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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

Menu Logo Principal logo_whitespace_left_new.jpg logo SPONFOREST (design Bastien Castagneyrol) white_space_right logo_biodiversa




Project video


A video about SPONFOREST was produced by BiodivERsA as part of the '5th BiodivERsA Prize for Excellence and Impact' that was bestowed to the project in 2021.



Policy brief
policy brief



The BiodivERsA policy brief "How natural forest expansion in Europe can offer cost-effective benefits to people" highlights several key results of SPONFOREST and their implications for landscape management and policy in Europe.   translation French     translation Spanish                            news feed INRAE (fr./engl.)    news feed CREAF (engl./span./cat.)     comment in MedForest blog (engl.)


Project flyer



 Flyer English


 Flyer French


 Flyer Spanish



Scientific publications

Two special issues on forest regrowth edited by SPONFOREST partners


Hampe A, Alfaro-Sánchez R, Martín-Forés I (2020) Establishment of second-growth forests in human landscapes: ecological mechanisms and genetic consequences. Annals of Forest Science, Vol. 77 (3).       press release INRAE (fr./engl.)    press release University of Hohenheim (germ.)



García C, Espelta JM, Hampe A (2020) Managing forest regeneration and expansion at a time of unprecedented global change. Journal of Applied Ecology, Vol. 57 (12).       news feed CREAF (engl./span./cat.)

