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Structural diversity and tree density drives variation in the biodiversity-ecosystem function relationship of woodlands and savannas

Godlee, John L. and Ryan, Casey M. and Bauman, David and Bowers, Samuel J. and Carreiras, Joao M. B. and Chisingui, Antonio Valter and Cromsigt, Joris and Druce, Dave J. and Finckh, Manfred and Goncalves, Francisco Maiato and Holdo, Ricardo M. and Makungwa, Steve and McNicol, Iain M. and Mitchard, Edward T. A. and Muchawona, Anderson and Revermann, Rasmus and Ribeiro, Natasha Sofia and Siampale, Abel and Syampungani, Stephen and Tchamba, Jose Joao and Tripathi, Hemant G. and Wallenfang, Johannes and te Beest, Mariska and Williams, Mathew and Dexter, Kyle G. (2021). Structural diversity and tree density drives variation in the biodiversity-ecosystem function relationship of woodlands and savannas. New Phytologist. 232 , 579-594
[Research article]

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Abstract

Positive biodiversity-ecosystem function relationships (BEFRs) have been widely documented, but it is unclear if BEFRs should be expected in disturbance-driven systems. Disturbance may limit competition and niche differentiation, which are frequently posited to underlie BEFRs. We provide the first exploration of the relationship between tree species diversity and biomass, one measure of ecosystem function, across southern African woodlands and savannas, an ecological system rife with disturbance from fire, herbivores and humans.We used > 1000 vegetation plots distributed across 10 southern African countries and structural equation modelling to determine the relationship between tree species diversity and above-ground woody biomass, accounting for interacting effects of resource availability, disturbance by fire, tree stem density and vegetation type.We found positive effects of tree species diversity on above-ground biomass, operating via increased structural diversity. The observed BEFR was highly dependent on organismal density, with a minimum threshold of c. 180 mature stems ha(-1). We found that water availability mainly affects biomass indirectly, via increasing species diversity.The study underlines the close association between tree diversity, ecosystem structure, environment and function in highly disturbed savannas and woodlands. We suggest that tree diversity is an under-appreciated determinant of wooded ecosystem structure and function.

Authors/Creators:Godlee, John L. and Ryan, Casey M. and Bauman, David and Bowers, Samuel J. and Carreiras, Joao M. B. and Chisingui, Antonio Valter and Cromsigt, Joris and Druce, Dave J. and Finckh, Manfred and Goncalves, Francisco Maiato and Holdo, Ricardo M. and Makungwa, Steve and McNicol, Iain M. and Mitchard, Edward T. A. and Muchawona, Anderson and Revermann, Rasmus and Ribeiro, Natasha Sofia and Siampale, Abel and Syampungani, Stephen and Tchamba, Jose Joao and Tripathi, Hemant G. and Wallenfang, Johannes and te Beest, Mariska and Williams, Mathew and Dexter, Kyle G.
Title:Structural diversity and tree density drives variation in the biodiversity-ecosystem function relationship of woodlands and savannas
Series Name/Journal:New Phytologist
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:232
Page range:579-594
Number of Pages:16
Publisher:WILEY
ISSN:0028-646X
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 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Botany
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Forest Science
Keywords:biodiversity, biomass, ecosystem function, forest structure, miombo, savanna, structural equation modelling, woodland
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-113170
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-113170
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1111/nph.17639
Web of Science (WoS)000683779900001
ID Code:25861
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:18 Oct 2021 08:25
Metadata Last Modified:18 Oct 2021 08:31

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