In the context of global change, the integration of non-native tree (NNT) species into European forestry is increasingly being discussed. The ecological consequences of increasing use or spread of NNTs in European forests are highly uncertain, as the scientific evidence is either constraint to results from case studies with limited spatial extent, or concerns global assessments that lack focus on European NNTs. For either case, generalisations on European NNTs are challenging to draw. Here we compile data on the impacts of seven important NNTs (Acacia dealbata, Ailanthus altissima, Eucalyptus globulus, Prunus serotina, Pseudotsuga menziesii, Quercus rubra, Robinia pseudoacacia) on physical and chemical soil properties and diversity attributes in Europe, and summarise commonalities and differences. From a total of 103 publications considered, studies on diversity attributes were overall more frequent than studies on soil properties. The effects on soil properties varied greatly among tree species and depended on the respective soil property. Overall, increasing (45%) and decreasing (45%) impacts on soil occurred with similar frequency. In contrast, decreasing impacts on biodiversity were much more frequent (66%) than increasing ones (24%). Species phylogenetically distant from European tree species, such as Acacia dealbata, Eucalyptus globulus and Ailanthus altissima, showed the strongest decreasing impacts on biodiversity. Our results suggest that forest managers should be cautious in using NNTs, as a majority of NNT stands host fewer species when compared with native tree species or ecosystems, likely reflected in changes in biotic interactions and ecosystem functions. The high variability of impacts suggests that individual NNTs should be assessed separately, but NNTs that lack European relatives should be used with particular caution.

Wohlgemuth, T.; Gossner, M.M.; Campagnaro, T.; Marchante, H.; van Loo, M.; Vacchiano, G.; Castro-Díez, P.; Dobrowolska, D.; Gazda, A.; Keren, S.; Keserű, Z.; Koprowski, M.; La Porta, N.; Marozas, V.; Nygaard, P.H.; Podrázský, V.; Puchałka, R.; Reisman-Berman, O.; Straigytė, L.; Ylioja, T.; Pötzelsberger, E.; Silva, J.S. (2022). Impact of non-native tree species in Europe on soil properties and biodiversity: a review. NEOBIOTA, 78: 45-69. doi: 10.3897/neobiota.78.87022 handle: https://hdl.handle.net/10449/77516

Impact of non-native tree species in Europe on soil properties and biodiversity: a review

La Porta, Nicola;
2022-01-01

Abstract

In the context of global change, the integration of non-native tree (NNT) species into European forestry is increasingly being discussed. The ecological consequences of increasing use or spread of NNTs in European forests are highly uncertain, as the scientific evidence is either constraint to results from case studies with limited spatial extent, or concerns global assessments that lack focus on European NNTs. For either case, generalisations on European NNTs are challenging to draw. Here we compile data on the impacts of seven important NNTs (Acacia dealbata, Ailanthus altissima, Eucalyptus globulus, Prunus serotina, Pseudotsuga menziesii, Quercus rubra, Robinia pseudoacacia) on physical and chemical soil properties and diversity attributes in Europe, and summarise commonalities and differences. From a total of 103 publications considered, studies on diversity attributes were overall more frequent than studies on soil properties. The effects on soil properties varied greatly among tree species and depended on the respective soil property. Overall, increasing (45%) and decreasing (45%) impacts on soil occurred with similar frequency. In contrast, decreasing impacts on biodiversity were much more frequent (66%) than increasing ones (24%). Species phylogenetically distant from European tree species, such as Acacia dealbata, Eucalyptus globulus and Ailanthus altissima, showed the strongest decreasing impacts on biodiversity. Our results suggest that forest managers should be cautious in using NNTs, as a majority of NNT stands host fewer species when compared with native tree species or ecosystems, likely reflected in changes in biotic interactions and ecosystem functions. The high variability of impacts suggests that individual NNTs should be assessed separately, but NNTs that lack European relatives should be used with particular caution.
Biodiversity
Biogeography
Forest Management
Pairwise stand comparisons
Soil impacts
Settore AGR/05 - ASSESTAMENTO FORESTALE E SELVICOLTURA
2022
Wohlgemuth, T.; Gossner, M.M.; Campagnaro, T.; Marchante, H.; van Loo, M.; Vacchiano, G.; Castro-Díez, P.; Dobrowolska, D.; Gazda, A.; Keren, S.; Keserű, Z.; Koprowski, M.; La Porta, N.; Marozas, V.; Nygaard, P.H.; Podrázský, V.; Puchałka, R.; Reisman-Berman, O.; Straigytė, L.; Ylioja, T.; Pötzelsberger, E.; Silva, J.S. (2022). Impact of non-native tree species in Europe on soil properties and biodiversity: a review. NEOBIOTA, 78: 45-69. doi: 10.3897/neobiota.78.87022 handle: https://hdl.handle.net/10449/77516
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