Global Change Biology

Cover image for Vol. 23 Issue 9

Early View (Online Version of Record published before inclusion in an issue)

Edited by: Steve Long

Impact Factor: 8.502

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2016: 1/53 (Biodiversity Conservation); 5/229 (Environmental Sciences); 6/153 (Ecology)

Online ISSN: 1365-2486

Associated Title(s): GCB Bioenergy


    1. Polar zoobenthos blue carbon storage increases with sea ice losses, because across-shelf growth gains from longer algal blooms outweigh ice scour mortality in the shallows

      David K. A. Barnes

      Version of Record online: 23 JUN 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13772

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      Blue carbon comes into the cold. Losses of sea ice over continental shelf around Arctic and West Antarctic seas has increased the duration of open water and phytoplankton blooms. About 1% of this carbon becomes immobilized by shelf benthos - worth millions of tonnes per year along the Antarctic Peninsula. Iceberg scouring may increase, reducing blue carbon in the productive shallows, but this is more than compensated for by greater productivity in deeper shelf waters.

    2. Moisture-induced greening of the South Asia over the past three decades

      Xiaoyi Wang, Tao Wang, Dan Liu, Hui Guo, Huabing Huang and Yutong Zhao

      Version of Record online: 22 JUN 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13762

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      Spatial distributions of GIMMS NDVI trends over the South Asia during the three periods: 1982–2014 (first row), 1982–2001 (second row), and 2002–2014 (third row). The trends are estimated on the annual (a, d, and g), wet season (b, e, and h), and dry season basis (c, f, and i), respectively. The inset panels show the pixels where NDVI trends are statistically significant at < .05.

    3. Climate change and temperature-linked hatchling mortality at a globally important sea turtle nesting site

      Jacques-Olivier Laloë, Jacquie Cozens, Berta Renom, Albert Taxonera and Graeme C. Hays

      Version of Record online: 16 JUN 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13765

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      Using empirical data from one of the world's largest sea turtle populations, we address whether warming temperatures will drive a species that exhibits temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) to extinction. Our results show that higher temperatures increase the population growth rate of our model species as more females are produced due to TSD. However, as temperatures reach the lethal limit for embryonic development, the long-term survival of this endangered species is threatened. (Photographic credit: Kostas Papafitsoros)

    4. Methane emission from feather moss stands

      Dheeraj Kanaparthi, Andreas Reim, Guntars O. Martinson, Bianca Pommerenke and Ralf Conrad

      Version of Record online: 14 JUN 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13764

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      Depth profile of O2 concentrations in different feather moss stands sampled from Marburg and Sweden. (a) Swedish feather moss; (b) Swedish feather moss O2 depth profile and (c) Marburg feather moss O2 depth profile.

    5. Increasing carbon discrimination rates and depth of water uptake favor the growth of Mediterranean evergreen trees in the ecotone with temperate deciduous forests

      Adrià Barbeta and Josep Peñuelas

      Version of Record online: 12 JUN 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13770

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      In this forest ecotone, growth rates of the Mediterranean tree were surprisingly similar to the temperate deciduous tree species and higher than in sites with typical Mediterranean conditions. The Mediterranean species' carbon discrimination rates were enhanced in the last years in response to warmer temperatures and thanks to a deeper water uptake, as shown by the more depleted and less variable tree-ring δ18O. In contrast, the physiology of the temperate species was limited by a tighter stomatal regulation. Source water appeared as the paramount factor determining tree-ring δ18O.

    6. Shift in community structure in an early-successional Mediterranean shrubland driven by long-term experimental warming and drought and natural extreme droughts

      Daijun Liu, Marc Estiarte, Romà Ogaya, Xiaohong Yang and Josep Peñuelas

      Version of Record online: 12 JUN 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13763

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      Long-term experimental warming and drought significantly affected the community biodiversity (species richness, community diversity and evenness), with more serious effects in drought treatment than warming. The responses in species richness, community diversity and evenness were strongly correlated with atmospheric drought (SPEI) in winter–spring, indicating sensitivity to water limitation, especially during continuous natural severe droughts.

