E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Old Growth Temperate and Boreal Forests: Processes, Functions, and Dynamics"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Renzo Motta

Department of Agriculture, Forest and Food Sciences (DISAFA), University of Turin, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Mountain silviculture; protective forests; treelines; wildlife impact on forest management; Natura 2000 and biodiversity conservation; CWD; old-growth forests; disturbance regimes and masting
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Williamm Keeton

Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405 USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: old-growth forests; disturbance ecology; forest–stream interactions; carbon dynamics and management; silviculture; sustainable forest management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cultural and scientific thinking and knowledge about forest dynamics and later seral stages has dramatically changed in the last few decades. As a consequence, recognition of the importance of old-growth forests has increased all over the planet, even if the distribution of the current old-growth forests is not uniform. While the boreal biome is still rich in old-growth forests less than 1% of the temperate forests in the northern hemisphere have true old-growth characteristics. Old-growth is important for a variety of functions: Wildlife and plant habitats (richness in rare animal and plant species), aesthetic and cultural values (environmental education, roots of the nature conservation), ecosystem services such as carbon storage and hydrologic regulation, and as references areas for understand ecosystem dynamics and impacts of the climate change. Due to the different scales, perceptions and availability of old-growth forests in different regions, the scientific research is addressed to different fields. Finally, old-growth forests can be employed as reference areas, providing essential information to support development of multi-functional forest management approaches, including late-successional forest restoration.

In this Special Issue, we invite studies from all fields, including original investigations, quantitative results of management interventions, regional or global meta-analysis to promote knowledge and insights on old-growth forests in temperate and boreal forests. Papers exploring dynamics, processes, and functions in old-growth temperate and boreal forest ecosystems are particularly welcome. Those investigating traits associated with resistance or resilience to global change will be prioritized the highest. Single-species focused or purely descriptive studies are of less interest for this special issue.

Prof. Dr. Renzo  Motta
Prof. Dr. Williamm  Keeton
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