Peer reviewed publications
  • Frei T, Edou K, Rodríguez Fernández-Blanco C, Winkel G (2022) Governing abandoned land: Storylines on natural forest regrowth in France and Spain. Environmental Science & Policy 135: 58-66. DOI
  • Martín-Forés I, Bastias CC, Acuña-Míguez B, Magro S, Valladares F, de la Cruz M (2022) Recruitment facilitation in expanding forests of Mediterranean juniper is sex-biased. Forest Ecology and Management 505: 119937. DOI
  • Alfaro-Sánchez R, Espelta JM, Valladares F, Acuña-Míguez B, Martín-Forés I (2021) Disentangling the role of sex dimorphism and forest structure as drivers of growth and wood density in expanding Juniperus thurifera L. woodlands. Annals of Forest Science 78: 86. DOI
  • Correia M, Espelta JM, Morillo JA, Pino J, Rodríguez‐Echeverría S (2021) Land‐use history alters the diversity, community composition and interaction networks of ectomycorrhizal fungi in beech forests. Journal of Ecology 109: 2856-2870. DOI
  • Cruz-Alonso V, Espelta JM, Pino J (2021) Woody species richness and turnover in expanding Mediterranean forests: a story of landscape legacies influenced by climatic aridity. Landscape Ecology 36: 1787-1800. DOI
  • De Frenne P, Lenoir J, Luoto M, et al. (2021) Forest microclimates and climate change: importance, drivers and future research agenda. Global Change Biology 27: 2279-2297. DOI
  • Guerrieri R, Correia M, Martín-Forés I, Alfaro-Sánchez R, Pino J, Hampe A, Valladares F, Espelta JM (2021) Land-use legacies influence tree water-use efficiency and nitrogen availability in recently established European forests. Functional Ecology 35: 1325-1340. DOI   comment in Functional Ecologists blog (engl.)
  • Lamonica D, Pagel J, Schurr FM (2021) Predicting the dynamics of establishing tree populations: a framework for statistical inference and lessons for data collection. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 12: 1721-1733. pdf
  • Palmero‐Iniesta M, Espelta JM, Padial‐Iglesias M, Gonzàlez‐Guerrero O, Pesquer L, Domingo‐Marimon C, Ninyerola M, Pons X, Pino J (2021) The role of recent (1985–2014) patterns of land abandonment and environmental factors in the establishment and growth of secondary forests in the Iberian Peninsula. Land 10: 817. pdf
  • Palmero‑Iniesta M, Pino J, Pesquer L, Espelta JM (2021) Recent forest area increase in Europe: expanding and regenerating forests differ in their regional patterns, drivers and productivity trends. European Journal of Forest Research 140: 000. DOI
  • Tello-García E, Gamboa-Badilla N, Álvarez E, Fuentes L, Basnou C, Espelta JM, Pino J (2021) Plant species surplus in recent peri-urban forests: the role of forest connectivity, species’ habitat requirements and dispersal types. Biodiversity and Conservation 30: 365-384. DOI
  • Valdés-Correcher E, Moreira X, Augusto L, et al. (2021) Search for top-down and bottom-up drivers of latitudinal trends in insect herbivory in oak trees in Europe. Global Ecology and Biogeography 30: 651-665. DOI
  • Acuña-Míguez B, Valladares F, Martín-Forés I (2020) Both mature patches and expanding areas of Juniperus thurifera forests are vulnerable to climate change but for different reasons. Forests 11: 960. pdf
  • Alfaro-Sánchez R, Valdés-Correcher E, Espelta JM, Hampe A,  Bert D (2020) How do social status and tree architecture influence radial growth, wood density and drought response in spontaneously established oak forests? Annals of Forest Science 77: 49. DOI
  • Espelta J, Cruz-Alonso V, Alfaro-Sánchez R, Hampe A, Messier C, Pino J (2020) Functional diversity enhances tree growth and reduces herbivory damage in secondary broadleaf forests but does not influence resilience to drought. Journal of Applied Ecology 57: 2362-2372. DOI
  • Frei T, Derks J, Rodríguez Fernández-Blanco C, Winkel G (2020) Narrating abandoned land: perceptions of natural forest regrowth in Southwestern Europe. Land Use Policy 99: 105034. pdf
  • García C, Espelta JM, Hampe A (2020) Managing forest regeneration and expansion at a time of unprecedented global change. Journal of Applied Ecology 57: 2310-2315. pdf
  • Gerzabek G, Oddou-Muratorio S, Hampe A (2020) Recruitment of a genotyped seedling cohort in an expanding oak forest stand: diversity, dispersal and performance across habitats. Annals of Forest Science 77: 78. DOI
  • Hampe A, Alfaro-Sánchez R, Martín-Forés I (2020) Establishment of second-growth forests in human landscapes: ecological mechanisms and genetic consequences. Annals of Forest Science 77: 87. pdf
  • Lamonica D, Pagel J, Valdés-Correcher E, Bert D, Hampe A, Schurr FM (2020) Growth potential varies more than competition among spontaneously established forest stands of Pedunculate oak (Quercus robur). Annals of Forest Science 77: 80. pdf
  • Martín-Forés I, Magro S, Bravo-Oviedo A, Alfaro-Sánchez R, Espelta JM, Frei T, Valdés-Correcher E, Rodríguez Fernández-Blanco C, Winkel G, Gerzabek G, González-Martínez SC, Hampe A,  Valladares F (2020) Spontaneous forest regrowth in South-West Europe: consequences for nature’s contributions to people. People and Nature 2: 980-994. pdf   press release CSIC (span.)   comment in MedForest blog (engl.)   comment in CREAF blog (cat.)
  • Palmero-Iniesta M, Espelta JM, Gordillo J, Pino J (2020) Changes in forest landscape patterns resulting from recent afforestation in Europe (1990–2012): defragmentation of pre-existing forest versus new patch proliferation. Annals of Forest Science 77: 43. DOI
  • Ruíz-Carbayo H, Pino J, Bonal R, James PA, Hampe A, Espelta JM (2020) Insect herbivory in novel Quercus ilex L. forests: the role of landscape attributes, forest composition and host traits. Annals of Forest Science 77: 32. DOI
  • Valdés-Correcher E, Bourdin A, González-Martínez SC, Moreira X, Galmán A, Castagneyrol B, Hampe A (2020) Leaf chemical defences and insect herbivory in oak: accounting for canopy position unravels marked genetic relatedness effects. Annals of Botany 126: 865-872. DOI  comment in Botany One blog (engl.)
  • Villellas J, Martín-Forés I, Mariette S, Massot M, Guichoux E, Acuña-Míguez B, Hampe A, Valladares F (2020) Functional distance is triggered more strongly by environmental factors than by genetic relatedness in expanding Juniperus thurifera forest stands. Annals of Forest Science 77: 66. DOI
  • Alfaro-Sánchez R, Jump AS, Pino J., Díez-Nogales O, Espelta JM (2019) Land use legacies drive higher growth, lower wood density and enhanced climatic sensitivity in recently established forests. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 276: 107630. DOI   press release Autonomous University of Barcelona (span.)   comment in CREAF blog (cat.)
  • Boivin T, Doublet V, Candau JN (2019) The ecology of predispersal insect herbivory on tree reproductive structures in natural forest ecosystems. Insect Science 26: 182-198. DOI
  • Castagneyrol B, Giffard B, Valdés-Correcher E, Hampe A (2019) Tree diversity effects on leaf insect damage on pedunculate oak: the role of landscape context and forest stratum. Forest Ecology and Management 433: 287-294. DOI
  • Doublet V, Gidoin C, Lefèvre F, Boivin T (2019) Spatial and temporal patterns of a pulsed resource dynamically drive the distribution of specialist herbivores. Scientific Reports 9: 17787. pdf
  • Valdés-Correcher E, van Halder I, Barbaro L., Castagneyrol B, Hampe A (2019) Insect herbivory and avian insectivory in novel native oak forests: divergent effects of stand size and connectivity. Forest Ecology and Management 445: 146-153. DOI
  • García C, Guichoux E, Hampe A (2018) A comparative analysis between SNPs and SSRs to investigate genetic variation in a juniper species (Juniperus phoenicea subsp. turbinata). Tree Genetics and Genomes 14: 87. pdf
  • Gerzabek G, Oddou‐Muratorio S & Hampe A (2017) Temporal change and determinants of maternal reproductive success in an expanding oak forest stand. Journal of Ecology 105: 39-48. pdf

 Other publications and reports

  • Espelta JM, Alfaro-Sánchez R, Pino J (2019) Creixen els boscos d'ara com els d'abans? Catalunya Forestal 142: 16-18.
  • Martín-Forés I, Curiel J, Benavides R, Carvalho B, Alfaro-Sánchez R, Espelta JM, González-Martínez SC, Hampe A, Valladares F (2017) SPONFOREST Survey Protocols Manual. 31 pp.


Scientific events

  • SPONFOREST kick-off project meeting, Cestas, 11-13 January 2017 (program)
  • SPONFOREST mid-term project meeting, Barcelona, 30 May - 1 June 2018 (program)
  • EUFORGEN Steering Panel meeting, Bonn, 5 June 2018 (report)
  • SPONFOREST final project meeting, Avignon, 4-5 December 2019 (program)
  • Science-to-Policy Event "Genetic Resources: the Key to Adaptation of Forests to Global Change". Brussels, 13th December 2019 (flyer)