Maintenance of Forest Biodiversity

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2023) | Viewed by 35685

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Guest Editor
Institute of Forest Ecology, Environment and Nature Conservation, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, China
Interests: biodiversity conservation; forest ecology; forest dynamics; vegetation ecology; forest management

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Guest Editor
Ecology and Nature Conservation Institute, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing, China
Interests: forest restoration; community assemblage; biodiversity conservation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Forests play the most dominant roles in maintaining biodiversity among terrestrial ecosystems and providing ecosystem functioning, such as nutrient cycle, carbon sequestration, and ecosystem stability. Over the past several decades, however, global forests are facing unprecedented pressure from climate change and anthropogenic disturbances, resulting in a high rate of biodiversity loss due to deforestation, fragmentation, and degradation. Determining how to maintain biodiversity is extremely urgent if we want to achieve the aims of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The complex structure, species interaction, heterogenic environment, and regional species pool all affect the spatial and temporal patterns of forest species, but it is still unclear how these effects maintain long-term forest biodiversity as forests are undergoing rapid variations in habitat features under global change. To improve our understanding of the underlying mechanism of forest biodiversity maintenance, we have launched this Special Issue to share findings related to species distribution pattern, species coexistence, community assembly, and above- and below-ground biotic interactions across different trophic levels in different forest types across varied spatial and temporal scales. All studies relevant to forest biodiversity maintenance are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Runguo Zang
Prof. Dr. Yi Ding
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • above- and below-ground interactions
  • community assemblage
  • forest dynamic
  • functional diversity
  • natural forests
  • species coexistence

Published Papers (16 papers)

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13 pages, 2527 KiB  
Article
Effects of Edaphic Factors at Different Depths on β-Diversity Patterns for Subtropical Plant Communities Based on MS-GDM in Southern China
by Wei Xu, Miguel Ángel González-Rodríguez, Zehua Li, Zhaowei Tan, Ping Yan and Ping Zhou
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2184; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122184 - 19 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1778
Abstract
Previous research on the relationship between edaphic factors and species diversity patterns has mostly focused on topsoil between 0 and 30 cm, with less attention paid to deeper layers where many plant root systems are concentrated. Since considering deeper edaphic layers might help [...] Read more.
Previous research on the relationship between edaphic factors and species diversity patterns has mostly focused on topsoil between 0 and 30 cm, with less attention paid to deeper layers where many plant root systems are concentrated. Since considering deeper edaphic layers might help to unravel the maintenance mechanisms of plant diversity, in the present study we explored the relationship between vegetation β-diversity and a comprehensive set of soil chemical attributes at different depths. Based on vegetation and soil data from subtropical broad-leaved forest plots in the Nanling Mountains, China, we analyzed the driving factors of β-diversity patterns of trees, shrubs, and herbs using multi-site generalized dissimilarity modeling (MS-GDM). We found that the species composition dissimilarity of trees, shrubs, and herbs layers in the study area was highly diversified and dominated by species turnover components. Topsoil chemical properties were the best explainers for the β-diversity of trees (52.5%), followed by herbs (40.3%) and shrubs (21.8%). With the increase of soil depth, especially for depth >60 cm, soil chemical elements gradually lost explanatory power. Regarding the β-diversity of trees, it was mainly affected by altitude and available nitrogen (AN), total iron (Fe), and nickel (Ni) content in the soil of 0–60 cm depth. Concerning shrubs, the best β-diversity explainers were altitude, geographical distance, and nutrient elements of the soil above 40 cm. The main factors driving the β-diversity of herbs were altitude, total boron (B), total cadmium (Cd), and total nickel (Ni) of 0–40 cm soil. Overall, our results suggest that the environmental filtration process driven by altitude and soil factors, and dispersal limitations represented by geographical distance, affected the β-diversity patterns of Nanling forest communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maintenance of Forest Biodiversity)
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15 pages, 2993 KiB  
Article
Effects of Forest Gap on Soil Microbial Communities in an Evergreen Broad-Leaved Secondary Forest
by Shiyou Chen, Chunqian Jiang, Yanfeng Bai, Hui Wang, Chunwu Jiang, Ke Huang, Lina Guo, Suping Zeng and Shuren Wang
Forests 2022, 13(12), 2015; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13122015 - 29 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1569
Abstract
Forest gaps play a crucial role in community succession and assembly in forest ecosystems; therefore, they have recently been recognized and implemented as effective forest management practice all over the world. Forest gaps are commonly created as small disturbances in secondary forests to [...] Read more.
