Ecosystems are showing symptoms of resilience loss

Abstract

Ecosystems around the world are at risk of critical transitions due to increasing anthropogenic pressures and climate change. Yet, it is unclear where the risks are higher or where in the world are ecosystems more vulnerable. Here I measure resilience of primary productivity proxies for marine and terrestrial ecosystems globally. Up to 29% of global terrestrial ecosystem, and 24% marine ones, show symptoms of resilience loss. These symptoms are shown in all biomes, but by large Arctic tundra and boreal forest are the most affected, as well as the Indian Ocean and Easter Pacific. Despite the results are likely an underestimation, they enable the identification of risk areas as well as the potential synchrony of some transitions. Mapping where ecosystems are likely to undergo critical transitions or long transients can help prioritize areas for management interventions and conservation. These results pave the way towards developing an ecological resilience observatory.

comments powered by Disqus