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Review
. 2019 Aug;94(4):1477-1501.
doi: 10.1111/brv.12511. Epub 2019 Apr 11.

Global Effects of Non-Native Tree Species on Multiple Ecosystem Services

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Free PMC article
Review

Global Effects of Non-Native Tree Species on Multiple Ecosystem Services

Pilar Castro-Díez et al. Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Non-native tree (NNT) species have been transported worldwide to create or enhance services that are fundamental for human well-being, such as timber provision, erosion control or ornamental value; yet NNTs can also produce undesired effects, such as fire proneness or pollen allergenicity. Despite the variety of effects that NNTs have on multiple ecosystem services, a global quantitative assessment of their costs and benefits is still lacking. Such information is critical for decision-making, management and sustainable exploitation of NNTs. We present here a global assessment of NNT effects on the three main categories of ecosystem services, including regulating (RES), provisioning (PES) and cultural services (CES), and on an ecosystem disservice (EDS), i.e. pollen allergenicity. By searching the scientific literature, country forestry reports, and social media, we compiled a global data set of 1683 case studies from over 125 NNT species, covering 44 countries, all continents but Antarctica, and seven biomes. Using different meta-analysis techniques, we found that, while NNTs increase most RES (e.g. climate regulation, soil erosion control, fertility and formation), they decrease PES (e.g. NNTs contribute less than native trees to global timber provision). Also, they have different effects on CES (e.g. increase aesthetic values but decrease scientific interest), and no effect on the EDS considered. NNT effects on each ecosystem (dis)service showed a strong context dependency, varying across NNT types, biomes and socio-economic conditions. For instance, some RES are increased more by NNTs able to fix atmospheric nitrogen, and when the ecosystem is located in low-latitude biomes; some CES are increased more by NNTs in less-wealthy countries or in countries with higher gross domestic products. The effects of NNTs on several ecosystem (dis)services exhibited some synergies (e.g. among soil fertility, soil formation and climate regulation or between aesthetic values and pollen allergenicity), but also trade-offs (e.g. between fire regulation and soil erosion control). Our analyses provide a quantitative understanding of the complex synergies, trade-offs and context dependencies involved for the effects of NNTs that is essential for attaining a sustained provision of ecosystem services.

Keywords: biological invasions; cultural ecosystem services; exotic trees; forestry; global assessment; meta-analysis; provisioning ecosystem services; regulating ecosystem services.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Simplified representation of the distribution of case studies. Data were collected to evaluate worldwide effects of non‐native tree species on regulating (RES), provisioning (PES) and cultural (CES) ecosystem services and ecosystem disservices (EDS). For simplicity only RES are represented at the local scale (dots), whereas data for PES, CES and EDS are represented at the country scale (flags). The map shows the biomes considered in this study for illustrative purposes (simplified from the FAO Global Ecological Zones). The term ‘forest’ is used in a broad sense, including also savannahs and woodlands.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Effects of non‐native tree (NNT) species on ecosystem services assessed using the random‐effects model (REMA). The mean effect size of NNTs and 95% confidence intervals are depicted across the set of case studies considered for each regulating (A), provisioning (B) and cultural (C) ecosystem services (sample sizes are indicated next to each service). Positive or negative mean effect sizes, respectively, indicate that NNTs (or sites dominated by NNTs) had greater or smaller scores for the service, compared to native tree (NT) species or to control sites dominated by native vegetation. Asterisks to the right of the bars indicate that the mean effect size differs significantly from zero according to a permutation test with 1000 iterations. Values on the right axis indicate the heterogeneity I 2, which is the proportion (in %) of the total variation in effect sizes that is due to between‐study variance.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Predictors explaining the effects of non‐native tree (NNT) species on regulating ecosystem services (RES) under random‐effects structured meta‐analysis: biome (A–C), native ecosystem type (D), stand type (E, F) and N‐fixation of the NNT (G–J). The figure shows the mean effect size (d +) of NNTs and 95% confidence intervals across the set of case studies considered for each predictor category. Positive or negative mean effect sizes, respectively, indicate that sites dominated by NNTs had a greater or smaller score of the RES than control sites with native vegetation.
Figure 4
Figure 4
Effect size of non‐native trees (NNTs) on timber provision across biomes (A) and across countries (B). For each biome/country the horizontal band represents the median; box limits are defined by the 25th and 75th percentiles; upper whiskers are the smallest of the maximum country/biome value and 75th percentile + 1.5 × box extension; lower whiskers are the largest of the smallest biome/country value and 25th percentile – 1.5 × box extension. Circles indicate extreme values outside the whisker interval. The number of case studies in each biome/country is indicated (biomes/countries with less than three case studies were not included in the statistical analysis).

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