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Diversity and carbon storage across the tropical forest biome

Diversity and carbon storage across the tropical forest biome
Diversity and carbon storage across the tropical forest biome
Tropical forests are global centres of biodiversity and carbon storage. Many tropical countries aspire to protect forest to fulfil biodiversity and climate mitigation policy targets, but the conservation strategies needed to achieve these two functions depend critically on the tropical forest tree diversity-carbon storage relationship. Assessing this relationship is challenging due to the scarcity of inventories where carbon stocks in aboveground biomass and species identifications have been simultaneously and robustly quantified. Here, we compile a unique pan-tropical dataset of 360 plots located in structurally intact old-growth closed-canopy forest, surveyed using standardised methods, allowing a multi-scale evaluation of diversity-carbon relationships in tropical forests. Diversity-carbon relationships among all plots at 1 ha scale across the tropics are absent, and within continents are either weak (Asia) or absent (Amazonia, Africa). A weak positive relationship is detectable within 1 ha plots, indicating that diversity effects in tropical forests may be scale dependent. The absence of clear diversity-carbon relationships at scales relevant to conservation planning means that carbon-centred conservation strategies alone would inevitably miss many high diversity ecosystems. As tropical forests can have any combination of tree diversity and carbon stocks both will require explicit consideration when optimising policies to manage tropical carbon and biodiversity.
1-31
Sullivan, Martin J.P.
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Talbot, Joey
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Lewis, Simon L.
0442a91d-93f1-48ee-aca3-1a4757f0c7fa
Willcock, Simon
89d9767e-8076-4b21-be9d-a964f5cc85d7
Sullivan, Martin J.P.
b2d33442-7cc2-450b-919c-c0b591be80f5
Talbot, Joey
3cdbb3d3-e7fa-402f-8269-32e4c3197eb0
Lewis, Simon L.
0442a91d-93f1-48ee-aca3-1a4757f0c7fa
Willcock, Simon
89d9767e-8076-4b21-be9d-a964f5cc85d7

Sullivan, Martin J.P., Talbot, Joey and Lewis, Simon L. et al. (2016) Diversity and carbon storage across the tropical forest biome. Scientific Reports, 1-31. (In Press)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Tropical forests are global centres of biodiversity and carbon storage. Many tropical countries aspire to protect forest to fulfil biodiversity and climate mitigation policy targets, but the conservation strategies needed to achieve these two functions depend critically on the tropical forest tree diversity-carbon storage relationship. Assessing this relationship is challenging due to the scarcity of inventories where carbon stocks in aboveground biomass and species identifications have been simultaneously and robustly quantified. Here, we compile a unique pan-tropical dataset of 360 plots located in structurally intact old-growth closed-canopy forest, surveyed using standardised methods, allowing a multi-scale evaluation of diversity-carbon relationships in tropical forests. Diversity-carbon relationships among all plots at 1 ha scale across the tropics are absent, and within continents are either weak (Asia) or absent (Amazonia, Africa). A weak positive relationship is detectable within 1 ha plots, indicating that diversity effects in tropical forests may be scale dependent. The absence of clear diversity-carbon relationships at scales relevant to conservation planning means that carbon-centred conservation strategies alone would inevitably miss many high diversity ecosystems. As tropical forests can have any combination of tree diversity and carbon stocks both will require explicit consideration when optimising policies to manage tropical carbon and biodiversity.

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Accepted/In Press date: 26 October 2016
Organisations: Centre for Biological Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 403459
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/403459
PURE UUID: 058b771d-019a-4b5c-98dc-1a9c93fe18be

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Date deposited: 02 Dec 2016 09:33
Last modified: 10 Jan 2018 05:08

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Contributors

Author: Martin J.P. Sullivan
Author: Joey Talbot
Author: Simon L. Lewis
Author: Simon Willcock

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