Is Tree Diversity an Important Driver for Phosphorus and Nitrogen Acquisition of a Young Tropical Plantation?
This article presents the effect of native species diversity on the nitrogen and phosphorous pools above-ground in a plantation in the Canal Zone of Panama.
Research Goals & Methods
Six species (Leuhea seemanii, Cordia alliodora, Anacardium excelsum, Hura crepitans, Cedrela odorata, Tabebuia rosea) were planted in 2001 in monocultures, three species mixtures, and in six species mixtures. At the end of the growing season in both 2006 and 2007, above-ground biomass was measured using tree basal diameter, tree height and DBH. During the rainy seasons of 2006 and 2007, branches and leaves (sun and shade) were collected from three individuals in each plot and tested for N and P concentration.
Conclusions & Takeaways
The authors did not find a linear relationship between biodiversity and N and P pools; however the phosophorous in A. excelsum trees increased with diversity of trees in a plot. Hura crepitans trees had lower P and N than the other trees in all diversity categories. Although differences were not as strong as predicted, the authors assert that as the plantation increases in age, the effect of diversity on P and N concentrations may increase.
Is tree diversity an important driver for phosphorus and nitrogen acquisition of a young tropical plantation?. Forest Ecology and Management. 2010;260:1424–1433. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2010.07.020..
- Institute of Plant, Animal and Agroecosystem Sciences, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
- Department of Biology, McGill University, Montréal, QC, Canada
- Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama City, Panama
- Institute of Plant, Animal and Agroecosystem Sciences, ETH Zurich, Lindau, Switzerland
- University of Freiburg, Faculty of Biology, Freiburg, Germany