TreeDivNet is a global network of tree diversity experiments, which provides a unique platform for research on the relation between tree species diversity and ecosystem functioning in major forest types around the world. Read the first TreeDivNet paper for a comprehensive description of the network, some first research results and future perspectives: Contributions of a global network of tree diversity experiments to sustainable forest plantations (pdf).
TreeDivNet is the largest network of biodiversity experiments worldwide. In total, about 1,080,000 trees were planted in the 20 experiments on a total surface of almost 810 ha. For information on the different experimental plantations, see Experiments.
Forest management goals have changed over time. Highly productive monocultures were aimed for during phases of high wood demand, e.g., during the industrial revolution or after the Second World War. However, there have been always discussions about pros and cons of pure vs. mixed stands. In the last decennia, sustainable forest management and the use of mixed stands again entered the (political) agenda, and several questions arose. Are mixed forests more productive than monocultures? Do mixed forests differ in their regulation of energy, water and material fluxes supporting sustainability? Are mixed forests more resistant to disturbance and pest outbreaks? Do mixed forests allow a higher diversity of associated species?
To study the relation between tree species diversity and ecosystem functioning, researchers have planted tree diversity experiments all over the globe. The experiments in the global network TreeDivNet offer a unique research infrastructure, facilitate synthesis studies, enable transfer of well-founded knowledge to different stakeholders worldwide, and enhance the visibility of research on the relation between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in forests.