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Global Change Biology

Jelmer J Nijp, Arnaud J A M Temme, George A K van Voorn, Lammert Kooistra, Geerten M Hengeveld, Merel B Soons, Adriaan J Teuling, Jakob Wallinga
Prediction of ecosystem responses to global environmental change is a pressing scientific challenge of major societal relevance. Many ecosystems display nonlinear responses to environmental change, and may even undergo practically irreversible 'regime shifts' that initiate ecosystem collapse. Recently, early warning signals based on spatiotemporal metrics have been proposed for the identification of impending regime shifts. The rapidly increasing availability of remotely-sensed data provides excellent opportunities to apply such model-based spatial early warning signals in the real world, to assess ecosystem resilience and identify impending regime shifts induced by global change...
February 14, 2019: Global Change Biology
James R Bell, Marc S Botham, Peter A Henrys, David I Leech, James W Pearce-Higgins, Chris R Shortall, Tom M Brereton, Jon Pickup, Stephen J Thackeray
Global warming has advanced the timing of biological events, potentially leading to disruption across trophic levels. The potential importance of phenological change as a driver of population trends has been suggested. To fully understand possible impacts, there is a need to quantify the scale of these changes spatially and according to habitat type. We studied the relationship between phenological trends, space and habitat type between 1965 to 2012 using an extensive UK dataset comprising 269 aphid, bird, butterfly and moth species...
February 14, 2019: Global Change Biology
Michael J Aspinwall, Sebastian Pfautsch, Mark G Tjoelker, Angelica Vårhammar, Malcolm Possell, John E Drake, Peter B Reich, David T Tissue, Owen K Atkin, Paul D Rymer, Siobhan Dennison, Steven C Van Sluyter
Understanding forest tree responses to climate warming and heatwaves is important for predicting changes in tree species diversity, forest C uptake, and vegetation - climate interactions. Yet, tree species differences in heatwave tolerance and their plasticity to growth temperature remain poorly understood. In this study, populations of four Eucalyptus species, two with large range sizes and two with comparatively small range sizes, were grown under two temperature treatments (cool, warm) before being exposed to an equivalent experimental heatwave...
February 12, 2019: Global Change Biology
Håkan Pleijel, Malin C Broberg, Petra Högy, Johan Uddling
Elevated CO2 (eCO2 ) generally promotes increased grain yield and decreased grain protein concentration, but the extent to which these effects depend on the magnitude of fertilization remains unclear. We collected data on the eCO2 responses of grain yield, grain protein concentration and grain protein yield and their relationships with nitrogen (N) application rates across experimental data covering 11 field grown wheat (Triticum aestivum) cultivars studied in eight countries on four continents. The eCO2 -induced stimulation of grain yield increased with N application rates up to ~200 kg ha-1 ...
February 8, 2019: Global Change Biology
Johan Espunyes, Miguel Lurgi, Ulf Büntgen, Jordi Bartolomé, Juan Antonio Calleja, Arturo Gálvez-Cerón, Josep Peñuelas, Emmanuel Serrano
Changes in land-use and climate affect the distribution and diversity of plant and animal species at different spatiotemporal scales. The extent to which species-specific phenotypic plasticity and biotic interactions mediate organismal adaptation to changing environments, however, remains poorly understood. Woody plant expansion is threatening the extent of alpine grasslands worldwide, and evaluating and predicting its effects on herbivores is of crucial importance. Here, we explore the impact of shrubification on the feeding efficiency of Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra p...
February 8, 2019: Global Change Biology
Marcus Schiedung, Craig S Tregurtha, Michael H Beare, Steve M Thomas, Axel Don
Sequestration of soil organic carbon (SOC) has been recognised as an opportunity to off-set global carbon dioxide (CO2 ) emissions. Flipping (full inversion to 1-3 m) is a practice used on New Zealand's South Island West Coast to eliminate water-logging in highly podzolized sandy soils. Flipping results in burial of SOC formed in surface soil horizons into the subsoil and the transfer of subsoil material low in SOC to the "new" topsoil. The aims of this study were to quantify changes in the storage and stability of SOC over a 20 year period following flipping of high productive pasture grassland...
February 8, 2019: Global Change Biology
Lewis L Walden, Joseph B Fontaine, Katinka X Ruthrof, George Matusick, Richard J Harper, Giles E St J Hardy
Prolonged drought and intense heat-related events trigger sudden forest die-off events and have now been reported from all forested continents. Such die-offs are concerning given that drought and heatwave events are forecast to increase in severity and duration as climate change progresses. Quantifying consequences to carbon dynamics and storage from die-off events is critical for determining the current and future mitigation potential of forests. We took stand measurements five times over 2+ years from affected and unaffected plots across the Northern Jarrah Forest, southwestern Australia, following an acute drought/heatwave in 2011...
