Pervasive drought legacies in forest ecosystems and their implications for carbon cycle models

W. R L Anderegg, Christopher R Schwalm, F. Biondi, J. J. Camarero, George W Koch, M. Litvak, K. Ogle, J. D. Shaw, E. Shevliakova, A. P. Williams, A. Wolf, E. Ziaco, S. Pacala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

258 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The impacts of climate extremes on terrestrial ecosystems are poorly understood but important for predicting carbon cycle feedbacks to climate change. Coupled climate-carbon cycle models typically assume that vegetation recovery from extreme drought is immediate and complete, which conflicts with the understanding of basic plant physiology. We examined the recovery of stem growth in trees after severe drought at 1338 forest sites across the globe, comprising 49,339 site-years, and compared the results with simulated recovery in climate-vegetation models.We found pervasive and substantial "legacy effects" of reduced growth and incomplete recovery for 1 to 4 years after severe drought. Legacy effects were most prevalent in dry ecosystems, among Pinaceae, and among species with low hydraulic safety margins. In contrast, limited or no legacy effects after drought were simulated by current climate-vegetation models. Our results highlight hysteresis in ecosystem-level carbon cycling and delayed recovery from climate extremes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)528-532
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume349
Issue number6247
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 31 2015

Fingerprint

Carbon Cycle
Droughts
Climate
Ecosystem
Pinaceae
Plant Physiological Phenomena
Climate Change
Growth
Carbon
Forests
Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Pervasive drought legacies in forest ecosystems and their implications for carbon cycle models. / Anderegg, W. R L; Schwalm, Christopher R; Biondi, F.; Camarero, J. J.; Koch, George W; Litvak, M.; Ogle, K.; Shaw, J. D.; Shevliakova, E.; Williams, A. P.; Wolf, A.; Ziaco, E.; Pacala, S.

In: Science, Vol. 349, No. 6247, 31.07.2015, p. 528-532.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Anderegg, WRL, Schwalm, CR, Biondi, F, Camarero, JJ, Koch, GW, Litvak, M, Ogle, K, Shaw, JD, Shevliakova, E, Williams, AP, Wolf, A, Ziaco, E & Pacala, S 2015, 'Pervasive drought legacies in forest ecosystems and their implications for carbon cycle models', Science, vol. 349, no. 6247, pp. 528-532. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aab1833
Anderegg, W. R L ; Schwalm, Christopher R ; Biondi, F. ; Camarero, J. J. ; Koch, George W ; Litvak, M. ; Ogle, K. ; Shaw, J. D. ; Shevliakova, E. ; Williams, A. P. ; Wolf, A. ; Ziaco, E. ; Pacala, S. / Pervasive drought legacies in forest ecosystems and their implications for carbon cycle models. In: Science. 2015 ; Vol. 349, No. 6247. pp. 528-532.
@article{b37ad43b87fe4756b7f4689df3410e04,
title = "Pervasive drought legacies in forest ecosystems and their implications for carbon cycle models",
abstract = "The impacts of climate extremes on terrestrial ecosystems are poorly understood but important for predicting carbon cycle feedbacks to climate change. Coupled climate-carbon cycle models typically assume that vegetation recovery from extreme drought is immediate and complete, which conflicts with the understanding of basic plant physiology. We examined the recovery of stem growth in trees after severe drought at 1338 forest sites across the globe, comprising 49,339 site-years, and compared the results with simulated recovery in climate-vegetation models.We found pervasive and substantial {"}legacy effects{"} of reduced growth and incomplete recovery for 1 to 4 years after severe drought. Legacy effects were most prevalent in dry ecosystems, among Pinaceae, and among species with low hydraulic safety margins. In contrast, limited or no legacy effects after drought were simulated by current climate-vegetation models. Our results highlight hysteresis in ecosystem-level carbon cycling and delayed recovery from climate extremes.",
author = "Anderegg, {W. R L} and Schwalm, {Christopher R} and F. Biondi and Camarero, {J. J.} and Koch, {George W} and M. Litvak and K. Ogle and Shaw, {J. D.} and E. Shevliakova and Williams, {A. P.} and A. Wolf and E. Ziaco and S. Pacala",
year = "2015",
month = "7",
day = "31",
doi = "10.1126/science.aab1833",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "349",
pages = "528--532",
journal = "Science",
issn = "0036-8075",
publisher = "American Association for the Advancement of Science",
number = "6247",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Pervasive drought legacies in forest ecosystems and their implications for carbon cycle models

AU - Anderegg, W. R L

AU - Schwalm, Christopher R

AU - Biondi, F.

AU - Camarero, J. J.

AU - Koch, George W

AU - Litvak, M.

AU - Ogle, K.

AU - Shaw, J. D.

AU - Shevliakova, E.

AU - Williams, A. P.

AU - Wolf, A.

AU - Ziaco, E.

AU - Pacala, S.

PY - 2015/7/31

Y1 - 2015/7/31

N2 - The impacts of climate extremes on terrestrial ecosystems are poorly understood but important for predicting carbon cycle feedbacks to climate change. Coupled climate-carbon cycle models typically assume that vegetation recovery from extreme drought is immediate and complete, which conflicts with the understanding of basic plant physiology. We examined the recovery of stem growth in trees after severe drought at 1338 forest sites across the globe, comprising 49,339 site-years, and compared the results with simulated recovery in climate-vegetation models.We found pervasive and substantial "legacy effects" of reduced growth and incomplete recovery for 1 to 4 years after severe drought. Legacy effects were most prevalent in dry ecosystems, among Pinaceae, and among species with low hydraulic safety margins. In contrast, limited or no legacy effects after drought were simulated by current climate-vegetation models. Our results highlight hysteresis in ecosystem-level carbon cycling and delayed recovery from climate extremes.

AB - The impacts of climate extremes on terrestrial ecosystems are poorly understood but important for predicting carbon cycle feedbacks to climate change. Coupled climate-carbon cycle models typically assume that vegetation recovery from extreme drought is immediate and complete, which conflicts with the understanding of basic plant physiology. We examined the recovery of stem growth in trees after severe drought at 1338 forest sites across the globe, comprising 49,339 site-years, and compared the results with simulated recovery in climate-vegetation models.We found pervasive and substantial "legacy effects" of reduced growth and incomplete recovery for 1 to 4 years after severe drought. Legacy effects were most prevalent in dry ecosystems, among Pinaceae, and among species with low hydraulic safety margins. In contrast, limited or no legacy effects after drought were simulated by current climate-vegetation models. Our results highlight hysteresis in ecosystem-level carbon cycling and delayed recovery from climate extremes.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84939793139&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84939793139&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1126/science.aab1833

DO - 10.1126/science.aab1833

M3 - Article

C2 - 26228147

AN - SCOPUS:84939793139

VL - 349

SP - 528

EP - 532

JO - Science

JF - Science

SN - 0036-8075

IS - 6247

ER -