Non-IUFRO Publications

Non-IUFRO Publications


Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in agroforestry systems

We are at the start of the UN decade on ecosystem restoration. In this context, agroforestry is one of the approaches promoted for the restoration of degraded landscapes and the sustainable intensification of agriculture. Research over the last decades has provided compelling evidence for positive effects of plant diversity on the functioning of forests and agroecosystems and this information is increasingly used to design production systems that provide a wide range of ecosystem services. However, there is still little quantitative information on Biodiversity Ecosystem Functioning (BEF) relationships in agroforestry systems.

To fill this knowledge gap, researchers from the Chair of Silviculture, University of Freiburg and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) propose a new type of agroforestry BEF-experiments. Based on designs used in tree diversity experiments, the researchers developed a conceptual framework for analysing BEF-relationships in agroforestry systems and present an exemplary design for this purpose. The example is set in a (sub)tropical context. The team suggests four major design principles: 1) a trait-based approach for selecting tree and crop species, 2) the integration of trees and crops along a gradient of functional diversity, 3) maintaining constant density across different combinations of life-forms in agroforests through the concept of "growing-patch-density", and 4) disentangling a priori the effects of species diversity on ecosystem functioning from those of structural and functional diversity.

The proposed BEF-experiments offer a promising possibility to identify important drivers of specific BEF-relationships in agroforestry systems and to quantify management influences. This information can help to promote agroforestry in the context of forest landscape restoration and to support the sustainable intensification of agriculture through agroforestry.

Original publication:

Schwarz J, Schnabel F & Bauhus J (2021). A conceptual framework and experimental design for analysing the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) in agroforestry systems. Basic and Applied Ecology.


Call for Submissions: Silviculture and Management of Boreal Forests

Submissions are invited for a Special Issue of Forests.

The boreal forest circles the northern portions of the earth and represents approximately 30% of the global forest area. This region has a short growing season with 6 to 8 months of below-freezing temperatures and a low diversity of tree species. However, it is an important source of lumber and wood fibre and provides a range of ecological and social services. Boreal forests play important roles in climate regulation and are an important reservoir of carbon. Global climate change is having major impacts and, in addition to forestry, the mining and energy sectors are active in this region. About two-thirds of the world’s boreal forests are managed. Management intensity varies from extensive management in Canada and Russia to intensive management in Fennoscandia. Harvesting has increased the number of successional or second-growth forests in many areas, with associated changes in structural characteristics and biodiversity. Challenges to management of boreal forests include: slow growth rates, an abundance of poor soil conditions including imperfectly or poorly drained sites as well as rapidly drained sites and cold soils, wetting up of sites following harvest, remoteness, and high costs. A range of silvicultural practices, including draining, mechanical site preparation, prescribed burning, planting, thinning, and cleaning, are applied. Both even-aged and uneven-aged systems are applied, with stand and site characteristics and other factors influencing the choice of system. The aim of this Special Issue is to document recent advances in silviculture and management of boreal forests with particular emphasis on managing boreal forests for a broad range of services and adaptation to climate change. We invite original research and review papers covering a range of topics relating to the silviculture and management of Boreal forests that demonstrate and compare short-term and long-term outcomes of practices in relation to their impacts on tree growth, yield, biodiversity, economics, resilience, and other values.

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2021
Guest editor: Prof. Dr. Phillip G. Comeau, Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada


A Comparison of Forestry Continuing Education Academic Degree Programs

In recent years, societal demands and expectations associated with forests and the forest sector have changed profoundly. The changing role of the forest sector is resulting in changes in forestry higher education programs and curricula; however, these changes are occurring unevenly in different regions of the world. One major effort to ensure that forestry professionals have the requisite training and skills, and the ability to implement technical management, public administration, and knowledge creation, are post-graduate training and higher education programs for early career forestry professionals. These programs aim to update a professional’s knowledge and skills to adjust to the changing societal demands on forests, and to address deficiencies in professionals’ undergraduate education. This paper reviews and compares five programs that aim to update and improve knowledge and skills among forest professionals, with a special focus on the Asia Pacific region. After reviewing and comparing several programs, the paper reflects on trends and their possible implications.

