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Selection: with tag grasslands [47 articles] 

 

A human-driven decline in global burned area

  
Science, Vol. 356, No. 6345. (30 June 2017), pp. 1356-1362, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aal4108

Abstract

[Burn less, baby, burn less] Humans have, and always have had, a major impact on wildfire activity, which is expected to increase in our warming world. Andela et al. use satellite data to show that, unexpectedly, global burned area declined by ∼25% over the past 18 years, despite the influence of climate. The decrease has been largest in savannas and grasslands because of agricultural expansion and intensification. The decline of burned area has consequences for predictions of future changes to the atmosphere, ...

 

Building Rothermel fire behaviour fuel models by genetic algorithm optimisation

  
International Journal of Wildland Fire, Vol. 24, No. 3. (2015), 317, https://doi.org/10.1071/wf14097

Abstract

A method to build and calibrate custom fuel models was developed by linking genetic algorithms (GA) to the Rothermel fire spread model. GA randomly generates solutions of fuel model parameters to form an initial population. Solutions are validated against observations of fire rate of spread via a goodness-of-fit metric. The population is selected for its best members, crossed over and mutated within a range of model parameter values, until a satisfactory fitness is reached. We showed that GA improved the performance ...

 

Modelling potential impacts of climate change on the bioclimatic envelope of species in Britain and Ireland

  
Global Ecology and Biogeography, Vol. 11, No. 6. (November 2002), pp. 453-462, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1466-8238.2002.00304.x

Abstract

[Aim] Climate change has the potential to have significant impacts on the distribution of species and on the composition of habitats. This paper identifies the potential changes in the future distribution of species under the UKCIP98 climate change scenarios, in order that such changes can be taken into account in conservation management. [Location] The model was applied to Britain and Ireland. [Methods] A model based on an artificial neural network was used to predict the changing bioclimate envelopes of species in Britain and ...

 

Constraints on global fire activity vary across a resource gradient

  
Ecology, Vol. 92, No. 1. (2011), pp. 121-132, https://doi.org/10.1890/09-1843.1

Abstract

We provide an empirical, global test of the varying constraints hypothesis, which predicts systematic heterogeneity in the relative importance of biomass resources to burn and atmospheric conditions suitable to burning (weather/climate) across a spatial gradient of long-term resource availability. Analyses were based on relationships between monthly global wildfire activity, soil moisture, and mid-tropospheric circulation data from 2001 to 2007, synthesized across a gradient of long-term averages in resources (net primary productivity), annual temperature, and terrestrial biome.We demonstrate support for the varying ...

 

Land-use intensification causes multitrophic homogenization of grassland communities

  
Nature (30 November 2016), https://doi.org/10.1038/nature20575

Abstract

Land-use intensification is a major driver of biodiversity loss1, 2. Alongside reductions in local species diversity, biotic homogenization at larger spatial scales is of great concern for conservation. Biotic homogenization means a decrease in β-diversity (the compositional dissimilarity between sites). Most studies have investigated losses in local (α)-diversity1, 3 and neglected biodiversity loss at larger spatial scales. Studies addressing β-diversity have focused on single or a few organism groups (for example, ref. 4), and it is thus unknown whether land-use intensification ...

 

A radiative transfer model-based method for the estimation of grassland aboveground biomass

  
International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, Vol. 54 (February 2017), pp. 159-168, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jag.2016.10.002

Abstract

[Highlights] [::] The PROSAILH radiative transfer model was presented to estimate grassland AGB. [::] The ill-posed inversion problem was alleviated by using the ecological criteria. [::] Multi-source satellite products were used to filter the unrealistic combinations of retrieved free parameters. [::] Three empirical methods were also used to estimate the grassland AGB. [Abstract] This paper presents a novel method to derive grassland aboveground biomass (AGB) based on the PROSAILH (PROSPECT + SAILH) radiative transfer model (RTM). Two variables, leaf area index (LAI, m2m−2, defined as a one-side ...