Forest gaps play a crucial role in community succession and assembly in forest ecosystems; therefore, they have recently been recognized and implemented as effective forest management practice all over the world. Forest gaps are commonly created as small disturbances in secondary forests to improve forest regeneration, nutrient cycling, ecosystem functioning, and biodiversity. The objective of this study was to investigate the responses of the physico-chemical and biological properties and microbial communities in soil to different sizes of forest gaps—including small gaps (60–80 m2), medium gaps (130–160 m2), and large gaps (270–300 m2)—and to examine the driving factors that influence soil microbial community structure and composition. The results show that Gram-positive bacteria, Gram-negative bacteria, fungi, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), and actinomycetes were mainly aggregated in the gaps, and the structural diversity of soil microbial communities was related to the gap size (p < 0.05). The soil microbial community diversity increased and then decreased with an increase in gap size. Moreover, the effects of the available phosphorus, soil pH, soil water content, available potassium, nitrate nitrogen and ammonium nitrogen on changes in microbial biomass were significant (p < 0.05). The gap area and gap position and their combined interactions also had significant effects on soil nutrients, which impacts the soil microbial community. Medium gaps (130–160 m2) always significantly improved the availability of soil nutrients, and good management practices in secondary forests can provide effective microenvironments for soil microbes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maintenance of Forest Biodiversity)
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14 pages, 3039 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Stand Structure on Understory Herbaceous Plants Species Diversity of Platycladus orientalis Plantations in Beijing, China
by Ranran Cui, Shi Qi, Bingchen Wu, Dai Zhang, Lin Zhang, Piao Zhou, Ning Ma and Xian Huang
Forests 2022, 13(11), 1921; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13111921 - 15 Nov 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1561
Abstract
Species diversity is a crucial index used to evaluate the stability and complexity of forest ecosystems. Studying the relationship between stand structure and understory herbaceous plants species diversity is useful for managers to formulate the best forest structure optimization method with the goal [...] Read more.
Species diversity is a crucial index used to evaluate the stability and complexity of forest ecosystems. Studying the relationship between stand structure and understory herbaceous plants species diversity is useful for managers to formulate the best forest structure optimization method with the goal of improving herbaceous species diversity. In this research, Platycladus orientalis plantations in Beijing were taken as the research object. Pearson’s correlation analysis was used to explore the single-factor correlation between stand structure and understory herbaceous plants species diversity; furthermore, a typical correlation analysis and multiple linear regression were used to explore the multi-factor correlation and analyze the dominant stand structure parameters affecting understory herbaceous plants species diversity. In the range of stand structures studied, the results showed that canopy density was negatively correlated with the Shannon–Wiener index and Simpson index (p < 0.01), and tree density was negatively correlated with the Shannon–Wiener index (p < 0.05). In terms of stand spatial structure, the mingling degree was positively correlated with the Shannon–Wiener index, Simpson index, Margalef richness index and Pielou evenness index (p < 0.05), while the uniform angle was negatively correlated with the Pielou evenness index (p < 0.05). The correlation coefficient of the first group of typical variables in the typical correlation analysis was 0.90 (p < 0.05); from this group of typical variables, it can be concluded that canopy density is the most influential indicator affecting the comprehensive index of understory herbaceous plants species diversity, with a load of −0.690, and the Shannon–Wiener index and Simpson index are the most responsive indicators of changes in the comprehensive index of stand structure, with loads of 0.871 and 0.801, respectively. In the process of the management of Platycladus orientalis plantations under a low altitude, south slope, thin soil layer and hard soil parent material, in order to improve the herbaceous species diversity, the canopy density of the overstory and tree density should be appropriately reduced. Additionally, it is necessary to regulate the horizontal spatial structure of stands. When the trees are randomly distributed and the mingling degree is high, the species diversity of herbs can be increased. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maintenance of Forest Biodiversity)
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12 pages, 2752 KiB  
Article
Community Assembly of Forest Vegetation along Compound Habitat Gradients across Different Climatic Regions in China
by Liangjin Yao, Yue Xu, Chuping Wu, Fuying Deng, Lan Yao, Xunru Ai and Runguo Zang
Forests 2022, 13(10), 1593; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13101593 - 29 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1222
Abstract
Community assembly research has mostly focused on areas with single vegetation types; however, the abiotic and biotic factors affecting community assembly act across regions. Integrating biotic and abiotic factors into “compound” habitats has gained attention as an emerging strategy to analyze spatial and [...] Read more.
