P1G: Spatio-temporal dynamics of canopy space filling (TreeDì_P1G Canopy dynamics)

Above- and belowground complementarity of resource use is considered an important mechanism for increased biomass production in diverse tree communities. Complementary space occupation and spatial niche differentiation in tree crowns and the rhizosphere may contribute to competitive reduction and may facilitate individual tree and community productivity. Plasticity in crown and root architecture, in turn, are mediated by tree-tree interactions at the local neighbourhood level, improving three-dimensional (3D) space filling and enhancing biomass density in diverse neighbourhoods. In-depth analyses of 3D space filling and above-/belowground biomass density along diversity gradients, however, received little attention. In P1 we will analyse (i) effects of local neighbours on complementarity in crown and root architecture of the TSPs by quantifying the spatio-temporal dynamics of above- and belowground growth and biomass allocation patterns, and (ii) how these processes will translate into enhanced tree growth. Objectives: to analyse crown, branch and leaf traits in relation to tree-tree interactions (TSPs and local neighbourhood) to analyse trait variability related to canopy filling and light interception; to quantify how canopy space use complementarity translates into enhanced tree growth.