skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Mean annual precipitation predicts primary production resistance and resilience to extreme drought

Abstract

Extreme drought is increasing in frequency and intensity in many regions globally, with uncertain consequences for the resistance and resilience of ecosystem functions, including primary production. Primary production resistance, the capacity to withstand change during extreme drought, and resilience, the degree to which production recovers, vary among and within ecosystem types, obscuring generalized patterns of ecological stability. Theory and many observations suggest forest production is more resistant but less resilient than grassland production to extreme drought; however, studies of production sensitivity to precipitation variability indicate that the processes controlling resistance and resilience may be influenced more by mean annual precipitation (MAP) than ecosystem type. Here, we conducted a global meta-analysis to investigate primary production resistance and resilience to extreme drought in 64 forests and grasslands across a broad MAP gradient. We found resistance to extreme drought was predicted by MAP; however, grasslands (positive) and forests (negative) exhibited opposing resilience relationships with MAP. Our findings indicate that common plant physiological mechanisms may determine grassland and forest resistance to extreme drought, whereas differences among plant residents in turnover time, plant architecture, and drought adaptive strategies likely underlie divergent resilience patterns. Finally, the low resistance and resilience of dry grasslands suggests that thesemore » ecosystems are the most vulnerable to extreme drought – a vulnerability that is expected to compound as extreme drought frequency increases in the future.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [6];  [7];  [8];  [9];  [10];  [11];  [12];  [13];  [14];  [1];  [3]
  1. Virginia Commonwealth Univ., Richmond, VA (United States). Dept. of Biology
  2. Univ. of Antwerp (Belgium). Dept. of Biology
  3. Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO (United States). Dept. of Biology and Graduate Degree Program in Ecology
  4. Univ. of Tartu (Estonia). Inst. of Ecology and Earth Sciences, Dept. of Botany
  5. MTA Centre for Ecological Research, Budapest (Hungary). Inst. of Ecology and Botany
  6. Univ. of Copenhagen (Denmark). Dept. of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management
  7. Univ. of Bayreuth, Bayreuth (Germany). Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research, Dept. of Disturbance Ecology
  8. Bern Univ. of Applied Sciences, Bern (Switzerland). School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences
  9. Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States). Dept. of Biology
  10. Univ. of Innsbruck, Innsbruck (Austria). Inst. of Ecology
  11. Univ. of Greifswald, Greifswald (Germany). Inst. of Botany and Landscape Ecology
  12. Swiss Federal Inst. for Forest Snow and Landscape Research WSL, Birmensdorf, Zurich (Switzerland)
  13. Univ. Autonoma of Barcelona, Barcelona (Spain). Centre for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications (CREAF)
  14. Univ. of Vermont, Burlington, VT (United States). Rubenstein School of Environment & Natural Resources
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER)
OSTI Identifier:
1435432
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1548409
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0010562
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Science of the Total Environment
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 636; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0048-9697
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Forest; Grassland; Extreme drought; Primary productivity; Resistance; Resilience

