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 Increasingly severe disturbances weaken world's temperate forests
31.08.2015 | USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station

nachricht Sequencing of barley genome achieves new milestone
26.08.2015 | University of California - Riverside

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: Increasingly severe disturbances weaken world's temperate forests

Longer, more severe, and hotter droughts and a myriad of other threats, including diseases and more extensive and severe wildfires, are threatening to transform some of the world's temperate forests, a new study published in Science has found. Without informed management, some forests could convert to shrublands or grasslands within the coming decades.

"While we have been trying to manage for resilience of 20th century conditions, we realize now that we must prepare for transformations and attempt to ease...

Im Focus: OU astrophysicist and collaborators find supermassive black holes in quasar nearest Earth

A University of Oklahoma astrophysicist and his Chinese collaborator have found two supermassive black holes in Markarian 231, the nearest quasar to Earth, using observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

The discovery of two supermassive black holes--one larger one and a second, smaller one--are evidence of a binary black hole and suggests that supermassive...

Im Focus: What would a tsunami in the Mediterranean look like?

A team of European researchers have developed a model to simulate the impact of tsunamis generated by earthquakes and applied it to the Eastern Mediterranean. The results show how tsunami waves could hit and inundate coastal areas in southern Italy and Greece. The study is published today (27 August) in Ocean Science, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).

Though not as frequent as in the Pacific and Indian oceans, tsunamis also occur in the Mediterranean, mainly due to earthquakes generated when the African...

Im Focus: Self-healing landscape: landslides after earthquake

In mountainous regions earthquakes often cause strong landslides, which can be exacerbated by heavy rain. However, after an initial increase, the frequency of these mass wasting events, often enormous and dangerous, declines, in fact independently of meteorological events and aftershocks.

These new findings are presented by a German-Franco-Japanese team of geoscientists in the current issue of the journal Geology, under the lead of the GFZ...

Im Focus: FIC Proteins Send Bacteria Into Hibernation

Bacteria do not cease to amaze us with their survival strategies. A research team from the University of Basel's Biozentrum has now discovered how bacteria enter a sleep mode using a so-called FIC toxin. In the current issue of “Cell Reports”, the scientists describe the mechanism of action and also explain why their discovery provides new insights into the evolution of pathogens.

For many poisons there are antidotes which neutralize their toxic effect. Toxin-antitoxin systems in bacteria work in a similar manner: As long as a cell...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Networking conference in Heidelberg for outstanding mathematicians and computer scientists

20.08.2015 | Event News

Scientists meet in Münster for the world’s largest Chitin und Chitosan Conference

20.08.2015 | Event News

Large agribusiness management strategies

19.08.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

First global antineutrino emission map highlights Earth's energy budget

01.09.2015 | Earth Sciences

Distant planet's interior chemistry may differ from our own

01.09.2015 | Physics and Astronomy

Magnetic fields provide a new way to communicate wirelessly

01.09.2015 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>