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Impacts of species richness on productivity in a large-scale subtropical forest experiment


Huang, Yuanyuan; Chen, Yuxin; Castro-Izaguirre, Nadia; Baruffol, Martin; Brezzi, Matteo; Lang, Anne; Li, Ying; Härdtle, Werner; von Oheimb, Goddert; Yang, Xuefei; Liu, Xiaojuan; Pei, Kequan; Both, Sabine; Yang, Bo; Eichenberg, David; Niklaus, Pascal A; Schmid, Bernhard; et al (2018). Impacts of species richness on productivity in a large-scale subtropical forest experiment. Science, 362(6410):80-83.

Abstract

Biodiversity experiments have shown that species loss reduces ecosystem functioning in grassland. To test whether this result can be extrapolated to forests, the main contributors to terrestrial primary productivity, requires large-scale experiments. We manipulated tree species richness by planting more than 150,000 trees in plots with 1 to 16 species. Simulating multiple extinction scenarios, we found that richness strongly increased stand-level productivity. After 8 years, 16-species mixtures had accumulated over twice the amount of carbon found in average monocultures and similar amounts as those of two commercial monocultures. Species richness effects were strongly associated with functional and phylogenetic diversity. A shrub addition treatment reduced tree productivity, but this reduction was smaller at high shrub species richness. Our results encourage multispecies afforestation strategies to restore biodiversity and mitigate climate change.

Abstract

Biodiversity experiments have shown that species loss reduces ecosystem functioning in grassland. To test whether this result can be extrapolated to forests, the main contributors to terrestrial primary productivity, requires large-scale experiments. We manipulated tree species richness by planting more than 150,000 trees in plots with 1 to 16 species. Simulating multiple extinction scenarios, we found that richness strongly increased stand-level productivity. After 8 years, 16-species mixtures had accumulated over twice the amount of carbon found in average monocultures and similar amounts as those of two commercial monocultures. Species richness effects were strongly associated with functional and phylogenetic diversity. A shrub addition treatment reduced tree productivity, but this reduction was smaller at high shrub species richness. Our results encourage multispecies afforestation strategies to restore biodiversity and mitigate climate change.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Uncontrolled Keywords:Multidisciplinary
Language:English
Date:5 October 2018
Deposited On:29 Jan 2019 15:59
Last Modified:30 Jan 2019 08:39
Publisher:American Association for the Advancement of Science
ISSN:0036-8075
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aat6405
Project Information:
  • : FunderFP7
  • : Grant ID608422
  • : Project TitleIDP BRIDGES - IDP Bridging Plant Science and Policy
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID31003A_130720
  • : Project TitleCommunity history and ecosystem functioning
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID310030B_147092
  • : Project TitleCommunity history, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

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