Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: March 2019

CHAPTER SIX - Will climate change push grasslands past critical thresholds?

from Part I - Grassland dynamics and climate change
6.6
1.Reynolds, JF, Smith, DMS, Lambin, EF, Turner, BL, Mortimore, M, Batterbury, SPJ, et al. Global desertification: building a science for dryland development. Science. 2007;316(5826):847–51.
2.Scholes, RJ, Archer, SR. Tree–grass interactions in savannas. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics. 1997;28(1):517–44.
3.Ladwig, LM, Ratajczak, ZR, Ocheltree, TW, Hafich, KA, Churchill, AC, Frey, SJK, et al. Beyond arctic and alpine: the influence of winter climate on temperate ecosystems. Ecology. 2016;97(2):372–82.
4.Tilman, D, Isbell, F, Cowles, JM. Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution & Systematics. 2014;45:471–93.
5.Jones, MB. Projected climate change and the global distribution of grasslands. In: Gibson, DJ, Newman, JA, editors. Grasslands and climate change. Ecological reviews. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2019. pp. 67–81.
6.Kirtman, B, Power, SB, Adedoyin, AJ, Boer, GJ, Bojariu, R, Camilloni, I, et al. Near-term climate change: projections and predictability. In: Stocker, TF, Qin, D, Plattner, G-K, Tignor, M, Allen, SK, Boschung, J, et al., editors. Climate change 2013: the physical science basis contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2013.
7.Collins, SL, Carpenter, SR, Swinton, SM, Orenstein, DE, Childers, DL, Gragson, TL, et al. An integrated conceptual framework for long‐term social–ecological research. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 2011;9(6):351–7.
8.Jentsch, A, Kreyling, J, Beierkuhnlein, C. A new generation of climate‐change experiments: events, not trends. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 2007;5(7):365–74.
9.Smith, MD. An ecological perspective on extreme climatic events: a synthetic definition and framework to guide future research. Journal of Ecology. 2011;99(3):656–63.
10.Holling, CS. Resilience and stability of ecological systems. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics. 1973;4(1):123.
11.Scheffer, M. Critical transitions in nature and society. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press; 2009.
12.van Nes, EH, Arani, BMS, Staal, A, van der Bolt, B, Flores, BM, Bathiany, S, et al. What do you mean,‘tipping point’? Trends in Ecology & Evolution. 2016;31(12):902–4.
13.Briske, DD, Bestelmeyer, BT, Stringham, TK, Shaver, PL. Recommendations for development of resilience-based state-and-transition models. Rangeland Ecology & Management. 2008;61(4):359–67.
14.Folke, C, Carpenter, S, Walker, B, Scheffer, M, Elmqvist, T, Gunderson, L, et al. Regime shifts, resilience, and biodiversity in ecosystem management. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution & Systematics. 2004;35:557–81.
15.Elmendorf, SC, Henry, GHR, Hollister, RD, Björk, RG, Boulanger-Lapointe, N, Cooper, EJ, et al. Plot-scale evidence of tundra vegetation change and links to recent summer warming. Nature Climate Change. 2012;2(6):453.
16.Walker, B, Holling, CS, Carpenter, SR, Kinzig, A. Resilience, adaptability and transformability in social–ecological systems. Ecology and Society. 2004;9(2):5.
17.Kayler, ZE, De Boeck, HJ, Fatichi, S, Grünzweig, JM, Merbold, L, Beier, C, et al. Experiments to confront the environmental extremes of climate change. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 2015;13(4):219–25.
18.Smith, MD, Knapp, AK, Collins, SL. A framework for assessing ecosystem dynamics in response to chronic resource alterations induced by global change. Ecology. 2009;90(12):3279–89.
19.Westoby, M, Walker, B, Noy-Meir, I. Opportunistic management for rangelands not at equilibrium. Journal of Range Management. 1989;42(4):266–74.
20.D’Odorico, P, Bhattachan, A, Davis, KF, Ravi, S, Runyan, CW. Global desertification: drivers and feedbacks. Advances in Water Resources. 2013;51:326–44.
21.Peters, DPC, Yao, J, Sala, OE, Anderson, JP. Directional climate change and potential reversal of desertification in arid and semiarid ecosystems. Global Change Biology. 2012;18(1):151–63.
22.Ratajczak, Z, Churchill, A, Ladwig, L, Collins, SL. Effects of an extreme climate event and wildfire on tallgrass prairie vegetation. 2018 (unpublished).
23.Rondeau, RJ, Pearson, KT, Kelso, S. Vegetation response in a Colorado grassland–shrub community to extreme drought: 1999–2010. American Midlands Naturalist. 2013;170(1):1425.
