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  • Wiley (CrossRef)  (19)
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  • 1
    In: Global Change Biology, December 2017, Vol.23(12), pp.5108-5119
    Description: Improving our understanding of the potential of forest adaptation is an urgent task in the light of predicted climate change. Long‐term alternatives for susceptible yet economically important tree species such as Norway spruce ( are required, if the frequency and intensity of summer droughts will continue to increase. Although Silver fir ( and Douglas fir have both been described as drought‐tolerant species, our understanding of their growth responses to drought extremes is still limited. Here, we use a dendroecological approach to assess the resistance, resilience, and recovery of these important central Europe to conifer species the exceptional droughts in 1976 and 2003. A total of 270 trees per species were sampled in 18 managed mixed‐species stands along an altitudinal gradient (400–1200 m a.s.l.) at the western slopes of the southern and central Black Forest in southwest Germany. While radial growth in all species responded similarly to the 1976 drought, Norway spruce was least resistant and resilient to the 2003 summer drought. Silver fir showed the overall highest resistance to drought, similarly to Douglas fir, which exhibited the widest growth rings. Silver fir trees from lower elevations were more drought prone than trees at higher elevations. Douglas fir and Norway spruce, however, revealed lower drought resilience at higher altitudes. Although the 1976 and 2003 drought extremes were quite different, Douglas fir maintained consistently the highest radial growth. Although our study did not examine population‐level responses, it clearly indicates that Silver fir and Douglas fir are generally more resistant and resilient to previous drought extremes and are therefore suitable alternatives to Norway spruce; Silver fir more so at higher altitudes. Cultivating these species instead of Norway spruce will contribute to maintaining a high level of productivity across many Central European mountain forests under future climate change. The two extreme droughts in 1976 and 2003 affected negatively the radial growth response of Norway spruce, Silver and Douglas fir in the Black forest at all elevations. The 1976 drought had a less pronounced effect than the 2003 summer drought; however, firs were noticeably more resistant and resilient to extreme drought than spruce. Spruce was the most affected species when comparing performances of drought indices, and Silver fir the least affected. Douglas fir showed consistently the highest growth rates.
    Keywords: Abies Alba ; Central Europe ; Climate Change ; Dendroecology ; Drought Tolerance ; Forest Management ; Picea Abies ; Pseudotsuga Menziesii
    ISSN: 1354-1013
    E-ISSN: 1365-2486
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  • 2
    In: Journal of Ecology, May 2017, Vol.105(3), pp.761-774
    Description: Promoting mixed‐species forests is an important strategy for adaptation and risk reduction in the face of global change. Concurrently, a main challenge in ecology is to quantify the effects of species diversity on ecosystem functioning. In forests, the effects of individual tree species on ecosystem functions depend largely on their dimensions, which are commonly predicted using allometric equations. However, little is known about how diversity influences allometry or how to incorporate this effect into allometric equations. Ignoring the effects of interspecific interactions on allometric relationships may result in severely biased predictions. This study examined the effects of tree‐species diversity, competition and tree social status on crown‐projection area (cpa), height (h) and live‐crown length (lcl) of trees using a European‐wide data set containing 17 target species and 12 939 trees. The cpa, h and lcl were predicted as functions of stem diameter at 1·3 m, tree‐species diversity, tree height relative to the stand mean height (rh) and a competition index (CI) that accounted for stand density and interspecific differences in competitive ability based on species‐specific wood density or shade tolerance. Averaged across species, diameter had the greatest effect on cpa and lcl, followed by the competition index, while rh had the greatest effect on lcl. Tree‐species diversity had the smallest effect on cpa, h and lcl. Interspecific variability in cpa, h or lcl responses to diversity, CI, or rh was sometimes related to wood density or shade tolerance. Synthesis. This study shows the strong influence of stand structure and species composition on allometric relationships. These influences can be quantified using measures of competition, tree‐species diversity and relative tree height so that general equations can be developed for a given species to be applied to a wide range of species compositions and stand structures. This new approach will greatly improve predictions of biomass and carbon stocks in structurally and compositionally diverse forests. Tree allometry is influenced by, and influences, many forest functions. However, little is known about how allometry of a given species varies with forest structure and tree‐species composition, or whether any interspecific differences in allometric responses relate to species traits. Using a European wide data set, this study shows how stand structural characteristics and tree‐species diversity can influence tree allometry.
