For the review at hand, Clarivate Analytic's web of science search platform was searched for the keyword combination forest+plantation. The search found 944 articles with the mentioned keywords in their topic that were published between 2010 and 2017. The top 3 subtopics identified were soil, carbon and water in order of abundance. The overview over current research in each of these subtopics to plantation forests naturally show strong overlaps with biodiversity as well as ecological aspects of plantation forests. Given the fact that the assessed research is coming from a wide geographic area, it is specifically interesting to see that general challenges or expectations towards plantation forests do not differ dramatically between those geographies. Overall, there is clear consensus that more plantation forests will be required to meet increasing timber demand, and that productivity in existing forests should be increased. The conversion of natural forests into plantation forests comes with unfavourable consequences with respect to many ecological parameters in the majority of the cases. However, conversion of abandoned or degraded lands into forest plantations can have positive consequences. Overall, there is an increasing interest in plantation forests that are managed for other ecosystem services alongside timber production. Initial research into the possibilities associated with close-to-nature management alternatives, such as mixing species, or uneven-aged management show promising results, consolidating ecological benefits and economic expectations.
Authors and Publishers
Griess, V. C.
Jackson, D. J.
Werner, H. G.
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