Dietrich Hertel

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Biodiversity effects on ecosystem functioning in forests have only recently attracted increasing attention. The vast majority of studies in forests have focused on above-ground responses to differences in tree species diversity, while systematic analyses of the effects of biodiversity on root systems are virtually non-existent. By investigating the fine(More)
Little is known about below-ground competition between different tree species in mixed forests. We investigated the evidence for asymmetric competition between fine roots (<2 mm) of adult European beech (Fagus sylvatica) and sessile oak (Quercus petraea) trees in a mixed temperate beech-oak forest by (1) conducting fine-root growth experiments in the field(More)
Only very limited information exists on the plasticity in size and structure of fine root systems, and fine root morphology of mature trees as a function of environmental variation. Six northwest German old-growth beech forests (Fagus sylvatica L.) differing in precipitation (520 – 1030 mm year−1) and soil acidity/fertility (acidic infertile to basic(More)
The controversy on how to measure fine root production of forests (P) most accurately continues. We applied four different approaches to determine annual rates of P in an old-growth temperate Fagus sylvatica–Quercus petraea stand: sequential soil coring with minimum–maximum calculation, sequential coring with compartmental flow calculation, the ingrowth(More)
Leaf area index (LAI) is a key parameter controlling plant productivity and biogeochemical fluxes between vegetation and the atmosphere. Tropical forests are thought to have comparably high LAIs; however, precise data are scarce and environmental controls of leaf area in tropical forests are not understood. We studied LAI and stand leaf biomass by optical(More)
Differences in spatial rooting patterns among coexisting species have been recognized as an important mechanism for generating biodiversity effects on ecosystem functioning. However, it is not yet clear whether complementarity in root space exploration is a universal characteristic of multi-species woody communities. In a temperate broad-leaved forest with(More)
Losses of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning due to rainforest destruction and agricultural intensification are prime concerns for science and society alike. Potentially, ecosystems show nonlinear responses to land-use intensification that would open management options with limited ecological losses but satisfying economic gains. However,(More)
In contrast to studies on aboveground processes, the effect of species diversity on belowground productivity and fine-root regrowth after disturbance is still poorly studied in forests. In 12 old-growth broad-leaved forest stands, we tested the hypotheses that (i) the productivity and recovery rate (regrowth per standing biomass) of the fine-root system(More)
Leaf and fine root morphology and physiology have been found to vary considerably among tree species, but not much is known about intraspecific variation in root traits and their relatedness to leaf traits. Various aspen progenies (Populus tremula and P. tremuloides) with different growth performance are used in short-rotation forestry. Hence, a better(More)
Tropical forests store a large part of the terrestrial carbon and play a key role in the global carbon (C) cycle. In parts of Southeast Asia, conversion of natural forest to cacao agroforestry systems is an important driver of deforestation, resulting in C losses from biomass and soil to the atmosphere. This case study from Sulawesi, Indonesia, compares(More)