Special Issue "Forest Paleoecology"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 25 November 2023 | Viewed by 866

Special Issue Editor

Department of Sistemas y Recursos Naturales, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería de Montes, Forestal y del Medio Natural, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, C/ José Antonio Novais, Nº 10, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Interests: dendrochronology; dendroecology; palaeoecology; biogeography

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

Paleobotanical studies today constitute not only the basic information to provide quantitative data on the species composition of past forests but also the knowledge necessary to describe long-term forest dynamics at different spatial scales, including climatic changes, land uses, fires, and other disturbances which together constitute the paleoecological evidence. Moreover, it should be noted that research in forest paleoecology can offer valuable information to assess the resilience of current forests and improve forest management in light of present and predictable future climate change. Paleoecological methods show great potential for guiding decisions in conservation practices. The paleoecological evidence of fossil forests involves many approaches, although the most common paleobotanical techniques for studying past forests are macrofossil, pollen, charcoal, and dendrochronology analysis. Generally, the integration of a diverse set of these complementary data enables us to infer the environmental conditions under the forest developed and the elaboration of the most complete paleoecological reconstructions. We want to promote and broadcast all the fields of forest paleoecological studies, including experimental studies and models, to contribute to this Special Issue to enhance the knowledge of the adaptation strategies for the preservation, management, and future development of forest ecosystems.

Prof. Dr. Mar Génova
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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  • plant macrofossil
  • pollen analysis
  • charcoal
  • fossil wood
  • dendrochronology
  • fossil forest
  • paleoenvironment record
  • paleoecological reconstructions

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Mapping the Late Miocene Pyrenean Forests of the La Cerdanya Basin, Spain
Forests 2023, 14(7), 1471; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14071471 - 18 Jul 2023
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The Late Miocene palaeofloras of the La Cerdanya Basin represent a unique look into the Pyrenean Miocene forested areas of the Iberian Peninsula at a time when the European warm and humid climate was experiencing progressive cooling and aridification. Macrofossils (leaves, seeds, fruits [...] Read more.
The Late Miocene palaeofloras of the La Cerdanya Basin represent a unique look into the Pyrenean Miocene forested areas of the Iberian Peninsula at a time when the European warm and humid climate was experiencing progressive cooling and aridification. Macrofossils (leaves, seeds, fruits and cones) and miospores from several outcrops revealed the composition and abundances of the different plant species present in the area during the Tortonian and early Messinian geological stages (ca. 11.1–5.7 Ma). These fossils were found in the sediment deposits of an ancient lake system situated in the southwestern part of the basin. Previous studies indicated the presence of highly diversified mixed mesophytic forests with broadleaved evergreen and deciduous trees and conifers. However, the spatial structure and distribution of these forest types remains unknown. In the present work, the biomization method was used to infer the different late Miocene vegetation types from the basin. The extent of these vegetation types was calculated using a methodology for mapping vegetation units from fossil and biome data. While previous attempts at mapping Miocene vegetation units had a broad geographical scale, the present work aimed to map the extent of the vegetation units at a small scale, recreating local and specific vegetation changes in an abrupt basin. Results showed similarly high scores between for four biome types, which represent the different types of vegetation that coexisted in the basin during the Tortonian and the early Messinian: warm-temperate evergreen broadleaf and mixed woodlands (WTEM biome), temperate deciduous forests (TEDE) and cool conifer forests (COMX and COEG). Their extent was depicted in two vegetation maps, which account for differences in palaeoaltitude and palaeoclimate. These forests occupied different vegetation belts, which shifted upwards and downwards with climatic variations and the progressive uplift of the Pyrenees during the late Miocene. Azonal riparian forests and wetland vegetation occupied the more humid areas in the centre of the basin. Nonetheless, dry conditions during the early Messinian and decrease in the lake area degraded the wetland environments, which were partially replaced by broadleaved evergreen mixed woodlands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Paleoecology)
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