Diversity enhances carbon storage in tropical forests

L. Poorter, M. T. van der Sande, J. Thompson, E. J M M Arets, A. Alarcón, J. Álvarez-Sánchez, N. Ascarrunz, P. Balvanera, G. Barajas-Guzmán, A. Boit, F. Bongers, F. A. Carvalho, F. Casanoves, G. Cornejo-Tenorio, F. R C Costa, C. V. de Castilho, J. F. Duivenvoorden, L. P. Dutrieux, Brian Enquist, F. Fernández-Méndez & 44 others B. Finegan, L. H L Gormley, J. R. Healey, M. R. Hoosbeek, G. Ibarra-Manríquez, A. B. Junqueira, C. Levis, J. C. Licona, L. S. Lisboa, W. E. Magnusson, M. Martínez-Ramos, A. Martínez-Yrizar, L. G. Martorano, L. C. Maskell, L. Mazzei, J. A. Meave, F. Mora, R. Muñoz, C. Nytch, M. P. Pansonato, T. W. Parr, H. Paz, E. A. Pérez-García, L. Y. Rentería, J. Rodríguez-Velazquez, D. M A Rozendaal, A. R. Ruschel, B. Sakschewski, B. Salgado-Negret, J. Schietti, M. Simões, F. L. Sinclair, P. F. Souza, F. C. Souza, J. Stropp, H. ter Steege, N. G. Swenson, K. Thonicke, M. Toledo, M. Uriarte, P. van der Hout, P. Walker, N. Zamora, M. Peña-Claros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

122 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aim: Tropical forests store 25% of global carbon and harbour 96% of the world's tree species, but it is not clear whether this high biodiversity matters for carbon storage. Few studies have teased apart the relative importance of forest attributes and environmental drivers for ecosystem functioning, and no such study exists for the tropics. Location: Neotropics. Methods: We relate aboveground biomass (AGB) to forest attributes (diversity and structure) and environmental drivers (annual rainfall and soil fertility) using data from 144,000 trees, 2050 forest plots and 59 forest sites. The sites span the complete latitudinal and climatic gradients in the lowland Neotropics, with rainfall ranging from 750 to 4350mmyear-1. Relationships were analysed within forest sites at scales of 0.1 and 1 ha and across forest sites along large-scale environmental gradients. We used a structural equation model to test the hypothesis that species richness, forest structural attributes and environmental drivers have independent, positive effects on AGB. Results: Across sites, AGB was most strongly driven by rainfall, followed by average tree stem diameter and rarefied species richness, which all had positive effects on AGB. Our indicator of soil fertility (cation exchange capacity) had a negligible effect on AGB, perhaps because we used a global soil database. Taxonomic forest attributes (i.e. species richness, rarefied richness and Shannon diversity) had the strongest relationships with AGB at small spatial scales, where an additional species can still make a difference in terms of niche complementarity, while structural forest attributes (i.e. tree density and tree size) had strong relationships with AGB at all spatial scales. Main conclusions: Biodiversity has an independent, positive effect on AGB and ecosystem functioning, not only in relatively simple temperate systems but also in structurally complex hyperdiverse tropical forests. Biodiversity conservation should therefore be a key component of the UN Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1314-1328
Number of pages15
JournalGlobal Ecology and Biogeography
Volume24
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

Fingerprint

carbon sequestration
aboveground biomass
tropical forests
tropical forest
biodiversity
species richness
rain
species diversity
soil fertility
rainfall
ecosystems
cation exchange capacity
ecosystem
deforestation
forest trees
complementarity
environmental gradient
tropics
lowlands
niches

Keywords

  • Biodiversity
  • Biomass
  • Ecosystem functioning
  • Neotropics
  • Rainfall
  • REDD+
  • Scale
  • Soil
  • Tropical forest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Poorter, L., van der Sande, M. T., Thompson, J., Arets, E. J. M. M., Alarcón, A., Álvarez-Sánchez, J., ... Peña-Claros, M. (2015). Diversity enhances carbon storage in tropical forests. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 24(11), 1314-1328. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12364

