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dc.contributor.authorBrunsell, Nathaniel A.
dc.contributor.authorVan Vleck, Erik S.
dc.contributor.authorNosshi, M.
dc.contributor.authorRatajczak, Z.
dc.contributor.authorNippert, Jesse B.
dc.identifier.citationBrunsell, N. A., Van Vleck, E. S., Nosshi, M., Ratajczak, Z., & Nippert, J. B. (2017). Assessing the roles of fire frequency and precipitation in determining woody plant expansion in central U.S. grasslands. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 122, 2683–2698.
dc.description.abstractWoody plant expansion into grasslands and savannas is occurring and accelerating worldwide and often impacts ecosystem processes. Understanding and predicting the environmental and ecological impacts of encroachment has led to a variety of methodologies for assessing its onset, transition, and stability, generally relying on dynamical systems approaches. Here we continue this general line of investigation to facilitate the understanding of the roles of precipitation frequency and intensity and fire frequency on the conversion of grasslands to woody‐dominated systems focusing on the central United States. A low‐dimensional model with stochastic precipitation and fire disturbance is introduced to examine the complex interactions between precipitation and fire as mechanisms that may suppress or facilitate increases in woody cover. By using Lyapunov exponents, we are able to ascertain the relative control exerted on woody encroachment through these mechanisms. Our results indicate that precipitation frequency is a more important control on woody encroachment than the intensity of individual precipitation events. Fire, however, exerts a much more dominant impact on the limitation of encroachment over the range of precipitation variability considered here. These results indicate that fire management may be an effective strategy to slow the onset of woody species into grasslands. While climate change might predict a reduced potential for woody encroachment in the near future, these results indicate a reduction in woody fraction may be unlikely when considering anthropogenic fire suppression.en_US
dc.publisherAmerican Geophysical Unionen_US
dc.rights©2017. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.en_US
dc.subjectWoody encroachmenten_US
dc.subjectLyapunov exponeten_US
dc.subjectStochastic climateen_US
dc.titleAssessing the Roles of Fire Frequency and Precipitation in Determining Woody Plant Expansion in Central U.S. Grasslandsen_US
kusw.kuauthorBrunsell, N. A.
kusw.kudepartmentGeography and Atmospheric Scienceen_US
kusw.oaversionScholarly/refereed, publisher versionen_US
kusw.oapolicyThis item meets KU Open Access policy criteria.en_US

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©2017. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as: ©2017. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.