How to use this website

Following the framework species method (Elliot et al., in ‘Restoring Tropical Forests’), an area can be effectively reforested using a mixture of 20-30 typical, indigenous forest tree species.

Framework tree species have the following characteristics:

  • Seedlings with high survival rates
  • Seedlings with rapid growth
  • Trees have dense, spreading crowns that shade out herbaceous weeds
  • Individuals provide flowers, fruits or other resources to attract seed-dispersing wildlife, as early as possible.


Searching this database allows the user find framework tree species tailored for use in specific restoration projects in the Atlantic forests of southeastern Bahia. Species information and management techniques can be applied in localities with similar ecologies with a decrease in appropriateness of species as the distance from southeastern Bahia increases.

Framework species method

Searches of this database return lists of species for a given set of environmental conditions. Users should seek a mix of 20-30 different species, ca. 30% of which should be pioneers. Where available, the data returned includes seed or seedling supplier data and germination/propagation information.

Pioneer species should then be planted at high densities in the first year to shade out herbaceous weeds and restore ecological services, forest structure and wildlife habitat. This is followed by under planting shade tolerant, climax tree species in the second year. Planting density can vary according to project objectives. e.g. timber production might require 400 trees/ha but an average planting density to bring an area back to a ‘natural’ state is 1.8 m apart (including natural regenerants); this should result in a tree density of ca. 3,100 trees/ha.
Important to this method is that fire and wildlife hunting are controlled and that both planted trees and naturally regenerated saplings are subject to frequent weeding and application of fertiliser (Elliot et al. 2013).