Contributions of a global network of tree diversity experiments to sustainable forest plantations

Kris Verheyen, Margot Vanhellemont, Harald Auge, Lander Baeten, Christopher Baraloto, Nadia Barsoum, Simon Bilodeau-Gauthier, Helge Bruelheide, Bastien Castagneyrol, Douglas Godbold, Josephine Haase, Andy Hector, Hervé Jactel, Julia Koricheva, Michel Loreau, Simone Mereu, Christian Messier, Bart Muys, Philippe Nolet, Alain PaquetteJohn Parker, Mike Perring, Quentin Ponette, Catherine Potvin, Peter Reich, Andy Smith, Martin Weih, Michael Scherer-Lorenzen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

151 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-41
Number of pages13
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding 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.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.


  • Biodiversity experiments
  • Ecological restoration
  • Functional biodiversity research
  • Plantation forest
  • Sustainable forest management


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