Predicting Chronic Climate-Driven Disturbances and Their Mitigation
Society increasingly demands the stable provision of ecosystem resources to support our population. Resource risks from climate-driven disturbances, including drought, heat, insect outbreaks, and wildfire, are growing as a chronic state of disequilibrium results from increasing temperatures and a greater frequency of extreme events. This confluence of increased demand and risk may soon reach critical thresholds. We explain here why extreme chronic disequilibrium of ecosystem function is likely to increase dramatically across the globe, creating no-analog conditions that challenge adaptation. We also present novel mechanistic theory that combines models for disturbance mortality and metabolic scaling to link size-dependent plant mortality to changes in ecosystem stocks and fluxes. Efforts must anticipate and model chronic ecosystem disequilibrium to properly prepare for resilience planning.
Publisher URL: http://www.cell.com/trends/ecology-evolution/fulltext/S0169-5347(17)30261-6
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