Positive biodiversity-productivity relationship predominant in global forests

J. Liang, T.W. Crowther, N. Picard, S. Wiser, M. Zhou, G. Alberti, E.D. Schulze, A.D. Mcguire, F. Bozzato, H. Pretzsch, S. de Miguel, A. Paquette, B. Herault, M. Scherer-Lorenzen, C.B. Barrett, H.B. Glick, G.M. Hengeveld, Gert-Jan Nabuurs, S. Pfautsch, H. VianaA.C. Vibrans, C. Ammer, P. Schall, D. Verbyla, N. Tchebakova, M. Fischer, J.V. Watson, Han Y.H. Chen, X. Lei, M.J. Schelhaas, Huicui Lu, D. Gianelle, E.I. Parfenova, C. Salas, E. Lee, B. Lee, H.S. Kim, H. Bruelheide, D.A. Coomes, D. Piotto, T. Sunderland, B. Schmid, S. Gourlet-Fleury, B. Sonke, R. Tavani, J. Zhu, S. Brandl, J. Vayreda, F. Kitahara, E.B. Searle, V.J. Neldner, M.R. Ngugi, C. Baraloto, L. Frizzera, R. Ba Azy, J. Oleksyn, T. Zawila-Niedzwiecki, O. Bouriaud, F. Bussotti, L. Finer, B. Jaroszewicz, T. Jucker, F. Valladares, A.M. Jagodzinski, P.L. Peri, C. Gonmadje, W. Marthy, T. Obrien, E.H. Martin, A.R. Marshall, F. Rovero, R. Bitariho, P.A. Niklaus, P. Alvarez-Loayza, N. Chamuya, R. Valencia, F. Mortier, V. Wortel, N.L. Engone-Obiang, L.V. Ferreira, D.E. Odeke, R.M. Vasquez, S.L. Lewis, P.B. Reich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

434 Citations (Scopus)


The biodiversity-productivity relationship (BPR) is foundational to our understanding of the global extinction crisis and its impacts on ecosystem functioning. Understanding BPR is critical for the accurate valuation and effective conservation of biodiversity. Using ground-sourced data from 777,126 permanent plots, spanning 44 countries and most terrestrial biomes, we reveal a globally consistent positive concave-down BPR, showing that continued biodiversity loss would result in an accelerating decline in forest productivity worldwide. The value of biodiversity in maintaining commercial forest productivity alone—US$166 billion to 490 billion per year according to our estimation—is more than twice what it would cost to implement effective global conservation. This highlights the need for a worldwide reassessment of biodiversity values, forest management strategies, and conservation priorities.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberaaf8957
Number of pages15
Issue number6309
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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