    Keywords: Biodiversity ; Biomass Partitioning ; Complementarity ; Plant Allometry ; Plant–Plant Interactions ; Stand Structure ; Tree Height
    ISSN: 0022-0477
    E-ISSN: 1365-2745
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  • 3
    In: Ecological Applications, October 2016, Vol.26(7), pp.2190-2205
    Description: Droughts and their negative effects on forest ecosystems are projected to increase under climate change for many regions. It has been suggested that intensive thinning could reduce drought impacts on established forests in the short‐term. Most previous studies on the effect of thinning on drought impacts, however, have been confined to single forest sites. It is therefore still unclear how general and persisting the benefits of thinning are. This study assesses the potential of thinning to increase drought tolerance of the wide spread Scots pine () in Central Europe. We hypothesized (1) that increasing thinning intensity benefits the maintenance of radial growth of crop trees during drought (resistance) and its recovery following drought, (2) that those benefits to growth decrease with time elapsed since the last thinning and with stand age, and (3) that they may depend on drought severity as well as water limitations in pre‐ and post‐drought periods. To test these hypotheses, we assessed the effects of thinning regime, stand age, and drought severity on radial growth of 129 Scots pine trees during and after drought events in four long‐term thinning experiments in Germany. We found that thinning improved the recovery of radial growth following drought and to a lesser extent the growth resistance during a drought event. Growth recovery following drought was highest after the first thinning intervention and in recently and heavily thinned stands. With time since the last thinning, however, this effect decreased and could even become negative when compared to unthinned stands. Further, thinning helped to avoid an age‐related decline in growth resistance (and recovery) following drought. The recovery following drought, but not the resistance during drought, was related to water limitations in the drought period. This is the first study that analyzed drought‐related radial growth in trees of one species across several stands of different age. The interaction between thinning intensity and time since the last thinning underline the importance to distinguish between short‐ and long‐term effects of thinning. According to our analysis, only thinning regimes, with relatively heavy and frequent thinning interventions would increase drought tolerance in pine stands.
    Keywords: Basal Area Increment ; Drought ; Pinus Sylvestris L. ; Radial Growth ; Recovery ; Resistance ; Scots Pine ; Stand Density ; Water Stress
    ISSN: 1051-0761
    E-ISSN: 1939-5582
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Journal of Ecology, 01/2013, Vol.101(1), pp.220-230
    Description: Partitioning of tree mortality into different modes of death allows the tracing and mechanistic modelling of individual key processes of forest dynamics each varying depending on site, species and individual risk factors. This, in turn, may improve long-term predictions of the development of old-growth forests.Six different individual tree mortality modes (uprooted and snapped (both with or without rot as a predisposing factor), standing dead and crushed by other trees) were analysed, and statistical models were derived for three tree species (European beech Fagus sylvatica, hornbeam Carpinus betulus and common ash Fraxinus excelsior) based on a repeated inventory of more than 13 000 trees in a 28 ha near-natural deciduous forest in Central Germany.The frequently described U-shaped curve of size-dependent mortality was observed in beech and hornbeam (but not ash) and could be explained by the joint operation of processes related to the six distinct mortality modes. The results for beech, the most abundant species, suggest that each mortality mode is prevalent in different life-history stages: small trees died mostly standing or being crushed, medium-sized trees had the highest chance of survival, and very large trees experienced increased rates of mortality, mainly by uprooting or snapping. Reduced growth as a predictor also played a role but only for standing dead, all other mortality modes showed no relationship to tree growth.Synthesis. Tree mortality can be partitioned into distinct processes, and species tend to differ in their susceptibility to one or more of them. This forms a fundamental basis for the understanding of forest dynamics in natural forests, and any mechanistic modelling of mortality in vegetation models could be improved by correctly addressing and formulating the various mortality processes. Modelled annual mortality logits and probabilities over d.b.h. (cm) for beech. Median estimates and 95% credible interval. Tree mortality can be partitioned into different processes related to six distinct mortality modes, jointly explaining the emergent U-shaped curve of size-dependent mortality. This forms a fundamental basis for the understanding of forest dynamics in natural forests and may improve mechanistic modelling thereof.
    Keywords: Mortality ; Mortality ; Carpinus Betulus ; Ash ; 1010 ; Environment ; 04040;
    ISSN: Journal of Ecology
    E-ISSN: 00220477
    E-ISSN: 13652745
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  • 5
    In: Journal of Animal Ecology, January 2016, Vol.85(1), pp.213-226
    Description: Arthropod communities in water‐filled tree holes may be sensitive to impacts of forest management, for example via changes in environmental conditions such as resource input. We hypothesized that increasing forest management intensity (ForMI) negatively affects arthropod abundance and richness and shifts community composition and trophic structure of tree hole communities. We predicted that this shift is caused by reduced habitat and resource availability at the forest stand scale as well as reduced tree hole size, detritus amount and changed water chemistry at the tree holes scale. We mapped 910 water‐filled tree holes in two regions in Germany and studied 199 tree hole inhabiting arthropod communities. We found that increasing ForMI indeed significantly reduced arthropod abundance and richness in water‐filled tree holes. The most important indirect effects of management intensity on tree hole community structure were the reduced amounts of detritus for the tree hole inhabiting organisms and changed water chemistry at the tree hole scale, both of which seem to act as a habitat filter. Although habitat availability at the forest stand scale decreased with increasing management intensity, this unexpectedly increased local arthropod abundance in individual tree holes. However, regional species richness in tree holes significantly decreased with increasing management intensity, most likely due to decreased habitat diversity. We did not find that the management‐driven increase in plant diversity at the forest stand scale affected communities of individual tree holes, for example via resource availability for adults. Our results suggest that management of temperate forests has to target a number of factors at different scales to conserve diverse arthropod communities in water‐filled tree holes. This paper focuses on the mechanisms underlying the negative effects of forest management intensity on diversity and functional composition of arthropods. This not only improves our understanding of community assembly, but also helps to improve conservation strategies aiming at reducing ongoing species loss.
    Keywords: Aquatic Larvae ; Biodiversity Exploratories ; Community Composition ; Dispersal ; Diversity ; Habitat Filter ; Land‐Use Intensity ; Metacommunity ; Phytotelmata ; Species Sorting
    ISSN: 0021-8790
    E-ISSN: 1365-2656
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  • 6
    In: Journal of Applied Ecology, July 2018, Vol.55(4), pp.1647-1657
    Description: Forest recovery following management interventions is important to maintain ecosystem functioning and the provision of ecosystem services. It remains, however, largely unclear how above‐ground biomass (AGB) recovery of species‐rich tropical forests is affected by disturbance intensity and post‐disturbance (remaining) tree‐community attributes, following logging and thinning interventions. We investigated whether annual AGB increment (∆AGB) decreases with management‐related disturbance intensity (disturbance hypothesis), and increases with the diversity (niche‐complementarity hypothesis) and the community‐weighted mean (CWM) of acquisitive traits of dominant species (biomass‐ratio hypothesis) in the remaining tree community. We analysed data from a long‐term forest‐management experiment in the Brazilian Amazon over two recovery periods: post‐logging (1983–1989) and post‐thinning (1995–2012). We computed the ∆AGB of surviving trees, recruit trees and of the total tree community. Disturbance intensity was quantified as basal area reduction and basal area remaining. Remaining diversity (taxonomic, functional and structural) and CWM of five functional traits linked to biomass productivity (specific leaf area, leaf nitrogen and phosphorous concentration, leaf toughness and wood density) were calculated for the post‐intervention inventories. Predictors were related to response variables using multiple linear regressions and structural equation modelling. We found support for the disturbance hypothesis in both recovery periods. AGB increment of survivors and of the total tree community increased with basal area remaining, indicating the importance of remaining growing stock for biomass recovery. Conversely, AGB increment of recruit trees increased with basal area reduction because changes in forest structure increased resource availability for young trees. We did not find consistent support for the niche‐complementarity and biomass‐ratio hypotheses, possibly because of a high redundancy in these extremely species‐rich forests. Synthesis and applications. The intensity of disturbance through management, expressed as basal area reduction and basal area remaining, was consistently more important for explaining forest biomass recovery following harvesting and thinning than remaining diversity or trait composition. This points to the importance of controlling logging and thinning intensity in forests of the eastern Amazon. Given the high intervention intensities applied in this experiment, it is likely that low to moderate harvesting intensities permitted by the current legislation for the Brazilian Amazon (30 m³/ha) will not impair biomass recovery in these forests. The intensity of disturbance through management, expressed as basal area reduction and basal area remaining, was consistently more important for explaining forest biomass recovery following harvesting and thinning than remaining diversity or trait composition. This points to the importance of controlling logging and thinning intensity in forests of the eastern Amazon. Given the high intervention intensities applied in this experiment, it is likely that low to moderate harvesting intensities permitted by the current legislation for the Brazilian Amazon (30 m³/ha) will not impair biomass recovery in these forests.
    Keywords: Biomass And Forest Recovery ; Biomass‐Ratio Hypothesis ; Disturbance Intensity ; Functional Traits ; Niche‐Complementarity Hypothesis ; Selective Logging ; Species And Structural Diversity ; Stand Thinning
    ISSN: 0021-8901
    E-ISSN: 1365-2664
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  • 7
    In: Austral Ecology, April 2014, Vol.39(2), pp.204-213
    Description: Biological legacies are important for ecosystem recovery following disturbance as demonstrated by studies in the northern hemisphere. Southern bog forests dominated by the conifer in orthern atagonia are a typical case of an ecosystem with low resilience to disturbance by fire, which kills most trees and seeds, on which the species depends for regeneration. In this study, we hypothesize that the natural recovery of populations in burned areas is limited by seed availability and this limitation may be exacerbated by the dioecy of the species. Using a multi‐scaled approach, we quantified the seed dissemination potential from seed trees, assessed the suitability of substrates for the germination of seedlings, and finally analysed the spatial distribution of seed trees of the species at the landscape level. Our results indicate that 70 years after a fire on hiloé sland (43°), natural regeneration from seed trees can assist the recovery of populations following large‐scale fire disturbance, but their effect is limited at a landscape level owing to a low number of reproductive female trees (0.3 trees ha) and limited seed dispersal (〈20 m). In this context, a mixed passive‐active restoration approach that takes into account the spatial pattern and sex of seed trees could be the most effective and efficient option to restore not only forests in orth atagonia, but also other heavily disturbed forests with few remnant seed trees, in particular of dioecious species.
    Keywords: Biological Legacy ; Forest Restoration ; Orth Atagonia ; Seed Dispersal ; Spatial Population Pattern
    ISSN: 1442-9985
    E-ISSN: 1442-9993
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  • 8
    In: Methods in Ecology and Evolution, May 2018, Vol.9(5), pp.1265-1275
    Description: Knowledge on food web structure and function provides important information on trophic relationships, energy flux, and ecosystem response to environmental changes. The tracing of trophic marker fatty acids (FAs) to assign predator–prey interactions is well established in food web research. However, the application on the level of entire consumer communities has not been performed yet. Here, we demonstrate that lipid pattern analysis of entire consumer assemblages can provide a first‐line assessment for food web diagnostics. The trophic diverse group of nematodes was used as a model and community level lipid profiling (CLLP) was performed. As prerequisite a lipid library was constructed, assigning FAs to their predominant organismic origin to disentangle phylogenetic (i.e. consumer lipid metabolism) from diet type effects on CLLP. The suitability of CLLP analysis was tested using 150 forest sites differing in management type and intensity across three German regions. The nematode CLLP reflected ecosystem conditions and thereby separated regions as well as forest habitats, that is, conifer and deciduous stands. CLLP further enabled to address if environmental properties acted on the level of consumers or their resource use or both. However, forest management intensity was poorly assigned, likely due to a predominant species‐specific impact, not represented on community basis. We propose CLLP as a fast and robust biochemical method for food web diagnostics in cryptic habitats such as soil or benthos. Provided that organismic assemblages compared are substantially different in lipid metabolism, CLLP give insight into changes in the composition of consumer communities as well as their major diet under field conditions.
    Keywords: Community Analysis ; Dietary Routing ; Fatty Acids ; Food Web ; Lipidomics
    ISSN: 2041-210X
    E-ISSN: 2041-210X
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, April 2016, Vol.179(2), pp.129-135
    Description: Phosphorus is one of the major limiting factors of primary productivity in terrestrial ecosystems and, thus, the P demand of plants might be among the most important drivers of soil and ecosystem development. The P cycling in forest ecosystems seems an ideal example to illustrate the concept of ecosystem nutrition. Ecosystem nutrition combines and extents the traditional concepts of nutrient cycling and ecosystem ecology. The major extension is to consider also the loading and unloading of nutrient cycles and the impact of nutrient acquiring and recycling processes on overall ecosystem properties. Ecosystem nutrition aims to integrate nutrient related aspects at different scales and in different ecosystem compartments including all processes, interactions and feedbacks associated with the nutrition of an ecosystem. We review numerous previous studies dealing with P nutrition from this ecosystem nutrition perspective. The available information contributes to the description of basic ecosystem characteristics such as emergence, hierarchy, and robustness. In result, we were able to refine Odum's hypothesis on P nutrition strategies along ecosystem succession to substrate related ecosystem nutrition and development. We hypothesize that at sites rich in mineral‐bound P, plant and microbial communities tend to introduce P from primary minerals into the biogeochemical P cycle (acquiring systems), and hence the tightness of the P cycle is of minor relevance for ecosystem functioning. In contrast, tight P recycling is a crucial emergent property of forest ecosystems established at sites poor in mineral bound P (recycling systems). We conclude that the integration of knowledge on nutrient cycling, soil science, and ecosystem ecology into holistic ecosystem nutrition will provide an entirely new view on soil–plant–microbe interactions.
    Keywords: Ecosystem Properties ; P Recycling ; P Nutrition Strategy ; Forest Nutrition ; P Acquiring
    ISSN: 1436-8730
    E-ISSN: 1522-2624
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  • 10
    In: Environmental Microbiology, May 2018, Vol.20(5), pp.1693-1710
    Description: Nitrogen deposition can strongly affect biodiversity, but its specific effects on terrestrial microbial communities and their roles for ecosystem functions and processes are still unclear. Here, we investigated the impacts of N deposition on wood‐inhabiting fungi (WIF) and their related ecological functions and processes in a highly N‐limited deadwood habitat. Based on high‐throughput sequencing, enzymatic activity assay and measurements of wood decomposition rates, we show that N addition has no significant effect on the overall WIF community composition or on related ecosystem functions and processes in this habitat. Nevertheless, we detected several switches in presence/absence (gain/loss) of wood‐inhabiting fungal OTUs due to the effect of N addition. The responses of WIF differed from previous studies carried out with fungi living in soil and leaf‐litter, which represent less N‐limited fungal habitats. Our results suggest that adaptation at different levels of organization and functional redundancy may explain this buffered response and the resistant microbial‐mediated ecosystem function and processes against N deposition in highly N‐limited habitats.
    Keywords: Biodiversity -- Environmental Aspects ; Biodiversity -- Analysis ; Ecosystems -- Environmental Aspects ; Ecosystems -- Analysis;
    ISSN: 1462-2912
    E-ISSN: 1462-2920
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