 

Plant responses to increasing CO2 reduce estimates of climate impacts on drought severity

  
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 113, No. 36. (06 September 2016), pp. 10019-10024, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1604581113

Abstract

[Significance] We show that the water savings that plants experience under high CO2 conditions compensate for much of the effect of warmer temperatures, keeping the amount of water on land, on average, higher than we would predict with common drought metrics, and with a different spatial pattern. The implications of plants needing less water under high CO2 reaches beyond drought prediction to the assessment of climate change impacts on agriculture, water resources, wildfire risk, and vegetation dynamics. [Abstract] Rising atmospheric CO2 will make Earth ...

 

Addition of multiple limiting resources reduces grassland diversity

  
Nature, Vol. 537, No. 7618. (24 August 2016), pp. 93-96, https://doi.org/10.1038/nature19324

Abstract

Niche dimensionality provides a general theoretical explanation for biodiversitymore niches, defined by more limiting factors, allow for more ways that species can coexist. Because plant species compete for the same set of limiting resources, theory predicts that addition of a limiting resource eliminates potential trade-offs, reducing the number of species that can coexist. Multiple nutrient limitation of plant production is common and therefore fertilization may reduce diversity by reducing the number or dimensionality of belowground limiting factors. At the same time, ...

 

Ecology: more is less

  
Nature, Vol. 537, No. 7618. (31 August 2016), pp. 42-42, https://doi.org/10.1038/537042a

Abstract

[Excerpt] Plants compete for the same resources, such as nutrients, light and water. Because these resources are often limited, the coexistence of plant species requires the creation of trade-offs in resource use. In this issue, Harpole et al. report that increasing a limited nutrient in grassland can eliminate these potential trade-offs, reducing overall species diversity (W. S. Harpole et al. Nature 537, 93–96; 2016). [\n] The authors considered 45 grassland sites across 6 continents, and measured species diversity in response to various ...

 

Grassland species loss resulting from reduced niche dimension

  
Nature, Vol. 446, No. 7137. (25 March 2007), pp. 791-793, https://doi.org/10.1038/nature05684

Abstract

Intact ecosystems contain large numbers of competing but coexisting species. Although numerous alternative theories have provided potential explanations for this high biodiversity, there have been few field experiments testing between these theories. In particular, theory predicts that higher diversity of coexisting competitors could result from greater niche dimensionality1, for example larger numbers of limiting resources or factors. Alternatively, diversity could be independent of niche dimensionality because large numbers of species can coexist when limited by just one or two factors if ...

 

Competition for light causes plant biodiversity loss after eutrophication

  
Science, Vol. 324, No. 5927. (30 April 2009), pp. 636-638, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1169640

Abstract

Human activities have increased the availability of nutrients in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. In grasslands, this eutrophication causes loss of plant species diversity, but the mechanism of this loss has been difficult to determine. Using experimental grassland plant communities, we found that addition of light to the grassland understory prevented the loss of biodiversity caused by eutrophication. There was no detectable role for competition for soil resources in diversity loss. Thus, competition for light is a major mechanism of plant diversity ...

 

Intercomparison of MODIS albedo retrievals and in situ measurements across the global FLUXNET network

  
Remote Sensing of Environment, Vol. 121 (June 2012), pp. 323-334, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2012.02.019

Abstract

[Abstract] Surface albedo is a key parameter in the Earth's energy balance since it affects the amount of solar radiation directly absorbed at the planet surface. Its variability in time and space can be globally retrieved through the use of remote sensing products. To evaluate and improve the quality of satellite retrievals, careful intercomparisons with in situ measurements of surface albedo are crucial. For this purpose we compared MODIS albedo retrievals with surface measurements taken at 53 FLUXNET sites that met strict ...

 

Evaluation of MODIS albedo product (MCD43A) over grassland, agriculture and forest surface types during dormant and snow-covered periods

  
Remote Sensing of Environment, Vol. 140 (January 2014), pp. 60-77, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2013.08.025

Abstract

[Highlights] [::] We evaluated the MCD43A Albedo during dormant and snow covered period. [::] Spatial representativeness analysis is necessary for the albedo evaluation. [::] MODIS albedo performs well during vegetation dormancy and snow cover. [Abstract] This study assesses the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) BRDF/albedo 8 day standard product and products from the daily Direct Broadcast BRDF/albedo algorithm, and shows that these products agree well with ground-based albedo measurements during the more difficult periods of vegetation dormancy and snow cover. Cropland, grassland, deciduous and coniferous forests are ...