    7. Point stresses during reproductive stage rather than warming seasonal temperature determine yield in temperate rice

      Matthew B. Espe, Jim E. Hill, Robert J. Hijmans, Kent McKenzie, Randall Mutters, Luis A. Espino, Michelle Leinfelder-Miles, Chris van Kessel and Bruce A. Linquist

      Version of Record online: 12 JUN 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13719

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      We simultaneously quantified the magnitude of point stresses, where a temperature event during a sensitive stage drives a reduction in yield, and respiratory losses, where raised temperature increases maintenance energy demands and thereby decreases available resources for yield formation for a temperate rice production system using a large data set covering multiple locations with data collected from 1995 to 2015, combined with a unique probability-based modeling approach. Point stresses, primarily cold stress during the booting and flowering stages, were found to have the largest impact on yield (over 3 Mg/ha estimated yield losses). Contrary to previous reports, yield losses caused by increased temperatures, both seasonal and during grain-filling were found to be small (approximately 1–2% loss per °C). These results suggest that for temperate rice systems, the occurrence of periodic stress events may currently overshadow the impacts of general warming temperature on crop production.

    8. Climate variability drives recent tree mortality in Europe

      Mathias Neumann, Volker Mues, Adam Moreno, Hubert Hasenauer and Rupert Seidl

      Version of Record online: 12 JUN 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13724

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      We identified recent tree mortality hotspots using more than 200.000 forest monitoring observations from across Europe. Seasonal variability in summer and winter temperatures as well as shifts of precipitation between seasons enhance the mortality risk, while increasing tree age reduces the likelihood for tree death. In a warming climate elevated mortality due to high peak temperatures could be offset by reduced cold-induced mortality. Remotely sensed productivity can be used to foresee future mortality events.

    9. The future distribution of river fish: The complex interplay of climate and land use changes, species dispersal and movement barriers

      Johannes Radinger, Franz Essl, Franz Hölker, Pavel Horký, Ondřej Slavík and Christian Wolter

      Version of Record online: 9 JUN 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13760

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      The future distribution of river fishes will be affected by climate and land use changes. Little is known whether fishes will be able to keep pace with future habitat shifts in fragmented river networks. We model and quantify the extent and direction of climate and land use-driven habitat shifts of 17 fishes in the European Elbe River and assess the species-specific dispersal abilities to track habitat shifts while considering movement barriers. Our results revealed that suitable habitats might shift faster than many species disperse, with smaller-bodied species being most vulnerable. Movement barriers will further restrict fishes’ ability to respond to climate and land use changes, particularly that of larger-bodied species.

    10. Enhanced decomposition of stable soil organic carbon and microbial catabolic potentials by long-term field warming

      Wenting Feng, Junyi Liang, Lauren E. Hale, Chang Gyo Jung, Ji Chen, Jizhong Zhou, Minggang Xu, Mengting Yuan, Liyou Wu, Rosvel Bracho, Elaine Pegoraro, Edward A. G. Schuur and Yiqi Luo

      Version of Record online: 9 JUN 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13755

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      The decomposition of SOC components with turnover times of years and decades, which contributed to 95% of total cumulative CO2 respiration, was greater in soils from warmed plots compared to the control. But the decomposition of labile SOC was similar in warmed plots compared to the control. The diversity of C-degradation microbial genes generally declined with time during the incubation in all the soils from control and warmed plots, with and without root exclusion. Meanwhile, compared to the control, soils from warmed plots showed significant increase in the signal intensities of microbial genes involved in degrading complex organic compounds, implying enhanced potential abilities of microbial catabolism. Taken together, this study highlights changes in soil microbial community functions induced by long-term warming. The shifted microbial community accelerates the decomposition of SOC components with slow turnover rates and thus amplify the positive feedback to climate change.

    11. Restless roosts: Light pollution affects behavior, sleep, and physiology in a free-living songbird

      Jenny Q. Ouyang, Maaike de Jong, Roy H. A. van Grunsven, Kevin D. Matson, Mark F. Haussmann, Peter Meerlo, Marcel E. Visser and Kamiel Spoelstra

      Version of Record online: 9 JUN 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13756

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      The nighttime environment is increasingly polluted by artificial light at night. We show that white light at night increases activity at night, making birds more restless. This increase in activity translates into increased sleep debt and decreases in immune function.

