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Climatic and edaphic controls over tropical forest diversity and vegetation carbon storage

Hofhansl, Florian, Chacón-Madrigal, Eduardo, Fuchslueger, Lucia, Jenking, Daniel, Morera-Beita, Albert, Plutzar, Christoph, Silla, Fernando, Andersen, Kelly M., Buchs, David M. ORCID:, Dullinger, Stefan, Fiedler, Konrad, Franklin, Oskar, Hietz, Peter, Huber, Werner, Quesada, Carlos A., Rammig, Anja, Schrodt, Franziska, Vincent, Andrea G., Weissenhofer, Anton and Wanek, Wolfgang 2020. Climatic and edaphic controls over tropical forest diversity and vegetation carbon storage. Scientific Reports 10 (1) , 5066. 10.1038/s41598-020-61868-5

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Tropical rainforests harbor exceptionally high biodiversity and store large amounts of carbon in vegetation biomass. However, regional variation in plant species richness and vegetation carbon stock can be substantial, and may be related to the heterogeneity of topoedaphic properties. Therefore, aboveground vegetation carbon storage typically differs between geographic forest regions in association with the locally dominant plant functional group. A better understanding of the underlying factors controlling tropical forest diversity and vegetation carbon storage could be critical for predicting tropical carbon sink strength in response to projected climate change. Based on regionally replicated 1-ha forest inventory plots established in a region of high geomorphological heterogeneity we investigated how climatic and edaphic factors affect tropical forest diversity and vegetation carbon storage. Plant species richness (of all living stems >10 cm in diameter) ranged from 69 to 127 ha−1 and vegetation carbon storage ranged from 114 to 200 t ha−1. While plant species richness was controlled by climate and soil water availability, vegetation carbon storage was strongly related to wood density and soil phosphorus availability. Results suggest that local heterogeneity in resource availability and plant functional composition should be considered to improve projections of tropical forest ecosystem functioning under future scenarios.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 2045-2322
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 March 2020
Date of Acceptance: 4 March 2020
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 20:11

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