Community assembly research has mostly focused on areas with single vegetation types; however, the abiotic and biotic factors affecting community assembly act across regions. Integrating biotic and abiotic factors into “compound” habitats has gained attention as an emerging strategy to analyze spatial and temporal patterns of biodiversity. We used a compound habitat approach to explore the relative roles of habitat filtering, biotic competition, and stochastic processes in the forest community assembly of four climatic zones (tropical, subtropical, temperate, and cold temperate forests). Specifically, we combined biotic and abiotic factors in four compound ecological gradients by principal component analysis (PCA), which we used to assess the geographic and phylogenetic distribution of multiple woody plant functional traits. We found that forest functional and phylogenetic diversity shifted from clustered to overdispersed along the first compound habitat gradient (PC1) across climate zones. This finding indicates that competitive exclusion strongly affected the community assembly in tropical and subtropical forests, while habitat filtering played a key role in cold temperate forests; these mechanisms may both exist and interact in temperate forests. We also found that both habitat filtering and biotic competition affected forest community assembly across climatic regions in China. Our results elucidate the underlying mechanisms driving geographical differentiation of forest vegetation across climatic zones, and bolster empirical evidence for the conservation of forest biodiversity in China. Further research is also needed to explore whether the patterns found in this paper are prevalent in different locations in different climatic zones in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maintenance of Forest Biodiversity)
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14 pages, 1725 KiB  
Article
Variations in Functional Richness and Assembly Mechanisms of the Subtropical Evergreen Broadleaved Forest Communities along Geographical and Environmental Gradients
by Caishuang Huang, Yue Xu and Runguo Zang
Forests 2022, 13(8), 1206; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13081206 - 31 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1577
Abstract
Linking functional trait space and environmental conditions can help to understand how species fill the functional trait space when species increase along environmental gradients. Here, we examined the variations in functional richness (FRic) and their correlations with key environmental variables in forest communities [...] Read more.
Linking functional trait space and environmental conditions can help to understand how species fill the functional trait space when species increase along environmental gradients. Here, we examined the variations in functional richness (FRic) and their correlations with key environmental variables in forest communities along latitudinal, longitudinal, and elevational gradients, by measuring seven functional traits of woody plants in 250 forest plots of 0.04 ha across five locations in the subtropical evergreen broadleaved forests (SEBLF) of China. On this basis, we explored whether environmental filtering constrained the functional volume by using a null model approach. Results showed that FRic decreased with increasing elevation and latitude, while it increased with increasing longitude, mirroring the geographical gradients in species richness. FRic was significantly related to precipitation of driest quarter, soil pH, and total phosphorus. Negative SES.FRic was prevalent (83.2% of the communities) in most SEBLF communities and was negatively related to mean diurnal range. Our study suggested that the geographical variation in the functional space occupied by SEBLF communities was affected mainly by climate and soil conditions. The results of the null model revealed that niche packing was dominant in SEBLF communities, highlighting the importance of environmental filtering in defining functional volume within SEBLF communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maintenance of Forest Biodiversity)
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17 pages, 2463 KiB  
Article
Effects of Forest Gap and Seed Size on Germination and Early Seedling Growth in Quercus acutissima Plantation in Mount Tai, China
by Peili Mao, Xiaoli Kan, Yuanxiang Pang, Ruiqiang Ni, Banghua Cao, Kexin Wang, Jinhao Zhang, Chunxia Tan, Ying Geng, Xiaonan Cao, Shumei Wang, Peng Gao and Jinwei Dong
Forests 2022, 13(7), 1025; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13071025 - 29 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1748
Abstract
Elucidating the influence mechanisms of seed germination and seedling growth is important for revealing the natural regeneration of forest plantations. We collected the seeds from 58-year-old Quercus acutissima Carruth. forest, and the seeds were further divided into three classes: large, medium, and small, [...] Read more.