    12. Can animal habitat use patterns influence their vulnerability to extreme climate events? An estuarine sportfish case study

      Ross E. Boucek, Michael R. Heithaus, Rolando Santos, Philip Stevens and Jennifer S. Rehage

      Version of Record online: 8 JUN 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13761

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      Our study quantifies landscape variation in stressors caused by an extreme climate event, and the habitat use patterns of a highly mobile species to identify a mechanism that could drive population responses to extreme climate events. Using cold spells as our extreme event, and an estuarine sportfish, Snook, as our model mobile species, we found that extreme cold events result in temperatures lethal to Snook in some habitats, but not others. Likewise, we show that Snook distribution patterns when extreme cold disturbances are most likely to occur, vary across years. Thus, spatial heterogeneity in coldness and Snook habitat use creates temporally dynamic vulnerability to ECEs based on mechanisms that influence animal movement.

    13. Does climate variability influence the demography of wild primates? Evidence from long-term life-history data in seven species

      Fernando A. Campos, William F. Morris, Susan C. Alberts, Jeanne Altmann, Diane K. Brockman, Marina Cords, Anne Pusey, Tara S. Stoinski, Karen B. Strier and Linda M. Fedigan

      Version of Record online: 7 JUN 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13754

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      We use long-term life-history data for natural populations of seven primate species representing the four major radiations of primates to investigate associations between vital rate variation, local climate variability, and global climate oscillations. We ask whether primates are sensitive to global changes that are universal (e.g., higher temperature, large-scale climate oscillations) or whether they are more sensitive to global change effects that are local (e.g., more rain in some places), which would complicate predictions of how primates in general will respond to climate change. We found strong climate signals in the fertility rates of three species, but most survival rates were little affected by climate variability. These findings indicate demographic buffering of life histories and provide new insights into the implications of climate change for the fates of wild primates.


    1. Widespread production of nonmicrobial greenhouse gases in soils

      Bin Wang, Manuel Lerdau and Yongli He

      Version of Record online: 6 JUN 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13753

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      It is a widespread phenomenon for soils (plant residues) to produce GHGs through nonmicrobial pathways (NM-GHGs). Five categories of mechanistic process (photodegradation, thermal degradation, reactive oxidative species oxidation, extracellular oxidative metabolism, and inorganic chemical reactions) are currently identified. Preliminary estimates have suggested that these pathways could play key roles in regulating the regional budget of GHGs. Their global importance would be enhanced with accelerated global environmental changes.


    1. Continental impacts of water development on waterbirds, contrasting two Australian river basins: Global implications for sustainable water use

      Richard T. Kingsford, Gilad Bino and John L. Porter

      Version of Record online: 4 JUN 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13743

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      Long-term declining trends in waterbird numbers, at the total numbers, different species and functional response groups, were detected in the Murray–Darling Basin, with its rivers developed by dams. In comparison, there were few trends in the similarly sized but undeveloped Lake Eyre Basin. These two river basins cover near one-third of the Australian continent. These trends in waterbird numbers were consistent at the scale of the entire basin, the two main rivers in each basin and for ten of the most important wetlands in each river basin. These results were from surveys over more than three decades and indicate the long-term impacts of water resource developments on ecosystems, critical for rehabilitation and development of rivers around the world.

    2. Faster turnover of new soil carbon inputs under increased atmospheric CO2

      Kees Jan van Groenigen, Craig W. Osenberg, César Terrer, Yolima Carrillo, Feike A. Dijkstra, James Heath, Ming Nie, Elise Pendall, Richard P. Phillips and Bruce A. Hungate

      Version of Record online: 2 JUN 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13752

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      We present a meta-analysis on the effect of rising CO2 on new and old soil carbon stocks, synthesizing data from CO2 enrichment studies in which isotopic labeling allowed to distinguish between these two carbon pools. We found that in longer-term experiments (1-4 years), elevated CO2 does not increase the amount of new soil C, even though plant growth data indicate that soil C input is higher than under ambient conditions. Together, these findings suggest that new C decomposes faster under elevated CO2.

    3. Species’ traits as predictors of range shifts under contemporary climate change: A review and meta-analysis

      Sarah A. MacLean and Steven R. Beissinger

      Version of Record online: 2 JUN 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13736

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      We performed the first comprehensive review of species’ traits as predictors of contemporary range shifts and present a formal meta-analysis of the five most studied traits. While two traits (habitat breadth and historic range limit) were moderately successful in predicting range shifts, other traits either contradicted predictions or had no significant relationship with range shifts.

