Special Issue "Climate Effects on Forest Tree/Stand Predisposition to Biotic Disturbance"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2017).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Sigrid Netherer
Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Forest Entomology, Forest Pathology and Forest Protection, Department of Forest and Soil Sciences, BOKU - University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Hasenauerstraße 38, A-1190 Vienna, Austria

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Forest tree species have adapted to the climatic characteristics of their natural habitats over millennia and are now facing dramatic changes in the course of a warming climate. Periods of increased temperature and precipitation deficits are becoming more frequent and severe worldwide. Macro- and microclimatic conditions strongly impact the distribution and abundance of trees, as well as of a multitude of potentially damaging forest insect and fungal species. The likelihood of biotic attack largely depends on given site conditions as well as seasonal weather parameters interacting with the performance of a particular pest species. Trees rely on a broad array of defense mechanisms against invaders such as bark beetles, defoliating insects and pathogens, which may however compete against primary metabolic processes for energy resources under stress. Changing climatic conditions involving heat waves, periods of drought and increased CO2 concentration in the atmosphere impact nutritional quality of the host plants via physical and chemical changes in bark and leaf tissue. This Special Issue shall present a broad overview on novel study outcomes with particular emphasis on climate-mediated insect and pathogen performance, as well as tree resistance. Contributions are welcome describing pest/host relationships from individual tree to forest stand level.

Dr. Sigrid Netherer
Guest Editor

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

  • Biotic Disturbance
  • Forest pest insects and pathogens
  • Host tree/pest relationships
  • Climatic parameters
  • Drought
  • Tree defense mechanisms
  • Nutritional quality
  • Individual tree to forest stand level

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Improved Outbreak Prediction for Common Pine Sawfly (Diprion pini L.) by Analyzing Floating ‘Climatic Windows’ as Keys for Changes in Voltinism
Forests 2017, 8(9), 319; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8090319 - 30 Aug 2017
Cited by 3
Abstract
The biology and population dynamics of pine sawfly Diprion pini L. are extremely complex and variable. Among other factors, climatic conditions determine the potential for mass outbreaks of the species. In this paper, we investigate this influence and describe a statistical approach to [...] Read more.
The biology and population dynamics of pine sawfly Diprion pini L. are extremely complex and variable. Among other factors, climatic conditions determine the potential for mass outbreaks of the species. In this paper, we investigate this influence and describe a statistical approach to identify responsible climatic variables in floating time windows, thus identifying the factors responsible for the transition from latency to outbreak events. Analyses were built upon a data base comprising outbreak events and fine-scaled climatic data for the period 2002–2016 for a model region in the state of Brandenburg, Germany. By applying Random Forest statistic classification analyses, we isolated a set of four variables. They cover precipitation, temperature, and potential evapotranspiration in distinct periods during the current and the previous year. These periods are not fixed in their position but attached to the floating phenological date of bud burst of the host species Pinus sylvestris L. The complete set of variables was able to distinguish forests likely to be defoliated from those not threatened at high probabilities (95% true-positive rate, 98% true-negative rate). The identified climatic windows offer insights into population dynamics in the study region, support adjustments in current monitoring algorithms, and indicate starting points for further investigations covering other regions or different years. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Acute Oak Decline and Agrilus biguttatus: The Co-Occurrence of Stem Bleeding and D-Shaped Emergence Holes in Great Britain
Forests 2017, 8(3), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8030087 - 17 Mar 2017
Cited by 14
Abstract
Acute Oak Decline (AOD) is a new condition affecting both species of native oak, Quercus robur and Quercus petraea, in Great Britain. The decline is characterised by a distinctive set of externally visible stem symptoms; bark cracks that “weep” dark exudate are [...] Read more.
Acute Oak Decline (AOD) is a new condition affecting both species of native oak, Quercus robur and Quercus petraea, in Great Britain. The decline is characterised by a distinctive set of externally visible stem symptoms; bark cracks that “weep” dark exudate are found above necrotic lesions in the inner bark. Emergence holes of the buprestid beetle, Agrilus biguttatus are often also seen on the stems of oak within affected woodlands. This investigation assesses the extent to which the external symptoms of these two agents co-occur and reveals the spatial and temporal patterns present in affected woodland. Annual monitoring in eight affected woodlands showed that stem bleeding and emergence holes frequently occur on the same trees, with new emergence holes significantly more likely to occur when trees already have stem bleeds. Trials with coloured prism traps confirm A. biguttatus was present at all experimental sites. Beetle emergence is linked primarily to a few heavily declining trees, indicating that susceptibility may vary between hosts and that those with reduced health may be predisposed to AOD. Stem bleeds occur on trees in close proximity to the locations of trees with exit holes. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Impacts of Beech Bark Disease and Climate Change on American Beech
Forests 2017, 8(5), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8050155 - 03 May 2017
Cited by 6
Abstract
American beech (Fagus grandifolia Ehrh.) is a dominant component of forest tree cover over a large portion of eastern North America and this deciduous, mast-bearing tree species plays a key role in these forest ecosystems. Beech bark disease (BBD) is a scale [...] Read more.
American beech (Fagus grandifolia Ehrh.) is a dominant component of forest tree cover over a large portion of eastern North America and this deciduous, mast-bearing tree species plays a key role in these forest ecosystems. Beech bark disease (BBD) is a scale insect-fungus complex that has caused the decline and death of afflicted beech trees. This disease has become a common feature in North American forest landscapes. Resistance to BBD is at the level of the beech scale (Cryptococcus fagisuga Lind.). Beech scale attack predisposes the tree to subsequent infection by Neonectria fungi. The impact of this tree disease has been shown to be significant, particularly in beech dominated forests. Scale-free trees (resistant to BBD) have been reported to range from only 1% to 3% in infested stands, with estimates ranging from 80–95% for overall infestation (for all beech within the current North American range). In addition to BBD, overall beech health will be directly impacted by climate change, if one specifically considers the expected fluctuations in precipitation leading to both drought periods and flooding. Beech is particularly sensitive to both extremes and is less resilient than other broad leaf tree species. Although the increase in global temperatures will likely shift the current range of the American beech, milder winters and less snowpack will favor propagation and survival of the beech scale. This review aims to present the current outlook for American beech in light of climate change. The natural history of the American beech and the onslaught of BBD during the last century will be covered, followed by the potential effects of a changing climate on BBD-infested forests. Evidence from models of European beech (Fagus sylvatica) and other host-pathogen systems will supplement data directly gathered to evaluate BBD in American beech. We present the case that although climate change is likely to be a confounding factor in the continued loss of American beech, increasing our understanding of possible mechanisms of resistance and environmental factors that may influence susceptibility of American beech to BBD can inform proactive management strategies. Full article
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