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Special Issue "Cool Forests at risk? The Critical Role of Boreal and Mountain Ecosystems for People, Bioeconomy, and Climate"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 June 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Florian Kraxner

Center for Landscape Resilience & Management (CLR), Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM), International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Laxenburg, Austria
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Interests: Forest and land use modeling, sustainable biomass production, forest-based bioenergy, renewable energy systems, forest ecosystems services, forest certification, SDGs and the forest, land-based negative emission technologies (NETs) including afforestation, reforestation, restoration, and BECCS
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Jaana Bäck

Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR), Forest Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
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Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Hélène Genet

Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, USA
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Guest Editor
Dr. Liudmila Mukhortova

Russian Academy of Sciences, V.N. Sukachev Institute of Forest, Krasnoyarsk, Russian Federation
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Guest Editor
Mr. Aapo Rautiainen

Natural Resources Institute Finland, Helsinki, Finland
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Guest Editor
Dr. Anni Reissell

1. Arctic Futures Initiative, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Laxenburg, Austria
2. Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR), University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
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Interests: Inter- and transdisciplinary Arctic research on social, economical, technological, environmental and political aspects; stakeholders and participatory engagement; science diplomacy, integrated land-ecosystem atmosphere processes in relation to climate change and global change; global change research and international global change research programs and policies; atmospheric chemistry and measurements; ambient air and chamber studies of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOC); sampling and measurements of BVOC; natural radioactivity; air quality measurements and quality control procedures for sampling and analysis of inorganic and organic compounds, aerosol particles
Guest Editor
Dr. Vincent Roy

Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Ottawa, Canada
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Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Dmitry Schepaschenko

1 Center for Landscape Resilience & Management (CLR), Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM), International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Laxenburg, Austria
2 Bauman Moscow State Technical University, Mytischi, Moscow, Russian Federation
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Special Issue Information

Selected Articles from the IBFRA18 Conference, hosted by the International Boreal Forest Research Association (IBFRA), the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), the Pan-Eurasian Experiment (PEEX), and the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), 17-20 September 2018, in Laxenburg, Austria.

Dear Colleagues,

Forests developed in regions of cold climate over thousands of years. These “Cool Forests”, located in boreal and mountain areas, make up more than one third of the global forest extent. They are found from the circumpolar belt in the northern hemisphere to high-elevation zones in temperate, mid-latitude and tropical zones. Cool Forests show many similarities throughout the boreal and high mountain ecozones - especially with respect to species composition, growth patterns, and response to climate exposure. They are tremendously important for carbon storage, together forming the single largest carbon pool of all terrestrial ecosystems. Cool Forests are partially underlined by permafrost soils and deliver much of the world’s harvested wood products including timber, pulp, and paper. Furthermore, they are home to unique landscapes and biological diversity, providing ecosystems that are crucial for the livelihoods of millions of people.

Yet, the impacts of current social, economic, environmental, and technological changes on Cool Forests remain uncertain. As climate is changing and temperatures rise, the permafrost is thawing, resulting in significant release of greenhouse gases which further accelerate climate change. Permafrost thawing in mountain and boreal ecozones has already caused soil collapses, landslides, rock falls, and mudflows (e.g. in densely populated areas of the Alps and in the Third Pole region). In addition, rising temperatures are linked to an increase in the frequency and severity of natural disturbances such as wildfire, insect outbreaks, and wind storms and thus present a growing threat to people and nature, the bioeconomy and the climate.

This special issue aims at collecting the insights gained at the 2018 International Boreal Forest Research Association Conference “Cool Forests at Risk?” (https://ibfra18.org), where over 200 experts from science, policy, and the civil society from around 30 countries and all continents came together to pool knowledge and expertise to examine the critical ecosystem services of Cool Forests, identify their risks and vulnerability, and propose options to maintain and sustainably manage them. Furthermore, the conference aimed at identifying future pathways for policy, industry, and civil society, and – vice-versa – to inform the scientific community on how to develop transdisciplinary strategies through improved collaboration and communication. Ultimately, the goal was to raise awareness of the critical role of boreal and mountain forest ecosystems for people, bioeconomy, and climate through the Cool Forest Ambassador Initiative to support further research on Cool Forests.

Failing to maintain and sustainably manage Cool Forests could put millions of livelihoods and indispensable ecosystems at risk and simultaneously, render the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and likewise the aims of the Paris Agreement unattainable.

Considering the above risks and goals, we invite transdisciplinary articles targeting new insights into a broad array of topics including: Cool Forests and climate change; Risk resilient and sustainable management of Cool Forests to contribute to the SDGs — also bridging to the Food–Water–Energy Nexus; innovative products contributing to a healthy bioeconomy; the generation of relevant new information through monitoring and citizen science; ecosystem services and their protection including forest restoration; forest-based negative emission technologies including afforestation and BECCS; marketing and social aspects; as well as new forest-related strategies and policies, their implementation and impacts.

The issue is also open to receiving regular submissions that discuss a relevant topic.

Dr. Florian Kraxner
Prof. Dr. Jaana Bäck
Prof. Dr. Hélène Genet
Dr. Liudmila Mukhortova
Mr. Aapo Rautiainen
Dr. Anni Reissell
Dr. Vincent Roy
Prof. Dr. Dmitry Schepaschenko
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

  • Cool Forests
  • Boreal forests and ecosystems
  • Mountain forests and ecosystems
  • Global change
  • Low temperature forests
  • Cool Forests in the tropics
  • Cool Forests and the Mid-Latitude Ecotone
  • Cool Forests and the Third Pole
  • Cool Forests and climate change
  • Biogeochemical cycles
  • Permafrost
  • Innovative Cool Forest products
  • Adaptive risk resilient forest management
  • Sustainable biomass production
  • Cool Forests and the bioeconomy
  • Forest fires and other disturbances
  • Negative Emissions from Cool Forests
  • Cool Forest afforestation, reforestation, and restoration
  • Cool Forest policy
  • Cool Forest livelihoods
  • Forest monitoring

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

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.

