Science.gov

Sample records for rapid ecosystem change

  1. Ecosystem stewardship: sustainability strategies for a rapidly changing planet.

    PubMed

    Chapin, F Stuart; Carpenter, Stephen R; Kofinas, Gary P; Folke, Carl; Abel, Nick; Clark, William C; Olsson, Per; Smith, D Mark Stafford; Walker, Brian; Young, Oran R; Berkes, Fikret; Biggs, Reinette; Grove, J Morgan; Naylor, Rosamond L; Pinkerton, Evelyn; Steffen, Will; Swanson, Frederick J

    2010-04-01

    Ecosystem stewardship is an action-oriented framework intended to foster the social-ecological sustainability of a rapidly changing planet. Recent developments identify three strategies that make optimal use of current understanding in an environment of inevitable uncertainty and abrupt change: reducing the magnitude of, and exposure and sensitivity to, known stresses; focusing on proactive policies that shape change; and avoiding or escaping unsustainable social-ecological traps. As we discuss here, all social-ecological systems are vulnerable to recent and projected changes but have sources of adaptive capacity and resilience that can sustain ecosystem services and human well-being through active ecosystem stewardship.

  2. Arctic Ecosystem Integrated Survey (Arctic Eis): Marine ecosystem dynamics in the rapidly changing Pacific Arctic Gateway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mueter, Franz J.; Weems, Jared; Farley, Edward V.; Sigler, Michael F.

    2017-01-01

    Arctic Marine Ecosystems are undergoing rapid changes associated with ice loss and surface warming resulting from human activities (IPCC, 2013). The most dramatic changes include an earlier ice retreat and a longer ice-free season, particularly on Arctic inflow shelves such as the Barents Sea in the Atlantic Arctic and the northern Bering Sea and Chukchi Sea in the Pacific Arctic, the two major gateways into the Arctic (Danielson et al., 2016; Frey et al., 2015; Serreze et al., 2007; Wood et al., 2015). The retreat of Arctic sea ice has opened access to the Arctic marine environment and its resources, particularly during summer, and among other changes has brought with it increased research activities. For the Pacific Arctic region, these activities have led to several recent compendiums examining physical, biogeochemical, and biological patterns and trends in this rapidly changing environment (Arrigo, 2015, 2016; Arrigo et al., 2014; Bluhm et al., 2010; Dunton et al., 2014; Grebmeier and Maslowski, 2014; Hopcroft and Day, 2013; Moore and Stabeno, 2015).

  3. Complex interactions in Lake Michigan’s rapidly changing ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vanderploeg, Henry A.; Bunnell, David B.; Carrick, Hunter J.; Hook, Tomas O.

    2015-01-01

    For over 30 years, Lake Michigan’s food web has been in a constant state of transition from reductions in nutrient loading and proliferation of invasive species at multiple trophic levels. In particular, there has been concern about impacts from the invasive predatory cercopagids (Bythotrephes longimanus and Cercopagis pengoi) and expanding dreissenid mussel and round goby populations. This special issue brings together papers that explore the status of the Lake Michigan food web and the factors responsible for these changes, and suggests research paths that must be taken for understanding and predicting system behavior. This introductory paper describes the special issue origin, presents an overview of the papers, and draws overarching conclusions from the papers.

  4. Rapid ecosystem change challenges the adaptive capacity of Local Environmental Knowledge

    PubMed Central

    Fernández-Llamazares, Álvaro; Díaz-Reviriego, Isabel; Luz, Ana C.; Cabeza, Mar; Pyhälä, Aili; Reyes-García, Victoria

    2015-01-01

    The use of Local Environmental Knowledge has been considered as an important strategy for adaptive management in the face of Global Environmental Change. However, the unprecedented rates at which global change occurs may pose a challenge to the adaptive capacity of local knowledge systems. In this paper, we use the concept of the shifting baseline syndrome to examine the limits in the adaptive capacity of the local knowledge of an indigenous society facing rapid ecosystem change. We conducted semi-structured interviews regarding perceptions of change in wildlife populations and in intergenerational transmission of knowledge amongst the Tsimane’, a group of hunter-gatherers of Bolivian Amazonia (n = 300 adults in 13 villages). We found that the natural baseline against which the Tsimane’ measure ecosystem changes might be shifting with every generation as a result of (a) age-related differences in the perception of change and (b) a decrease in the intergenerational sharing of environmental knowledge. Such findings suggest that local knowledge systems might not change at a rate quick enough to adapt to conditions of rapid ecosystem change, hence potentially compromising the adaptive success of the entire social-ecological system. With the current pace of Global Environmental Change, widening the gap between the temporal rates of on-going ecosystem change and the timescale needed for local knowledge systems to adjust to change, efforts to tackle the shifting baseline syndrome are urgent and critical for those who aim to use Local Environmental Knowledge as a tool for adaptive management. PMID:26097291

  5. Recent Rapid Climate Changes in Antarctic and Their Influence on Low Diversity Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chwedorzewska, Katarzyna

    2010-01-01

    The geographic position, astronomic factors (e.g. the Earth's maximum distance from the Sun during winter), ice cover and altitude are the main factors affecting the climate of the Antarctic, which is the coldest place on Earth. Parts of Antarctica are facing the most rapid rates of anthropogenic climate change currently seen on the planet. Climate changes are occurring throughout Antarctica, affecting three major groups of environmental variables of considerable biological significance: temperature, water, UV-B radiation. Low diversity ecosystems are expected to be more vulnerable to global changes than high diversity ecosystems.

  6. Recent Rapid Climate Changes in Antarctic and their Influence on Low Diversity Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chwedorzewska, Katarzyna J.

    2010-01-01

    The geographic position, astronomic factors (e.g. the Earth's maximum distance from the Sun during winter), ice cover and altitude are the main factors affecting the climate of the Antarctic, which is the coldest place on Earth. Parts of Antarctica are facing the most rapid rates of anthropogenic climate change currently seen on the planet. Climate changes are occurring throughout Antarctica, affecting three major groups of environmental variables of considerable biological significance: temperature, water, UV-B radiation. Low diversity ecosystems are expected to be more vulnerable to global changes than high diversity ecosystems

  7. Rapid emergence of climate change in environmental drivers of marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henson, Stephanie A.; Beaulieu, Claudie; Ilyina, Tatiana; John, Jasmin G.; Long, Matthew; Séférian, Roland; Tjiputra, Jerry; Sarmiento, Jorge L.

    2017-03-01

    Climate change is expected to modify ecological responses in the ocean, with the potential for important effects on the ecosystem services provided to humankind. Here we address the question of how rapidly multiple drivers of marine ecosystem change develop in the future ocean. By analysing an ensemble of models we find that, within the next 15 years, the climate change-driven trends in multiple ecosystem drivers emerge from the background of natural variability in 55% of the ocean and propagate rapidly to encompass 86% of the ocean by 2050 under a `business-as-usual' scenario. However, we also demonstrate that the exposure of marine ecosystems to climate change-induced stress can be drastically reduced via climate mitigation measures; with mitigation, the proportion of ocean susceptible to multiple drivers within the next 15 years is reduced to 34%. Mitigation slows the pace at which multiple drivers emerge, allowing an additional 20 years for adaptation in marine ecological and socio-economic systems alike.

  8. Rapid emergence of climate change in environmental drivers of marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Henson, Stephanie A; Beaulieu, Claudie; Ilyina, Tatiana; John, Jasmin G; Long, Matthew; Séférian, Roland; Tjiputra, Jerry; Sarmiento, Jorge L

    2017-03-07

    Climate change is expected to modify ecological responses in the ocean, with the potential for important effects on the ecosystem services provided to humankind. Here we address the question of how rapidly multiple drivers of marine ecosystem change develop in the future ocean. By analysing an ensemble of models we find that, within the next 15 years, the climate change-driven trends in multiple ecosystem drivers emerge from the background of natural variability in 55% of the ocean and propagate rapidly to encompass 86% of the ocean by 2050 under a 'business-as-usual' scenario. However, we also demonstrate that the exposure of marine ecosystems to climate change-induced stress can be drastically reduced via climate mitigation measures; with mitigation, the proportion of ocean susceptible to multiple drivers within the next 15 years is reduced to 34%. Mitigation slows the pace at which multiple drivers emerge, allowing an additional 20 years for adaptation in marine ecological and socio-economic systems alike.

  9. Rapid emergence of climate change in environmental drivers of marine ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Henson, Stephanie A.; Beaulieu, Claudie; Ilyina, Tatiana; John, Jasmin G.; Long, Matthew; Séférian, Roland; Tjiputra, Jerry; Sarmiento, Jorge L.

    2017-01-01

    Climate change is expected to modify ecological responses in the ocean, with the potential for important effects on the ecosystem services provided to humankind. Here we address the question of how rapidly multiple drivers of marine ecosystem change develop in the future ocean. By analysing an ensemble of models we find that, within the next 15 years, the climate change-driven trends in multiple ecosystem drivers emerge from the background of natural variability in 55% of the ocean and propagate rapidly to encompass 86% of the ocean by 2050 under a ‘business-as-usual' scenario. However, we also demonstrate that the exposure of marine ecosystems to climate change-induced stress can be drastically reduced via climate mitigation measures; with mitigation, the proportion of ocean susceptible to multiple drivers within the next 15 years is reduced to 34%. Mitigation slows the pace at which multiple drivers emerge, allowing an additional 20 years for adaptation in marine ecological and socio-economic systems alike. PMID:28267144

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

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Reed C.; Rudd, John W. M.; Amyot, Marc; Babiarz, Christopher L.; Beaty, Ken G.; Blanchfield, Paul J.; Bodaly, R. A.; Branfireun, Brian A.; Gilmour, Cynthia C.; Graydon, Jennifer A.; Heyes, Andrew; Hintelmann, Holger; Hurley, James P.; Kelly, Carol A.; Krabbenhoft, David P.; Lindberg, Steve E.; Mason, Robert P.; Paterson, Michael J.; Podemski, Cheryl L.; Robinson, Art; Sandilands, Ken A.; Southworth, George R.; St. Louis, Vincent L.; Tate, Michael T.

    2007-01-01

    Methylmercury contamination of fisheries from centuries of industrial atmospheric emissions negatively impacts humans and wildlife 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. PMID:17901207

  11. 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.

  12. Net Ecosystem Exchange of CO2 with Rapidly Changing High Arctic Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emmerton, C. A.

    2015-12-01

    High Arctic landscapes are expansive and changing rapidly. However our understanding of their functional responses and potential to mitigate or enhance anthropogenic climate change is limited by few measurements. We collected eddy covariance measurements to quantify the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 with polar semidesert and meadow wetland landscapes at the highest-latitude location measured to date (82°N). We coupled these rare data with ground and satellite vegetation production measurements (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index; NDVI) to evaluate the effectiveness of upscaling local to regional NEE. During the growing season, the dry polar semidesert landscape was a near zero sink of atmospheric CO2 (NEE: -0.3±13.5 g C m-2). A nearby meadow wetland accumulated over two magnitudes more carbon (NEE: -79.3±20.0 g C m-2) than the polar semidesert landscape, and was similar to meadow wetland NEE at much more southern latitudes. Polar semidesert NEE was most influenced by moisture, with wetter surface soils resulting in greater soil respiration and CO2 emissions. At the meadow wetland, soil heating enhanced plant growth, which in turn increased CO2 uptake. Our upscaling assessment found that polar semidesert NDVI measured on site was low (mean: 0.120-0.157) and similar to satellite measurements (mean: 0.155-0.163). However, weak plant growth resulted in poor satellite NDVI-NEE relationships and created challenges for remotely-detecting changes in the cycling of carbon on the polar semidesert landscape. The meadow wetland appeared more suitable to assess plant production and NEE via remote-sensing, however high Arctic wetland extent is constrained by topography to small areas that may be difficult to resolve with large satellite pixels. We predict that until summer precipitation and humidity increases substantially, climate-related changes of dry high Arctic landscapes may be restricted by poor soil moisture retention, and therefore have some inertia against

  13. Net ecosystem exchange of CO2 with rapidly changing high Arctic landscapes.

    PubMed

    Emmerton, Craig A; St Louis, Vincent L; Humphreys, Elyn R; Gamon, John A; Barker, Joel D; Pastorello, Gilberto Z

    2016-03-01

    High Arctic landscapes are expansive and changing rapidly. However, our understanding of their functional responses and potential to mitigate or enhance anthropogenic climate change is limited by few measurements. We collected eddy covariance measurements to quantify the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 with polar semidesert and meadow wetland landscapes at the highest latitude location measured to date (82°N). We coupled these rare data with ground and satellite vegetation production measurements (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index; NDVI) to evaluate the effectiveness of upscaling local to regional NEE. During the growing season, the dry polar semidesert landscape was a near-zero sink of atmospheric CO2 (NEE: -0.3 ± 13.5 g C m(-2) ). A nearby meadow wetland accumulated over 300 times more carbon (NEE: -79.3 ± 20.0 g C m(-2) ) than the polar semidesert landscape, and was similar to meadow wetland NEE at much more southerly latitudes. Polar semidesert NEE was most influenced by moisture, with wetter surface soils resulting in greater soil respiration and CO2 emissions. At the meadow wetland, soil heating enhanced plant growth, which in turn increased CO2 uptake. Our upscaling assessment found that polar semidesert NDVI measured on-site was low (mean: 0.120-0.157) and similar to satellite measurements (mean: 0.155-0.163). However, weak plant growth resulted in poor satellite NDVI-NEE relationships and created challenges for remotely detecting changes in the cycling of carbon on the polar semidesert landscape. The meadow wetland appeared more suitable to assess plant production and NEE via remote sensing; however, high Arctic wetland extent is constrained by topography to small areas that may be difficult to resolve with large satellite pixels. We predict that until summer precipitation and humidity increases enough to offset poor soil moisture retention, climate-related changes to productivity on polar semideserts may be restricted.

  14. Rapid Morphological Change in the Masticatory Structures of an Important Ecosystem Service Provider.

    PubMed

    Doudna, John W; Danielson, Brent J

    2015-01-01

    Humans have altered the biotic and abiotic environmental conditions of most organisms. In some cases, such as intensive agriculture, an organism's entire ecosystem is converted to novel conditions. Thus, it is striking that some species continue to thrive under such conditions. The prairie deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus bairdii) is an example of such an organism, and so we sought to understand what role evolutionary adaptation played in the success of this species, with particular interest in adaptations to novel foods. In order to understand the evolutionary history of this species' masticatory structures, we examined the maxilla, zygomatic plate, and mandible of historic specimens collected prior to 1910 to specimens collected in 2012 and 2013. We found that mandibles, zygomatic plates, and maxilla have all changed significantly since 1910, and that morphological development has shifted significantly. We present compelling evidence that these differences are due to natural selection as a response to a novel and ubiquitous food source, waste grain (corn, Zea mays and soybean, Glycine max).

  15. Rapid Morphological Change in the Masticatory Structures of an Important Ecosystem Service Provider

    PubMed Central

    Doudna, John W.; Danielson, Brent J.

    2015-01-01

    Humans have altered the biotic and abiotic environmental conditions of most organisms. In some cases, such as intensive agriculture, an organism’s entire ecosystem is converted to novel conditions. Thus, it is striking that some species continue to thrive under such conditions. The prairie deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus bairdii) is an example of such an organism, and so we sought to understand what role evolutionary adaptation played in the success of this species, with particular interest in adaptations to novel foods. In order to understand the evolutionary history of this species’ masticatory structures, we examined the maxilla, zygomatic plate, and mandible of historic specimens collected prior to 1910 to specimens collected in 2012 and 2013. We found that mandibles, zygomatic plates, and maxilla have all changed significantly since 1910, and that morphological development has shifted significantly. We present compelling evidence that these differences are due to natural selection as a response to a novel and ubiquitous food source, waste grain (corn, Zea mays and soybean, Glycine max). PMID:26061880

  16. 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

  17. Benefits and costs of ecological restoration: Rapid assessment of changing ecosystem service values at a U.K. wetland.

    PubMed

    Peh, Kelvin S-H; Balmford, Andrew; Field, Rob H; Lamb, Anthony; Birch, Jennifer C; Bradbury, Richard B; Brown, Claire; Butchart, Stuart H M; Lester, Martin; Morrison, Ross; Sedgwick, Isabel; Soans, Chris; Stattersfield, Alison J; Stroh, Peter A; Swetnam, Ruth D; Thomas, David H L; Walpole, Matt; Warrington, Stuart; Hughes, Francine M R

    2014-10-01

    Restoration of degraded land is recognized by the international community as an important way of enhancing both biodiversity and ecosystem services, but more information is needed about its costs and benefits. In Cambridgeshire, U.K., a long-term initiative to convert drained, intensively farmed arable land to a wetland habitat mosaic is driven by a desire both to prevent biodiversity loss from the nationally important Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve (Wicken Fen NNR) and to increase the provision of ecosystem services. We evaluated the changes in ecosystem service delivery resulting from this land conversion, using a new Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-based Assessment (TESSA) to estimate biophysical and monetary values of ecosystem services provided by the restored wetland mosaic compared with the former arable land. Overall results suggest that restoration is associated with a net gain to society as a whole of $199 ha(-1)y(-1), for a one-off investment in restoration of $2320 ha(-1). Restoration has led to an estimated loss of arable production of $2040 ha(-1)y(-1), but estimated gains of $671 ha(-1)y(-1) in nature-based recreation, $120 ha(-1)y(-1) from grazing, $48 ha(-1)y(-1) from flood protection, and a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worth an estimated $72 ha(-1)y(-1). Management costs have also declined by an estimated $1325 ha(-1)y(-1). Despite uncertainties associated with all measured values and the conservative assumptions used, we conclude that there was a substantial gain to society as a whole from this land-use conversion. The beneficiaries also changed from local arable farmers under arable production to graziers, countryside users from towns and villages, and the global community, under restoration. We emphasize that the values reported here are not necessarily transferable to other sites.