Diversity enhances carbon storage in tropical forests. / Poorter, L.; van der Sande, M. T.; Thompson, J.; Arets, E. J M M; Alarcón, A.; Álvarez-Sánchez, J.; Ascarrunz, N.; Balvanera, P.; Barajas-Guzmán, G.; Boit, A.; Bongers, F.; Carvalho, F. A.; Casanoves, F.; Cornejo-Tenorio, G.; Costa, F. R C; de Castilho, C. V.; Duivenvoorden, J. F.; Dutrieux, L. P.; Enquist, Brian; Fernández-Méndez, F.; Finegan, B.; Gormley, L. H L; Healey, J. R.; Hoosbeek, M. R.; Ibarra-Manríquez, G.; Junqueira, A. B.; Levis, C.; Licona, J. C.; Lisboa, L. S.; Magnusson, W. E.; Martínez-Ramos, M.; Martínez-Yrizar, A.; Martorano, L. G.; Maskell, L. C.; Mazzei, L.; Meave, J. A.; Mora, F.; Muñoz, R.; Nytch, C.; Pansonato, M. P.; Parr, T. W.; Paz, H.; Pérez-García, E. A.; Rentería, L. Y.; Rodríguez-Velazquez, J.; Rozendaal, D. M A; Ruschel, A. R.; Sakschewski, B.; Salgado-Negret, B.; Schietti, J.; Simões, M.; Sinclair, F. L.; Souza, P. F.; Souza, F. C.; Stropp, J.; ter Steege, H.; Swenson, N. G.; Thonicke, K.; Toledo, M.; Uriarte, M.; van der Hout, P.; Walker, P.; Zamora, N.; Peña-Claros, M.

