How Resistent are Forests to Climate Change?
Jun 28, 2023 from 05:15 to 06:45

Worldwide, resilience in temperate forests is declining, as climate change pushes ecosystems closer to abrupt tipping points. Increases in temperature, particularly extreme temperature during extended dry periods have been noted in many regions of the world. As a result, hydraulic failure in tree xylem vessels may become more common in regions where droughts are predicted to increase in frequency and intensity, regardless of annual rainfall. Without access to sufficient moisture reserves during extended dry and hot periods forests are subjected to stress and may start to cross a lethal threshold. Detailed examples from South-Western Australia’s evergreen Eucalypt forests (seasonally water limited Mediterranean Climate) and the deciduous forests of Southwest China (Energy rather than water limited) are used to illustrate contrasting vegetation responses to climate change that both impact negatively on catchment moisture stores and hence, runoff.

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