 

Has land use pushed terrestrial biodiversity beyond the planetary boundary? A global assessment

  
Science, Vol. 353, No. 6296. (14 July 2016), pp. 288-291, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaf2201

Abstract

[Crossing “safe” limits for biodiversity loss] The planetary boundaries framework attempts to set limits for biodiversity loss within which ecological function is relatively unaffected. Newbold et al. present a quantitative global analysis of the extent to which the proposed planetary boundary has been crossed (see the Perspective by Oliver). Using over 2 million records for nearly 40,000 terrestrial species, they modeled the response of biodiversity to land use and related pressures and then estimated, at a spatial resolution of ∼1 km2, the ...

 

Determining landscape fine fuel moisture content of the Kilmore East ‘Black Saturday’ wildfire using spatially-extended point-based models

  
Environmental Modelling & Software, Vol. 40 (February 2013), pp. 98-108, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsoft.2012.08.008

Abstract

[Abstract] Fuel moisture is the most dynamic component of bushfire fuels. It varies rapidly both spatially and temporally and plays a significant role in determining the behaviour and spread of bushfires, particularly through combustibility and ease of ignition of dead fine fuels (i.e. particle diameter <6 mm). The Kilmore East fire in Victoria, Australia, on 7 February, 2009 (“Black Saturday”) was the most destructive bushfire in Australia's history. Its behaviour was characterised by mass spotting (the launch, transport and landing of burning ...

 

Habitat destruction: death by a thousand cuts

  
In Conservation Biology for All (01 January 2010), pp. 73-87, https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199554232.003.0005

Abstract

[Excerpt] Humankind has dramatically transformed much of the Earth’s surface and its natural ecosystems. This process is not new—it has been ongoing for millennia—but it has accelerated sharply over the last two centuries, and especially in the last several decades. [\n] Today, the loss and degradation of natural habitats can be likened to a war of attrition. Many natural ecosystems are being progressively razed, bulldozed, and felled by axes or chainsaws, until only small scraps of their original extent survive. Forests have been hit especially hard: the global area of forests has been reduced ...

 

(INRMM-MiD internal record) List of keywords of the INRMM meta-information database - part 15

  
(February 2014)
Keywords: generalized-linear-models   genetic-adaptation   genetic-algorithms   genetic-conservation   genetic-correlations   genetic-differentiation   genetic-diversity   genetic-drift   genetic-resources   genetic-structure   genetic-variability   genetic-variation   genetically-modified-organism   genetics   genipa-americana   genomics   genotype-environment-interaction   genotypic-diversity   geobotany   geoffroea-decorticans   geographic-variation   geographical-range-limit   geographical-structure   geography-markup-language   geogrphical-range   geology   geomorphology   geonetwork   geopolitics   georgia   geospatial   geospatial-information-services   geospatial-semantic-array-programming   geostatistics   geothermal-energy   geranium-robertianum   germany   germination   ghg   gibberella-circinata   gibbsiella-quercinecans   gibraltar   ginkgo-biloba   ginkgoopsida   gis   glacial   glacial-refugia   glaciers   gleditsia-spp   gleditsia-triacanthos   gliricidia-sepium   glis-glis   global-biodiversity-information-facility   global-change   global-climate-models   global-scale   global-trend   global-warming   glossary   glyptostrobus-pensilis   gmelina-arborea   gnetopsida   gnu-bash   gnu-linux   gnu-make   gnu-octave   gnu-project   gnu-r   gold-open-access   google-scholar   government-policy   gplv2   gplv2orlater   gplv3   gplv3orlater   gplv3orlaterstatistics   graffenrieda-emarginata   grain   graph-theory   grass-gis   grass-gis-manual   grasslands   grazing   greece   green-alder   green-infrastructure   green-open-access   green-water   greenland   gregarina-typographi   gremmeniella-abietina   grevillea-robusta   gridded-data   ground-vegetation   groundwater   groundwater-table-depth   growing-stock   growth   growth-model   inrmm-list-of-tags  

