Towards a methodical framework for comprehensively assessing forest multifunctionality

Stefan Trogisch (Corresponding Author), Andreas Schuldt, Juergen Bauhaus, Juliet Blum, Sabine Both, Francois Buscot, Nadia Castro-Izaguirre, Douglas Chesters, Walter Durka, David Eichenberg, Alexandra Erfmeier, Markus Fischer, Christian Geissler, Markus Germany, Philipp Goebes, Jessica Gutknecht, Christoph Zacharias Hahn, Sylvia Haider, Werner Haerdtle, Jin-Sheng He & 31 others Andy Hector, Lydia Hoenig, Yuanyuan Huang, Alexandra-Maria Klein, Peter Kuehn, Matthias Kunz, Katrin Leppert, Ying Li, Xiaojuan Liu, Pascal Niklaus, Zhiqin Pei, Katherina Pietsch, Ricarda Prinz, Tobias Pross, Michael Scherer-Lorenzen, Karsten Schmidt, Thomas Scholten, Steffen Seitz, Zhengshan Song, Michael Staab, Goddert von Oheimb, Christina Weissbecker, Erik Welk, Christian Wirth, Tesfaye Wubet, Bo Yang, Xuefei Yang, Chao-Dong Zhu, Bernhard Schmid, Keping Ma, Helge Bruelheide

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Biodiversity–ecosystem functioning (BEF) research has extended its scope from communities that are short-lived or reshape their structure annually to structurally complex forest ecosystems. The establishment of tree diversity experiments poses specific methodological challenges for assessing the multiple functions provided by forest ecosystems. In particular, methodological inconsistencies and nonstandardized protocols impede the analysis of multifunctionality within, and comparability across the increasing number of tree diversity experiments. By providing an overview on key methods currently applied in one of the largest forest biodiversity experiments, we show how methods differing in scale and simplicity can be combined to retrieve consistent data allowing novel insights into forest ecosystem functioning. Furthermore, we discuss and develop recommendations for the integration and transferability of diverse methodical approaches to present and future forest biodiversity experiments. We identified four principles that should guide basic decisions concerning method selection for tree diversity experiments and forest BEF research: (1) method selection should be directed toward maximizing data density to increase the number of measured variables in each plot. (2) Methods should cover all relevant scales of the experiment to consider scale dependencies of biodiversity effects. (3) The same variable should be evaluated with the same method across space and time for adequate larger-scale and longer-time data analysis and to reduce errors due to changing measurement protocols. (4) Standardized, practical and rapid methods for assessing biodiversity and ecosystem functions should be promoted to increase comparability among forest BEF experiments. We demonstrate that currently available methods provide us with a sophisticated toolbox to improve a synergistic understanding of forest multifunctionality. However, these methods require further adjustment to the specific requirements of structurally complex and long-lived forest ecosystems. By applying methods connecting relevant scales, trophic levels, and above- and belowground ecosystem compartments, knowledge gain from large tree diversity experiments can be optimized.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10652-10674
Number of pages23
JournalEcology and Evolution
Volume7
Issue number24
Early online date6 Nov 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

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forest ecosystems
biodiversity
forest ecosystem
experiment
selection methods
methodology
ecosystems
method
rapid methods
space and time
data analysis
ecosystem function
trophic level
ecosystem
protocol

Keywords

  • BEF-China
  • forest biodiversity experiments
  • high-throughput methods
  • multitrophic interactions
  • standardized protocols

Cite this

Trogisch, S., Schuldt, A., Bauhaus, J., Blum, J., Both, S., Buscot, F., ... Bruelheide, H. (2017). Towards a methodical framework for comprehensively assessing forest multifunctionality. Ecology and Evolution, 7(24), 10652-10674. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.3488

