Mixed forests are more productive than monocultures. This is true on all five continents, and particularly in regions with high precipitation.
Mixed forests: ecologically and economically superior
Trees in mixed-species forests are often better supplied with light, water, and soil nutrients via their complementary crown and root systems. “This makes mixed stands more resilient during dry years. In addition, they are more stable against pests and visually more appealing,” adds Prof. Pretzsch from the Chair of Forest Growth and Yield Science in Weihenstephan.
But these arguments alone have not yet managed to convince forestry management to promote mixed-species stands. This meta-analysis and overview study now shows that a prudent selection of the combination of tree species leads not only to more ecological and resilient forests, but also to greater productivity, explains Pretzsch. The study documents that mixed stands perform better in terms of productivity than monocultures, particularly in areas with favorable water supplies, such as in Central Europe.