Ongoing biodiversity loss has prompted concerns that the functioning of ecosystems and the services humans derive from the environment may be compromised. While there is ample evidence supporting a significant role of biodiversity for ecosystem functioning in simple model systems, this role is less clear for forests.

FunDivEUROPE answers the need for a new generation of research that brings functional biodiversity research into the complex world of the forest realm and examines ecosystem processes that provide important goods and services to humanity.

The overall scientific goal of FunDivEUROPE is to quantify the effects of forest biodiversity on ecosystem functions and services in major European forest types. A major aim is to understand and quantify how tree species diversity can be used to foster the provision of ecosystem services such as timber production, carbon sequestration and freshwater provisioning. Additionally, the implications of tree species diversity for the vulnerability of ecosystem services under climate change will be assessed by integrating field and modelling data on the performance of pure versus mixed species stands under different climates. The policy relevant objective is to strengthen the science-policy interface by delivering timely, relevant and understandable information to policymakers and stakeholders about the relationship of forest biodiversity and ecosystem services within the framework of multifunctional forestry. This will help forest owners and forestry organizations to adapt management strategies to better utilize benefits of mixed species forests and ecosystem services.

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