New thematic series to highlight the end of 2011 – UN Year of Forests

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2011 has been the UN International Year of Forests and to highlight this, two of BioMed Central’s open access journals, BMC Ecology and Carbon Balance and Management, have joined forces to create a thematic series showcasing the latest research into these crucial ecosystems.

The two journals’ differing scopes are reflected in the different research themes highlighted in the series. Co Editor-in-Chief of Carbon Balance and Management, Georgii Alexandrov, introduces the thematic series in his editorial and discusses the importance of Land-Use/Land-Cover Change models in setting forest conservation targets. In a separate article, BMC Ecology’s Associate Editor Olivier Honnay reviews the use of a biodiversity-ecosystem functioning perspective in forest restoration. This approach, and its emphasis on functional rather than taxonomic diversity, may lead to a more pragmatic approach to forest restoration where a species’ function, rather than its origin, is assessed when selecting tree species to include.

Non-native tree species are also discussed in research by Annabel J Porte and colleagues who studied the invasive maple species, Acer negundo, which displays higher phenotypic plasticity than native species under non-limiting resource environments, explaining how these trees are able to spread throughout the resource rich forests of Europe.

Further articles published by Carbon Balance and Management in the thematic series include research by Dr Grant Domke et al. on the importance of incorporating density reductions and structural loss adjustments when assessing forest biomass and carbon stock estimates, and a timely review by Dr Martin Herold et al. discussing the best options for monitoring past carbon emissions from forest degradation.

Finally, BMC Ecology presents research by Tiina Särkinen and colleagues on the seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTF) of South America. Current biome maps for these areas vary considerably and highlight the difficulty in mapping highly discontinuous and fragmented vegetation like SDTF over large areas. Potential new methods for modeling these areas are presented with the hope that the generation of more reliable maps will allow further research into these threatened forests.

Over the forthcoming months we will be adding new articles to the series and we hope you enjoy reading them and keeping up to date with developments in this important area of research.

Philippa Harris
Senior Executive Editor
BMC Ecology

Genevieve Horne
Senior Journal Development Editor
BMC Ecology and Carbon Balance and Management