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The integration of empirical, remote sensing and modelling approaches enhances insight in the role of biodiversity in climate change mitigation by tropical forests

van der Sande, Masha T.; Poorter, Lourens; Balvanera, Patricia; Kooistra, Lammert; Thonicke, Kirsten; Boit, Alice; Dutrieux, Loıc P.; Equihua, Julian; Gerard, France; Herold, Martin; Kolb, Melanie; Simoes, Margareth; Pena-Claros, Marielos. 2017 The integration of empirical, remote sensing and modelling approaches enhances insight in the role of biodiversity in climate change mitigation by tropical forests. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 26-27. 69-76. 10.1016/j.cosust.2017.01.016

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Abstract/Summary

Tropical forests store and sequester high amounts of carbon and are the most diverse terrestrial cosystem. Studies show potentially important effects of biodiversity on carbon storage and equestration, but a complete understanding of this relationship across spatiotemporal scales relevant for climate change mitigation needs three approaches: empirical, remote sensing and ecosystem modelling. Here, we review the contribution of these individual approaches to the understanding of the relationship of biodiversity with carbon storage and sequestration, and find short-term and long term benefits of biodiversity at both broad and fine spatial scales. We argue that enhanced understanding is obtained by combining approaches, i.e., by using output from one approach to improve another approach and thus results in better input, validation and comparison between approaches. This can be further improved by integrating approaches through using ‘boundary objects’(i.e., variables) that can be understood and measured by all approaches, such as the diversity of leaf traits of the upper canopy and forest structure indices. Combining and especially integrating approaches will therefore lead to a better understanding of biodiversity effects on climate change mitigation. This is crucial for making sound policy decisions.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.cosust.2017.01.016
CEH Sections: Reynard
ISSN: 1877-3435
Additional Keywords: biodiversity-ecosystem functioning, carbon sequestration, carbon storage, forest structure, functional diversity, REDD+, species diversity
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 22 Mar 2017 14:35 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/515990

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