Saturday, April 13, 2024

Planting forests with functional diversity improves productivity

As forests age, differences in functional traits of species become more important and reliable in predicting forest productivity, according to an international study led by professor Ma Keping at the Institute of Botany of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IBCAS). As part of the study, Ma and his team evaluated data from a 10-year-old planted mixed forest to determine how functional traits of species influence productivity. Planting productive mixed forests helps researchers learn what types of trees should be planted to achieve high forest productivity, an important ecosystem service. High productivity means high tree growth and high carbon storage, which help to reduce greenhouse gases and at the same time provide shelter and protect biodiversity. Previous studies have shown that a mix of different species leads to higher productivity than single-species forests. However, “this study emphasizes that it is not just the number of species but the specific differences in their functional traits that is important,” said Dr. Franca J. Bongers, a postdoc researcher at IBCAS and first author of the study.

 

https://phys.org/news/2021-11-forests-high-functional-diversity-productivity.html

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