SearleChenPaquette2022

Reference

Searle, E.B., Chen, H.Y.H., Paquette, A. (2022) Higher tree diversity is linked to higher tree mortality. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 119(19):e2013171119. (URL )

Abstract

Despite a significant amount of recent research describing how tree species diversity improves forest productivity, few studies examine how tree diversity affects tree mortality, which is a key ecosystem function that drives succession, composition, and competition. Using a plot network from across Canada and the United States, here we show that plots with higher tree diversity also experience higher tree mortality. This effect becomes even more prominent when tree diversity effects are modeled holistically; in particular, more-diverse plots have higher stem densities, translating into higher mortality probabilities. We call for the use of integrated model frameworks when examining the response of forest ecosystem functions to diversity, thus ensuring proper accounting of direct and indirect effects. Examining the relationship between tree diversity and ecosystem functioning has been a recent focus of forest ecology. Particular emphasis has been given to the impact of tree diversity on productivity and to its potential to mitigate negative global change effects; however, little attention has been paid to tree mortality. This is critical because both tree mortality and productivity underpin forest ecosystem dynamics and therefore forest carbon sequestration. Neglecting tree mortality leaves a large part of the picture undocumented. Here we show that increasingly diverse forest stands have increasingly high mortality probabilities. We found that the most species-rich stands in temperate biomes had mortality probabilities more than sevenfold higher than monospecific stands (∼0.6\% year−1 in monospecific stands to 4.0\% year−1 in the most species-rich stands) while in boreal stands increases were less pronounced but still significant (∼1.1\% year−1 in monospecific stands to 1.8\% year−1 in the most species-rich stands). Tree species richness was the third-most-important predictor of mortality in our models in temperate forests and the fifth-most-important predictor in boreal forests. Our results highlight that while the promotion of tree diversity undoubtedly has many positive effects on ecosystem functioning and the services that trees provide to humanity, it remains important to consider all aspects of forest dynamics in order to properly predict the implications of maintaining and promoting tree diversity.

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@ARTICLE { SearleChenPaquette2022,
    AUTHOR = { Searle, E.B. and Chen, H.Y.H. and Paquette, A. },
    JOURNAL = { Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences },
    TITLE = { Higher tree diversity is linked to higher tree mortality },
    YEAR = { 2022 },
    NUMBER = { 19 },
    PAGES = { e2013171119 },
    VOLUME = { 119 },
    ABSTRACT = { Despite a significant amount of recent research describing how tree species diversity improves forest productivity, few studies examine how tree diversity affects tree mortality, which is a key ecosystem function that drives succession, composition, and competition. Using a plot network from across Canada and the United States, here we show that plots with higher tree diversity also experience higher tree mortality. This effect becomes even more prominent when tree diversity effects are modeled holistically; in particular, more-diverse plots have higher stem densities, translating into higher mortality probabilities. We call for the use of integrated model frameworks when examining the response of forest ecosystem functions to diversity, thus ensuring proper accounting of direct and indirect effects. Examining the relationship between tree diversity and ecosystem functioning has been a recent focus of forest ecology. Particular emphasis has been given to the impact of tree diversity on productivity and to its potential to mitigate negative global change effects; however, little attention has been paid to tree mortality. This is critical because both tree mortality and productivity underpin forest ecosystem dynamics and therefore forest carbon sequestration. Neglecting tree mortality leaves a large part of the picture undocumented. Here we show that increasingly diverse forest stands have increasingly high mortality probabilities. We found that the most species-rich stands in temperate biomes had mortality probabilities more than sevenfold higher than monospecific stands (∼0.6\% year−1 in monospecific stands to 4.0\% year−1 in the most species-rich stands) while in boreal stands increases were less pronounced but still significant (∼1.1\% year−1 in monospecific stands to 1.8\% year−1 in the most species-rich stands). Tree species richness was the third-most-important predictor of mortality in our models in temperate forests and the fifth-most-important predictor in boreal forests. Our results highlight that while the promotion of tree diversity undoubtedly has many positive effects on ecosystem functioning and the services that trees provide to humanity, it remains important to consider all aspects of forest dynamics in order to properly predict the implications of maintaining and promoting tree diversity. },
    DOI = { 10.1073/pnas.2013171119 },
    EPRINT = { https://www.pnas.org/doi/pdf/10.1073/pnas.2013171119 },
    OWNER = { Daniel Lesieur },
    TIMESTAMP = { 2022-05-03 },
    URL = { https://www.pnas.org/doi/abs/10.1073/pnas.2013171119 },
}

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