The composition of the understorey shows a clear turnover over time due to tree canopy development.

During the first years after afforestation, the different tree species influence the environmental conditions and the understorey in a similar way due to the small size and hence, limited impact of the trees. In a later phase, the planted trees induce changes in environmental conditions:
interception of light and rain, changes in nutrient cycling and soil conditions (e.g. Messier et al. 1998; Barbier et al. 2009; De Schrijver et al. 2012). Since understorey species differ in their environmental requirements, the environmental changes due to afforestation will probably affect the composition of the understorey.

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