Science.gov

Sample records for cumulative ecosystem response

  1. Evaluating Cumulative Ecosystem Response to Restoration Projects in the Columbia River Estuary, Annual Report 2004

    SciTech Connect

    Diefenderfer, Heida L.; Roegner, Curtis; Thom, Ronald M.; Dawley, Earl M.; Whiting, Allan H.; Johnson, Gary E.; Sobocinski, Kathryn L.; Anderson, Michael G.; Ebberts, Blaine

    2005-12-15

    The restoration of wetland salmon habitat in the tidal portion of the Columbia River is occurring at an accelerating pace and is anticipated to improve habitat quality and effect hydrological reconnection between existing and restored habitats. Currently multiple groups are applying a variety of restoration strategies in an attempt to emulate historic estuarine processes. However, the region lacks both a standardized means of evaluating the effectiveness of individual projects as well as methods for determining the cumulative effects of all restoration projects on a regional scale. This project is working to establish a framework to evaluate individual and cumulative ecosystem responses to restoration activities in order to validate the effectiveness of habitat restoration activities designed to benefit salmon through improvements to habitat quality and habitat opportunity (i.e. access) in the Columbia River from Bonneville Dam to the ocean. The review and synthesis of approaches to measure the cumulative effects of multiple restoration projects focused on defining methods and metrics of relevance to the CRE, and, in particular, juvenile salmon use of this system. An extensive literature review found no previous study assessing the cumulative effects of multiple restoration projects on the fundamental processes and functions of a large estuarine system, although studies are underway in other large land-margin ecosystems including the Florida Everglades and the Louisiana coastal wetlands. Literature from a variety of scientific disciplines was consulted to identify the ways that effects can accumulate (e.g., delayed effects, cross-boundary effects, compounding effects, indirect effects, triggers and thresholds) as well as standard and innovative tools and methods utilized in cumulative effects analyses: conceptual models, matrices, checklists, modeling, trends analysis, geographic information systems, carrying capacity analysis, and ecosystem analysis. Potential

  2. Evaluating Cumulative Ecosystem Response to Restoration Projects in the Columbia River Estuary, Annual Report 2007

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, Gary E.; Diefenderfer, Heida L.; Borde, Amy B.; Dawley, Earl M.; Ebberts, Blaine D.; Putman, Douglas A.; Roegner, G. C.; Russell, Micah; Skalski, John R.; Thom, Ronald M.; Vavrinec, John

    2008-10-01

    The goal of this multi-year study (2004-2010) is to develop a methodology to evaluate the cumulative effects of multiple habitat restoration projects intended to benefit ecosystems supporting juvenile salmonids in the lower Columbia River and estuary. Literature review in 2004 revealed no existing methods for such an evaluation and suggested that cumulative effects could be additive or synergistic. Field research in 2005, 2006, and 2007 involved intensive, comparative studies paired by habitat type (tidal swamp vs. marsh), trajectory (restoration vs. reference site), and restoration action (tide gate vs. culvert vs. dike breach). The field work established two kinds of monitoring indicators for eventual cumulative effects analysis: core and higher-order indicators. Management implications of limitations and applications of site-specific effectiveness monitoring and cumulative effects analysis were identified.

  3. Evaluation of Cumulative Ecosystem Response to Restoration Projects in the Lower Columbia River and Estuary, 2010

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, Gary E.; Diefenderfer, Heida L.; Thom, Ronald M.; Roegner, G. Curtis; Ebberts, Blaine D.; Skalski, John R.; Borde, Amy B.; Dawley, Earl; Coleman, Andre M.; Woodruff, Dana L.; Breithaupt, Stephen A.; Cameron, April; Corbett, C.; Donley, Erin E.; Jay, D. A.; Ke, Yinghai; Leffler, K.; McNeil, C.; Studebaker, Cindy; Tagestad, Jerry D.

    2012-05-01

    This is the seventh and final annual report of a project (2004–2010) addressing evaluation of the cumulative effects of habitat restoration actions in the 235-km-long lower Columbia River and estuary. The project, called the Cumulative Effects (CE) study, was conducted for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Portland District by a collaboration of research agencies led by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. We achieved the primary goal of the CE study to develop a methodology to evaluate the cumulative effects of habitat actions in the Columbia Estuary Ecosystem Restoration Program. We delivered 1) standard monitoring protocols and methods to prioritize monitoring activities; 2) the theoretical and empirical basis for a CE methodology using levels-of-evidence; 3) evaluations of cumulative effects using ecological relationships, geo-referenced data, hydrodynamic modeling, and meta-analyses; and 4) an adaptive management process to coordinate and coalesce restoration efforts in the LCRE. A solid foundation has been laid for future comprehensive evaluations of progress made by the Columbia Estuary Ecosystem Restoration Program to understand, conserve, and restore ecosystems in the lower Columbia River and estuary.

  4. Evaluating Cumulative Ecosystem Response to Restoration Projects in the Lower Columbia River and Estuary, 2009

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, Gary E.; Diefenderfer, Heida L.; Borde, Amy B.; Bryson, Amanda J.; Cameron, April; Coleman, Andre M.; Corbett, C.; Dawley, Earl M.; Ebberts, Blaine D.; Kauffman, Ronald; Roegner, G. Curtis; Russell, Micah T.; Silva, April; Skalski, John R.; Thom, Ronald M.; Vavrinec, John; Woodruff, Dana L.; Zimmerman, Shon A.

    2010-10-26

    This is the sixth annual report of a seven-year project (2004 through 2010) to evaluate the cumulative effects of habitat restoration actions in the lower Columbia River and estuary (LCRE). The project, called the Cumulative Effects Study, is being conducted for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Portland District (USACE) by the Marine Sciences Laboratory of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), the Pt. Adams Biological Field Station of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the Columbia River Estuary Study Taskforce (CREST), and the University of Washington. The goal of the Cumulative Effects Study is to develop a methodology to evaluate the cumulative effects of multiple habitat restoration projects intended to benefit ecosystems supporting juvenile salmonids in the 235-km-long LCRE. Literature review in 2004 revealed no existing methods for such an evaluation and suggested that cumulative effects could be additive or synergistic. From 2005 through 2009, annual field research involved intensive, comparative studies paired by habitat type (tidal swamp versus marsh), trajectory (restoration versus reference site), and restoration action (tidegate replacement vs. culvert replacement vs. dike breach).

  5. Evaluating Cumulative Ecosystem Response to Restoration Projects in the Columbia River Estuary, Annual Report 2006

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, Gary E.; Borde, Amy B.; Dawley, Earl; Diefenderfer, Heida L.; Ebberts, Blaine D.; Putman, Douglas A.; Roegner, G. C.; Thom, Ronald M.; Vavrinec, John; Whiting, Allan H.

    2007-12-06

    This report is the third annual report of a six-year project to evaluate the cumulative effects of habitat restoration action in the Columbia River Estuary (CRE). The project is being conducted for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) by the Marine Sciences Laboratory of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the Pt. Adams Biological Field Station of the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the Columbia River Estuary Study Taskforce. Measurement of the cumulative effects of ecological restoration projects in the Columbia River estuary is a formidable task because of the size and complexity of the estuarine landscape and the meta-populations of salmonids in the Columbia River basin. Despite the challenges presented by this system, developing and implementing appropriate indicators and methods to measure cumulative effects is the best way to enable estuary managers to track the overall effectiveness of investments in estuarine restoration projects. This project is developing methods to quantify the cumulative effects of multiple restoration activities in the CRE. The overall objectives of the 2006 study were to continue to develop techniques to assess cumulative effects, refine the standard monitoring protocols, and initiate development of an adaptive management system for Corps of Engineers’ habitat restoration monitoring efforts in the CRE. (The adaptive management effort will be reported at a later date.) Field studies during 2006 were conducted in tidal freshwater at Kandoll Farm on the lower Grays River and tidal brackish water at Vera Slough on Youngs Bay. Within each of area, we sampled one natural reference site and one restoration site. We addressed the overall objectives with field work in 2006 that, coupled with previous field data, had specific objectives and resulted in some important findings that are summarized here by chapter in this report. Each chapter of the report contains data on particular monitored variables for pre- and post

  6. Evaluating Cumulative Ecosystem Response to Restoration Projects in the Columbia River Estuary, Annual Report 2005

    SciTech Connect

    Diefenderfer, Heida L.; Thom, Ronald M.; Borde, Amy B.; Roegner, G. C.; Whiting, Allan H.; Johnson, Gary E.; Dawley, Earl; Skalski, John R.; Vavrinec, John; Ebberts, Blaine D.

    2006-12-20

    This report is the second annual report of a six-year project to evaluate the cumulative effects of habitat restoration projects in the Columbia River Estuary, conducted by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Marine Sciences Laboratory, NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service Pt. Adams Biological Field Station, and the Columbia River Estuary Study Taskforce for the US Army Corps of Engineers. In 2005, baseline data were collected on two restoration sites and two associated reference sites in the Columbia River estuary. The sites represent two habitat types of the estuary--brackish marsh and freshwater swamp--that have sustained substantial losses in area and that may play important roles for salmonids. Baseline data collected included vegetation and elevation surveys, above and below-ground biomass, water depth and temperature, nutrient flux, fish species composition, and channel geometry. Following baseline data collection, three kinds of restoration actions for hydrological reconnection were implemented in several locations on the sites: tidegate replacements (2) at Vera Slough, near the city of Astoria in Oregon State, and culvert replacements (2) and dike breaches (3) at Kandoll Farm in the Grays River watershed in Washington State. Limited post-restoration data were collected: photo points, nutrient flux, water depth and temperature, and channel cross-sections. In subsequent work, this and additional post-restoration data will be used in conjunction with data from other sites to estimate net effects of hydrological reconnection restoration projects throughout the estuary. This project is establishing methods for evaluating the effectiveness of individual projects and a framework for assessing estuary-wide cumulative effects including a protocol manual for monitoring restoration and reference sites.

  7. A Levels-of-Evidence Approach for Assessing Cumulative Ecosystem Response to Estuary and River Restoration Programs

    SciTech Connect

    Diefenderfer, Heida L.; Thom, Ronald M.; Johnson, Gary E.; Skalski, J. R.; Vogt, Kristiina A.; Ebberts, Blaine D.; Roegner, G. Curtis; Dawley, Earl

    2011-03-01

    Even though large-scale ecological restoration programs are beginning to supplement isolated projects implemented on rivers and tidal waterways, the effects of restoration success often continue to be evaluated at project scales or by integration in an additive manner. Today our scientific understanding is sufficient that we can begin to apply lessons learnt from assessing cumulative impacts of anthropogenic stressors on ecosystems to the assessment of ecological restoration. Integration of this knowledge has the potential to increase the efficacy of restoration projects conducted at several locations but co-managed within the confines of a larger integrative program. We introduce here a framework based on a levels-of-evidence approach that facilitates assessment of the cumulative landscape effects of individual restoration actions taken at many different locations. It incorporates data collection at restoration and reference sites, hydrodynamic modeling, geographic information systems, and meta-analyses in a five-stage process: design, data, analysis, synthesis and evaluation, and application. This framework evolved from the need to evaluate the efficacy of restoration projects designed to increase rearing habitat for outmigrating juvenile salmonids, which are being implemented in numerous wetlands on the 235-km tidal portion of the Columbia River, U.S.A.

  8. Evidence-based evaluation of the cumulative effects of ecosystem restoration

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Diefenderfer, Heida L.; Johnson, Gary E.; Thom, Ronald M.; Buenau, Kate E.; Weitkamp, Laurie A.; Woodley, Christa M.; Borde, Amy B.; Kropp, Roy K.

    2016-03-18

    Evaluating the cumulative effects of large-scale ecological restoration programs is necessary to inform adaptive ecosystem management and provide society with resilient and sustainable services. However, complex linkages between restorative actions and ecosystem responses make evaluations problematic. Despite long-term federal investments in restoring aquatic ecosystems, no standard evaluation method has been adopted and most programs focus on monitoring and analysis, not synthesis and evaluation. In this paper, we demonstrate a new transdisciplinary approach integrating techniques from evidence-based medicine, critical thinking, and cumulative effects assessment. Tiered hypotheses are identified using an ecosystem conceptual model. The systematic literature review at the core ofmore » evidence-based assessment becomes one of many lines of evidence assessed collectively, using critical thinking strategies and causal criteria from a cumulative effects perspective. As a demonstration, we analyzed data from 166 locations on the Columbia River and estuary representing 12 indicators of habitat and fish response to floodplain restoration actions intended to benefit threatened and endangered salmon. Synthesis of seven lines of evidence showed that hydrologic reconnection promoted macrodetritis export, prey availability, and fish access and feeding. The evidence was sufficient to infer cross-boundary, indirect, compounding and delayed cumulative effects, and suggestive of nonlinear, landscape-scale, and spatial density effects. On the basis of causal inferences regarding food web functions, we concluded that the restoration program has a cumulative beneficial effect on juvenile salmon. As a result, this evidence-based approach will enable the evaluation of restoration in complex coastal and riverine ecosystems where data have accumulated without sufficient synthesis.« less

  9. CUMULATIVE RISK ASSESSMENT FOR QUANTITATIVE RESPONSE DATA

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Relative Potency Factor approach (RPF) is used to normalize and combine different toxic potencies among a group of chemicals selected for cumulative risk assessment. The RPF method assumes that the slopes of the dose-response functions are all equal; but this method depends o...

  10. Earth system responses to cumulative carbon emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinacher, M.; Joos, F.

    2015-07-01

    Information on the relationship between cumulative fossil carbon emissions and multiple climate targets are essential to design emission mitigation and climate adaptation strategies. In this study, the transient responses in different climate variables are quantified for a large set of multi-forcing scenarios extended to year 2300 towards stabilization and in idealized experiments using the Bern3D-LPJ carbon-climate model. The model outcomes are constrained by 26 physical and biogeochemical observational data sets in a Bayesian, Monte-Carlo type framework. Cumulative fossil emissions of 1000 Gt C result in a global mean surface air temperature change of 1.88 °C (68 % confidence interval (c.i.): 1.28 to 2.69 °C), a decrease in surface ocean pH of 0.19 (0.18 to 0.22), and in steric sea level rise of 20 cm (13 to 27 cm until 2300). Linearity between cumulative emissions and transient response is high for pH and reasonably high for surface air and sea surface temperatures, but less pronounced for changes in Atlantic Meridional Overturning, Southern Ocean and tropical surface water saturation with respect to biogenic structures of calcium carbonate, and carbon stocks in soils. The slopes of the relationships change when CO2 is stabilized. The Transient Climate Response is constrained, primarily by long-term ocean heat observations, to 1.7 °C (68 % c.i.: 1.3 to 2.2 °C) and the Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity to 2.9 °C (2.0 to 4.2 °C). This is consistent with results by CMIP5 models, but inconsistent with recent studies that relied on short-term air temperature data affected by natural climate variability.

  11. Study on the cumulative impact of reclamation activities on ecosystem health in coastal waters.

    PubMed

    Shen, Chengcheng; Shi, Honghua; Zheng, Wei; Li, Fen; Peng, Shitao; Ding, Dewen

    2016-02-15

    The purpose of this study is to develop feasible tools to investigate the cumulative impact of reclamations on coastal ecosystem health, so that the strategies of ecosystem-based management can be applied in the coastal zone. An indicator system and model were proposed to assess the cumulative impact synthetically. Two coastal water bodies, namely Laizhou Bay (LZB) and Tianjin coastal waters (TCW), in the Bohai Sea of China were studied and compared, each in a different phase of reclamations. Case studies showed that the indicator scores of coastal ecosystem health in LZB and TCW were 0.75 and 0.68 out of 1.0, respectively. It can be concluded that coastal reclamations have a historically cumulative effect on benthic environment, whose degree is larger than that on aquatic environment. The ecosystem-based management of coastal reclamations should emphasize the spatially and industrially intensive layout.

  12. Cumulative Risk, Maternal Responsiveness, and Allostatic Load among Young Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Evans, Gary W.; Kim, Pilyoung; Ting, Albert H.; Tesher, Harris B.; Shannis, Dana

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of cumulative risk exposure in concert with maternal responsiveness on physiological indicators of chronic stress in children and youth. Middle-school children exposed to greater accumulated psychosocial (e.g., family turmoil, poverty) and physical (e.g., crowding, substandard housing) risk…

  13. Valued ecosystem components for watershed cumulative effects: an analysis of environmental impact assessments in the South Saskatchewan River watershed, Canada.

    PubMed

    Ball, Murray A; Noble, Bram F; Dubé, Monique G

    2013-07-01

    The accumulating effects of human development are threatening water quality and availability. In recognition of the constraints to cumulative effects assessment (CEA) under traditional environmental impact assessment (EIA), there is an emerging body of research dedicated to watershed-based cumulative effects assessment (WCEA). To advance the science of WCEA, however, a standard set of ecosystem components and indicators is required that can be used at the watershed scale, to inform effects-based understanding of cumulative change, and at the project scale, to inform regulatory-based project based impact assessment and mitigation. A major challenge, however, is that it is not clear how such ecosystem components and indicators for WCEA can or should be developed. This study examined the use of aquatic ecosystem components and indicators in EIA practice in the South Saskatchewan River watershed, Canada, to determine whether current practice at the project scale could be "scaled up" to support ecosystem component and indicator development for WCEA. The hierarchy of assessment components and indicators used in a sample of 35 environmental impact assessments was examined and the factors affecting aquatic ecosystem component selection and indicator use were identified. Results showed that public environmental impact statements are not necessarily publically accessible, thus limiting opportunities for data and information sharing from the project to the watershed scale. We also found no consistent terminology across the sample of impact statements, thus making comparison of assessment processes and results difficult. Regulatory compliance was found to be the dominant factor influencing the selection of ecosystem components and indicators for use in project assessment, rather than scientific reasoning, followed by the mandate of the responsible government agency for the assessment, public input to the assessment process, and preexisting water licensing arrangements external

  14. Scenario Dependence of the Climate Response to Cumulative Carbon Emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krasting, J. P.; Dunne, J. P.; Shevliakova, E.; Stouffer, R. J.

    2013-12-01

    The ability to relate future warming to past cumulative carbon emissions independent of the emissions pathway is desirable from both scientific understanding and climate policy perspectives. The transient climate response to cumulative carbon emissions (TCRE) has been used to argue for a lack of committed future warming based on past carbon emissions. Additional studies have also demonstrated that the cessation of carbon emissions results in either a stabilization or a decrease in global mean surface air temperature. Experiments that demonstrate these principles have been based primarily on scenarios where atmospheric CO2 concentrations increase exponentially - thus obscuring the uncertainties in the differing climate and carbon cycle response to varying pathways of carbon emissions. In an alternative approach, we explore the robustness of these findings by forcing a coupled climate-carbon-cycle Earth System Model (ESM) with differing linear rates of carbon emissions (5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 PgC/yr). We quantify the scenario dependence of heat and carbon partitioning in the coupled Earth system. At the time of CO2 doubling, we find that the difference in TCRE across the 5 emissions rates from a single ESM (NOAA GFDL-ESM2G) represents approximately 1/3 of the range of TCRE from the suite of C4MIP models and 1/5 of the range from the CMIP5 models. After imposing zero emissions at the time of CO2 doubling in the 5 and 25 PgC/yr experiments, we found even greater uncertainty in TCRE after 200 years. TCRE, while useful for benchmarking models, is less robust on policy-making timescales. In the case of zero emissions, the climate-carbon-cycle system, as represented by GFDL-ESM2G, responds differently based on past rates and timescales of carbon emissions.

  15. Delayed responses of an Arctic ecosystem to an extremely dry summer: impacts on net ecosystem exchange and vegetation functioning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zona, D.; Lipson, D. A.; Richards, J. H.; Phoenix, G. K.; Liljedahl, A. K.; Ueyama, M.; Sturtevant, C. S.; Oechel, W. C.

    2013-12-01

    The importance and mode of action of extreme events on the global carbon budget are inadequately understood. This includes the differential impact of extreme events on various ecosystem components, lag effects, recovery times, and compensatory processes. Summer 2007 in Barrow, Arctic Alaska, experienced unusually high air temperatures (fifth warmest over a 65 yr period) and record low precipitation (lowest over a 65 yr period). These abnormal conditions resulted in strongly reduced net Sphagnum CO2 uptake, but no effect neither on vascular plant development nor on net ecosystem exchange (NEE) from this arctic tundra ecosystem. Gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Reco) were both generally greater during most of this extreme summer. Cumulative ecosystem C uptake in 2007 was similar to the previous summers, showing the capacity of the ecosystem to compensate in its net ecosystem exchange (NEE) despite the impact on other functions and structure such as substantial necrosis of the Sphagnum layer. Surprisingly, the lowest ecosystem C uptake (2005-2009) was observed during the 2008 summer, i.e the year directly following the extremely summer. In 2008, cumulative C uptake was ∼70% lower than prior years. This reduction cannot solely be attributed to mosses, which typically contribute with ∼40% - of the entire ecosystem C uptake. The minimum summer cumulative C uptake in 2008 suggests that the entire ecosystem experienced difficulty readjusting to more typical weather after experiencing exceptionally warm and dry conditions. Importantly, the return to a substantial cumulative C uptake occurred two summers after the extreme event, which suggest a high resilience of this tundra ecosystem. Overall, these results show a highly complex response of the C uptake and its sub-components to atypically dry conditions. The impact of multiple extreme events still awaits further investigation.

  16. Growing Season Length as a Key Factor of Cumulative Net Ecosystem Exchange Over the Pine Forest Ecosystems in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Danielewska, Alina; Urbaniak, Marek; Olejnik, Janusz

    2015-04-01

    The Scots pine is one of the most important species in European and Asian forests. Due to a widespread occurrence of pine forests, their significance in the energy and mass exchange between the Earth surface and the atmosphere is also important, particularly in the context of climate change and greenhouse gases balance. The aim of this work is to present the relationship between the average annual net ecosystem productivity and growing season length, latitude and air temperature (tay) over Europe. Therefore, CO2 flux measurement data from eight European pine dominated forests were used. The observations suggest that there is a correlation between the intensity of CO2 uptake or emission by a forest stand and the above mentioned parameters. Based on the obtained results, all of the selected pine forest stands were CO2 sinks, except a site in northern Finland. The carbon dioxide uptake increased proportionally with the increase of growing season length (9.212 g C m-2 y-1 per day of growing season, R2 = 0.53, p = 0.0399). This dependency showed stronger correlation and higher statistical significance than both relationships between annual net ecosystem productivity and air temperature (R2 = 0.39, p = 0.096) and annual net ecosystem productivity and latitude (R2 = 0.47, p = 0.058). The CO2 emission surpassed assimilation in winter, early spring and late autumn. Moreover, the appearance of late, cold spring and early winter, reduced annual net ecosystem productivity. Therefore, the growing season length can be considered as one of the main factor affecting the annual carbon budget of pine forests.

  17. An Evidence-Based Evaluation of the Cumulative Effects of Tidal Freshwater and Estuarine Ecosystem Restoration on Endangered Juvenile Salmon in the Columbia River: Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Diefenderfer, Heida L.; Johnson, Gary E.; Thom, Ronald M.; Borde, Amy B.; Woodley, Christa M.; Weitkamp, Laurie A.; Buenau, Kate E.; Kropp, Roy K.

    2013-12-01

    measurements, data analyses, modeling, meta-analysis, and reanalysis of previously collected data sets. We identified a set of 12 ancillary hypotheses regarding habitat and salmon response. Each ancillary hypothesis states that the response metric will trend toward conditions at relatively undisturbed reference sites. We synthesized the evidence for and against the two necessary conditions by using eleven causal criteria: strength, consistency, specificity, temporality, biological gradient, plausibility, coherence, experiment, analogy, complete exposure pathway, and predictive performance. Our final evaluation included cumulative effects assessment because restoration is occurring at multiple sites and the collective effect is important to salmon recovery. We concluded that all five lines of evidence from the LCRE indicated positive habitat-based and fish-based responses to the restoration performed under the CEERP, although tide gate replacements on small sloughs were an exception. Our analyses suggested that hydrologic reconnections restore access for fish to move into a site to find prey produced there. Reconnections also restore the potential for the flux of prey from the site to the main stem river, where our data show that they are consumed by salmon. We infer that LCRE ecosystem restoration supports increased juvenile salmon growth and enhanced fitness (condition), thereby potentially improving survival rates during the early ocean stage.

  18. The emerging threats of climate change on tropical coastal ecosystem services, public health, local economies and livelihood sustainability of small islands: Cumulative impacts and synergies.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Delgado, E A

    2015-12-15

    Climate change has significantly impacted tropical ecosystems critical for sustaining local economies and community livelihoods at global scales. Coastal ecosystems have largely declined, threatening the principal source of protein, building materials, tourism-based revenue, and the first line of defense against storm swells and sea level rise (SLR) for small tropical islands. Climate change has also impacted public health (i.e., altered distribution and increased prevalence of allergies, water-borne, and vector-borne diseases). Rapid human population growth has exacerbated pressure over coupled social-ecological systems, with concomitant non-sustainable impacts on natural resources, water availability, food security and sovereignty, public health, and quality of life, which should increase vulnerability and erode adaptation and mitigation capacity. This paper examines cumulative and synergistic impacts of climate change in the challenging context of highly vulnerable small tropical islands. Multiple adaptive strategies of coupled social-ecological ecosystems are discussed. Multi-level, multi-sectorial responses are necessary for adaptation to be successful.

  19. The emerging threats of climate change on tropical coastal ecosystem services, public health, local economies and livelihood sustainability of small islands: Cumulative impacts and synergies.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Delgado, E A

    2015-12-15

    Climate change has significantly impacted tropical ecosystems critical for sustaining local economies and community livelihoods at global scales. Coastal ecosystems have largely declined, threatening the principal source of protein, building materials, tourism-based revenue, and the first line of defense against storm swells and sea level rise (SLR) for small tropical islands. Climate change has also impacted public health (i.e., altered distribution and increased prevalence of allergies, water-borne, and vector-borne diseases). Rapid human population growth has exacerbated pressure over coupled social-ecological systems, with concomitant non-sustainable impacts on natural resources, water availability, food security and sovereignty, public health, and quality of life, which should increase vulnerability and erode adaptation and mitigation capacity. This paper examines cumulative and synergistic impacts of climate change in the challenging context of highly vulnerable small tropical islands. Multiple adaptive strategies of coupled social-ecological ecosystems are discussed. Multi-level, multi-sectorial responses are necessary for adaptation to be successful. PMID:26455783

  20. Delayed responses of an Arctic ecosystem to an extreme summer: impacts on net ecosystem exchange and vegetation functioning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zona, D.; Lipson, D. A.; Richards, J. H.; Phoenix, G. K.; Liljedahl, A. K.; Ueyama, M.; Sturtevant, C. S.; Oechel, W. C.

    2014-10-01

    The importance and consequences of extreme events on the global carbon budget are inadequately understood. This includes the differential impact of extreme events on various ecosystem components, lag effects, recovery times, and compensatory processes. In the summer of 2007 in Barrow, Arctic Alaska, there were unusually high air temperatures (the fifth warmest summer over a 65-year period) and record low precipitation (the lowest over a 65-year period). These abnormal conditions were associated with substantial desiccation of the Sphagnum layer and a reduced net Sphagnum CO2 sink but did not affect net ecosystem exchange (NEE) from this wet-sedge arctic tundra ecosystem. Microbial biomass, NH4+ availability, gross primary production (GPP), and ecosystem respiration (Reco) were generally greater during this extreme summer. The cumulative ecosystem CO2 sink in 2007 was similar to the previous summers, suggesting that vascular plants were able to compensate for Sphagnum CO2 uptake, despite the impact on other functions and structure such as desiccation of the Sphagnum layer. Surprisingly, the lowest ecosystem CO2 sink over a five summer record (2005-2009) was observed during the 2008 summer (~70% lower), directly following the unusually warm and dry summer, rather than during the extreme summer. This sink reduction cannot solely be attributed to the potential damage to mosses, which typically contribute ~40% of the entire ecosystem CO2 sink. Importantly, the return to a substantial cumulative CO2 sink occurred two summers after the extreme event, which suggests a substantial resilience of this tundra ecosystem to at least an isolated extreme event. Overall, these results show a complex response of the CO2 sink and its sub-components to atypically warm and dry conditions. The impact of multiple extreme events requires further investigation.

  1. Cumulative impacts of hurricanes on Florida mangrove ecosystems: Sediment deposition, storm surges and vegetation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, T. J.; Anderson, G.H.; Balentine, K.; Tiling, G.; Ward, G.A.; Whelan, K.R.T.

    2009-01-01

    Hurricanes have shaped the structure of mangrove forests in the Everglades via wind damage, storm surges and sediment deposition. Immediate effects include changes to stem size-frequency distributions and to species relative abundance and density. Long-term impacts to mangroves are poorly understood at present. We examine impacts of Hurricane Wilma on mangroves and compare the results to findings from three previous storms (Labor Day, Donna, Andrew). Surges during Wilma destroyed ??? 1,250 ha of mangroves and set back recovery that started following Andrew. Data from permanent plots affected by Andrew and Wilma showed no differences among species or between hurricanes for stem mortality or basal area lost. Hurricane damage was related to hydro-geomorphic type of forest. Basin mangroves suffered significantly more damage than riverine or island mangroves. The hurricane by forest type interaction was highly significant. Andrew did slightly more damage to island mangroves. Wilma did significantly more damage to basin forests. This is most likely a result of the larger and more spatially extensive storm surge produced by Wilma. Forest damage was not related to amount of sediment deposited. Analyses of reports from Donna and the Labor Day storm indicate that some sites have recovered following catastrophic disturbance. Other sites have been permanently converted into a different ecosystem, namely intertidal mudflats. Our results indicate that mangroves are not in a steady state as has been recently claimed. ?? 2009 The Society of Wetland Scientists.

  2. Regional estimates of the transient climate response to cumulative CO2 emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leduc, Martin; Matthews, H. Damon; de Elía, Ramón

    2016-05-01

    The Transient Climate Response to cumulative carbon Emissions (TCRE) measures the response of global temperatures to cumulative CO2 emissions. Although the TCRE is a global quantity, climate impacts manifest predominantly in response to local climate changes. Here we quantify the link between CO2 emissions and regional temperature change, showing that regional temperatures also respond approximately linearly to cumulative CO2 emissions. Using an ensemble of twelve Earth system models, we present a novel application of pattern scaling to define the regional pattern of temperature change per emission of CO2. Ensemble mean regional TCRE values range from less than 1 °C per TtC for some ocean regions, to more than 5 °C per TtC in the Arctic, with a pattern of higher values over land and at high northern latitudes. We find also that high-latitude ocean regions deviate more strongly from linearity as compared to land and lower-latitude oceans. This suggests that ice-albedo and ocean circulation feedbacks are important contributors to the overall negative deviation from linearity of the global temperature response to high levels of cumulative emissions. The strong linearity of the regional climate response over most land regions provides a robust way to quantitatively link anthropogenic CO2 emissions to local-scale climate impacts.

  3. A double-integration hypothesis to explain ocean ecosystem response to climate forcing.

    PubMed

    Di Lorenzo, Emanuele; Ohman, Mark D

    2013-02-12

    Long-term time series of marine ecological indicators often are characterized by large-amplitude state transitions that can persist for decades. Understanding the significance of these variations depends critically on the underlying hypotheses characterizing expected natural variability. Using a linear autoregressive model in combination with long-term zooplankton observations off the California coast, we show that cumulative integrations of white-noise atmospheric forcing can generate marine population responses that are characterized by strong transitions and prolonged apparent state changes. This model provides a baseline hypothesis for explaining ecosystem variability and for interpreting the significance of abrupt responses and climate change signatures in marine ecosystems.

  4. Hypoxia: from molecular responses to ecosystem responses.

    PubMed

    Wu, Rudolf S S

    2002-01-01

    Hypoxia affects thousands of km2 of marine waters all over the world, and has caused mass mortality of marine animals, benthic defaunation and decline in fisheries production in many places. The severity, frequency occurrence and spatial scale of hypoxia have increased in the last few decades. Due to rapid human population growth and global warming, the problem of hypoxia is likely to become worse in the coming years. Molecular responses of marine animals to hypoxia are poorly known. In many animals, a haem protein probably serves as the cellular sensor for oxygen, and reactive oxygen species are generated as signaling molecules. In mammal and fish, a heterodimeric transcription factor, hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) has been identified. HIF-1 receives signals from the molecular oxygen senor through redox reactions and/or phosphorylation, and in turn, regulates the transcription of a number of hypoxia-inducible genes, including genes involved in erythropoiesis, angiogenesis and glycolysis. These molecular responses then cascade into a series of biochemical and physiological adjustments, enabling the animal to survive better under hypoxic conditions. Marine animals respond to hypoxia by first attempting to maintain oxygen delivery (e.g. increases in respiration rate, number of red blood cells, or oxygen binding capacity of hemoglobin), then by conserving energy (e.g. metabolic depression, down regulation of protein synthesis and down regulation/modification of certain regulatory enzymes). Upon exposure to prolonged hypoxia, animals must eventually resort to anaerobic respiration. Hypoxia reduces growth and feeding, which may eventually affect individual fitness. Effects of hypoxia on reproduction and development of marine animals, albeit important in affecting species survival, remain almost unknown. Many fish and marine organisms can detect, and actively avoid hypoxia. Some benthos may leave their burrows and move to sediment surface during hypoxia. These

  5. Cumulative Instructional Time and Relative Effectiveness Conclusions: Extending Research on Response Intervals, Learning, and Measurement Scale.

    PubMed

    Black, Michelle P; Skinner, Christopher H; Forbes, Bethany E; McCurdy, Merilee; Coleman, Mari Beth; Davis, Kristie; Gettelfinger, Maripat

    2016-03-01

    Adapted alternating treatments designs were used to evaluate three computer-based flashcard reading interventions (1-s, 3-s, or 5-s response intervals) across two students with disabilities. When learning was plotted with cumulative instructional sessions on the horizontal axis, the session-series graphs suggest that the interventions were similarly effective. When the same data were plotted as a function of cumulative instructional seconds, time-series graphs suggest that the 1-s intervention caused the most rapid learning for one student. Discussion focuses on applied implications of comparative effectiveness studies and why measures of cumulative instructional time are needed to identify the most effective intervention(s).Comparative effectiveness studies may not identify the intervention which causes the most rapid learning.Session-series repeated measures are not the same as time-series repeated measures.Measuring the time students spend in each intervention (i.e., cumulative instructional seconds) allows practitioners to identify interventions that enhance learning most rapidly.Student time spent working under interventions is critical for drawing applied conclusions. PMID:27606240

  6. Potential pitfall in using cumulative exposure in exposure-response relationships: demonstration and discussion.

    PubMed

    Finkelstein, M M

    1995-07-01

    Cumulative exposure is frequently used as a measure of exposure in the quantitative analysis of epidemiologic studies. It is recognized that the imposed symmetry between duration and intensity of exposure is a potential problem with this measure, but it is less widely recognized that the finding of an exposure-response relationship, using cumulative exposure as the exposure metric, does not necessarily imply that exposures were accurately or even consistently estimated. This report describes a simulation study drawn from a nested case-control analysis of mesothelioma in a cohort of asbestos cement workers. Intensity of exposure in the range of 0.1-40 fibers/ml was randomly assigned to subjects. Logistic regression analysis demonstrated that there was no association between mesothelioma risk and the randomly assigned intensity of exposure. However, in 171 (86%) of 200 trials, mesothelioma risk was significantly associated with cumulative exposure, even though intensity of exposure remained randomly assigned. A strong exposure-response relationship might thus be misleading. One would be more confident about quantitative risk assessment when there are a large number of independent studies available for analysis.

  7. Cumulative gains enhance striatal response to reward opportunities in alcohol-dependent patients

    PubMed Central

    Gilman, Jodi M.; Smith, Ashley R.; Bjork, James M.; Ramchandani, Vijay A.; Momenan, Reza; Hommer, Daniel W.

    2016-01-01

    Substance use disorder is characterized by a transition from volitional to compulsive responding for drug reward. A possible explanation for this transition may be that alcohol-dependent patients (ADP) show a general propensity for a history of rewarded instrumental responses, and these rewarded responses may boost the activation of motivational neurocircuitry for additional reward. Brain imaging studies of decision-making have demonstrated that ADP relative to controls (CON) often show altered neural activation in response to anticipating and receiving rewards, but the majority of studies have not investigated how past performance affects activation. A potential exists for ADP to show increased sensitivity to reward as a function of reward delivery history. In the current study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the neural correlates of risky decision-making in ADP (n = 18) and CON (n = 18) while they played a two-choice monetary risk-taking game. In addition to investigating general neural recruitment by risky decision-making, we also modeled each participant’s running total of monetary earnings in order to determine areas of activation that correlated with cumulative reward. We found that ADP and CON showed few differences in behavior or in mesolimbic activation by choice for, and receipt of, risky gains. However, when including a cumulative-earnings covariate, ADP exhibited heightened striatal activation that correlated with total earnings during the choice event in the task. The heightened contextual sensitivity of striatal responses to cumulative earnings in ADP may represent a general neurobiological affective substrate for development of automatized instrumental behavior. PMID:24754451

  8. Cumulative exposure to prior collective trauma and acute stress responses to the Boston marathon bombings.

    PubMed

    Garfin, Dana Rose; Holman, E Alison; Silver, Roxane Cohen

    2015-06-01

    The role of repeated exposure to collective trauma in explaining response to subsequent community-wide trauma is poorly understood. We examined the relationship between acute stress response to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and prior direct and indirect media-based exposure to three collective traumatic events: the September 11, 2001 (9/11) terrorist attacks, Superstorm Sandy, and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Representative samples of residents of metropolitan Boston (n = 846) and New York City (n = 941) completed Internet-based surveys shortly after the Boston Marathon bombings. Cumulative direct exposure and indirect exposure to prior community trauma and acute stress symptoms were assessed. Acute stress levels did not differ between Boston and New York metropolitan residents. Cumulative direct and indirect, live-media-based exposure to 9/11, Superstorm Sandy, and the Sandy Hook shooting were positively associated with acute stress responses in the covariate-adjusted model. People who experience multiple community-based traumas may be sensitized to the negative impact of subsequent events, especially in communities previously exposed to similar disasters. PMID:25896419

  9. Response diversity determines the resilience of ecosystems to environmental change.

    PubMed

    Mori, Akira S; Furukawa, Takuya; Sasaki, Takehiro

    2013-05-01

    A growing body of evidence highlights the importance of biodiversity for ecosystem stability and the maintenance of optimal ecosystem functionality. Conservation measures are thus essential to safeguard the ecosystem services that biodiversity provides and human society needs. Current anthropogenic threats may lead to detrimental (and perhaps irreversible) ecosystem degradation, providing strong motivation to evaluate the response of ecological communities to various anthropogenic pressures. In particular, ecosystem functions that sustain key ecosystem services should be identified and prioritized for conservation action. Traditional diversity measures (e.g. 'species richness') may not adequately capture the aspects of biodiversity most relevant to ecosystem stability and functionality, but several new concepts may be more appropriate. These include 'response diversity', describing the variation of responses to environmental change among species of a particular community. Response diversity may also be a key determinant of ecosystem resilience in the face of anthropogenic pressures and environmental uncertainty. However, current understanding of response diversity is poor, and we see an urgent need to disentangle the conceptual strands that pervade studies of the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Our review clarifies the links between response diversity and the maintenance of ecosystem functionality by focusing on the insurance hypothesis of biodiversity and the concept of functional redundancy. We provide a conceptual model to describe how loss of response diversity may cause ecosystem degradation through decreased ecosystem resilience. We explicitly explain how response diversity contributes to functional compensation and to spatio-temporal complementarity among species, leading to long-term maintenance of ecosystem multifunctionality. Recent quantitative studies suggest that traditional diversity measures may often be uncoupled from

  10. An Integrated Modeling Framework Forecasting Ecosystem Exposure— A Systems Approach to the Cumulative Impacts of Multiple Stressors

    EPA Science Inventory

    Freshwater habitats provide fishable, swimmable and drinkable resources and are a nexus of geophysical and biological processes. These processes in turn influence the persistence and sustainability of populations, communities and ecosystems. Climate change and landuse change enco...

  11. Cumulative Violence Exposures: Black Women’s Responses and Sources of Strength

    PubMed Central

    Sabri, Bushra; Holliday, Charvonne N.; Alexander, Kamila A.; Huerta, Julia; Cimino, Andrea; Callwood, Gloria B.; Campbell, Jacquelyn C.

    2016-01-01

    Black women with cumulative violence exposures (CVE) may have unique needs for health care and safety. Qualitative data was analyzed from interviews with nine Black women with CVE to explore factors that motivated women to leave abusive relationships, women’s sources of strengths, and their responses to abuse. Quantitative data (N = 163) was analyzed to examine relationships between CVEs by intimate partner and health among Black women to further characterize the challenges these women face in making changes and finding their sources of strengths. Findings highlight the need to assess for CVE and identify multiple motivators for change, sources of strengths and coping strategies that could be potential points of intervention for women with CVE. PMID:26954765

  12. Cumulative Adversity Sensitizes Neural Response to Acute Stress: Association with Health Symptoms

    PubMed Central

    Seo, Dongju; Tsou, Kristen A; Ansell, Emily B; Potenza, Marc N; Sinha, Rajita

    2014-01-01

    Cumulative adversity (CA) increases stress sensitivity and risk of adverse health outcomes. However, neural mechanisms underlying these associations in humans remain unclear. To understand neural responses underlying the link between CA and adverse health symptoms, the current study assessed brain activity during stress and neutral-relaxing states in 75 demographically matched, healthy individuals with high, mid, and low CA (25 in each group), and their health symptoms using the Cornell Medical Index. CA was significantly associated with greater adverse health symptoms (P=0.01) in all participants. Functional magnetic resonance imaging results indicated significant associations between CA scores and increased stress-induced activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex, insula, striatum, right amygdala, hippocampus, and temporal regions in all 75 participants (p<0.05, whole-brain corrected). In addition to these regions, the high vs low CA group comparison revealed decreased stress-induced activity in the medial orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) in the high CA group (p<0.01, whole-brain corrected). Specifically, hypoactive medial OFC and hyperactive right hippocampus responses to stress were each significantly associated with greater adverse health symptoms (p<0.01). Furthermore, an inverse correlation was found between activity in the medial OFC and right hippocampus (p=0.01). These results indicate that high CA sensitizes limbic–striatal responses to acute stress and also identifies an important role for stress-related medial OFC and hippocampus responses in the effects of CA on increasing vulnerability to adverse health consequences. PMID:24051900

  13. Water use efficiency of China’s terrestrial ecosystems and responses to drought

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yibo; Xiao, Jingfeng; Ju, Weimin; Zhou, Yanlian; Wang, Shaoqiang; Wu, Xiaocui

    2015-01-01

    Water use efficiency (WUE) measures the trade-off between carbon gain and water loss of terrestrial ecosystems, and better understanding its dynamics and controlling factors is essential for predicting ecosystem responses to climate change. We assessed the magnitude, spatial patterns, and trends of WUE of China’s terrestrial ecosystems and its responses to drought using a process-based ecosystem model. During the period from 2000 to 2011, the national average annual WUE (net primary productivity (NPP)/evapotranspiration (ET)) of China was 0.79 g C kg−1 H2O. Annual WUE decreased in the southern regions because of the decrease in NPP and the increase in ET and increased in most northern regions mainly because of the increase in NPP. Droughts usually increased annual WUE in Northeast China and central Inner Mongolia but decreased annual WUE in central China. “Turning-points” were observed for southern China where moderate and extreme droughts reduced annual WUE and severe drought slightly increased annual WUE. The cumulative lagged effect of drought on monthly WUE varied by region. Our findings have implications for ecosystem management and climate policy making. WUE is expected to continue to change under future climate change particularly as drought is projected to increase in both frequency and severity. PMID:26347998

  14. Animals as indicators of ecosystem responses to air emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newman, James R.; Schreiber, R. Kent

    1984-07-01

    With existing and proposed air-quality regulations, ecological disasters resulting from air emissions such as those observed at Copperhill, Tennessee, and Sudbury, Ontario, are unlikely. Current air-quality standards, however, may not protect ecosystems from subacute and chronic exposure to air emissions. The encouragement of the use of coal for energy production and the development of the fossil-fuel industries, including oil shales, tar sands, and coal liquification, point to an increase and spread of fossil-fuel emissions and the potential to influence a number of natural ecosystems. This paper reviews the reported responses of ecosystems to air-borne pollutants and discusses the use of animals as indicators of ecosystem responses to these pollutants. Animal species and populations can act as important indicators of biotic and abiotic responses of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. These responses can indicate long-term trends in ecosystem health and productivity, chemical cycling, genetics, and regulation. For short-term trends, fish and wildlife also serve as monitors of changes in community structure, signaling food-web contamination, as well as providing a measure of ecosystem vitality. Information is presented to show not only the importance of animals as indicators of ecosystem responses to air-quality degradation, but also their value as air-pollution indices, that is, as air-quality-related values (AQRV), required in current air-pollution regulation.

  15. Animals as indicators of ecosystem responses to air emissions

    SciTech Connect

    Newman, J.R.; Schreiber, R.K.

    1984-07-01

    With existing and proposed air-quality regulations, ecological disasters resulting from air emissions such as those observed at Copperhill, Tennessee, and Sudbury, Ontario, are unlikely. Current air-quality standards, however, may not protect ecosystems from subacute and chronic exposure to air emissions. The encouragement of the use of coal for energy production and the development of the fossil-fuel industries, including oil shales, tar sands, and coal liquification, point to an increase and spread of fossil-fuel emissions and the potential to influence a number of natural ecosystems. This paper reviews the reported responses of ecosystems to airborne pollutants and discusses the use of animals as indicators of ecosystem responses to these pollutants. Animal species and populations can act as important indicators of biotic and abiotic responses of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. These responses can indicate long-term trends in ecosystem health and productivity, chemical cycling, genetics, and regulation. For short-term trends, fish and wildlife also serve as monitors of changes in community structure, signaling food-web contamination, as well as providing a measure of ecosystem vitality. Information is presented to show not only the importance of animals as indicators of ecosystem responses to air-quality degradation, but also their value as air-pollution indices, that is, as air-quality-related values (AQRV), required in current air-pollution regulation.

  16. An investigation into linearity with cumulative emissions of the climate and carbon cycle response in HadCM3LC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liddicoat, S. K.; Booth, B. B. B.; Joshi, M. M.

    2016-06-01

    We investigate the extent to which global mean temperature, precipitation, and the carbon cycle are constrained by cumulative carbon emissions throughout four experiments with a fully coupled climate–carbon cycle model. The paired experiments adopt contrasting, idealised approaches to climate change mitigation at different action points this century, with total emissions rising to more than two trillion tonnes of carbon (TtC). For each pair, the contrasting mitigation approaches—capping emissions early versus reducing them to zero a few decades later—cause their cumulative emissions trajectories to diverge initially, then converge, cross, and diverge again. We find that global mean temperature is linear with cumulative emissions across all experiments, although differences of up to 1.5 K exist regionally when the trajectories of total carbon emitted during the course of the two scenarios coincide, for both pairs of experiments. Interestingly, although the oceanic precipitation response scales with cumulative emissions, the global precipitation response does not, due to a decrease in precipitation over land above emissions of around one TtC. Most carbon fluxes are less well constrained by cumulative emissions as they reach two trillion tonnes. The opposing mitigation approaches have different consequences for the Amazon rainforest, which affects the linearity with which the carbon cycle responds to cumulative emissions. The average Transient Climate Response to cumulative carbon Emissions (TCRE) is 1.95 K TtC‑1, at the upper end of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s range of 0.8–2.5 K TtC‑1.

  17. An investigation into linearity with cumulative emissions of the climate and carbon cycle response in HadCM3LC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liddicoat, S. K.; Booth, B. B. B.; Joshi, M. M.

    2016-06-01

    We investigate the extent to which global mean temperature, precipitation, and the carbon cycle are constrained by cumulative carbon emissions throughout four experiments with a fully coupled climate-carbon cycle model. The paired experiments adopt contrasting, idealised approaches to climate change mitigation at different action points this century, with total emissions rising to more than two trillion tonnes of carbon (TtC). For each pair, the contrasting mitigation approaches—capping emissions early versus reducing them to zero a few decades later—cause their cumulative emissions trajectories to diverge initially, then converge, cross, and diverge again. We find that global mean temperature is linear with cumulative emissions across all experiments, although differences of up to 1.5 K exist regionally when the trajectories of total carbon emitted during the course of the two scenarios coincide, for both pairs of experiments. Interestingly, although the oceanic precipitation response scales with cumulative emissions, the global precipitation response does not, due to a decrease in precipitation over land above emissions of around one TtC. Most carbon fluxes are less well constrained by cumulative emissions as they reach two trillion tonnes. The opposing mitigation approaches have different consequences for the Amazon rainforest, which affects the linearity with which the carbon cycle responds to cumulative emissions. The average Transient Climate Response to cumulative carbon Emissions (TCRE) is 1.95 K TtC-1, at the upper end of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s range of 0.8-2.5 K TtC-1.

  18. Assessing the implications of human land-use change for the transient climate response to cumulative carbon emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simmons, C. T.; Matthews, H. D.

    2016-03-01

    Recent research has shown evidence of a linear climate response to cumulative CO2 emissions, which implies that the source, timing, and amount of emissions does not significantly influence the climate response per unit emission. Furthermore, these analyses have generally assumed that the climate response to land-use CO2 emissions is equivalent to that of fossil fuels under the assumption that, once in the atmosphere, the radiative forcing induced by CO2 is not sensitive to the emissions source. However, land-cover change also affects surface albedo and the strength of terrestrial carbon sinks, both of which have an additional climate effect. In this study, we use a coupled climate-carbon cycle model to assess the climate response to historical and future cumulative land-use CO2 emissions, in order to compare it to the response to fossil fuel CO2. We find that when we isolate the CO2-induced (biogeochemical) temperature changes associated with land-use change, then the climate response to cumulative land-use emissions is equivalent to that of fossil fuel CO2. We show further that the globally-averaged albedo-induced biophysical cooling from land-use change is non-negligible and may be of comparable magnitude to the biogeochemical warming, with the result that the net climate response to land-use change is substantially different from a linear response to cumulative emissions. However, our new simulations suggest that the biophysical cooling from land-use change follows its own independent (negative) linear response to cumulative net land-use CO2 emissions, which may provide a useful scaling factor for certain applications when evaluating the full transient climate response to emissions.

  19. Marine ecosystem responses to Cenozoic global change.

    PubMed

    Norris, R D; Turner, S Kirtland; Hull, P M; Ridgwell, A

    2013-08-01

    The future impacts of anthropogenic global change on marine ecosystems are highly uncertain, but insights can be gained from past intervals of high atmospheric carbon dioxide partial pressure. The long-term geological record reveals an early Cenozoic warm climate that supported smaller polar ecosystems, few coral-algal reefs, expanded shallow-water platforms, longer food chains with less energy for top predators, and a less oxygenated ocean than today. The closest analogs for our likely future are climate transients, 10,000 to 200,000 years in duration, that occurred during the long early Cenozoic interval of elevated warmth. Although the future ocean will begin to resemble the past greenhouse world, it will retain elements of the present "icehouse" world long into the future. Changing temperatures and ocean acidification, together with rising sea level and shifts in ocean productivity, will keep marine ecosystems in a state of continuous change for 100,000 years.

  20. Response of Earth's Ecosystem to Global Change

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peterson, David L.

    1996-01-01

    The Earth is in the midst of rapid and unprecedented change, much of it caused by the enormous reproductive and resource acquisition success of the human population. For the first time in Earth's history, the actions of one species-humans-are altering the atmospheric, climatic, biospheric, and edaphic processes on a scale that rivals natural processes. How will ecosystems, involving those manipulated and managed by humans largely for human use, respond to these changes? Clearly ecosystems have been adjusting to change throughout Earth's history and evolving in ways to adapt and to maintain self-organizing behavior. And in this process, the metabolic activity of the biosphere has altered the environmental conditions it experiences. I am going to confine this presentation to a few thoughts on the present state of terrestrial ecosystems and the urgency that changes in it is bringing to all of us.

  1. Water Use Efficiency of China's Terrestrial Ecosystems and Responses to Drought

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Y.; Xiao, J.; Ju, W.; Zhou, Y.; Wang, S.; Wu, X.

    2015-12-01

    Yibo Liu1, 2, Jingfeng Xiao2, Weimin Ju3, Yanlian Zhou4, Shaoqiang Wang5, Xiaocui Wu31 Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Agricultural Meteorology, School of Applied Meteorology, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, 210044, China, 2Earth Systems Research Center, Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824, USA, 3 International Institute for Earth System Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing, 210023, China, 4 School of Geographic and Oceanographic Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing, 210023, China, 5 Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100101, China Water use efficiency (WUE) measures the trade-off between carbon gain and water loss of terrestrial ecosystems, and better understanding its dynamics and controlling factors is essential for predicting ecosystem responses to climate change. We assessed the magnitude, spatial patterns, and trends of WUE of China's terrestrial ecosystems and its responses to drought using a process-based ecosystem model. During the period from 2000 to 2011, the national average annual WUE (net primary productivity (NPP)/evapotranspiration (ET)) of China was 0.79 g C kg-1 H2O. Annual WUE decreased in the southern regions because of the decrease in NPP and increase in ET and increased in most northern regions mainly because of the increase in NPP. Droughts usually increased annual WUE in Northeast China and central Inner Mongolia but decreased annual WUE in central China. "Turning-points" were observed for southern China where moderate and extreme drought reduced annual WUE and severe drought slightly increased annual WUE. The cumulative lagged effect of drought on monthly WUE varied by region. Our findings have implications for ecosystem management and climate policy making. WUE is expected to continue to change under future climate

  2. Ecosystem Carbon Dynamics in Response to Five Winters of Experimental Soil Warming and Permafrost Degradation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mauritz, M.; Schuur, E. A. G.; Bracho, R. G.; Celis, G.; Natali, S.; Hutchings, J. A.; Salmon, V. G.; Webb, E.

    2014-12-01

    Arctic permafrost soils store 1700 Pg carbon (C), almost half the global soil C. For millennia permafrost soil C has been protected from decomposition by cold, waterlogged conditions. Warming temperatures will likely thaw permafrost, however the impact on arctic C balance is uncertain. Nutrient availability is predicted to increase with thaw depth and promote plant growth, potentially creating an ecosystem C sink. However, deeper thaw could also increase microbial respiration and eventually exceed C gains. Using data from a warming experiment in sub-arctic moist acidic tundra, designed to insulate soils in winter and stimulate permafrost degradation, we investigated spatial and temporal drivers of ecosystem C balance. Net ecosystem exchange (NEE) was measured continuously from May-September 2009-2013 using clear automated chambers; ecosystem respiration (Reco) was extrapolated from low light NEE and gross primary productivity (GPP) was derived (GPP = NEE-Reco). Five years of warming led to progressive increases in active layer depth. Active layer depth was positively correlated with cumulative growing season NEE, GPP and Reco. Although warming increased Reco the ecosystem remained a C sink during the growing season because high Reco was offset by increased plant growth and GPP. Eriophorum vaginatum growth accounted for most of the increased plant biomass, and was correlated with cumulative growing season GPP and Reco. NEE, GPP and Reco all peaked mid-season, and the mid-season amplitudes increased annually leading to higher cumulative NEE, GPP and Reco. In the shoulder seasons NEE and GPP were similar among years. In contrast, Reco increased at the end of the growing season each year, and high mid-season GPP was positively correlated with end season Reco. Thus, conditions that promoted plant growth also promoted C loss. These results suggest plant responses to permafrost thaw are an important driver of C dynamics. Reco associated with high biomass may result from

  3. Linking large scale landscape change to water quality and quantity response in the lower Athabasca River, Canada: toward Cumulative Effects Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seitz, N. E.; Westbrook, C. J.; Dubé, M.; Squires, A.

    2010-12-01

    Fast-paced watershed change, driven by anthropogenic development, is threatening the sustainability of freshwater resources across the globe. The accumulation of multiple landscape stressors that interact over space and time are defined as cumulative effects and are subject to Cumulative Effects Assessment (CEA), the process of evaluating the impact a development project may have on the ecological surroundings, under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. One of the shortcomings of CEA for river systems is determining appropriate indicators of ecosystem health. The Athabasca River is amongst the most stressed river systems in Canada. The lower reaches of the Athabasca River (88,000 km2) were chosen for study because they have been subject to development of a diverse range of land uses. Our objectives were to: i) evaluate land use change in the lower reaches of the Athabasca River Basin from 1976-2006 and ii) identify appropriate CEA indicators by evaluating whether any anthropogenic land use changes can be linked to observed changes in river water quality and quantity in the form of stressor- and- effect- based relationships. Landscape change was quantified with datasets describing forest harvest, forest fires, census of agriculture, census of population, and water consumption, and satellite imagery. River response was quantified with concentration data for six solutes, specific conductance and turbidity, and discharge and river stage data. Linkages between landscape change and river response were evaluated using correlation analyses and step-wise, multiple regression. Notable landscape changes include increased industrial development (particularly expansion of oil sands mining) and forest cut-blocks, made evident from the satellite imagery and supporting ancillary datasets. Preliminary results suggest appropriate CEA indicators for discharge and water quality in this river may be water abstraction and forest harvest, respectively. The results highlight the

  4. Cumulative biomedical risk and social cognition in the second year of life: prediction and moderation by responsive parenting.

    PubMed

    Wade, Mark; Madigan, Sheri; Akbari, Emis; Jenkins, Jennifer M

    2015-01-01

    At 18 months, children show marked variability in their social-cognitive skill development, and the preponderance of past research has focused on constitutional and contextual factors in explaining this variability. Extending this literature, the current study examined whether cumulative biomedical risk represents another source of variability in social cognition at 18 months. Further, we aimed to determine whether responsive parenting moderated the association between biomedical risk and social cognition. A prospective community birth cohort of 501 families was recruited at the time of the child's birth. Cumulative biomedical risk was measured as a count of 10 prenatal/birth complications. Families were followed up at 18 months, at which point social-cognitive data was collected on children's joint attention, empathy, cooperation, and self-recognition using previously validated tasks. Concurrently, responsive maternal behavior was assessed through observational coding of mother-child interactions. After controlling for covariates (e.g., age, gender, child language, socioeconomic variables), both cumulative biomedical risk and maternal responsivity significantly predicted social cognition at 18 months. Above and beyond these main effects, there was also a significant interaction between biomedical risk and maternal responsivity, such that higher biomedical risk was significantly associated with compromised social cognition at 18 months, but only in children who experienced low levels of responsive parenting. For those receiving comparatively high levels of responsive parenting, there was no apparent effect of biomedical risk on social cognition. This study shows that cumulative biomedical risk may be one source of inter-individual variability in social cognition at 18 months. However, positive postnatal experiences, particularly high levels of responsive parenting, may protect children against the deleterious effects of these risks on social cognition.

  5. Cumulative biomedical risk and social cognition in the second year of life: prediction and moderation by responsive parenting

    PubMed Central

    Wade, Mark; Madigan, Sheri; Akbari, Emis; Jenkins, Jennifer M.

    2015-01-01

    At 18 months, children show marked variability in their social-cognitive skill development, and the preponderance of past research has focused on constitutional and contextual factors in explaining this variability. Extending this literature, the current study examined whether cumulative biomedical risk represents another source of variability in social cognition at 18 months. Further, we aimed to determine whether responsive parenting moderated the association between biomedical risk and social cognition. A prospective community birth cohort of 501 families was recruited at the time of the child’s birth. Cumulative biomedical risk was measured as a count of 10 prenatal/birth complications. Families were followed up at 18 months, at which point social-cognitive data was collected on children’s joint attention, empathy, cooperation, and self-recognition using previously validated tasks. Concurrently, responsive maternal behavior was assessed through observational coding of mother–child interactions. After controlling for covariates (e.g., age, gender, child language, socioeconomic variables), both cumulative biomedical risk and maternal responsivity significantly predicted social cognition at 18 months. Above and beyond these main effects, there was also a significant interaction between biomedical risk and maternal responsivity, such that higher biomedical risk was significantly associated with compromised social cognition at 18 months, but only in children who experienced low levels of responsive parenting. For those receiving comparatively high levels of responsive parenting, there was no apparent effect of biomedical risk on social cognition. This study shows that cumulative biomedical risk may be one source of inter-individual variability in social cognition at 18 months. However, positive postnatal experiences, particularly high levels of responsive parenting, may protect children against the deleterious effects of these risks on social cognition. PMID

  6. Terrestrial ecosystem responses to global change: A research strategy

    SciTech Connect

    1998-09-01

    Uncertainty about the magnitude of global change effects on terrestrial ecosystems and consequent feedbacks to the atmosphere impedes sound policy planning at regional, national, and global scales. A strategy to reduce these uncertainties must include a substantial increase in funding for large-scale ecosystem experiments and a careful prioritization of research efforts. Prioritization criteria should be based on the magnitude of potential changes in environmental properties of concern to society, including productivity; biodiversity; the storage and cycling of carbon, water, and nutrients; and sensitivity of specific ecosystems to environmental change. A research strategy is proposed that builds on existing knowledge of ecosystem responses to global change by (1) expanding the spatial and temporal scale of experimental ecosystem manipulations to include processes known to occur at large scales and over long time periods; (2) quantifying poorly understood linkages among processes through the use of experiments that manipulate multiple interacting environmental factors over a broader range of relevant conditions than did past experiments; and (3) prioritizing ecosystems for major experimental manipulations on the basis of potential positive and negative impacts on ecosystem properties and processes of intrinsic and/or utilitarian value to humans and on feedbacks of terrestrial ecosystems to the atmosphere.

  7. Shale gas, wind and water: assessing the potential cumulative impacts of energy development on ecosystem services within the Marcellus play.

    PubMed

    Evans, Jeffrey S; Kiesecker, Joseph M

    2014-01-01

    Global demand for energy has increased by more than 50 percent in the last half-century, and a similar increase is projected by 2030. This demand will increasingly be met with alternative and unconventional energy sources. Development of these resources causes disturbances that strongly impact terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. The Marcellus Shale gas play covers more than 160,934 km(2) in an area that provides drinking water for over 22 million people in several of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States (e.g. New York City, Washington DC, Philadelphia & Pittsburgh). Here we created probability surfaces representing development potential of wind and shale gas for portions of six states in the Central Appalachians. We used these predictions and published projections to model future energy build-out scenarios to quantify future potential impacts on surface drinking water. Our analysis predicts up to 106,004 new wells and 10,798 new wind turbines resulting up to 535,023 ha of impervious surface (3% of the study area) and upwards of 447,134 ha of impacted forest (2% of the study area). In light of this new energy future, mitigating the impacts of energy development will be one of the major challenges in the coming decades.

  8. Shale Gas, Wind and Water: Assessing the Potential Cumulative Impacts of Energy Development on Ecosystem Services within the Marcellus Play

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Jeffrey S.; Kiesecker, Joseph M.

    2014-01-01

    Global demand for energy has increased by more than 50 percent in the last half-century, and a similar increase is projected by 2030. This demand will increasingly be met with alternative and unconventional energy sources. Development of these resources causes disturbances that strongly impact terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. The Marcellus Shale gas play covers more than 160,934 km2 in an area that provides drinking water for over 22 million people in several of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States (e.g. New York City, Washington DC, Philadelphia & Pittsburgh). Here we created probability surfaces representing development potential of wind and shale gas for portions of six states in the Central Appalachians. We used these predictions and published projections to model future energy build-out scenarios to quantify future potential impacts on surface drinking water. Our analysis predicts up to 106,004 new wells and 10,798 new wind turbines resulting up to 535,023 ha of impervious surface (3% of the study area) and upwards of 447,134 ha of impacted forest (2% of the study area). In light of this new energy future, mitigating the impacts of energy development will be one of the major challenges in the coming decades. PMID:24586599

  9. Quantitative Models Describing Past and Current Nutrient Fluxes and Associated Ecosystem Level Responses in the Narragansett Bay Ecosystem

    EPA Science Inventory

    Multiple drivers, including nutrient loading and climate change, affect the Narragansett Bay ecosystem in Rhode Island/Massachusetts, USA. Managers are interested in understanding the timing and magnitude of these effects, and ecosystem responses to restoration actions. To provid...

  10. Terrestrial Ecosystem Responses to Global Change: A Research Strategy

    SciTech Connect

    Ecosystems Working Group,

    1998-09-23

    Uncertainty about the magnitude of global change effects on terrestrial ecosystems and consequent feedbacks to the atmosphere impedes sound policy planning at regional, national, and global scales. A strategy to reduce these uncertainties must include a substantial increase in funding for large-scale ecosystem experiments and a careful prioritization of research efforts. Prioritization criteria should be based on the magnitude of potential changes in environmental properties of concern to society, including productivity; biodiversity; the storage and cycling of carbon, water, and nutrients; and sensitivity of specific ecosystems to environmental change. A research strategy is proposed that builds on existing knowledge of ecosystem responses to global change by (1) expanding the spatial and temporal scale of experimental ecosystem manipulations to include processes known to occur at large scales and over long time periods; (2) quantifying poorly understood linkages among processes through the use of experiments that manipulate multiple interacting environmental factors over a broader range of relevant conditions than did past experiments; and (3) prioritizing ecosystems for major experimental manipulations on the basis of potential positive and negative impacts on ecosystem properties and processes of intrinsic and/or utilitarian value to humans and on feedbacks of terrestrial ecosystems to the atmosphere. Models and experiments are equally important for developing process-level understanding into a predictive capability. To support both the development and testing of mechanistic ecosystem models, a two-tiered design of ecosystem experiments should be used. This design should include both (1) large-scale manipulative experiments for comprehensive testing of integrated ecosystem models and (2) multifactor, multilevel experiments for parameterization of process models across the critical range of interacting environmental factors (CO{sub 2}, temperature, water

  11. Interdependency of tropical marine ecosystems in response to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saunders, Megan I.; Leon, Javier X.; Callaghan, David P.; Roelfsema, Chris M.; Hamylton, Sarah; Brown, Christopher J.; Baldock, Tom; Golshani, Aliasghar; Phinn, Stuart R.; Lovelock, Catherine E.; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove; Woodroffe, Colin D.; Mumby, Peter J.

    2014-08-01

    Ecosystems are linked within landscapes by the physical and biological processes they mediate. In such connected landscapes, the response of one ecosystem to climate change could have profound consequences for neighbouring systems. Here, we report the first quantitative predictions of interdependencies between ecosystems in response to climate change. In shallow tropical marine ecosystems, coral reefs shelter lagoons from incoming waves, allowing seagrass meadows to thrive. Deepening water over coral reefs from sea-level rise results in larger, more energetic waves traversing the reef into the lagoon, potentially generating hostile conditions for seagrass. However, growth of coral reef such that the relative water depth is maintained could mitigate negative effects of sea-level rise on seagrass. Parameterizing physical and biological models for Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, we find negative effects of sea-level rise on seagrass before the middle of this century given reasonable rates of reef growth. Rates of vertical carbonate accretion typical of modern reef flats (up to 3 mm yr-1) will probably be insufficient to maintain suitable conditions for reef lagoon seagrass under moderate to high greenhouse gas emissions scenarios by 2100. Accounting for interdependencies in ecosystem responses to climate change is challenging, but failure to do so results in inaccurate predictions of habitat extent in the future.

  12. Western Mountain Initiative: predicting ecosystem responses to climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baron, Jill S.; Peterson, David L.; Wilson, J.T.

    2008-01-01

    Mountain ecosystems of the western United States provide irreplaceable goods and services such as water, timber, biodiversity, and recreational opportunities, but their responses to climatic changes are complex and not well understood. The Western Mountain Initiative (WMI), a collaboration between USGS and U.S. Forest Service scientists, catalyzes assessment and synthesis of the effects of disturbance and climate change across western mountain areas, focusing on national parks and surrounding national forests. The WMI takes an ecosystem approach to science, integrating research across science disciplines at scales ranging from field studies to global trends.

  13. Freshwater ecosystems--structure and response.

    PubMed

    Jones, J G

    2001-10-01

    Before it is possible to predict the impact of human activities on the natural environment it is necessary to understand the forces that drive and, therefore, control that environment. This paper is concerned with the freshwater component of the aquatic environment. The driving forces involved (some of which are under man's control) can be divided into the physical and the chemical, but the response is, almost entirely, biological. Although most impacts of the food processing industry might be perceived to be on running waters, this is not always the case, but we can apply the same basic rules to both static and running waters. The physical forces that determine how a lake functions are as follows. In early spring, in the temperate zone, the temperature of the surface water in lakes rises and the sunlight input increases. This results in stratification of the water body. The cooler, deeper water is separated, physically, by gravity. This isolated water plays a very different role in the function of the lake and is analogous to how a river works. Man's activities drive these systems by our input of inorganic and organic substances. The inorganic inputs, particularly of phosphorous, stimulate undesirable algal growths, some of which may produce particularly dangerous toxins. We must now accept that climate change, driven by man, will exacerbate these problems. Organic inputs from the food industry, i.e., carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins, will all impact lakes and rivers by increasing the biological oxygen demand. The worst case scenario is total loss of oxygen from the water as a result of microbial activity. Lipids create the greatest oxygen demand but carbohydrates (more easily biodegradable) also result in unsightly "sewage fungus." Protein waste can be degraded to produce ammonia and sulfide, both of which produce toxicity problems. Bioremediation processes, particularly phytoremediation, can alleviate these problems in a cost-effective manner and this paper

  14. Complex Effects of Ecosystem Engineer Loss on Benthic Ecosystem Response to Detrital Macroalgae

    PubMed Central

    Rossi, Francesca; Gribsholt, Britta; Gazeau, Frederic; Di Santo, Valentina; Middelburg, Jack J.

    2013-01-01

    Ecosystem engineers change abiotic conditions, community assembly and ecosystem functioning. Consequently, their loss may modify thresholds of ecosystem response to disturbance and undermine ecosystem stability. This study investigates how loss of the bioturbating lugworm Arenicola marina modifies the response to macroalgal detrital enrichment of sediment biogeochemical properties, microphytobenthos and macrofauna assemblages. A field manipulative experiment was done on an intertidal sandflat (Oosterschelde estuary, The Netherlands). Lugworms were deliberately excluded from 1× m sediment plots and different amounts of detrital Ulva (0, 200 or 600 g Wet Weight) were added twice. Sediment biogeochemistry changes were evaluated through benthic respiration, sediment organic carbon content and porewater inorganic carbon as well as detrital macroalgae remaining in the sediment one month after enrichment. Microalgal biomass and macrofauna composition were measured at the same time. Macroalgal carbon mineralization and transfer to the benthic consumers were also investigated during decomposition at low enrichment level (200 g WW). The interaction between lugworm exclusion and detrital enrichment did not modify sediment organic carbon or benthic respiration. Weak but significant changes were instead found for porewater inorganic carbon and microalgal biomass. Lugworm exclusion caused an increase of porewater carbon and a decrease of microalgal biomass, while detrital enrichment drove these values back to values typical of lugworm-dominated sediments. Lugworm exclusion also decreased the amount of macroalgae remaining into the sediment and accelerated detrital carbon mineralization and CO2 release to the water column. Eventually, the interaction between lugworm exclusion and detrital enrichment affected macrofauna abundance and diversity, which collapsed at high level of enrichment only when the lugworms were present. This study reveals that in nature the role of this

  15. Taking the pulse of mountains: Ecosystem responses to climatic variability

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fagre, D.B.; Peterson, D.L.; Hessl, A.E.

    2003-01-01

    An integrated program of ecosystem modeling and field studies in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest (U.S.A.) has quantified many of the ecological processes affected by climatic variability. Paleoecological and contemporary ecological data in forest ecosystems provided model parameterization and validation at broad spatial and temporal scales for tree growth, tree regeneration and treeline movement. For subalpine tree species, winter precipitation has a strong negative correlation with growth; this relationship is stronger at higher elevations and west-side sites (which have more precipitation). Temperature affects tree growth at some locations with respect to length of growing season (spring) and severity of drought at drier sites (summer). Furthermore, variable but predictable climate-growth relationships across elevation gradients suggest that tree species respond differently to climate at different locations, making a uniform response of these species to future climatic change unlikely. Multi-decadal variability in climate also affects ecosystem processes. Mountain hemlock growth at high-elevation sites is negatively correlated with winter snow depth and positively correlated with the winter Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) index. At low elevations, the reverse is true. Glacier mass balance and fire severity are also linked to PDO. Rapid establishment of trees in subalpine ecosystems during this century is increasing forest cover and reducing meadow cover at many subalpine locations in the western U.S.A. and precipitation (snow depth) is a critical variable regulating conifer expansion. Lastly, modeling potential future ecosystem conditions suggests that increased climatic variability will result in increasing forest fire size and frequency, and reduced net primary productivity in drier, east-side forest ecosystems. As additional empirical data and modeling output become available, we will improve our ability to predict the effects of climatic change

  16. Semi-arid ecosystem response under seasonal hydroclimatic forcings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Xue; Souza, Rodolfo; Vico, Giulia; Antonino, Antonio; Montenegro, Suzana; Porporato, Amilcare

    2015-04-01

    The interannual variability of seasonal rainfall has been observed to change in conjunction with the magnitude, timing, and duration of seasonality. Such changes are especially pronounced in several seasonality hotspots around the world, including in the semi-arid regions of northeast Brazil. Rainfall variability, combined with a generally low rainfall amount and high year-round potential evapotranspiration, poses challenges here for plant survival in the local ecosystems of dry forests and managed pastures. As a result, the native vegetation has adopted many physiological and phenological strategies to deal with the yearly alteration between favorable (wet) and adverse (dry) growing conditions, including drought deciduousness and succulence. To understand the ecosystem-level response to future changes in climate seasonality, we adopt a new model for resolving the seasonal trajectory of stochastic soil moisture, coupled to a vegetation growth model that accounts for various plant water use strategies and phenological adjustments. This is validated using satellite data (e.g., NDVI) and field surveys, with special attention to the role of water storage capacity of the ecosystem, which governs hysteretic responses under seasonal forcings, and may ultimately determine ecosystem resilience and recovery after periods of drought.

  17. Response of seafloor ecosystems to abrupt global climate change

    PubMed Central

    Moffitt, Sarah E.; Hill, Tessa M.; Roopnarine, Peter D.; Kennett, James P.

