Opening Letter

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Vladan Ivetić Steven C Grossnickle


"The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now." Chinese proverb

There are five million hectares of new forests planted each year, according to Global Forest Resources Assessment (FAO 2015). How successful are we in planting these new forests? What are challenges that practitioners meet today in planting forests? What are challenges that forests established today will face in decades to come? There is a myriad of research results and a body of knowledge large enough to understand principles behind the field performance of planted forests. The environment is dynamic and inputs and outputs continually change, so there is a constant need for new research ranging from the global to microsite scale, and from the ecosystem and species to the population and genotype scale.
The journal Reforesta offers a new site for publishing research results, presenting experiences, and bringing forward novel ideas and discussions on reforestation issues. Reforesta editors will strive to combine academic excellence with professional relevance and wish to appeal to both the professional and academic communities. There are a large number of scientific journals, many of which deal with forest ecosystems. So a reasonable question could be: Do we need yet another professional journal? We say yes, because of the following reasons.
Reforesta will be a "niche" journal, focusing on research stemming from sourcing seed, to nursery cultural operations, to field planting (e.g., afforestation, reforestation and forest restoration). In addition, Reforesta will cover topics of forest genetics, tree breeding, and stand silviculture. We will encourage the submission of papers that provide interest and value to the international readership dealing with planted forests, such as: 1) novel ideas or approaches to reforestation challenges; 2) connections between plant ecophysiology and seedling field performance; 3) testing of new techniques and products in production of forest reproductive material, and at the planting site; and 4) reviews and discussions on timely and important topics.
Establishment of the new journal can be compared to establishing a new forest. Initiation of the Reforesta journal will be supported by the editorial team (i.e. planning and site-species or site-provenance matching). The team will then select appropriate papers from the contributions of willing authors (i.e. selection of planting material, nursery operations, and culling). Then the stage is set: the web-site is operational; the journal is registered and applied for indexing (i.e. site preparation, monitoring and feedback). The inaugural issue is published (i.e. seedlings are planted) and the research community is notified (i.e. post-planting silviculture operations).
The parallel between Reforesta and establishing a new forest will continue. The future success of Reforesta will be dependent on the interaction with its contributors and readership. The future size of the Reforesta audience will be dependent on its ability to secure its niche, and to provide services to the professional forestry community, while developing a symbiotic relationship with other forestry journals (i.e. competition and/or facilitation). Performance of Reforesta will be measured by monitoring readership and response levels (i.e. reforestation success) and its lifespan will be defined by its resilience and adaptation potential.
Reforesta will follow the open access policy of non-profit journals, with no processing charges applied to any accepted articles and no fees for accessing articles published by Reforesta. This principle ensures that forest research is free and available to forestry professionals in support of a greater global exchange of knowledge. Like planted forests, Reforesta hopes to grow in an open environment with appropriate tending from the editorial team, thereby growing with needs of the professional forestry community.
The Reforesta journal has one additional advantage. It is established solely on the enthusiasm of the editorial team. As long as there are enthusiasts recognizing the need for Reforesta, the journal will continue to flourish. The editorial team is here to set the scientific standards and ethical rules for the journal. However, the ultimate direction of Reforesta depends on authors and readership.
We are delighted to launch this new journal, a product of a joint venture between enthusiasts ranging from undergraduate students to senior researchers and scientists. Reforesta has one underwriting sponsor - The Scientific and Professional Society Reforesta. We thank them for their support. Under the leadership of Vladan Ivetić, Editor-In-Chief, who initiated the idea for Reforesta, and Steven Grossnickle, Consultant-Editor who plays a supporting role; we have a worthy team.
The inaugural issue of the Reforesta journal is in form of Thematic Proceedings resulting from the International Conference on Reforestation Challenges, which took place on 3-6 June 2015 in Belgrade, Serbia. We wish to thank participants who attended the Conference and especially thank the invited authors who contributed to this inaugural issue. We are also grateful to the technical team, made up of excellent young students and researchers. We will continue to develop and fine-tune content to enhance the quality, scope and diversity of Reforesta as the journal grows into an established member of the professional forestry community. 


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