Vegetation responses to extreme hydrological events: Sequence matters

ShiLi Miao, Chris B. Zou, David D Breshears

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Extreme hydrological events such as flood and drought drive vegetation dynamics and are projected to increase in frequency in association with climate change, which could result in sequences of extreme events. However, experimental studies of vegetation responses to climate have largely focused on responses to a trend in climate or to a single extreme event but have largely overlooked the potential for complex responses to specific sequences of extreme events. Here we document, on the basis of an experiment with seedlings of three types of subtropical wetland tree species, that mortality can be amplified and growth can even be stimulated, depending on event sequence. Our findings indicate that the impacts of multiple extreme events cannot be modeled by simply summing the projected effects of individual extreme events but, rather, that models should take into account event sequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-118
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Naturalist
Volume173
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2009

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extreme event
climate
vegetation
wetlands
drought
climate change
seedlings
vegetation dynamics
experimental study
wetland
seedling
mortality
experiment

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Everglades
  • Extreme hydrological events
  • Mortality
  • Sequence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Vegetation responses to extreme hydrological events : Sequence matters. / Miao, ShiLi; Zou, Chris B.; Breshears, David D.

In: American Naturalist, Vol. 173, No. 1, 01.2009, p. 113-118.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Miao, ShiLi ; Zou, Chris B. ; Breshears, David D. / Vegetation responses to extreme hydrological events : Sequence matters. In: American Naturalist. 2009 ; Vol. 173, No. 1. pp. 113-118.
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