Elucidating the influence mechanisms of seed germination and seedling growth is important for revealing the natural regeneration of forest plantations. We collected the seeds from 58-year-old Quercus acutissima Carruth. forest, and the seeds were further divided into three classes: large, medium, and small, and sown under the forest gaps (I, 197.82 m2; II, 91.85 m2, III, understory) to observe seed germination and early seedling growth. Precipitation in the study area and soil moisture content in the forest gaps were also observed during the trial period. The results showed that the precipitation in 2019 was similar to that in 2020; both were significantly lower than the precipitation in 2021. The difference in soil water content between gaps I and II was not significant, and both were significantly lower than III. The order of seedling emergence rate in gaps was II > III > I, but the minimum was almost close to zero in I. Large and medium seeds showed significantly greater emergence rate than small seeds. The seedlings of II had higher seedling height, ground diameter, ground diameter relative growth rate, seedling biomass, root surface area, and root volume than those of III. Large seeds had the highest ground diameter, ground diameter relative growth rate, biomass, root mass ratio, root shoot ratio, and root surface area. Correlation analysis showed that seedling biomass was significantly and positively correlated with root surface area and root volume, and significantly and negatively correlated with specific root length and specific root surface area. The regulation of soil moisture in the gap and the adaptability related to seed size were two key factors influencing the seed germination and early seedling growth of Q. acutissima. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maintenance of Forest Biodiversity)
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18 pages, 6439 KiB  
Article
Phylogenetic and Functional Structure of Wood Communities among Different Disturbance Regimes in a Temperate Mountain Forest
by Peikun Li, Zihan Geng, Xueying Wang, Panpan Zhang, Jian Zhang, Shengyan Ding and Qiang Fu
Forests 2022, 13(6), 896; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13060896 - 8 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1748
Abstract
The mechanisms responsible for biodiversity formation and maintenance are central themes in biodiversity conservation. However, the relationships between community assembly, phylogeny, and functional traits remain poorly understood, especially following disturbance. In this study, we examined forest community assembly mechanisms in different disturbance regimes [...] Read more.
The mechanisms responsible for biodiversity formation and maintenance are central themes in biodiversity conservation. However, the relationships between community assembly, phylogeny, and functional traits remain poorly understood, especially following disturbance. In this study, we examined forest community assembly mechanisms in different disturbance regimes across spatial scales and including tree life history classes, using phylogenetic and functional trait metrics. Across disturbance regimes, phylogenetic structure tended to be over-dispersed, while functional structure tended to be clustered. The over-dispersion of phylogenetic structure also increased from small to large diameter species. Moreover, the explanation of spatial distance for the turnover of phylogenetic and functional structure was increased, while environmental distance explained less structure as disturbance intensity decreased. Our findings suggest that niche theory largely explains forest community assembly in different disturbance regimes. Furthermore, environmental filtering plays a major role in moderate to high disturbance regimes, while competitive exclusion is more important in undisturbed and slightly disturbed ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maintenance of Forest Biodiversity)
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18 pages, 3121 KiB  
Article
Spatial Structure Dynamics and Maintenance of a Natural Mixed Forest
by Chaofan Zhou, Di Liu, Keyi Chen, Xuefan Hu, Xiangdong Lei, Linyan Feng, Yuchao Zhang and Huiru Zhang
Forests 2022, 13(6), 888; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13060888 - 7 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2165
Abstract
Spatial structure dynamics play a major role in understanding the mechanisms of forest structure and biodiversity formation. Recently, researches on the spatial structure dynamics utilizing multi-period data have been published. However, these studies only focused on comparative analyses of the spatial structure of [...] Read more.
