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African shrub distribution emerges via a trade‐off between height and sapwood conductivity

Title African shrub distribution emerges via a trade‐off between height and sapwood conductivity ?
Abstract Aim Shrubs are multistemmed woody plants and are a successful growth form in many ecosystems globally. Ecosystems such as the Fynbos in South Africa or mediterranean shrublands are dominated by a dense shrub cover. In savannas, shrubs are a major vegetation component. Despite the importance of shrubs at the global scale, they are, in contrast to trees, often understudied both in empirical and modelling studies. We define shrub and tree strategies by a trade‐off between water uptake capacity and height growth, and aim to explore if this trade‐off allows us to explain shrub distribution. Location Sub‐Saharan Africa Methods We improve a dynamic vegetation model, the adaptive Dynamic Global Vegetation Model version 2 (aDGVM2), to simulate shrubs as multistemmed woody plants, based on a trade‐off between rapid height growth in single‐stemmed trees and efficient water uptake in multistemmed shrubs. Results We show that, in aDGVM2, (a) the implemented trade‐off allows a multistemmed shrub strategy to emerge and is sufficient to simulate the broad distribution of shrubs in African savannas; (b) fire and aridity promote shrubs at the expense of trees and grasses; and (c) the presence of shrubs influences competitive interactions between grasses and woody vegetation. Main conclusion We provide a novel approach to simulate shrubs in a dynamic vegetation model. This approach enhances our understanding of the distribution of shrubs, but further work is required for arid and mediterranean shrublands. We conclude that introducing fundamental trade‐offs between growth forms into vegetation models can improve vegetation representation. ?
Creator Scheiter, Simon ?
Citation Gaillard C; Langan L; Pfeiffer M; Kumar D, Martens C, Higgins SI; Scheiter S (2018) African shrub distribution emerges via height – sapwood conductivity trade-off. JOURNAL OF BIOGEOGRAPHY. DOI: 10.1111/jbi.13447 ?
Execution type Single run ?
Processing type Model run ?
Software aDGVM2_africa ?
Metadata Contact Person Scheiter, Simon ?
Metadata Date Stamp 2018-05-08 ?
Internal identifier sdp_li_rbis_process_step_6385 (Link)