  18. Benefits and costs of ecological restoration: Rapid assessment of changing ecosystem service values at a U.K. wetland

    PubMed Central

    Peh, Kelvin S-H; Balmford, Andrew; Field, Rob H; Lamb, Anthony; Birch, Jennifer C; Bradbury, Richard B; Brown, Claire; Butchart, Stuart H M; Lester, Martin; Morrison, Ross; Sedgwick, Isabel; Soans, Chris; Stattersfield, Alison J; Stroh, Peter A; Swetnam, Ruth D; Thomas, David H L; Walpole, Matt; Warrington, Stuart; Hughes, Francine M R

    2014-01-01

    Restoration of degraded land is recognized by the international community as an important way of enhancing both biodiversity and ecosystem services, but more information is needed about its costs and benefits. In Cambridgeshire, U.K., a long-term initiative to convert drained, intensively farmed arable land to a wetland habitat mosaic is driven by a desire both to prevent biodiversity loss from the nationally important Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve (Wicken Fen NNR) and to increase the provision of ecosystem services. We evaluated the changes in ecosystem service delivery resulting from this land conversion, using a new Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-based Assessment (TESSA) to estimate biophysical and monetary values of ecosystem services provided by the restored wetland mosaic compared with the former arable land. Overall results suggest that restoration is associated with a net gain to society as a whole of $199 ha−1y−1, for a one-off investment in restoration of $2320 ha−1. Restoration has led to an estimated loss of arable production of $2040 ha−1y−1, but estimated gains of $671 ha−1y−1 in nature-based recreation, $120 ha−1y−1 from grazing, $48 ha−1y−1 from flood protection, and a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worth an estimated $72 ha−1y−1. Management costs have also declined by an estimated $1325 ha−1y−1. Despite uncertainties associated with all measured values and the conservative assumptions used, we conclude that there was a substantial gain to society as a whole from this land-use conversion. The beneficiaries also changed from local arable farmers under arable production to graziers, countryside users from towns and villages, and the global community, under restoration. We emphasize that the values reported here are not necessarily transferable to other sites. PMID:25505517

  19. Rapid Recovery of Damaged Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Holly P.; Schmitz, Oswald J.

    2009-01-01

    Background Recent reports on the state of the global environment provide evidence that humankind is inflicting great damage to the very ecosystems that support human livelihoods. The reports further predict that ecosystems will take centuries to recover from damages if they recover at all. Accordingly, there is despair that we are passing on a legacy of irreparable damage to future generations which is entirely inconsistent with principles of sustainability. Methodology/Principal Findings We tested the prediction of irreparable harm using a synthesis of recovery times compiled from 240 independent studies reported in the scientific literature. We provide startling evidence that most ecosystems globally can, given human will, recover from very major perturbations on timescales of decades to half-centuries. Significance/Conclusions Accordingly, we find much hope that humankind can transition to more sustainable use of ecosystems. PMID:19471645

  20. Rapid, storm-induced changes in the natural abundance of sup 15 N in a planktonic ecosystem, Chesapeake Bay, USA

    SciTech Connect

    Montoya, J.P.; McCarthy, J.J. ); Horrigan, S.G. )

    1991-12-01

    Samples of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN), particulate nitrogen (PN), and two species of zooplankton were collected during two north-south transects of the Chesapeake Bay in the autumn of 1984 (27-28 September and 3-5 October). During the first transect, the natural abundance of {sup 15}N ({delta} {sup 15}N) in the major dissolved and planktonic pools of nitrogen suggested that the {delta}{sup 15}N of PN was largely determined by isotopic fractionation during uptake of NH{sub 4}{sup +} by phytoplankton. Averaged over the transect as a whole, the {delta}{sup 15}N of the herbivorous calanoid copepod Acartia tonsa was 4.1% higher than that of the PN, while the {delta}{sup 15}N of the carnivorous ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi was 6.4% higher than that of the PN. In the interval between the two transects, storm-induced mixing of the water column resulted in the injection of NH{sub 4}{sup +} into the surface layer of the bay. In combination with ancillary physical, chemical, and biological data, these changes in {delta}{sup 15}N provided estimates of the isotopic fractionation factor for NH{sub 4}{sup +} uptake by phytoplankton ({alpha} = 1.0065-1.0080) as well as the turnover time of nitrogen in Acartia tonsa (6.0-9.6 days). Despite the changes in {delta}{sup 15}N observed during this cruise, the relative distribution of {sup 15}N between trophic levels was preserved: during the second transect, the difference in {delta}{sup 15}N between Acartia tonsa and PN was 3.6%, and the difference in {delta}{sup 15}N between Mnemiopsis leidyi and PN was 7.3%. These results demonstrate that the natural abundance of {sup 15}N can change dramatically on a time scale of days, and that time-series studies of the natural abundance of {sup 15}N can be a useful complement to studies using tracer additions of {sup 15}N to document nitrogen transformations in planktonic ecosystems.

  1. The response of southern California ecosystems to Younger Dryas-like rapid climate change: Comparison of glacial terminations 1 and 5.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heusser, L. E.; Hendy, I. L.

    2015-12-01

    The Younger Dryas is a well-known rapid climatic cooling that interrupted the Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 1-2 deglacial warming of Termination 1. This cool event has been associated with ice sheet readvance, meridional overturning, circulation changes, and southward movement of the Intertropical Convergence Zone. In Southern California, the Younger Dryas has been associated with cooler SST, low marine productivity, a well-ventilated oxygen minimum zone, and a wetter climate. Similar rapid cooling events have been found at other terminations including Termination 5 at the MIS 11-12 deglaciation (~425 Ka) identified by ice rafting events in the North Atlantic. Here we present new pollen census data from a unique suite of cores taken from the sub-oxic sediments of Santa Barbara Basin (MV0508-15JC, MV0805-20JC, MV0508-33JC, 29JC and 21JC). These short cores, collected on a truncated anticline within SBB, provide the opportunity to examine the response of southern California terrestrial and marine ecosystems to rapid climate change during the MIS 11-12 deglaciation (Termination 5), which is identified by a bioturbated interval within a sequence of laminated sediments. During Termination 1, changes in Southern California precipitation are reflected in pollen- based reconstructions Southern California vegetation. The high precipitation of glacial montane-coniferous assemblages of pine (Pinus) and Juniper (Juniperus/Calocedrus) transitions into interglacial drought, as expresssed by arid oak (Quercus)/chaparral vegetation. The Younger Dryas interrupts the transition as a high-amplitude pulse in pine associated with increased Gramineae (grass). Termination 5 differs, as the high precipitation of glacial montane-coniferous assemblages do not transition into arid oak/chaparral vegetation. However, a Younger Dryas-like rapid climate event was associated with increased pine and grass.

  2. Towards a standardized Rapid Ecosystem Function Assessment (REFA).

    PubMed

    Meyer, Sebastian T; Koch, Christiane; Weisser, Wolfgang W

    2015-07-01

    Quantifying ecosystem functioning is important for both fundamental and applied ecological research. However, there is currently a gap between the data available and the data needed to address topical questions, such as the drivers of functioning in different ecosystems under global change or the best management to sustain provisioning of ecosystem functions and services. Here, we identify a set of important functions and propose a Rapid Ecosystem Function Assessment (REFA). The proposed methods were specifically selected to be low-tech, easy to use, repeatable, and cost efficient. Thus, REFA enables standardized and comparable measurements of proxies for these functions that can be used at a large scale within and across studies. Adopting REFA can help to close the identified ecosystem functioning data gap.

  3. COSMOS Sensors in Agricultural Ecosystems: Accounting for Rapid Changes in Biomass in Order to Monitor Root Zone Water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hornbuckle, B. K.; Irvin, S.; Franz, T. E.

    2013-12-01

    Cosmic rays from outer space produce neutrons in the atmosphere which are scattered and absorbed by hydrogen in the atmosphere, soil, and vegetation. The intensity of neutrons just above Earth's surface is inversely related to the hydrogen (and therefore water content) of the soil. Neutron detectors situated 2 m above the ground are sensitive to the soil water content of the top 30 cm. Daily estimates of soil water with an uncertainty of < 1% are possible. An individual neutron detector observes an area nearly 700 m in diameter. This spatial scale closely matches the scale of agricultural fields in the Midwest United States. We claim that future weather and climate models will need to resolve soil moisture at this field scale in order to best represent land-atmosphere interactions and subsequently improve forecasts of the soil moisture reservoir in this region. Using neutron detectors to observe soil moisture circumvents the problem of 'scaling up' point observations of soil moisture made with in-situ sensors like TDR or simple gravimetric sampling. The COSMOS (COsmic-ray Soil Moisture Observing System) is a network of nearly 60 neutron detectors deployed in a variety of ecosystems across the United States. Each detector is connected to the network through a satellite communication link and data is available in real-time via the web. The goal of the network is to eventually deploy 500 detectors and provide continental-scale observations of plant-available water. Recently it has been recognized that all hydrogen sources must be considered when interpreting neutron measurements. These sources include static pools of hydrogen (soil chemical composition, bound soil water, and soil organic matter), quasi-static pools (the water stored in vegetation, as well as vegetation dry matter), and transient pools (soil pore water, water vapor in the atmosphere, ponded water, snow, and possibly dew and intercepted precipitation). In the agricultural ecosystems of the Midwest, both

  4. Changing ecosystem service values following technological change.

    PubMed

    Honey-Rosés, Jordi; Schneider, Daniel W; Brozović, Nicholas

    2014-06-01

    Research on ecosystem services has focused mostly on natural areas or remote places, with less attention given to urban ecosystem services and their relationship with technological change. However, recent work by urban ecologists and urban designers has more closely examined and appreciated the opportunities associated with integrating natural and built infrastructures. Nevertheless, a perception remains in the literature on ecosystem services that technology may easily and irreversibly substitute for services previously obtained from ecosystems, especially when the superiority of the engineered system motivated replacement in the first place. We emphasize that the expected tradeoff between natural and manufactured capital is false. Rather, as argued in other contexts, the adoption of new technologies is complementary to ecosystem management. The complementarity of ecosystem services and technology is illustrated with a case study in Barcelona, Spain where the installation of sophisticated water treatment technology increased the value of the ecosystem services found there. Interestingly, the complementarity between natural and built infrastructures may remain even for the very ecosystems that are affected by the technological change. This finding suggests that we can expect the value of ecosystem services to co-evolve with new technologies. Technological innovation can generate new opportunities to harness value from ecosystems, and the engineered structures found in cities may generate more reliance on ecosystem processes, not less.

  5. Changing Ecosystem Service Values Following Technological Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Honey-Rosés, Jordi; Schneider, Daniel W.; Brozović, Nicholas

    2014-06-01

    Research on ecosystem services has focused mostly on natural areas or remote places, with less attention given to urban ecosystem services and their relationship with technological change. However, recent work by urban ecologists and urban designers has more closely examined and appreciated the opportunities associated with integrating natural and built infrastructures. Nevertheless, a perception remains in the literature on ecosystem services that technology may easily and irreversibly substitute for services previously obtained from ecosystems, especially when the superiority of the engineered system motivated replacement in the first place. We emphasize that the expected tradeoff between natural and manufactured capital is false. Rather, as argued in other contexts, the adoption of new technologies is complementary to ecosystem management. The complementarity of ecosystem services and technology is illustrated with a case study in Barcelona, Spain where the installation of sophisticated water treatment technology increased the value of the ecosystem services found there. Interestingly, the complementarity between natural and built infrastructures may remain even for the very ecosystems that are affected by the technological change. This finding suggests that we can expect the value of ecosystem services to co-evolve with new technologies. Technological innovation can generate new opportunities to harness value from ecosystems, and the engineered structures found in cities may generate more reliance on ecosystem processes, not less.

  6. Rapid climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Morantine, M.C.

    1995-12-31

    Interactions between insolation changes due to orbital parameter variations, carbon dioxide concentration variations, the rate of deep water formation in the North Atlantic and the evolution of the northern hemisphere ice sheets during the most recent glacial cycle will be investigated. In order to investigate this period, a climate model is being developed to evaluate the physical mechanisms thought to be most significant during this period. The description of the model sub-components will be presented. The more one knows about the interactions between the sub-components of the climate system during periods of documented rapid climate change, the better equipped one will be to make rational decisions on issues related to impacts on the environment. This will be an effort to gauge the feedback processes thought to be instrumental in rapid climate shifts documented in the past, and their potential to influence the current climate. 53 refs.

  7. Increased sensitivity to climate change in disturbed ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Kröel-Dulay, György; Ransijn, Johannes; Schmidt, Inger Kappel; Beier, Claus; De Angelis, Paolo; de Dato, Giovanbattista; Dukes, Jeffrey S; Emmett, Bridget; Estiarte, Marc; Garadnai, János; Kongstad, Jane; Kovács-Láng, Edit; Larsen, Klaus Steenberg; Liberati, Dario; Ogaya, Romà; Riis-Nielsen, Torben; Smith, Andrew R; Sowerby, Alwyn; Tietema, Albert; Penuelas, Josep

    2015-03-24

    Human domination of the biosphere includes changes to disturbance regimes, which push many ecosystems towards early-successional states. Ecological theory predicts that early-successional ecosystems are more sensitive to perturbations than mature systems, but little evidence supports this relationship for the perturbation of climate change. Here we show that vegetation (abundance, species richness and species composition) across seven European shrublands is quite resistant to moderate experimental warming and drought, and responsiveness is associated with the dynamic state of the ecosystem, with recently disturbed sites responding to treatments. Furthermore, most of these responses are not rapid (2-5 years) but emerge over a longer term (7-14 years). These results suggest that successional state influences the sensitivity of ecosystems to climate change, and that ecosystems recovering from disturbances may be sensitive to even modest climatic changes. A research bias towards undisturbed ecosystems might thus lead to an underestimation of the impacts of climate change.

  8. Changing Arctic ecosystems--research to understand and project changes in marine and terrestrial ecosystems of the Arctic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Geiselman, Joy; DeGange, Anthony R.; Oakley, Karen; Derksen, Dirk; Whalen, Mary

    2012-01-01

    Ecosystems and their wildlife communities are not static; they change and evolve over time due to numerous intrinsic and extrinsic factors. A period of rapid change is occurring in the Arctic for which our current understanding of potential ecosystem and wildlife responses is limited. Changes to the physical environment include warming temperatures, diminishing sea ice, increasing coastal erosion, deteriorating permafrost, and changing water regimes. These changes influence biological communities and the ways in which human communities interact with them. Through the new initiative Changing Arctic Ecosystems (CAE) the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) strives to (1) understand the potential suite of wildlife population responses to these physical changes to inform key resource management decisions such as those related to the Endangered Species Act, and (2) provide unique insights into how Arctic ecosystems are responding under new stressors. Our studies examine how and why changes in the ice-dominated ecosystems of the Arctic are affecting wildlife and will provide a better foundation for understanding the degree and manner in which wildlife species respond and adapt to rapid environmental change. Changes to Arctic ecosystems will be felt broadly because the Arctic is a production zone for hundreds of species that migrate south for the winter. The CAE initiative includes three major research themes that span Arctic ice-dominated ecosystems and that are structured to identify and understand the linkages between physical processes, ecosystems, and wildlife populations. The USGS is applying knowledge-based modeling structures such as Bayesian Networks to integrate the work.

  9. Changing Arctic ecosystems: ecology of loons in a changing Arctic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Uher-Koch, Brian; Schmutz, Joel; Whalen, Mary; Pearce, John M.

    2014-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Changing Arctic Ecosystems (CAE) initiative informs key resource management decisions for Arctic Alaska by providing scientific information on current and future ecosystem response to a changing climate. From 2010 to 2014, a key study area for the USGS CAE initiative has been the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska. This region has experienced rapid warming during the past 30 years, leading to the thawing of permafrost and changes to lake and river systems. These changes, and projections of continued change, have raised questions about effects on wildlife populations that rely on northern lake ecosystems, such as loons. Loons rely on freshwater lakes for nesting habitat and the fish and invertebrates inhabiting the lakes for food. Loons live within the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) on Alaska’s northern coast, where oil and gas development is expected to increase. Research by the USGS examines how breeding loons use the Arctic lake ecosystem and the capacity of loons to adapt to future landscape change.

  10. Using Ant Communities For Rapid Assessment Of Terrestrial Ecosystem Health

    SciTech Connect

    Wike, L

    2005-06-01

    health of the ecosystem. The IBI, though originally for Midwestern streams, has been successfully adapted to other ecoregions and taxa (macroinvertebrates, Lombard and Goldstein, 2004) and has become an important tool for scientists and regulatory agencies alike in determining health of stream ecosystems. The IBI is a specific type of a larger group of methods and procedures referred to as Rapid Bioassessment (RBA). These protocols have the advantage of directly measuring the organisms affected by system perturbations, thus providing an integrated evaluation of system health because the organisms themselves integrate all aspects of their environment and its condition. In addition to the IBI, the RBA concept has also been applied to seep wetlands (Paller et al. 2005) and terrestrial systems (O'Connell et al. 1998, Kremen et al. 1993, Rodriguez et al. 1998, Rosenberg et al. 1986). Terrestrial RBA methods have lagged somewhat behind those for aquatic systems because terrestrial systems are less distinctly defined and seem to have a less universal distribution of an all-inclusive taxon, such as fish in the IBI, upon which to base an RBA. In the last decade, primarily in Australia, extensive development of an RBA using ant communities has shown great promise. Ants have the same advantage for terrestrial RBAs that fish do for aquatic systems in that they are an essential and ubiquitous component of virtually all terrestrial ecosystems. They occupy a broad range of niches, functional groups, and trophic levels and they possess one very important characteristic that makes them ideal for RBA because, similar to the fishes, there is a wide range of tolerance to conditions within the larger taxa. Within ant communities there are certain groups, genera, or species that may be very robust and abundant under even the harshest impacts. There are also taxa that are very sensitive to disturbance and change and their presence or absence is also indicative of the local conditions. Also, as

  11. Sensitivity and Thresholds of Ecosystems to Abrupt Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peteet, D. M.; Peteet, D. M.

    2001-12-01

    Rapid vegetational change is a hallmark of past abrupt climate change, as evidenced from Younger Dryas records in Europe, eastern North America, and the Pacific North American rim. The potential response of future ecosystems to abrupt climate change is targeted, with a focus on particular changes in the hydrological cycle. The vulnerability of ecosystems is notable when particular shifts cross thresholds of precipitation and temperature, as many plants and animals are adapted to specific climatic "windows". Significant forest species compositional changes occur at ecotonal boundaries, which are often the first locations to record a climatic response. Historical forest declines have been linked to stress, and even Pleistocene extinctions have been associated with human interaction at times of rapid climatic shifts. Environmental extremes are risky for reproductive stages, and result in nonlinearities. The role of humans in association with abrupt climate change suggests that many ecosystems may cross thresholds from which they will find it difficult to recover. Sectors particularly vulnerable will be reviewed.

  12. Invertebrates, ecosystem services and climate change.

    PubMed

    Prather, Chelse M; Pelini, Shannon L; Laws, Angela; Rivest, Emily; Woltz, Megan; Bloch, Christopher P; Del Toro, Israel; Ho, Chuan-Kai; Kominoski, John; Newbold, T A Scott; Parsons, Sheena; Joern, A

    2013-05-01

    The sustainability of ecosystem services depends on a firm understanding of both how organisms provide these services to humans and how these organisms will be altered with a changing climate. Unquestionably a dominant feature of most ecosystems, invertebrates affect many ecosystem services and are also highly responsive to climate change. However, there is still a basic lack of understanding of the direct and indirect paths by which invertebrates influence ecosystem services, as well as how climate change will affect those ecosystem services by altering invertebrate populations. This indicates a lack of communication and collaboration among scientists researching ecosystem services and climate change effects on invertebrates, and land managers and researchers from other disciplines, which becomes obvious when systematically reviewing the literature relevant to invertebrates, ecosystem services, and climate change. To address this issue, we review how invertebrates respond to climate change. We then review how invertebrates both positively and negatively influence ecosystem services. Lastly, we provide some critical future directions for research needs, and suggest ways in which managers, scientists and other researchers may collaborate to tackle the complex issue of sustaining invertebrate-mediated services under a changing climate.

