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Special Issue "Water and Gas Exchanges in Forests"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (6 August 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. José Javier Peguero-Pina

Forest Resources Unit, Agrifood Research & Technology Centre of Aragón, Avda. Montañana 930, 50059 Zaragoza, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Guest Editor
Dr. Eustaquio Gil-Pelegrín

Forest Resources Unit, Agrifood Research & Technology Centre of Aragón, Avda. Montañana 930, 50059 Zaragoza, Spain
Website | E-Mail

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Forests cover ca. 30% of land area around the world, making them great water and gas exchangers, both as sinks or sources. Consequently, the study of these fluxes is of paramount importance at global scale, especially when the rise in atmospheric carbon concentration detected during the last decades is considered. On the one hand, a higher CO2 concentration would have an impact on the energy balance of the Earth, increasing the temperature and water losses by evapotranspiration in many areas. On the other hand, a higher availability of atmospheric CO2 should have a short-term positive influence on the overall carbon fixation by trees, although the long-term response to this phenomenon is still a matter of discussion. Thus, water use efficiency, i.e., the ratio between the net CO2 assimilation and water losses by transpiration of forest habitats may change due to the new environmental conditions associated to the global climatic change. In this context, updating the state of knowledge about environmental factors influencing tree performance in terms of photosynthesis, transpiration and their balance will be welcome in this Special Issue. Specifically, new approaches at different scales on water and carbon movement from the plant to the atmosphere and vice versa (e.g., plant hydraulics, stomatal and mesophyll conductance adjustments, whole canopy fluxes, volatile compounds emission, respiration, photosynthesis) may be valuable contributions to this Special Issue

Dr. José Javier Peguero-Pina
Dr. Eustaquio Gil-Pelegrín
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

  • Plant Hydraulics
  • Stomatal Conductance
  • Mesophyll Conductance
  • Water Use Efficiency
  • Photosynthesis
  • Respiration
  • Temperature Acclimation