Abstract

List of indexed keywords within the transdisciplinary set of domains which relate to the Integrated Natural Resources Modelling and Management (INRMM). In particular, the list of keywords maps the semantic tags in the INRMM Meta-information Database (INRMM-MiD). [\n] The INRMM-MiD records providing this list are accessible by the special tag: inrmm-list-of-tags ( http://mfkp.org/INRMM/tag/inrmm-list-of-tags ). ...

 

Global climate and the distribution of plant biomes

  
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 359, No. 1450. (29 October 2004), pp. 1465-1476, https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2004.1525

Abstract

Biomes are areas of vegetation that are characterized by the same life-form. Traditional definitions of biomes have also included either geographical or climatic descriptors. This approach describes a wide range of biomes that can be correlated with characteristic climatic conditions, or climatic envelopes. The application of remote sensing technology to the frequent observation of biomes has led to a move away from the often subjective definition of biomes to one that is objective. Carefully characterized observations of life-form, by satellite, have been used to reconsider biome ...

 

Amount, distribution and driving factors of soil organic carbon and nitrogen in cropland and grassland soils of southeast Germany (Bavaria)

  
Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Vol. 176 (August 2013), pp. 39-52, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2013.05.012

Abstract

[Highlights] [::] Drivers and distribution of agricultural SOC and N stocks of Bavaria were analyzed. [::] SOC differences between cropland and grassland are related to subsoil C. [::] Soil moisture controls SOC and N, temperature/precipitation are of minor importance. [::] Cropland and grassland soils in Bavaria store 242 and 134 Mt SOC and 19 and 12 Mt N. [::] For C sequestration soil types and topography are more important than land use. [Abstract] Agricultural soils have a high potential for sequestration of atmospheric carbon due to their volume ...

 

Vegetation-microclimate feedbacks in woodland-grassland ecotones

  
Global Ecology and Biogeography, Vol. 22, No. 4. (April 2013), pp. 364-379, https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12000

Abstract

[Aim] Climatic conditions exert a strong control on the geographic distribution of many woodland-to-grassland transition zones (or ‘tree lines’). Because woody plants have, in general, a weaker cold tolerance than herbaceous vegetation, their altitudinal or latitudinal limits are strongly controlled by cold sensitivity. While temperature controls on the dynamics of woodland–grassland ecotones are relatively well established, the ability of woody plants to modify their microclimate and to create habitat for seedling establishment and growth may involve a variety of processes that are ...

 

Plant parameter values for models in temperate climates

  
Ecological Modelling, Vol. 169, No. 2-3. (November 2003), pp. 237-293, https://doi.org/10.1016/s0304-3800(03)00274-6

Abstract

Ecological, and especially hydrological models used to assess the effects of land cover changes require various input parameters for plants. Regional model applications rely on detailed information about the properties of the vegetation, especially if process-based approaches are chosen. As raising acceptable data is a time consuming issue, scientists often use globally approximated plant parameter ranges, rather than considering published data sets. The plant parameters summarised in this overview, i.e. albedo, interception capacity, maximum leaf area index, rooting depth, plant height ...

 

Soil characteristics and landcover relationships on soil hydraulic conductivity at a hillslope scale: a view towards local flood management

  
Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 497 (August 2013), pp. 208-222, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2013.05.043

Abstract

We evaluate woodland/grassland cover and soil types to reduce local flooding. We measured field saturated hydraulic conductivity under grassland and woodland. Established broadleaf woodland had significantly higher infiltration rates than grassland. 1 in 10 year storm events would cause infiltration-excess overland flow on grassland. We suggest deciduous shelterbelts upslope could locally reduce overland flow. There are surprisingly few studies in humid temperate forests which provide reliable evidence that soil permeability is enhanced under forests. This work addresses this research gap through a ...