Spatial structure dynamics play a major role in understanding the mechanisms of forest structure and biodiversity formation. Recently, researches on the spatial structure dynamics utilizing multi-period data have been published. However, these studies only focused on comparative analyses of the spatial structure of multi-period living trees, without an in-depth analysis of the change processes. In this study, we propose a new comprehensive analysis method for dynamic change of the spatial structure at the individual level, which includes three processes (living trees’ flow, mortality process and recruitment process) that have not been considered in previous researches. Four spatial structural parameters (SSSPs, Uniform angle index, Mingling, Dominance and Crowding) and a natural spruce-fir-broadleaf mixed forest with two-phase data were taken as an example to find out the laws of the spatial structure dynamics. All types of dynamic change were named and their proportions were analyzed. The proportion of changes in the SSSPs of individuals was relatively high, even though the mean values of the stand did not change considerably. The five values (0, 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1) of the SSSPs are in mutual flow, and the flows are typically one-step, with three-steps and four-steps changes being uncommon. The processes of mortality and recruitment have a higher influence on the spatial structure than the flow of living trees. The dynamic change of spatial structure analysis method created in this study can capture more features not discovered in earlier approaches, as well as guiding forest management in some ways. Understanding the nuances of these changes is a critical part of reasonable spatial structure and biodiversity maintenance, and should be the focus of future research efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maintenance of Forest Biodiversity)
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13 pages, 2535 KiB  
Article
Beta Diversity Patterns Unlock the Community Assembly of Woody Plant Communities in the Riparian Zone
by Yan He, Shichu Liang, Runhong Liu and Yong Jiang
Forests 2022, 13(5), 673; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13050673 - 27 Apr 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2407
Abstract
Beta diversity refers to changes in community composition across time and space, including species richness and replacement. Few studies have examined beta diversity patterns of riparian vegetation communities in terms of taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional attributes. In this study, we conducted a field [...] Read more.
Beta diversity refers to changes in community composition across time and space, including species richness and replacement. Few studies have examined beta diversity patterns of riparian vegetation communities in terms of taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional attributes. In this study, we conducted a field survey of woody plant communities in the riparian zone of the Lijiang River Basin in China. We analyze variations in taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional beta diversity, the relative contributions of species richness and replacement to beta diversity and the relationships between beta diversity and environmental distance and geographical distance. The results show that: (1) replacement was the dominant component of taxonomic beta diversity and richness was the dominant component of functional and phylogenetic beta diversity; and (2) dispersal limitation and habitat filtering jointly drive the community assembly of woody plant communities in the riparian zone of the Lijiang River Basin. Therefore, when formulating conservation strategies for woody plants along the Lijiang River riparian zone, improving ecological communities and enhancing species dispersal between communities should be given equal attention. From a taxonomic perspective, it is more suitable to establish several small nature reserves, whereas from phylogenetic and functional perspectives, protection should focus on larger nature reserves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maintenance of Forest Biodiversity)
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15 pages, 4679 KiB  
Article
Effects of Precipitation and Soil Moisture on the Characteristics of the Seedling Bank under Quercus acutissima Forest Plantation in Mount Tai, China
by Longmei Guo, Ruiqiang Ni, Xiaoli Kan, Qingzhi Lin, Peili Mao, Banghua Cao, Peng Gao, Jinwei Dong, Wendong Mi and Boping Zhao
Forests 2022, 13(4), 545; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13040545 - 31 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1906
Abstract
Natural regeneration is crucial for the development of sustainable forestry practices in light of the current global climate changes. In this paper, we compared the size distributions of Quercus acutissima seedlings in the understory of Q. acutissima forest plantations in Mount Tai in [...] Read more.
Natural regeneration is crucial for the development of sustainable forestry practices in light of the current global climate changes. In this paper, we compared the size distributions of Quercus acutissima seedlings in the understory of Q. acutissima forest plantations in Mount Tai in 2010 and 2017, studied the physiological and morphological responses of seedlings to the microenvironment, and explored the maintenance mechanisms of the seedling bank. The results showed that the density of understory seedlings in 2017 was only 61.63% of that in 2010, especially in the 20–40 cm height class. Between 2011 and 2016, the precipitation and soil water content were the highest in 2011, followed by 2013. The 2–4-year seedlings (height < 40 cm) were not significantly different in seedling biomass, biomass allocation, and root morphology (root total surface area, root volume, and root average diameter), and were significantly different in total root length, specific root length, specific root surface area, and nonstructural carbohydrate content of root, stem, and leaves. However, 5–6-year seedlings (height > 40 cm) showed the largest biomass. Principal component analysis indicated that altering root morphology, nonstructural carbohydrate, and biomass allocation played significant roles in the drought adaptation of seedlings in the understory. In conclusion, drought stress together with seedling adaptation influenced the dynamics of seedling bank in the understory of Q. acutissima plantations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maintenance of Forest Biodiversity)
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14 pages, 2616 KiB  
Article
Effects of Plant Fine Root Functional Traits and Soil Nutrients on the Diversity of Rhizosphere Microbial Communities in Tropical Cloud Forests in a Dry Season
by Zhiyan Deng, Yichen Wang, Chuchu Xiao, Dexu Zhang, Guang Feng and Wenxing Long
Forests 2022, 13(3), 421; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13030421 - 8 Mar 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2748
Abstract
The composition and diversity of rhizosphere microbial communities may be due to root–soil–microbial interactions. The fine root functional traits and rhizosphere soil environmental factors of 13 representative plants in the Bawangling tropical cloud forest of Hainan Island were measured, to assess the key [...] Read more.