February 8, 2019: Global Change Biology
Andrew B Davies, Gregory P Asner
Understanding the drivers of vegetation carbon dynamics is essential for climate change mitigation and effective policy formulation. However, most efforts focus on abiotic drivers of plant biomass change, with little consideration for functional roles performed by animals, particularly at landscape scales. We combined repeat airborne Light Detection and Ranging with measurements of elephant densities, abiotic factors and exclusion experiments to determine the relative importance of drivers of change in aboveground woody vegetation carbon stocks in Kruger National Park, South Africa...
February 5, 2019: Global Change Biology
Therese C Frauendorf, Richard A MacKenzie, Ralph W Tingley, Abby G Frazier, Michael H Riney, Rana W El-Sabaawi
Climate change is expected to alter precipitation patterns worldwide, which will affect streamflow in riverine ecosystems. It is vital to understand the impacts of projected flow variations, especially in tropical regions where the effects of climate change are expected to be one of the earliest to emerge. Space-for-time substitutions have been successful at predicting effects of climate change in terrestrial systems by using a spatial gradient to mimic the projected temporal change. However, concerns have been raised that the spatial variability of these models might not reflect the temporal variability...
February 3, 2019: Global Change Biology
S James Reynolds, B John Hughes, Colin P Wearn, Roger C Dickey, Judith Brown, Nicola L Weber, Sam B Weber, Vitor H Paiva, Jaime A Ramos
In the face of accelerating ecological change to the world's oceans, seabirds are some of the best bio-indicators of marine ecosystem function. However, unravelling ecological changes that pre-date modern monitoring programmes remains challenging. Using stable isotope analysis of feathers and regurgitants collected from sooty terns (Onychoprion fuscatus) nesting at a major Atlantic colony, we reconstructed a long-term dietary time series from 1890 to the present day and show that a significant dietary shift occurred during the second half of the twentieth century coinciding with an apparent population collapse of approximately 84%...
February 3, 2019: Global Change Biology
Francisca P Díaz, Claudio Latorre, Gabriela Carrasco-Puga, Jamie R Wood, Janet M Wilmshurst, Daniela C Soto, Theresa L Cole, Rodrigo A Gutiérrez
Comprehending ecological dynamics requires not only knowledge of modern communities but also detailed reconstructions of ecosystem history. Ancient DNA (aDNA) metabarcoding allows biodiversity responses to major climatic change to be explored at different spatial and temporal scales. We extracted aDNA preserved in fossil rodent middens to reconstruct late Quaternary vegetation dynamics in the hyperarid Atacama Desert. By comparing our paleo-informed millennial record with contemporary observations of interannual variations in diversity, we show local plant communities behave differentially at different timescales...
January 31, 2019: Global Change Biology
Daniel Bruno, Oscar Belmar, Anthony Maire, Adrien Morel, Bernard Dumont, Thibault Datry
Understanding and predicting how biological communities respond to climate change is critical for assessing biodiversity vulnerability and guiding conservation efforts. Glacier- and snow-fed rivers are one of the most sensitive ecosystems to climate change, and can provide early warning of wider-scale changes. These rivers are frequently used for hydropower production but there is minimal understanding of how biological communities are influenced by climate change in a context of flow regulation. This study sheds light on this issue by disentangling structural (water temperature preference, taxonomic composition, alpha, beta and gamma diversities) and functional (functional traits, diversity, richness, evenness, dispersion and redundancy) effects of climate change in interaction with flow regulation in the Alps...
January 30, 2019: Global Change Biology
Taylor H Leach, Luke A Winslow, Nicole M Hayes, Kevin C Rose
Increases in the concentration of dissolved organic matter (DOM) have been documented in many inland waters in recent decades, a process known as 'browning'. Previous studies have often used space-for-time substitution to examine the direct consequences of increased DOM on lake ecosystems. However, browning often occurs concomitant with other ecologically important water chemistry changes that may interact with or overwhelm any potential ecological response to browning itself. Here we examine a long-term (~20 year) dataset of 28 lakes in the Adirondack Park, New York, USA that have undergone strong browning in response to recovery from acidification...
January 30, 2019: Global Change Biology
T M DeCarlo, S Comeau, C E Cornwall, L Gajdzik, P Guagliardo, A Sadekov, E C Thillainath, J Trotter, M T McCulloch
Ocean acidification poses a serious threat to marine calcifying organisms, yet experimental and field studies have found highly diverse responses among species and environments. Our understanding of the underlying drivers of differential responses to ocean acidification is currently limited by difficulties in directly observing and quantifying the mechanisms of bio-calcification. Here we present Raman spectroscopy techniques for quantifying the skeletal mineralogy and calcifying fluid chemistry of marine calcifying organisms such as corals, coralline algae, foraminifera, and fish (carbonate otoliths)...
