Special Issue "Forest Ecosystem Restoration on Postindustrial Sites"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 May 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Marcin Pietrzykowski
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Forest Ecology and Reclamat, Institute of Forest Ecology and Silviculture, Faculty of Forestry, Agricultural University of Kraków, Al 29 Listopada 46, PL-31425 Krakow, Poland
Interests: forest ecology; restoration ecology; soil-plant relationships; nutrient cycling; carbon sequestration

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Although many activities of reduction of the fossil fuels used in the world economy are conducted because of carbon dioxide emission, in many countries, coal and oil still play a key role in the energy mix. Additionally, the mining of minerals and metals has an undiscussed role in processes and civilization development. Mining strongly influences the earth’s surface, landscape, and hydrological and biological condition disturbance. Additionally, large portions of post-mining sites are reforested because forest restoration establishes a long-term sustainable ecosystem which ensures landscape and environmental profits. Reforestation, as well, is potentially the most beneficial reclamation measure, as it partially mitigates lost biodiversity, soil disturbance, and ecosystem functions. Thus, forest restoration is of significant interest and meets current global needs. As we know, ecosystem restoration is a process that involves restoring as completely as possible a mined area back to the native biological system that was previously in place, and the recreation of bioecological conditions in which the exchange between the soil, the plants, and biota is dynamic. Expanding the above-discussed ecological restoration, it may be assumed that the multidirectional research about the influence of reclamation procedure, climate, and geological conditions and the criteria of its effects are the key issues. Taking into account the above scientific questions and the need to obtain results from the latest international expert research, we would like to devote a Special Edition of Forests to these issues. The results of the latest research in this field have to include the assessment of, among others, biodiversity, tree growth and biomass rate, soil process development, soil biota, carbon sequestration rate, nutrients circulations, and more. I hope that our discussion can lead to the formulation of the most important conclusions for the future of ecological restoration.

Prof. Dr. Marcin Pietrzykowski
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • post-mining sites
  • reclamation
  • restoration
  • ecosystem
  • ecological assessment
  • mine soil
  • biota
  • tree stands
  • plant
  • succession
  • nutrient cycling

