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Climate and mycorrhizae mediate the relationship of tree species diversity and carbon stocks in subtropical forests


Yan, Guoyong et al. (2022), Climate and mycorrhizae mediate the relationship of tree species diversity and carbon stocks in subtropical forests, Dryad, Dataset,


1. It is increasingly being recognized that tree species diversity has positive effects on forest ecosystem carbon (C) stock. However, at broad spatial scales this relationship may depend on climate conditions and species mycorrhizal associations.

2. Here, observations from 667 forest plots in subtropical China, were used to investigate the effects of species diversity, mean annual precipitation (MAP), mean annual temperature (MAT) and mycorrhizal type (arbuscular or ectomycorrhizal) on the forest C stock and its components (tree C stock, shrub layer C stock, herb layer C stock, litter layer C stock, root C stock and soil C stock).

3. We found positive effect of tree species diversity on total forest C stock. MAP had positive effects on total forest C stock and its components, while MAT had consistently negative effects on total forest C stock and most of its components. Different levels of MAP and MAT did modulate the strength of effect of species diversity on forest C stock and its components. In addition, species diversity, MAT and MAP showed a significant positive relationship with arbuscular mycorrhiza-associated tree C stock but had no or negative relationship with ectomycorrhiza-associated tree C stock.

4. Synthesis. Our results indicate that maintaining high level of species diversity may support the buffering of negative effects resulting from climate warming. Furthermore, under climate warming the specific C stock of AM trees can increase, which can potentially promote forest C stock. Taken together, our study suggests that afforestation policies should consider not only tree species diversity to increase forest C stock but also the effects of different tree mycorrhizal types.


In the field surveys, we randomly set sampling plots across the study area. The sampling size of each plot was 30 m × 20 m. In each plot, all tree stems ≥ 3 cm in DBH (diameter at breast height = 1.3m) were individually recorded, measured (including DBH and height) and identified to species level during 2011-2013. Shrub, herb, litter, root and soil C stock also were measured based on the classic method.




National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 31870409