The researchers found that while the effects of local tree species loss were highly variable, the effects of biotic homogenization were almost always detrimental for provisioning of multiple ecosystem services. This means that landscapes containing more dissimilar forests provide more ecosystem services than landscapes where all forest patches were dominated by the same tree species.
It is वर्ण व्यवस्था of trees. When it is maintained, they can sustain each other for eternity. We are no different from them. We used to live in dissimilar congregation. We call it -> “Village”.
For farmers planning for Agro-forestry, I suggest to take care of implementing idea of dissimilar forestry instead of mono-culture forestry of high yielding trees.
Research and News
Researchers find dissimilar forests are vital for delivery of ecosystem services
A team of ecologists from Royal Holloway, University of London has taken part in a large collaborative EU project to find out what the effects of forest tree species diversity are on ecosystem services. These services, which include timber production, carbon storage, and forest resistance to pests and diseases, are crucial to human well-being.
One of the key novel findings of the project published yesterday (March 14) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, is the consistently negative impact a similarity in tree species composition across the landscape (biotic homogenization) has on the ability of forests to deliver multiple ecosystem services.
Forests are becoming dominated by a small number of tree species as a result of species extinctions, tree species selection by forest managers, and invasions or planting of exotic species. This process of biotic homogenization is similar to cultural globalization with the global consumer market becoming dominated by the small number of chains (the so-called McDonald’s Effect).
Researchers from Royal Holloway’s School of Biological Sciences worked collaboratively with 29 other institutions and combined field data from 209 forest plots across six European countries (Germany, Finland, Poland, Romania, Italy and Spain) with computer simulations to study the consequences of both local tree species loss and biotic homogenization on 16 ecosystem functions, including timber production, carbon storage, bird diversity, forest regeneration and resistance to insect and mammalian pests.
The researchers found that while the effects of local tree species loss were highly variable, the effects of biotic homogenization were almost always detrimental for provisioning of multiple ecosystem services. This means that landscapes containing more dissimilar forests provide more ecosystem services than landscapes where all forest patches were dominated by the same tree species. This is because different tree species are needed to provide different services; for example, in Poland, the Norway spruce provides high quality timber whereas hornbeam forests are better at supporting the diversity of attractive plant species in the understorey that may appeal to tourists.