European Mixed Forests: definition and research perspectives

  • Andres Bravo-Oviedo Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA) - CIFOR. Dep. Sistemas y Recursos Forestales Sustainable Forest Management Research Institute UVa-INIA Ctra. A Coruña Km. 7,5 28040 MADRID
  • Hans Pretzsch Chair for Forest Growth and Yield Science, Faculty of Forest Science and Resource Management, Technische Universität München, Hans-Carl-von-Carlowitz-Platz 2, D-85354 Freising.
  • Christian Ammer Chair of silviculture and forest ecology of the temperate zones, University of Göttingen, Büsgenweg 1, D-37077 Göttingen.
  • Ernesto Andenmatten Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria; Estación Experimental Agropecuaria Bariloche.
  • Anna Barbati Department for the Innovation in Biological, Agrofood and Forest systems, University of Tuscia, Viterbo.
  • Susana Barreiro Forest Research Centre (CEF) , School of Agriculture, University of Lisbon, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisbon.
  • Peter Brang Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Zürcherstrasse 111, CH-8903 Birmensdorf.
  • Felipe Bravo University of Valladolid Sustainable Forest Management Research Institute UVa-INIA Avda. Madrid, 44 34004 Palencia.
  • Lluis Coll Forest Sciences Centre of Catalonia (CTFC), Ctra. Sant Llorenç de Morunys km.2, E-25280 Solsona, Catalonia, Spain CREAF, Centre for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Cerdanyola del Vallès E-08193, Catalonia.
  • Piermaria Corona Consiglio per la ricerca e la sperimentazione in agricoltura, Forestry Research Centre (CRA-SEL), Arezzo.
  • Jan den Ouden Forest Ecology and Forest Management Group, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA, Wageningen.
  • Mark J. Ducey Department of Natural Resources and the Environment. 114 James Hall Durham, NH 03824.
  • David I. Forrester Chair of Silviculture, Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources, Freiburg University, Tennenbacherstr. 4, 79108 Freiburg.
  • Marek Giergiczny Department of Economic Sciences at the University of Warsaw, 00-241 Warszawa, ul. Długa 44/50, pokój 214, 216.
  • Jette B. Jacobsen Department of Food and Resource Economics and Centre for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, Rolighedsvej 23, DK-1958 Frb C.
  • Jerzy Lesinski Institute of Forest Ecology and Silviculture, University of Agriculture, Al. 29-Listopada 46; 31-425 Krakow.
  • Magnus Löf Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Southern Swedish Forest Research Center, P.O. Box 49, SE-230 53 Alnarp.
  • William L. Mason Forest Research, Northern Research Station, Midlothian, Scotland, UK. EH25 9SY.
  • Bratislav Matovic Institute of Lowland Forestry and Environment, Antona Cehova 13d , 21000 Novi Sad.
  • Marek Metslaid Institute of Forestry and Rural Engineering Estonian University of Life Sciences Kreutzwaldi 5, 51014 Tartu.
  • François Morneau Office National des Forêts, Département Recherche et Développement, 100 Boulevard de la Salle, 45760 Boigny sur Bionne.
  • Jurga Motiejunaite Nature Research Centre, Institute of Botany, Zaliuju ezeru 49, LT-08406 Vilnius.
  • Conor O'Reilly School of Agriculture & Food Science, Agriculture and Food Science, Belfield, Dublin 4.
  • Maciej Pach Institute of Forest Ecology and Silviculture, University of Agriculture, Al. 29-Listopada 46; 31-425 Krakow.
  • Quentin Ponette UCL, Earth and Life Institute, Environmental Sciences, Croix du Sud, 2 - box L7.05.09, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve.
  • Miren del Rio Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA) - CIFOR. Dep. Sistemas y Recursos Forestales Sustainable Forest Management Research Institute UVa-INIA Ctra. A Coruña Km. 7,5 28040 MADRID
  • Ian Short Teagasc Forestry Development Department, Ashtown Food Research Centre, Ashtown, Dublin 15.
  • Jens Peter Skovsgaard Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Southern Swedish Forest Research Center, P.O. Box 49, SE-230 53 Alnarp.
  • Mario Soliño Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA) - CIFOR. Dep. Sistemas y Recursos Forestales Sustainable Forest Management Research Institute UVa-INIA Ctra. A Coruña Km. 7,5 28040 MADRID
  • Peter Spathelf Faculty of Forest and Environment, University for Sustainable Development Eberswalde, 16225 Eberswalde.
  • Hubert Sterba Department of Forest and Soil Sciences, BOKU University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Peter Jordanstraße 82, A-1190 Vienna.
  • Dejan Stojanovic Institute of Lowland Forestry and Environment, Antona Cehova 13d , 21000 Novi Sad.
  • Katarina Strelcova Facultry of Forestry. Technical University T. G. Masaryka 24, 960 53, Zvolen.
  • Miroslav Svoboda Department of Forest Ecology, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences, Kamýcka 129, Praha 6 Suchdol, 16521.
  • Kris Verheyen Forest & Nature Lab, Deparment of Forest and Water Management, Ghent University, Geraardsbergsesteenweg 267, B-9090 Melle-Gontrode.
  • Nikolas von Lüpke Norwegian Forest and Landscape Institute, Pb. 115, 1431 Ås.
  • Tzvetan Zlatanov Forest Research Institute, 132 St. Kl. Ohridiski Blvd. Sofia 1756.


Aim of study: We aim at (i) developing a reference definition of mixed forests in order to harmonize comparative research in mixed forests and (ii) review the research perspectives in mixed forests.

Area of study: The definition is developed in Europe but can be tested worldwide.

Material and Methods: Review of existent definitions of mixed forests based and literature review encompassing dynamics, management and economic valuation of mixed forests.

Main results: A mixed forest is defined as a forest unit, excluding linear formations, where at least two tree species coexist at any developmental stage, sharing common resources (light, water, and/or soil nutrients). The presence of each of the component species is normally quantified as a proportion of the number of stems or of basal area, although volume, biomass or canopy cover as well as proportions by occupied stand area may be used for specific objectives. A variety of structures and patterns of mixtures can occur, and the interactions between the component species and their relative proportions may change over time.

The research perspectives identified are (i) species interactions and responses to hazards, (ii) the concept of maximum density in mixed forests, (iii) conversion of monocultures to mixed-species forest and (iv) economic valuation of ecosystem services provided by mixed forests.

Research highlights: The definition is considered a high-level one which encompasses previous attempts to define mixed forests. Current fields of research indicate that gradient studies, experimental design approaches, and model simulations are key topics providing new research opportunities.

Keywords: COST Action; EuMIXFOR; mixed-species forests; admixtures of species.


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How to Cite
Bravo-OviedoA., PretzschH., AmmerC., AndenmattenE., BarbatiA., BarreiroS., BrangP., BravoF., CollL., CoronaP., den OudenJ., DuceyM. J., ForresterD. I., GiergicznyM., JacobsenJ. B., LesinskiJ., LöfM., MasonW. L., MatovicB., MetslaidM., MorneauF., MotiejunaiteJ., O’ReillyC., PachM., PonetteQ., del RioM., ShortI., SkovsgaardJ. P., SoliñoM., SpathelfP., SterbaH., StojanovicD., StrelcovaK., SvobodaM., VerheyenK., von LüpkeN., & ZlatanovT. (2014). European Mixed Forests: definition and research perspectives. Forest Systems, 23(3), 518-533.