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Title: Diversity enhances carbon storage in tropical forests
Authors: Poorter, L.
van der Sande, Masha T.
Thompson, Jill
Arets, Eric J.M.M.
Alarcón, Alfredo
Álvarez-Sánchez, Javier
Ascarrunz, Nataly L.
Balvanera, Patricia
Barajas-Guzmán, Guadalupe
Boit, Alice
Bongers, Frans
Carvalho, Fernanda Antunes
Casanoves, Fernando
Cornejo-Tenorio, Guadalupe
Costa, Flávia Regina Capellotto
Castilho, Carolina Volkmer de
Duivenvoorden, Joost F.
Dutrieux, Lo?c Paul
Enquist, Brian J.
Fernández-Méndez, Fernando
Finegan, Bryan
Gormley, Lorraine H.L.
Healey, John R.
Hoosbeek, Marcel R.
Ibarra-Manríquez, Guillermo
Junqueira, André Braga
Levis, Carolina
Licona, Juan Carlos
Lisboa, Leila Sheila Silva
Magnusson, William Ernest
Martínez-Ramos, Miguel
Martínez Yrízar, Angelina
Guerreiro, Martorano, Lucieta
Maskell, Lindsay C.
Lucas, Mazzei,
Meave, Jorge A.
Mora, Francisco
Muñoz, Rodrigo
Nytch, Christopher J.
Pansonato, Marcelo Petratti
Parr, Terry W.
Paz, Horacio
Pérez-García, Eduardo A.
Rentería, Lyliana Y.
Rodríguez-Velázquez, Jorge Enrique
Rozendaal, Danaë M.A.
Ruschel, Ademir Roberto
Sakschewski, Boris
Salgado-Negret, Beatriz
Schietti, Juliana
Simões, Margareth G.
Sinclair, Fergus
Souza, Priscila F.
Souza, Fernanda Coelho
Stropp, Juliana
ter Steege, H.
Swenson, Nathan G.
Thonicke, Kirsten
Toledo, Marisol
Uríarte, Ma?ia
van der Hout, Peter
Walker, P.
Zamora, Nelson A.
Pena-Claros, Marielos
Keywords: Aboveground Biomass
Carbon Sequestration
Ecosystem Function
Neotropical Region
Soil Fertility
Tropical Forest
Issue Date: 2015
metadata.dc.publisher.journal: Global Ecology and Biogeography
metadata.dc.relation.ispartof: Volume 24, Número 11, Pags. 1314-1328
Abstract: Aim: Tropical forests store 25% of global carbon and harbour 96% of the world's tree species, but it is not clear whether this high biodiversity matters for carbon storage. Few studies have teased apart the relative importance of forest attributes and environmental drivers for ecosystem functioning, and no such study exists for the tropics. Location: Neotropics. Methods: We relate aboveground biomass (AGB) to forest attributes (diversity and structure) and environmental drivers (annual rainfall and soil fertility) using data from 144,000 trees, 2050 forest plots and 59 forest sites. The sites span the complete latitudinal and climatic gradients in the lowland Neotropics, with rainfall ranging from 750 to 4350mmyear-1. Relationships were analysed within forest sites at scales of 0.1 and 1 ha and across forest sites along large-scale environmental gradients. We used a structural equation model to test the hypothesis that species richness, forest structural attributes and environmental drivers have independent, positive effects on AGB. Results: Across sites, AGB was most strongly driven by rainfall, followed by average tree stem diameter and rarefied species richness, which all had positive effects on AGB. Our indicator of soil fertility (cation exchange capacity) had a negligible effect on AGB, perhaps because we used a global soil database. Taxonomic forest attributes (i.e. species richness, rarefied richness and Shannon diversity) had the strongest relationships with AGB at small spatial scales, where an additional species can still make a difference in terms of niche complementarity, while structural forest attributes (i.e. tree density and tree size) had strong relationships with AGB at all spatial scales. Main conclusions: Biodiversity has an independent, positive effect on AGB and ecosystem functioning, not only in relatively simple temperate systems but also in structurally complex hyperdiverse tropical forests. Biodiversity conservation should therefore be a key component of the UN Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation strategy. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
metadata.dc.identifier.doi: 10.1111/geb.12364
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