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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Functional identity drives tree species richness-induced increases in litterfall production and forest floor mass in young tree communities
Author(s): Wan, Xiaohua
Joly, François‐Xavier
Jia, Hui
Zhu, Min
Fu, Yanrong
Huang, Zhiqun
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Keywords: ecosystem functioning
forest biodiversity
functional trait
litter decomposition
primary productivity
selection effect hypothesis
Issue Date: Nov-2023
Date Deposited: 1-Oct-2023
Citation: Wan X, Joly F, Jia H, Zhu M, Fu Y & Huang Z (2023) Functional identity drives tree species richness-induced increases in litterfall production and forest floor mass in young tree communities. <i>New Phytologist</i>, 240 (3), pp. 1003-1014.
Abstract: - Forest floor accumulation is a key process that influences ecosystem carbon cycling. Despite evidence suggesting that tree diversity and soil carbon are positively correlated, most soil carbon studies typically omit the response of the forest floor carbon to tree diversity loss. - Here, we evaluated how tree species richness affects forest floor mass and how this effect is mediated by litterfall production and forest floor decay rate in a tree diversity experiment in a subtropical forest. - We observed that greater tree species richness leads to higher forest floor accumulation at the soil surface through increasing litterfall production – positively linked to functional trait identity (i.e. community-weighted mean functional trait) rather than functional diversity – and unchanged forest floor decay. Interestingly, structural equation modelling revealed that this lack of overall significant tree species richness effect on forest floor decay rate was due to two indirect and opposite effects cancelling each other out. Indeed, tree species richness increased forest floor decay rate through increasing litterfall production while decreasing forest floor decay rate by increasing litter species richness. - Our reports of greater organic matter accumulation in the forest floor in species-rich forests suggest that tree diversity may have long-term and important effect on ecosystem carbon cycling and services.
DOI Link: 10.1111/nph.19216
Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Wan, X., Joly, F.-X., Jia, H., Zhu, M., Fu, Y. and Huang, Z. (2023), Functional identity drives tree species richness-induced increases in litterfall production and forest floor mass in young tree communities. New Phytologist, 240: 1003-1014, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.

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