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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Disturbance maintains alternative biome states

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Dantas, Vinicius de L. [1] ; Hirota, Marina [1, 2] ; Oliveira, Rafael S. [1] ; Pausas, Juli G. [3]
Total Authors: 4
[1] Univ Estadual Campinas, UNICAMP, Inst Biol, Dept Plant Biol, Funct Ecol Lab, BR-13083970 Campinas, SP - Brazil
[2] Univ Fed Santa Catarina, Ctr Phys & Math Sci, BR-88040900 Florianopolis, SC - Brazil
[3] CSIC, CIDE, Valencia 46113 - Spain
Total Affiliations: 3
Document type: Journal article
Source: ECOLOGY LETTERS; v. 19, n. 1, p. 12-19, JAN 2016.
Web of Science Citations: 70

Understanding the mechanisms controlling the distribution of biomes remains a challenge. Although tropical biome distribution has traditionally been explained by climate and soil, contrasting vegetation types often occur as mosaics with sharp boundaries under very similar environmental conditions. While evidence suggests that these biomes are alternative states, empirical broad-scale support to this hypothesis is still lacking. Using community-level field data and a novel resource-niche overlap approach, we show that, for a wide range of environmental conditions, fire feedbacks maintain savannas and forests as alternative biome states in both the Neotropics and the Afrotropics. In addition, wooded grasslands and savannas occurred as alternative grassy states in the Afrotropics, depending on the relative importance of fire and herbivory feedbacks. These results are consistent with landscape scale evidence and suggest that disturbance is a general factor driving and maintaining alternative biome states and vegetation mosaics in the tropics. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 14/06453-0 - Towards an understanding of tipping points within tropical South American biomes
Grantee:Vinicius de Lima Dantas
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
FAPESP's process: 13/50169-1 - Towards an understanding of tipping points within tropical South American biomes
Grantee:Ricardo da Silva Torres
Support type: Research Grants - Research Partnership for Technological Innovation - PITE