  13. Rapid Change and Legitimacy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waldman, Matthew

    2010-01-01

    The exit and entry of executive leadership presents a powerful moment. In the exit of leadership, an institution must reflect on both successes and failures. With a contentious exit, as was the case of John Bowen at Nelson College, which is presented in this chapter, the organization needs to understand what precipitated the call for change and…

  14. Impacts of land-use change to ecosystem services

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, Tom; Holcombe, Tracy R.

    2013-01-01

    Increasing human populations on the landscape and globe coincide with increasing demands for food, energy, and other natural resources, with generally negative impacts to wildlife habitat, air and water quality, and natural scenery. Here we define and describe the impacts of land-use change on ecosystem services – the services that ecosystems provide humans such as filtering air and water, providing food, resources, recreation, and esthetics. We show how the human footprint is rapidly expanding due to population growth, demand for resources, and globalization. Increased trade and transportation has brought all the continents back together, creating new challenges for conserving native species and ecosystems.

  15. Adapting California’s ecosystems to a changing climate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Elizabeth Chornesky,; David Ackerly,; Paul Beier,; Frank Davis,; Flint, Lorraine E.; Lawler, Joshua J.; Moyle, Peter B.; Moritz, Max A.; Scoonover, Mary; Byrd, Kristin B.; Alvarez, Pelayo; Heller, Nicole E.; Micheli, Elisabeth; Weiss, Stuart

    2017-01-01

    Significant efforts are underway to translate improved understanding of how climate change is altering ecosystems into practical actions for sustaining ecosystem functions and benefits. We explore this transition in California, where adaptation and mitigation are advancing relatively rapidly, through four case studies that span large spatial domains and encompass diverse ecological systems, institutions, ownerships, and policies. The case studies demonstrate the context specificity of societal efforts to adapt ecosystems to climate change and involve applications of diverse scientific tools (e.g., scenario analyses, downscaled climate projections, ecological and connectivity models) tailored to specific planning and management situations (alternative energy siting, wetland management, rangeland management, open space planning). They illustrate how existing institutional and policy frameworks provide numerous opportunities to advance adaptation related to ecosystems and suggest that progress is likely to be greatest when scientific knowledge is integrated into collective planning and when supportive policies and financing enable action.

  16. Extinction order and altered community structure rapidly disrupt ecosystem functioning.

    PubMed

    Larsen, Trond H; Williams, Neal M; Kremen, Claire

    2005-05-01

    By causing extinctions and altering community structure, anthropogenic disturbances can disrupt processes that maintain ecosystem integrity. However, the relationship between community structure and ecosystem functioning in natural systems is poorly understood. Here we show that habitat loss appeared to disrupt ecosystem functioning by affecting extinction order, species richness and abundance. We studied pollination by bees in a mosaic of agricultural and natural habitats in California and dung burial by dung beetles on recently created islands in Venezuela. We found that large-bodied bee and beetle species tended to be both most extinction-prone and most functionally efficient, contributing to rapid functional loss. Simulations confirmed that extinction order led to greater disruption of function than predicted by random species loss. Total abundance declined with richness and also appeared to contribute to loss of function. We demonstrate conceptually and empirically how the non-random response of communities to disturbance can have unexpectedly large functional consequences.

  17. Climate change, biotic interactions and ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Montoya, José M; Raffaelli, Dave

    2010-07-12

    Climate change is real. The wrangling debates are over, and we now need to move onto a predictive ecology that will allow managers of landscapes and policy makers to adapt to the likely changes in biodiversity over the coming decades. There is ample evidence that ecological responses are already occurring at the individual species (population) level. The challenge is how to synthesize the growing list of such observations with a coherent body of theory that will enable us to predict where and when changes will occur, what the consequences might be for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and what we might do practically in order to maintain those systems in as good condition as possible. It is thus necessary to investigate the effects of climate change at the ecosystem level and to consider novel emergent ecosystems composed of new species assemblages arising from differential rates of range shifts of species. Here, we present current knowledge on the effects of climate change on biotic interactions and ecosystem services supply, and summarize the papers included in this volume. We discuss how resilient ecosystems are in the face of the multiple components that characterize climate change, and suggest which current ecological theories may be used as a starting point to predict ecosystem-level effects of climate change.

  18. Multivariate Bioclimatic Ecosystem Change Approaches

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-02-06

    Headquarters, US Army Corps of Engineers Washington, DC 20314-1000 ERDC/CERL TR-15-2 ii Abstract Changes in climatic parameters are important in that they... climatic changes on specific installations. To support this need, the research tested and evaluated the application of six multivariate approach...techniques to predict climatic changes on a specific Army installation, Fort Benning, GA. The six approaches were tested for their ability to identify

  19. Impacts of Climate Change on Ecosystem Services

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ecosystems, and the biodiversity and services they support, are intrinsically dependent on climate. During the twentieth century, climate change has had documented impacts on ecological systems, and impacts are expected to increase as climate change continues and perhaps even accelerates. This techn...

  20. A probabilistic model of ecosystem response to climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Shevliakova, E.; Dowlatabadi, H.

    1994-12-31

    Anthropogenic activities are leading to rapid changes in land cover and emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. These changes can bring about climate change typified by average global temperatures rising by 1--5 C over the next century. Climate change of this magnitude is likely to alter the distribution of terrestrial ecosystems on a large scale. Options available for dealing with such change are abatement of emissions, adaptation, and geoengineering. The integrated assessment of climate change demands that frameworks be developed where all the elements of the climate problem are present (from economic activity to climate change and its impacts on market and non-market goods and services). Integrated climate assessment requires multiple impact metrics and multi-attribute utility functions to simulate the response of different key actors/decision-makers to the actual physical impacts (rather than a dollar value) of the climate-damage vs. policy-cost debate. This necessitates direct modeling of ecosystem impacts of climate change. The authors have developed a probabilistic model of ecosystem response to global change. This model differs from previous efforts in that it is statistically estimated using actual ecosystem and climate data yielding a joint multivariate probability of prevalence for each ecosystem, given climatic conditions. The authors expect this approach to permit simulation of inertia and competition which have, so far, been absent in transfer models of continental-scale ecosystem response to global change. Thus, although the probability of one ecotype will dominate others at a given point, others would have the possibility of establishing an early foothold.

  1. Marine ecosystem responses to Cenozoic global change.

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-02

    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.

  2. Global change impacts on mangrove ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McKee, Karen L.

    2004-01-01

    Mangroves are tropical/subtropical communities of primarily tree species that grow in the intertidal zone. These tidal forests are important coastal ecosystems that are valued for a variety of ecological and societal goods and services. Major local threats to mangrove ecosystems worldwide include clearcutting and trimming of forests for urban, agricultural, or industrial expansion; hydrological alterations; toxic chemical spills; and eutrophication. In many countries with mangroves, much of the human population resides in the coastal zone, and their activities often negatively impact the integrity of mangrove forests. In addition, eutrophication, which is the process whereby nutrients build up to higher than normal levels in a natural system, is possibly one of the most serious threats to mangroves and associated ecosystems such as coral reefs. Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) at the National Wetlands Research Center are working to more fully understand global impacts on these significant ecosystems.Changes in climate and other factors may also affect mangroves, but in complex ways. Global warming may promote expansion of mangrove forests to higher latitudes and accelerate sea-level rise through melting of polar ice or steric expansion of oceans. Changes in sea level would alter flooding patterns and the structure and areal extent of mangroves. Climate change may also alter rainfall patterns, which would in turn change local salinity regimes and competitive interactions of mangroves with other wetland species. Increases in frequency or intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes in combination with sea-level rise may alter erosion and sedimentation rates in mangrove forests. Another global change factor that may directly affect mangrove growth is increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), caused by burning of fossil fuels and other factors. Elevated CO2 concentration may increase mangrove growth by stimulating photosynthesis or improving water use

  3. The impact of climate change on the world's marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove; Bruno, John F

    2010-06-18

    Marine ecosystems are centrally important to the biology of the planet, yet a comprehensive understanding of how anthropogenic climate change is affecting them has been poorly developed. Recent studies indicate that rapidly rising greenhouse gas concentrations are driving ocean systems toward conditions not seen for millions of years, with an associated risk of fundamental and irreversible ecological transformation. The impacts of anthropogenic climate change so far include decreased ocean productivity, altered food web dynamics, reduced abundance of habitat-forming species, shifting species distributions, and a greater incidence of disease. Although there is considerable uncertainty about the spatial and temporal details, climate change is clearly and fundamentally altering ocean ecosystems. Further change will continue to create enormous challenges and costs for societies worldwide, particularly those in developing countries.

  4. Indigenous people's detection of rapid ecological change.

    PubMed

    Aswani, Shankar; Lauer, Matthew

    2014-06-01

    When sudden catastrophic events occur, it becomes critical for coastal communities to detect and respond to environmental transformations because failure to do so may undermine overall ecosystem resilience and threaten people's livelihoods. We therefore asked how capable of detecting rapid ecological change following massive environmental disruptions local, indigenous people are. We assessed the direction and periodicity of experimental learning of people in the Western Solomon Islands after a tsunami in 2007. We compared the results of marine science surveys with local ecological knowledge of the benthos across 3 affected villages and 3 periods before and after the tsunami. We sought to determine how people recognize biophysical changes in the environment before and after catastrophic events such as earthquakes and tsunamis and whether people have the ability to detect ecological changes over short time scales or need longer time scales to recognize changes. Indigenous people were able to detect changes in the benthos over time. Detection levels differed between marine science surveys and local ecological knowledge sources over time, but overall patterns of statistically significant detection of change were evident for various habitats. Our findings have implications for marine conservation, coastal management policies, and disaster-relief efforts because when people are able to detect ecological changes, this, in turn, affects how they exploit and manage their marine resources.

  5. Terrestrial ecosystem feedbacks to global climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Lashof, D.A.; DeAngelo, B.J.; Saleska, S.R.; Harte, J.

    1997-12-31

    Anthropogenic greenhouse gases are expected to induce changes in global climate that can alter ecosystems in ways that, in turn, may further affect climate. Such climate-ecosystem interactions can generate either positive or negative feedbacks to the climate system, thereby either enhancing or diminishing the magnitude of global climate change. Important terrestrial feedback mechanisms include CO{sub 2} fertilization (negative feedbacks), carbon storage in vegetation and soils (positive and negative feedbacks), vegetation albedo (positive feedbacks), and peatland methane emissions (positive and negative feedbacks). While the processes involved are complex, not readily quantifiable, and demonstrate both positive and negative feedback potential, the authors conclude that the combined effect of the feedback mechanisms reviewed here will likely amplify climate change relative to current projections that have not yet adequately incorporated these mechanisms. 162 refs., 7 figs., 3 tabs.

  6. Climate Change Impacts on Marine Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doney, Scott C.; Ruckelshaus, Mary; Emmett Duffy, J.; Barry, James P.; Chan, Francis; English, Chad A.; Galindo, Heather M.; Grebmeier, Jacqueline M.; Hollowed, Anne B.; Knowlton, Nancy; Polovina, Jeffrey; Rabalais, Nancy N.; Sydeman, William J.; Talley, Lynne D.

    2012-01-01

    In marine ecosystems, rising atmospheric CO2 and climate change are associated with concurrent shifts in temperature, circulation, stratification, nutrient input, oxygen content, and ocean acidification, with potentially wide-ranging biological effects. Population-level shifts are occurring because of physiological intolerance to new environments, altered dispersal patterns, and changes in species interactions. Together with local climate-driven invasion and extinction, these processes result in altered community structure and diversity, including possible emergence of novel ecosystems. Impacts are particularly striking for the poles and the tropics, because of the sensitivity of polar ecosystems to sea-ice retreat and poleward species migrations as well as the sensitivity of coral-algal symbiosis to minor increases in temperature. Midlatitude upwelling systems, like the California Current, exhibit strong linkages between climate and species distributions, phenology, and demography. Aggregated effects may modify energy and material flows as well as biogeochemical cycles, eventually impacting the overall ecosystem functioning and services upon which people and societies depend.

  7. Testing paradigms of ecosystem change under climate warming in Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Melbourne-Thomas, Jessica; Constable, Andrew; Wotherspoon, Simon; Raymond, Ben

    2013-01-01

    Antarctic marine ecosystems have undergone significant changes as a result of human activities in the past and are now responding in varied and often complicated ways to climate change impacts. Recent years have seen the emergence of large-scale mechanistic explanations-or "paradigms of change"-that attempt to synthesize our understanding of past and current changes. In many cases, these paradigms are based on observations that are spatially and temporally patchy. The West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP), one of Earth's most rapidly changing regions, has been an area of particular research focus. A recently proposed mechanistic explanation for observed changes in the WAP region relates changes in penguin populations to variability in krill biomass and regional warming. While this scheme is attractive for its simplicity and chronology, it may not account for complex spatio-temporal processes that drive ecosystem dynamics in the region. It might also be difficult to apply to other Antarctic regions that are experiencing some, though not all, of the changes documented for the WAP. We use qualitative network models of differing levels of complexity to test paradigms of change for the WAP ecosystem. Importantly, our approach captures the emergent effects of feedback processes in complex ecological networks and provides a means to identify and incorporate uncertain linkages between network elements. Our findings highlight key areas of uncertainty in the drivers of documented trends, and suggest that a greater level of model complexity is needed in devising explanations for ecosystem change in the Southern Ocean. We suggest that our network approach to evaluating a recent and widely cited paradigm of change for the Antarctic region could be broadly applied in hypothesis testing for other regions and research fields.

  8. Basin-wide Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Ecosystems and Biodiversity

    EPA Science Inventory

    Mekong ecosystems are under pressure from a number of "drivers", including rapid economic development, population growth, unsustainable resource use, and climate change. Ecological modeling can help assess vulnerability and impacts of these drivers on the Lower Mekong Basin.

  9. Testing Paradigms of Ecosystem Change under Climate Warming in Antarctica

    PubMed Central

    Melbourne-Thomas, Jessica; Constable, Andrew; Wotherspoon, Simon; Raymond, Ben

    2013-01-01

    Antarctic marine ecosystems have undergone significant changes as a result of human activities in the past and are now responding in varied and often complicated ways to climate change impacts. Recent years have seen the emergence of large-scale mechanistic explanations–or “paradigms of change”–that attempt to synthesize our understanding of past and current changes. In many cases, these paradigms are based on observations that are spatially and temporally patchy. The West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP), one of Earth’s most rapidly changing regions, has been an area of particular research focus. A recently proposed mechanistic explanation for observed changes in the WAP region relates changes in penguin populations to variability in krill biomass and regional warming. While this scheme is attractive for its simplicity and chronology, it may not account for complex spatio-temporal processes that drive ecosystem dynamics in the region. It might also be difficult to apply to other Antarctic regions that are experiencing some, though not all, of the changes documented for the WAP. We use qualitative network models of differing levels of complexity to test paradigms of change for the WAP ecosystem. Importantly, our approach captures the emergent effects of feedback processes in complex ecological networks and provides a means to identify and incorporate uncertain linkages between network elements. Our findings highlight key areas of uncertainty in the drivers of documented trends, and suggest that a greater level of model complexity is needed in devising explanations for ecosystem change in the Southern Ocean. We suggest that our network approach to evaluating a recent and widely cited paradigm of change for the Antarctic region could be broadly applied in hypothesis testing for other regions and research fields. PMID:23405116

  10. Historical and contemporary cultural ecosystem service values in the rapidly urbanizing city state of Singapore.

    PubMed

    Thiagarajah, Jharyathri; Wong, Shermaine K M; Richards, Daniel R; Friess, Daniel A

    2015-11-01

    Cultural ecosystem services are a function of people and place, so may change as a location transitions from rural to urban. Singapore has undergone rapid urbanization after its independence in 1965, with a concomitant decline in natural habitat extent and accessibility. Using coastal mangrove forests as a case study habitat, changing cultural values were explored with a novel array of techniques, including qualitative archival analysis (photographs, oral histories), current sources (publically uploaded social media photographs), and surveys of (a) the general public and (b) visitors to publically accessible mangroves. Cultural value changed through time, with a significant transition from intrinsic, intrapersonal values (spiritual, cultural heritage) to instrumental, interpersonal values (recreation, education). Additionally, cultural value varied between different mangroves depending on their public accessibility, and the evolving degree of human interaction with the ecosystem as urban development occured. Cultural values change as development transitions, though mangroves still play an important cultural role in a heavily urbanized environment.

  11. USING ANT COMMUNITIES FOR RAPID ASSESSMENT OF TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEM HEALTH

    SciTech Connect

    Wike, L; Doug Martin, D; Michael Paller, M; Eric Nelson, E

    2007-01-12

    Ecosystem health with its near infinite number of variables is difficult to measure, and there are many opinions as to which variables are most important, most easily measured, and most robust, Bioassessment avoids the controversy of choosing which physical and chemical parameters to measure because it uses responses of a community of organisms that integrate all aspects of the system in question. A variety of bioassessment methods have been successfully applied to aquatic ecosystems using fish and macroinvertebrate communities. Terrestrial biotic index methods are less developed than those for aquatic systems and we are seeking to address this problem here. This study had as its objective to examine the baseline differences in ant communities at different seral stages from clear cut back to mature pine plantation as a precursor to developing a bioassessment protocol. Comparative sampling was conducted at four seral stages; clearcut, 5 year, 15 year and mature pine plantation stands. Soil and vegetation data were collected at each site. All ants collected were preserved in 70% ethyl alcohol and identified to genus. Analysis of the ant data indicates that ants respond strongly to the habitat changes that accompany ecological succession in managed pine forests and that individual genera as well as ant community structure can be used as an indicator of successional change. Ants exhibited relatively high diversity in both early and mature seral stages. High ant diversity in the mature seral stages was likely related to conditions on the forest floor which favored litter dwelling and cool climate specialists.

  12. Ecosystem Services and Climate Change Considerations for ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    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 encompass numerous stressors of potential exposure, including the introduction of toxic contaminants, invasive species, and disease in addition to physical drivers such as temperature and hydrologic regime. A systems approach that includes the scientific and technologic basis of assessing the health of ecosystems is needed to effectively protect human health and the environment. The Integrated Environmental Modeling Framework “iemWatersheds” has been developed as a consistent and coherent means of forecasting the cumulative impact of co-occurring stressors. The Framework consists of three facilitating technologies: Data for Environmental Modeling (D4EM) that automates the collection and standardization of input data; the Framework for Risk Assessment of Multimedia Environmental Systems (FRAMES) that manages the flow of information between linked models; and the Supercomputer for Model Uncertainty and Sensitivity Evaluation (SuperMUSE) that provides post-processing and analysis of model outputs, including uncertainty and sensitivity analysis. Five models are linked within the Framework to provide multimedia simulation capabilities for hydrology and water quality processes: the Soil Water

  13. Shifting seasons, climate change and ecosystem consequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thackeray, Stephen; Henrys, Peter; Hemming, Deborah; Huntingford, Chris; Bell, James; Leech, David; Wanless, Sarah

    2014-05-01

    In recent decades, the seasonal timing of many biological events (e.g. flowering, breeding, migration) has shifted. These phenological changes are believed to be one of the most conspicuous biological indicators of climate change. Rates and directions of phenological change have differed markedly among species, potentially threatening the seasonal synchrony of key species interactions and ultimately ecosystem functioning. Differences in phenological change among-species at different trophic levels, and with respect to other broad species traits, are likely to be driven by variations in the climatic sensitivity of phenological events. However, as yet, inconsistencies in analytical methods have hampered broad-scale assessments of variation in climate sensitivity among taxonomic and functional groups of organisms. In this presentation, results will be presented from a current collaborative project (http://www.ceh.ac.uk/sci_programmes/shifting-seasons-uk.html) in which many UK long-term data sets are being integrated in order to assess relationships between temperature/precipitation, and the timing of seasonal events for a wide range of plants and animals. Our aim is to assess which organism groups (in which locations/habitats) are most sensitive to climate. Furthermore, the role of anthropogenic climate change as a driver of phenological change is being assessed.

