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Climate change-induced vegetation shifts lead to more ecological droughts despite projected rainfall increases in many global temperate drylands

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Tietjen, B., Schlaepfer, D. R., Bradford, J. B., Lauenroth, W. K., Hall, S. A., Duniway, M. C., Hochstrasser, T., Jia, G., Munson, S. M., Pyke, D. A. and Wilson, S. D. (2016), Climate change-induced vegetation shifts lead to more ecological droughts despite projected rainfall increases in many global temperate drylands. Glob Change Biol. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/gcb.13598

Summary

Drylands occur world-wide and are particularly vulnerable to climate change since dryland ecosystems depend directly on soil water availability that may become increasingly limited as temperatures rise. Climate change will both directly impact soil water availability, and also change plant biomass, with resulting indirect feedbacks on soil moisture. Thus, the net impact of direct and indirect climate change effects on soil moisture requires better understanding. We used the ecohydrological simulation model SOILWAT at sites from temperate dryland ecosystems around the globe to disentangle the contributions of direct climate change effects and of additional indirect, climate change-induced changes in vegetation on soil water availability. [...]

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  • John Wesley Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis

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noteTietjen, B., Schlaepfer, D. R., Bradford, J. B., Lauenroth, W. K., Hall, S. A., Duniway, M. C., Hochstrasser, T., Jia, G., Munson, S. M., Pyke, D. A. and Wilson, S. D. (2016), Climate change-induced vegetation shifts lead to more ecological droughts despite projected rainfall increases in many global temperate drylands. Glob Change Biol. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/gcb.13598

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