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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

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

Jing, Xin; Muys, Bart; Baeten, Lander; Bruelheide, Helge; De Wandeler, Hans; Desie, Ellen; Hattenschwiler, Stephan; Jactel, Herve; Jaroszewicz, Bogdan; Jucker, Tommaso; Kardol, Paul; Pollastrini, Martina; Ratcliffe, Sophia; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Selvi, Federico; Vancampenhout, Karen; van der Plas, Fons; Verheyen, Kris; Vesterdal, Lars; Zuo, Juan;
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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.


Abiotic context; Aboveground wood productivity; Stability; FunDivEUROPE; Resource availability; Resource uptake capacity

Published in

Science of the Total Environment
2022, volume: 812, article number: 152560
Publisher: ELSEVIER

Authors' information

Jing, Xin
KU Leuven
Muys, Bart
KU Leuven
Baeten, Lander
Ghent University
Bruelheide, Helge
Martin Luther University Halle Wittenberg
De Wandeler, Hans
KU Leuven
Desie, Ellen
KU Leuven
Hattenschwiler, Stephan
Universite de Montpellier
Jactel, Herve
Jaroszewicz, Bogdan
University of Warsaw
Jucker, Tommaso
University of Bristol
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Ecology and Management
Pollastrini, Martina
University of Florence
Ratcliffe, Sophia
NBN Trust
Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael
University of Freiburg
Selvi, Federico
University of Florence
Vancampenhout, Karen
KU Leuven
van der Plas, Fons
Leipzig University
Verheyen, Kris
Ghent University
Vesterdal, Lars
University of Copenhagen
Zuo, Juan
Wuhan Botanical Garden, CAS
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UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences
Climate Research

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