  14. Climate Change Altered Disturbance Regimes in High Elevation Pine Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Logan, J. A.

    2004-12-01

    Insects in aggregate are the greatest cause of forest disturbance. Outbreaks of both native and exotic insects can be spectacular events in both their intensity and spatial extent. In the case of native species, forest ecosystems have co-evolved (or at least co-adapted) in ways that incorporate these disturbances into the normal cycle of forest maturation and renewal. The time frame of response to changing climate, however, is much shorter for insects (typically one year) than for their host forests (decades or longer). As a result, outbreaks of forest insects, particularly bark beetles, are occurring at unprecedented levels throughout western North America, resulting in the loss of biodiversity and potentially entire ecosystems. In this talk, I will describe one such ecosystem, the whitebark pine association at high elevations in the north-central Rocky Mountains of the United States. White bark pines are keystone species, which in consort with Clark's nutcracker, build entire ecosystems at high elevations. These ecosystems provide valuable ecological services, including the distribution and abundance of water resources. I will briefly describe the keystone nature of whitebark pine and the historic role of mountain pine beetle disturbance in these ecosystems. The mountain pine beetle is the most important outbreak insect in forests of the western United States. Although capable of spectacular outbreak events, in historic climate regimes, outbreak populations were largely restricted to lower elevation pines; for example, lodgepole and ponderosa pines. The recent series of unusually warm years, however, has allowed this insect to expand its range into high elevation, whitebark pine ecosystems with devastating consequences. The aspects of mountain pine beetle thermal ecology that has allowed it to capitalize so effectively on a warming climate will be discussed. A model that incorporates critical thermal attributes of the mountain pine beetle's life cycle was

  15. Rapid evolution buffers ecosystem impacts of viruses in a microbial food web.

    PubMed

    Lennon, Jay T; Martiny, Jennifer B H

    2008-11-01

    Predation and parasitism often regulate population dynamics, community interactions, and ecosystem functioning. The strength of these top-down pressures is variable, however, and may be influenced by both ecological and evolutionary processes. We conducted a chemostat experiment to assess the direct and indirect effects of viruses on a marine microbial food web comprised of an autotrophic host (Synechococcus) and non-target heterotrophic bacteria. Viruses dramatically altered the host population dynamics, which in turn influenced phosphorus resource availability and the stoichiometric allocation of nutrients into microbial biomass. These virus effects diminished with time, but could not be attributed to changes in the abundance or composition of heterotrophic bacteria. Instead, attenuation of the virus effects coincided with the detection of resistant host phenotypes, suggesting that rapid evolution buffered the effect of viruses on nutrient cycling. Our results demonstrate that evolutionary processes are important for community dynamics and ecosystem processes on ecologically relevant time scales.

  16. Polar ocean ecosystems in a changing world.

    PubMed

    Smetacek, Victor; Nicol, Stephen

    2005-09-15

    Polar organisms have adapted their seasonal cycles to the dynamic interface between ice and water. This interface ranges from the micrometre-sized brine channels within sea ice to the planetary-scale advance and retreat of sea ice. Polar marine ecosystems are particularly sensitive to climate change because small temperature differences can have large effects on the extent and thickness of sea ice. Little is known about the interactions between large, long-lived organisms and their planktonic food supply. Disentangling the effects of human exploitation of upper trophic levels from basin-wide, decade-scale climate cycles to identify long-term, global trends is a daunting challenge facing polar bio-oceanography.

  17. Polar ocean ecosystems in a changing world

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smetacek, Victor; Nicol, Stephen

    2005-09-01

    Polar organisms have adapted their seasonal cycles to the dynamic interface between ice and water. This interface ranges from the micrometre-sized brine channels within sea ice to the planetary-scale advance and retreat of sea ice. Polar marine ecosystems are particularly sensitive to climate change because small temperature differences can have large effects on the extent and thickness of sea ice. Little is known about the interactions between large, long-lived organisms and their planktonic food supply. Disentangling the effects of human exploitation of upper trophic levels from basin-wide, decade-scale climate cycles to identify long-term, global trends is a daunting challenge facing polar bio-oceanography.

  18. Preferred ecosystem characteristics: their food and health relevance to China's rapid urbanisation.

    PubMed

    Gibson, Valerie; Zhu, Yong-Guan; Ge, Rubing; Wahlqvist, Mark L

    2015-01-01

    For most of its history, China has supported a growing population through food systems which have been mutually inclusive of people and their locality. This trajectory has required adequate ecosystem maintenance or humanised reformulation and a high degree of recyclable nutrient flow. The 'tipping point' in habitat sustainability has come with the size and demographic structure of China's population to one that is ageing, with modernisation of its infrastructure and increased expectations of better livelihoods, standards of living and health. In order to meet these expectations, China has embarked on rapid urbanisation for upwards of 300 million people over the next 15-20 years and to do so taking account of the environmental limitations. The process will radically change rural as well as urban China and the systems which connect them. Chief among these will be ecosystems in number and type along with the food and health systems integral to them. To minimise ecological damage and optimise the benefits to people and place, describing, monitoring and managing the process will be paramount. The present paper is a situational analysis of health as it may be ecologically favoured or disordered (Ecosystem Health Disorders) and of the food systems on which the environment and health depend. An effort is made to enumerate the current situation in China in a way that might enable the optimisation of humanised ecosystems.

  19. Integrated ocean management as a strategy to meet rapid climate change: the Norwegian case.

    PubMed

    Hoel, Alf Håkon; Olsen, Erik

    2012-02-01

    The prospects of rapid climate change and the potential existence of tipping points in marine ecosystems where nonlinear change may result from them being overstepped, raises the question of strategies for coping with ecosystem change. There is broad agreement that the combined forces of climate change, pollution and increasing economic activities necessitates more comprehensive approaches to oceans management, centering on the concept of ecosystem-based oceans management. This article addresses the Norwegian experience in introducing integrated, ecosystem-based oceans management, emphasizing how climate change, seen as a major long-term driver of change in ecosystems, is addressed in management plans. Understanding the direct effects of climate variability and change on ecosystems and indirect effects on human activities is essential for adaptive planning to be useful in the long-term management of the marine environment.

  20. Impacts of climate change on biodiversity, ecosystems, and ecosystem services: technical input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Staudinger, Michelle D.; Grimm, Nancy B.; Staudt, Amanda; Carter, Shawn L.; Stuart, F. Stuart; Kareiva, Peter; Ruckelshaus, Mary; Stein, Bruce A.

    2012-01-01

    second cross-cutting topic is the rapidly advancing field of climate adaptation, where there has been significant progress in developing the conceptual framework, planning approaches, and strategies for safeguarding biodiversity and other ecological resources. At the same time, ecosystem-based adaptation is becoming more prominent as a way to utilize ecosystem services to help human systems adapt to climate change. In this summary, we present key findings of the technical input, focusing on themes that can be found throughout the report. Thus, this summary takes a more integrated look at the question of how climate change is affecting our ecological resources, the implications for humans, and possible response strategies. This integrated approach better reflects the impacts of climate in the real world, where changes in ecosystem structure or function will alter the viability of different species and the efficacy of ecosystem services. Likewise, adaptation to climate change will simultaneously address a range of conservation goals. Case studies are used to illustrate this complete picture throughout the report; a snapshot of one case study, 2011 Las Conchas, New Mexico Fire, is included in this summary.

  1. Climate change effects on hydroecology of arctic freshwater ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Prowse, Terry D; Wrona, Frederick J; Reist, James D; Gibson, John J; Hobbie, John E; Lévesque, Lucie M J; Vincent, Warwick F

    2006-11-01

    In general, the arctic freshwater-terrestrial system will warm more rapidly than the global average, particularly during the autumn and winter season. The decline or loss of many cryospheric components and a shift from a nival to an increasingly pluvial system will produce numerous physical effects on freshwater ecosystems. Of particular note will be reductions in the dominance of the spring freshet and changes in the intensity of river-ice breakup. Increased evaporation/evapotranspiration due to longer ice-free seasons, higher air/water temperatures and greater transpiring vegetation along with increase infiltration because of permafrost thaw will decrease surface water levels and coverage. Loss of ice and permafrost, increased water temperatures and vegetation shifts will alter water chemistry, the general result being an increase in lotic and lentic productivity. Changes in ice and water flow/levels will lead to regime-specific increases and decreases in habitat availability/quality across the circumpolar Arctic.

  2. Effects of temperature changes on groundwater ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Griebler, Christian; Kellermann, Claudia; Schreglmann, Kathrin; Lueders, Tillmann; Brielmann, Heike; Schmidt, Susanne; Kuntz, David; Walker-Hertkorn, Simone

    2014-05-01

    The use of groundwater as a carrier of thermal energy is becoming more and more important as a sustainable source of heating and cooling. At the same time, the present understanding of the effects of aquifer thermal usage on geochemical and biological aquifer ecosystem functions is extremely limited. Recently we started to assess the effects of temperature changes in groundwater on the ecological integrity of aquifers. In a field study, we have monitored hydrogeochemical, microbial, and faunal parameters in groundwater of an oligotrophic aquifer in the vicinity of an active thermal discharge facility. The observed seasonal variability of abiotic and biotic parameters between wells was considerable. Yet, due to the energy-limited conditions no significant temperature impacts on bacterial or faunal abundances and on bacterial productivity were observed. In contrast, the diversity of aquifer bacterial communities and invertebrate fauna was either positively or negatively affected by temperature, respectively. In follow-up laboratory experiments temperature effects were systematically evaluated with respect to energy limitation (e.g. establishment of unlimited growth conditions), geochemistry (e.g. dynamics of DOC and nutrients), microbiology (e.g. survival of pathogens), and fauna (temperature preference and tolerance). First, with increased nutrient and organic carbon concentrations even small temperature changes revealed microbiological dynamics. Second, considerable amounts of adsorbed DOC were mobilized from sediments of different origin with an increase in temperatures. No evidence was obtained for growth of pathogenic bacteria and extended survival of viruses at elevated temperatures. Invertebrates clearly preferred natural thermal conditions (10-12°C), where their highest frequency of appearance was measured in a temperature gradient. Short-term incubations (48h) of invertebrates in temperature dose-response tests resulted in LT50 (lethal temperature) values

  3. RESTORING COASTAL ECOSYSTEMS: ABRUPT CLIMATE CHANGE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Consensus exists that U.S. coastal ecosystems are severely degraded due to a variety of human-factors requiring large financial expenditures to restore and manage. Yet, even as controversy surrounds human factors in ecosystem degradation in the Gulf of Mexico, Chesapeake Bay, an...

  4. Rapidly restoring biological soil crusts and ecosystem functions in a severely disturbed desert ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Chiquoine, Lindsay P; Abella, Scott R; Bowker, Matthew A

    2016-06-01

    Restoring biological soil crusts (biocrusts) in degraded drylands can contribute to recovery of ecosystem functions that have global implications, including erosion resistance and nutrient cycling. To examine techniques for restoring biocrusts, we conducted a replicated, factorial experiment on recently abandoned road surfaces by applying biocrust inoculation (salvaged and stored dry for two years), salvaged topsoil, an abiotic soil amendment (wood shavings), and planting of a dominant perennial shrub (Ambrosia dumosa). Eighteen months after treatments, we measured biocrust abundance and species composition, soil chlorophyll a content and fertility, and soil resistance to erosion. Biocrust addition significantly accelerated biocrust recovery on disturbed soils, including increasing lichen and moss cover and cyanobacteria colonization. Compared to undisturbed controls, inoculated plots had similar lichen and moss composition, recovered 43% of total cyanobacteria density, had similar soil chlorophyll content, and exhibited recovery of soil fertility and soil stability. Inoculation was the only treatment that generated lichen and moss cover. Topsoil application resulted in partial recovery of the cyanobacteria community and soil properties. Compared to untreated disturbed plots, topsoil application without inoculum increased cyanobacteria density by 186% and moderately improved soil chlorophyll and ammonium content and soil stability. Topsoil application produced 22% and 51% of the cyanobacteria density g⁻¹ soil compared to undisturbed and inoculated plots, respectively. Plots not treated with either topsoil or inoculum had significantly lower cyanobacteria density, soil chlorophyll and ammonium concentrations, and significantly higher soil nitrate concentration. Wood shavings and Ambrosia had no influence on biocrust lichen and moss species recovery but did affect cyanobacteria composition and soil fertility. Inoculation of severely disturbed soil with native

  5. Abrupt climate change and collapse of deep-sea ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Yasuhara, Moriaki; Cronin, T. M.; Demenocal, P.B.; Okahashi, H.; Linsley, B.K.

    2008-01-01

    We investigated the deep-sea fossil record of benthic ostracodes during periods of rapid climate and oceanographic change over the past 20,000 years in a core from intermediate depth in the northwestern Atlantic. Results show that deep-sea benthic community "collapses" occur with faunal turnover of up to 50% during major climatically driven oceanographic changes. Species diversity as measured by the Shannon-Wiener index falls from 3 to as low as 1.6 during these events. Major disruptions in the benthic communities commenced with Heinrich Event 1, the Inter-Aller??d Cold Period (IACP: 13.1 ka), the Younger Dryas (YD: 12.9-11.5 ka), and several Holocene Bond events when changes in deep-water circulation occurred. The largest collapse is associated with the YD/IACP and is characterized by an abrupt two-step decrease in both the upper North Atlantic Deep Water assemblage and species diversity at 13.1 ka and at 12.2 ka. The ostracode fauna at this site did not fully recover until ???8 ka, with the establishment of Labrador Sea Water ventilation. Ecologically opportunistic slope species prospered during this community collapse. Other abrupt community collapses during the past 20 ka generally correspond to millennial climate events. These results indicate that deep-sea ecosystems are not immune to the effects of rapid climate changes occurring over centuries or less. ?? 2008 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA.

  6. Abrupt climate change and collapse of deep-sea ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Yasuhara, Moriaki; Cronin, Thomas M; Demenocal, Peter B; Okahashi, Hisayo; Linsley, Braddock K

    2008-02-05

    We investigated the deep-sea fossil record of benthic ostracodes during periods of rapid climate and oceanographic change over the past 20,000 years in a core from intermediate depth in the northwestern Atlantic. Results show that deep-sea benthic community "collapses" occur with faunal turnover of up to 50% during major climatically driven oceanographic changes. Species diversity as measured by the Shannon-Wiener index falls from 3 to as low as 1.6 during these events. Major disruptions in the benthic communities commenced with Heinrich Event 1, the Inter-Allerød Cold Period (IACP: 13.1 ka), the Younger Dryas (YD: 12.9-11.5 ka), and several Holocene Bond events when changes in deep-water circulation occurred. The largest collapse is associated with the YD/IACP and is characterized by an abrupt two-step decrease in both the upper North Atlantic Deep Water assemblage and species diversity at 13.1 ka and at 12.2 ka. The ostracode fauna at this site did not fully recover until approximately 8 ka, with the establishment of Labrador Sea Water ventilation. Ecologically opportunistic slope species prospered during this community collapse. Other abrupt community collapses during the past 20 ka generally correspond to millennial climate events. These results indicate that deep-sea ecosystems are not immune to the effects of rapid climate changes occurring over centuries or less.

  7. The added complications of climate change: understanding and managing biodiversity and ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Amanda Staudt,; Allison K. Leidner,; Jennifer Howard,; Kate A. Brauman,; Jeffrey S. Dukes,; Hansen, Lara J.; Paukert, Craig; Sabo, John L.; Solorzano, Luis A.

    2013-01-01

    Ecosystems around the world are already threatened by land-use and land-cover change, extraction of natural resources, biological disturbances, and pollution. These environmental stressors have been the primary source of ecosystem degradation to date, and climate change is now exacerbating some of their effects. Ecosystems already under stress are likely to have more rapid and acute reactions to climate change; it is therefore useful to understand how multiple stresses will interact, especially as the magnitude of climate change increases. Understanding these interactions could be critically important in the design of climate adaptation strategies, especially because actions taken by other sectors (eg energy, agriculture, transportation) to address climate change may create new ecosystem stresses.

  8. Assessing and managing freshwater ecosystems vulnerable to global change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Angeler, David G.; Allen, Craig R.; Birge, Hannah E.; Drakare, Stina; McKie, Brendan G.; Johnson, Richard K.

    2014-01-01

    Freshwater ecosystems are important for global biodiversity and provide essential ecosystem services. There is consensus in the scientific literature that freshwater ecosystems are vulnerable to the impacts of environmental change, which may trigger irreversible regime shifts upon which biodiversity and ecosystem services may be lost. There are profound uncertainties regarding the management and assessment of the vulnerability of freshwater ecosystems to environmental change. Quantitative approaches are needed to reduce this uncertainty. We describe available statistical and modeling approaches along with case studies that demonstrate how resilience theory can be applied to aid decision-making in natural resources management. We highlight especially how long-term monitoring efforts combined with ecological theory can provide a novel nexus between ecological impact assessment and management, and the quantification of systemic vulnerability and thus the resilience of ecosystems to environmental change.

  9. Plant ecology. Anthropogenic environmental changes affect ecosystem stability via biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Hautier, Yann; Tilman, David; Isbell, Forest; Seabloom, Eric W; Borer, Elizabeth T; Reich, Peter B

    2015-04-17

    Human-driven environmental changes may simultaneously affect the biodiversity, productivity, and stability of Earth's ecosystems, but there is no consensus on the causal relationships linking these variables. Data from 12 multiyear experiments that manipulate important anthropogenic drivers, including plant diversity, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, fire, herbivory, and water, show that each driver influences ecosystem productivity. However, the stability of ecosystem productivity is only changed by those drivers that alter biodiversity, with a given decrease in plant species numbers leading to a quantitatively similar decrease in ecosystem stability regardless of which driver caused the biodiversity loss. These results suggest that changes in biodiversity caused by drivers of environmental change may be a major factor determining how global environmental changes affect ecosystem stability.

