EU researchers have found that a single tree species may perform many different ecosystem activities, meaning that biodiversity is both between and within species.
Discovering how forest tree ecosystems function is crucial to both predicting how they might respond to climate change and to drawing up forest management plans. It is also key to the EU Forest Action Plan’s objective to maintain and enhance biodiversity, carbon absorption, and the health and resilience of forest ecosystems.
One EU-funded project, DIVERFOR, has focussed on European forests which, when compared to forest regions in other areas of the world, are considered to have a relatively low range of different species.
The project found that individual trees in a single tree species can have high levels of functional biodiversity, meaning they may perform a diverse range of ecosystem activities. These activities include nutrient cycling, climate regulation, timber production, protection against erosion, and recreation.
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