Resource Details

Applied nucleation as a forest restoration strategy

Literature: Journal Articles

Corbin, J.D. & Holl, K.D. 2012, "Applied nucleation as a forest restoration strategy", Forest Ecology and Management, vol. 265, pp. 37-46.

Contact Info

Corresponding Authors:,


  • Department of Biological Sciences, Union College, Schenectady, NY 12308, USA
  • Department of Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA


Forest Ecology and Management

Selecting the link above redirects this page to the article on the journal website where the online material can be purchased or accessed if with subscription. For more information on access, see sidebar.


  • This article reviews research to date on the topic of applied nucleation, a method for restoring degraded landscapes in which small clusters of shrubs and trees are planted to encourage natural forest regeneration.
  • Past research on applied nucleation suggests that it more closely approximates natural succession, and that it may possibly be a lower cost and/or more effective restoration model than plantations or natural regeneration.
  • The authors hypothesize that the applied nucleation model may be most appropriate on sites with an intermediate level of degradation.
  • Previous studies recommend that larger nuclei could be more effective than small nuclei for the purposes of restoration.
  • Applied nucleation may also create conditions favorable for increased habitat heterogeneity compared to plantation designs.
  • The authors call for further study on applied nucleation, recommending research on the density and spacing of nuclei, nuclei size, the effect of initial species choice, as well as longer-term monitoring and further testing of applied nucleation in a wider variety of ecosystem types.

Geographical Region

  • General
  • Ecosystems

  • General
  • Country

  • Other
  • This database is a work in progress, and we need your input to keep it up to date. Feel free to contact ELTI at to provide information on your own work as well as other projects and literature currently missing from the database.


    ELTI is a joint initiative of:
    Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute