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Functionally distinct tree species support long-term productivity in extreme environments

Abstract : Despite evidence of a positive effect of functional diversity on ecosystem productivity, the importance of functionally distinct species (i.e. species that display an original combination of traits) is poorly understood. To investigate how distinct species affect ecosystem productivity, we used a forest-gap model to simulate realistic temperate forest successions along an environmental gradient and measured ecosystem productivity at the end of the successional trajectories. We performed 10 560 simulations with different sets and numbers of species, bearing either distinct or indistinct functional traits, and compared them to random assemblages, to mimic the consequences of a regional loss of species. Long-term ecosystem productivity dropped when distinct species were lost first from the regional pool of species, under the harshest environmental conditions. On the contrary, productivity was more dependent on ordinary species in milder environments. Our findings show that species functional distinctiveness, integrating multiple trait dimensions, can capture species-specific effects on ecosystem productivity. In a context of an environmentally changing world, they highlight the need to investigate the role of distinct species in sustaining ecosystem processes, particularly in extreme environmental conditions.
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https://hal.umontpellier.fr/hal-03622233
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Soumis le : lundi 28 mars 2022 - 18:36:49
Dernière modification le : vendredi 20 mai 2022 - 09:54:02

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Leo Delalandre, Pierre Gauzere, Wilfried Thuiller, Marc Cadotte, Nicolas Mouquet, et al.. Functionally distinct tree species support long-term productivity in extreme environments. Proceedings of The Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 2022, 289 (1967), pp.20211694. ⟨10.1098/rspb.2021.1694⟩. ⟨hal-03622233⟩

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