Research Topic

Forests Under Pressure: The Need for Interdisciplinary Approaches to Address Forest Vulnerability to Tree Mortality in Response to Drought

About this Research Topic

The recent FAO report on The State of the World's Forests estimates that the majority of current forest ecosystems are subject to a number of natural disturbances (e.g. drought and extreme weather events) that can adversely affect their health and vitality by causing tree mortality or reducing their ability to provide goods and services. Extended to a larger scale, these outcomes will have multiple effects on biosphere-atmosphere interactions and will play an important role in future water-carbon cycle feedbacks through complex effects on forest biophysical properties and biogeochemical cycles. Understanding the dynamics, processes, and effects of tree mortality and related forest die-offs from drought is a vital step in identifying innovative practices and success factors to mitigate these effects, which requires crossing scales and disciplines ranging from physiology and ecology to vegetation modeling and forest management.

We aim to gather a broad range of observational, theoretical, and experimental studies, spanning a range of scales (from cells to plant communities to forest ecosystems) and conditions often characterized by a multidisciplinary approach (from plant physiology to remote sensing).

This Research Topic aims to improve our understanding of:

• Patterns and mechanisms related to forest mortality and dieback in response to drought;
• Detecting and monitoring forest ecosystem responses to extreme climate events including heatwaves and drought spells;
• How trees die from drought, with particular emphasis on the evaluation of intraspecific functional trait variability among and within tree species;
• The role of adaptive forest management to improve resilience and conservation of drought-prone forests.

Empirical research and novel Methods papers are welcome as well as Reviews and Opinion articles, which may consolidate this topic and indicate future research priorities.


Keywords: Global Environmental Change, Forest health, Natural disturbances, Forest management, Tree mortality


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The recent FAO report on The State of the World's Forests estimates that the majority of current forest ecosystems are subject to a number of natural disturbances (e.g. drought and extreme weather events) that can adversely affect their health and vitality by causing tree mortality or reducing their ability to provide goods and services. Extended to a larger scale, these outcomes will have multiple effects on biosphere-atmosphere interactions and will play an important role in future water-carbon cycle feedbacks through complex effects on forest biophysical properties and biogeochemical cycles. Understanding the dynamics, processes, and effects of tree mortality and related forest die-offs from drought is a vital step in identifying innovative practices and success factors to mitigate these effects, which requires crossing scales and disciplines ranging from physiology and ecology to vegetation modeling and forest management.

We aim to gather a broad range of observational, theoretical, and experimental studies, spanning a range of scales (from cells to plant communities to forest ecosystems) and conditions often characterized by a multidisciplinary approach (from plant physiology to remote sensing).

This Research Topic aims to improve our understanding of:

• Patterns and mechanisms related to forest mortality and dieback in response to drought;
• Detecting and monitoring forest ecosystem responses to extreme climate events including heatwaves and drought spells;
• How trees die from drought, with particular emphasis on the evaluation of intraspecific functional trait variability among and within tree species;
• The role of adaptive forest management to improve resilience and conservation of drought-prone forests.

Empirical research and novel Methods papers are welcome as well as Reviews and Opinion articles, which may consolidate this topic and indicate future research priorities.


Keywords: Global Environmental Change, Forest health, Natural disturbances, Forest management, Tree mortality


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

09 October 2020 Abstract
14 January 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

09 October 2020 Abstract
14 January 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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