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Title: Emergent hotspots of biotic disturbances and their consequences for forest resilience

Over the past several decades, forests worldwide have experienced increases in biotic disturbances caused by insects and plant pathogens – a trend that is expected to continue with climate warming. Whereas the causes and effects of individual biotic disturbances are well studied, spatiotemporal interactions among multiple biotic disturbances are less so, despite their importance to ecosystem function and resilience. Here, we highlight an emerging phenomenon of “hotspots” of biotic disturbances (that is, two or more biotic disturbances that overlap in space and time), documenting trends in recent decades in temperate conifer forests of the western US. We also explore potential mechanisms behind and effects of biotic disturbance hotspots, with particular focus on how altered post‐disturbance recovery (successional pathways) can have profound consequences for ecosystem resilience and biodiversity conservation. Finally, we propose research directions that can elucidate drivers of biotic disturbance hotspots and their ecological effects at various spatial scales, and provide insight into this new knowledge frontier.

 
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Award ID(s):
1853520
NSF-PAR ID:
10471248
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Volume:
21
Issue:
8
ISSN:
1540-9295
Page Range / eLocation ID:
388 to 396
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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