Rootzone storage capacity reveals drought coping strategies along rainforest-savanna transitions
Climate change and deforestation have increased the risk of drought-induced forest-to-savanna transitions across the tropics and subtropics. However, the present understanding of forest-savanna transitions is generally focused on the influence of rainfall and fire regime changes, but does not take into account the adaptability of vegetation to droughts by utilizing subsoil moisture in a quantifiable metric. Using rootzone storage capacity (Sr), which is a novel metric to represent the vegetation's ability to utilize subsoil moisture storage and tree cover (TC), we analyze and quantify the occurrence of these forest-savanna transitions along transects in South America and Africa.
We found forest-savanna transition thresholds to occur around a Sr of 550–750 mm for South America and 400–600 mm for Africa in the range of 30%–40% TC. Analysis of empirical and statistical patterns allowed us to classify the ecosystem's adaptability to droughts into four classes of drought coping strategies: lowly water-stressed forest (shallow roots, high TC), moderately water-stressed forest (investing in Sr, high TC), highly water-stressed forest (trade-off between investments in Sr and TC) and savanna-grassland regime (competitive rooting strategy, low TC). The insights from this study are useful for improved understanding of tropical eco-hydrological adaptation, drought coping strategies, and forest ecosystem regime shifts under future climate change.
General news | 2023-09-19
New Google.org grant funds Centre research on AI-powered climate risk tool
Google.org has awarded five million US dollars to a group of scientists, including Centre researchers, to develop and scale ClimateIQ , an artificial intelligence-powered climate risk evaluation tool for cities
General news | 2023-09-19
Researchers and chefs team up for a sustainable lunch week
“Risotto on Swedish oat-rice, with apple cider vinegar, blue mussels from Bohuslän, parsley, and grated Svecia cheese”. That’s one of the science-cooked dishes that guests can enjoy at “A Planetary Lunch” — an experimental lunch week at Stockholm university
Research news | 2023-09-14
The SDGs are not on track — new report outlines what needs to happen
Humanity is set to miss the Sustainable Development Goals. But decisive and timely policy actions can kickstart extraordinary turnarounds and a giant leap toward achieving the SDGs
Research news | 2023-09-13
All planetary boundaries mapped out for the first time, six of nine crossed
For the first time, an international team of scientists is able to provide a detailed outline of planetary resilience by mapping out all nine boundary processes that define a safe operating space for humanity.
General news | 2023-09-04
Centre secures 28 MSEK research funding in two new Formas grants
The two grants worth 14 million SEK each will focus on the intersection of climate, water and biodiversity
General news | 2023-08-30
Science and music met as Centre research was presented in a concert at the Baltic Sea Festival
“Dialogues” premiered – a piece of music written about Carolin Seiferth’s PhD research