Skip to content

Multiple abiotic and biotic pathways shape biomass demographic processes in temperate forests

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere02650
Number of pages10
JournalEcology
Volume100
Issue number5
Early online date8 Apr 2019
DOIs
DateAccepted/In press - 14 Jan 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print - 8 Apr 2019
DatePublished (current) - 29 Apr 2019

Abstract

Forests play a key role in regulating the global carbon cycle, and yet the abiotic and biotic conditions that drive the demographic processes that underpin forest carbon dynamics remain poorly understood in natural ecosystems. To address this knowledge gap, we used repeat forest inventory data from 92,285 trees across four large permanent plots (4–25 ha in size) in temperate mixed forests in northeast China to ask the following questions: (1) How do soil conditions and stand age drive biomass demographic processes? (2) How do vegetation quality (i.e., functional trait diversity and composition) and quantity (i.e., initial biomass stocks) influence biomass demographic processes independently from soil conditions and stand age? (3) What is the relative contribution of growth, recruitment, and mortality to net biomass change? Using structural equation modeling, we showed that all three demographic processes were jointly constrained by multiple abiotic and biotic factors and that mortality was the strongest determinant on net biomass change over time. Growth and mortality, as well as functional trait diversity and the community‐weighted mean of specific leaf area (CWMSLA), declined with stand age. By contrast, high soil phosphorous concentrations were associated with greater functional diversity and faster dynamics (i.e., high growth and mortality rates), but associated with lower CWMSLA and initial biomass stock. More functionally diverse communities also had higher recruitment rates, but did not exhibit faster growth and mortality. Instead, initial biomass stocks and CWMSLA were stronger predictors of biomass growth and mortality, respectively. By integrating the full spectrum of abiotic and biotic drivers of forest biomass dynamics, our study provides critical system‐level insights needed to predict the possible consequences of regional changes in forest diversity, composition, structure and function in the context of global change.

    Research areas

  • ecosystem functioning, functional diversity, growth, mortality, recruitment, soil nutrient, stand age, vegetation quality and quantity

Download statistics

No data available

Documents

Documents

  • Full-text PDF (final published version)

    Rights statement: This is the final published version of the article (version of record). It first appeared online via Wiley at https://esajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ecy.2650. Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Final published version, 1.17 MB, PDF document

    Licence: CC BY-NC

DOI

View research connections

Related faculties, schools or groups