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic climate change is predicted to decrease oceanic oxygen (O2) concentrations, with potentially significant effects on marine ecosystems. Geologically recent episodes of abrupt climatic warming provide opportunities to assess the effects of changing oxygenation on marine communities. Thus far, this knowledge has been largely restricted to investigations using Foraminifera, with little being known about ecosystem-scale responses to abrupt, climate-forced deoxygenation. We here present high-resolution records based on the first comprehensive quantitative analysis, to our knowledge, of changes in marine metazoans (Mollusca, Echinodermata, Arthropoda, and Annelida; >5,400 fossils and trace fossils) in response to the global warming associated with the last glacial to interglacial episode. The molluscan archive is dominated by extremophile taxa, including those containing endosymbiotic sulfur-oxidizing bacteria (Lucinoma aequizonatum) and those that graze on filamentous sulfur-oxidizing benthic bacterial mats (Alia permodesta). This record, from 16,100 to 3,400 y ago, demonstrates that seafloor invertebrate communities are subject to major turnover in response to relatively minor inferred changes in oxygenation (>1.5 to <0.5 mL⋅L−1 [O2]) associated with abrupt (<100 y) warming of the eastern Pacific. The biotic turnover and recovery events within the record expand known rates of marine biological recovery by an order of magnitude, from <100 to >1,000 y, and illustrate the crucial role of climate and oceanographic change in driving long-term successional changes in ocean ecosystems. PMID:25825727

  18. Response of seafloor ecosystems to abrupt global climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moffitt, Sarah E.; Hill, Tessa M.; Roopnarine, Peter D.; Kennett, James P.

    2015-04-01

    Anthropogenic climate change is predicted to decrease oceanic oxygen (O2) concentrations, with potentially significant effects on marine ecosystems. Geologically recent episodes of abrupt climatic warming provide opportunities to assess the effects of changing oxygenation on marine communities. Thus far, this knowledge has been largely restricted to investigations using Foraminifera, with little being known about ecosystem-scale responses to abrupt, climate-forced deoxygenation. We here present high-resolution records based on the first comprehensive quantitative analysis, to our knowledge, of changes in marine metazoans (Mollusca, Echinodermata, Arthropoda, and Annelida; >5,400 fossils and trace fossils) in response to the global warming associated with the last glacial to interglacial episode. The molluscan archive is dominated by extremophile taxa, including those containing endosymbiotic sulfur-oxidizing bacteria (Lucinoma aequizonatum) and those that graze on filamentous sulfur-oxidizing benthic bacterial mats (Alia permodesta). This record, from 16,100 to 3,400 y ago, demonstrates that seafloor invertebrate communities are subject to major turnover in response to relatively minor inferred changes in oxygenation (>1.5 to <0.5 mLṡL-1 [O2]) associated with abrupt (<100 y) warming of the eastern Pacific. The biotic turnover and recovery events within the record expand known rates of marine biological recovery by an order of magnitude, from <100 to >1,000 y, and illustrate the crucial role of climate and oceanographic change in driving long-term successional changes in ocean ecosystems.

  19. Response of seafloor ecosystems to abrupt global climate change.

    PubMed

    Moffitt, Sarah E; Hill, Tessa M; Roopnarine, Peter D; Kennett, James P

    2015-04-14

    Anthropogenic climate change is predicted to decrease oceanic oxygen (O2) concentrations, with potentially significant effects on marine ecosystems. Geologically recent episodes of abrupt climatic warming provide opportunities to assess the effects of changing oxygenation on marine communities. Thus far, this knowledge has been largely restricted to investigations using Foraminifera, with little being known about ecosystem-scale responses to abrupt, climate-forced deoxygenation. We here present high-resolution records based on the first comprehensive quantitative analysis, to our knowledge, of changes in marine metazoans (Mollusca, Echinodermata, Arthropoda, and Annelida; >5,400 fossils and trace fossils) in response to the global warming associated with the last glacial to interglacial episode. The molluscan archive is dominated by extremophile taxa, including those containing endosymbiotic sulfur-oxidizing bacteria (Lucinoma aequizonatum) and those that graze on filamentous sulfur-oxidizing benthic bacterial mats (Alia permodesta). This record, from 16,100 to 3,400 y ago, demonstrates that seafloor invertebrate communities are subject to major turnover in response to relatively minor inferred changes in oxygenation (>1.5 to <0.5 mL⋅L(-1) [O2]) associated with abrupt (<100 y) warming of the eastern Pacific. The biotic turnover and recovery events within the record expand known rates of marine biological recovery by an order of magnitude, from <100 to >1,000 y, and illustrate the crucial role of climate and oceanographic change in driving long-term successional changes in ocean ecosystems.

  20. Response of seafloor ecosystems to abrupt global climate change.

    PubMed

    Moffitt, Sarah E; Hill, Tessa M; Roopnarine, Peter D; Kennett, James P

    2015-04-14

    Anthropogenic climate change is predicted to decrease oceanic oxygen (O2) concentrations, with potentially significant effects on marine ecosystems. Geologically recent episodes of abrupt climatic warming provide opportunities to assess the effects of changing oxygenation on marine communities. Thus far, this knowledge has been largely restricted to investigations using Foraminifera, with little being known about ecosystem-scale responses to abrupt, climate-forced deoxygenation. We here present high-resolution records based on the first comprehensive quantitative analysis, to our knowledge, of changes in marine metazoans (Mollusca, Echinodermata, Arthropoda, and Annelida; >5,400 fossils and trace fossils) in response to the global warming associated with the last glacial to interglacial episode. The molluscan archive is dominated by extremophile taxa, including those containing endosymbiotic sulfur-oxidizing bacteria (Lucinoma aequizonatum) and those that graze on filamentous sulfur-oxidizing benthic bacterial mats (Alia permodesta). This record, from 16,100 to 3,400 y ago, demonstrates that seafloor invertebrate communities are subject to major turnover in response to relatively minor inferred changes in oxygenation (>1.5 to <0.5 mL⋅L(-1) [O2]) associated with abrupt (<100 y) warming of the eastern Pacific. The biotic turnover and recovery events within the record expand known rates of marine biological recovery by an order of magnitude, from <100 to >1,000 y, and illustrate the crucial role of climate and oceanographic change in driving long-term successional changes in ocean ecosystems. PMID:25825727

  1. Cumulative neonatal oxygen exposure predicts response of adult mice infected with influenza A virus

    PubMed Central

    Maduekwe, Echezona T.; Buczynski, Bradley W.; Yee, Min; Rangasamy, Tiruamalai; Stevens, Timothy P.; Lawrence, B. Paige; O'Reilly, Michael A.

    2015-01-01

    Summary An acceptable level of oxygen exposure in preterm infants that maximizes efficacy and minimizes harm has yet to be determined. Quantifying oxygen exposure as an area-under-the curve (OAUC) has been predictive of later respiratory symptoms among former low birth weight infants. Here, we test the hypothesis that quantifying OAUC in newborn mice can predict their risk for altered lung development and respiratory viral infections as adults. Newborn mice were exposed to room air or a FiO2 of 100% oxygen for 4 days, 60% oxygen for 8 days, or 40% oxygen for 16 days (same cumulative dose of excess oxygen). At 8 weeks of age, mice were infected intranasally with a non-lethal dose of influenza A virus. Adult mice exposed to 100% oxygen for 4 days or 60% oxygen for 8 days exhibited alveolar simplification and altered elastin deposition compared to siblings birthed into room air, as well as increased inflammation and fibrotic lung disease following viral infection. These changes were not observed in mice exposed to 40% oxygen for 16 days. Our findings in mice support the concept that quantifying OAUC over a currently unspecified threshold can predict human risk for respiratory morbidity later in life. PMID:24850805

  2. Transient Earth system responses to cumulative carbon dioxide emissions: linearities, uncertainties, and probabilities in an observation-constrained model ensemble

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinacher, M.; Joos, F.

    2016-02-01

    Information on the relationship between cumulative fossil CO2 emissions and multiple climate targets is essential to design emission mitigation and climate adaptation strategies. In this study, the transient response of a climate or environmental variable per trillion tonnes of CO2 emissions, termed TRE, is quantified for a set of impact-relevant climate variables and from a large set of multi-forcing scenarios extended to year 2300 towards stabilization. An ˜ 1000-member ensemble of the Bern3D-LPJ carbon-climate model is applied and model outcomes are constrained by 26 physical and biogeochemical observational data sets in a Bayesian, Monte Carlo-type framework. Uncertainties in TRE estimates include both scenario uncertainty and model response uncertainty. Cumulative fossil emissions of 1000 Gt C result in a global mean surface air temperature change of 1.9 °C (68 % confidence interval (c.i.): 1.3 to 2.7 °C), a decrease in surface ocean pH of 0.19 (0.18 to 0.22), and a steric sea level rise of 20 cm (13 to 27 cm until 2300). Linearity between cumulative emissions and transient response is high for pH and reasonably high for surface air and sea surface temperatures, but less pronounced for changes in Atlantic meridional overturning, Southern Ocean and tropical surface water saturation with respect to biogenic structures of calcium carbonate, and carbon stocks in soils. The constrained model ensemble is also applied to determine the response to a pulse-like emission and in idealized CO2-only simulations. The transient climate response is constrained, primarily by long-term ocean heat observations, to 1.7 °C (68 % c.i.: 1.3 to 2.2 °C) and the equilibrium climate sensitivity to 2.9 °C (2.0 to 4.2 °C). This is consistent with results by CMIP5 models but inconsistent with recent studies that relied on short-term air temperature data affected by natural climate variability.

  3. Ecosystem Network Shifts As Indicators of Climate Response

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goodwell, A. E.; Kumar, P.

    2014-12-01

    Ecosystem states evolve due to complex interactions over various space and time scales. Process networks, in which nodes are time series variables and directional links are measures of information transfer, provide a method to analyze an ecosystem in terms of feedbacks, information transfer, and synchronization. It has been shown using FLUXNET data and ecohydrological modeling that variables such as precipitation, soil temperature, soil moisture, and heat fluxes exhibit forcings and feedbacks that are altered during periods of climate extremes such as drought. In this study, we use methods to deal with short datasets to observe shifts in network behavior over hourly to daily timescales. We compute network properties including transfer entropy, mutual information, and net system transport. To test our methods, we first generate chaotic test networks of various sizes and connectivity structures. It is found that a single feedback between two nodes causes a "self-feedback" to be detected at both nodes, which propagates throughout the network causing complete connectivity at predictable timescales. Depending on the symmetry of feedbacks and overall connectivity, a network may partially or completely synchronize. We then apply our methods to evaluate short-term ecosystem responses to climate extremes in agricultural landscapes in Illinois. We use 30- minute flux tower data from Bondville, IL, and 1 to15-minute data from recently installed weather stations and flux tower in the Sangamon River watershed to analyze network structure before, during, and after rainfall events or dry periods. Simulations in MLCan, a plant-atmosphere-canopy model, are performed to incorporate unmeasured nodes involving photosynthesis and soil hydrology. We compare the structure of feedbacks, forcings, and synchronization to vegetation response as measured by LAI or NDVI, in addition to a comparison with our test networks. This type of analysis can identify the feedbacks and links critical for

  4. Soil microbial responses to nitrogen addition in arid ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Sinsabaugh, Robert L.; Belnap, Jayne; Rudgers, Jennifer; Kuske, Cheryl R.; Martinez, Noelle; Sandquist, Darren

    2015-08-14

    The N cycle of arid ecosystems is influenced by low soil organic matter, high soil pH, and extremes in water potential and temperature that lead to open canopies and development of biological soil crusts (biocrusts). We investigated the effects of N amendment on soil microbial dynamics in a Larrea tridentata-Ambrosia dumosa shrubland site in southern Nevada USA. Sites were fertilized with a NO3-NH4 mix at 0, 7, and 15 kg N ha-1 y-1 from March 2012 to March 2013. In March 2013, biocrust (0–0.5 cm) and bulk soils (0–10 cm) were collected beneath Ambrosia canopies and in the interspaces between plants. Biomass responses were assessed as bacterial and fungal SSU rRNA gene copy number and chlorophyll a concentration. Metabolic responses were measured by five ecoenzyme activities and rates of N transformation. With most measures, nutrient availability, microbial biomass, and process rates were greater in soils beneath the shrub canopy compared to the interspace between plants, and greater in the surface biocrust horizon compared to the deeper 10 cm soil profile. Most measures responded positively to experimental N addition. Effect sizes were generally greater for bulk soil than biocrust. Results were incorporated into a meta-analysis of arid ecosystem responses to N amendment that included data from 14 other studies. Effect sizes were calculated for biomass and metabolic responses. Regressions of effect sizes, calculated for biomass, and metabolic responses, showed similar trends in relation to N application rate and N load (rate × duration). The critical points separating positive from negative treatment effects were 88 kg ha-1 y-1 and 159 kg ha-1, respectively, for biomass, and 70 kg ha-1 y-1 and 114 kg ha-1, respectively, for metabolism. These critical values are comparable to those for microbial biomass, decomposition rates and respiration

  5. Soil microbial responses to nitrogen addition in arid ecosystems

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Sinsabaugh, Robert L.; Belnap, Jayne; Rudgers, Jennifer; Kuske, Cheryl R.; Martinez, Noelle; Sandquist, Darren

    2015-08-14

    The N cycle of arid ecosystems is influenced by low soil organic matter, high soil pH, and extremes in water potential and temperature that lead to open canopies and development of biological soil crusts (biocrusts). We investigated the effects of N amendment on soil microbial dynamics in a Larrea tridentata-Ambrosia dumosa shrubland site in southern Nevada USA. Sites were fertilized with a NO3-NH4 mix at 0, 7, and 15 kg N ha-1 y-1 from March 2012 to March 2013. In March 2013, biocrust (0–0.5 cm) and bulk soils (0–10 cm) were collected beneath Ambrosia canopies and in the interspaces betweenmore » plants. Biomass responses were assessed as bacterial and fungal SSU rRNA gene copy number and chlorophyll a concentration. Metabolic responses were measured by five ecoenzyme activities and rates of N transformation. With most measures, nutrient availability, microbial biomass, and process rates were greater in soils beneath the shrub canopy compared to the interspace between plants, and greater in the surface biocrust horizon compared to the deeper 10 cm soil profile. Most measures responded positively to experimental N addition. Effect sizes were generally greater for bulk soil than biocrust. Results were incorporated into a meta-analysis of arid ecosystem responses to N amendment that included data from 14 other studies. Effect sizes were calculated for biomass and metabolic responses. Regressions of effect sizes, calculated for biomass, and metabolic responses, showed similar trends in relation to N application rate and N load (rate × duration). The critical points separating positive from negative treatment effects were 88 kg ha-1 y-1 and 159 kg ha-1, respectively, for biomass, and 70 kg ha-1 y-1 and 114 kg ha-1, respectively, for metabolism. These critical values are comparable to those for microbial biomass, decomposition rates and respiration reported in broader meta-analyses of N amendment effects in mesic ecosystems. The large effect sizes at low N

  6. Soil microbial responses to nitrogen addition in arid ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Sinsabaugh, Robert L; Belnap, Jayne; Rudgers, Jennifer; Kuske, Cheryl R; Martinez, Noelle; Sandquist, Darren

    2015-01-01

    The N cycle of arid ecosystems is influenced by low soil organic matter, high soil pH, and extremes in water potential and temperature that lead to open canopies and development of biological soil crusts (biocrusts). We investigated the effects of N amendment on soil microbial dynamics in a Larrea tridentata-Ambrosia dumosa shrubland site in southern Nevada USA. Sites were fertilized with a NO3-NH4 mix at 0, 7, and 15 kg N ha(-1) y(-1) from March 2012 to March 2013. In March 2013, biocrust (0-0.5 cm) and bulk soils (0-10 cm) were collected beneath Ambrosia canopies and in the interspaces between plants. Biomass responses were assessed as bacterial and fungal SSU rRNA gene copy number and chlorophyll a concentration. Metabolic responses were measured by five ecoenzyme activities and rates of N transformation. By most measures, nutrient availability, microbial biomass, and process rates were greater in soils beneath the shrub canopy compared to the interspace between plants, and greater in the surface biocrust horizon compared to the deeper 10 cm soil profile. Most measures responded positively to experimental N addition. Effect sizes were generally greater for bulk soil than biocrust. Results were incorporated into a meta-analysis of arid ecosystem responses to N amendment that included data from 14 other studies. Effect sizes were calculated for biomass and metabolic responses. Regressions of effect sizes, calculated for biomass, and metabolic responses, showed similar trends in relation to N application rate and N load (rate × duration). The critical points separating positive from negative treatment effects were 88 kg ha(-1) y(-1) and 159 kg ha(-1), respectively, for biomass, and 70 kg ha(-1) y(-1) and 114 kg ha(-1), respectively, for metabolism. These critical values are comparable to those for microbial biomass, decomposition rates and respiration reported in broader meta-analyses of N amendment effects in mesic ecosystems. However, large effect sizes at low N

  7. Soil microbial responses to nitrogen addition in arid ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Sinsabaugh, Robert L.; Belnap, Jayne; Rudgers, Jennifer; Kuske, Cheryl R.; Martinez, Noelle; Sandquist, Darren

    2015-01-01

    The N cycle of arid ecosystems is influenced by low soil organic matter, high soil pH, and extremes in water potential and temperature that lead to open canopies and development of biological soil crusts (biocrusts). We investigated the effects of N amendment on soil microbial dynamics in a Larrea tridentata-Ambrosia dumosa shrubland site in southern Nevada USA. Sites were fertilized with a NO3-NH4 mix at 0, 7, and 15 kg N ha-1 y-1 from March 2012 to March 2013. In March 2013, biocrust (0–0.5 cm) and bulk soils (0–10 cm) were collected beneath Ambrosia canopies and in the interspaces between plants. Biomass responses were assessed as bacterial and fungal SSU rRNA gene copy number and chlorophyll a concentration. Metabolic responses were measured by five ecoenzyme activities and rates of N transformation. By most measures, nutrient availability, microbial biomass, and process rates were greater in soils beneath the shrub canopy compared to the interspace between plants, and greater in the surface biocrust horizon compared to the deeper 10 cm soil profile. Most measures responded positively to experimental N addition. Effect sizes were generally greater for bulk soil than biocrust. Results were incorporated into a meta-analysis of arid ecosystem responses to N amendment that included data from 14 other studies. Effect sizes were calculated for biomass and metabolic responses. Regressions of effect sizes, calculated for biomass, and metabolic responses, showed similar trends in relation to N application rate and N load (rate × duration). The critical points separating positive from negative treatment effects were 88 kg ha-1 y-1 and 159 kg ha-1, respectively, for biomass, and 70 kg ha-1 y-1 and 114 kg ha-1, respectively, for metabolism. These critical values are comparable to those for microbial biomass, decomposition rates and respiration reported in broader meta-analyses of N amendment effects in mesic ecosystems. However, large effect sizes at low N addition

  8. River ecosystem response to prescribed vegetation burning on Blanket Peatland.

    PubMed

    Brown, Lee E; Johnston, Kerrylyn; Palmer, Sheila M; Aspray, Katie L; Holden, Joseph

    2013-01-01

    Catchment-scale land-use change is recognised as a major threat to aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem functioning globally. In the UK uplands rotational vegetation burning is practised widely to boost production of recreational game birds, and while some recent studies have suggested burning can alter river water quality there has been minimal attention paid to effects on aquatic biota. We studied ten rivers across the north of England between March 2010 and October 2011, five of which drained burned catchments and five from unburned catchments. There were significant effects of burning, season and their interaction on river macroinvertebrate communities, with rivers draining burned catchments having significantly lower taxonomic richness and Simpson's diversity. ANOSIM revealed a significant effect of burning on macroinvertebrate community composition, with typically reduced Ephemeroptera abundance and diversity and greater abundance of Chironomidae and Nemouridae. Grazer and collector-gatherer feeding groups were also significantly less abundant in rivers draining burned catchments. These biotic changes were associated with lower pH and higher Si, Mn, Fe and Al in burned systems. Vegetation burning on peatland therefore has effects beyond the terrestrial part of the system where the management intervention is being practiced. Similar responses of river macroinvertebrate communities have been observed in peatlands disturbed by forestry activity across northern Europe. Finally we found river ecosystem changes similar to those observed in studies of wild and prescribed forest fires across North America and South Africa, illustrating some potentially generic effects of fire on aquatic ecosystems. PMID:24278367

  9. River ecosystem response to prescribed vegetation burning on Blanket Peatland.

    PubMed

    Brown, Lee E; Johnston, Kerrylyn; Palmer, Sheila M; Aspray, Katie L; Holden, Joseph

    2013-01-01

    Catchment-scale land-use change is recognised as a major threat to aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem functioning globally. In the UK uplands rotational vegetation burning is practised widely to boost production of recreational game birds, and while some recent studies have suggested burning can alter river water quality there has been minimal attention paid to effects on aquatic biota. We studied ten rivers across the north of England between March 2010 and October 2011, five of which drained burned catchments and five from unburned catchments. There were significant effects of burning, season and their interaction on river macroinvertebrate communities, with rivers draining burned catchments having significantly lower taxonomic richness and Simpson's diversity. ANOSIM revealed a significant effect of burning on macroinvertebrate community composition, with typically reduced Ephemeroptera abundance and diversity and greater abundance of Chironomidae and Nemouridae. Grazer and collector-gatherer feeding groups were also significantly less abundant in rivers draining burned catchments. These biotic changes were associated with lower pH and higher Si, Mn, Fe and Al in burned systems. Vegetation burning on peatland therefore has effects beyond the terrestrial part of the system where the management intervention is being practiced. Similar responses of river macroinvertebrate communities have been observed in peatlands disturbed by forestry activity across northern Europe. Finally we found river ecosystem changes similar to those observed in studies of wild and prescribed forest fires across North America and South Africa, illustrating some potentially generic effects of fire on aquatic ecosystems.

  10. River Ecosystem Response to Prescribed Vegetation Burning on Blanket peatland

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Lee E.; Johnston, Kerrylyn; Palmer, Sheila M.; Aspray, Katie L.; Holden, Joseph

    2013-01-01

    Catchment-scale land-use change is recognised as a major threat to aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem functioning globally. In the UK uplands rotational vegetation burning is practised widely to boost production of recreational game birds, and while some recent studies have suggested burning can alter river water quality there has been minimal attention paid to effects on aquatic biota. We studied ten rivers across the north of England between March 2010 and October 2011, five of which drained burned catchments and five from unburned catchments. There were significant effects of burning, season and their interaction on river macroinvertebrate communities, with rivers draining burned catchments having significantly lower taxonomic richness and Simpson’s diversity. ANOSIM revealed a significant effect of burning on macroinvertebrate community composition, with typically reduced Ephemeroptera abundance and diversity and greater abundance of Chironomidae and Nemouridae. Grazer and collector-gatherer feeding groups were also significantly less abundant in rivers draining burned catchments. These biotic changes were associated with lower pH and higher Si, Mn, Fe and Al in burned systems. Vegetation burning on peatland therefore has effects beyond the terrestrial part of the system where the management intervention is being practiced. Similar responses of river macroinvertebrate communities have been observed in peatlands disturbed by forestry activity across northern Europe. Finally we found river ecosystem changes similar to those observed in studies of wild and prescribed forest fires across North America and South Africa, illustrating some potentially generic effects of fire on aquatic ecosystems. PMID:24278367

  11. Ecosystem Response to Monsoon Rainfall Variability in Southwestern North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forzieri, Giovanni; Feyen, Luc; Vivoni, Enrique

    2013-04-01

    Due to its marked plant phenology driven by precipitation, the North American Monsoon System (NAMS) can serve to reveal ecological responses to climate variability and change in water-controlled regions. This study attempts to elucidate the effects of monsoon rainfall variability on vegetation dynamics over the North American Monsoon Experiment (NAME) tier I domain (20°-35° N, 105°-115° W). To this end, we analyze long-term dynamics (1982-2004) in seasonal precipitation (Pr), net primary production (NPP) and rain-use efficiency (RUE) based on phenological and biophysical memory metrics from NOAA CPC daily 1° gridded precipitation data and satellite GIMMS semi-monthly NDVI images at 8-km resolution. We focus our analysis on six diverse ecosystems spanning from semi-arid and desert environments to tropical deciduous forests to investigate: 1) the spatially averaged NPP/RUE profiles along the regional Pr gradient, 2) the linkage between NPP and Pr inter-annual variations and 3) the long-term trends of Pr, NPP and RUE. All the biomes show an increase (decrease) in mean NPP (RUE) along the mean seasonal precipitation gradient ranging from 100 to 900 mm. Variations in NPP/RUE profiles differ strongly across ecosystems and show threshold behaviors likely resulting from different physiological responses to climate effects and landscape features. Statistical analysis suggests that the inter-annual variability in NPP is significantly related to the temporal variability in precipitation. In particular, we found that forest biomes are more sensitive to inter-annual variations in precipitation regimes. Semi-arid ecosystems appear to be more resilient, probably because they are more exposed to extreme conditions and consequently better adapted to greater inter and intra-annual climate variability. The long-term positive signal in RUE imposed on its inter-annual variability, which results from a constant NPP under negative long-term trends of Pr, indicates an improved

  12. Quantifying patterns of change in marine ecosystem response to multiple pressures.

    PubMed

    Large, Scott I; Fay, Gavin; Friedland, Kevin D; Link, Jason S

    2015-01-01

    The ability to understand and ultimately predict ecosystem response to multiple pressures is paramount to successfully implement ecosystem-based management. Thresholds shifts and nonlinear patterns in ecosystem responses can be used to determine reference points that identify levels of a pressure that may drastically alter ecosystem status, which can inform management action. However, quantifying ecosystem reference points has proven elusive due in large part to the multi-dimensional nature of both ecosystem pressures and ecosystem responses. We used ecological indicators, synthetic measures of ecosystem status and functioning, to enumerate important ecosystem attributes and to reduce the complexity of the Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem (NES LME). Random forests were used to quantify the importance of four environmental and four anthropogenic pressure variables to the value of ecological indicators, and to quantify shifts in aggregate ecological indicator response along pressure gradients. Anthropogenic pressure variables were critical defining features and were able to predict an average of 8-13% (up to 25-66% for individual ecological indicators) of the variation in ecological indicator values, whereas environmental pressures were able to predict an average of 1-5 % (up to 9-26% for individual ecological indicators) of ecological indicator variation. Each pressure variable predicted a different suite of ecological indicator's variation and the shapes of ecological indicator responses along pressure gradients were generally nonlinear. Threshold shifts in ecosystem response to exploitation, the most important pressure variable, occurred when commercial landings were 20 and 60% of total surveyed biomass. Although present, threshold shifts in ecosystem response to environmental pressures were much less important, which suggests that anthropogenic pressures have significantly altered the ecosystem structure and functioning of the NES LME. Gradient response

  13. Quantitative Models for Ecosystem Assessment in Narragansett Bay: Response to Nutrient Loading and Other Stressors

    EPA Science Inventory

    Multiple drivers, including nutrient loading and climate change, affect the Narragansett Bay ecosystem. Managers are interested in understanding the timing and magnitude of these effects, as well as ecosystem responses to restoration actions, such as the capacity and potential fo...

  14. Cumulative contextual risk, maternal responsivity, and social cognition at 18 months.

    PubMed

    Wade, Mark; Moore, Chris; Astington, Janet Wilde; Frampton, Kristen; Jenkins, Jennifer M

    2015-02-01

    By 18 months children demonstrate a range of social-cognitive skills that can be considered important precursors to more advanced forms of social understanding such as theory of mind. Although individual differences in social cognition have been linked to neurocognitive maturation, sociocultural models of development suggest that environmental influences operate in the development of children's social-cognitive outcomes. In the current study of 501 children and their mothers, we tested and found support for a model in which distal environmental risk, assessed when children were newborns, was indirectly associated with children's social-cognitive competency at 18 months through mothers' responsivity at 18 months. Part of this effect also operated through children's concomitant language skills, suggesting both a language-mediated and a language-independent mechanism of social-cognitive development. These findings are discussed with respect to the Vygotskian themes of internalization and semiotic mediation.

  15. Where California Meets Alaska: Ecosystem Response in a Transition Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crawford, W.; Pena, A.; Irvine, J. R.

    2008-12-01

    Ecosystems along the west coast of Vancouver Island share features with those of the northern California Current and also with the southern part of the Alaska Coastal Current, and provide the richest fisheries of these two regimes. Studies of the past few decades reveal surprisingly consistent biological responses to changes in ocean temperatures, partly due to the extreme warm and cool years since 1998. Zooplankton populations, migrating salmon, and fledgling seabirds are rapidly affected by changing ocean conditions, whereas the biomass of resident fish stocks responds over several years or even decades. The specific mechanisms responsible for these temperature-related changes vary from species to species, and many are unknown. We will present examples of how influx of predators, timing of food availability, and wind and coastal weather contribute to the response of coastal populations. Results are based on statistical analyses of many decades of observations and also on biophysical models. The responses to past temperature variability suggest which species will eventually thrive with climate warming and the speed with which these changes might occur. One unresolved factor is the ability of cold water species to survive and rebound after warm years, and of warm-water species to recover after cold years. These responses will be increasingly important, because the IPCC models suggest increasing local ocean temperature variability during this century.

  16. Modelling benthic biophysical drivers of ecosystem structure and biogeochemical response

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stephens, Nicholas; Bruggeman, Jorn; Lessin, Gennadi; Allen, Icarus

    2016-04-01

    The fate of carbon deposited at the sea floor is ultimately decided by biophysical drivers that control the efficiency of remineralisation and timescale of carbon burial in sediments. Specifically, these drivers include bioturbation through ingestion and movement, burrow-flushing and sediment reworking, which enhance vertical particulate transport and solute diffusion. Unfortunately, these processes are rarely satisfactorily resolved in models. To address this, a benthic model that explicitly describes the vertical position of biology (e.g., habitats) and biogeochemical processes is presented that includes biological functionality and biogeochemical response capturing changes in ecosystem structure, benthic-pelagic fluxes and biodiversity on inter-annual timescales. This is demonstrated by the model's ability to reproduce temporal variability in benthic infauna, vertical pore water nutrients and pelagic-benthic solute fluxes compared to in-situ data. A key advance is the replacement of bulk parameterisation of bioturbation by explicit description of the bio-physical processes responsible. This permits direct comparison with observations and determination of key parameters in experiments. Crucially, the model resolves the two-way interaction between sediment biogeochemistry and ecology, allowing exploration of the benthic response to changing environmental conditions, the importance of infaunal functional traits in shaping benthic ecological structure and the feedback the resulting bio-physical processes exert on pore water nutrient profiles. The model is actively being used to understand shelf sea carbon cycling, the response of the benthos to climatic change, food provision and other societal benefits.

  17. The Challenge of Planning Conservation Strategies in Threatened Seascapes: Understanding the Role of Fine Scale Assessments of Community Response to Cumulative Human Pressures.

    PubMed

    Guarnieri, Giuseppe; Bevilacqua, Stanislao; De Leo, Francesco; Farella, Giulio; Maffia, Anna; Terlizzi, Antonio; Fraschetti, Simonetta

    2016-01-01

    Assessing the distribution and intensity of human threats to biodiversity is a prerequisite for effective spatial planning, harmonizing conservation purposes with sustainable development. In the Mediterranean Sea, the management of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) is rarely based on explicit consideration of the distribution of multiple stressors, with direct assessment of their effects on ecosystems. This gap limits the effectiveness of protection and is conducive to conflicts among stakeholders. Here, a fine scale assessment of the potential effects of different combinations of stressors (both land- and marine-based) on vulnerable rocky habitats (i.e. lower midlittoral and shallow infralittoral) along 40 km of coast in the western Mediterranean (Ionian Sea) has been carried out. The study area is a paradigmatic example of socio-ecological interactions, where several human uses and conservation measures collide. Significant differences in the structure of assemblages according to different combinations of threats were observed, indicating distinct responses of marine habitats to different sets of human pressures. A more complex three-dimensional structure, higher taxon richness and β-diversity characterized assemblages subject to low versus high levels of human pressure, consistently across habitats. In addition, the main drivers of change were: closeness to the harbour, water quality, and the relative extension of beaches. Our findings suggest that, although efforts to assess cumulative impacts at large scale may help in individuating priority areas for conservation purposes, the fact that such evaluations are often based on expert opinions and not on actual studies limits their ability to represent real environmental conditions at local scale. Systematic evaluations of local scale effects of anthropogenic drivers of change on biological communities should complement broad scale management strategies to achieve effective sustainability of human exploitation of

  18. The Challenge of Planning Conservation Strategies in Threatened Seascapes: Understanding the Role of Fine Scale Assessments of Community Response to Cumulative Human Pressures.

    PubMed

    Guarnieri, Giuseppe; Bevilacqua, Stanislao; De Leo, Francesco; Farella, Giulio; Maffia, Anna; Terlizzi, Antonio; Fraschetti, Simonetta

    2016-01-01

    Assessing the distribution and intensity of human threats to biodiversity is a prerequisite for effective spatial planning, harmonizing conservation purposes with sustainable development. In the Mediterranean Sea, the management of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) is rarely based on explicit consideration of the distribution of multiple stressors, with direct assessment of their effects on ecosystems. This gap limits the effectiveness of protection and is conducive to conflicts among stakeholders. Here, a fine scale assessment of the potential effects of different combinations of stressors (both land- and marine-based) on vulnerable rocky habitats (i.e. lower midlittoral and shallow infralittoral) along 40 km of coast in the western Mediterranean (Ionian Sea) has been carried out. The study area is a paradigmatic example of socio-ecological interactions, where several human uses and conservation measures collide. Significant differences in the structure of assemblages according to different combinations of threats were observed, indicating distinct responses of marine habitats to different sets of human pressures. A more complex three-dimensional structure, higher taxon richness and β-diversity characterized assemblages subject to low versus high levels of human pressure, consistently across habitats. In addition, the main drivers of change were: closeness to the harbour, water quality, and the relative extension of beaches. Our findings suggest that, although efforts to assess cumulative impacts at large scale may help in individuating priority areas for conservation purposes, the fact that such evaluations are often based on expert opinions and not on actual studies limits their ability to represent real environmental conditions at local scale. Systematic evaluations of local scale effects of anthropogenic drivers of change on biological communities should complement broad scale management strategies to achieve effective sustainability of human exploitation of

  19. The Challenge of Planning Conservation Strategies in Threatened Seascapes: Understanding the Role of Fine Scale Assessments of Community Response to Cumulative Human Pressures

    PubMed Central

    Guarnieri, Giuseppe; Bevilacqua, Stanislao; De Leo, Francesco; Farella, Giulio; Maffia, Anna; Terlizzi, Antonio; Fraschetti, Simonetta

    2016-01-01

    Assessing the distribution and intensity of human threats to biodiversity is a prerequisite for effective spatial planning, harmonizing conservation purposes with sustainable development. In the Mediterranean Sea, the management of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) is rarely based on explicit consideration of the distribution of multiple stressors, with direct assessment of their effects on ecosystems. This gap limits the effectiveness of protection and is conducive to conflicts among stakeholders. Here, a fine scale assessment of the potential effects of different combinations of stressors (both land- and marine-based) on vulnerable rocky habitats (i.e. lower midlittoral and shallow infralittoral) along 40 km of coast in the western Mediterranean (Ionian Sea) has been carried out. The study area is a paradigmatic example of socio-ecological interactions, where several human uses and conservation measures collide. Significant differences in the structure of assemblages according to different combinations of threats were observed, indicating distinct responses of marine habitats to different sets of human pressures. A more complex three-dimensional structure, higher taxon richness and β-diversity characterized assemblages subject to low versus high levels of human pressure, consistently across habitats. In addition, the main drivers of change were: closeness to the harbour, water quality, and the relative extension of beaches. Our findings suggest that, although efforts to assess cumulative impacts at large scale may help in individuating priority areas for conservation purposes, the fact that such evaluations are often based on expert opinions and not on actual studies limits their ability to represent real environmental conditions at local scale. Systematic evaluations of local scale effects of anthropogenic drivers of change on biological communities should complement broad scale management strategies to achieve effective sustainability of human exploitation of

  20. Hydrologic Alteration and Response of Ecosystem Functions to River Restoration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orr, C. H.; Stanley, E. H.

    2005-12-01

    Stream ecology theory suggests that physical and hydrologic setting is often a dominant determinant of ecosystem structure in fluvial systems. Restorationist practitioners may work under the assumption that if the hydrologic parameters that control biological processes are restored, biotic components of interest should be restored as well. This method is sometimes called passive habitat restoration, or an eco-hydromorphic approach. An alternate to this hypothesis is that biological recovery is constrained by a number of other limitations such as distance to a source population, site history, and presence of invasive species. In this scenario, systems will not be restored by hydrologic alterations alone. To address the influence physical setting has on ecological process, we measured three specific ecological responses of streams to hydrologic manipulations separate restoration projects in Central Wisconsin. The projects shared the common trait of being primarily hydrologic alterations. We measured phosphorus retention capacity in a second-order stream before and after a pair of small dam removals, denitrification rates following the reflooding of a leveed floodplain and an approximately 50-year time series of vegetation recolonization on exposed mud flats following dam removal. In each case the measured responses showed unexpectedly large variability and there was not close correlation between physical and ecologic parameters. Such high variability in response to alterations also made it difficult to determine if the restorations met their goals. One conclusion of these studies may be that we need to move beyond hydrologic alterations to address additional manipulations to better meet the goals of specific projects.

  1. An Application of Unfolding and Cumulative Item Response Theory Models for Noncognitive Scaling: Examining the Assumptions and Applicability of the Generalized Graded Unfolding Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sgammato, Adrienne N.

    2009-01-01

    This study examined the applicability of a relatively new unidimensional, unfolding item response theory (IRT) model called the generalized graded unfolding model (GGUM; Roberts, Donoghue, & Laughlin, 2000). A total of four scaling methods were applied. Two commonly used cumulative IRT models for polytomous data, the Partial Credit Model and the…

  2. Contested Cumulations:

    PubMed Central

    Pickstone, John V.

    2007-01-01

    Summary The treatment of cancer through the twentieth century may be seen as the successive addition of modalities: first surgery; then radiotherapy, especially between the world wars; and then chemotherapy, from the 1960s. This paper explores some of the systematic differences between the modalities, and how these additions were negotiated in different countries, with different long-term consequences for the development of services and specialization. It focuses chiefly on the United Kingdom and the United States, the former exemplifying a centralized health polity, and the latter, liberal markets combined with large and crucial postwar inputs from government. The differences between health polities were especially important for interwar radiotherapy, which in its centralized form appeared as paradigmatic of the analytical/rationalizing mode in modern medicine. Chemotherapy exemplified a more inventive and experimentalist mode that became common after World War II, and that, through the practice of trials, shaped the new subprofession of medical oncology. The interactions of the modalities, at various levels, are modeled as contested cumulations showing strong path dependency. The paper ends by reviewing the present situation, especially for Britain, and by underlining the relevance of history. PMID:17369667

  3. DOSE-RESPONSE MODELING FOR THE ASSESSMENT OF CUMULATIVE RISK DUE TO EXPOSURE TO N-METHYL CARBAMATE PESTICIDES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The US EPAs N-Methyl Carbamate Cumulative Risk Assessment (NMCRA) assesses the effect on acetylcholine esterase (AChE) activity of exposure to 10 N-methyl carbamate (NMC) pesticides through dietary, drinking water, and residential exposures.

  4. Using carbon oxidation state and ecosystem oxidative ratio to understand terrestrial ecosystem response to elevated CO2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hockaday, W. C.; Masiello, C. A.; Gallagher, M. E.

    2015-12-01

    Here we show that an easily-measured biogeochemical tracer, carbon oxidation state (Cox) can be used to understand ecosystem response to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations. We briefly review the use of Cox in understanding C sink estimates, and its role in understanding the coupled nature of carbon and oxygen cycles, which derives from its relationship with ecosystem oxidative ratio (OR). The Cox of a carbon pool provides an integrated measure of all processes that create and destroy organic matter (e.g. photosynthesis, respiration, fire) and therefore, can be used to estimate the oxidative ratio (O2/CO2) of biosphere-atmosphere exchange. Our preliminary data suggest that the OR of temperate hardwood forest and grassland ecosystems are influenced by atmospheric CO2 concentration. The variation in ecosystem Cox with atmospheric CO2 concentration suggest that OR is not a conservative property of terrestrial ecosystems on annual or decadal timescales. In the grassland ecosystem, the Cox of plant biomass increased by as much as 50% across a CO2 concentration gradient of 190 ppm, but the response was highly dependent upon soil properties. In the temperate forest, the Cox of the soil C pool increased by 40% after 9 seasons of CO2 enrichment (by 175 ppm). We will discuss our interpretation of Cox as a proxy and its potential use in studies of coupled O2 and CO2 cycling.

  5. Groundwater-dependent ecosystems: recent insights, new techniques and an ecosystem-scale threshold response

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eamus, D.; Zolfaghar, S.; Villalobos-Vega, R.; Cleverly, J.; Huete, A.

    2015-05-01

    Groundwater-dependent ecosystems (GDEs) are at risk globally due to unsustainable levels of groundwater extraction, especially in arid and semi-arid regions. In this review, we examine recent developments in the ecohydrology of GDEs with a focus on three knowledge gaps: (1) how do we locate GDEs, (2) how much water is transpired from shallow aquifers by GDEs; and (3) what are the responses of GDEs to excessive groundwater extraction? The answers to these questions will determine water allocations that are required to sustain functioning of GDEs and to guide regulations on groundwater extraction to avoid negative impacts on GDEs. We discuss three methods for identifying GDEs: (1) fluctuations in depth-to-groundwater that are associated with diurnal variations in transpiration, (2) stable isotope analysis of water sources in the transpiration stream; and (3) remote sensing methods. We then discuss several methods for estimating rates of GW use, including direct measurement using sapflux or eddy covariance technologies, estimation of a climate wetness index within a Budyko framework, spatial distribution of ET using remote sensing, groundwater modelling and stable isotopes. Remote sensing methods often rely on direct measurements to calibrate the relationship between vegetation indices and ET. ET from GDEs is also determined using hydrologic models of varying complexity, from the "White method" to fully coupled, variable saturation models. Combinations of methods are typically employed to obtain clearer insight into the components of groundwater discharge in GDEs, such as the proportional importance of transpiration vs. evaporation (e.g., using stable isotopes) or from groundwater vs. rainwater sources. Groundwater extraction can have severe consequences on structure and function of GDEs. In the most extreme cases, phreatophytes experience crown dieback and death following groundwater drawdown. We provide a brief review of two case studies of the impacts of GW

  6. Response of grassland ecosystems to prolonged soil moisture deficit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ross, Morgan A.; Ponce-Campos, Guillermo E.; Barnes, Mallory L.; Hottenstein, John D.; Moran, M. Susan

    2014-05-01

    Soil moisture is commonly used for predictions of plant response and productivity. Climate change is predicted to cause an increase in the frequency and duration of droughts over the next century, which will result in prolonged periods of below-normal soil moisture. This, in turn, is expected to impact regional plant production, erosion and air quality. In fact, the number of consecutive months of soil moisture content below the drought-period mean has recently been linked to regional tree and shrub mortality in the southwest United States. This study investigated the effects of extended periods of below average soil moisture on the response of grassland ANPP to precipitation. Grassland ecosystems were selected for this study because of their ecological sensitivity to precipitation patterns. It has been postulated that the quick ecological response of grasslands to droughts can provide insight to large scale functional responses of regions to predicted climate change. The study sites included 21 grassland biomes throughout arid-to-humid climates in the United States with continuous surface soil moisture records for 2-13 years during the drought period from 2000-2013. Annual net primary production (ANPP) was estimated from the 13-year record of NASA MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index extracted for each site. Prolonged soil moisture deficit was defined as a period of at least 10 consecutive months during which soil moisture was below the drought-period mean. ANPP was monitored before, during and after prolonged soil moisture deficit to quantify shifts in the functional response of grasslands to precipitation, and in some cases, new species assemblages that included invasive species. Preliminary results indicated that when altered climatic conditions on grasslands led to an increase in the duration of soil water deficit, then the precipitation-to-ANPP relation became non-linear. Non-linearity was associated with extreme grassland dieback and changes in the historic

  7. Hydrological and geochemical response and recovery in disturbed Arctic ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-01-01

    This progress report is a funding, extension request to continue the database work for the Hydrological and Geochemical Response and Recovery in Disturbed Arctic Ecosystems Program. Throughout the period from 1985 to 1992 the Department of Energy supported research on the hydrology and geochemistry of the headwater basin of Imnavait Creek has focused on the quantification of the input from atmospheric sources of biologically significant and other related chemical variables; the transport of these variables in surface and subsurface flow and their efflux from the basin; and the development of geochemical budgets. The acquisition of multi-year data sets (the longest and most detailed sets in the Arctic) have made it possible to define seasonal ranges and amplitudes; determine spatial and temporal relationships within the different flow compartments; to begin to model the pathways and rates of movement through and across different landscape units. The length of record has also made it possible to examine the quantity and influence of local and extra-regional additions.

  8. Pattern formation--A missing link in the study of ecosystem response to environmental changes.

    PubMed

    Meron, Ehud

    2016-01-01

    Environmental changes can affect the functioning of an ecosystem directly, through the response of individual life forms, or indirectly, through interspecific interactions and community dynamics. The feasibility of a community-level response has motivated numerous studies aimed at understanding the mutual relationships between three elements of ecosystem dynamics: the abiotic environment, biodiversity and ecosystem function. Since ecosystems are inherently nonlinear and spatially extended, environmental changes can also induce pattern-forming instabilities that result in spatial self-organization of life forms and resources. This, in turn, can affect the relationships between these three elements, and make the response of ecosystems to environmental changes far more complex. Responses of this kind can be expected in dryland ecosystems, which show a variety of self-organizing vegetation patterns along the rainfall gradient. This paper describes the progress that has been made in understanding vegetation patterning in dryland ecosystems, and the roles it plays in ecosystem response to environmental variability. The progress has been achieved by modeling pattern-forming feedbacks at small spatial scales and up-scaling their effects to large scales through model studies. This approach sets the basis for integrating pattern formation theory into the study of ecosystem dynamics and addressing ecologically significant questions such as the dynamics of desertification, restoration of degraded landscapes, biodiversity changes along environmental gradients, and shrubland-grassland transitions.

  9. Responses of ecosystem carbon cycling to climate change treatments along an elevation gradient

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wu, Zhuoting; Koch, George W.; Dijkstra, Paul; Bowker, Matthew A.; Hungate, Bruce A.

    2011-01-01

    Global temperature increases and precipitation changes are both expected to alter ecosystem carbon (C) cycling. We tested responses of ecosystem C cycling to simulated climate change using field manipulations of temperature and precipitation across a range of grass-dominated ecosystems along an elevation gradient in northern Arizona. In 2002, we transplanted intact plant–soil mesocosms to simulate warming and used passive interceptors and collectors to manipulate precipitation. We measured daytime ecosystem respiration (ER) and net ecosystem C exchange throughout the growing season in 2008 and 2009. Warming generally stimulated ER and photosynthesis, but had variable effects on daytime net C exchange. Increased precipitation stimulated ecosystem C cycling only in the driest ecosystem at the lowest elevation, whereas decreased precipitation showed no effects on ecosystem C cycling across all ecosystems. No significant interaction between temperature and precipitation treatments was observed. Structural equation modeling revealed that in the wetter-than-average year of 2008, changes in ecosystem C cycling were more strongly affected by warming-induced reduction in soil moisture than by altered precipitation. In contrast, during the drier year of 2009, warming induced increase in soil temperature rather than changes in soil moisture determined ecosystem C cycling. Our findings suggest that warming exerted the strongest influence on ecosystem C cycling in both years, by modulating soil moisture in the wet year and soil temperature in the dry year.

  10. Plant community feedbacks and long-term ecosystem responses to multi-factored global change

    PubMed Central

    Langley, J. Adam; Hungate, Bruce A.

    2014-01-01

    While short-term plant responses to global change are driven by physiological mechanisms, which are represented relatively well by models, long-term ecosystem responses to global change may be determined by shifts in plant community structure resulting from other ecological phenomena such as interspecific interactions, which are represented poorly by models. In single-factor scenarios, plant communities often adjust to increase ecosystem response to that factor. For instance, some early global change experiments showed that elevated CO2 favours plants that respond strongly to elevated CO2, generally amplifying the response of ecosystem productivity to elevated CO2, a positive community feedback. However, most ecosystems are subject to multiple drivers of change, which can complicate the community feedback effect in ways that are more difficult to generalize. Recent studies have shown that (i) shifts in plant community structure cannot be reliably predicted from short-term plant physiological response to global change and (ii) that the ecosystem response to multi-factored change is commonly less than the sum of its parts. Here, we survey results from long-term field manipulations to examine the role community shifts may play in explaining these common findings. We use a simple model to examine the potential importance of community shifts in governing ecosystem response. Empirical evidence and the model demonstrate that with multi-factored change, the ecosystem response depends on community feedbacks, and that the magnitude of ecosystem response will depend on the relationship between plant response to one factor and plant response to another factor. Tradeoffs in the ability of plants to respond positively to, or to tolerate, different global change drivers may underlie generalizable patterns of covariance in responses to different drivers of change across plant taxa. Mechanistic understanding of these patterns will help predict the community feedbacks that determine

  11. Dose-Response Relationship between Cumulative Occupational Lead Exposure and the Associated Health Damages: A 20-Year Cohort Study of a Smelter in China.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yue; Gu, Jun-Ming; Huang, Yun; Duan, Yan-Ying; Huang, Rui-Xue; Hu, Jian-An

    2016-03-01

    Long-term airborne lead exposure, even below official occupational limits, has been found to cause lead poisoning at higher frequencies than expected, which suggests that China's existing occupational exposure limits should be reexamined. A retrospective cohort study was conducted on 1832 smelting workers from 1988 to 2008 in China. These were individuals who entered the plant and came into continuous contact with lead at work for longer than 3 months. The dose-response relationship between occupational cumulative lead exposure and lead poisoning, abnormal blood lead, urinary lead and erythrocyte zinc protoporphyrin (ZPP) were analyzed and the benchmark dose lower bound confidence limits (BMDLs) were calculated. Statistically significant positive correlations were found between cumulative lead dust and lead fumes exposures and workplace seniority, blood lead, urinary lead and ZPP values. A dose-response relationship was observed between cumulative lead dust or lead fumes exposure and lead poisoning (p < 0.01). The BMDLs of the cumulative occupational lead dust and fumes doses were 0.68 mg-year/m³ and 0.30 mg-year/m³ for lead poisoning, respectively. The BMDLs of workplace airborne lead concentrations associated with lead poisoning were 0.02 mg/m³ and 0.01 mg/m³ for occupational exposure lead dust and lead fume, respectively. In conclusion, BMDLs for airborne lead were lower than occupational exposure limits, suggesting that the occupational lead exposure limits need re-examination and adjustment. Occupational cumulative exposure limits (OCELs) should be established to better prevent occupational lead poisoning. PMID:26999177

  12. Dose-Response Relationship between Cumulative Occupational Lead Exposure and the Associated Health Damages: A 20-Year Cohort Study of a Smelter in China

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Yue; Gu, Jun-Ming; Huang, Yun; Duan, Yan-Ying; Huang, Rui-Xue; Hu, Jian-An

    2016-01-01

    Long-term airborne lead exposure, even below official occupational limits, has been found to cause lead poisoning at higher frequencies than expected, which suggests that China’s existing occupational exposure limits should be reexamined. A retrospective cohort study was conducted on 1832 smelting workers from 1988 to 2008 in China. These were individuals who entered the plant and came into continuous contact with lead at work for longer than 3 months. The dose-response relationship between occupational cumulative lead exposure and lead poisoning, abnormal blood lead, urinary lead and erythrocyte zinc protoporphyrin (ZPP) were analyzed and the benchmark dose lower bound confidence limits (BMDLs) were calculated. Statistically significant positive correlations were found between cumulative lead dust and lead fumes exposures and workplace seniority, blood lead, urinary lead and ZPP values. A dose-response relationship was observed between cumulative lead dust or lead fumes exposure and lead poisoning (p < 0.01). The BMDLs of the cumulative occupational lead dust and fumes doses were 0.68 mg-year/m3 and 0.30 mg-year/m3 for lead poisoning, respectively. The BMDLs of workplace airborne lead concentrations associated with lead poisoning were 0.02 mg/m3 and 0.01 mg/m3 for occupational exposure lead dust and lead fume, respectively. In conclusion, BMDLs for airborne lead were lower than occupational exposure limits, suggesting that the occupational lead exposure limits need re-examination and adjustment. Occupational cumulative exposure limits (OCELs) should be established to better prevent occupational lead poisoning. PMID:26999177

  13. Dose-Response Relationship between Cumulative Occupational Lead Exposure and the Associated Health Damages: A 20-Year Cohort Study of a Smelter in China.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yue; Gu, Jun-Ming; Huang, Yun; Duan, Yan-Ying; Huang, Rui-Xue; Hu, Jian-An

    2016-03-16

    Long-term airborne lead exposure, even below official occupational limits, has been found to cause lead poisoning at higher frequencies than expected, which suggests that China's existing occupational exposure limits should be reexamined. A retrospective cohort study was conducted on 1832 smelting workers from 1988 to 2008 in China. These were individuals who entered the plant and came into continuous contact with lead at work for longer than 3 months. The dose-response relationship between occupational cumulative lead exposure and lead poisoning, abnormal blood lead, urinary lead and erythrocyte zinc protoporphyrin (ZPP) were analyzed and the benchmark dose lower bound confidence limits (BMDLs) were calculated. Statistically significant positive correlations were found between cumulative lead dust and lead fumes exposures and workplace seniority, blood lead, urinary lead and ZPP values. A dose-response relationship was observed between cumulative lead dust or lead fumes exposure and lead poisoning (p < 0.01). The BMDLs of the cumulative occupational lead dust and fumes doses were 0.68 mg-year/m³ and 0.30 mg-year/m³ for lead poisoning, respectively. The BMDLs of workplace airborne lead concentrations associated with lead poisoning were 0.02 mg/m³ and 0.01 mg/m³ for occupational exposure lead dust and lead fume, respectively. In conclusion, BMDLs for airborne lead were lower than occupational exposure limits, suggesting that the occupational lead exposure limits need re-examination and adjustment. Occupational cumulative exposure limits (OCELs) should be established to better prevent occupational lead poisoning.

  14. (BOSC) DOSE-RESPONSE MODELING FOR THE ASSESSMENT OF CUMULATIVE RISK DUE TO EXPOSURE TO N-METHYL CARBAMATE PRESTICIDES

    EPA Science Inventory

    THE US EPA'S N-METHYL CARBAMATE CUMULATIVE RISK ASSESSMENT (NMCRA) ASSESSES THE EFFECT ON ACETYLCHOLINE ESTERASE (AChE) ACTIVITY OF EXPOSURE TO 10 N-METHLY CARBAMATE (NMC)PESTICIDES THROUGH DIETARY, DRINKING WATER, AND RESIDENTIAL EXPOSURES. THESE DATA THUS INFORM, BUT DO NOT COM...

  15. Habitat-Mediated Facilitation and Counteracting Ecosystem Engineering Interactively Influence Ecosystem Responses to Disturbance

    PubMed Central

    Eklöf, Johan S.; van der Heide, Tjisse; Donadi, Serena; van der Zee, Els M.; O'Hara, Robert; Eriksson, Britas Klemens

    2011-01-01

    Recovery of an ecosystem following disturbance can be severely hampered or even shift altogether when a point disturbance exceeds a certain spatial threshold. Such scale-dependent dynamics may be caused by preemptive competition, but may also result from diminished self-facilitation due to weakened ecosystem engineering. Moreover, disturbance can facilitate colonization by engineering species that alter abiotic conditions in ways that exacerbate stress on the original species. Consequently, establishment of such counteracting engineers might reduce the spatial threshold for the disturbance, by effectively slowing recovery and increasing the risk for ecosystem shifts to alternative states. We tested these predictions in an intertidal mudflat characterized by a two-state mosaic of hummocks (humps exposed during low tide) dominated by the sediment-stabilizing seagrass Zostera noltii) and hollows (low-tide waterlogged depressions dominated by the bioturbating lugworm Arenicola marina). In contrast to expectations, seagrass recolonized both natural and experimental clearings via lateral expansion and seemed unaffected by both clearing size and lugworm addition. Near the end of the growth season, however, an additional disturbance (most likely waterfowl grazing and/or strong hydrodynamics) selectively impacted recolonizing seagrass in the largest (1 m2) clearings (regardless of lugworm addition), and in those medium (0.25 m2) clearings where lugworms had been added nearly five months earlier. Further analyses showed that the risk for the disturbance increased with hollow size, with a threshold of 0.24 m2. Hollows of that size were caused by seagrass removal alone in the largest clearings, and by a weaker seagrass removal effect exacerbated by lugworm bioturbation in the medium clearings. Consequently, a sufficiently large disturbance increased the vulnerability of recolonizing seagrass to additional disturbance by weakening seagrass engineering effects (sediment

  16. Habitat-mediated facilitation and counteracting ecosystem engineering interactively influence ecosystem responses to disturbance.

    PubMed

    Eklöf, Johan S; van der Heide, Tjisse; Donadi, Serena; van der Zee, Els M; O'Hara, Robert; Eriksson, Britas Klemens

    2011-01-01

    Recovery of an ecosystem following disturbance can be severely hampered or even shift altogether when a point disturbance exceeds a certain spatial threshold. Such scale-dependent dynamics may be caused by preemptive competition, but may also result from diminished self-facilitation due to weakened ecosystem engineering. Moreover, disturbance can facilitate colonization by engineering species that alter abiotic conditions in ways that exacerbate stress on the original species. Consequently, establishment of such counteracting engineers might reduce the spatial threshold for the disturbance, by effectively slowing recovery and increasing the risk for ecosystem shifts to alternative states. We tested these predictions in an intertidal mudflat characterized by a two-state mosaic of hummocks (humps exposed during low tide) dominated by the sediment-stabilizing seagrass Zostera noltii) and hollows (low-tide waterlogged depressions dominated by the bioturbating lugworm Arenicola marina). In contrast to expectations, seagrass recolonized both natural and experimental clearings via lateral expansion and seemed unaffected by both clearing size and lugworm addition. Near the end of the growth season, however, an additional disturbance (most likely waterfowl grazing and/or strong hydrodynamics) selectively impacted recolonizing seagrass in the largest (1 m(2)) clearings (regardless of lugworm addition), and in those medium (0.25 m(2)) clearings where lugworms had been added nearly five months earlier. Further analyses showed that the risk for the disturbance increased with hollow size, with a threshold of 0.24 m(2). Hollows of that size were caused by seagrass removal alone in the largest clearings, and by a weaker seagrass removal effect exacerbated by lugworm bioturbation in the medium clearings. Consequently, a sufficiently large disturbance increased the vulnerability of recolonizing seagrass to additional disturbance by weakening seagrass engineering effects (sediment

  17. The changing landscape: ecosystem responses to urbanization and pollution across climatic and societal gradients

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Urbanization alters both biotic and abiotic ecosystem properties within, surrounding and even at great distances from urban areas. This creates research challenges and environmental problems at local, regional, and global scales. Ecosystem responses to land changes are complex and interacting, occur...

  18. Use of an ecosystem model for testing ecosystem response to inaccuracies of root and microflora productivity estimates

    SciTech Connect

    Petersen, H.; O'Neill, R.V.; Gardner, R.H.

    1984-01-01

    A seventy-compartment model for a Danish beech forest ecosystem is described in outline. The unmodified model predicts considerable accumulation of wood litter and decreasing accumulation through secondary to final decomposition products. Increment rates are similar for all components of the detritus based food chain. Modification of fine root production rate produces strong, positive response for root litter, and less, but still significant, response for detritus, humus and the components of the decomposer food chain. Increase of microbial biomass with adjustments of metabolism and production causes reduced accumulation of detritus and humus. The soil organisms respond according to food source. The use of the model for testing the sensitivity of the ecosystem to inaccuracies of rroot- and microflora estimates is discussed. 21 references, 3 figures, 1 table.

  19. Ecosystem carbon exchange in response to locust outbreaks in a temperate steppe.

    PubMed

    Song, Jian; Wu, Dandan; Shao, Pengshuai; Hui, Dafeng; Wan, Shiqiang

    2015-06-01

    It is predicted that locust outbreaks will occur more frequently under future climate change scenarios, with consequent effects on ecological goods and services. A field manipulative experiment was conducted to examine the responses of gross ecosystem productivity (GEP), net ecosystem carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange (NEE), ecosystem respiration (ER), and soil respiration (SR) to locust outbreaks in a temperate steppe of northern China from 2010 to 2011. Two processes related to locust outbreaks, natural locust feeding and carcass deposition, were mimicked by clipping 80 % of aboveground biomass and adding locust carcasses, respectively. Ecosystem carbon (C) exchange (i.e., GEP, NEE, ER, and SR) was suppressed by locust feeding in 2010, but stimulated by locust carcass deposition in both years (except SR in 2011). Experimental locust outbreaks (i.e., clipping plus locust carcass addition) decreased GEP and NEE in 2010 whereas they increased GEP, NEE, and ER in 2011, leading to neutral changes in GEP, NEE, and SR across the 2 years. The responses of ecosystem C exchange could have been due to the changes in soil ammonium nitrogen, community cover, and aboveground net primary productivity. Our findings of the transient and neutral changes in ecosystem C cycling under locust outbreaks highlight the importance of resistance, resilience, and stability of the temperate steppe in maintaining reliable ecosystem services, and facilitate the projections of ecosystem functioning in response to natural disturbance and climate change.

  20. Nitrogen excess in North American ecosystems: Predisposing factors, ecosystem responses, and management strategies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fenn, M.E.; Poth, M.A.; Aber, J.D.; Baron, J.S.; Bormann, B.T.; Johnson, D.W.; Lemly, A.D.; McNulty, S.G.; Ryan, D.F.; Stottlemyer, R.

    1998-01-01

    Most forests in North America remain nitrogen limited, although recent studies have identified forested areas that exhibit symptoms of N excess, analogous to overfertilization of arable land. Nitrogen excess in watersheds is detrimental because of disruptions in plant/soil nutrient relations, increased soil acidification and aluminum mobility, increased emissions of nitrogenous greenhouse gases from soil, reduced methane consumption in soil, decreased water quality, toxic effects on freshwater biota, and eutrophication of coastal marine waters. Elevated nitrate (NO3/-) loss to groundwater or surface waters is the primary symptom of N excess. Additional symptoms include increasing N concentrations and higher N:nutrient ratios in foliage (i.e., N:Mg, N:P), foliar accumulation of amino acids or NO3/-, and low soil C:N ratios. Recent nitrogen-fertilization studies in New England and Europe provide preliminary evidence that some forests receiving chronic N inputs may decline in productivity and experience greater mortality. Long-term fertilization at Mount Ascutney, Vermont, suggests that declining and slow N-cycling coniferous stands may be replaced by fast-growing and fast N-cycling deciduous forests. Symptoms of N saturation are particularly severe in high-elevation, nonaggrading spruce-fir ecosystems in the Appalachian Mountains and in eastern hardwood watersheds at the Fernow Experimental Forest near Parsons, West Virginia. In the Los Angeles Air Basin, mixed conifer forests and chaparral watersheds with high smog exposure are N saturated and exhibit the highest streamwater NO3/- concentrations for wildlands in North America. High-elevation alpine watersheds in the Colorado Front Range and a deciduous forest in Ontario, Canada, are N saturated, although N deposition is moderate (~8 kg??ha-1??yr-1). In contrast, the Harvard Forest hardwood stand in Massachusetts has absorbed >900 kg N/ha during 8 yr of N amendment studies without significant NO3/- leaching

  1. Phenological response of a key ecosystem function to biological invasion.

    PubMed

    Alp, Maria; Cucherousset, Julien; Buoro, Mathieu; Lecerf, Antoine

    2016-05-01

    Although climate warming has been widely demonstrated to induce shifts in the timing of many biological events, the phenological consequences of other prominent global change drivers remain largely unknown. Here, we investigated the effects of biological invasions on the seasonality of leaf litter decomposition, a crucial freshwater ecosystem function. Decomposition rates were quantified in 18 temperate shallow lakes distributed along a gradient of crayfish invasion and a temperature-based model was constructed to predict yearly patterns of decomposition. We found that, through direct detritus consumption, omnivorous invasive crayfish accelerated decomposition rates up to fivefold in spring, enhancing temperature dependence of the process and shortening the period of major detritus availability in the ecosystem by up to 39 days (95% CI: 15-61). The fact that our estimates are an order of magnitude higher than any previously reported climate-driven phenological shifts indicates that some powerful drivers of phenological change have been largely overlooked. PMID:26931804

  2. Response of South American ecosystems to precipitation variability

    SciTech Connect

    Ganguly, Auroop R; Erickson III, David J; Bras, Rafael L

    2009-12-01

    The Ecosystem Demography Model 2 is a dynamic ecosystem model and land surface energy balance model. ED2 discretizes landscapes of particular terrain and meteorology into fractional areas of unique disturbance history. Each fraction, defined by a shared vertical soil column and canopy air space, contains a stratum of plant groups unique in functional type, size and number density. The result is a vertically distributed representation of energy transfer and plant dynamics (mortality, productivity, recruitment, disturbance, resource competition, etc) that successfully approximates the behaviour of individual-based vegetation models. In previous exercises simulating Amazonian land surface dynamics with ED2, it was observed that when using grid averaged precipitation as an external forcing the resulting water balance typically over-estimated leaf interception and leaf evaporation while under estimating through-fall and transpiration. To investigate this result, two scenario were conducted in which land surface biophysics and ecosystem demography over the Northern portion of South America are simulated over {approx}200 years: (1) ED2 is forced with grid averaged values taken from the ERA40 reanalysis meteorological dataset; (2) ED2 is forced with ERA40 reanalysis, but with its precipitation re-sampled to reflect statistical qualities of point precipitation found at rain gauge stations in the region. The findings in this study suggest that the equilibrium moisture states and vegetation demography are co-dependent and show sensitivity to temporal variability in precipitation. These sensitivities will need to be accounted for in future projections of coupled climate-ecosystem changes in South America.

  3. Response of plants and ecosystems to CO{sub 2} and climate change. Final technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Reynolds, J.F.

    1993-12-31

    In recognition of the important role of vegetation in the bio-geosphere carbon cycle, the Carbon Dioxide Research Program of the US Department of Energy established the research program: Direct Effects of increasing Carbon Dioxide on Vegetation. The ultimate goal is to develop a general ecosystem model to investigate, via hypothesis testing, the potential responses of different terrestrial ecosystems to changes in the global environment over the next century. The approach involves the parallel development of models at several hierarchical levels, from the leaf to the ecosystem. At the plant level, mechanism and the direct effects of CO{sub 2} in the development of a general plant growth model, GEPSI - GEneral Plant SImulator has been stressed. At the ecosystem level, we have stressed the translation Of CO{sub 2} effects and other aspects of climate change throughout the ecosystem, including feedbacks and constraints to system response, in the development of a mechanistic, general ecosystem model SERECO - Simulation of Ecosystem Response to Elevated CO{sub 2} and Climate Change has been stressed.

  4. Understanding variation in ecosystem pulse responses to wetting: Benefits of data-model coupling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenerette, D.

    2011-12-01

    Metabolic pulses of activity are a common ecological response to intermittently available resources and in water-limited ecosystems these pulses often occur in response to wetting. Net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) in response to episodic wetting events is hypothesized to have a complex trajectory reflecting the distinct responses, or "pulses", of respiration and photosynthesis. To help direct research activities a physiological-based model of whole ecosystem metabolic activity up- and down-regulation was developed to investigate ecosystem energy balance and gas exchange pulse responses following precipitation events. This model was to investigate pulse dynamics from a local network of sites in southern Arizona, a global network of eddy-covariance ecosystem monitoring sites, laboratory incubation studies, and field manipulations. Pulse responses were found to be ubiquitous across ecosystem types. These pulses had a highly variable influence on NEE following wetting, ranging from large net sinks to sources of CO2 to the atmosphere. Much of the variability in pulse responses of NEE could be described through a coupled up- and down-regulation pulse response model. Respiration pulses were hypothesized to occur through a reduction in whole ecosystem activation energy; this model was both useful and corroborated through laboratory incubation studies of soil respiration. Using the Fluxnet eddy-covariance measurement database event specific responses were combined with the pulse model into an event specific twenty-five day net flux calculation. Across all events observed a general net accumulation of CO2 following a precipitation event, with the largest net uptake within deciduous broadleaf forests and smallest within grasslands. NEE pulses favored greater uptake when pre-event ecosystem respiration rates and total precipitation were higher. While the latter was expected, the former adds to previous theory by suggesting a larger net uptake of CO2 when pre-event metabolic

  5. Responses of ecosystem carbon cycle to experimental warming: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Lu, Meng; Zhou, Xuhui; Yang, Qiang; Li, Hui; Luo, Yiqi; Fang, Changming; Chen, Jiakuan; Yang, Xin; Li, Bo

    2013-03-01

    Global warming potentially alters the terrestrial carbon (C) cycle, likely feeding back to further climate warming. However, how the ecosystem C cycle responds and feeds back to warming remains unclear. Here we used a meta-analysis approach to quantify the response ratios of 18 variables of the ecosystem C cycle to experimental warming and evaluated ecosystem C-cycle feedback to climate warming. Our results showed that warming stimulated gross ecosystem photosynthesis (GEP) by 15.7%, net primary production (NPP) by 4.4%, and plant C pools from above- and belowground parts by 6.8% and 7.0%, respectively. Experimental warming accelerated litter mass loss by 6.8%, soil respiration by 9.0%, and dissolved organic C leaching by 12.1%. In addition, the responses of some of those variables to experimental warming differed among the ecosystem types. Our results demonstrated that the stimulation of plant-derived C influx basically offset the increase in warming-induced efflux and resulted in insignificant changes in litter and soil C content, indicating that climate warming may not trigger strong positive C-climate feedback from terrestrial ecosystems. Moreover, the increase in plant C storage together with the slight but not statistically significant decrease of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) across ecosystems suggests that terrestrial ecosystems might be a weak C sink rather than a C source under global climate warming. Our results are also potentially useful for parameterizing and benchmarking land surface models in terms of C cycle responses to climate warming.

  6. Long-term ecosystem response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

    PubMed

    Peterson, Charles H; Rice, Stanley D; Short, Jeffrey W; Esler, Daniel; Bodkin, James L; Ballachey, Brenda E; Irons, David B

    2003-12-19

    The ecosystem response to the 1989 spill of oil from the Exxon Valdez into Prince William Sound, Alaska, shows that current practices for assessing ecological risks of oil in the oceans and, by extension, other toxic sources should be changed. Previously, it was assumed that impacts to populations derive almost exclusively from acute mortality. However, in the Alaskan coastal ecosystem, unexpected persistence of toxic subsurface oil and chronic exposures, even at sublethal levels, have continued to affect wildlife. Delayed population reductions and cascades of indirect effects postponed recovery. Development of ecosystem-based toxicology is required to understand and ultimately predict chronic, delayed, and indirect long-term risks and impacts. PMID:14684812

  7. Long-term ecosystem response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

    PubMed

    Peterson, Charles H; Rice, Stanley D; Short, Jeffrey W; Esler, Daniel; Bodkin, James L; Ballachey, Brenda E; Irons, David B

    2003-12-19

    The ecosystem response to the 1989 spill of oil from the Exxon Valdez into Prince William Sound, Alaska, shows that current practices for assessing ecological risks of oil in the oceans and, by extension, other toxic sources should be changed. Previously, it was assumed that impacts to populations derive almost exclusively from acute mortality. However, in the Alaskan coastal ecosystem, unexpected persistence of toxic subsurface oil and chronic exposures, even at sublethal levels, have continued to affect wildlife. Delayed population reductions and cascades of indirect effects postponed recovery. Development of ecosystem-based toxicology is required to understand and ultimately predict chronic, delayed, and indirect long-term risks and impacts.

  8. The roles of vegetation structure and composition in terrestrial ecosystem responses to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weng, E.; Lichstein, J. W.; Malyshev, S.; Shevliakova, E.; Pacala, S. W.

    2011-12-01

    Vegetation structure, species compositions, and interactions among individuals change with the development of ecosystems. The sensitivity of ecosystems to climate change is therefore differed. However, current dynamic global vegetation models treat vegetation as a couple of compartmentalized pools and neglect the details of vegetation dynamics with only explicitly representations of physiological and biogeochemical processes. These may lead to bias in the predictions of ecosystem dynamics in response to climate change. We incorporated a vegetation structure model, perfect plasticity approximation model (PPA), into a land model, LM3V, the land component of GFDL ESM, and explored the sensitivity and uncertainty induced by the structure of forest ecosystems in Northeastern USA, where the PPA model explicitly describes the competition of light and resources from soil (water or nitrogen) among plant species and the resulted vegetation structure with different environmental conditions and LM3V is a biogeochemical model describing carbon and water fluxes and storage in ecosystems and their feedback to atmosphere. We employed the rules of PPA to represent the vegetation dynamics (species composition, competition for light and water, and vegetation structure) in LM3V. The simulations showed that vegetation structure and the interactions between species could substantially affect the sensitivity of ecosystem carbon cycle to multi-factorial changes of climate. With changes in vegetation compositions and structure, ecosystem responses were less sensitive than those when only plant physiological and biogeochemical responses were considered. Our study shows that the processes at plant community level play a key role in mid- to long term ecosystem responses to climate change.

  9. Cumulative minutes with T[sub 90] greater than temp[sub index] is predictive of response of superficial malignancies to hyperthermia and radiation

    SciTech Connect

    Leopold, K.A.; Dewhirst, M.W.; Samulski, T.V.; Dodge, R.K.; Geoerge, S.L.; Blivin, J.L.; Prosnitz, L.R.; Oleson, J.R. )

    1993-04-02

    The purpose of this work is to better define thermal parameters related to tumor response in superficial malignancies treated with combined hyperthermia and radiation therapy. Patients were randomized to receive one or two hyperthermia treatments per week with hyperthermia given during each week of irradiation. Hyperthermia was given for 60 min with treatments begun within 1 hr following irradiation. Power was increased to patient tolerance or normal tissue temperature of 43.0[degrees]C. Irradiation was generally given 5 times per week with doses prescribed to normal tissue tolerance (generally 24--70 Gy at 1.8--2.5 Gy per fraction). Multipoint thermometry was used with temperatures obtained every 5 min. One hundred eleven individual treatment fields containing 1 or more tumor nodules were completely evaluable. The complete and overall response rates were 46% and 80%, respectively. Forty-one percent of all treatment fields (51% of responding lesions) remained controlled at 2 years. Multivariate analysis revealed that the cumulative minutes that the temperature achieved by 90% of the measured tumor sites (T[sub 90]) was [ge] 40.0[degrees]C, tumor histology, tumor volume, and radiation dose were significantly associated with complete tumor response. The complete response rate was not significantly affected by the number of hyperthermia treatments given per week. The incidence of clinically significant complications was low. These results support the usefulness of the cumulative minute system in describing time-temperature relationships. The significance of thermal variables with regard to tumor response strongly supports the contention that hyperthermia can be a useful adjunct to irradiation for the local control of cancer. 18 refs., 2 figs., 5 tabs.

  10. Linking above and belowground responses to global change at community and ecosystem scales.

    SciTech Connect

    Antoninka, Anita; Wolf, Julie; Bowker, Matt; Classen, Aimee T; JohnsonPhD, Dr Nancy C

    2009-01-01

    Cryptic belowground organisms are difficult to observe and their responses to global changes are not well understood. Nevertheless, there is reason to believe that interactions among above- and belowground communities may mediate ecosystem responses to global change. We used grassland mesocosms to manipulate the abundance of one important group of soil organisms, arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, and to study community and ecosystem responses to CO2 and N enrichment. After two growing seasons, biomass responses of plant communities were recorded, and soil community responses were measured using microscopy, phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) and community-level physiological profiles (CLPP). Ecosystem responses were examined by measuring net primary production (NPP), evapotranspiration, total soil organic matter (SOM), and extractable mineral N. Structural equation modeling was used to examine the causal relationships among treatments and response variables. We found that while CO2 and N tended to directly impact ecosystem functions (evapotranspiration and NPP, respectively), AM fungi indirectly impacted ecosystem functions by strongly influencing the composition of plant and soil communities. For example, the presence of AM fungi had a strong influence on other root and soil fungi and soil bacteria. We found that the mycotrophic status of the dominant plant species in the mesocosms determined whether the presence of AM fungi increased or decreased NPP. Mycotrophic grasses dominated the mesocosm communities during the first growing season, and thus, the mycorrhizal treatments had the highest NPP. In contrast, non-mycotrophic forbs were dominant during the second growing season and thus, the mycorrhizal treatments had the lowest NPP. The composition of the plant community strongly influenced soil N; and the composition of the soil organisms strongly influenced SOM accumulation in the mesocosms. These results show how linkages between above- and belowground communities

  11. Modelling carbon responses of tundra ecosystems to historical and projected climate: A comparison of a plot- and a global-scale ecosystem model to identify process-based uncertainties

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clein, J.S.; Kwiatkowski, B.L.; McGuire, A.D.; Hobbie, J.E.; Rastetter, E.B.; Melillo, J.M.; Kicklighter, D.W.

    2000-01-01

    We are developing a process-based modelling approach to investigate how carbon (C) storage of tundra across the entire Arctic will respond to projected climate change. To implement the approach, the processes that are least understood, and thus have the most uncertainty, need to be identified and studied. In this paper, we identified a key uncertainty by comparing the responses of C storage in tussock tundra at one site between the simulations of two models - one a global-scale ecosystem model (Terrestrial Ecosystem Model, TEM) and one a plot-scale ecosystem model (General Ecosystem Model, GEM). The simulations spanned the historical period (1921-94) and the projected period (1995-2100). In the historical period, the model simulations of net primary production (NPP) differed in their sensitivity to variability in climate. However, the long-term changes in C storage were similar in both simulations, because the dynamics of heterotrophic respiration (RH) were similar in both models. In contrast, the responses of C storage in the two model simulations diverged during the projected period. In the GEM simulation for this period, increases in RH tracked increases in NPP, whereas in the TEM simulation increases in RH lagged increases in NPP. We were able to make the long-term C dynamics of the two simulations agree by parameterizing TEM to the fast soil C pools of GEM. We concluded that the differences between the long-term C dynamics of the two simulations lay in modelling the role of the recalcitrant soil C. These differences, which reflect an incomplete understanding of soil processes, lead to quite different projections of the response of pan-Arctic C storage to global change. For example, the reference parameterization of TEM resulted in an estimate of cumulative C storage of 2032 g C m-2 for moist tundra north of 50??N, which was substantially higher than the 463 g C m-2 estimated for a parameterization of fast soil C dynamics. This uncertainty in the depiction of

  12. Towards a framework for assessment and management of cumulative human impacts on marine food webs.

    PubMed

    Giakoumi, Sylvaine; Halpern, Benjamin S; Michel, Loïc N; Gobert, Sylvie; Sini, Maria; Boudouresque, Charles-François; Gambi, Maria-Cristina; Katsanevakis, Stelios; Lejeune, Pierre; Montefalcone, Monica; Pergent, Gerard; Pergent-Martini, Christine; Sanchez-Jerez, Pablo; Velimirov, Branko; Vizzini, Salvatrice; Abadie, Arnaud; Coll, Marta; Guidetti, Paolo; Micheli, Fiorenza; Possingham, Hugh P

    2015-08-01

    Effective ecosystem-based management requires understanding ecosystem responses to multiple human threats, rather than focusing on single threats. To understand ecosystem responses to anthropogenic threats holistically, it is necessary to know how threats affect different components within ecosystems and ultimately alter ecosystem functioning. We used a case study of a Mediterranean seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) food web and expert knowledge elicitation in an application of the initial steps of a framework for assessment of cumulative human impacts on food webs. We produced a conceptual seagrass food web model, determined the main trophic relationships, identified the main threats to the food web components, and assessed the components' vulnerability to those threats. Some threats had high (e.g., coastal infrastructure) or low impacts (e.g., agricultural runoff) on all food web components, whereas others (e.g., introduced carnivores) had very different impacts on each component. Partitioning the ecosystem into its components enabled us to identify threats previously overlooked and to reevaluate the importance of threats commonly perceived as major. By incorporating this understanding of system vulnerability with data on changes in the state of each threat (e.g., decreasing domestic pollution and increasing fishing) into a food web model, managers may be better able to estimate and predict cumulative human impacts on ecosystems and to prioritize conservation actions. PMID:25704365

  13. Towards a framework for assessment and management of cumulative human impacts on marine food webs.

    PubMed

    Giakoumi, Sylvaine; Halpern, Benjamin S; Michel, Loïc N; Gobert, Sylvie; Sini, Maria; Boudouresque, Charles-François; Gambi, Maria-Cristina; Katsanevakis, Stelios; Lejeune, Pierre; Montefalcone, Monica; Pergent, Gerard; Pergent-Martini, Christine; Sanchez-Jerez, Pablo; Velimirov, Branko; Vizzini, Salvatrice; Abadie, Arnaud; Coll, Marta; Guidetti, Paolo; Micheli, Fiorenza; Possingham, Hugh P

    2015-08-01

    Effective ecosystem-based management requires understanding ecosystem responses to multiple human threats, rather than focusing on single threats. To understand ecosystem responses to anthropogenic threats holistically, it is necessary to know how threats affect different components within ecosystems and ultimately alter ecosystem functioning. We used a case study of a Mediterranean seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) food web and expert knowledge elicitation in an application of the initial steps of a framework for assessment of cumulative human impacts on food webs. We produced a conceptual seagrass food web model, determined the main trophic relationships, identified the main threats to the food web components, and assessed the components' vulnerability to those threats. Some threats had high (e.g., coastal infrastructure) or low impacts (e.g., agricultural runoff) on all food web components, whereas others (e.g., introduced carnivores) had very different impacts on each component. Partitioning the ecosystem into its components enabled us to identify threats previously overlooked and to reevaluate the importance of threats commonly perceived as major. By incorporating this understanding of system vulnerability with data on changes in the state of each threat (e.g., decreasing domestic pollution and increasing fishing) into a food web model, managers may be better able to estimate and predict cumulative human impacts on ecosystems and to prioritize conservation actions.

  14. A framework to assess biogeochemical response to ecosystem disturbance using nutrient partitioning ratios

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kranabetter, J. Marty; McLauchlan, Kendra K.; Enders, Sara K.; Fraterrigo, Jennifer M.; Higuera, Philip E.; Morris, Jesse L.; Rastetter, Edward B.; Barnes, Rebecca; Buma, Brian; Gavin, Daniel G.; Gerhart, Laci M.; Gillson, Lindsey; Hietz, Peter; Mack, Michelle C.; McNeil, Brenden; Perakis, Steven

    2016-01-01

    Disturbances affect almost all terrestrial ecosystems, but it has been difficult to identify general principles regarding these influences. To improve our understanding of the long-term consequences of disturbance on terrestrial ecosystems, we present a conceptual framework that analyzes disturbances by their biogeochemical impacts. We posit that the ratio of soil and plant nutrient stocks in mature ecosystems represents a characteristic site property. Focusing on nitrogen (N), we hypothesize that this partitioning ratio (soil N: plant N) will undergo a predictable trajectory after disturbance. We investigate the nature of this partitioning ratio with three approaches: (1) nutrient stock data from forested ecosystems in North America, (2) a process-based ecosystem model, and (3) conceptual shifts in site nutrient availability with altered disturbance frequency. Partitioning ratios could be applied to a variety of ecosystems and successional states, allowing for improved temporal scaling of disturbance events. The generally short-term empirical evidence for recovery trajectories of nutrient stocks and partitioning ratios suggests two areas for future research. First, we need to recognize and quantify how disturbance effects can be accreting or depleting, depending on whether their net effect is to increase or decrease ecosystem nutrient stocks. Second, we need to test how altered disturbance frequencies from the present state may be constructive or destructive in their effects on biogeochemical cycling and nutrient availability. Long-term studies, with repeated sampling of soils and vegetation, will be essential in further developing this framework of biogeochemical response to disturbance.

  15. Ecosystem Response During the Removal of the Elwha River Dams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pess, G. R.; McHenry, M.; Liermann, M. C.; Moses, R.; Denton, K.; McMillan, J.; Brenkman, S.; Duda, J.; Peters, R.; Anderson, J.; Quinn, T.

    2015-12-01

    Over the last century, the two dams blocked the upstream movement of anadromous fish to over 90% of the Elwha River watershed on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. These dams also restricted the downstream movement of sediment, wood, and other organic materials to the lower river and estuary. Populations of all Pacific salmon species and steelhead in the Elwha became critically low, habitat complexity decreased below the dams, and downstream coastal habitats became sediment starved. Simultaneous deconstruction of the two dams began in September 2011 was completed in September of 2014. The recent removal of the dams has been an opportunity to explore linkages among changes in sediment supply, salmonid populations, and ecosystem attributes. Preliminary findings focus on the delivery of millions of metric tonnes of sediment to the main river, its floodplain, and nearshore, the re-establishment of a natural wood delivery regime, the re-colonization of the upper watershed by anadromous fish, insights into functional relationships among salmonid populations and life history strategies, and the associated effects of all these elements on the aquatic and terrestrial foodwebs. This talk will provide an overview of the Elwha restoration project, and highlight recent changes observed during dam removal.

  16. Predicted responses of arctic and alpine ecosystems to altered seasonality under climate change.

    PubMed

    Ernakovich, Jessica G; Hopping, Kelly A; Berdanier, Aaron B; Simpson, Rodney T; Kachergis, Emily J; Steltzer, Heidi; Wallenstein, Matthew D

    2014-10-01

    Global climate change is already having significant impacts on arctic and alpine ecosystems, and ongoing increases in temperature and altered precipitation patterns will affect the strong seasonal patterns that characterize these temperature-limited systems. The length of the potential growing season in these tundra environments is increasing due to warmer temperatures and earlier spring snow melt. Here, we compare current and projected climate and ecological data from 20 Northern Hemisphere sites to identify how seasonal changes in the physical environment due to climate change will alter the seasonality of arctic and alpine ecosystems. We find that although arctic and alpine ecosystems appear similar under historical climate conditions, climate change will lead to divergent responses, particularly in the spring and fall shoulder seasons. As seasonality changes in the Arctic, plants will advance the timing of spring phenological events, which could increase plant nutrient uptake, production, and ecosystem carbon (C) gain. In alpine regions, photoperiod will constrain spring plant phenology, limiting the extent to which the growing season can lengthen, especially if decreased water availability from earlier snow melt and warmer summer temperatures lead to earlier senescence. The result could be a shorter growing season with decreased production and increased nutrient loss. These contrasting alpine and arctic ecosystem responses will have cascading effects on ecosystems, affecting community structure, biotic interactions, and biogeochemistry.

  17. Continental-scale impacts of intra-seasonal rainfall variability on simulated ecosystem responses in Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guan, K.; Good, S. P.; Caylor, K. K.; Sato, H.; Wood, E. F.; Li, H.

    2014-12-01

    Climate change is expected to modify intra-seasonal rainfall variability, arising from shifts in rainfall frequency, intensity and seasonality. These intra-seasonal changes are likely to have important ecological impacts on terrestrial ecosystems. Yet, quantifying these impacts across biomes and large climate gradients is largely missing. This gap hinders our ability to better predict ecosystem services and their responses to climate change, especially for arid and semi-arid ecosystems. Here we use a synthetic weather generator and an independently validated vegetation dynamic model (SEIB-Dynamic Global Vegetation Model, DGVM) to virtually conduct a series of "rainfall manipulation experiments" to study how changes in the intra-seasonal rainfall variability affect continent-scale ecosystem responses across Africa. We generate different rainfall scenarios with fixed total annual rainfall but shifts in (i) frequency vs. intensity, (ii) rainy season length vs. frequency, (iii) intensity vs. rainy season length. These scenarios are fed into SEIB-DGVM to investigate changes in biome distributions and ecosystem productivity. We find a loss of ecosystem productivity with increased rainfall frequency and decreased intensity at very low rainfall regimes (<400 mm year-1) and low frequency (<0.3 event day-1); beyond these very dry regimes, most ecosystems benefit from increased frequency and decreased intensity, except in the wet tropics (>1800 mm year-1) where radiation limitation prevents further productivity gains. This result reconciles seemingly contradictory findings in previous field studies on the impact of rainfall frequency/intensity on ecosystem productivity. We also find that changes in rainy season length can yield more dramatic ecosystem responses compared with similar percentage changes in rainfall frequency or intensity, with the largest impacts in semi-arid woodlands. This study demonstrates that intra-seasonal rainfall characteristics play a significant role

  18. Biogeochemical response of a northeastern forest ecosystem to biosolids amendments.

    PubMed

    Banaitis, Michael R; Fernandez, Ivan J; Wilson, Cullen; Norton, Stephen A; Dail, D Bryan

    2009-01-01

    In the northeastern United States interest in the use of biosolids on forest lands is growing due to the prevalence of extensive forests and market incentives for waste disposal, yet much of the regulatory framework for biosolids land application is based on agronomic practice. This study evaluated the response of soils in a young ( approximately 20 yr old) deciduous forest to lime-stabilized biosolids amendments focusing on (i) the temporal and spatial evolution of the pH response, (ii) soil exchangeable cation response, (iii) the risk of trace metal accumulations, and (iv) a bioindicator of treatments (i.e., foliar chemistry). Eighteen plots were established in two study phases with lime-stabilized biosolids loading targets of 0 (control), 4.5, 6.7, 13.4, 20.2, 26.9, and 33.6 Mg (megagram) calcium carbonate equivalents (CCE) ha(-1), with the lowest target rate of addition representing the current regulated loading limit for forest biosolids applications in Maine. The pH of the O horizon increased immediately >2 pH units, and then declined with time, while B horizon pH increased gradually, taking over 1 yr to achieve approximately 1.0 pH unit increase at the highest loading target. O-horizon exchangeable Ca concentration increases dominated soil chemical change and resulted in decreases in exchangeable H and Al. Few significant increases in soil trace metal concentrations had occurred at any soil depth after 1 yr of treatment. Foliar response generally reflected changes in soil chemistry, with Ca concentration increases most significant. This research provides critical insights on forest soil response to application of lime-stabilized biosolids and suggests opportunities for higher loading targets in forests should be examined.

  19. The climate responses of tropical and boreal ecosystems with an improved land surface model (JULES)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harper, Anna; Friedlingstein, Pierre; Cox, Peter; Wiltshire, Andy; Jones, Chris

    2016-04-01

    The Joint UK Land Environment Simulator (JULES) is the land surface of the next generation UK Earth System Model (UKESM1). Recently, JULES was updated with new plant functional types and physiology based on a global plant trait database. These developments improved the simulation of terrestrial gross and net primary productivity on local and global scales, and enabled a more realistic representation of the global distribution of vegetation. In this study, we explore the present-day distribution of ecosystems and their vulnerability to climate change in JULES with these improvements, focusing on tropical and boreal ecosystems. Changes to these ecosystems will have implications for biogeophysical and biogeochemical feedbacks to climate change and need to be understood. First, we examine the simulated and observed rainforest-savannah boundary, which is strongly related to annual precipitation and the maximum climatological water deficit. Second, we assess the length of growing season and biomass stored in boreal ecosystems, where 20th century warming has likely extended the growing season. In each case, we first evaluate the ability of JULES to capture observed climate-vegetation relationships and trends. Finally, we run JULES to 2100 using climate data from 3 models and 2 RCP scenarios, and examine potential 21st century changes to these ecosystems. For example, do the tropical forests shrink in response to changes in tropical rainfall seasonality? And, how does the composition of boreal ecosystems change in response to climate warming? Given the potential for climate feedbacks and the inherent value in these ecosystems, it is essential to assess their responses to a range of climate change scenarios.

  20. An EO-Based Approach to Modelling Ecosystem Health in Response to Wildfire in Central Greece

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, Aaron; Petropoulos, George P.

    2014-05-01

    Assessment of ecosystem health is becoming more relevant in a world where ecosystems are being used unsustainably and have been showing increased signs of stress and dysfunction. Therefore, this research has set out to establish an Earth Observation (EO) based methodology in conjunction with Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to establish and monitor the indicators of ecosystem health in a region affected by wildfire in Central Greece. A further goal has been to assess the responses of ecosystem health to wildfire and urban expansion in the studied region. The methodology integrated GIS software and EO data to assess ecosystem characteristics including: vigour, organisation and resilience. The characteristics were quantified using remote sensing techniques focusing on Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) images derived from Landsat imagery from 1999-2011. Topographic features including slope and aspect were extracted from a digital elevation model (DEM). These elements were then assigned weightings based upon research and combined in a model to produce a map of ecosystem health. The map of ecosystem health was validated against a compound topographic index that was produced for the study region, completed by overlaying the layers in Google Earth. This software allowed for a direct comparison of each layer. The results of the model have demonstrated correlations with past wildfires and the associated recovery. The findings are in agreement with the hypothesis that ecosystem health maps can illustrate the effect wildfires have on ecosystem health, thus providing useful information to land managers and policy makers who manage wildfire. The results further demonstrate that the resolution of Landsat imagery is excellent for obtaining a general overview of ecosystem health mapping. The methods described in this study could provide more detailed information if applied to high resolution imagery such as Worldview or IKONOS data. Results could be further

  1. Managing cumulative impacts: A key to sustainability?

    SciTech Connect

    Hunsaker, C.T.

    1994-12-31

    This paper addresses how science can be more effectively used in creating policy to manage cumulative effects on ecosystems. The paper focuses on the scientific techniques that we have to identify and to assess cumulative impacts on ecosystems. The term ``sustainable development`` was brought into common use by the World Commission on Environment and Development (The Brundtland Commission) in 1987. The Brundtland Commission report highlighted the need to simultaneously address developmental and environmental imperatives simultaneously by calling for development that ``meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the needs of future generations.`` We cannot claim to be working toward sustainable development until we can quantitatively assess cumulative impacts on the environment: The two concepts are inextricibally linked in that the elusiveness of cumulative effects likely has the greatest potential of keeping us from achieving sustainability. In this paper, assessment and management frameworks relevant to cumulative impacts are discussed along with recent literature on how to improve such assessments. When possible, examples are given for marine ecosystems.

  2. International conference on physiological process studies in the Arctic: (Implications for ecosystems response to climate change)

    SciTech Connect

    Chapin, F.S. II.

    1991-01-01

    The conference on physiological process studies in the Arctic was held in Toronto, Canada, to summarize the current understanding of plant physiological processes in the Arctic. Participants reviewed the current understanding of arctic ecophysiology and discussed the role of physiology in controlling ecosystem processes such as productivity and nutrient cycling. Emphasis was placed on ways in which ecophysiological studies might provide insight into possible responses of arctic ecosystems to global climatic change. The major conclusions of the workshop were that, although we know a great deal about the adaptations of arctic plants to their physical environment, the biotic interactions among plants and between plants and other organisms are more important in governing the distribution of plants in the Arctic. Future research in arctic physiological ecology should emphasize biotic interactions, feedbacks and time lags that modify plant response to environment, and the roles that plants play as regulators of ecosystem processes.

  3. Reorganization of an arid ecosystem in response to recent climate change

    PubMed Central

    Brown, James H.; Valone, Thomas J.; Curtin, Charles G.

    1997-01-01

    Natural ecosystems contain many individuals and species interacting with each other and with their abiotic environment. Such systems can be expected to exhibit complex dynamics in which small perturbations can be amplified to cause large changes. Here, we document the reorganization of an arid ecosystem that has occurred since the late 1970s. The density of woody shrubs increased 3-fold. Several previously common animal species went locally extinct, while other previously rare species increased. While these changes are symptomatic of desertification, they were not caused by livestock grazing or drought, the principal causes of historical desertification. The changes apparently were caused by a shift in regional climate: since 1977 winter precipitation throughout the region was substantially higher than average for this century. These changes illustrate the kinds of large, unexpected responses of complex natural ecosystems that can occur in response to both natural perturbations and human activities. PMID:11038570

  4. Contrasting responses of water use efficiency to drought across global terrestrial ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Yuting; Guan, Huade; Batelaan, Okke; McVicar, Tim R.; Long, Di; Piao, Shilong; Liang, Wei; Liu, Bing; Jin, Zhao; Simmons, Craig T.

    2016-01-01

    Drought is an intermittent disturbance of the water cycle that profoundly affects the terrestrial carbon cycle. However, the response of the coupled water and carbon cycles to drought and the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Here we provide the first global synthesis of the drought effect on ecosystem water use efficiency (WUE = gross primary production (GPP)/evapotranspiration (ET)). Using two observational WUE datasets (i.e., eddy-covariance measurements at 95 sites (526 site-years) and global gridded diagnostic modelling based on existing observation and a data-adaptive machine learning approach), we find a contrasting response of WUE to drought between arid (WUE increases with drought) and semi-arid/sub-humid ecosystems (WUE decreases with drought), which is attributed to different sensitivities of ecosystem processes to changes in hydro-climatic conditions. WUE variability in arid ecosystems is primarily controlled by physical processes (i.e., evaporation), whereas WUE variability in semi-arid/sub-humid regions is mostly regulated by biological processes (i.e., assimilation). We also find that shifts in hydro-climatic conditions over years would intensify the drought effect on WUE. Our findings suggest that future drought events, when coupled with an increase in climate variability, will bring further threats to semi-arid/sub-humid ecosystems and potentially result in biome reorganization, starting with low-productivity and high water-sensitivity grassland. PMID:26983909

  5. The role of stoichiometric flexibility in modelling forest ecosystem responses to nitrogen fertilization.

    PubMed

    Meyerholt, Johannes; Zaehle, Sönke

    2015-12-01

    The response of the forest carbon (C) balance to changes in nitrogen (N) deposition is uncertain, partly owing to diverging representations of N cycle processes in dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs). Here, we examined how different assumptions about the degree of flexibility of the ecosystem's C : N ratios contribute to this uncertainty, and which of these assumptions best correspond to the available data. We applied these assumptions within the framework of a DGVM and compared the results to responses in net primary productivity (NPP), leaf N concentration, and ecosystem N partitioning, observed at 22 forest N fertilization experiments. Employing flexible ecosystem pool C : N ratios generally resulted in the most convincing model-data agreement with respect to production and foliar N responses. An intermediate degree of stoichiometric flexibility in vegetation, where wood C : N ratio changes were decoupled from leaf and root C : N ratio changes, led to consistent simulation of production and N cycle responses to N addition. Assuming fixed C : N ratios or scaling leaf N concentration changes to other tissues, commonly assumed by DGVMs, was not supported by reported data. Between the tested assumptions, the simulated changes in ecosystem C storage relative to changes in C assimilation varied by up to 20%.

  6. ECOLOGICAL RESPONSES TO POLLUTION ABATEMENT: A FRAMEWORK FOR MEASUREMENT AND ASSESSMENT FOR COASTAL ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological Responses to Pollution Abatement: A Framework for Measurement and Assessment for Coastal Ecosystems (Abstract). To be presented at the 16th Biennial Conference of the Estuarine Research Foundation, ERF 2001: An Estuarine Odyssey, 4-8 November 2001, St. Pete Beach, FL. ...

  7. Nonlinear response of stream ecosystem structure to low-level phosphorus enrichment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Anthropogenic inputs of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) create novel environmental conditions that alter biological organization and ecosystem functioning in freshwaters. We studied 38 wadeable streams spanning an N and P gradient to contrast responses of algal and fish assemblages to nutrient enric...

  8. Coordinated Approaches to Quantify Long-Term Ecosystem dynamics in Response to Global Change

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Climate change and its impact on ecosystems are usually assessed at decadal and century time scales. Ecological responses to climate change at those scales are strongly regulated by long-term processes, such as changes in species composition, carbon dynamics in soil and by big trees, and nutrient r...

  9. The cumulative cost of additional wakefulness: dose-response effects on neurobehavioral functions and sleep physiology from chronic sleep restriction and total sleep deprivation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Van Dongen, Hans P A.; Maislin, Greg; Mullington, Janet M.; Dinges, David F.

    2003-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: To inform the debate over whether human sleep can be chronically reduced without consequences, we conducted a dose-response chronic sleep restriction experiment in which waking neurobehavioral and sleep physiological functions were monitored and compared to those for total sleep deprivation. DESIGN: The chronic sleep restriction experiment involved randomization to one of three sleep doses (4 h, 6 h, or 8 h time in bed per night), which were maintained for 14 consecutive days. The total sleep deprivation experiment involved 3 nights without sleep (0 h time in bed). Each study also involved 3 baseline (pre-deprivation) days and 3 recovery days. SETTING: Both experiments were conducted under standardized laboratory conditions with continuous behavioral, physiological and medical monitoring. PARTICIPANTS: A total of n = 48 healthy adults (ages 21-38) participated in the experiments. INTERVENTIONS: Noctumal sleep periods were restricted to 8 h, 6 h or 4 h per day for 14 days, or to 0 h for 3 days. All other sleep was prohibited. RESULTS: Chronic restriction of sleep periods to 4 h or 6 h per night over 14 consecutive days resulted in significant cumulative, dose-dependent deficits in cognitive performance on all tasks. Subjective sleepiness ratings showed an acute response to sleep restriction but only small further increases on subsequent days, and did not significantly differentiate the 6 h and 4 h conditions. Polysomnographic variables and delta power in the non-REM sleep EEG-a putative marker of sleep homeostasis--displayed an acute response to sleep restriction with negligible further changes across the 14 restricted nights. Comparison of chronic sleep restriction to total sleep deprivation showed that the latter resulted in disproportionately large waking neurobehavioral and sleep delta power responses relative to how much sleep was lost. A statistical model revealed that, regardless of the mode of sleep deprivation, lapses in behavioral alertness

  10. (Hydrological and geochemical response and recovery in disturbed arctic ecosystems)

    SciTech Connect

    Everett, K.R.

    1990-08-31

    Ionic concentration of snow prior to meltoff in 1990 as in previous years ranged widely from point to point within the basin. Overland flow began on May 12 and was monitored at closely-spaced time intervals for discharge volume and ionic concentrations to better define this relationship in non-channelized flow. Ionic concentration in both watertrack flow and in Imnavait Creek were closely monitored during meltoff. During the post melt period daily sampling was maintained in watertrack 7 and Imnavait Creek. Rainfall collection and analysis on an eight day schedule was maintained as in previous years. Soil solution composition was monitored on an event basis in conjunction with a similar schedule of precipitation sampling to determine relationships between precipitation and near surface and overland flow. Composition of deeper soil solution was also monitored and sampled for {sup 18}O analyses to determine the age structure of water contributed by the active layer to stream and watertracks. A pilot experiment employing salt tracers was conducted across landscape units to determine rates and pathways of soil solution movement in response to individual rain events. Nutrient addition in rime and fog were also recorded to add detail to the input side of the balance equation.

  11. Dopaminergic responses to self-administered cocaine in Rhesus monkeys do not sensitize following high cumulative intake.

    PubMed

    Bradberry, Charles W; Rubino, Susan R

    2006-05-01

    Sensitization of mesolimbic dopamine (DA) systems by administration of psychostimulants has been observed repeatedly in rodents. This phenomenon has been incorporated into theories of neurobiological adaptation underlying addiction, and is believed to be a mechanism whereby drug-associated cues acquire the ability to control behaviour via a conditioned release of DA. However, we have previously demonstrated in nonhuman primates that drug cues that cause cocaine seeking do not promote a conditioned increase in DA release of sufficient endurance to be measured in 2-min samples. In addition, imaging studies in humans and nonhuman primates that have been chronically exposed to psychostimulants have not demonstrated an increase in DA release upon psychostimulant challenge. Here we report that following 32 weeks of self-administration by rhesus monkeys, no increase over time in the DA response to self-administered cocaine was observed in any striatal subregion or individual animal. These results are consistent with clinical imaging studies showing a lack of DA sensitization, and might provide a mechanism to explain our previous observation that the rodent and primate differ in neurochemical response to drug-associated cues. PMID:16817880

  12. Response of tundra ecosystems to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide: Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Oechel, W.C.

    1986-01-01

    This report includes: a detailed description of the system which we have developed for providing control of CO/sub 2/ and temperature; the effects of this treatment on ecosystem fluxes of CO/sub 2/ at ecosystem; the effects of three years CO/sub 2/ enrichment on the photosynthetic response of important tundra species; effects of mineral nutrition and CO/sub 2/ enrichment on growth, photosynthesis, and biomass partitioning of tundra species; and the effects of CO/sub 2/ on soil respiration.

  13. Responses of desert, semi-arid grassland and scrub-oak ecosystems to elevated CO2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luus, Kristina; Walker, Anthony; de Kauwe, Martin; Hungate, Bruce; Megonigal, J. Patrick; Lu, Meng; Fenstermaker, Lynn; Nowak, Robert; Morgan, Jack; Medlyn, Belinda; Norby, Richard; Zaehle, Sönke

    2014-05-01

    We compared observations from free air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiments at dry (desert, semi-arid grassland and scrub-oak) sites, to predictions from a suite of ecosystem models with differing complexity, ranging from a parsimonious forest growth model (GDAY) to a comprehensive land surface model (OCN). Dry ecosystems have often been predicted to increase in net primary productivity (NPP) and net C uptake over time in response to elevated CO2 (eCO2) because of increased N fixation, and alleviation of drought-stress due to reduced stomatal conductance. However, experiments at the Nevada Desert FACE (NDFF), the semi-arid prairie grassland FACE (PHACE), and the scrub-oak Kennedy Space Center open-top chamber experiment (KSCO), have revealed that dry ecosystems display a more complex biogeochemical response to eCO2. Insights into the processes determining the responses of dry ecosystems to eCO2 were gained by evaluating model estimates against site data, and by dissecting model responses to eCO2. Site level findings at PHACE indicated that eCO2 enabled more rapid C turnover, resulting in a net ecosystem C loss. Conversely, at PHACE, models such as OCN simulated a decrease in N leaching and an increase in NPP because of eCO2, leading to increased C storage. Leaf cover and NPP at KSCO initially increased with eCO2 before declining due to reduced N fixation and increased N leaching. At NDFF, eCO2 only increased plant growth during one abnormally wet year; in subsequent years, soil crust cyanobacteria decreased in abundance, and gains in biomass were not sustained. In OCN simulations at NDFF, eCO2 increased water-use efficiency and NPP in years with average to above-average precipitation. Through examination of the reasons for discrepancies between observed and modeled ecosystem responses to eCO2, processes determining the biogeochemical responses of dry ecosystems to eCO2 were elucidated.

  14. Pteropods on the edge: Cumulative effects of ocean acidification, warming, and deoxygenation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bednaršek, Nina; Harvey, Chris J.; Kaplan, Isaac C.; Feely, Richard A.; Možina, Jasna

    2016-06-01

    We review the state of knowledge of the individual and community responses of euthecosome (shelled) pteropods in the context of global environmental change. In particular, we focus on their responses to ocean acidification, in combination with ocean warming and ocean deoxygenation, as inferred from a growing body of empirical literature, and their relatively nascent place in ecosystem-scale models. Our objectives are: (1) to summarize the threats that these stressors pose to pteropod populations; (2) to demonstrate that pteropods are strong candidate indicators for cumulative effects of OA, warming, and deoxygenation in marine ecosystems; and (3) to provide insight on incorporating pteropods into population and ecosystem models, which will help inform ecosystem-based management of marine resources under future environmental regimes.

  15. Increase of atmospheric CO2: response patterns of a simple terrestrial man-made ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Somova, L A; Pechurkin, N S; Pisman, T I

    2003-01-01

    Simple models of terrestrial ecosystems with a limited number of components are an efficient tool to study the main laws of functioning of populations, including microbial ones, and their communities, as components of natural ecosystems, under variable environmental conditions. Among other factors are the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and limitation of plants' growth by biogenic elements. The main types of ecosystems' responses to changes in environmental conditions (a change in CO2 concentration) have been demonstrated in a "plants-rhizospheric microorganisms-artificial soil" simple experimental system. The mathematical model of interactions between plants and microorganisms under normal and elevated atmospheric CO2 and limitation by nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) yielded a qualitative agreement between calculated and experimental values of limiting substances concentrations and release rates of exudates.

  16. Modeling the response of plants and ecosystems to elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Reynolds, J.F.; Hilbert, D.W.; Chen, Jia-lin; Harley, P.C.; Kemp, P.R.; Leadley, P.W.

    1992-03-01

    While the exact effects of elevated CO{sub 2} on global climate are unknown, there is a growing consensus among climate modelers that global temperature and precipitation will increase, but that these changes will be non-uniform over the Earth`s surface. In addition to these potential climatic changes, CO{sub 2} also directly affects plants via photosynthesis, respiration, and stomatal closure. Global climate change, in concert with these direct effects of CO{sub 2} on plants, could have a significant impact on both natural and agricultural ecosystems. Society`s ability to prepare for, and respond to, such changes depends largely on the ability of climate and ecosystem researchers to provide predictions of regional level ecosystem responses with sufficient confidence and adequate lead time.

  17. Modeling the response of plants and ecosystems to elevated CO sub 2 and climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Reynolds, J.F.; Hilbert, D.W.; Chen, Jia-lin; Harley, P.C.; Kemp, P.R.; Leadley, P.W.

    1992-03-01

    While the exact effects of elevated CO{sub 2} on global climate are unknown, there is a growing consensus among climate modelers that global temperature and precipitation will increase, but that these changes will be non-uniform over the Earth's surface. In addition to these potential climatic changes, CO{sub 2} also directly affects plants via photosynthesis, respiration, and stomatal closure. Global climate change, in concert with these direct effects of CO{sub 2} on plants, could have a significant impact on both natural and agricultural ecosystems. Society's ability to prepare for, and respond to, such changes depends largely on the ability of climate and ecosystem researchers to provide predictions of regional level ecosystem responses with sufficient confidence and adequate lead time.

  18. Global biodiversity, stoichiometry and ecosystem function responses to human-induced C-N-P imbalances.

    PubMed

    Carnicer, Jofre; Sardans, Jordi; Stefanescu, Constantí; Ubach, Andreu; Bartrons, Mireia; Asensio, Dolores; Peñuelas, Josep

    2015-01-01

    Global change analyses usually consider biodiversity as a global asset that needs to be preserved. Biodiversity is frequently analysed mainly as a response variable affected by diverse environmental drivers. However, recent studies highlight that gradients of biodiversity are associated with gradual changes in the distribution of key dominant functional groups characterized by distinctive traits and stoichiometry, which in turn often define the rates of ecosystem processes and nutrient cycling. Moreover, pervasive links have been reported between biodiversity, food web structure, ecosystem function and species stoichiometry. Here we review current global stoichiometric gradients and how future distributional shifts in key functional groups may in turn influence basic ecosystem functions (production, nutrient cycling, decomposition) and therefore could exert a feedback effect on stoichiometric gradients. The C-N-P stoichiometry of most primary producers (phytoplankton, algae, plants) has been linked to functional trait continua (i.e. to major axes of phenotypic variation observed in inter-specific analyses of multiple traits). In contrast, the C-N-P stoichiometry of higher-level consumers remains less precisely quantified in many taxonomic groups. We show that significant links are observed between trait continua across trophic levels. In spite of recent advances, the future reciprocal feedbacks between key functional groups, biodiversity and ecosystem functions remain largely uncertain. The reported evidence, however, highlights the key role of stoichiometric traits and suggests the need of a progressive shift towards an ecosystemic and stoichiometric perspective in global biodiversity analyses. PMID:25270104

  19. Global biodiversity, stoichiometry and ecosystem function responses to human-induced C-N-P imbalances.

    PubMed

    Carnicer, Jofre; Sardans, Jordi; Stefanescu, Constantí; Ubach, Andreu; Bartrons, Mireia; Asensio, Dolores; Peñuelas, Josep

    2015-01-01

    Global change analyses usually consider biodiversity as a global asset that needs to be preserved. Biodiversity is frequently analysed mainly as a response variable affected by diverse environmental drivers. However, recent studies highlight that gradients of biodiversity are associated with gradual changes in the distribution of key dominant functional groups characterized by distinctive traits and stoichiometry, which in turn often define the rates of ecosystem processes and nutrient cycling. Moreover, pervasive links have been reported between biodiversity, food web structure, ecosystem function and species stoichiometry. Here we review current global stoichiometric gradients and how future distributional shifts in key functional groups may in turn influence basic ecosystem functions (production, nutrient cycling, decomposition) and therefore could exert a feedback effect on stoichiometric gradients. The C-N-P stoichiometry of most primary producers (phytoplankton, algae, plants) has been linked to functional trait continua (i.e. to major axes of phenotypic variation observed in inter-specific analyses of multiple traits). In contrast, the C-N-P stoichiometry of higher-level consumers remains less precisely quantified in many taxonomic groups. We show that significant links are observed between trait continua across trophic levels. In spite of recent advances, the future reciprocal feedbacks between key functional groups, biodiversity and ecosystem functions remain largely uncertain. The reported evidence, however, highlights the key role of stoichiometric traits and suggests the need of a progressive shift towards an ecosystemic and stoichiometric perspective in global biodiversity analyses.

  20. Response of carbon fluxes to water relations in a savanna ecosystem in South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kutsch, W. L.; Hanan, N.; Scholes, R. J.; McHugh, I.; Kubheka, W.; Eckhardt, H.; Williams, C.

    2008-05-01

    The principal mechanisms that connect carbon fluxes with water relations in savanna ecosystems were studied by using eddy covariance in a savanna ecosystem at Kruger National Park, South Africa. Since the annual drought and rewetting cycle is a major factor influencing the function of savanna ecosystems, this work focused on the close inter-connection between water relations and carbon fluxes. Data from a nine-month measuring campaign lasting from the early wet season to the late dry season were used. Total ecosystem respiration showed highest values at the onset of the growing season, a slightly lower plateau during the main part of the growing season and a continuous decrease during the transition towards the dry season. The regulation of canopy conductance was changed in two ways: changes due to phenology during the course of the growing season and short-term acclimation to soil water conditions. The most constant parameter was water use efficiency that was influenced by VPD during the day but the VPD response curve of water usage did change only slightly during the course of the growing season and decreased by about 30% during the transition from wet to dry season. The regulation of canopy conductance and photosynthetic capacity were closely related. This observation meets recent leaf-level findings that stomatal closure triggers down-regulation of Rubisco during drought. Our results may show the effects of these processes on the ecosystem scale.

  1. Response of carbon fluxes to water relations in a savanna ecosystem in South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kutsch, W. L.; Hanan, N.; Scholes, B.; McHugh, I.; Kubheka, W.; Eckhardt, H.; Williams, C.

    2008-12-01

    The principal mechanisms that connect carbon fluxes with water relations in savanna ecosystems were studied by using eddy covariance method in a savanna ecosystem at Kruger National Park, South Africa. Since the annual drought and rewetting cycle is a major factor influencing the function of savanna ecosystems, this work focused on the close inter-connection between water relations and carbon fluxes. Data from a nine-month measuring campaign lasting from the early wet season to the late dry season were used. Total ecosystem respiration showed highest values at the onset of the growing season, a slightly lower plateau during the main part of the growing season and a continuous decrease during the transition towards the dry season. The regulation of canopy conductance was changed in two ways: changes due to phenology during the course of the growing season and short-term acclimation to soil water conditions. The most constant parameter was water use efficiency that was influenced by VPD during the day but the VPD response curve of water usage did change only slightly during the course of the growing season and decreased by about 30% during the transition from wet to dry season. The regulation of canopy conductance and photosynthetic capacity were closely related. This observation meets recent leaf-level findings that stomatal closure triggers down-regulation of Rubisco during drought. Our results may show the effects of these processes on the ecosystem scale.

  2. Ecosystem response to multiple drought events: the role of legacy effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, M.; Hoover, D. L.; Wilcox, K. R.; Felton, A. J.; Knapp, A.

    2015-12-01

    Climate extremes, such as drought and heat waves, are forecast to be more frequent and severe with climate change. As a consequence, such events will become increasingly important drivers of future ecosystem dynamics and function. We experimentally imposed two extreme growing season drought events in a central US grassland to assess the impacts of multiple droughts on ecosystem response and recovery dynamics. The first extreme drought (with growing season precipitation totals lower than the driest two year period of the 1930s US Dust Bowl)reduced aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) below the lowest level measured in this grassland for almost thirty years. The extreme reduction in ecosystem function with the first two-year drought was a consequence of reduced productivity of the two dominant functional groups in this grassland - C4 grasses and C3 forbs. However, the most abundant (dominant) C3 forb was negatively impacted by the drought more than the dominant C4 grass. This differential sensitivity led to a reordering of species abundances within the plant community. Yet, despite this large shift in plant community composition, which persisted post-drought, ANPP recovered completely the year after drought. This rapid recovery in function was due to a rapid demographic response by the dominant C4 grass, which compensated for loss of the dominant C3 forb. Because of this shift in composition to greater C4 grass dominance, we expected that the second drought would have a greater impact on ecosystem function of plots that had not experienced drought. However, contrary to these expectations, previously droughted plots were more sensitive to drought than those plots that had not experienced drought. Thus, the legacy of drought (shift in community composition) made this grassland more sensitive to subsequent drought. Overall, our results suggest that low resistance of ecosystem function to an extreme climatic event does not preclude rapid ecosystem recovery

  3. Diverging Plant and Ecosystem Strategies in Response to Climate Change in the High Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maseyk, K. S.; Welker, J. M.; Czimczik, C. I.; Lupascu, M.; Lett, C.; Seibt, U. H.

    2014-12-01

    Increasing summer precipitation means Arctic growing seasons are becoming wetter as well as warmer, but the effect of these coupled changes on tundra ecosystem functioning remains largely unknown. We have determined how warmer and wetter summers affect coupled carbon-water cycling in a High Arctic polar semi-desert ecosystem in NW Greenland. Measurements of ecosystem CO2 and water fluxes throughout the growing season and leaf ecophysiological traits (gas exchange, morphology, leaf chemistry) were made at a long-term climate change experiment. After 9 years of exposure to warmer (+ 4°C) and / or wetter (+ 50% precipitation) treatments, we found diverging plant strategies between the responses to warming with or without an increase in summer precipitation. Warming alone resulted in an increase in leaf nitrogen, mesophyll conductance and leaf-mass per area and higher rates of leaf-level photosynthesis, but with warming and wetting combined leaf traits remain largely unchanged. However, total leaf area increased with warming plus wetting but was unchanged with warming alone. The combined effect of these leaf trait and canopy adjustments is a decrease in ecosystem water-use efficiency (the ratio of net productivity to evapotranspiration) with warming only, but a substantial increase with combined warming and wetting. We conclude that increasing summer precipitation will alter tundra ecohydrological responses to warming; that leaf-level changes in ecophysiological traits have an upward cascading consequence for ecosystem and land surface-climate interactions; and the current relative resistance of High Arctic ecosystems to warming may mask biochemical and carbon cycling changes already underway.

  4. Modeled responses of terrestrial ecosystems to elevated atmospheric CO2: A comparison of simulations by the biogeochemistry models of the Vegetation/Ecosystem Modeling and Analysis Project (VEMAP)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pan, Y.; Melillo, J.M.; McGuire, A.D.; Kicklighter, D.W.; Pitelka, L.F.; Hibbard, K.; Pierce, L.L.; Running, S.W.; Ojima, D.S.; Parton, W.J.; Schimel, D.S.; Borchers, J.; Neilson, R.; Fisher, H.H.; Kittel, T.G.F.; Rossenbloom, N.A.; Fox, S.; Haxeltine, A.; Prentice, I.C.; Sitch, S.; Janetos, A.; McKeown, R.; Nemani, R.; Painter, T.; Rizzo, B.; Smith, T.; Woodward, F.I.

    1998-01-01

    Although there is a great deal of information concerning responses to increases in atmospheric CO2 at the tissue and plant levels, there are substantially fewer studies that have investigated ecosystem-level responses in the context of integrated carbon, water, and nutrient cycles. Because our understanding of ecosystem responses to elevated CO2 is incomplete, modeling is a tool that can be used to investigate the role of plant and soil interactions in the response of terrestrial ecosystems to elevated CO2. In this study, we analyze the responses of net primary production (NPP) to doubled CO2 from 355 to 710 ppmv among three biogeochemistry models in the Vegetation/Ecosystem Modeling and Analysis Project (VEMAP): BIOME-BGC (BioGeochemical Cycles), Century, and the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM). For the conterminous United States, doubled atmospheric CO2 causes NPP to increase by 5% in Century, 8% in TEM, and 11% in BIOME-BGC. Multiple regression analyses between the NPP response to doubled CO2 and the mean annual temperature and annual precipitation of biomes or grid cells indicate that there are negative relationships between precipitation and the response of NPP to doubled CO2 for all three models. In contrast, there are different relationships between temperature and the response of NPP to doubled CO2 for the three models: there is a negative relationship in the responses of BIOME-BGC, no relationship in the responses of Century, and a positive relationship in the responses of TEM. In BIOME-BGC, the NPP response to doubled CO2 is controlled by the change in transpiration associated with reduced leaf conductance to water vapor. This change affects soil water, then leaf area development and, finally, NPP. In Century, the response of NPP to doubled CO2 is controlled by changes in decomposition rates associated with increased soil moisture that results from reduced evapotranspiration. This change affects nitrogen availability for plants, which influences NPP. In

  5. Modelling marine community responses to climate-driven species redistribution to guide monitoring and adaptive ecosystem-based management.

    PubMed

    Marzloff, Martin Pierre; Melbourne-Thomas, Jessica; Hamon, Katell G; Hoshino, Eriko; Jennings, Sarah; van Putten, Ingrid E; Pecl, Gretta T

    2016-07-01

    As a consequence of global climate-driven changes, marine ecosystems are experiencing polewards redistributions of species - or range shifts - across taxa and throughout latitudes worldwide. Research on these range shifts largely focuses on understanding and predicting changes in the distribution of individual species. The ecological effects of marine range shifts on ecosystem structure and functioning, as well as human coastal communities, can be large, yet remain difficult to anticipate and manage. Here, we use qualitative modelling of system feedback to understand the cumulative impacts of multiple species shifts in south-eastern Australia, a global hotspot for ocean warming. We identify range-shifting species that can induce trophic cascades and affect ecosystem dynamics and productivity, and evaluate the potential effectiveness of alternative management interventions to mitigate these impacts. Our results suggest that the negative ecological impacts of multiple simultaneous range shifts generally add up. Thus, implementing whole-of-ecosystem management strategies and regular monitoring of range-shifting species of ecological concern are necessary to effectively intervene against undesirable consequences of marine range shifts at the regional scale. Our study illustrates how modelling system feedback with only limited qualitative information about ecosystem structure and range-shifting species can predict ecological consequences of multiple co-occurring range shifts, guide ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change and help prioritise future research and monitoring. PMID:26990671

  6. Modelling marine community responses to climate-driven species redistribution to guide monitoring and adaptive ecosystem-based management.

    PubMed

    Marzloff, Martin Pierre; Melbourne-Thomas, Jessica; Hamon, Katell G; Hoshino, Eriko; Jennings, Sarah; van Putten, Ingrid E; Pecl, Gretta T

    2016-07-01

    As a consequence of global climate-driven changes, marine ecosystems are experiencing polewards redistributions of species - or range shifts - across taxa and throughout latitudes worldwide. Research on these range shifts largely focuses on understanding and predicting changes in the distribution of individual species. The ecological effects of marine range shifts on ecosystem structure and functioning, as well as human coastal communities, can be large, yet remain difficult to anticipate and manage. Here, we use qualitative modelling of system feedback to understand the cumulative impacts of multiple species shifts in south-eastern Australia, a global hotspot for ocean warming. We identify range-shifting species that can induce trophic cascades and affect ecosystem dynamics and productivity, and evaluate the potential effectiveness of alternative management interventions to mitigate these impacts. Our results suggest that the negative ecological impacts of multiple simultaneous range shifts generally add up. Thus, implementing whole-of-ecosystem management strategies and regular monitoring of range-shifting species of ecological concern are necessary to effectively intervene against undesirable consequences of marine range shifts at the regional scale. Our study illustrates how modelling system feedback with only limited qualitative information about ecosystem structure and range-shifting species can predict ecological consequences of multiple co-occurring range shifts, guide ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change and help prioritise future research and monitoring.

  7. Linking Biological Responses of Terrestrial N Eutrophication to the Final Ecosystem Goods and Services Classification System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, M. D.; Clark, C.; Blett, T.

    2015-12-01

    The response of a biological indicator to N deposition can indicate that an ecosystem has surpassed a critical load and is at risk of significant change. The importance of this exceedance is often difficult to digest by policy makers and public audiences if the change is not linked to a familiar ecosystem endpoint. A workshop was held to bring together scientists, resource managers, and policy makers with expertise in ecosystem functioning, critical loads, and economics in an effort to identify the ecosystem services impacted by air pollution. This was completed within the framework of the Final Ecosystem Goods and Services (FEGS) Classification System to produce a product that identified distinct interactions between society and the effects of nitrogen pollution. From each change in a biological indicator, we created multiple ecological production functions to identify the cascading effects of the change to a measureable ecosystem service that a user interacts with either by enjoying, consuming, or appreciating the good or service, or using it as an input in the human economy. This FEGS metric was then linked to a beneficiary group that interacts with the service. Chains detailing the links from the biological indicator to the beneficiary group were created for aquatic and terrestrial acidification and eutrophication at the workshop, and here we present a subset of the workshop results by highlighting for 9 different ecosystems affected by terrestrial eutrophication. A total of 213 chains that linked to 37 unique FEGS metrics and impacted 15 beneficiary groups were identified based on nitrogen deposition mediated changes to biological indicators. The chains within each ecosystem were combined in flow charts to show the complex, overlapping relationships among biological indicators, ecosystem services, and beneficiary groups. Strength of relationship values were calculated for each chain based on support for the link in the scientific literature. We produced the

  8. [Responses of soil properties to ecosystem degradation in Karst region of northwest Guangxi, China].

    PubMed

    Wei, Ya-wei; Su, Yi-rong; Chen, Xiang-bi; He, Xun-yang

    2010-05-01

    Four typical ecosystems, i.e., maize-sweet potato rotational cultivated land (KMS), grazing grassland burned annually in winter (KGB), natural restoration land (KNR), and primary forest land (KPF), in Karst region of northwest Guangxi were selected to investigate the responses of soil nutrients (C, N and P), soil microbial biomass, and soil structure to the degradation of ecosystem. The contents of soil organic C, total N and P, and soil microbial biomass C, N, and P were significantly higher in KPF than in KMS, KGB, and KNR (P < 0.01). In the latter three degraded ecosystems, the contents of soil organic C and total N were in the sequence of KNR>KGB> KMS but the difference was not significant, soil total P content in KMS (0.87 g x kg(-1)) was 2.07 and 9.67 times of that in KNR and KGB, respectively (P < 0.01), and soil microbial biomass C, N and P contents were significantly higher in KGB and KNR than in KMS (P < 0.05). The soil microbial biomass C was significantly higher in KGB than in KNR (P < 0.05), but there were no significant differences in soil microbial biomass N and P between the two ecosystems. These results illustrated that the reduction of human activity could induce a slight increase of soil organic C in Karst degraded ecosystems, and proper grazing and natural restoration could be the feasible modes for the restoration of degraded ecosystem. Soil microbial biomass was more sensitive in response to the change of ecosystem, being able to be used as a sensitive indicator to reflect the change of degraded ecosystem in Karst region. In KPF, KNR, and KGB, soil water-stable macro-aggregates (> 0.25 mm) accounted for more than 70%, and dominated by >2 mm aggregates; while in KMS, soil water-stable macro-aggregates only occupied 40.34%, and dominated by 2-0.25 mm aggregates. The destruction rate of soil structure in KMS, KGB, KNR, and KPF was 51.62%, 23.48%, 9.09%, and 9.46%, respectively (P < 0.05), indicating that human disturbance or farming practice

  9. Modeling forest ecosystem responses to elevated carbon dioxide and ozone using artificial neural networks.

    PubMed

    Larsen, Peter E; Cseke, Leland J; Miller, R Michael; Collart, Frank R

    2014-10-21

    Rising atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide and ozone will impact productivity and carbon sequestration in forest ecosystems. The scale of this process and the potential economic consequences provide an incentive for the development of models to predict the types and rates of ecosystem responses and feedbacks that result from and influence of climate change. In this paper, we use phenotypic and molecular data derived from the Aspen Free Air CO2 Enrichment site (Aspen-FACE) to evaluate modeling approaches for ecosystem responses to changing conditions. At FACE, it was observed that different aspen clones exhibit clone-specific responses to elevated atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide and ozone. To identify the molecular basis for these observations, we used artificial neural networks (ANN) to examine above and below-ground community phenotype responses to elevated carbon dioxide, elevated ozone and gene expression profiles. The aspen community models generated using this approach identified specific genes and subnetworks of genes associated with variable sensitivities for aspen clones. The ANN model also predicts specific co-regulated gene clusters associated with differential sensitivity to elevated carbon dioxide and ozone in aspen species. The results suggest ANN is an effective approach to predict relevant gene expression changes resulting from environmental perturbation and provides useful information for the rational design of future biological experiments.

  10. Sensitivity of mountain ecosystems to human-accelerated soil erosion. Contrasting geomorphic response between tropical and semi-arid ecosystems.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanacker, Veerle; Bellin, Nicolas; Schoonejans, Jerome; Molina, Armando; Kubik, Peter W.

    2014-05-01

    Human-induced land cover changes are causing important adverse effects on the ecological services rendered by mountain ecosystems, and the number of case-studies of the impact of humans on soil erosion and sediment yield has mounted rapidly. A modelling framework that is specifically adapted to mountain environments is currently lacking. Most studies make use of general river basin models that were originally parameterized and calibrated for temperate, low relief landscapes. Transposing these modelling concepts directly to steep environments with shallow and stony soils often leads to unrealistic model predictions, as model input parameters are rarely calibrated for the range of environmental conditions found in mountain regions. Here, we present a conceptual model that evaluates erosion regulation as a function of human disturbances in vegetation cover. The basic idea behind this model is that soil erosion mechanisms are independent of human impact, but that the frequency-magnitude distributions of erosion rates change as a response to human disturbances. Pre-disturbance (or natural) erosion rates are derived from in-situ produced 10Be concentrations in river sediment, while post-disturbance (or modern) erosion rates are derived from sedimentation rates in small catchments. In its simplicity, the model uses vegetation cover change as a proxy of human disturbance in a given vegetation system. The model is then calibrated with field measurements from two mountainous sites with strongly different vegetation dynamics, climatic and geological settings: the Tropical Andes, and the Spanish Betic Cordillera. Natural erosion processes are important in mountainous sites, and natural erosion benchmarks are primordial to assess human-induced changes in erosion rates. While the Spanish Betic Cordillera is commonly characterized as a degraded landscape, there is no significant change in erosion due to human disturbance for uncultivated sites. The opposite is true for the

  11. Integrating Climate and Ecosystem-Response Sciences in Temperate Western North American Mountains: The CIRMOUNT Initiative

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Millar, C. I.; Fagre, D. B.

    2004-12-01

    Mountain regions are uniquely sensitive to changes in climate, vulnerable to climate effects on biotic and physical factors of intense social concern, and serve as critical early-warning systems of climate impacts. Escalating demands on western North American (WNA) mountain ecosystems increasingly stress both natural resources and rural community capacities; changes in mountain systems cascade to issues of national concern. Although WNA has long been a focus for climate- and climate-related environmental research, these efforts remain disciplinary and poorly integrated, hindering interpretation into policy and management. Knowledge is further hampered by lack of standardized climate monitoring stations at high-elevations in WNA. An initiative is emerging as the Consortium for Integrated Climate Research in Western Mountains (CIRMOUNT) whose primary goal is to improve knowledge of high-elevation climate systems and to better integrate physical, ecological, and social sciences relevant to climate change, ecosystem response, and natural-resource policy in WNA. CIRMOUNT seeks to focus research on climate variability and ecosystem response (progress in understanding synoptic scale processes) that improves interpretation of linkages between ecosystem functions and human processing (progress in understanding human-environment integration), which in turn would yield applicable information and understanding on key societal issues such as mountains as water towers, biodiversity, carbon forest sinks, and wildland hazards such as fire and forest dieback (progress in understanding ecosystem services and key thresholds). Achieving such integration depends first on implementing a network of high-elevation climate-monitoring stations, and linking these with integrated ecosystem-response studies. Achievements since 2003 include convening the 2004 Mountain Climate Sciences Symposium (1, 2) and several special sessions at technical conferences; initiating a biennial mountain climate

  12. Quantifying Direct and Indirect Effects of Elevated CO2 on Ecosystem Response

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fatichi, S.; Leuzinger, S.; Paschalis, A.; Donnellan-Barraclough, A.; Hovenden, M. J.; Langley, J. A.

    2015-12-01

    Increasing concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide are expected to affect carbon assimilation, evapotranspiration (ET) and ultimately plant growth. Direct leaf biochemical effects have been widely investigated, while indirect effects, although documented, are very difficult to quantify in experiments. We hypothesize that the interaction of direct and indirect effects is a possible reason for conflicting results concerning the magnitude of CO2 fertilization effects across different climates and ecosystems. A mechanistic ecohydrological model (Tethys-Chloris) is used to investigate the relative contribution of direct (through plant physiology) and indirect (via stomatal closure and thus soil moisture, and changes in Leaf Area Index, LAI) effects of elevated CO2 across a number of ecosystems. We specifically ask in which ecosystems and climate indirect effects are expected to be largest. Data and boundary conditions from flux-towers and free air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiments are used to force the model and evaluate its performance. Numerical results suggest that indirect effects of elevated CO2, through water savings and increased LAI, are very significant and sometimes larger than direct effects. Indirect effects tend to be considerably larger in water-limited ecosystems, while direct effects correlate positively with mean air temperature. Increasing CO2 from 375 to 550 ppm causes a total effect on Net Primary Production in the order of 15 to 40% and on ET from 0 to -8%, depending on climate and ecosystem type. The total CO2 effect has a significant negative correlation with the wetness index and positive correlation with vapor pressure deficit. These results provide a more general mechanistic understanding of relatively short-term (less than 20 years) implications of elevated CO2 on ecosystem response and suggest plausible magnitudes for the expected changes.

  13. Environmental influence on the response of aquatic laboratory ecosystems to a toxicant

    SciTech Connect

    Woltering, D.M.

    1981-10-01

    The influence of prevailing environmental conditions on population and community responses to chronic toxicant perturbation was addressed in a 36-month laboratory ecosystem study. A series of 16 aquatic communities incorporating guppy, amphipod, snail, planaria, algal, and microbial populations were established in 750-L (200-gal) fiberglass tanks and were monitored monthly for changes in population biomasses. The environmental variables were the exploitation levels of the fish populations and the energy input and habitat availability. The development and resultant near steady states of the predator, prey, and competitor populations were represented graphically using phase plane analysis. Both the density-dependent and the time-dependent responses of the laboratory ecosystems to ''established'' sublethal dieldrin exposure varied according to the prevailing levels of environmental conditions. The ecologically different outcomes ranged from substantial perturbation, including mortalities but with eventual recovery to the preexposure population densities and community structure, to the extinction of a major population as a result of sublethal effects.

  14. Response of western mountain ecosystems to climatic variability and change: the Western Mountain Initiative

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stephenson, Nathan L.; Peterson, Dave; Fagre, Daniel B.; Allen, Craig D.; McKenzie, Donald; Baron, Jill S.; O'Brian, Kelly

    2007-01-01

    Mountain ecosystems within our national parks and other protected areas provide valuable goods and services such as clean water, biodiversity conservation, and recreational opportunities, but their potential responses to expected climatic changes are inadequately understood. The Western Mountain Initiative (WMI) is a collaboration of scientists whose research focuses on understanding and predicting responses of western mountain ecosystems to climatic variability and change. It is a legacy of the Global Change Research Program initiated by the National Park Service (NPS) in 1991 and continued by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to this day as part of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (http://www.climatescience.gov/). All WMI scientists are active participants in CIRMOUNT, and seek to further its goals.

  15. Response of western mountain ecosystems to climatic variability and change: The Western Mountain Initiative

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stephenson, Nathan L.; Peterson, David A.; Fagre, Daniel B.; Allen, Craig; McKenzie, Donald; Baron, Jill; O'Brien, K.

    2006-01-01

    Mountain ecosystems within our national parks and other protected areas provide valuable goods and services such as clean water, biodiversity conservation, and recreational opportunities, but their potential responses to expected climatic changes are inadequately understood. The Western Mountain Initiative (WMI) is a collaboration of scientists whose research focuses on understanding and predicting responses of western mountain ecosystems to climatic variability and change. It is a legacy of the Global Change Research Program initiated by the National Park Service (NPS) in 1991 and continued by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to this day as part of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (http://www.climatescience.gov/). All WMI scientists are active participants in CIRMOUNT, and seek to further its goals.

  16. Responses of Tundra Ecosystems to Environmental Change: Observational and Experimental Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henry, G. H.

    2004-05-01

    Evidence of environmental changes due to human-enhanced climate warming continues to accumulate from polar regions. Responses in tundra and taiga ecosystems to climate changes have been variable because of the wide range in process response rates, from metabolic processes to adjustments in ecosystem carbon balance, and the variability in environmental settings across local to regional scales. For example, strong increases in rates of plant growth and changes in species composition and abundance have been observed in parts of the Low Arctic, but very little change has been measured in high arctic tundra. A dramatic increase in the cover of deciduous shrubs in areas of the western North American Arctic is predicted to result in positive feedbacks to soil temperature, through increased surface roughness and snow depth, and to atmospheric heating by reducing albedo. Increased shrub cover has also been found in long-term experimental warming studies conducted throughout the tundra biome as part of the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX). Warming is also affecting the carbon balance of tundra and taiga, which hold 25% of the soil carbon of global terrestrial ecosystems. However, trajectories of these changes are largely unknown for most northern systems, and differ because of initial conditions of the carbon and nutrient economy. Over the longer-term, the positive increases in plant growth may be constrained by negative feedbacks to nutrient cycling, as increases in C:N ratios of plant litter slow the release of nitrogen to soils. However, nitrogen availability has been shown to increase in response to short-term warming. In this presentation, I will review the responses of tundra ecosystems to climate variability and change, both through observational and experimental studies.

  17. Divergent ecosystem responses within a benthic marine community to ocean acidification.

    PubMed

    Kroeker, Kristy J; Micheli, Fiorenza; Gambi, Maria Cristina; Martz, Todd R

    2011-08-30

    Ocean acidification is predicted to impact all areas of the oceans and affect a diversity of marine organisms. However, the diversity of responses among species prevents clear predictions about the impact of acidification at the ecosystem level. Here, we used shallow water CO(2) vents in the Mediterranean Sea as a model system to examine emergent ecosystem responses to ocean acidification in rocky reef communities. We assessed in situ benthic invertebrate communities in three distinct pH zones (ambient, low, and extreme low), which differed in both the mean and variability of seawater pH along a continuous gradient. We found fewer taxa, reduced taxonomic evenness, and lower biomass in the extreme low pH zones. However, the number of individuals did not differ among pH zones, suggesting that there is density compensation through population blooms of small acidification-tolerant taxa. Furthermore, the trophic structure of the invertebrate community shifted to fewer trophic groups and dominance by generalists in extreme low pH, suggesting that there may be a simplification of food webs with ocean acidification. Despite high variation in individual species' responses, our findings indicate that ocean acidification decreases the diversity, biomass, and trophic complexity of benthic marine communities. These results suggest that a loss of biodiversity and ecosystem function is expected under extreme acidification scenarios.

  18. Retrospective stable isotope analysis reveals ecosystem responses to river regulation over the last century.

    PubMed

    Turner, Thomas F; Krabbenhoft, Trevor I; Collyer, Michael L; Krabbenhoft, Corey A; Edwards, Melanie S; Sharp, Zachary D

    2015-12-01

    Disruption of natural flow regimes, nutrient pollution, and other consequences of human population growth and development have impacted most major rivers of the world. Alarming losses of aquatic biodiversity coincide with human-caused river alteration, but effects of biotic homogenization on aquatic ecosystem processes are not as well documented. This is because unaltered systems for comparison are scarce, and some ecosystem-wide effects may take decades to manifest. We evaluated aquatic ecosystem responses to extensive river- floodplain engineering and nutrient addition in the Rio Grande of southwestern North America as revealed by changes in trophic structure of, and resource availability to, the fish community. Stable Isotope Analysis (SIA) was conducted on museum-preserved fishes collected over a 70-year period of intensive river management and exponential human population growth. Trophic complexity and resource heterogeneity for fish consumers (measured as "isotopic niche breadth") decreased following sediment deprivation and channelization, and these effects persist into the present. Increased nutrient inputs led to δ15N enrichment in the entire fish community at all affected sites, and a shift to autochthonous sources of carbon at the most proximal site downstream of wastewater release, probably via bottom-up transfer. Overall, retrospective SIA of apex consumers suggests radical change and functional impairment of a floodplain river ecosystem already marked by significant biodiversity loss.

  19. Retrospective stable isotope analysis reveals ecosystem responses to river regulation over the last century.

    PubMed

    Turner, Thomas F; Krabbenhoft, Trevor I; Collyer, Michael L; Krabbenhoft, Corey A; Edwards, Melanie S; Sharp, Zachary D

    2015-12-01

    Disruption of natural flow regimes, nutrient pollution, and other consequences of human population growth and development have impacted most major rivers of the world. Alarming losses of aquatic biodiversity coincide with human-caused river alteration, but effects of biotic homogenization on aquatic ecosystem processes are not as well documented. This is because unaltered systems for comparison are scarce, and some ecosystem-wide effects may take decades to manifest. We evaluated aquatic ecosystem responses to extensive river- floodplain engineering and nutrient addition in the Rio Grande of southwestern North America as revealed by changes in trophic structure of, and resource availability to, the fish community. Stable Isotope Analysis (SIA) was conducted on museum-preserved fishes collected over a 70-year period of intensive river management and exponential human population growth. Trophic complexity and resource heterogeneity for fish consumers (measured as "isotopic niche breadth") decreased following sediment deprivation and channelization, and these effects persist into the present. Increased nutrient inputs led to δ15N enrichment in the entire fish community at all affected sites, and a shift to autochthonous sources of carbon at the most proximal site downstream of wastewater release, probably via bottom-up transfer. Overall, retrospective SIA of apex consumers suggests radical change and functional impairment of a floodplain river ecosystem already marked by significant biodiversity loss. PMID:26909427

  20. [Microbial response mechanism for drying and rewetting effect on soil respiration in grassland ecosystem: a review].

    PubMed

    He, Yun-Long; Qi, Yu-Chun; Dong, Yun-She; Peng, Qin; Sun, Liang-Jie; Jia, Jun-Qiang; Guo, Shu-Fang; Yan, Zhong-Qing

    2014-11-01

    As one of the most important and wide distribution community type among terrestrial ecosystems, grassland ecosystem plays a critical role in the global carbon cycles and climate regulation. China has extremely rich grassland resources, which have a huge carbon sequestration potential and are an important part of the global carbon cycle. Drying and rewetting is a common natural phenomenon in soil, which might accelerate soil carbon mineralization process, increase soil respiration and exert profound influence on microbial activity and community structure. Under the background of the global change, the changes in rainfall capacity, strength and frequency would inevitably affect soil drying and wetting cycles, and thus change the microbial activity and community structure as well as soil respiration, and then exert important influence on global carbon budget. In this paper, related references in recent ten years were reviewed. The source of soil released, the trend of soil respiration over time and the relationship between soil respiration and microbial biomass, microbial activity and microbial community structure during the processes of dry-rewetting cycle were analyzed and summarized, in order to better understand the microbial response mechanism for drying and rewetting effecting on soil respiration in grassland ecosystem, and provide a certain theoretical basis for more accurate evaluation and prediction of future global carbon balance of terrestrial ecosystems and climate change.

  1. Ecosystem Structure Changes in the Turkish Seas as a Response to Overfishing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gazihan Akoglu, Ayse; Salihoglu, Baris; Akoglu, Ekin; Kideys, Ahmet E.

    2013-04-01

    Human population in Turkey has grown more than five-fold since its establishment in 1923 and more than 73 million people are currently living in the country. Turkey is surrounded by partially connected seas (the Black Sea, the Sea of Marmara, the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea) each of which has significantly different productivity levels and ecosystem characteristics. Increasing human population with its growing socio-economic needs has generated an intensive fishing pressure on the fish stocks in its exclusive economic zone. Fishing grounds in the surrounding seas were exploited with different fishing intensities depending upon their productivity level and catch rates. Hence, the responses of these different ecosystems to overfishing have been realized differently. In this study, changes of the ecosystem structures in the Turkish Seas were comparatively investigated by ecosystem indices such as Marine Trophic Index (MTI), Fishing in Balance (FiB) and Primary Production Required (PPR) to assess the degree of sustainability of the fish stocks for future generations.

  2. Ecosystem properties self-organize in response to a directional fog-vegetation interaction.

    PubMed

    Stanton, Daniel E; Armesto, Juan J; Hedin, Lars O

    2014-05-01

    Feedbacks between vegetation and resource inputs can lead to the local, self-organization of ecosystem properties. In particular, feedbacks in response to directional resources (e.g., coastal fog, slope runoff) can create complex spatial patterns, such as vegetation banding. Although similar feedbacks are thought to be involved in the development of ecosystems, clear empirical examples are rare. We created a simple model of a fog-influenced, temperate rainforest in central Chile, which allows the comparison of natural banding patterns to simulations of various putative mechanisms. We show that only feedbacks between plants and fog were able to replicate the characteristic distributions of vegetation, soil water, and soil nutrients observed in field transects. Other processes, such as rainfall, were unable to match these diagnostic distributions. Furthermore, fog interception by windward trees leads to increased downwind mortality, leading to progressive extinction of the leeward edge. This pattern of ecosystem development and decay through self-organized processes illustrates, on a relatively small spatial and temporal scale, the patterns predicted for ecosystem evolution.

  3. Spatial and temporal changes in cumulative human impacts on the world's ocean

    PubMed Central

    Halpern, Benjamin S.; Frazier, Melanie; Potapenko, John; Casey, Kenneth S.; Koenig, Kellee; Longo, Catherine; Lowndes, Julia Stewart; Rockwood, R. Cotton; Selig, Elizabeth R.; Selkoe, Kimberly A.; Walbridge, Shaun

    2015-01-01

    Human pressures on the ocean are thought to be increasing globally, yet we know little about their patterns of cumulative change, which pressures are most responsible for change, and which places are experiencing the greatest increases. Managers and policymakers require such information to make strategic decisions and monitor progress towards management objectives. Here we calculate and map recent change over 5 years in cumulative impacts to marine ecosystems globally from fishing, climate change, and ocean- and land-based stressors. Nearly 66% of the ocean and 77% of national jurisdictions show increased human impact, driven mostly by climate change pressures. Five percent of the ocean is heavily impacted with increasing pressures, requiring management attention. Ten percent has very low impact with decreasing pressures. Our results provide large-scale guidance about where to prioritize management efforts and affirm the importance of addressing climate change to maintain and improve the condition of marine ecosystems. PMID:26172980

  4. Spatial and temporal changes in cumulative human impacts on the world's ocean.

    PubMed

    Halpern, Benjamin S; Frazier, Melanie; Potapenko, John; Casey, Kenneth S; Koenig, Kellee; Longo, Catherine; Lowndes, Julia Stewart; Rockwood, R Cotton; Selig, Elizabeth R; Selkoe, Kimberly A; Walbridge, Shaun

    2015-07-14

    Human pressures on the ocean are thought to be increasing globally, yet we know little about their patterns of cumulative change, which pressures are most responsible for change, and which places are experiencing the greatest increases. Managers and policymakers require such information to make strategic decisions and monitor progress towards management objectives. Here we calculate and map recent change over 5 years in cumulative impacts to marine ecosystems globally from fishing, climate change, and ocean- and land-based stressors. Nearly 66% of the ocean and 77% of national jurisdictions show increased human impact, driven mostly by climate change pressures. Five percent of the ocean is heavily impacted with increasing pressures, requiring management attention. Ten percent has very low impact with decreasing pressures. Our results provide large-scale guidance about where to prioritize management efforts and affirm the importance of addressing climate change to maintain and improve the condition of marine ecosystems.

  5. A 700-year paleoecological record of boreal ecosystem responses to climatic variation from Alaska.

    PubMed

    Tinner, Willy; Bigler, Christian; Gedye, Sharon; Gregory-Eaves, Irene; Jones, Richard T; Kaltenrieder, Petra; Krähenbühl, Urs; Hu, Feng Sheng

    2008-03-01

    Recent observations and model simulations have highlighted the sensitivity of the forest-tundra ecotone to climatic forcing. In contrast, paleoecological studies have not provided evidence of tree-line fluctuations in response to Holocene climatic changes in Alaska, suggesting that the forest-tundra boundary in certain areas may be relatively stable at multicentennial to millennial time scales. We conducted a multiproxy study of sediment cores from an Alaskan lake near the altitudinal limits of key boreal-forest species. Paleoecological data were compared with independent climatic reconstructions to assess ecosystem responses of the forest tundra boundary to Little Ice Age (LIA) climatic fluctuations. Pollen, diatom, charcoal, macrofossil, and magnetic analyses provide the first continuous record of vegetation fire-climate interactions at decadal to centennial time scales during the past 700 years from southern Alaska. Boreal-forest diebacks characterized by declines of Picea mariana, P. glauca, and tree Betula occurred during the LIA (AD 1500-1800), whereas shrubs (Alnus viridis, Betula glandulosa/nana) and herbaceous taxa (Epilobium, Aconitum) expanded. Marked increases in charcoal abundance and changes in magnetic properties suggest increases in fire importance and soil erosion during the same period. In addition, the conspicuous reduction or disappearance of certain aquatic (e.g., Isoetes, Nuphar, Pediastrum) and wetland (Sphagnum) plants and major shifts in diatom assemblages suggest pronounced lake-level fluctuations and rapid ecosystem reorganization in response to LIA climatic deterioration. Our results imply that temperature shifts of 1-2 degrees C, when accompanied by major changes in moisture balance, can greatly alter high-altitudinal terrestrial, wetland, and aquatic ecosystems, including conversion between boreal-forest tree line and tundra. The climatic and ecosystem variations in our study area appear to be coherent with changes in solar irradiance

  6. Nitrogen cycling responses to mountain pine beetle disturbance in a high elevation whitebark pine ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keville, Megan P.; Reed, Sasha C.; Cleveland, Cory C.

    2013-01-01

    Ecological disturbances can significantly affect biogeochemical cycles in terrestrial ecosystems, but the biogeochemical consequences of the extensive mountain pine beetle outbreak in high elevation whitebark pine (WbP) (Pinus albicaulis) ecosystems of western North America have not been previously investigated. Mountain pine beetle attack has driven widespread WbP mortality, which could drive shifts in both the pools and fluxes of nitrogen (N) within these ecosystems. Because N availability can limit forest regrowth, understanding how beetle-induced mortality affects N cycling in WbP stands may be critical to understanding the trajectory of ecosystem recovery. Thus, we measured above- and belowground N pools and fluxes for trees representing three different times since beetle attack, including unattacked trees. Litterfall N inputs were more than ten times higher under recently attacked trees compared to unattacked trees. Soil inorganic N concentrations also increased following beetle attack, potentially driven by a more than two-fold increase in ammonium (NH4+) concentrations in the surface soil organic horizon. However, there were no significant differences in mineral soil inorganic N or soil microbial biomass N concentrations between attacked and unattacked trees, implying that short-term changes in N cycling in response to the initial stages of WbP attack were restricted to the organic horizon. Our results suggest that while mountain pine beetle attack drives a pulse of N from the canopy to the forest floor, changes in litterfall quality and quantity do not have profound effects on soil biogeochemical cycling, at least in the short-term. However, continuous observation of these important ecosystems will be crucial to determining the long-term biogeochemical effects of mountain pine beetle outbreaks.

  7. Nitrogen Cycling Responses to Mountain Pine Beetle Disturbance in a High Elevation Whitebark Pine Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Keville, Megan P.; Reed, Sasha C.; Cleveland, Cory C.

    2013-01-01

    Ecological disturbances can significantly affect biogeochemical cycles in terrestrial ecosystems, but the biogeochemical consequences of the extensive mountain pine beetle outbreak in high elevation whitebark pine (WbP) (Pinus albicaulis) ecosystems of western North America have not been previously investigated. Mountain pine beetle attack has driven widespread WbP mortality, which could drive shifts in both the pools and fluxes of nitrogen (N) within these ecosystems. Because N availability can limit forest regrowth, understanding how beetle-induced mortality affects N cycling in WbP stands may be critical to understanding the trajectory of ecosystem recovery. Thus, we measured above- and belowground N pools and fluxes for trees representing three different times since beetle attack, including unattacked trees. Litterfall N inputs were more than ten times higher under recently attacked trees compared to unattacked trees. Soil inorganic N concentrations also increased following beetle attack, potentially driven by a more than two-fold increase in ammonium (NH4+) concentrations in the surface soil organic horizon. However, there were no significant differences in mineral soil inorganic N or soil microbial biomass N concentrations between attacked and unattacked trees, implying that short-term changes in N cycling in response to the initial stages of WbP attack were restricted to the organic horizon. Our results suggest that while mountain pine beetle attack drives a pulse of N from the canopy to the forest floor, changes in litterfall quality and quantity do not have profound effects on soil biogeochemical cycling, at least in the short-term. However, continuous observation of these important ecosystems will be crucial to determining the long-term biogeochemical effects of mountain pine beetle outbreaks. PMID:23755166

  8. Nitrogen cycling responses to mountain pine beetle disturbance in a high elevation whitebark pine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Keville, Megan P; Reed, Sasha C; Cleveland, Cory C

    2013-01-01

    Ecological disturbances can significantly affect biogeochemical cycles in terrestrial ecosystems, but the biogeochemical consequences of the extensive mountain pine beetle outbreak in high elevation whitebark pine (WbP) (Pinus albicaulis) ecosystems of western North America have not been previously investigated. Mountain pine beetle attack has driven widespread WbP mortality, which could drive shifts in both the pools and fluxes of nitrogen (N) within these ecosystems. Because N availability can limit forest regrowth, understanding how beetle-induced mortality affects N cycling in WbP stands may be critical to understanding the trajectory of ecosystem recovery. Thus, we measured above- and belowground N pools and fluxes for trees representing three different times since beetle attack, including unattacked trees. Litterfall N inputs were more than ten times higher under recently attacked trees compared to unattacked trees. Soil inorganic N concentrations also increased following beetle attack, potentially driven by a more than two-fold increase in ammonium (NH₄⁺) concentrations in the surface soil organic horizon. However, there were no significant differences in mineral soil inorganic N or soil microbial biomass N concentrations between attacked and unattacked trees, implying that short-term changes in N cycling in response to the initial stages of WbP attack were restricted to the organic horizon. Our results suggest that while mountain pine beetle attack drives a pulse of N from the canopy to the forest floor, changes in litterfall quality and quantity do not have profound effects on soil biogeochemical cycling, at least in the short-term. However, continuous observation of these important ecosystems will be crucial to determining the long-term biogeochemical effects of mountain pine beetle outbreaks.

  9. Response of Tundra Ecosystems to Elevated Atmospheric CO{sub 2}

    SciTech Connect

    Oechel, Walter C.

    1990-09-05

    OAK B188 Response of Tundra Ecosystems to Elevated Atmospheric CO{sub 2}. Atmospheric CO{sub 2} is expected to double by the end of the next century. Global mean increases in surface air temperature of 1.5-4.5 C are anticipated with larger increases towards the poles predicted. Changes in CO{sub 2} levels and temperature could have major impacts on ecosystem functioning, including primary productivity, species composition, plant-animal interactions, and carbon storage. Until recently, there has been little direct information on the impact of changes in CO{sub 2} and temperature on native ecosystems. The study described here was undertaken to evaluate the effects of a 50 and 100% increase in atmospheric CO{sub 2}, and a 100% increase in atmospheric CO{sub 2} coupled with a 4 C summer air temperature rise on the structure and function of an arctic tussock tundra ecosystem. The arctic contains large stores of carbon as soil organic matter, much frozen in permafrost and currently not reactive or available for oxidation and release into the atmosphere. About 10-27% of the world's terrestrial carbon occurs in arctic and boreal regions, and carbon is accumulating in these regions at the rate of 0.19 GT y{sup -1}. Mean temperature increases of 11 C and summer temperature increases of 4 C have been suggested. Mean July temperatures on the arctic coastal plain and arctic foothills regions are 4-12 C, and mean annual temperatures are -7 to -13 C (Haugen, 1982). The projected temperature increases represent a substantial elevation above current temperatures which will have major impacts on physical processes such as permafrost development and development of the active layer, and on biological and ecosystem processes such as primary productivity, carbon storage, and species composition. Extreme nutrient and temperature limitation of this ecosystem raised questions of the responsiveness of arctic systems to elevated CO{sub 2}. Complex ecosystem interactions with the effects of

  10. Plant responses, climate pivot points, and trade-offs in water-limited ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Munson, Seth M.

    2013-01-01

    Plant species in dryland ecosystems are limited by water availability and may be vulnerable to increases in aridity. Methods are needed to monitor and assess the rate of change in plant abundance and composition in relation to climate, understand the potential for degradation in dryland ecosystems, and forecast future changes in plant species assemblages. I employ nearly a century of vegetation monitoring data from three North American deserts to demonstrate an approach to determine plant species responses to climate and critical points over a range of climatic conditions at which plant species shift from increases to decreases in abundance (climate pivot points). I assess these metrics from a site to regional scale and highlight how these indicators of plant performance can be modified by the physical and biotic environment. For example, shrubs were more responsive to drought and high temperatures on shallow soils with limited capacity to store water and fine-textured soils with slow percolation rates, whereas perennial grasses were more responsive to precipitation in sparse shrublands than in relatively dense grasslands and shrublands, where competition for water is likely more intense. The responses and associated climate pivot points of plant species aligned with their lifespan and structural characteristics, and the relationship between responses and climate pivot points provides evidence of the trade-off between the capacity of a plant species to increase in abundance when water is available and its drought resistance.

  11. Responses of ecosystem nitrogen cycle to nitrogen addition: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Lu, Meng; Yang, Yuanhe; Luo, Yiqi; Fang, Changming; Zhou, Xuhui; Chen, Jiakuan; Yang, Xin; Li, Bo

    2011-03-01

    • Anthropogenic nitrogen (N) addition may substantially alter the terrestrial N cycle. However, a comprehensive understanding of how the ecosystem N cycle responds to external N input remains elusive. • Here, we evaluated the central tendencies of the responses of 15 variables associated with the ecosystem N cycle to N addition, using data extracted from 206 peer-reviewed papers. • Our results showed that the largest changes in the ecosystem N cycle caused by N addition were increases in soil inorganic N leaching (461%), soil NO₃⁻ concentration (429%), nitrification (154%), nitrous oxide emission (134%), and denitrification (84%). N addition also substantially increased soil NH₄+ concentration (47%), and the N content in belowground (53%) and aboveground (44%) plant pools, leaves (24%), litter (24%) and dissolved organic N (21%). Total N content in the organic horizon (6.1%) and mineral soil (6.2%) slightly increased in response to N addition. However, N addition induced a decrease in microbial biomass N by 5.8%. • The increases in N effluxes caused by N addition were much greater than those in plant and soil pools except soil NO₃⁻, suggesting a leaky terrestrial N system.

  12. A multi-biome gap in understanding of crop and ecosystem responses to elevated CO2.

    PubMed

    Leakey, Andrew D B; Bishop, Kristen A; Ainsworth, Elizabeth A

    2012-06-01

    A key finding from elevated [CO(2)] field experiments is that the impact of elevated [CO(2)] on plant and ecosystem function is highly dependent upon other environmental conditions, namely temperature and the availability of nutrients and soil moisture. In addition, there is significant variation in the response to elevated [CO(2)] among plant functional types, species and crop varieties. However, experimental data on plant and ecosystem responses to elevated [CO(2)] are strongly biased to economically and ecologically important systems in the temperate zone. There is a multi-biome gap in experimental data that is most severe in the tropics and subtropics, but also includes high latitudes. Physiological understanding of the environmental conditions and species found at high and low latitudes suggest they may respond differently to elevated [CO(2)] than well-studied temperate systems. Addressing this knowledge gap should be a high priority as it is vital to understanding 21st century food supply and ecosystem feedbacks on climate change. PMID:22284851

  13. Characterizing driver-response relationships in marine pelagic ecosystems for improved ocean management.

    PubMed

    Hunsicker, Mary E; Kappel, Carrie V; Selkoe, Kimberly A; Halpern, Benjamin S; Scarborough, Courtney; Mease, Lindley; Amrhein, Alisan

    2016-04-01

    Scientists and resource managers often use methods and tools that assume ecosystem components respond linearly to environmental drivers and human stressors. However, a growing body of literature demonstrates that many relationships are-non-linear, where small changes in a driver prompt a disproportionately large ecological response. We aim to provide a comprehensive assessment of the relationships between drivers and ecosystem components to identify where and when non-linearities are likely to occur. We focused our analyses on one of the best-studied marine systems, pelagic ecosystems, which allowed us to apply robust statistical techniques on a large pool of previously published studies. In this synthesis, we (1) conduct a wide literature review on single driver-response relationships in pelagic systems, (2) use statistical models to identify the degree of non-linearity in these relationships, and (3) assess whether general patterns exist in the strengths and shapes of non-linear relationships across drivers. Overall we found that non-linearities are common in pelagic ecosystems, comprising at least 52% of all driver-response relation- ships. This is likely an underestimate, as papers with higher quality data and analytical approaches reported non-linear relationships at a higher frequency (on average 11% more). Consequently, in the absence of evidence for a linear relationship, it is safer to assume a relationship is non-linear. Strong non-linearities can lead to greater ecological and socioeconomic consequences if they are unknown (and/or unanticipated), but if known they may provide clear thresholds to inform management targets. In pelagic systems, strongly non-linear relationships are often driven by climate and trophodynamic variables but are also associated with local stressors, such as overfishing and pollution, that can be more easily controlled by managers. Even when marine resource managers cannot influence ecosystem change, they can use information

  14. Characterizing driver-response relationships in marine pelagic ecosystems for improved ocean management.

    PubMed

    Hunsicker, Mary E; Kappel, Carrie V; Selkoe, Kimberly A; Halpern, Benjamin S; Scarborough, Courtney; Mease, Lindley; Amrhein, Alisan

    2016-04-01

    Scientists and resource managers often use methods and tools that assume ecosystem components respond linearly to environmental drivers and human stressors. However, a growing body of literature demonstrates that many relationships are-non-linear, where small changes in a driver prompt a disproportionately large ecological response. We aim to provide a comprehensive assessment of the relationships between drivers and ecosystem components to identify where and when non-linearities are likely to occur. We focused our analyses on one of the best-studied marine systems, pelagic ecosystems, which allowed us to apply robust statistical techniques on a large pool of previously published studies. In this synthesis, we (1) conduct a wide literature review on single driver-response relationships in pelagic systems, (2) use statistical models to identify the degree of non-linearity in these relationships, and (3) assess whether general patterns exist in the strengths and shapes of non-linear relationships across drivers. Overall we found that non-linearities are common in pelagic ecosystems, comprising at least 52% of all driver-response relation- ships. This is likely an underestimate, as papers with higher quality data and analytical approaches reported non-linear relationships at a higher frequency (on average 11% more). Consequently, in the absence of evidence for a linear relationship, it is safer to assume a relationship is non-linear. Strong non-linearities can lead to greater ecological and socioeconomic consequences if they are unknown (and/or unanticipated), but if known they may provide clear thresholds to inform management targets. In pelagic systems, strongly non-linear relationships are often driven by climate and trophodynamic variables but are also associated with local stressors, such as overfishing and pollution, that can be more easily controlled by managers. Even when marine resource managers cannot influence ecosystem change, they can use information

  15. Understanding coupled climatic, hydrological, and ecosystem responses to global climate change in the Colorado Rockies

    SciTech Connect

    Stohlgren, T.J.; Baron, J. )

    1993-06-01

    A long-term research program to assess the potential effect of global climate change on the Front Range of the Colorado Rockies, including Rocky Mountain National Park is underway. Specifically, three integrated studies are designed to: (1) project future climate change for the Colorado Rockies using a mesoscale atmospheric model to downscale general circulation model results; (2) develop an understanding of the abiotic and biotic controls on forest distribution and productivity as a basis for assessing potential vegetation change for a range of projected climate scenarios; and (3) evaluate potential responses of hydrologic and aquatic ecosystem processes to climate change at watershed, drainage basin and regional scales. The synthesis of these studies will, in addition, assess the interaction between regional vegetation distribution, mesoscale climate, and hydrology. Our goal is to develop a better understanding of regional climate and hydrologic patterns and of species-environment relationships to determine which species and ecosystem processes are most sensitive to rapid environmental change.

  16. [Research advances in vulnerability assessment of natural ecosystem response to climate change].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Hui-xia; Wu, Shao-hong; Jiang, Lu-guang

    2007-02-01

    Climate change with global warming as the sign has been caught great attention by the governments, international organizations, and scientists in the world. Human society and natural ecosystem are both exposed to climate change, and more and more people are waked up by its increasing harm. Vulnerability analysis and assessment are the key and basis for adapting and mitigating climate change, being the highlight in the research fields of climate change and ecology in recent years. The vulnerability assessment of climate change is being carried out in various research fields and on different scales, and much progress has been made. This paper introduced the concept of vulnerability, and summarized the research progress in vulnerability assessment of climate change, with the focus on the frame and methodology of vulnerability assessment of natural ecosystem response to climate change. The existed problems and future prospects in this research area were also discussed.

  17. Spatial patterns of simulated transpiration response to climate variability in a snow dominated mountain ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Christensen, L.; Tague, C.L.; Baron, J.S.

    2008-01-01

    Transpiration is an important component of soil water storage and stream-flow and is linked with ecosystem productivity, species distribution, and ecosystem health. In mountain environments, complex topography creates heterogeneity in key controls on transpiration as well as logistical challenges for collecting representative measurements. In these settings, ecosystem models can be used to account for variation in space and time of the dominant controls on transpiration and provide estimates of transpiration patterns and their sensitivity to climate variability and change. The Regional Hydro-Ecological Simulation System (RHESSys) model was used to assess elevational differences in sensitivity of transpiration rates to the spatiotemporal variability of climate variables across the Upper Merced River watershed, Yosemite Valley, California, USA. At the basin scale, predicted annual transpiration was lowest in driest and wettest years, and greatest in moderate precipitation years (R2 = 0.32 and 0.29, based on polynomial regression of maximum snow depth and annual precipitation, respectively). At finer spatial scales, responsiveness of transpiration rates to climate differed along an elevational gradient. Low elevations (1200-1800 m) showed little interannual variation in transpiration due to topographically controlled high soil moistures along the river corridor. Annual conifer stand transpiration at intermediate elevations (1800-2150 m) responded more strongly to precipitation, resulting in a unimodal relationship between transpiration and precipitation where highest transpiration occurred during moderate precipitation levels, regardless of annual air temperatures. Higher elevations (2150-2600 m) maintained this trend, but air temperature sensitivities were greater. At these elevations, snowfall provides enough moisture for growth, and increased temperatures influenced transpiration. Transpiration at the highest elevations (2600-4000 m) showed strong sensitivity to

  18. Nonlinear dynamics in ecosystem response to climatic change: Case studies and policy implications

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burkett, Virginia R.; Wilcox, Douglas A.; Stottlemyer, Robert; Barrow, Wylie; Fagre, Dan; Baron, Jill; Price, Jeff; Nielsen, Jennifer L.; Allen, Craig D.; Peterson, David L.; Ruggerone, Greg; Doyle, Thomas

    2005-01-01

    Many biological, hydrological, and geological processes are interactively linked in ecosystems. These ecological phenomena normally vary within bounded ranges, but rapid, nonlinear changes to markedly different conditions can be triggered by even small differences if threshold values are exceeded. Intrinsic and extrinsic ecological thresholds can lead to effects that cascade among systems, precluding accurate modeling and prediction of system response to climate change. Ten case studies from North America illustrate how changes in climate can lead to rapid, threshold-type responses within ecological communities; the case studies also highlight the role of human activities that alter the rate or direction of system response to climate change. Understanding and anticipating nonlinear dynamics are important aspects of adaptation planning since responses of biological resources to changes in the physical climate system are not necessarily proportional and sometimes, as in the case of complex ecological systems, inherently nonlinear.

  19. Non-linearity dynamics in ecosystem response to climate change: Case studies and policy implications

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burkett, V.R.; Wilcox, D.A.; Stottlemyer, R.; Barrow, W.; Fagre, D.; Baron, J.; Nielsen, J.L.; Allen, C.D.; Peterson, D.L.; Ruggerone, G.; Doyle, T.

    2005-01-01

    Many biological, hydrological, and geological processes are interactively linked in ecosystems. These ecological phenomena normally vary within bounded ranges, but rapid, nonlinear changes to markedly different conditions can be triggered by even small differences if threshold values are exceeded. Intrinsic and extrinsic ecological thresholds can lead to effects that cascade among systems, precluding accurate modeling and prediction of system response to climate change. Ten case studies from North America illustrate how changes in climate cna lead to rapid, threshold-type responses within ecological communities; the case studies also highlight the role of human activities that alter the rate or direction of system response to climate change. Understanding and anticipating nonlinear dynamics are important aspects of adaptation planning since responses of biological resources to changes in the physical climate system are not necessarily proportional and sometimes, as in the case of complex ecological systems, inherently nonlinear.

  20. Watershed Export and Estuarine Ecosystem Response to Pulsed Inputs of Nitrogen to South Texas Bays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McClelland, J. W.; Mooney, R. M.

    2008-12-01

    Precipitation and associated watershed export from land to sea along the south Texas coast is highly variable within and between years. Past studies in this region have emphasized the effects of variable salinity on estuarine ecosystems, and in particular the response of benthic communities. This presentation will focus on (1) patterns of nitrogen export from watersheds to coastal waters of south Texas and (2) nitrogen dynamics in coastal waters following major watershed export events. Recent work in the Guadalupe, San Antonio, Mission, and Aransas river watersheds shows a strong positive correlation between river discharge and organic nitrogen concentrations in river water. At the same time, nitrate concentrations in river water are diluted as discharge increases. Although variable, ammonium concentrations in river water do not correlate strongly with discharge. Results from Copano Bay (which receives direct inputs from the Mission and Aransas rivers) following major watershed export events in July 2007 exemplify the estuarine ecosystem response to such inputs. Salinity in Copano Bay dropped from 12 to 2 psu within 5 days of the first event and did not reach pre-event salinity again until December. Nitrate and ammonium concentrations in the bay increased substantially with each watershed export event, but showed different patterns of subsequent recovery. Nitrate decreased rapidly while ammonium was more variable and decreased more slowly. Dissolved organic nitrogen decreased immediately after the first watershed export event and then increased to concentrations greater than pre-event values within a week. Although the entire bay showed a large salinity response, variations in nitrogen concentrations associated with the storm events decreased with increasing distance from the river mouth. With changes in the magnitude and timing of precipitation events in the south western US predicted over the coming decades, understanding linkages between pulsed watershed inputs

  1. Response diversity to land use occurs but does not consistently stabilise ecosystem services provided by native pollinators.

    PubMed

    Cariveau, Daniel P; Williams, Neal M; Benjamin, Faye E; Winfree, Rachael

    2013-07-01

    More diverse biological communities may provide ecosystem services that are less variable over space or time. However, the mechanisms underlying this relationship are rarely investigated empirically in real-world ecosystems. Here, we investigate how a potentially important stabilising mechanism, response diversity, the differential response to environmental change among species, stabilises pollination services against land-use change. We measured crop pollination services provided by native bees across land-use gradients in three crop systems. We found that bee species responded differentially to increasing agricultural land cover in all three systems, demonstrating that response diversity occurs. Similarly, we found response diversity in pollination services in two of the systems. However, there was no evidence that response diversity, in general, stabilised ecosystem services. Our results suggest that either response diversity is not the primary stabilising mechanism in our system, or that new measures of response diversity are needed that better capture the stabilising effects it provides.

  2. Cumulative creep damage for polycarbonate and polysulfone

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zhang, M.; Brinson, H. F.

    1985-01-01

    The literature for creep to failure cumulative damage laws are reviewed. Creep to failure tests performed on polycarbonate and polysulfone under single and two step loadings are discussed. A cumulative damage law or modified time fraction rule is developed using a power law for transient creep response as the starting point. Experimental results are approximated well by the new rule. Damage and failure mechanisms associated with the two materials are suggested.

  3. Leaf and ecosystem response to soil water availability in mountain grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Brilli, Federico; Hörtnagl, Lukas; Hammerle, Albin; Haslwanter, Alois; Hansel, Armin; Loreto, Francesco; Wohlfahrt, Georg

    2014-01-01

    Climate change is expected to affect the Alps by increasing the frequency and intensity of summer drought events with negative impacts on ecosystem water resources. The response of CO2 and H2O exchange of a mountain grassland to natural fluctuations of soil water content was evaluated during 2001-2009. In addition, the physiological performance of individual mountain forb and graminoid plant species under progressive soil water shortage was explored in a laboratory drought experiment. During the 9-year study period the natural occurrence of moderately to extremely dry periods did not lead to substantial reductions in net ecosystem CO2 exchange and evapotranspiration. Laboratory drought experiments confirmed that all the surveyed grassland plant species were insensitive to progressive soil drying until very low soil water contents (<0.01 m3 m−3) were reached after several days of drought. In field conditions, such a low threshold was never reached. Re-watering after a short-term drought event (5±1 days) resulted in a fast and complete recovery of the leaf CO2 and H2O gas exchange of the investigated plant species. We conclude that the present-day frequency and intensity of dry periods does not substantially affect the functioning of the investigated grassland ecosystem. During dry periods the observed “water spending” strategy employed by the investigated mountain grassland species is expected to provide a cooling feedback on climate warming, but may have negative consequences for down-stream water users. PMID:24465071

  4. Interactions between soil thermal and hydrological dynamics in the response of Alaska ecosystems to fire disturbance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Yi, Shuhua; McGuire, Anthony; Harden, Jennifer; Kasischke, Eric; Manies, Kristen L.; Hinzman, Larry; Liljedahl, Anna K.; Randerson, J.; Liu, Heping; Romanovsky, V.adimir E; Marchenko, Sergey S.; Kim, Yongwon

    2009-01-01

    Soil temperature and moisture are important factors that control many ecosystem processes. However, interactions between soil thermal and hydrological processes are not adequately understood in cold regions, where the frozen soil, fire disturbance, and soil drainage play important roles in controlling interactions among these processes. These interactions were investigated with a new ecosystem model framework, the dynamic organic soil version of the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model, that incorporates an efficient and stable numerical scheme for simulating soil thermal and hydrological dynamics within soil profiles that contain a live moss horizon, fibrous and amorphous organic horizons, and mineral soil horizons. The performance of the model was evaluated for a tundra burn site that had both preburn and postburn measurements, two black spruce fire chronosequences (representing space-for-time substitutions in well and intermediately drained conditions), and a poorly drained black spruce site. Although space-for-time substitutions present challenges in model-data comparison, the model demonstrates substantial ability in simulating the dynamics of evapotranspiration, soil temperature, active layer depth, soil moisture, and water table depth in response to both climate variability and fire disturbance. Several differences between model simulations and field measurements identified key challenges for evaluating/improving model performance that include (1) proper representation of discrepancies between air temperature and ground surface temperature; (2) minimization of precipitation biases in the driving data sets; (3) improvement of the measurement accuracy of soil moisture in surface organic horizons; and (4) proper specification of organic horizon depth/properties, and soil thermal conductivity.

  5. The response of the diets of four carnivorous fishes to variations in the Yellow Sea ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, Xianshi; Zhang, Bo; Xue, Ying

    2010-06-01

    The stomach contents of Spanish mackerel ( Scomberomorus niphonius), snailfish ( Liparis tanakae), anglerfish ( Lophius litulon), and Pacific cod ( Gadus macrocephalus) from the Yellow Sea during 1985-1987 and 2000-2002 were analyzed. The diets of these four carnivorous species changed over time, showing that the importance of the previous major prey, Japanese anchovy ( Engraulis japonicus), had greatly decreased, owing to its declining abundance, and that intake of Crangon affinis had increased. Spanish mackerel foraged for more food, particularly for other small pelagic species in addition to Japanese anchovy, causing an increase in its niche width in recent years, whereas the other three demersal carnivorous species had mainly targeted the small benthic shrimp C. affinis, and their niche widths had reduced in the later years. This phenomenon may be an adaptive response to changes in the food availability of the ecosystem, indicating a change in the food web and community structure of the Yellow Sea ecosystem. Changes in the composition of the diet of major predators may be an indicator of changes in a marine ecosystem.

  6. Soil animal responses to moisture availability are largely scale, not ecosystem dependent: insight from a cross-site study.

    PubMed

    Sylvain, Zachary A; Wall, Diana H; Cherwin, Karie L; Peters, Debra P C; Reichmann, Lara G; Sala, Osvaldo E

    2014-08-01

    Climate change will result in reduced soil water availability in much of the world either due to changes in precipitation or increased temperature and evapotranspiration. How communities of mites and nematodes may respond to changes in moisture availability is not well known, yet these organisms play important roles in decomposition and nutrient cycling processes. We determined how communities of these organisms respond to changes in moisture availability and whether common patterns occur along fine-scale gradients of soil moisture within four individual ecosystem types (mesic, xeric and arid grasslands and a polar desert) located in the western United States and Antarctica, as well as across a cross-ecosystem moisture gradient (CEMG) of all four ecosystems considered together. An elevation transect of three sampling plots was monitored within each ecosystem and soil samples were collected from these plots and from existing experimental precipitation manipulations within each ecosystem once in fall of 2009 and three times each in 2010 and 2011. Mites and nematodes were sorted to trophic groups and analyzed to determine community responses to changes in soil moisture availability. We found that while both mites and nematodes increased with available soil moisture across the CEMG, within individual ecosystems, increases in soil moisture resulted in decreases to nematode communities at all but the arid grassland ecosystem; mites showed no responses at any ecosystem. In addition, we found changes in proportional abundances of mite and nematode trophic groups as soil moisture increased within individual ecosystems, which may result in shifts within soil food webs with important consequences for ecosystem functioning. We suggest that communities of soil animals at local scales may respond predictably to changes in moisture availability regardless of ecosystem type but that additional factors, such as climate variability, vegetation composition, and soil properties may

  7. Spatial and temporal variations in ecosystem response to monsoon precipitation variability in southwestern North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forzieri, Giovanni; Feyen, Luc; Cescatti, Alessandro; Vivoni, Enrique R.

    2014-10-01

    Due to its marked vegetation phenology and precipitation gradients, the North American Monsoon Region (NAMR) is a useful domain for studying ecosystem responses to climate variability and change. To this end, we analyze long-term dynamics (1982-2004) in monsoon precipitation (Pr), time-integrated Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (TINDVI) used as proxy of net primary productivity, and rain-use efficiency (RUE). The analysis focuses on six ecoregions, spanning from desert environments to tropical dry forests, to investigate (1) how net primary productivity and rain-use efficiency vary along a precipitation gradient, (2) if interannual variability in net primary productivity is linked to the interannual variability in precipitation, and (3) if there is evidence of a long-term signal imposed on the interannual variability in rain-use efficiency. Variations in TINDVI and RUE with Pr along the NAMR precipitation gradient differ among ecoregions exhibiting intensive or extensive water use strategies. We explain the nonlinear behaviors along the precipitation gradient as resulting from different physiological responses to climatological means and the impact of topographic effects. Statistical analysis indicates that the interannual variability in vegetation response is significantly related to the interannual variability in Pr, but their correlation declines with time. A long-term positive signal in RUE imposed on its interannual variability is identified and results from a constant TINDVI under negative long-term trends of Pr. This important finding suggests the combined long-term effects of ecosystem acclimation to reduced water availability and increasing CO2 concentration across the varied ecosystems of the North American Monsoon Region.

  8. Equilibrium Response and Transient Dynamics Datasets from VEMAP: Vegetation/Ecosystem Modeling and Analysis Project

    DOE Data Explorer

    The Vegetation-Ecosystem Modeling and Analysis Project (VEMAP) was a large, collaborative, multi-agency program to simulate and understand ecosystem dynamics for the continental U.S. The project involved the development of common data sets for model input including a high-resolution topographically-adjusted climate history of the U.S. from 1895-1993 on a 0.5? grid, with soils and vegetation cover. The vegetation cover data set includes a detailed agricultural data base based on USDA statistics and remote sensing, as well as natural vegetation (also derived from satellite imagery). Two principal model experiments were run. First, a series of ecosystem models were run from 1895 to 1993 to simulate current ecosystem biogeochemistry. Second, these same models were integrated forward using the output from two climate system models (CCC (Canadian Climate Centre) and Hadley Centre models) using climate results translated into the VEMAP grid and re-adjusted for high-resolution topography for the simulated period 1994-2100.[Quoted from http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/vemap/findings.html] The VEMAP Data Portal is a central collection of files maintained and serviced by the NCAR Data Group. These files (the VEMAP Community Datasets) represent a complete and current collection of VEMAP data files. All data files available through the Data Portal have undergone extensive quality assurance.[Taken from http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/vemap/datasets.html] Users of the VEMAP Portal can access input files of numerical data that include monthly and daily files of geographic data, soil and site files, scenario files, etc. Model results from Phase I, the Equilibrium Response datasets, are available through the NCAR anonymous FTP site at http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/vemap/vresults.html. Phase II, Transient Dynamics, include climate datasets, models results, and analysis tools. Many supplemental files are also available from the main data page at http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/vemap/datasets.html.

  9. Response of Peat-forming Ecosystems of the Western Antarctic Peninsula to Recent Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tardona, M.; Beilman, D.; Yu, Z.; Loisel, J.

    2014-12-01

    Amplified warming and related environmental changes in the high latitudes have a complex geographic pattern, with the Western Antarctic Peninsula experiencing one of the fastest rates of recent warming globally. To better understand the response of terrestrial Antarctic ecosystems to polar change, we applied a paleoscience approach to organic soil profiles from 13 aerobic peatbank ecosystems on 7 islands along the peninsula from 67.6 to 64.2°S. Peatbank ecosystem ages were obtained by Radiocarbon measurements of organic matter from the base of these profiles and cluster in three groups: older than 1000 years old (as old as 2750 years old), 400-500 years old, and younger than 65 years with fixed bomb-spike carbon. Three of these peatbank profiles were studied in detail, and show growth rates over the last 65 years of ~2.5 mm yr-1. This rate is faster than those observed during previous periods but is similar to other recent nearby studies that report recent growth rates of ~2.6 mm yr-1. Organic carbon storage ranged from 6.1 to 21.3 kgC m-2. Values of moss bank organic matter δ13C show progressively more depleted δ13C values; in which depletion increases 3.0‰ over recent decades. Overall increase in source-independent discrimination is 1.7‰, consistent with published records from other locations and an increase in photosynthetic activity at the regional scale. Source-independent discrimination displays substantial variations corresponding negatively to variation of organic matter C:N values. Our results imply several recent changes in Antarctic peat forming ecosystem processes including formation of new moss banks, increased accumulation rates, and high variability in source-independent discrimination. These changes are complex but affected by contemporary climate changes of the region including increasing temperatures over the past century.

  10. Detritus-based assemblage responses under salinity stress conditions in a disused aquatic artificial ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Despite the plethora of approaches, the sensitivity of the methods to measure the relationship between the abundance and biomass curves in stressed detritus-based ecosystems still remain to be refined. In this work, we report the comparison between biomass and abundance in a set of detritus-based macrozoobenthic assemblages located in six sampling pools with different salinity in an artificial aquatic ecosystem (disused Tarquinia Saltworks), using two diversity/dominance approaches (Abundance/Biomass Comparisons, or ABC, and Whittaker plots). We also evaluated the contribution of abundances and biomasses diversity (Simpson index) and nestedness, which measures the order by which macroinvertebrates colonized the detrital resource. Results The outputs obtained by both ABC curves and Whittaker plots highlight two different thresholds in assemblage structure: between about 44 and 50 practical salinity unit (psu) and between 50 and 87 psu, respectively. The first threshold was due to a turnover in taxon composition between assemblages, the second threshold (evidenced by Whittaker plots) was due to a change in taxon richness (lower in pools with higher salinity: i.e. > 50 psu). Moreover, a normal-shaped pattern in diversity (Simpson index) emerged, suggestive of an intermediate disturbance effect. The nested pattern did not show significant differences when considering the density and biomass of the sampled taxa, providing similar threshold of salinity in the relative contribution of macrozoobenthos on nestedness. Conclusions The use of detailed (ABC and Whittaker plots) and macroscopic (Simpson index and nestedness) approaches is proposed to identify thresholds in the structuring and functioning of detritus-based community of disused aquatic ecosystems: in particular, the inclusion of the parameter of biomass (scarcely utilized in community-based research) appears crucial. The responses of macrozoobenthic assemblages to the salinity stress conditions, in term

  11. Ecosystem responses to reduced and oxidised nitrogen inputs in European terrestrial habitats.

    PubMed

    Stevens, Carly J; Manning, Pete; van den Berg, Leon J L; de Graaf, Maaike C C; Wamelink, G W Wieger; Boxman, Andries W; Bleeker, Albert; Vergeer, Philippine; Arroniz-Crespo, Maria; Limpens, Juul; Lamers, Leon P M; Bobbink, Roland; Dorland, Edu

    2011-03-01

    While it is well established that ecosystems display strong responses to elevated nitrogen deposition, the importance of the ratio between the dominant forms of deposited nitrogen (NH(x) and NO(y)) in determining ecosystem response is poorly understood. As large changes in the ratio of oxidised and reduced nitrogen inputs are occurring, this oversight requires attention. One reason for this knowledge gap is that plants experience a different NH(x):NO(y) ratio in soil to that seen in atmospheric deposits because atmospheric inputs are modified by soil transformations, mediated by soil pH. Consequently species of neutral and alkaline habitats are less likely to encounter high NH(4)(+) concentrations than species from acid soils. We suggest that the response of vascular plant species to changing ratios of NH(x):NO(y) deposits will be driven primarily by a combination of soil pH and nitrification rates. Testing this hypothesis requires a combination of experimental and survey work in a range of systems. PMID:21215502

  12. Synthesis of Scrub-Oak Ecosystem Responses to Elevated CO2

    SciTech Connect

    Hungate, Bruce

    2014-11-07

    This report summarizes a synthesis project of a long-term global change experiment conducted at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, investigating how increasing concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) influences the functioning of a fire-dominated scrub-oak ecosystem. The experiment began in 1996 and ended in 2007. Results presented here summarize the effects of elevated CO2 on plant growth, soil processes, carbon and nutrient cycling, and other responses. Products include archived data from the experiment, as well as six publications in the peer-reviewed literature.

  13. Plant hydraulic controls over ecosystem responses to climate-enhanced disturbances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mackay, D. S.; Ewers, B. E.; Reed, D. E.; Pendall, E.; McDowell, N. G.

    2012-12-01

    Climate-enhanced disturbances such as drought and insect infestation range in severity, contributing minor to severe stress to forests including forest mortality. While neither form of disturbance has been unambiguously implicated as a mechanism of mortality, both induce changes in water, carbon, and nutrient cycling that are key to understanding forest ecosystem response to, and recovery from, disturbance. Each disturbance type has different biophysical, ecohydrological, and biogeochemical signatures that potentially complicate interpretation and development of theory. Plant hydraulic function is arguably a unifying control over these responses to disturbance because it regulates stomatal conductance, leaf biochemistry, carbon (C) uptake and utilization, and nutrient cycling. We demonstrated this idea by focusing on water and C, including non-structural (NSC), resources, and nitrogen (N) uptake across a spectrum of forest ecosystems (e.g., northern temperate mixed forests, lodgepole pine forests in the Rocky Mountains, and pinon pine - juniper woodlands in New Mexico) using the Terrestrial Regional Ecosystem Exchange Simulator (TREES). TREES is grounded in the biophysics of water movement through soil and plants, respectively via hydraulic conductivity of the soil and cavitation of xylem. It combines this dynamic plant hydraulic conductance with canopy biochemical controls over photosynthesis, and the dynamics of structural and non-structural carbon through a carbon budget that responds to plant hydraulic status. As such, the model can be used to develop testable hypotheses on a multitude of disturbance and recovery responses including xylem dysfunction, stomatal and non-stomatal controls on photosynthesis and carbon allocation, respiration, and allocation to defense compounds. For each of the ecosystems we constrained and evaluated the model with allometry, sap flux and/or eddy covariance data, leaf gas exchange measurements, and vulnerability to cavitation data

  14. Micro-evolution due to pollution: possible consequences for ecosystem responses to toxic stress.

    PubMed

    Medina, Matías H; Correa, Juan A; Barata, Carlos

    2007-05-01

    Polluting events can change community structure and ecosystem functioning. Selection of genetically inherited tolerance on exposed populations, here referred as micro-evolution due to pollution, has been recognized as one of the causes of these changes. However, there is a gap between studies addressing this process and those assessing effects at higher levels of biological organization. In this review we attempt to address these evolutionary considerations into the ecological risk assessment (ERA) of polluting events and to trigger the discussion about the consequences of this process for the ecosystem response to toxic stress. We provide clear evidence that pollution drives micro-evolutionary processes in several species. When this process occurs, populations inhabiting environments that become polluted may persist. However, due to the existence of ecological costs derived from the loss of genetic variability, negative pleiotropy with fitness traits and/or from physiological alterations, micro-evolution due to pollution may alter different properties of the affected populations. Despite the existence of empirical evidence showing that safety margins currently applied in the ERA process may account for pollution-induced genetic changes in tolerance, information regarding long-term ecological consequences at higher levels of biological organization due to ecological costs is not explicitly considered in these procedures. In relation to this, we present four testable hypotheses considering that micro-evolution due to pollution acts upon the variability of functional response traits of the exposed populations and generates changes on their functional effect traits, therefore, modifying the way species exploit their ecological niches and participate in the overall ecosystem functioning.

  15. Lake ecosystem response to late Allerød climatic fluctuation (northern Poland)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Słowiński, Michał; Zawiska, Izabela; Ott, Florian; Noryśkiewicz, Agnieszka M.; Plessen, Birgit; Apolinarska, Karina; Lutyńska, Monika; Michczyńska, Danuta J.; Wulf, Sabine; Skubała, Piotr; Błaszkiewicz, Mirosław; Brauer, Achim

    2014-05-01

    The aim of this study is a better understanding, how local lake ecosystems responded to climate changes during the late Allerød - Younger Dryas transition. Therefore, we carried out a detailed high-resolution multi-proxy case study on the partly laminated sediments from the Trzechowskie palaeolake, located in the Pomeranian Lakeland, northern Poland (53°52'40"N, 18°12'93"E). We reconstructed the ecosystem response to climatic and environmental changes using biotic proxies (macrofossils, pollen, Cladocera, diatoms) and classical geochemical proxies (δ18O, δ13C, loss-on-ignition, CaCO3 content) in combination with high-resolution µ-XRF element core scanning. The core chronology has been established by biostratigraphy, AMS 14C-dating on plant macro remains, varve counting within the laminated intervals and the Laacher See Tephra (12880 varve yrs BP) as a precise isochrone. Framework of our investigation is a period covering 367 varve years of the late Allerød and the beginning of the Younger Dryas period where varve preservation gradually ceases. The pronounced changes at the late Allerød - Younger Dryas transition is well-reflected in all environmental indicators but with conspicuous leads and lags reflecting complex responses of lake ecosystems to climate variation. This study is a contribution to the Virtual Institute ICLEA (Integrated Climate and Landscape Evolution Analysis) funded by the Helmholtz Association. The research was supported by the National Science Centre Poland (grants No. NN 306085037 and NCN 2011/01/B/ST10/07367).

  16. Analysis of Memory Codes and Cumulative Rehearsal in Observational Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bandura, Albert; And Others

    1974-01-01

    The present study examined the influence of memory codes varying in meaningfulness and retrievability and cumulative rehearsal on retention of observationally learned responses over increasing temporal intervals. (Editor)

  17. Predicting the likely response of data-poor ecosystems to climate change using space-for-time substitution across domains.

    PubMed

    Lester, Rebecca E; Close, Paul G; Barton, Jan L; Pope, Adam J; Brown, Stuart C

    2014-11-01

    Predicting ecological response to climate change is often limited by a lack of relevant local data from which directly applicable mechanistic models can be developed. This limits predictions to qualitative assessments or simplistic rules of thumb in data-poor regions, making management of the relevant systems difficult. We demonstrate a method for developing quantitative predictions of ecological response in data-poor ecosystems based on a space-for-time substitution, using distant, well-studied systems across an inherent climatic gradient to predict ecological response. Changes in biophysical data across the spatial gradient are used to generate quantitative hypotheses of temporal ecological responses that are then tested in a target region. Transferability of predictions among distant locations, the novel outcome of this method, is demonstrated via simple quantitative relationships that identify direct and indirect impacts of climate change on physical, chemical and ecological variables using commonly available data sources. Based on a limited subset of data, these relationships were demonstrably plausible in similar yet distant (>2000 km) ecosystems. Quantitative forecasts of ecological change based on climate-ecosystem relationships from distant regions provides a basis for research planning and informed management decisions, especially in the many ecosystems for which there are few data. This application of gradient studies across domains - to investigate ecological response to climate change - allows for the quantification of effects on potentially numerous, interacting and complex ecosystem components and how they may vary, especially over long time periods (e.g. decades). These quantitative and integrated long-term predictions will be of significant value to natural resource practitioners attempting to manage data-poor ecosystems to prevent or limit the loss of ecological value. The method is likely to be applicable to many ecosystem types, providing a

  18. How long can fisheries management delay action in response to ecosystem and climate change?

    PubMed

    Brown, Christopher J; Fulton, Elizabeth A; Possingham, Hugh P; Richardson, Anthony J

    2012-01-01

    Sustainable management of fisheries is often compromised by management delaying implementation of regulations that reduce harvest, in order to maintain higher catches in the short-term. Decreases or increases in fish population growth rate driven by environmental change, including ecosystem and climate change, affect the harvest that can be taken sustainably. If not acted on rapidly, environmental change could result in unsustainable fishing or missed opportunity for higher catches. Using simulation models of harvested fish populations influenced by environmental change, we explore how long fisheries managers can afford to wait before changing harvest regulations in response to changes in population growth. If environmental change causes population declines, delays greater than five years increase the probability of population collapse. Species with fast and highly variable population growth rates are more susceptible to collapse under delays and should be a priority for revised management where delays occur. Generally, the long-term cost of delay, in terms of lost fishing opportunity, exceeds the short-term benefits of overfishing. Lowering harvest limits and monitoring for environmental change can alleviate the impact of delays; however, these measures may be more costly than reducing delays. We recommend that management systems that allow rapid responses to population growth changes be enacted for fisheries management to adapt to ecosystem and climate change.

  19. Flooding impacts on responses of a riparian consumer to cross-ecosystem subsidies.

    PubMed

    Greenwood, Michelle J; McIntosh, Angus R

    2008-06-01

    Landscape-driven processes impact the magnitude and direction of cross-ecosystem resource subsidies, but they may also control consumers' numerical and functional responses by altering habitat availability. We investigated effects of the interaction between habitat availability and subsidy level on populations of a riparian fishing spider, Dolomedes aquaticus, using a flood disturbance gradient in the Waimakariri River catchment, New Zealand. D. aquaticus predominantly eat aquatic prey as they hunt from the water surface. However, D. aquaticus biomass peaked at rivers with intermediate flood disturbance, rather than at less flood-prone rivers where the biomass of aquatic insect prey was markedly higher. Flooding positively influenced spider habitat quality, and an experimental manipulation at stable rivers indicated that unembedded cobbles, preferred D. aquaticus habitat, were a limiting factor, preventing response to the increased prey resource at stable sites. Potential terrestrial prey abundance was low, did not vary across the disturbance gradient, and is likely to have been a much smaller component of the fishing spiders' diet than aquatic insect prey. Thus landscape-driven factors not only controlled the magnitude of resource subsidies, but also influenced the ability of consumers to respond to them by altering the physical nature of the ecosystem boundary.

  20. Invertebrate community responses to a particulate- and dissolved-copper exposure in model freshwater ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Gardham, Stephanie; Chariton, Anthony A; Hose, Grant C

    2014-12-01

    Historical contamination has left a legacy of high copper concentrations in the sediments of freshwater ecosystems worldwide. Previous mesocosm studies have focused on dissolved-copper exposures in the overlying waters, which, because of altered exposure pathways, may not accurately predict the effects of copper exposure on invertebrate communities at historically contaminated sites. The present study assessed the effects of copper on the establishment of invertebrate communities within a large outdoor pond mesocosm facility containing environmentally relevant copper-spiked sediments. High particulate copper concentrations (>400 mg/kg dry wt) caused a pronounced effect on the benthic community richness, abundance, and structure in the mesocosms, but particulate copper concentrations below 100 mg/kg dry weight had no effect. Furthermore, there were no effects of copper on the invertebrate communities within the water column, even in the highest copper treatment. The response of the benthic community to copper was influenced by interspecific interactions, the stage of ecological succession, and interspecies variation in sensitivity to copper. The present study demonstrates the importance of using environmentally realistic exposure scenarios that provide both particulate and dissolved exposure pathways. It also emphasizes that risk assessments for aquatic ecosystems should consider the influence of interspecific interactions and interspecies variation in driving the biotic response to contamination.

  1. Bridging the Divide: Linking Genomics to Ecosystem Responses to Climate Change: Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, Melinda D.

    2014-03-15

    Over the project period, we have addressed the following objectives: 1) assess the effects of altered precipitation patterns (i.e., increased variability in growing season precipitation) on genetic diversity of the dominant C4 grass species, Andropogon gerardii, and 2) experimentally assess the impacts of extreme climatic events (heat wave, drought) on responses of the dominant C4 grasses, A. gerardii and Sorghastrum nutans, and the consequences of these response for community and ecosystem structure and function. Below is a summary of how we have addressed these objectives. Objective 1 After ten years of altered precipitation, we found the number of genotypes of A. gerardii was significantly reduced compared to the ambient precipitation treatments (Avolio et al., 2013a). Although genotype number was reduced, the remaining genotypes were less related to one another indicating that the altered precipitation treatment was selecting for increasingly dissimilar genomes (based on mean pairwise Dice distance among individuals). For the four key genotypes that displayed differential abundances depending on the precipitation treatment (G1, G4, and G11 in the altered plots and G2 in the ambient plots), we identified phenotypic differences in the field that could account for ecological sorting (Avolio & Smith, 2013a). The three altered rainfall genotypes also have very different phenotypic traits in the greenhouse in response to different soil moisture availabilities (Avolio and Smith, 2013c). Two of the genotypes that increased in abundance in the altered precipitation plots had greater allocation to root biomass (G4 and G11), while G1 allocated more biomass aboveground. These phenotypic differences among genotypes suggests that changes in genotypic structure between the altered and the ambient treatments has likely occurred via niche differentiation, driven by changes in soil moisture dynamics (reduced mean, increased variability and changes in the depth distribution of

  2. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal community response to warming and nitrogen addition in a semiarid steppe ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yong-Chan; Gao, Cheng; Zheng, Yong; He, Xin-Hua; Yang, Wei; Chen, Liang; Wan, Shi-Qiang; Guo, Liang-Dong

    2015-05-01

    Understanding the response of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi to warming and nitrogen (N) fertilization is critical to assess the impact of anthropogenic disturbance on ecosystem functioning under global climate change scenarios. In this study, AM fungal communities were examined in a full factorial design with warming and N addition in a semiarid steppe in northern China. Warming significantly increased AM fungal spore density, regardless of N addition, whilst N addition significantly decreased AM fungal extraradical hyphal density, regardless of warming. A total of 79 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) of AM fungi were recovered by 454 pyrosequencing of SSU rDNA. Warming, but not N addition, had a significant positive effect on AM fungal OTU richness, while warming and N addition significantly increased AM fungal Shannon diversity index. N addition, but not warming, significantly altered the AM fungal community composition. Furthermore, the changes in AM fungal community composition were associated with shifts in plant community composition indirectly caused by N addition. These findings highlight the different effects of warming and N addition on AM fungal communities and contribute to understanding AM fungal community responses to global environmental change scenarios in semiarid steppe ecosystems.

  3. Projecting cumulative benefits of multiple river restoration projects: an example from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River system in California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kondolf, G. Mathias; Angermeier, Paul L.; Cummins, Kenneth; Dunne, Thomas; Healey, Michael; Kimmerer, Wim; Moyle, Peter B.; Murphy, Dennis; Patten, Duncan; Railsback, Steve F.; Reed, Denise J.; Spies, Robert; Twiss, Robert

    2008-01-01

    Despite increasingly large investments, the potential ecological effects of river restoration programs are still small compared to the degree of human alterations to physical and ecological function. Thus, it is rarely possible to “restore” pre-disturbance conditions; rather restoration programs (even large, well-funded ones) will nearly always involve multiple small projects, each of which can make some modest change to selected ecosystem processes and habitats. At present, such projects are typically selected based on their attributes as individual projects (e.g., consistency with programmatic goals of the funders, scientific soundness, and acceptance by local communities), and ease of implementation. Projects are rarely prioritized (at least explicitly) based on how they will cumulatively affect ecosystem function over coming decades. Such projections require an understanding of the form of the restoration response curve, or at least that we assume some plausible relations and estimate cumulative effects based thereon. Drawing on our experience with the CALFED Bay-Delta Ecosystem Restoration Program in California, we consider potential cumulative system-wide benefits of a restoration activity extensively implemented in the region: isolating/filling abandoned floodplain gravel pits captured by rivers to reduce predation of outmigrating juvenile salmon by exotic warmwater species inhabiting the pits. We present a simple spreadsheet model to show how different assumptions about gravel pit bathymetry and predator behavior would affect the cumulative benefits of multiple pit-filling and isolation projects, and how these insights could help managers prioritize which pits to fill.

  4. Projecting Cumulative Benefits of Multiple River Restoration Projects: An Example from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River System in California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kondolf, G. Mathias; Angermeier, Paul L.; Cummins, Kenneth; Dunne, Thomas; Healey, Michael; Kimmerer, Wim; Moyle, Peter B.; Murphy, Dennis; Patten, Duncan; Railsback, Steve; Reed, Denise J.; Spies, Robert; Twiss, Robert

    2008-12-01

    Despite increasingly large investments, the potential ecological effects of river restoration programs are still small compared to the degree of human alterations to physical and ecological function. Thus, it is rarely possible to “restore” pre-disturbance conditions; rather restoration programs (even large, well-funded ones) will nearly always involve multiple small projects, each of which can make some modest change to selected ecosystem processes and habitats. At present, such projects are typically selected based on their attributes as individual projects (e.g., consistency with programmatic goals of the funders, scientific soundness, and acceptance by local communities), and ease of implementation. Projects are rarely prioritized (at least explicitly) based on how they will cumulatively affect ecosystem function over coming decades. Such projections require an understanding of the form of the restoration response curve, or at least that we assume some plausible relations and estimate cumulative effects based thereon. Drawing on our experience with the CALFED Bay-Delta Ecosystem Restoration Program in California, we consider potential cumulative system-wide benefits of a restoration activity extensively implemented in the region: isolating/filling abandoned floodplain gravel pits captured by rivers to reduce predation of outmigrating juvenile salmon by exotic warmwater species inhabiting the pits. We present a simple spreadsheet model to show how different assumptions about gravel pit bathymetry and predator behavior would affect the cumulative benefits of multiple pit-filling and isolation projects, and how these insights could help managers prioritize which pits to fill.

  5. Projecting cumulative benefits of multiple river restoration projects: an example from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River system in California.

    PubMed

    Kondolf, G Mathias; Angermeier, Paul L; Cummins, Kenneth; Dunne, Thomas; Healey, Michael; Kimmerer, Wim; Moyle, Peter B; Murphy, Dennis; Patten, Duncan; Railsback, Steve; Reed, Denise J; Spies, Robert; Twiss, Robert

    2008-12-01

    Despite increasingly large investments, the potential ecological effects of river restoration programs are still small compared to the degree of human alterations to physical and ecological function. Thus, it is rarely possible to "restore" pre-disturbance conditions; rather restoration programs (even large, well-funded ones) will nearly always involve multiple small projects, each of which can make some modest change to selected ecosystem processes and habitats. At present, such projects are typically selected based on their attributes as individual projects (e.g., consistency with programmatic goals of the funders, scientific soundness, and acceptance by local communities), and ease of implementation. Projects are rarely prioritized (at least explicitly) based on how they will cumulatively affect ecosystem function over coming decades. Such projections require an understanding of the form of the restoration response curve, or at least that we assume some plausible relations and estimate cumulative effects based thereon. Drawing on our experience with the CALFED Bay-Delta Ecosystem Restoration Program in California, we consider potential cumulative system-wide benefits of a restoration activity extensively implemented in the region: isolating/filling abandoned floodplain gravel pits captured by rivers to reduce predation of outmigrating juvenile salmon by exotic warmwater species inhabiting the pits. We present a simple spreadsheet model to show how different assumptions about gravel pit bathymetry and predator behavior would affect the cumulative benefits of multiple pit-filling and isolation projects, and how these insights could help managers prioritize which pits to fill. PMID:18810527

  6. Ocean warming and acidification: Unifying physiological principles linking organism response to ecosystem change?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pörtner, H. O.; Bock, C.; Lannig, G.; Lucassen, M.; Mark, F. C.; Stark, A.; Walther, K.; Wittmann, A.

    2011-12-01

    The effects of ocean warming and acidification on individual species of marine ectothermic animals may be based on some common denominators, i.e. physiological responses that can be assumed to reflect unifying principles, common to all marine animal phyla. Identification of these principles requires studies, which reach beyond the species-specific response, and consider multiple stressors, for example temperature, CO2 or extreme hypoxia. Analyses of response and acclimation include functional traits of physiological performance on various levels of biological organisation, from changes in the transcriptome to patterns of acid-base regulation and whole animal thermal tolerance. Conclusions are substantiated by comparisons of species and phyla from temperate, Arctic and Antarctic ecosystems and also benefit from the interpretation of paleo-patterns based on the use of a unifying physiological concept, suitable to integrate relevant environmental factors into a more comprehensive picture. Studying the differential specialization of animals on climate regimes and their sensitivity to climate leads to improved understanding of ongoing and past ecosystem change and should then support more reliable projections of future scenarios. For example, accumulating CO2 causes disturbances in acid-base status. Resilience to ocean acidification may be reflected in the capacity to compensate for these disturbances or their secondary effects. Ion and pH regulation comprise thermally sensitive active and passive transfer processes across membranes. Specific responses of ion transporter genes and their products to temperature and CO2 were found in fish, crustaceans and bivalves. However, compensation may cause unfavourable shifts in energy budget and beyond that hamper cellular and mitochondrial metabolism, which are directly linked to the animal's aerobic performance window. In crabs, oysters and, possibly, fishes, a narrowing of the thermal window is caused by moderate increases in

  7. Risk and response in watershed ecosystems: Expanding the value of ecological risk assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Marcy, S.K.M.

    1995-12-31

    Ecological risk assessments have primarily been used to either predict, or retrospectively evaluate, the adverse effects of chemical stressors on selected ecological resources. While useful in many applications, this focus has limited value when ecological resources are simultaneously impacted by diverse chemical, physical and biological stressors, a situation typical in watersheds. With an increased emphasis on ecosystem management and watershed protection, it is critical to provide a scientific basis for evaluating and prioritizing risk and predicting the response of resources to management efforts. An expanded ecological risk assessment methodology can provide this scientific framework for improving watershed assessments by: (1) predicting both the risk and response of ecological resources to a potential range of management options, (2) including retrospective, current status, and predictive evaluations, and (3) addressing multiple diverse stressors. The effectiveness of using ecological risk assessments to improve management and decision making at the watershed level will be discussed based on the development of five watershed case studies.

  8. Whole-ecosystem study shows rapid fish-mercury response to changes in mercury deposition

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harris, R.C.; Rudd, J.W.M.; Amyot, M.; Babiarz, C.L.; Beaty, K.G.; Blanchfield, P.J.; Bodaly, R.A.; Branfireun, B.A.; Gilmour, C.C.; Graydon, J.A.; Heyes, A.; Hintelmann, H.; Hurley, J.P.; Kelly, C.A.; Krabbenhoft, D.P.; Lindberg, S.E.; Mason, R.P.; Paterson, M.J.; Podemski, C.L.; Robinson, A.; Sandilands, K.A.; Southworthn, G.R.; St. Louis, V.L.; Tate, M.T.

    2007-01-01

    Methylmercury contamination of fisheries from centuries of industrial atmospheric emissions negatively impacts humans and wild-life worldwide. The response of fish methylmercury concentrations to changes in mercury deposition has been difficult to establish because sediments/soils contain large pools of historical contamination, and many factors in addition to deposition affect fish mercury. To test directly the response of fish contamination to changing mercury deposition, we conducted a whole-ecosystem experiment, increasing the mercury load to a lake and its watershed by the addition of enriched stable mercury isotopes. The isotopes allowed us to distinguish between experimentally applied mercury and mercury already present in the ecosystem and to examine bioaccumulation of mercury deposited to different parts of the watershed. Fish methylmercury concentrations responded rapidly to changes in mercury deposition over the first 3 years of study. Essentially all of the increase in fish methylmercury concentrations came from mercury deposited directly to the lake surface. In contrast, <1% of the mercury isotope deposited to the watershed was exported to the lake. Steady state was not reached within 3 years. Lake mercury isotope concentrations were still rising in lake biota, and watershed mercury isotope exports to the lake were increasing slowly. Therefore, we predict that mercury emissions reductions will yield rapid (years) reductions in fish methylmercury concentrations and will yield concomitant reductions in risk. However, a full response will be delayed by the gradual export of mercury stored in watersheds. The rate of response will vary among lakes depending on the relative surface areas of water and watershed. ?? 2007 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA.

  9. Minimizing risks from spilled oil to ecosystem services using influence diagrams: the Deepwater Horizon spill response.

    PubMed

    Carriger, John F; Barron, Mace G

    2011-09-15

    Decision science tools can be used in evaluating response options and making inferences on risks to ecosystem services (ES) from ecological disasters. Influence diagrams (IDs) are probabilistic networks that explicitly represent the decisions related to a problem and their influence on desired or undesired outcomes. To examine how IDs might be useful in probabilistic risk management for spill response efforts, an ID was constructed to display the potential interactions between exposure events and the trade-offs between costs and ES impacts from spilled oil and response decisions in the DWH spill event. Quantitative knowledge was not formally incorporated but an ID platform for doing this was examined. Probabilities were assigned for conditional relationships in the ID and scenarios examining the impact of different response actions on components of spilled oil were investigated in hypothetical scenarios. Given the structure of the ID, potential knowledge gaps included understanding of the movement of oil, the ecological risk of different spill-related stressors to key receptors (e.g., endangered species, fisheries), and the need for stakeholder valuation of the ES benefits that could be impacted by a spill. Framing the Deepwater Horizon problem domain in an ID conceptualized important variables and relationships that could be optimally accounted for in preparing and managing responses in future spills. These features of the developed IDs may assist in better investigating the uncertainty, costs, and the trade-offs if large-scale, deep ocean spills were to occur again.

  10. Aquatic ecosystem response to timber harvesting for the purpose of restoring aspen.

    PubMed

    Jones, Bobette E; Krupa, Monika; Tate, Kenneth W

    2013-01-01

    The removal of conifers through commercial timber harvesting has been successful in restoring aspen, however many aspen stands are located near streams, and there are concerns about potential aquatic ecosystem impairment. We examined the effects of management-scale conifer removal from aspen stands located adjacent to streams on water quality, solar radiation, canopy cover, temperature, aquatic macroinvertebrates, and soil moisture. This 8-year study (2003-2010) involved two projects located in Lassen National Forest. The Pine-Bogard Project consisted of three treatments adjacent to Pine and Bogard Creeks: (i) Phase 1 in January 2004, (ii) Phase 2 in August 2005, and (iii) Phase 3 in January 2008. The Bailey Project consisted of one treatment adjacent to Bailey Creek in September 2006. Treatments involved whole tree removal using track-laying harvesters and rubber tire skidders. More than 80% of all samples analyzed for NO₃-N, NH₄-N, and PO₄-P at Pine, Bogard, and Bailey Creeks were below the detection limit, with the exception of naturally elevated PO₄-P in Bogard Creek. All nutrient concentrations (NO₃-N, NH₄-N, PO₄-P, K, and SO₄-S) showed little variation within streams and across years. Turbidity and TSS exhibited annual variation, but there was no significant increase in the difference between upstream and downstream turbidity and TSS levels. There was a significant decrease in stream canopy cover and increase in the potential fraction of solar radiation reaching the streams in response to the Pine-Bogard Phase 3 and Bailey treatments; however, there was no corresponding increase in stream temperatures. Macroinvertebrate metrics indicated healthy aquatic ecosystem conditions throughout the course of the study. Lastly, the removal of vegetation significantly increased soil moisture in treated stands relative to untreated stands. These results indicate that, with careful planning and implementation of site-specific best management practices

  11. Aquatic ecosystem response to timber harvesting for the purpose of restoring aspen.

    PubMed

    Jones, Bobette E; Krupa, Monika; Tate, Kenneth W

    2013-01-01

    The removal of conifers through commercial timber harvesting has been successful in restoring aspen, however many aspen stands are located near streams, and there are concerns about potential aquatic ecosystem impairment. We examined the effects of management-scale conifer removal from aspen stands located adjacent to streams on water quality, solar radiation, canopy cover, temperature, aquatic macroinvertebrates, and soil moisture. This 8-year study (2003-2010) involved two projects located in Lassen National Forest. The Pine-Bogard Project consisted of three treatments adjacent to Pine and Bogard Creeks: (i) Phase 1 in January 2004, (ii) Phase 2 in August 2005, and (iii) Phase 3 in January 2008. The Bailey Project consisted of one treatment adjacent to Bailey Creek in September 2006. Treatments involved whole tree removal using track-laying harvesters and rubber tire skidders. More than 80% of all samples analyzed for NO₃-N, NH₄-N, and PO₄-P at Pine, Bogard, and Bailey Creeks were below the detection limit, with the exception of naturally elevated PO₄-P in Bogard Creek. All nutrient concentrations (NO₃-N, NH₄-N, PO₄-P, K, and SO₄-S) showed little variation within streams and across years. Turbidity and TSS exhibited annual variation, but there was no significant increase in the difference between upstream and downstream turbidity and TSS levels. There was a significant decrease in stream canopy cover and increase in the potential fraction of solar radiation reaching the streams in response to the Pine-Bogard Phase 3 and Bailey treatments; however, there was no corresponding increase in stream temperatures. Macroinvertebrate metrics indicated healthy aquatic ecosystem conditions throughout the course of the study. Lastly, the removal of vegetation significantly increased soil moisture in treated stands relative to untreated stands. These results indicate that, with careful planning and implementation of site-specific best management practices

  12. Aquatic Ecosystem Response to Timber Harvesting for the Purpose of Restoring Aspen

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Bobette E.; Krupa, Monika; Tate, Kenneth W.

    2013-01-01

    The removal of conifers through commercial timber harvesting has been successful in restoring aspen, however many aspen stands are located near streams, and there are concerns about potential aquatic ecosystem impairment. We examined the effects of management-scale conifer removal from aspen stands located adjacent to streams on water quality, solar radiation, canopy cover, temperature, aquatic macroinvertebrates, and soil moisture. This 8-year study (2003–2010) involved two projects located in Lassen National Forest. The Pine-Bogard Project consisted of three treatments adjacent to Pine and Bogard Creeks: (i) Phase 1 in January 2004, (ii) Phase 2 in August 2005, and (iii) Phase 3 in January 2008. The Bailey Project consisted of one treatment adjacent to Bailey Creek in September 2006. Treatments involved whole tree removal using track-laying harvesters and rubber tire skidders. More than 80% of all samples analyzed for NO3-N, NH4-N, and PO4-P at Pine, Bogard, and Bailey Creeks were below the detection limit, with the exception of naturally elevated PO4-P in Bogard Creek. All nutrient concentrations (NO3-N, NH4-N, PO4-P, K, and SO4-S) showed little variation within streams and across years. Turbidity and TSS exhibited annual variation, but there was no significant increase in the difference between upstream and downstream turbidity and TSS levels. There was a significant decrease in stream canopy cover and increase in the potential fraction of solar radiation reaching the streams in response to the Pine-Bogard Phase 3 and Bailey treatments; however, there was no corresponding increase in stream temperatures. Macroinvertebrate metrics indicated healthy aquatic ecosystem conditions throughout the course of the study. Lastly, the removal of vegetation significantly increased soil moisture in treated stands relative to untreated stands. These results indicate that, with careful planning and implementation of site-specific best management practices, conifer removal to

  13. [Responses of ecosystem carbon budget to increasing nitrogen deposition in differently degraded Leymus chinensis steppes in Inner Mongolia, China].

    PubMed

    Qi, Yu-Chun; Peng, Qin; Dong, Yun-She; Xiao, Sheng-Sheng; Jia, Jun-Qiang; Quo, Shu-Fang; He, Yun-Long; Yan, Zhong-Qing; Wang, Li-Qin

    2015-02-01

    Based on a field manipulative nitrogen (N) addition experiment, the effects of atmospheric N deposition level change on the plant biomass and net primary productivity (NPP), soil respiration (Rs) and net ecosystem exchange (NEE) were investigated respectively in 2009 and 2010 in two differently degraded Leymus chinensis steppes in Inner Mongolia of China, and the difference in the response of NEE to equal amount of N addition [10 g x (M2 x a)(-1), MN] between the two steppes was also discussed. The results indicated that for the light degraded Leymus chinensis steppe (site A) , the average plant aboveground biomass (AGB) in MN treatment were 21.5% and 46.8% higher than those of CK in these two years. But for the moderate degraded Leymus chinensis steppe (site B), the N addition decreased the plant AGB and ANPP in 2009, while showed positive effects in 2010. N addition increased the belowground biomass (BGB) of the both sites and belowground NPP (BNPP) of site B in both years, but decreased the BNPP of site A in 2010. The increase of N input in the two steppes did not change the seasonal variation of Rs. The cumulative annual soil C emissions in MN treatment in site A showed an increase of about 14.6% and 25.7% of those in the CK respectively for these two years, while were decreased by about 10.4% and 11.3%, respectively in site B. The NEE of MN treatments, expressed by C, for the two steppes were 59.22 g x (m2 x a)(1) and 166.68 g x (m2 x a)(-1), as well as 83.27 g x (m2 x a)(-1) and 117.47 g x (m2 x a)(-1), respectively in these two years. The increments in NEE originated from N addition for these two years were 15.79 g x (M2 x a)(-1) and 82.94 g x (M2 x a)(-1) in site A and 74.54 g x (M2 x a)(-1) and 101.23 g x (M2 x a)(-1) in site B. The N input per unit could obtain greater C sink effect in the steppe with lower initial N level.

  14. Complex responses to invasive grass litter by ground arthropods in a Mediterranean scrub ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Wolkovich, Elizabeth Mary; Bolger, Douglas T; Holway, David A

    2009-10-01

    Plant invasions have tremendous potential to alter food webs by changing basal resources. Recent studies document how plant invasions may contribute to increased arthropod abundances in detritus-based food webs. An obvious mechanism for this phenomenon-a bottom-up effect resulting from elevated levels of detritus from the invasive plant litter-has not been explicitly studied. We examined the effects of an annual grass invasion on ground arthropod assemblages in the coastal sage scrub (CSS) of southern California. Bottom-up food web theory predicts that the addition of detritus would increase generalist-feeding arthropods at all trophic levels; accordingly, we expected increases in fungi, Collembola, and common predators such as mites and spiders. For the common ant taxa, habitat alteration may also be important for predicting responses. Thus we expected that Forelius mccooki and Pheidole vistana, the most common ant species, would decline because of changes in soil temperature (F. mccooki) and habitat structure (P. vistana) associated with litter. We studied trends observationally and conducted a 3-year experiment in which we manipulated litter quantity. In contrast to other published studies, most detritus-based arthropod taxa declined in areas of high grass invasion, and, within trophic levels, responses often varied idiosyncratically. For the two most common taxa, a native ant (F. mccooki), and predatory mites in the Anystidae, we experimentally linked declines in abundance to increased levels of invasive grass litter. Such declines, especially those exhibited by the most common ant taxa, could have cascading effects on the CSS ecosystem, where ants are numerically dominant and thus may have broad influences on food web and ecosystem properties. Our results highlight that accurately predicting arthropod responses to invasive plant litter requires careful consideration of the structural and food resources provided by detritus to each particular food web.

  15. Practical management of cumulative anthropogenic impacts with working marine examples.

    PubMed

    Wright, Andrew J; Kyhn, Line A

    2015-04-01

    Human pressure on the environment is expanding and intensifying, especially in coastal and offshore areas. Major contributors to this are the current push for offshore renewable energy sources, which are thought of as environmentally friendly sources of power, as well as the continued demand for petroleum. Human disturbances, including the noise almost ubiquitously associated with human activity, are likely to increase the incidence, magnitude, and duration of adverse effects on marine life, including stress responses. Stress responses have the potential to induce fitness consequences for individuals, which add to more obvious directed takes (e.g., hunting or fishing) to increase the overall population-level impact. To meet the requirements of marine spatial planning and ecosystem-based management, many efforts are ongoing to quantify the cumulative impacts of all human actions on marine species or populations. Meanwhile, regulators face the challenge of managing these accumulating and interacting impacts with limited scientific guidance. We believe there is scientific support for capping the level of impact for (at a minimum) populations in decline or with unknown statuses. This cap on impact can be facilitated through implementation of regular application cycles for project authorization or improved programmatic and aggregated impact assessments that simultaneously consider multiple projects. Cross-company collaborations and a better incorporation of uncertainty into decision making could also help limit, if not reduce, cumulative impacts of multiple human activities. These simple management steps may also form the basis of a rudimentary form of marine spatial planning and could be used in support of future ecosystem-based management efforts. PMID:25439093

  16. Practical management of cumulative anthropogenic impacts with working marine examples.

    PubMed

    Wright, Andrew J; Kyhn, Line A

    2015-04-01

    Human pressure on the environment is expanding and intensifying, especially in coastal and offshore areas. Major contributors to this are the current push for offshore renewable energy sources, which are thought of as environmentally friendly sources of power, as well as the continued demand for petroleum. Human disturbances, including the noise almost ubiquitously associated with human activity, are likely to increase the incidence, magnitude, and duration of adverse effects on marine life, including stress responses. Stress responses have the potential to induce fitness consequences for individuals, which add to more obvious directed takes (e.g., hunting or fishing) to increase the overall population-level impact. To meet the requirements of marine spatial planning and ecosystem-based management, many efforts are ongoing to quantify the cumulative impacts of all human actions on marine species or populations. Meanwhile, regulators face the challenge of managing these accumulating and interacting impacts with limited scientific guidance. We believe there is scientific support for capping the level of impact for (at a minimum) populations in decline or with unknown statuses. This cap on impact can be facilitated through implementation of regular application cycles for project authorization or improved programmatic and aggregated impact assessments that simultaneously consider multiple projects. Cross-company collaborations and a better incorporation of uncertainty into decision making could also help limit, if not reduce, cumulative impacts of multiple human activities. These simple management steps may also form the basis of a rudimentary form of marine spatial planning and could be used in support of future ecosystem-based management efforts.

  17. Key ecological responses to nitrogen are altered by climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Greaver, T.L.; Clark, C.M.; Compton, J.E.; Vallano, D.; Talhelm, A. F.; Weaver, C.P.; Band, L.E.; Baron, J. S.; Davidson, E.A.; Tague, C.L.; Felker-Quinn, E.; Lynch, J.A.; Herrick, J.D.; Liu, L.; Goodale, C.L.; Novak, K. J.; Haeuber, R. A.

    2016-01-01

    Climate change and anthropogenic nitrogen deposition are both important ecological threats. Evaluating their cumulative effects provides a more holistic view of ecosystem vulnerability to human activities, which would better inform policy decisions aimed to protect the sustainability of ecosystems. Our knowledge of the cumulative effects of these stressors is growing, but we lack an integrated understanding. In this Review, we describe how climate change alters key processes in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems related to nitrogen cycling and availability, and the response of ecosystems to nitrogen addition in terms of carbon cycling, acidification and biodiversity.

  18. Key ecological responses to nitrogen are altered by climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greaver, T. L.; Clark, C. M.; Compton, J. E.; Vallano, D.; Talhelm, A. F.; Weaver, C. P.; Band, L. E.; Baron, J. S.; Davidson, E. A.; Tague, C. L.; Felker-Quinn, E.; Lynch, J. A.; Herrick, J. D.; Liu, L.; Goodale, C. L.; Novak, K. J.; Haeuber, R. A.

