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      Pervasive shifts in forest dynamics in a changing world

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          Abstract

          Forest dynamics arise from the interplay of environmental drivers and disturbances with the demographic processes of recruitment, growth, and mortality, subsequently driving biomass and species composition. However, forest disturbances and subsequent recovery are shifting with global changes in climate and land use, altering these dynamics. Changes in environmental drivers, land use, and disturbance regimes are forcing forests toward younger, shorter stands. Rising carbon dioxide, acclimation, adaptation, and migration can influence these impacts. Recent developments in Earth system models support increasingly realistic simulations of vegetation dynamics. In parallel, emerging remote sensing datasets promise qualitatively new and more abundant data on the underlying processes and consequences for vegetation structure. When combined, these advances hold promise for improving the scientific understanding of changes in vegetation demographics and disturbances.

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          Most cited references116

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          Plant phenotypic plasticity in a changing climate.

          Climate change is altering the availability of resources and the conditions that are crucial to plant performance. One way plants will respond to these changes is through environmentally induced shifts in phenotype (phenotypic plasticity). Understanding plastic responses is crucial for predicting and managing the effects of climate change on native species as well as crop plants. Here, we provide a toolbox with definitions of key theoretical elements and a synthesis of the current understanding of the molecular and genetic mechanisms underlying plasticity relevant to climate change. By bringing ecological, evolutionary, physiological and molecular perspectives together, we hope to provide clear directives for future research and stimulate cross-disciplinary dialogue on the relevance of phenotypic plasticity under climate change. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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            Temperature as a potent driver of regional forest drought stress and tree mortality

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              Is Open Access

              Climate-induced variations in global wildfire danger from 1979 to 2013

              Climate strongly influences global wildfire activity, and recent wildfire surges may signal fire weather-induced pyrogeographic shifts. Here we use three daily global climate data sets and three fire danger indices to develop a simple annual metric of fire weather season length, and map spatio-temporal trends from 1979 to 2013. We show that fire weather seasons have lengthened across 29.6 million km2 (25.3%) of the Earth's vegetated surface, resulting in an 18.7% increase in global mean fire weather season length. We also show a doubling (108.1% increase) of global burnable area affected by long fire weather seasons (>1.0 σ above the historical mean) and an increased global frequency of long fire weather seasons across 62.4 million km2 (53.4%) during the second half of the study period. If these fire weather changes are coupled with ignition sources and available fuel, they could markedly impact global ecosystems, societies, economies and climate.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Science
                Science
                American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
                0036-8075
                1095-9203
                May 28 2020
                May 29 2020
                May 28 2020
                May 29 2020
                : 368
                : 6494
                : eaaz9463
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99354, USA.
                [2 ]U.S. Geological Survey, Fort Collins Science Center, New Mexico Landscapes Field Station, Los Alamos, NM 87544, USA.
                [3 ]Conservation Ecology Center, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Front Royal, VA 22630, USA.
                [4 ]Forest Global Earth Observatory, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Republic of Panama.
                [5 ]Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA.
                [6 ]Joint Global Change Research Institute, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, College Park, MD 20740, USA.
                [7 ]Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA.
                [8 ]Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA.
                [9 ]Department of Earth and Environment, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, USA.
                [10 ]Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, 8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland.
                [11 ]Energy and Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
                [12 ]Department of Earth System Science, Woods Institute for the Environment, and Precourt Institute for Energy, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
                [13 ]School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.
                [14 ]Division of Climate and Ecosystem Sciences, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
                [15 ]Department of Biology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.
                [16 ]School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, USA.
                [17 ]Biospheric Sciences Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA.
                [18 ]School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, B15 2TT Birmingham, UK.
                [19 ]Birmingham Institute of Forest Research, University of Birmingham, B15 2TT Birmingham, UK.
                [20 ]Department of Forest and Soil Sciences, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, 1180 Vienna, Austria.
                [21 ]School of Life Sciences, Technical University of Munich, 85354 Freising, Germany.
                [22 ]Department of Integrative Biology, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA.
                [23 ]Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA.
                [24 ]Environmental Sciences Division and Climate Change Science Institute, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA.
                [25 ]Earth and Environmental Sciences Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA.
                Article
                10.1126/science.aaz9463
                33184217
                fff4868a-2aa2-465b-8f61-10bad473085d
                © 2020

                http://www.sciencemag.org/about/science-licenses-journal-article-reuse

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