The area of forest plantations is increasing worldwide helping to meet timber demand and protect natural forests. However, with global change, monospecific plantations are increasingly vulnerable to abiotic and biotic disturbances. As an adaption measure we need to move to plantations that are more diverse in genotypes, species, and structure, with a design underpinned by science. TreeDivNet, a global network of tree diversity experiments, responds to this need by assessing the advantages and disadvantages of mixed species plantations. The network currently consists of 18 experiments, distributed over 36 sites and five ecoregions. With plantations 1–15 years old, TreeDivNet can already provide relevant data for forest policy and management. In this paper, we highlight some early results on the carbon sequestration and pest resistance potential of more diverse plantations. Finally, suggestions are made for new, innovative experiments in understudied regions to complement the existing network.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This paper is an outcome of a workshop kindly supported by sDiv, the Synthesis Centre of the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig (DFG FZT 118). The TreeDivNet experiments could not have been established without the help and support of many funding organizations and persons, too numerous to be listed here individually.
© 2015, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
- Biodiversity experiments
- Ecological restoration
- Functional biodiversity research
- Plantation forest
- Sustainable forest management