Special Issue "Forest Restoration and Regeneration"


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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 July 2013)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Jean-Claude Ruel
Département des Sciences du Bois et de la Forêt, Faculté de Foresterie, de Géographie et de Géomatique, Université Laval, Pavillon Abitibi-Price, Local 2148, 2405, rue de la Terrasse, Québec G1V 0A6, Canada
Website: http://www.cef-cfr.ca/index.php?n=Membres.JeanClaudeRuel
E-Mail: jean-claude.ruel@sbf.ulaval.ca
Phone: 418 656 2131, poste 7665
Fax: 418 656 5262
Interests: windthrow; silviculture; applied ecology; forest management; ecosystem management; forest regeneration

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Old-forests provide an array of economic and ecological services. However, past pressures on these forests have induced profound modifications of their structure and function. Among the most important shifts are a simplification of stand structure, a reduction of tree species diversity and of the dead wood component. All these changes are likely to impact animal species that depend on these attributes. In some other cases, tree quality has been reduced and future yields may be compromised, limiting the use that can be made of these forests in the future. Given the current interest for sustainable forest management and the protection of biodiversity, a number of initiatives have been taken to reintroduce some of these attributes. Sharing the knowledge issued from these initiatives will provide guidance for future restoration attempts.
The special issue on “Forest Restoration and Regeneration” is targeting papers dealing with restoring old-forests attributes. This includes regeneration of vulnerable species or species that were previously more abundant, as well as practices to modify the structure of existing stands or to improve tree quality in high-graded stands. In the planned special issue, Forests can accept both research papers and comprehensive review articles.

Prof. Dr. Jean-Claude Ruel
Guest Editor


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. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as 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 refereed through a 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 800 CHF (Swiss Francs).


  • restoration
  • regeneration
  • old forests
  • dead wood
  • stand structure
  • species composition
  • high-grading

Published Papers (9 papers)

Forests 2013, 4(4), 1055-1086; doi:10.3390/f4041055
Received: 2 July 2013; in revised form: 9 November 2013 / Accepted: 14 November 2013 / Published: 26 November 2013
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Forests 2013, 4(4), 766-785; doi:10.3390/f4040766
Received: 2 July 2013; in revised form: 17 September 2013 / Accepted: 22 September 2013 / Published: 30 September 2013
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Forests 2013, 4(3), 632-649; doi:10.3390/f4030632
Received: 7 June 2013; in revised form: 7 July 2013 / Accepted: 15 July 2013 / Published: 2 August 2013
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Forests 2013, 4(3), 613-631; doi:10.3390/f4030613
Received: 14 June 2013; in revised form: 11 July 2013 / Accepted: 12 July 2013 / Published: 23 July 2013
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Forests 2013, 4(2), 500-516; doi:10.3390/f4020500
Received: 23 April 2013; in revised form: 6 June 2013 / Accepted: 14 June 2013 / Published: 21 June 2013
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Forests 2013, 4(2), 433-454; doi:10.3390/f4020433
Received: 16 April 2013; in revised form: 24 May 2013 / Accepted: 29 May 2013 / Published: 20 June 2013
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Forests 2013, 4(2), 364-385; doi:10.3390/f4020364
Received: 25 March 2013; in revised form: 9 May 2013 / Accepted: 10 May 2013 / Published: 22 May 2013
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Forests 2013, 4(2), 218-233; doi:10.3390/f4020218
Received: 19 February 2013; in revised form: 25 March 2013 / Accepted: 26 March 2013 / Published: 11 April 2013
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abstract graphic

Forests 2012, 3(4), 1017-1033; doi:10.3390/f3041017
Received: 20 August 2012; in revised form: 26 October 2012 / Accepted: 31 October 2012 / Published: 9 November 2012
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Conservation and Restoration of riparian Populus euphatica forests in Central Asia
Authors: Niels Thevs 1,*, Stefan Zerbe 2, Nurbay Abdusalih 3, Nastasia Broda 4, Henrike Hochmuth 4, He Ping 5, Amangul Ovezberdiyeva 6, Alisher Shukurov 7and Daniel Waible 1
Affiliations: 1 Institute of Botany and Landscape Ecology, University of Greifswald, Germany
Faculty of Science and Technology, Free University of Bozen/Bolzano, Italy
Institute of Resource and Environmental Sciences, Xinjiang University, China
Institute of Geography, University of Potsdam, Germany
Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, China
National Institute of Desert, Flora, and Fauna, Turkmenistan
Main Department of Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources of Uzbekistan, Uzbekistan
Abstract: Populus euphratica Oliv. is the key-stone tree species of the riparian forests in the drylands of Central Asia forming the most productive and diverse ecosystems in these drylands. The largest contiguous P. euphratica forests can be found in nature reserves along the rivers Amu Darya, Tarim, and Heihe. All these rivers face problems of water shortage and altered flood regime (e.g., Aral Sea Crisis), impacting on the water supply, vitality, and recruitment of these forests. Against this background, we will analyse the potential for further protection and restoration of these riparian forests in each of the major conservation areas in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and China. This study is based on field data (e.g., forest structure) and remote sensing.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Restoring Structural Complexity in Degraded Evergreen Mixed-ConiferStands at Headwaters Forest Reserve, California
Authors: Christopher B. Beal 1, John-Pascal Berrill 1, David H. LaFever 2 and Christa M. Dagley 1
1 Department of Forestry and Wildland Resources, Humboldt State University, 1 Harpst Street, Arcata, CA 95521-8299, USA;
Headwaters Forest Reserve, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Arcata Field Office, Arcata, CA, USA
We sought to answer the question: how do we restore old-growth redwood forests after clear-cutting on hillslope terrain at the iconic Headwaters Forest Reserve? Hillslope redwood forests are classified as evergreen mixed-conifer forests. They have greater species- and structural diversity than the better-known pure redwood forests found on alluvial flats. The diverse hillslope forests cover millions of acres in north coastal California, yet they are seldom studied and poorly understood. We describe the old-growth reference condition for hillslope stands and develop a restoration prescription for second-growth forests that can be used to attain that structure. Within three undisturbed old-growth remnants at Headwaters Forest Reserve, 1-ha plots were installed. All trees were mapped and inventoried. Adjacent to the old-growth remanants, in disturbed forest comprising residual ovestory trees and a new cohort initiated by harvesting, we measured growth across a range of tree sizes and neighbor-tree composition and competition. The resulting growth model allows managers to forecast results of different prescriptions over time, growing young stands towards the "reference condition" provided by the spatially-explicit 3-dimensional representation of old-growth structures on hillslopes. To facilitate implementation by managers, we applied the model to develop restoration prescriptions for some common stand conditions, i.e., cut-over sites now crowded with second-growth Douglas-fir and lacking redwood.

