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Diversity boosts plantation biomass

Across experimental and natural systems, more diverse plant communities often have higher primary productivity. This effect can be due to complementarity between different species, which can more effectively use resources together, or a higher likelihood of more productive species being present. Feng et al. used data from 255 sites to test whether forest plantations with multiple species have greater productivity than monocultures (see the Perspective by Gurevitch). They found that multispecies plantings, on average, have taller and thicker trees and greater aboveground biomass accumulation than monocultures. This effect was mainly due to complementary between species, with greatest benefits from pairing species with different traits. —BEL

Abstract

Multispecies tree planting has long been applied in forestry and landscape restoration in the hope of providing better timber production and ecosystem services; however, a systematic assessment of its effectiveness is lacking. We compiled a global dataset of matched single-species and multispecies plantations to evaluate the impact of multispecies planting on stand growth. Average tree height, diameter at breast height, and aboveground biomass were 5.4, 6.8, and 25.5% higher, respectively, in multispecies stands compared with single-species stands. These positive effects were mainly the result of interspecific complementarity and were modulated by differences in leaf morphology and leaf life span, stand age, planting density, and temperature. Our results have implications for designing afforestation and reforestation strategies and bridging experimental studies of biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships with real-world practices.

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Supplementary Materials

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Materials and Methods
Figs. S1 to S16
Tables S1 to S11
References (3854)

Other Supplementary Material for this manuscript includes the following:

MDAR Reproducibility Checklist
Data S1 and S2

References and Notes

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Information & Authors

Information

Published In

Science
Volume 376 | Issue 6595
20 May 2022

Submission history

Received: 24 October 2021
Accepted: 25 April 2022
Published in print: 20 May 2022

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Acknowledgments

The authors thank three anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments, which improved the quality of earlier versions of the manuscript.
Funding: This study was funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China 31988102 (to J.F.) and 32122053 (to S.W.), Basic Research Program of Yunnan Province grant 202101BC070000 (to J.F.), and TULIP Laboratory of Excellence grant ANR-10-LABX-41 (to M.L.).
Author contributions: Conceptualization: J.F.; Methodology: Y.F., Jianx.Z., Jiang.Z., X.X., J.X., and Z.T.; Investigation: Y.F., S.W., B.S., P.H., H.S., C.J., and Y.S.; Visualization: Y.F. and H.S.; Funding acquisition: J.F., S.W., and M.L.; Project administration: J.F. and Jiang.Z.; Supervision: J.F.; Writing – original draft: Y.F., S.W., and J.F.; Writing – review and editing: S.W., J.F., Y.F., B.S., D.I.F., M.L., S.F., and all other other authors.
Competing interests: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Data and materials availability: The data used in this study (i.e., the Global MixTrees dataset) are uploaded as online content (data S1 and S2). All code can be accessed at Zenodo (37).
License information: Copyright © 2022 the authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original US government works. https://www.science.org/about/science-licenses-journal-article-reuse.

Authors

Affiliations

Institute of Ecology, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, and Key Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes of the Ministry of Education, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China.
Roles: Data curation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Methodology, Resources, Software, Visualization, and Writing - original draft.
Institute of Ecology, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, and Key Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes of the Ministry of Education, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China.
Department of Geography, Remote Sensing Laboratories, University of Zürich, 8057 Zürich, Switzerland.
Roles: Formal analysis, Methodology, Software, and Writing - review & editing.
Theoretical and Experimental Ecology Station, CNRS, 09200 Moulis, France.
Roles: Conceptualization and Writing - review & editing.
Swiss Federal Institute of Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, 8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland.
CSIRO Land and Water, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.
Roles: Conceptualization, Investigation, Resources, and Writing - review & editing.
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.
Roles: Supervision and Writing - review & editing.
College of Pastoral Agriculture Science and Technology, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China.
Roles: Data curation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Methodology, Resources, Software, Validation, and Writing - review & editing.
Institute of Ecology, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, and Key Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes of the Ministry of Education, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China.
Roles: Conceptualization, Methodology, Project administration, Resources, and Writing - original draft.
Jiangling Zhu
Institute of Ecology, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, and Key Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes of the Ministry of Education, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China.
Role: Data curation.
Institute of Ecology, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, and Key Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes of the Ministry of Education, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China.
Roles: Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Methodology, Resources, Software, Validation, Visualization, and Writing - review & editing.
Chengjun Ji
Institute of Ecology, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, and Key Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes of the Ministry of Education, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China.
Roles: Data curation, Resources, and Writing - review & editing.
Yue Shi
State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China.
Roles: Investigation and Resources.
Institute of Ecology, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, and Key Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes of the Ministry of Education, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China.
Roles: Investigation, Methodology, and Visualization.
Institute of Ecology, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, and Key Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes of the Ministry of Education, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China.
Roles: Investigation and Methodology.
Jian Xiao
Institute of Ecology, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, and Key Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes of the Ministry of Education, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China.
Roles: Data curation and Investigation.
Institute of Ecology, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, and Key Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes of the Ministry of Education, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China.
Roles: Conceptualization, Funding acquisition, Methodology, Supervision, Validation, Visualization, Writing - original draft, and Writing - review & editing.
Institute of Ecology, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, and Key Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes of the Ministry of Education, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China.
College of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Yunnan University, Chenggong, Kunming 650500, China.
Roles: Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, Funding acquisition, Investigation, Methodology, Project administration, Resources, Software, Supervision, Validation, Visualization, Writing - original draft, and Writing - review & editing.

Funding Information

TULIP Laboratory of Excellence: ANR-10-LABX-41
Basic Research Program of Yunnan Provinces: 202101BC070000

Notes

*
Corresponding author. Email: [email protected] (J.F.); [email protected] (S.W.)

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