Declined terrestrial ecosystem resilience

Glob Chang Biol. 2024 Apr;30(4):e17291. doi: 10.1111/gcb.17291.


Terrestrial ecosystem resilience is crucial for maintaining the structural and functional stability of ecosystems following disturbances. However, changes in resilience over the past few decades and the risk of future resilience loss under ongoing climate change are unclear. Here, we identified resilience trends using two remotely sensed vegetation indices, analyzed the relative importance of potential driving factors to resilience changes, and finally assessed the risk of future resilience loss based on the output data of eight models from CMIP6. The results revealed that more than 60% of the ecosystems experienced a conversion from an increased trend to a declined trend in resilience. Attribution analysis showed that the most important driving factors of declined resilience varied regionally. The declined trends in resilience were associated with increased precipitation variability in the tropics, decreased vegetation cover in arid region, increased temperature variability in temperate regions, and increased average temperature in cold regions. CMIP6 reveals that terrestrial ecosystems under SPP585 are expected to experience more intense declines in resilience than those under SSP126 and SSP245, particularly in cold regions. These results highlight the risk of continued degradation of ecosystem resilience in the future and the urgency of climate mitigation actions.

Keywords: CMIP6; autocorrelation; breakpoint; climate variability; recovery rate; resilience.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Climate Change*
  • Ecosystem*
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Temperature