Tree diversity

A measure for the amount of tree species mixed on a given site or stand. Can be measured in various forms (e.g. Shannon Index, tree species richness).

Biodiversity and the resistance of forest ecosystems to drought

The extreme events induced by climate change will have drastic consequences on forest functions and services and may bring about important drought-induced die-off events. It is known, however, that biodiversity can promote forest ecosystem performance and resistance to insect pests and diseases. Promoting higher tree species richness in temperate forests is also suggested to be an appropriate management practice to be considered in the context of increased drought frequency and intensity in the future. Indeed, interactions among species may lead to positive complementarity effects of...

The FunDivEUROPE project

Biodiversity research of the last 15 years could demonstrate that multiple functions and services of an ecosystem are influenced by the number of species within this system. Most of these findings, however, are based on research within grassland systems. So science has to make the next big step and address those ecosystems that control a good portion of the carbon, nutrient and water balances of the earth: the forests. ...

Tree diversity supporting forest adaptation under climate change

Biodiversity may enhance forest functioning and services in several aspects. Our results, however, suggest that 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 mechanisms. 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. It is important to ensure, in the face...

Tree diversity: an ecological weapon against pest insects

(See below for French, English and German versions, and here for full text) ...

Timber quality vs. biodiversity - a contradiction?

Timber quality describes all the wood characteristics and properties that affect the value recovery chain and the service-ability of end products. In the context of timber production the quality of timber is a major driver for the price of the final product and the income of forest owners. The higher the quality of timber, the easier it is to achieve a ‘good’ price. For construction purposes the attributes dimension, stiffness and strength or dimension stability are most important. Wood properties determinate the quality of timber as well. Here the number and size of knots, the grain angle...

Earthworms - engineers with important role for forest ecosystems

Earthworms play a major role in the conversion of organic matter into humus, thus improving soil fertility in many soils. In addition to dead organic matter, the earthworm also ingests any other small soil particles which make minerals and plant nutrients accessible for plants to use. The earthworm's burrowing creates a multitude of channels through the soil and is of great value in maintaining the soil structure, enabling processes of aeration and drainage. Therefore earthworms are ecosystems engineers which have an important role for forest ecosystems. ...

About the project

The overall scientific goal of FunDivEUROPE is to quantify the effects of forest biodiversity on ecosystem functions and services in major European forest types.

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.

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