The Flanders observatory platform lies in the loamy region of Flanders and focuses on pedunculate oak (Quercus robur) and European beech (Fagus sylvatica). The plots were established in the forests of Zoniën and Meerdaal in 2015.

Plot in Zoniën forest


The plots are circular (18 m radius) with a (co)dominant oak or beech tree in the center. These center trees are from three different age classes: 30-60, 60-90, and older than 90 years). The plots were selected so that the center tree had a particular species combination in its local neighbourhood (plot composition, see scheme). This center tree was cored, and the species, position, diameter at breast height of all trees in the plot was measured.

The 160 plots of the platform contain 1-3 tree species in different combinations; T indicates the centre trees that were cored.

research goals

The platform was established to study long-term growth changes of oak and beech. The design of the platform allows studying the potential mitigating effect of tree species diversity on the impacts of climate change and nitrogen deposition on forest growth. Growth models will be developed for oak anc beech, and the effect of diversity on drought resilience and growth stability will be studied.

more info

For more info about the experiment, send an e-mail to the contact persons.