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Hydraulic Constraints to Whole-Tree Water Use and Respiration in Young Cryptomeria Trees under Competition
Forests 2018, 9(8), 449; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9080449
Received: 30 May 2018 / Revised: 19 July 2018 / Accepted: 23 July 2018 / Published: 25 July 2018
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Abstract
Although extensive studies have focused on carbon and water balance from aboveground measurements, the link between the belowground and aboveground processes deserves greater attention. In this context, the aim of this work was to assess the bi-directional feedback between whole-plant respiration and transpiration. [...] Read more.
Although extensive studies have focused on carbon and water balance from aboveground measurements, the link between the belowground and aboveground processes deserves greater attention. In this context, the aim of this work was to assess the bi-directional feedback between whole-plant respiration and transpiration. The study was performed on 25 saplings of Sugi (Japanese cedar, Cryptomeria japonica D. Don), including dominant and suppressed individuals (total fresh weight ranging between 0.2 and 8.0 kg). During one week, the integrated water use (WU) was determined using the Deuterium dilution method. After this, the trees were uprooted and the root, stem, and leaf respiration were measured using incubation chambers and CO2 infrared sensors. The stem and root respiration followed a power response to mass (power exponent b < 1), implying a decline in mass-specific respiration with size. Conversely, the leaf respiration followed a near-linear increase with size (power exponent b ≈ 1), but was negatively affected by the stem density, indicating the hydraulic limitations of the leaf metabolism. The water use followed a power response with the tree size (b < 1), showing a decline in the transpiration per leaf mass with the tree size, but was also negatively correlated with the stem density. Our results indicate that dominant trees are more efficient in the use of water, and highlight the role of hydraulic limitations to leaf metabolism in suppressed trees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water and Gas Exchanges in Forests)
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Open AccessArticle Cavitation Limits the Recovery of Gas Exchange after Severe Drought Stress in Holm Oak (Quercus ilex L.)
Forests 2018, 9(8), 443; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9080443
Received: 12 July 2018 / Revised: 20 July 2018 / Accepted: 23 July 2018 / Published: 24 July 2018
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Abstract
Holm oak (Quercus ilex L.) is a Mediterranean species that can withstand intense summer drought through a high resistance to cavitation far beyond the stomatal closure. Besides stomatal limitations, both mesophyll and biochemical limitations to CO2 uptake could increase in holm [...] Read more.
Holm oak (Quercus ilex L.) is a Mediterranean species that can withstand intense summer drought through a high resistance to cavitation far beyond the stomatal closure. Besides stomatal limitations, both mesophyll and biochemical limitations to CO2 uptake could increase in holm oak under drought. However, no studies have addressed how hydraulic and non-hydraulic factors may limit the recovery of photosynthesis when re-watering after inducing 50% loss of hydraulic conductivity. We measured photosynthetic traits, xylem embolism, and abscisic acid (ABA) in holm oak with increasing levels of drought stress and seven days after plant re-watering. Drought stress caused a sharp decrease in net CO2 assimilation (AN), stomatal and mesophyll conductance (gs and gm), and maximum velocity of carboxylation (Vcmax). The stomatal closure could be mediated by the rapid increase found in ABA. The high level of xylem embolism explained the strong down-regulation of gs even after re-watering. Therefore, only a partial recovery of AN was observed, in spite of non-hydraulic factors not limiting the recovery of AN, because i/ABA strongly decreased after re-watering, and ii/gm and Vcmax recovered their original values. Therefore, the hydraulic-stomatal limitation model would be involved in the partial recovery of AN, in order to prevent extensive xylem embolism under subsequent drought events that could compromise holm oak survival. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water and Gas Exchanges in Forests)
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Open AccessArticle Contrasting Patterns of Tree Growth of Mediterranean Pine Species in the Iberian Peninsula
Forests 2018, 9(7), 416; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9070416
Received: 6 June 2018 / Revised: 9 July 2018 / Accepted: 10 July 2018 / Published: 11 July 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2272 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Wood formation is the primary biological process through which carbon is durably sequestered in woody plants, and is thus a major contributor to mitigate climate change. We analyzed the tree growth patterns of four conifer species across the Iberian Peninsula (IP) based on [...] Read more.
Wood formation is the primary biological process through which carbon is durably sequestered in woody plants, and is thus a major contributor to mitigate climate change. We analyzed the tree growth patterns of four conifer species across the Iberian Peninsula (IP) based on a dense dendrochronological network (179 sites) combined with a high resolution climate dataset. Generalized linear-mixed models were used to predict the potential tree growth of different pine species under different climate conditions considering different age classes. We found a strong age dependency of tree growth, significant variations across the climate gradients, and a significant interaction of both age and climate effects on the four species considered. Overall, Pinus halepensis was the species with the highest climate sensitivity and the highest growth rates in all age classes and across its distribution area. Due to its stronger plastic character and its potential adaptability, Pinus halepensis was demonstrated to be the most suitable species in terms of tree growth and potentiality to enhance carbon sequestration in the IP. Since its potential distribution largely exceeds its actual distribution, P. halepensis arises as a key species to cope with future climate conditions and to keep fixing carbon regardless of the climatic circumstances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water and Gas Exchanges in Forests)
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Open AccessArticle Chl Fluorescence Parameters and Leaf Reflectance Indices Allow Monitoring Changes in the Physiological Status of Quercus ilex L. under Progressive Water Deficit
Forests 2018, 9(7), 400; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9070400
Received: 29 May 2018 / Revised: 29 June 2018 / Accepted: 3 July 2018 / Published: 4 July 2018
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Abstract
Extreme droughts and heat events, frequently produced in Mediterranean climates, induce anomalies in the ecosystem–atmosphere CO2 fluxes. In order to mitigate the consequences on forests and agriculture, managers must have a better knowledge of the ecosystem by monitoring plant status. Water status [...] Read more.
Extreme droughts and heat events, frequently produced in Mediterranean climates, induce anomalies in the ecosystem–atmosphere CO2 fluxes. In order to mitigate the consequences on forests and agriculture, managers must have a better knowledge of the ecosystem by monitoring plant status. Water status is commonly observed measuring water potential but when the extreme event is over, this parameter cannot show managers the recovery of other physiological processes such as photosynthesis. To address this problem, we have evaluated the Quercus ilex L. water status and photosynthetic capacity throughout an intense water scarcity event and a subsequent re-watering. Photosynthetic capacity was evaluated through chlorophyll fluorescence parameters and leaf reflectance indices. We found that all fluorescence parameters changed as water potential decreased and they did not completely recover after re-watering. Among the reflectance indices, the physiological reflectance index (PRI) varied similarly to fluorescence, obtaining a strong correlation with the non-photochemical quenching (NPQ). We proposed using PRI to detect the level of photosynthetic capacity in Q. ilex, as it is much easier-to-handle. We also concluded that intense droughts and heat stress not only might reduce photosynthetic capacity through changes in Chl fluorescence parameters during the stress period, but might also affect photosynthetic capacity once the plant water status is recovered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water and Gas Exchanges in Forests)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of a Heat Wave on Nocturnal Stomatal Conductance in Eucalyptus camaldulensis