Citation Formats

Stuart-Haentjens, Ellen, De Boeck, Hans J., Lemoine, Nathan P., Mand, Pille, Kroel-Dulay, Gyorgy, Schmidt, Inger K., Jentsch, Anke, Stampfli, Andreas, Anderegg, William R. L., Bahn, Michael, Kreyling, Juergen, Wohlgemuth, Thomas, Lloret, Francisco, Classen, Aimee T., Gough, Christopher M., and Smith, Melinda D.. Mean annual precipitation predicts primary production resistance and resilience to extreme drought. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.04.290.
Stuart-Haentjens, Ellen, De Boeck, Hans J., Lemoine, Nathan P., Mand, Pille, Kroel-Dulay, Gyorgy, Schmidt, Inger K., Jentsch, Anke, Stampfli, Andreas, Anderegg, William R. L., Bahn, Michael, Kreyling, Juergen, Wohlgemuth, Thomas, Lloret, Francisco, Classen, Aimee T., Gough, Christopher M., & Smith, Melinda D.. Mean annual precipitation predicts primary production resistance and resilience to extreme drought. United States. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.04.290
Stuart-Haentjens, Ellen, De Boeck, Hans J., Lemoine, Nathan P., Mand, Pille, Kroel-Dulay, Gyorgy, Schmidt, Inger K., Jentsch, Anke, Stampfli, Andreas, Anderegg, William R. L., Bahn, Michael, Kreyling, Juergen, Wohlgemuth, Thomas, Lloret, Francisco, Classen, Aimee T., Gough, Christopher M., and Smith, Melinda D.. Fri . "Mean annual precipitation predicts primary production resistance and resilience to extreme drought". United States. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.04.290. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1435432.
@article{osti_1435432,
title = {Mean annual precipitation predicts primary production resistance and resilience to extreme drought},
author = {Stuart-Haentjens, Ellen and De Boeck, Hans J. and Lemoine, Nathan P. and Mand, Pille and Kroel-Dulay, Gyorgy and Schmidt, Inger K. and Jentsch, Anke and Stampfli, Andreas and Anderegg, William R. L. and Bahn, Michael and Kreyling, Juergen and Wohlgemuth, Thomas and Lloret, Francisco and Classen, Aimee T. and Gough, Christopher M. and Smith, Melinda D.},
abstractNote = {Extreme drought is increasing in frequency and intensity in many regions globally, with uncertain consequences for the resistance and resilience of ecosystem functions, including primary production. Primary production resistance, the capacity to withstand change during extreme drought, and resilience, the degree to which production recovers, vary among and within ecosystem types, obscuring generalized patterns of ecological stability. Theory and many observations suggest forest production is more resistant but less resilient than grassland production to extreme drought; however, studies of production sensitivity to precipitation variability indicate that the processes controlling resistance and resilience may be influenced more by mean annual precipitation (MAP) than ecosystem type. Here, we conducted a global meta-analysis to investigate primary production resistance and resilience to extreme drought in 64 forests and grasslands across a broad MAP gradient. We found resistance to extreme drought was predicted by MAP; however, grasslands (positive) and forests (negative) exhibited opposing resilience relationships with MAP. Our findings indicate that common plant physiological mechanisms may determine grassland and forest resistance to extreme drought, whereas differences among plant residents in turnover time, plant architecture, and drought adaptive strategies likely underlie divergent resilience patterns. Finally, the low resistance and resilience of dry grasslands suggests that these ecosystems are the most vulnerable to extreme drought – a vulnerability that is expected to compound as extreme drought frequency increases in the future.},
doi = {10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.04.290},
journal = {Science of the Total Environment},
number = C,
volume = 636,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {4}
}

Journal Article:

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 8 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

A global overview of drought and heat-induced tree mortality reveals emerging climate change risks for forests
journal, February 2010

  • Allen, Craig D.; Macalady, Alison K.; Chenchouni, Haroun
  • Forest Ecology and Management, Vol. 259, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2009.09.001

On underestimation of global vulnerability to tree mortality and forest die-off from hotter drought in the Anthropocene
journal, August 2015

  • Allen, Craig D.; Breshears, David D.; McDowell, Nate G.
  • Ecosphere, Vol. 6, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.1890/ES15-00203.1

Drought stress limits the geographic ranges of two tree species via different physiological mechanisms
journal, December 2015

  • Anderegg, Leander D. L.; HilleRisLambers, Janneke
  • Global Change Biology, Vol. 22, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13148

Climate-biosphere interactions in a more extreme world
journal, January 2014

  • Bahn, Michael; Reichstein, Markus; Dukes, Jeffrey S.
  • New Phytologist, Vol. 202, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1111/nph.12662

How plant functional-type, weather, seasonal drought, and soil physical properties alter water and energy fluxes of an oak–grass savanna and an annual grassland
journal, May 2004


Drought Resistance, Water Potential and Water Content in some New Zealand Plants
journal, January 1986


Temporal and among-site variability of inherent water use efficiency at the ecosystem level: VARIABILITY OF INHERENT WUE
journal, June 2009

  • Beer, C.; Ciais, P.; Reichstein, M.
  • Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Vol. 23, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1029/2008GB003233

Density-dependent vulnerability of forest ecosystems to drought
journal, January 2017

  • Bottero, Alessandra; D'Amato, Anthony W.; Palik, Brian J.
  • Journal of Applied Ecology, Vol. 54, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12847

Power failure: why small sample size undermines the reliability of neuroscience
journal, April 2013

  • Button, Katherine S.; Ioannidis, John P. A.; Mokrysz, Claire
  • Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Vol. 14, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1038/nrn3475

High richness and dense seeding enhance grassland restoration establishment but have little effect on drought response
journal, June 2012

  • Carter, Daniel L.; Blair, John M.
  • Ecological Applications, Vol. 22, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1890/11-1970.1

Extreme drought alters competitive dominance within and between tree species in a mixed forest stand
journal, July 2013

