Increasing climatic sensitivity of global grassland vegetation biomass and species diversity correlates with water availability
Research output: Contribution to journal › Review article
Grasslands are key repositories of biodiversity and carbon storage and are heavily impacted by effects of global warming and changes in precipitation regimes. Patterns of grassland dynamics associated with variability in future climate conditions across spatiotemporal scales are yet to be adequately quantified. Here, we performed a global meta-analysis of year and growing season sensitivities of vegetation aboveground biomass (AGB), aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP), and species richness (SR) and diversity (Shannon index, H) to experimental climate warming and precipitation shifts. All four variables were sensitive to climate change. Their sensitivities to shifts in precipitation were correlated with local background water availability, such as mean annual precipitation (MAP) and aridity, and AGB and ANPP sensitivities were greater in dry habitats than in non-water limited habitats. There was no effect of duration of experiment (short vs long-term) on sensitivities. Temporal trends in ANPP and SR sensitivity depended on local water availability; ANPP sensitivity to warming increased over time and SR sensitivity to irrigation decreased over time. Our results provide a global overview of the sensitivities of grassland function and diversity to climate change that will improve understanding of ecological responses across spatiotemporal scales and inform policies for conservation in dry climates.
|Research areas and keywords||
Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 2021 Feb 12|