January 28, 2019: Global Change Biology
Carolina Voigt, Maija E Marushchak, Mikhail Mastepanov, Richard E Lamprecht, Torben R Christensen, Maxim Dorodnikov, Marcin Jackowicz-Korczyński, Amelie Lindgren, Annalea Lohila, Hannu Nykänen, Markku Oinonen, Timo Oksanen, Vesa Palonen, Claire C Treat, Pertti J Martikainen, Christina Biasi
Permafrost peatlands are biogeochemical hot spots in the Arctic as they store vast amounts of carbon. Permafrost thaw could release part of these long-term immobile carbon stocks as the greenhouse gases (GHGs) carbon dioxide (CO2 ) and methane (CH4 ) to the atmosphere, but how much, at which time-span and as which gaseous carbon species is still highly uncertain. Here we assess the effect of permafrost thaw on GHG dynamics under different moisture and vegetation scenarios in a permafrost peatland. A novel experimental approach using intact plant-soil systems (mesocosms) allowed us to simulate permafrost thaw under near-natural conditions...
January 25, 2019: Global Change Biology
M Belén Hinojosa, V Armando Laudicina, Antonio Parra, Enrique Albert-Belda, Jose M Moreno
The effects of drought on soil dynamics after fire are poorly known, particularly its longer-term (i.e., years) legacy effects once rainfall returns to normal. Understanding this is particularly important for nutrient-poor soils in semi-arid regions affected by fire, in which rainfall is projected to decrease with climate change. Here, we studied the effects of post-fire drought and its legacy on soil microbial community structure and functionality in a Cistus-Erica shrubland (Spain). Rainfall total and patterns were experimentally modified to produce an unburned control (natural rainfall) and four burned treatments: control (natural rainfall), historical control (long-term average rainfall), moderate drought (percentile 8 historical rainfall, five months of drought per year), and severe drought (percentile 2, seven months of drought)...
January 25, 2019: Global Change Biology
Liqing Peng, Zhenzhong Zeng, Zhongwang Wei, Anping Chen, Eric F Wood, Justin Sheffield
A widely-used approach for estimating actual evapotranspiration (AET) in hydrological and earth system models is to constrain potential evapotranspiration (PET) with a single empirical stress factor (Ω=AET/PET). Ω represents water availability and is fundamentally linked to canopy-atmosphere coupling. However, the mean and seasonal variability of Ω in the models have rarely been evaluated against observations, and the model performances for different climates and biomes remain unclear. In this study, we first derived the observed Ω from 28 FLUXNET sites over North America during 2000-2007, which was then used to evaluate Ω in six large-scale model-based datasets...
January 25, 2019: Global Change Biology
Min Jung Kwon, Susan M Natali, Caitlin E Hicks Pries, Edward A G Schuur, Axel Steinhof, K Grace Crummer, Nikita Zimov, Sergey A Zimov, Martin Heimann, Olaf Kolle, Mathias Göckede
Warming temperatures are likely to accelerate permafrost thaw in the Arctic, potentially leading to the release of old carbon previously stored in deep frozen soil layers. Deeper thaw depths in combination with geomorphological changes due to the loss of ice structures in permafrost, may modify soil water distribution, creating wetter or drier soil conditions. Previous studies revealed higher ecosystem respiration rates under drier conditions, and this study investigated the cause of the increased ecosystem respiration rates using radiocarbon signatures of respired CO2 from two drying manipulation experiments: one in moist and the other in wet tundra...
January 25, 2019: Global Change Biology
Buki Rinkevich
Climate change and anthropogenic pressures inflict a wide range of profound damages on coral reef ecosystems, reshaping coral reef communities due to their physiological and ecological intolerance to the newly developing environmental conditions. Here I present coral chimerism as an evolutionary rescue tool for accelerating adaptive responses to global climate change impacts. The 'evolutionary rescue' power is contingent on the premise that coral chimerism counters the erosion of genetic and phenotypic diversity...
January 25, 2019: Global Change Biology
Fredric M Windsor, Isabelle Durance, Alice A Horton, Richard C Thompson, Charles R Tyler, Steve J Ormerod
Plastic pollution is distributed across the globe, but compared with marine environments, there is only rudimentary understanding of the distribution and effects of plastics in other ecosystems. Here, we review the transport and effects of plastics across terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments. We focus on hydrological catchments as well-defined landscape units that provide an integrating scale at which plastic pollution can be investigated and managed. Diverse processes are responsible for the observed ubiquity of plastic pollution, but sources, fluxes and sinks in river catchments are poorly quantified...
January 21, 2019: Global Change Biology
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