Applied Nucleation as a Forest Restoration Strategy

Applied Nucleation as a Forest Restoration Strategy


To combat deforestation and restore forest cover quickly and efficiently, this article proposes the use of applied nucleation as a restoration strategy. The article reviews research to date on applied nucleation, which is a method for restoring degraded landscapes in which small clusters of shrubs and trees are planted to encourage natural forest regeneration.

Conclusions & takeaways

Applied nucleation may be an effective and lower-cost restoration strategy compared to direct plantation in many habitat types. The article proposes that nuclei can create natural habitat heterogeneity, attraction of pollinator and seed-spreading animal species, and “nursery” conditions to create favorable environments for other plants. The article calls for further research in applied nucleation strategies, especially extending into long-term time periods.


Corbin JD, Holl KD. Applied nucleation as a forest restoration strategy. Forest Ecology and Management. 2012;265:37–46. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2011.10.013.


  • Department of Biological Sciences, Union College, Schenectady, NY, USA
  • Department of Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA, USA