    4. Disentangling species and functional group richness effects on soil N cycling in a grassland ecosystem

      Xiaorong Wei, Peter B. Reich, Sarah E. Hobbie and Clare E. Kazanski

      Version of Record online: 2 JUN 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13757

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      Increasing SR or FGR (holding the other constant) enhanced total plant N pools and decreased soil nitrate pools, and increasing FGR strongly reduced mineralization rates. In contrast, increasing SR (holding FGR constant and despite increasing total plant C and N pools) did not alter root N concentrations or net N mineralization rates. Elevated CO2 had minimal effects on plant and soil N metrics and their responses to plant diversity, whereas enriched N increased plant and soil N pools, but not soil N fluxes. These results show that functional diversity had additional effects on both plant N pools and rates of soil N cycling that were independent of those of species richness.

    5. Ecological regime shift drives declining growth rates of sea turtles throughout the West Atlantic

      Karen A. Bjorndal, Alan B. Bolten, Milani Chaloupka, Vincent S. Saba, Cláudio Bellini, Maria A. G. Marcovaldi, Armando J. B. Santos, Luis Felipe Wurdig Bortolon, Anne B. Meylan, Peter A. Meylan, Jennifer Gray, Robert Hardy, Beth Brost, Michael Bresette, Jonathan C. Gorham, Stephen Connett, Barbara Van Sciver Crouchley, Mike Dawson, Deborah Hayes, Carlos E. Diez, Robert P. van Dam, Sue Willis, Mabel Nava, Kristen M. Hart, Michael S. Cherkiss, Andrew G. Crowder, Clayton Pollock, Zandy Hillis-Starr, Fernando A. Muñoz Tenería, Roberto Herrera-Pavón, Vanessa Labrada-Martagón, Armando Lorences, Ana Negrete-Philippe, Margaret M. Lamont, Allen M. Foley, Rhonda Bailey, Raymond R. Carthy, Russell Scarpino, Erin McMichael, Jane A. Provancha, Annabelle Brooks, Adriana Jardim, Milagros López-Mendilaharsu, Daniel González-Paredes, Andrés Estrades, Alejandro Fallabrino, Gustavo Martínez-Souza, Gabriela M. Vélez-Rubio, Ralf H. Boulon Jr, Jaime A. Collazo, Robert Wershoven, Vicente Guzmán Hernández, Thomas B. Stringell, Amdeep Sanghera, Peter B. Richardson, Annette C. Broderick, Quinton Phillips, Marta Calosso, John A. B. Claydon, Tasha L. Metz, Amanda L. Gordon, Andre M. Landry Jr, Donna J. Shaver, Janice Blumenthal, Lucy Collyer, Brendan J. Godley, Andrew McGowan, Matthew J. Witt, Cathi L. Campbell, Cynthia J. Lagueux, Thomas L. Bethel and Lory Kenyon

      Version of Record online: 1 JUN 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13712

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      Somatic growth is an integrated, individual-based response to environmental conditions, especially in ectotherms. The authors compiled extensive growth data for green sea turtles throughout the West Atlantic from 30 sites from Bermuda to Uruguay from 1973 to 2015. Growth rates declined significantly from 1999 to the present. Synchronous declines in growth rates among three sea turtle species across a trophic spectrum provide strong evidence that the ecological regime shift (ERS) that occurred in the late 1990s in the Atlantic is driving growth dynamics. The ERS combined with an unprecedented warming rate over the last two to three decades and cumulative impacts of ongoing anthropogenic degradation of foraging habitats in the region slowed growth in these mega-consumers. The summary conclusion that productivity of sea turtles is lower at warmer temperatures is not good news in an age of warming seas.

    6. Phenological responses of Icelandic subarctic grasslands to short-term and long-term natural soil warming

      Niki I. W. Leblans, Bjarni D. Sigurdsson, Sara Vicca, Yongshuo Fu, Josep Penuelas and Ivan A. Janssens

      Version of Record online: 1 JUN 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13749

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      The length of the growing season (LOS) is highly sensitive to climate change, and could in its turn induce powerful feedback mechanisms to the climate system. There are indications, however, that the temperature sensitivity of LOS has recently been declining. We found that Icelandic subarctic grasslands can still extend their growing season for more than one month under warming. This persistence of warming-induced LOS extension has important implications for the C-sink potential of subarctic grasslands under climate change.