A plant’s perspective of extremes: Plant and ecosystem responses to changing climatic variability

Reyer, Christopher P.O. and Leuzinger, Sebastian and Rammig, Anja and Wolf, Anett and Bartholomeus, Ruud P. and Bonfante, Antonello and de Lorenzi, Francesca and Dury, Marie and Gloning, Philipp and Abou Jaoudé, Reneé and Klein, Tamir and Kuster, Thomas M. and Martins, Monica and Niedrist, Georg and Riccardi, Maria and Wohlfahrt, Georg and de Angelis, Paolo and de Dato, Giovanbattista and François , Louis and Menzel, Annette and Pereira, Marízia. (2012) A plant’s perspective of extremes: Plant and ecosystem responses to changing climatic variability. Global Change Biology, 19 (1). pp. 75-89.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/49593/

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We review observational, experimental, and model results on how plants respond to extreme climatic conditions induced by changing climatic variability. Distinguishing between impacts of changing mean climatic conditions and changing climatic variability on terrestrial ecosystems is generally underrated in current studies. The goals of our review are thus (1) to identify plant processes that are vulnerable to changes in the variability of climatic variables rather than to changes in their mean, and (2) to depict/evaluate available study designs to quantify responses of plants to changing climatic variability. We find that phenology is largely affected by changing mean climate but also that impacts of climatic variability are much less studied, although potentially damaging. We note that plant water relations seem to be very vulnerable to extremes driven by changes in temperature and precipitation and that heatwaves and flooding have stronger impacts on physiological processes than changing mean climate. Moreover, interacting phenological and physiological processes are likely to further complicate plant responses to changing climatic variability. Phenological and physiological processes and their interactions culminate in even more sophisticated responses to changing mean climate and climatic variability at the species and community level. Generally, observational studies are well suited to study plant responses to changing mean climate, but less suitable to gain a mechanistic understanding of plant responses to climatic variability. Experiments seem best suited to simulate extreme events. In models, temporal resolution and model structure are crucial to capture plant responses to changing climatic variability. We highlight that a combination of experimental, observational, and/or modeling studies have the potential to overcome important caveats of the respective individual approaches.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Umweltwissenschaften > Pflanzenökologie (Körner)
UniBasel Contributors:Klein, Tamir
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:18 Apr 2018 10:41
Deposited On:18 Apr 2018 10:41

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