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Functional Group, Biomass, and Climate Change Effects on Ecological Drought in Semiarid Grasslands
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Department of Biology, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.
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2018 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research - Biogeosciences, ISSN 2169-8953, E-ISSN 2169-8961, Vol. 123, no 3, p. 1072-1085Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Water relations in plant communities are influenced both by contrasting functional groups (grasses and shrubs) and by climate change via complex effects on interception, uptake, and transpiration. We modeled the effects of functional group replacement and biomass increase, both of which can be outcomes of invasion and vegetation management, and climate change on ecological drought (soil water potential below which photosynthesis stops) in 340 semiarid grassland sites over 30year periods. Relative to control vegetation (climate and site-determined mixes of functional groups), the frequency and duration of drought were increased by shrubs and decreased by annual grasses. The rankings of shrubs, control vegetation, and annual grasses in terms of drought effects were generally consistent in current and future climates, suggesting that current differences among functional groups on drought effects predict future differences. Climate change accompanied by experimentally increased biomass (i.e., the effects of invasions that increase community biomass or management that increases productivity through fertilization or respite from grazing) increased drought frequency and duration and advanced drought onset. Our results suggest that the replacement of perennial temperate semiarid grasslands by shrubs, or increased biomass, can increase ecological drought in both current and future climates.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 123, no 3, p. 1072-1085
Keywords [en]
biological invasion, ecosystem function, global change, precipitation
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-147473DOI: 10.1002/2017JG004173ISI: 000430181200022OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-147473DiVA, id: diva2:1203796
Available from: 2018-05-04 Created: 2018-05-04 Last updated: 2018-05-04Bibliographically approved

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