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Special Issue "Role of Gap Factors in Forest Tree Regeneration and Plant Communities"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 5 September 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Christel Kern

USDA Forest Service, 5985 Highway K, Rhinelander Wisconsin, 54501-9128, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: silviculture; forest structure and composition; ground-layer plant diversity
Guest Editor
Dr. Jurij Diaci

Department of Forestry and Renewable Forest Resources, University of Ljubljana, Večna pot 83, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: silviculture; forest ecology; restoration post disturbance
Guest Editor
Dr. Jiaojun Zhu

Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110016, China
Website | E-Mail
Interests: forest ecology and silviculture

Special Issue Information

Dear Collegaues,

Gap-based silvicultural systems are posed as highly versatile and adaptive compared to other silvicultural systems. These systems prescribe harvest-created gaps to mimic small and partial canopy disturbances and to regenerate shade intolerant species in closed canopy forests. However, many factors complicate the outcomes of harvest gaps and their implementation to managing mixed species and multi-aged stands.
Past research has focused on gap-size relationships to tree regeneration, plant architecture, and plant community diversity. The results are varied and highlight the influence of gap characteristics, plant traits, microclimate, soil moisture, and biotic influences within gaps. More studies are needed to further refine these interactions by ecosystem and region to advance gap-based management.
Further, new studies are needed on functional relationships and belowground processes within gaps. Novel studies are needed on gaps as small-scale plantings for new ecotypes/species for anticipated climate change. Applied studies are needed to translate existing knowledge into applications, such as forest-canopy composition and heterogeneity to stand-scale prescriptions (e.g., using LiDAR). Implementation studies are needed to execute research results into operations.
Overall, with this Special Issue, the new knowledge on the context of gaps and their application will advance the knowledge and the practice of sustainable forest management.

Dr. Christel C. Kern
Dr. Jurij Diaci
Dr. Jiaojun Zhu
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

  • group selection
  • openings
  • canopy structure
  • mode of regeneration
  • functional diversity
  • trophic interactions
  • competitive relationships
  • microenvironments
  • belowground processes
  • stand development

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Size-Dependent Patterns of Seed Rain in Gaps in Temperate Secondary Forests, Northeast China
Forests 2019, 10(2), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10020123
Received: 23 November 2018 / Revised: 17 January 2019 / Accepted: 22 January 2019 / Published: 4 February 2019
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Abstract
Secondary forests have become the major forest type worldwide, and are experiencing various disturbances and exhibiting obvious vegetation degradation (e.g., reduced biodiversity and decreased productivity) compared with primary forests. Forest gap is a common small-scale disturbance in secondary forests. Promoting natural regeneration under [...] Read more.
Secondary forests have become the major forest type worldwide, and are experiencing various disturbances and exhibiting obvious vegetation degradation (e.g., reduced biodiversity and decreased productivity) compared with primary forests. Forest gap is a common small-scale disturbance in secondary forests. Promoting natural regeneration under gap disturbance is an important approach to recover biodiversity and ecosystem services for temperate secondary forests. The gap size is the crucial characteristic controlling natural regeneration of many tree species. However, little is known about the spatiotemporal pattern of seed rain for gravity-dispersed and wind-dispersed tree species in gaps of varying sizes. The objectives of this study were to determine how seed rain of dominant tree species depend on gap size, and consequently, to explore some gap-based silviculture solutions for restoring secondary forests from the view of seed dispersal. The spatial distribution of seed rain in gaps with three sizes (large gaps of 250–350 m2, medium gaps of 150–250 m2, and small gaps of <150 m2), the temporal dynamics of seed rain over three years, and the relationship between seed rain and soil seed banks were explored in temperate secondary forests. The results showed that more than 90% of the seeds in seed rain were wind-dispersed, and their seed rain density and the contribution of seed rain to soil seed bank in medium gaps reached the highest (p = 0.03). The results suggest that establishing medium-sized gaps (i.e., gap size with 150–250 m2) in the secondary forests is more favorable for improving the natural regeneration potential (arrival of seeds and forming soil seed bank) of gap-dependent and wind-dispersed species (e.g., Acer mono) in gaps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Gap Factors in Forest Tree Regeneration and Plant Communities)
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