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autumn forestRecent research in Science concludes that high forest productivity relies on the presence of diverse tree species—a relationship that apparently hold true in biomes across the globe. One of the first efforts to evaluate the biodiversity-productivity relationship in forests beyond a regional scale, the study used repeated forest inventories from 777,126 permanent sample plots—including those at Cedar Creek and Bonanza LTERs—in 44 countries containing more than 30 million trees of 8,737 species. Evidence of such a strong positive relationship between biodiversity and productivity in an assessment of this scope has profound ecological and economic implications. A continued loss of species in global forests will likely substantially reduce forests’ role as a carbon sink and the profits of commercial forestry.
Image Credit: Jacob Miller/CDR LTER