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Continental mapping of forest ecosystem functions reveals a high but unrealised potential for forest multifunctionality

van der Plas F, Ratcliffe S, Ruiz-Benito P, Scherer-Lorenzen M, Verheyen K, Wirth C, Zavala MA, Ampoorter E, Baeten L, Barbaro L, Bastias CC, Bauhus J, Benavides R, Benneter A & Joly F (2018) Continental mapping of forest ecosystem functions reveals a high but unrealised potential for forest multifunctionality, Ecology Letters, 21 (1), pp. 31-42.

Additional co-authors: Damien Bonal, Olivier Bouriaud, Helge Bruelheide, Filippo Bussotti, Monique Carnol, Bastien Castagneyrol, Yohan Charbonnier, Johannes H. C. Cornelissen, Jonas Dahlgren, Ewa Checko, Andrea Coppi, Seid Muhie Dawud, Marc Deconchat, Pallieter De Smedt, Hans De Wandeler, Timo Domisch, Leena Finér, Mariangela Fotelli, Arthur Gessler, André Granier, Charlotte Grossiord, Virginie Guyot, Josephine Haase, Stephan Hättenschwiler, Hervé Jactel, Bogdan Jaroszewicz, Tommaso Jucker, Stephan Kambach, Gerald Kaendler, Jens Kattge, Julia Koricheva, Georges Kunstler, Aleksi Lehtonen, Mario Liebergesell, Peter Manning, Harriet Milligan, Sandra Müller, Bart Muys, Diem Nguyen, Charles Nock, Bettina Ohse, Alain Paquette, Josep Peñuelas, Martina Pollastrini, Kalliopi Radoglou, Karsten Raulund-Rasmussen, Fabian Roger, Rupert Seidl, Federico Selvi, Jan Stenlid, Fernando Valladares, Johan van Keer, Lars Vesterdal, Markus Fischer, Lars Gamfeldt, Eric Allan

Humans require multiple services from ecosystems, but it is largely unknown whether trade-offs between ecosystem functions prevent the realisation of high ecosystem multifunctionality across spatial scales. Here, we combined a comprehensive dataset (28 ecosystem functions measured on 209 forest plots) with a forest inventory dataset (105,316 plots) to extrapolate and map relationships between various ecosystem multifunctionality measures across Europe. These multifunctionality measures reflected different management objectives, related to timber production, climate regulation and biodiversity conservation/recreation. We found that trade-offs among them were rare across Europe, at both local and continental scales. This suggests a high potential for ‘win-win’ forest management strategies, where overall multifunctionality is maximised. However, across sites, multifunctionality was on average 45.8-49.8% below maximum levels and not necessarily highest in protected areas. Therefore, using one of the most comprehensive assessments so far, our study suggests a high but largely unrealised potential for management to promote multifunctional forests.

Biodiversity; climate; ecosystem multifunctionality; ecosystem services; forest; FunDivEUROPE; large-scale; phylogenetic diversity; tree communities; upscaling

Authorsvan der Plas Fons, Ratcliffe Sophia, Ruiz-Benito Paloma, Scherer-Lorenzen Michael, Verheyen Kris, Wirth Christian, Zavala Miguel A, Ampoorter Evy, Baeten Lander, Barbaro Luc, Bastias Cristina C, Bauhus Jurgen, Benavides Raquel, Benneter Adam, Joly Francois-Xavier
Publication date01/2018
Publication date online15/11/2017
Date accepted by journal30/09/2017
ISSN 1461-023X

Ecology Letters: Volume 21, Issue 1

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