Micael Jonsson is an Associate Professor at the department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeå University, Sweden. His research is focused on impacts of environmental variation, including that caused by human activities, on ecological community characteristics, and subsequent effects on ecosystem processes, functioning, and services. His research is carried out in both aquatic and terrestrial environments, and at the aquatic-terrestrial interface, with a current focus on boreal forest ecosystems.
Global and local ecosystem change resulting in diversity loss has motivated increased efforts to understand relationships between species diversity and ecosystem services. However, it is unclear how such an understanding can inform policies for management of ecosystem services in production systems, which are primarily used for food or fibre, and rarely managed for conservation of species diversity. Using data from a nation-wide forest inventory covering an area of 230,000 km2, we show that specific relative abundances of commercial tree species in mixed stands strongly influence potential yields of ecosystem services, with higher yields than expected from the respective plant monocultures (overyielding or transgressive overyielding) in 35% of the investigated cases, and lower than expected (underyielding) in 9% of the cases. Our study thus shows that relative abundances, not only species richness per se, of specific tree species mixtures affect forests’ potentiality to provide multiple ecosystem services, which is crucial information for policy and sustainable forest management.