Climatic conditions, not above- and belowground resource availability and uptake capacity, mediate tree diversity effects on productivity and stability

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  • Xin Jing
  • Bart Muys
  • Lander Baeten
  • Helge Bruelheide
  • Hans De Wandeler
  • Ellen Desie
  • Stephan Hättenschwiler
  • Hervé Jactel
  • Bogdan Jaroszewicz
  • Tommaso Jucker
  • Paul Kardol
  • Martina Pollastrini
  • Sophia Ratcliffe
  • Michael Scherer-Lorenzen
  • Federico Selvi
  • Karen Vancampenhout
  • Fons van der Plas
  • Kris Verheyen
  • Juan Zuo
  • Koenraad Van Meerbeek

Tree species diversity promotes multiple ecosystem functions and services. However, little is known about how above- and belowground resource availability (light, nutrients, and water) and resource uptake capacity mediate tree species diversity effects on aboveground wood productivity and temporal stability of productivity in European forests and whether the effects differ between humid and arid regions. We used the data from six major European forest types along a latitudinal gradient to address those two questions. We found that neither leaf area index (a proxy for light uptake capacity), nor fine root biomass (a proxy for soil nutrient and water uptake capacity) was related to tree species richness. Leaf area index did, however, enhance productivity, but negatively affected stability. Productivity was further promoted by soil nutrient availability, while stability was enhanced by fine root biomass. We only found a positive effect of tree species richness on productivity in arid regions and a positive effect on stability in humid regions. This indicates a possible disconnection between productivity and stability regarding tree species richness effects. In other words, the mechanisms that drive the positive effects of tree species richness on productivity do not per se benefit stability simultaneously. Our findings therefore suggest that tree species richness effects are largely mediated by differences in climatic conditions rather than by differences in above- and belowground resource availability and uptake capacity at the regional scales.

Original languageEnglish
Article number152560
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.

    Research areas

  • Abiotic context, Aboveground wood productivity, FunDivEUROPE, Resource availability, Resource uptake capacity, Stability

ID: 291538477