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Highlighted papers

The editorial board selected two papers published during 2021 as highlighted papers. Both address important issues for the resilience and adaptation of forest ecosystems to climate change. 

The first analyses the potential interactions between two constraints usually addressed independently: summer drought and frost events (late of early frost mainly); it particularly stresses that changes in phenology induced by drought may induce a delayed sensitivity to frost. 

The second models the impact that silviculture may have on the resilience to drought, and shows that reducing basal density (and consequently leaf area index) may enhance the resilience of forest ecosystems to drought through reduced evapotranspiration. 

The corresponding authors were granted a free publication in the journal over the 2 next years.

Interaction of drought and frost in tree ecophysiology: rethinking the timing of risks

Guillaume Charrier, Nicolas Martin-StPaul, Claire Damesin, Nicolas Delpierre, Heikki Hänninen, Jose M. Torres-Ruiz & Hendrik Davi 

Annals of Forest Science volume 78, Article number: 40 (2021)

Key message
The increase in climate variability is likely to generate an increased occurrence of both frost-induced and drought-induced damages on perennial plants. We examined how these stress factors can potentially interact and would subsequently affect the vulnerability to each other. Furthermore, we discussed how this vulnerability could be modulated by shifts in the annual phenological cycle.

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Magnitude and timing of density reduction are key for the resilience to severe drought in conifer-broadleaf mixed forests in Central Europe

Juan Carlos Zamora-Pereira, Rasoul Yousefpour, Maxime Cailleret, Harald Bugmann & Marc Hanewinkel

Annals of Forest Science volume 78, Article number: 68 (2021) 

Key message
We applied a modified forest gap model (ForClim) to depict changes in stand water transpiration via density reduction as a forest adaptation strategy. This approach is the key to analyzing the ecological resilience to drought, stress-induced mortality, and economic efficiency of managed mixed forest stands in Central Europe. The results show that specific geographic conditions and forest composition define the optimal stand density of drought-resilient forests.

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