This section welcomes high-quality and original contributions on all aspects of forest soils from a wide range of disciplines including soil physics, chemistry, biogeochemistry, biology, and ecology. Approaches crossing traditional boundaries of disciplines are particularly welcome and may include contributions from social sciences as well.
Forest soils represent one of the most intriguing and least understood research frontiers at the interface of several scientific disciplines. Physical and chemical processes that encompass timescales of geological dimensions to seasonal and daily fluctuations interact with biological processes driven by an astounding biodiversity. Integrating across these processes and bringing together scientific disciplines that in the past developed largely independently from each other is a major challenge for the understanding of soil functioning and its modifications under global environmental change. As the largest terrestrial pool of organic carbon (C), forest soils have received particular attention for their role in the global C cycle, but they are also critical in determining water relations and nutrient cycling with strong feedbacks on plant productivity and community dynamics. Recent conceptual advancements and methodological development allow 1) a more detailed understanding of biological (mostly microbial) and physicochemical processes, and 2) an improved upscaling with models starting to incorporate and link these processes more explicitly. These advancements are fundamental for the prediction of how changing environmental conditions and biodiversity will affect the functioning of forest soils, their stocks and fluxes of C and nutrients and the feedbacks to the atmosphere and biosphere, and, as a consequence, how human societies may adapt forest management and use.
This specialty section will emphasize all aspects of forest soils from a wide range of disciplines including soil physics, chemistry, biogeochemistry, biology, and ecology. Approaches crossing traditional boundaries of disciplines are particularly welcome and may include contributions from social sciences as well. We seek a broad coverage of state-of-the-science contributions on global change impacts on forest soils, based on empirical, observational, theoretical, or modeling approaches including all types of forests from any biome regardless of management practice and spanning scales from individual soil profiles to the globe. We welcome articles documenting original research, presenting opinions or perspectives, and offering synthetic qualitative and/or quantitative reviews.
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PMCID: coming soon for all published articles
Forest Soils welcomes submissions of the following article types: Book Review, Case Report, Data Report, General Commentary, Hypothesis and Theory, Methods, Mini Review, Opinion, Original Research, Perspective, Policy and Practice Reviews, Policy Brief, Protocols, Review, Specialty Grand Challenge, Systematic Review and Technology Report.
All manuscripts must be submitted directly to the section Forest Soils, where they are peer-reviewed by the Associate and Review Editors of the specialty section.
Articles published in the section Forest Soils will benefit from the Frontiers impact and tiering system after online publication. Authors of published original research with the highest impact, as judged democratically by the readers, will be invited by the Chief Editor to write a Frontiers Focused Review - a tier-climbing article. This is referred to as "democratic tiering". The author selection is based on article impact analytics of original research published in all Frontiers specialty journals and sections. Focused Reviews are centered on the original discovery, place it into a broader context, and aim to address the wider community across all of Forests and Global Change.
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