Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 349700
Title Herbivory and plant growth rate determine the success of El Niño Southern Oscillation-driven tree establishment in semiarid South America
Author(s) Holmgren, M.; Lopez, B.C.; Gutierrez, J.R.; Squeo, F.A.
Source Global Change Biology 12 (2006)12. - ISSN 1354-1013 - p. 2263 - 2271.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2486.2006.01261.x
Department(s) Resource Ecology
PE&RC
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2006
Keyword(s) arid ecosystem - climate-change - central chile - enso events - savannas - demography - australia - evolution - dynamics - patterns
Abstract While climatic extremes are predicted to increase with global warming, we know little about the effect of climatic variability on biome distribution. Here, we show that rainy El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events can enhance tree recruitment in the arid and semiarid ecosystems of north-central Chile and northwest Peru. Tree-ring studies in natural populations revealed that rainy El Niño episodes have triggered forest regeneration in Peru. Field experiments indicate that tree seedling recruitment in Chile is much less successful than in Peru due mostly to larger mortality caused by herbivores. The dramatic impact of herbivores in Chile was derived from the combined result of slower plant growth and the presence of exotic herbivores (European rabbits and hares). The interplay of herbivory and climatic effects we demonstrated implies that rainy ENSO events may represent 'windows of opportunity' for forest recovery if herbivore pressure is minimized at the right moment.
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