  10. Invasive Plants Rapidly Reshape Soil Properties in a Grassland Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Lekberg, Ylva; Mummey, Daniel L.; Sangwan, Naseer; Ramsey, Philip W.; Gilbert, Jack A.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Plant invasions often reduce native plant diversity and increase net primary productivity. Invaded soils appear to differ from surrounding soils in ways that impede restoration of diverse native plant communities. We hypothesize that invader-mediated shifts in edaphic properties reproducibly alter soil microbial community structure and function. Here, we take a holistic approach, characterizing plant, prokaryotic, and fungal communities and soil physicochemical properties in field sites, invasion gradients, and experimental plots for three invasive plant species that cooccur in the Rocky Mountain West. Each invader had a unique impact on soil physicochemical properties. We found that invasions drove shifts in the abundances of specific microbial taxa, while overall belowground community structure and functional potential were fairly constant. Forb invaders were generally enriched in copiotrophic bacteria with higher 16S rRNA gene copy numbers and showed greater microbial carbohydrate and nitrogen metabolic potential. Older invasions had stronger effects on abiotic soil properties, indicative of multiyear successions. Overall, we show that plant invasions are idiosyncratic in their impact on soils and are directly responsible for driving reproducible shifts in the soil environment over multiyear time scales. IMPORTANCE In this study, we show how invasive plant species drive rapid shifts in the soil environment from surrounding native communities. Each of the three plant invaders had different but consistent effects on soils. Thus, there does not appear to be a one-size-fits-all strategy for how plant invaders alter grassland soil environments. This work represents a crucial step toward understanding how invaders might be able to prevent or impair native reestablishment by changing soil biotic and abiotic properties. PMID:28289729

  11. Past changes in Arctic terrestrial ecosystems, climate and UV radiation.

    PubMed

    Callaghan, Terry V; Björn, Lars Olof; Chernov, Yuri; Chapin, Terry; Christensen, Torben R; Huntley, Brian; Ims, Rolf A; Johansson, Margareta; Jolly, Dyanna; Jonasson, Sven; Matveyeva, Nadya; Panikov, Nicolai; Oechel, Walter; Shaver, Gus

    2004-11-01

    At the last glacial maximum, vast ice sheets covered many continental areas. The beds of some shallow seas were exposed thereby connecting previously separated landmasses. Although some areas were ice-free and supported a flora and fauna, mean annual temperatures were 10-13 degrees C colder than during the Holocene. Within a few millennia of the glacial maximum, deglaciation started, characterized by a series of climatic fluctuations between about 18,000 and 11,400 years ago. Following the general thermal maximum in the Holocene, there has been a modest overall cooling trend, superimposed upon which have been a series of millennial and centennial fluctuations in climate such as the "Little Ice Age spanning approximately the late 13th to early 19th centuries. Throughout the climatic fluctuations of the last 150,000 years, Arctic ecosystems and biota have been close to their minimum extent within the most recent 10,000 years. They suffered loss of diversity as a result of extinctions during the most recent large-magnitude rapid global warming at the end of the last glacial stage. Consequently, Arctic ecosystems and biota such as large vertebrates are already under pressure and are particularly vulnerable to current and projected future global warming. Evidence from the past indicates that the treeline will very probably advance, perhaps rapidly, into tundra areas, as it did during the early Holocene, reducing the extent of tundra and increasing the risk of species extinction. Species will very probably extend their ranges northwards, displacing Arctic species as in the past. However, unlike the early Holocene, when lower relative sea level allowed a belt of tundra to persist around at least some parts of the Arctic basin when treelines advanced to the present coast, sea level is very likely to rise in future, further restricting the area of tundra and other treeless Arctic ecosystems. The negative response of current Arctic ecosystems to global climatic conditions

  12. FISHER INFORMATION AND ECOSYSTEM REGIME CHANGES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Following Fisher’s work, we propose two different expressions for the Fisher Information along with Shannon Information as a means of detecting and assessing shifts between alternative ecosystem regimes. Regime shifts are a consequence of bifurcations in the dynamics of an ecosys...

  13. Abyssal food limitation, ecosystem structure and climate change.

    PubMed

    Smith, Craig R; De Leo, Fabio C; Bernardino, Angelo F; Sweetman, Andrew K; Arbizu, Pedro Martinez

    2008-09-01

    The abyssal seafloor covers more than 50% of the Earth and is postulated to be both a reservoir of biodiversity and a source of important ecosystem services. We show that ecosystem structure and function in the abyss are strongly modulated by the quantity and quality of detrital food material sinking from the surface ocean. Climate change and human activities (e.g. successful ocean fertilization) will alter patterns of sinking food flux to the deep ocean, substantially impacting the structure, function and biodiversity of abyssal ecosystems. Abyssal ecosystem response thus must be considered in assessments of the environmental impacts of global warming and ocean fertilization.

  14. 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.

  15. Climate change impacts on groundwater and dependent ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kløve, Bjørn; Ala-Aho, Pertti; Bertrand, Guillaume; Gurdak, Jason J.; Kupfersberger, Hans; Kværner, Jens; Muotka, Timo; Mykrä, Heikki; Preda, Elena; Rossi, Pekka; Uvo, Cintia Bertacchi; Velasco, Elzie; Pulido-Velazquez, Manuel

    2014-10-01

    Aquifers and groundwater-dependent ecosystems (GDEs) are facing increasing pressure from water consumption, irrigation and climate change. These pressures modify groundwater levels and their temporal patterns and threaten vital ecosystem services such as arable land irrigation and ecosystem water requirements, especially during droughts. This review examines climate change effects on groundwater and dependent ecosystems. The mechanisms affecting natural variability in the global climate and the consequences of climate and land use changes due to anthropogenic influences are summarised based on studies from different hydrogeological strata and climate zones. The impacts on ecosystems are discussed based on current findings on factors influencing the biodiversity and functioning of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. The influence of changes to groundwater on GDE biodiversity and future threats posed by climate change is reviewed, using information mainly from surface water studies and knowledge of aquifer and groundwater ecosystems. Several gaps in research are identified. Due to lack of understanding of several key processes, the uncertainty associated with management techniques such as numerical modelling is high. The possibilities and roles of new methodologies such as indicators and modelling methods are discussed in the context of integrated groundwater resources management. Examples are provided of management impacts on groundwater, with recommendations on sustainable management of groundwater.

  16. Air-Pollution-Mediated Changes in Alpine Ecosystems and Ecotones.

    PubMed

    Rusek, Josef

    1993-08-01

    Soil biological parameters (e.g., Collembola), soil types, soil chemical parameters (pH, humus substances), and plant communities were studied in different ecosystems and ecotones in alpine, subalpine, and spruce forest zones in the Tatra National Park, Slovak Republic. The preliminary, selected data, based on a long-term research program, showed a high sensitivity of some alpine ecotones and ecosystems to long-distance transported acid deposits. The changes in different ecosystem parameters since 1977 were more extensive in alpine grasslands on limestone than on granite. The greatest soil pH decrease was in the plant communities Festucetum versicoloris (-1.5 pH), Geranio-Alchemilletum crinitae (-1.32 pH), and Saxifragetum perdurantis (-1.25 pH), which are restricted to places with snow accumulation and water runoff gullies. In these ecosystems the greatest changes occurred in the leaching of humus substances. Some formerly less abundant and rare soil animals restricted to acid bedrock became dominant in some ecosystems on limestone as well as on granite; other formerly dominant species disappeared from the entire study area (e.g., Folsomia alpina). The aerial extent of some ecosystems changed substantially since 1977, and their surrounding ecotones moved into the space formerly occupied by one of the adjacent ecosystems. These changes are detectable by remote-sensing methods. In Central European mountains, strongly affected by global and regional industrial air pollution (e.g., Krusne Hory, Krkonose, Beskydy), spruce forests started to die back from higher to lower mountain elevations. The effects of air pollution on alpine and subalpine vegetation were not studied there. Strong alterations in alpine ecosystems and ecotones were detected by the author during long-term studies in the High Tatra Mountains, and I suggest that subalpine and mountain forest belts will be affected here in the near future as they were in the more polluted Central European mountains. The

  17. Geoengineering and the Risk of Rapid Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ross, A. J.; Matthews, D.

    2008-12-01

    climate system. Many ecosystems would be significantly stressed by the high rates of temperature change shown in this study, which could compromise ecosystems' ability to adapt to climate change There are also possible implications of rapid temperature change for other aspects of the climate system, such as the strength of the meridional overturning circulation. Based on the results of this study, we argue that the risk of rapid climate change following the abrupt removal of geoengineering could constitute increased risk of dangerous anthropogenic interference in the climate system.

  18. Impacts of climate change on marine organisms and ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Brierley, Andrew S; Kingsford, Michael J

    2009-07-28

    Human activities are releasing gigatonnes of carbon to the Earth's atmosphere annually. Direct consequences of cumulative post-industrial emissions include increasing global temperature, perturbed regional weather patterns, rising sea levels, acidifying oceans, changed nutrient loads and altered ocean circulation. These and other physical consequences are affecting marine biological processes from genes to ecosystems, over scales from rock pools to ocean basins, impacting ecosystem services and threatening human food security. The rates of physical change are unprecedented in some cases. Biological change is likely to be commensurately quick, although the resistance and resilience of organisms and ecosystems is highly variable. Biological changes founded in physiological response manifest as species range-changes, invasions and extinctions, and ecosystem regime shifts. Given the essential roles that oceans play in planetary function and provision of human sustenance, the grand challenge is to intervene before more tipping points are passed and marine ecosystems follow less-buffered terrestrial systems further down a spiral of decline. Although ocean bioengineering may alleviate change, this is not without risk. The principal brake to climate change remains reduced CO(2) emissions that marine scientists and custodians of the marine environment can lobby for and contribute to. This review describes present-day climate change, setting it in context with historical change, considers consequences of climate change for marine biological processes now and in to the future, and discusses contributions that marine systems could play in mitigating the impacts of global climate change.

  19. Soil community structure and ecosystem C cycling in arid ecosystems experiencing multiple environmental changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavao-Zuckerman, M. A.; Cable, J. M.; Huxman, T. E.; Scott, R. L.; Williams, D. G.

    2005-12-01

    Despite the importance of soil carbon cycling to the response of water-limited ecosystems to global change, our understanding of this ecosystem component is still in its infancy. Adding to the complexity in knowledge building, ecosystems are exposed to simultaneous multiple shifts within global change scenarios. For example, semiarid grasslands in southern Arizona are currently undergoing encroachment by woody plants at the same time that climate change models predict increases in frequency and magnitude of precipitation inputs over the next 50 years. We are investigating how heterogeneity of plant cover mediates the response of soil community structure and ecosystem C cycling to seasonal monsoon rain inputs. Field plots were established in a mesquite shrubland in the San Pedro River Basin, AZ that are dominated by either: Sporobulus wrightii, medium sized Prosopis velutina, or large Prosopis velutina, additional plots were located in intercanopy areas. Both increased quantity and quality of litter inputs to the soil component, and physical influences of the shrubs on ecosystem water and energy budgets affects plots influenced by the development of Prosopis. Plant species influenced the response of soil microbial biomass to precipitation pulses. Plant cover also influenced the dynamics of soil nematodes. Magnitude of precipitation inputs and plant cover interact to affect the abundance of trophic group abundances and food web structure. These results will be discussed vis-à-vis the importance of soil organisms for driving ecosystem dynamics, and the appropriateness of dominant paradigms in arid land ecology (notably the pulse-reserve paradigm) for understanding soil components of arid ecosystems. Shifts in soil flora and fauna have important implications for ecosystem C-cycling via alterations of trophic dynamics, and the contribution of heterotrophic respiration to C efflux from ecosystems.

  20. CLIMATE CHANGE AND ECOSYSTEMS OF THE MID-ATLANTIC REGION

    EPA Science Inventory

    This paper discusses the current status of forested, wetland, freshwater and coastal ecosystems; the combined impacts of habitat alteration, pollution and non-native invasive species on those systems; how climatic changes could interact with existing stresses; potential managemen...

  1. Structure and functioning of dryland ecosystems in a changing world.

    PubMed

    Maestre, Fernando T; Eldridge, David J; Soliveres, Santiago; Kéfi, Sonia; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Bowker, Matthew A; García-Palacios, Pablo; Gaitán, Juan; Gallardo, Antonio; Lázaro, Roberto; Berdugo, Miguel

    2016-11-01

    Understanding how drylands respond to ongoing environmental change is extremely important for global sustainability. Here we review how biotic attributes, climate, grazing pressure, land cover change and nitrogen deposition affect the functioning of drylands at multiple spatial scales. Our synthesis highlights the importance of biotic attributes (e.g. species richness) in maintaining fundamental ecosystem processes such as primary productivity, illustrate how N deposition and grazing pressure are impacting ecosystem functioning in drylands worldwide, and highlight the importance of the traits of woody species as drivers of their expansion in former grasslands. We also emphasize the role of attributes such as species richness and abundance in controlling the responses of ecosystem functioning to climate change. This knowledge is essential to guide conservation and restoration efforts in drylands, as biotic attributes can be actively managed at the local scale to increase ecosystem resilience to global change.

  2. Structure and functioning of dryland ecosystems in a changing world

    PubMed Central

    Maestre, Fernando T.; Eldridge, David J.; Soliveres, Santiago; Kéfi, Sonia; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Bowker, Matthew A.; García-Palacios, Pablo; Gaitán, Juan; Gallardo, Antonio; Lázaro, Roberto; Berdugo, Miguel

    2017-01-01

    Understanding how drylands respond to ongoing environmental change is extremely important for global sustainability. Here we review how biotic attributes, climate, grazing pressure, land cover change and nitrogen deposition affect the functioning of drylands at multiple spatial scales. Our synthesis highlights the importance of biotic attributes (e.g. species richness) in maintaining fundamental ecosystem processes such as primary productivity, illustrate how N deposition and grazing pressure are impacting ecosystem functioning in drylands worldwide, and highlight the importance of the traits of woody species as drivers of their expansion in former grasslands. We also emphasize the role of attributes such as species richness and abundance in controlling the responses of ecosystem functioning to climate change. This knowledge is essential to guide conservation and restoration efforts in drylands, as biotic attributes can be actively managed at the local scale to increase ecosystem resilience to global change. PMID:28239303

  3. Rapid assessment system based on ecosystem services for retrofitting of sustainable drainage systems.

    PubMed

    Scholz, Miklas

    2014-01-01

    Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) design and retrofitting is predominantly based on expert opinion supported by descriptive guidance documents. The aim of this paper is to develop an innovative rapid decision support tool based on novel ecosystem service variables for retrofitting of key SuDS techniques. This unique tool proposes the retrofitting of a SuDS technique that obtained the highest ecosystem service score for a specific urban site. This approach contrasts with methods based on traditional civil engineering judgement linked to standard variables based on community and environment studies. For a case study area (Greater Manchester), a comparison with the traditional approach of determining community and environment variables indicates that permeable pavements, filter strips, swales, ponds, constructed wetlands and below-ground storage tanks are generally less preferred than infiltration trenches, soakaways and infiltration basins. However, permeable pavements and belowground storage tanks also received relatively high scores, because of their great potential impact in terms of water quality improvement and flood control, respectively. The application of the proposed methodology will lead to changes of the sustainable drainage infrastructure in the urban landscape.

  4. Climate change, parasitism and the structure of intertidal ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Poulin, R; Mouritsen, K N

    2006-06-01

    Evidence is accumulating rapidly showing that temperature and other climatic variables are driving many ecological processes. At the same time, recent research has highlighted the role of parasitism in the dynamics of animal populations and the structure of animal communities. Here, the likely interactions between climate change and parasitism are discussed in the context of intertidal ecosystems. Firstly, using the soft-sediment intertidal communities of Otago Harbour, New Zealand, as a case study, parasites are shown to be ubiquitous components of intertidal communities, found in practically all major animal species in the system. With the help of specific examples from Otago Harbour, it is demonstrated that parasites can regulate host population density, influence the diversity of the entire benthic community, and affect the structure of the intertidal food web. Secondly, we document the extreme sensitivity of cercarial production in parasitic trematodes to increases in temperature, and discuss how global warming could lead to enhanced trematode infections. Thirdly, the results of a simulation model are used to argue that parasite-mediated local extinctions of intertidal animals are a likely outcome of global warming. Specifically, the model predicts that following a temperature increase of less than 4 degrees C, populations of the amphipod Corophium volutator, a hugely abundant tube-building amphipod on the mudflats of the Danish Wadden Sea, are likely to crash repeatedly due to mortality induced by microphallid trematodes. The available evidence indicates that climate-mediated changes in local parasite abundance will have significant repercussions for intertidal ecosystems. On the bright side, the marked effects of even slight increases in temperature on cercarial production in trematodes could form the basis for monitoring programmes, with these sensitive parasites providing early warning signals of the environmental impacts of global warming.

  5. Ecosystem Services Connect Environmental Change to Human Health Outcomes

    SciTech Connect

    Bayles, Brett R.; Brauman, Kate A.; Adkins, Joshua N.; Allan, Brian F.; Ellis, Alicia M.; Goldberg, Tony L.; Golden, Christopher D.; Grigsby-Toussaint, Diana S.; Myers, Samuel S.; Osofsky, Steven A.; Ricketts, Taylor H.; Ristaino, Jean B.

    2016-06-29

    Global environmental change, driven in large part by human activities, profoundly impacts the structure and functioning of Earth’s ecosystems (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005). We are beginning to push beyond planetary boundaries (Steffan et al. 2015), and the consequences for human health remain largely unknown (Myers et al. 2013). Growing evidence suggests that ecological transformations can dramatically affect human health in ways that are both obvious and obscure (Myers and Patz 2009; Myers et al. 2013). The framework of ecosystem services, designed to evaluate the benefits that people derive from ecosystem products and processes, provides a compelling framework for integrating the many factors that influence the human health response to global change, as well as for integrating health impacts into broader analyses of the impacts of this change

  6. Changing climate and endangered high mountain ecosystems in Colombia.

    PubMed

    Ruiz, Daniel; Moreno, Hernán Alonso; Gutiérrez, María Elena; Zapata, Paula Andrea

    2008-07-15

    High mountain ecosystems are among the most sensitive environments to changes in climatic conditions occurring on global, regional and local scales. The article describes the changing conditions observed over recent years in the high mountain basin of the Claro River, on the west flank of the Colombian Andean Central mountain range. Local ground truth data gathered at 4150 m, regional data available at nearby weather stations, and satellite info were used to analyze changes in the mean and the variance, and significant trends in climatic time series. Records included minimum, mean and maximum temperatures, relative humidity, rainfall, sunshine, and cloud characteristics. In high levels, minimum and maximum temperatures during the coldest days increased at a rate of about 0.6 degrees C/decade, whereas maximum temperatures during the warmest days increased at a rate of about 1.3 degrees C/decade. Rates of increase in maximum, mean and minimum diurnal temperature range reached 0.6, 0.7, and 0.5 degrees C/decade. Maximum, mean and minimum relative humidity records showed reductions of about 1.8, 3.9 and 6.6%/decade. The total number of sunny days per month increased in almost 2.1 days. The headwaters exhibited no changes in rainfall totals, but evidenced an increased occurrence of unusually heavy rainfall events. Reductions in the amount of all cloud types over the area reached 1.9%/decade. In low levels changes in mean monthly temperatures and monthly rainfall totals exceeded + 0.2 degrees C and - 4% per decade, respectively. These striking changes might have contributed to the retreat of glacier icecaps and to the disappearance of high altitude water bodies, as well as to the occurrence and rapid spread of natural and man-induced forest fires. Significant reductions in water supply, important disruptions of the integrity of high mountain ecosystems, and dramatic losses of biodiversity are now a steady menu of the severe climatic conditions experienced by these

  7. Quantifying changes in multiple ecosystem services during 1992-2012 in the Sanjiang Plain of China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zongming; Mao, Dehua; Li, Lin; Jia, Mingming; Dong, Zhangyu; Miao, Zhenghong; Ren, Chunying; Song, Changchun

    2015-05-01

    Rapid and periodic assessment of the impact of land cover changes on ecosystem services at regional levels is essential to understanding services and sustainability of ecosystems. This study focused on quantifying and assessing changes of multiple ecosystem services in the Sanjiang Plain of China as a result of land cover changes over the period of 1992-2012. This region is important for its large area of natural wetlands and intensive agriculture. The ecosystem services that were assessed for this region included its regulating services (water yield and ecosystem carbon stocks), supporting services (suitable waterbird habitats), and provisioning services (food production), and the approach to the assessment was composed of the surface energy balance algorithms for land (SEBAL), soil survey re-sampling method and an empirical waterbird habitat suitability model. This large scale and integrated investigation represents the first systematic evaluation on the status of ecosystem carbon stocks in the Sanjiang Plain in addition to the development of an effective model for analysis of waterbird habitat suitability with the use of both remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS). More importantly, the result from this study has confirmed trade-offs between ecosystem services and negative consequences to environment in this region. The trade-offs were typically manifested by increased water yield and significantly grown food production, which is in contrast with significant losses in ecosystem carbon stocks (-14%) and suitable waterbird habitats (-23%) mainly due to the conversion of land cover from wetland to farmland. This finding implies that land use planning and policy making for this economically important region should take ecosystem service losses into account in order to preserve its natural ecosystems in the best interest of society.