Fertilization of Norway spruce with wood ash and nitrogen affected both forest growth and composition of chemical defence

Kjersti Holt Hanssen1, Line Nybakken2, Johan Asplund2, Ruben Selmer2 & Nicholas Clarke1

1Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, 2Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences

Abstract: Many studies have shown that fertilization may have positive effects on tree growth and economic outcome in forests. On boreal mineral soils, nitrogen is usually the growth limiting nutrient, but in some cases the addition of other elements has given positive growth effects.  Wood ash supplied together with nitrogen has for instance been shown to prolong the effect of nitrogen fertilization in pine forests. However, fertilization may also affect metabolic processes in the trees, with indirect implications for ecosystem functioning. For instance, phenolic compounds in needles and leaves that protect the trees against herbivores and other forest pests may be reduced, though existing evidence mainly comes from studies on young plants.

We fertilized a 60 year old Norway spruce (Picea abies) stand on rich mineral soil with 3 t ha-1 of wood ash (ASH), 150 kg ha-1 of nitrogen (N) or a combination of wood ash and nitrogen (ASH + N), in addition to control plots without fertilization. After five growing seasons, we remeasured the trees and took core samples. We also sampled current and previous year needles and analyzed total nitrogen and carbon, as well as low-molecular phenolics and condensed tannins.

Forest growth was better in the ASH + N treatment than in control plots. N gave a small positive effect which seemed to be diminishing after only 4-5 years. The ASH + N treatment, on the other hand, showed an increasing growth trend throughout the period.

There was no effect of any of the treatments on the total concentration of phenolic compounds. However, both fertilizer types reduced the concentration of flavonoids, while stilbenes increased under ash fertilization in current year needles but was reduced in previous year needles after fertilization with nitrogen. Nitrogen in combination with ash reduced the concentration of condensed tannins in previous year needles. Although the total concentrations of phenolics were not reduced under fertilization, the changes in composition of compounds may affect the trees’ resistance against stressors.

 

Maximum temperature sums as a valid surrogate for bark beetle attacks on a landscape scale.

Pavel Mezei1, Mária Potterf1, Jaroslav Škvarenina2, Rastislav Jakuš1
Organization(s): 1: Institute of Forest Ecology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Slovak Republic; 2: Faculty of Forestry, Technical University in Zvolen, Slovak Republic

Abstract: Bark beetle outbreaks are one of the main disturbance agents in mountainous forests of Hight Tatras in the Carpathian Mts. (Mezei et al., 2017). Norway spruce forests (Picea abies Karst.) of the High Tatras suffered unprecedented tree mortality caused by Eurasian spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus L.) in recent decades. The number and intensity of future outbreaks is in question. Analysis of the spatiotemporal pattern of bark beetle outbreaks across landscape in several consecutive years can reveal new insights into the population dynamics of tree-killing bark-beetle insects. Bark beetle outbreaks are usually triggered by natural disturbances (wind, drought) and are affected by forest management, climate (temperature, solar radiation, rainfall), stand characteristics (forest age, diameter of trees) and other environmental variables (altitude, slope etc.).

We identified bark beetle spots by yearly analysis of Landsat satellite images from 2006 to 2014 (Havašová et al., 2017) and extrapolated meteorological data on a digital elevation model (DEM). We have found that maximum temperature sums, mean temperature sums and potential radiation are higher in infested spots than in the non-infested spots, especially in the epidemic phase of an outbreak.

Our results indicate that patches of beetle infestations occurred on sites with higher temperature sums during the seasons as non-infested trees and they have received higher solar radiation loads.

 

 

Comparing predictive mapping results of paludification processes in black spruce forests of eastern Canada
Valeria O., T. Corredor, N. Mansuy, A. Laamrani, N.-J. Fenton and A. Beaudoin.

Abstract:  In northern boreal ecosystems of Canada, black spruce forests are naturally prone to paludification. Paludification is the process of accumulation of thick organic matter on the forest floor over time that could lead to reducing tree regeneration and forest growth. Spatial prediction of paludification in black spruce stand is of particular importance in forest management given its effect on forest productivity and profitability of the industry. Using the organic layer thickness (OLT) as a proxy of the paludification process, we compared a Random Forest (RF) using Landsat, Radar and SRTM 30 data and Regression Tree (RT) Based Landscape Segmentation using LiDAR topographic derivatives (i.e., slope, wetness index) for predicting OLT. RF show a cross-validated relative root mean square error (RMSE) for the regression model of 20.70% ±0.476 with an R2 of 0.41 ±0.021. And while RT show, an overall matching of 71% (validating data set n=97 and CV=0,56). We perform a spatial analysis at 30 and 10 m resolution using ground truth data available across the study area (N = 5775). Results show that mean and standard deviation of the RT classifier predictions overestimate OLT compare to RF classifier predictions and measured values for points assigned in each class by the RT classifier. Confusion matrix also shows weak results for each OLT class (A: 0-20 cm, B: 20-40 cm and C: >40 cm) between RT an RF classifiers. RF model predictors show higher correct values 49% for class A, 33% for class B and 18% for class C, compare to RT classifiers. Characterizing the relationships between ecological paludification process and the grain of the data may make it possible to better predict OLT variability in space. Results from this study are critical to support forest land manager’s decision-making and increase knowledge regarding the occurrence of unproductive stands related to paludification at difference scale (i.e.,  landscape, regional).

Keywords: Paludification, Landsat, Radar, Lidar, spatial patterns analysis

 

 

 

Forests EISSN 1999-4907 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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