The composition and diversity of rhizosphere microbial communities may be due to root–soil–microbial interactions. The fine root functional traits and rhizosphere soil environmental factors of 13 representative plants in the Bawangling tropical cloud forest of Hainan Island were measured, to assess the key factors driving plant rhizosphere microbial communities. Illumina MiSeq sequencing technology was used to sequence the v3-V4 region of the 16SrDNA gene of 13 plant rhizosphere soil bacteria and the ITS1 region of the fungal ITSrDNA gene. Results showed that there were 355 families, 638 genera, and 719 species of rhizosphere soil bacteria as well as 29 families, 31 genera, and 31 species of rhizosphere soil fungi in the tropical cloud forests. The fine root traits, such as root phosphorus content, the specific root length and specific root area, were significantly negatively correlated with the Faith-pd indices of the bacterial community but were not correlated with the diversity of fungi communities. The soil pH was significantly and positively correlated with the Chao1 index, OTUs, Faith-pd and Simpson indices of the bacteria and fungi communities. The soil available phosphorus content was significantly and negatively correlated with the bacteria Simpson and the fungus Faith-pd indices. ABT analysis showed that soil pH and soil available phosphorus were the most important environmental conditions contributing to the rhizosphere bacterial and fungi communities, respectively. Our findings demonstrate that the soil environments had more influence on rhizosphere soil microbial diversity than the fine root functional traits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maintenance of Forest Biodiversity)
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10 pages, 1614 KiB  
Article
Plant Diversity and Soil Nutrients in a Tropical Coastal Secondary Forest: Association Ordination and Sampling Year Differences
by Muhammad Yaseen, Gaopan Fan, Xingcui Zhou, Wenxing Long and Guang Feng
Forests 2022, 13(3), 376; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13030376 - 24 Feb 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3569
Abstract
Studying the patterns of changes in species diversity and soil properties can improve our knowledge of community succession. However, there is still a gap in understanding how soil conditions are related to plant diversity in tropical coastal secondary forests. We sampled plant diversity [...] Read more.
Studying the patterns of changes in species diversity and soil properties can improve our knowledge of community succession. However, there is still a gap in understanding how soil conditions are related to plant diversity in tropical coastal secondary forests. We sampled plant diversity and soil nutrients spanning two different years (2012 and 2019) to assess the patterns of species diversity and relationships of soil nutrients and species diversity on Hainan Island, southern China. Results showed that the soil pH and total nitrogen (TN) significantly decreased while the soil organic matter (OM) and total phosphorus (TP) significantly increased from 2012 to 2019. Plant species diversity was significantly higher in 2012 than in 2019, and the dominant species significantly changed in two different years. Using multiple regression analysis, we determined that soil TP and TN were significantly related to plant diversity in 2012 and 2019, respectively. Using CCA analysis, TN and OM were the strongest predictors for dominant species in 2012, whereas the soil TP and TN were the strongest predictors for dominant species in 2019. Our findings show a significant change in plant diversity and dominant species after 7 years of development in the tropical coastal secondary forest. The patterns of plant diversity and soil nutrients increase our knowledge of forest restoration in coastal areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maintenance of Forest Biodiversity)
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15 pages, 4286 KiB  
Article
Interspecific Association and Community Stability of Tree Species in Natural Secondary Forests at Different Altitude Gradients in the Southern Taihang Mountains
by Shan-Shan Jin, Yan-Yan Zhang, Meng-Li Zhou, Xiao-Ming Dong, Chen-Hao Chang, Ting Wang and Dong-Feng Yan
Forests 2022, 13(3), 373; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13030373 - 23 Feb 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2899
Abstract
An interspecific association represents an inter-relatedness of different species in spatial distribution and combined with the altitude factor, is key for revealing the formation and evolution of an ecological community. Therefore, we analyzed the changes in interspecific association and community stability at different [...] Read more.
