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Special Issue "Hardwood Reforestation and Restoration"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 September 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Daniel Gagnon

Department of Biology, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Interests: temperate forest ecology; hardwood reforestation; hardwood restoration; riparian buffers and agroforests; plant conservation biology; ecosystem services
Guest Editor
Dr. Benoit Truax

Eastern Townships Forest Research Trust, Saint-Benoît-du-Lac, Québec, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Interests: hardwood reforestation and silviculture; hardwood restoration; hybrid poplar riparian buffers and agroforests; short rotation woody crops; forest management zoning

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Hardwood-dominated temperate forests (mostly in Eastern North America, Europe, North East Asia) provide valuable renewable timber and numerous ecosystem services. Many of these forests have been subjected to harvesting or conversion to agriculture, sometimes over centuries, that have greatly reduced their former extent and diversity. Natural regeneration following harvesting or during post-agricultural succession has often failed to restore these forests adequately. Past harvesting practices and the valuable timber of some species have led to a reduction in their abundance. The loss of apex predators has caused herbivore populations to increase and exert intense browsing pressure on hardwood regeneration, often preventing it. Particularly important are fruit, nut and acorn bearing species, because of their vital role in forest food webs and biodiversity. Restoring hardwood species to natural forests in which they were formerly more abundant will require a number of forest management actions (e.g., resistant hybrids, deer exclosures/protectors, enrichment planting, underplanting, etc.). Similarly, reforesting areas that were once natural forests will also require new silvicultural knowledge. Global warming trends will intensify the need for interventions to maintain the diversity and function of temperate hardwood forests, as well as for increase hardwood reforestation.  For this Special Issue, we encourage all submissions that are related to the ecology, silviculture and management of hardwood trees.

Prof. Dr. Daniel Gagnon
Dr. Benoit Truax
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

  • Reforestation and afforestation
  • Forest restoration
  • Hardwood trees
  • Northern temperate forests
  • Herbivore damage
  • Riparian buffers and agroforests

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Effect of Predation, Competition, and Facilitation on Tree Survival and Growth in Abandoned Fields: Towards Precision Restoration
Forests 2018, 9(11), 692; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9110692
Received: 8 September 2018 / Revised: 23 October 2018 / Accepted: 1 November 2018 / Published: 7 November 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1647 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tree seedlings planted in abandoned agricultural fields interact with herb communities through competition, tolerance, and facilitation. In addition, they are subject to herbivory by small mammals, deer or invertebrates. To increase the success of forest restoration in abandoned fields and reduce management costs, [...] Read more.
Tree seedlings planted in abandoned agricultural fields interact with herb communities through competition, tolerance, and facilitation. In addition, they are subject to herbivory by small mammals, deer or invertebrates. To increase the success of forest restoration in abandoned fields and reduce management costs, we should determine which species are tolerant to or facilitated by herbaceous vegetation and those which require protection from competition and predation. Eight native tree species were planted in plots covered by herbaceous vegetation, plots where herbaceous vegetation was removed, and plots where seedlings were surrounded by an organic mulch mat. Half of the seedlings were protected against small mammal damage. Results showed that two non-pioneer and moderately shade-tolerant species (yellow birch and red oak) were inhibited by herbaceous vegetation. Birch species were particularly affected by small mammal predation. No effects of predation or herbaceous competition were observed for conifer species. Rather, herbaceous vegetation had a positive effect on the survival and the height growth of tamarack (Larix laricina). None of the tested herb communities had a stronger competitive effect on tree growth than another. Restoration of abandoned fields using multi-tree species should be designed at the seedling scale rather than at the site scale to account for different tree responses to predation and competition as well as variable site conditions. An approach resembling precision agriculture is proposed to lower costs and any potential negative impact of more intensive vegetation management interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hardwood Reforestation and Restoration)
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Open AccessArticle Recent Trends in Large Hardwoods in the Pacific Northwest, USA
Forests 2018, 9(10), 651; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9100651
Received: 1 September 2018 / Revised: 4 October 2018 / Accepted: 10 October 2018 / Published: 19 October 2018
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Abstract
Forest densification, wildfires, and disease can reduce the growth and survival of hardwood trees that are important for biological and cultural diversity within the Pacific Northwest of USA. Large, full-crowned hardwoods that produce fruit and that form large cavities used by wildlife were [...] Read more.
