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W.K. Lauenroth

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The persistence of ponderosa pine and lodgepole pine forests in the 21st century depends to a large extent on how seedling emergence and establishment are influenced by driving climate and environmental variables, which largely govern forest regeneration. We surveyed the literature, and identified 96 publications that reported data on dependent variables of seedling emergence and/or establishment and one or more independent variables of air temperature, soil temperature, precipitation and moisture availability. Our review suggests that seedling emergence and establishment for both species is highest at intermediate temperatures (20 to 25 °C), and higher precipitation and higher moisture availability support a higher...
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Shifts in the timing of spring phenology are a central feature of global change research. Long-term observations of plant phenology have been used to track vegetation responses to climate variability but are often limited to particular species and locations and may not represent synoptic patterns. Satellite remote sensing is instead used for continental to global monitoring. Although numerous methods exist to extract phenological timing, in particular start-of-spring (SOS), from time series of reflectance data, a comprehensive intercomparison and interpretation of SOS methods has not been conducted. Here, we assess 10 SOS methods for North America between 1982 and 2006. The techniques include consistent inputs from...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Global Change Biology
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The persistence and geographic expansion of dryland forests in the 21st century will be influenced by how climate change supports the demographic processes associated with tree regeneration. Yet, the way that climate change may alter regeneration is unclear. We developed a quantitative framework that estimates forest regeneration potential (RP) as a function of key environmental conditions for ponderosa pine, a key dryland forest species. We integrated meteorological data and climate projections for 47 ponderosa pine forest sites across the western United States, and evaluated RP using an ecosystem water balance model. Our primary goal was to contrast conditions supporting regeneration among historical, mid-21st...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecology
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Hector et al. (1) reported on BIODEPTH, a major international experiment on the response of plant productivity to variation in the number of plant species. They found “an overall log-linear reduction of average aboveground biomass with loss of species,” leading to what the accompanying Perspective (2) described as “a rule of thumb—that each halving of diversity leads to a 10 to 20% reduction in productivity.” These conclusions, if true, imply that the continuing high rate of plant extinction threatens the future productivity of Earth's natural and managed ecosystems and could impair their ability to produce resources essential for human survival and to regulate the concentration of atmospheric CO2.The three sites...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Science
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