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Productivity-diversity relationships for plants, bryophytes, lichens, and polypore fungi in six northern forest landscapes

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We investigated the relationship between site productivity and diversity of vascular plants, bryophytes, lichens, and polypore fungi in forests based on species richness data in 0.25 ha forest plots (grain size), selected from six 150–200 ha study areas (focus), and spanning over a latitudinal distance of 1350 km (extent) in Norway. We 1) searched for prevailing productivity-diversity relationships (PDRs), 2) compared PDRs among taxonomic groups and species found in different micro-habitats, and 3) investigated the effect of increasing plot (grain) size on PDRs. Using vegetation types as a surrogate for site productivity, we found a general pattern of increasing species richness with site productivity. On average total species richness doubled with a ten-fold increase in productivity. Lichens PDRs stood out as less pronounced and more variable than for other species groups investigated. PDRs of species associated with downed logs tended to level off at high-productive sites, a pattern interpreted as an effect of disturbance. Increasing the grain size >10-fold did not change the proportional difference in species richness between sites with high and low productivity.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2005

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