Forest densification, wildfires, and disease can reduce the growth and survival of hardwood trees that are important for biological and cultural diversity within the Pacific Northwest of USA. Large, full-crowned hardwoods that produce fruit and that form large cavities used by wildlife were sustained by frequent, low-severity fires prior to Euro-American colonization. Shifts in fire regimes and other threats could be causing declines in, large hardwood trees. To better understand whether and where such declines might be occurring, we evaluated recent trends in Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) data from 1991–2016 in California and southern Oregon. We included plots that lay within areas of frequent fire regimes during pre-colonial times and potential forest habitats for fisher, a rare mammal that depends on large live hardwoods. We analyzed changes in basal area for eight hardwood species, both overall and within size classes, over three time periods within ecoregions, and in public and private land ownerships. We found the basal area to generally be stable or increasing for these species. However, data for California black oak suggested a slight decline in basal area overall, and among both very large trees and understory trees; that decline was associated with fire mortality on national forest lands. In addition, mature trees with full crowns appeared to sharply decline across all species. Many trends were not statistically significant due to high variation, especially since more precise data from remeasured trees were only available for the two most recent time periods. Continued analysis of these indicators using remeasured trees will help to evaluate whether conservation efforts are sustaining large, full-crowned trees and their associated benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hardwood Reforestation and Restoration)
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Open AccessArticle The Potential Distribution of Tree Species in Three Periods of Time under a Climate Change Scenario
Forests 2018, 9(10), 628; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9100628
Received: 1 September 2018 / Revised: 9 October 2018 / Accepted: 9 October 2018 / Published: 11 October 2018
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Abstract
Species distribution models have become some of the most important tools for the assessment of the impact of climatic change, and human activity, and for the detection of failure in silvicultural or conservation management plans. In this study, we modeled the potential distribution [...] Read more.
Species distribution models have become some of the most important tools for the assessment of the impact of climatic change, and human activity, and for the detection of failure in silvicultural or conservation management plans. In this study, we modeled the potential distribution of 13 tree species of temperate forests distributed in the Mexican state Durango in the Sierra Madre Occidental, for three periods of time. Models were constructed for each period of time using 19 climate variables from the MaxEnt (Maximum Entropy algorithm) modelling algorithm. Those constructed for the future used a severe climate change scenario. When comparing the potential areas of the periods, some species such as Pinus durangensis (Martínez), Pinus teocote (Schiede ex Schltdl. & Cham.) and Quercus crassifolia (Bonpl.) showed no drastic changes. Rather, the models projected a slight reduction, displacement or fragmentation in the potential area of Pinus arizonica (Engelm.), P. cembroides (Zucc), P. engelmanni (Carr), P. leiophylla (Schl), Quercus arizonica (Sarg), Q. magnolifolia (Née) and Q. sideroxila (Humb. & Bonpl.) in the future period. Thus, establishing conservation and reforestation strategies in the medium and long term could guarantee a wide distribution of these species in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hardwood Reforestation and Restoration)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Short-Term Vegetation Responses to Invasive Shrub Control Techniques for Amur Honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii [Rupr.] Herder)
Forests 2018, 9(10), 607; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9100607
Received: 27 August 2018 / Revised: 25 September 2018 / Accepted: 27 September 2018 / Published: 30 September 2018
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Abstract
Invasive shrubs in forest understories threaten biodiversity and forest regeneration in the eastern United States. Controlling these extensive monotypic shrub thickets is a protracted process that slows the restoration of degraded forest land. Invasive shrub removal can be accelerated by using forestry mulching [...] Read more.