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Forest Ecosystem Development in Coal Mine Degraded Land by Using Integrated Mine Soil Quality Index (IMSQI): The Evidence from India
Forests 2020, 11(12), 1310; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11121310 - 08 Dec 2020
Viewed by 555
Abstract
Research highlights: (1) Ecosystem development assessed in an afforested post-mining site. (2) Soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (TN) stock reached close to the reference forest site after 25 years of afforestation. (3) Integrated mine soil quality index is developed to assess [...] Read more.
Research highlights: (1) Ecosystem development assessed in an afforested post-mining site. (2) Soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (TN) stock reached close to the reference forest site after 25 years of afforestation. (3) Integrated mine soil quality index is developed to assess the reclamation success. Background and Objectives: Estimation of the mine soil quality is one of the most important criterions for evaluating the reclamation success and restoration of novel ecosystems of the post-industrial degraded lands. The aim of this long-term experiment was to investigate the influence of revegetation on Technosol (defined as anthropogenic soil resulted from reclamation of mine spoil materials) as the basic ecosystem development. Materials and Methods: A field study was carried out in the chronosequence afforested post-mining sites (5, 10, 25 years) and compared with natural forest site. We assessed the physicochemical properties and nutrient stock of mine soil and estimated general mine soil quality by using an integrated mine soil quality index (IMSQI). The studies were fully randomized in the chronosequence of afforested post-mining sites. Results: Nutrient dynamics and soil properties (physicochemical and biological) were recovered with the increase age of reclamation. Soil organic carbon (SOC) stock significantly increased from 9.11 Mg C ha−1 in 5 years to 41.37 Mg C ha−1 after 25 years of afforestation. Likewise, total nitrogen (TN) stock significantly increased from 1.06 Mg N ha−1 in 5 years to 4.45 Mg N ha−1 after 25 years of revegetation. Ecosystem carbon pool enhanced at a rate of 6.2 Mg C ha−1 year−1. A Principal Component Analysis (PCA)-based IMSQ index was employed to assess the reclamation success. The most influential properties controlling the health of reclaimed coal mine soil are fine earth fraction, moisture content, SOC and dehydrogenase activity. IMSQ index values are validated with vegetation characteristics. The estimated IMSQI ranged from 0.455 in 5-year-old (RMS5) to 0.746 in 25-year-old reclaimed dump (RMS25). Conclusions: A 25-year-old reclaimed dump having greater IMSQI (0.746) than reference forest soils (0.695) suggested the aptness of revegetation to retrieve soil quality and function in derelict mine land. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Ecosystem Restoration on Postindustrial Sites)
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Open AccessArticle
Verifying the Utility of Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) in the Reclamation of a Lignite Combustion Waste Disposal Site in Central European Conditions
Forests 2020, 11(8), 877; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11080877 - 12 Aug 2020
Viewed by 529
Abstract
N-fixing tree species, such as black locust, have achieved very promising results in the reclamation of technosols, especially those at combustion waste disposal sites, which have extremely poor nutrients and adverse physicochemical parameters. This paper presents an assessment of the survival rates, growth [...] Read more.
N-fixing tree species, such as black locust, have achieved very promising results in the reclamation of technosols, especially those at combustion waste disposal sites, which have extremely poor nutrients and adverse physicochemical parameters. This paper presents an assessment of the survival rates, growth parameters, and quality and vitality of and nutrient supply (NPK) to black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) specimens that were experimentally planted on a lignite combustion waste disposal site. The black locust seedlings were introduced directly into the combustion waste using two variants of NPK (7% N, 5.5% P2O5, and 9% K2O) fertilisation, at doses of 250 and 500 kg ha−1, and in control plots with no mineral fertilisation. No significant impacts of the applied mineral fertilisation were found on the soil properties, growth parameters, or nutrient supplies to the trees. Black locust introduced to the landfill after three years of revegetation was characterised by a very high survival rate of 95%–100%, as well as good growth parameters (height and diameter at the root collar). Nutrient supply was determined on the basis of the chemical composition of the leaves, which indicated an adequate supply of nitrogen, similar to levels found under natural conditions. In the case of K and P, the supply levels were lower than optimal when compared with data from the literature. However, at this initial stage of tree development on the combustion waste disposal site, nutrient supply is similar on all variants and is not a critical factor for successful black locust introduction. We suggest using growth parameters, survival, and vitality of trees as decisive factors for the reclamation of combustion waste landfill sites strategy. All these factors confirmed the usefulness of black locust to the reclamation of combustion waste disposal sites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Ecosystem Restoration on Postindustrial Sites)
Open AccessArticle
Decline and Passive Restoration of Forest Vegetation Around the Yeocheon Industrial Complex of Southern Korea
Forests 2020, 11(6), 674; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060674 - 12 Jun 2020
Viewed by 621
Abstract
This study was carried out to clarify the vegetation decline due to air pollutants emitted in the process of industrial activities and the passive restoration of the vegetation due to socioeconomic changes after economic growth. To achieve this goal, we investigated the spatial [...] Read more.
This study was carried out to clarify the vegetation decline due to air pollutants emitted in the process of industrial activities and the passive restoration of the vegetation due to socioeconomic changes after economic growth. To achieve this goal, we investigated the spatial distribution of vegetation, differences in species composition and diversity among vegetation types different in damage degree, vegetation dynamics, the age structure and annual ring growth of two dominant plant species, and the landscape change that occurred in this area over the last 50 years. Plant communities tended to be spatially distributed in the order of grassland, shrubland (dominated by Styrax japonicus Siebold and Zucc. community), and forests (dominated by Pinus thunbergii Parl. and Pinus densiflora Siebold and Zucc. communities), with increasing distance from the pollution source. The result of stand ordination based on vegetation data reflected the trend of such a spatial distribution. Species richness evaluated based on the species rank dominance curve was the highest in shrubland and the lowest in grassland; species richness in forests was intermediate. The size class distribution of woody plant species in four plant communities composing three vegetation types showed the possibility of them being replaced by forest in the late successional stage. However, the density of successor trees was relatively low, whereas the density of shrubby plants, which are resilient to air pollution, was very high. The age class distribution of a dominant species forming shrubland and pine forest showed that most of them were recruited after industrialization in this area. The period when young individuals in both vegetation types were recruited corresponded to the period when the annual ring growth of the pine trees that survived air pollution was reduced. An analysis of the landscape change in this area indicated that coniferous forest and agricultural field decreased greatly, whereas industrial area, residential area, mixed forest, and broadleaved forest showed increasing trends since construction of the industrial complex. As a result, the decrease in coniferous forest is usually due to vegetation decline and partially to succession, as the pine trees dominating the forest are not only sensitive to air pollution but are also shade-intolerant. The increase in mixed and broadleaved forests reflects vegetation decline or succession. Vegetation decline progressed for about 30 years after the construction of the industrial complex; it has begun to be restored passively since then, although the change has been slow. These results are in line with the environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis that environmental degradation increases in the early stages of economic growth to a certain point, and, after a turning point, economic development leads to environmental improvements—thus, there is an inverted U-shaped relationship between economic growth and environmental degradation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Ecosystem Restoration on Postindustrial Sites)
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Open AccessArticle
Tree Communities in Three-Year-Old Post-Mining Sites Under Different Forest Restoration Techniques in the Brazilian Amazon
Forests 2020, 11(5), 527; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11050527 - 08 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1048
Abstract
Forest loss and degradation in the Brazilian Amazon due to mining activities has been intense for many years. To reverse this situation, a range of restoration programs for deforested and degraded areas have been created and implemented. The aim of this study was [...] Read more.
Forest loss and degradation in the Brazilian Amazon due to mining activities has been intense for many years. To reverse this situation, a range of restoration programs for deforested and degraded areas have been created and implemented. The aim of this study was to analyze the tree composition, successional stage, dispersal and pollination syndromes, conservation status of tree species, and proximity to seed sources under different forest restoration techniques (seedling planting, natural regeneration, and assisted natural regeneration or nucleation) implemented in post-mining sites in the Paragominas municipality (Pará, Brazil). Sixty permanent plots with a restoration age of three years were selected for tree sampling. A total of 119 species, 83 genera and 27 botanical families were identified. Sites restored with different techniques significantly differed in tree composition. Seedling planting sites exhibited the highest abundance, species richness, and diversity values. These were dominated less by pioneer species when compared to the natural regeneration and nucleation sites. Entomophilic pollination and zoochory dispersal were highly represented in the three types of restored sites. Abundance and species richness were negatively correlated with distance from plots to seed sources, and they sharply declined in natural regeneration and nucleation plots at >250 m from seed sources. Four threatened species were identified in the restored sites. We conclude that a combination of different restoration strategies at three-year-old post-mining restoration sites in the Brazilian Amazon results in the recovery of considerable levels of local tree diversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Ecosystem Restoration on Postindustrial Sites)
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