Species richness and wood production: A positive association in Mediterranean forests

Montserrat Vilà, Jordi Vayreda, Lluís Comas, Joan Josep Ibáñez, Teresa Mata, Berta Obón

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

201 Citations (Scopus)


A major debate in the study of biodiversity concerns its influence on ecosystem functioning. We compared whether wood production in forests was associated with tree functional group identity (i.e. deciduous, conifer or sclerophylous), tree species richness (1-≥ 5) and tree functional group richness (1-3) by comparing more than 5000 permanent plots distributed across Catalonia (NE Spain). Deciduous forests were more productive than coniferous and sclerophylous forests. Wood production increased with tree species richness. However, functional group richness increased wood production only in sclerophylous forests. When other forest structure, environmental variables and management practices were included in the analysis, tree functional group identity and species richness still remained significant, while functional species richness did not. Our survey indicates that across a regional scale, and across a broad range of environmental conditions, a significant positive association exists between local tree species richness and wood production at least in typical early successional Mediterranean-type forests. © 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-250
JournalEcology Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2007


  • AET
  • Ecosystem functioning
  • Functional group
  • Mediterranean forests
  • Mixed forests
  • Permanent plot
  • Plant yield
  • Regional analysis
  • Species diversity
  • Tree wood production


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