Three experimental plots installed to study the impact of oak and beech mixture (with oaks regenerated in 1880)

The three plots are located close to Baileux, in the Western part of the Ardenne (50.017N, 4.4E), within a 60 ha forest consisting mainly of sessile oaks (Quercus petraea Liebl.) and European beeches (Fagus sylvativa L.). By the end of the 19th century, the Baileux forest was probably an oak coppice with a few standards. Taking advantage of the massive oak regeneration in the 1880s, the forest developed progressively into a high forest and was then invaded by beeches. The experimental plots were installed in 2001 within areas of the forest contrasting in structure and species composition with the aim to study the impact of tree species mixing on ecosystem functioning. A plot is located in a stand dominated by sessile oak, a second plot consist of a mixed oak-beech stand, and the third plot encloses a beech-dominated stand.

This experimental site is part of the LTER (Long-Term Ecosystem Research) network.

Oak-dominated plot

Main stand characteristics in 2019:

  • Density: 391 trees/ha
  • Basal area: 28.2 m²/ha
  • Mean girth: 95 cm
  • Dominant height: 26.5 m

Mixed oak-beech plot

Main stand characteristics in 2019:

  • Density: 302 trees/ha
  • Basal area: 29.4 m²/ha
  • Mean girth: 111 cm
  • Dominant height: 28.5 m

Beech-dominated plot

Main stand characteristics in 2019:

  • Density: 280 trees/ha
  • Basal area: 29.5 m²/ha
  • Mean girth: 115.0 cm
  • Dominant height: 27.0 m