Biodiversity

Biological diversity, or the shorter "biodiversity," means the diversity, or variety, of plants and animals and other living things in a particular area or region. It describes the variability among living organisms from all sources, including terrestrial, marine, and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part. Biodiversity includes diversity within species, between species, and between ecosystems. (MA, 2003)

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...

Photosynthetic responses of different tree species mixtures

Biodiversity regulates several aspects of ecosystem functioning and the delivery of ecosystem services. Many forest ecosystem services, such as timber production and carbon sequestration, are directly related to tree growth and photosynthesis rates. ...

Effects of tree species richness and composition on moose winter browsing and selectivity

Mammalian herbivores play important role in forest regeneration. Selective browsing by moose and deer on saplings of preferred tree species may have considerable impact on tree species survival and species composition of naturally regenerated stands. On the other hand, in many countries across Europe game production is an important ecosystem service and ability of forests to support sufficient densities of game such as deer, moose and wild boar is of economic importance as well. Therefore, it is important to know how mammalian herbivores select the patches of forest where they feed and how,...

Functional diversity and functional identity determine carbon storage and tree productivity in Spanish forests

Biodiversity loss could reduce primary productivity and carbon storage provided by forests. Thus, biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships (BEF) are an important topic in ecology and have been broadly studied during the last decades. However, the underpinning mechanisms of biodiversity effects on multiple forest functions are not completely understood. Two non-exclusive mechanisms of the effects of diversity have been proposed: the complementarity effect (i.e. functionally diverse forests could enhance resource use efficiency and nutrient retention through niche partitioning and...

Tree species diversity mitigates disturbance impacts on the forest carbon cycle

Biodiversity fosters the functioning and stability of forest ecosystems and, consequently, the provision of crucial ecosystem services that support human well-being and quality of life. In particular, it has been suggested that tree species diversity buffers ecosystems against the impacts of disturbances, a relationship known as the “insurance hypothesis”. Natural disturbances have increased across Europe in recent decades and climate change is expected to amplify the frequency and severity of disturbance events. ...

The understorey, a forest layer with an underestimated importance for ecosystem functioning

The major forest types in Europe, from the Boreal to the Mediterranean region, all include a variable number of native vascular plant species in the understorey layer (1.3 m height), both herbaceous and woody. In spite of its small stature and biomass this layer can contain 90% or more of the plant species of the forest. The functional role of the understory vegetation has already been shown in previous studies on temperate forests. They can serve as: ...

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Biodiversity

About FunDivEurope

Learn more about the FunDivEurope project:

About this Platform

Get in touch with the FunDiVEurope Knowledge Transfer Platform and read the latest news from the site administrators: