The editors of Journal of Ecology have put together this Virtual Issue to showcase some of the recent forest ecology research from Asia published in the journal, and in particular, our Biological Flora of the British Isles (BFBI) series. The BFBI accounts provide a concise summary of the ecology of British species, but inevitably, many of the accounts are for species whose native or invasive range spreads globally including areas of Asia, e.g., the four forest species accounts included here: Fagus sylvatica, Fraxinus excelsior, Milium effusum and Robinia pseudoacacia.
In addition, we have selected 17 cutting-edge forest ecology articles published in the journal over the past two years. 8 of the papers in this Virtual Issue are by researchers based in Asia or working on Asian ecosystems, most of them in China. The 9 additional papers are recent forest ecology articles to highlight how this Asian work ‘fits right in’ to advancing plant ecology. For example, one of these papers “The role of transcriptomics linked with responses to light environment on seedling mortality in a subtropical forest, China” by Han et al., is included in our recent Special Feature: Transcriptomic and Genomic Analyses of Communities.
The topics covered by these 17 papers are very broad, although a theme of global change is evident through many (e.g. Zhang et al.) in addition to the use of advanced methodology and techniques (e.g. phylogenetic analyses in Zhu et al. and Chang-Yang et al.). For comparison, a couple of the non-Asian forest ecology papers in this collection illustrate novel approaches that we would hope to see more of in the journal, such as Needham et al.’s combined use of integral population models with individual-based models to understand pathogen-caused tree mortality, and Vieilledent et al.’s use of bioclimatic models to investigate tropical forest carbon stocks.
The papers in this Virtual Issue are placed in four groups: the four BFBI accounts, 7 studies from tropical/subtropical forests, 3 studies from boreal forest, and 7 that more generally report studies investigating the response of forest species to biotic and abiotic factors. We hope that these papers encourage submission of similar articles to the journal, as well as follow Journal of Ecology on Twitter and Facebook.
David Gibson, Executive Editor
View the full virtual issue here: Forest Ecology in Asia