ModERFoRest: A new software for assessing the environmental performance of forest species

Keywords: forest management, niche models, environmental resemblance, autecology, water balance


Aim of study: We introduce the software ModERFoRest (Modelling Environmental Requirements for Forest Restoration), which is a tool to estimate the environmental requirements and environmental performance of the main forest tree species growing in Spain.

Area of study: Two of their modules have been developed to be applied mainly in Spain, but the main section can be used elsewhere as long as the user provides with presence data and environmental information.

Material and methods: ModERFoRest has been programmed in C++, also using the Armadillo library for algebraic computation. The application can be downloaded from the INIA website ( where there are also more accessible resources (currently only in Spanish language).

Main results: ModERFoRest provides three basic utilities, firstly, to select the optimal species to be used for forest restoration, at local or regional scale, among the 22 most important taxa or formations in Spain, based on ecological criteria and physiographic, climatic and edaphic information. Secondly, to explore the potential distribution areas of the species using the ecological niche models and algorithms developed throughout different projects on the autecology of the species over the last 55 years. Finally, the application provides the option of comparing different areas of the species ecologically, in order to obtain the most suitable reproductive material for the forest site under study.

Research highlights: Users can also run not only recent but also future climate scenarios in order to simulate the distribution of ecological species and use the results in reforestation programmes and planning.


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How to Cite
LÓPEZ-SENESPLEDA, E., ALONSO-PONCE, R., RUIZ-PEINADO, R., GÓMEZ, V., SERRADA, R., & MONTERO, G. (2023). ModERFoRest: A new software for assessing the environmental performance of forest species. Forest Systems, 32(1), eRC01.
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