Towards a methodical framework for comprehensively assessing forest multifunctionality. / Trogisch, Stefan (Corresponding Author); Schuldt, Andreas; Bauhaus, Juergen; Blum, Juliet; Both, Sabine; Buscot, Francois; Castro-Izaguirre, Nadia; Chesters, Douglas; Durka, Walter; Eichenberg, David; Erfmeier, Alexandra; Fischer, Markus; Geissler, Christian; Germany, Markus; Goebes, Philipp; Gutknecht, Jessica; Hahn, Christoph Zacharias; Haider, Sylvia; Haerdtle, Werner; He, Jin-Sheng; Hector, Andy; Hoenig, Lydia; Huang, Yuanyuan; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Kuehn, Peter; Kunz, Matthias; Leppert, Katrin; Li, Ying; Liu, Xiaojuan; Niklaus, Pascal; Pei, Zhiqin; Pietsch, Katherina; Prinz, Ricarda; Pross, Tobias; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Schmidt, Karsten; Scholten, Thomas; Seitz, Steffen; Song, Zhengshan; Staab, Michael; von Oheimb, Goddert; Weissbecker, Christina; Welk, Erik; Wirth, Christian; Wubet, Tesfaye; Yang, Bo; Yang, Xuefei; Zhu, Chao-Dong; Schmid, Bernhard; Ma, Keping; Bruelheide, Helge.

In: Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 7, No. 24, 12.2017, p. 10652-10674.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Trogisch, S, Schuldt, A, Bauhaus, J, Blum, J, Both, S, Buscot, F, Castro-Izaguirre, N, Chesters, D, Durka, W, Eichenberg, D, Erfmeier, A, Fischer, M, Geissler, C, Germany, M, Goebes, P, Gutknecht, J, Hahn, CZ, Haider, S, Haerdtle, W, He, J-S, Hector, A, Hoenig, L, Huang, Y, Klein, A-M, Kuehn, P, Kunz, M, Leppert, K, Li, Y, Liu, X, Niklaus, P, Pei, Z, Pietsch, K, Prinz, R, Pross, T, Scherer-Lorenzen, M, Schmidt, K, Scholten, T, Seitz, S, Song, Z, Staab, M, von Oheimb, G, Weissbecker, C, Welk, E, Wirth, C, Wubet, T, Yang, B, Yang, X, Zhu, C-D, Schmid, B, Ma, K & Bruelheide, H 2017, 'Towards a methodical framework for comprehensively assessing forest multifunctionality', Ecology and Evolution, vol. 7, no. 24, pp. 10652-10674. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.3488
Trogisch, Stefan ; Schuldt, Andreas ; Bauhaus, Juergen ; Blum, Juliet ; Both, Sabine ; Buscot, Francois ; Castro-Izaguirre, Nadia ; Chesters, Douglas ; Durka, Walter ; Eichenberg, David ; Erfmeier, Alexandra ; Fischer, Markus ; Geissler, Christian ; Germany, Markus ; Goebes, Philipp ; Gutknecht, Jessica ; Hahn, Christoph Zacharias ; Haider, Sylvia ; Haerdtle, Werner ; He, Jin-Sheng ; Hector, Andy ; Hoenig, Lydia ; Huang, Yuanyuan ; Klein, Alexandra-Maria ; Kuehn, Peter ; Kunz, Matthias ; Leppert, Katrin ; Li, Ying ; Liu, Xiaojuan ; Niklaus, Pascal ; Pei, Zhiqin ; Pietsch, Katherina ; Prinz, Ricarda ; Pross, Tobias ; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael ; Schmidt, Karsten ; Scholten, Thomas ; Seitz, Steffen ; Song, Zhengshan ; Staab, Michael ; von Oheimb, Goddert ; Weissbecker, Christina ; Welk, Erik ; Wirth, Christian ; Wubet, Tesfaye ; Yang, Bo ; Yang, Xuefei ; Zhu, Chao-Dong ; Schmid, Bernhard ; Ma, Keping ; Bruelheide, Helge. / Towards a methodical framework for comprehensively assessing forest multifunctionality. In: Ecology and Evolution. 2017 ; Vol. 7, No. 24. pp. 10652-10674.
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abstract = "Biodiversity–ecosystem functioning (BEF) research has extended its scope from communities that are short-lived or reshape their structure annually to structurally complex forest ecosystems. The establishment of tree diversity experiments poses specific methodological challenges for assessing the multiple functions provided by forest ecosystems. In particular, methodological inconsistencies and nonstandardized protocols impede the analysis of multifunctionality within, and comparability across the increasing number of tree diversity experiments. By providing an overview on key methods currently applied in one of the largest forest biodiversity experiments, we show how methods differing in scale and simplicity can be combined to retrieve consistent data allowing novel insights into forest ecosystem functioning. Furthermore, we discuss and develop recommendations for the integration and transferability of diverse methodical approaches to present and future forest biodiversity experiments. We identified four principles that should guide basic decisions concerning method selection for tree diversity experiments and forest BEF research: (1) method selection should be directed toward maximizing data density to increase the number of measured variables in each plot. (2) Methods should cover all relevant scales of the experiment to consider scale dependencies of biodiversity effects. (3) The same variable should be evaluated with the same method across space and time for adequate larger-scale and longer-time data analysis and to reduce errors due to changing measurement protocols. (4) Standardized, practical and rapid methods for assessing biodiversity and ecosystem functions should be promoted to increase comparability among forest BEF experiments. We demonstrate that currently available methods provide us with a sophisticated toolbox to improve a synergistic understanding of forest multifunctionality. However, these methods require further adjustment to the specific requirements of structurally complex and long-lived forest ecosystems. By applying methods connecting relevant scales, trophic levels, and above- and belowground ecosystem compartments, knowledge gain from large tree diversity experiments can be optimized.",
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AU - Trogisch, Stefan

