Special Issue "The Ecology and Biogeochemistry of Old-Growth Forests"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 October 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Christopher Gough
Guest Editor
Department of Biology, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1000 W. Cary Street, Richmond, Virginia 23284, USA
Interests: plant physiological and ecosystem ecology; disturbance ecology; ecological succession; carbon and nitrogen cycling; biogeochemistry; urban forestry; tree–soil interactions; global change biology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Chris Peterson
Guest Editor
Department of Plant Biology, 2502 Miller Plant Sciences, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
Interests: wind damage to trees and forests

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Old-Growth forests are ecological superstars, providing innumerable goods and services in the form of carbon storage, nutrient retention and cycling, species diversity, and rare habitat as well as aesthetic and spiritual value. Yet, the unique ecological and biogeochemical characteristics of old-growth forests remain under-studied and -reported relative to more broadly distributed early and middle successional forests. A consequence is old-growth forest management and land-use policies are less data-informed than their more abundant, younger counterparts. We invite papers that provide novel insights into the ecology, biogeochemistry, and/or management of old-growth forest, and particularly encourage studies that contrast old-growth and younger forests. Recognizing that conventionally defined old-growth forest is exceedingly rare, we define “old-growth” broadly as primary or secondary forest with structural attributes associated with late-successional, but not necessarily steady-state, stages of ecosystem development.  Such features should be clearly described in the methods and include a multi-layered and uneven-aged canopy structure, canopy gap formation, the presence of woody debris, and well-developed soils. Other commonly-assumed features such as large and/or old trees are often present but not essential for a site to be considered old-growth.

Dr. Christopher Gough
Prof. Dr. Chris Peterson
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.


  • old-growth
  • late-successional
  • biogeochemistry
  • carbon cycling
  • diversity
  • habitat
  • management steady-state goods and services

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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