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Global environmental change effects on ecosystems: the importance of land-use legacies

Michael Perring (UGent) , Pieter De Frenne (UGent) , Lander Baeten (UGent) , Sybryn Maes (UGent) , Leen Depauw (UGent) , Haben Blondeel (UGent) , María Mercedes Carón and Kris Verheyen (UGent)
(2016) GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY. 22(4). p.1361-1371
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Abstract
One of the major challenges in ecology is to predict how multiple global environmental changes will affect future ecosystem patterns (e.g. plant community composition) and processes (e.g. nutrient cycling). Here, we highlight arguments for the necessary inclusion of land-use legacies in this endeavour. Alterations in resources and conditions engendered by previous land use, together with influences on plant community processes such as dispersal, selection, drift and speciation, have steered communities and ecosystem functions onto trajectories of change. These trajectories may be modulated by contemporary environmental changes such as climate warming and nitrogen deposition. We performed a literature review which suggests that these potential interactions have rarely been investigated. This crucial oversight is potentially due to an assumption that knowledge of the contemporary state allows accurate projection into the future. Lessons from other complex dynamic systems, and the recent recognition of the importance of previous conditions in explaining contemporary and future ecosystem properties, demand the testing of this assumption. Vegetation resurvey databases across gradients of land use and environmental change, complemented by rigorous experiments, offer a means to test for interactions between land-use legacies and multiple environmental changes. Implementing these tests in the context of a trait-based framework will allow biologists to synthesize compositional and functional ecosystem responses. This will further our understanding of the importance of land-use legacies in determining future ecosystem properties, and soundly inform conservation and restoration management actions.
Keywords
functional traits, historical ecology, forest understorey, climate change, land-use history, nitrogen deposition, ozone, response-and-effect framework, TEMPERATE FOREST ECOSYSTEMS, LIFE-HISTORY TRAITS, NITROGEN DEPOSITION, LANDSCAPE HISTORY, PLANT-COMMUNITIES, EXTINCTION DEBT, POSTAGRICULTURAL FORESTS, TRANSPLANT EXPERIMENTS, BIODIVERSITY PATTERNS, SPATIAL HETEROGENEITY

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Perring, Michael et al. “Global Environmental Change Effects on Ecosystems: The Importance of Land-use Legacies.” GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY 22.4 (2016): 1361–1371. Print.
APA
Perring, M., De Frenne, P., Baeten, L., Maes, S., Depauw, L., Blondeel, H., Carón, M. M., et al. (2016). Global environmental change effects on ecosystems: the importance of land-use legacies. GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY, 22(4), 1361–1371.
Chicago author-date
Perring, Michael, Pieter De Frenne, Lander Baeten, Sybryn Maes, Leen Depauw, Haben Blondeel, María Mercedes Carón, and Kris Verheyen. 2016. “Global Environmental Change Effects on Ecosystems: The Importance of Land-use Legacies.” Global Change Biology 22 (4): 1361–1371.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Perring, Michael, Pieter De Frenne, Lander Baeten, Sybryn Maes, Leen Depauw, Haben Blondeel, María Mercedes Carón, and Kris Verheyen. 2016. “Global Environmental Change Effects on Ecosystems: The Importance of Land-use Legacies.” Global Change Biology 22 (4): 1361–1371.
Vancouver
1.
Perring M, De Frenne P, Baeten L, Maes S, Depauw L, Blondeel H, et al. Global environmental change effects on ecosystems: the importance of land-use legacies. GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY. 2016;22(4):1361–71.
IEEE
[1]
M. Perring et al., “Global environmental change effects on ecosystems: the importance of land-use legacies,” GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 1361–1371, 2016.
@article{6984084,
  abstract     = {One of the major challenges in ecology is to predict how multiple global environmental changes will affect future ecosystem patterns (e.g. plant community composition) and processes (e.g. nutrient cycling). Here, we highlight arguments for the necessary inclusion of land-use legacies in this endeavour. Alterations in resources and conditions engendered by previous land use, together with influences on plant community processes such as dispersal, selection, drift and speciation, have steered communities and ecosystem functions onto trajectories of change. These trajectories may be modulated by contemporary environmental changes such as climate warming and nitrogen deposition. We performed a literature review which suggests that these potential interactions have rarely been investigated. This crucial oversight is potentially due to an assumption that knowledge of the contemporary state allows accurate projection into the future. Lessons from other complex dynamic systems, and the recent recognition of the importance of previous conditions in explaining contemporary and future ecosystem properties, demand the testing of this assumption. Vegetation resurvey databases across gradients of land use and environmental change, complemented by rigorous experiments, offer a means to test for interactions between land-use legacies and multiple environmental changes. Implementing these tests in the context of a trait-based framework will allow biologists to synthesize compositional and functional ecosystem responses. This will further our understanding of the importance of land-use legacies in determining future ecosystem properties, and soundly inform conservation and restoration management actions.},
  author       = {Perring, Michael and De Frenne, Pieter and Baeten, Lander and Maes, Sybryn and Depauw, Leen and Blondeel, Haben and Carón, María Mercedes and Verheyen, Kris},
  issn         = {1354-1013},
  journal      = {GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY},
  keywords     = {functional traits,historical ecology,forest understorey,climate change,land-use history,nitrogen deposition,ozone,response-and-effect framework,TEMPERATE FOREST ECOSYSTEMS,LIFE-HISTORY TRAITS,NITROGEN DEPOSITION,LANDSCAPE HISTORY,PLANT-COMMUNITIES,EXTINCTION DEBT,POSTAGRICULTURAL FORESTS,TRANSPLANT EXPERIMENTS,BIODIVERSITY PATTERNS,SPATIAL HETEROGENEITY},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {1361--1371},
  title        = {Global environmental change effects on ecosystems: the importance of land-use legacies},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.13146},
  volume       = {22},
  year         = {2016},
}

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