Special Issue "Biodiversity Conservation and Forest Management—Trends and Perspectives"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 September 2021) | Viewed by 3869

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Anna Katarzyna Jasinska
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Systematics and Geography, Institute of Dendrology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Parkowa 5, PL-62-035 Kornik, Poland
Interests: plant distribution and evolution; taxonomy and phytogeography; biodiversity conservation and forest management; plant anatomical diversity; projected impact of climate change on the structural characteristics and functioning of trees

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

The geographical ranges of plants in the world depend on many factors. One of the most important over the millennia has been, and is, the climate. The disappearance or expansion of the area covered by woody species as the foundation of forest ecosystems largely affects other species of plants, animals or fungi, and contributes to changes in the microclimate, matter circulation, and others. As a result of climate change, many species are doomed to extinction, and others may seize the opportunity to enlarge the area that they currently occupy. In both cases, scientists and foresters are faced with the challenges of properly preparing for these changes, examining them, trying to predict their effects, counteracting them and supporting selected species in expansion.

The aim of the Special Issue will be to explore different aspects of forest ecology and biology, evolution and biogeography of woody plant species. The recent analyses of future distribution of various tree species under different climate change scenarios predict a decrease or an increase of potential niche coverage for many of them. Assessing alterations in the species suitable habitats can help to establish comprehensive future conservation strategies. We would like to present several studies, including some focusing on changes in forest ecosystems in local, regional and global terms, strategy and the management of forest ecosystems in light of climate change, and we also wish to outline directions and perspectives for new research (including interdisciplinary studies).

Dr. Anna Katarzyna Jasinska
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • climate change
  • plant conservation strategies
  • woody plant species
  • extinction
  • habitat suitability
  • species distribution model

