diversity

Describes the number of different species that are represented in a given community or population. The effective number of species (trees, plants, mosses,...) refers to the number of equally abundant species needed to obtain the same mean proportional species abundance as that observed in specific community or population (where all species may not be equally abundant). Species diversity consists of two components: species richness and species evenness. Species richness is a simple count of species, whereas species evenness quantifies how equal the abundances of the species are.

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...

Uncovering the mechanisms behind positive diversity-productivity relationships in forests.

Globally, forests play a critical role in mitigating climate change by removing CO2 from the atmosphere and storing it in wood. The strength of this carbon sync depends on a number of factors, such as climate, availability of nutrients and disturbance. On top of this, it is becoming increasingly apparent that diverse forests tend to be more productive than monocultures. But why? What are the mechanisms that enable diverse forest to outperform ones which are species poor? This is what we aim to understand.  ...

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. ...

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.

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