Tropical forests are being deforested at an alarming rate for agricultural use and pastureland, but fortunately they can regrow naturally after agricultural fields are abandoned. Over time, the vegetation gradually builds up (called “succession”), leading to changes in environmental conditions at the forest floor. Because species differ in their growing strategies, these changes in environmental conditions lead to shifts in species composition over time. However, so far we have a poor understanding of forest succession across broad spatial scales. This study presents a large collaboration effort of the 2ndFOR research network (www.2ndFOR.org) that assesses forest succession across Latin America.