De­creased re­silience

Down to Earth - - SCIENCE - ECOSYS­TEMS CAN

be re­sis­tant to chang­ing cli­matic con­di­tions. But their re­sis­tance is low­ered when they face nat­u­ral or an­thro­pogenic dis­tur­bances such as fires or in­sect out­breaks. A study on seven shrub­lands in Europe found them to be quite re­sis­tant to mod­er­ate ex­per­i­men­tal warm­ing and drought. Plants are par­tic­u­larly sen­si­tive to changes in the early stages of their life and even small cli­matic changes can re­sult in veg­e­ta­tion shifts when ecosys­tems are dis­turbed. The un­der­stand­ing will help pre­dict the re­sponse of ecosys­tems to cli­mate change. Na­ture Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, March 24

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