    2016-09-01

    Climate change and anthropogenic nitrogen deposition are both important ecological threats. Evaluating their cumulative effects provides a more holistic view of ecosystem vulnerability to human activities, which would better inform policy decisions aimed to protect the sustainability of ecosystems. Our knowledge of the cumulative effects of these stressors is growing, but we lack an integrated understanding. In this Review, we describe how climate change alters key processes in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems related to nitrogen cycling and availability, and the response of ecosystems to nitrogen addition in terms of carbon cycling, acidification and biodiversity.

  19. CUMBIN - CUMULATIVE BINOMIAL PROGRAMS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowerman, P. N.

    1994-01-01

    The cumulative binomial program, CUMBIN, is one of a set of three programs which calculate cumulative binomial probability distributions for arbitrary inputs. The three programs, CUMBIN, NEWTONP (NPO-17556), and CROSSER (NPO-17557), can be used independently of one another. CUMBIN can be used by statisticians and users of statistical procedures, test planners, designers, and numerical analysts. The program has been used for reliability/availability calculations. CUMBIN calculates the probability that a system of n components has at least k operating if the probability that any one operating is p and the components are independent. Equivalently, this is the reliability of a k-out-of-n system having independent components with common reliability p. CUMBIN can evaluate the incomplete beta distribution for two positive integer arguments. CUMBIN can also evaluate the cumulative F distribution and the negative binomial distribution, and can determine the sample size in a test design. CUMBIN is designed to work well with all integer values 0 < k <= n. To run the program, the user simply runs the executable version and inputs the information requested by the program. The program is not designed to weed out incorrect inputs, so the user must take care to make sure the inputs are correct. Once all input has been entered, the program calculates and lists the result. The CUMBIN program is written in C. It was developed on an IBM AT with a numeric co-processor using Microsoft C 5.0. Because the source code is written using standard C structures and functions, it should compile correctly with most C compilers. The program format is interactive. It has been implemented under DOS 3.2 and has a memory requirement of 26K. CUMBIN was developed in 1988.

  20. Cumulative impact assessment: A case study

    SciTech Connect

    Irving, J.S.; Bain, M.B.

    1989-01-01

    The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) indirectly addressed cumulative impacts. Attempts to include cumulative impacts in environmental impact assessments, however, did not began until the early 1980's. One such effort began when The Federal Energy and Regulatory Commission (FERC) received over 1200 applications for hydroelectric projects in the Pacific Northwest. Federal and State Agencies, Indian tribes and environmental groups realized the potential cumulative effect such development could have on fish and wildfire resources. In response, the FERC developed the Cluster Impact Assessment Procedure (CIAP). The CIAP consisted of public scoping meetings; interactive workshops designed to identify projects with potential for cumulative effects, important resources, available data; and preparation of a NEPA document (EA or EIS). The procedure was modifies to assess the cumulative impacts of fifteen hydroelectric projects in the Salmon River Basin, Idaho. The methodology achieved its basic objective of evaluating the impact of hydroelectric development on fish and wildfire resources. In addition, the use of evaluative techniques to determine project interactions and degrees of impact hindered acceptance of the conclusions. Notwithstanding these problems, the studies provided a basis for decision-makers to incorporate the potential effects of cumulative impacts into the decision-making process. 22 refs., 2 figs., 4 tabs.

  1. Processes of community development and responses of ecosystems to climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Redente, E.F.

    1989-05-26

    Our studies focus on attempting to understand the role of decomposer-primary producer linkages in successional dynamics. We are testing a series of hypotheses that relate changes in plant species composition during succession to changes in activity and structure of the soil microfloral and faunal community, dynamics of soil organic matter, and availability of soil nutrients. As these successional patterns are identified, they are being applied to understanding specific processes and mechanics involved in ecosystem development during recovery from moderate and severe disturbances. These findings are then being used in conjunction with simulation models to assess potential effects of climate change on ecosystems. Our research involves field studies in northwestern Colorado and southeastern Washington, laboratory studies, and simulation modeling. Ongoing projects include studies of response patterns of primary producer and soil microbial communities to nutrient additions (N, P, and sucrose), the function of mycorrhizal fungi in plant community development, and the dynamics of litter decomposition under semiarid conditions. New studies are being implemented to investigate the significance of nutrient transfers from VAM fungi to plants and plant-root exudate interactions, and to relate this to understanding their roles in succession.

  2. Conceptual data modeling of wildlife response indicators to ecosystem change in the Arctic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Walworth, Dennis; Pearce, John M.

    2015-08-06

    Large research studies are often challenged to effectively expose and document the types of information being collected and the reasons for data collection across what are often a diverse cadre of investigators of differing disciplines. We applied concepts from the field of information or data modeling to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Changing Arctic Ecosystems (CAE) initiative to prototype an application of information modeling. The USGS CAE initiative is collecting information from marine and terrestrial environments in Alaska to identify and understand the links between rapid physical changes in the Arctic and response of wildlife populations to these ecosystem changes. An associated need is to understand how data collection strategies are informing the overall science initiative and facilitating communication of those strategies to a wide audience. We explored the use of conceptual data modeling to provide a method by which to document, describe, and visually communicate both enterprise and study level data; provide a simple means to analyze commonalities and differences in data acquisition strategies between studies; and provide a tool for discussing those strategies among researchers and managers.

  3. Ecosystem response to a temporary sea ice retreat in the Bering Sea: Winter 2009

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miksis-Olds, Jennifer L.; Stabeno, Phyllis J.; Napp, Jeffery M.; Pinchuk, Alexei I.; Nystuen, Jeffrey A.; Warren, Joseph D.; Denes, Samuel L.

    2013-04-01

    Adding acoustic systems onto ocean moorings and observatories provides additional data to more fully document ecosystem responses to environmental perturbations. A passive acoustic recorder and three-frequency echosounder system were integrated into a biophysical mooring on the central eastern Bering Sea continental shelf. An unexpected, transient, mid-winter retreat of the seasonal sea ice was observed over the mooring for a 2-week period in March 2009. Interpretation of the passive acoustic data provided information about sea ice conditions and included the detection and identification of vocalizing marine mammals, while the acoustic backscatter provided information on relative zooplankton and fish abundance before, during, and after the retreat. Hydrographic data confirmed the acoustic signal was associated with changing surface ice conditions, and the combined information from the biophysical mooring sensors revealed changes in winter trophic level dynamics during the retreat, which would have otherwise been undetected by traditional ship-based observations. Changes in the acoustic environment, zooplankton dynamics, and acoustic detection of marine mammals were observed amidst a physically stable and uniform water column with no indication of a phytoplankton bloom. These data demonstrate the value of acoustic technologies to monitor changing ecosystems dynamics in remote and hazardous locations.

  4. Digging deeper: Fine root responses to rising atmospheric [CO2] in forested ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Iversen, Colleen M

    2010-01-01

    Experimental evidence from a diverse set of forested ecosystems indicates that CO2 enrichment may lead to deeper rooting distributions. While the causes of greater root production at deeper soil depths under elevated CO2 concentration ([CO2]) require further investigation, altered rooting distributions are expected to affect important ecosystem processes. The depth at which fine roots are produced may influence root chemistry, physiological function, and mycorrhizal infection, leading to altered nitrogen (N) uptake rates and slower turnover. Also, soil processes such as microbial decomposition are slowed at depth in the soil, potentially affecting the rate at which root detritus becomes incorporated into soil organic matter. Deeper rooting distributions under elevated [CO2] provide exciting opportunities to use novel sensors and chemical analyses throughout the soil profile to track the effects of root proliferation on carbon (C) and N cycling. Models do not currently incorporate information on root turnover and C and N cycling at depth in the soil, and modification is necessary to accurately represent processes associated with altered rooting depth distributions. Progress in understanding and modeling the interface between deeper rooting distributions under elevated [CO2] and soil C and N cycling will be critical in projecting the sustainability of forest responses to rising atmospheric [CO2].

  5. Cumulative Timers for Microprocessors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Battle, John O.

    2007-01-01

    It has been proposed to equip future microprocessors with electronic cumulative timers, for essentially the same reasons for which land vehicles are equipped with odometers (total-distance-traveled meters) and aircraft are equipped with Hobbs meters (total-engine-operating time meters). Heretofore, there has been no way to determine the amount of use to which a microprocessor (or a product containing a microprocessor) has been subjected. The proposed timers would count all microprocessor clock cycles and could only be read by means of microprocessor instructions but, like odometers and Hobbs meters, could never be reset to zero without physically damaging the chip.

  6. Unexpected patterns of vegetation distribution response and climate change velocities in cold ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macias-Fauria, M.; Johnson, E. A.; Forbes, B. C.; Willis, K. J.

    2013-12-01

    In cold ecosystems such as sub-alpine forests and forest-tundra, vegetation geographical ranges are expected to expand upward/northward in a warmer world. Such moving fronts have been predicted to 1) decrease the remaining alpine area in mountain systems, increasing fragmentation and extinction risk of many alpine taxa, and 2) fundamentally modify the energy budget of newly afforested areas, enhancing further regional warming due to a reduction in albedo. The latter is particularly significant in the forest-tundra, where changes over large regions can have regional-to-global effects on climate. An integral part of the expected range shifts is their velocity. Whereas range shifts across thermal gradients can theoretically be fast in an elevation gradient relative to climate velocity (i.e. rate of climate change) due to the short distances involved, large lags are expected over the flat forest-tundra. Mountain regions have thus been identified as buffer areas where species can track climate change, in opposition to flat terrain where climate velocity is faster. Thus, much shorter time-to-equilibrium are expected for advancing upslope sub-alpine forest than for advancing northern boreal forest. We contribute to this discussion by showing two mechanisms that might largely alter the above predictions in opposite directions: 1) In mountain regions, terrain heterogeneity not only allows for slower climate velocities, but slope processes largely affect the advance of vegetation. Indeed, such mechanisms can potentially reduce the climatic signal in vegetation distribution limits (e.g. treeline), precluding it from migrating to climatically favourable areas - since these areas occur in geologically unfavourable ones. Such seemingly local control to species range shifts was found to reduce the climate-sensitive treeline areas in the sub-alpine forest of the Canadian Rocky Mountains to ~5% at a landscape scale, fundamentally altering the predictions of vegetation response to

  7. The Beddington-De Angelis and the HTII product response functions: Application to polluted ecosystems biodegradation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bulai, Iulia Martina; Venturino, Ezio

    2016-06-01

    In this paper we consider an aquatic ecosystem consisting of bacteria, organic pollutants and dissolved oxygen. By formulating two suitable mathematical models for their interactions, we investigate the sustainability in time of this ecosystem.

  8. Ecosystem experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Mooney, H.A.; Medina, E.; Schindler, D.W.; Schulze, E.D.; Walker, B.H.

    1991-01-01

    Large scale, human-induced modifications to terrestrial and hydrological systems have been a major factor in contributing to global change. The objective of this book is to explore the potential of ecosystem experimentation as a tool to understanding and predicting more precisely the consequences of our changing biosphere. The papers in this book are the result of two SCOPE workshops to evaluated understanding of the response of ecosystems to large scale perturbations and to design ecosystem experiments to study the impace of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations on ecosystem processes. The general topics addressed include the following: how changes in driving variables affect different biotic interactions within ecosystems; the human role in modifying forest structure and the resulting ecosystem processes; the role of ecosystem experiments in the study of controlling factors such as hydrological controls, temperature, and biotic controlles; analysis of ecosystem dynamics as a complex and chaotic system; role of ecosystem experiments in the study of the impact of acid deposition; role of ecosystem experimentation in the study of global change impace on the biosphere and the biospheric feedbacks to global environmental change.

  9. CROSSER - CUMULATIVE BINOMIAL PROGRAMS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowerman, P. N.

    1994-01-01

    The cumulative binomial program, CROSSER, is one of a set of three programs which calculate cumulative binomial probability distributions for arbitrary inputs. The three programs, CROSSER, CUMBIN (NPO-17555), and NEWTONP (NPO-17556), can be used independently of one another. CROSSER can be used by statisticians and users of statistical procedures, test planners, designers, and numerical analysts. The program has been used for reliability/availability calculations. CROSSER calculates the point at which the reliability of a k-out-of-n system equals the common reliability of the n components. It is designed to work well with all integer values 0 < k <= n. To run the program, the user simply runs the executable version and inputs the information requested by the program. The program is not designed to weed out incorrect inputs, so the user must take care to make sure the inputs are correct. Once all input has been entered, the program calculates and lists the result. It also lists the number of iterations of Newton's method required to calculate the answer within the given error. The CROSSER program is written in C. It was developed on an IBM AT with a numeric co-processor using Microsoft C 5.0. Because the source code is written using standard C structures and functions, it should compile correctly with most C compilers. The program format is interactive. It has been implemented under DOS 3.2 and has a memory requirement of 26K. CROSSER was developed in 1988.

  10. The provision of ecosystem services in response to global change: Evidences and applications.

    PubMed

    Lafortezza, Raffaele; Chen, Jiquan

    2016-05-01

    As a consequence of the global increase in economic and societal prosperity, ecosystems and natural resources have been substantially exploited, degraded, or even destroyed in the last century. To prevent further deprivation of the quality of ecosystems, the ecosystem services concept has become a central issue in environmental studies. A growing number of environmental agencies and organizations worldwide are now embracing integrated approaches to plan and manage ecosystems, sharing a goal to maintain the long-term provision of ecosystem services for sustainability. A daunting challenge in this process is to move from general pronouncements about the tremendous benefits that ecosystems provide to society to defensible assessments of their services. In other words, we must move beyond the scientific evidences of the ecosystem services concept to its practical applications. In this work, we discuss the theoretical foundations and applications of ecosystem services with a focus on the assessment of ecosystem service trade-offs and synergies at various spatial and temporal scales. Here, we offer examples of the main factors related to land use management that may affect the provision of ecosystem services and provide direction for future research on ecosystem services and related nature-based solutions. We also provide a briefing on the major topics covered in this Special Issue, which focuses on the provision of ecosystem services in the context of global change.

  11. The provision of ecosystem services in response to global change: Evidences and applications.

    PubMed

    Lafortezza, Raffaele; Chen, Jiquan

    2016-05-01

    As a consequence of the global increase in economic and societal prosperity, ecosystems and natural resources have been substantially exploited, degraded, or even destroyed in the last century. To prevent further deprivation of the quality of ecosystems, the ecosystem services concept has become a central issue in environmental studies. A growing number of environmental agencies and organizations worldwide are now embracing integrated approaches to plan and manage ecosystems, sharing a goal to maintain the long-term provision of ecosystem services for sustainability. A daunting challenge in this process is to move from general pronouncements about the tremendous benefits that ecosystems provide to society to defensible assessments of their services. In other words, we must move beyond the scientific evidences of the ecosystem services concept to its practical applications. In this work, we discuss the theoretical foundations and applications of ecosystem services with a focus on the assessment of ecosystem service trade-offs and synergies at various spatial and temporal scales. Here, we offer examples of the main factors related to land use management that may affect the provision of ecosystem services and provide direction for future research on ecosystem services and related nature-based solutions. We also provide a briefing on the major topics covered in this Special Issue, which focuses on the provision of ecosystem services in the context of global change. PMID:26944091

  12. Circumventing chronological uncertainty in attempts to detect and understand non-linear ecosystem responses in shallow lake paleorecords

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reid, M. A.

    2015-12-01

    Shallow lakes can undergo rapid changes in key biotic components. These phenomena, which include loss of submerged macrophytes, fish kills and algal blooms, can occur at sub-seasonal timescales and are often reported to be non-linear, threshold responses to a gradual intensification of an external driver and reflective of a change in state. Although such threshold responses are widely reported, a recent meta-analysis found that most such changes cannot be unequivocally confirmed as true threshold responses. This is because clear records of system stability in the face of a gradual increase in external driver intensity followed by rapid system change are lacking, as are records of post threshold stability in the new state following release of external driver pressure. That threshold responses were not confirmed often reflects insufficient time series of before or after data to establish driver variability and ecosystem stability. In this context, paleo studies provide a means to clearly identify non-linear, threshold responses in shallow lake ecosystems. The challenge of detecting evidence of non-linear responses in shallow lake ecosystems is often seen as a chronological one. Highly resolved and accurate sediment chronologies coupled with historical records of external driver intensity do provide a means to detect non-linear, threshold responses, but such chronologies are rare in shallow lakes. Fortunately, the 'tight chronology-historical record of external driver' approach is not the only, or even the most direct, way to detect non-linear ecosystem responses in paleo records. An alternative, more direct approach is ecosystem response and external driver intensity to be preserved in the same sedimentary record. Theoretically, it is arguable whether any chronological control is needed at all to determine if a non-linear response has occurred, for the key is not how quickly an ecosystem response may occur or if it is linear with respect to time, it is whether it is

  13. Disentangling leaf area and environmental effects on the response of the net ecosystem CO2 exchange to diffuse radiation.

    PubMed

    Wohlfahrt, Georg; Hammerle, Albin; Haslwanter, Alois; Bahn, Michael; Tappeiner, Ulrike; Cernusca, Alexander

    2008-08-01

    There is an ongoing discussion about why the net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) of some ecosystems is less sensitive to diffuse radiation than others and about the role other environmental factors play in determining the response of NEE to diffuse radiation. Using a six-year data set from a temperate mountain grassland in Austria we show that differences between ecosystems may be reconciled based on their green area index (GAI; square meter green plant area per square meter ground area) - the sensitivity to diffuse radiation increasing with GAI. Our data suggest diffuse radiation to have a negligible influence on NEE below a GAI of 2 m(2) m(-2). Changes in air/soil temperature and air humidity concurrent with the fraction of diffuse radiation were found to amplify the sensitivity of the investigated temperate mountain grassland ecosystem to diffuse radiation.

  14. Low Concentrations of Silver Nanoparticles in Biosolids Cause Adverse Ecosystem Responses under Realistic Field Scenario

    PubMed Central

    Colman, Benjamin P.; Arnaout, Christina L.; Anciaux, Sarah; Gunsch, Claudia K.; Hochella, Michael F.; Kim, Bojeong; Lowry, Gregory V.; McGill, Bonnie M.; Reinsch, Brian C.; Richardson, Curtis J.; Unrine, Jason M.; Wright, Justin P.; Yin, Liyan; Bernhardt, Emily S.

    2013-01-01

    A large fraction of engineered nanomaterials in consumer and commercial products will reach natural ecosystems. To date, research on the biological impacts of environmental nanomaterial exposures has largely focused on high-concentration exposures in mechanistic lab studies with single strains of model organisms. These results are difficult to extrapolate to ecosystems, where exposures will likely be at low-concentrations and which are inhabited by a diversity of organisms. Here we show adverse responses of plants and microorganisms in a replicated long-term terrestrial mesocosm field experiment following a single low dose of silver nanoparticles (0.14 mg Ag kg−1 soil) applied via a likely route of exposure, sewage biosolid application. While total aboveground plant biomass did not differ between treatments receiving biosolids, one plant species, Microstegium vimeneum, had 32 % less biomass in the Slurry+AgNP treatment relative to the Slurry only treatment. Microorganisms were also affected by AgNP treatment, which gave a significantly different community composition of bacteria in the Slurry+AgNPs as opposed to the Slurry treatment one day after addition as analyzed by T-RFLP analysis of 16S-rRNA genes. After eight days, N2O flux was 4.5 fold higher in the Slurry+AgNPs treatment than the Slurry treatment. After fifty days, community composition and N2O flux of the Slurry+AgNPs treatment converged with the Slurry. However, the soil microbial extracellular enzymes leucine amino peptidase and phosphatase had 52 and 27% lower activities, respectively, while microbial biomass was 35% lower than the Slurry. We also show that the magnitude of these responses was in all cases as large as or larger than the positive control, AgNO3, added at 4-fold the Ag concentration of the silver nanoparticles. PMID:23468930

  15. Differentiating responses to contaminants from responses to other environmental factors for benthic biota in freshwater ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Day, K.E.; Reynoldson, T.B.; Rosenberg, D.M.

    1995-12-31

    Many ecological risk assessments (ERAS) of lakes, rivers and streams compare measurements of benthic community structure in specific areas of contamination to similar measurements in reference or ``clean`` areas as a basis for determining impact. However, despite numerous studies documenting alterations of benthic communities as a result of stress, the success of correctly assessing the ``health`` or degradation of these communities depends on how well responses to contamination can be discriminated from responses to other environmental factors. It is important in the ERA process to adequately describe benthic communities and to determine how natural environmental factors (e.g., substrate particle size and texture, organic content, water quality, pH, seston, etc.) may be driving benthic community structure. This knowledge is particularly important when reference areas are distant from stressed areas. This presentation will provide an overview of the environmental factors that are important in structuring natural benthic communities in rivers and lakes and discuss approaches that may be useful in differentiating between natural variability and anthropogenic stress in ERA. Several case studies from the Laurentian Great Lakes and the Fraser River watershed in British Columbia will be discussed.

  16. Ecosystem responses to warming and watering in typical and desert steppes

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Zhenzhu; Hou, Yanhui; Zhang, Lihua; Liu, Tao; Zhou, Guangsheng

    2016-01-01

    Global warming is projected to continue, leading to intense fluctuations in precipitation and heat waves and thereby affecting the productivity and the relevant biological processes of grassland ecosystems. Here, we determined the functional responses to warming and altered precipitation in both typical and desert steppes. The results showed that watering markedly increased the aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) in a typical steppe during a drier year and in a desert steppe over two years, whereas warming manipulation had no significant effect. The soil microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and the soil respiration (SR) were increased by watering in both steppes, but the SR was significantly decreased by warming in the desert steppe only. The inorganic nitrogen components varied irregularly, with generally lower levels in the desert steppe. The belowground traits of soil total organic carbon (TOC) and the MBC were more closely associated with the ANPP in the desert than in the typical steppes. The results showed that the desert steppe with lower productivity may respond strongly to precipitation changes, particularly with warming, highlighting the positive effect of adding water with warming. Our study implies that the habitat- and year-specific responses to warming and watering should be considered when predicting an ecosystem’s functional responses under climate change scenarios. PMID:27721480

  17. Response of ecosystem respiration to experimental warming and clipping in Tibetan alpine meadow at three elevations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, G.; Zhang, Y.-J.; Zhang, X.-Z.; Shi, P.-L.; Zhou, Y.-T.; Li, Y.-L.; Shen, Z.-X.

    2013-08-01

    This study aims to understand the response of ecosystem respiration (Reco) to warming and clipping in the alpine meadow of Tibet. A field warming experiment using open top chambers was conducted in three alpine meadow sites at elevation 4313 m, 4513 m and 4693 m on the Tibetan Plateau since July 2008. Clipping was conducted three times a year since 2009. Reco was measured from June to September in 2010-2012. For most cases, the seasonal variation of Reco was mainly affected by soil water content rather than soil and air temperature, especially under warmer environment. Experimental warming tended to decrease seasonal average Reco by 21.6% and 10.9% at elevation 4313 m and 4513 m, respectively, but significantly increased seasonal average Reco by 11.3% at elevation 4693 m. The different responses of Reco to experimental warming could be mainly dependent on temperature and water availability condition. Clipping decreased seasonal average Reco by 6.9%, 36.9% and 31.6% at elevation 4313 m, 4513 m and 4693 m. The consistent declines caused by clipping may be mainly attributed to clipping-induced decline in aboveground biomass. Our findings suggested that the response of Reco to warming differed among the alpine meadow and was regulated by soil water content on the Tibetan Plateau.

  18. Responses of soil cellulolytic fungal communities to elevated atmospheric CO2 are complex and variableacross five ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Weber, Carolyn F; Zak, Donald R; Hungate, Bruce; Jackson, Robert B; Vilgalys, Rytas; Evans, R David; Schadt, Christopher Warren; Megonigal, J. Patrick; Kuske, Cheryl R

    2011-01-01

    Elevated atmospheric CO(2) generally increases plant productivity and subsequently increases the availability of cellulose in soil to microbial decomposers. As key cellulose degraders, soil fungi are likely to be one of the most impacted and responsive microbial groups to elevated atmospheric CO(2) . To investigate the impacts of ecosystem type and elevated atmospheric CO(2) on cellulolytic fungal communities, we sequenced 10 677 cbhI gene fragments encoding the catalytic subunit of cellobiohydrolase I, across five distinct terrestrial ecosystem experiments after a decade of exposure to elevated CO(2) . The cbhI composition of each ecosystem was distinct, as supported by weighted Unifrac analyses (all P-values; < 0.001), with few operational taxonomic units (OTUs) being shared across ecosystems. Using a 114-member cbhI sequence database compiled from known fungi, less than 1% of the environmental sequences could be classified at the family level indicating that cellulolytic fungi in situ are likely dominated by novel fungi or known fungi that are not yet recognized as cellulose degraders. Shifts in fungal cbhI composition and richness that were correlated with elevated CO(2) exposure varied across the ecosystems. In aspen plantation and desert creosote bush soils, cbhI gene richness was significantly higher after exposure to elevated CO(2) (550 mol mol(-1) ) than under ambient CO(2) (360 mol mol(-1) CO(2) ). In contrast, while the richness was not altered, the relative abundance of dominant OTUs in desert soil crusts was significantly shifted. This suggests that responses are complex, vary across different ecosystems and, in at least one case, are OTU-specific. Collectively, our results document the complexity of cellulolytic fungal communities in multiple terrestrial ecosystems and the variability of their responses to long-term exposure to elevated atmospheric CO(2) .

  19. NEWTONP - CUMULATIVE BINOMIAL PROGRAMS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowerman, P. N.

    1994-01-01

    The cumulative binomial program, NEWTONP, is one of a set of three programs which calculate cumulative binomial probability distributions for arbitrary inputs. The three programs, NEWTONP, CUMBIN (NPO-17555), and CROSSER (NPO-17557), can be used independently of one another. NEWTONP can be used by statisticians and users of statistical procedures, test planners, designers, and numerical analysts. The program has been used for reliability/availability calculations. NEWTONP calculates the probably p required to yield a given system reliability V for a k-out-of-n system. It can also be used to determine the Clopper-Pearson confidence limits (either one-sided or two-sided) for the parameter p of a Bernoulli distribution. NEWTONP can determine Bayesian probability limits for a proportion (if the beta prior has positive integer parameters). It can determine the percentiles of incomplete beta distributions with positive integer parameters. It can also determine the percentiles of F distributions and the midian plotting positions in probability plotting. NEWTONP is designed to work well with all integer values 0 < k <= n. To run the program, the user simply runs the executable version and inputs the information requested by the program. NEWTONP is not designed to weed out incorrect inputs, so the user must take care to make sure the inputs are correct. Once all input has been entered, the program calculates and lists the result. It also lists the number of iterations of Newton's method required to calculate the answer within the given error. The NEWTONP program is written in C. It was developed on an IBM AT with a numeric co-processor using Microsoft C 5.0. Because the source code is written using standard C structures and functions, it should compile correctly with most C compilers. The program format is interactive. It has been implemented under DOS 3.2 and has a memory requirement of 26K. NEWTONP was developed in 1988.

  20. Ecosystem and Community Responses to Rainfall Manipulations in Shrublands Depends on Dominant Vegetation Cover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esch, E. H.; Lipson, D.; Kim, J. B.; Cleland, E. E.

    2014-12-01

    Southern California is predicted to face decreasing precipitation with increased interannual variability in the coming century. Native shrublands in this area are increasingly invaded by exotic annual grasses, though invasion dynamics can vary by rainfall scenario, with wet years generally associated with high invasion pressure. Interplay between rainfall and invasion scenarios can influence carbon stocks and community composition. Here we asked how invasion alters ecosystem and community responses in drought versus high rainfall scenarios, as quantified by community identity, biomass production, and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). To do this, we performed a rainfall manipulation experiment with paired plots dominated either by native shrubs or exotic herbaceous species, subjected to treatments of 50%, 100%, or 150% of ambient rainfall. The study site was located in a coastal sage scrub ecosystem, with patches dominated by native shrubs and exotic grasses located in San Diego County, USA. During two growing seasons, we found that native, herbaceous biomass production was significantly affected by rainfall treatment (p<0.05 for both years), though was not affected by dominant community composition. Photosynthetic biomass production of shrub species also varied by treatment (p=0.035). Exotic biomass production showed a significant interaction between dominant community composition and rainfall treatment, and both individual effects (p<0.001 for all). NDVI showed similar results, but also indicated the importance of rainfall timing on overall biomass production between years. Community composition data showed certain species, of both native and exotic identities, segregating by treatment. These results indicate that exotic species are more sensitive to rainfall, and that increased rainfall may promote greater carbon storage in annual dominated communities when compared to shrub dominated communities in high rainfall years, but with drought, this

  1. Oxygenation episodes on the continental shelf of central Peru: Remote forcing and benthic ecosystem response

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gutiérrez, Dimitri; Enríquez, E.; Purca, S.; Quipúzcoa, L.; Marquina, R.; Flores, G.; Graco, M.

    2008-10-01

    The interplay between the oxygen minimum zone and remotely-forced oxygenation episodes determines the fate of the benthic subsystem off the Central Peruvian coast. We analyzed a 12 year monthly time-series of oceanographic and benthic parameters at 94 m depth off Callao, Central Peru (12°S), to analyze: (i) near-bottom oxygen level on the continental shelf in relation to dynamic height on the equator (095°W); and (ii) benthic ecosystem responses to oxygen change (macrobiotic infauna, meiofauna, and sulphide-oxidizing bacteria, Thioploca spp.). Shelf oxygenation episodes occurred after equatorial dynamic height increases one month before, consistent with the propagation of coastal trapped waves. Several but not all of these episodes occurred during El Niños. The benthic biota responded to oxygenation episodes by undergoing succession through three major ecological states. Under strong oxygen deficiency or anoxia, the sediments were nearly defaunated of macro-invertebrates and Thioploca was scarce, such that nematode biomass dominated the macro- and meiobiotas. When frequency of oxygenation events reduced the periods of anoxia, but the prevailing oxygen range was 10-20 μmol L -1, mats of Thioploca formed and dominated the biomass. Finally, with frequent and intense (>40 μmol L -1) oxygenation, the sediments were colonized by macrofauna, which then dominated biomass. The Thioploca state evolved during the 2002-2003 weak EN, while the macrofauna state was developed during the onset of the strong1997-1998 EN. Repeated episodes of strong oxygen deficiency during the summer of 2004, in parallel with the occurrence of red tides in surface waters, resulted in the collapse of Thioploca mats and development of the Nematode state. Ecological interactions may affect persistence or the transition between benthic ecosystem states.

  2. Water Use in Los Angeles, California: Consumption Patterns, Ecosystem Response and Impact on Regional Water Budgets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hogue, T. S.

    2014-12-01

    The City of Los Angeles relies heavily on external water sources, primarily the Eastern Sierra, Northern California and the Colorado River, and approximately 90% of the City's water supply is snowpack dependent. In recent years, water conservation measures have been implemented in response to regional drought, which include a tiered pricing structure and watering restrictions. As a result of implemented conservation policies, Los Angeles reported the lowest water consumption per capita per day in 2011 among cities over 1 million people in the U.S. This presentation will highlight our ongoing work to better understand the coupling between humans, ecosystems and water across the City of Los Angeles, especially during the recent drought period. Our work is unique in that we integrate social, ecological, and hydrologic data, including ten years of residential water consumption data for the entire city of Los Angeles, extensive groundwater well data, socio-economic information and remote sensing to evaluate relationships as well as spatial and temporal patterns. Developed statistical models demonstrated that Single-Family Residential (SFR) water use across the City is primarily driven by household income, landscape greenness, water rates and water volume allocation,, with higher consumption rates in the northern, warmer and more affluent parts, and lower consumption rates in the less affluent neighborhoods near Downtown. Landscape use also varies greatly across the city, averaging 50% of total SFR. Our evaluation of conservation efforts shows that the combination of mandatory watering restrictions and price increase led to a water reduction of 23%, while voluntary restrictions led to only a 6% reduction in water use. Relationships of water use to ecosystems (greenness) and groundwater variability were also evaluated and will be highlighted. Our ultimate goal is to improve predictions of human-water interactions in order to drive policy change and guide future demand

  3. Priming effect and microbial diversity in ecosystem functioning and response to global change: a modeling approach using the SYMPHONY model.

    PubMed

    Perveen, Nazia; Barot, Sébastien; Alvarez, Gaël; Klumpp, Katja; Martin, Raphael; Rapaport, Alain; Herfurth, Damien; Louault, Frédérique; Fontaine, Sébastien

    2014-04-01

    Integration of the priming effect (PE) in ecosystem models is crucial to better predict the consequences of global change on ecosystem carbon (C) dynamics and its feedbacks on climate. Over the last decade, many attempts have been made to model PE in soil. However, PE has not yet been incorporated into any ecosystem models. Here, we build plant/soil models to explore how PE and microbial diversity influence soil/plant interactions and ecosystem C and nitrogen (N) dynamics in response to global change (elevated CO2 and atmospheric N depositions). Our results show that plant persistence, soil organic matter (SOM) accumulation, and low N leaching in undisturbed ecosystems relies on a fine adjustment of microbial N mineralization to plant N uptake. This adjustment can be modeled in the SYMPHONY model by considering the destruction of SOM through PE, and the interactions between two microbial functional groups: SOM decomposers and SOM builders. After estimation of parameters, SYMPHONY provided realistic predictions on forage production, soil C storage and N leaching for a permanent grassland. Consistent with recent observations, SYMPHONY predicted a CO2 -induced modification of soil microbial communities leading to an intensification of SOM mineralization and a decrease in the soil C stock. SYMPHONY also indicated that atmospheric N deposition may promote SOM accumulation via changes in the structure and metabolic activities of microbial communities. Collectively, these results suggest that the PE and functional role of microbial diversity may be incorporated in ecosystem models with a few additional parameters, improving accuracy of predictions.

  4. Priming effect and microbial diversity in ecosystem functioning and response to global change: a modeling approach using the SYMPHONY model.

    PubMed

    Perveen, Nazia; Barot, Sébastien; Alvarez, Gaël; Klumpp, Katja; Martin, Raphael; Rapaport, Alain; Herfurth, Damien; Louault, Frédérique; Fontaine, Sébastien

    2014-04-01

    Integration of the priming effect (PE) in ecosystem models is crucial to better predict the consequences of global change on ecosystem carbon (C) dynamics and its feedbacks on climate. Over the last decade, many attempts have been made to model PE in soil. However, PE has not yet been incorporated into any ecosystem models. Here, we build plant/soil models to explore how PE and microbial diversity influence soil/plant interactions and ecosystem C and nitrogen (N) dynamics in response to global change (elevated CO2 and atmospheric N depositions). Our results show that plant persistence, soil organic matter (SOM) accumulation, and low N leaching in undisturbed ecosystems relies on a fine adjustment of microbial N mineralization to plant N uptake. This adjustment can be modeled in the SYMPHONY model by considering the destruction of SOM through PE, and the interactions between two microbial functional groups: SOM decomposers and SOM builders. After estimation of parameters, SYMPHONY provided realistic predictions on forage production, soil C storage and N leaching for a permanent grassland. Consistent with recent observations, SYMPHONY predicted a CO2 -induced modification of soil microbial communities leading to an intensification of SOM mineralization and a decrease in the soil C stock. SYMPHONY also indicated that atmospheric N deposition may promote SOM accumulation via changes in the structure and metabolic activities of microbial communities. Collectively, these results suggest that the PE and functional role of microbial diversity may be incorporated in ecosystem models with a few additional parameters, improving accuracy of predictions. PMID:24339186

  5. Cumulative creep damage for polycarbonate and polysulfone

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zhang, M. J.; Straight, M. R.; Brinson, H. F.

    1985-01-01

    Creep to failure tests performed on polycarbonate and polysulfone under single and two step loadings are discussed. A cumulative damage law or modified time fraction rule is developed using a power law for transient creep response as the starting point. Experimental results are approximated well by the new rule. Damage and failure mechanisms associated with the two materials are suggested.

  6. Tracking Biological and Ecosystem Responses to Changing Environmental Conditions in the Pacific Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grebmeier, J. M.; Cooper, L. W.; Frey, K. E.; Moore, S. E.

    2014-12-01

    Changing seasonal sea ice conditions and seawater temperatures strongly influence biological processes and marine ecosystems at high latitudes. In the Pacific Arctic, persistent regions termed "hotspots", are localized areas with high benthic macroinfaunal biomass that have been documented over four decades (see Figure). These regions are now being more formally tracked to relate physical forcing and ecosystem response as an Arctic Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) supported by the US National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan and international partners. These hotspots are important foraging areas for upper trophic level benthic feeders, such as marine mammals and seabirds. South of St. Lawrence Island (SLI) in the northern Bering Sea, benthic feeding spectacled eiders, bearded seals and walruses are important winter consumers of infauna, such as bivalves and polychaetes. Gray whales have historically been a major summer consumer of benthic amphipods in the Chirikov Basin to the north of SLI, although summertime sightings of gray whales declined in the Chirikov from the 1980s up until at least 2002. The SE Chukchi Sea hotspot, as are the other hotspots, is maintained by export of high chlorophyll a that is produced locally as well as advected by water masses transiting northward through the system. Both walrus and gray whales are known to forage in this hotspot seasonally on high biomass levels of benthic prey. Notably the center of the highest benthic biomass regions has shifted northward in three of the DBO hotspots in recent years. This has coincided with changing sediment grain size, an indicator of current speed, and is also likely a response to changes in primary production in the region. Studies of these broad biological responses to changing physical drivers have been facilitated through development of the DBO cooperative effort by both US and international scientists. The DBO includes a series of coordinated, multi-trophic level observations that

  7. Ecosystem Resilience and Threshold Response in the Galápagos Coastal Zone

    PubMed Central

    Seddon, Alistair W. R.; Froyd, Cynthia A.; Leng, Melanie J.; Milne, Glenn A.; Willis, Katherine J.

    2011-01-01

    Background The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) provides a conservative estimate on rates of sea-level rise of 3.8 mm yr−1 at the end of the 21st century, which may have a detrimental effect on ecologically important mangrove ecosystems. Understanding factors influencing the long-term resilience of these communities is critical but poorly understood. We investigate ecological resilience in a coastal mangrove community from the Galápagos Islands over the last 2700 years using three research questions: What are the ‘fast and slow’ processes operating in the coastal zone? Is there evidence for a threshold response? How can the past inform us about the resilience of the modern system? Methodology/Principal Findings Palaeoecological methods (AMS radiocarbon dating, stable carbon isotopes (δ13C)) were used to reconstruct sedimentation rates and ecological change over the past 2,700 years at Diablas lagoon, Isabela, Galápagos. Bulk geochemical analysis was also used to determine local environmental changes, and salinity was reconstructed using a diatom transfer function. Changes in relative sea level (RSL) were estimated using a glacio-isostatic adjustment model. Non-linear behaviour was observed in the Diablas mangrove ecosystem as it responded to increased salinities following exposure to tidal inundations. A negative feedback was observed which enabled the mangrove canopy to accrete vertically, but disturbances may have opened up the canopy and contributed to an erosion of resilience over time. A combination of drier climatic conditions and a slight fall in RSL then resulted in a threshold response, from a mangrove community to a microbial mat. Conclusions/Significance Palaeoecological records can provide important information on the nature of non-linear behaviour by identifying thresholds within ecological systems, and in outlining responses to ‘fast’ and ‘slow’ environmental change between alternative stable states. This study

  8. Marine Ecosystem Response to Rapid Climate Warming on the West Antarctic Peninsula (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ducklow, H.; Baker, K. S.; Doney, S. C.; Fraser, B.; Martinson, D. G.; Meredith, M. P.; Montes-Hugo, M. A.; Sailley, S.; Schofield, O.; Sherrell, R. M.; Stammerjohn, S. E.; Steinberg, D. K.

    2010-12-01

    The Palmer, Antarctica LTER builds on meteorological, ocean color and seabird observations since the late 1970s. It occupies annually in summer a regional-scale grid extending 700 km northward from Charcot Island to Anvers Island, and 200 km cross-shelf from the coast to the shelfbreak. In addition to routine CTD profiles and zooplankton tows throughout the grid, the observing system also includes Slocum Glider surveys and thermistor moorings. Geophysical changes include +6C atmospheric warming in winter since 1950, a 20% increase in heat content over the continental shelf since 1990, a surface ocean warming of +1C since 1950, an 83-day reduction in sea ice duration (advance 48 days later, retreat 35 days earlier) over the greater southern Bellingshausen Sea region from 1979-2007, intensification of westerly winds and differential changes in cloudiness. In response to these large changes in the regional climate, the marine ecosystem of the western Peninsula is changing at all trophic levels from diatoms to penguins. Ocean color indicates differential changes in phytoplankton stocks in response to regional decreases in sea ice cover. Surface chlorophyll has declined 89% in the north and increased 67% in the south. Antarctic krill and salps have declined and increased in our study area, respectively. Penguin diet sampling suggests changes in populations or distributions of the Antarctic Silverfish in the Anvers Island vicinity, possibly in response to ocean warming. Adélie penguins have declined 75% from 15000 to <3000 pairs at since 1975 in response to changes in food availability and increased late spring snow accumulation. Changes in pygoscelid penguin breeding populations in the Anvers Island vicinity of the West Antarctic Peninsula

  9. Regime Shifts in Lakes: Organic Carbon Dynamics and Whole Ecosystem Responses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, N. J.

    2015-12-01

    The concept of using sediment records to identify regime shifts in lakes has largely focussed on biological proxies, such as diatoms and chironomids. In this approach, long-term records of rapid ecological change are compared with independent proxies of the variables driving ecosystem change, for example, climate or catchment disturbance processes (hydrological budgets, deforestation, fire etc.). One of the main problems with this approach is that the sediment cores upon which the data analyses are made are taken from the central part of lakes, often at the deepest point. As a result, the ecological changes observed reflect pelagic (open water) processes rather than whole-lake responses. As most lakes (apart from hypertrophic systems) are dominated by benthic production it is unclear whether palaeolimnological assessments of regime shifts are representative of the whole lake response. Theoretically, this question can be addressed simply by using cores from shallow water. There are a number of problems with this approach, most notably the loss of temporal resolution in shallow water cores (due to the slower sediment accumulation rate) and the different biological assemblages in the shallow water (littoral) cores. There is a strong effect of water depth on the zonation and distribution of biological remains across any lake. An alternative approach therefore is to use total organic carbon [OC] accumulation rate as a measure of the whole lake response to see if there is, in fact, a regime shift at the whole lake scale. Here I present examples of Holocene OC accumulation rate responses to external forcing from shallow eutrophic and boreal lakes and compare them to biological records of structural ecological change to determine whether there has been a whole-lake regime shift.

  10. Response of a tundra ecosystem to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and CO{sub 2}-induced climate change. [Annual report

    SciTech Connect

    Oechel, W.C.

    1989-12-31

    Predicting the response of northern ecosystems to increases in atmospheric CO{sub 2} and associated climatic change is important for several reasons, including the fact that northern ecosystems contain large stores of carbon, most of which is below ground and because northern ecosystems could conceivably be either sources or sinks for CO{sub 2} under future climatic and atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentrations. The carbon in northern ecosystems is equal to about 20% of the world`s terrestrial carbon and about 70% of the carbon currently in the atmosphere. Eighty-three percent of this carbon is below ground in the seasonally-thawed upper soil layers and in the permanently frozen zone, the permafrost. Because of bogs and permafrost, northern ecosystems are unusual in that they can potentially store significant amounts of carbon over long time periods. Most other mature ecosystems have little capacity for long- term carbon storage. Given the right conditions, northern ecosystems can also release a significant amount of carbon. A substantial amount of the carbon stored in northern ecosystems, and much of the future storage potential, is in the tundra regions. These systems could conceivably act as sources or sinks depending on developing climatic and atmospheric conditions. Our recent work indicates that elevated CO{sub 2} alone will have little effect on carbon storage in the tundra. However, the combination of elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} (+ 340 ppm) and air temperature (+4{degrees}C) in the absence of any change in soil water table or soil moisture content, should result in significant increases in carbon sequestering in the tundra. However, if changing climate results in a decrease in the water table and soil moisture levels, this may lead to sizeable losses of carbon from the tundra soils.

  11. Perception of solar UVB radiation by phytophagous insects: Behavioral responses and ecosystem implications

    PubMed Central

    Mazza, Carlos A.; Zavala, Jorge; Scopel, Ana L.; Ballaré, Carlos L.

    1999-01-01

    Most of our present knowledge about the impacts of solar UVB radiation on terrestrial ecosystems comes from studies with plants. Recently, the effects of UVB on the growth and survival of consumer species have begun to receive attention, but very little is known about UVB impacts on animal behavior. Here we report that manipulations of the flux of solar UVB received by field-grown soybean crops had large and consistent effects on the density of the thrips (Caliothrips phaseoli, Thysanoptera: Thripidae) populations that invaded the canopies, as well as on the amount of leaf damage caused by the insects. Solar UVB strongly reduced thrips herbivory. Thrips not only preferred leaves from plants that were not exposed to solar UVB over leaves from UVB-exposed plants in laboratory and field choice experiments, but they also appeared to directly sense and avoid exposure to solar UVB. Additional choice experiments showed that soybean leaf consumption by the late-season soybean worm Anticarsia gemmatalis (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) was much less intense in leaves with even slight symptoms of an early thrips attack than in undamaged leaves. These experiments suggest that phytophagous insects can present direct and indirect behavioral responses to solar UVB. The indirect responses are mediated by changes in the plant host that are induced by UVB and, possibly, by other insects whose behavior is affected by UVB. PMID:9927679

  12. The response of aboveground plant productivity to earlier snowmelt and summer warming in an Arctic ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Livensperger, C.; Steltzer, H.; Darrouzet-Nardi, A.; Sullivan, P.; Wallenstein, M. D.; Weintraub, M. N.

    2012-12-01

    Plant communities in the Arctic are undergoing changes in structure and function due to shifts in seasonality from changing winters and summer warming. These changes will impact biogeochemical cycling, surface energy balance, and functioning of vertebrate and invertebrate communities. To examine seasonal controls on aboveground net primary production (ANPP) in a moist acidic tundra ecosystem in northern Alaska, we shifted the growing season by accelerating snowmelt (using radiation absorbing shadecloth) and warming air and soil temperature (using 1 m2 open-top chambers), individually and in combination. After three years, we measured ANPP by harvesting up to 16 individual ramets, tillers and rhizomes for each of 7 plant species, including two deciduous shrubs, two graminoids, two evergreen shrubs and one forb during peak season. Our results show that ANPP per stem summed across the 7 species increased when snow melt occurred earlier. However, standing biomass, excluding current year growth, was also greater. The ratio of ANPP/standing biomass decreased in all treatments compared to the control. ANPP per unit standing biomass summed for the four shrub species decreases due to summer warming alone or in combination with early snowmelt; however early snowmelt alone did not lead to lower ANPP for the shrubs. ANPP per tiller or rhizome summed for the three herbaceous species increased in response to summer warming. Understanding the differential response of plants to changing seasonality will inform predictions of future Arctic plant community structure and function.

  13. Model-experiment synthesis at two FACE sites in the southeastern US. Forest ecosystem responses to elevated CO[2]. (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, A. P.; Zaehle, S.; De Kauwe, M. G.; Medlyn, B. E.; Dietze, M.; Hickler, T.; Iversen, C. M.; Jain, A. K.; Luo, Y.; McCarthy, H. R.; Parton, W. J.; Prentice, C.; Thornton, P. E.; Wang, S.; Wang, Y.; Warlind, D.; Warren, J.; Weng, E.; Hanson, P. J.; Oren, R.; Norby, R. J.

    2013-12-01

    Ecosystem observations from two long-term Free-Air CO[2] Enrichment (FACE) experiments (Duke forest and Oak Ridge forest) were used to evaluate the assumptions of 11 terrestrial ecosystem models and the consequences of those assumptions for the responses of ecosystem water, carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) fluxes to elevated CO[2] (eCO[2]). Nitrogen dynamics were the main constraint on simulated productivity responses to eCO[2]. At Oak Ridge some models reproduced the declining response of C and N fluxes, while at Duke none of the models were able to maintain the observed sustained responses. C and N cycles are coupled through a number of complex interactions, which causes uncertainty in model simulations in multiple ways. Nonetheless, the major difference between models and experiments was a larger than observed increase in N-use efficiency and lower than observed response of N uptake. The results indicate that at Duke there were mechanisms by which trees accessed additional N in response to eCO[2] that were not represented in the ecosystem models, and which did not operate with the same efficiency at Oak Ridge. Sequestration of the additional productivity under eCO[2] into forest biomass depended largely on C allocation. Allocation assumptions were classified into three main categories--fixed partitioning coefficients, functional relationships and a partial (leaf allocation only) optimisation. The assumption which best constrained model results was a functional relationship between leaf area and sapwood area (pipe-model) and increased root allocation when nitrogen or water were limiting. Both, productivity and allocation responses to eCO[2] determined the ecosystem-level response of LAI, which together with the response of stomatal conductance (and hence water-use efficiency; WUE) determined the ecosystem response of transpiration. Differences in the WUE response across models were related to the representation of the relationship of stomatal conductance to CO[2] and

  14. A synthesis data-model integration of the 5-year response of ecosystem respiration to altered temperature, moisture and atmospheric CO2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryan, E.; Ogle, K.; Pendall, E. G.

    2013-12-01

    Warming and elevated CO2 may increase biomass and ecosystem respiration in grasslands and an improved understanding of the mechanisms underlying these responses is expected to improve terrestrial C cycle predictions. The goal of this study is to evaluate the temporal dynamics of ecosystem respiration (Reco) and quantify the potential drivers affecting Reco in the context of the Prairie Heating and CO2 Enrichment (PHACE) experiment, a semi-arid grassland in southeastern Wyoming. PHACE consists of 6 treatments: ambient CO2 and temperature (ct); ambient CO2 and elevated temperature (cT); elevated CO2 and ambient temperature (Ct); elevated CO2 and temperature (CT); shallow irrigation (cts) and deep irrigation (ctd). Reco was measured on 96 days, spaced 2-4 weeks apart, between May 2007 and April 2012. Every 6 weeks, plots were measured 5 times during the day between 04:00-21:00; otherwise, plots were only measured at midday. Soil temperature (T, 3 and 10 cm depth), soil water content (SWC, 5-10 cm), vapor pressure deficit (VPD), and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) were continuously recorded at the plot (T, SWC) and site (VPD, PAR) scales. We quantified ';aboveground activity' as a function of vegetation greenness, VPD, and PAR. We analyzed the Reco data in the context of a semi-mechanistic respiration model that is described by two components: (i) the Reco rate at a reference T of 10 degrees Celsius (i.e., Rb) and (ii) the sensitivity of Reco to changes in T (i.e., Eo). We subsequently modeled both Rb and Eo as functions of antecedent and current SWC and aboveground activity, and we allowed for potential temperature acclimation of Eo by incorporating an antecedent T effect. We used the data-informed model to predict daily Reco over the 5-year study period to evaluate the potential effects of the global change treatments on the temporal dynamics of Reco and cumulative ecosystem C loss. The model fit the Reco data well (R squared = 0.76), and the aboveground

  15. Nitrogen, Ecosystem Services and Environmental Justice: how can a Spatial Valuation Approach Inform Responsible Nutrient Management?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crowell, M.; Compton, J.

    2012-12-01

    Spatially-explicit ecosystem service valuation (ESV) allows for the identification of the location and magnitude of services provided by natural ecosystems along with an economic measure of their significance based upon value transfer. While this provides an important function in terms of land use management, the connection between the relative values of ecosystem services, sensitivity to nutrient loading and nutrient load estimates is unexplored within both the GIS-based, benefit transfer ESV literature and among research on nutrients and ecosystem services. This research combines a GIS-based, value transfer approach to map ecosystem services in the Lower Yakima River Basin (LYRB), Washington, USA, along with estimates of nitrogen loading and demographic data to identify how nutrient management may affect ecosystem services in the basin, and who may be most connected to potential changes in ecosystem services. Our analysis combines relative values of ecosystem services with estimates of nitrogen loading and identifies subwatersheds most susceptible to reductions in valuable ecosystem services due to excess nitrogen loading. Additionally, by including demographic data as a component of the spatial analysis, we examine the connections between population income, ethnicity, N loading, and risk of ecosystem service reductions due to nutrient management practices. Based on the benefit transfer analysis, wetlands and forested areas have disproportionately high values of ecosystem services when compared to their land area in the LYRB, while pasture and cultivated crops contribute much less to the total value of ecosystem service flows in proportion to the total area for these areas in the LYRB. Further economic valuation data on specific land cover types whether from primary studies or meta-analysis is needed to refine relative measures of ecosystem service values and more confidently describe these values in specific dollar amounts. Additionally, limits in spatial data

  16. The legacy of nitrogen pollution in heather moorlands: ecosystem response to simulated decline in nitrogen deposition over seven years.

    PubMed

    Edmondson, J; Terribile, E; Carroll, J A; Price, E A C; Caporn, S J M

    2013-02-01

    Eutrophication and acidification of heather moorlands by chronic atmospheric nitrogen (N) pollution, is of major concern within these internationally important ecosystems. However, in the UK and Western Europe generally emissions of NO(y) and NH(x) peaked during the 20th century. Due to the history and scale of atmospheric N pollution, the legacy of these high levels of N deposition, through accumulation in soil, may hinder or prevent ecosystem recovery. Effects of N pollution on heather moorland were investigated throughout the ecosystem including; the dominant plant species, Calluna vulgaris, the bryophyte and lichen community and the soil system using a long-term experiment simulating wet N deposition. We observed an increase in C. vulgaris height, shoot extension and canopy density, litter mineral N, total N concentration, N:P and C:N ratios in response to N addition. Bryophyte species diversity, bryophyte and lichen frequency and the frequency of two individual bryophyte species (Lophozia ventricosa and Campylopus flexuosus) were significantly reduced by N addition. We developed an N recovery experiment, using a split-plot design, on the long-term N treatment plots to investigate ecosystem response to a simulated decline in N deposition. Two years after cessation of N treatment the only ecosystem component that responded to the recovery experiment was C. vulgaris shoot extension, however after seven years of recovery there were significant declines in litter total N concentration and mineral N and an increase in litter C:N ratio. Although bryophytes and lichens form a close relationship with atmospheric N deposition these organisms did not show a significant response to the N recovery experiment, two years after cessation of N treatment. These data indicate that low nutrient ecosystems, such as moorlands, have the capacity to respond to declines in N deposition however the accumulation of pollution may hinder recovery of sensitive organisms, such as bryophytes

  17. Herbivore responses to nutrient enrichment and landscape heterogeneity in a mangrove ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Feller, Ilka C; Chamberlain, Anne

    2007-09-01

    Complex gradients in forest structure across the landscape of offshore mangrove islands in Belize are associated with nutrient deficiency and flooding. While nutrient availability can affect many ecological processes, here we investigate how N and P enrichment interact with forest structure in three distinct zones (fringe, transition, dwarf) to alter patterns of herbivory as a function of folivory, loss of yield, and tissue mining. The effects of nutrient addition and zone varied by functional feeding group or specific herbivore. Folivory ranged from 0 to 0.4% leaf area damaged per month, but rates did not vary by either nutrient enrichment or zone. Leaf lifetime damage ranged from 3 to 10% of the total leaf area and was caused primarily by the omnivorous tree crab Aratus pisonii. We detected two distinct spatial scales of response by A. pisonii that were unrelated to nutrient treatment, i.e., most feeding damage occurred in the fringe zone and crabs fed primarily on the oldest leaves in the canopy. Loss of yield caused by the bud moth Ecdytolopha sp. varied by zone but not by nutrient treatment. A periderm-mining Marmara sp. responded positively to nutrient enrichment and closely mirrored the growth response by Rhizophora mangle across the tree height gradient. In contrast, a leaf-mining Marmara sp. was controlled by parasitoids and predators that killed >89% of its larvae. Thus, nutrient availability altered patterns of herbivory of some but not all mangrove herbivores. These findings support the hypothesis that landscape heterogeneity of the biotic and abiotic environment has species-specific effects on community structure and trophic interactions. Predicting how herbivores respond to nutrient over-enrichment in mangrove ecosystems also requires an assessment of habitat heterogeneity coupled with feeding strategies and species-specific behavior measured on multiple scales of response.

  18. Design and construction of miniature artificial ecosystem based on dynamic response optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Dawei; Liu, Hong; Tong, Ling; Li, Ming; Hu, Enzhu

    The miniature artificial ecosystem (MAES) is a combination of man, silkworm, salad and mi-croalgae to partially regenerate O2 , sanitary water and food, simultaneously dispose CO2 and wastes, therefore it have a fundamental life support function. In order to enhance the safety and reliability of MAES and eliminate the influences of internal variations and external dis-turbances, it was necessary to configure MAES as a closed-loop control system, and it could be considered as a prototype for future bioregenerative life support system. However, MAES is a complex system possessing large numbers of parameters, intricate nonlinearities, time-varying factors as well as uncertainties, hence it is difficult to perfectly design and construct a prototype through merely conducting experiments by trial and error method. Our research presented an effective way to resolve preceding problem by use of dynamic response optimiza-tion. Firstly the mathematical model of MAES with first-order nonlinear ordinary differential equations including parameters was developed based on relevant mechanisms and experimental data, secondly simulation model of MAES was derived on the platform of MatLab/Simulink to perform model validation and further digital simulations, thirdly reference trajectories of de-sired dynamic response of system outputs were specified according to prescribed requirements, and finally optimization for initial values, tuned parameter and independent parameters was carried out using the genetic algorithm, the advanced direct search method along with parallel computing methods through computer simulations. The result showed that all parameters and configurations of MAES were determined after a series of computer experiments, and its tran-sient response performances and steady characteristics closely matched the reference curves. Since the prototype is a physical system that represents the mathematical model with reason-able accuracy, so the process of designing and

  19. Herbivore responses to nutrient enrichment and landscape heterogeneity in a mangrove ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Feller, Ilka C; Chamberlain, Anne

    2007-09-01

    Complex gradients in forest structure across the landscape of offshore mangrove islands in Belize are associated with nutrient deficiency and flooding. While nutrient availability can affect many ecological processes, here we investigate how N and P enrichment interact with forest structure in three distinct zones (fringe, transition, dwarf) to alter patterns of herbivory as a function of folivory, loss of yield, and tissue mining. The effects of nutrient addition and zone varied by functional feeding group or specific herbivore. Folivory ranged from 0 to 0.4% leaf area damaged per month, but rates did not vary by either nutrient enrichment or zone. Leaf lifetime damage ranged from 3 to 10% of the total leaf area and was caused primarily by the omnivorous tree crab Aratus pisonii. We detected two distinct spatial scales of response by A. pisonii that were unrelated to nutrient treatment, i.e., most feeding damage occurred in the fringe zone and crabs fed primarily on the oldest leaves in the canopy. Loss of yield caused by the bud moth Ecdytolopha sp. varied by zone but not by nutrient treatment. A periderm-mining Marmara sp. responded positively to nutrient enrichment and closely mirrored the growth response by Rhizophora mangle across the tree height gradient. In contrast, a leaf-mining Marmara sp. was controlled by parasitoids and predators that killed >89% of its larvae. Thus, nutrient availability altered patterns of herbivory of some but not all mangrove herbivores. These findings support the hypothesis that landscape heterogeneity of the biotic and abiotic environment has species-specific effects on community structure and trophic interactions. Predicting how herbivores respond to nutrient over-enrichment in mangrove ecosystems also requires an assessment of habitat heterogeneity coupled with feeding strategies and species-specific behavior measured on multiple scales of response. PMID:17566784

  20. Pulse-drought atop press-drought: unexpected plant responses and implications for dryland ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Hoover, David L; Duniway, Michael C; Belnap, Jayne

    2015-12-01

    In drylands, climate change is predicted to cause chronic reductions in water availability (press-droughts) through reduced precipitation and increased temperatures as well as increase the frequency and intensity of short-term extreme droughts (pulse-droughts). These changes in precipitation patterns may have profound ecosystem effects, depending on the sensitivities of the dominant plant functional types (PFTs). Here we present the responses of four Colorado Plateau PFTs to an experimentally imposed, 4-year, press-drought during which a natural pulse-drought occurred. Our objectives were to (1) identify the drought sensitivities of the PFTs, (2) assess the additive effects of the press- and pulse-drought, and (3) examine the interactive effects of soils and drought. Our results revealed that the C3 grasses were the most sensitive PFT to drought, the C3 shrubs were the most resistant, and the C4 grasses and shrubs had intermediate drought sensitivities. Although we expected the C3 grasses would have the greatest response to drought, the higher resistance of C3 shrubs relative to the C4 shrubs was contrary to our predictions based on the higher water use efficiency of C4 photosynthesis. Also, the additive effects of press- and pulse-droughts caused high morality in C3 grasses, which has large ecological and economic ramifications for this region. Furthermore, despite predictions based on the inverse texture hypothesis, we observed no interactive effects of soils with the drought treatment on cover or mortality. These results suggest that plant responses to droughts in drylands may differ from expectations and have large ecological effects if press- and pulse-droughts push species beyond physiological and mortality thresholds. PMID:26254259

  1. Pulse-drought atop press-drought: unexpected plant responses and implications for dryland ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Hoover, David L; Duniway, Michael C; Belnap, Jayne

    2015-12-01

    In drylands, climate change is predicted to cause chronic reductions in water availability (press-droughts) through reduced precipitation and increased temperatures as well as increase the frequency and intensity of short-term extreme droughts (pulse-droughts). These changes in precipitation patterns may have profound ecosystem effects, depending on the sensitivities of the dominant plant functional types (PFTs). Here we present the responses of four Colorado Plateau PFTs to an experimentally imposed, 4-year, press-drought during which a natural pulse-drought occurred. Our objectives were to (1) identify the drought sensitivities of the PFTs, (2) assess the additive effects of the press- and pulse-drought, and (3) examine the interactive effects of soils and drought. Our results revealed that the C3 grasses were the most sensitive PFT to drought, the C3 shrubs were the most resistant, and the C4 grasses and shrubs had intermediate drought sensitivities. Although we expected the C3 grasses would have the greatest response to drought, the higher resistance of C3 shrubs relative to the C4 shrubs was contrary to our predictions based on the higher water use efficiency of C4 photosynthesis. Also, the additive effects of press- and pulse-droughts caused high morality in C3 grasses, which has large ecological and economic ramifications for this region. Furthermore, despite predictions based on the inverse texture hypothesis, we observed no interactive effects of soils with the drought treatment on cover or mortality. These results suggest that plant responses to droughts in drylands may differ from expectations and have large ecological effects if press- and pulse-droughts push species beyond physiological and mortality thresholds.

  2. Pulse-drought atop press-drought: unexpected plant responses and implications for dryland ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hoover, David L; Duniway, Michael C.; Belnap, Jayne

    2015-01-01

    In drylands, climate change is predicted to cause chronic reductions in water availability (press-droughts) through reduced precipitation and increased temperatures as well as increase the frequency and intensity of short-term extreme droughts (pulse-droughts). These changes in precipitation patterns may have profound ecosystem effects, depending on the sensitivities of the dominant plant functional types (PFTs). Here we present the responses of four Colorado Plateau PFTs to an experimentally imposed, 4-year, press-drought during which a natural pulse-drought occurred. Our objectives were to (1) identify the drought sensitivities of the PFTs, (2) assess the additive effects of the press- and pulse-drought, and (3) examine the interactive effects of soils and drought. Our results revealed that the C3 grasses were the most sensitive PFT to drought, the C3shrubs were the most resistant, and the C4 grasses and shrubs had intermediate drought sensitivities. Although we expected the C3 grasses would have the greatest response to drought, the higher resistance of C3 shrubs relative to the C4 shrubs was contrary to our predictions based on the higher water use efficiency of C4 photosynthesis. Also, the additive effects of press- and pulse-droughts caused high morality in C3 grasses, which has large ecological and economic ramifications for this region. Furthermore, despite predictions based on the inverse texture hypothesis, we observed no interactive effects of soils with the drought treatment on cover or mortality. These results suggest that plant responses to droughts in drylands may differ from expectations and have large ecological effects if press- and pulse-droughts push species beyond physiological and mortality thresholds.

  3. Temperature response of methane oxidation and production potentials in peatland ecosystems across Finland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welti, Nina; Korrensalo, Aino; Kerttula, Johanna; Maljanen, Marja; Uljas, Salli; Lohila, Annalea; Laine, Anna; Vesala, Timo; Elliott, David; Tuittila, Eeva-Stiina

    2016-04-01

    It has been suggested that the ecosystems located in the high latitudes are especially sensitive to warming. Therefore, we compared 14 peatland systems throughout Finland along a latitudinal gradient from 69°N to 61°N to examine the response of methane production and methane oxidation with warming climate. Peat samples were taken at the height of the growing season in 2015 from 0 - 10cm below the water table depth. The plant communities in sampling locations were described by estimating cover of each plant species and pH of water was measured. Upon return to the lab, we made two parallel treatments, under anoxic and oxic conditions in order to calculate the CH4 production and consumption potentials of the peat and used three temperatures, 4°C, 17.5°C, and 30°C to examine the temperature effect on the potentials. We hypothesized that there will be an observable response curve in CH4 production and oxidation relative to temperature with a greater response with increasing latitude. In general, increasing temperature increased the potential for CH4 production and oxidation, at some sites, the potential was highest at 17.5°C, indicating that there is an optimum temperature threshold for the in situ methane producing and oxidizing microbial communities. Above this threshold, the peat microbial communities are not able to cope with increasing temperature. This is especially noticeable for methane oxidation at sites above 62°N. As countries are being expected to adequately account for their greenhouse gas budgets with increasing temperature models, knowing where the temperature threshold exists is of critical importance.

  4. Changing Arctic ecosystems--measuring and forecasting the response of Alaska's terrestrial ecosystem to a warming climate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pearce, John; DeGange, Anthony R.; Flint, Paul; Fondell, Tom F.; Gustine, David; Holland-Bartels, Leslie; Hope, Andrew G.; Hupp, Jerry; Koch, Josh; Schmutz, Joel; Talbot, Sandra; Ward, David; Whalen, Mary

    2012-01-01

    The Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska is a complex landscape of lakes, streams, and wetlands scattered across low relief tundra that is underlain by permafrost. This region of the Arctic has experienced a warming trend over the past three decades, leading to thawing of on-shore permafrost and the disappearance of sea ice at an unprecedented rate. The loss of sea ice has increased ocean wave action, leading to higher rates of erosion and salt water inundation of coastal habitats. Warming temperatures also have advanced the overall phenology of the region, including earlier snowmelt, lake ice thaw, and plant growth. As a result, many migratory species now arrive in the Arctic several days earlier in spring than in the 1970s. Predicted warming trends for the future will continue to alter plant growth, ice thaw, and other basic landscape processes. These changes will undoubtedly result in different responses by wildlife (fish, birds, and mammals) and the food they rely upon (plants, invertebrates, and fish). However, the type of response by different wildlife populations and their habitats-either positively or negatively-remains largely unknown.

  5. Nitrogen, ecosystem services and environmental justice: How can a spatial valuation approach inform responsible nutrient management?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Spatially-explicit ecosystem service valuation (ESV) allows for the identification of the location and magnitude of services provided by natural ecosystems along with an economic measure of their value based upon benefit transfer. While this provides an important function in term...

  6. Gene expression profiling--Opening the black box of plant ecosystem responses to global change

    SciTech Connect

    Leakey, A.D.B.; Ainsworth, E.A.; Bernard, S.M.; Markelz, R.J.C.; Ort, D.R.; Placella, S.A.P.; Rogers, A.; Smith, M.D.; Sudderth, E.A.; Weston, D.J.; Wullschleger, S.D.; Yuan, S.

    2009-11-01

    The use of genomic techniques to address ecological questions is emerging as the field of genomic ecology. Experimentation under environmentally realistic conditions to investigate the molecular response of plants to meaningful changes in growth conditions and ecological interactions is the defining feature of genomic ecology. Since the impact of global change factors on plant performance are mediated by direct effects at the molecular, biochemical and physiological scales, gene expression analysis promises important advances in understanding factors that have previously been consigned to the 'black box' of unknown mechanism. Various tools and approaches are available for assessing gene expression in model and non-model species as part of global change biology studies. Each approach has its own unique advantages and constraints. A first generation of genomic ecology studies in managed ecosystems and mesocosms have provided a testbed for the approach and have begun to reveal how the experimental design and data analysis of gene expression studies can be tailored for use in an ecological context.

  7. Hydrological and geochemical response and recovery in disturbed Arctic ecosystems. Progress report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-07-01

    This progress report is a funding, extension request to continue the database work for the Hydrological and Geochemical Response and Recovery in Disturbed Arctic Ecosystems Program. Throughout the period from 1985 to 1992 the Department of Energy supported research on the hydrology and geochemistry of the headwater basin of Imnavait Creek has focused on the quantification of the input from atmospheric sources of biologically significant and other related chemical variables; the transport of these variables in surface and subsurface flow and their efflux from the basin; and the development of geochemical budgets. The acquisition of multi-year data sets (the longest and most detailed sets in the Arctic) have made it possible to define seasonal ranges and amplitudes; determine spatial and temporal relationships within the different flow compartments; to begin to model the pathways and rates of movement through and across different landscape units. The length of record has also made it possible to examine the quantity and influence of local and extra-regional additions.

  8. Herbivory, connectivity, and ecosystem resilience: response of a coral reef to a large-scale perturbation.

    PubMed

    Adam, Thomas C; Schmitt, Russell J; Holbrook, Sally J; Brooks, Andrew J; Edmunds, Peter J; Carpenter, Robert C; Bernardi, Giacomo

    2011-01-01

    Coral reefs world-wide are threatened by escalating local and global impacts, and some impacted reefs have shifted from coral dominance to a state dominated by macroalgae. Therefore, there is a growing need to understand the processes that affect the capacity of these ecosystems to return to coral dominance following disturbances, including those that prevent the establishment of persistent stands of macroalgae. Unlike many reefs in the Caribbean, over the last several decades, reefs around the Indo-Pacific island of Moorea, French Polynesia have consistently returned to coral dominance following major perturbations without shifting to a macroalgae-dominated state. Here, we present evidence of a rapid increase in populations of herbivorous fishes following the most recent perturbation, and show that grazing by these herbivores has prevented the establishment of macroalgae following near complete loss of coral on offshore reefs. Importantly, we found the positive response of herbivorous fishes to increased benthic primary productivity associated with coral loss was driven largely by parrotfishes that initially recruit to stable nursery habitat within the lagoons before moving to offshore reefs later in life. These results underscore the importance of connectivity between the lagoon and offshore reefs for preventing the establishment of macroalgae following disturbances, and indicate that protecting nearshore nursery habitat of herbivorous fishes is critical for maintaining reef resilience.

  9. Herbivory, Connectivity, and Ecosystem Resilience: Response of a Coral Reef to a Large-Scale Perturbation

    PubMed Central

    Adam, Thomas C.; Schmitt, Russell J.; Holbrook, Sally J.; Brooks, Andrew J.; Edmunds, Peter J.; Carpenter, Robert C.; Bernardi, Giacomo

    2011-01-01

    Coral reefs world-wide are threatened by escalating local and global impacts, and some impacted reefs have shifted from coral dominance to a state dominated by macroalgae. Therefore, there is a growing need to understand the processes that affect the capacity of these ecosystems to return to coral dominance following disturbances, including those that prevent the establishment of persistent stands of macroalgae. Unlike many reefs in the Caribbean, over the last several decades, reefs around the Indo-Pacific island of Moorea, French Polynesia have consistently returned to coral dominance following major perturbations without shifting to a macroalgae-dominated state. Here, we present evidence of a rapid increase in populations of herbivorous fishes following the most recent perturbation, and show that grazing by these herbivores has prevented the establishment of macroalgae following near complete loss of coral on offshore reefs. Importantly, we found the positive response of herbivorous fishes to increased benthic primary productivity associated with coral loss was driven largely by parrotfishes that initially recruit to stable nursery habitat within the lagoons before moving to offshore reefs later in life. These results underscore the importance of connectivity between the lagoon and offshore reefs for preventing the establishment of macroalgae following disturbances, and indicate that protecting nearshore nursery habitat of herbivorous fishes is critical for maintaining reef resilience. PMID:21901131

  10. Short Term Soil Respiration Response to Fire in a Semi-arid Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rozin, A. G.

    2015-12-01

    In the Intermountain West (USA), fire is an important driver of carbon cycling in the environment. Increasing frequency and severity of fires, either through management actions or wildfires, is expected with changing climates in the Western United States. When burning is used as a management tool, it may be beneficial and control the growth of nuisance vegetation, promote the regeneration of grasses and forage species, and reduce hazardous fuel loads to minimize the risk of future wildfires. However, high intensity wildfires often have a negative effect, resulting in a loss of carbon storage and a shift of vegetation communities. This delays recovery of the ecosystem for years or decades and alters the historic fire regime. A 2000 acre prescribed burn in the Reynolds Creek Critical Zone Observatory provided the opportunity to quantify pre and post-burn soil carbon stores and soil carbon losses by heterotrophic respiration. Pre and post-burn soil samples were collected for physical and biogeochemical characterization to quantify substrate availability and possible limitations for heterotrophic respiration. CO2 fluxes were continuously monitored in situ before and immediately after the fire to understand the short-term response of soil respiration to varying burn severities.

  11. Gene Expression Profiling - Opening the Black Box of Plant Ecosystem Responses to Global Change

    SciTech Connect

    Ainsworth, Elizabeth A.; Bernard, Stephanie M.; Markelz, R.J. Cody; Ort, Donald R.; Placella, Sarah A.; Rogers, Alistair; Smith, Melinda D; Sudderth, Erika A.; Weston, David; Wullschleger, Stan D; Yuan, Shenghua

    2009-01-01

    The use of genomic techniques to address ecological questions is emerging as the field of genomic ecology. Experimentation under environmentally realistic conditions to investigate the molecular response of plants to meaningful changes in growth conditions and ecological interactions is the defining feature of genomic ecology. Since the impact of global change factors on plant performance are mediated by direct effects at the molecular, biochemical and physiological scales, gene expression analysis promises important advances in understanding factors that have previously been consigned to the black box of unknown mechanism. Various tools and approaches are available for assessing gene expression in model and non-model species as part of global change biology studies. Each approach has its own unique advantages and constraints. A first generation of genomic ecology studies in managed ecosystems and mesocosms have provided a testbed for the approach and have begun to reveal how the experimental design and data analysis of gene expression studies can be tailored for use in an ecological context.