Forests 2018, 9(6), 319; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9060319
Received: 5 March 2018 / Revised: 10 May 2018 / Accepted: 31 May 2018 / Published: 3 June 2018
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Abstract
Nocturnal transpiration constitutes a significant yet poorly understood component of the global water cycle. Modeling nocturnal transpiration has been complicated by recent findings showing that stomata respond differently to environmental drivers over day- vs. night-time periods. Here, we propose that nocturnal stomatal conductance [...] Read more.
Nocturnal transpiration constitutes a significant yet poorly understood component of the global water cycle. Modeling nocturnal transpiration has been complicated by recent findings showing that stomata respond differently to environmental drivers over day- vs. night-time periods. Here, we propose that nocturnal stomatal conductance depends on antecedent daytime conditions. We tested this hypothesis across six genotypes of Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh. growing under different CO2 concentrations (ambient vs. elevated) and exposed to contrasting temperatures (ambient vs. heat wave) for four days prior to the night of measurements, when all plants experienced ambient temperature conditions. We observed significant effects after the heat wave that led to 36% reductions in nocturnal stomatal conductance. The response was partly driven by changes in daytime stomatal behavior but additional factors may have come into play. We also observed significant differences in response to the heat wave across genotypes, likely driven by local adaptation to their climate of origin, but CO2 played no effect. Stomatal models may need to incorporate the role of antecedent effects to improve projections particularly after drastic changes in the environment such as heat waves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water and Gas Exchanges in Forests)
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Open AccessArticle Modeling and Predicting Carbon and Water Fluxes Using Data-Driven Techniques in a Forest Ecosystem
Forests 2017, 8(12), 498; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120498
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 4 December 2017 / Accepted: 8 December 2017 / Published: 12 December 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3034 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Accurate estimation of carbon and water fluxes of forest ecosystems is of particular importance for addressing the problems originating from global environmental change, and providing helpful information about carbon and water content for analyzing and diagnosing past and future climate change. The main [...] Read more.
Accurate estimation of carbon and water fluxes of forest ecosystems is of particular importance for addressing the problems originating from global environmental change, and providing helpful information about carbon and water content for analyzing and diagnosing past and future climate change. The main focus of the current work was to investigate the feasibility of four comparatively new methods, including generalized regression neural network, group method of data handling (GMDH), extreme learning machine and adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS), for elucidating the carbon and water fluxes in a forest ecosystem. A comparison was made between these models and two widely used data-driven models, artificial neural network (ANN) and support vector machine (SVM). All the models were evaluated based on the following statistical indices: coefficient of determination, Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency, root mean square error and mean absolute error. Results indicated that the data-driven models are capable of accounting for most variance in each flux with the limited meteorological variables. The ANN model provided the best estimates for gross primary productivity (GPP) and net ecosystem exchange (NEE), while the ANFIS model achieved the best for ecosystem respiration (R), indicating that no single model was consistently superior to others for the carbon flux prediction. In addition, the GMDH model consistently produced somewhat worse results for all the carbon flux and evapotranspiration (ET) estimations. On the whole, among the carbon and water fluxes, all the models produced similar highly satisfactory accuracy for GPP, R and ET fluxes, and did a reasonable job of reproducing the eddy covariance NEE. Based on these findings, it was concluded that these advanced models are promising alternatives to ANN and SVM for estimating the terrestrial carbon and water fluxes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water and Gas Exchanges in Forests)
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Water Balance of Mediterranean Quercus ilex L. and Pinus halepensis Mill. Forests in Semiarid Climates: A Review in A Climate Change Context
Forests 2018, 9(7), 426; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9070426
Received: 5 June 2018 / Revised: 11 July 2018 / Accepted: 12 July 2018 / Published: 16 July 2018
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Abstract
Forests provide many environmental services, especially those related to the water cycle. In semiarid areas where water is a limiting factor for ecosystem functioning, forested areas can have a strong impact on ground water recharge. In these areas, proper knowledge of forests’ water [...] Read more.
Forests provide many environmental services, especially those related to the water cycle. In semiarid areas where water is a limiting factor for ecosystem functioning, forested areas can have a strong impact on ground water recharge. In these areas, proper knowledge of forests’ water balance is necessary to promote management practices that may ensure ecosystem properties and environmental services like water or carbon fixation. In this article, we review several ecohydrology topics within the framework of Mediterranean water-limited environments in two representative ecosystems: Kermes oak (Quercus ilex L.) and Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis Mill.) forests. Both are the commonest species in countries that surround the Western Mediterranean Basin. We analysed the Blue and Green water components, i.e., green water is the water demand of forests, represented by evapotranspiration and interception; while blue water is the part of the balance involving runoff and deep percolation, which can be regarded as water directly usable by society. In general, different studies conducted in Mediterranean areas have pointed out that the water balances of Q. ilex and P. halepensis forests have low values for the Blue to Green water (B/G) ratios. Adaptive forest management like forest thinning can compensate for these ratios. Thinning has demonstrated to reduce losses by interception, but at same time, it can also increase individual tree transpiration and evaporation rates. However, these practices lead to higher B/G ratios when considering the whole stand. In future global change scenarios, in which drought conditions are expected to intensify, management practices can improve the water balance in these ecosystems by minimizing the risk of plant mortality and species replacement due to intense competence by water resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water and Gas Exchanges in Forests)
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