All Open Questions

what is the most productive type of material for reproduction in biomass production?

What is the most productive type of vegetative propagation material for biomass production? generally is used for poplar in Short Rotation Forestry - cuttings, seedlings and rods (sits). Thanks. Iulian
 

Can tree diversity mediate the effect of droughts on forests?

It is well known that different species have different strategies to cope with drought. This premise suggests that an increasing frequency of drought events will demand species able to overcome this kind of impacts in forests. However, temperate or boreal species are not well adapted species to drought, so including stress-tolerant species in these type forests would provide higher resistance capacity in this type forests. Similarly water spenders or water conservative species may overcome different componenest of aridity (i.e. long versus intense droughts).

Does tree diversity affect forest adaptation to climate change?

Biodiversity may enhance forest functioning and services in several aspects. However, the positive role of biodiversity can be a consequence of different mechanisms that are contingent upon environmental conditions and other factors. For example, biodiversity can be relevant in buffering climate change by means of a variety of adaptations. Uncertainty around future climate conditions is high with respect to precipitation  so it is not easy to know which species or combination of species will perform better in the future (species portfolio).

Do mixed forests allow to produce high value timber?

The aim of beech management is to produce high value timber. Producing high value timber means producing valuable logs of good quality characterised by diameter over 60 cm under bark, knot free parts of the lower stem, thin and sound knots, knotty core of 20 cm at maximum, no discolorations (redheart). Logs should also be highly resistant to abiotic damages, tending and harvesting costs should be minimised. Especially with beech management it is important to consider such single crop trees which have these favourable conditions.

Is it possible to introduce earthworm populations as part of a forest soil restoration strategy?

The decline of tree vitality in industrialised countries observed since the 1970s is often attributed to the degradation of forest soils. Such degradation processes can be hard to reverse because of the irreversible and sometimes mutually strengthening character of certain soil chemical, biological and physical processes. Tree species change can be seen as a way that interrupts the degradation spiral, because it might strongly influence soil characteristics.

Why is biodiversity important?

Biodiversity is defined as “the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems.” Ideally, to assess the conditions and trends of biodiversity, it is necessary to measure the abundance of all organisms over space and time, using taxonomy (such as the number of species), functional traits (for example, the ecological type such as nitrogen-fixing plants like legumes versus non-nitrogen-fixing

Does tree species mixture influence carbon storage in the aboveground biomass?

The species composition of the dominant species in a forest determinate the carbon storage in the aboveground biomass. Here it is important to find out if tree species richness and functional diversity can explain the variation in above-ground carbon storage. If this effects are significant, this would allow to enhance carbon stocks through both increased biomass production and increased carbon contents in wood biomass in mixed compared to pure stands.

Is soil biological activity influenced by tree species composition?

The functional and structural diversity of tree communities - rather than taxonomic diversity
- can affect the structure and composition of belowground communities. Therefore the decomposer communities can be influenced by tree species mixture, which in turn will influence nutrient turnover rates.

Is understorey vegetation diversity associated with tree species diversity in European forests?

Despite its relatively low biomass compared to the forest overstorey, the diversity and functional importance of the shrub and herb layer is high. For instance, it is a potential nectar source for pollinators, provides habitat for small mammals, affects tree regeneration, invasion resistance and influences decomposition and nutrient cycling. Therefore it is important to know if the understorey vegetation diversity is associated with the tree species diversity in European forests.

Why is biodiversity loss a concern?

Biodiversity contributes directly (through provisioning, regulating, and cultural ecosystem services) and indirectly (through supporting ecosystem services) to many constituents of human well-being, including security, basic material for a good life, health, good social relations, and freedom of choice and action. 

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