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Remote sensing‐based forest modeling reveals positive effects of functional diversity on productivity at local spatial scale


Schneider, Fabian D; Longo, Marcos; Paul-Limoges, Eugénie; Scholl, Victoria M; Schmid, Bernhard; Morsdorf, Felix; Pavlick, Ryan P; Schimel, David S; Schaepman, Michael E; Moorcroft, Paul R (2023). Remote sensing‐based forest modeling reveals positive effects of functional diversity on productivity at local spatial scale. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 128(6):e2023JG007421.

Abstract

Forest biodiversity is critical for many ecosystem functions and services. Yet, it remains uncertain how plant functional diversity influences ecosystem functioning across environmental gradients and contiguous larger areas. We integrated remote sensing and terrestrial biosphere modeling to explore functional diversity–productivity relationships at multiple spatial scales for a heterogeneous forest ecosystem in Switzerland. We initialized forest structure and composition in the ecosystem demography model (ED2) through a combination of ground-based surveys, airborne laser scanning and imaging spectroscopy for forest patches at 10×10-m spatial grain. We derived morphological and physiological forest traits and productivity from model simulations at patch-level to relate morphological and physiological aspects of functional diversity to the average productivity from 2006–2015 at 20×20-m to 100×100-m spatial extent. We did this for model simulations under observed and experimental conditions (mono-soils, mono-cultures and mono-structures). Functional diversity increased productivity significantly (p < 0.001) across all simulations at 20×20-m to 30×30-m scale, but at 100×100-m scale positive relationships disappeared under homogeneous soil conditions potentially due to the low beta diversity of this forest and the saturation of functional richness represented in the model. Although local functional diversity was an important driver of productivity, environmental context underpinned the variation of productivity (and functional diversity) at larger spatial scales. In this study, we could show that the integration of remotely-sensed information on forest composition and structure into terrestrial biosphere models is important to fill knowledge gaps about how plant biodiversity affects carbon cycling and biosphere feedbacks onto climate over large contiguous areas.

Abstract

Forest biodiversity is critical for many ecosystem functions and services. Yet, it remains uncertain how plant functional diversity influences ecosystem functioning across environmental gradients and contiguous larger areas. We integrated remote sensing and terrestrial biosphere modeling to explore functional diversity–productivity relationships at multiple spatial scales for a heterogeneous forest ecosystem in Switzerland. We initialized forest structure and composition in the ecosystem demography model (ED2) through a combination of ground-based surveys, airborne laser scanning and imaging spectroscopy for forest patches at 10×10-m spatial grain. We derived morphological and physiological forest traits and productivity from model simulations at patch-level to relate morphological and physiological aspects of functional diversity to the average productivity from 2006–2015 at 20×20-m to 100×100-m spatial extent. We did this for model simulations under observed and experimental conditions (mono-soils, mono-cultures and mono-structures). Functional diversity increased productivity significantly (p < 0.001) across all simulations at 20×20-m to 30×30-m scale, but at 100×100-m scale positive relationships disappeared under homogeneous soil conditions potentially due to the low beta diversity of this forest and the saturation of functional richness represented in the model. Although local functional diversity was an important driver of productivity, environmental context underpinned the variation of productivity (and functional diversity) at larger spatial scales. In this study, we could show that the integration of remotely-sensed information on forest composition and structure into terrestrial biosphere models is important to fill knowledge gaps about how plant biodiversity affects carbon cycling and biosphere feedbacks onto climate over large contiguous areas.

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Additional indexing

Other titles:Remote Sensing‐Based Forest Modeling Reveals Positive Effects of Functional Diversity on Productivity at Local Spatial Scale
Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
08 Research Priority Programs > Global Change and Biodiversity
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Uncontrolled Keywords:Paleontology, Atmospheric Science, Soil Science, Water Science and Technology, Ecology, Aquatic Science, Forestry
Language:English
Date:1 June 2023
Deposited On:31 May 2023 15:31
Last Modified:29 Jun 2024 01:36
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:2169-8953
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1029/2023jg007421