IUFRO-SPDC has participated in this study by contributing information and insights into its training programme for early- and midcareer forest scientists. These short courses which can quickly be adapted to changing demand for knowledge and skills play a useful role in complementing ongoing forestry continuing education academic degree programs.


Forests for the future

'Forests for the Future – Restoration Success at Landscape Scale: What will it Take and What Have we Learned?' was launched by WWF on 21 May.

The booklet ‘Forests for the Future – Restoration Success at Landscape Scale: What will it Take and What Have we Learned?’ is a contribution to the Bonn Challenge - a global target to bring 350 million hectares of degraded and deforested land into restoration by 2030. Since the Challenge was set in 2011, 74 governments, private associations and companies have pledged more than 210 million hectares.

The report showcases insights from researchers and practitioners at the coalface of forest and ecosystem restoration around the world on the greatest opportunities, as well as the most fundamental challenges, that need to be addressed in the coming years.

One chapter is written by IUFRO-SPDC’s Michael Kleine: CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT: LESSONS LEARNED FROM IUFRO’S INITIATIVES. Other IUFRO officeholders have also contributed to this publication!

List of authors
PDF for download


Call for Submissions: Long-Term Productivity and Landscape Processes of Mixed Conifer Forests

Submissions are invited for a Special Issue of Forests.

Mixed conifer forests are found throughout the temperate zones on a variety of landscapes in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Like most mixed species forests, mixed conifer forests exist because different species coexist in a temporal or spatial pattern. Particularly in mountainous regions, mixed conifer forests are highly heterogeneous and can vary over a short distance. Mixed species assemblages can be either seral or stable, developing under patterns of one or more disturbances or developing under a fairly specific edaphic and climatic regime. Depending on the severity of expected anthropogenic climate change effects, these assemblages may face novel conditions that upset the competitive balances that historically existed. This Special Issue will present research and operational monitoring results at scales ranging from the level of individual tree group or stand up to landscape processes. We welcome studies on (1) basic physiology and stand dynamics and (2) operational treatments and impacts that provide evidence of influences on forest resiliency and productivity.

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 19 December 2021
Guest editors: Warren Keith Moser,  Rocky Mountain Research Station, US Forest Service


Call for Submissions: Effects of Environmental Factors and Silvicultural Treatment on Forest Stand Dynamics

Submissions are invited for a Special Issue of Forests.

In a time of climate uncertainty, patterns and processes in the world's forests are undergoing rapid change, some of which we understand and some of which we can only surmise. Managers must make decisions on the fly using the best available science at the time. This Special Issue will present research from alpine, boreal (taiga), sub-boreal, temperate, subtropical, and tropical regions that explores the interaction between environmental influences, including the climate and forest stand dynamics. Research results from long-term studies and shorter experiments are welcome. The main focus of each article should be the interaction between forests and the surrounding environment.

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 12 December 2021
Guest editors: Warren Keith Moser,  Rocky Mountain Research Station, US Forest Service


