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Vegetation-Climate Feedbacks Enhance Spatial Heterogeneity of Pan-Amazonian Ecosystem States Under Climate Change

Wu, Minchao LU ; Smith, Benjamin LU ; Schurgers, Guy LU ; Ahlström, Anders LU and Rummukainen, Markku LU (2021) In Geophysical Research Letters 48(8).
Abstract

Amazonian ecosystems range from rainforest to open dryland vegetation, with a following decrease in biomass along the moisture gradient. Biomass can vary greatly at the ecological transition zone between grass dominated savannahs and the forest. It is not well understood if the transition zone could expand under climate change, and thereby reduce ecosystem stability and carbon storage in biomass. Here, we quantify such changes by using a high-resolution regional Earth system model under RCP 8.5 climate scenario. We disentangle the effects of climate, CO2, and land use by considering vegetation-climate feedbacks. Our results suggest that future climate change combined with elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration... (More)

Amazonian ecosystems range from rainforest to open dryland vegetation, with a following decrease in biomass along the moisture gradient. Biomass can vary greatly at the ecological transition zone between grass dominated savannahs and the forest. It is not well understood if the transition zone could expand under climate change, and thereby reduce ecosystem stability and carbon storage in biomass. Here, we quantify such changes by using a high-resolution regional Earth system model under RCP 8.5 climate scenario. We disentangle the effects of climate, CO2, and land use by considering vegetation-climate feedbacks. Our results suggest that future climate change combined with elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration tends to induce a larger spatial gradient of ecosystem states, increasing the transition area by ∼110% at the end of the century. Vegetation feedbacks generally amplify the climate effect by intensifying the climate-induced warming and drought, further enhancing spatial heterogeneity.

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author
; ; ; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
above-ground biomass, Amazonian ecosystems, spatial heterogeneity, vegetation feedback
in
Geophysical Research Letters
volume
48
issue
8
article number
e2020GL092001
publisher
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
external identifiers
  • scopus:85105007138
ISSN
0094-8276
DOI
10.1029/2020GL092001
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
87b025ba-b26a-46fc-a9c3-bb84625501ce
date added to LUP
2021-05-12 09:16:26
date last changed
2021-05-12 09:16:26
@article{87b025ba-b26a-46fc-a9c3-bb84625501ce,
  abstract     = {<p>Amazonian ecosystems range from rainforest to open dryland vegetation, with a following decrease in biomass along the moisture gradient. Biomass can vary greatly at the ecological transition zone between grass dominated savannahs and the forest. It is not well understood if the transition zone could expand under climate change, and thereby reduce ecosystem stability and carbon storage in biomass. Here, we quantify such changes by using a high-resolution regional Earth system model under RCP 8.5 climate scenario. We disentangle the effects of climate, CO<sub>2</sub>, and land use by considering vegetation-climate feedbacks. Our results suggest that future climate change combined with elevated atmospheric CO<sub>2</sub> concentration tends to induce a larger spatial gradient of ecosystem states, increasing the transition area by ∼110% at the end of the century. Vegetation feedbacks generally amplify the climate effect by intensifying the climate-induced warming and drought, further enhancing spatial heterogeneity.</p>},
  author       = {Wu, Minchao and Smith, Benjamin and Schurgers, Guy and Ahlström, Anders and Rummukainen, Markku},
  issn         = {0094-8276},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {8},
  publisher    = {American Geophysical Union (AGU)},
  series       = {Geophysical Research Letters},
  title        = {Vegetation-Climate Feedbacks Enhance Spatial Heterogeneity of Pan-Amazonian Ecosystem States Under Climate Change},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2020GL092001},
  doi          = {10.1029/2020GL092001},
  volume       = {48},
  year         = {2021},
}