  12. The response of ecosystem carbon fluxes to LAI and environmental drivers in a maize crop grown in two contrasting seasons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vitale, Luca; Di Tommasi, Paul; D'Urso, Guido; Magliulo, Vincenzo

    2016-03-01

    The eddy correlation technique was used to investigate the influence of biophysical variables and crop phenological phases on the behaviour of ecosystem carbon fluxes of a maize crop, in two contrasting growing seasons. In 2009, the reduced water supply during the early growing stage limited leaf area expansion, thus negatively affecting canopy photosynthesis. The variability of gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration ( R eco) was mainly explained by seasonal variation of leaf area index (LAI). The seasonal variation of R eco was positively influenced by soil temperatures ( T soil) in 2008 but not in 2009. In 2008, a contribution of both autotrophic and heterotrophic components to total R eco could be hypothesized, while during 2009, autotrophic respiration is supposed to be the most important component. Crop phenological phases affected the response of ecosystem fluxes to biophysical drivers.

  13. Steps and pips in the history of the cumulative recorder.

    PubMed

    Lattal, Kennon A

    2004-11-01

    From its inception in the 1930s until very recent times, the cumulative recorder was the most widely used measurement instrument in the experimental analysis of behavior. It was an essential instrument in the discovery and analysis of schedules of reinforcement, providing the first real-time analysis of operant response rates and patterns. This review traces the evolution of the cumulative recorder from Skinner's early modified kymographs through various models developed by Skinner and his colleagues to its perfection in the 1950s, and then into the 1960s when it proliferated as different scientific instrument companies began marketing their own models of the cumulative recorder. With the rise of digital computers, the demise of the cumulative recorder as a scientific instrument was inevitable; however, the value of the cumulative record as a monitoring device to assess schedule control of behavior continues. The cumulative recorder remains, along with the operant conditioning chamber, an icon of Skinner's approach to psychology.

  14. Steps and pips in the history of the cumulative recorder.

    PubMed

    Lattal, Kennon A

    2004-11-01

    From its inception in the 1930s until very recent times, the cumulative recorder was the most widely used measurement instrument in the experimental analysis of behavior. It was an essential instrument in the discovery and analysis of schedules of reinforcement, providing the first real-time analysis of operant response rates and patterns. This review traces the evolution of the cumulative recorder from Skinner's early modified kymographs through various models developed by Skinner and his colleagues to its perfection in the 1950s, and then into the 1960s when it proliferated as different scientific instrument companies began marketing their own models of the cumulative recorder. With the rise of digital computers, the demise of the cumulative recorder as a scientific instrument was inevitable; however, the value of the cumulative record as a monitoring device to assess schedule control of behavior continues. The cumulative recorder remains, along with the operant conditioning chamber, an icon of Skinner's approach to psychology. PMID:15693527

  15. Steps and pips in the history of the cumulative recorder.

    PubMed Central

    Lattal, Kennon A

    2004-01-01

    From its inception in the 1930s until very recent times, the cumulative recorder was the most widely used measurement instrument in the experimental analysis of behavior. It was an essential instrument in the discovery and analysis of schedules of reinforcement, providing the first real-time analysis of operant response rates and patterns. This review traces the evolution of the cumulative recorder from Skinner's early modified kymographs through various models developed by Skinner and his colleagues to its perfection in the 1950s, and then into the 1960s when it proliferated as different scientific instrument companies began marketing their own models of the cumulative recorder. With the rise of digital computers, the demise of the cumulative recorder as a scientific instrument was inevitable; however, the value of the cumulative record as a monitoring device to assess schedule control of behavior continues. The cumulative recorder remains, along with the operant conditioning chamber, an icon of Skinner's approach to psychology. PMID:15693527

  16. Discontinuity in the responses of ecosystem processes and multifunctionality to altered soil community composition

    PubMed Central

    Bradford, Mark A.; Wood, Stephen A.; Bardgett, Richard D.; Black, Helaina I. J.; Bonkowski, Michael; Eggers, Till; Grayston, Susan J.; Kandeler, Ellen; Manning, Peter; Setälä, Heikki; Jones, T. Hefin

    2014-01-01

    Ecosystem management policies increasingly emphasize provision of multiple, as opposed to single, ecosystem services. Management for such “multifunctionality” has stimulated research into the role that biodiversity plays in providing desired rates of multiple ecosystem processes. Positive effects of biodiversity on indices of multifunctionality are consistently found, primarily because species that are redundant for one ecosystem process under a given set of environmental conditions play a distinct role under different conditions or in the provision of another ecosystem process. Here we show that the positive effects of diversity (specifically community composition) on multifunctionality indices can also arise from a statistical fallacy analogous to Simpson’s paradox (where aggregating data obscures causal relationships). We manipulated soil faunal community composition in combination with nitrogen fertilization of model grassland ecosystems and repeatedly measured five ecosystem processes related to plant productivity, carbon storage, and nutrient turnover. We calculated three common multifunctionality indices based on these processes and found that the functional complexity of the soil communities had a consistent positive effect on the indices. However, only two of the five ecosystem processes also responded positively to increasing complexity, whereas the other three responded neutrally or negatively. Furthermore, none of the individual processes responded to both the complexity and the nitrogen manipulations in a manner consistent with the indices. Our data show that multifunctionality indices can obscure relationships that exist between communities and key ecosystem processes, leading us to question their use in advancing theoretical understanding—and in management decisions—about how biodiversity is related to the provision of multiple ecosystem services. PMID:25246582

  17. Discontinuity in the responses of ecosystem processes and multifunctionality to altered soil community composition.

    PubMed

    Bradford, Mark A; Wood, Stephen A; Bardgett, Richard D; Black, Helaina I J; Bonkowski, Michael; Eggers, Till; Grayston, Susan J; Kandeler, Ellen; Manning, Peter; Setälä, Heikki; Jones, T Hefin

    2014-10-01

    Ecosystem management policies increasingly emphasize provision of multiple, as opposed to single, ecosystem services. Management for such "multifunctionality" has stimulated research into the role that biodiversity plays in providing desired rates of multiple ecosystem processes. Positive effects of biodiversity on indices of multifunctionality are consistently found, primarily because species that are redundant for one ecosystem process under a given set of environmental conditions play a distinct role under different conditions or in the provision of another ecosystem process. Here we show that the positive effects of diversity (specifically community composition) on multifunctionality indices can also arise from a statistical fallacy analogous to Simpson's paradox (where aggregating data obscures causal relationships). We manipulated soil faunal community composition in combination with nitrogen fertilization of model grassland ecosystems and repeatedly measured five ecosystem processes related to plant productivity, carbon storage, and nutrient turnover. We calculated three common multifunctionality indices based on these processes and found that the functional complexity of the soil communities had a consistent positive effect on the indices. However, only two of the five ecosystem processes also responded positively to increasing complexity, whereas the other three responded neutrally or negatively. Furthermore, none of the individual processes responded to both the complexity and the nitrogen manipulations in a manner consistent with the indices. Our data show that multifunctionality indices can obscure relationships that exist between communities and key ecosystem processes, leading us to question their use in advancing theoretical understanding--and in management decisions--about how biodiversity is related to the provision of multiple ecosystem services.

  18. Trade-offs in land-use decisions: Towards a framework for assessing multiple ecosystem responses to land-use change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeFries, Ruth S.; Asner, Gregory P.; Houghton, Richard

    People alter the landscape primarily to appropriate ecosystem goods such as food, fiber, and timber for human consumption. Unintended consequences for ecosystems vary according to the type of land-use change, e.g., forest clearing for agriculture, grassland conversion for grazing, or urban expansion, as well as the underlying ecological characteristics, e.g., humid vs. dry, phosphorus vs. nitrogen-limited, or tropical vs. temperate. The ecosystem responses potentially alter future abilities to provide ecosystem goods and influence future land-use decisions. This volume addresses five major ecosystem responses to land-use change: hydrological, climatic, biogeochemical, human health, and biological diversity. The chapters summarize current knowledge from the perspectives of different disciplines and present analyses from many parts of the world in different ecological and socioeconomic settings. This introductory chapter develops a framework for understanding and communicating the multiple ecosystem responses as an essential input to societal decisions about land use.

  19. Modeling Root Exudation, Priming and Protection in Soil Carbon Responses to Elevated CO2 from Ecosystem to Global Scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sulman, B. N.; Phillips, R.; Shevliakova, E.; Oishi, A. C.; Pacala, S. W.

    2014-12-01

    The sensitivity of soil organic carbon (SOC) to changing environmental conditions represents a critical uncertainty in coupled carbon cycle-climate models. Much of this uncertainty arises from our limited understanding of the extent to which plants induce SOC losses (through accelerated decomposition or "priming") or promote SOC gains (via stabilization through physico-chemical protection). We developed a new SOC model, "Carbon, Organisms, Rhizosphere and Protection in the Soil Environment" (CORPSE), to examine the net effect of priming and protection in response to rising atmospheric CO2, and conducted simulations of rhizosphere priming effects at both ecosystem and global scales. At the ecosystem scale, the model successfully captured and explained disparate SOC responses at the Duke and Oak Ridge free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiments. We show that stabilization of "new" carbon in protected SOC pools may equal or exceed microbial priming of "old" SOC in ecosystems with readily decomposable litter (e.g. Oak Ridge). In contrast, carbon losses owing to priming dominate the net SOC response in ecosystems with more resistant litters (e.g. Duke). For global simulations, the model was fully integrated into the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) land model LM3. Globally, priming effects driven by enhanced root exudation and expansion of the rhizosphere reduced SOC storage in the majority of terrestrial areas, partially counterbalancing SOC gains from the enhanced ecosystem productivity driven by CO2 fertilization. Collectively, our results suggest that SOC stocks globally depend not only on temperature and moisture, but also on vegetation responses to environmental changes, and that protected C may provide an important constraint on priming effects.

  20. Linking the Response of Annual Grasslands to Warming and Altered Rainfall Across Scales of Gene Expression, Species, and Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torn, M. S.; Bernard, S. M.; Castanha, C.; Fischer, M. L.; Hopkins, F. M.; Placella, S. A.; St. Clair, S. B.; Salve, R.; Sudderth, E.; Herman, D.; Ackerly, D.; Firestone, M. K.

    2007-12-01

    Climate change can influence terrestrial ecosystems at multiple biological levels: gene expression, species, and ecosystem. We are studying California grassland mesocosms with seven annual species (five grasses, two forbs) that were started in 2005. In the 2006-2007 growing season, they were exposed to three rainfall treatments (297, 552, and 867 mm y-1) and soil and air temperature (ambient and elevated +4oC) in replicated greenhouses. This presentation will combine plant and ecosystem level results with transcript level analyses associated with key enzymes, such as rubisco and glutamine synthetase (GS). Because rainfall is the dominant climate variable for most processes in this Mediterranean ecosystem, the effect of warming was strongly mediated by rainfall. In fact, we saw significant interactions between temperature and rainfall treatments at all three biological levels. For example, at the ecosystem level, warming led to a decrease in aboveground and total NPP under low rainfall, and an increase under high rainfall. For the dominant species, Avena barbata, warming had no effect under high rainfall, but suppressed Avena NPP in low rainfall. At the same time, warmer, wetter conditions accelerated Avena flowering by almost 15 days. This shift in phenology was presaged by observations at the transcript level. Specifically, in the high temperature, high rainfall treatment, the levels of mRNAs for RbcS and GS2 (encoding the small subunit of rubisco and the chloroplastic isoform of GS, respectively) declined while GS1 (encoding the cytosolic isoform of GS) was upregulated several weeks before heading. The transcript level response (along with soil and plant nitrogen data) indicated the leaf had switched from a carbon and nitrogen sink to a source - consistent with more mature plant function and earlier flowering. Soil CO2 respiration also showed strong rain-by-temperature interactions that were due mainly to changes in root response (respiration and/or exudates

  1. Functional responses and resilience of boreal forest ecosystem after reduction of deer density.

    PubMed

    Bachand, Marianne; Pellerin, Stéphanie; Moretti, Marco; Aubin, Isabelle; Tremblay, Jean-Pierre; Côté, Steeve D; Poulin, Monique

    2014-01-01

    The functional trait-based approach is increasingly used to predict responses of ecological communities to disturbances, but most studies target a single taxonomic group. Here, we assessed the resilience of a forest ecosystem to an overabundant herbivore population by assessing changes in 19 functional traits for plant, 13 traits for ground beetle and 16 traits for songbird communities after six years of controlled browsing on Anticosti Island (Quebec, Canada). Our results indicated that plants were more responsive to 6 years of reduced browsing pressure than ground beetles and songbirds. However, co-inertia analysis revealed that ground beetle communities responded in a similar way than plant communities with stronger relationships between plant and ground beetle traits at reduced deer density, a pattern not detected between plant and songbird. High deer density favored plants species that reproduce vegetatively and with abiotic pollination and seed dispersal, traits implying little interaction with animal. On the other hand, traits found at reduced deer density mostly involved trophic interaction. For example, plants in this treatment had fleshy fruits and large seeds dispersed by birds or other animals whereas ground beetle species were carnivorous. Overall, our results suggest that plant communities recovered some functional components to overabundant herbivore populations, since most traits associated with undisturbed forests were reestablished after six years of deer reduction. The re-establishment of functional plant communities with traits involving trophic interaction induces changes in the ground-beetle trait community, but forest structure remains likely insufficiently heterogeneous to shift the songbird trait community within six years.

  2. Functional Responses and Resilience of Boreal Forest Ecosystem after Reduction of Deer Density

    PubMed Central

    Bachand, Marianne; Pellerin, Stéphanie; Moretti, Marco; Aubin, Isabelle; Tremblay, Jean-Pierre; Côté, Steeve D.; Poulin, Monique

    2014-01-01

    The functional trait-based approach is increasingly used to predict responses of ecological communities to disturbances, but most studies target a single taxonomic group. Here, we assessed the resilience of a forest ecosystem to an overabundant herbivore population by assessing changes in 19 functional traits for plant, 13 traits for ground beetle and 16 traits for songbird communities after six years of controlled browsing on Anticosti Island (Quebec, Canada). Our results indicated that plants were more responsive to 6 years of reduced browsing pressure than ground beetles and songbirds. However, co-inertia analysis revealed that ground beetle communities responded in a similar way than plant communities with stronger relationships between plant and ground beetle traits at reduced deer density, a pattern not detected between plant and songbird. High deer density favored plants species that reproduce vegetatively and with abiotic pollination and seed dispersal, traits implying little interaction with animal. On the other hand, traits found at reduced deer density mostly involved trophic interaction. For example, plants in this treatment had fleshy fruits and large seeds dispersed by birds or other animals whereas ground beetle species were carnivorous. Overall, our results suggest that plant communities recovered some functional components to overabundant herbivore populations, since most traits associated with undisturbed forests were reestablished after six years of deer reduction. The re-establishment of functional plant communities with traits involving trophic interaction induces changes in the ground-beetle trait community, but forest structure remains likely insufficiently heterogeneous to shift the songbird trait community within six years. PMID:24587362

  3. Microbial Enzymatic Response to Reduced Precipitation and Added Nitrogen in a Southern California Grassland Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alster, C. J.; German, D.; Allison, S. D.

    2011-12-01

    Microbial enzymes play a fundamental role in ecosystem processes and nutrient mineralization. Although there have been many studies concluding that global climate change affects plant communities, the effects on microbial communities in leaf litter have been much less studied. We measured extracellular enzyme activities in litter decomposing in plots with either reduced precipitation or increased nitrogen in a grassland ecosystem in Loma Ridge National Landmark in Southern California. We used a reciprocal transplant design to examine the effects of plot treatment, litter origin, and microbial community origin on litter decomposition and extracellular enzyme activity. Our hypothesis was that increased nitrogen would increase activity because nitrogen often limits microbial growth, while decreased precipitation would decrease activity due to lower litter moisture levels. Samples were collected in March 2011 and analyzed for the activities of cellobiohydrolase (CBH), β-glucosidase (BG), α-glucosidase (AG), N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase (NAG), β-xylosidase (BX), acid phosphatase (AP), and leucine aminopeptidase (LAP). None of the factors in the nitrogen manipulation had a significant effect on any of the enzymes, although BG, CBH, and NAG increased marginally significantly in plots with nitrogen addition (p = 0.103, p = 0.082, and p = 0.114, respectively). For the precipitation manipulation, AG, BG, BX, CBH, and NAG significantly increased in plots with reduced precipitation (p = 0.015, p <0.001, p<0.001, and p<0.001, respectively) while LAP significantly decreased (p = 0.002). LAP catalyzes the hydrolysis of polypeptides, so reduced LAP activity could result in lower rates of enzyme turnover in the reduced precipitation treatment. We also observed that AP significantly increased (p = 0.014) in litter originating from reduced precipitation plots, while AG, BX, and LAP significantly decreased (p = 0.011, p = 0.031, and 0.005, respectively). There were no significant

  4. Algorithm Calculates Cumulative Poisson Distribution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowerman, Paul N.; Nolty, Robert C.; Scheuer, Ernest M.

    1992-01-01

    Algorithm calculates accurate values of cumulative Poisson distribution under conditions where other algorithms fail because numbers are so small (underflow) or so large (overflow) that computer cannot process them. Factors inserted temporarily to prevent underflow and overflow. Implemented in CUMPOIS computer program described in "Cumulative Poisson Distribution Program" (NPO-17714).

  5. Soil life in reconstructed ecosystems: Initial soil food web responses after rebuilding a forest soil profile for a climate change experiment

    EPA Science Inventory

    Disrupting ecosystem components, while transferring and reconstructing them for experiments can produce myriad responses. Establishing the extent of these biological responses as the system approaches a new equilibrium allows us more reliably to emulate comparable native systems....

  6. Assessing Sources of Stress to Aquatic Ecosystems: Using Biomarkers and Bioindicators to Characterize Exodure-Response Profiles of Anthropogenic Activities

    SciTech Connect

    Adams, S.M.

    1999-03-29

    Establishing causal relationships between sources of environmental stressors and aquatic ecosystem health if difficult because of the many biotic and abiotic factors which can influence or modify responses of biological systems to stress, the orders of magnitude involved in extrapolation over both spatial and temporal scales, and compensatory mechanisms such as density-dependent responses that operate in populations. To address the problem of establishing causality between stressors and effects on aquatic systems, a diagnostic approach, based on exposure-response profiles for various anthropogenic activities, was developed to help identify sources of stress responsible for effects on aquatic systems at ecological significant levels of biological organization (individual, population, community). To generate these exposure-effects profiles, biomarkers of exposure were plotted against bioindicators of corresponding effects for several major anthropogenic activities including petrochemical , pulp and paper, domestic sewage, mining operations, land-development activities, and agricultural activities. Biomarkers of exposure to environmental stressors varied depending on the type of anthropogenic activity involved. Bioindicator effects, however, including histopathological lesions, bioenergetic status, individual growth, reproductive impairment, and community-level responses were similar among many of the major anthropogenic activities. This approach is valuable to help identify and diagnose sources of stressors in environments impacted by multiple stressors. By identifying the types and sources of environmental stressors, aquatic ecosystems can be more effectively protected and managed to maintain acceptable levels of environmental quality and ecosystem fitness.

  7. The Role of Disturbance in Arctic Ecosystem Response to a Changing Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hinzman, L. D.

    2014-12-01

    Wildfires in the tundra regions and the boreal forest project an immediate effect upon the surface energy and water budget by drastically altering the surface albedo, roughness, infiltration rates, and moisture absorption capacity in organic soils. Although fires create a sudden and drastic change to the landcover, it is only the beginning of a long process of recovery and perhaps a shift to a different successional pathway. In permafrost regions, these effects become part of a process of long-term (20-50 years) cumulative impacts. Burn severity may largely determine immediate impacts and long-term disturbance trajectories. As transpiration decreases or ceases, soil moisture increases markedly, remaining quite wet throughout the year. Because the insulating quality of the organic layer is removed during fires, permafrost begins to thaw near the surface and warm to greater depths. Within a few years, it may thaw to the point where it can no longer completely refreeze every winter, creating a permanently thawed layer in the soil called a talik. After formation of a talik, soils can drain internally throughout the year. At this point, soils may become quite dry, as the total precipitation received annually in the Arctic is quite low. The local ecological community must continuously adapt to the changing soil thermal and moisture regimes. The wet soils found over shallow permafrost favor black spruce forests. After a fire creates a deeper permafrost table (thicker active layer) the invading tree species tend to be birch or alder. The hydrologic and thermal regime of the soil is the primary factor controlling these vegetation trajectories and the subsequent changes in surface mass and energy fluxes. The complexities of a changing climate accentuate these processes of change and complicate predictions of the resulting vegetation trajectories. Understanding these shifts in vegetative communities and quantifying the consequences of thawing permafrost can only be

  8. Responses of terrestrial ecosystems and carbon budgets to current and future environmental variability

    PubMed Central

    Medvigy, David; Wofsy, Steven C.; Munger, J. William; Moorcroft, Paul R.

    2010-01-01

    We assess the significance of high-frequency variability of environmental parameters (sunlight, precipitation, temperature) for the structure and function of terrestrial ecosystems under current and future climate. We examine the influence of hourly, daily, and monthly variance using the Ecosystem Demography model version 2 in conjunction with the long-term record of carbon fluxes measured at Harvard Forest. We find that fluctuations of sunlight and precipitation are strongly and nonlinearly coupled to ecosystem function, with effects that accumulate through annual and decadal timescales. Increasing variability in sunlight and precipitation leads to lower rates of carbon sequestration and favors broad-leaved deciduous trees over conifers. Temperature variability has only minor impacts by comparison. We also find that projected changes in sunlight and precipitation variability have important implications for carbon storage and ecosystem structure and composition. Based on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change model estimates for changes in high-frequency meteorological variability over the next 100 years, we expect that terrestrial ecosystems will be affected by changes in variability almost as much as by changes in mean climate. We conclude that terrestrial ecosystems are highly sensitive to high-frequency meteorological variability, and that accurate knowledge of the statistics of this variability is essential for realistic predictions of ecosystem structure and functioning. PMID:20404190

  9. Responses of terrestrial ecosystems and carbon budgets to current and future environmental variability.

    PubMed

    Medvigy, David; Wofsy, Steven C; Munger, J William; Moorcroft, Paul R

    2010-05-01

    We assess the significance of high-frequency variability of environmental parameters (sunlight, precipitation, temperature) for the structure and function of terrestrial ecosystems under current and future climate. We examine the influence of hourly, daily, and monthly variance using the Ecosystem Demography model version 2 in conjunction with the long-term record of carbon fluxes measured at Harvard Forest. We find that fluctuations of sunlight and precipitation are strongly and nonlinearly coupled to ecosystem function, with effects that accumulate through annual and decadal timescales. Increasing variability in sunlight and precipitation leads to lower rates of carbon sequestration and favors broad-leaved deciduous trees over conifers. Temperature variability has only minor impacts by comparison. We also find that projected changes in sunlight and precipitation variability have important implications for carbon storage and ecosystem structure and composition. Based on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change model estimates for changes in high-frequency meteorological variability over the next 100 years, we expect that terrestrial ecosystems will be affected by changes in variability almost as much as by changes in mean climate. We conclude that terrestrial ecosystems are highly sensitive to high-frequency meteorological variability, and that accurate knowledge of the statistics of this variability is essential for realistic predictions of ecosystem structure and functioning. PMID:20404190

  10. Responses of terrestrial ecosystems and carbon budgets to current and future environmental variability.

    PubMed

    Medvigy, David; Wofsy, Steven C; Munger, J William; Moorcroft, Paul R

    2010-05-01

    We assess the significance of high-frequency variability of environmental parameters (sunlight, precipitation, temperature) for the structure and function of terrestrial ecosystems under current and future climate. We examine the influence of hourly, daily, and monthly variance using the Ecosystem Demography model version 2 in conjunction with the long-term record of carbon fluxes measured at Harvard Forest. We find that fluctuations of sunlight and precipitation are strongly and nonlinearly coupled to ecosystem function, with effects that accumulate through annual and decadal timescales. Increasing variability in sunlight and precipitation leads to lower rates of carbon sequestration and favors broad-leaved deciduous trees over conifers. Temperature variability has only minor impacts by comparison. We also find that projected changes in sunlight and precipitation variability have important implications for carbon storage and ecosystem structure and composition. Based on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change model estimates for changes in high-frequency meteorological variability over the next 100 years, we expect that terrestrial ecosystems will be affected by changes in variability almost as much as by changes in mean climate. We conclude that terrestrial ecosystems are highly sensitive to high-frequency meteorological variability, and that accurate knowledge of the statistics of this variability is essential for realistic predictions of ecosystem structure and functioning.

  11. Responses of coastal ecosystems to environmental variability in emerging countries from the Americas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muniz, Pablo; Calliari, Danilo; Giménez, Luis; Defeo, Omar

    2015-12-01

    Coastal ecosystems supply critical ecological services and benefits to human society (Barbier et al., 2011). Nearly 38% of the global monetary value of annual ecosystem services arises from estuaries, seagrass and algal beds, coral reefs and shelf ecosystems (Costanza et al., 1997). However, these ecosystems are being increasingly affected by multiple drivers acting simultaneously at several spatial and temporal scales (Lotze et al., 2006; Hoegh-Guldberg and Bruno, 2010). Climate change (temperature increase, sea level rise, ocean acidification), human activities (e.g. land use/cover change, pollution, overexploitation, translocation of species), and extreme natural events (storms, floods, droughts) are the most important drivers degrading the resilience of coastal systems. Such factors operate on individual level processes, leading organisms away from their niches (Steinberg, 2013) or modifying rates and phenology (Giménez, 2011; Mackas et al., 2012, Deutsch et al., 2015). All of these influence ecosystem level processes, causing changes in species composition, diversity losses and deterioration of ecosystem functions (Worm et al., 2006; Defeo et al., 2009; Doney et al., 2011; Dornelas et al., 2014). The rate of change in habitats, species distributions and whole ecosystems has accelerated over the past decades as shown, for example, in the increase in the frequency of events of coastal hypoxia (Diaz and Rosenberg, 2008,Vaquer-Sunyer and Duarte, 2008), extensive translocation of species by global shipping (Seebens et al., 2013), and in ecosystem regime shifts (Möllmann et al., 2015 and references therein). Some coastal areas have been transformed into novel ecosystems with physical and biological characteristics outside their natural range of variability (Cloern et al., 2015) while others are likely to become sink areas, limiting the migration of marine species away from warming habitats (Burrows et al., 2014).

  12. Responses of Amazonian ecosystems to climatic and atmospheric carbon dioxide changes since the last glacial maximum.

    PubMed

    Mayle, Francis E; Beerling, David J; Gosling, William D; Bush, Mark B

    2004-03-29

    The aims of this paper are to review previously published palaeovegetation and independent palaeoclimatic datasets together with new results we present from dynamic vegetation model simulations and modern pollen rain studies to: (i) determine the responses of Amazonian ecosystems to changes in temperature, precipitation and atmospheric CO2 concentrations that occurred since the last glacial maximum (LGM), ca. 21 000 years ago; and (ii) use this long-term perspective to predict the likely vegetation responses to future climate change. Amazonia remained predominantly forested at the LGM, although the combination of reduced temperatures, precipitation and atmospheric CO2 concentrations resulted in forests structurally and floristically quite different from those of today. Cold-adapted Andean taxa mixed with rainforest taxa in central areas, while dry forest species and lianas probably became important in the more seasonal southern Amazon forests and savannahs expanded at forest-savannah ecotones. Net primary productivity (NPP) and canopy density were significantly lower than today. Evergreen rainforest distribution and NPP increased during the glacial-Holocene transition owing to ameliorating climatic and CO2 conditions. However, reduced precipitation in the Early-Mid-Holocene (ca. 8000-3600 years ago) caused widespread, frequent fires in seasonal southern Amazonia, causing increased abundance of drought-tolerant dry forest taxa and savannahs in ecotonal areas. Rainforests expanded once more in the Late Holocene owing to increased precipitation caused by greater austral summer insolation, although some of this forest expansion (e.g. in parts of the Bolivian Beni) is clearly caused by palaeo Indian landscape modification. The plant communities that existed during the Early-Mid-Holocene may provide insights into the kinds of vegetation response expected from similar increases in temperature and aridity predicted for the twenty-first century. We infer that ecotonal areas

  13. Responses of Amazonian ecosystems to climatic and atmospheric carbon dioxide changes since the last glacial maximum.

    PubMed Central

    Mayle, Francis E; Beerling, David J; Gosling, William D; Bush, Mark B

    2004-01-01

    The aims of this paper are to review previously published palaeovegetation and independent palaeoclimatic datasets together with new results we present from dynamic vegetation model simulations and modern pollen rain studies to: (i) determine the responses of Amazonian ecosystems to changes in temperature, precipitation and atmospheric CO2 concentrations that occurred since the last glacial maximum (LGM), ca. 21 000 years ago; and (ii) use this long-term perspective to predict the likely vegetation responses to future climate change. Amazonia remained predominantly forested at the LGM, although the combination of reduced temperatures, precipitation and atmospheric CO2 concentrations resulted in forests structurally and floristically quite different from those of today. Cold-adapted Andean taxa mixed with rainforest taxa in central areas, while dry forest species and lianas probably became important in the more seasonal southern Amazon forests and savannahs expanded at forest-savannah ecotones. Net primary productivity (NPP) and canopy density were significantly lower than today. Evergreen rainforest distribution and NPP increased during the glacial-Holocene transition owing to ameliorating climatic and CO2 conditions. However, reduced precipitation in the Early-Mid-Holocene (ca. 8000-3600 years ago) caused widespread, frequent fires in seasonal southern Amazonia, causing increased abundance of drought-tolerant dry forest taxa and savannahs in ecotonal areas. Rainforests expanded once more in the Late Holocene owing to increased precipitation caused by greater austral summer insolation, although some of this forest expansion (e.g. in parts of the Bolivian Beni) is clearly caused by palaeo Indian landscape modification. The plant communities that existed during the Early-Mid-Holocene may provide insights into the kinds of vegetation response expected from similar increases in temperature and aridity predicted for the twenty-first century. We infer that ecotonal areas

  14. THE RESPONSE OF MARINE ECOSYSTEMS TO CLIMATE VARIABILITY ASSOCIATED WITH THE NORTH ATLANTIC OSCILLATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    A strong association is documented between variability of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and changes in various trophic levels of the marine ecosystems of the North Atlantic. Examples are presented for phytoplankton, zooplankton, benthos, fish, marine diseases, whales and s...

  15. Changes in Marine Environments and Responses of Ecosystem Dynamics in the East Asian Pacific

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogawa, Hiroshi; Saito, Hiroaki; Ju, Se-Jong

    2014-02-01

    At an international symposium on the marine systems of the Pacific region of East Asia, scientists concluded that changes in the ocean environment are having a significant effect on biogeochemical cycles and ecosystems and, consequently, on humans and the food supply. The meeting, the 6th China-Japan-Korea (CJK) Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research symposium, was held in Japan at the University of Tokyo.

  16. Regional signatures of plant response to drought and elevated temperature across a desert ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Munson, Seth M.; Muldavin, Esteban H.; Belnap, Jayne; Peters, Debra P.C.; Anderson, John P.; Reiser, M. Hildegard; Gallo, Kirsten; Melgoza-Castillo, Alicia; Herrick, Jeffrey E.; Christiansen, Tim A.

    2013-01-01

    The performance of many desert plant species in North America may decline with the warmer and drier conditions predicted by climate change models, thereby accelerating land degradation and reducing ecosystem productivity. We paired repeat measurements of plant canopy cover with climate at multiple sites across the Chihuahuan Desert over the last century to determine which plant species and functional types may be the most sensitive to climate change. We found that the dominant perennial grass, Bouteloua eriopoda, and species richness had nonlinear responses to summer precipitation, decreasing more in dry summers than increasing with wet summers. Dominant shrub species responded differently to the seasonality of precipitation and drought, but winter precipitation best explained changes in the cover of woody vegetation in upland grasslands and may contribute to woody-plant encroachment that is widespread throughout the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Temperature explained additional variability of changes in cover of dominant and subdominant plant species. Using a novel empirically based approach we identified ‘‘climate pivot points’’ that were indicative of shifts from increasing to decreasing plant cover over a range of climatic conditions. Reductions in cover of annual and several perennial plant species, in addition to declines in species richness below the long-term summer precipitation mean across plant communities, indicate a decrease in the productivity for all but the most drought-tolerant perennial grasses and shrubs in the Chihuahuan Desert. Overall, our regional synthesis of long-term data provides a robust foundation for forecasting future shifts in the composition and structure of plant assemblages in the largest North American warm desert.

  17. Regional signatures of plant response to drought and elevated temperature across a desert ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Munson, Seth M; Muldavin, Esteban H; Belnap, Jayne; Peters, Debra P C; Anderson, John P; Reiser, M Hildegard; Gallo, Kirsten; Melgoza-Castillo, Alicia; Herrick, Jeffrey E; Christiansen, Tim A

    2013-09-01

    The performance of many desert plant species in North America may decline with the warmer and drier conditions predicted by climate change models, thereby accelerating land degradation and reducing ecosystem productivity. We paired repeat measurements of plant canopy cover with climate at multiple sites across the Chihuahuan Desert over the last century to determine which plant species and functional types may be the most sensitive to climate change. We found that the dominant perennial grass, Bouteloua eriopoda, and species richness had nonlinear responses to summer precipitation, decreasing more in dry summers than increasing with wet summers. Dominant shrub species responded differently to the seasonality of precipitation and drought, but winter precipitation best explained changes in the cover of woody vegetation in upland grasslands and may contribute to woody-plant encroachment that is widespread throughout the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Temperature explained additional variability of changes in cover of dominant and subdominant plant species. Using a novel empirically based approach we identified "climate pivot points" that were indicative of shifts from increasing to decreasing plant cover over a range of climatic conditions. Reductions in cover of annual and several perennial plant species, in addition to declines in species richness below the long-term summer precipitation mean across plant communities, indicate a decrease in the productivity for all but the most drought-tolerant perennial grasses and shrubs in the Chihuahuan Desert. Overall, our regional synthesis of long-term data provides a robust foundation for forecasting future shifts in the composition and structure of plant assemblages in the largest North American warm desert.

  18. Soil bacterial community structure responses to precipitation reduction and forest management in forest ecosystems across Germany.

    PubMed

    Felsmann, Katja; Baudis, Mathias; Gimbel, Katharina; Kayler, Zachary E; Ellerbrock, Ruth; Bruelheide, Helge; Bruehlheide, Helge; Bruckhoff, Johannes; Welk, Erik; Puhlmann, Heike; Weiler, Markus; Gessler, Arthur; Ulrich, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Soil microbial communities play an important role in forest ecosystem functioning, but how climate change will affect the community composition and consequently bacterial functions is poorly understood. We assessed the effects of reduced precipitation with the aim of simulating realistic future drought conditions for one growing season on the bacterial community and its relation to soil properties and forest management. We manipulated precipitation in beech and conifer forest plots managed at different levels of intensity in three different regions across Germany. The precipitation reduction decreased soil water content across the growing season by between 2 to 8% depending on plot and region. T-RFLP analysis and pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene were used to study the total soil bacterial community and its active members after six months of precipitation reduction. The effect of reduced precipitation on the total bacterial community structure was negligible while significant effects could be observed for the active bacteria. However, the effect was secondary to the stronger influence of specific soil characteristics across the three regions and management selection of overstorey tree species and their respective understorey vegetation. The impact of reduced precipitation differed between the studied plots; however, we could not determine the particular parameters being able to modify the response of the active bacterial community among plots. We conclude that the moderate drought induced by the precipitation manipulation treatment started to affect the active but not the total bacterial community, which points to an adequate resistance of the soil microbial system over one growing season. PMID:25875835

  19. A long-term copper exposure on freshwater ecosystem using lotic mesocosms: Primary producer community responses.

    PubMed

    Roussel, Hélène; Ten-Hage, Loïc; Joachim, Sandrine; Le Cohu, René; Gauthier, Laury; Bonzom, Jean-Marc

    2007-02-28

    Copper is commonly used as an algicide and plant herbicide in the aquatic environment. Despite of its frequent application in rivers, ponds and lakes, few studies have been performed at the ecosystem level on primary producers' communities. A long-term lotic mesocosms study was carried on, in 20m long channels, under environmentally realistic concentrations of copper (0, 5, 25 and 75 microgL(-1)) delivered continuously for 18 months. Results showed significant effects at the 25 and 75 microgL(-1) copper treatment levels on the phytoplankton, periphyton and macrophyte community structure. Effects on biomass and abundance were dissimilar depending on the studied community. Phytoplankton showed no abundance variation with treatment, whereas periphyton had higher biomass and macrophytes had lower coverage at 25 and 75 microgL(-1). Taxa richness was significantly affected for all primary producers communities at 25 and 75 microgL(-1). Some taxa seemed to be sensitive to copper, i.e. Cocconeis spp., Epithemia sp., Gomphonema spp., Lemna minor, Nasturtium officinale and filamentous macroalgae. Other taxa appeared to be tolerant or facilitated by indirect effects, i.e. Leptolyngbya sp., Mougeotia sp., Nitzschia palea, Pseudanabaena sp. and Ulothrix sp. and therefore increased in the 25 and 75 microgL(-1) treatments. Important indirect factors influenced the community responses, such as trophic interactions like decrease of grazing pressure, competition for light and nutrients and temperature favouring blue-green algae development. After 18 months of copper exposure, the no observed effect concentration at community level (NOEC(community)) for primary producers was set up at 5 or 4mugL(-1), if we consider the average effective concentration, with a lowest observed effect concentration (LOEC(community)) at 25 or 20 microgL(-1) (AEC). PMID:17239970

  20. Soil Bacterial Community Structure Responses to Precipitation Reduction and Forest Management in Forest Ecosystems across Germany

    PubMed Central

    Felsmann, Katja; Baudis, Mathias; Gimbel, Katharina; Kayler, Zachary E.; Ellerbrock, Ruth; Bruehlheide, Helge; Bruckhoff, Johannes; Welk, Erik; Puhlmann, Heike; Weiler, Markus; Gessler, Arthur; Ulrich, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Soil microbial communities play an important role in forest ecosystem functioning, but how climate change will affect the community composition and consequently bacterial functions is poorly understood. We assessed the effects of reduced precipitation with the aim of simulating realistic future drought conditions for one growing season on the bacterial community and its relation to soil properties and forest management. We manipulated precipitation in beech and conifer forest plots managed at different levels of intensity in three different regions across Germany. The precipitation reduction decreased soil water content across the growing season by between 2 to 8% depending on plot and region. T-RFLP analysis and pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene were used to study the total soil bacterial community and its active members after six months of precipitation reduction. The effect of reduced precipitation on the total bacterial community structure was negligible while significant effects could be observed for the active bacteria. However, the effect was secondary to the stronger influence of specific soil characteristics across the three regions and management selection of overstorey tree species and their respective understorey vegetation. The impact of reduced precipitation differed between the studied plots; however, we could not determine the particular parameters being able to modify the response of the active bacterial community among plots. We conclude that the moderate drought induced by the precipitation manipulation treatment started to affect the active but not the total bacterial community, which points to an adequate resistance of the soil microbial system over one growing season. PMID:25875835

  1. Pavlovian conditioning and cumulative reinforcement rate.

    PubMed

    Harris, Justin A; Patterson, Angela E; Gharaei, Saba

    2015-04-01

    In 5 experiments using delay conditioning of magazine approach with rats, reinforcement rate was varied either by manipulating the mean interval between onset of the conditioned stimulus (CS) and unconditioned stimulus (US) or by manipulating the proportion of CS presentations that ended with the US (trial-based reinforcement rate). Both manipulations influenced the acquisition of responding. In each experiment, a specific comparison was made between 2 CSs that differed in their mean CS-US interval and in their trial-based reinforcement rate, such that the cumulative reinforcement rate-the cumulative duration of the CS between reinforcements-was the same for the 2 CSs. For example, a CS reinforced on 100% of trials with a mean CS-US interval of 60 s was compared with a CS reinforced on 33% of trials and a mean duration of 20 s. Across the 5 experiments, conditioning was virtually identical for the 2 CSs with matched cumulative reinforcement rate. This was true as long as the timing of the US was unpredictable and, thus, response rates were uniform across the length of the CS. We conclude that the effects of CS-US interval and of trial-based reinforcement rate are reducible entirely to their common effect on cumulative reinforcement rate. We discuss the implications of this for rate-based, trial-based, and real-time associative models of conditioning.

  2. Ecosystem Engineering by Plants on Wave-Exposed Intertidal Flats Is Governed by Relationships between Effect and Response Traits.

    PubMed

    Heuner, Maike; Silinski, Alexandra; Schoelynck, Jonas; Bouma, Tjeerd J; Puijalon, Sara; Troch, Peter; Fuchs, Elmar; Schröder, Boris; Schröder, Uwe; Meire, Patrick; Temmerman, Stijn

    2015-01-01

    In hydrodynamically stressful environments, some species--known as ecosystem engineers--are able to modify the environment for their own benefit. Little is known however, about the interaction between functional plant traits and ecosystem engineering. We studied the responses of Scirpus tabernaemontani and Scirpus maritimus to wave impact in full-scale flume experiments. Stem density and biomass were used to predict the ecosystem engineering effect of wave attenuation. Also the drag force on plants, their bending angle after wave impact and the stem biomechanical properties were quantified as both responses of stress experienced and effects on ecosystem engineering. We analyzed lignin, cellulose, and silica contents as traits likely effecting stress resistance (avoidance, tolerance). Stem density and biomass were strong predictors for wave attenuation, S. maritimus showing a higher effect than S. tabernaemontani. The drag force and drag force per wet frontal area both differed significantly between the species at shallow water depths (20 cm). At greater depths (35 cm), drag forces and bending angles were significantly higher for S. maritimus than for S. tabernaemontani. However, they do not differ in drag force per wet frontal area due to the larger plant surface of S. maritimus. Stem resistance to breaking and stem flexibility were significantly higher in S. tabernaemontani, having a higher cellulose concentration and a larger cross-section in its basal stem parts. S. maritimus had clearly more lignin and silica contents in the basal stem parts than S. tabernaemontani. We concluded that the effect of biomass seems more relevant for the engineering effect of emergent macrophytes with leaves than species morphology: S. tabernaemontani has avoiding traits with minor effects on wave attenuation; S. maritimus has tolerating traits with larger effects. This implies that ecosystem engineering effects are directly linked with traits affecting species stress resistance and

  3. Ecosystem Engineering by Plants on Wave-Exposed Intertidal Flats Is Governed by Relationships between Effect and Response Traits

    PubMed Central

    Schoelynck, Jonas; Bouma, Tjeerd J.; Puijalon, Sara; Troch, Peter; Fuchs, Elmar; Schröder, Boris; Schröder, Uwe; Meire, Patrick; Temmerman, Stijn

    2015-01-01

    In hydrodynamically stressful environments, some species—known as ecosystem engineers—are able to modify the environment for their own benefit. Little is known however, about the interaction between functional plant traits and ecosystem engineering. We studied the responses of Scirpus tabernaemontani and Scirpus maritimus to wave impact in full-scale flume experiments. Stem density and biomass were used to predict the ecosystem engineering effect of wave attenuation. Also the drag force on plants, their bending angle after wave impact and the stem biomechanical properties were quantified as both responses of stress experienced and effects on ecosystem engineering. We analyzed lignin, cellulose, and silica contents as traits likely effecting stress resistance (avoidance, tolerance). Stem density and biomass were strong predictors for wave attenuation, S. maritimus showing a higher effect than S. tabernaemontani. The drag force and drag force per wet frontal area both differed significantly between the species at shallow water depths (20 cm). At greater depths (35 cm), drag forces and bending angles were significantly higher for S. maritimus than for S. tabernaemontani. However, they do not differ in drag force per wet frontal area due to the larger plant surface of S. maritimus. Stem resistance to breaking and stem flexibility were significantly higher in S. tabernaemontani, having a higher cellulose concentration and a larger cross-section in its basal stem parts. S. maritimus had clearly more lignin and silica contents in the basal stem parts than S. tabernaemontani. We concluded that the effect of biomass seems more relevant for the engineering effect of emergent macrophytes with leaves than species morphology: S. tabernaemontani has avoiding traits with minor effects on wave attenuation; S. maritimus has tolerating traits with larger effects. This implies that ecosystem engineering effects are directly linked with traits affecting species stress resistance

  4. From Gaged to Ungaged- Predicting Long-term Environmental Flows, and Ecosystems Responses.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sengupta, A.; Adams, S. K.; Stein, E. D.; Mazor, R.; Bledsoe, B. P.

    2015-12-01

    Modern management needs, such as water supply, quality, and ecosystem protection place numerous demands on instream flows. Many regions are interested in developing numeric flow criteria as a way of ensuring maintenance of flow patterns that protect biological resources while meeting other demands. Developing flow criteria requires the capacity to generate reliable time series of the daily flow at any stream reach of interest and to relate flow patterns to biological indicators of stream health. Most stream reaches are not gaged, and it is impractical to develop detailed models for all reaches where flow alteration needs to be evaluated. We present a novel mechanistic approach to efficiently predict flows and flow alteration at all ungaged stream locations within a region of interest. We used an "ensemble approach" whereby a series of regionally representative models were developed and calibrated. New sites of interest are assigned to one of the ensemble models based on similarity of catchment properties. For southern California, we selected 43 gaged sites representing the range of geomorphology, and watershed characteristics of streams in the region. For each gaged site, we developed a hydrologic model (HEC-HMS) to predict daily flows for a period representing dry, wet and normal precipitation. The final goal is to relate flow alterations to ecological responses, the models were calibrated to three separate performance metrics that reflect conditions important for instream biological communities- proportion of low flow days, flashiness and Nash Sutcliffe efficiency for overall model performance. We cross-validated the models using a "jack-knife" approach. Models were assigned to novel 840 bioassessment sites based on the results of a Random Forest model that identified catchment properties that most affected the runoff patterns. Daily flow data for existing and "reference conditions" was simulated for a 23-year period for current and reference (undeveloped

  5. [The response of forest ecosystems to reduction in industrial atmospheric emission in the Kola Subarctic].

    PubMed

    Koptsik, G N; Koptsik, S V; Smirnova, I E; Kudryavtseva, A D; Turbabina, K A

    2016-01-01

    In spite of reduction in atmospheric emission, current state of forest ecosystems within the impact zone of Severonickel enterprise still reflects the entire spectrum of anthropogenic digression stages. As the distance to the enterprise grows shorter, structural-functional changes in forest communities are manifested in dropping out of mosses and lichens, replacement of undershrub by Poaceae, worsening of timber stand and undergrowth conditions and their progressive dying-off, and, as a result, in forming of anthropogenic wastelands. Alterations of elemental composition of fir bark and needles due to exposure to pollutants consist in accumulation of nickel, copper, cobalt, arsenic, and sulfur along with depletion of calcium, magnesium, manganese, and zinc. According to the data obtained by correlation and multiparameter analyses, the accumulation of heavy metals in fir organs is closely related to the increasing of their concentration in root-inhabited soil layers as the distance to the pollution source is getting shorter. By comparison with the background fir grove, concentration of available compounds of nickel and copper in the ground litter of open fir-birch woodland near the enterprise increases by the factor of 30-60, reaching up 280 and 130 mg/kg respectively. With the increasing of anthropogenic stress, the ground litter becomes depleted of available calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and zinc. For the first time, the coupled dynamics of vegetation and soil state in fir forests as a response to reduction in atmospheric emission is tracked back. The most distinguishable response to the reduction appears to be the development of small-leaved plants' young growth within the impact zone. For the last decade, concentration of nickel in fir needles and in ground litter has reduced by the factor of 1.2-2. As for copper, its concentration in needles has reduced by the factor of 2-4, though in ground litter remains the same. By comparison with the period of

  6. [The response of forest ecosystems to reduction in industrial atmospheric emission in the Kola Subarctic].

    PubMed

    Koptsik, G N; Koptsik, S V; Smirnova, I E; Kudryavtseva, A D; Turbabina, K A

    2016-01-01

    In spite of reduction in atmospheric emission, current state of forest ecosystems within the impact zone of Severonickel enterprise still reflects the entire spectrum of anthropogenic digression stages. As the distance to the enterprise grows shorter, structural-functional changes in forest communities are manifested in dropping out of mosses and lichens, replacement of undershrub by Poaceae, worsening of timber stand and undergrowth conditions and their progressive dying-off, and, as a result, in forming of anthropogenic wastelands. Alterations of elemental composition of fir bark and needles due to exposure to pollutants consist in accumulation of nickel, copper, cobalt, arsenic, and sulfur along with depletion of calcium, magnesium, manganese, and zinc. According to the data obtained by correlation and multiparameter analyses, the accumulation of heavy metals in fir organs is closely related to the increasing of their concentration in root-inhabited soil layers as the distance to the pollution source is getting shorter. By comparison with the background fir grove, concentration of available compounds of nickel and copper in the ground litter of open fir-birch woodland near the enterprise increases by the factor of 30-60, reaching up 280 and 130 mg/kg respectively. With the increasing of anthropogenic stress, the ground litter becomes depleted of available calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and zinc. For the first time, the coupled dynamics of vegetation and soil state in fir forests as a response to reduction in atmospheric emission is tracked back. The most distinguishable response to the reduction appears to be the development of small-leaved plants' young growth within the impact zone. For the last decade, concentration of nickel in fir needles and in ground litter has reduced by the factor of 1.2-2. As for copper, its concentration in needles has reduced by the factor of 2-4, though in ground litter remains the same. By comparison with the period of

  7. Analysing the response of European ecosystems to droughts and heat waves within ISI-MIP2 simulations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dury, M.; Henrot, A. J.; Francois, L. M.; Munhoven, G.; Jacquemin, I.; Friend, A. D.; Rademacher, T. T.; Hacket Pain, A. J.; Hickler, T.

    2015-12-01

    With unprecedented speed and extent, the future climate change can be expected to severely impact terrestrial ecosystems due to more frequent extreme events, such as droughts or heat waves. What will be the impacts of these extreme events on ecosystem functioning and structure? How far will net primary production be reduced by such events? What will be the impact on plant mortality? Could such events trigger changes in the abundance of plant species, thus leading to biome shifts? In this contribution, we propose to use ISI-MIP2 model historical simulations from the biome sector to analyse the response of ecosystems to droughts or heat waves, trying to understand the differences between several vegetation models (e.g. CARAIB, HYBRID, LPJ). The analysis will focus on Europe. It will compare and assess the model responses for a series of well-marked drought or heat wave events in the simulated historical period, such as those that occurred in 1976, 2003 or 2010. This analysis will be performed in terms of several important environmental variables, like soil water and hydric stress, runoff, PFT abundance, net primary productivity and biomass, fire frequency, turnover of soil organic matter, etc. Whenever possible, the response of the model will be compared to available data for the most recent well-marked events. Examples of data to be used are eddy covariance, satellite data (including leaf area and fire occurrence) or tree rings.

  8. CO2 and fire influence tropical ecosystem stability in response to climate change

    PubMed Central

    Shanahan, Timothy M.; Hughen, Konrad A.; McKay, Nicholas P.; Overpeck, Jonathan T.; Scholz, Christopher A.; Gosling, William D.; Miller, Charlotte S.; Peck, John A.; King, John W.; Heil, Clifford W.

    2016-01-01

    Interactions between climate, fire and CO2 are believed to play a crucial role in controlling the distributions of tropical woodlands and savannas, but our understanding of these processes is limited by the paucity of data from undisturbed tropical ecosystems. Here we use a 28,000-year integrated record of vegetation, climate and fire from West Africa to examine the role of these interactions on tropical ecosystem stability. We find that increased aridity between 28–15 kyr B.P. led to the widespread expansion of tropical grasslands, but that frequent fires and low CO2 played a crucial role in stabilizing these ecosystems, even as humidity changed. This resulted in an unstable ecosystem state, which transitioned abruptly from grassland to woodlands as gradual changes in CO2 and fire shifted the balance in favor of woody plants. Since then, high atmospheric CO2 has stabilized tropical forests by promoting woody plant growth, despite increased aridity. Our results indicate that the interactions between climate, CO2 and fire can make tropical ecosystems more resilient to change, but that these systems are dynamically unstable and potentially susceptible to abrupt shifts between woodland and grassland dominated states in the future. PMID:27427431

  9. CO2 and fire influence tropical ecosystem stability in response to climate change.

    PubMed

    Shanahan, Timothy M; Hughen, Konrad A; McKay, Nicholas P; Overpeck, Jonathan T; Scholz, Christopher A; Gosling, William D; Miller, Charlotte S; Peck, John A; King, John W; Heil, Clifford W

    2016-01-01

    Interactions between climate, fire and CO2 are believed to play a crucial role in controlling the distributions of tropical woodlands and savannas, but our understanding of these processes is limited by the paucity of data from undisturbed tropical ecosystems. Here we use a 28,000-year integrated record of vegetation, climate and fire from West Africa to examine the role of these interactions on tropical ecosystem stability. We find that increased aridity between 28-15 kyr B.P. led to the widespread expansion of tropical grasslands, but that frequent fires and low CO2 played a crucial role in stabilizing these ecosystems, even as humidity changed. This resulted in an unstable ecosystem state, which transitioned abruptly from grassland to woodlands as gradual changes in CO2 and fire shifted the balance in favor of woody plants. Since then, high atmospheric CO2 has stabilized tropical forests by promoting woody plant growth, despite increased aridity. Our results indicate that the interactions between climate, CO2 and fire can make tropical ecosystems more resilient to change, but that these systems are dynamically unstable and potentially susceptible to abrupt shifts between woodland and grassland dominated states in the future. PMID:27427431

  10. Aeronautical Engineering: 1983 cumulative index

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

    This bibliography is a cumulative index to the abstracts contained in NASA SP-7037 (158) through NASA SP-7037 (169) of Aeronautical Engineering: A Continuing Bibliography. NASA SP-7037 and its supplements have been compiled through the cooperative efforts of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This cumulative index includes subject, personal author, corporate source, contract, report number, and accession number indexes.

  11. Application of ecosystem-scale fate and bioaccumulation models to predict fish mercury response times to changes in atmospheric deposition.

    PubMed

    Knightes, Christopher D; Sunderland, Elsie M; Craig Barber, M; Johnston, John M; Ambrose, Robert B

    2009-04-01

    Management strategies for controlling anthropogenic mercury emissions require understanding how ecosystems will respond to changes in atmospheric mercury deposition. Process-based mathematical models are valuable tools for informing such decisions, because measurement data often are sparse and cannot be extrapolated to investigate the environmental impacts of different policy options. Here, we bring together previously developed and evaluated modeling frameworks for watersheds, water bodies, and food web bioaccumulation of mercury. We use these models to investigate the timescales required for mercury levels in predatory fish to change in response to altered mercury inputs. We model declines in water, sediment, and fish mercury concentrations across five ecosystems spanning a range of physical and biological conditions, including a farm pond, a seepage lake, a stratified lake, a drainage lake, and a coastal plain river. Results illustrate that temporal lags are longest for watershed-dominated systems (like the coastal plain river) and shortest for shallow water bodies (like the seepage lake) that receive most of their mercury from deposition directly to the water surface. All ecosystems showed responses in two phases: A relatively rapid initial decline in mercury concentrations (20-60% of steady-state values) over one to three decades, followed by a slower descent lasting for decades to centuries. Response times are variable across ecosystem types and are highly affected by sediment burial rates and active layer depths in systems not dominated by watershed inputs. Additional research concerning watershed processes driving mercury dynamics and empirical data regarding sediment dynamics in freshwater bodies are critical for improving the predictive capability of process-based mercury models used to inform regulatory decisions.

  12. Response of tundra ecosystems to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide. [Annual report

    SciTech Connect

    Oechel, W.C.; Grulke, N.E.

    1988-12-31

    Our past research shows that arctic tussock tundra responds to elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} with marked increases in net ecosystem carbon flux and photosynthetic rates. However, at ambient temperatures and nutrient availabilities, homeostatic adjustments result in net ecosystem flux rates dropping to those found a contemporary CO{sub 2} levels within three years. Evidence for ecosystem-level acclimation in the first season of elevated CO{sub 2} exposure was found in 1987. Photosynthetic rates of Eriophorum vaginatum, the dominant species, adjusts to elevated CO{sub 2} within three weeks. Past research also indicates other changes potentially important to ecosystem structure and function. Elevated CO{sub 2} treatment apparently delays senescence and increases the period of positive photosynthetic activity. Recent results from the 1987 field season verify the results obtained in the 1983--1986 field seasons: Elevated CO{sub 2} resulted in increased ecosystem-level flux rates. Regressions fitted to the seasonal flux rates indicate an apparent 10 d extension of positive CO{sub 2} uptake reflecting a delay of the onset of plant dormancy. This delay in senescence could increase the frost sensitivity of the system. Major end points proposed for this research include the effects of elevated CO{sub 2} and the interaction of elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} with elevated soil temperature and increased nutrient availability on: (1) Net ecosystem CO{sub 2} flux; (2) Net photosynthetic rates; (3) Patterns and resource controls on homeostatic adjustment in the above processes to elevated CO{sub 2}; (4) Plant-nutrient status, litter quality, and forage quality; (5) Soil-nutrient status; (6) Plant-growth pattern and shoot demography.

  13. Seasonal responses of terrestrial ecosystem water-use efficiency to climate change.

    PubMed

    Huang, Mengtian; Piao, Shilong; Zeng, Zhenzhong; Peng, Shushi; Ciais, Philippe; Cheng, Lei; Mao, Jiafu; Poulter, Ben; Shi, Xiaoying; Yao, Yitong; Yang, Hui; Wang, Yingping

    2016-06-01

    Ecosystem water-use efficiency (EWUE) is an indicator of carbon-water interactions and is defined as the ratio of carbon assimilation (GPP) to evapotranspiration (ET). Previous research suggests an increasing long-term trend in annual EWUE over many regions and is largely attributed to the physiological effects of rising CO2 . The seasonal trends in EWUE, however, have not yet been analyzed. In this study, we investigate seasonal EWUE trends and responses to various drivers during 1982-2008. The seasonal cycle for two variants of EWUE, water-use efficiency (WUE, GPP/ET), and transpiration-based WUE (WUEt , the ratio of GPP and transpiration), is analyzed from 0.5° gridded fields from four process-based models and satellite-based products, as well as a network of 63 local flux tower observations. WUE derived from flux tower observations shows moderate seasonal variation for most latitude bands, which is in agreement with satellite-based products. In contrast, the seasonal EWUE trends are not well captured by the same satellite-based products. Trend analysis, based on process-model factorial simulations separating effects of climate, CO2 , and nitrogen deposition (NDEP), further suggests that the seasonal EWUE trends are mainly associated with seasonal trends of climate, whereas CO2 and NDEP do not show obvious seasonal difference in EWUE trends. About 66% grid cells show positive annual WUE trends, mainly over mid- and high northern latitudes. In these regions, spring climate change has amplified the effect of CO2 in increasing WUE by more than 0.005 gC m(-2)  mm(-1)  yr(-1) for 41% pixels. Multiple regression analysis further shows that the increase in springtime WUE in the northern hemisphere is the result of GPP increasing faster than ET because of the higher temperature sensitivity of GPP relative to ET. The partitioning of annual EWUE to seasonal components provides new insight into the relative sensitivities of GPP and ET to climate, CO2, and NDEP.

  14. Global sensitivity analysis of a mathematical model of acute inflammation identifies nonlinear dependence of cumulative tissue damage on host interleukin-6 responses.

    PubMed

    Mathew, Shibin; Bartels, John; Banerjee, Ipsita; Vodovotz, Yoram

    2014-10-01

    The precise inflammatory role of the cytokine interleukin (IL)-6 and its utility as a biomarker or therapeutic target have been the source of much debate, presumably due to the complex pro- and anti-inflammatory effects of this cytokine. We previously developed a nonlinear ordinary differential equation (ODE) model to explain the dynamics of endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide; LPS)-induced acute inflammation and associated whole-animal damage/dysfunction (a proxy for the health of the organism), along with the inflammatory mediators tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, IL-6, IL-10, and nitric oxide (NO). The model was partially calibrated using data from endotoxemic C57Bl/6 mice. Herein, we investigated the sensitivity of the area under the damage curve (AUCD) to the 51 rate parameters of the ODE model for different levels of simulated LPS challenges using a global sensitivity approach called Random Sampling High Dimensional Model Representation (RS-HDMR). We explored sufficient parametric Monte Carlo samples to generate the variance-based Sobol' global sensitivity indices, and found that inflammatory damage was highly sensitive to the parameters affecting the activity of IL-6 during the different stages of acute inflammation. The AUCIL6 showed a bimodal distribution, with the lower peak representing healthy response and the higher peak representing sustained inflammation. Damage was minimal at low AUCIL6, giving rise to a healthy response. In contrast, intermediate levels of AUCIL6 resulted in high damage, and this was due to the insufficiency of damage recovery driven by anti-inflammatory responses from IL-10 and the activation of positive feedback sustained by IL-6. At high AUCIL6, damage recovery was interestingly restored in some population of simulated animals due to the NO-mediated anti-inflammatory responses. These observations suggest that the host's health status during acute inflammation depends in a nonlinear fashion on the magnitude of the inflammatory stimulus

  15. Seasonal greening of an Arctic ecosystem in response to early snowmelt and climate warming: do plant community responses differ from species responses?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steltzer, H.; Weintraub, M. N.; Sullivan, P.; Wallenstein, M. D.; Schimel, J.; Darrouzet-Nardi, A.; Shory, R.; Livensperger, C.; Melle, C.; Segal, A. D.; Daly, K.; Tsosie, T.

    2011-12-01

    In the Arctic and around the world, earlier plant growth and a longer growing season are indications that warmer temperatures or other global changes are changing the seasonality of the Earth's ecosystems. These changes in plant life histories have multi-trophic level consequences that affect food webs and biogeochemical cycles. Both the response of the plant community and of individual species can affect food and habitat resources for animals or nutrient resources for microbes. Our aim was to determine if the response of an Arctic plant community differs from individual species responses to climate change. For two years in an early snowmelt and climate warming experiment in moist acidic tussock tundra, we observed the seasonal greening of the ecosystem through near-surface measurements of surface greenness and through direct observations of the timing of plant life history events for five to eight common species that differ in growth form. In 2010 when snowmelt was accelerated by 4 days, earlier snowmelt alone or in combination with climate warming extended the life history of the dominant graminoids (E. vaginatum and C. bigelowii) and willow (S. pulchra) by 3 to 4 days. For these species, new leaf production began earlier, while the timing of senescence was similar to the controls. The effect of earlier snowmelt on the life histories of birch (B. nana) and cranberry (V. vitis-idaea) was less, but warming alone tended to increase life history duration. Warming led to earlier leaf expansion for birch and delayed senescence for cranberry. We found that the onset of greening for the plant community began four days earlier, due to the earlier loss of snow cover, and that warming accelerated the rate of greening. Peak season ended 4 days earlier in response to earlier snowmelt and climate warming, due to earlier senescence by birch. In 2011, our manipulation of the snowpack by increasing energy absorption accelerated snowmelt by 15 days and control plots were snowfree

  16. Are there links between responses of soil microbes and ecosystem functioning to elevated CO2, N deposition and warming? A global perspective.

    PubMed

    García-Palacios, Pablo; Vandegehuchte, Martijn L; Shaw, E Ashley; Dam, Marie; Post, Keith H; Ramirez, Kelly S; Sylvain, Zachary A; de Tomasel, Cecilia Milano; Wall, Diana H

    2015-04-01

    In recent years, there has been an increase in research to understand how global changes' impacts on soil biota translate into altered ecosystem functioning. However, results vary between global change effects, soil taxa, and ecosystem processes studied, and a synthesis of relationships is lacking. Therefore, here we initiate such a synthesis to assess whether the effect size of global change drivers (elevated CO2, N deposition, and warming) on soil microbial abundance is related with the effect size of these drivers on ecosystem functioning (plant biomass, soil C cycle, and soil N cycle) using meta-analysis and structural equation modeling. For N deposition and warming, the global change effect size on soil microbes was positively associated with the global change effect size on ecosystem functioning, and these relationships were consistent across taxa and ecosystem processes. However, for elevated CO2, such links were more taxon and ecosystem process specific. For example, fungal abundance responses to elevated CO2 were positively correlated with those of plant biomass but negatively with those of the N cycle. Our results go beyond previous assessments of the sensitivity of soil microbes and ecosystem processes to global change, and demonstrate the existence of general links between the responses of soil microbial abundance and ecosystem functioning. Further we identify critical areas for future research, specifically altered precipitation, soil fauna, soil community composition, and litter decomposition, that are need to better quantify the ecosystem consequences of global change impacts on soil biodiversity.

  17. Predicting the response of a temperate forest ecosystem to atmospheric CO{sub 2} increase. Final report, 1984--1995

    SciTech Connect

    Bazzaz, F.A.

    1995-12-31

    This document describes the most recent progress made in several areas of the project. Details of individual experiments in the following areas are provided: (1) the impact of soil volume on the physiological acclimation of temperate deciduous trees in elevated CO{sub 2}; (2) growth under elevated CO{sub 2}: the shape as well as the size of pots is important; (3) a survey of growth responses of temperate deciduous trees to elevated CO{sub 2}; (4) a survey of closely related birch species; (5) the response of temperate deciduous tress to CO{sub 2} in variable light and nutrients conditions; (6) elevated CO{sub 2} differentially alters the response of birch and maple seedlings to a moisture gradient; (7) population dynamics; (8) heat shock in elevated CO{sub 2}: is there a change in temperature sensitivity; (9) response of temperate deciduous trees to CO{sub 2} in variable light and nutrient conditions; (10) changes in tree community composition and their consequences to ecosystem productivity; and (11) species diversity and ecosystem response to carbon dioxide fertilization.

  18. Response of the rare biosphere to environmental stressors in a highly diverse ecosystem (Zodletone spring, OK, USA).

    PubMed

    Coveley, Suzanne; Elshahed, Mostafa S; Youssef, Noha H

    2015-01-01

    Within highly diverse ecosystems, the majority of bacterial taxa are present in low abundance as members of the rare biosphere. The rationale for the occurrence and maintenance of the rare biosphere, and the putative ecological role(s) and dynamics of its members within a specific ecosystem is currently debated. We hypothesized that in highly diverse ecosystems, a fraction of the rare biosphere acts as a backup system that readily responds to environmental disturbances. We tested this hypothesis by subjecting sediments from Zodletone spring, a sulfide- and sulfur-rich spring in Southwestern OK, to incremental levels of salinity (1, 2, 3, 4, and 10% NaCl), or temperature (28°, 30°, 32°, and 70 °C), and traced the trajectories of rare members of the community in response to these manipulations using 16S rRNA gene analysis. Our results indicate that multiple rare bacterial taxa are promoted from rare to abundant members of the community following such manipulations and that, in general, the magnitude of such recruitment is directly proportional to the severity of the applied manipulation. Rare members that are phylogenetically distinct from abundant taxa in the original sample (unique rare biosphere) played a more important role in the microbial community response to environmental disturbances, compared to rare members that are phylogenetically similar to abundant taxa in the original sample (non-unique rare biosphere). The results emphasize the dynamic nature of the rare biosphere, and highlight its complexity and non-monolithic nature.

  19. Transformations of landscape and peat-forming ecosystems in response to late Holocene climate change in the western Antarctic Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Zicheng; Beilman, David W.; Loisel, Julie

    2016-07-01

    We used subfossil mosses and peats to document changes in regional climate, cryosphere, and terrestrial ecosystems in the western Antarctic Peninsula at ~65°S latitude. We find that most peat forming ecosystems have initiated since 2800 cal B.P., in response to warmer summers and increasing summer insolation. The period at 900-600 cal B.P. was coldest as indicated by ice advance, abundance of kill ages from ice-entombed mosses exposed recently from retreating glacial ice, and apparent gap in peatbank initiation. Furthermore, the discovery of a novel Antarctic hairgrass (Deschampsia antarctica) peatland at 2300-1200 cal B.P. from the mainland Antarctic Peninsula suggests a much warmer climate than the present. A warming and wetting climate in the 1980s caused very high carbon accumulation in a Polytrichum strictum moss peatbank. Our results document dramatic transformations of landscape and ecosystems in response to past warmer climate, providing a telltale sign for what may come in the future.

  20. Climate mitigation: sustainable preferences and cumulative carbon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buckle, Simon

    2010-05-01

    We develop a stylized AK growth model with both climate damages to ecosystem goods and services and sustainable preferences that allow trade-offs between present discounted utility and long-run climate damages. The simplicity of the model permits analytical solutions. Concern for the long-term provides a strong driver for mitigation action. One plausible specification of sustainable preferences leads to the result that, for a range of initial parameter values, an optimizing agent would choose a level of cumulative carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions independent of initial production capital endowment and CO2 levels. There is no technological change so, for economies with sufficiently high initial capital and CO2 endowments, optimal mitigation will lead to disinvestment. For lower values of initial capital and/or CO2 levels, positive investment can be optimal, but still within the same overall level of cumulative emissions. One striking aspect of the model is the complexity of possible outcomes, in addition to these optimal solutions. We also identify a resource constrained region and several regions where climate damages exceed resources available for consumption. Other specifications of sustainable preferences are discussed, as is the case of a hard constraint on long-run damages. Scientists are currently highlighting the potential importance of the cumulative carbon emissions concept as a robust yet flexible target for climate policymakers. This paper shows that it also has an ethical interpretation: it embodies an implicit trade off in global welfare between present discounted welfare and long-term climate damages. We hope that further development of the ideas presented here might contribute to the research and policy debate on the critical areas of intra- and intergenerational welfare.

  1. Process coupling and control over the response of net ecosystem CO2 exchange to climate variability and insect disturbance in subalpine forests of the Western US

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monson, R. K.; Moore, D. J.; Trahan, N. A.; Scott-Denton, L.; Burns, S. P.; Hu, J.; Bowling, D. R.

    2011-12-01

    Following ten years of studies in subalpine forest ecosystems of the Western US, we have concluded that the tight coupling between gross primary productivity (GPP) and the autotrophic component of soil respiration (Ra) drives responses of net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) to climate variability and insect disturbance. This insight has been gained through long-term eddy flux observations, manipulative plot experiments, analyses of dynamics in the stable isotope compositions of CO2 and H2O, and chamber gas-exchange measurements. Using past observations from these studies, we deployed model-data assimilation techniques and forecast weather/climate modeling to estimate how the coupling between GPP and Ra is likely to affect future (Year 2100) dynamics in NEE. The amount of winter snow and its melting dynamics in the spring represents the dominant control over interannual variation in GPP. Using the SIPNET ecosystem process model, combined with knowledge about the stable isotope content of different water sources, we estimated that approximately 75% of growing season GPP is coupled to the use of snowmelt water, whereas approximately 25% is coupled to summer rain. The tight coupling between GPP and winter snow pack drives a similar tight coupling between soil respiration (Rs) and winter snow pack. Manipulation of snow pack on forest plots has shown that Rs increases with increased snow pack, and this effect disappears when trees are girdled, which stops the transfer of GPP to roots and the soil rhizosphere. Higher-than-normal winter snowpacks cause the carbon isotope ratios of soil-respired CO2 to be depleted in 13C, reflecting a signal of lower photosynthetic water-use efficiency in the GPP that is transferred to the soil rhizosphere. Large-scale forest disturbance due to catastrophic tree mortality from mountain pine beetle attack causes an initial (2-3 year) reduction in Rs, which is attributable to the loss of GPP and its effect on Ra. This near-term reduction in Rs

  2. Minimizing risks from spilled oil to ecosystem services using influence diagrams: The Deepwater Horizon spill response

    EPA Science Inventory

    Making inferences on risks to ecosystem services (ES) from ecological crises may be improved using decision science tools. Influence diagrams (IDs) are probabilistic networks that explicitly represent the decisions related to a problem and evidence of their influence on desired o...

  3. ASSESSMENT OF LAKE ECOSYSTEM RESPONSE TO TOXIC EVENTS WITH THE AQUATOX MODEL

    EPA Science Inventory

    An attack involving a toxic chemical added to a water resource could have multiple effects on the aquatic ecosystem of that resource. This is particularly significant for systems such as lakes and reservoirs, where the residence time of water is long and there is more opportunit...

  4. Response of ecosystem CO2 and CH4 flux to nutrient increase in Arctophila fulva dominated tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lara, M. J.; Lin, D. H.; Johnson, D. R.; Lougheed, V.; Tweedie, C. E.

    2012-12-01

    High latitude tundra ecosystems are undergoing dramatic warming that is increasing thaw depth, nutrient availability, and plant productivity in tundra ponds of northern Alaska. Understanding how these changes will affect ecosystem function remains a key research challenge. Near Barrow Alaska the extent of aquatic tundra dominated by Arctophila fulva, a common Arctic aquatic macrophyte, has increased over the past half Century. Concurrent with this change has been an increase in nitrogen and phosphorus in these aquatic ecosystems. This study examines the response of ecosystem carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) flux from A. fulva dominated tundra under elevated nitrogen and phosphorus levels. We extracted monoliths of pond margin aquatic tundra near Barrow, Alaska dominated by A. fulva and placed them in a continuous flux monitoring system, that controlled environmental conditions (light, air temperature, water table height) at different nutrient concentrations (control: 0.0 mgN L-1, 0.0 mgP L-1, low: 1.5 mgN L-1, 0.6 mgP L-1, and high: 7.5 mgN L-1, 3.0 mgP L-1). The experiment was run for approximately nine weeks. In response to the high nutrient treatment, A.fulva biomass and steady state CH4 emission (SE) increased but light usage efficiency and gross ecosystem photosynthesis (GEP) declined, effectively switching net ecosystem production (NEP) from a carbon sink to a source. There were no significant differences in CO2 and CH4 flux between control and low nutrient treatments. No differences in gas ebullition (GE) among nutrient treatment were found but a negative relationship between GE and biomass was documented (R2= 0.34, p< 0.001). Further, using CH4 fluxes during the pre-treatment period, we estimated that GE represents approximately 30-40% of the total CH4 flux in the monoliths sampled. Collectively, short-term experimental results suggest A. fulva biomass and CO2 and CH4 fluxes in aquatic habitats have likely been altered by high levels of nutrient

  5. Modeling the response of plants and ecosystems to CO{sub 2} and climate change. Final technical report, September 1, 1992--August 31, 1996

    SciTech Connect

    Reynolds, J.F.

    1998-04-10

    Objectives can be divided into those for plant modeling and those for ecosystem modeling and experimental work in support of both. The author worked in a variety of ecosystem types, including pine, arctic, desert, and grasslands. Plant modeling objectives are: (1) to construct generic models of leaf, canopy, and whole-plant response to elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change; (2) to validate predictions of whole-plant response against various field studies of elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change; (3) to use these models to test specific hypotheses and to make predictions about primary, secondary and tertiary effects of elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change on individual plants for conditions and time frames beyond those used to calibrate the model; and (4) to provide information to higher-level models, such as community models and ecosystem models. Ecosystem level modeling objectives are: (1) to incorporate models of plant responses to elevated CO{sub 2} into a generic ecosystem model in order to predict the direct and indirect effects of elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change on ecosystems; (2) to validate model predictions of total system-level response (including decomposition) against various ecosystem field studies of elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change; (3) to use the ecosystem model to test specific hypotheses and to make predictions about primary, secondary and tertiary effects of elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change on ecosystems for conditions and time frames beyond those used to calibrate the model; and (4) to use the ecosystem model to study effects of change in CO{sub 2} and climate at regional and global scales. Occasionally the author conducted some experimental work that was deemed important to the development of the models. This work was mainly physiological work that could be performed in the Duke University Phytotron, using existing facilities.

