Resilient Future Forests Lab – RFFL

The Resilient Future Forests Lab (RFFL) offers a platform for forestry and forest restoration research to support innovative solutions and strengthen the science-practice linkage. It is implemented and hosted by IUFRO and its member-organizations. 

The RFFL-mission is to: 

  • Develop, document, and communicate the opportunities and constraints of forestry, forest restoration and good use of wood in a transition towards renewables and sustainable development of societies. 
  • address the needs of people while securing and developing the multiple functions and services provided by forests. 

Challenges to be addressed are for example: 

  • Forest resilience and adaptation to future climate, pests, and diseases.  
  • Deforestation and erosion because of unsustainable or illegal logging, overgrazing, and wildfires. 
  • Reduced biodiversity and other ecosystem services because of conversion to cattle grazing or extensively planted monocultures of non-native species. 
  • Extensive colonization by invasive species threatening biodiversity and implementation of successful forest restoration. 
  • Altered natural fire regimes leading to increased frequency of wildfires. 


The core experiments are operational scale demonstration experiments supported by smaller and more focused experiments.  

The treatment groups of the experiments are: 

  • Do nothing (for example natural regeneration). 
  • Business-As-Usual (BAU) for purpose of comparison with innovative treatments and across RFFL locations. 
  • Innovative treatments.  

Innovative treatments demonstrate and document for example: 

  • Increased productivity, carbon sequestration, adaptation to climate change by new mixtures of species and genetic material and/or new management systems. 
  • Conversion of monoculture plantations to native or mixed species stands. 
  • New stock types and regeneration techniques to improve the root systems of planted stock and gain better drought and storm tolerance.  
  • New silvicultural techniques to reduce impact of domestic grazers or wild ungulates.