Early positive effects of tree species richness on herbivory in a large-scale forest biodiversity experiment influence tree growth

Created at: 2014-08-20

Initial title: Early positive effects of tree species richness on herbivory in the world’s largest forest biodiversity experiment

Envisaged journal: Journal of Ecology 103(3) · March 2015; doi: 10.1111/1365-2745.12396

Envisaged date: 2015-03-20

Rationale

Despite the importance of herbivory for the structure and functioning of species-rich forests, little is known about how herbivory is affected by tree species richness, and more specifically by random versus nonrandom species loss. We assessed herbivore damage in the early stage of a large-scale forest biodiversity experiment in subtropical China that features random and nonrandom extinction scenarios of tree mixtures numbering between one and 24 species. We hypothesize that (i) total herbivore damage increases along the gradient of tree species richness of our experimental sites. Moreover, we expect that (ii) these effects differ between the random and nonrandom extinction scenarios due to differences in the distribution of plant traits that may be particularly relevant to herbivores. Effects of tree species richness on herbivory at such an early stage of our experiment would have important implications for our understanding of how herbivores contribute to the processes that drive the assembly and functioning of establishing tree communities in species-rich forests.

Datasets (6)

Calculated Authors

Andreas Schuldt Thorsten Assmann Helge Bruelheide, Prof. Werner Härdtle, Prof. Ying Li, Dr. Keping Ma, Prof. Goddert von Oheimb Matteo Brezzi Bernhard Schmid, Prof. Karin Nadrowski Karsten Schmidt Gunnar Seidler Martin Baruffol

Data request state

Preparation Project Board Data Requests Finished