24.Abatzoglou, JT, Kolden, CA. Climate change in western US deserts: potential for increased wildfire and invasive annual grasses. Rangeland Ecology & Management. 2011;64(5):471–8.
25.Brooks, ML, D’Antonio, CM, Richardson, DM, Grace, JB, Keeley, JE, DiTomaso, JM, et al. Effects of invasive alien plants on fire regimes. Bioscience. 2004;54(7):677–88.
26.D’Odorico, P, He, Y, Collins, S, De Wekker, SFJ, Engel, V, Fuentes, JD. Vegetation–microclimate feedbacks in woodland–grassland ecotones. Global Ecology and Biogeography. 2013;22(4):364–79.
27.Gherardi, LA, Sala, OE. Enhanced precipitation variability decreases grass- and increases shrub-productivity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. 2015;112(41):12,735–40.
28.Holmgren, M, Lin, CY, Murillo, JE, Nieuwenhuis, A, Penninkhof, J, Sanders, N, et al. Positive shrub–tree interactions facilitate woody encroachment in boreal peatlands. Journal of Ecology. 2015;103(1):5866.
29.Walker, BH, Ludwig, D, Holling, CS, Peterman, RM. Stability of semi-arid savanna grazing systems. Journal of Ecology. 1981:473–98.
30.Bonachela, JA, Pringle, RM, Sheffer, E, Coverdale, TC, Guyton, JA, Caylor, KK, et al. Termite mounds can increase the robustness of dryland ecosystems to climatic change. Science. 2015;347(6222):651–5.
31.Borer, ET, Seabloom, EW, Gruner, DS, Harpole, WS, Hillebrand, H, Lind, EM, et al. Herbivores and nutrients control grassland plant diversity via light limitation. Nature. 2014;508(7497):517.
32.Dekker, SC, Rietkerk, M, Bierkens, MFP. Coupling microscale vegetation–soil water and macroscale vegetation–precipitation feedbacks in semiarid ecosystems. Global Change Biology. 2007;13(3):671–8.
33.Van Langevelde, F, Van De Vijver, CADM, Kumar, L, Van De Koppel, J, De Ridder, N, Van Andel J, et al. Effects of fire and herbivory on the stability of savanna ecosystems. Ecology. 2003;84(2):337–50.
34.Tilman, D. Resource competition and community structure. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press; 1982.
35.Ratajczak, Z, D’odorico, P, Collins, SL, Bestelmeyer, BT, Isbell, FI, Nippert, JB. The interactive effects of press/pulse intensity and duration on regime shifts at multiple scales. Ecological Monographs. 2017;87(2):198218.
36.Nippert, JB, Wieme, RA, Ocheltree, TW, Craine, JM. Root characteristics of C4 grasses limit reliance on deep soil water in tallgrass prairie. Plant and Soil. 2012;355(1–2):385–94.
37.Dalgleish, HJ, Hartnett, DC. Below‐ground bud banks increase along a precipitation gradient of the North American Great Plains: a test of the meristem limitation hypothesis. New Phytologist. 2006;171(1):81–9.
38.Gibson, DJ. Grasses and grassland ecology. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2009.
39.Chesson, P. Mechanisms of maintenance of species diversity. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics. 2000;31(1):343–66.
40.February, EC, Higgins, SI, Bond, WJ, Swemmer, L. Influence of competition and rainfall manipulation on the growth responses of savanna trees and grasses. Ecology. 2013;94(5):1155–64.
41.Holmgren, M, Hirota, M, Van Nes, EH, Scheffer, M. Effects of interannual climate variability on tropical tree cover. Nature Climate Change. 2013;3(8):755.
42.Collins, SL, Belnap, J, Grimm, NB, Rudgers, J, Dahm, CN, D’Odorico, P, et al. A multiscale, hierarchical model of pulse dynamics in arid-land ecosystems. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution & Systematics. 2014;45:397419.
43.Grime, JP. Plant strategies, vegetation processes, and ecosystem properties. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons; 2006.
44.Petraitis, P. Multiple stable states in natural ecosystems. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2013.
45.Ratajczak, Z, D’Odorico, P, Nippert, JB, Collins, SL, Brunsell, NA, Ravi, S. Changes in spatial variance during a grassland to shrubland state transition. Journal of Ecology. 2017;105(3):750–60.
46.Bond, WJ. What limits trees in C4 grasslands and savannas? Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution & Systematics. 2008;39:641–59.
