Herault, B., O. Honnay and D. Thoen
In Europe, intensively managed coniferous plantations rarely achieve similar nature conservation functions as deciduous woodlands. The ability to identify coniferous plantations that might be successfully converted to deciduous woodland is a key goal in forest management. The herbaceous plant community composition of mature plantations may be an accurate selection criterion for stands that are most suitable for initiating the conversion process to deciduous forest. The performance of short geophytes is the key to conversion success of Norway spruce plantations to deciduous forest. Stands located on base-rich soils and in landscapes with high forest connectivity are the most appropriate candidates for initiating the conversion process. For other types of stands, future work should explore the possibility of restoring other land-use types, such as annually mown meadows.
Journal of Applied Ecology