Resource Details

The role of species mixtures in plantation forestry

Literature: Journal Articles

Kelty, Matthew. 19 June 2006. Forest Ecology and Management: Volume 233, Issues 2-3, 15 September 2006. "The role of species mixtures in plantation forestry." pg. 195-204

Contact Info

Corresponding author:


  • Department of Natural Resources Conservation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA


Forest Ecology and Management

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  • This article summarizes the economic and ecological benefits of promoting a mixed species plantation on abandoned agricultural forests as opposed to monoculture plantations. This article uses studies from across the globe to demonstrate successful plantation designs.
  • Kelty argues that planting species with different phenologies, such as shade tolerance, height growth rate, crown structure, and foliar  and root depth phenology, improves a species' ability to capture more of  the available resources and thus increase growth and production (intraspecies competition can be more damaging than interspecies competition).
  • Mixed species plantations can also benefit from the facilitative interactions of different species (such as the benefits of N-fixing plants in nitrogen poor soils for improving site condition for other plants, i.e. Eucalyptus saligna and the N-fixing Falcataria moluccana).
  • Growing a mixed species plantation can reduce market risk by diversifying products and reducing the probability of pests and pathogens.
  • Finally, the planting of mixed species can faciliate forest restoration of abandoned agricultural sites and restore degraded landscapes to natural vegetation by the sequential introductions of different species with different characteristics. 


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