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 508229
Title Remotely sensed resilience of tropical forests
Author(s) Verbesselt, J.; Umlauf, Nikolaus; Hirota, M.; Holmgren, M.; Nes, E.H. van; Herold, M.; Zeileis, Achim; Scheffer, M.
Source Nature Climate Change 6 (2016). - ISSN 1758-678X - p. 1028 - 1031.
Department(s) Laboratory of Geo-information Science and Remote Sensing
Resource Ecology
Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2016
Abstract Recent work suggests that episodes of drought and heat can
bring forests across climate zones to a threshold for massive
tree mortality. As complex systems approach a threshold for
collapse they tend to exhibit a loss of resilience, as reflected in
declining recovery rates from perturbations. Trees may be no
exception, as at the verge of drought-induced death, trees are
found to be weakened in multiple ways, aecting their ability
to recover from stress. Here we use worldwide time series
of satellite images to show that temporal autocorrelation, an
indicator of slow recovery rates, rises steeply as mean annual
precipitation declines to levels known to be critical for tropical
forests. This implies independent support for the idea that
such forests may have a tipping point for collapse at drying
conditions. Moreover, the demonstration that reduced rates of
recovery (slowing down) may be detected from satellite data
suggests a novel way to monitor resilience of tropical forests,
as well as other ecosystems known to be vulnerable to collapse
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