New special issue: Wood formation and tree adaptation to climate

Landscape of the forest tundra of Taymir peninsula

This issue follows the international conference: “Wood formation and tree adaptation to climate” organised by Prof. Vladimir Shishov and Dr. Philippe Rozenberg and held on May, 23-25th, 2018 in Orléans (France).

“Le Studium” (Loire Valley Institute for Advanced Studies — and the European Union Horizon 2020 research innovation programme (Marie Sklowdovska Curie grant agreement # 665790) supported this conference.

This virtual special issue aims at gathering contributions dealing with the adaptive response of trees, in terms of wood formation and resulting tree-ring structure and function, to their rapidly changing growing conditions (e.g., atmospheric CO2 increase, global warming, drought events), through phenotypic plasticity and/or micro-evolution.

Wood is indeed a crucial material for climate change research because its modified functions are at the core of tree adaptation to changing conditions, while its long-lasting structures record these physiological modifications. Wood performs four essential functions in trees: (1) supporting and spatially distributing the photosynthetic tissues above ground; (2) conducting the raw sap (i.e., water and nutrients) from the roots up to the leaves; (3) storing carbohydrates, water, and other compounds; and finally (4) protecting the tree from pathogens, by storing and distributing defensive compounds. For this reason, wood characteristics are important in determining the ability of a tree to face environmental stress, including climate change. Indeed, under normal climatic variability, wood anatomy, structure and function usually fit the environmental conditions trees are living in. However, under a strongly and rapidly changing climate these characteristics need to be adjusted to fit the environmental conditions through phenotypic plasticity and/or evolutionary adaptation.

To promote a sound and future oriented management of forest resources it is thus fundamental that tree breeders and forest managers select and promote individuals, provenances and species that best fit uncertain future conditions. It is therefore important and urgent that plant scientists provide tools and knowledge helping to identify and select the most relevant adaptive traits.

Tree individual mortality/adaptation

Contributions to the special issue should be related to innovative research in Wood and tree-ring science – Tree physiology – Forest dynamics – Climate change and could focus on:

(1) Environmental and/or genetic control of wood formation;

(2) Methodological developments for the study of wood formation and tree adaptation to climate;

(3) Potential adaptive wood traits, future selection traits;

(4) Ecophysiological approaches to wood functioning;

(5) Statistical and/or process based modelling of wood formation and climate–growth relationship.

Anatomical section for wood formation

Authors submitting their article to this special issue must follow the instructions for authors available on Springer website. Upon submission in Editorial Manager, authors must select Wood formation and climate as Article type to assign their manuscripts to the right special issue.

Deadline for online manuscript submission via the Annals of Forest Science Editorial Manager is Friday 19th October 2018.
We would like to finish the reviewing and revision process of the submitted papers by April 2019 so the special issue could be completed in May 2019, one year after the seminal conference. Please note that earlier papers will not have to wait for others and will be published directly online after final acceptation.

We are looking forward to receiving your manuscript.  Questions and comments can be sent to,, and

Short biosketch of the special issue team members:

Dr. Cyrille Rathgeber (Handling Editor) works at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA, France) on wood formation with special interest on the impact of climatic changes on forest productivity and wood quality. He is also an Associate Editor for Annals of Forest Science and has been introduced here.

Dr. Patrick Fonti (Guest Editor) works at the Swiss Federal Research Institute (WSL, Switzerland) on dendroecology, tree response to changing environment, tree competition dynamic and forest succession, wood anatomy, wood formation, plant hydraulic, water transport in xylem, ecophysiology, and environmental signal in tree rings.

Prof. Vladimir V. Shishov (Conference Convenor) currently works as a head of the Department of Mathematical Methods and Information Technology, Siberian Federal University (Russia). Vladimir obtained two academic degrees (PhD and HDR): one in the field of Mathematical Methods and Modeling in Ecology and a second in System Analysis and Information Management in Ecology. Both of these degrees focus on applied mathematics in dendrochronology and dendroecology. He has devoted a large amount of effort to the application of multidimensional methods and complex statistical analysis of spatially distributed tree-ring chronologies, and the development and improvement of simulation process-based models of the links between tree growth and climate.

Dr. Philippe Rozenberg (Conference Convenor) currently works at the “Biologie Intégrée pour la valorisation de la diversité des Arbres et de la Forêt” research unit, French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA, France). Philippe does research in adaptation of forest trees to climate in natural as well as in artificial forest tree populations. He investigates the evolutionary adaptation and the phenotypic plasticity of forest trees using original approaches based on tree- ring analysis and wood formation studies.

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