This dataset underlies the statistical analyses central to the publication Lohbeck et al 'Drivers of farmer-managed natural regeneration in the Sahel. Lessons for restoration', published in Scientific Reports (DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-70746-z68689791-6eec-4311-a341-bcf0cf5b1e06). The data is based on a field inventory using the Land Degradation Surveillance Framework (LDSF) methodology (see LDSF fieldguide under 'related publications', and methods in the publication in scientific reports). In addition, a detailed inventory of the trees (in the plot) and the regeneration (in the subplot) has been carried out. In addition to that functional traits have been measured for the most common species among the regeneration. Functional traits measurements followed standardized protocols (See Perez-Harguindeguy et al 2013 and methods in the publication). Functional traits at the species level were scaled to the plot level using community-weighted means, those are the values represented in the data table (see methods in publication for details). Soil variables are predicted using MIR spectroscopy (see methods in publication for details).