An ecoclimatic framework for evaluating the resilience of vegetation to water deficit

Mitchell, Patrick J., O'Grady, Anthony P., Pinkard, Elizabeth A., Brodribb, Timothy J., Arndt, Stefan K., Blackman, Chris J., Duursma, Remko A., Fensham, Rod J., Hilbert, David W., Nitschke, Craig R., Norris, Jaymie, Roxburgh, Stephen H., Ruthrof, Katinka X. and Tissue, David T. (2016) An ecoclimatic framework for evaluating the resilience of vegetation to water deficit. Global Change Biology, 22 5: 1677-1689. doi:10.1111/gcb.13177

Author Mitchell, Patrick J.
O'Grady, Anthony P.
Pinkard, Elizabeth A.
Brodribb, Timothy J.
Arndt, Stefan K.
Blackman, Chris J.
Duursma, Remko A.
Fensham, Rod J.
Hilbert, David W.
Nitschke, Craig R.
Norris, Jaymie
Roxburgh, Stephen H.
Ruthrof, Katinka X.
Tissue, David T.
Title An ecoclimatic framework for evaluating the resilience of vegetation to water deficit
Journal name Global Change Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1365-2486
Publication date 2016-05-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/gcb.13177
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 22
Issue 5
Start page 1677
End page 1689
Total pages 13
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The surge in global efforts to understand the causes and consequences of drought on forest ecosystems has tended to focus on specific impacts such as mortality. We propose an ecoclimatic framework that takes a broader view of the ecological relevance of water deficits, linking elements of exposure and resilience to cumulative impacts on a range of ecosystem processes. This ecoclimatic framework is underpinned by two hypotheses: (i) exposure to water deficit can be represented probabilistically and used to estimate exposure thresholds across different vegetation types or ecosystems; and (ii) the cumulative impact of a series of water deficit events is defined by attributes governing the resistance and recovery of the affected processes. We present case studies comprising Pinus edulis and Eucalyptus globulus, tree species with contrasting ecological strategies, which demonstrate how links between exposure and resilience can be examined within our proposed framework. These examples reveal how climatic thresholds can be defined along a continuum of vegetation functional responses to water deficit regimes. The strength of this framework lies in identifying climatic thresholds on vegetation function in the absence of more complete mechanistic understanding, thereby guiding the formulation, application and benchmarking of more detailed modelling.
Keyword Climate vulnerability
Climatic thresholds
Drought mortality
Drought resistance
Forest ecosystems
Plant hydraulics
Tree die-off
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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