  8. Atmospheric composition change: Ecosystems-Atmosphere interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fowler, D.; Pilegaard, K.; Sutton, M. A.; Ambus, P.; Raivonen, M.; Duyzer, J.; Simpson, D.; Fagerli, H.; Fuzzi, S.; Schjoerring, J. K.; Granier, C.; Neftel, A.; Isaksen, I. S. A.; Laj, P.; Maione, M.; Monks, P. S.; Burkhardt, J.; Daemmgen, U.; Neirynck, J.; Personne, E.; Wichink-Kruit, R.; Butterbach-Bahl, K.; Flechard, C.; Tuovinen, J. P.; Coyle, M.; Gerosa, G.; Loubet, B.; Altimir, N.; Gruenhage, L.; Ammann, C.; Cieslik, S.; Paoletti, E.; Mikkelsen, T. N.; Ro-Poulsen, H.; Cellier, P.; Cape, J. N.; Horváth, L.; Loreto, F.; Niinemets, Ü.; Palmer, P. I.; Rinne, J.; Misztal, P.; Nemitz, E.; Nilsson, D.; Pryor, S.; Gallagher, M. W.; Vesala, T.; Skiba, U.; Brüggemann, N.; Zechmeister-Boltenstern, S.; Williams, J.; O'Dowd, C.; Facchini, M. C.; de Leeuw, G.; Flossman, A.; Chaumerliac, N.; Erisman, J. W.

    Ecosystems and the atmosphere: This review describes the state of understanding the processes involved in the exchange of trace gases and aerosols between the earth's surface and the atmosphere. The gases covered include NO, NO 2, HONO, HNO 3, NH 3, SO 2, DMS, Biogenic VOC, O 3, CH 4, N 2O and particles in the size range 1 nm-10 μm including organic and inorganic chemical species. The main focus of the review is on the exchange between terrestrial ecosystems, both managed and natural and the atmosphere, although some new developments in ocean-atmosphere exchange are included. The material presented is biased towards the last decade, but includes earlier work, where more recent developments are limited or absent. New methodologies and instrumentation have enabled, if not driven technical advances in measurement. These developments have advanced the process understanding and upscaling of fluxes, especially for particles, VOC and NH 3. Examples of these applications include mass spectrometric methods, such as Aerosol Mass Spectrometry (AMS) adapted for field measurement of atmosphere-surface fluxes using micrometeorological methods for chemically resolved aerosols. Also briefly described are some advances in theory and techniques in micrometeorology. For some of the compounds there have been paradigm shifts in approach and application of both techniques and assessment. These include flux measurements over marine surfaces and urban areas using micrometeorological methods and the up-scaling of flux measurements using aircraft and satellite remote sensing. The application of a flux-based approach in assessment of O 3 effects on vegetation at regional scales is an important policy linked development secured through improved quantification of fluxes. The coupling of monitoring, modelling and intensive flux measurement at a continental scale within the NitroEurope network represents a quantum development in the application of research teams to address the underpinning

  9. CLIMATE CHANGE EFFECTS ON ECOSYSTEM SERVICES AND HUMAN HEALTH

    EPA Science Inventory

    Human health and well-being are and will be affected by climate change, both directly through changes in extreme weather events and indirectly through weather induced changes in societal systems and their supporting ecosystems. The goal of this study was to develop and apply a b...

  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. Climate change impacts on lake thermal dynamics and ecosystem vulnerabilities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sahoo, G. B; Forrest, A. L; Schladow, S. G ;; Reuter, J. E; Coats, R.; Dettinger, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Using water column temperature records collected since 1968, we analyzed the impacts of climate change on thermal properties, stability intensity, length of stratification, and deep mixing dynamics of Lake Tahoe using a modified stability index (SI). This new SI is easier to produce and is a more informative measure of deep lake stability than commonly used stability indices. The annual average SI increased at 16.62 kg/m2/decade although the summer (May–October) average SI increased at a higher rate (25.42 kg/m2/decade) during the period 1968–2014. This resulted in the lengthening of the stratification season by approximately 24 d. We simulated the lake thermal structure over a future 100 yr period using a lake hydrodynamic model driven by statistically downscaled outputs of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory Model (GFDL) for two different green house gas emission scenarios (the A2 in which greenhouse-gas emissions increase rapidly throughout the 21st Century, and the B1 in which emissions slow and then level off by the late 21st Century). The results suggest a continuation and intensification of the already observed trends. The length of stratification duration and the annual average lake stability are projected to increase by 38 d and 12 d and 30.25 kg/m2/decade and 8.66 kg/m2/decade, respectively for GFDLA2 and GFDLB1, respectively during 2014–2098. The consequences of this change bear the hallmarks of climate change induced lake warming and possible exacerbation of existing water quality, quantity and ecosystem changes. The developed methodology could be extended and applied to other lakes as a tool to predict changes in stratification and mixing dynamics.

  12. Linking degradation status with ecosystem vulnerability to environmental change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Angeler, David G.; Baho, Didier L.; Allen, Craig R.; Johnson, Richard K.

    2015-01-01

    Environmental change can cause regime shifts in ecosystems, potentially threatening ecosystem services. It is unclear if the degradation status of ecosystems correlates with their vulnerability to environmental change, and thus the risk of future regime shifts. We assessed resilience in acidified (degraded) and circumneutral (undegraded) lakes with long-term data (1988–2012), using time series modeling. We identified temporal frequencies in invertebrate assemblages, which identifies groups of species whose population dynamics vary at particular temporal scales. We also assessed species with stochastic dynamics, those whose population dynamics vary irregularly and unpredictably over time. We determined the distribution of functional feeding groups of invertebrates within and across the temporal scales identified, and in those species with stochastic dynamics, and assessed attributes hypothesized to contribute to resilience. Three patterns of temporal dynamics, consistent across study lakes, were identified in the invertebrates. The first pattern was one of monotonic change associated with changing abiotic lake conditions. The second and third patterns appeared unrelated to the environmental changes we monitored. Acidified and the circumneutral lakes shared similar levels and patterns of functional richness, evenness, diversity, and redundancy for species within and across the observed temporal scales and for stochastic species groups. These similar resilience characteristics suggest that both lake types did not differ in vulnerability to the environmental changes observed here. Although both lake types appeared equally vulnerable in this study, our approach demonstrates how assessing systemic vulnerability by quantifying ecological resilience can help address uncertainty in predicting ecosystem responses to environmental change across ecosystems.

  13. Climate Change Has Cascading Ecological Effects on Mountain Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fagre, D. B.

    2007-12-01

    Evidence that ecosystems of the Northern Rocky Mountains are responding to climate change abounds. Alpine glaciers, as iconic landscape features, are disappearing rapidly with some glaciers losing one half of their area in five years. A model developed in the 1990s to predict future rates of melt has proved too conservative when compared to recent measurements. The largest glaciers in Glacier National Park are almost 10 years ahead of schedule in their retreat. The cascading ecological effects of losing glaciers in high-elevation watersheds includes shifts in distribution and dominance of temperature-sensitive stream macroinvertebrates as stream volume dwindles (or disappears) in later summer months and water temperatures increase. Critical spawning areas for threatened bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) will be lost without the consistent supply of cold water that melting snow and ice provide and raise management questions regarding the efficacy of recovery efforts. Snowpacks are documented as becoming smaller and melting earlier in the spring, facilitating the invasion of subalpine meadows by trees and reducing habitat for current alpine wildlife. Even vital ecosystem disturbances, such as periodic snow avalanches that clear mountain slope forests, have been shown by tree-ring studies to be responsive to climatic trends and are likely to become less prevalent. Monitoring of high-elevation mountain environments is difficult and has largely been opportunistic despite the fact that these areas have experienced three times the temperature increases over the past century when compared to lowland environments. A system of alpine observatories is sorely needed. Tighter integration of mountains studies, and comparisons among diverse mountain systems of the western U.S. has been initiated by the USGS-sponsored Western Mountain Initiative and the Consortium for Integrated Climate Research in Western Mountains to begin addressing this need.

  14. Industrial arsenic contamination causes catastrophic changes in freshwater ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Guangjie; Shi, Haibin; Tao, Jianshuang; Chen, Li; Liu, Yuanyuan; Lei, Guoliang; Liu, Xiaohai; Smol, John P.

    2015-11-01

    Heavy metal pollution is now widely recognized to pose severe health and environmental threats, yet much of what is known concerning its adverse impacts on ecosystem health is derived from short-term ecotoxicological studies. Due to the frequent absence of long-term monitoring data, little is known of the long-tem ecological consequences of pollutants such as arsenic. Here, our dated sediment records from two contaminated lakes in China faithfully document a 13.9 and 21.4-fold increase of total arsenic relative to pre-1950 background levels. Concurrently, coherent responses in keystone biota signal pronounced ecosystem changes, with a >10-fold loss in crustacean zooplankton (important herbivores in the food webs of these lake systems) and a >5-fold increase in a highly metal-tolerant alga. Such fundamental ecological changes will cascade through the ecosystem, causing potentially catastrophic consequences for ecosystem services in contaminated regions.

  15. Committed ecosystem changes and contributions to climate recovery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, C. D.; Lowe, J. A.; Liddicoat, S. K.; Betts, R. A.

    2009-04-01

    Future climate change and the carbon cycle are tightly coupled. Many studies have now shown positive feedbacks which amplify climate change, reduce the natural uptake of carbon and influence global emissions pathways to stabilisation. On the timescale of 1 or 2 centuries, this feedback is mainly due to the terrestrial biosphere. Here we assess to what extent the biosphere contributes to recovery of CO2 levels after a cessation of carbon emissions. We find that when significant climate change has weakened natural terrestrial carbon sinks, these sinks do not recover after a stop of emissions and thus recovery of CO2 (and hence climate) is slow. Further, we find that the terrestrial biosphere exhibits significant inertia and can continue to respond to climate changes decades after stabilisation of climate. This has serious implications for definitions of dangerous climate change based simply on stabilisation temperature as the absence of significant biome changes at the time of stabilisation does not preclude significant and potentially detrimental changes in subsequent decades. Assessments of targets for stabilising climate change often consider the impacts of different levels of global warming. These assessments usually consider impacts that would occur at the time of reaching a particular level of warming. However, global terrestrial ecosystems continue to respond over longer timescales. Here we introduce the concept of "committed ecosystem changes" analogous to climate warming commitments and committed sea-level rise due to thermal inertia. The true impact of climate change on ecosystems will not be revealed for many decades after stabilising temperatures. Further, we suggest that ecosystems may become committed to substantial damage long before any is observable. For example, significant loss of forest cover in Amazonia may become inevitable significantly below a global warming of 2K. When defining dangerous climate change, and forming policy to avoid it, such

  16. Extreme temperatures, foundation species, and abrupt ecosystem change: an example from an iconic seagrass ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Thomson, Jordan A; Burkholder, Derek A; Heithaus, Michael R; Fourqurean, James W; Fraser, Matthew W; Statton, John; Kendrick, Gary A

    2015-04-01

    Extreme climatic events can trigger abrupt and often lasting change in ecosystems via the reduction or elimination of foundation (i.e., habitat-forming) species. However, while the frequency/intensity of extreme events is predicted to increase under climate change, the impact of these events on many foundation species and the ecosystems they support remains poorly understood. Here, we use the iconic seagrass meadows of Shark Bay, Western Australia--a relatively pristine subtropical embayment whose dominant, canopy-forming seagrass, Amphibolis antarctica, is a temperate species growing near its low-latitude range limit--as a model system to investigate the impacts of extreme temperatures on ecosystems supported by thermally sensitive foundation species in a changing climate. Following an unprecedented marine heat wave in late summer 2010/11, A. antarctica experienced catastrophic (>90%) dieback in several regions of Shark Bay. Animal-borne video footage taken from the perspective of resident, seagrass-associated megafauna (sea turtles) revealed severe habitat degradation after the event compared with a decade earlier. This reduction in habitat quality corresponded with a decline in the health status of largely herbivorous green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in the 2 years following the heat wave, providing evidence of long-term, community-level impacts of the event. Based on these findings, and similar examples from diverse ecosystems, we argue that a generalized framework for assessing the vulnerability of ecosystems to abrupt change associated with the loss of foundation species is needed to accurately predict ecosystem trajectories in a changing climate. This includes seagrass meadows, which have received relatively little attention in this context. Novel research and monitoring methods, such as the analysis of habitat and environmental data from animal-borne video and data-logging systems, can make an important contribution to this framework.

  17. Climate Warming in Antarctica is Triggering Changes in Biodiversity and Terrestrial Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wall, D. H.

    2007-12-01

    Antarctica climate changes relating to ice and ocean currents have global impacts, but changes on terrestrial ecosystems in the Antarctic are less well known. This is partially due to the small area of exposed land, the apparent isolation, and lack of permanent residents. However, low diversity ecosystems, such as Antarctic polar deserts, are expected to be more vulnerable to global changes and are located in regions that are likely to see some of the greatest climate changes. Evidence is accumulating that terrestrial regions of Antarctica are experiencing substantial but variable responses to climate change and human disturbance. In the McMurdo Dry Valleys and in the rapidly warming Antarctic Peninsula region, temperature changes have a rippling effect that control habitat dynamics, species, carbon cycling, especially since these ecosystems are situated on a threshold between frozen and liquid water. Direct anthropogenic effects, including tourism and invasive species are also changing terrestrial communities but the magnitude and duration is dependent on numerous interacting factors. Global change scenarios incorporating species abundance, species traits, community change and monitoring of changes in biogeography will be important for determining alterations to ecosystem processes such as nutrient cycling.

  18. Ecosystem vulnerability to climate change in the southeastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cartwright, Jennifer M.; Costanza, Jennifer

    2016-08-11

    Two recent investigations of climate-change vulnerability for 19 terrestrial, aquatic, riparian, and coastal ecosystems of the southeastern United States have identified a number of important considerations, including potential for changes in hydrology, disturbance regimes, and interspecies interactions. Complementary approaches using geospatial analysis and literature synthesis integrated information on ecosystem biogeography and biodiversity, climate projections, vegetation dynamics, soil and water characteristics, anthropogenic threats, conservation status, sea-level rise, and coastal flooding impacts. Across a diverse set of ecosystems—ranging in size from dozens of square meters to thousands of square kilometers—quantitative and qualitative assessments identified types of climate-change exposure, evaluated sensitivity, and explored potential adaptive capacity. These analyses highlighted key gaps in scientific understanding and suggested priorities for future research. Together, these studies help create a foundation for ecosystem-level analysis of climate-change vulnerability to support effective biodiversity conservation in the southeastern United States.

  19. Fishing-induced life-history changes degrade and destabilize harvested ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Kuparinen, Anna; Boit, Alice; Valdovinos, Fernanda S; Lassaux, Hélène; Martinez, Neo D

    2016-02-26

    Fishing is widely known to magnify fluctuations in targeted populations. These fluctuations are correlated with population shifts towards young, small, and more quickly maturing individuals. However, the existence and nature of the mechanistic basis for these correlations and their potential ecosystem impacts remain highly uncertain. Here, we elucidate this basis and associated impacts by showing how fishing can increase fluctuations in fishes and their ecosystem, particularly when coupled with decreasing body sizes and advancing maturation characteristic of the life-history changes induced by fishing. More specifically, using an empirically parameterized network model of a well-studied lake ecosystem, we show how fishing may both increase fluctuations in fish abundances and also, when accompanied by decreasing body size of adults, further decrease fish abundance and increase temporal variability of fishes' food resources and their ecosystem. In contrast, advanced maturation has relatively little effect except to increase variability in juvenile populations. Our findings illustrate how different mechanisms underlying life-history changes that may arise as evolutionary responses to intensive, size-selective fishing can rapidly and continuously destabilize and degrade ecosystems even after fishing has ceased. This research helps better predict how life-history changes may reduce fishes' resilience to fishing and ecosystems' resistance to environmental variations.

  20. The costs of climate change: ecosystem services and wildland fires

    EPA Science Inventory

    In this paper we use Habitat Equivalency Analysis (HEA) to monetize the avoided ecosystem services losses due to climate change-induced wildland fires in the U.S. Specifically, we use the U.S. Forest Service’s MC1 dynamic global vegetation model to forecast changes in wildland fi...

  1. A new way to study the changing Arctic ecosystem

    ScienceCinema

    Hubbard, Susan

    2016-07-12

    Berkeley Lab scientists Susan Hubbard and Margaret Torn discuss the proposed Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment, which is designed to answer one of the most urgent questions facing researchers today: How will a changing climate impact the Arctic, and how will this in turn impact the planet's climate? More info: http://newscenter.lbl.gov/feature-stories/2011/09/14/alaska-climate-change/

  2. A new way to study the changing Arctic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Hubbard, Susan

    2011-01-01

    Berkeley Lab scientists Susan Hubbard and Margaret Torn discuss the proposed Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment, which is designed to answer one of the most urgent questions facing researchers today: How will a changing climate impact the Arctic, and how will this in turn impact the planet's climate? More info: http://newscenter.lbl.gov/feature-stories/2011/09/14/alaska-climate-change/

  3. Climate change, soil health, and ecosystem goods and services

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Worldwide, climate change is predicted to alter precipitation regimes, annual temperatures, and occurrence of severe weather events. These changes have important implications for soil health-- defined as the capacity of a soil to contribute to ecosystem function and sustain producers and consumers--...

