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Ecol Lett. 2017 Nov;20(11):1414-1426. doi: 10.1111/ele.12849. Epub 2017 Sep 18.

Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning relations in European forests depend on environmental context.

Author information

1
Department of Systematic Botany and Functional Biodiversity, University of Leipzig, Johannisallee 21-23, 04103, Leipzig, Germany.
2
German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Deutscher Platz 5E, 04103, Leipzig, Germany.
3
Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry, Hans-Knöll-Str. 10, 07743, Jena, Germany.
4
Forest Ecology and Conservation, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge, CB2 3EA, UK.
5
CSIRO Land and Water Flagship, Private Bag 5, P.O. Wembley, WA, 6913, Australia.
6
Institute of Plant Sciences, University of Bern, Altenbergrain 21, 3013, Bern, Switzerland.
7
Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung, Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, Senckenberganlage 25, 60325, Frankfurt, Germany.
8
Faculty of Biology/Geobotany, University of Freiburg, Schänzlestr. 1, 79104, Freiburg, Germany.
9
Forest& Nature Lab, Ghent University, Geraardsbergsesteenweg 267, B-9090, Melle-Gontrode, Belgium.
10
MNCN-CSIC, Serrano 115 bis, 28006, Madrid, Spain.
11
Institute of Biology/Geobotany and Botanical Garden, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Am Kirchtor 1, 06108, Halle (Saale), Germany.
12
Centre for Forest Research (CFR), Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada.
13
Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources, Chair of Silviculture, University of Freiburg, Fahnenbergplatz, 79085, Freiburg, Germany.
14
INRA, UMR EEF, 54280, Champenoux, France.
15
Faculty of Forestry, Stefan cel Mare University of Suceava, Universitatii Street 13, Suceava, 720229, Romania.
16
Department of Agri-Food and Environmental Science (DISPAA), Laboratory of Environmental and Applied Botany, University of Firenze, Piazzale delle Cascine 28, 50144, Firenze, Italy.
17
Laboratory of Plant and Microbial Ecology, University of Liège, Botany B22, Chemin de la Vallée 4, 4000, Liège, Belgium.
18
INRA, UMR 1202 BIOGECO, F-33610, Cestas, France.
19
University Bordeaux, BIOGECO, UMR 1202, F-33600, Pessac, France.
20
Białowieża Geobotanical Station, Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw, 17-230, Białowieża, Poland.
21
Department of Forestry, College of Agriculture, Wollo University, P.O.Box 1145, Dessie, Ethiopia.
22
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200E Box 2411, BE-3001, Leuven, Belgium.
23
Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Yliopistokatu 6, FI-80100, Joensuu, Finland.
24
Forest Research Institute of Thessaloniki, Greek Agricultural Organization-Dimitra, Vassilika, 57006, Thessaloniki, Greece.
25
Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Research Unit Forest Dynamics, Zuercherstr 111, 8903, Birmensdorf, Switzerland.
26
Earth and Environmental Sciences Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM, 87545, USA.
27
Institute for Terrestrial Ecosystems, Department of Environmental Systems Science, ETH Zurich, Universitaetsstrasse 16, 8092, Zurich, Switzerland.
28
Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057, Zurich, Switzerland.
29
Centre of Evolutionary and Functional Ecology (CEFE UMR 5175 - University of Montpellier - University Paul-Valery Montpellier - EPHE), 1919 route de Mende, 34293, Montpellier, France.
30
Department of Community Ecology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Theodor-Lieser-Straße 4, 06120, Halle, Germany.
31
Forest Research Institute Baden Wuerttemberg, Wonnhaldestr.4, 79100, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany.
32
School of Biological Sciences, Royal Holloway University of London, Surrey, TW20 0EX, Egham, UK.
33
Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, 75007, Uppsala, Sweden.
34
Department of Organismal Biology, Uppsala University, 75236, Uppsala, Sweden.
35
Department of Forestry and Management of the Environment and Natural Resources, Democritus University of Thrace (DUTH), Pantazidou 193, 68200, Nea Orestiada, Greece.
36
Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, Rolighedsvej 23, 1958, Frederiksberg C, Denmark.
37
Department of Marine Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Carl Skottsbergs gata 22B, 41319, Göteborg, Sweden.
38
Grupo de Ecología y Restauración Forestal, Departamento de Ciencias de la Vida, Universidad de Alcalá, Edificio de Ciencias, Campus Universitario, 28805, Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain.
39
Institute of Silviculture, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna, Austria.
40
Centre de Recherche sur les Interactions Bassins Versants-Écosystèmes Aquatiques, Université du Québec, 3351 Boulevard des Forges, Trois-Rivières, QC, G9A 5H7, Canada.
41
Senseable City Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02139, USA.

Abstract

The importance of biodiversity in supporting ecosystem functioning is generally well accepted. However, most evidence comes from small-scale studies, and scaling-up patterns of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (B-EF) remains challenging, in part because the importance of environmental factors in shaping B-EF relations is poorly understood. Using a forest research platform in which 26 ecosystem functions were measured along gradients of tree species richness in six regions across Europe, we investigated the extent and the potential drivers of context dependency of B-EF relations. Despite considerable variation in species richness effects across the continent, we found a tendency for stronger B-EF relations in drier climates as well as in areas with longer growing seasons and more functionally diverse tree species. The importance of water availability in driving context dependency suggests that as water limitation increases under climate change, biodiversity may become even more important to support high levels of functioning in European forests.

KEYWORDS:

FunDivEUROPE; Functional diversity; growing season length; multifunctionality; resource heterogeneity; species richness; water availability

PMID:
28925074
DOI:
10.1111/ele.12849
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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