Special Issue "Dynamics of the Forest Soil Microbiome in Response to Disturbances"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 July 2023) | Viewed by 1769

Special Issue Editors

College of Marine Science and Biological Engineering, Qingdao University of Science Technology, Qingdao, China
Interests: soil microecology; environmental microecology
Dr. Gexi Xu
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Ecology and Nature Conservation Institute, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing, China
Interests: biodiversity and ecosystem function; plant-soil-microbe interactions

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Forest soil microbiota is an important mediator of biogeochemical process and plays key roles in the environmental ecosystem. It contributes to a range of essential soil processes involved in the cycling of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Forest soil microbiota is responsive to the effects of global change, such as climate warming, drought, anthropogenic nitrogen as well as heavy metal, antibiotic, and microplastic contamination. However, these responses often reflect the specificities of each studied forest ecosystem, and the full incorporation of microbes into predictive models is lacking. The understanding of microbial ecology in forest soils has advanced greatly in recent years, but it remains incomplete. Therefore, elucidating the dynamics of forest soil microbial communities after various disturbances is crucial for understanding ecosystem restoration and sustainability. This Special Issue will cover some of the latest advances in changes of the forest soil microbiome in response to various disturbances and novel findings that contribute to developing a comprehensive understanding of the roles of the microbiota in forest soils during disturbances.

Dr. Jing Cong
Dr. Gexi Xu
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 2600 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.


  • soil microbiota
  • forest
  • disturbances
  • dynamic changes
  • response

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Long-Term Persistence of Three Microbial Wildfire Biomarkers in Forest Soils
Forests 2023, 14(7), 1383; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14071383 - 06 Jul 2023
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Long-term monitoring of microbial communities in the rhizosphere of post-fire forests is currently one of the key knowledge gaps. Knowing the time scale of the effects is indispensable to aiding post-fire recovery in vulnerable woodlands, including holm oak forests, that are subjected to [...] Read more.
Long-term monitoring of microbial communities in the rhizosphere of post-fire forests is currently one of the key knowledge gaps. Knowing the time scale of the effects is indispensable to aiding post-fire recovery in vulnerable woodlands, including holm oak forests, that are subjected to a Mediterranean climate, as is the case with forests that are found in protected areas such as the Sierra Nevada National and Natural Park in southeastern Spain. We took rhizosphere soil samples from burned and unburned holm oak trees approximately 3, 6, and 9 years after the 2005 fire that devastated almost 3500 ha in southeastern Spain. We observed that the prokaryotic communities are recovering but have not yet reached the conditions observed in the unburned forest. A common denominator between this fire and other fires is the long-term persistence of three ecosystem recovery biomarkers—specifically, higher proportions of the genera Arthrobacter, Blastococcus, and Massilia in soil microbial communities after a forest fire. These pyrophilous microbes possess remarkable resilience against adverse conditions, exhibiting traits such as xerotolerance, nitrogen mineralization, degradation of aromatic compounds, and copiotrophy in favorable conditions. Furthermore, these biomarkers thrive in alkaline environments, which persist over the long term following forest fires. The relative abundance of these biomarkers showed a decreasing trend over time, but they were still far from the values of the control condition. In conclusion, a decade does not seem to be enough for the complete recovery of the prokaryotic communities in this Mediterranean ecosystem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dynamics of the Forest Soil Microbiome in Response to Disturbances)
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