  • forest dynamics

  • natural disturbance regime

  • biodiversity

  • conservation

  • restoration

  • silviculture

  • sustainability

  • global change

  • watershed and riparian functions

  • carbon sequestration and ecosystem services

Published Papers (7 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-7
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Watersheds and Trees Fall Together: An Analysis of Intact Forested Watersheds in Southern Patagonia (41–56° S)
Forests 2018, 9(7), 385; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9070385
Received: 1 May 2018 / Revised: 7 June 2018 / Accepted: 19 June 2018 / Published: 28 June 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4445 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
While intact forests have intrinsic value in terms of conserving biodiversity, they are also important for associated ecosystem services of soil and water conservation, in addition to the biodiversity, function and geomorphology of stream and river ecosystems. In this latter context, the perspective [...] Read more.
While intact forests have intrinsic value in terms of conserving biodiversity, they are also important for associated ecosystem services of soil and water conservation, in addition to the biodiversity, function and geomorphology of stream and river ecosystems. In this latter context, the perspective of watershed is more relevant than forest patch, however we are unaware of any landscape assessments of intact forested watersheds (IFWs). We mapped the coverage of forested watersheds with limited intervention for southern Patagonia (Chile, Argentina) using existing forest stand mapping and high resolution stream/watershed delineation (patch size ~ 0.4 km2). Validation and adjusted IFW boundaries was performed using high resolution satellite imagery for three major inland basins representing the north-south range of the study area. For both scales we evaluated size distribution, conservation status, forest type (deciduous vs. evergreen temperate forest) and bio-climatic zones (precipitation range 500 to >6000 mm/year). For the coarse regional analysis potential IFWs covered over 40% of land surface, and included nearly 60% of all forest cover. These figures were significantly reduced following basin scale validation to 6–21% for IFWs and 5–14% of forest contribution to IFW. IFWs identified in the regional analysis were lower elevation (0–100 m) due to abundant coastal drainages, whereas the basin analyses were higher elevation headwaters systems (1000+ m), the largest over 80 km2. Total IFW cover was estimated between 50,000–132,000 km2, the range a reflection of disparate results across these two scales, further highlighting the need for comprehensive revision and field validation. At the same time the difference in areas, defined mostly by minor levels of intervention, indicate the vast potential for management or restoration. Taken together they represent a nationally and globally significant contribution to of intact temperate forests and IFWs. Interactions between forest and stream ecosystems, and their implications for IFW conservation, are discussed in these contexts, based on examples from the region. Finally we used Getis-Ord Gi* statistics to identify hot and cold spots for different attributes, providing an example of a combined index for prioritizing IFW conservation. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Seed Dispersal, Microsites or Competition—What Drives Gap Regeneration in an Old-Growth Forest? An Application of Spatial Point Process Modelling
Forests 2018, 9(5), 230; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9050230
Received: 8 February 2018 / Revised: 29 March 2018 / Accepted: 23 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
PDF Full-text (2353 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The spatial structure of trees is a template for forest dynamics and the outcome of a variety of processes in ecosystems. Identifying the contribution and magnitude of the different drivers is an age-old task in plant ecology. Recently, the modelling of a spatial [...] Read more.
The spatial structure of trees is a template for forest dynamics and the outcome of a variety of processes in ecosystems. Identifying the contribution and magnitude of the different drivers is an age-old task in plant ecology. Recently, the modelling of a spatial point process was used to identify factors driving the spatial distribution of trees at stand scales. Processes driving the coexistence of trees, however, frequently unfold within gaps and questions on the role of resource heterogeneity within-gaps have become central issues in community ecology. We tested the applicability of a spatial point process modelling approach for quantifying the effects of seed dispersal, within gap light environment, microsite heterogeneity, and competition on the generation of within gap spatial structure of small tree seedlings in a temperate, old growth, mixed-species forest. By fitting a non-homogeneous Neyman–Scott point process model, we could disentangle the role of seed dispersal from niche partitioning for within gap tree establishment and did not detect seed densities as a factor explaining the clustering of small trees. We found only a very weak indication for partitioning of within gap light among the three species and detected a clear niche segregation of Picea abies (L.) Karst. on nurse logs. The other two dominating species, Abies alba Mill. and Fagus sylvatica L., did not show signs of within gap segregation. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Resolving Variables Influencing the Residence Time of Biomass in the Old-Age Forest across Climate Gradients
Forests 2018, 9(3), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9030148
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 9 March 2018 / Accepted: 15 March 2018 / Published: 16 March 2018
PDF Full-text (2363 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Standing biomass stocks represent a balance between a number of processes that lead to biomass accumulation or to biomass loss. The average time of biomass residence (ATr) of an ecosystem is the average period of time that carbon is locked up in the [...] Read more.
Standing biomass stocks represent a balance between a number of processes that lead to biomass accumulation or to biomass loss. The average time of biomass residence (ATr) of an ecosystem is the average period of time that carbon is locked up in the living biomass before it is transferred to the litter pool and is an important variable influencing the process leading to biomass loss. Variation in terrestrial ATr with climate is thought to originate from a direct influence of temperature and precipitation on plant mortality. However, variation in ATr may also result from an indirect influence of climate by means of plant age and growing season length. To identify the relative importance of direct and indirect climate effects, we analyzed published data of ecosystem woody biomass and productivity from forest plots across climate gradients, using three approaches: bayesian linear regression, multiple regression, and structural equation modeling. The three approaches provided special insights and they converged in supporting climate as an indirect driver of ATr across climate gradients. Notably, age and growing season length explained most of the variation in ATr, whereas mean annual temperature and precipitation explained almost none, suggesting that climate indirectly influenced ATr. Our analyses provide novel evidence not only supporting that the old-age forests could be a carbon sink with a longer time of biomass residence at a large scale, but also modifying the key drivers of ecosystem processes for vegetation dynamic models. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Predictors of Microhabitat Frequency and Diversity in Mixed Mountain Forests in South-Western Germany
Forests 2018, 9(3), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9030104
