Species mixture increases production partitioning to belowground in a natural boreal forest

Species mixture increases production partitioning to belowground in a natural boreal forest

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Species mixture increases production partitioning to belowground in a natural boreal forest

Highlights

Overyielding of total ecosystem production occurred only in young stands.

Species mixture led to more production partitioning to belowground.

The magnitude of the mixture effect changed with total ecosystem production.

Aboveground production partitioning increased with soil nutrients availability.

Abstract

Most diversity and productivity relationship (DPR) studies have focused on one component of ecosystem production at one stage of stand development, which may have contributed to divergent DPR relationships. We tested the effects of species mixture on biomass production and its partitioning between aboveground (trees, understorey vegetation, and litterfall) and belowground (coarse and fine roots) with stand development in a post-fire boreal forest. We found an overyielding, i.e., species mixtures produce more than the average of its constituent monocultures, of total ecosystem production in young stands, but not in older stands. Species mixture led to more production partitioning belowground in all stand ages due to increased fine root production. The magnitude of the mixture effect on production partitioning to belowground increased with total production in species mixtures. Both aboveground production and its partitioning to aboveground increased significantly with the availability of soil nutrients. Our results suggest that it would be biased to infer the effects of plant diversity on total ecosystem production based on the estimates from one component of production or during one stand development stage.

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Keywords

Biodiversity and ecosystem functions

Carbon allocation

Mixture effects

Natural forest

Nutrient availability

Overyielding

Production partitioning

Stand development

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© 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Author :

Superforest

via ScienceDirect Publication: Forest Ecology and Management https://ift.tt/2zaqiu8

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