with Scots pine and Norway spruce where a mixed-species stand and both monocultures were located
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Pine-spruce forests are one of the commonest mixed forest types in Europe and both tree species are very important for wood supply. This study summarized nine European studies with Scots pine and Norway spruce where a mixed-species stand and both monocultures were located in an experimental set-up. Overyielding (where growth of a mixed stand was greater than the average of both monocultures) was relatively common and often ranged between 0% and 30%, but could also be negative at individual study sites. Each individual site demonstrated consistent patterns of the mixing effect over different measurement periods. Transgressive overyielding (where the mixed-species stand was more productive than either of the monocultures) was found at three study sites, while a monoculture was more productive on the other sites. Large variation between study sites indicated that the existing experiments do not fully represent the extensive region where this mixed pine-spruce forest can occur. Pooled increment data displayed a negative influence of latitude and stand age on the mixing effect of those tree species in forests younger than 70 years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Competition and Facilitation in Mixed Species Forests)
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Open AccessArticle The Contribution of Forest Structure to Complementarity in Mixed Stands of Norway Spruce (Picea abies L. Karst) and European Larch (Larix decidua Mill.)
Forests 2018, 9(7), 410; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9070410
Received: 14 May 2018 / Revised: 3 July 2018 / Accepted: 6 July 2018 / Published: 7 July 2018
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Abstract
An increasing number of investigations into mixed forest stands shows clear interactions between complementarity and stand and site characteristics. One of the least-investigated mixture types are mixed stands of Norway spruce and European larch. We investigated pure and mixed stands of these species
[...] Read more.
An increasing number of investigations into mixed forest stands shows clear interactions between complementarity and stand and site characteristics. One of the least-investigated mixture types are mixed stands of Norway spruce and European larch. We investigated pure and mixed stands of these species in the northern part of the eastern intermediate Alps in Austria, at altitudes between approximately 880 and 1330 m above sea level. In these stands, 12 plots sized between 0.25 ha and 1.6 ha, with varying ages and proportions of Norway spruce, were established. All trees were measured for their coordinates, diameter at breast height, tree height, crown height, and crown projection area. The trees were cored at breast height, and from about 200 felled sample trees, equations for leaf area and for the five-year volume increment were developed. Growth efficiency (volume increment of a species per its fraction of the stand area) exhibited a clear interaction with age: in young mixed stands, spruce as well as larch grew less than the reference from the pure stands, while in the older stands especially spruce grew much better in the mixed stands. When the Clark Evans index was entered into the growth efficiency equations, it could be seen that the spatial distribution of the trees (i) explained more variance than the species proportion and (ii) showed an additional influence of stand density on the complementarity of the species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Competition and Facilitation in Mixed Species Forests)
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Open AccessArticle Nearest Neighborhood Characteristics of a Tropical Mixed Broadleaved Forest Stand
Forests 2018, 9(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9010033
Received: 24 October 2017 / Revised: 4 January 2018 / Accepted: 10 January 2018 / Published: 14 January 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2654 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Structural complexity and local biodiversity of species-rich tropical forests can be characterized by their spatial patterns, which contribute to species intra- and interspecific interactions. Aiming to describe spatial patterns of species at fine spatial scales, we applied the quantitative analyses based on the
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Structural complexity and local biodiversity of species-rich tropical forests can be characterized by their spatial patterns, which contribute to species intra- and interspecific interactions. Aiming to describe spatial patterns of species at fine spatial scales, we applied the quantitative analyses based on the relationships of nearest neighbors of conspecific and heterospecific trees. In a two-hectare plot of a tropical broadleaved forest stand in central Vietnam with minimal human influence, all tree individuals with diameter at breast height ≥ 2.5 cm were mapped and their characteristics were recorded. We applied two different types of analyses: (1) Intraspecific structural characteristics using nearest neighbor statistics; (2) overall interspecific associations through a classification scheme based on bivariate nearest neighbor distribution function D12(r) and Ripley’s K function K12(r). The findings showed that: (1) Most of studied species in the forest were highly mixed with other species, while conspecifics were regular to aggregated distribution at small spatial scales. Tree individuals with different diameter values were surrounded by heterospecific trees; (2) The majority of 306 species-species pairs showed spatial independence (66.7%), whereas 29.8% of all species showed an overall positive association and negative association consisted only a small percentage (3.5%) up to spatial scales of 50 m. We found significant evidences of the main ecological theories such as dispersal limitation, Neutral theory, Janzen-Connell hypothesis, and other effects like the stochastic dilution. We suggest using both the bivariate distribution of the structural parameters and the spatial point pattern analysis based on nearest neighbor distance as advantageous approaches for further understanding of population structure, as well as discovering and protecting biodiversity in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Competition and Facilitation in Mixed Species Forests)
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Other

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Open AccessErratum Erratum: Drössler, L., et al. Over- and Underyielding in Time and Space in Experiments with Mixed Stands of Scots Pine and Norway Spruce. Forests 2018, 9, 495.
Forests 2018, 9(9), 543; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9090543
Received: 31 August 2018 / Accepted: 3 September 2018 / Published: 3 September 2018
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Abstract
After publication of the research paper[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Competition and Facilitation in Mixed Species Forests)
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