Invasive shrubs in forest understories threaten biodiversity and forest regeneration in the eastern United States. Controlling these extensive monotypic shrub thickets is a protracted process that slows the restoration of degraded forest land. Invasive shrub removal can be accelerated by using forestry mulching heads, but evidence from the western United States indicates that mulching heads can promote exotic species establishment and mulch deposition can reduce native plant species abundance. We compared the effectiveness of the mulching head and the “cut-stump” method for controlling the invasive shrub Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii), as well as their impacts on native plant community recovery, in mixed-hardwood forests of Indiana. After two growing seasons, mulching head treatment resulted in greater L. maackii regrowth and regeneration. The recovery of native plant abundance and diversity following shrub removal did not differ between the two methods. However, mulch deposition was associated with increased abundance of garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), an invasive forb. Increasing mulching head treatment depth reduced L. maackii regrowth, but additional study is needed to determine how it affects plant community responses. The mulching head is a promising technique for invasive shrub control and investigating tradeoffs between reducing landscape-scale propagule pressure and increased local establishment will further inform its utility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hardwood Reforestation and Restoration)
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Open AccessArticle Relationships between Tree Vigor Indices and a Tree Classification System Based upon Apparent Stem Defects in Northern Hardwood Stands
Forests 2018, 9(10), 588; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9100588
Received: 10 September 2018 / Accepted: 18 September 2018 / Published: 21 September 2018
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Abstract
Many northern hardwood stands include several low-vigor trees as a result of past management. To restore these degraded stands, partial cuts are applied with partly validated tree classification systems that are based upon apparent stem defects. We sampled 214 sugar maple (Acer [...] Read more.
Many northern hardwood stands include several low-vigor trees as a result of past management. To restore these degraded stands, partial cuts are applied with partly validated tree classification systems that are based upon apparent stem defects. We sampled 214 sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) and 84 yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis Britt.) trees from six sites covering the northern hardwood forest zone of the Province of Quebec, Canada. We evaluated their vigor with a four-class system, and quantified the growth efficiency index and several indices that were based solely upon radial growth. The growth efficiency index increased non-significantly with increasing tree vigor class. The five-year basal area increment (BAI-1-5) was significantly different between the lowest and highest tree vigor classes. Yet, temporal changes in BAI-1-5 helped classify correctly only 16% of high-vigor trees that became poorly vigorous 8–10 years later. Overall, these results suggest that the tree classification system is weakly related to actual tree vigor and its application likely generates few significant gains in future stand vigor. Modifying and simplifying the tree vigor system must be considered to facilitate the tree marking process that is required to improve the vigor of degraded stands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hardwood Reforestation and Restoration)
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Open AccessArticle Ten-Year Responses of Underplanted Northern Red Oak to Silvicultural Treatments, Herbivore Exclusion, and Fertilization
Forests 2018, 9(9), 571; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9090571
Received: 12 August 2018 / Revised: 11 September 2018 / Accepted: 11 September 2018 / Published: 15 September 2018
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Abstract
Establishing adequate advanced oak reproduction prior to final overstory removal is crucial for regenerating oak forests in the eastern U.S. Many management approaches exist to this end, but benefits associated with any individual technique can depend on the suite of techniques employed and [...] Read more.