 

Rainfall infiltration and soil hydrological characteristics below ancient forest, planted forest and grassland in a temperate northern climate

  
Ecohydrology (2015), pp. n/a-n/a, https://doi.org/10.1002/eco.1658

Abstract

How rainfall infiltration rate and soil hydrological characteristics develop over time under forests of different ages in temperate regions is poorly understood. In this study, infiltration rate and soil hydrological characteristics were investigated under forests of different ages and under grassland. Soil hydraulic characteristics were measured at different scales under a 250-year-old grazed grassland (GL), 6-year-old (6yr) and 48-year-old (48yr) Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) plantations, remnant 300-year-old individual Scots pine (OT) and a 4000-year-old Caledonian Forest (AF). In situ field-saturated hydraulic ...

 

Technical note: comparing and ranking soil drought indices performance over Europe, through remote-sensing of vegetation

  
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Vol. 14, No. 2. (12 February 2010), pp. 271-277, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-14-271-2010

Abstract

In the past years there have been many attempts to produce and improve global soil-moisture datasets and drought indices. However, comparing and validating these various datasets is not straightforward. Here, interannual variations in drought indices are compared to interannual changes in vegetation, as captured by NDVI. By comparing the correlations of the different indices with NDVI we evaluated which drought index describes most realistically the actual changes in vegetation. Strong correlation between NDVI and the drought indices were found in areas ...

 

Economic valuation of landslide damage in hilly regions: A case study from Flanders, Belgium

  
Science of The Total Environment, Vol. 447 (March 2013), pp. 323-336, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.01.025

Abstract

Several regions around the globe are at risk of incurring damage from landslides, but only few studies have concentrated on a quantitative estimate of the overall damage caused by landslides at a regional scale. This study therefore starts with a quantitative economic assessment of the direct and indirect damage caused by landslides in a 2910 km2 study area located west of Brussels, a low-relief region susceptible to landslides. Based on focus interviews as well as on semi-structured interviews with homeowners, civil ...

 

Patterns of Shrub Invasion into High Mountain Grasslands of the Northern Calcareous Alps, Austria

  
Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, Vol. 35, No. 4. (2003), pp. 434-441

Abstract

Both land use and expected climate change will probably cause range shifts of tree and shrub species in the European Alps. Attempts to predict the magnitude and direction of these processes will produce reliable results only if they consider both abiotic habitat conditions and biotic interactions. In this study we analyze recruitment patterns of Pinus mugo Turra in different grassland communities of the Northern Calcareous Alps, Austria. Pinus mugo is the most important invader of abandoned subalpine pastures in the area ...

 

Rates and spatial variations of soil erosion in Europe: a study based on erosion plot data

  
Geomorphology, Vol. 122, No. 1-2. (23 October 2010), pp. 167-177, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2010.06.011

Abstract

An extensive database of short to medium-term erosion rates as measured on erosion plots in Europe under natural rainfall was compiled from the literature. Statistical analysis confirmed the dominant influence of land use and cover on soil erosion rates. Sheet and rill erosion rates are highest on bare soil; vineyards show the second highest soil losses, followed by other arable lands (spring crops, orchards and winter crops). A land with a permanent vegetation cover (shrubs, grassland and forest) is characterised by ...

 

Wild cherries invading natural grasslands: unraveling colonization history from population structure and spatial patterns

  
Plant Ecology In Plant Ecology, Vol. 214, No. 11. (2013), pp. 1299-1307, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11258-013-0252-4

Abstract

Invasive success of many fleshy-fruited plants has been linked to opportunistic interactions with generalist frugivores. Prunus mahaleb is a small tree, producing large quantities of little, bright black, sugary drupes that are consumed by vertebrates. It is native to the Mediterranean region but has become invasive in several countries. This study was carried out at a nature reserve including remnant mountain grasslands of high conservation value in the southern Argentine Pampas. Our aim is to reconstruct the colonization history of invading ...

