Landscape-Scale Mixtures of Tree Species are More Effective than Stand-Scale Mixtures for Biodiversity of Vascular Plants, Bryophytes and Lichens

Heinrichs, Steffi; Ammer, Christian; Mund, Martina; Boch, Steffen; Budde, Sabine; Fischer, Markus; Müller, Jörg; Schöning, Ingo; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef; Schmidt, Wolfgang; Weckesser, Martin; Schall, Peter (2019). Landscape-Scale Mixtures of Tree Species are More Effective than Stand-Scale Mixtures for Biodiversity of Vascular Plants, Bryophytes and Lichens. Forests, 10(1), p. 73. MDPI 10.3390/f10010073

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Tree species diversity can positively affect the multifunctionality of forests. This is why conifer monocultures of Scots pine and Norway spruce, widely promoted in Central Europe since the 18th and 19th century, are currently converted into mixed stands with naturally dominant European beech. Biodiversity is expected to benefit from these mixtures compared to pure conifer stands due to increased abiotic and biotic resource heterogeneity. Evidence for this assumption is, however, largely lacking. Here, we investigated the diversity of vascular plants, bryophytes and lichens at the plot (alpha diversity) and at the landscape (gamma diversity) level in pure and mixed stands of European beech and conifer species (Scots pine, Norway spruce, Douglas fir) in four regions in Germany. We aimed to identify compositions of pure and mixed stands in a hypothetical forest landscape that can optimize gamma diversity of vascular plants, bryophytes and lichens within regions. Results show that gamma diversity of the investigated groups is highest when a landscape comprises different pure stands rather than tree species mixtures at the stand scale. Species mainly associated with conifers rely on light regimes that are only provided in pure conifer forests, whereas mixtures of beech and conifers are more similar to beech stands. Combining pure beech and pure conifer stands at the landscape scale can increase landscape level biodiversity and conserve species assemblages of both stand types, while landscapes solely composed of stand scale tree species mixtures could lead to a biodiversity reduction of a combination of investigated groups of 7 up to 20%.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Plant Ecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Boch, Steffen and Fischer, Markus

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

1999-4907

Publisher:

MDPI

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

08 Mar 2019 16:20

Last Modified:

11 Mar 2019 14:43

Publisher DOI:

10.3390/f10010073

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Fagus sylvatica; Pinus sylvestris; Picea abies; Pseudotsuga menziesii; forest management; tree species diversity; forest conversion; gamma diversity; landscape scale; Biodiversity Exploratories

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.125939

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/125939

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