Establishing adequate advanced oak reproduction prior to final overstory removal is crucial for regenerating oak forests in the eastern U.S. Many management approaches exist to this end, but benefits associated with any individual technique can depend on the suite of techniques employed and the geographic location. At four mixed-hardwood upland forest sites in central and southern Indiana, we tested factorial combinations of deer fencing, controlled-release fertilization, and various silvicultural techniques (midstory removal, crown thinning, and a shelterwood establishment cut) for promoting the growth and survival of underplanted red oak seedlings. Crown thinning resulted in slow growth and low survival. Midstory removal and the shelterwood establishment cut were nearly equally effective for promoting seedling growth. Seedling survival was strongly influenced by fencing, and differences in survival between silvicultural treatments were minimal when fencing was employed. Fertilization had minimal effects overall, only increasing the probability that unfenced seedlings were in competitive positions relative to surrounding vegetation. We suggest that underplanting oak seedlings can augment natural reproduction, but the practice should be accompanied by a combination of midstory removal and fencing, at a minimum, for adequate growth and survival. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hardwood Reforestation and Restoration)
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Open AccessArticle Ecological Factors Affecting White Pine, Red Oak, Bitternut Hickory and Black Walnut Underplanting Success in a Northern Temperate Post-Agricultural Forest
Forests 2018, 9(8), 499; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9080499
Received: 9 July 2018 / Revised: 2 August 2018 / Accepted: 10 August 2018 / Published: 16 August 2018
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Abstract
This study took place in southern Québec (Canada) where young stands of white ash and grey birch have been underplanted with white pine, red oak, bitternut hickory and black walnut. The establishment success of white pine and red oak was measured with and [...] Read more.
This study took place in southern Québec (Canada) where young stands of white ash and grey birch have been underplanted with white pine, red oak, bitternut hickory and black walnut. The establishment success of white pine and red oak was measured with and without tree shelters (to protect from deer). Ecological factors affecting the height growth of the four species were also measured for protected trees. After 6 years, the survival and total height of unprotected oak was 29% and 44.3 cm vs. 80.5% and 138.5 cm for protected oak. White pine was less affected by browsing (survival of 79.5 and 93.5%; height of 138.5 and 217.9 cm for unprotected vs. protected pine). Height of white pine was higher in the grey birch stands, while height of all hardwoods was higher in the white ash stands, which had better soil drainage, higher fertility, and an understory dominated by Rubus species. Total height of all hardwoods was significantly (p < 0.05) correlated with Rubus cover and with soil fertility. Pine and walnut height were strongly correlated (p < 0.001) to shelterwood structure (canopy openness or total basal area). Pine was less sensitive to variations in shelterwood characteristics, while black walnut showed high sensitivity. This study provides evidence that underplanting is suitable for black walnut assisted migration northward and for bitternut hickory restoration, despite soil conditions that were less favorable than in bottomland habitats mainly supporting these species in eastern Canada. Tree shelters offering protection from deer browsing and species-specific site selection are recommended for underplanting in the southern Québec region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hardwood Reforestation and Restoration)
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Open AccessArticle Ungulate Browsing Limits Bird Diversity of the Central European Hardwood Floodplain Forests
Forests 2018, 9(7), 373; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9070373
Received: 20 April 2018 / Revised: 8 June 2018 / Accepted: 13 June 2018 / Published: 21 June 2018
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Abstract
Temperate hardwood floodplain forests along lowland rivers are considered important forest biodiversity refugia in the European cultural landscape. The absence of apex predators combined with an artificial feeding of herbivore populations in winter seasons has caused an increase in browsing pressure on hardwood [...] Read more.
Temperate hardwood floodplain forests along lowland rivers are considered important forest biodiversity refugia in the European cultural landscape. The absence of apex predators combined with an artificial feeding of herbivore populations in winter seasons has caused an increase in browsing pressure on hardwood trees, nearly preventing their regeneration in some localities. There are still important knowledge gaps in understanding the relationships between deer abundance (and browsing pressure) and the abundance (and diversity) of forest bird species in unmanaged hardwood forests. We have studied the red deer and fallow deer browsing pressure in Central European unmanaged hardwood floodplain forests using a novel method based on monitoring browsing pressure along transects combined with bird census data in the Litovelské Pomoraví Protected Landscape Area (Czech Republic). The monitoring data suggested a very high browsing pressure on hardwood trees, causing a strong reduction of the shrub layer and young tree layer (30–210 cm above ground surface). The bird census data from the study area were collected using the territory mapping method. Our results revealed a bird diversity decline in all study plots and the bush nesters guild was found to be completely absent. As bird species from the bush nesters guild are generally common (usually dominant) in hardwood floodplain forest ecosystems with a rich shrub and young tree layer and low browsing pressure, we conclude that intense browsing by large herbivores represents a limiting factor to the bird diversity (especially bush nesters) of hardwood floodplain forests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hardwood Reforestation and Restoration)
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Open AccessArticle Black Plastic Mulch or Herbicide to Accelerate Bur Oak, Black Walnut, and White Pine Growth in Agricultural Riparian Buffers?
