Special Issue "Ecological Silviculture Based on Natural Models of Forest Development"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Brian Palik
Guest Editor
USDA Forest Service—Northern Research Station
Interests: natural disturbance; tree regeneration; restoration
Dr. Anthony D'Amato
Guest Editor
Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources-University of Vermont
Interests: forest dynamics; adaptation; silviculture

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Ecological silviculture is an approach for managing forest ecosystems, including trees, other organisms, abiotic components, and their interactions, based on emulation of natural models of disturbance and development.  In doing this, ecological silviculture is used to sustain or restore the structure, composition, and function of ecosystems while managing multiple services, inclusive of timber and other commodities.  Considering ecological silviculture as a unique operating paradigm is still controversial among some researchers and managers, who may view it as nothing more than a tweaking of classic, timber-focused, silviculture. While ecological silviculture is grounded in the rich tradition of classic silviculture, it is arguably different from the latter and uniquely positioned to be responsive to emerging global drivers of forest management, including climate change, the rise of third-party forest certification, and the division of the global forest estate into production and conservation forests. For this Special Issue, we seek research papers that highlight the rationale, implementation, and testing of ecological approaches to silviculture based on natural models in different forest ecosystems around the world. Papers may focus on the scientific underpinnings of the silvicultural approach based on understanding natural models or they may focus on responses to the approach as measured by various ecosystem functions and services, such as regeneration, productivity, structure, diversity, economics, or social acceptability.  With these papers, our goal is to highlight the extent of our understanding, study, and use of ecological silviculture globally.

Dr. Brian Palik
Dr. Anthony D'Amato
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.


  • Forest Dynamics
  • Natural Disturbances
  • Structural Complexity
  • Restoration
  • Natural Models
  • Ecological Forestry
  • Forest Management

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Species Association of the Dominant Tree Species in an Old-Growth Forest and Implications for Enrichment Planting for the Restoration of Natural Degraded Forest in Subtropical China
Forests 2019, 10(11), 957; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10110957 - 26 Oct 2019
Subtropical natural forests are unique due to their ecological and economic functions. However, most of these forests are highly degraded, which impairs the ability to provide ecological and economic benefits. Enrichment planting is an important approach to restore natural degraded forests. Species arrangement [...] Read more.
Subtropical natural forests are unique due to their ecological and economic functions. However, most of these forests are highly degraded, which impairs the ability to provide ecological and economic benefits. Enrichment planting is an important approach to restore natural degraded forests. Species arrangement is of great importance to inform enrichment planting. Species association refers to the interrelationship of different species occupying a habitat and is a static description of the organic connection formed by the interaction of species. Species association, therefore, provides a scientific basis for species arrangement in enrichment planting. Additionally, because an old-growth forest is a climax community that has attained great age without significant disturbance, the species association in an old-growth forest can provide valuable information on the reference conditions for forest management. In this study, the species association between dominant tree species (including saplings and adult trees) was investigated in an old-growth forest in the Gutianshan National Nature Reserve in Zhejiang province in subtropical China. The objective of the study was to inform species arrangement for enrichment planting. The result showed that the overall species association exhibited a significant net positive association, indicating a dynamic balance of stable structure and species composition in the old-growth forest. Additionally, the pairwise species association was examined using the χ2 test, the Dice index, and Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient; significant positive and negative pairwise species associations were detected. Based on the species association and the light requirements of the tree species, an optimal species arrangement was determined to support enrichment planting for restoring natural degraded forests. It is expected that the results of this study will contribute to the restoration of natural degraded forests in subtropical China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Silviculture Based on Natural Models of Forest Development)
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