  4. Methods of Recording Rapid Wind Changes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Magnan, A

    1932-01-01

    The purpose of our research was to determine the rapid changes of air currents which impose varying stresses on the wings of airplanes. We attempted to express in figures the turbulence of the air, which perhaps plays some role in the behavior of airplanes in flight, as well as in the realization of certain methods of gliding flight. This is the reason which led us to conceive and develop the experimental equipment (hot-wire anemometer) described herein.

  5. Global climate change and the evolutionary ecology of ecosystem functioning.

    PubMed

    Schmitz, Oswald J

    2013-09-01

    Environmental warming due to global climate change is an important stressor that stands to alter organismal physiology and, ultimately, carbon cycling in ecosystems. Yet the theoretical framework for predicting warming effects on whole-ecosystem carbon balance by way of changes in organismal physiology remains rudimentary. This is because ecosystem science has yet to embrace principles of evolutionary ecology that offer the means to explain how environmental stress on organisms mediates ecosystem carbon dynamics. Here, using selected case studies and a theoretical model, I sketch out one framework that shows how increases in animal metabolic rates in response to thermal stress lead to phenotypically plastic shifts in animal elemental demand, from nitrogen-rich proteins that support production to carbon-rich soluble carbohydrates that support elevated energy demands. I further show how such a switch in resource selection alters the fate of carbon between atmospheric versus animal, plant, and soil pools. The framework shows that animals, despite having relatively low biomass representation in ecosystems, can nonetheless have disproportionately larger effects on carbon cycling in ecosystems whose effects are exacerbated by environmental stressors like climate warming.

  6. Monitoring Change in Temperate Coniferous Forest Ecosystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, Darrel (Technical Monitor); Woodcock, Curtis E.

    2004-01-01

    The primary goal of this research was to improve monitoring of temperate forest change using remote sensing. In this context, change includes both clearing of forest due to effects such as fire, logging, or land conversion and forest growth and succession. The Landsat 7 ETM+ proved an extremely valuable research tool in this domain. The Landsat 7 program has generated an extremely valuable transformation in the land remote sensing community by making high quality images available for relatively low cost. In addition, the tremendous improvements in the acquisition strategy greatly improved the overall availability of remote sensing images. I believe that from an historical prespective, the Landsat 7 mission will be considered extremely important as the improved image availability will stimulate the use of multitemporal imagery at resolutions useful for local to regional mapping. Also, Landsat 7 has opened the way to global applications of remote sensing at spatial scales where important surface processes and change can be directly monitored. It has been a wonderful experience to have participated on the Landsat 7 Science Team. The research conducted under this project led to contributions in four general domains: I. Improved understanding of the information content of images as a function of spatial resolution; II. Monitoring Forest Change and Succession; III. Development and Integration of Advanced Analysis Methods; and IV. General support of the remote sensing of forests and environmental change. This report is organized according to these topics. This report does not attempt to provide the complete details of the research conducted with support from this grant. That level of detail is provided in the 16 peer reviewed journal articles, 7 book chapters and 5 conference proceedings papers published as part of this grant. This report attempts to explain how the various publications fit together to improve our understanding of how forests are changing and how to

  7. Exploring spatial change and gravity center movement for ecosystem services value using a spatially explicit ecosystem services value index and gravity model.

    PubMed

    He, Yingbin; Chen, Youqi; Tang, Huajun; Yao, Yanmin; Yang, Peng; Chen, Zhongxin

    2011-04-01

    Spatially explicit ecosystem services valuation and change is a newly developing area of research in the field of ecology. Using the Beijing region as a study area, the authors have developed a spatially explicit ecosystem services value index and implemented this to quantify and spatially differentiate ecosystem services value at 1-km grid resolution. A gravity model was developed to trace spatial change in the total ecosystem services value of the Beijing study area from a holistic point of view. Study results show that the total value of ecosystem services for the study area decreased by 19.75% during the period 1996-2006 (3,226.2739 US$×10(6) in 1996, 2,589.0321 US$×10(6) in 2006). However, 27.63% of the total area of the Beijing study area increased in ecosystem services value. Spatial differences in ecosystem services values for both 1996 and 2006 are very clear. The center of gravity of total ecosystem services value for the study area moved 32.28 km northwestward over the 10 years due to intensive human intervention taking place in southeast Beijing. The authors suggest that policy-makers should pay greater attention to ecological protection under conditions of rapid socio-economic development and increase the area of green belt in the southeastern part of Beijing.

  8. Effect of climate change on marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vikebo, F. B.; Sundby, S.; Aadlandsvik, B.; Fiksen, O.

    2003-04-01

    As a part of the INTEGRATION project, headed by Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, funded by the German Research Council, the impact of climate change scenarios on marine fish populations will be addressed on a spesific population basis and will focus on fish populations in the northern North Atlantic with special emphasis on cod. The approach taken will mainly be a modelling study supported by analysis of existing data on fish stocks and climate. Through down-scaling and nesting techniques, various climate change scenarios with reduced THC in the North Atlantic will be investigated with higher spatial resolution for selected shelf areas. The hydrodynamical model used for the regional ocean modeling is ROMS (http://marine.rutgers.edu/po/models/roms/). An individual based model will be implemented into the larval drift module to simulate growth of the larvae along the drift paths.

  9. Buffer capacity, ecosystem feedbacks, and seawater chemistry under global change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jury, C. P.; Thomas, F. I.; Atkinson, M. J.; Jokiel, P. L.; Onuma, M. A.; Kaku, N.; Toonen, R. J.

    2013-12-01

    Ocean acidification (OA) results in reduced seawater pH and aragonite saturation state (Ωarag), but also reduced seawater buffer capacity. As buffer capacity decreases, diel variation in seawater chemistry increases. However, a variety of ecosystem feedbacks can modulate changes in both average seawater chemistry and diel seawater chemistry variation. Here we model these effects for a coastal, reef flat ecosystem. We show that an increase in offshore pCO2 and temperature (to 900 μatm and +3°C) can increase diel pH variation by as much as a factor of 2.5 and can increase diel pCO2 variation by a factor of 4.6, depending on ecosystem feedbacks and seawater residence time. Importantly, these effects are different between day and night. With increasing seawater residence time and increasing feedback intensity, daytime seawater chemistry becomes more similar to present-day conditions while nighttime seawater chemistry becomes less similar to present-day conditions. Better constraining ecosystem feedbacks under global change will improve projections of coastal water chemistry, but this study shows the importance of considering changes in both average carbonate chemistry and diel chemistry variation for organisms and ecosystems. Further, we will discuss our recent work examining the effects of diel seawater chemistry variation on coral calcification rates.

  10. 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.

  11. Final Technical Report: Effects of Changing Water and Nitrogen Inputs on a Mojave Desert Ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, Stanley, D.; Nowak, Robert S.; Fenstermaker, Lynn, F.; Young, Michael,H.

    2007-11-30

    In order to anticipate the effects of global change on ecosystem function, it is essential that predictive relationships be established linking ecosystem function to global change scenarios. The Mojave Desert is of considerable interest with respect to global change. It contains the driest habitats in North America, and thus most closely approximates the world’s great arid deserts. In order to examine the effects of climate and land use changes, in 2001 we established a long-term manipulative global change experiment, called the Mojave Global Change Facility. Manipulations in this study include the potential effects of (1) increased summer rainfall (75 mm over three discrete 25 mm events), (2) increased nitrogen deposition (10 and 40 kg ha-1), and (3) the disturbance of biological N-fixing crusts . Questions addressed under this grant shared the common hypothesis that plant and ecosystem performance will positively respond to the augmentation of the most limiting resources to plant growth in the Mojave Desert, e.g., water and nitrogen. Specific hypotheses include (1) increased summer rainfall will significantly increase plant production through an alleviation of moisture stress in the dry summer months, (2) N-deposition will increase plant production in this N-limited system, particularly in wet years or in concert with added summer rain, and (3) biological crust disturbance will gradually decrease bio-available N, with concomitant long-term reductions in photosynthesis and ANPP. Individual plant and ecosystem responses to global change may be regulated by biogeochemical processes and natural weather variability, and changes in plant and ecosystem processes may occur rapidly, may occur only after a time lag, or may not occur at all. During the first PER grant period, we observed changes in plant and ecosystem processes that would fall under each of these time-response intervals: plant and ecosystem processes responded rapidly to added summer rain, whereas most

  12. The Rapid Ice Sheet Change Observatory (RISCO)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morin, P.; Howat, I. M.; Ahn, Y.; Porter, C.; McFadden, E. M.

    2010-12-01

    The recent expansion of observational capacity from space has revealed dramatic, rapid changes in the Earth’s ice cover. These discoveries have fundamentally altered how scientists view ice-sheet change. Instead of just slow changes in snow accumulation and melting over centuries or millennia, important changes can occur in sudden events lasting only months, weeks, or even a single day. Our understanding of these short time- and space-scale processes, which hold important implications for future global sea level rise, has been impeded by the low temporal and spatial resolution, delayed sensor tasking, incomplete coverage, inaccessibility and/or high cost of data available to investigators. New cross-agency partnerships and data access policies provide the opportunity to dramatically improve the resolution of ice sheet observations by an order of magnitude, from timescales of months and distances of 10’s of meters, to days and meters or less. Advances in image processing technology also enable application of currently under-utilized datasets. The infrastructure for systematically gathering, processing, analyzing and distributing these data does not currently exist. Here we present the development of a multi-institutional, multi-platform observatory for rapid ice change with the ultimate objective of helping to elucidate the relevant timescales and processes of ice sheet dynamics and response to climate change. The Rapid Ice Sheet Observatory (RISCO) gathers observations of short time- and space-scale Cryosphere events and makes them easily accessible to investigators, media and general public. As opposed to existing data centers, which are structured to archive and distribute diverse types of raw data to end users with the specialized software and skills to analyze them, RISCO focuses on three types of geo-referenced raster (image) data products in a format immediately viewable with commonly available software. These three products are (1) sequences of images

  13. Urbanization, Climate Change, and Changes to Ecosystem Services in Coastal Areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sutton, P. C.; Costanza, R.; Roman, J.; Kubiszewski, I.

    2011-12-01

    We examine the history and status of ecosystem services in low-lying coastal areas (LLCA's), how they might change in the future in particular because of urbanization and wider environmental and social changes, and what the implications of these changes might be for the migration of humans. We synthesized information from a number of sources on the status and value of ecosystem services in LLCA's, including information about key ecosystems that are likely to be particularly vulnerable to environmental change. We created maps of ecosystem and human population changes in LLCA's and then estimated changes in ecosystem services. We developed four scenarios for future ecosystem and ecosystem services conditions in 2060, based on the four SRES (Special Report on Emissions Scenarios) scenarios with additional reference to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the Great Transition Initiative scenarios. The two axes of the SRES scenarios are global vs. regional and material economy vs. environment foci. This allowed an assessment of the plausible range of future uncertainty about ecosystem services in LLCA's and the potential for changes in ecosystem services to drive human migration. Major findings include: 1) Coastal ecosystems are among the most productive on the planet. They provide more than 70% of total global ecosystem services; 2) At the same time, these systems are the most threatened by climate change, human settlement and potential coastward migration; 3) In the mid 1990's, approximately 25 million people were forced to leave their homelands due to the inability to secure a livelihood as ecosystem services declined; 4) In the coming decades, one estimate puts the number at 240-525 million people who may feel impelled to migrate due to loss of ecosystem services; 5) Risk factors for coastal populations include overexploitation of resources, including fisheries; destruction of mangroves, wetlands, and other natural infrastructure; increased storm activity and

  14. Macroclimatic change expected to transform coastal wetland ecosystems this century

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gabler, Christopher A.; Osland, Michael J.; Grace, James B.; Stagg, Camille L.; Day, Richard H.; Hartley, Stephen B.; Enwright, Nicholas M.; From, Andrew; McCoy, Meagan L.; McLeod, Jennie L.

    2017-01-01

    Coastal wetlands, existing at the interface between land and sea, are highly vulnerable to climate change. Macroclimate (for example, temperature and precipitation regimes) greatly influences coastal wetland ecosystem structure and function. However, research on climate change impacts in coastal wetlands has concentrated primarily on sea-level rise and largely ignored macroclimatic drivers, despite their power to transform plant community structure and modify ecosystem goods and services. Here, we model wetland plant community structure based on macroclimate using field data collected across broad temperature and precipitation gradients along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast. Our analyses quantify strongly nonlinear temperature thresholds regulating the potential for marsh-to-mangrove conversion. We also identify precipitation thresholds for dominance by various functional groups, including succulent plants and unvegetated mudflats. Macroclimate-driven shifts in foundation plant species abundance will have large effects on certain ecosystem goods and services. Based on current and projected climatic conditions, we project that transformative ecological changes are probable throughout the region this century, even under conservative climate scenarios. Coastal wetland ecosystems are functionally similar worldwide, so changes in this region are indicative of potential future changes in climatically similar regions globally.

  15. Resource subsidies between stream and terrestrial ecosystems under global change.

    PubMed

    Larsen, Stefano; Muehlbauer, Jeffrey D; Marti, Eugenia

    2016-07-01

    Streams and adjacent terrestrial ecosystems are characterized by permeable boundaries that are crossed by resource subsidies. Although the importance of these subsidies for riverine ecosystems is increasingly recognized, little is known about how they may be influenced by global environmental change. Drawing from available evidence, in this review we propose a conceptual framework to evaluate the effects of global change on the quality and spatiotemporal dynamics of stream-terrestrial subsidies. We illustrate how changes to hydrological and temperature regimes, atmospheric CO2 concentration, land use and the distribution of nonindigenous species can influence subsidy fluxes by affecting the biology and ecology of donor and recipient systems and the physical characteristics of stream-riparian boundaries. Climate-driven changes in the physiology and phenology of organisms with complex life cycles will influence their development time, body size and emergence patterns, with consequences for adjacent terrestrial consumers. Also, novel species interactions can modify subsidy dynamics via complex bottom-up and top-down effects. Given the seasonality and pulsed nature of subsidies, alterations of the temporal and spatial synchrony of resource availability to consumers across ecosystems are likely to result in ecological mismatches that can scale up from individual responses, to communities, to ecosystems. Similarly, altered hydrology, temperature, CO2 concentration and land use will modify the recruitment and quality of riparian vegetation, the timing of leaf abscission and the establishment of invasive riparian species. Along with morphological changes to stream-terrestrial boundaries, these will alter the use and fluxes of allochthonous subsidies associated with stream ecosystems. Future research should aim to understand how subsidy dynamics will be affected by key drivers of global change, including agricultural intensification, increasing water use and biotic

  16. Resource subsidies between stream and terrestrial ecosystems under global change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larsen, Stefano; Muehlbauer, Jeffrey D.; Marti Roca, Maria Eugenia

    2016-01-01

    Streams and adjacent terrestrial ecosystems are characterized by permeable boundaries that are crossed by resource subsidies. Although the importance of these subsidies for riverine ecosystems is increasingly recognized, little is known about how they may be influenced by global environmental change. Drawing from available evidence, in this review we propose a conceptual framework to evaluate the effects of global change on the quality and spatiotemporal dynamics of stream–terrestrial subsidies. We illustrate how changes to hydrological and temperature regimes, atmospheric CO2 concentration, land use and the distribution of nonindigenous species can influence subsidy fluxes by affecting the biology and ecology of donor and recipient systems and the physical characteristics of stream–riparian boundaries. Climate-driven changes in the physiology and phenology of organisms with complex life cycles will influence their development time, body size and emergence patterns, with consequences for adjacent terrestrial consumers. Also, novel species interactions can modify subsidy dynamics via complex bottom-up and top-down effects. Given the seasonality and pulsed nature of subsidies, alterations of the temporal and spatial synchrony of resource availability to consumers across ecosystems are likely to result in ecological mismatches that can scale up from individual responses, to communities, to ecosystems. Similarly, altered hydrology, temperature, CO2 concentration and land use will modify the recruitment and quality of riparian vegetation, the timing of leaf abscission and the establishment of invasive riparian species. Along with morphological changes to stream–terrestrial boundaries, these will alter the use and fluxes of allochthonous subsidies associated with stream ecosystems. Future research should aim to understand how subsidy dynamics will be affected by key drivers of global change, including agricultural intensification, increasing water use and biotic

  17. 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.

  18. Reintroducing Environmental Change Drivers in Biodiversity-Ecosystem Functioning Research.

    PubMed

    De Laender, Frederik; Rohr, Jason R; Ashauer, Roman; Baird, Donald J; Berger, Uta; Eisenhauer, Nico; Grimm, Volker; Hommen, Udo; Maltby, Lorraine; Meliàn, Carlos J; Pomati, Francesco; Roessink, Ivo; Radchuk, Viktoriia; Van den Brink, Paul J

    2016-12-01

    For the past 20 years, research on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (B-EF) has only implicitly considered the underlying role of environmental change. We illustrate that explicitly reintroducing environmental change drivers in B-EF research is needed to predict the functioning of ecosystems facing changes in biodiversity. Next we show how this reintroduction improves experimental control over community composition and structure, which helps to provide mechanistic insight on how multiple aspects of biodiversity relate to function and how biodiversity and function relate in food webs. We also highlight challenges for the proposed reintroduction and suggest analyses and experiments to better understand how random biodiversity changes, as studied by classic approaches in B-EF research, contribute to the shifts in function that follow environmental change.

  19. Global Aerospace Industries: Rapid Changes Ahead? (Abridged)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-04-30

    Rapid Changes Ahead? (Abridged) Raymond Franck and Ira Lewis, Naval Postgraduate School Bernard Udis, University of Colorado at Boulder Published...Acquisition Research Program Attn: James B. Greene, RADM, USN, (Ret.) Acquisition Chair Graduate School of Business and Public Policy Naval Postgraduate... James B. Greene Jr. Keith F. Snider, PhD Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.) Associate Professor ^Åèìáëáíáçå=oÉëÉ~êÅÜ=éêçÖê~ãW= `êÉ~íáåÖ=póåÉêÖó=Ñçê

  20. Fencing bodes a rapid collapse of the unique Greater Mara ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Løvschal, Mette; Bøcher, Peder Klith; Pilgaard, Jeppe; Amoke, Irene; Odingo, Alice; Thuo, Aggrey; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2017-01-25

    With land privatization and fencing of thousands of hectares of communal grazing areas, East Africa is struggling with one of the most radical cultural and environmental changes in its history. The 668,500-hectare Greater Mara is of crucial importance for the great migrations of large mammals and for Maasai pastoralist culture. However, the magnitude and pace of these fencing processes in this area are almost completely unknown. We provide new evidence that fencing is appropriating land in this area at an unprecedented and accelerating speed and scale. By means of a mapped series of multispectral satellite imagery (1985-2016), we found that in the conservancies with the most fences, areal cover of fenced areas has increased with >20% since 2010. This has resulted in a situation where fencing is rapidly increasing across the Greater Mara, threatening to lead to the collapse of the entire ecosystem in the near future. Our results suggest that fencing is currently instantiating itself as a new permanent self-reinforcing process and is about to reach a critical point after which it is likely to amplify at an even quicker pace, incompatible with the region's role in the great wildebeest migration, wildlife generally, as well as traditional Maasai pastoralism.

