Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mixed forests – a missed opportunity?

09.01.2013
Forestry and nature conservation can benefit from promoting a diversity of tree species, new study finds.

Modern forestry is largely based on monocultures—in Sweden usually pine or spruce—mainly because it is considered more rational. However a forest contributes more ecosystem services than timber production, such as biological diversity, carbon storage, and berries.


Image: Mixed forrest outside Uppsala, Sweden.
Photo:Nic Kruys/N

A new study from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and Future Forests shows that mixed forests, in comparison with monocultures, have positive effects on several different services, including production.

“Many people have suggested that high diversity of tree species has a favorable impact on processes in the ecosystem, but until now this connection has primarily been studied in terms of one process or ecosystem service at a time,” says Lars Gamfeldt from University of Gothenburg, who directed the new study.

The study, performed by an international research group, is based on material from the Swedish National Forest Inventory and the Swedish Forest Soil Inventory.

By examining the role played by the occurrence of diverse tree species for six different ecosystem services (tree growth, carbon storage, berry production, food for wildlife, occurrence of dead wood, and biological diversity), the study demonstrates that all six services were positively related to the number of tree species.

Different trees contribute to different services. For example, the amount of spruce is related to high tree growth and the amount of pine to berry production, while carbon storage was found in plots with more birch. In order to attain more of all services, forestry may thus need to make use of different tree species. Other studies of forests in Central Europe, the Mediterranean region, and Canada support these findings.

The study also investigated the relationship between the various ecosystem services. For example, high tree growth appears to be negatively related to the production of both berries and food for wildlife and to the occurrence of dead wood. On the other hand, food for wildlife was positively associated with both berry production and biological diversity in ground vegetation.

“It’s not so simple that you can always get more of everything. Sometimes you have to consider trade-offs between different ecosystem services,” says Jon Moen from Umeå University.

The new study, which is published in the scientific journal Nature Communications, runs partly counter to conventional thinking in forestry in Sweden. According to 2011 data from the Swedish National Forest Inventory, only about 7.5 percent of the productive forest land has mixed forests.

“Our findings show that both forestry and nature conservation stand to gain by promoting a greater variety of tree types, thereby providing more diverse ecosystem services,” says Jan Bengtsson, from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

Contacts:
Jan Bengtsson, SLU, mobile: +46 (0)70-2335118, jan.bengtsson@slu.se
Jon Moen, Umeå University, mobile: +46 (0)70-2271513, jon.moen@emg.umu.se
Lars Gamfeldt, University of Gothenburg, mobile: +46 (0)70-3393921, lars.gamfeldt@gu.se

The Future Forests Research Programme is a collaboration between the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Umeå University, and Skogforsk and is funded by Mistra, SLU, Umeå University, Skogforsk, and the Swedish forestry industry.

Full bibliographic information"Higher levels of multiple ecosystem services are found in forests with more tree species"

Lars Gamfeldt, Tord Snäll, Robert Bagchi, Micael Jonsson, Lena Gustafsson, Petter Kjellander, María C. Ruiz-Jaen, Mats Fröberg, Johan Stendahl, Christopher D. Philipson, Grzegorz Mikusiński, Erik Andersson, Bertil Westerlund, Henrik Andrén, Fredrik Moberg, Jon Moen & Jan Bengtsson

Nature Communications 4, Article number: 1340, doi:10.1038/ncomms2328

Annika Mossing | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se
http://www.nature.com/ncomms/journal/v4/n1/full/ncomms2328.html

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University

nachricht New findings about the deformed wing virus, a major factor in honey bee colony mortality
11.11.2016 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Closing the carbon loop

08.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Applicability of dynamic facilitation theory to binary hard disk systems

08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>