47.Murphy, BP, Bowman, DMJS. What controls the distribution of tropical forest and savanna? Ecology Letters. 2012;15(7):748–58.
48.Staver, AC, Archibald, S, Levin, SA. The global extent and determinants of savanna and forest as alternative biome states. Science. 2011;334(6053):230–2.
49.Ehleringer, JR, Cerling, TE, Helliker, BR. C4 photosynthesis, atmospheric CO2, and climate. Oecologia. 1997;112(3):285–99.
50.Westerling, AL. Increasing western US forest wildfire activity: sensitivity to changes in the timing of spring. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences. 2016;371(1696):20150178.
51.Higgins, SI, Scheiter, S. Atmospheric CO2 forces abrupt vegetation shifts locally, but not globally. Nature. 2012;488(7410):209.
52.Kulmatiski, A, Beard, KH. Woody plant encroachment facilitated by increased precipitation intensity. Nature Climate Change. 2013;3(9):833.
53.Ilga, C, Dziock, F, Foeckler, F, Follner, K, Gerisch, M, Glaeser, J, et al. Long‐term reactions of plants and macroinvertebrates to extreme floods in floodplain grasslands. Ecology. 2008;89(9):2392–8.
54.Noy-Meir, I. Stability of grazing systems: an application of predator–prey graphs. Journal of Ecology. 1975;63(2):459–81.
55.Peters, DPC, Lugo, AE, Chapin, FS, Pickett, STA, Duniway, M, Rocha, AV, et al. Cross‐system comparisons elucidate disturbance complexities and generalities. Ecosphere. 2011;2(7):126.
56.Wookey, PA, Aerts, R, Bardgett, RD, Baptist, F, Bråthen, KA, Cornelissen, JHC, et al. Ecosystem feedbacks and cascade processes: understanding their role in the responses of Arctic and alpine ecosystems to environmental change. Global Change Biology. 2009;15(5):1153–72.
57.Villa Martín, P, Bonachela, JA, Levin, SA, Muñoz, MA. Eluding catastrophic shifts. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. 2015;112(15):E1828–36.
58.Bestelmeyer, BT, Ellison, AM, Fraser, WR, Gorman, KB, Holbrook, SJ, Laney, CM, et al. Analysis of abrupt transitions in ecological systems. Ecosphere. 2011;2(12):126.
59.Brandt, JS, Haynes, MA, Kuemmerle, T, Waller, DM, Radeloff, VC. Regime shift on the roof of the world: Alpine meadows converting to shrublands in the southern Himalayas. Biological Conservation. 2013;158:116–27.
60.Arnone, JA, Jasoni, RL, Lucchesi, AJ, Larsen, JD, Leger, EA, Sherry, RA, et al. A climatically extreme year has large impacts on C4 species in tallgrass prairie ecosystems but only minor effects on species richness and other plant functional groups. Journal of Ecology. 2011;99(3):678–88.
61.Bagchi, S, Briske, DD, Bestelmeyer, BT, Wu, BX. Assessing resilience and state‐transition models with historical records of cheatgrass Bromus tectorum invasion in North American sagebrush–steppe. Journal of Applied Ecology. 2013;50(5):1131–41.
62.Bagchi, S, Briske, DD, Wu, XB, McClaran, MP, Bestelmeyer, BT, Fernández-Giménez, ME. Empirical assessment of state‐and‐transition models with a long‐term vegetation record from the Sonoran Desert. Ecological Applications. 2012;22(2):400–11.
63.Buitenwerf, R, Swemmer, AM, Peel, MJS. Long‐term dynamics of herbaceous vegetation structure and composition in two African savanna reserves. Journal of Applied Ecology. 2011;48(1):238–46.
64.Fuhlendorf, SD, Briske, DD, Smeins, FE. Herbaceous vegetation change in variable rangeland environments: the relative contribution of grazing and climatic variability. Applied Vegetation Science. 2001;4(2):177–88.
65.Grime, JP, Brown, VK, Thompson, K, Masters, GJ, Hillier, SH, Clarke, IP, et al. The response of two contrasting limestone grasslands to simulated climate change. Science. 2000;289(5480):762–5.
66.Grime, JP, Fridley, JD, Askew, AP, Thompson, K, Hodgson, JG, Bennett, CR. Long-term resistance to simulated climate change in an infertile grassland. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. 2008;105(29):10,028–32.
67.Hobbs, RJ, Yates, S, Mooney, HA. Long‐term data reveal complex dynamics in grassland in relation to climate and disturbance. Ecological Monographs. 2007;77(4):545–68.