The Legacy of Pre–Columbian Fire on the Pine–Oak Forests of Upland Guatemala

Mountain tropical forests of the Southern Maya Area (Pacific Chiapas and Guatemala, El Salvador, and Northern Honduras) predominantly comprise pine and oak formations, which form intricate mosaics and complex successional interactions following large–scale fire. These forests have been transformed by the peoples of the Maya civilization through practices of horticulture, agriculture, and architectural developments over thousands of years. Anthropogenic impacts and the extent of early human interaction with these upland forests is currently poorly understood. In this study we identify: (i) the natural baseline vegetation of the region; (ii) when human impact and agrarian practices began in the Maya uplands; and (iii) what impacts the Maya had on forest structure, composition, and successional regeneration. Past vegetation, anthropogenic use of fire, and faunal abundance were reconstructed using proxy analysis of fossil pollen, macroscopic charcoal, microscopic charcoal, and dung fungal spores (Sporormiella). Three phases of forest succession were identified from 4000B.C.E. to 1522CE that broadly overlap with the well–defined archaeological periods of (i) the Archaic (10,000–2000B.C.E.); (ii) Pre–Classic (2000B.C.E.−100C.E.); (iii) Terminal Pre–Classic (100–250C.E.); (iv) Classic (250–950C.E.); and (v) Post–Classic (950–1522C.E.). These results also include the earliest evidence for agriculture within the Southern Maya Area through presence of peppers (Capsicum) from 3850B.C.E. and the rise of maize cultivation (Zea mays) from 970B.C.E. Persistent high intensity burning driven by agricultural practices and lime production during the Late–Pre-Classic (400–100B.C.E.) to Classic Period resulted in a compositional change of forest structure c.150B.C.E. from oak (Quercus) dominated forests to pine (Pinus) dominated forests. The legacy of Pre–Columbian anthropogenically driven fire in these mountain tropical forests demonstrates the resilience and thresholds for fire driven succession. These findings are particularly relevant for addressing current land use and management strategies involving agriculture, fire, and forest management in the mountain tropical forests of the Southern Maya Area.


Call for submissions: Spatial Decision Support for Forest Management and Policy Formulation

Submissions are invited for a Special issue of 'Forests'.

Decision support systems for forest management have been steadily evolving since about 1980 in response to growing demand from forest managers for sophisticated analytical systems that can address the complexities of contemporary forest management issues such as adaptive management in the context of concerns for managing for forest ecosystem sustainability, integrity, and resilience while ensuring the provision of ecosystem services. In this same time frame, there has also been a steady shift in emphasis from stand-level to landscape-level decision support systems, in part driven by improved ecological understanding of, and appreciation for, the need to account for patterns and processes in forest management and planning.

Accordingly, the Editors of Forests have commissioned a 2021 Special Issue on spatial decision support systems and their application to state-of-the-art landscape solutions for forest management and policy formulation. Spatial decision support technologies have evolved on numerous pathways, including knowledge-based, probabilistic, and linear programming systems, as well as combinations of these and other technologies, so articles addressing any of these areas are welcome.

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 19 September 2021
Guest editors: Keith M. Reynolds, Jose G. Borges, Harald Vacik and Paul F. Hessburg


IPBES Workshop Report on Biodiversity and Pandemics

Considering the extraordinary situation caused by the novel Coronavirus and given the role that IPBES can play in strengthening the knowledge base on biodiversity links of current and future pandemics such as COVID-19, IPBES had organized a virtual Platform workshop on the link between biodiversity and pandemics, from 27-31 July 2020. The full workshop report is composed of an executive summary, five sections, references and annexes.

The full workshop report is now available in a laid-out format:

Click here to read the #PandemicsReport media release in English, Spanish and here for French.  
Access social media assets/images here:


Call for Submissions: Genetic Control of Forest Tree Traits and Their Interaction with Environment

Submissions are invited for a Special issue of 'Forests'.

Sustainable forestry is a cornerstone in the transition to the post-carbon economy, where forests play a key role as a source of sustainable biomass. The growing demand for biomass is being challenges by the negative impact of climate change on forest productivity caused by multiple biotic and abiotic stress. This urges a better understanding of the genetic control of forest tree traits associated to production, and to develop models for accelerated assisted adaptation of our forests to guarantee a healthy and productive feedstock. Interested authors should submit research works in the field of forest genetics that advance our understanding on the genetic control of forest tree traits of economic and ecological value, and their interaction with a changing environment. Research works are encouraged that provide novel models for the implementation of genomics and remote sensing tools to accelerate and assist forest genetic adaptation to secure production and biodiversity.

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 25 August 2021
Contact: Dr. Rosario Garcia Gil (M.Rosario.Garcia(at)