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Boreal forest fertilization leads to functional homogenization of ground beetle assemblages

Rodriguez, Antonio and Hekkala, Anne-Maarit and Sjögren, Jörgen and Strengbom, Joachim and Löfroth, Therese (2021). Boreal forest fertilization leads to functional homogenization of ground beetle assemblages. Journal of Applied Ecology. 58 , 1145-1154
[Research article]

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Abstract

Intensive fertilization of young spruce forest plantations (i.e. 'nutrient optimization') has the potential to meet increasing demands for carbon sequestration and biomass production from boreal forests. However, its effects on biodiversity, other than the homogenization of ground-layer plant communities, are widely unknown.We sampled ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in young spruce forest plantations of southern Sweden, within a large-scale, replicated ecological experiment initiated in 2012, where half of the forest stands were fertilized every second year. We assessed multi-scale effects of forest fertilization on ground beetle diversity and community assembly, 4 years after commencement of the experiment.We found that nutrient optimization had negative effects on ground beetle diversity at multiple spatial scales, despite having negligible effects on species richness. At the local scale, ground beetle species had lower variation in body size at fertilized sites, resulting in within-site functional homogenization. At the landscape scale, fertilized sites, with higher basal area and lower bilberry cover, filtered carabid traits composition to larger body sizes, generalist predators and summer breeding species.Synthesis and applications. Fertilization of young spruce plantations is a strong filter for ground beetle assemblages, leading to functionally homogeneous communities in the short term, without changes in species richness. The large-scale functional impoverishment of carabid communities because of fertilization may have negative consequences on system resilience and on ecosystem service provision by this functionally diverse group. Large-scale establishment of nutrient optimization threatens ground beetle diversity in young conifer plantations, underlining the risks of introducing more intensive management schemes in already heavily managed forest landscapes.

Authors/Creators:Rodriguez, Antonio and Hekkala, Anne-Maarit and Sjögren, Jörgen and Strengbom, Joachim and Löfroth, Therese
Title:Boreal forest fertilization leads to functional homogenization of ground beetle assemblages
Series Name/Journal:Journal of Applied Ecology
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:58
Page range:1145-1154
Number of Pages:10
Publisher:WILEY
ISSN:0021-8901
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Keywords:biodiversity, community assembly, diversity apportionment, functional homogenization, ground beetles, intensive forest management, nutrient optimization, trait–environment relationship
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-111797
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-111797
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1111/1365-2664.13877
Web of Science (WoS)000642315400001
ID Code:24353
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:02 Jun 2021 10:03
Metadata Last Modified:02 Jun 2021 10:11

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