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Functional traits of individual varieties as determinants of growth and nitrogen use patterns in mixed stands of willow (Salix spp.)

Weih, Martin and Nordh, Nils-Erik and Manzoni, Stefano and Hoeber, Stefanie (2021). Functional traits of individual varieties as determinants of growth and nitrogen use patterns in mixed stands of willow (Salix spp.). Forest Ecology and Management. 479 , 118605
[Research article]

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Abstract

Short rotation plantations of willows (Salix spp.) have high biomass production potential in many parts of the world, and may frequently support ecosystem services related to nutrient cycling. A plantation management enhancing favorable environmental impacts that are conducive to maintaining ecosystem services is a main challenge in establishing sustainable biomass production systems. There is evidence supporting the hypothesis that biomass production and nutrient cycling can be increased by supporting ecosystem niche differentiation (complementarity) through enhancing the number of plant species or varieties grown in the stand. However, the specific trait values of the individual components (e.g., varieties) in a mixed community could also be more important than the community diversity per se. We assessed, at community level, the plant trait profiles related to growth and nitrogen (N) use for four different Salix varieties that were taxonomically distinct at species or genotype level ('Bjorn', 'Jorr', 'Loden', 'Tora') and field-grown in unfertilized plots of pure and mixed commu-nities during one cutting cycle in Central Sweden. The aims were to use elements of functional growth analysis for exploring the mechanistic relationships between various traits related to growth and N use at stand level in our pure and mixed willow communities; and to address two hypotheses related to (i) the effect of diversity level on above-ground traits linked to growth, N uptake efficiency, N productivity and N conservation; and (ii) the influence of individual variety identities on the growth and N use traits observed in a mixture. Diversity level had no significant effect on the traits assessed here, and we thus found no evidence in support of our hypothesis that traits linked to growth, N uptake and use are significantly affected by the diversity level per se. In most but not all cases, the admixing effects on trait values were explained by the effects of the individual variety characteristics assessed in monocultures in combination with their relative share in the respective mixtures. The absence or presence of individual varieties strongly affected community-averaged (stand level) trait values. Therefore, the design of desirable variety mixtures is suggested that combine, for example, the high nutrient conversion efficiency that certain varieties achieve in mixed stands with the specific nutrient acquisition characteristics of other varieties.

Authors/Creators:Weih, Martin and Nordh, Nils-Erik and Manzoni, Stefano and Hoeber, Stefanie
Title:Functional traits of individual varieties as determinants of growth and nitrogen use patterns in mixed stands of willow (Salix spp.)
Series Name/Journal:Forest Ecology and Management
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:479
Article number:118605
Number of Pages:11
Publisher:ELSEVIER
ISSN:0378-1127
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Forest Science
Keywords:Biomass production, Functional traits, Growth analysis, Nitrogen use efficiency, Short rotation forestry, Variety mixtures
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-109883
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-109883
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1016/j.foreco.2020.118605
Web of Science (WoS)000592033400011
ID Code:21267
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Crop Production Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:18 Jan 2021 16:03
Metadata Last Modified:18 Jan 2021 16:11

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