Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Afforestation, restoration and regeneration -- Not all trees are created equal

Formally Refereed
Authors: Shaneka Lawson, Charles H. Michler
Year: 2014
Type: Scientific Journal
Station: Northern Research Station
Source: Journal of Forestry Research. 25(1): 3-20.


Undulations in weather patterns have caused climate shifts of increased frequency and duration around the world. The need for additional research and model data on this pressing problem has resulted in a plethora of research groups examining a particular tree species or biome for negative effects of climate change. This review aims to (1) collect and merge recent research data on regeneration within old- and new-growth forests, (2) highlight and expand upon selected topics for additional discussion, and (3) report how shade tolerance, drought tolerance, and inherent plasticity affect tree growth and development. Although shade and drought tolerance have been well studied by a number of research groups, this review reveals that in-depth analysis of a single or a few species in a given area will not generate the data required to implement a successful regeneration plan. Studies using historical accounts of previous species composition, information regarding site seasonality, species competition, and individual responses to drought and shade are needed to (1) develop best management plans and (2) ensure future modeling experiments are focused on a greater variety of species using more innovative methods to evaluate climate change effects.


climate change, shade tolerance, drought tolerance, canopy gaps, invasive species


Lawson, Shaneka S.; Michler, Charles H. 2014. Afforestation, restoration and regeneration Not all trees are created equal. Journal of Forestry Research. 25(1): 3-20.