An article of Masha van der Sande, Lourens Poorter, Patricia Balvanera, Lammert Kooistra, Kirsten Thonicke, Alice Boit, Loïc Dutrieux, Julian Equihua, France Gerard, Martin Herold, Melanie Kolb, Margareth Simões and Marielos Peña-Claros: The integration of empirical, remote sensing and modelling approaches enhances insight in the role of biodiversity in climate change mitigation by tropical forests, has been published in Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 2017, 26–27:69–76.
Tropical forests store and sequester high amounts of carbon and are the most diverse terrestrial ecosystem. A complete understanding of the relationship between biodiversity and carbon storage and sequestration across spatiotemporal scales relevant for climate change mitigation needs three approaches: empirical, remote sensing and ecosystem modelling. We review individual approaches and show that biodiversity has short-term and long-term benefits across spatial scales. We argue that enhanced understanding is obtained by combining approaches and, especially, integrating approaches through using ‘boundary objects’ that can be understood and measured by all approaches, such as diversity of leaf traits of the upper canopy. This will lead to better understanding of biodiversity effects on climate change mitigation, which is crucial for making sound policy decisions.