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    Author(s): D. Zhang; J.A. Stanturf
    Date: 2008
    Source: Encyclopedia of Ecology, 5 vols. pp. 1673-1680.
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    Station: Southern Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (254.11 KB)


    Between the extremes of afforestation and unaided natural

    regeneration of natural forests, there is a range of

    forest conditions in which human intervention occurs.

    Previously, forest plantations were defined as those

    forest stands established by planting and/or seeding in

    the process of afforestation or reforestation. Within plantations,

    there is a gradient in conditions. At one extreme

    is the traditional forest plantation concept of a single

    introduced or indigenous species, planted at uniform

    density and managed as a single age class (the so-called

    monoculture). At the other extreme is the planted or

    seeded mixture of native species, managed for nonconsumptive

    uses such as biodiversity enhancement. To

    further complicate matters, many forests established as

    plantations come to be regarded as secondary or seminatural

    forests and no longer are classed as plantations. For

    example, European forests have long traditions of human

    intervention in site preparation, tree establishment, silviculture,

    and protection; yet they are not always defined as

    forest plantations.

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Zhang, D.; Stanturf, J.A. 2008. Forest Plantations. In Sven Erik Jørgensen and Brian D. Fath (Editors-in-Chief), Ecosystems. Vol. [2] of Encyclopedia of Ecology, 5 vols. pp. 1673-1680. Oxford: Elsevier.

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