68.Kreyling, J, Jurasinski, G, Grant, K, Retzer, V, Jentsch, A, Beierkuhnlein, C. Winter warming pulses affect the development of planted temperate grassland and dwarf-shrub heath communities. Plant Ecology & Diversity. 2011;4(1):1321.
69.Jägerbrand, AK, Alatalo, JM, Chrimes, D, Molau, U. Plant community responses to 5 years of simulated climate change in meadow and heath ecosystems at a subarctic–alpine site. Oecologia. 2009;161(3):601–10.
70.Porensky, LM, Derner, JD, Augustine, DJ, Milchunas, DG. Plant community composition after 75 yr of sustained grazing intensity treatments in shortgrass steppe. Rangeland Ecology & Management. 2017;70(4):456–64.
71.Tilman, D. Biodiversity: population versus ecosystem stability. Ecology. 1996;77(2):350–63.
72.Stampfli, A, Zeiter, M. Plant regeneration directs changes in grassland composition after extreme drought: a 13‐year study in southern Switzerland. Journal of Ecology. 2004;92(4):568–76.
73.Hoover, DL, Knapp, AK, Smith, MD. Resistance and resilience of a grassland ecosystem to climate extremes. Ecology. 2014;95(9):2646–56.
74.Jentsch, A, Kreyling, J, Elmer, M, Gellesch, E, Glaser, B, Grant, K, et al. Climate extremes initiate ecosystem‐regulating functions while maintaining productivity. Journal of Ecology. 2011;99(3):689702.
75.Koerner, SE, Collins, SL. Interactive effects of grazing, drought, and fire on grassland plant communities in North America and South Africa. Ecology. 2014;95(1):98109.
76.Larios, L, Aicher, RJ, Suding, KN. Effect of propagule pressure on recovery of a California grassland after an extreme disturbance. Journal of Vegetation Science. 2013;24(6):1043–52.
77.Milchunas, DG, Lauenroth, WK. Inertia in plant community structure: state changes after cessation of nutrient‐enrichment stress. Ecological Applications. 1995;5(2):452–8.
78.Polyakov, VO, Nearing, MA, Stone, JJ, Hamerlynck, EP, Nichols, MH, Holifield, Collins, CD, et al. Runoff and erosional responses to a drought‐induced shift in a desert grassland community composition. Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeoscience. 2010;115(G4).
79.Sternberg, M, Golodets, C, Gutman, M, Perevolotsky, A, Kigel, J, Henkin, Z. No precipitation legacy effects on above‐ground net primary production and species diversity in grazed Mediterranean grassland: a 21‐year experiment. Journal of Vegetation Science. 2017;28(2):260–9.
80.Sternberg, M, Golodets, C, Gutman, M, Perevolotsky, A, Ungar, ED, Kigel, J, et al. Testing the limits of resistance: a 19‐year study of Mediterranean grassland response to grazing regimes. Global Change Biology. 2015;21(5):1939–50.
81.Gibbens, RP, McNeely, RP, Havstad, KM, Beck, RF, Nolen, B. Vegetation changes in the Jornada Basin from 1858 to 1998. Journal of Arid Environments. 2005;61(4):651–68.
82.Kennedy, AD, Biggs, H, Zambatis, N. Relationship between grass species richness and ecosystem stability in Kruger National Park, South Africa. African Journal of Ecology. 2003;41(2):131–40.
83.Yao, J, Peters, DPC, Havstad, KM, Gibbens, RP, Herrick, JE. Multi-scale factors and long-term responses of Chihuahuan Desert grasses to drought. Landscape Ecology. 2006;21(8):1217–31.
84.Isbell, F, Tilman, D, Polasky, S, Binder, S, Hawthorne, P. Low biodiversity state persists two decades after cessation of nutrient enrichment. Ecology Letters. 2013;16(4):454–60.
85.Park, HS, Sohn, BJ. Recent trends in changes of vegetation over East Asia coupled with temperature and rainfall variations. Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmosphere. 2010;115(D14).
86.Harsch, MA, Hulme, PE, McGlone, MS, Duncan, RP. Are treelines advancing? A global meta‐analysis of treeline response to climate warming. Ecology Letters. 2009;12(10):1040–9.
87.Dove, MR. Climate change and the politics and science of traditional grassland management. In: Gibson, DJ, Newman, JA, editors. Grasslands and climate change. Ecological reviews. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2019. pp. 274–90.
88.Dougill, AJ, Fraser, EDG, Reed, MS. Anticipating vulnerability to climate change in dryland pastoral systems: using dynamic systems models for the Kalahari. Ecology and Society. 2010;15(2):17.