|Title||Multiple stable states of tree cover in a global land surface model due to a fire-vegetation feedback|
|Author(s)||Lasslop, G.; Brovkin, V.; Reick, C.H.; Bathiany, S.; Kloster, S.|
|Source||Geophysical Research Letters 43 (2016)12. - ISSN 0094-8276 - p. 6324 - 6331.|
Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management
|Publication type||Refereed Article in a scientific journal|
|Abstract||The presence of multiple stable states has far-reaching consequences for a system's susceptibility to disturbances, including the possibility of abrupt transitions between stable states. The occurrence of multiple stable states of vegetation is supported by ecological theory, models, and observations. Here we describe the occurrence of multiple stable states of tree cover in a global dynamic vegetation model and provide the first global picture on multiple stable states of tree cover due to a fire-vegetation feedback. The multiple stable states occur in the transition zones between grasslands and forests, mainly in Africa and Asia. By sensitivity simulations and simplifying the relevant model equations we show that the occurrence of multiple states is caused by the sensitivity of the fire disturbance rate to the presence of woody plant types.