  6. Testing the field of dreams hypothesis: functional responses to urbanization and restoration in stream ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Sudduth, Elizabeth B; Hassett, Brooke A; Cada, Peter; Bernhardt, Emily S

    2011-09-01

    As catchments become increasingly urban, the streams that drain them become increasingly degraded. Urban streams are typically characterized by high-magnitude storm flows, homogeneous habitats, disconnected riparian zones, and elevated nitrogen concentrations. To reverse the degradation of urban water quality, watershed managers and regulators are increasingly turning to stream restoration approaches. By reshaping the channel and reconnecting the surface waters with their riparian zone, practitioners intend to enhance the natural nutrient retention capacity of the restored stream ecosystem. Despite the exponential growth in stream restoration projects and expenditures, there has been no evaluation to date of the efficacy of urban stream restoration projects in enhancing nitrogen retention or in altering the underlying ecosystem metabolism that controls instream nitrogen consumption. In this study, we compared ecosystem metabolism and nitrate uptake kinetics in four stream restoration projects within urban watersheds to ecosystem functions measured in four unrestored urban stream segments and four streams draining minimally impacted forested watersheds in central North Carolina, U.S.A. All 12 sites were surveyed in June through August of 2006 and again in January through March of 2007. We anticipated that urban streams would have enhanced rates of ecosystem metabolism and nitrate uptake relative to forested streams due to the increases in nutrient loads and temperature associated with urbanization, and we predicted that restored streams would have further enhanced rates for these ecosystem functions by virtue of their increased habitat heterogeneity and water residence times. Contrary to our predictions we found that stream metabolism did not differ between stream types in either season and that nitrate uptake kinetics were not different between stream types in the winter. During the summer, restored stream reaches had substantially higher rates of nitrate uptake

  7. Modeling and validating tritium transfer in a grassland ecosystem in response to {sup 3}H releases

    SciTech Connect

    Le Dizes, S.

    2015-03-15

    In this paper a radioecological model (TOCATTA) for tritium transfer in a grassland ecosystem developed on an hourly time-step basis is proposed and compared with the first data set obtained in the vicinity of the AREVA-NC reprocessing plant of La Hague (France). The TOCATTA model aims at simulating dynamics of tritium transfer in agricultural soil and plant ecosystems exposed to time-varying HTO concentrations in air water vapour and possibly in irrigation and rain water. In the present study, gaseous releases of tritium from the AREVA NC nuclear reprocessing plant in normal operation can be intense and intermittent over a period of less than 24 hours. A first comparison of the model predictions with the field data has shown that TOCATTA should be improved in terms of kinetics of tritium transfer.

  8. Issues in evaluation of ecosystem change in response to global change

    SciTech Connect

    Dowlatabadi, H.; Shevliakova, E.; Kandlikar, M.

    1994-12-31

    Uncertainty analysis of our integrated climate assessment model has revealed the importance of obtaining better market and non-market impacts. Improving market and non-market damage assessments has necessitated advances in the theoretical and applied dimensions of the problem. The assessment of climate change impacts on ecosystems provides a severe test for the new ideas being put forward. This paper provides a brief overview of, (i) the challenges inherent in modeling ecosystem dynamics; (ii) the problem of selecting an appropriate metric of change; and, (iii) the thorny issue of how to place a monetary value on market and non-market impacts. We focus on two central issues in estimation of impacts: (i) before climate change, are the systems being impacted (both ecological and economic) in equilibrium? and (ii) how quickly do ecological and related economic systems adapt to change? In addition, we attempt to be comprehensive in laying out the magnitude of the challenge ahead.

  9. Responses of soil respiration to elevated CO[sub 2] in two California grassland ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Luo, Y.; Jackson, R.B.; Field, C.B.; Mooney, H.A. )

    1994-06-01

    Estimates of soil respiration (SR) in current and elevated CO[sub 2] are critical for predicting future global carbon budgets. We measured SR in two California grassland ecosystems (sandstone and serpentine) growing at ambient and ambient+350 ppm CO[sub 2]. SR was higher in elevated CO[sub 2] for both ecosystems in the field, but differences were not significant. At peak plant growth, SR was approximately 6 [mu]mol m[sup [minus]2]s[sup [minus]1] in elevated CO[sub 2] and 5 [mu]mol m[sup [minus]2] s[sup [minus]1] in ambient CO[sub 2] for both ecosystems. We also examined soil respiration in monocultures of 7 grassland species grown in microecosystems (10-cm diameter by 1-m deep tubes). SR was approximately 2 [mu]mol m[sup [minus]2]s[sup [minus]1] for Plantago, Bromus, Hemizona, and Calycadenia and 7 [minus] 8 [mu]mol m[sup [minus]2]s[sup [minus]2] for Lolium, Avena, and Vulpia. Elevated CO[sub 2] significantly increased soil respiration by 20-30% in Bromus, Hemizonia and Lolium monocultures. SR was significantly correlated with total plant biomass as averaged across all species.

  10. Response of ecosystem metabolism to low densities of spawning Chinook salmon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Benjamin, Joseph R.; Bellmore, James R.; Watson, Grace A.

    2016-01-01

    Marine derived nutrients delivered by large runs of returning salmon are thought to subsidize the in situ food resources that support juvenile salmon. In the Pacific Northwest, USA, salmon have declined to <10% of their historical abundance, with subsequent declines of marine derived nutrients once provided by large salmon runs. We explored whether low densities (<0.001 spawners/m2) of naturally spawning Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) can affect ecosystem metabolism. We measured gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (ER) continuously before, during, and after salmon spawning. We compared downstream reaches with low densities of spawning salmon to upstream reaches with fewer or no spawners in 3 mid-sized (4th-order) rivers in northern Washington. In addition, we measured chemical, physical, and biological factors that may be important in controlling rates of GPP and ER. We observed that low densities of spawning salmon can increase GPP by 46% during spawning, but values quickly return to those observed before spawning. No difference in ER was observed between up- and downstream reaches. Based on our results, salmon density, temperature, and the proximity to salmon redds were the most important factors controlling rates of GPP, whereas temperature was most important for ER. These results suggest that even at low spawning densities, salmon can stimulate basal resources that may propagate up the food web. Understanding how recipient ecosystems respond to low levels of marine derived nutrients may inform nutrient augmentation studies aimed at enhancing fish populations.

  11. Long-term Ecosystem Experiments, Data Assimilation, and Meta-Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hungate, B. A.; Van Groenigen, K. J.; Osenberg, C. W.; van Gestel, N.

    2015-12-01

    Land ecosystems affect climate and the atmosphere, and climate and atmospheric change affects ecosystems. Syntheses of ecosystem experiments investigating their responses to environmental change holds promise for understanding how to model these interactions, and thereby gain insight into Earth's future biosphere, atmosphere, and climate. Long-term experiments examining ecosystem responses are thought to be especially important in this effort, for their potential to reveal cumulative and progressive effects, subtle effects initially undetectable experimentally, but manifest more clearly over time, often with stronger implications for modeled responses than the more dramatic, short-term experimental responses. Here, we present new analyses of long-term experiments manipulating temperature, CO2 concentration, and precipitation, testing the general hypothesis that there are common temporal patterns of responses that reveal general biogeochemical characterizing ecosystem responses to these environmental changes. For example, we show that increased carbon input with elevated CO2 stimulates emissions of nitrous oxide and methane, important greenhouse gases, and that effects show no signs of diminishing over the duration of experiments that have documented responses. At the same time, we show that the temporal resolution for this response is limited, pointing to a potential limitation in the ability of experiments to address clearly long-term hypotheses. We also show that warming tends to have limited cumulative effects on total soil carbon stocks in long-term experiments, and explore the mechanisms underlying this response. Finally, we discuss the implications of these findings for models used to simulate long-term ecosystem responses to these environmental forcings, as well as the implications of these findings for the next generation of terrestrial ecosystem experiments.

  12. Effects of climatic factors and ecosystem responses on the inter-annual variability of evapotranspiration in a coniferous plantation in subtropical China.

    PubMed

    Xu, Mingjie; Wen, Xuefa; Wang, Huimin; Zhang, Wenjiang; Dai, Xiaoqin; Song, Jie; Wang, Yidong; Fu, Xiaoli; Liu, Yunfen; Sun, Xiaomin; Yu, Guirui

    2014-01-01

    Because evapotranspiration (ET) is the second largest component of the water cycle and a critical process in terrestrial ecosystems, understanding the inter-annual variability of ET is important in the context of global climate change. Eight years of continuous eddy covariance measurements (2003-2010) in a subtropical coniferous plantation were used to investigate the impacts of climatic factors and ecosystem responses on the inter-annual variability of ET. The mean and standard deviation of annual ET for 2003-2010 were 786.9 and 103.4 mm (with a coefficient of variation of 13.1%), respectively. The inter-annual variability of ET was largely created in three periods: March, May-June, and October, which are the transition periods between seasons. A set of look-up table approaches were used to separate the sources of inter-annual variability of ET. The annual ETs were calculated by assuming that (a) both the climate and ecosystem responses among years are variable (Vcli-eco), (b) the climate is variable but the ecosystem responses are constant (Vcli), and (c) the climate is constant but ecosystem responses are variable (Veco). The ETs that were calculated under the above assumptions suggested that the inter-annual variability of ET was dominated by ecosystem responses and that there was a negative interaction between the effects of climate and ecosystem responses. These results suggested that for long-term predictions of water and energy balance in global climate change projections, the ecosystem responses must be taken into account to better constrain the uncertainties associated with estimation. PMID:24465610

  13. Community-specific biogeochemical responses to atmospheric nitrogen deposition in subalpine meadow ecosystems of the Cascade Range

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poinsatte, J. P.; Rochefort, R.; Evans, R. D.

    2014-12-01

    Elevated anthropogenic nitrogen (N) emissions result in higher rates of atmospheric N deposition (Ndep) that can saturate sensitive ecosystems. Consequences of increased Ndep include higher emissions of greenhouse gases, eutrophication of watersheds, and deterioration of vegetation communities. Most of the annual N deposition at higher elevations in the Cascades is stored in snowpack until spring snowmelt when it is released as a pulse that can be assimilated by plant and microbial communities, or lost as gaseous emissions or leachate. The relative magnitude of these fluxes is unknown, particularly with accelerated rates of snowpack loss due to climate change. We quantified storage of Ndep in winter snowpack and determined impacts of Ndep on biogeochemical processes in a lush-herbaceous community characterized by Valeriana sitchensis and Lupinus latifolius, a heath-shrub community characterized by Phyllodoce empetriformis and Cassiope mertensiana, and a wet-sedge community dominated by Carex nigricans. These communities were selected to represent early, mid, and late snowmelt vegetation regimes prevalent throughout the Cascades. Ammonium (NH4+) was the dominant form of Ndep in winter snowpack and Ndep rates were higher than anticipated based on nearby National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) measurements. Vegetation N uptake was the dominant N sink in the ecosystem, with the highest growing season uptake occurring in the lush-herbaceous community, while soil N leaching was the dominant N loss, with the lush-herbaceous also having the highest rates. Microbial biomass N fluctuated substantially across the growing season, with high biomass N immediately after snowmelt and again 30 days following snow release. Soil nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions peaked 30 days following snowmelt for all three communities and were greatest in the wet sedge community. These results indicate that subalpine communities have unique responses to Ndep that vary throughout the growing

  14. Toward a standard lexicon for ecosystem services

    EPA Science Inventory

    The complex, widely dispersed, and cumulative environmental challenges currently facing society require holistic, transdisciplinary approaches to resolve. The concept of ecosystem services (ES) has become more widely accepted both as a framework that cuts across the dimensions of...

  15. Amazon forest ecosystem responses to elevated atmospheric CO2 and alterations in nutrient availability: filling the gaps with model-experiment integration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hofhansl, Florian; Andersen, Kelly; Fleischer, Katrin; Fuchslueger, Lucia; Rammig, Anja; Schaap, Karst; Valverde-Barrantes, Oscar; Lapola, David

    2016-02-01

    The impacts of elevated CO2 (eCO2) and alterations in nutrient availability on the carbon (C) storage capacity and resilience of the Amazon forest remain highly uncertain. Carbon dynamics are controlled by multiple eco-physiological processes responding to environmental change, but we lack solid experimental evidence, hampering theory development and thus representation in ecosystem models. Here, we present two ecosystem-scale manipulation experiments, to be carried out in the Amazon, that examine tropical ecosystem responses to eCO2 and nutrient addition and thus will elucidate the representation of crucial ecological processes by ecosystem models. We highlight current gaps in our understanding of tropical ecosystem responses to projected global changes in light of the eco-physiological assumptions considered by current ecosystem models. We conclude that a more detailed process-based representation of the spatial (e.g. soil type; plant functional type) and temporal (seasonal and inter-annual variation) diversity of tropical forests is needed to enhance model predictions of ecosystem responses to projected global environmental change.

  16. Cumulative Evaluations in Surface Transportation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Horan, Thomas A.

    1992-01-01

    An overview is given of four evaluation studies conducted to determine the need for and possible parameters of a "postinterstate" highway policy. How these studies sought to provide cumulative information for policy makers is discussed. They investigated the scope of problems, the federal role, cost issues, and technology. (SLD)

  17. Stream ecosystem response to limestone treatment in acid impacted watersheds of the allegheny plateau

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McClurg, S.E.; Petty, J.T.; Mazik, P.M.; Clayton, J.L.

    2007-01-01

    Restoration programs are expanding worldwide, but assessments of restoration effectiveness are rare. The objectives of our study were to assess current acid-precipitation remediation programs in streams of the Allegheny Plateau ecoregion of West Virginia (USA), identify specific attributes that could and could not be fully restored, and quantify temporal trends in ecosystem recovery. We sampled water chemistry, physical habitat, periphyton biomass, and benthic macroinvertebrate and fish community structure in three stream types: acidic (four streams), naturally circumneutral (eight streams), and acidic streams treated with limestone sand (eight streams). We observed no temporal trends in ecosystem recovery in treated streams despite sampling streams that ranged from 2 to 20 years since initial treatment. Our results indicated that the application of limestone sand to acidic streams was effective in fully recovering some characteristics, such as pH, alkalinity, Ca2+, Ca:H ratios, trout biomass and density, and trout reproductive success. However, recovery of many other characteristics was strongly dependent upon spatial proximity to treatment, and still others were never fully recovered. For example, limestone treatment did not restore dissolved aluminum concentrations, macroinvertebrate taxon richness, and total fish biomass to circumneutral reference conditions. Full recovery may not be occurring because treated streams continue to drain acidic watersheds and remain isolated in a network of acidic streams. We propose a revised stream restoration plan for the Allegheny Plateau that includes restoring stream ecosystems as connected networks rather than isolated reaches and recognizes that full recovery of acidified watersheds may not be possible. ?? 2007 by the Ecological Society of America.

  18. Species effects on ecosystem processes are modified by faunal responses to habitat composition.

    PubMed

    Bulling, Mark T; Solan, Martin; Dyson, Kirstie E; Hernandez-Milian, Gema; Luque, Patricia; Pierce, Graham J; Raffaelli, Dave; Paterson, David M; White, Piran C L

    2008-12-01

    Heterogeneity is a well-recognized feature of natural environments, and the spatial distribution and movement of individual species is primarily driven by resource requirements. In laboratory experiments designed to explore how different species drive ecosystem processes, such as nutrient release, habitat heterogeneity is often seen as something which must be rigorously controlled for. Most small experimental systems are therefore spatially homogeneous, and the link between environmental heterogeneity and its effects on the redistribution of individuals and species, and on ecosystem processes, has not been fully explored. In this paper, we used a mesocosm system to investigate the relationship between habitat composition, species movement and sediment nutrient release for each of four functionally contrasting species of marine benthic invertebrate macrofauna. For each species, various habitat configurations were generated by selectively enriching patches of sediment with macroalgae, a natural source of spatial variability in intertidal mudflats. We found that the direction and extent of faunal movement between patches differs with species identity, density and habitat composition. Combinations of these factors lead to concomitant changes in nutrient release, such that habitat composition effects are modified by species identity (in the case of NH4-N) and by species density (in the case of PO4-P). It is clear that failure to accommodate natural patterns of spatial heterogeneity in such studies may result in an incomplete understanding of system behaviour. This will be particularly important for future experiments designed to explore the effects of species richness on ecosystem processes, where the complex interactions reported here for single species may be compounded when species are brought together in multi-species combinations.

  19. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Western Region: Coastal ecosystem responses to influences from land and sea, Coastal and Ocean Science

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bodkin, James L.

    2010-01-01

    Sea otters and the nearshore ecosystems they inhabit-from highly urbanized California to relatively pristine Alaska-are the focus of a new multidisciplinary study by scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and a suite of international, academic and government collaborators. The Coastal Ecosystem Responses to Influences from Land and Sea project will investigate the many interacting variables that influence the health of coastal ecosystems along the Northeast Pacific shore. These ecosystems face unprecedented challenges, with threats arising from the adjacent oceans and lands. From the ocean, challenges include acidification, sea level rise, and warming. From the land, challenges include elevated biological, geological and chemical pollutants associated with burgeoning human populations along coastlines. The implications of these challenges for biological systems are only beginning to be explored. Comparing sea otter population status indicators from around the northeastern Pacific Rim, will begin the process of defining factors of coastal ecosystem health in this broad region.

  20. Stream Ecosystem Responses to a Severe Spring Freeze: Unexpected Effects of Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mulholland, P. J.; Roberts, B. J.; Hill, W. R.; Smith, J. G.

    2009-05-01

    Some expected changes in climate resulting from human greenhouse gas emissions are clear and well documented, but others may be harder to predict because they involve extreme weather events or heretofore unusual combinations of weather patterns. A recent example of unusual weather that may become more frequent with climate change occurred in early spring 2007 when a large Arctic air mass moved into the central and eastern United States following a very warm late winter. We documented effects of this freeze event on Walker Branch, a well-studied stream ecosystem in eastern Tennessee. The 2007 spring freeze killed newly emerged leaves in the forest canopy, dramatically increasing the amount of light reaching the stream. Measurements of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), gross primary production (GPP), nitrate uptake, and growth of a dominant herbivore, the snail Elimia clavaeformis, were made during the spring and summer months after the freeze and compared with measurements made over the same months in years before the freeze. PAR at the stream surface was sustained at levels considerably above those normal for the late spring and summer months due to incomplete recovery of forest canopy leaf area following the freeze. Increased PAR caused a cascade of ecological effects in the stream. GPP was considerably higher (2-3 times) during the late spring and summer months when normally low light levels severely limit stream GPP. Higher rates of stream GPP in turn caused higher rates of nitrate uptake by the autotrophic community and lower nitrate concentrations in stream water. The higher rates of stream GPP also resulted in higher snail growth rates. Net nitrate uptake and snail growth rates are typically zero to negative during summer; however, in 2007 they were maintained at moderate levels. These results show how changes in forest vegetation phenology, a predicted consequence of global warming, can have dramatic effects on stream productivity at multiple

  1. Response of microalgae to elevated CO2 and temperature: impact of climate change on freshwater ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Li, Wei; Xu, Xiaoguang; Fujibayashi, Megumu; Niu, Qigui; Tanaka, Nobuyuki; Nishimura, Osamu

    2016-10-01

    To estimate the combined effects of elevated CO2 and temperature on microalgae, three typical and worldwide freshwater species, the green alga Scenedesmus acuminatus, the diatom Cyclotella meneghiniana, and the cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa, as well as mixes of these three species were continuously cultured in controlled environment chambers with CO2 at 390 and 1000 ppm and temperatures of 20, 25, and 30 °C. CO2 and temperature significantly affected the production of microalgae. The cell productivity increased under elevated CO2 and temperature. Although the green alga dominated in the mixed culture within all CO2 and temperature conditions, rising temperature and CO2 intensified the competition of the cyanobacterium with other microalgae. CO2 affected the extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) characteristics of the green alga and the cyanobacterium. Elevated CO2 induced the generation of humic substances in the EPS fractions of the green alga, the cyanobacterium, and the mixed culture. The extracellular carbohydrates of the diatom and the extracellular proteins of the cyanobacterium increased with elevated CO2 and temperature, while the extracellular carbohydrates and proteins of the green alga and the mixes increased under elevated CO2 and temperature. There were synergistic effects of CO2 and temperature on the productivity and the EPS of microalgae. Climate change related CO2 and temperature increases will promote autochthonous organic carbon production in aquatic ecosystems and facilitate the proliferation of cyanobacteria, which potentially changes the carbon cycling and undermines the functioning of ecosystems. PMID:27421856

  2. Responses of photosynthetic parameters to drought in subtropical forest ecosystem of China

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Lei; Wang, Shaoqiang; Chi, Yonggang; Li, Qingkang; Huang, Kun; Yu, Quanzhou

    2015-01-01

    The mechanism underlying the effect of drought on the photosynthetic traits of leaves in forest ecosystems in subtropical regions is unclear. In this study, three limiting processes (stomatal, mesophyll and biochemical limitations) that control the photosynthetic capacity and three resource use efficiencies (intrinsic water use efficiency (iWUE), nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) and light use efficiency (LUE)), which were characterized as the interactions between photosynthesis and environmental resources, were estimated in two species (Schima superba and Pinus massoniana) under drought conditions. A quantitative limitation analysis demonstrated that the drought-induced limitation of photosynthesis in Schima superba was primarily due to stomatal limitation, whereas for Pinus massoniana, both stomatal and non-stomatal limitations generally exhibited similar magnitudes. Although the mesophyll limitation represented only 1% of the total limitation in Schima superba, it accounted for 24% of the total limitations for Pinus massoniana. Furthermore, a positive relationship between the LUE and NUE and a marginally negative relationship or trade-off between the NUE and iWUE were observed in the control plots. However, drought disrupted the relationships between the resource use efficiencies. Our findings may have important implications for reducing the uncertainties in model simulations and advancing the understanding of the interactions between ecosystem functions and climate change. PMID:26666469

  3. Responses of photosynthetic parameters to drought in subtropical forest ecosystem of China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Lei; Wang, Shaoqiang; Chi, Yonggang; Li, Qingkang; Huang, Kun; Yu, Quanzhou

    2015-12-01

    The mechanism underlying the effect of drought on the photosynthetic traits of leaves in forest ecosystems in subtropical regions is unclear. In this study, three limiting processes (stomatal, mesophyll and biochemical limitations) that control the photosynthetic capacity and three resource use efficiencies (intrinsic water use efficiency (iWUE), nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) and light use efficiency (LUE)), which were characterized as the interactions between photosynthesis and environmental resources, were estimated in two species (Schima superba and Pinus massoniana) under drought conditions. A quantitative limitation analysis demonstrated that the drought-induced limitation of photosynthesis in Schima superba was primarily due to stomatal limitation, whereas for Pinus massoniana, both stomatal and non-stomatal limitations generally exhibited similar magnitudes. Although the mesophyll limitation represented only 1% of the total limitation in Schima superba, it accounted for 24% of the total limitations for Pinus massoniana. Furthermore, a positive relationship between the LUE and NUE and a marginally negative relationship or trade-off between the NUE and iWUE were observed in the control plots. However, drought disrupted the relationships between the resource use efficiencies. Our findings may have important implications for reducing the uncertainties in model simulations and advancing the understanding of the interactions between ecosystem functions and climate change.

  4. Response of microalgae to elevated CO2 and temperature: impact of climate change on freshwater ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Li, Wei; Xu, Xiaoguang; Fujibayashi, Megumu; Niu, Qigui; Tanaka, Nobuyuki; Nishimura, Osamu

    2016-10-01

    To estimate the combined effects of elevated CO2 and temperature on microalgae, three typical and worldwide freshwater species, the green alga Scenedesmus acuminatus, the diatom Cyclotella meneghiniana, and the cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa, as well as mixes of these three species were continuously cultured in controlled environment chambers with CO2 at 390 and 1000 ppm and temperatures of 20, 25, and 30 °C. CO2 and temperature significantly affected the production of microalgae. The cell productivity increased under elevated CO2 and temperature. Although the green alga dominated in the mixed culture within all CO2 and temperature conditions, rising temperature and CO2 intensified the competition of the cyanobacterium with other microalgae. CO2 affected the extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) characteristics of the green alga and the cyanobacterium. Elevated CO2 induced the generation of humic substances in the EPS fractions of the green alga, the cyanobacterium, and the mixed culture. The extracellular carbohydrates of the diatom and the extracellular proteins of the cyanobacterium increased with elevated CO2 and temperature, while the extracellular carbohydrates and proteins of the green alga and the mixes increased under elevated CO2 and temperature. There were synergistic effects of CO2 and temperature on the productivity and the EPS of microalgae. Climate change related CO2 and temperature increases will promote autochthonous organic carbon production in aquatic ecosystems and facilitate the proliferation of cyanobacteria, which potentially changes the carbon cycling and undermines the functioning of ecosystems.

  5. Biodiversity and ecosystem function responses to disturbance and fertilization in a 35-years' vineyard experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pingel, Martin; Uzman, Deniz; Reineke, Annette; Leyer, Ilona

    2016-04-01

    Soil management techniques such as tillage, herbicide weeding, fertilization, and cover crop management have strong effects on soil biota in vineyards such as macro- and mesofauna, microflora and plants. Soil biota, in turn, is a major driver of soil processes and ecosystem functions, however, large gaps in knowledge regarding interactions between management practices, biodiversity and ecosystem functions exist. In this context, we analyzed the effects of nitrogen fertilization and ground cover management on mesofauna and microflora diversity, soil organic matter and nutrients as well as decomposition rates in an experimental vineyard in Germany where specific management practices are constantly applied for more than 35 years. Plots in this vineyard (Rheingau region near Wiesbaden, Germany) are treated with different amounts of nitrogen fertilizer (0, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150 kg N/ha/year) in four replicates in combination with two types of inter-rows with different ground cover management (tillage vs. permanent cover). Mesofauna diversity (using Berlese funnels), Microflora (using a metagenomics approach) as well as soil variables (standard procedures) were analyzed by sampling and analyzing soil cores (0-10 cm) in the year 2015. In order to assess the decomposition rate, the Teabag Index method was applied. First results showed that the ground cover management had strong effects on biodiversity, decomposition rate, soil organic matter and nutrients rather than fertilization.

  6. Plant hydraulic responses to long-term dry season nitrogen deposition alter drought tolerance in a Mediterranean-type ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Pivovaroff, Alexandria L; Santiago, Louis S; Vourlitis, George L; Grantz, David A; Allen, Michael F

    2016-07-01

    Anthropogenic nitrogen (N) deposition represents a significant N input for many terrestrial ecosystems. N deposition can affect plants on scales ranging from photosynthesis to community composition, yet few studies have investigated how changes in N availability affect plant water relations. We tested the effects of N addition on plant water relations, hydraulic traits, functional traits, gas exchange, and leaf chemistry in a semi-arid ecosystem in Southern California using long-term experimental plots fertilized with N for over a decade. The dominant species were Artemisia california and Salvia mellifera at Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve and Adenostoma fasciculatum and Ceanothus greggii at Sky Oaks Field Station. All species, except Ceanothus, showed increased leaf N concentration, decreased foliar carbon to N ratio, and increased foliar N isotopic composition with fertilization, indicating that added N was taken up by study species, yet each species had a differing physiological response to long-term N addition. Dry season predawn water potentials were less negative with N addition for all species except Adenostoma, but there were no differences in midday water potentials, or wet season water potentials. Artemisia was particularly responsive, as N addition increased stem hydraulic conductivity, stomatal conductance, and leaf carbon isotopic composition, and decreased wood density. The alteration of water relations and drought resistance parameters with N addition in Artemisia, as well as Adenostoma, Ceanothus, and Salvia, indicate that N deposition can affect the ability of native Southern California shrubs to respond to drought.

  7. Plant hydraulic responses to long-term dry season nitrogen deposition alter drought tolerance in a Mediterranean-type ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Pivovaroff, Alexandria L; Santiago, Louis S; Vourlitis, George L; Grantz, David A; Allen, Michael F

    2016-07-01

    Anthropogenic nitrogen (N) deposition represents a significant N input for many terrestrial ecosystems. N deposition can affect plants on scales ranging from photosynthesis to community composition, yet few studies have investigated how changes in N availability affect plant water relations. We tested the effects of N addition on plant water relations, hydraulic traits, functional traits, gas exchange, and leaf chemistry in a semi-arid ecosystem in Southern California using long-term experimental plots fertilized with N for over a decade. The dominant species were Artemisia california and Salvia mellifera at Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve and Adenostoma fasciculatum and Ceanothus greggii at Sky Oaks Field Station. All species, except Ceanothus, showed increased leaf N concentration, decreased foliar carbon to N ratio, and increased foliar N isotopic composition with fertilization, indicating that added N was taken up by study species, yet each species had a differing physiological response to long-term N addition. Dry season predawn water potentials were less negative with N addition for all species except Adenostoma, but there were no differences in midday water potentials, or wet season water potentials. Artemisia was particularly responsive, as N addition increased stem hydraulic conductivity, stomatal conductance, and leaf carbon isotopic composition, and decreased wood density. The alteration of water relations and drought resistance parameters with N addition in Artemisia, as well as Adenostoma, Ceanothus, and Salvia, indicate that N deposition can affect the ability of native Southern California shrubs to respond to drought. PMID:27017604

  8. Spatial pattern of nitrogen isotopes as an indicator of ecosystem responses to rainfall in semi-arid and arid grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    WANG, C.; Bai, E.; Liu, D.; Fang, T. Y.; Jiang, P.; Han, G. X.

    2013-12-01

    Nitrogen (N) is an essential element for plant growth, however, whether it is a limiting factor of plant growth in water-limited areas is still not clear. Here we examined spatial variations of plant and soil stable N isotopes along a 3200 km precipitation gradient and proposed a conceptual model to explain ecosystem responses to increasing precipitation in arid and semi-arid grasslands in China. Soil δ15N increased with increasing MAP in areas with MAP < 200 mm, but decreased in areas with 200 mm < MAP < 500 mm. Variations of foliar δ15N, soil total N, and soil C: N provided further evidence of a threshold at MAP = 200 mm for precipitation effects. Results indicated that soil microbes can be activated by precipitation even when MAP < 200 mm while plant N uptake can only be activated when MAP > 200 mm. In areas with MAP < 200 mm, productivity was limited by water, but not nitrogen, although soil N is low. This study provides fundamental inputs for future process-based modeling of nutrient cycling in arid and semi-arid areas. If future climate change leads to drier climate in dryland, the uncoupled plant and microbial response may cause more N losses and higher ecosystem vulnerability. 3 Soil organic carbon (Soil C, a), total nitrogen (Soil N, b), C/N (c) and δ15N (d) of study sites along a MAP gradient. Relationship between MAP and foliar δ15N (a) and root δ15N (b).

  9. Characterizing Vegetation Model Skill and Uncertainty in Simulated Ecosystem Response to Climate Change in the United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drapek, R. J.; Kim, J. B.

    2013-12-01

    We simulated ecosystem response to climate change in the USA and Canada at a 5 arc-minute grid resolution using the MC1 dynamic global vegetation model and nine CMIP3 future climate projections as input. The climate projections were produced by 3 GCMs simulating 3 SRES emissions scenarios. We examined MC1 outputs for the conterminous USA by summarizing them by EPA level II and III ecoregions to characterize model skill and evaluate the magnitude and uncertainties of simulated ecosystem response to climate change. First, we evaluated model skill by comparing outputs from the recent historical period with benchmark datasets. Distribution of potential natural vegetation simulated by MC1 was compared with Kuchler's map. Above ground live carbon simulated by MC1 was compared with the National Biomass and Carbon Dataset. Fire return intervals calculated by MC1 were compared with maximum and minimum values compiled for the United States. Each EPA Level III Ecoregion was scored for average agreement with corresponding benchmark data and an average score was calculated for all three types of output. Greatest agreement with benchmark data happened in the Western Cordillera, the Ozark / Ouachita-Appalachian Forests, and the Southeastern USA Plains (EPA Level II Ecoregions). The lowest agreement happened in the Everglades and the Tamaulipas-Texas Semiarid Plain. For simulated ecosystem response to future climate projections we examined MC1 output for shifts in vegetation type, vegetation carbon, runoff, and biomass consumed by fire. Each ecoregion was scored for the amount of change from historical conditions for each variable and an average score was calculated. Smallest changes were forecast for Western Cordillera and Marine West Coast Forest ecosystems. Largest changes were forecast for the Cold Deserts, the Mixed Wood Plains, and the Central USA Plains. By combining scores of model skill for the historical period for each EPA Level 3 Ecoregion with scores representing the

  10. Testing functional trait-based mechanisms underpinning plant responses to grazing and linkages to ecosystem functioning in grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, S. X.; Li, W. H.; Lan, Z. C.; Ren, H. Y.; Wang, K. B.; Bai, Y. F.

    2014-09-01

    Abundant evidence has shown that grazing alters plant functional traits, ecological strategies, community structure, and ecosystem functioning of grasslands. Few studies, however, have examined how plant responses to grazing are mediated by resource availability and functional group identity. We test functional trait-based mechanisms underlying the responses of different life forms to grazing and linkages to ecosystem functioning along a soil moisture gradient in the Inner Mongolia grassland. A principal component analysis (PCA) based on 9 traits × 276 species matrix showed that the plant size spectrum (i.e., individual biomass), leaf economics spectrum (leaf N content and leaf density), and light competition spectrum (height and stem-leaf biomass ratio) distinguished plant species responses to grazing. The three life forms exhibited differential strategies as indicated by trait responses to grazing. The annuals and biennials adopted grazing-tolerant strategies associated with high growth rate, reflected by high leaf N content and specific leaf area. The perennial grasses exhibited grazing-tolerant strategies associated with great regrowth capacity and high palatability scores, whereas perennial forbs showed grazing-avoidant strategies with short stature and low palatability scores. In addition, the dominant perennial bunchgrasses exhibited mixed tolerance-resistance strategies to grazing and mixed acquisitive-conservative strategies in resource utilization. Grazing increased the relative abundance of perennial forbs with low palatability in the wet and fertile meadow, but it promoted perennial grasses with high palatability in the dry and infertile typical steppe. Our findings suggest that the effects of grazing on plant functional traits are dependent on both the abiotic (e.g., soil moisture) and biotic (e.g., plant functional group identity and composition) factors. Grazing-induced shifts in functional group composition are largely dependent on resource

  11. Ecosystem Responses to Changed Atmospheric Mercury Load: Results from Seven Years of Mercury Loading to Lake 658

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilmour, C.; Harris, R.; Kelly, C.; Rudd, J.; Amyot, M.; Hurley, J.; Babiarz, C.; Paterson, M.; Blanchfield, P.; Beaty, K.; Sandilands, K.; Hintelmann, H.; Krabbenhoft, D.; Tate, M.; Lindberg, S.; Southworth, G.; St. Louis, V.; Graydon, J.

    2009-05-01

    The response of fish methylmercury concentrations to changes in mercury deposition has been difficult to establish because sediments/soils contain large pools of historical contamination, and many factors in addition to deposition affect fish mercury. To test directly the response of fish contamination to changing mercury deposition, we are conducting the METAALICUS study, a whole-ecosystem experiment, increasing the mercury load to a lake and its watershed by the addition of enriched stable mercury isotopes. The isotopes allowed us to distinguish between experimentally applied mercury and mercury already present in the ecosystem and to examine bioaccumulation of mercury deposited to different parts of the watershed. Loading began in 2001 and ended in 2007. In this paper we will present mercury and methylmercury budgets for the study lake for the entire 7 year loading period. Overall, we increased the total Hg load to L658 and its watershed by roughly a factor of 3. However, we only increased the Hg load the lake itself by about 2X, since, during the seven years of addition, almost none of the Hg spike deposited to the watershed was transported all the way to the lake. Spike Hg concentrations in lake water rose each year during the open-water loading period and declined rapidly each winter. Methylmercury production in the lake responded rapidly to changes in mercury load during the first year of addition. After about 3 years, the increase in MeHg in lake water and in surface sediments slowed, suggesting that MeHg production was approaching a new level, or different rate, in response to the increased Hg load. We will discuss major input and loss terms for newly deposited Hg, the timing and proportionality of response, the timing and locations of MeHg production within the lake.

  12. Northern Watershed Ecosystem Response to Climate Change (North-Watch) - Towards a comparative ecohydrology of northern catchments.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tetzlaff, D.; Soulsby, C.; Buttle, J.; Carey, S.; Laudon, H.; McDonnell, J.; McGuire, K.; Seibert, J.; Shanley, J.

    2012-04-01

    In few places will the changes and challenges associated with climatic change be greater than in the circumpolar mid-high latitudes of the northern hemisphere. Slight temperature differences determine whether precipitation falls as rain or snow, and the degree to which winter snow packs accumulate and the rate at which they subsequently melt. This has implications for stream flow regimes, water quality and in-stream hydroecology. The Northern Watershed Ecosystem Response to Climate Change (North-Watch) programme is an international interdisciplinary inter-site comparison project spanning a transect of hydro-climatic zones in Scotland, the USA, Canada and Scandinavia. The overall aim is to better understand the integrated consequences of climate change on the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of water resources across northern regions. Here, we present initial findings from these analyses. The way in which hydroclimatic drivers interact with catchment characteristics are examined to show how the synchroneity, resistance and resilience of input-output responses varies spatially and temporally across sites. The dominant influence is the nature of the snowmelt period and how strongly this influences the hydrological regime. Linked to this is the variable nature of the threshold response of input - streamflow dynamics and how this changes for rainfall and snowmelt events. The ways in which these hydrological controls regulate Carbon fluxes from different catchments are also explored, and the implications for in-stream ecosystem response assessed. As the hydroclimatic drivers influencing the catchments are changing in a warming climate, vegetation and soil are also likely to change. This in turn will affect patterns of partitioning, storage and release of water with associated changes in streamflow dynamics. Budyko Curves are used to examine the current differences between the North-Watch catchments in terms of water and energy limitations, and likely

  13. Biochemical responses of filamentous algae in different aquatic ecosystems in South East Turkey and associated water quality parameters.

    PubMed

    Çelekli, Abuzer; Arslanargun, Hamdullah; Soysal, Çiğdem; Gültekin, Emine; Bozkurt, Hüseyin

    2016-11-01

    To the best of our knowledge, any study about biochemical response of filamentous algae in the complex freshwater ecosystems has not been found in the literature. This study was designed to explore biochemical response of filamentous algae in different water bodies from May 2013 to October 2014, using multivariate approach in the South East of Turkey. Environmental variables were measured in situ: water temperature, oxygen concentration, saturation, conductivity, salinity, pH, redox potential, and total dissolved solid. Chemical variables of aqueous samples and biochemical compounds of filamentous algae were also measured. It was found that geographic position and anthropogenic activities had strong effect on physico-chemical variables of water bodies. Variation in environmental conditions caused change in algal biomass composition due to the different response of filamentous species, also indicated by FTIR analysis. Biochemical responses not only changed from species to species, but also varied for the same species at different sampling time and sampling stations. Multivariate analyses showed that heavy metals, nutrients, and water hardness were found as the important variables governing the temporal and spatial succession and biochemical compounds. Nutrients, especially nitrate, could stimulate pigment and total protein production, whereas high metal content had adverse effects. Amount of malondialdehyde (MDA), H2O2, total thiol groups, total phenolic compounds, proline, total carbohydrate, and metal bioaccumulation by filamentous algae could be closely related with heavy metals in the ecosystems. Significant increase in MDA, H2O2, total thiol group, total phenolic compounds, and proline productions by filamentous algae and chlorosis phenomenon seemed to be an important strategy for alleviating environmental factors-induced oxidative stress as biomarkers. PMID:27508982

  14. Biochemical responses of filamentous algae in different aquatic ecosystems in South East Turkey and associated water quality parameters.

    PubMed

    Çelekli, Abuzer; Arslanargun, Hamdullah; Soysal, Çiğdem; Gültekin, Emine; Bozkurt, Hüseyin

    2016-11-01

    To the best of our knowledge, any study about biochemical response of filamentous algae in the complex freshwater ecosystems has not been found in the literature. This study was designed to explore biochemical response of filamentous algae in different water bodies from May 2013 to October 2014, using multivariate approach in the South East of Turkey. Environmental variables were measured in situ: water temperature, oxygen concentration, saturation, conductivity, salinity, pH, redox potential, and total dissolved solid. Chemical variables of aqueous samples and biochemical compounds of filamentous algae were also measured. It was found that geographic position and anthropogenic activities had strong effect on physico-chemical variables of water bodies. Variation in environmental conditions caused change in algal biomass composition due to the different response of filamentous species, also indicated by FTIR analysis. Biochemical responses not only changed from species to species, but also varied for the same species at different sampling time and sampling stations. Multivariate analyses showed that heavy metals, nutrients, and water hardness were found as the important variables governing the temporal and spatial succession and biochemical compounds. Nutrients, especially nitrate, could stimulate pigment and total protein production, whereas high metal content had adverse effects. Amount of malondialdehyde (MDA), H2O2, total thiol groups, total phenolic compounds, proline, total carbohydrate, and metal bioaccumulation by filamentous algae could be closely related with heavy metals in the ecosystems. Significant increase in MDA, H2O2, total thiol group, total phenolic compounds, and proline productions by filamentous algae and chlorosis phenomenon seemed to be an important strategy for alleviating environmental factors-induced oxidative stress as biomarkers.

  15. Predicting long-term carbon sequestration in response to CO2 enrichment: How and why do current ecosystem models differ?

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Walker, Anthony P.; Zaehle, Sönke; Medlyn, Belinda E.; De Kauwe, Martin G.; Asao, Shinichi; Hickler, Thomas; Parton, William; Ricciuto, Daniel M.; Wang, Ying -Ping; Wårlind, David; et al

    2015-04-27

    Large uncertainty exists in model projections of the land carbon (C) sink response to increasing atmospheric CO2. Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) experiments lasting a decade or more have investigated ecosystem responses to a step change in atmospheric CO2 concentration. To interpret FACE results in the context of gradual increases in atmospheric CO2 over decades to centuries, we used a suite of seven models to simulate the Duke and Oak Ridge FACE experiments extended for 300 years of CO2 enrichment. We also determine key modeling assumptions that drive divergent projections of terrestrial C uptake and evaluate whether these assumptions can bemore » constrained by experimental evidence. All models simulated increased terrestrial C pools resulting from CO2 enrichment, though there was substantial variability in quasi-equilibrium C sequestration and rates of change. In two of two models that assume that plant nitrogen (N) uptake is solely a function of soil N supply, the net primary production response to elevated CO2 became progressively N limited. In four of five models that assume that N uptake is a function of both soil N supply and plant N demand, elevated CO2 led to reduced ecosystem N losses and thus progressively relaxed nitrogen limitation. Many allocation assumptions resulted in increased wood allocation relative to leaves and roots which reduced the vegetation turnover rate and increased C sequestration. Additionally, self-thinning assumptions had a substantial impact on C sequestration in two models. As a result, accurate representation of N process dynamics (in particular N uptake), allocation, and forest self-thinning is key to minimizing uncertainty in projections of future C sequestration in response to elevated atmospheric CO2.« less

  16. Uncertainty analysis of a coupled ecosystem response model simulating greenhouse gas fluxes from a temperate grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liebermann, Ralf; Kraft, Philipp; Houska, Tobias; Breuer, Lutz; Müller, Christoph; Kraus, David; Haas, Edwin; Klatt, Steffen

    2015-04-01

    Among anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, CO2 is the dominant driver of global climate change. Next to its direct impact on the radiation budget, it also affects the climate system by triggering feedback mechanisms in terrestrial ecosystems. Such mechanisms - like stimulated photosynthesis, increased root exudations and reduced stomatal transpiration - influence both the input and the turnover of carbon and nitrogen compounds in the soil. The stabilization and decomposition of these compounds determines how increasing CO2 concentrations change the terrestrial trace gas emissions, especially CO2, N2O and CH4. To assess the potential reaction of terrestrial greenhouse gas emissions to rising tropospheric CO2 concentration, we make use of a comprehensive ecosystem model integrating known processes and fluxes of the carbon-nitrogen cycle in soil, vegetation and water. We apply a state-of-the-art ecosystem model with measurements from a long term field experiment of CO2 enrichment. The model - a grassland realization of LandscapeDNDC - simulates soil chemistry coupled with plant physiology, microclimate and hydrology. The data - comprising biomass, greenhouse gas emissions, management practices and soil properties - has been attained from a FACE (Free Air Carbon dioxide Enrichment) experiment running since 1997 on a temperate grassland in Giessen, Germany. Management and soil data, together with weather records, are used to drive the model, while cut biomass as well as CO2 and N2O emissions are used for calibration and validation. Starting with control data from installations without CO2 enhancement, we begin with a GLUE (General Likelihood Uncertainty Estimation) assessment using Latin Hypercube to reduce the range of the model parameters. This is followed by a detailed sensitivity analysis, the application of DREAM-ZS for model calibration, and an estimation of the effect of input uncertainty on the simulation results. Since first results indicate problems with

  17. Assessing the response of the Australian carbon balance to climate variability by assimilating satellite observations in a distributed ecosystem model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Exbrayat, Jean-François; Bloom, A. Anthony; Smallman, T. Luke; Williams, Mathew

    2016-04-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems offset about 25% of anthropogenic emissions of fossil fuel responsible for the current global warming. This long-term carbon sink exhibits a large inter-annual variability that recent studies have associated to the response of semi-arid ecosystems to variations in climate conditions and especially the occurrence of extreme events. For example, wet conditions during the 2010-2011 La Niña episode led to the strongest annual terrestrial carbon sink ever observed. Satellite observations of plant productivity and modelling experiments indicate that this anomalous sink was mostly located in the southern hemisphere where Australia experienced record-breaking rainfall. However, the durability of this extra-sink has yet to be assessed as dry conditions returned in northern Australia at the end of 2011, causing large-scale fires. In this paper we investigate the influence of climate variability on Australian ecosystems and we particularly focus on the resilience of the La Niña driven 2010-2011 sink to subsequent dry years. Therefore, we use the CARbon Data MOdel fraMework (CARDAMOM) data-assimilation system to retrieve the 21st century Australian terrestrial carbon cycle simulated by an ecosystem model in agreement with climate data and Earth Observations relevant to the biosphere: burned area, leaf area index and biomass. Accordingly with previous studies results indicate a strong influence of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation on the inter-annual variability of the Australian carbon balance at the continent-scale. More precisely, in 2010-2011 the La Niña-driven wet conditions led the continent to become a strong sink of atmospheric carbon. Then, dry conditions accompanied by intense fires returned at the end of 2011 and our analyses indicate that the totality of the northern Australian sink (north of 30°S) was re-emitted by late 2011 as fires immediately burnt the extra-fuel produced during the record wet seasons. These results raise concerns on

  18. Response of Rwenzori (Uganda - DR Congo) Glaciers and Mountain Lake Ecosystems to Climate Change: Past, Present, Future

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eggermont, H.; Russell, J.; Verschuren, D.

    2007-12-01

    Ice caps and glaciers in the mountains of tropical Africa are expected to disappear within two decades as a result of human-induced global warming. Loss of permanent ice from Africa's mountains will have profound effects on Afroalpine ecosystems, as well as the hydrology and temperature regime of Africa's unique, alpine cold-water lakes. Consequently, there is an urgent need to document the baseline climatic, environmental, and biological conditions in Africa's mountains against which to evaluate future changes. While climatic, limnological, and ecological monitoring can provide key insights into modern conditions, sediments accumulating on the bottom of alpine glacial lakes chronicle the history of central African climate and environmental dynamics, and can thus produce the historical perspective needed for resource conservation. In this context, over the course of three field expeditions (2005-2007) we surveyed virtually all lakes (19) on the Ugandan side of the Rwenzori Mountains, Uganda-Congo, to evaluate the sensitivity of these high-mountain lake ecosystems to climate change and glacier melting. We installed temperature and humidity loggers to monitor ongoing climate change, calibrated paleolimnological proxy indicators (sediment composition, organic carbon, biomarkers, aquatic biota) in surface sediments in relation to their present local lake environment, and analyzed gravity cores from selected lakes to document the history of recent glacier recession and ecosystem response. Here, we present an overview of the currently available climatic and environmental data sets, with a focus on sediment core data. Through comparison of the sedimentary history of glaciated and non-glaciated lake basins, we show that recent glacier recession started around 1880 AD, broadly coincident in timing with declining East African rainfall as documented by regional lake level datasets. However, our data do not suggest rapid glacial expansion coincident with the initiation of this

  19. The Land-Use Legacy Effect: Towards a Mechanistic Understanding of Ecosystem Responses to Land Use/Cover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, S. L.; Hayes, D. B.; Kendall, A. D.; Rutledge, D. T.; Hyndman, D. W.

    2012-12-01

    Numerous studies have linked land use/land cover (LULC) to aquatic ecosystem responses. Only a few studies have linked the dynamics of changing LULC to a mechanistic understanding of flow paths and travel times. In this study, we explore relationships between LULC and ecosystem responses. We link mechanistic models of groundwater flow with statistical models of wetland processing and riparian dynamics. We provide an example that illustrates the utility of this approach in lakes, but is generalizable across ecosystem types. We test several hypotheses about mechanistic linkages between LULC and lake water chemistry: groundwater pathways are a dominant mechanism driving legacy effects in lakes for the study region; wetlands in close proximity to rivers have a stronger effect on lake chemistry than those located throughout the watershed; and, riparian zone LULC is more closely related to lake chemistry than watershed LULC. We applied these models to twelve water chemistry variables, ranging from nutrients to conservative ions, to better understand the roles that biological reactivity and solubility play as connections between LULC and aquatic ecosystem function. We expect that: 1) chemicals with high solubility (e.g. SRP, NO3) will have stronger relationships with legacy land uses via groundwater flow paths than those with low solubility (e.g. TP), which are affected more by surficial transport processes; 2) chemicals with low biological reactivity (e.g. relatively conservative ions) will have a stronger link to groundwater flow paths than those with high biological reactivity (e.g. nitrogen and phosphorus). The Huron River Watershed (HRW) study area has undergone extensive LULC change over the past century, shifting from a primarily agricultural to a suburban landscape. Selected sample sites cover a range of historical LULC trajectories. A multi-temporal GIS database of LULC data was constructed for eight time steps (circa 1800, 1880, 1938, 1955, 1968, 1978, 1995, and

  20. Integration of aquatic fate and ecological responses to linear alkyl benzene sulfonate (LAS) in model stream ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Belanger, S E; Bowling, J W; Lee, D M; LeBlanc, E M; Kerr, K M; McAvoy, D C; Christman, S C; Davidson, D H

    2002-06-01

    An integrated model stream ecosystem fate and effect study of dodecyl linear alkylbenzene sulfonate (C(12)LAS) was performed in the summer and fall of 1996. The study addressed responses of periphytic microbes, immature benthic fauna including abundance, drift, and emergence of adult insects in a 56-day exposure. Exposures ranged from 126 to 2978 microg/L and were continuously presented in a single-pass, flow-through test system. Microbial heterotrophs acclimated to C(12)LAS exposure quickly (14 days) and biodegraded C(12)LAS at all concentrations. Blue-green algae responded by increasing in abundance with increasing C(12)LAS concentration. Invertebrates responded by increased drift and reduced benthic abundances at concentrations exceeding 293 microg/L. Emergence at 927 microg/L also declined relative to the control. Adverse responses for mayflies and chironomids were indicated using univariate statistical techniques. Multivariate techniques indicated these taxa plus mollusks, aquatic worms, caddisflies, and stoneflies were impaired at some concentrations. Bioavailability of C(12)LAS was investigated in streams as a function of the total suspended solid load in the water column driven by local weather and watershed patterns. A continuous bioavailability model indicated exposure was reduced by an average of 8.5+/-8.9%. A model ecosystem no-observed-effect concentration (NOEC) was concluded to be 293 microg/L based on measured water column exposure and adjusted to 268 microg/L by the bioavailability model. A literature review of 13 available model ecosystem studies was conducted and NOEC conclusions were adjusted by a structure-activity relationship to a dodecyl chain length (sulfophenyl position and distribution being ignored due to lack of information in the reviewed studies). Lentic studies (n=7) were found to have higher NOECs than lotic studies (n=6) and were more variable. Mean NOECs+/-SD for all studies, lentic studies only, and lotic studies only were 3320

  1. Observations from Space: Marine Ecosystem and Environment Response to Typhoon/ Hurricanes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Danling; Yi, Sui

    Marine ecosystem is sensitive to environmental factors, including typhoon. Typhoon's activities have been strengthening in both intensity and spatial coverage in the past several decades, along with global changes; however, our knowledge about the impact of typhoons upon the marine ecosystem is very scarce. To understand how could typhoon/hurricane impact on marine ecosystem, we have conducted a series studies in the South China Sea, by using Satellite remote sensing and in situ observation data to investigate phytoplankton concentration, sea surface temperature (SST) and related factors before, during, and after typhoon. Results show that typhoon can induce large area of phytoplankton blooms with increases of Chlorophyll a (Chl a) concentrations and decrease of sea surface temperature (SST) about 4 oC. Analysis showed that typhoon can support nutrients to surface phytoplankton by upwelling and vertical mixing, and typhoon rain can also nourish marine phytoplankton. More observations confirmed that typhoon can induce cold eddy, and cold eddy can support eddy-shape phyto-plankton bloom by upwelling. Typhoon can also induce transport of nutrient-rich water from depth and from the coast to offshore regions, nourishing phytoplankton biomass. Comparative study show that slow-moving typhoon induced phytoplankton blooms of higher Chlorophyll-a (Chl-a), the strong typhoon induced phytoplankton blooms of a large area. Therefore, typhoons may have important contribution to the marine primary production. Those studies may help better understand the mechanism of typhoon impacts on marine ecosys-tem, and the role of typhoon in the global environmental changes. The series research were sup-ported by: NSFC (40976091, 40811140533) and GD NSF (8351030101000002); (2) CAS(kzcx2-yw-226 and LYQ200701); (3) The CAS/SAFEA International Partnership Program for Creative Research Teams (KZCX2-YW-T001). References: Tang, DanLing, H Kawamura, P Shi, W Takahashi, T Shimada, F. Sakaida, O

  2. Chemical evolution and vegetation response in an altered wetland ecosystem, Hula Valley, Israel (1988-2004).

    PubMed

    Avisar, Dror; Fox, Adam S

    2012-01-01

    The Hula Nature Reserve (HNR) (0.3 km(2)) in northern Israel is a semiarid wetland ecosystem within the greater Hula Valley. In the 1950s, approximately 60 km(2) of wetlands were drained and converted to farmland. The HNR was established during this time to preserve some of the native flora and fauna. Agricultural runoff and a reflooding of the area with peat water in 1999 resulted in high sulfate (SO(4) (2-)) concentrations of 66.67 ± 4.00 mg/L. We identified the existence of SO(4) (2-), nitrate (NO(3) (-)), and ammonium (NH(4) (+)) nutrient gradients as well as related mechanisms affecting the growth and dieback of Cyperus papyrus. The observed changes in the C. papyrus populations were caused primarily by fluctuations in SO(4) (2-). After two key events that affected levels of SO(4) (2-) in the HNR, C. papyrus coverage was altered by more than 80%. PMID:22506702

  3. Ecosystem response to removal of exotic riparian shrubs and a transition to upland vegetation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reynolds, Lindsay V.; Cooper, David J.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding plant community change over time is essential for managing important ecosystems such as riparian areas. This study analyzed historic vegetation using soil seed banks and the effects of riparian shrub removal treatments and channel incision on ecosystem and plant community dynamics in Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona. We focused on how seeds, nutrients, and ground water influence the floristic composition of post-treatment vegetation and addressed three questions: (1) How does pre-treatment soil seed bank composition reflect post-treatment vegetation composition? (2) How does shrub removal affect post-treatment riparian vegetation composition, seed rain inputs, and ground water dynamics? and (3) Is available soil nitrogen increased near dead Russian olive plants following removal and does this influence post-treatment vegetation? We analyzed seed bank composition across the study area, analyzed differences in vegetation, ground water levels, and seed rain between control, cut-stump and whole-plant removal areas, and compared soil nitrogen and vegetation near removed Russian olive to areas lacking Russian olive. The soil seed bank contained more riparian plants, more native and fewer exotic plants than the extant vegetation. Both shrub removal methods decreased exotic plant cover, decreased tamarisk and Russian olive seed inputs, and increased native plant cover after 2 years. Neither method increased ground water levels. Soil near dead Russian olive trees indicated a short-term increase in soil nitrogen following plant removal but did not influence vegetation composition compared to areas without Russian olive. Following tamarisk and Russian olive removal, our study sites were colonized by upland plant species. Many western North American rivers have tamarisk and Russian olive on floodplains abandoned by channel incision, river regulation or both. Our results are widely applicable to sites where drying has occurred and vegetation

  4. Cumulative life damage in dermatology

    PubMed Central

    Ibler, Kristina; Jemec, Gregor B.E.

    2011-01-01

    Cumulative life damage is an old concept of considerable face validity, which has attracted more scientific interest in the fields of sociology and psychology than in medicine over the years. The research examines the interconnectivity of the many factors which shape the development of individuals or institutions over time. By focussing on time, context and process, life course research highlights the different effects seemingly similar events may have at different points in time and in different contexts. PMID:25386260

  5. Differential response of carbon fluxes to climate in three peatland ecosystems that vary in the presence and stability of permafrost

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Euskirchen, Eugenie S; Edgar, C.W.; Turetsky, M.R.; Waldrop, Mark P.; Harden, Jennifer W.

    2016-01-01

    Changes in vegetation and soil properties following permafrost degradation and thermokarst development in peatlands may cause changes in net carbon storage. To better understand these dynamics, we established three sites in Alaska that vary in permafrost regime, including a black spruce peat plateau forest with stable permafrost, an internal collapse scar bog formed as a result of thermokarst, and a rich fen without permafrost. Measurements include year-round eddy covariance estimates of carbon dioxide (CO2), water, and energy fluxes, associated environmental variables, and methane (CH4) fluxes at the collapse scar bog. The ecosystems all acted as net sinks of CO2 in 2011 and 2012, when air temperature and precipitation remained near long-term means. In 2013, under a late snowmelt and late leaf out followed by a hot, dry summer, the permafrost forest and collapse scar bog were sources of CO2. In this same year, CO2 uptake in the fen increased, largely because summer inundation from groundwater inputs suppressed ecosystem respiration. CO2 exchange in the permafrost forest and collapse scar bog was sensitive to warm air temperatures, with 0.5 g C m−2 lost each day when maximum air temperature was very warm (≥29°C). The bog lost 4981 ± 300 mg CH4 m−2 between April and September 2013, indicating that this ecosystem acted as a significant source of both CO2 and CH4 to the atmosphere in 2013. These results suggest that boreal peatland responses to warming and drying, both of which are expected to occur in a changing climate, will depend on permafrost regime.

  6. Differential response of carbon fluxes to climate in three peatland ecosystems that vary in the presence and stability of permafrost

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Euskirchen, E. S.; Edgar, C. W.; Turetsky, M. R.; Waldrop, M. P.; Harden, J. W.

    2014-08-01

    Changes in vegetation and soil properties following permafrost degradation and thermokarst development in peatlands may cause changes in net carbon storage. To better understand these dynamics, we established three sites in Alaska that vary in permafrost regime, including a black spruce peat plateau forest with stable permafrost, an internal collapse scar bog formed as a result of thermokarst, and a rich fen without permafrost. Measurements include year-round eddy covariance estimates of carbon dioxide (CO2), water, and energy fluxes, associated environmental variables, and methane (CH4) fluxes at the collapse scar bog. The ecosystems all acted as net sinks of CO2 in 2011 and 2012, when air temperature and precipitation remained near long-term means. In 2013, under a late snowmelt and late leaf out followed by a hot, dry summer, the permafrost forest and collapse scar bog were sources of CO2. In this same year, CO2 uptake in the fen increased, largely because summer inundation from groundwater inputs suppressed ecosystem respiration. CO2 exchange in the permafrost forest and collapse scar bog was sensitive to warm air temperatures, with 0.5 g C m-2 lost each day when maximum air temperature was very warm (≥29°C). The bog lost 4981 ± 300 mg CH4 m-2 between April and September 2013, indicating that this ecosystem acted as a significant source of both CO2 and CH4 to the atmosphere in 2013. These results suggest that boreal peatland responses to warming and drying, both of which are expected to occur in a changing climate, will depend on permafrost regime.

  7. Responses of Soil CO2 Fluxes to Short-Term Experimental Warming in Alpine Steppe Ecosystem, Northern Tibet

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Xuyang; Fan, Jihui; Yan, Yan; Wang, Xiaodan

    2013-01-01

    Soil carbon dioxide (CO2) emission is one of the largest fluxes in the global carbon cycle. Therefore small changes in the size of this flux can have a large effect on atmospheric CO2 concentrations and potentially constitute a powerful positive feedback to the climate system. Soil CO2 fluxes in the alpine steppe ecosystem of Northern Tibet and their responses to short-term experimental warming were investigated during the growing season in 2011. The results showed that the total soil CO2 emission fluxes during the entire growing season were 55.82 and 104.31 g C m-2 for the control and warming plots, respectively. Thus, the soil CO2 emission fluxes increased 86.86% with the air temperature increasing 3.74°C. Moreover, the temperature sensitivity coefficient (Q10) of the control and warming plots were 2.10 and 1.41, respectively. The soil temperature and soil moisture could partially explain the temporal variations of soil CO2 fluxes. The relationship between the temporal variation of soil CO2 fluxes and the soil temperature can be described by exponential equation. These results suggest that warming significantly promoted soil CO2 emission in the alpine steppe ecosystem of Northern Tibet and indicate that this alpine ecosystem is very vulnerable to climate change. In addition, soil temperature and soil moisture are the key factors that controls soil organic matter decomposition and soil CO2 emission, but temperature sensitivity significantly decreases due to the rise in temperature. PMID:23536854

  8. Convergent ecosystem responses to 23-year ambient and manipulated warming link advancing snowmelt and shrub encroachment to transient and long-term climate-soil carbon feedback.

    PubMed

    Harte, John; Saleska, Scott R; Levy, Charlotte

    2015-06-01

    Ecosystem responses to climate change can exert positive or negative feedbacks on climate, mediated in part by slow-moving factors such as shifts in vegetation community composition. Long-term experimental manipulations can be used to examine such ecosystem responses, but they also present another opportunity: inferring the extent to which contemporary climate change is responsible for slow changes in ecosystems under ambient conditions. Here, using 23 years of data, we document a shift from nonwoody to woody vegetation and a loss of soil carbon in ambient plots and show that these changes track previously shown similar but faster changes under experimental warming. This allows us to infer that climate change is the cause of the observed shifts in ambient vegetation and soil carbon and that the vegetation responses mediate the observed changes in soil carbon. Our findings demonstrate the realism of an experimental manipulation, allow attribution of a climate cause to observed ambient ecosystem changes, and demonstrate how a combination of long-term study of ambient and experimental responses to warming can identify mechanistic drivers needed for realistic predictions of the conditions under which ecosystems are likely to become carbon sources or sinks over varying timescales.

  9. The Effect of Temperature and Increased Rainfall on Carbon Dioxide Exchange in a High Arctic Ecosystem: Improving Models and Testing Linearity of Response

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steltzer, H.; Welker, J.; Sullivan, P.

    2006-12-01

    Ecosystem carbon dioxide exchange determines the terrestrial flux of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere through the two component processes of photosynthesis and respiration. Temperature and water availability are dominant factors that regulate carbon dioxide exchange and ecosystem productivity across the globe. Yet, in many ecosystems, the complex interaction of temperature and water availability and their individual and combined effects on photosynthesis and respiration make it difficult to predict how climate change will affect carbon dioxide exchange. For example, climate warming can increase carbon dioxide uptake in wetter Arctic ecosystems, but leads to the loss of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere in drier Arctic ecosystems. Characterizing how temperature and water availability affect ecosystem carbon exchange in the Arctic is essential to determine whether the rate of climate warming could accelerate due to carbon dioxide losses from Arctic ecosystems. We conducted a multi-level warming experiment that included control plots and two- levels of warming in a widespread High Arctic ecosystem. Infrared lamps were used to warm the tundra during the growing season and rainfall was increased by 50 percent in control plots and the higher level warming treatment. Carbon dioxide exchange was measured using chamber techniques over several 24-hour periods during the growing season for three years and was resolved into the component fluxes. Climate and biophysical variables that affect carbon dioxide exchange rates were measured in coordination with these flux measurements. We chose to analyze the data from this experiment by fitting the data to light and temperature response functions for gross ecosystem photosynthesis and ecosystem respiration, respectively. Based on our sample size of 30 experimental plots (5 treatments x 6 replicates), we selected relatively simple models of carbon dioxide exchange to minimize overfitting, but considered linear and nonlinear models

  10. Processes of community development and responses of ecosystems to climate change. Progress report, September 28, 1988--September 27, 1989

    SciTech Connect

    Redente, E.F.

    1989-05-26

    Our studies focus on attempting to understand the role of decomposer-primary producer linkages in successional dynamics. We are testing a series of hypotheses that relate changes in plant species composition during succession to changes in activity and structure of the soil microfloral and faunal community, dynamics of soil organic matter, and availability of soil nutrients. As these successional patterns are identified, they are being applied to understanding specific processes and mechanics involved in ecosystem development during recovery from moderate and severe disturbances. These findings are then being used in conjunction with simulation models to assess potential effects of climate change on ecosystems. Our research involves field studies in northwestern Colorado and southeastern Washington, laboratory studies, and simulation modeling. Ongoing projects include studies of response patterns of primary producer and soil microbial communities to nutrient additions (N, P, and sucrose), the function of mycorrhizal fungi in plant community development, and the dynamics of litter decomposition under semiarid conditions. New studies are being implemented to investigate the significance of nutrient transfers from VAM fungi to plants and plant-root exudate interactions, and to relate this to understanding their roles in succession.

  11. Optimal Environmental Conditions and Anomalous Ecosystem Responses: Constraining Bottom-up Controls of Phytoplankton Biomass in the California Current System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacox, Michael G.; Hazen, Elliott L.; Bograd, Steven J.

    2016-06-01

    In Eastern Boundary Current systems, wind-driven upwelling drives nutrient-rich water to the ocean surface, making these regions among the most productive on Earth. Regulation of productivity by changing wind and/or nutrient conditions can dramatically impact ecosystem functioning, though the mechanisms are not well understood beyond broad-scale relationships. Here, we explore bottom-up controls during the California Current System (CCS) upwelling season by quantifying the dependence of phytoplankton biomass (as indicated by satellite chlorophyll estimates) on two key environmental parameters: subsurface nitrate concentration and surface wind stress. In general, moderate winds and high nitrate concentrations yield maximal biomass near shore, while offshore biomass is positively correlated with subsurface nitrate concentration. However, due to nonlinear interactions between the influences of wind and nitrate, bottom-up control of phytoplankton cannot be described by either one alone, nor by a combined metric such as nitrate flux. We quantify optimal environmental conditions for phytoplankton, defined as the wind/nitrate space that maximizes chlorophyll concentration, and present a framework for evaluating ecosystem change relative to environmental drivers. The utility of this framework is demonstrated by (i) elucidating anomalous CCS responses in 1998–1999, 2002, and 2005, and (ii) providing a basis for assessing potential biological impacts of projected climate change.

  12. Optimal Environmental Conditions and Anomalous Ecosystem Responses: Constraining Bottom-up Controls of Phytoplankton Biomass in the California Current System

    PubMed Central

    Jacox, Michael G.; Hazen, Elliott L.; Bograd, Steven J.

    2016-01-01

    In Eastern Boundary Current systems, wind-driven upwelling drives nutrient-rich water to the ocean surface, making these regions among the most productive on Earth. Regulation of productivity by changing wind and/or nutrient conditions can dramatically impact ecosystem functioning, though the mechanisms are not well understood beyond broad-scale relationships. Here, we explore bottom-up controls during the California Current System (CCS) upwelling season by quantifying the dependence of phytoplankton biomass (as indicated by satellite chlorophyll estimates) on two key environmental parameters: subsurface nitrate concentration and surface wind stress. In general, moderate winds and high nitrate concentrations yield maximal biomass near shore, while offshore biomass is positively correlated with subsurface nitrate concentration. However, due to nonlinear interactions between the influences of wind and nitrate, bottom-up control of phytoplankton cannot be described by either one alone, nor by a combined metric such as nitrate flux. We quantify optimal environmental conditions for phytoplankton, defined as the wind/nitrate space that maximizes chlorophyll concentration, and present a framework for evaluating ecosystem change relative to environmental drivers. The utility of this framework is demonstrated by (i) elucidating anomalous CCS responses in 1998–1999, 2002, and 2005, and (ii) providing a basis for assessing potential biological impacts of projected climate change. PMID:27278260

  13. Modeling the response of plants and ecosystems to global change. Progress report, September 1, 1989--August 31, 1990

    SciTech Connect

    Reynolds, J.F.; Harley, P.; Hilbert, D.W.; Kemp, P.R.; Cornelius, J.M.; Tenhunen, J.D.

    1990-05-03

    An initiated close collaboration with experimentalists at Kansas State University that will provide data necessary to models of response to global change. This collaboration also includes co-operative experimental work carried out by staff at SERG that expands the range of ecosystem level processes measured in the open top chambers at Manhatan, Kansas. Several factors suggest that close co-operation between our two groups will be especially advantageous for the realization of the broad goals of the DOE CO{sub 2} consortium: (1) The experimental effort is very extensive, chambers and smaller closed chambers are experiments will provide information at levels. (2) We have been in close contact with the Kansas State group for some time and are beginning a major addition to the open chamber studies this summer. Consequently, we will be present at the field site for much of the summer, working directly with the group. (3) Several members of our group have extensive experience working in grasslands and our ecosystem model is currently well structured to handle grassland simulations.

  14. Response of peatland ecosystem to climatic changes in Central-Eastern Europe: a long-term ecological approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slowinska, S.; Marcisz, K.; Slowinski, M. M.; Lamentowicz, M.; Lamentowicz, L.; Mitchell, E. A.

    2013-12-01

    Northern peatlands play a major role in the global carbon cycle, and they are valuable archives of the past environmental change. The functioning of these ecosystems depends on the feedback between biotic and abiotic factors that are still not fully understood. In our study we investigated relationships between hydrological (groundwater level fluctuations, hydrochemistry), meteorological conditions near the ground (air temperature and humidity, photosynthetically active radiation, leaf wetness, temperature and moisture of Sphagnum) and biological factors: vegetation patterns, Sphagnum mosses growth and testate amoebae (Protists) composition. We designed a long-term ecological study site in a Sphagnum mire in Northern Poland that consisted of five meteorological micro stations and eleven piezometers located in two transects at 5,95 ha area. During the growing season 2012 we observed significant differences between plots in terms of micrometeorological and hydrological conditions that resulted in different Sphagnum increments and seasonal dynamics of testate amoebae communities. Our study is very important to better understand how temperate peatlands react to the climatic change and recent warming. Obtained results revealed a high sensitivity of bog ecosystem to e.g. short-term heat waves. Further research will be conducted to model a potential response of Sphagnum peatland to the future climate change. Project supported by Polish National Science Centre grant No. NN306060940 and the grant PSPB-013/2010 from Switzerland through the Swiss Contribution to the enlarged European Union.

  15. Optimal Environmental Conditions and Anomalous Ecosystem Responses: Constraining Bottom-up Controls of Phytoplankton Biomass in the California Current System.

    PubMed

    Jacox, Michael G; Hazen, Elliott L; Bograd, Steven J

    2016-01-01

    In Eastern Boundary Current systems, wind-driven upwelling drives nutrient-rich water to the ocean surface, making these regions among the most productive on Earth. Regulation of productivity by changing wind and/or nutrient conditions can dramatically impact ecosystem functioning, though the mechanisms are not well understood beyond broad-scale relationships. Here, we explore bottom-up controls during the California Current System (CCS) upwelling season by quantifying the dependence of phytoplankton biomass (as indicated by satellite chlorophyll estimates) on two key environmental parameters: subsurface nitrate concentration and surface wind stress. In general, moderate winds and high nitrate concentrations yield maximal biomass near shore, while offshore biomass is positively correlated with subsurface nitrate concentration. However, due to nonlinear interactions between the influences of wind and nitrate, bottom-up control of phytoplankton cannot be described by either one alone, nor by a combined metric such as nitrate flux. We quantify optimal environmental conditions for phytoplankton, defined as the wind/nitrate space that maximizes chlorophyll concentration, and present a framework for evaluating ecosystem change relative to environmental drivers. The utility of this framework is demonstrated by (i) elucidating anomalous CCS responses in 1998-1999, 2002, and 2005, and (ii) providing a basis for assessing potential biological impacts of projected climate change. PMID:27278260

  16. Evapotranspiration responses to extended floods in semi-arid riparian ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thibault, J. R.; Cleverly, J. R.; Dahm, C.

    2011-12-01

    . Comparing the two sites directly is more difficult due to variations in vegetation and local climate. Nonetheless, in one flood year the saltcedar site had significantly greater evaporative capacity (VPD) and wind speed yet ET rates were similar. The sites may store energy differently as well. Limited data indicate that albedo is lower during flooding at the mixed stand. Our findings suggest that evaporation does not increase from an influx of floodwaters unless the inundation is accompanied by a concomitant increase in net radiation. As with strictly terrestrial ecosystems, net radiation is often the predominant influence on ET in flood-prone riparian ecosystems.

