Mixed Forest plantations for climate Change mitigation and adaptation

01/02/2021 – 31/01/2024

Total Grant

€ 1,373,800

More information

Joannès Guillemot

Partners of the project

Coordinator: Functional Ecology and Biogeochemistry of Soils & Agroecosystems (Eco&Sols) – INRAE/ IRD/ Montpellier SupAgro/ CIRAD/ MUSE – Montpellier – France

Forest and Soils Sciences – University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences – Austria

Forest & Nature – Ghent University – Gontrode – Belgium Earth and Life Institute – Mycology and Forest Sciences units – Catholic University of Louvain – Louvain-la-Neuve – Belgium

Floragro Support Production Ltd. – Itatinga – Brazil

Forest Research and Studies Institute – Piracicaba – Brazil Agro Ambiência Serviços Agrícolas Ltd. – Piracicaba – Brazil

Forest sciences – University of São Paulo – Piracicaba – Brazil

Forest Study Centre (CEF) – Université de Québec à Montréal – Montréal – Canada

Ontario Forest Research Institute – Ontario Ministry of natural Resources and Forestry – Sault Ste. Marie – Canada

Geobotany – University of Freiburg – Freiburg – Germany Mass Spectrometry – STZ Soil Biotechnology – Huckstorf – Germany

Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Rostock – Rostock – Germany
Ecology of Mediterranean Forests – INRAE Avignon – Avignon – France

Soil Interactions Plants Atmosphere (ISPA) – INRAE/ Bordeaux Science Agro – Villenave-d’Ornon – France

Biodiversity, Genes and Communities (BIOGECO) – INRAE/ University of Bordeaux – Cestas – France

Silva – INRAE/ AgroParisTech/ University of Lorraine – Champenoux – France

Alliance Forêt Bois – France

Forestry Policies, Resources and Management – FAO – Rome – Italy

Italian National Research Council – Sassari – Italy

Crop Production Ecology – Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences – Uppsala – Sweden


Forest landscape restoration and afforestation have recently received much international attention as a crucial opportunity for mitigating climate change through carbon sequestration. Yet, forests should also be adapted to the ongoing increase in biotic and abiotic stress driven by climate change. A growing body of evidence suggests that mixed forest plantations, i.e., plantations where several tree species (or varieties) are mixed, are more efficient in sequestrating carbon, while better coping with climate change-related stress. However, monocultures still dominate the world’s forest plantations. Promoting the large-scale expansion of climate change-resilient mixed forest plantations will require 1) to foster the scientific base for mixed forest management and 2) to identify and address in future forest policies the reasons for the apparent reluctance to adopt mixed plantations among landowners and stakeholders.

Main objectives

The overall objective of the MixForChange project is to promote mixed- species forest plantations as nature-based solutions to fight the causes and consequences of climate change, by providing science-based recommendations and guidelines endorsed by forest owners, managers and policy-makers.
MixForChange will:
• Provide a mechanistic understanding of why and how tree diversity, species identities and forest management (thinning and fertilisation) influence the potential of forest mixed plantations to mitigate (carbon sequestration) and adapt to (stress resilience) climate change, in a win- win approach.
• Characterise stakeholders’ awareness of mixed plantations benefits and identify barriers to implementation under contrasting management objectives, biomes and cultural contexts.

Main activities

Empirical research in existing tree diversity research sites will be conducted in contrasting climatic regions (Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Sweden). Specifically, the following topics will be quantified across tree diversity gradients: above-ground and soil carbon sequestration, drought-induced growth responses and mortality, water use and water use efficiency, leaf herbivory, mycorrhizal fungi. A socio-economic assessment of mixed plantations will be carried out in four countries (Brazil, France, Sweden, Canada).
MixForChange will engage and involve forest landowners and stakeholders interested in mixed plantations using direct consultation, encounters in the field, and exchange visits. This engagement to stakeholders will be key to characterise stakeholders’ representations toward mixed plantation and build management recommendations that can be adopted in the field, and to broadly communicate and discuss the implications of the results of the project. In addition to organising at least two workshop in Europe and in Brazil, the project will take advantage of standing meetings and FAO projects to introduce these questions and dialogues. MixForChange will bring together key decision makers, landowners, academia, and international organisations in at least one meeting convened with FAO to discuss the results and agree on key guidance for policy makers. A policy brief in several languages based on the project results will be published. Associated media will include infographics and social media cards; short films; and press releases.