Decreased Resilience

Ecosystems CAN be resistant to changing climatic conditions. But their resistance is lowered when they face natural or anthropogenic disturbances such as fires or insect outbreaks. A study on seven shrublands in Europe found them to be quite resistant to moderate experimental warming and drought. Plants are particularly sensitive to changes in the early stages of their life and even small climatic changes can result in vegetation shifts when ecosystems are disturbed. The understanding will help predict the response of ecosystems to climate change.


Down To Earth, April, 2015