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Present and Future Climate-Related Distribution of Narrow- versus Wide-Ranged Ostrya Species in China
Forests 2021, 12(10), 1366; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12101366 - 08 Oct 2021
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Abstract
The niche breadth–range size hypothesis states that geographic range size of a species is positively correlated with its environmental niche breadth. We test this hypothesis and examine whether the correlation varies with climate change and among taxa through modeling (processing Maximum entropy (Maxent)) [...] Read more.
The niche breadth–range size hypothesis states that geographic range size of a species is positively correlated with its environmental niche breadth. We test this hypothesis and examine whether the correlation varies with climate change and among taxa through modeling (processing Maximum entropy (Maxent)) potential distributions in present and future climate scenario of four sympatric Ostrya species in China and with different geographic range sizes, including extremely rare O. rehderiana. Potential geographical distributions of narrow- versus wide-ranged Ostrya species were predicted based on their niche breadths. Niche equivalency and similarity tests were performed to examine niche overlap between species pairs. Potential distribution areas of wide niche breadth species (O. japonica and O. trichocarpa) were significantly wider than those of narrow niche breadth species (O. multinervis and O. rehderiana) although niche divergence was hardly observed among them. In the future scenarios of global climate change, wide-ranged O. japonica would have wider potential distribution than in the current scenario, even expanding their geographic range. Conversely, suitable habitats of narrow-ranged O. multinervis and O. rehderiana would be reduced strikingly in future scenarios compared to in the current scenario, and they might be subjected to a high risk of extinction. Potential distribution range sizes of the Ostrya species would positively correlate with their niche breadths in future scenarios, and their niche breadths would determine their distribution variation with climate change. The Ostrya species having broader niche currently would be further widespread in future scenarios while narrowly distributed Ostrya species having narrower niche currently would further reduce their distribution range under changed climate and might be subjected to a high risk of extinction in future scenarios. Our results support the range size–niche breadth hypothesis both at present and future climate scenarios, and they provide useful reference for conservation of rare species like O. rehderiana. Full article
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Article
The Bamboo Rhizome Evolution in China Is Driven by Geographical Isolation and Trait Differentiation
Forests 2021, 12(9), 1280; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12091280 - 18 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 729
Abstract
Plant endemic species are the result of continuous evolution under the combined action of long-term climatic and geological conditions. There are 534 bamboo species in China, and 371 endemic species account for about 70% of all bamboo species. However, little is known about [...] Read more.
Plant endemic species are the result of continuous evolution under the combined action of long-term climatic and geological conditions. There are 534 bamboo species in China, and 371 endemic species account for about 70% of all bamboo species. However, little is known about the differences in the rhizome evolution rate between endemic and non-endemic bamboos. Here, we collected morphological traits (height and leaf length) and environmental variables (including climate, space, and soil) of all 534 Chinese bamboo species to determine the relative contribution of environmental factors and traits of bamboo rhizome evolution with different endemism by structural equation modeling. We found that endemic bamboo had a higher speciation rate than non-endemic bamboo. The distribution centers of sympodial bamboos are mainly located in the mountain range of southwest China, while amphipodial and monopodial bamboos are distributed with higher latitude farther east in China. The height of non-endemic sympodial and monopodial bamboos was significantly higher than endemic sympodial and monopodial bamboos. The leaf length of non-endemic sympodial bamboos was significantly higher than endemic sympodial bamboo, while the leaf length of non-endemic amphipodial bamboo was significantly lower than endemic amphipodial bamboo. Environmental factors and traits explain 47% of the evolutionary variation of non-endemic bamboo species, while they explain 17% of that of endemic bamboo species. Longitude, latitude, and leaf length were the critical factors in the rhizome evolution of non-endemic bamboo, while longitude and height were the critical factors in the rhizome evolution of endemic bamboo. Our results imply that for higher species formation rates, endemic bamboo should be more concerned than non-endemic bamboo in the process of bamboo rhizome evolution. It will likely appear that new non-endemic bamboo species have a short leaf length in higher latitude and farther east in China (the lower Yangtze plain), as well as new endemic bamboo species with a low height farther east in China (the Wuyi Mountains). Meanwhile, ancient non-endemic bamboo with a long leaf length in Yunnan Province and ancient endemic bamboo with a high height in the Hengduan Mountains may be more likely to become extinct. Our findings highlight the importance of understanding the difference in the rhizome evolution of endemic and non-endemic bamboos, which provides new insights into the conservation of Chinese bamboo biodiversity. Full article
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Article
Study on the Genetic Structure Based on Geographic Populations of the Endangered Tree Species: Liriodendron chinense
Forests 2021, 12(7), 917; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12070917 - 14 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 815
Abstract
Liriodendron chinense (Hemsley) Sargent is a Class II protected plant in China as natural populations are on the verge of extinction. There is still a lack of systematic research on the genetic resources of its geographic populations. In this study, we used 20 [...] Read more.
Liriodendron chinense (Hemsley) Sargent is a Class II protected plant in China as natural populations are on the verge of extinction. There is still a lack of systematic research on the genetic resources of its geographic populations. In this study, we used 20 pairs of SSR markers with high polymorphism to analyze a total of 808 L. chinense samples from 22 regions, and 63 Liriodendron tulipifera Linn samples from 2 regions were used as a comparison group. The results revealed a total of 78 alleles in L. chinense, and the average expected heterozygosity (He) was 0.558, showing a low level of genetic diversity. The degree of differentiation of L. chinense was high, with the differentiation coefficient (Fst) as high as 0.302, which is related to the low gene flow (Nm = 0.578). Based on the genetic structure, principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) and phylogenetic analysis of 24 Liriodendron spp. populations, L. chinense and L. tulipifera had obvious differentiation, while the differentiation between L. chinense geographic populations was very large and irregular. Inbreeding appears within the geographic populations, and the level of genetic diversity is very low. In order to protect the genetic diversity of L. chinense, in addition to protecting the existing population as much as possible, artificial cultivation should introduce materials from multiple populations. Full article
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Article
Epigenetic Integrity of Orthodox Seeds Stored under Conventional and Cryogenic Conditions
Forests 2021, 12(3), 288; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12030288 - 03 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 994
Abstract
The level of 5-methylcytosine (m5C) in DNA has been observed to change in plants in response to biotic and abiotic stress factors. Little information has been reported on alterations in DNA methylation in orthodox tree seeds in response to storage conditions. [...] Read more.
The level of 5-methylcytosine (m5C) in DNA has been observed to change in plants in response to biotic and abiotic stress factors. Little information has been reported on alterations in DNA methylation in orthodox tree seeds in response to storage conditions. In the current study, epigenetic integrity was analyzed in seeds of Pyrus communis L. in response to conventional and cryogenic storage. The results indicate that conventional storage under optimal conditions resulted in a significant increase in m5C. In contrast, a decrease in m5C level after cryostorage at high water content (WC) was observed, not only in seeds but also in 3-month-old seedlings which were smaller than seedlings obtained from seeds cryostored at optimal WC. This shows that non-optimal cryostorage conditions increase epigenetic instability in seeds and seedlings. Optimal procedures for germplasm conservation are very important for germplasm banking since they have serious implications for the quality of stored collections. Maintaining epigenetic integrity during WC adjustment and optimal storage is a characteristic feature of orthodox seeds. The current results underline the importance of proper protocols and techniques for conventional storage and particularly cryopreservation as a method for conservation of true-to-type germplasm for long periods. Full article
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