Khlifa2016

Reference

Khlifa, R. (2016) Effets de la diversité des arbres sur le fonctionnement de l'écosystème dans deux plantations de forêts tempérées. PhD thesis, Université Laval. (URL )

Abstract

In the last two decades, the vast majority of scientists have agreed that anthropogenic actions are responsible for an important and rapid loss of biodiversity at a global scale, through the elimination of genes, species and biological traits. This fact led to remarkable progress towards understanding how the loss of biodiversity affects the functioning of ecosystems. Although the link between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) is now well documented, the mechanisms underlying this relationship are still poorly understood, especially with regards to belowground processes in treed ecosystems. The objective of this Ph.D. project was to improve our understanding of the link between aboveground biodiversity and belowground functioning in two artificial ecosystems (tree plantations). For this purpose, we examined the implication of different actors and parameters of the belowground compartment that are likely to influence the C - and N - cycles, in relation to aboveground biodiversity (through the functional trait-based approach). On the one hand we studied the productivity of fine roots, their chemistry, the functioning and composition of soil microbial communities in relation to diversity measures (specific richness and functional diversity) in a young plantation (4 years). On the other hand, we studied the decomposition of fine roots in relation to over- and understory vegetation following the application of silvicultural treatments in an older plantation (27 years). In all cases, we studied the relationship between these parameters and processes, as well as soil C and N (total and in fractions). Deciduous and conifer species differed in fine root productivity and in microbial community catabolic activity. Conifers were more productive than deciduous (fine roots), and soil microbial communities associated with deciduous trees used a greater number of carbon sources than those associated with conifers. Moreover, although tree specific richness influenced the functioning of microbes, it had no effect on their composition or the productivity of the fine roots, while tree identities (and their functional traits) influenced all these parameters and processes. The mean value of traits had a greater influence on fine root productivity, basal respiration and microbial biomass than the variance of these traits. The functional diversity (considered as a gradient) had no effect on any of the parameters and processes studied. Finally, our study revealed that the understory vegetation (cover of functional type and some species), more than overstory vegetation, soil properties or fine root chemistry influences the fine root decomposition. In general, this thesis has uncovered and highlighted unknown aspects of the relationship between BEF, in particular with regard to the link between aboveground diversity and belowground functioning. Our results precisely identified tree species, understory vegetation and functional traits and the processes on which they intervene. This could help to refine predictive models of C and N cycles or provide advice to forest managers.

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@PHDTHESIS { Khlifa2016,
    TITLE = { Effets de la diversité des arbres sur le fonctionnement de l'écosystème dans deux plantations de forêts tempérées },
    AUTHOR = { Khlifa, R. },
    SCHOOL = { Université Laval },
    YEAR = { 2016 },
    NOTE = { CEFTMS, Munson, A.D. and Angers, D.A. },
    ABSTRACT = { In the last two decades, the vast majority of scientists have agreed that anthropogenic actions are responsible for an important and rapid loss of biodiversity at a global scale, through the elimination of genes, species and biological traits. This fact led to remarkable progress towards understanding how the loss of biodiversity affects the functioning of ecosystems. Although the link between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) is now well documented, the mechanisms underlying this relationship are still poorly understood, especially with regards to belowground processes in treed ecosystems. The objective of this Ph.D. project was to improve our understanding of the link between aboveground biodiversity and belowground functioning in two artificial ecosystems (tree plantations). For this purpose, we examined the implication of different actors and parameters of the belowground compartment that are likely to influence the C - and N - cycles, in relation to aboveground biodiversity (through the functional trait-based approach). On the one hand we studied the productivity of fine roots, their chemistry, the functioning and composition of soil microbial communities in relation to diversity measures (specific richness and functional diversity) in a young plantation (4 years). On the other hand, we studied the decomposition of fine roots in relation to over- and understory vegetation following the application of silvicultural treatments in an older plantation (27 years). In all cases, we studied the relationship between these parameters and processes, as well as soil C and N (total and in fractions). Deciduous and conifer species differed in fine root productivity and in microbial community catabolic activity. Conifers were more productive than deciduous (fine roots), and soil microbial communities associated with deciduous trees used a greater number of carbon sources than those associated with conifers. Moreover, although tree specific richness influenced the functioning of microbes, it had no effect on their composition or the productivity of the fine roots, while tree identities (and their functional traits) influenced all these parameters and processes. The mean value of traits had a greater influence on fine root productivity, basal respiration and microbial biomass than the variance of these traits. The functional diversity (considered as a gradient) had no effect on any of the parameters and processes studied. Finally, our study revealed that the understory vegetation (cover of functional type and some species), more than overstory vegetation, soil properties or fine root chemistry influences the fine root decomposition. In general, this thesis has uncovered and highlighted unknown aspects of the relationship between BEF, in particular with regard to the link between aboveground diversity and belowground functioning. Our results precisely identified tree species, understory vegetation and functional traits and the processes on which they intervene. This could help to refine predictive models of C and N cycles or provide advice to forest managers. },
    URL = { https://corpus.ulaval.ca/jspui/handle/20.500.11794/27346 },
    TIMESTAMP = { 2019-10-08 },
}

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