Positive effects of tree diversity on tropical forest restoration in a field-scale experiment

Experiments under controlled conditions have established that ecosystem functioning is generally positively related to levels of biodiversity, but it is unclear how widespread these effects are in real-world settings and whether they can be harnessed for ecosystem restoration. We used remote-sensing data from the first decade of a long-term, field-scale tropical restoration experiment initiated in 2002 to test how the diversity of planted trees affected recovery of a 500-ha area of selectively logged forest measured using multiple sources of satellite data. Replanting using species-rich mixtures of tree seedlings with higher phylogenetic and functional diversity accelerated restoration of remotely sensed estimates of aboveground biomass, canopy cover, and leaf area index. Our results are consistent with a positive relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in the lowland dipterocarp rainforests of SE Asia and demonstrate that using diverse
mixtures of species can enhance their initial recovery after logging.

Transforming land use governance: Global targets without equity miss the mark
Co-productive agility and four collaborative pathways to sustainability transformations
An agenda for research and action towards diverse and just futures for life on Earth
Drier tropical forests are susceptible to functional changes in response to a longā€term drought
Long-term droughts may drive drier tropical forests towards increased functional, taxonomic and phylogenetic homogeneity
Pantropical modelling of canopy functional traits using Sentinel-2 remote sensing data
Functional susceptibility of tropical forests to climate change
Biodiversity outcomes of nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation: Characterising the evidence base

Nature-based solutions (NbS) are increasingly recognised for their potential to address both the climate and biodiversity crises. Both these outcomes rely on the capacity of NbS to support and enhance the health of an ecosystem: its biodiversity, the condition of its abiotic and biotic elements, and its capacity to continue to function despite environmental change.