 

Spatial patterns of dispersal, seed predation and germination during colonization of abandoned grassland by Quercus petraea and Corylus avellana

  
Vegetatio, Vol. 125, No. 2. (August 1996), pp. 193-205, https://doi.org/10.1007/bf00044651

Abstract

Key processes during recruitment of Quercus petraea and Corylus avellana were investigated in abandoned calcareous grasslands and adjacent scrub using the following methods: (1) observation of hoarding animals during the main period of ripening of acorns and hazel nuts, (2) exposition of seeds on the soil surface and in 5–6 cm depth to test differences in predation and germination, and (3) mapping of seedlings in the grasslands. European jays (Garrulus glandarius) and mice were the main disperser of seeds. Jays preferred ...

 

Evaluating anthropogenic risk of grassland and forest habitat degradation using land-cover data

  
Landscape Online, Vol. 13 (2009)

Abstract

The effects of landscape context on habitat quality are receiving increased attention in conservation biology. The objective of this research is to demonstrate a landscape-level approach to mapping and evaluating the anthropogenic risks of grassland and forest habitat degradation by examining habitat context as defined by intensive anthropogenic land uses at multiple spatial scales. A landscape mosaic model classifies a given location according to the amounts of intensive agriculture and intensive development in its surrounding landscape, providing measures of anthropogenic risks ...

 

Wildfires and landscape patterns in the Eastern Iberian peninsula

  
Landscape Ecology, Vol. 17, No. 8. (2002), pp. 745-759, https://doi.org/10.1023/a%3a1022966930861

Abstract

The relations between disturbance regime and landscape patterns have been developed from a theoretical perspective, but few studies have tested these relations when forces promoting opposing heterogeneity patterns are simultaneously operating on a landscape. This work provides quantitative evidence of these relations in areas dominated by human activity, showing that landscape heterogeneity decreases disturbance spread. In turn, disturbance introduces a source of landscape heterogeneity, but it is not enough to counterbalance the homogeneity trend due to agricultural abandonment. Land cover changes ...

 

Rethinking the contribution of drained and undrained grasslands to sediment-related water quality problems

  
Journal of Environment Quality, Vol. 37, No. 3. (1 May 2008), pp. 906-914, https://doi.org/10.2134/jeq2007.0457

Abstract

Grass vegetation has been recommended for use in the prevention and control of soil erosion because of its dense sward characteristics and stabilizing effect on the soil. A general assumption is that grassland environments suffer from minimal soil erosion and therefore present little threat to the water quality of surface waters in terms of sediment and sorbed contaminant pollution. Our data question this assumption, reporting results from one hydrological year of observations on a field-experiment monitoring overland flow, drain flow, fluxes ...

 

Phenological monitoring of grassland and larch in the Alps from Terra and Aqua MODIS images

  
Italian Journal of Remote Sensing, Vol. 43 (31 October 2011), pp. 83-96, https://doi.org/10.5721/itjrs20114336

Abstract

This study compares MODIS NDVI 16-day (250 m) time series, acquired by Terra and Aqua platforms, for monitoring the phenological cycle of larch and grasslands in an alpine environment. The accuracy of MODIS 250 m Terra and Aqua phenological metrics was evaluated for larch forests through comparison with field data. At regional level it was carried out a correlation analysis between the mean dates of start and end of season detected from MODIS Terra and Aqua in different years. Regional maps ...

 

A coherent set of future land use change scenarios for Europe

  
Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment In Scenario-Based Studies of Future Land Use in Europe, Vol. 114, No. 1. (May 2006), pp. 57-68, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2005.11.027

Abstract

This paper presents a range of future, spatially explicit, land use change scenarios for the EU15, Norway and Switzerland based on an interpretation of the global storylines of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that are presented in the special report on emissions scenarios (SRES). The methodology is based on a qualitative interpretation of the SRES storylines for the European region, an estimation of the aggregate totals of land use change using various land use change models and the allocation ...

