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Special Issue "Climate Change Impacts on the Dynamics of Forest Ecosystems"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 May 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Carl Beierkuhnlein

Department of Biogeography, University of Bayreuth, D-95440 Bayreuth, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +49 921552315
Interests: concepts of biodiversity; beta-diversity; biodiversity monitoring and sampling design; impacts of climate change on biodiversity; remote sensing in biodiversity research; scale dependency of biodiversity patterns
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Andreas Bolte

Thünen Institute of Forest Ecosystems, Federal Research Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries, Eberswalde, Germany
Website | E-Mail

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In comparison with other permanent ecosystems, forests are particularly affected by climatic changes due to the longevity of their key species, the trees. Reaching the current state of species assembly, biodiversity, and ecosystem functioning took millennia after the last glaciation in the vast forests of the northern hemisphere. Natural adaptation processes at different levels ranging from the individual tree to the ecosystem are unlikely to keep up with the speed of climatic changes in the next decades. Particularly, extreme climatic events, such as periods of drought or strong winds, can cause extensive damage but they may also reduce inertia and create options for new successional trajectories. However, we are facing novel conditions at local or regional scales, which are likely to be translated into new qualities of forest ecosystems. The driving mechanisms that are already going on and expected to control future forests need to be better understood. We encourage studies from all fields, including experimental studies, monitoring approaches and models, to contribute to this Special Issue in order to promote knowledge and adaptation strategies for the preservation, management, and future development of forest ecosystems.

Dr. Carl Beierkuhnlein
Dr. Andreas Bolte
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 1200 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

  • Extreme Climatic Events
  • Disturbances
  • Carbon Sequestration
  • Biodiversity
  • Ecosystem Services
  • Bark Beetle Outbreaks
  • Forest Fires, Regeneration
  • Forest Management

