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Does the terrestrial biosphere have planetary tipping points?
Brook, BW and Ellis, EC and Perring, MP and Mackay, AW and Blomqvist, L, Does the terrestrial biosphere have planetary tipping points?, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 28, (7) pp. 396-401. ISSN 0169-5347 (2013) [Refereed Article]
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Tipping points – where systems shift radically and potentially irreversibly into a different state – have received considerable attention in ecology. Although there is convincing evidence that human drivers can cause regime shifts at local and regional scales, the increasingly invoked concept of planetary scale tipping points in the terrestrial biosphere remains unconfirmed. By evaluating potential mechanisms and drivers, we conclude that spatial heterogeneity in drivers and responses, and lack of strong continental interconnectivity, probably induce relatively smooth changes at the global scale, without an expectation of marked tipping patterns. This implies that identifying critical points along global continua of drivers might be unfeasible and that characterizing global biotic change with single aggregates is inapt.
|Item Type:||Refereed Article|
|Research Division:||Biological Sciences|
|Research Group:||Other biological sciences|
|Research Field:||Global change biology|
|Objective Division:||Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards|
|Objective Group:||Environmental policy, legislation and standards|
|Objective Field:||Sustainability indicators|
|UTAS Author:||Brook, BW (Professor Barry Brook)|
|Web of Science® Times Cited:||143|
|Deposited By:||Biological Sciences|
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