 

A Significant Upward Shift in Plant Species Optimum Elevation During the 20th Century

  
Science, Vol. 320, No. 5884. (27 June 2008), pp. 1768-1771, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1156831

Abstract

Spatial fingerprints of climate change on biotic communities are usually associated with changes in the distribution of species at their latitudinal or altitudinal extremes. By comparing the altitudinal distribution of 171 forest plant species between 1905 and 1985 and 1986 and 2005 along the entire elevation range (0 to 2600 meters above sea level) in west Europe, we show that climate warming has resulted in a significant upward shift in species optimum elevation averaging 29 meters per decade. The shift is ...

 

The velocity of climate change

  
Nature, Vol. 462, No. 7276. (24 December 2009), pp. 1052-1055, https://doi.org/10.1038/nature08649

Abstract

The ranges of plants and animals are moving in response to recent changes in climate1. As temperatures rise, ecosystems with ‘nowhere to go’, such as mountains, are considered to be more threatened2, 3. However, species survival may depend as much on keeping pace with moving climates as the climate’s ultimate persistence4, 5. Here we present a new index of the velocity of temperature change (km yr-1), derived from spatial gradients (°C km-1) and multimodel ensemble forecasts of rates of temperature increase (°C yr-1) ...

 

Carbon stocks and soil respiration rates during deforestation, grassland use and subsequent Norway spruce afforestation in the Southern Alps, Italy

  
Tree Physiology, Vol. 20, No. 13. (01 July 2000), pp. 849-857, https://doi.org/10.1093/treephys/20.13.849

Abstract

Changes in carbon stocks during deforestation, reforestation and afforestation play an important role in the global carbon cycle. Cultivation of forest lands leads to substantial losses in both biomass and soil carbon, whereas forest regrowth is considered to be a significant carbon sink. We examined below- and aboveground carbon stocks along a chronosequence of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) stands (0–62 years old) regenerating on abandoned meadows in the Southern Alps. A 130-year-old mixed coniferous Norway spruce–white fir (Abies alba ...

 

Post-wildfire soil erosion in the Mediterranean: review and future research directions

  
Earth-Science Reviews, Vol. 105, No. 3-4. (20 April 2011), pp. 71-100, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.earscirev.2011.01.001

Abstract

Wildfires increased dramatically in frequency and extent in the European Mediterranean region from the 1960s, aided by a general warming and drying trend, but driven primarily by socio-economic changes, including rural depopulation, land abandonment and afforestation with flammable species. Published research into post-wildfire hydrology and soil erosion, beginning during the 1980s in Spain, has been followed by studies in other European Mediterranean countries together with Israel and has now attained a sufficiently large critical mass to warrant a major review. Although ...

 

Assessment of fire selectivity in relation to land cover and topography: a comparison between Southern European countries

  
International Journal of Wildland Fire (2013), https://doi.org/10.1071/wf12053

Abstract

Land cover distribution is one of the factors that influence fire behaviour and its consequences in the landscape. The relation between land cover type and fire was investigated at a broad scale, in order to analyse land cover differences in fire proneness. The selection ratio for nine different land cover categories was calculated for the fire perimeters mapped in Southern Europe between 2000 and 2008. The results obtained were then compared per country and region. The fire proneness of topographic classes ...

 

Woody plant encroachment facilitated by increased precipitation intensity

  
Nature Climate Change, Vol. 3, No. 9. (26 May 2013), pp. 833-837, https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate1904

Abstract

Global circulation models and empirical evidence suggest that precipitation events are likely to become more extreme across much of the globe1, 2. As most plant roots are in shallow soils3, 4, 5, small but pervasive changes in precipitation intensity could be expected to cause large-scale shifts in plant growth, yet experimental tests of the effects of precipitation intensity are lacking6, 7, 8, 9. Here we show that, without changing the total amount of precipitation, small experimental increases in precipitation intensity can ...

