31 May 2013

Do numbers count?

Exploring the relation between forest growth and the number of tree species.

Is forest growth affected by the number of tree species in a stand? According to a Swedish study that was recently published in Nature Communications, a mix of tree species results in the enhancement of several ecosystem services, including greater tree growth.

When it comes to tree growth, the conclusions were surprising. In most cases silvicultural experiments with tree species mixtures have shown no better growth when compared to monocultures. Why is it that scientists come to different conclusions regarding the mixed species effect?

Forest production ecologist Professor Dan Binkley from Colorado State University will introduce this seminar aimed to cast light on different perspectives of mixed forests: how they grow, how they can be managed and what ecosystem services they can deliver apart from biomass production. An important purpose of the seminar is to discuss why different studies in the fields of ecology and silviculture come to different conclusions regarding the effect of mixed forests on forest growth.

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