We are excited to contribute to the first tree diversity study in North America: DiversiTREE @ Smithsonian Institution. DiversiTREE is a multi-bureau experiment that arose from researchers’ concerns about the lack of experimental attention given to rapid loss of biodiversity in forests. Forest ecosystems have experienced a rapid loss of biodiversity due to deforestation and climate change. Diversity in tree species is a critical factor in the health and productivity of any given forest ecosystem. In light of this, DiversiTREE is aimed at studying the “effects of tree diversity on ecosystem services such as watershed protection, carbon sequestration in trees and soils, and conservation of forest biota. By untangling the relationships between forest biodiversity and ecosystem services, these studies will improve our ability to both strategically protect existing forests, to design effective forest restoration projects and to answer fundamental questions in ecology and evolution.”
The design of this experiment entails large-scale planting and nurturing to maturity, a variety of 16 different hardwood species in the hills of Virginia. Hopefully, the results of this experiment will confirm the researchers’ hypotheses and this method of promoting biodiversity can be employed to revive some of our most threatened forest ecosystems. Born is honored to have donated the means to plant 1,000 of these hardwoods. Stay tuned for more updates on the status of this incredible experiment!