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      Drivers of emerging fungal diseases of forest trees

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      Forest Ecology and Management
      Elsevier BV

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          Biodiversity inhibits parasites: Broad evidence for the dilution effect.

          Infectious diseases of humans, wildlife, and domesticated species are increasing worldwide, driving the need to understand the mechanisms that shape outbreaks. Simultaneously, human activities are drastically reducing biodiversity. These concurrent patterns have prompted repeated suggestions that biodiversity and disease are linked. For example, the dilution effect hypothesis posits that these patterns are causally related; diverse host communities inhibit the spread of parasites via several mechanisms, such as by regulating populations of susceptible hosts or interfering with parasite transmission. However, the generality of the dilution effect hypothesis remains controversial, especially for zoonotic diseases of humans. Here we provide broad evidence that host diversity inhibits parasite abundance using a meta-analysis of 202 effect sizes on 61 parasite species. The magnitude of these effects was independent of host density, study design, and type and specialization of parasites, indicating that dilution was robust across all ecological contexts examined. However, the magnitude of dilution was more closely related to the frequency, rather than density, of focal host species. Importantly, observational studies overwhelmingly documented dilution effects, and there was also significant evidence for dilution effects of zoonotic parasites of humans. Thus, dilution effects occur commonly in nature, and they may modulate human disease risk. A second analysis identified similar effects of diversity in plant-herbivore systems. Thus, although there can be exceptions, our results indicate that biodiversity generally decreases parasitism and herbivory. Consequently, anthropogenic declines in biodiversity could increase human and wildlife diseases and decrease crop and forest production.
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            Effects of climate extremes on the terrestrial carbon cycle: concepts, processes and potential future impacts

            Extreme droughts, heat waves, frosts, precipitation, wind storms and other climate extremes may impact the structure, composition and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems, and thus carbon cycling and its feedbacks to the climate system. Yet, the interconnected avenues through which climate extremes drive ecological and physiological processes and alter the carbon balance are poorly understood. Here, we review the literature on carbon cycle relevant responses of ecosystems to extreme climatic events. Given that impacts of climate extremes are considered disturbances, we assume the respective general disturbance-induced mechanisms and processes to also operate in an extreme context. The paucity of well-defined studies currently renders a quantitative meta-analysis impossible, but permits us to develop a deductive framework for identifying the main mechanisms (and coupling thereof) through which climate extremes may act on the carbon cycle. We find that ecosystem responses can exceed the duration of the climate impacts via lagged effects on the carbon cycle. The expected regional impacts of future climate extremes will depend on changes in the probability and severity of their occurrence, on the compound effects and timing of different climate extremes, and on the vulnerability of each land-cover type modulated by management. Although processes and sensitivities differ among biomes, based on expert opinion, we expect forests to exhibit the largest net effect of extremes due to their large carbon pools and fluxes, potentially large indirect and lagged impacts, and long recovery time to regain previous stocks. At the global scale, we presume that droughts have the strongest and most widespread effects on terrestrial carbon cycling. Comparing impacts of climate extremes identified via remote sensing vs. ground-based observational case studies reveals that many regions in the (sub-)tropics are understudied. Hence, regional investigations are needed to allow a global upscaling of the impacts of climate extremes on global carbon–climate feedbacks.
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              Darcy's law predicts widespread forest mortality under climate warming

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Forest Ecology and Management
                Forest Ecology and Management
                Elsevier BV
                03781127
                December 2016
                December 2016
                : 381
                :
                : 235-246
                Article
                10.1016/j.foreco.2016.09.032
                de25b133-a98c-4775-83f5-038672fd8df4
                © 2016
                History

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