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 Climate change: Trade liberalization could buffer economic losses in agriculture
25.08.2016 | Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung

nachricht Fungal intruder ante portas!
19.08.2016 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung

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: Streamlining accelerated computing for industry

PyFR code combines high accuracy with flexibility to resolve unsteady turbulence problems

Scientists and engineers striving to create the next machine-age marvel--whether it be a more aerodynamic rocket, a faster race car, or a higher-efficiency jet...

Im Focus: X-ray optics on a chip

Waveguides are widely used for filtering, confining, guiding, coupling or splitting beams of visible light. However, creating waveguides that could do the same for X-rays has posed tremendous challenges in fabrication, so they are still only in an early stage of development.

In the latest issue of Acta Crystallographica Section A: Foundations and Advances , Sarah Hoffmann-Urlaub and Tim Salditt report the fabrication and testing of...

Im Focus: Piggyback battery for microchips: TU Graz researchers develop new battery concept

Electrochemists at TU Graz have managed to use monocrystalline semiconductor silicon as an active storage electrode in lithium batteries. This enables an integrated power supply to be made for microchips with a rechargeable battery.

Small electrical gadgets, such as mobile phones, tablets or notebooks, are indispensable accompaniments of everyday life. Integrated circuits in the interiors...

Im Focus: UCI physicists confirm possible discovery of fifth force of nature

Light particle could be key to understanding dark matter in universe

Recent findings indicating the possible discovery of a previously unknown subatomic particle may be evidence of a fifth fundamental force of nature, according...

Im Focus: Wi-fi from lasers

White light from lasers demonstrates data speeds of up to 2 GB/s

A nanocrystalline material that rapidly makes white light out of blue light has been developed by KAUST researchers.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

The energy transition is not possible without Geotechnics

25.08.2016 | Event News

New Ideas for the Shipping Industry

24.08.2016 | Event News

A week of excellence: 22 of the world’s best computer scientists and mathematicians in Heidelberg

12.08.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

3-D-printed structures 'remember' their shapes

29.08.2016 | Materials Sciences

From rigid to flexible

29.08.2016 | Life Sciences

Sensor systems identify senior citizens at risk of falling within 3 weeks

29.08.2016 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>