Biodiversity–productivity relationships are key to nature-based climate solutions

Akira S. Mori*, Laura E. Dee, Andrew Gonzalez, Haruka Ohashi, Jane Cowles, Alexandra J. Wright, Michel Loreau, Yann Hautier, Tim Newbold, Peter B. Reich, Tetsuya Matsui, Wataru Takeuchi, Kei ichi Okada, Rupert Seidl, Forest Isbell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The global impacts of biodiversity loss and climate change are interlinked, but the feedbacks between them are rarely assessed. Areas with greater tree diversity tend to be more productive, providing a greater carbon sink, and biodiversity loss could reduce these natural carbon sinks. Here, we quantify how tree and shrub species richness could affect biomass production on biome, national and regional scales. We find that GHG mitigation could help maintain tree diversity and thereby avoid a 9–39% reduction in terrestrial primary productivity across different biomes, which could otherwise occur over the next 50 years. Countries that will incur the greatest economic damages from climate change stand to benefit the most from conservation of tree diversity and primary productivity, which contribute to climate change mitigation. Our results emphasize an opportunity for a triple win for climate, biodiversity and society, and highlight that these co-benefits should be the focus of reforestation programmes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543–550
Number of pages8
JournalNature Climate Change
Volume11
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

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