AU - Schuldt, Andreas

AU - Bauhaus, Juergen

AU - Blum, Juliet

AU - Both, Sabine

AU - Buscot, Francois

AU - Castro-Izaguirre, Nadia

AU - Chesters, Douglas

AU - Durka, Walter

AU - Eichenberg, David

AU - Erfmeier, Alexandra

AU - Fischer, Markus

AU - Geissler, Christian

AU - Germany, Markus

AU - Goebes, Philipp

AU - Gutknecht, Jessica

AU - Hahn, Christoph Zacharias

AU - Haider, Sylvia

AU - Haerdtle, Werner

AU - He, Jin-Sheng

AU - Hector, Andy

AU - Hoenig, Lydia

AU - Huang, Yuanyuan

AU - Klein, Alexandra-Maria

AU - Kuehn, Peter

AU - Kunz, Matthias

AU - Leppert, Katrin

AU - Li, Ying

AU - Liu, Xiaojuan

AU - Niklaus, Pascal

AU - Pei, Zhiqin

AU - Pietsch, Katherina

AU - Prinz, Ricarda

AU - Pross, Tobias

AU - Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael

AU - Schmidt, Karsten

AU - Scholten, Thomas

AU - Seitz, Steffen

AU - Song, Zhengshan

AU - Staab, Michael

AU - von Oheimb, Goddert

AU - Weissbecker, Christina

AU - Welk, Erik

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AU - Wubet, Tesfaye

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AU - Yang, Xuefei

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AU - Schmid, Bernhard

AU - Ma, Keping

AU - Bruelheide, Helge

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N2 - Biodiversity–ecosystem functioning (BEF) research has extended its scope from communities that are short-lived or reshape their structure annually to structurally complex forest ecosystems. The establishment of tree diversity experiments poses specific methodological challenges for assessing the multiple functions provided by forest ecosystems. In particular, methodological inconsistencies and nonstandardized protocols impede the analysis of multifunctionality within, and comparability across the increasing number of tree diversity experiments. By providing an overview on key methods currently applied in one of the largest forest biodiversity experiments, we show how methods differing in scale and simplicity can be combined to retrieve consistent data allowing novel insights into forest ecosystem functioning. Furthermore, we discuss and develop recommendations for the integration and transferability of diverse methodical approaches to present and future forest biodiversity experiments. We identified four principles that should guide basic decisions concerning method selection for tree diversity experiments and forest BEF research: (1) method selection should be directed toward maximizing data density to increase the number of measured variables in each plot. (2) Methods should cover all relevant scales of the experiment to consider scale dependencies of biodiversity effects. (3) The same variable should be evaluated with the same method across space and time for adequate larger-scale and longer-time data analysis and to reduce errors due to changing measurement protocols. (4) Standardized, practical and rapid methods for assessing biodiversity and ecosystem functions should be promoted to increase comparability among forest BEF experiments. We demonstrate that currently available methods provide us with a sophisticated toolbox to improve a synergistic understanding of forest multifunctionality. However, these methods require further adjustment to the specific requirements of structurally complex and long-lived forest ecosystems. By applying methods connecting relevant scales, trophic levels, and above- and belowground ecosystem compartments, knowledge gain from large tree diversity experiments can be optimized.

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KW - BEF-China

KW - forest biodiversity experiments

KW - high-throughput methods

KW - multitrophic interactions

KW - standardized protocols

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