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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Convergence of bark investment according to fire and climate structures ecosystem vulnerability to future change
Author(s): Pellegrini, Adam
Anderegg, William R L
Paine, C E Timothy
Hoffmann, William A
Kartzinel, Tyler
Rabin, Sam S
Sheil, Douglas
Franco, Augusto C
Pacala, Stephen W
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Keywords: Bark thickness
fire ecology
functional traits
global change
Issue Date: Mar-2017
Citation: Pellegrini A, Anderegg WRL, Paine CET, Hoffmann WA, Kartzinel T, Rabin SS, Sheil D, Franco AC & Pacala SW (2017) Convergence of bark investment according to fire and climate structures ecosystem vulnerability to future change, Ecology Letters, 20 (3), pp. 307-316.
Abstract: Fire regimes in savannas and forests are changing over much of the world. Anticipating the impact of these changes requires understanding how plants are adapted to fire. Here we test whether fire imposes a broad selective force on a key fire-tolerance trait, bark thickness, across 572 tree species distributed worldwide. We show that investment in thick bark is a pervasive adaptation in frequently burned areas across savannas and forests in both temperate and tropical regions where surface fires occur. Geographic variability in bark thickness is largely explained by annual burned area and precipitation seasonality. Combining environmental and species distribution data allowed us to assess the vulnerability to future climate and fire conditions: tropical rainforests are especially vulnerable, whereas seasonal forests and savannas are more robust. The strong link between fire and bark thickness provides an avenue for assessing the vulnerability of tree communities to fire and demands inclusion in global models.
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Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Pellegrini, A. F. A., Anderegg, W. R. L., Paine, C. E. T., Hoffmann, W. A., Kartzinel, T., Rabin, S. S., Sheil, D., Franco, A. C. and Pacala, S. W. (2017), Convergence of bark investment according to fire and climate structures ecosystem vulnerability to future change. Ecol Lett, 20: 307–316, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

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