Disentangling the effects of species diversity, and intraspecific and interspecific tree size variation on aboveground biomass in dry zone homegarden agroforestry systems
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2017

The biodiversity – aboveground biomass relationship has been intensively studied in recent decades. However, no consensus has been arrived to consider the interplay of species diversity, and intraspecific and interspecific tree size variation in driving aboveground biomass, after accounting for the effects of plot size heterogeneity, soil fertility and stand quality in natural forest including agroforests. We tested the full, partial and no mediations effects of species diversity, and intraspecific and interspecific tree size variation on aboveground biomass by employing structural equation models (SEMs) using data from 45 homegarden agroforestry systems in Sri Lanka. The full mediation effect of either species diversity or intraspecific and interspecific tree size variation was rejected, while the partial and no mediation effects were accepted. In the no mediation SEM, homegarden size had the strongest negative direct effect (? = ? 0.49) on aboveground biomass (R2 = 0.65), followed by strong positive direct effect of intraspecific tree size variation (? = 0.32), species diversity (? = 0.29) and interspecific tree size variation (? = 0.28). Soil fertility had a negative direct effect on interspecific tree size variation (? = ? 0.31). Stand quality had a significant positive total effect on aboveground biomass (? = 0.28), but homegarden size had a significant negative total effect (? = ? 0.62), while soil fertility had a non-significant total effect on aboveground biomass. Similar to the no mediation SEM, the partial mediation SEMs had explained almost similar variation in aboveground biomass because species diversity, and intraspecific and interspecific tree size variation had non-significant indirect effects on aboveground biomass via each other. Our results strongly suggest that a multilayered tree canopy structure, due to high intraspecific and interspecific tree size variation, increases light capture and efficient utilization of resources among component species, and hence, support the niche complementarity mechanism via plant-plant interactions.

Aboveground biomass

Agroforestry

Biodiversity

Species diversity. Structural equation models

Tree size variation

Författare

Arshad Ali

Tiantong National Forest Ecosystem Observation and Research Station

East China Normal University

Forest Ecosystem Research and Observation Station in Putuo Island

Eskil Mattsson

Chalmers, Energi och miljö, Fysisk resursteori

Science of the Total Environment

0048-9697 (ISSN)

Vol. 598 38-48

Ämneskategorier

Geovetenskap och miljövetenskap

DOI

10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.04.131