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How do trees respond to species mixing in experimental compared to observational studies?

S. Kambach 1 E. Allan 2 S. Bilodeau-Gauthier 3 D.A. Coomes 4 J. Haase 5 T. Jucker 6 Georges Kunstler 7, 8 S. Muller 9 C. Nock 9 Alain Paquette 10 F. van Der Plas 11 S. Ratcliffe 11 F. Roger 12 P. Ruiz-Benito 13 Michael Scherer-Lorenzen 9 H. Augé 14 Olivier Bouriaud 15 Bastien Castagneyrol 16 J. Dahlgren 17 L. Gamfeldt 18 Hervé Jactel 16 G. Kandler 19 J. Koricheva 20 A. Lehtonen 21 Bart Muys 22 Quentin Ponette 23 N. Setiawan 24 T. van de Peer 22 Kris Verheyen 24 M.A. Zavala 13 H. Bruelheide 1 
Abstract : For decades, ecologists have investigated the effects of tree species diversity on tree productivity at different scales and with different approaches ranging from observational to experimental study designs. Using data from five European national forest inventories (16,773 plots), six tree species diversity experiments (584 plots), and six networks of comparative plots (169 plots), we tested whether tree species growth responses to species mixing are consistent and therefore transferrable between those different research approaches. Our results confirm the general positive effect of tree species mixing on species growth (16% on average) but we found no consistency in species-specific responses to mixing between any of the three approaches, even after restricting comparisons to only those plots that shared similar mixtures compositions and forest types. These findings highlight the necessity to consider results from different research approaches when selecting species mixtures that should maximize positive forest biodiversity and functioning relationships.
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S. Kambach, E. Allan, S. Bilodeau-Gauthier, D.A. Coomes, J. Haase, et al.. How do trees respond to species mixing in experimental compared to observational studies?. Ecology and Evolution, Wiley Open Access, 2019, 9 (19), pp.11254-11265. ⟨10.1002/ece3.5627⟩. ⟨hal-02610276⟩

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