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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.)

Higher resilience to climatic disturbances in tropical vegetation exposed to more variable rainfall

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Ciemer, Catrin [1, 2] ; Boers, Niklas [2, 3] ; Hirota, Marina [4, 5] ; Kurths, Juergen [1, 2, 6] ; Mueller-Hansen, Finn [1, 2] ; Oliveira, Rafael S. [4] ; Winkelmann, Ricarda [2, 7]
Total Authors: 7
[1] Humboldt Univ, Dept Phys, Berlin - Germany
[2] Potsdam Inst Climate Impact Res, Potsdam - Germany
[3] Imperial Coll London, Grantham Inst Climate Change & Environm, London - England
[4] Univ Estadual Campinas, Inst Biol, Campinas, SP - Brazil
[5] Univ Fed Santa Catarina, Dept Phys, Florianopolis, SC - Brazil
[6] Saratov NG Chernyshevskii State Univ, Saratov - Russia
[7] Univ Potsdam, Phys Inst, Potsdam - Germany
Total Affiliations: 7
Document type: Journal article
Source: NATURE GEOSCIENCE; v. 12, n. 3, p. 174+, MAR 2019.
Web of Science Citations: 5

With ongoing global warming, the amount and frequency of precipitation in the tropics is projected to change substantially. While it has been shown that tropical forests and savannahs are sustained within the same intermediate mean annual precipitation range, the mechanisms that lead to the resilience of these ecosystems are still not fully understood. In particular, the long-term impact of rainfall variability on resilience is as yet unclear. Here we present observational evidence that both tropical forest and savannah exposed to a higher rainfall variability-in particular on interannual scales-during their long-term past are overall more resilient against climatic disturbances. Based on precipitation and tree cover data in the Brazilian Amazon basin, we constructed potential landscapes that enable us to systematically measure the resilience of the different ecosystems. Additionally, we infer that shifts from forest to savannah due to decreasing precipitation in the future are more likely to occur in regions with a precursory lower rainfall variability. Long-term rainfall variability thus needs to be taken into account in resilience analyses and projections of vegetation response to climate change. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 11/52072-0 - Soil-plant-atmosphere interactions in a changing tropical landscape
Grantee:Rafael Silva Oliveira
Support type: Research Grants - Research Partnership for Technological Innovation - PITE
FAPESP's process: 15/50122-0 - Dynamic phenomena in complex networks: basics and applications
Grantee:Elbert Einstein Nehrer Macau
Support type: Research Projects - Thematic Grants
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