SP01c Effects of species richness and composition on belowground net primary productivity in subtropical forest ecosystems (FOR891_sp01c Below ground primary production/demography)

Due to the large area, high primary productivity, and carbon stock, forests play a critical role in global carbon cycling and their responses and feedbacks to global climate change. Belowground net primary productivity (BNPP) in forests determines soil organic C pools, in which the majority of forest carbon stocks are located. Our understanding of the responses of BNPP to biodiversity, especially in forests, is extremely limited irrespective of the welldocumented impacts of biodiversity on aboveground biomass productivity across various biomes. In addition to the effects of tree species richness, identity and composition, we will ask how different canopy groups (upper canopy trees, understory shrubs, herbaceous species) in forests affect the spatial and temporal variability of BNPP. The Biodiversity–Ecosystem Functioning Experiment in the subtropical forest in China provides us with a unique opportunity to address the above issues. This subproject will examine the responses of BNPP to tree and shrub species diversity and estimate the relative contributions of canopy trees, understory shrubs, and herbaceous species to BNPP and to the spatial and temporal variability of BNPP. Using measured covariables, we will analyze both direct and indirect effects of biodiversity, including indirect effects via altered soil moisture, temperature, nutrient availability, and soil fauna.


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