  • Cavin, Liam; Mountford, Edward P.; Peterken, George F.
  • Functional Ecology, Vol. 27, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1111/1365-2435.12126

Global warming and 21st century drying
journal, March 2014


Global diversity of drought tolerance and grassland climate-change resilience
journal, August 2012

  • Craine, Joseph M.; Ocheltree, Troy W.; Nippert, Jesse B.
  • Nature Climate Change, Vol. 3, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1634

Navigating the complexity of ecological stability
journal, July 2016

  • Donohue, Ian; Hillebrand, Helmut; Montoya, José M.
  • Ecology Letters, Vol. 19, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.1111/ele.12648

Climate Extremes: Observations, Modeling, and Impacts
journal, September 2000


Drought sensitivity shapes species distribution patterns in tropical forests
journal, May 2007

  • Engelbrecht, Bettina M. J.; Comita, Liza S.; Condit, Richard
  • Nature, Vol. 447, Issue 7140
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature05747

Flux partitioning in an old-growth forest: seasonal and interannual dynamics
journal, April 2008


Impacts of droughts on the growth resilience of Northern Hemisphere forests: Forest growth resilience to drought
journal, September 2016

  • Gazol, A.; Camarero, J. J.; Anderegg, W. R. L.
  • Global Ecology and Biogeography, Vol. 26, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1111/geb.12526

Pinus halepensis Mill. crown development and fruiting declined with repeated drought in Mediterranean France
journal, October 2011

  • Girard, François; Vennetier, Michel; Guibal, Frédéric
  • European Journal of Forest Research, Vol. 131, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1007/s10342-011-0565-6

Yield of temperate forage grassland species is either largely resistant or resilient to experimental summer drought
journal, June 2016

  • Hofer, Daniel; Suter, Matthias; Haughey, Eamon
  • Journal of Applied Ecology, Vol. 53, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12694

Resistance and resilience of a grassland ecosystem to climate extremes
journal, September 2014

  • Hoover, David L.; Knapp, Alan K.; Smith, Melinda D.
  • Ecology, Vol. 95, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.1890/13-2186.1

Pulse-drought atop press-drought: unexpected plant responses and implications for dryland ecosystems
journal, August 2015


Convergence across biomes to a common rain-use efficiency
journal, June 2004

  • Huxman, Travis E.; Smith, Melinda D.; Fay, Philip A.
  • Nature, Vol. 429, Issue 6992
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature02561

Towards a Comparable Quantification of Resilience
journal, April 2018


A global analysis of root distributions for terrestrial biomes
journal, November 1996

  • Jackson, R. B.; Canadell, J.; Ehleringer, J. R.
  • Oecologia, Vol. 108, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1007/BF00333714

Variation Among Biomes in Temporal Dynamics of Aboveground Primary Production
journal, January 2001


Underappreciated problems of low replication in ecological field studies
journal, September 2016

  • Lemoine, Nathan P.; Hoffman, Ava; Felton, Andrew J.
  • Ecology, Vol. 97, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1002/ecy.1506

Carbon allocation in forest ecosystems
journal, October 2007


Components of tree resilience: effects of successive low-growth episodes in old ponderosa pine forests
journal, July 2011


Plasticity in Vulnerability to Cavitation of Pinus canariensis Occurs Only at the Driest End of an Aridity Gradient
journal, June 2016

  • López, Rosana; Cano, Francisco J.; Choat, Brendan
  • Frontiers in Plant Science, Vol. 7
  • DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2016.00769

Slow ecosystem responses conditionally regulate annual carbon balance over 15 years in Californian oak-grass savanna
journal, November 2016


Testing Predictions of the Resistance and Resilience of Vegetation Subjected to Extreme Events
journal, August 1995

  • MacGillivray, C. W.; Grime, J. P.
  • Functional Ecology, Vol. 9, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.2307/2390156

Functional response of U.S. grasslands to the early 21st-century drought
journal, August 2014

  • Moran, M. Susan; Ponce-Campos, Guillermo E.; Huete, Alfredo
  • Ecology, Vol. 95, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.1890/13-1687.1

Vive la résistance: reviving resistance for 21st century conservation
journal, September 2015


Net ecosystem carbon exchange in three contrasting Mediterranean ecosystems – the effect of drought
journal, January 2007


Vegetative response to water availability on the San Carlos Apache Reservation
journal, October 2016


Ecosystem resilience despite large-scale altered hydroclimatic conditions
journal, January 2013