  17. Salt marsh ecosystem biogeochemical responses to nutrient enrichment: a paired 15N tracer study.

    PubMed

    Drake, D C; Peterson, Bruce J; Galván, Kari A; Deegan, Linda A; Hopkinson, Charles; Johnson, J Michael; Koop-Jakobsen, K; Lemay, Lynsey E; Picard, Christian

    2009-09-01

    We compared processing and fate of dissolved NO3- in two New England salt marsh ecosystems, one receiving natural flood tide concentrations of approximately 1-4 micromol NO3-/ L and the other receiving experimentally fertilized flood tides containing approximately 70-100 micromol NO3-/ L. We conducted simultaneous 15NO3- (isotope) tracer additions from 23 to 28 July 2005 in the reference (8.4 ha) and fertilized (12.4 ha) systems to compare N dynamics and fate. Two full tidal cycles were intensively studied during the paired tracer additions. Resulting mass balances showed that essentially 100% (0.48-0.61 mol NO3-N.ha(-1).h(-1)) of incoming NO3- was assimilated, dissimilated, sorbed, or sedimented (processed) within a few hours in the reference system when NO3- concentrations were 1.3-1.8 micromol/L. In contrast, only 50-60% of incoming NO3- was processed in the fertilized system when NO3- concentrations were 84-96 micromol/L; the remainder was exported in ebb tidewater. Gross NO3- processing was approximately 40 times higher in the fertilized system at 19.34-24.67 mol NO3-N.ha(-1).h(-1). Dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium was evident in both systems during the first 48 h of the tracer additions but <1% of incoming 15NO3- was exported as 15NH4+. Nitrification rates calculated by 15NO3- dilution were 6.05 and 4.46 mol.ha(-1).h(-1) in the fertilized system but could not be accurately calculated in the reference system due to rapid (<4 h) NO3- turnover. Over the five-day paired tracer addition, sediments sequestered a small fraction of incoming NO3-, although the efficiency of sequestration was 3.8% in the reference system and 0.7% in the fertilized system. Gross sediment N sequestration rates were similar at 13.5 and 12.6 mol.ha(-1).d(-1), respectively. Macrophyte NO3- uptake efficiency, based on tracer incorporation in aboveground tissues, was considerably higher in the reference system (16.8%) than the fertilized system (2.6%), although bulk uptake of NO3

  18. Can observed ecosystem responses to elevated CO2 and N fertilisation be explained by optimal plant C allocation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stocker, Benjamin; Prentice, I. Colin

    2016-04-01

    The degree to which nitrogen availability limits the terrestrial C sink under rising CO2 is a key uncertainty in carbon cycle and climate change projections. Results from ecosystem manipulation studies and meta-analyses suggest that plant C allocation to roots adjusts dynamically under varying degrees of nitrogen availability and other soil fertility parameters. In addition, the ratio of biomass production to GPP appears to decline under nutrient scarcity. This reflects increasing plant C export into the soil and to symbionts (Cex) with decreasing nutrient availability. Cex is consumed by an array of soil organisms and may imply an improvement of nutrient availability to the plant. These concepts are left unaccounted for in Earth system models. We present a model for the coupled cycles of C and N in grassland ecosystems to explore optimal plant C allocation under rising CO2 and its implications for the ecosystem C balance. The model follows a balanced growth approach, accounting for the trade-offs between leaf versus root growth and Cex in balancing C fixation and N uptake. We further model a plant-controlled rate of biological N fixation (BNF) by assuming that Cex is consumed by N2-fixing processes if the ratio of Nup:Cex falls below the inverse of the C cost of N2-fixation. The model is applied at two temperate grassland sites (SwissFACE and BioCON), subjected to factorial treatments of elevated CO2 (FACE) and N fertilization. Preliminary simulation results indicate initially increased N limitation, evident by increased relative allocation to roots and Cex. Depending on the initial state of N availability, this implies a varying degree of aboveground growth enhancement, generally consistent with observed responses. On a longer time scale, ecosystems are progressively released from N limitation due tighter N cycling. Allowing for plant-controlled BNF implies a quicker release from N limitation and an adjustment to more open N cycling. In both cases, optimal plant

  19. 13C AND 15N IN MICROARTHROPODS REVEAL LITTLE RESPONSE OF DOUGLAS-FIR ECOSYSTEMS TO CLIMATE CHANGE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Understanding ecosystem carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling under global change requires experiments maintaining natural interactions among soil structure, soil communities, nutrient availability, and plant growth. In model Douglas-fir ecosystems maintained for five growing seaso...

  20. The impact of warming on greenhouse gas fluxes: an experimental comparison which reveals the varied response of ecosystems to climate change.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stockdale, James; Ineson, Philip

    2016-04-01

    Modelled predictions of the response of terrestrial systems to climate change are highly variable, yet the response of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) is a vital ecosystem behaviour to understand due to its inherent feedback to the carbon cycle. The establishment and subsequent monitoring of replicated experimental manipulations are a direct method to reveal these responses, yet are difficult to achieve as they typically resource-heavy and labour intensive. We actively manipulated the temperature at three agricultural grasslands in southern England and deployed novel 'SkyLine' systems, recently developed at the University of York, to continuously monitor GHG fluxes. Each 'SkyLine' is a low-cost and fully autonomous technology yet produces fluxes at a near-continuous temporal frequency and across a wide spatial area. The results produced by 'SkyLine' enable the detail response of each system to increased temperature over diurnal and seasonal timescales. Unexpected differences in NEE are shown between superficially similar ecosystems which, upon investigation, suggest that interactions between a variety of environmental variables are key and that knowledge of pre-existing environmental conditions help to predict a systems response to future climate. For example, the prevailing hydrological conditions at each site appear to affect its response to changing temperature. The high-frequency data shown here, combined with the fully-replicated experimental design reveal complex interactions which must be understood to improve predictions of ecosystem response to a changing climate.

  1. Watershed land use and aquatic ecosystem response: Ecohydrologic approach to conservation policy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Randhir, Timothy O.; Hawes, Ashley G.

    2009-01-01

    SummaryLand use activities change the natural functions of a watershed impacting the flow of water and water quality, and impair aquatic ecosystems. Optimal allocation of land use depends on attributes related to terrestrial and aquatic environments. A dynamic model that links land use, overland flow, suspended sediment, and an aquatic species is used to evaluate alternate land use policies. The dwarf wedge mussel that is classified as endangered in the region is used as an indicator species of aquatic health in a watershed in Massachusetts. The simulation model is used to evaluate spatial nature of processes and land use policies. Spatial and temporal changes in runoff, sediment loading, and mussel population are modeled over a period of 4 years. Ten policy scenarios represent combinations of best management practices and development of agriculture and urban land at spatial locations of headwaters, main stem regions, riparian, and entire watershed. Increasing the proportion of agriculture and high density residential land use increased runoff, while increasing the frequency and magnitude of peak flows in the watershed. Sediment loading increased with an increased proportion of agriculture area and decreased with an expansion of high density residential area. Scenarios with an increase in sediment loading above the baseline mean exhibited an irregular recovery of the mussel population from high loading events. Policy implications include the need for best management practices to decrease runoff and sediment loading in the watershed, through education and incentive programs.

  2. The YNP Metagenome Project: Environmental Parameters Responsible for Microbial Distribution in the Yellowstone Geothermal Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Inskeep, William P.; Jay, Zackary J.; Tringe, Susannah G.; Herrgård, Markus J.; Rusch, Douglas B.

    2013-01-01

    The Yellowstone geothermal complex contains over 10,000 diverse geothermal features that host numerous phylogenetically deeply rooted and poorly understood archaea, bacteria, and viruses. Microbial communities in high-temperature environments are generally less diverse than soil, marine, sediment, or lake habitats and therefore offer a tremendous opportunity for studying the structure and function of different model microbial communities using environmental metagenomics. One of the broader goals of this study was to establish linkages among microbial distribution, metabolic potential, and environmental variables. Twenty geochemically distinct geothermal ecosystems representing a broad spectrum of Yellowstone hot-spring environments were used for metagenomic and geochemical analysis and included approximately equal numbers of: (1) phototrophic mats, (2) “filamentous streamer” communities, and (3) archaeal-dominated sediments. The metagenomes were analyzed using a suite of complementary and integrative bioinformatic tools, including phylogenetic and functional analysis of both individual sequence reads and assemblies of predominant phylotypes. This volume identifies major environmental determinants of a large number of thermophilic microbial lineages, many of which have not been fully described in the literature nor previously cultivated to enable functional and genomic analyses. Moreover, protein family abundance comparisons and in-depth analyses of specific genes and metabolic pathways relevant to these hot-spring environments reveal hallmark signatures of metabolic capabilities that parallel the distribution of phylotypes across specific types of geochemical environments. PMID:23653623

  3. Predicting Ecosystem Responses with AQUATOX, a Mechanistic Fate and Effects Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, R. A.; Wellman, M. C.

    2005-05-01

    AQUATOX, a mechanistic fate and effects model, simulates the significant physical, chemical, and biological processes affecting aquatic biota. The user can represent the food web with as little or as much complexity as desired. Generality is balanced with site specificity. The parameters governing the biological processes are designed to be as general as possible, such that a parameter set for a group of organisms should transfer from site to site with little or no recalibration. For example, maximum photosynthetic rates for specific plants should be "global," but the predicted time-varying site photosynthetic rates change with temperature, nutrients, light, and toxic chemicals. AQUATOX also contains informative analytical tools. Control and Perturbed simulations isolate the effects of the differences due to a particular stressor, much like a controlled laboratory experiment. The predicted in situ rates due to ecological processes (such as consumption, mortality, and reproduction) and limitations on photosynthesis can be saved and graphed, enabling the analyst to identify the important processes and environmental controls operating at any given time. Built-in uncertainty analysis allows the user to test which driving variables and parameters are most important to the particular endpoints of interest. Examples of simulations of stream ecosystems will be given.

  4. The YNP Metagenome Project: Environmental Parameters Responsible for Microbial Distribution in the Yellowstone Geothermal Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Inskeep, William P; Jay, Zackary J; Tringe, Susannah G; Herrgård, Markus J; Rusch, Douglas B

    2013-01-01

    The Yellowstone geothermal complex contains over 10,000 diverse geothermal features that host numerous phylogenetically deeply rooted and poorly understood archaea, bacteria, and viruses. Microbial communities in high-temperature environments are generally less diverse than soil, marine, sediment, or lake habitats and therefore offer a tremendous opportunity for studying the structure and function of different model microbial communities using environmental metagenomics. One of the broader goals of this study was to establish linkages among microbial distribution, metabolic potential, and environmental variables. Twenty geochemically distinct geothermal ecosystems representing a broad spectrum of Yellowstone hot-spring environments were used for metagenomic and geochemical analysis and included approximately equal numbers of: (1) phototrophic mats, (2) "filamentous streamer" communities, and (3) archaeal-dominated sediments. The metagenomes were analyzed using a suite of complementary and integrative bioinformatic tools, including phylogenetic and functional analysis of both individual sequence reads and assemblies of predominant phylotypes. This volume identifies major environmental determinants of a large number of thermophilic microbial lineages, many of which have not been fully described in the literature nor previously cultivated to enable functional and genomic analyses. Moreover, protein family abundance comparisons and in-depth analyses of specific genes and metabolic pathways relevant to these hot-spring environments reveal hallmark signatures of metabolic capabilities that parallel the distribution of phylotypes across specific types of geochemical environments.

  5. On incorporating fire into our thinking about natural ecosystems: A response to Saha and Howe

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, Jon E.; Bond, William J.

    2001-01-01

    Ecologists long have had a fascination with fire impacts, although they have been slow to incorporate this ecological factor into serious thinking about the structure of communities and evolution of species (Bond and van Wilgen 1996).  The remarks by Saha and Howe (2001, in this issue) illustrate some of the problems ecologists have in trying to apply fire to their thinking about natural ecosystems.  Fire is commonly perceived qualitatively in terms of presence or absence, and the variation in frequency and intensity, as well as other components of the fire regime (e.g., fig. 1), is ignored.  Often not considered is the fact that plant life histories are fine-tuned to particular fire regims, and in this regard, landscapes present a range of selective peaks and valleys, both figuratively and literally.  Because landscape patterns affect the propagation of natural fires, it is imperative that the degree of human disturbance be considered (e.g. Marsh [1864] 1965; Gadgil and Guhu 1993) and the limitations of basing evolutionary arguments on anthropogenically derived landscapes be recognized (e.g., Janzen and Martin 1982).

  6. The YNP Metagenome Project: Environmental Parameters Responsible for Microbial Distribution in the Yellowstone Geothermal Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Inskeep, William P; Jay, Zackary J; Tringe, Susannah G; Herrgård, Markus J; Rusch, Douglas B

    2013-01-01

    The Yellowstone geothermal complex contains over 10,000 diverse geothermal features that host numerous phylogenetically deeply rooted and poorly understood archaea, bacteria, and viruses. Microbial communities in high-temperature environments are generally less diverse than soil, marine, sediment, or lake habitats and therefore offer a tremendous opportunity for studying the structure and function of different model microbial communities using environmental metagenomics. One of the broader goals of this study was to establish linkages among microbial distribution, metabolic potential, and environmental variables. Twenty geochemically distinct geothermal ecosystems representing a broad spectrum of Yellowstone hot-spring environments were used for metagenomic and geochemical analysis and included approximately equal numbers of: (1) phototrophic mats, (2) "filamentous streamer" communities, and (3) archaeal-dominated sediments. The metagenomes were analyzed using a suite of complementary and integrative bioinformatic tools, including phylogenetic and functional analysis of both individual sequence reads and assemblies of predominant phylotypes. This volume identifies major environmental determinants of a large number of thermophilic microbial lineages, many of which have not been fully described in the literature nor previously cultivated to enable functional and genomic analyses. Moreover, protein family abundance comparisons and in-depth analyses of specific genes and metabolic pathways relevant to these hot-spring environments reveal hallmark signatures of metabolic capabilities that parallel the distribution of phylotypes across specific types of geochemical environments. PMID:23653623

  7. Adaptive strategies for cumulative cultural learning.

    PubMed

    Ehn, Micael; Laland, Kevin

    2012-05-21

    The demographic and ecological success of our species is frequently attributed to our capacity for cumulative culture. However, it is not yet known how humans combine social and asocial learning to generate effective strategies for learning in a cumulative cultural context. Here we explore how cumulative culture influences the relative merits of various pure and conditional learning strategies, including pure asocial and social learning, critical social learning, conditional social learning and individual refiner strategies. We replicate the Rogers' paradox in the cumulative setting. However, our analysis suggests that strategies that resolved Rogers' paradox in a non-cumulative setting may not necessarily evolve in a cumulative setting, thus different strategies will optimize cumulative and non-cumulative cultural learning.

  8. The Algebra of the Cumulative Percent Operation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berry, Andrew J.

    2002-01-01

    Discusses how to help students avoid some pervasive reasoning errors in solving cumulative percent problems. Discusses the meaning of ."%+b%." the additive inverse of ."%." and other useful applications. Emphasizes the operational aspect of the cumulative percent concept. (KHR)

  9. Functional response of wolves preying on barren-ground caribou in a multiple-prey ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dale, B.W.; Adams, Layne G.; Bowyer, R.T.

    1994-01-01

    1. We investigated the functional response of wolves (Canis lupus) to varying abundance of ungulate prey to test the hypothesis that switching from alternate prey to preferred prey results in regulation of a caribou (Rangifer tarandus) population at low densities. 2. We determined prey selection, kill rates, and prey abundance for four wolf packs during three 30-day periods in March 1989, March 1990, November 1990, and created a simple discrete model to evaluate the potential for the expected numerical and observed functional responses of wolves to regulate caribou populations. 3. We observed a quickly decelerating type II functional response that, in the absence of numerical response, implicates an anti-regulatory effect of wolf predation on barren-ground caribou dynamics. 4. There was little potential for regulation caused by the multiplicative effect of increasing functional and numerical responses because of presence of alternative prey. This resulted in high wolf:caribou ratios at low prey densities which precluded the effects of an increasing functional response. 5. Inversely density-dependent predation by other predators, such as bears, reduces the potential for predators to regulate caribou populations at low densities, and small reductions in predation by one predator may have disproportionately large effects on the total predation rate.

  10. Responses of ecosystem carbon dioxide exchange to nitrogen addition in a freshwater marshland in Sanjiang Plain, Northeast China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lihua; Song, Changchun; Nkrumah, Philip N

    2013-09-01

    It has widely been documented that nitrogen (N) stimulates plant growth and net primary production. But how N affects net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) is still dispute. We conduct an experimental study to assess the response of NEE to N addition in a freshwater marsh. Experimental treatments involved elevated N and control treatments on triplicate 1 m(2) plots. Gas exchange, air temperature, plant biomass and leaf area as well as N% of leaf were measured from 2004 to 2005. The results indicated that N addition initially decreased the CO2 sequestration but the trend changed in the second year. It was concluded that N addition enhanced the greenhouse effect in marshland as far as global warming potential (GWP) is concerned. This increase was attributed to a substantial increase in CH4 and N2O emissions after N addition. We recommended long-term studies to further clarify the effect of N addition on NEE. PMID:23727568

  11. The Effects of Iron Complexing Ligands on the Long Term Ecosystem Response to Iron Enrichment of HNLC waters

    SciTech Connect

    Mark L. Wells; Mary Jane Perry; William P. Cochlan; Charles G. Trick

    2006-11-18

    The central hypothesis of this project is that natural iron-complexing organic ligands in seawater differentially regulate iron availability to large (microplankton) and small (nano and picoplankton) class of phytoplankton and thereby strongly influence the potential carbon sequestration in High Nitrate Low Chlorophyll (HNLC) regions of the ocean. The primary project goals are to: 1) determine how different natural and synthetic Fe chelators affect Fe availability to phytoplankton species that are representative of offshore HNLC waters, 2) elucidate how the changes in absolute concentrations of these chelators affect the longer-term ecosystem response to alleviation of Fe limitation, and 3) ascertain how changes in the ligand composition affect rates of cell sinking and aggregation - representative measures of the efficiency of carbon sequestration to the deep.

  12. Final Technical Report: Response of Mediterranean-Type Ecosystems to Elevated Atmospheric CO2 and Associated Climate Change

    SciTech Connect

    Oechel, Walter C

    2002-08-15

    This research incorporated an integrated hierarchical approach in space, time, and levels of biological/ecological organization to help understand and predict ecosystem response to elevated CO{sub 2} and concomitant environmental change. The research utilized a number of different approaches, and collaboration of both PER and non-PER investigators to arrive at a comprehensive, integrative understanding. Central to the work were the CO{sub 2}-controlled, ambient Lit, Temperature controlled (CO{sub 2}LT) null-balance chambers originally developed in the arctic tundra, which were re-engineered for the chaparral with treatment CO{sub 2} concentrations of from 250 to 750 ppm CO{sub 2} in 100 ppm increments, replicated twice to allow for a regression analysis. Each chamber was 2 meters on a side and 2 meters tall, which were installed over an individual shrub reprouting after a fire. This manipulation allowed study of the response of native chaparral to varying levels of CO{sub 2}, while regenerating from an experimental burn. Results from these highly-controlled manipulations were compared against Free Air CO{sub 2} Enrichment (FACE) manipulations, in an area adjacent to the CO{sub 2}LT null balance greenhouses. These relatively short-term results (5-7 years) were compared to long-term results from Mediterranean-type ecosystems (MTEs) surrounding natural CO{sub 2} springs in northern Italy, near Laiatico, Italy. The springs lack the controlled experimental rigor of our CO{sub 2}LT and FACE manipulation, but provide invaluable validation of our long-term predictions.

  13. A Role which Interaction between the Climate and Ecosystems Play in Shaping the Climate Response to External Forcing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eliseev, A. V.

    2014-10-01

    The Earth system, in addition to its physical compartments (the atmosphere, the ocean, the soil, and the cryosphere), also includes ecosystems. The latter interact with all other compartments and affect climate variations at a large number of spatial and temporal scales. According to the simulations with global climate models, an increase of albedo due to land use in the 20th century has compensated 10-20% of the global warming during this century. In addition, a replacement of the natural vegetation by crops suppresses moisture transport by terrestrial plants from the soil to the atmosphere and, hence, local precipitation. In some cases, biogeophysical processes might lead to multistability at a regional scale. The latter serves as an effective amplifier of small external forcing. For instance, these process may be responsible to disappearance of vegetation in western Sahara in the mid-Holocene. Among the biogeochemical processes, the most important role for climate is played by the carbon cycle. The uptake of carbon by the ocean and by the terrestrial ecosystems depends on the climate state. The latter dependence results in a feedback between the climate and the carbon cycle. From the simulations with global climate models it is found that this feedback is positive: it amplifies the greenhouse-gases-induced warming, by about 10% in the 21st century. The climatecarbon cycle feedback may be modified by interaction between the carbon cycle and other biogeochemical cycles, e.g., with the nitrogen cycle. Climate changes may also change the emission of methane from wet soil. It is found that the climate-methane cycle feedback, despite markedly amplifying the CH4 build up in the atmosphere, change the climate response to external forcing very insignificantly.

  14. Rapid Ecological Change in Two Contrasting Lake Ecosystems: Evidence of Threshold Responses, Altered Species Dynamics, and Perturbed Patterns of Variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simpson, G. L.

    2015-12-01

    Studying threshold responses to environmental change is often made difficult due to the paucity of monitoring data prior to and during change. Progress has been made via theoretical models of regime shifts or experimental manipulation but natural, real world, examples of threshold change are limited and in many cases inconclusive. Lake sediments provide the potential to examine abrupt ecological change by directly observing how species, communities, and biogeochemical proxies responded to environmental perturbation or recorded ecosystem change. These records are not problem-free; age uncertainties, uneven and variable temporal resolution, and time-consuming taxonomic work all act to limit the scope and scale of the data or complicate its analysis. Here I use two annually laminated records 1. Kassjön, a seasonally anoxic mesotrophic lake in N Sweden, and2. Baldeggersee, a nutrient rich, hardwater lake on the central Swiss Plateau to investigate lake ecosystem responses to abrupt environmental change using ideal paleoecological time series. Rapid cooling 2.2kyr ago in northern Sweden significantly perturbed the diatom community of Kassjön. Using wavelet analysis, this amelioration in climate also fundamentally altered patterns of variance in diatom abundances, suppressing cyclicity in species composition that required several hundred years to reestablish. Multivariate wavelet analysis of the record showed marked switching between synchronous and asynchronous species dynamics in response to rapid climatic cooling and subsequent warming. Baldeggersee has experienced a long history of eutrophication and the diatom record has been used as a classic illustration of a regime shift in response to nutrient loading. Time series analysis of the record identified some evidence of a threshold-like response in the diatoms. A stochastic volatility model identified increasing variance in composition prior to the threshold, as predicted from theory, and a switch from compensatory

  15. Cumulant expansions for atmospheric flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ait-Chaalal, Farid; Schneider, Tapio; Meyer, Bettina; Marston, J. B.

    2016-02-01

    Atmospheric flows are governed by the equations of fluid dynamics. These equations are nonlinear, and consequently the hierarchy of cumulant equations is not closed. But because atmospheric flows are inhomogeneous and anisotropic, the nonlinearity may manifest itself only weakly through interactions of nontrivial mean fields with disturbances such as thermals or eddies. In such situations, truncations of the hierarchy of cumulant equations hold promise as a closure strategy. Here we show how truncations at second order can be used to model and elucidate the dynamics of turbulent atmospheric flows. Two examples are considered. First, we study the growth of a dry convective boundary layer, which is heated from below, leading to turbulent upward energy transport and growth of the boundary layer. We demonstrate that a quasilinear truncation of the equations of motion, in which interactions of disturbances among each other are neglected but interactions with mean fields are taken into account, can capture the growth of the convective boundary layer. However, it does not capture important turbulent transport terms in the turbulence kinetic energy budget. Second, we study the evolution of two-dimensional large-scale waves, which are representative of waves seen in Earth's upper atmosphere. We demonstrate that a cumulant expansion truncated at second order (CE2) can capture the evolution of such waves and their nonlinear interaction with the mean flow in some circumstances, for example, when the wave amplitude is small enough or the planetary rotation rate is large enough. However, CE2 fails to capture the flow evolution when strongly nonlinear eddy-eddy interactions that generate small-scale filaments in surf zones around critical layers become important. Higher-order closures can capture these missing interactions. The results point to new ways in which the dynamics of turbulent boundary layers may be represented in climate models, and they illustrate different classes

  16. Childhood Cumulative Risk Exposure and Adult Amygdala Volume and Function.

    PubMed

    Evans, Gary W; Swain, James E; King, Anthony P; Wang, Xin; Javanbakht, Arash; Ho, S Shaun; Angstadt, Michael; Phan, K Luan; Xie, Hong; Liberzon, Israel

    2016-06-01

    Considerable work indicates that early cumulative risk exposure is aversive to human development, but very little research has examined the neurological underpinnings of these robust findings. This study investigates amygdala volume and reactivity to facial stimuli among adults (mean 23.7 years of age, n = 54) as a function of cumulative risk exposure during childhood (9 and 13 years of age). In addition, we test to determine whether expected cumulative risk elevations in amygdala volume would mediate functional reactivity of the amygdala during socioemotional processing. Risks included substandard housing quality, noise, crowding, family turmoil, child separation from family, and violence. Total and left hemisphere adult amygdala volumes were positively related to cumulative risk exposure during childhood. The links between childhood cumulative risk exposure and elevated amygdala responses to emotionally neutral facial stimuli in adulthood were mediated by the corresponding amygdala volumes. Cumulative risk exposure in later adolescence (17 years of age), however, was unrelated to subsequent adult amygdala volume or function. Physical and socioemotional risk exposures early in life appear to alter amygdala development, rendering adults more reactive to ambiguous stimuli such as neutral faces. These stress-related differences in childhood amygdala development might contribute to the well-documented psychological distress as a function of early risk exposure.

  17. Aquatic ecosystem responses to Holocene climate change and biome development in boreal, central Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mackay, Anson W.; Bezrukova, Elena V.; Leng, Melanie J.; Meaney, Miriam; Nunes, Ana; Piotrowska, Natalia; Self, Angela; Shchetnikov, Alexander; Shilland, Ewan; Tarasov, Pavel; Wang, Luo; White, Dustin

    2012-05-01

    Boreal ecosystems are highly vulnerable to climate change, and severe ecological impacts in the near future are virtually certain to occur. We undertook a multiproxy study on an alpine lake (ESM-1) at the modern tree-line in boreal, southern Siberia. Steppe and tundra biomes were extensive in eastern Sayan landscapes during the early Holocene. Boreal forest quickly expanded by 9.1 ka BP, and dominated the landscape until c 0.7 ka BP, when the greatest period of compositional turnover occurred. At this time, alpine meadow landscape expanded and Picea obovata colonised new habitats along river valleys and lake shorelines, because of prevailing cool, moist conditions. During the early Holocene, chironomid assemblages were dominated by cold stenotherms. Diatoms for much of the Holocene were dominated by alkaliphilous, fragilarioid taxa, up until 0.2 ka BP, when epiphytic species expanded, indicative of increased habitat availability. C/N mass ratios ranged between 9.5 and 13.5 (11.1-15.8 C/N atomic ratios), indicative of algal communities dominating organic matter contributions to bottom sediments with small, persistent contributions from vascular plants. However, δ13C values increased steadily from -34.9‰ during the early Holocene (9.3 ka BP) to -24.8‰ by 0.6 ka BP. This large shift in magnitude may be due to a number of factors, including increasing within-lake productivity, increasing disequilibrium between the isotopic balance of the lake with the atmosphere as the lake became isotopically ‘mature’, and declining soil respiration linked to small, but distinct retreat in forest biomes. The influence of climatic variables on landscape vegetation was assessed using redundancy analysis (RDA), a linear, direct ordination technique. Changes in July insolation at 60 °N significantly explained over one-fifth of the variation in species composition, while changes in estimates of northern hemisphere temperature and ice-rafted debris events in the North Atlantic

  18. Whole-lake CO2 Dynamics in Response to Hydrological Events in Two Morphologically Different Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vachon, D.; del Giorgio, P. A.

    2013-12-01

    The hydrological linkage between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem is key to our understanding of carbon processing and transport through inland water networks. In lentic systems, hydrology can be dramatically intensified, especially after storm events, potentially modifying the carbon budget in lakes. For example, rapid increases in the surface water carbon dioxide partial pressure and the resulting atmospheric fluxes have been observed following such events. Several processes have been invoked to explain these ephemeral but intense shifts in lakes CO2 dynamic, including internal reallocation, increases in metabolism, and increases in external loading. However, how the relative importance of these various processes varies with lake type and with the nature of the event is still not well understood. In order to partition the relative importance of increased external loading versus internal lake processes resulting from intense hydrological events, we reconstructed the whole-lake daily CO2 budget during the summer-fall cooling period (i.e. from July to November) in two morphologically-distinct lakes in northern Québec, Canada. By using concurrent estimates of lakes metabolism based on diel O2 measurements, and daily CO2 mass balance budgets, we were able to isolate the pathways underlying the changes in the whole-lake CO2 budget and resulting atmospheric fluxes driven by of hydrological events in these two lakes. We found that hydrological events caused variable but often significant increases in whole-lake CO2 mass, suggesting that CO2 re-allocation from hypolimnion to epilimnion was not the main process driving the increasing surface water pCO2. Our estimates of whole-lake metabolism suggested that this additional CO2 was not generated in situ, but rather loaded from the surrounding catchment by the post-storm inflowing water. The catchment contribution to the whole-lake CO2 mass during these hydrological events was greater in the lake with the larger watershed

  19. Ecosystem Evapotranspiration as a Response to Climate and Vegetation Coverage Changes in Northwest Yunnan, China.

    PubMed

    Yang, Hao; Luo, Peng; Wang, Jun; Mou, Chengxiang; Mo, Li; Wang, Zhiyuan; Fu, Yao; Lin, Honghui; Yang, Yongping; Bhatta, Laxmi Dutt

    2015-01-01

    Climate and human-driven changes play an important role in regional droughts. Northwest Yunnan Province is a key region for biodiversity conservation in China, and it has experienced severe droughts since the beginning of this century; however, the extent of the contributions from climate and human-driven changes remains unclear. We calculated the ecosystem evapotranspiration (ET) and water yield (WY) of northwest Yunnan Province, China from 2001 to 2013 using meteorological and remote sensing observation data and a Surface Energy Balance System (SEBS) model. Multivariate regression analyses were used to differentiate the contribution of climate and vegetation coverage to ET. The results showed that the annual average vegetation coverage significantly increased over time with a mean of 0.69 in spite of the precipitation fluctuation. Afforestation/reforestation and other management efforts attributed to vegetation coverage increase in NW Yunnan. Both ET and WY considerably fluctuated with the climate factors, which ranged from 623.29 mm to 893.8 mm and -51.88 mm to 384.40 mm over the time period. Spatially, ET in the southeast of NW Yunnan (mainly in Lijiang) increased significantly, which was in line with the spatial trend of vegetation coverage. Multivariate linear regression analysis indicated that climatic factors accounted for 85.18% of the ET variation, while vegetation coverage explained 14.82%. On the other hand, precipitation accounted for 67.5% of the WY. We conclude that the continuous droughts in northwest Yunnan were primarily climatically driven; however, man-made land cover and vegetation changes also increased the vulnerability of local populations to drought. Because of the high proportion of the water yield consumed for subsistence and poor infrastructure for water management, local populations have been highly vulnerable to climate drought conditions. We suggest that conservation of native vegetation and development of water

  20. Ecosystem Evapotranspiration as a Response to Climate and Vegetation Coverage Changes in Northwest Yunnan, China.

    PubMed

    Yang, Hao; Luo, Peng; Wang, Jun; Mou, Chengxiang; Mo, Li; Wang, Zhiyuan; Fu, Yao; Lin, Honghui; Yang, Yongping; Bhatta, Laxmi Dutt

    2015-01-01

    Climate and human-driven changes play an important role in regional droughts. Northwest Yunnan Province is a key region for biodiversity conservation in China, and it has experienced severe droughts since the beginning of this century; however, the extent of the contributions from climate and human-driven changes remains unclear. We calculated the ecosystem evapotranspiration (ET) and water yield (WY) of northwest Yunnan Province, China from 2001 to 2013 using meteorological and remote sensing observation data and a Surface Energy Balance System (SEBS) model. Multivariate regression analyses were used to differentiate the contribution of climate and vegetation coverage to ET. The results showed that the annual average vegetation coverage significantly increased over time with a mean of 0.69 in spite of the precipitation fluctuation. Afforestation/reforestation and other management efforts attributed to vegetation coverage increase in NW Yunnan. Both ET and WY considerably fluctuated with the climate factors, which ranged from 623.29 mm to 893.8 mm and -51.88 mm to 384.40 mm over the time period. Spatially, ET in the southeast of NW Yunnan (mainly in Lijiang) increased significantly, which was in line with the spatial trend of vegetation coverage. Multivariate linear regression analysis indicated that climatic factors accounted for 85.18% of the ET variation, while vegetation coverage explained 14.82%. On the other hand, precipitation accounted for 67.5% of the WY. We conclude that the continuous droughts in northwest Yunnan were primarily climatically driven; however, man-made land cover and vegetation changes also increased the vulnerability of local populations to drought. Because of the high proportion of the water yield consumed for subsistence and poor infrastructure for water management, local populations have been highly vulnerable to climate drought conditions. We suggest that conservation of native vegetation and development of water

  1. Ecosystem responses in the southern Caribbean Sea to global climate change

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, Gordon T.; Muller-Karger, Frank E.; Thunell, Robert C.; Scranton, Mary I.; Astor, Yrene; Varela, Ramon; Ghinaglia, Luis Troccoli; Lorenzoni, Laura; Fanning, Kent A.; Hameed, Sultan; Doherty, Owen

    2012-01-01

    Over the last few decades, rising greenhouse gas emissions have promoted poleward expansion of the large-scale atmospheric Hadley circulation that dominates the Tropics, thereby affecting behavior of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Expression of these changes in tropical marine ecosystems is poorly understood because of sparse observational datasets. We link contemporary ecological changes in the southern Caribbean Sea to global climate change indices. Monthly observations from the CARIACO Ocean Time-Series between 1996 and 2010 document significant decadal scale trends, including a net sea surface temperature (SST) rise of ∼1.0 ± 0.14 °C (±SE), intensified stratification, reduced delivery of upwelled nutrients to surface waters, and diminished phytoplankton bloom intensities evident as overall declines in chlorophyll a concentrations (ΔChla = −2.8 ± 0.5%⋅y−1) and net primary production (ΔNPP = −1.5 ± 0.3%⋅y−1). Additionally, phytoplankton taxon dominance shifted from diatoms, dinoflagellates, and coccolithophorids to smaller taxa after 2004, whereas mesozooplankton biomass increased and commercial landings of planktivorous sardines collapsed. Collectively, our results reveal an ecological state change in this planktonic system. The weakening trend in Trade Winds (−1.9 ± 0.3%⋅y−1) and dependent local variables are largely explained by trends in two climatic indices, namely the northward migration of the Azores High pressure center (descending branch of Hadley cell) by 1.12 ± 0.42°N latitude and the northeasterly progression of the ITCZ Atlantic centroid (ascending branch of Hadley cell), the March position of which shifted by about 800 km between 1996 and 2009. PMID:23071299

  2. Ecosystem responses to long-term nutrient management in an urban estuary: Tampa Bay, Florida, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greening, H.; Janicki, A.; Sherwood, E. T.; Pribble, R.; Johansson, J. O. R.

    2014-12-01

    In subtropical Tampa Bay, Florida, USA, we evaluated restoration trajectories before and after nutrient management strategies were implemented using long-term trends in nutrient loading, water quality, primary production, and seagrass extent. Following citizen demands for action, reduction in wastewater nutrient loading of approximately 90% in the late 1970s lowered external total nitrogen (TN) loading by more than 50% within three years. Continuing nutrient management actions from public and private sectors were associated with a steadily declining TN load rate and with concomitant reduction in chlorophyll-a concentrations and ambient nutrient concentrations since the mid-1980s, despite an increase of more than 1 M people living within the Tampa Bay metropolitan area. Water quality (chlorophyll-a concentration, water clarity as indicated by Secchi disk depth, total nitrogen concentration and dissolved oxygen) and seagrass coverage are approaching conditions observed in the 1950s, before the large increases in human population in the watershed. Following recovery from an extreme weather event in 1997-1998, water clarity increased significantly and seagrass is expanding at a rate significantly different than before the event, suggesting a feedback mechanism as observed in other systems. Key elements supporting the nutrient management strategy and concomitant ecosystem recovery in Tampa Bay include: 1) active community involvement, including agreement about quantifiable restoration goals; 2) regulatory and voluntary reduction in nutrient loadings from point, atmospheric, and nonpoint sources; 3) long-term water quality and seagrass extent monitoring; and 4) a commitment from public and private sectors to work together to attain restoration goals. A shift from a turbid, phytoplankton-based system to a clear water, seagrass-based system that began in the 1980s following comprehensive nutrient loading reductions has resulted in a present-day Tampa Bay which looks and

  3. Ecosystem Evapotranspiration as a Response to Climate and Vegetation Coverage Changes in Northwest Yunnan, China

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Hao; Luo, Peng; Wang, Jun; Mou, Chengxiang; Mo, Li; Wang, Zhiyuan; Fu, Yao; Lin, Honghui; Yang, Yongping; Bhatta, Laxmi Dutt

    2015-01-01

    Climate and human-driven changes play an important role in regional droughts. Northwest Yunnan Province is a key region for biodiversity conservation in China, and it has experienced severe droughts since the beginning of this century; however, the extent of the contributions from climate and human-driven changes remains unclear. We calculated the ecosystem evapotranspiration (ET) and water yield (WY) of northwest Yunnan Province, China from 2001 to 2013 using meteorological and remote sensing observation data and a Surface Energy Balance System (SEBS) model. Multivariate regression analyses were used to differentiate the contribution of climate and vegetation coverage to ET. The results showed that the annual average vegetation coverage significantly increased over time with a mean of 0.69 in spite of the precipitation fluctuation. Afforestation/reforestation and other management efforts attributed to vegetation coverage increase in NW Yunnan. Both ET and WY considerably fluctuated with the climate factors, which ranged from 623.29 mm to 893.8 mm and –51.88 mm to 384.40 mm over the time period. Spatially, ET in the southeast of NW Yunnan (mainly in Lijiang) increased significantly, which was in line with the spatial trend of vegetation coverage. Multivariate linear regression analysis indicated that climatic factors accounted for 85.18% of the ET variation, while vegetation coverage explained 14.82%. On the other hand, precipitation accounted for 67.5% of the WY. We conclude that the continuous droughts in northwest Yunnan were primarily climatically driven; however, man-made land cover and vegetation changes also increased the vulnerability of local populations to drought. Because of the high proportion of the water yield consumed for subsistence and poor infrastructure for water management, local populations have been highly vulnerable to climate drought conditions. We suggest that conservation of native vegetation and development of water

  4. Ecosystem responses in the southern Caribbean Sea to global climate change.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Gordon T; Muller-Karger, Frank E; Thunell, Robert C; Scranton, Mary I; Astor, Yrene; Varela, Ramon; Ghinaglia, Luis Troccoli; Lorenzoni, Laura; Fanning, Kent A; Hameed, Sultan; Doherty, Owen

    2012-11-20

    Over the last few decades, rising greenhouse gas emissions have promoted poleward expansion of the large-scale atmospheric Hadley circulation that dominates the Tropics, thereby affecting behavior of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Expression of these changes in tropical marine ecosystems is poorly understood because of sparse observational datasets. We link contemporary ecological changes in the southern Caribbean Sea to global climate change indices. Monthly observations from the CARIACO Ocean Time-Series between 1996 and 2010 document significant decadal scale trends, including a net sea surface temperature (SST) rise of ∼1.0 ± 0.14 °C (±SE), intensified stratification, reduced delivery of upwelled nutrients to surface waters, and diminished phytoplankton bloom intensities evident as overall declines in chlorophyll a concentrations (ΔChla = -2.8 ± 0.5%⋅y(-1)) and net primary production (ΔNPP = -1.5 ± 0.3%⋅y(-1)). Additionally, phytoplankton taxon dominance shifted from diatoms, dinoflagellates, and coccolithophorids to smaller taxa after 2004, whereas mesozooplankton biomass increased and commercial landings of planktivorous sardines collapsed. Collectively, our results reveal an ecological state change in this planktonic system. The weakening trend in Trade Winds (-1.9 ± 0.3%⋅y(-1)) and dependent local variables are largely explained by trends in two climatic indices, namely the northward migration of the Azores High pressure center (descending branch of Hadley cell) by 1.12 ± 0.42°N latitude and the northeasterly progression of the ITCZ Atlantic centroid (ascending branch of Hadley cell), the March position of which shifted by about 800 km between 1996 and 2009.

  5. Ecosystem responses in the southern Caribbean Sea to global climate change.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Gordon T; Muller-Karger, Frank E; Thunell, Robert C; Scranton, Mary I; Astor, Yrene; Varela, Ramon; Ghinaglia, Luis Troccoli; Lorenzoni, Laura; Fanning, Kent A; Hameed, Sultan; Doherty, Owen

    2012-11-20

    Over the last few decades, rising greenhouse gas emissions have promoted poleward expansion of the large-scale atmospheric Hadley circulation that dominates the Tropics, thereby affecting behavior of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Expression of these changes in tropical marine ecosystems is poorly understood because of sparse observational datasets. We link contemporary ecological changes in the southern Caribbean Sea to global climate change indices. Monthly observations from the CARIACO Ocean Time-Series between 1996 and 2010 document significant decadal scale trends, including a net sea surface temperature (SST) rise of ∼1.0 ± 0.14 °C (±SE), intensified stratification, reduced delivery of upwelled nutrients to surface waters, and diminished phytoplankton bloom intensities evident as overall declines in chlorophyll a concentrations (ΔChla = -2.8 ± 0.5%⋅y(-1)) and net primary production (ΔNPP = -1.5 ± 0.3%⋅y(-1)). Additionally, phytoplankton taxon dominance shifted from diatoms, dinoflagellates, and coccolithophorids to smaller taxa after 2004, whereas mesozooplankton biomass increased and commercial landings of planktivorous sardines collapsed. Collectively, our results reveal an ecological state change in this planktonic system. The weakening trend in Trade Winds (-1.9 ± 0.3%⋅y(-1)) and dependent local variables are largely explained by trends in two climatic indices, namely the northward migration of the Azores High pressure center (descending branch of Hadley cell) by 1.12 ± 0.42°N latitude and the northeasterly progression of the ITCZ Atlantic centroid (ascending branch of Hadley cell), the March position of which shifted by about 800 km between 1996 and 2009. PMID:23071299

  6. Shifts in the diet of Lake Ontario alewife in response to ecosystem change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stewart, T.J.; Sprules, W.G.; O'Gorman, R.

    2009-01-01

    In the 1990s, the Lake Ontario ecosystem was dramatically altered due to continued invasions of exotic species including dreissenid mussels and predatory cladocerans. We describe the diet and biomass of prey in the stomachs of adult (≥ 109 mm TL) and sub-adult (Alosa pseudoharengus) in 2004 and 2005 across seasons and depths and compare our results to data from 1972 to 1988. During 2004 and 2005, adult alewife consumed primarily zooplankton prey at bottom depth zones Mysis at bottom depth zones > 70 m. Mysis dominated the diets of adult alewife in all seasons except during the summer of 2004 when zooplankton dominated. Mysis dominated the diets of sub-adult alewife during early and late spring and zooplankton dominated the diets in summer and fall. Bythotrephes and Cercopagis were observed in the diets of both sub-adult and adult alewife. Diporeia was observed only rarely in adult alewife diets. The biomass of prey in alewife stomachs varied seasonally and increased with bottom depth for adult alewife. Alewife diets in 2004–2005 differed from those in 1972 and 1988 with an increase in the prevalence of Mysis, and a decline in the prevalence of zooplankton. The biomass of prey in adult alewife stomachs declined in 2004 and 2005 compared to 1972 and 1988, at bottom depth zones 70 m suggesting reduced food availability closer to shore. We hypothesize that consumption levels at the shallower depth zones, as indicated by very low biomass of prey in alewife stomachs, may not be sufficient to sustain alewife growth. The increased prevalence of Mysis and common occurrence of predatory cladocerans in the diet of alewife means that alewife have shifted to a higher trophic position.

  7. A Resource Cost Aware Cumulative

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simonis, Helmut; Hadzic, Tarik

    We motivate and introduce an extension of the well-known cumulative constraint which deals with time and volume dependent cost of resources. Our research is primarily interested in scheduling problems under time and volume variable electricity costs, but the constraint equally applies to manpower scheduling when hourly rates differ over time and/or extra personnel incur higher hourly rates. We present a number of possible lower bounds on the cost, including a min-cost flow, different LP and MIP models, as well as greedy algorithms, and provide a theoretical and experimental comparison of the different methods.

  8. Stream ecosystem response to chronic deposition of N and acid at the Bear Brook Watershed, Maine.

    PubMed

    Simon, Kevin S; Chadwick, Michael A; Huryn, Alexander D; Valett, H Maurice

    2010-12-01

    The Bear Brook Watershed in Maine (BBWM) is a long-term, paired watershed experiment that addresses the effects of acid and nitrogen (N) deposition on whole watersheds. To examine stream response at BBWM, we synthesized data on organic matter dynamics, including leaf breakdown rates, organic matter inputs and standing stocks, macroinvertebrate secondary production, and nutrient uptake in treated and reference streams at the BBWM. While N concentrations in stream water and leaves have increased, the input, standing stocks, and breakdown rates of leaves, as well as macroinvertebrate production, were not responsive to acid and N deposition. Both chronic and acute increases of N availability have saturated uptake of nitrate in the streams. Recent experimental increases in phosphorus (P) availability enhanced stream capacity to take up nitrate and altered the character of N saturation. These results show how the interactive effects of multiple factors, including environmental flow regime, acidification, and P availability, may constrain stream response to chronic N deposition.

  9. Predicting the response of a temperate forest ecosystem to atmospheric CO[sub 2] increase

    SciTech Connect

    Bazzaz, F.A.

    1993-01-01

    This report summarizes the second year of research progress. Included are progress reports for the following studies: the responses of temperate forest tree to 3 years of exposure to elevated carbon dioxide, and high and low nutrient and light levels; pot-size limitations in carbon dioxide studies, interactive effects of carbon dioxide and soil moisture availability on tree seedling's tissue water relations, growth, and niche characteristics; individual versus population responses to elevated carbon dioxide levels in two species of annual weeds; and the development of gypsy moth larvae raised on gray and yellow birth foliage grown in ambient and elevated carbon dioxide environments.

  10. Predicting the response of a temperate forest ecosystem to atmospheric CO sub 2 increase

    SciTech Connect

    Bazzaz, F.A.

    1991-01-01

    All research goals for the current year have been met. We have prepared eight manuscripts reporting these discoveries. Individual projects have determined: Soil volume is not critical to the decline of photosynthetic rates under elevated CO{sub 2}. However, the shape, as well as the size, exerts a strong influence on growth in response to elevated CO{sub 2}, but this response is variable dependent on the species. Elevated CO{sub 2} may increase the growth of shade-tolerant trees to a greater extent than shade-intolerant trees. All birch trees examined responded in a similar positive way to a doubling of CO{sub 2}, but only yellow birch showed an increase in survival. Seedling regeneration in a New England deciduous forest may be altered by future CO{sub 2} levels. Plants grown in a high CO{sub 2} atmosphere altered their physiological functions, growth rates, biomass, and allometric growth patterns, probably influencing individual survival and plant/plant interactions within a community. The changes in photosynthetic rate (Ps) in response to elevated CO{sub 2} may involve alteration of multiple physiological characteristics. Growth enhancement in elevated CO{sub 2} is contingent on soil moisture conditions. Model simulations show increases in plant survival under elevated CO{sub 2} can have unexpected results on population dynamics. Finally, CO{sub 2} levels do not affect the heat shock response. Future experiments are described. 21 refs., 1 tab. (MHB)

  11. What’s still hot?: Cross-ecosystem diversity responses a decade after fire

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The intermediate disturbance hypothesis predicts plant diversity to be highest after fire with moderate burn severity. Previous studies have found variable effects of burn severity on plant diversity in the short-term; however, little is known about long-term (~10 years) plant community responses to...

  12. Does an understanding of ecosystems responses to rainfall pulses improve predictions of responses of drylands to climate change?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Drylands will experience more intense and frequent droughts and floods. Ten-year field experiments manipulating the amount and variability of precipitation suggest that we cannot predict responses of drylands to climate change based on pulse experimentation. Long-term drought experiments showed no e...

  13. A paradox of cumulative culture.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Yutaka; Wakano, Joe Yuichiro; Ohtsuki, Hisashi

    2015-08-21

    Culture can grow cumulatively if socially learnt behaviors are improved by individual learning before being passed on to the next generation. Previous authors showed that this kind of learning strategy is unlikely to be evolutionarily stable in the presence of a trade-off between learning and reproduction. This is because culture is a public good that is freely exploited by any member of the population in their model (cultural social dilemma). In this paper, we investigate the effect of vertical transmission (transmission from parents to offspring), which decreases the publicness of culture, on the evolution of cumulative culture in both infinite and finite population models. In the infinite population model, we confirm that culture accumulates largely as long as transmission is purely vertical. It turns out, however, that introduction of even slight oblique transmission drastically reduces the equilibrium level of culture. Even more surprisingly, if the population size is finite, culture hardly accumulates even under purely vertical transmission. This occurs because stochastic extinction due to random genetic drift prevents a learning strategy from accumulating enough culture. Overall, our theoretical results suggest that introducing vertical transmission alone does not really help solve the cultural social dilemma problem.

  14. A paradox of cumulative culture.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Yutaka; Wakano, Joe Yuichiro; Ohtsuki, Hisashi

    2015-08-21

    Culture can grow cumulatively if socially learnt behaviors are improved by individual learning before being passed on to the next generation. Previous authors showed that this kind of learning strategy is unlikely to be evolutionarily stable in the presence of a trade-off between learning and reproduction. This is because culture is a public good that is freely exploited by any member of the population in their model (cultural social dilemma). In this paper, we investigate the effect of vertical transmission (transmission from parents to offspring), which decreases the publicness of culture, on the evolution of cumulative culture in both infinite and finite population models. In the infinite population model, we confirm that culture accumulates largely as long as transmission is purely vertical. It turns out, however, that introduction of even slight oblique transmission drastically reduces the equilibrium level of culture. Even more surprisingly, if the population size is finite, culture hardly accumulates even under purely vertical transmission. This occurs because stochastic extinction due to random genetic drift prevents a learning strategy from accumulating enough culture. Overall, our theoretical results suggest that introducing vertical transmission alone does not really help solve the cultural social dilemma problem. PMID:25979371

  15. Response of Florida shelf ecosystems to climate change: from macro to micro scales

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Robbins, Lisa; Raabe, Ellen

    2010-01-01

    U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) research in St. Petersburg, Fla., is focusing attention on marine environments of the Florida shelf at three levels, from regional to estuarine to the individual organism. The USGS is partnering on this project with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the University of South Florida (USF) in marine studies. The specific goals of these combined efforts are an improved understanding of the effects of ocean acidification on regional carbonate processes, changes in individual estuaries, and organism-level response. This understanding will assist in developing appropriate Federal, State, and local management responses to climate change in coastal areas.

  16. Plant community responses to precipitation and spatial pattern of nitrogen supply in an experimental grassland ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Xi, Nianxun; Carrère, Pascal; Bloor, Juliette M G

    2015-06-01

    Recent work suggests that soil nutrient heterogeneity may modulate plant responses to drivers of global change, but interactions between N heterogeneity and changes in rainfall regime remain poorly understood. We used a model grassland system to investigate the interactive effects of N application pattern (homogeneous, heterogeneous) and precipitation-magnitude manipulation during the growing season (control, +50 % rainfall, -50 % rainfall) on aboveground biomass and plant community dominance patterns. Our study resulted in four major findings: patchy N addition increased within-plot variability in plant size structure at the species level, but did not alter total aboveground biomass; patchy N addition increased community dominance and caused a shift in the ranking of subordinate plant species; unlike community-level biomass, plant species differed in their biomass response to the rainfall treatments; and neither aboveground biomass nor community dominance showed significant interactions between N pattern and rainfall manipulation, suggesting that grassland responses to patchy N inputs are insensitive to water addition or rainfall reduction in our temperate study system. Overall, our results indicate that the spatial pattern of N inputs has greater effects on species biomass variability and community dominance than on aboveground production. These short-term changes in plant community structure may have significant implications for longer-term patterns of vegetation dynamics and plant-soil feedbacks. Moreover our results suggest that the magnitude of precipitation during the growing season plays a limited role in grassland responses to heterogeneous organic N inputs, emphasizing the need to consider other components of precipitation change in future heterogeneity studies.

  17. Shale Gas Development and Brook Trout: Scaling Best Management Practices to Anticipate Cumulative Effects

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, David; Snyder, Craig D.; Hitt, Nathaniel P.; Young, John A.; Faulkner, Stephen P.

    2012-01-01

    Shale gas development may involve trade-offs between energy development and benefits provided by natural ecosystems. However, current best management practices (BMPs) focus on mitigating localized ecological degradation. We review evidence for cumulative effects of natural gas development on brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) and conclude that BMPs should account for potential watershed-scale effects in addition to localized influences. The challenge is to develop BMPs in the face of uncertainty in the predicted response of brook trout to landscape-scale disturbance caused by gas extraction. We propose a decision-analysis approach to formulating BMPs in the specific case of relatively undisturbed watersheds where there is consensus to maintain brook trout populations during gas development. The decision analysis was informed by existing empirical models that describe brook trout occupancy responses to landscape disturbance and set bounds on the uncertainty in the predicted responses to shale gas development. The decision analysis showed that a high efficiency of gas development (e.g., 1 well pad per square mile and 7 acres per pad) was critical to achieving a win-win solution characterized by maintaining brook trout and maximizing extraction of available gas. This finding was invariant to uncertainty in predicted response of brook trout to watershed-level disturbance. However, as the efficiency of gas development decreased, the optimal BMP depended on the predicted response, and there was considerable potential value in discriminating among predictive models through adaptive management or research. The proposed decision-analysis framework provides an opportunity to anticipate the cumulative effects of shale gas development, account for uncertainty, and inform management decisions at the appropriate spatial scales.

  18. (When and where) Do extreme climate events trigger extreme ecosystem responses? - Development and initial results of a holistic analysis framework

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hauber, Eva K.; Donner, Reik V.

    2015-04-01

    In the context of ongoing climate change, extremes are likely to increase in magnitude and frequency. One of the most important consequences of these changes is that the associated ecological risks and impacts are potentially rising as well. In order to better anticipate and understand these impacts, it therefore becomes more and more crucial to understand the general connection between climate extremes and the response and functionality of ecosystems. Among other region of the world, Europe presents an excellent test case for studies concerning the interaction between climate and biosphere, since it lies in the transition region between cold polar and warm tropical air masses and thus covers a great variety of different climatic zones and associated terrestrial ecosystems. The large temperature differences across the continent make this region particularly interesting for investigating the effects of climate change on biosphere-climate interactions. However, previously used methods for defining an extreme event typically disregard the necessity of taking seasonality as well as seasonal variance appropriately into account. Furthermore, most studies have focused on the impacts of individual extreme events instead of considering a whole inventory of extremes with their respective spatio-temporal extents. In order to overcome the aforementioned research gaps, this work introduces a new approach to studying climate-biosphere interactions associated with extreme events, which comprises three consecutive steps: (1) Since Europe exhibits climatic conditions characterized by marked seasonality, a novel method is developed to define extreme events taking into account the seasonality in all quantiles of the probability distribution of the respective variable of interest. This is achieved by considering kernel density estimates individually for each observation date during the year, including the properly weighted information from adjacent dates. By this procedure, we obtain

  19. A framework for adaptive monitoring of the cumulative effects of human footprint on biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Burton, A Cole; Huggard, David; Bayne, Erin; Schieck, Jim; Sólymos, Péter; Muhly, Tyler; Farr, Dan; Boutin, Stan

    2014-06-01

    Effective ecological monitoring is imperative in a human-dominated world, as our ability to manage functioning ecosystems will depend on understanding biodiversity responses to anthropogenic impacts. Yet, most monitoring efforts have either been narrowly focused on particular sites, species and stressors - thus inadequately considering the cumulative effects of multiple, interacting impacts at scales of management relevance - or too unfocused to provide specific guidance. We propose a cumulative effects monitoring framework that integrates multi-scaled surveillance of trends in biodiversity and land cover with targeted evaluation of hypothesized drivers of change. The framework is grounded in a flexible conceptual model and uses monitoring to generate and test empirical models that relate the status of diverse taxonomic groups to the nature and extent of human "footprint" and other landscape attributes. An adaptive cycle of standardized sampling, model development, and model evaluation provides a means to learn about the system and guide management. Additional benefits of the framework include standardized data on status and trend for a wide variety of biodiversity elements, spatially explicit models for regional planning and scenario evaluation, and identification of knowledge gaps for complementary research. We describe efforts to implement the framework in Alberta, Canada, through the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute, and identify key challenges to be addressed.

  20. Snowmelt as a driver of ecosystem response in water limited mountain forests of the Western U.S.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molotch, N. P.; Trujillo, E.

    2015-12-01

    Recent large-scale changes in snow cover over Western North America associated with climate warming may have widespread impacts on water availability. These changes have potentially varied impacts on water availability as snowmelt influences, soil moisture, streamflow, and evapotranspiration. These changes may significantly alter runoff production and gross primary productivity in mountain forests. Analysis of remotely sensed and in situ soil moisture data indicate strong sensitivities of the timing of peak soil moisture to the timing of snowmelt. Observations of vegetation greenness indicate strong forest and understory growth dependencies associated with snow accumulation, snowmelt, and soil moisture with peak snow water equivalent explaining 40-50% of inter-annual greenness variability in the Rocky Mountains. Examples of these dependencies will be presented based on the 2012 drought in the Southwestern US whereby near record low snow accumulation and record high potential evapotranspiration have resulted in record low forest greening as evident in the 30+ year satellite record. Forest response to aridity in 2012 was exacerbated by forest disturbance with greenness anomalies 90% greater in magnitude in Bark Beetle and Spruce Budworm affected areas versus undisturbed areas and 182% greater in magnitude in areas impacted by fire. Greenness sensitivities to aridity showed seasonal dependencies with record high Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) values in April (14% above average) and record low NDVI values in July (7% below average). Gross primary productivity estimates from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and from the Niwot Ridge, Colorado Ameriflux tower indicate record high April GPP (30% and 90% above average for MODIS and the tower, respectively) and record low July GPP (19% and 30% below average, respectively). These energy, water, ecosystem relationships indicate that the sensitivity of ecosystems to changes in climate is

  1. Response of a tundra ecosystem to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and CO{sub 2}-induced climate change. Progress report

    SciTech Connect

    Oechel, W.C.

    1992-04-01

    This report presents the progress on the DOE funded project: ``Response of a Tundra Ecosystem to Elevated Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and CO{sub 2}-Induced Climate Change.`` The current funding cycle was initiated on September 1, 1989, to run through August 31, 1992. There was an initial reduction in scope dictated by budget availabilities, primarily manipulations of CO{sub 2}, temperature and nutrients at a wet tundra located at Barrow Alaska. These experiments still need to be done over the mid- to longer term in order to accurately predict, apriori, the effects of climate change on the arctic tundra as well as possible feedbacks. Coordination and cooperation with other agencies was initiated in 1990 and formally proposed in our 1991 renewal at the national and international level and has become an important aspect of the research. To accurately and precisely scale plot and transect measurements to the circumpolar tundra is beyond the scope of the current DOE project. It is possible, however to determine the patterns and controls of CO{sub 2} flux from the current circumpolar arctic tundra with the involvement of additional agencies and governments. Results from the past two years of this project confirm that the arctic has become a source of CO{sub 2} to the atmosphere. This change coincides with recent climatic variation in the arctic, and suggest a positive feedback of arctic ecosystems on atmospheric CO{sub 2} and global change. Measurements along a latitudinal gradient across the north slope of Alaska indicate a loss of carbon from tussock tundra and wet tundra, decreasing in magnitude along a decreasing gradient of temperature but an increasing gradient in soil moisture. These data are in agreement with work done on tussock tundra in 1983{endash}85 and 1987.

  2. Response of a tundra ecosystem to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and CO sub 2 -induced climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Oechel, W.C.

    1992-04-01

    This report presents the progress on the DOE funded project: Response of a Tundra Ecosystem to Elevated Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and CO{sub 2}-Induced Climate Change.'' The current funding cycle was initiated on September 1, 1989, to run through August 31, 1992. There was an initial reduction in scope dictated by budget availabilities, primarily manipulations of CO{sub 2}, temperature and nutrients at a wet tundra located at Barrow Alaska. These experiments still need to be done over the mid- to longer term in order to accurately predict, apriori, the effects of climate change on the arctic tundra as well as possible feedbacks. Coordination and cooperation with other agencies was initiated in 1990 and formally proposed in our 1991 renewal at the national and international level and has become an important aspect of the research. To accurately and precisely scale plot and transect measurements to the circumpolar tundra is beyond the scope of the current DOE project. It is possible, however to determine the patterns and controls of CO{sub 2} flux from the current circumpolar arctic tundra with the involvement of additional agencies and governments. Results from the past two years of this project confirm that the arctic has become a source of CO{sub 2} to the atmosphere. This change coincides with recent climatic variation in the arctic, and suggest a positive feedback of arctic ecosystems on atmospheric CO{sub 2} and global change. Measurements along a latitudinal gradient across the north slope of Alaska indicate a loss of carbon from tussock tundra and wet tundra, decreasing in magnitude along a decreasing gradient of temperature but an increasing gradient in soil moisture. These data are in agreement with work done on tussock tundra in 1983{endash}85 and 1987.

  3. Contrasting responses of forest ecosystems to rising atmospheric CO2: Implications for the global C cycle

    SciTech Connect

    Norby, Richard J; DeLucia, E. H.; Moore, D J

    2005-01-01

    In two parallel but independent experiments, Free Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) technology was used to expose plots within contrasting evergreen loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) and deciduous sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua L.) forests to the level of CO2 anticipated in 2050. Net primary production (NPP) and net ecosystem production (NEP) increased in both forests. In the year 2000, after exposing pine and sweetgum to elevated CO2 for approximately 5 and 3 years, a complete budget calculation revealed increases in net ecosystem production (NEP) of 41% and 44% in the pine forest and sweetgum forest, respectively, representing the storage of an additional 174 gC m-2 and 128 gC m-2 in these forests. The stimulation of NPP without corresponding increases in leaf area index or light absorption in either forest resulted in 23-27% stimulation in radiation-use efficiency, defined as NPP per unit absorbed photosynthetically active radiation. Greater plant respiration contributed to lower NPP in the loblolly pine forest than in the sweetgum forest, and these forests responded differently to CO2 enrichment. Where the pine forest added C primarily to long-lived woody tissues, exposure to elevated CO2 caused a large increase in the production of labile fine roots in the sweetgum forest. Greater allocation to more labile tissues may cause more rapid cycling of C back to the atmosphere in the sweetgum forest compared to the pine forest. Imbalances in the N cycle may reduce the response of these forests to experimental exposure to elevated CO2 in the future, but even at the current stimulation observed for these forests, the effect of changes in land use on C sequestration are likely to be larger than the effect of CO2-induced growth stimulation.

  4. Biogeochemistry and ecosystems of continental margins in the western North Pacific Ocean and their interactions and responses to external forcing - an overview and synthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, K.-K.; Kang, C.-K.; Kobari, T.; Liu, H.; Rabouille, C.; Fennel, K.

    2014-07-01

    In this special issue we examine the biogeochemical conditions and marine ecosystems in the major marginal seas of the western North Pacific Ocean, namely, the East China Sea, the Japan/East Sea to its north and the South China Sea to its south. They are all subject to strong climate forcing as well as anthropogenic impacts. On the one hand, continental margins in this region are bordered by the world's most densely populated coastal communities and receive tremendous amounts of land derived materials. On the other hand, the Kuroshio, the strong western boundary current, which is modulated by climate oscillation, exerts strong influences over all three marginal seas. Because these continental margins sustain arguably the most productive marine ecosystems, changes in these stressed ecosystems may threaten the livelihood of a large human population. This special issue reports the latest observations of the biogeochemical conditions and ecosystem functions in the three marginal seas. The studies exemplify many faceted ecosystem functions and biogeochemical expressions, but they reveal only a few long term trends mainly due to lack of long term records. It is critical to develop and sustain time series observations in order to detect biogeochemical changes and ecosystem responses in continental margins and to attribute the causes for better management of the environment and resources in these marginal seas.

  5. Biogeochemistry and ecosystems of continental margins in the western North Pacific Ocean and their interactions and responses to external forcing - an overview and synthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, K.-K.; Kang, C.-K.; Kobari, T.; Liu, H.; Rabouille, C.; Fennel, K.

    2014-12-01

    In this special issue we examine the biogeochemical conditions and marine ecosystems in the major marginal seas of the western North Pacific Ocean, namely, the East China Sea, the Japan/East Sea to its north and the South China Sea to its south. They are all subject to strong climate forcing as well as anthropogenic impacts. On the one hand, continental margins in this region are bordered by the world's most densely populated coastal communities and receive tremendous amount of land-derived materials. On the other hand, the Kuroshio, the strong western boundary current of the North Pacific Ocean, which is modulated by climate oscillation, exerts strong influences over all three marginal seas. Because these continental margins sustain arguably some of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world, changes in these stressed ecosystems may threaten the livelihood of a large population of humans. This special issue reports the latest observations of the biogeochemical conditions and ecosystem functions in the three marginal seas. The studies exemplify the many faceted ecosystem functions and biogeochemical expressions, but they reveal only a few long-term trends mainly due to lack of sufficiently long records of well-designed observations. It is critical to develop and sustain time series observations in order to detect biogeochemical changes and ecosystem responses in continental margins and to attribute the causes for better management of the environment and resources in these marginal seas.

  6. A coupled carbon and plant hydraulic model to predict ecosystem carbon and water flux responses to disturbance and environmental change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mackay, D. S.; Ewers, B. E.; Roberts, D. E.; McDowell, N. G.; Pendall, E.; Frank, J. M.; Reed, D. E.; Massman, W. J.; Mitra, B.

    2011-12-01

    Changing climate drivers including temperature, humidity, precipitation, and carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations directly control land surface exchanges of CO2 and water. In a profound way these responses are modulated by disturbances that are driven by or exacerbated by climate change. Predicting these changes is challenging given that the feedbacks between environmental controls, disturbances, and fluxes are complex. Flux data in areas of bark beetle outbreaks in the western U.S.A. show differential declines in carbon and water flux in response to the occlusion of xylem by associated fungi. For example, bark beetle infestation at the GLEES AmeriFlux site manifested in a decline in summer water use efficiency to 60% in the year after peak infestation compared to previous years, and no recovery of carbon uptake following a period of high vapor pressure deficit. This points to complex feedbacks between disturbance and differential ecosystem reaction and relaxation responses. Theory based on plant hydraulics and extending to include links to carbon storage and exhaustion has potential for explaining these dynamics with simple, yet rigorous models. In this spirit we developed a coupled model that combines an existing model of canopy water and carbon flow, TREES [e.g., Loranty et al., 2010], with the Sperry et al., [1998] plant hydraulic model. The new model simultaneously solves carbon uptake and losses along with plant hydraulics, and allows for testing specific hypotheses on feedbacks between xylem dysfunction, stomatal and non-stomatal controls on photosynthesis and carbon allocation, and autotrophic and heterotrophic respiration. These are constrained through gas exchange, root vulnerability to cavitation, sap flux, and eddy covariance data in a novel model complexity-testing framework. Our analysis focuses on an ecosystem gradient spanning sagebrush to subalpine forests. Our modeling results support hypotheses on feedbacks between hydraulic dysfunction and 1) non

  7. Life-history traits predict perennial species response to fire in a desert ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Shryock, Daniel F; DeFalco, Lesley A; Esque, Todd C

    2014-08-01

    The Mojave Desert of North America has become fire-prone in recent decades due to invasive annual grasses that fuel wildfires following years of high rainfall. Perennial species are poorly adapted to fire in this system, and post-fire shifts in species composition have been substantial but variable across community types. To generalize across a range of conditions, we investigated whether simple life-history traits could predict how species responded to fire. Further, we classified species into plant functional types (PFTs) based on combinations of life-history traits and evaluated whether these groups exhibited a consistent fire-response. Six life-history traits varied significantly between burned and unburned areas in short (up to 4 years) or long-term (up to 52 years) post-fire datasets, including growth form, lifespan, seed size, seed dispersal, height, and leaf longevity. Forbs and grasses consistently increased in abundance after fire, while cacti were reduced and woody species exhibited a variable response. Woody species were classified into three PFTs based on combinations of life-history traits. Species in Group 1 increased in abundance after fire and were characterized by short lifespans, small, wind-dispersed seeds, low height, and deciduous leaves. Species in Group 2 were reduced by fire and distinguished from Group 1 by longer lifespans and evergreen leaves. Group 3 species, which also decreased after fire, were characterized by long lifespans, large non-wind dispersed seeds, and taller heights. Our results show that PFTs based on life-history traits can reliably predict the responses of most species to fire in the Mojave Desert. Dominant, long-lived species of this region possess a combination of traits limiting their ability to recover, presenting a clear example of how a novel disturbance regime may shift selective environmental pressures to favor alternative life-history strategies. PMID:25247062

  8. Life-history traits predict perennial species response to fire in a desert ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Shryock, Daniel F; DeFalco, Lesley A; Esque, Todd C

    2014-01-01

    The Mojave Desert of North America has become fire-prone in recent decades due to invasive annual grasses that fuel wildfires following years of high rainfall. Perennial species are poorly adapted to fire in this system, and post-fire shifts in species composition have been substantial but variable across community types. To generalize across a range of conditions, we investigated whether simple life-history traits could predict how species responded to fire. Further, we classified species into plant functional types (PFTs) based on combinations of life-history traits and evaluated whether these groups exhibited a consistent fire-response. Six life-history traits varied significantly between burned and unburned areas in short (up to 4 years) or long-term (up to 52 years) post-fire datasets, including growth form, lifespan, seed size, seed dispersal, height, and leaf longevity. Forbs and grasses consistently increased in abundance after fire, while cacti were reduced and woody species exhibited a variable response. Woody species were classified into three PFTs based on combinations of life-history traits. Species in Group 1 increased in abundance after fire and were characterized by short lifespans, small, wind-dispersed seeds, low height, and deciduous leaves. Species in Group 2 were reduced by fire and distinguished from Group 1 by longer lifespans and evergreen leaves. Group 3 species, which also decreased after fire, were characterized by long lifespans, large non-wind dispersed seeds, and taller heights. Our results show that PFTs based on life-history traits can reliably predict the responses of most species to fire in the Mojave Desert. Dominant, long-lived species of this region possess a combination of traits limiting their ability to recover, presenting a clear example of how a novel disturbance regime may shift selective environmental pressures to favor alternative life-history strategies. PMID:25247062

  9. Life-history traits predict perennial species response to fire in a desert ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shryock, Daniel F.; DeFalco, Lesley A.; Esque, Todd C.

    2014-01-01

    The Mojave Desert of North America has become fire-prone in recent decades due to invasive annual grasses that fuel wildfires following years of high rainfall. Perennial species are poorly adapted to fire in this system, and post-fire shifts in species composition have been substantial but variable across community types. To generalize across a range of conditions, we investigated whether simple life-history traits could predict how species responded to fire. Further, we classified species into plant functional types (PFTs) based on combinations of life-history traits and evaluated whether these groups exhibited a consistent fire-response. Six life-history traits varied significantly between burned and unburned areas in short (up to 4 years) or long-term (up to 52 years) post-fire datasets, including growth form, lifespan, seed size, seed dispersal, height, and leaf longevity. Forbs and grasses consistently increased in abundance after fire, while cacti were reduced and woody species exhibited a variable response. Woody species were classified into three PFTs based on combinations of life-history traits. Species in Group 1 increased in abundance after fire and were characterized by short lifespans, small, wind-dispersed seeds, low height, and deciduous leaves. Species in Group 2 were reduced by fire and distinguished from Group 1 by longer lifespans and evergreen leaves. Group 3 species, which also decreased after fire, were characterized by long lifespans, large non-wind dispersed seeds, and taller heights. Our results show that PFTs based on life-history traits can reliably predict the responses of most species to fire in the Mojave Desert. Dominant, long-lived species of this region possess a combination of traits limiting their ability to recover, presenting a clear example of how a novel disturbance regime may shift selective environmental pressures to favor alternative life-history strategies.

  10. Evolutionary responses by native species to major anthropogenic changes to their ecosystems: Pacific salmon in the Columbia River hydropower system.

    PubMed

    Waples, Robin S; Zabel, Richard W; Scheuerell, Mark D; Sanderson, Beth L

    2008-01-01

    The human footprint is now large in all the Earth's ecosystems, and construction of large dams in major river basins is among the anthropogenic changes that have had the most profound ecological consequences, particularly for migratory fishes. In the Columbia River basin of the western USA, considerable effort has been directed toward evaluating demographic effects of dams, yet little attention has been paid to evolutionary responses of migratory salmon to altered selective regimes. Here we make a first attempt to address this information gap. Transformation of the free-flowing Columbia River into a series of slack-water reservoirs has relaxed selection for adults capable of migrating long distances upstream against strong flows; conditions now favour fish capable of migrating through lakes and finding and navigating fish ladders. Juveniles must now be capable of surviving passage through multiple dams or collection and transportation around the dams. River flow patterns deliver some groups of juvenile salmon to the estuary later than is optimal for ocean survival, but countervailing selective pressures might constrain an evolutionary response toward earlier migration timing. Dams have increased the cost of migration, which reduces energy available for sexual selection and favours a nonmigratory life history. Reservoirs are a benign environment for many non-native species that are competitors with or predators on salmon, and evolutionary responses are likely (but undocumented). More research is needed to tease apart the relative importance of evolutionary vs. plastic responses of salmon to these environmental changes; this research is logistically challenging for species with life histories like Pacific salmon, but results should substantially improve our understanding of key processes. If the Columbia River is ever returned to a quasinatural, free-flowing state, remaining populations might face a Darwinian debt (and temporarily reduced fitness) as they struggle to

  11. Evolutionary responses by native species to major anthropogenic changes to their ecosystems: Pacific salmon in the Columbia River hydropower system.

    PubMed

    Waples, Robin S; Zabel, Richard W; Scheuerell, Mark D; Sanderson, Beth L

    2008-01-01

    The human footprint is now large in all the Earth's ecosystems, and construction of large dams in major river basins is among the anthropogenic changes that have had the most profound ecological consequences, particularly for migratory fishes. In the Columbia River basin of the western USA, considerable effort has been directed toward evaluating demographic effects of dams, yet little attention has been paid to evolutionary responses of migratory salmon to altered selective regimes. Here we make a first attempt to address this information gap. Transformation of the free-flowing Columbia River into a series of slack-water reservoirs has relaxed selection for adults capable of migrating long distances upstream against strong flows; conditions now favour fish capable of migrating through lakes and finding and navigating fish ladders. Juveniles must now be capable of surviving passage through multiple dams or collection and transportation around the dams. River flow patterns deliver some groups of juvenile salmon to the estuary later than is optimal for ocean survival, but countervailing selective pressures might constrain an evolutionary response toward earlier migration timing. Dams have increased the cost of migration, which reduces energy available for sexual selection and favours a nonmigratory life history. Reservoirs are a benign environment for many non-native species that are competitors with or predators on salmon, and evolutionary responses are likely (but undocumented). More research is needed to tease apart the relative importance of evolutionary vs. plastic responses of salmon to these environmental changes;