Received: 30 January 2018 / Revised: 21 February 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1784 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tree-related microhabitats are an important determinant of forest biodiversity. Habitat trees, which typically provide many microhabitats such as hollows, crown dead wood, etc., are therefore selected to maintain those structural attributes within managed forests. To what extent the occurrence of microhabitats on potential [...] Read more.
Tree-related microhabitats are an important determinant of forest biodiversity. Habitat trees, which typically provide many microhabitats such as hollows, crown dead wood, etc., are therefore selected to maintain those structural attributes within managed forests. To what extent the occurrence of microhabitats on potential habitat trees may be predicted from common tree attributes is a question of high practical relevance. Until now, most studies have attempted to predict the quantity of microhabitats at the tree or forest stand level. In our study, we aimed at explaining microhabitat occurrence from a qualitative perspective by considering their diversity. Tree diameter at breast height (dbh), tree species, and canopy class were useful predictors of microhabitat diversity. Microhabitat diversity on broadleaved trees was on average higher than in conifers of the same diameter. In contrast to microhabitat quantity, microhabitat diversity saturated towards higher dbh levels. Microhabitat diversity in beech trees of lower tree canopy classes was found to be surprisingly high. Habitat trees support not only more, but also more diverse, microhabitats in comparison to crop trees. Considering these findings on microhabitat distribution, the selection of habitat trees within Central European mixed mountain forests can be significantly improved. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Comparing the Quantity and Structure of Deadwood in Selection Managed and Old-Growth Forests in South-East Europe
Forests 2018, 9(2), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9020076
Received: 29 December 2017 / Revised: 26 January 2018 / Accepted: 1 February 2018 / Published: 5 February 2018
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (3665 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The knowledge about the impact of selection silviculture on deadwood components is fairly scarce. This study compared two Dinaric old-growth forests (OGFs) with adjacent managed forests (MFs) in which the single-tree selection system has been applied for a century. The comparisons were made [...] Read more.
The knowledge about the impact of selection silviculture on deadwood components is fairly scarce. This study compared two Dinaric old-growth forests (OGFs) with adjacent managed forests (MFs) in which the single-tree selection system has been applied for a century. The comparisons were made in terms of the current amounts of coarse woody debris (CWD), distribution of its decay stages, and diameter structure of different CWD types (snags, logs, stumps). The relationship between the volume of live and dead trees was also examined. In both OGFs and MFs, the most snags were found in the third decay stage, while the volume of logs and stumps increased from the first to fifth decay class. The study showed the clear advantage of OGFs over adjacent selection MFs in terms of CWD volume, whereas the basal area of live trees and growing stock were not always reliable indicators for distinguishing between MFs and OGFs. The diameter distribution of individual CWD types (snags, logs, stumps) also differed significantly between selection MFs and OGFs in all tested pairs. This fact, along with the significant differences in CWD volume, indicates that selection silviculture should be amended to incorporate practices that ensure more natural management of deadwood components. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Role of Environmental Filtering in Structuring Appalachian Tree Communities: Topographic Influences on Functional Diversity Are Mediated through Soil Characteristics
Forests 2018, 9(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9010019
Received: 20 October 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 4 January 2018 / Published: 6 January 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3566 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Identifying the drivers of community assembly has long been a central goal in ecology, and the development of functional diversity indices has provided a new way of detecting the influence of environmental gradients on biotic communities. For an old-growth Appalachian forest, we used [...] Read more.
Identifying the drivers of community assembly has long been a central goal in ecology, and the development of functional diversity indices has provided a new way of detecting the influence of environmental gradients on biotic communities. For an old-growth Appalachian forest, we used path analysis to understand how patterns of tree functional diversity relate to topography and soil gradients and to determine whether topographic effects are mediated through soil chemistry. All of our path models supported the idea of environmental filtering: stressful areas (high elevation, low soil moisture, low soil nutrients) were occupied by communities of low functional diversity, which suggests a selective effect for species with traits adapted to such harsh conditions. The effects of topography (slope, aspect, elevation) on functional diversity were often indirect and moderated through soil moisture and fertility. Soil moisture was a key component of our models and was featured consistently in each one, having either strong direct effects on functional diversity or indirect effects via soil fertility. Our results provide a comprehensive view of the interplay among functional trait assemblages, topography, and edaphic conditions and contribute to the baseline understanding of the role of environmental filtering in temperate forest community assembly. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Differentiating Structural and Compositional Attributes across Successional Stages in Chilean Temperate Rainforests
Forests 2017, 8(9), 329; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8090329
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 19 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 6 September 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2610 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The landscape in the lowlands of south-central Chile is dominated by agricultural lands and forestry plantations of exotic species. Natural forests are restricted to successional forests, while old-growth forests are nearly absent. The lack of old-growth forests may deprive society from some ecosystem [...] Read more.
The landscape in the lowlands of south-central Chile is dominated by agricultural lands and forestry plantations of exotic species. Natural forests are restricted to successional forests, while old-growth forests are nearly absent. The lack of old-growth forests may deprive society from some ecosystem services. Both successional and old forests differ in their ecological functions and in the ecosystem services they can provide. To promote old-growth characteristics in successional forests, it becomes necessary to know which compositional and structural attributes differentiate forests along succession. We aim at identifying the differential attributes among successional and old-growth forests in the lowlands in the northern portion of the Valdivian Rainforests. We analyzed 19 variables in seven different forests and found statistically significant differences in 13 of them. A subset of these variables illustrated major patterns that differentiate successional stages, of which a few could be more easily controlled through management. The latter include lowering tree densities (from >3000 to <1500 trees per hectare), increasing volume of large trees, especially of shade-tolerant species, and structural heterogeneity (a Gini coefficient >0.7 represents older forests). While successional forest show a rapid recovery, forest managers would need to focus in controlling these attributes to increase their old-growth characteristics. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

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