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Past and future global transformation of terrestrial ecosystems under climate change

Past and future global transformation of terrestrial ecosystems under climate change
Past and future global transformation of terrestrial ecosystems under climate change

Impacts of global climate change on terrestrial ecosystems are imperfectly constrained by ecosystem models and direct observations. Pervasive ecosystem transformations occurred in response to warming and associated climatic changes during the last glacial-to-interglacial transition, which was comparable in magnitude to warming projected for the next century under high-emission scenarios. We reviewed 594 published paleoecological records to examine compositional and structural changes in terrestrial vegetation since the last glacial period and to project the magnitudes of ecosystem transformations under alternative future emission scenarios. Our results indicate that terrestrial ecosystems are highly sensitive to temperature change and suggest that, without major reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere, terrestrial ecosystems worldwide are at risk of major transformation, with accompanying disruption of ecosystem services and impacts on biodiversity.

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Nolan, Connor, Overpeck, Jonathan T., Allen, Judy R.M., Anderson, Patricia M., Betancourt, Julio L., Binney, Heather A., Brewer, Simon, Bush, Mark B., Chase, Brian M., Cheddadi, Rachid, Djamali, Morteza, Dodson, John, Edwards, Mary E., Gosling, William D., Haberle, Simon, Hotchkiss, Sara C., Huntley, Brian, Ivory, Sarah J., Kershaw, A. Peter, Kim, Soo Hyun, Latorre, Claudio, Leydet, Michelle, Lézine, Anne Marie, Liu, Kam Biu, Liu, Yao, Lozhkin, A. V., McGlone, Matt S., Marchant, Robert A., Momohara, Arata, Moreno, Patricio I., Müller, Stefanie, Otto-Bliesner, Bette L., Shen, Caiming, Stevenson, Janelle, Takahara, Hikaru, Tarasov, Pavel E., Tipton, John, Vincens, Annie, Weng, Chengyu, Xu, Qinghai, Zheng, Zhuo and Jackson, Stephen T. (2018) Past and future global transformation of terrestrial ecosystems under climate change. Science, 361 (6405), 920-923. (doi:10.1126/science.aan5360).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Impacts of global climate change on terrestrial ecosystems are imperfectly constrained by ecosystem models and direct observations. Pervasive ecosystem transformations occurred in response to warming and associated climatic changes during the last glacial-to-interglacial transition, which was comparable in magnitude to warming projected for the next century under high-emission scenarios. We reviewed 594 published paleoecological records to examine compositional and structural changes in terrestrial vegetation since the last glacial period and to project the magnitudes of ecosystem transformations under alternative future emission scenarios. Our results indicate that terrestrial ecosystems are highly sensitive to temperature change and suggest that, without major reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere, terrestrial ecosystems worldwide are at risk of major transformation, with accompanying disruption of ecosystem services and impacts on biodiversity.

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Accepted/In Press date: 30 July 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 31 August 2018
Published date: 31 August 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 423712
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/423712
ISSN: 0036-8075
PURE UUID: df6af63b-18a2-4eef-af41-cc25a5be346e
ORCID for Mary E. Edwards: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3490-6682

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 27 Sep 2018 16:30
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 02:46

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Contributors

Author: Connor Nolan
Author: Jonathan T. Overpeck
Author: Judy R.M. Allen
Author: Patricia M. Anderson
Author: Julio L. Betancourt
Author: Heather A. Binney
Author: Simon Brewer
Author: Mark B. Bush
Author: Brian M. Chase
Author: Rachid Cheddadi
Author: Morteza Djamali
Author: John Dodson
Author: Mary E. Edwards ORCID iD
Author: William D. Gosling
Author: Simon Haberle
Author: Sara C. Hotchkiss
Author: Brian Huntley
Author: Sarah J. Ivory
Author: A. Peter Kershaw
Author: Soo Hyun Kim
Author: Claudio Latorre
Author: Michelle Leydet
Author: Anne Marie Lézine
Author: Kam Biu Liu
Author: Yao Liu
Author: A. V. Lozhkin
Author: Matt S. McGlone
Author: Robert A. Marchant
Author: Arata Momohara
Author: Patricio I. Moreno
Author: Stefanie Müller
Author: Bette L. Otto-Bliesner
Author: Caiming Shen
Author: Janelle Stevenson
Author: Hikaru Takahara
Author: Pavel E. Tarasov
Author: John Tipton
Author: Annie Vincens
Author: Chengyu Weng
Author: Qinghai Xu
Author: Zhuo Zheng
Author: Stephen T. Jackson

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