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Tree diversity does not always improve resistance of forest ecosystems to drought [PNAS]

by Frédéric Magné - published on , updated on

In the context of climate change, expected drier and warmer environmental conditions will have drastic consequences on forest functions and services and may bring about important drought-induced die-off events. Biodiversity promotes forest ecosystem performance and resistance to insect pests and diseases, but whether or not diverse forests are also better adapted to deal with drought stress remains unknown. Within our study network of 160 forest stands across Europe, we found that mixed species forests are less exposed to drought stress in some regions only. Therefore, managing forest ecosystems for high tree species diversity does not necessarily assure improved resistance to the more severe and frequent drought events predicted for the future.

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