Type of Paper: Review
Title: Direct Tree Seeding for Restoration of Abandoned Old Fields: A Field Experiment and Literature Review
Authors: Annick St-Denis, Christian Messier and Daniel Kneeshaw
Affiliation: Centre d’Étude de la Forêt- Québec, Université du Québec à Montréal, Centre-ville, Montréal, Canada, H3C3P8
Abstract: Direct tree seeding is an economical technique for the restoration of abandoned old fields, pasturelands or degraded lands. However, the success of tree establishment depends on interacting factors like seed size, shade tolerance, soil humidity and texture, existing vegetation cover, and seed and seedling predation that are difficult to disentangle in any single experiment. We compared germination rates, seedling survival and growth of six tree species of different seed sizes in a restoration project of an abandoned field. Species were seeded in plots under herbaceous vegetation in the field or on bare soil. Half of the experimental plots were protected from bird and mammal predation. Yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis), paper birch (Betula papyrifera) and tamarack larch (Larix laricinia) did not germinate while sugar maple (Acer saccharum) showed low germination rates (5%). Although seedling emergence of red oak (Quercus rubra) and red pine (Pinus resinosa) reached 57% and 34%, few pine seedlings (6%) survived the second growing season compared to oak seedlings (53%). Red oak, with the energy resources contained in its large seeds, seems to be a promising species for restoration of abandoned old fields by direct seeding. Overall, protection and vegetation treatments had no detectable effects on seedling emergence, survival and growth. These results are discussed in relation to a literature review in which vegetation competition, seed and seedling predation as well as seed size and shade tolerance are considered.

Type of Paper: Review
Title: Managing Understory Vegetation for Restoring and Maintaining Productivity in Black Spruce Forests: A Synthesis and Future Development
Nelson Thiffault 1, Nicole Fenton 2, Yves Bergeron 2, François Hébert 1, Alison Munson 3 and Pierre Grondin 1
Affiliations :
1Direction de la recherche forestière, Ministère des Ressources naturelles, Québec, Canada
Institut de recherche sur les forêts, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Rouyn-Noranda, Canada
Faculté de foresterie, de géographie et de géomatique, Université Laval, Québec, Canada
The sustainable management of boreal ecosystems requires the establishment of a vigorous tree regeneration following harvesting activities, however two groups of understory plants influence regeneration success. Ericaceous shrubs such as Kalmia angustifolia are recognized to rapidly invade boreal sites following harvesting. Invasion of this species induce a “growth check” on established conifers through a combination of direct and indirect competition mechanisms, resulting in stagnant growth lasting potentially decades in some sites. In contrast, peat accumulation due to Sphagnum growth and water table rise after harvest forces the roots of regenerating conifers out of the relatively nutrient rich and warm mineral soil into the relatively nutrient poor and cool organic layer, with drastic effects on aerial growth. Such shifts from once productive forests to ericaceous heaths or paludified forests have significant effects on forest productivity and biodiversity. Recent evidence suggests that under natural disturbance dynamics, severe fires that consume most of the organic soil are required for the establishment of a dense and productive regeneration layer on such sites. We review how understory vegetation influences ecosystem dynamics in boreal eastern Canada, and present a multi-scale research model elaborated to limit the loss and restore productive and diverse boreal ecosystems. Our research model integrates the understanding of plant-level mechanisms in the development of silvicultural tools to sustain productivity in black spruce forests. Fundamental knowledge is further integrated at landscape and regional levels to understand the distribution and dynamics of ericaceous shrubs and paludification processes at various scales, in interaction with forestry activities.

Title: Restoration of Yellow Birch in Mixed Temperate Forests Based on Predicted Stem Growth and Quality
Authors: Louis-Vincent Gagné 1, Astrid Genet 1, Aaron Weiskittel 2, Alexis Achim 1
Affiliations: 1 Département des Sciences du bois et de la Forêt, Université Laval,Québec G1V 0A6, Canada
2 School of Forest Resources, University of Maine,5755 Nutting Hall, Orono, ME 04469, USA
Abstract: Past silvicultural treatments have resulted in the high-grading of several forest areas in the mixed temperate forests of Québec, Canada. Despite recognition of this issue, the low incidence of yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis Britton) in the current resource raises questions about the potential for the species to provide a sustainable supply of high quality wood. The objective of this study was to assess this potential based on tree characteristics, stand structural attributes and site characteristics. A total of 145 yellow birch trees were sampled at two areas located in the same bioclimatic zone. One area was considered for restoration, whereas the second area was used as reference. Our results suggest that topographic and climatic conditions, as well as the competitive environment of the trees, are important factors that must be considered when evaluating yellow birch production. Overall, the growth and stem quality potential was equivalent between the restoration and reference areas.

Last update: 27 May 2013

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