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Biogeographic historical legacies in the net primary productivity of Northern Hemisphere forests

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  • Timo Conradi, Plant Ecology, Bayreuth Center for Ecology and Environmental Research (BayCEER), University of Bayreuth, 95440 Bayreuth, Germany.
  • ,
  • Koenraad Van Meerbeek, KU Leuven
  • ,
  • Alejandro Ordonez
  • Jens-Christian Svenning

It has been suggested that biogeographic historical legacies in plant diversity may influence ecosystem functioning. This is expected because of known diversity effects on ecosystem functions, and impacts of historical events such as past climatic changes on plant diversity. However, empirical evidence for a link between biogeographic history and present-day ecosystem functioning is still limited. Here, we explored the relationships between Late-Quaternary climate instability, species-pool size, local species and functional diversity, and the net primary productivity (NPP) of Northern Hemisphere forests using structural equation modelling. Our study confirms that past climate instability has negative effects on plant functional diversity and through that on NPP, after controlling for present-day climate, soil conditions, stand biomass and age. We conclude that global models of terrestrial plant productivity need to consider the biogeographical context to improve predictions of plant productivity and feedbacks with the climate system.

TidsskriftEcology Letters
Sider (fra-til)800-810
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 2020

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