Assessing above-ground biomass-functional diversity relationships in temperate forests in northern Mexico

Periodo de realización: 1900/01/01 al 2021/01/01

Tipo: Artículo científico

Lugar(es) de estudio: El Salto, Durango, Mexico
Resumen: "Background Studies on the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem productivity have suggested that species richness and functional diversity are the main drivers of ecosystem processes. Several patterns on this relationship have been found, including positive, unimodal, negative, and neutral trends, keeping the issue controversial. In this study, taxonomic diversity and functional diversity as drivers of above-ground biomass (AGB) were compared, and the mechanisms that influence biomass production were investigated by testing the complementarity and the mass-ratio hypotheses. Methods Using data from 414 permanent sample plots, covering 23% of temperate forest in the Sierra Madre Oriental (México), we estimated the above-gound biomass (AGB), taxonomic and functional diversity indices, as well as community weighted mean values (CWM) for three functional traits (maximum height, leaf size and wood density) for trees =7.5?cm DBH, in managed and unmanaged stands. To compare taxonomic diversity differences between managed and unmanaged stands we carried out a rarefaction analysis. Furthermore, we evaluated the relationship between AGB and taxonomic and functional diversity metrics, as well as CWM traits throught spatial autoregressive models. Results We found a hump-shaped relationship between AGB and species richness in managed and unmanaged forests. CMW of maximum height was the most important predictor of AGB in both stands, which suggested that the mechanism underlaying the AGB-diversity relationship is the dominance of some highly productive species, supporting the mass-ratio hypothesis. Above-ground biomass was significantly correlated with three of the five functional diversity metrics, CWM maximum height and species richness. Our results show the importance of taking into account spatial autocorrelation in the construction of predictive models to avoid spurious patterns in the AGB-diversity relationship. Conclusion Species richness, maximum height, functional richness, functional dispersion and RaoQ indices relate with above-ground biomass production in temperate mixed-species and uneven-aged forests of northern Mexico. These forests show a hump-shaped AGB-species richness relationship. Functional diversity explains better AGB production than classical taxonomic diversity. Community weighted mean traits provide key information to explain stand biomass in these forests, where maximum tree height seems to be a more suitable trait for understanding the biomass accumulation process in these ecosystems. Although the impact of forest management on biodiversity is still debated, it has not changed the AGB-diversity relationships in the forests of the Sierra Madre Occidental, Mexico."

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