In: Global Ecology and Biogeography, Vol. 24, No. 11, 01.11.2015, p. 1314-1328.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Poorter, L, van der Sande, MT, Thompson, J, Arets, EJMM, Alarcón, A, Álvarez-Sánchez, J, Ascarrunz, N, Balvanera, P, Barajas-Guzmán, G, Boit, A, Bongers, F, Carvalho, FA, Casanoves, F, Cornejo-Tenorio, G, Costa, FRC, de Castilho, CV, Duivenvoorden, JF, Dutrieux, LP, Enquist, B, Fernández-Méndez, F, Finegan, B, Gormley, LHL, Healey, JR, Hoosbeek, MR, Ibarra-Manríquez, G, Junqueira, AB, Levis, C, Licona, JC, Lisboa, LS, Magnusson, WE, Martínez-Ramos, M, Martínez-Yrizar, A, Martorano, LG, Maskell, LC, Mazzei, L, Meave, JA, Mora, F, Muñoz, R, Nytch, C, Pansonato, MP, Parr, TW, Paz, H, Pérez-García, EA, Rentería, LY, Rodríguez-Velazquez, J, Rozendaal, DMA, Ruschel, AR, Sakschewski, B, Salgado-Negret, B, Schietti, J, Simões, M, Sinclair, FL, Souza, PF, Souza, FC, Stropp, J, ter Steege, H, Swenson, NG, Thonicke, K, Toledo, M, Uriarte, M, van der Hout, P, Walker, P, Zamora, N & Peña-Claros, M 2015, 'Diversity enhances carbon storage in tropical forests', Global Ecology and Biogeography, vol. 24, no. 11, pp. 1314-1328. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12364
Poorter L, van der Sande MT, Thompson J, Arets EJMM, Alarcón A, Álvarez-Sánchez J et al. Diversity enhances carbon storage in tropical forests. Global Ecology and Biogeography. 2015 Nov 1;24(11):1314-1328. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12364
Poorter, L. ; van der Sande, M. T. ; Thompson, J. ; Arets, E. J M M ; Alarcón, A. ; Álvarez-Sánchez, J. ; Ascarrunz, N. ; Balvanera, P. ; Barajas-Guzmán, G. ; Boit, A. ; Bongers, F. ; Carvalho, F. A. ; Casanoves, F. ; Cornejo-Tenorio, G. ; Costa, F. R C ; de Castilho, C. V. ; Duivenvoorden, J. F. ; Dutrieux, L. P. ; Enquist, Brian ; Fernández-Méndez, F. ; Finegan, B. ; Gormley, L. H L ; Healey, J. R. ; Hoosbeek, M. R. ; Ibarra-Manríquez, G. ; Junqueira, A. B. ; Levis, C. ; Licona, J. C. ; Lisboa, L. S. ; Magnusson, W. E. ; Martínez-Ramos, M. ; Martínez-Yrizar, A. ; Martorano, L. G. ; Maskell, L. C. ; Mazzei, L. ; Meave, J. A. ; Mora, F. ; Muñoz, R. ; Nytch, C. ; Pansonato, M. P. ; Parr, T. W. ; Paz, H. ; Pérez-García, E. A. ; Rentería, L. Y. ; Rodríguez-Velazquez, J. ; Rozendaal, D. M A ; Ruschel, A. R. ; Sakschewski, B. ; Salgado-Negret, B. ; Schietti, J. ; Simões, M. ; Sinclair, F. L. ; Souza, P. F. ; Souza, F. C. ; Stropp, J. ; ter Steege, H. ; Swenson, N. G. ; Thonicke, K. ; Toledo, M. ; Uriarte, M. ; van der Hout, P. ; Walker, P. ; Zamora, N. ; Peña-Claros, M. / Diversity enhances carbon storage in tropical forests. In: Global Ecology and Biogeography. 2015 ; Vol. 24, No. 11. pp. 1314-1328.
@article{539b9bacd56b4f7b9ebeefbd6995707e,
title = "Diversity enhances carbon storage in tropical forests",
abstract = "Aim: Tropical forests store 25{\%} of global carbon and harbour 96{\%} of the world's tree species, but it is not clear whether this high biodiversity matters for carbon storage. Few studies have teased apart the relative importance of forest attributes and environmental drivers for ecosystem functioning, and no such study exists for the tropics. Location: Neotropics. Methods: We relate aboveground biomass (AGB) to forest attributes (diversity and structure) and environmental drivers (annual rainfall and soil fertility) using data from 144,000 trees, 2050 forest plots and 59 forest sites. The sites span the complete latitudinal and climatic gradients in the lowland Neotropics, with rainfall ranging from 750 to 4350mmyear-1. Relationships were analysed within forest sites at scales of 0.1 and 1 ha and across forest sites along large-scale environmental gradients. We used a structural equation model to test the hypothesis that species richness, forest structural attributes and environmental drivers have independent, positive effects on AGB. Results: Across sites, AGB was most strongly driven by rainfall, followed by average tree stem diameter and rarefied species richness, which all had positive effects on AGB. Our indicator of soil fertility (cation exchange capacity) had a negligible effect on AGB, perhaps because we used a global soil database. Taxonomic forest attributes (i.e. species richness, rarefied richness and Shannon diversity) had the strongest relationships with AGB at small spatial scales, where an additional species can still make a difference in terms of niche complementarity, while structural forest attributes (i.e. tree density and tree size) had strong relationships with AGB at all spatial scales. Main conclusions: Biodiversity has an independent, positive effect on AGB and ecosystem functioning, not only in relatively simple temperate systems but also in structurally complex hyperdiverse tropical forests. Biodiversity conservation should therefore be a key component of the UN Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation strategy.",
keywords = "Biodiversity, Biomass, Ecosystem functioning, Neotropics, Rainfall, REDD+, Scale, Soil, Tropical forest",
author = "L. Poorter and {van der Sande}, {M. T.} and J. Thompson and Arets, {E. J M M} and A. Alarc{\'o}n and J. {\'A}lvarez-S{\'a}nchez and N. Ascarrunz and P. Balvanera and G. Barajas-Guzm{\'a}n and A. Boit and F. Bongers and Carvalho, {F. A.} and F. Casanoves and G. Cornejo-Tenorio and Costa, {F. R C} and {de Castilho}, {C. V.} and Duivenvoorden, {J. F.} and Dutrieux, {L. P.} and Brian Enquist and F. Fern{\'a}ndez-M{\'e}ndez and B. Finegan and Gormley, {L. H L} and Healey, {J. R.} and Hoosbeek, {M. R.} and G. Ibarra-Manr{\'i}quez and Junqueira, {A. B.} and C. Levis and Licona, {J. C.} and Lisboa, {L. S.} and Magnusson, {W. E.} and M. Mart{\'i}nez-Ramos and A. Mart{\'i}nez-Yrizar and Martorano, {L. G.} and Maskell, {L. C.} and L. Mazzei and Meave, {J. A.} and F. Mora and R. Mu{\~n}oz and C. Nytch and Pansonato, {M. P.} and Parr, {T. W.} and H. Paz and P{\'e}rez-Garc{\'i}a, {E. A.} and Renter{\'i}a, {L. Y.} and J. Rodr{\'i}guez-Velazquez and Rozendaal, {D. M A} and Ruschel, {A. R.} and B. Sakschewski and B. Salgado-Negret and J. Schietti and M. Sim{\~o}es and Sinclair, {F. L.} and Souza, {P. F.} and Souza, {F. C.} and J. Stropp and {ter Steege}, H. and Swenson, {N. G.} and K. Thonicke and M. Toledo and M. Uriarte and {van der Hout}, P. and P. Walker and N. Zamora and M. Pe{\~n}a-Claros",
year = "2015",
month = "11",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/geb.12364",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "24",
pages = "1314--1328",
journal = "Global Ecology and Biogeography",
issn = "1466-822X",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "11",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Diversity enhances carbon storage in tropical forests

