3 years ago

Remotely sensed canopy height reveals three pantropical ecosystem states: Reply.

Arie Staal, Stijn Hantson, Marten Scheffer, Milena Holmgren, Chi Xu, Egbert H van Nes
The idea that the tropics may have alternative vegetation states of forest, savanna and treeless has gained growing support from both theoretical and empirical studies over the past years (Hirota et al. 2011, Staver et al. 2011, Van Nes et al. 2014, Wuyts et al. 2017). In our previous work, we combined multi-sourced remote sensing data to demonstrate correspondence between multimodal distributions of tree cover and canopy height, and further suggested that at a global scale, tropical forest, savanna and treeless landscapes represent distinct vegetation states separated by tipping points at 600, 1500 and 2000 mm mean annual precipitation (Xu et al. 2016). In their comment, Synodinos et al. (2017) acknowledge the value of incorporating canopy height as an additional defining ecosystem variable that is complementary to tree cover, but question our observed pattern of the treeless-savanna transition. Synodinos et al. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1002/ecy.2077

DOI: 10.1002/ecy.2077

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