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

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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.

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