Forestry strategy – Establish forest for the future

How can our lab help you reach the Green Deal goals?

Forests play a key role in the global climate challenges we are facing, for instance through their contribution to the annual removal of anthropogenic carbon emissions. Forest restoration and expansion are therefore increasingly considered to be cost-effective ‘nature-based solutions’ to reach ambitious global climate goals. Forest plantations will have an important share in these efforts.

Currently, plantations are almost exclusively composed of single species (‘monocultures’), despite global research showing that more biodiverse plantations do better in terms of important ecosystem functions such as productivity and are more resistant to the expected increases in climate variability with unpreceded droughts. The Forest & Nature Lab contributes to this body of research, by coordinating a global network of tree biodiversity experiments, maintaining a Belgian experiment within this network, and translating the experimental results to actionable afforestation practices that facilitate the transition towards biodiverse forest plantations.

About our lab

The Forest & Nature Lab studies the interactions between the biodiversity, the ecological processes, and structure of terrestrial ecosystems. Focus is on temperate forests and semi-natural grasslands, but we are also active in other systems (urban, agro) and biomes. We have a strong ambition to link our research to topical questions in ecosystem management and environmental policy.


Prof. Kris Verheyen