Direct Seeding in Reforestation – A Field Performance Review

Direct Seeding in Reforestation – A Field Performance Review




Direct seeding has been considered a forest restoration option for centuries. Over the past half century, the use of this practice has declined in developed countries as forest regeneration programs have advanced with the production of quality seedlings that can successfully establish restoration sites. Direct seeding is being reconsidered as a restoration option as the potential size of the worldwide forest restoration program has grown because of massive deforestation in third-world nations and due to global climate change. This review examines direct seeding from a number of perspectives. First, merits of using this practice in restoration programs are defined. Major merits of this option are that it can be done quickly, over hard to reach and large disturbed areas, and at a relatively low cost. Second, current research findings from restoration programs are discussed. The major finding is that seedling establishment rates are low (i.e. typically around 20% of seeds planted) due to site conditions, seed predation and vegetation competition, and field performance (i.e. survival and growth) is lower than planted seedlings. Third, operational practices for the application in restoration programs are reviewed. To successfully conduct direct seeding programs practitioners need to consider seedbed receptivity, seed distribution and seeding rate. Fourth, potential new practices are presented. Some of these new practices attempt to create a more effective means to disperse seed across the site, minimize seed predation or create a more favorable microsite environment. This review provides a synthesis of what is known about direct seeding, thereby allowing practitioners to make a rational decision of whether to apply this practice towards their forest restoration program.


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Author Biography

Vladan Ivetić, University of Belgrade - Faculty of Forestry

Dr Vladan Ivetić is Associate Professor and Head of the Chair of Seed Science, Nursery Production and Afforestation at University of Belgrade - Faculty of Forestry. His research interests are in the production and planting of forest reproductive material, with emphasis on understanding the reforestation success. His research group focuses on themes including selection, seed processing, propagation, nursery operations, seedling quality, site preparation and plantation establishment, seedling-site interactions, forest plantations. Up to date he has published a total 92 papers, from conference proceedings and scientific journal articles, to book chapters and textbooks.   Dr Vladan Ivetić teaches courses in Seed Science, Nursery Production and Afforestation; Forest Plantations; Biotechnology in plant propagation; Bioremediation. He is involved in work with under graduate, graduate and PhD students. He is also involved in cooperation with government bodies, private and state owned forestry sector. Since 2005, he is Head of Laboratory for seed and seedling testing. He is founder and the President of the Scientific and Professional Society Reforesta. 




How to Cite

Grossnickle, Steven C, and Vladan Ivetić. “Direct Seeding in Reforestation – A Field Performance Review”. REFORESTA, no. 4 (December 30, 2017): 94–142. Accessed June 12, 2024.



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