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Exploring the functional significance of forest diversity: A new long-term experiment with temperate tree species (BIOTREE)

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons62537

Scherer-Lorenzen,  M.
Department Biogeochemical Processes, Prof. E.-D. Schulze, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons62549

Schulze,  E. D.
Department Biogeochemical Processes, Prof. E.-D. Schulze, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons62367

Don,  A.
Department Biogeochemical Processes, Prof. E.-D. Schulze, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons62551

Schumacher,  J.
Department Biogeochemical Processes, Prof. E.-D. Schulze, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Scherer-Lorenzen, M., Schulze, E. D., Don, A., Schumacher, J., & Weller, E. (2007). Exploring the functional significance of forest diversity: A new long-term experiment with temperate tree species (BIOTREE). Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, 9(2), 53-70. doi:10.1016/j.ppees.2007.08.002.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000E-D5DF-2
Abstract
Effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning have been mainly studied in experiments that artificially create gradients in grassland plant diversity. Woody species were largely excluded from these early experiments, despite the ecological and socioeconomic importance of forest ecosystems. We discuss conceptual aspects of mechanistically driven research on the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship in forests, including the comparison of scientific approaches like 'observational studies', 'removal experiments', and 'synthetic-assemblage experiments'. We give a short overview on the differences between herbaceous and forest ecosystems, focusing on canopy characteristics, and the possibilities for individual versus population-based investigations. We present detailed information about the first large-scale, multisite and long-term biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiment with tree species of temperate forests (BIOTREE - BIOdiversity and ecosystem processes in experimental TREE stands). At three sites of differing geology and local climate, we planted 200,000 saplings on a total area of 70 ha. At two sites, diversity gradients were established by varying the number of tree species (BIOTREE-SPECIES). At a third site, only functional diversity at a constant level of tree species richness was manipulated by selecting mixtures that differ in the functional trait values of the corresponding species (BIOTREE-FD). Additional experimental treatments at the subplot level include silvicultural management options, the addition of subdominant species, and the reduction of genetic diversity. Response variables focus on productivity, biogeochemical cycles and carbon sequestration, and resource use complementarity. We explore the use of different measures of functional diversity for a posteriori classifications of functional richness and their use in the analysis of our tree diversity experiment. The experiment is thought to provide a long-term research platform for a variety of scientific questions related to forest biodiversity and ecosystem processes. (c) 2007 Rubel Foundation, ETH Zurich. Published by Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.