 

Innovative grassland management systems for environmental and livelihood benefits

  
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 110, No. 21. (21 May 2013), pp. 8369-8374, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1208063110

Abstract

Grasslands occupy 40% of the world’s land surface (excluding Antarctica and Greenland) and support diverse groups, from traditional extensive nomadic to intense livestock-production systems. Population pressures mean that many of these grasslands are in a degraded state, particularly in less-productive areas of developing countries, affecting not only productivity but also vital environmental services such as hydrology, biodiversity, and carbon cycles; livestock condition is often poor and household incomes are at or below poverty levels. The challenge is to optimize management practices ...

 

Small mammal abundance in Mediterranean post-fire habitats: a role for predators?

  
Acta Oecologica, Vol. 25, No. 3. (May 2004), pp. 137-142, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actao.2003.10.007

Abstract

We studied patterns of small mammal abundance and species richness in post-fire habitats by sampling 33 plots (225 m2 each) representing different stages of vegetation recovery after fire. Small mammal abundance was estimated by live trapping during early spring 1999 and vegetation structure was sampled by visual estimation at the same plots. Recently–burnt areas were characterised by shrubby and herbaceous vegetation with low structural variability, and unburnt areas were characterised by well developed forest cover with high structural complexity. Small mammal abundance and ...

 

Are drought and wildfires turning Mediterranean cork oak forests into persistent shrublands?

  
Agroforestry Systems In Agroforestry Systems, Vol. 76, No. 2. (2009), pp. 389-400, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10457-008-9165-y

Abstract

In the Iberian Peninsula Mediterranean oak forests have been transformed into a mosaic landscape of four main patch-types: forests, savannas, shrublands and grasslands. We used aerial photographs over a period of 45 years (1958–2002) to quantify the persistence and rates of transitions between vegetation patch-types in southern Portugal, where cork oak is the dominant tree species. We used logistic regression to relate vegetation changes with topographical features and wildfire history. Over the 45 years, shrublands have been the most persistent patch-type (59%), and ...

 

Bioenergy: Biofuel production on the margins

  
Nature, Vol. 493, No. 7433. (24 January 2013), pp. 483-485, https://doi.org/10.1038/nature11853

Abstract

An analysis shows that fuel made from wild, herbaceous vegetation grown on land currently unsuitable for cultivating field crops could contribute substantially to the United States' targets for biofuel production. ...

 

Ecosystem resilience despite large-scale altered hydroclimatic conditions

  
Nature, Vol. 494, No. 7437. (20 January 2013), pp. 349-352, https://doi.org/10.1038/nature11836

Abstract

Climate change is predicted to increase both drought frequency and duration, and when coupled with substantial warming, will establish a new hydroclimatological model for many regions1. Large-scale, warm droughts have recently occurred in North America, Africa, Europe, Amazonia and Australia, resulting in major effects on terrestrial ecosystems, carbon balance and food security2, 3. Here we compare the functional response of above-ground net primary production to contrasting hydroclimatic periods in the late twentieth century (1975–1998), and drier, warmer conditions in the early ...

 

Soil Seed Banks in European Grasslands: Does Land Use Affect Regeneration Perspectives?

  
The Journal of Applied Ecology, Vol. 34, No. 5. (October 1997), 1293, https://doi.org/10.2307/2405239

Abstract

1. Soil seed banks of 38 grassland sites in western Europe were sampled and species composition was determined. All sites differed in geographical region, soil type and intensity of management. 2. Relationships between the composition of the seed bank, the established vegetation, and soil and management parameters were analysed using different ordination techniques. 3. Common species in the seed bank of extensively managed grasslands were Juncus without septa, Plantago lanceolata, Holcus lanatus and Cerastium fontanum. General differences in the species composition ...

 

High plant diversity is needed to maintain ecosystem services

  
Nature, Vol. 477, No. 7363. (10 August 2011), pp. 199-202, https://doi.org/10.1038/nature10282

Abstract

Biodiversity is rapidly declining worldwide, and there is consensus that this can decrease ecosystem functioning and services. It remains unclear, though, whether few or many of the species in an ecosystem are needed to sustain the provisioning of ecosystem services. It has been hypothesized that most species would promote ecosystem services if many times, places, functions and environmental changes were considered; however, no previous study has considered all of these factors together. Here we show that 84% of the 147 grassland ...

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