Plot Design

BEF-Atlantic consists of 232 experimental plots (21.25 x 26 m) with contrasting tree species richness and phylogenetic diversity, totalizing an area of 13 hectares and the planting of 22,000 trees. The overall pool of species will be 48 natives tree species from the Atlantic Forest.

Each experimental plot will contain 96 trees and will be divided in 4 equal subplots. Trees will be planted in a hexagonal planting pattern with distancing 2.3 meters from each other.

BEF-Atlantic plot design showing the hexagonal planting pattern with a minimal distance of 2.3 meters between plants.

Richness gradients and compositions

The experiment will implement two orthogonal gradients by manipulating (i) species richness and (ii) phylogenetic diversity across compositions with the same richness level.

Tree species richness will vary from 0 (control species), 1 (monocultures), 3, 6, 12 and 24 tree species. For treatments with 3, 6 and 12 species, compositions with contrasting mean pairwise phylogenetic distances will be selected to maximize the phylogenetic gradient.

Overall the experiment will contain 54 unique compositions replicated at least 4 times each, and distributed as follows:

  • Monocultures: 24 compositions
  • 3-species: 16 compositions (varying in phylogenetic distance)
  • 6-species: 8 compositions (varying in phylogenetic distance)
  • 12-species: 4 compositions (varying in phylogenetic distance)
  • 24-species: 1 compositions

Compositions will be defined following a random partition design to ensure that each species is equally represented across random extinction scenarios.

In addition a high-diversity treatment with 48 tree species will be also implemented as reference.

Site characteristics

LocationNIASSA Experimental Farm (Juiz de Fora, MG - Brazil)
former land usePasture
Altitude800-1000 m
Soil typeDystrophic Red Yellow Latosol
Area12.8 hectares
No of plots232
Plot size21.5m x 26m = 552.5m2
No of trees planted21 504
Planting dateOctober 2021 (not implemented yet)
Diversity variablesspecies richness, phylogenetic diversity
Diversity gradientrichness: 0, 1, 3, 6, 12, 24 & low - high phylogenetic distance
Size species pool24sp + 48 sp in high diversity treatment
Species poolsee table below
Contact personsAndré Amado , Fabrício Alvim, Gustavo Paterno, Leonardo Teixeira