Scale-dependent relationships between tree species richness and ecosystem function in forests

Chisholm, Ryan A., Muller-Landau, Helene C., Abdul Rahman, Kassim, Bebber, Daniel P., Bin, Yue, Bohlman, Stephanie A., Bourg, Norman A., Brinks, Joshua, Bunyavejchewin, Sarayudh, Butt, Nathalie, Cao, Honglin, Cao, Min, Cardenas, Dairon, Chang, Li-Wan, Chiang, Jyh-Min, Chuyong, George, Condit, Richard, Dattaraja, Handanakere S., Davies, Stuart, Duque, Alvaro, Fletcher, Christine, Gunatilleke, Nimal, Gunatilleke, Savitri, Hao, Zhanqing, Harrison, Rhett D., Howe, Robert, Hsieh, Chang-Fu, Hubbell, Stephen P., Itoh, Akira, Kenfack, David, Kiratiprayoon, Somboon, Larson, Andrew J., Lian, Juyu, Lin, Dunmei, Liu, Haifeng, Lutz, James A., Ma, Keping, Malhi, Yadvinder, McMahon, Sean, McShea, William, Meegaskumbura, Madhava, Razman, Salim Mohd, Morecroft, Michael D., Nytch, Christopher J., Oliveira, Alexandre, Parker, Geoffrey G., Pulla, Sandeep, Punchi-Manage, Ruwan, Romero-Saltos, Hugo, Sang, Weiguo, Schurman, Jon, Su, Sheng-Hsin, Sukumar, Raman, Sun, I-Fang, Suresh, Hebbalalu S., Tan, Sylvester, Thomas, Duncan, Thomas, Sean, Thompson, Jill, Valencia, Renato, Wolf, Amy, Yap, Sandra, Ye, Wanhui, Yuan, Zuoqiang and Zimmerman, Jess K. (2013) Scale-dependent relationships between tree species richness and ecosystem function in forests. Journal of Ecology, 101 5: 1214-1224. doi:10.1111/1365-2745.12132

Author Chisholm, Ryan A.
Muller-Landau, Helene C.
Abdul Rahman, Kassim
Bebber, Daniel P.
Bin, Yue
Bohlman, Stephanie A.
Bourg, Norman A.
Brinks, Joshua
Bunyavejchewin, Sarayudh
Butt, Nathalie
Cao, Honglin
Cao, Min
Cardenas, Dairon
Chang, Li-Wan
Chiang, Jyh-Min
Chuyong, George
Condit, Richard
Dattaraja, Handanakere S.
Davies, Stuart
Duque, Alvaro
Fletcher, Christine
Gunatilleke, Nimal
Gunatilleke, Savitri
Hao, Zhanqing
Harrison, Rhett D.
Howe, Robert
Hsieh, Chang-Fu
Hubbell, Stephen P.
Itoh, Akira
Kenfack, David
Kiratiprayoon, Somboon
Larson, Andrew J.
Lian, Juyu
Lin, Dunmei
Liu, Haifeng
Lutz, James A.
Ma, Keping
Malhi, Yadvinder
McMahon, Sean
McShea, William
Meegaskumbura, Madhava
Razman, Salim Mohd
Morecroft, Michael D.
Nytch, Christopher J.
Oliveira, Alexandre
Parker, Geoffrey G.
Pulla, Sandeep
Punchi-Manage, Ruwan
Romero-Saltos, Hugo
Sang, Weiguo
Schurman, Jon
Su, Sheng-Hsin
Sukumar, Raman
Sun, I-Fang
Suresh, Hebbalalu S.
Tan, Sylvester
Thomas, Duncan
Thomas, Sean
Thompson, Jill
Valencia, Renato
Wolf, Amy
Yap, Sandra
Ye, Wanhui
Yuan, Zuoqiang
Zimmerman, Jess K.
Title Scale-dependent relationships between tree species richness and ecosystem function in forests
Journal name Journal of Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-0477
Publication date 2013-09
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/1365-2745.12132
Volume 101
Issue 5
Start page 1214
End page 1224
Total pages 10
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Abstract The relationship between species richness and ecosystem function, as measured by productivity or biomass, is of long-standing theoretical and practical interest in ecology. This is especially true for forests, which represent a majority of global biomass, productivity and biodiversity. Here, we conduct an analysis of relationships between tree species richness, biomass and productivity in 25 forest plots of area 8-50 ha from across the world. The data were collected using standardized protocols, obviating the need to correct for methodological differences that plague many studies on this topic. We found that at very small spatial grains (0.04 ha) species richness was generally positively related to productivity and biomass within plots, with a doubling of species richness corresponding to an average 48% increase in productivity and 53% increase in biomass. At larger spatial grains (0.25 ha, 1 ha), results were mixed, with negative relationships becoming more common. The results were qualitatively similar but much weaker when we controlled for stem density: at the 0.04 ha spatial grain, a doubling of species richness corresponded to a 5% increase in productivity and 7% increase in biomass. Productivity and biomass were themselves almost always positively related at all spatial grains. Synthesis. This is the first cross-site study of the effect of tree species richness on forest biomass and productivity that systematically varies spatial grain within a controlled methodology. The scale-dependent results are consistent with theoretical models in which sampling effects and niche complementarity dominate at small scales, while environmental gradients drive patterns at large scales. Our study shows that the relationship of tree species richness with biomass and productivity changes qualitatively when moving from scales typical of forest surveys (0.04 ha) to slightly larger scales (0.25 and 1 ha). This needs to be recognized in forest conservation policy and management. Our analysis of 25 forests across the world shows that the relationship of tree species richness to biomass (AGB) and productivity (CWP) changes qualitatively from positive at small spatial grains typical of forest surveys (0.04 ha) to mixed at slightly larger spatial grains (0.25 and 1 ha). This needs to be recognised in forest conservation policy and management.
Keyword Biodiversity
Determinants of plant community diversity and structure
Sampling effects
Species diversity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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