An interspecific association represents an inter-relatedness of different species in spatial distribution and combined with the altitude factor, is key for revealing the formation and evolution of an ecological community. Therefore, we analyzed the changes in interspecific association and community stability at different altitudes in the southern Taihang Mountains using the variance ratio (VR), χ2 test, association coefficient (AC), percentage of co-occurrence (PC) and Godron stability method. In total, 27 sample plots measuring 20 × 20 m were set up and were divided into lower altitude (700~1100 m), medium altitude (1100~1500 m) and higher altitude areas (1500~1900 m) into. The results showed that the overall interspecies association of communities exhibited an insignificant negative association in both the lower (VR = 0.79, W = 7.15) and higher (VR = 0.81, W = 7.36) altitude areas, while an insignificant positive association was observed in the medium (VR = 1.48, W = 13.34) altitude area. Besides, the χ2 test showed the ratio of positively and negatively correlated species pairs decreased as altitude increased with values of 1.39, 1.22 and 0.95 in the lower, medium and higher altitude areas, respectively. Moreover, the AC and PC indices stated that most species pairs had a weaker association in the three altitude areas, but the AC indices also suggested the number of positive association species pairs was more than that of negative association only in medium altitude area. Meanwhile, the Godron stability method showed the distances from the intersection point to the stable point (20 and 80) were still far away, with values of 22.53, 11.92 and 21.34 in the lower, medium and higher altitude areas, respectively, which indicated an unstable succession stage, though the community appeared steadier in the medium altitude area. This study can provide some guidance for effective afforestation and vegetation restoration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maintenance of Forest Biodiversity)
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21 pages, 3580 KiB  
Article
Diversity Monitoring of Coexisting Birds in Urban Forests by Integrating Spectrograms and Object-Based Image Analysis
by Yilin Zhao, Jingli Yan, Jiali Jin, Zhenkai Sun, Luqin Yin, Zitong Bai and Cheng Wang
Forests 2022, 13(2), 264; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13020264 - 8 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2850
Abstract
In the context of rapid urbanization, urban foresters are actively seeking management monitoring programs that address the challenges of urban biodiversity loss. Passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) has attracted attention because it allows for the collection of data passively, objectively, and continuously across large [...] Read more.
In the context of rapid urbanization, urban foresters are actively seeking management monitoring programs that address the challenges of urban biodiversity loss. Passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) has attracted attention because it allows for the collection of data passively, objectively, and continuously across large areas and for extended periods. However, it continues to be a difficult subject due to the massive amount of information that audio recordings contain. Most existing automated analysis methods have limitations in their application in urban areas, with unclear ecological relevance and efficacy. To better support urban forest biodiversity monitoring, we present a novel methodology for automatically extracting bird vocalizations from spectrograms of field audio recordings, integrating object-based classification. We applied this approach to acoustic data from an urban forest in Beijing and achieved an accuracy of 93.55% (±4.78%) in vocalization recognition while requiring less than ⅛ of the time needed for traditional inspection. The difference in efficiency would become more significant as the data size increases because object-based classification allows for batch processing of spectrograms. Using the extracted vocalizations, a series of acoustic and morphological features of bird-vocalization syllables (syllable feature metrics, SFMs) could be calculated to better quantify acoustic events and describe the soundscape. A significant correlation between the SFMs and biodiversity indices was found, with 57% of the variance in species richness, 41% in Shannon’s diversity index and 38% in Simpson’s diversity index being explained by SFMs. Therefore, our proposed method provides an effective complementary tool to existing automated methods for long-term urban forest biodiversity monitoring and conservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maintenance of Forest Biodiversity)
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13 pages, 1767 KiB  
Article
AM Fungi Endow Greater Plant Biomass and Soil Nutrients under Interspecific Competition Rather Than Nutrient Releases for Litter
by Bangli Wu, Yun Guo, Minhong He, Xu Han, Lipeng Zang, Qingfu Liu, Danmei Chen, Tingting Xia, Kaiping Shen, Liling Kang and Yuejun He
Forests 2021, 12(12), 1704; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12121704 - 5 Dec 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2182
Abstract
Plant competition affects belowground ecological processes, such as litter decomposition and nutrient release. Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi play an essential role in plant growth and litter decomposition potentially. However, how plant competition affects the nutrient release of litter through AM fungi remains unclear [...] Read more.