  • Ponce-Campos, Guillermo E.; Moran, M. Susan; Huete, Alfredo
  • Nature, Vol. 494, Issue 7437
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature11836

Impact of mountain pine beetle induced mortality on forest carbon and water fluxes
journal, October 2014


The world-wide ‘fast-slow’ plant economics spectrum: a traits manifesto
journal, February 2014


Climate extremes and the carbon cycle
journal, August 2013

  • Reichstein, Markus; Bahn, Michael; Ciais, Philippe
  • Nature, Vol. 500, Issue 7462
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature12350

Vegetation Response in a Colorado Grassland-shrub Community to Extreme Drought: 1999–2010
journal, July 2013

  • Rondeau, Renée J.; Pearson, Kristen T.; Kelso, Sylvia
  • The American Midland Naturalist, Vol. 170, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1674/0003-0031-170.1.14

Persistent effects of a severe drought on Amazonian forest canopy
journal, December 2012

  • Saatchi, S.; Asefi-Najafabady, S.; Malhi, Y.
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 110, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1204651110

Reduction in carbon uptake during turn of the century drought in western North America
journal, July 2012

  • Schwalm, Christopher R.; Williams, Christopher A.; Schaefer, Kevin
  • Nature Geoscience, Vol. 5, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.1038/ngeo1529

Global patterns of drought recovery
journal, August 2017

  • Schwalm, Christopher R.; Anderegg, William R. L.; Michalak, Anna M.
  • Nature, Vol. 548, Issue 7666
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature23021

Net primary production of a temperate deciduous forest exhibits a threshold response to increasing disturbance severity
journal, September 2015

  • Stuart-Haëntjens, Ellen J.; Curtis, Peter S.; Fahey, Robert T.
  • Ecology, Vol. 96, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.1890/14-1810.1

Contrasting response of European forest and grassland energy exchange to heatwaves
journal, September 2010

  • Teuling, Adriaan J.; Seneviratne, Sonia I.; Stöckli, Reto
  • Nature Geoscience, Vol. 3, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1038/ngeo950

Contrasting response of grassland versus forest carbon and water fluxes to spring drought in Switzerland
journal, July 2013


Land use affects soil organic carbon of paddy soils: empirical evidence from 6280 years BP to present
journal, October 2015


Responses of Natural Vegetation to Different Stages of Extreme Drought during 2009–2010 in Southwestern China
journal, October 2015

  • Zhao, Xiang; Wei, Hong; Liang, Shunlin
  • Remote Sensing, Vol. 7, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.3390/rs71014039

    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Precipitation reduction alters herbaceous community structure and composition in a savanna
    journal, July 2019

    • Jin, Yanqiang; Li, Jing; Liu, Chenggang
    • Journal of Vegetation Science, Vol. 30, Issue 5
    • DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12766

    Community Response to Extreme Drought ( CRED ): a framework for drought‐induced shifts in plant–plant interactions
    journal, January 2019

    • Ploughe, Laura W.; Jacobs, Elin M.; Frank, Graham S.
    • New Phytologist, Vol. 222, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1111/nph.15595

    Comparing water-related plant functional traits among dominant grasses of the Colorado Plateau: Implications for drought resistance
    journal, May 2019


    Low growth resilience to drought is related to future mortality risk in trees
    journal, January 2020


    Deciphering the stability of grassland productivity in response to rainfall manipulation experiments
    journal, December 2019

    • Matos, Ilaíne Silveira; Menor, Imma Oliveras; Rifai, Sami Walid
    • Global Ecology and Biogeography, Vol. 29, Issue 3
    • DOI: 10.1111/geb.13039

    Multiple facets of biodiversity drive the diversity–stability relationship
    journal, August 2018

    • Craven, Dylan; Eisenhauer, Nico; Pearse, William D.
    • Nature Ecology & Evolution, Vol. 2, Issue 10
    • DOI: 10.1038/s41559-018-0647-7

    Understory plant composition and nitrogen transformations resistant to changes in seasonal precipitation
    journal, May 2019

    • Ploughe, Laura W.; Dukes, Jeffrey S.
    • Ecosphere, Vol. 10, Issue 5
    • DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.2747

    Assessing the vulnerability of Australia’s urban forests to climate extremes
    journal, March 2019

    • Esperon‐Rodriguez, Manuel; Power, Sally A.; Tjoelker, Mark G.
    • PLANTS, PEOPLE, PLANET, Vol. 1, Issue 4
    • DOI: 10.1002/ppp3.10064

    Effect Displays in R for Generalised Linear Models
    journal, January 2003