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.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The paper was formed, analysed and written through workshops hosted by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), USA. F.I., J.C. and L.E.D. acknowledge support from the US National Science Foundation (NSF) Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network Communications Office (DEB-1545288). A.S.M. and K.O. acknowledge support from the Ichimura New Technology Foundation. A.S.M., K.O., T.M. and H.O. were funded by the Environment Research and Technology Development Fund (ERTDF; JPMEERF15S11420) of the Environmental Restoration and Conservation Agency (ERCA) of Japan. A.S.M. was supported by the Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS; 15KK0022). F.I. acknowledges support from a US NSF CAREER award (DEB-1845334). A.G. was supported by the Liber Ero Chair in Biodiversity Conservation. M.L. was supported by the TULIP Laboratory of Excellence (ANR-10-LABX-41). T.M. and H.O. were funded by the ERTDF (JPMEERF20202002) of the ERCA. We thank Y. Kobayashi and R. Inoue (Yokohama National University) for help organizing the data. M. Maeda provided illustrations for the conceptual diagram.
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