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      Responses of Temperate Forest Productivity to Insect and Pathogen Disturbances

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      Annual Review of Plant Biology
      Annual Reviews

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          Abstract

          Pest and pathogen disturbances are ubiquitous across forest ecosystems, impacting their species composition, structure, and function. Whereas severe abiotic disturbances (e.g., clear-cutting and fire) largely reset successional trajectories, pest and pathogen disturbances cause diffuse mortality, driving forests into nonanalogous system states. Biotic perturbations that disrupt forest carbon dynamics either reduce or enhance net primary production (NPP) and carbon storage, depending on pathogen type. Relative to defoliators, wood borers and invasive pests have the largest negative impact on NPP and the longest recovery time. Forest diversity is an important contributing factor to productivity: NPP is neutral, marginally enhanced, or reduced in high-diversity stands in which a small portion of the canopy is affected (temperate deciduous or mixed forests) but very negative in low-diversity stands in which a large portion of the canopy is affected (western US forests). Pests and pathogens reduce forest structural and functional redundancy, affecting their resilience to future climate change or new outbreaks. Therefore, pests and pathogens can be considered biotic forcing agents capable of causing consequences of similar magnitude to climate forcing factors.

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          A globally coherent fingerprint of climate change impacts across natural systems.

          Causal attribution of recent biological trends to climate change is complicated because non-climatic influences dominate local, short-term biological changes. Any underlying signal from climate change is likely to be revealed by analyses that seek systematic trends across diverse species and geographic regions; however, debates within the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reveal several definitions of a 'systematic trend'. Here, we explore these differences, apply diverse analyses to more than 1,700 species, and show that recent biological trends match climate change predictions. Global meta-analyses documented significant range shifts averaging 6.1 km per decade towards the poles (or metres per decade upward), and significant mean advancement of spring events by 2.3 days per decade. We define a diagnostic fingerprint of temporal and spatial 'sign-switching' responses uniquely predicted by twentieth century climate trends. Among appropriate long-term/large-scale/multi-species data sets, this diagnostic fingerprint was found for 279 species. This suite of analyses generates 'very high confidence' (as laid down by the IPCC) that climate change is already affecting living systems.
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            Fire in the Earth system.

            Fire is a worldwide phenomenon that appears in the geological record soon after the appearance of terrestrial plants. Fire influences global ecosystem patterns and processes, including vegetation distribution and structure, the carbon cycle, and climate. Although humans and fire have always coexisted, our capacity to manage fire remains imperfect and may become more difficult in the future as climate change alters fire regimes. This risk is difficult to assess, however, because fires are still poorly represented in global models. Here, we discuss some of the most important issues involved in developing a better understanding of the role of fire in the Earth system.
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              A large and persistent carbon sink in the world's forests.

              The terrestrial carbon sink has been large in recent decades, but its size and location remain uncertain. Using forest inventory data and long-term ecosystem carbon studies, we estimate a total forest sink of 2.4 ± 0.4 petagrams of carbon per year (Pg C year(-1)) globally for 1990 to 2007. We also estimate a source of 1.3 ± 0.7 Pg C year(-1) from tropical land-use change, consisting of a gross tropical deforestation emission of 2.9 ± 0.5 Pg C year(-1) partially compensated by a carbon sink in tropical forest regrowth of 1.6 ± 0.5 Pg C year(-1). Together, the fluxes comprise a net global forest sink of 1.1 ± 0.8 Pg C year(-1), with tropical estimates having the largest uncertainties. Our total forest sink estimate is equivalent in magnitude to the terrestrial sink deduced from fossil fuel emissions and land-use change sources minus ocean and atmospheric sinks.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Annual Review of Plant Biology
                Annu. Rev. Plant Biol.
                Annual Reviews
                1543-5008
                1545-2123
                April 29 2015
                April 29 2015
                : 66
                : 1
                : 547-569
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Biological Sciences, University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois 60607; email: ,
                Article
                10.1146/annurev-arplant-043014-115540
                25580836
                0b26db55-cef2-47b7-940b-7898dc54c3d6
                © 2015
                History

                Sociology,Social policy & Welfare,Earth & Environmental sciences,Urban studies,Geosciences,Anthropology

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