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessCommunication Increasing Water Use Efficiency Comes at a Cost for Norway Spruce
Forests 2016, 7(12), 296; doi:10.3390/f7120296
Received: 30 August 2016 / Revised: 7 November 2016 / Accepted: 21 November 2016 / Published: 28 November 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2549 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Intrinsic water use efficiency (WUEi) in trees is an indication of the ratio of carbon assimilation to the rate of transpiration. It is generally assumed that it is a response to water availability. In agricultural research, the question of drought tolerance
[...] Read more.
Intrinsic water use efficiency (WUEi) in trees is an indication of the ratio of carbon assimilation to the rate of transpiration. It is generally assumed that it is a response to water availability. In agricultural research, the question of drought tolerance by increased WUEi has been well studied. In general, the increase is a trade-off for productivity and is therefore not desired. For forest trees, this question is less clearly understood. Using stable carbon isotopes derived from tree rings combined with productivity as the product of the annual growth increment and annual density measurements, we compared the change in WUEi over a 15 year period. While WUEi increased over this period, the productivity decreased, causing an opposing trend. The gradient of the correlation between WUEi and productivity varies between provenances and sites. Counterintuitively, the populations at the drier site showed low WUEi values at the beginning of the investigation. Slopes vary with the provenance from Poland showing the least decline in productivity. In general, we found that a decline in productivity aligned with an increase in WUEi. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Impacts on the Dynamics of Forest Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle Developing and Implementing Climate Change Adaptation Options in Forest Ecosystems: A Case Study in Southwestern Oregon, USA
Forests 2016, 7(11), 268; doi:10.3390/f7110268
Received: 1 September 2016 / Revised: 24 October 2016 / Accepted: 2 November 2016 / Published: 7 November 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (4043 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Climate change will likely have significant effects on forest ecosystems worldwide. In Mediterranean regions, such as that in southwestern Oregon, USA, changes will likely be driven mainly by wildfire and drought. To minimize the negative effects of climate change, resource managers require tools
[...] Read more.
Climate change will likely have significant effects on forest ecosystems worldwide. In Mediterranean regions, such as that in southwestern Oregon, USA, changes will likely be driven mainly by wildfire and drought. To minimize the negative effects of climate change, resource managers require tools and information to assess climate change vulnerabilities and to develop and implement adaptation actions. We developed an approach to facilitate development and implementation of climate change adaptation options in forest management. This approach, applied in a southwestern Oregon study region, involved establishment of a science–manager partnership, a science-based assessment of forest and woodland vulnerabilities to climate change, climate change education in multiple formats, hands-on development of adaptation options, and application of tools to incorporate climate change in planned projects. Through this approach, we improved local manager understanding of the potential effects of climate change in southwestern Oregon, and enabled evaluation of proposed management activities in the context of climatic stressors. Engaging managers throughout the project increased ownership of the process and outcomes, as well as the applicability of the adaptation options to on-the-ground actions. Science–management partnerships can effectively incorporate evolving science, regardless of the socio-political environment, and facilitate timely progress in adaptation to climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Impacts on the Dynamics of Forest Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle Ecosystem Carbon Stock Loss after Land Use Change in Subtropical Forests in China
Forests 2016, 7(7), 142; doi:10.3390/f7070142
Received: 11 May 2016 / Revised: 21 June 2016 / Accepted: 7 July 2016 / Published: 12 July 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1430 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Converting secondary natural forests (SFs) to Chinese fir plantations (CFPs) represents one of the most important (8.9 million ha) land use changes in subtropical China. This study estimated both biomass and soil C stocks in a SF and a CFP that was converted
[...] Read more.
Converting secondary natural forests (SFs) to Chinese fir plantations (CFPs) represents one of the most important (8.9 million ha) land use changes in subtropical China. This study estimated both biomass and soil C stocks in a SF and a CFP that was converted from a SF, to quantify the effects of land use change on ecosystem C stock. After the forest conversion, biomass C in the CFP (73 Mg·ha−1) was significantly lower than that of the SF (114 Mg·ha−1). Soil organic C content and stock decreased with increasing soil depth, and the soil C stock in the 0–10 cm layer accounted for more than one third of the total soil C stock over 0–50 cm, emphasizing the importance of management of the top soil to reduce the soil C loss. Total ecosystem C stock of the SF and the CFP was 318 and 200 Mg·ha−1, respectively, 64% of which was soil C for both stands (205 Mg·ha−1 for the SF and 127 Mg·ha−1 for the CFP). This indicates that land use change from the SF to the CFP significantly decreased ecosystem C stock and highlights the importance of managing soil C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Impacts on the Dynamics of Forest Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle Simulating Water-Use Efficiency of Piceacrassi folia Forest under Representative Concentration Pathway Scenarios in the Qilian Mountains of Northwest China
Forests 2016, 7(7), 140; doi:10.3390/f7070140
Received: 25 April 2016 / Revised: 21 June 2016 / Accepted: 7 July 2016 / Published: 12 July 2016
PDF Full-text (2420 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The current study used the Biome-Bio Geochemical Cycle (Biome-BGC) model to simulate water-use efficiency (WUE) of Piceacrassi folia (P. crassifolia) forest under four representative concentration pathway (RCP) scenarios, and investigated the responses of forest WUE to different combinations of climatic changes
[...] Read more.
The current study used the Biome-Bio Geochemical Cycle (Biome-BGC) model to simulate water-use efficiency (WUE) of Piceacrassi folia (P. crassifolia) forest under four representative concentration pathway (RCP) scenarios, and investigated the responses of forest WUE to different combinations of climatic changes and CO2 concentrations in the Qilian Mountains of Northwest China. The model was validated by comparing simulated forest net primary productivity and transpiration under current climatic condition with independent field-measured data. Subsequently, the model was used to predict P. crassi folia forest WUE response to different climatic and CO2 change scenarios. Results showed that (1) increases in temperature, precipitation and atmospheric CO2 concentrations led to associated increases in WUE (ranging from 54% to 66% above the reference climate); (2) effect of CO2 concentration (increased WUE from 36% to 42.3%) was more significant than that of climate change (increased WUE from 2.4% to 15%); and (3) forest WUE response to future global change was more intense at high elevations than at low ones, with CO2 concentration being the main factor that controlled forest WUE variation. These results provide valuable insight to help understand how these forest types might respond to future changes in climate and atmospheric CO2 concentration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Impacts on the Dynamics of Forest Ecosystems)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Earth System Model Needs for Including the Interactive Representation of Nitrogen Deposition and Drought Effects on Forested Ecosystems
Forests 2017, 8(8), 267; doi:10.3390/f8080267
Received: 9 May 2017 / Revised: 15 July 2017 / Accepted: 24 July 2017 / Published: 27 July 2017
PDF Full-text (1108 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
One of the biggest uncertainties of climate change is determining the response of vegetation to many co-occurring stressors. In particular, many forests are experiencing increased nitrogen deposition and are expected to suffer in the future from increased drought frequency and intensity. Interactions between
[...] Read more.
One of the biggest uncertainties of climate change is determining the response of vegetation to many co-occurring stressors. In particular, many forests are experiencing increased nitrogen deposition and are expected to suffer in the future from increased drought frequency and intensity. Interactions between drought and nitrogen deposition are antagonistic and non-additive, which makes predictions of vegetation response dependent on multiple factors. The tools we use (Earth system models) to evaluate the impact of climate change on the carbon cycle are ill equipped to capture the physiological feedbacks and dynamic responses of ecosystems to these types of stressors. In this manuscript, we review the observed effects of nitrogen deposition and drought on vegetation as they relate to productivity, particularly focusing on carbon uptake and partitioning. We conclude there are several areas of model development that can improve the predicted carbon uptake under increasing nitrogen deposition and drought. This includes a more flexible framework for carbon and nitrogen partitioning, dynamic carbon allocation, better representation of root form and function, age and succession dynamics, competition, and plant modeling using trait-based approaches. These areas of model development have the potential to improve the forecasting ability and reduce the uncertainty of climate models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Impacts on the Dynamics of Forest Ecosystems)
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