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Similar tree species richness-productivity response but differing effects on carbon stocks and timber production in eastern US and continental Spain

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Bravo-Oviedo, Andrés ; Kastendick, Douglas N.; Alberdi, Iciar ; Woodall, Christopher W.

Year Published

2021

Publication

Science of The Total Environment

Abstract

Unimodal response of tree species richness to increases in aboveground productivity is evident in grasslands but to a lesser extent in forests, where confounding factors (e.g., abiotic factors and management regimes) may alter the response and compromise the delivery of ecosystemservices.We hypothesize that unimodal response of biomass accumulation through increased species richness leads to greater tree above ground carbon (AGC) stocks and thus climate regulation but not necessarily higher timber volume production for human consumption across portions of North American and European forests. We first evaluated the biodiversity-productivity pattern and assessed if the addition of potential confounding variables altered the response. Afterwards,we integrated direct and indirect effects of species richness and confounding factors in the modelling of aboveground carbon stock and timber volume. We confirm an increase in carbon stocks concomitant with an increase in tree species richness up to an optimumbiomass value in both regions. Tree species richness had a marginal effect on both aboveground carbon stocks and timber volumewith a trade-off in the eastern US. Biomass accumulation is lower in tree plantations than in natural forests, although volume increased with species richness. Naturally-regenerated forests needed as much as double the number of tree species than plantations to reach the same carbon stocks. Distinct ecosystem services (AGC and timber volume) showed unique pathways of achieving their maximum provisioning. As increasing forest resilience to global change requires a fundamental understanding of how tree species combine with changing climatic conditions to drive the provisioning of various ecosystem services, further examination of this study's findings across additional biogeographical regions may lead the way to unraveling such dynamics and empowering adaptive management.

Keywords

Forest carbon; Tree biomass; Species richness; Timber production; Ecosystem services trade-offs

Citation

Bravo-Oviedo, Andrés; Kastendick, Douglas N.; Alberdi, Iciar; Woodall, Christopher W. 2021. Similar tree species richness-productivity response but differing effects on carbon stocks and timber production in eastern US and continental Spain. Science of The Total Environment. 793: 148399. 10 p. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.148399.

Last updated on: July 7, 2021