AU - Poorter, L.

AU - van der Sande, M. T.

AU - Thompson, J.

AU - Arets, E. J M M

AU - Alarcón, A.

AU - Álvarez-Sánchez, J.

AU - Ascarrunz, N.

AU - Balvanera, P.

AU - Barajas-Guzmán, G.

AU - Boit, A.

AU - Bongers, F.

AU - Carvalho, F. A.

AU - Casanoves, F.

AU - Cornejo-Tenorio, G.

AU - Costa, F. R C

AU - de Castilho, C. V.

AU - Duivenvoorden, J. F.

AU - Dutrieux, L. P.

AU - Enquist, Brian

AU - Fernández-Méndez, F.

AU - Finegan, B.

AU - Gormley, L. H L

AU - Healey, J. R.

AU - Hoosbeek, M. R.

AU - Ibarra-Manríquez, G.

AU - Junqueira, A. B.

AU - Levis, C.

AU - Licona, J. C.

AU - Lisboa, L. S.

AU - Magnusson, W. E.

AU - Martínez-Ramos, M.

AU - Martínez-Yrizar, A.

AU - Martorano, L. G.

AU - Maskell, L. C.

AU - Mazzei, L.

AU - Meave, J. A.

AU - Mora, F.

AU - Muñoz, R.

AU - Nytch, C.

AU - Pansonato, M. P.

AU - Parr, T. W.

AU - Paz, H.

AU - Pérez-García, E. A.

AU - Rentería, L. Y.

AU - Rodríguez-Velazquez, J.

AU - Rozendaal, D. M A

AU - Ruschel, A. R.

AU - Sakschewski, B.

AU - Salgado-Negret, B.

AU - Schietti, J.

AU - Simões, M.

AU - Sinclair, F. L.

AU - Souza, P. F.

AU - Souza, F. C.

AU - Stropp, J.

AU - ter Steege, H.

AU - Swenson, N. G.

AU - Thonicke, K.

AU - Toledo, M.

AU - Uriarte, M.

AU - van der Hout, P.

AU - Walker, P.