Plant competition affects belowground ecological processes, such as litter decomposition and nutrient release. Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi play an essential role in plant growth and litter decomposition potentially. However, how plant competition affects the nutrient release of litter through AM fungi remains unclear especially for juvenile plants. In this study, a competitive potting experiment was conducted using juvenile seedlings of Broussonetia papyrifera and Carpinus pubescens from a karst habitat, including the intraspecific and interspecific competition treatments. The seedlings were inoculated by AM fungus or not inoculated, and the litter mixtures of B. papyrifera and C. pubescens were added into the soil or not added. The results were as follows: Litter addition significantly increased the root mycorrhizal colonization of two species in intraspecific competition. AM fungus significantly increased the biomass of B. papyrifera seedings and nitrogen release and decreased nitrogen concentration and N/P ratio of litter and further improved the total nitrogen and N/P ratio of soil under litter. The interspecific competition interacting with AM fungus was beneficial to the biomass accumulation of B. papyrifera and improvement of soil nutrients under litter. However, intraspecific competition significantly promoted nutrient releases via AM fungus. In conclusion, we suggest that AM fungi endow greater plant biomass and soil nutrients through interspecific competition, while intraspecific competition prefers to release the nutrients of litter. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maintenance of Forest Biodiversity)
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Review

Jump to: Research

15 pages, 1816 KiB  
Review
Precipitation and Temperature Influence the Relationship between Stand Structural Characteristics and Aboveground Biomass of Forests—A Meta-Analysis
by Yingdong Ma, Anwar Eziz, Ümüt Halik, Abdulla Abliz and Alishir Kurban
Forests 2023, 14(5), 896; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14050896 - 27 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1743
Abstract
Forest aboveground biomass (AGB) is not simply affected by a single factor or a few factors, but also by the interaction between them in complex ways across multiple spatial scales. Understanding the joint effect of stand structural characteristics and climate factors on AGB [...] Read more.
Forest aboveground biomass (AGB) is not simply affected by a single factor or a few factors, but also by the interaction between them in complex ways across multiple spatial scales. Understanding the joint effect of stand structural characteristics and climate factors on AGB on large scales is critical for accurate forest carbon storage prediction and sustainable management. Despite numerous attempts to clarify the relationships between stand structural characteristics (tree density/TD, diameter at breast height/DBH, basal area/BA), climate factors (mean annual temperature/MAT, mean annual precipitation/MAP), and AGB, they remain contentious on a large scale. Therefore, we explored the relationships between stand structural characteristics, climate factors, and AGB at a biome level by meta-analyzing datasets contained in 40 articles from 25 countries, and then answered the questions of how stand structural characteristics influence AGB at the biome level and whether the relationships are regulated by climate on a large scale. Through using regression analysis and the establishment of a structural equation model, the results showed that the influence of basal area on AGB at the biome level was more substantial than that of tree density and DBH, and the significant relationship between basal area and AGB was relatively stable regardless of biome variation, but the effects of tree density and DBH was non-negligible within the biome. Climatic factors (e.g., temperature and precipitation), should be considered. Our meta-analysis illustrated the complicated interactions between climate factors, stand structural characteristics, and the AGB of forests, highlighting the importance of climate effects on regulating stand structural characteristics and AGB relationships. We suggest that basal area be preferred and considered in forest sustainable management practice to optimize stand structure for increasing carbon storage potential, with close attention to local climate conditions. Overall, our meta-analysis will crucially aid forest management and conservation in the context of global environmental changes, and provide novel insights and a scientific reference to lead to future carbon storage research on large scales. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maintenance of Forest Biodiversity)
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