Forests 2018, 9(5), 258; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9050258
Received: 10 April 2018 / Revised: 1 May 2018 / Accepted: 7 May 2018 / Published: 10 May 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3692 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study was conducted in a riparian buffer bordering a 1 km segment of a headwater stream crossing a pasture site located in southern Québec (Canada). Three species were planted (black walnut (Juglans nigra L.), bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa Michx.), and [...] Read more.
This study was conducted in a riparian buffer bordering a 1 km segment of a headwater stream crossing a pasture site located in southern Québec (Canada). Three species were planted (black walnut (Juglans nigra L.), bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa Michx.), and eastern white pine (Pinus strobus L.)) with three vegetation treatments (control, herbicide (one application/year for 3 years), and black plastic mulch)). The main objective was to determine to which extent herbicide and plastic mulch, used with species having different ecological characteristics, affect tree growth and soil nutrient status in riparian buffers. Survival was high (>93%) for all species in all treatments. In the control (no vegetation treatment), growth was similar among species. Black walnut had the strongest growth response to herbicide and plastic mulch, and white pine had the weakest. For all species, growth was similar in the herbicide and the plastic mulch treatments. During the fifth growing season, plastic mulch increased soil nitrate and phosphorus compared to the herbicide treatment. In the plastic mulch treatment, higher soil nitrate supply was observed for species that preferentially uptake ammonium (black walnut and white pine). Soil nutrient supplies were similar between the control and herbicide treatments. Despite the more favorable nutritional conditions it provides, permanent black plastic mulching does not provide higher growth benefits after 5 years than a 3-year herbicide treatment. The high soil nitrate supply observed in mulched black walnut and mulched white pine may indicate a limited capacity for nitrate phytoremediation by these species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hardwood Reforestation and Restoration)
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Open AccessArticle Bringing the Natives Back: Identifying and Alleviating Establishment Limitations of Native Hardwood Species in a Conifer Plantation
Forests 2018, 9(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9010003
Received: 13 November 2017 / Revised: 2 December 2017 / Accepted: 6 December 2017 / Published: 1 January 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1973 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
To facilitate the reintroduction of five native late-successional Taiwanese Fagaceae species into Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica (D.) Don) plantations, we experimented with methods to alleviate their establishment limitations. We tested different combinations of tree species, seedling development stages, and site preparation techniques. [...] Read more.
To facilitate the reintroduction of five native late-successional Taiwanese Fagaceae species into Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica (D.) Don) plantations, we experimented with methods to alleviate their establishment limitations. We tested different combinations of tree species, seedling development stages, and site preparation techniques. First, we directly sowed both fresh and germinated acorns under both closed and opened (thinned) canopies. Both fresh and germinated acorns survived only six months at most. Wildlife consumption was the most critical factor hindering their survival. We subsequently experimented with different methods for increasing establishment rates, such as thinning in combination with understory control, applying chemical animal repellents to seeds, using physical barriers against seed predators, and using seedlings of different ages. Among the methods experimented, none was effective. The effects of silvicultural treatments to deter seed consumption lasted only the first few weeks after sowing, whereas the effects of physical barriers were inconsistent. We also tested planting 3-month and 1-year-old seedlings. Seedling survival after 9 months was about 20% on average for 3-month-old seedlings but reached 80% for 1-year-old seedlings. Our results suggest that planting seedlings older than six months or establishing physical obstacles to prevent seed predation will be the most effective strategies to reintroduce late-successional hardwood Fagaceae species into Japanese cedar plantations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hardwood Reforestation and Restoration)
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