AU - Zamora, N.

AU - Peña-Claros, M.

PY - 2015/11/1

Y1 - 2015/11/1

N2 - Aim: Tropical forests store 25% of global carbon and harbour 96% of the world's tree species, but it is not clear whether this high biodiversity matters for carbon storage. Few studies have teased apart the relative importance of forest attributes and environmental drivers for ecosystem functioning, and no such study exists for the tropics. Location: Neotropics. Methods: We relate aboveground biomass (AGB) to forest attributes (diversity and structure) and environmental drivers (annual rainfall and soil fertility) using data from 144,000 trees, 2050 forest plots and 59 forest sites. The sites span the complete latitudinal and climatic gradients in the lowland Neotropics, with rainfall ranging from 750 to 4350mmyear-1. Relationships were analysed within forest sites at scales of 0.1 and 1 ha and across forest sites along large-scale environmental gradients. We used a structural equation model to test the hypothesis that species richness, forest structural attributes and environmental drivers have independent, positive effects on AGB. Results: Across sites, AGB was most strongly driven by rainfall, followed by average tree stem diameter and rarefied species richness, which all had positive effects on AGB. Our indicator of soil fertility (cation exchange capacity) had a negligible effect on AGB, perhaps because we used a global soil database. Taxonomic forest attributes (i.e. species richness, rarefied richness and Shannon diversity) had the strongest relationships with AGB at small spatial scales, where an additional species can still make a difference in terms of niche complementarity, while structural forest attributes (i.e. tree density and tree size) had strong relationships with AGB at all spatial scales. Main conclusions: Biodiversity has an independent, positive effect on AGB and ecosystem functioning, not only in relatively simple temperate systems but also in structurally complex hyperdiverse tropical forests. Biodiversity conservation should therefore be a key component of the UN Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation strategy.

AB - Aim: Tropical forests store 25% of global carbon and harbour 96% of the world's tree species, but it is not clear whether this high biodiversity matters for carbon storage. Few studies have teased apart the relative importance of forest attributes and environmental drivers for ecosystem functioning, and no such study exists for the tropics. Location: Neotropics. Methods: We relate aboveground biomass (AGB) to forest attributes (diversity and structure) and environmental drivers (annual rainfall and soil fertility) using data from 144,000 trees, 2050 forest plots and 59 forest sites. The sites span the complete latitudinal and climatic gradients in the lowland Neotropics, with rainfall ranging from 750 to 4350mmyear-1. Relationships were analysed within forest sites at scales of 0.1 and 1 ha and across forest sites along large-scale environmental gradients. We used a structural equation model to test the hypothesis that species richness, forest structural attributes and environmental drivers have independent, positive effects on AGB. Results: Across sites, AGB was most strongly driven by rainfall, followed by average tree stem diameter and rarefied species richness, which all had positive effects on AGB. Our indicator of soil fertility (cation exchange capacity) had a negligible effect on AGB, perhaps because we used a global soil database. Taxonomic forest attributes (i.e. species richness, rarefied richness and Shannon diversity) had the strongest relationships with AGB at small spatial scales, where an additional species can still make a difference in terms of niche complementarity, while structural forest attributes (i.e. tree density and tree size) had strong relationships with AGB at all spatial scales. Main conclusions: Biodiversity has an independent, positive effect on AGB and ecosystem functioning, not only in relatively simple temperate systems but also in structurally complex hyperdiverse tropical forests. Biodiversity conservation should therefore be a key component of the UN Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation strategy.

KW - Biodiversity

KW - Biomass

KW - Ecosystem functioning

KW - Neotropics

KW - Rainfall

KW - REDD+

KW - Scale

KW - Soil

KW - Tropical forest

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84943451767&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84943451767&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/geb.12364

DO - 10.1111/geb.12364

M3 - Article

VL - 24

SP - 1314

EP - 1328

JO - Global Ecology and Biogeography

JF - Global Ecology and Biogeography

SN - 1466-822X

IS - 11

ER -