  1. Fencing bodes a rapid collapse of the unique Greater Mara ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Løvschal, Mette; Bøcher, Peder Klith; Pilgaard, Jeppe; Amoke, Irene; Odingo, Alice; Thuo, Aggrey; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2017-01-01

    With land privatization and fencing of thousands of hectares of communal grazing areas, East Africa is struggling with one of the most radical cultural and environmental changes in its history. The 668,500-hectare Greater Mara is of crucial importance for the great migrations of large mammals and for Maasai pastoralist culture. However, the magnitude and pace of these fencing processes in this area are almost completely unknown. We provide new evidence that fencing is appropriating land in this area at an unprecedented and accelerating speed and scale. By means of a mapped series of multispectral satellite imagery (1985–2016), we found that in the conservancies with the most fences, areal cover of fenced areas has increased with >20% since 2010. This has resulted in a situation where fencing is rapidly increasing across the Greater Mara, threatening to lead to the collapse of the entire ecosystem in the near future. Our results suggest that fencing is currently instantiating itself as a new permanent self-reinforcing process and is about to reach a critical point after which it is likely to amplify at an even quicker pace, incompatible with the region’s role in the great wildebeest migration, wildlife generally, as well as traditional Maasai pastoralism.

  2. Rapid development of an unusual peat-accumulating ecosystem in the Chilean Altiplano

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Earle, Lisa R.; Warner, Barry G.; Aravena, Ramon

    2003-01-01

    Stratigraphic relationships, radiocarbon dating, sediment and peat characteristics, and rates of peat and carbon accumulation from a soligenous peatland, or "bofedal," in the Chilean Altiplano shows the peatland to be unusually young, dynamic, and sensitive to environmental changes. The site lies in the National Park Nevado de Tres Cruces in the puna desert grassland at an elevation of 4300 m a.s.l. Eight peat cores were extracted from a 1.75-km transect yielding a maximum of 3.6 m of organic sediment. Organic matter began to accumulate 1700-1100 cal yr B.P. under a progressively arid local climate, after a period when regional climate is believed to have been more humid than at present. Areas of greater relief and better drainage in the valley bottom eventually fostered the growth of a riparian cushion plant community after water flowing down the valley began to diminish. This led to rapid lateral expansion of the riparian peatland communities over open water in topographic depressions at a rate heretofore unprecedented in the peatland literature. It appears that development of the peatland has been encouraged by autoregulation of internal hydrology. The drainage impediment created by organic mass accumulation in lower-relief areas probably reduced the amount of water arriving at the lower reaches of the peatland. These areas have become progressively drier and have since died and oxidized. Through endogenous peat accumulation and a concomitant drainage impediment, the ecosystem has been migrating upstream over the past 50 years.

  3. Fencing bodes a rapid collapse of the unique Greater Mara ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Løvschal, Mette; Bøcher, Peder Klith; Pilgaard, Jeppe; Amoke, Irene; Odingo, Alice; Thuo, Aggrey; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2017-01-01

    With land privatization and fencing of thousands of hectares of communal grazing areas, East Africa is struggling with one of the most radical cultural and environmental changes in its history. The 668,500-hectare Greater Mara is of crucial importance for the great migrations of large mammals and for Maasai pastoralist culture. However, the magnitude and pace of these fencing processes in this area are almost completely unknown. We provide new evidence that fencing is appropriating land in this area at an unprecedented and accelerating speed and scale. By means of a mapped series of multispectral satellite imagery (1985–2016), we found that in the conservancies with the most fences, areal cover of fenced areas has increased with >20% since 2010. This has resulted in a situation where fencing is rapidly increasing across the Greater Mara, threatening to lead to the collapse of the entire ecosystem in the near future. Our results suggest that fencing is currently instantiating itself as a new permanent self-reinforcing process and is about to reach a critical point after which it is likely to amplify at an even quicker pace, incompatible with the region’s role in the great wildebeest migration, wildlife generally, as well as traditional Maasai pastoralism. PMID:28120950

  4. Ecosystem Health Disorders - changing perspectives in clinical medicine and nutrition.

    PubMed

    Wahlqvist, Mark L

    2014-01-01

    The inseparability of people from their ecosystem without biological change is increasingly clear. The discrete species concept is becoming more an approximation as the interconnectedness of all things, animate and inanimate, becomes more apparent. Yet this was evident even to our earliest Homo Sapiens sapiens ancestors as they hunted and gathered from one locality to another and migrated across the globe. During a rather short 150-200,000 years of ancestral history, we have changed the aeons-old planet and our ecology with dubious sustainability. As we have changed the ecosystems of which we are a part, with their opportunities for shelter, rest, ambulation, discourse, food, recreation and their sensory inputs, we have changed our shared biology and our health prospects. The rate of ecosystem change has increased quantitatively and qualitatively and so will that of our health patterns, depending on our resilience and how linear, non-linear or fractal-like the linkage. Our health-associated ecosystem trajectories are uncertain. The interfaces between us and our environment are blurred, but comprise time, biorhythms, prokaryotic organisms, sensory (auditory, visual, tactile, taste and smell), conjoint movement, endocrine with various external hormonal through food and contaminants, the reflection of soil and rock composition in the microbes, plants, insects and animals that we eat (our biogeology) and much more. We have sought ways to optimise our health through highly anthropocentric means, which have proven inadequate. Accumulated ecosystem change may now overwhelm our health. On these accounts, more integrative approaches and partnerships for health care practice are required.

  5. Impacts of Climate and UV Change on Arctic Freshwater Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wrona, F. J.; Prowse, T. D.; Reist, J. D.

    2004-05-01

    An overview is provided of the key findings of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA), which is an international project of the Arctic Council and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), to evaluate and synthesize knowledge on climate variability, climate change, and increased ultraviolet radiation and their consequences. Predicted changes in climate and UV in the Arctic are expected to have far-reaching impacts on the hydrology and ecology of freshwater ecosystems. Key effects include changes in the distribution, abundance and ecology of aquatic species in various trophic levels, dramatic alterations in the physical environment that makes up their habitat, changes to the chemical properties of that environment, and alterations to the processes that act on and within freshwater ecosystems. Interactions of climatic variables, such as temperature and precipitation, with freshwater ecosystems are highly complex and hence can be propagated through ecosystems in ways that are often difficult to predict. This is partly because of our still relatively poor understanding of the structure and function of arctic freshwater systems and their basic interrelationships with climate and other environmental variables, as well as by a paucity of long-term freshwater monitoring sites and integrated hydro-ecological research programs in the Arctic. Predictions of hydro-ecological impacts are further complicated by synergistic and cumulative effects.

  6. Estimating ecosystem service changes as a precursor to modeling

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA's Future Midwestern Landscapes Study will project changes in ecosystem services (ES) for alternative future policy scenarios in the Midwestern U.S. Doing so for detailed landscapes over large spatial scales will require serial application of economic and ecological models. W...

  7. Rapid Assessment of Ecosystem Service Co-Benefits of Biodiversity Priority Areas in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Neugarten, Rachel A; Honzák, Miroslav; Carret, Pierre; Koenig, Kellee; Andriamaro, Luciano; Cano, Carlos Andres; Grantham, Hedley S; Hole, David; Juhn, Daniel; McKinnon, Madeleine; Rasolohery, Andriambolantsoa; Steininger, Marc; Wright, Timothy Max; Turner, Will R

    2016-01-01

    The importance of ecosystems for supporting human well-being is increasingly recognized by both the conservation and development sectors. Our ability to conserve ecosystems that people rely on is often limited by a lack of spatially explicit data on the location and distribution of ecosystem services (ES), the benefits provided by nature to people. Thus there is a need to map ES to guide conservation investments, to ensure these co-benefits are maintained. To target conservation investments most effectively, ES assessments must be rigorous enough to support conservation planning, rapid enough to respond to decision-making timelines, and often must rely on existing data. We developed a framework for rapid spatial assessment of ES that relies on expert and stakeholder consultation, available data, and spatial analyses in order to rapidly identify sites providing multiple benefits. We applied the framework in Madagascar, a country with globally significant biodiversity and a high level of human dependence on ecosystems. Our objective was to identify the ES co-benefits of biodiversity priority areas in order to guide the investment strategy of a global conservation fund. We assessed key provisioning (fisheries, hunting and non-timber forest products, and water for domestic use, agriculture, and hydropower), regulating (climate mitigation, flood risk reduction and coastal protection), and cultural (nature tourism) ES. We also conducted multi-criteria analyses to identify sites providing multiple benefits. While our approach has limitations, including the reliance on proximity-based indicators for several ES, the results were useful for targeting conservation investments by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF). Because our approach relies on available data, standardized methods for linking ES provision to ES use, and expert validation, it has the potential to quickly guide conservation planning and investment decisions in other data-poor regions.

  8. Rapid Assessment of Ecosystem Service Co-Benefits of Biodiversity Priority Areas in Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Andriamaro, Luciano; Cano, Carlos Andres; Grantham, Hedley S.; Hole, David; Juhn, Daniel; McKinnon, Madeleine; Rasolohery, Andriambolantsoa; Steininger, Marc; Wright, Timothy Max

    2016-01-01

    The importance of ecosystems for supporting human well-being is increasingly recognized by both the conservation and development sectors. Our ability to conserve ecosystems that people rely on is often limited by a lack of spatially explicit data on the location and distribution of ecosystem services (ES), the benefits provided by nature to people. Thus there is a need to map ES to guide conservation investments, to ensure these co-benefits are maintained. To target conservation investments most effectively, ES assessments must be rigorous enough to support conservation planning, rapid enough to respond to decision-making timelines, and often must rely on existing data. We developed a framework for rapid spatial assessment of ES that relies on expert and stakeholder consultation, available data, and spatial analyses in order to rapidly identify sites providing multiple benefits. We applied the framework in Madagascar, a country with globally significant biodiversity and a high level of human dependence on ecosystems. Our objective was to identify the ES co-benefits of biodiversity priority areas in order to guide the investment strategy of a global conservation fund. We assessed key provisioning (fisheries, hunting and non-timber forest products, and water for domestic use, agriculture, and hydropower), regulating (climate mitigation, flood risk reduction and coastal protection), and cultural (nature tourism) ES. We also conducted multi-criteria analyses to identify sites providing multiple benefits. While our approach has limitations, including the reliance on proximity-based indicators for several ES, the results were useful for targeting conservation investments by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF). Because our approach relies on available data, standardized methods for linking ES provision to ES use, and expert validation, it has the potential to quickly guide conservation planning and investment decisions in other data-poor regions. PMID:28006005

  9. Fishing-induced life-history changes degrade and destabilize harvested ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuparinen, Anna; Boit, Alice; Valdovinos, Fernanda S.; Lassaux, Hélène; Martinez, Neo D.

    2016-02-01

    Fishing is widely known to magnify fluctuations in targeted populations. These fluctuations are correlated with population shifts towards young, small, and more quickly maturing individuals. However, the existence and nature of the mechanistic basis for these correlations and their potential ecosystem impacts remain highly uncertain. Here, we elucidate this basis and associated impacts by showing how fishing can increase fluctuations in fishes and their ecosystem, particularly when coupled with decreasing body sizes and advancing maturation characteristic of the life-history changes induced by fishing. More specifically, using an empirically parameterized network model of a well-studied lake ecosystem, we show how fishing may both increase fluctuations in fish abundances and also, when accompanied by decreasing body size of adults, further decrease fish abundance and increase temporal variability of fishes’ food resources and their ecosystem. In contrast, advanced maturation has relatively little effect except to increase variability in juvenile populations. Our findings illustrate how different mechanisms underlying life-history changes that may arise as evolutionary responses to intensive, size-selective fishing can rapidly and continuously destabilize and degrade ecosystems even after fishing has ceased. This research helps better predict how life-history changes may reduce fishes’ resilience to fishing and ecosystems’ resistance to environmental variations.

  10. Rapid Global Expansion of Invertebrate Fisheries: Trends, Drivers, and Ecosystem Effects

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Sean C.; Mills Flemming, Joanna; Watson, Reg; Lotze, Heike K.

    2011-01-01

    Background Worldwide, finfish fisheries are receiving increasing assessment and regulation, slowly leading to more sustainable exploitation and rebuilding. In their wake, invertebrate fisheries are rapidly expanding with little scientific scrutiny despite increasing socio-economic importance. Methods and Findings We provide the first global evaluation of the trends, drivers, and population and ecosystem consequences of invertebrate fisheries based on a global catch database in combination with taxa-specific reviews. We also develop new methodologies to quantify temporal and spatial trends in resource status and fishery development. Since 1950, global invertebrate catches have increased 6-fold with 1.5 times more countries fishing and double the taxa reported. By 2004, 34% of invertebrate fisheries were over-exploited, collapsed, or closed. New fisheries have developed increasingly rapidly, with a decrease of 6 years (3 years) in time to peak from the 1950s to 1990s. Moreover, some fisheries have expanded further and further away from their driving market, encompassing a global fishery by the 1990s. 71% of taxa (53% of catches) are harvested with habitat-destructive gear, and many provide important ecosystem functions including habitat, filtration, and grazing. Conclusions Our findings suggest that invertebrate species, which form an important component of the basis of marine food webs, are increasingly exploited with limited stock and ecosystem-impact assessments, and enhanced management attention is needed to avoid negative consequences for ocean ecosystems and human well-being. PMID:21408090

  11. Ecosystem thresholds in Lake Kälksjön, Sweden, in response to rapid climate cooling 8200 years ago

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Randsalu Wendrup, Linda; Conley, Daniel J.; Hammarlund, Dan; Snowball, Ian; Carstensen, Jacob; Fritz, Sherilyn C.

    2010-05-01

    50 years have been used to wiggle match the sediments to the tree-ring derived radiocarbon calibration curve (Snowball et al., in press). Snowball et al. (in press) used the wiggle matching, organic carbon measurements, mineral magnetic parameters and XRF data and reconstructed a distinct period of enhanced erosion in the catchment from 8066±25 to 7920±25 cal. yr BP. Their results suggest that an abrupt onset of winter precipitation in west-central Sweden started at least 50 years after the onset of the "8.2 kyr cold event" as defined by oxygen isotope data from Greenland. The lake has been sampled for diatom analysis at increments of 10 years over 500 years covering the 8.2 event. The wiggle matched chronology and presence of varves allows for a high resolution time constrained diatom analysis which we hope will reveal the response of the ecosystem to the rapid cooling and also allow us to work on developing and testing numerical methods for detecting and analysing regime shifts. A preliminary low resolution diatom study shows that the diatom flora displays a benthic response to the climate cooling. It also shows that the diatoms seem to react earlier than the previously measured parameters, suggesting that the diatoms and the lake ecosystem are affected by the rapid cooling rather immediately, for example due to changes in ice cover duration, while increased winter precipitation affects the ecosystem at a later stage.

  12. The rapidly changing landscape of insect phylogenetics.

    PubMed

    Maddison, David R

    2016-12-01

    Insect phylogenetics is being profoundly changed by many innovations. Although rapid developments in genomics have center stage, key progress has been made in phenomics, field and museum science, digital databases and pipelines, analytical tools, and the culture of science. The importance of these methodological and cultural changes to the pace of inference of the hexapod Tree of Life is discussed. The innovations have the potential, when synthesized and mobilized in ways as yet unforeseen, to shine light on the million or more clades in insects, and infer their composition with confidence. There are many challenges to overcome before insects can enter the 'phylocognisant age', but because of the promise of genomics, phenomics, and informatics, that is now an imaginable future.

  13. Final Technical Report: Effects of Changing Water and Nitrogen Inputs on a Mojave Desert Ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, Stanley D.; Nowak, Robert S.

    2007-11-30

    Questions addressed under this grant shared the common hypothesis that plant and ecosystem performance will positively respond to the augmentation of the most limiting resources to plant growth in the Mojave Desert, e.g., water and nitrogen. Specific hypothesis include (1) increased summer rainfall will significantly increase plant production thorugh an alleviation of moisture stress in the dry summer months, (2) N-deposition will increase plan production in this N-limited system, particularly in wet years or in concert with added summer rain, and (3) biological crust disturbance will gradually decrease bio-available N, with concomitant long-term reductions in photosynthesis and ANPP. Individual plan and ecosystem responses to global change may be regulated by biogeochemical processes and natural weather variability, and changes in plant and ecosystem processes may occur rapidly, may occur only after a time lag, or may not occur at all. During the first PER grant period, we observed changes in plant and ecosystem processes that would fall under each of these time-response intervals: plant and ecosystem processes responded rapidly to added summer rain, whereas most processes responded slowly or in a lag fashion to N-deposition and with no significant response to crust disturbance. Therefore, the primary objectives of this renewal grant were to: (1) continue ongoing measurements of soil and plant parameters that assess primary treatment responses; (2) address the potential heterogeneity of soil properties and (3) initiate a new suite of measurements that will provide data necessary for scaling/modeling of whole-plot to ecosystem-level responses. Our experimental approach included soil plan-water interactions using TDR, neutron probe, and miniaturized soil matric potential and moisture sensors, plant ecophysiological and productivity responses to water and nitrogen treatments and remote sensing methodologies deployed on a radio control platform.

  14. Resilience in polar ecosystems: From drivers to impacts and changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bölter, Manfred; Müller, Felix

    2016-03-01

    The theory of resilience is increasing in applied ecosystem research and has become a valuable concept for analyzing relationships between natural environments and various stressors, e.g., global warming or direct human impacts. This concept offers opportunities to apply management strategies to different system levels and can provide insights into future ecosystem change. Polar systems are known to be ecologically sensitive to global and local impacts. Records of changes in polar environments, used as alarm signals by governmental and non-governmental institutions, are well documented in various reports. However, it remains difficult to define specific disturbance thresholds, only few methods allow an evaluation of the actual natural state of polar systems, its degree of modification they can accommodate before trophic systems change with severe damages. Some of the main drivers of system changes have been analyzed with respect to possible effects on system changes over different time scales. This paper reviews studies of polar ecosystems and their ability to cope with changes by assessing their resilience in response to human disturbances. Furthermore, we suggest that a customized framework (drivers, pressures, states, impacts, and responses (DPSIR)) should be applied to obtain an improved understanding of the interactions between the state of, and changes in, natural systems.

  15. Human activities change marine ecosystems by altering predation risk.

    PubMed

    Madin, Elizabeth M P; Dill, Lawrence M; Ridlon, April D; Heithaus, Michael R; Warner, Robert R

    2016-01-01

    In ocean ecosystems, many of the changes in predation risk - both increases and decreases - are human-induced. These changes are occurring at scales ranging from global to local and across variable temporal scales. Indirect, risk-based effects of human activity are known to be important in structuring some terrestrial ecosystems, but these impacts have largely been neglected in oceans. Here, we synthesize existing literature and data to explore multiple lines of evidence that collectively suggest diverse human activities are changing marine ecosystems, including carbon storage capacity, in myriad ways by altering predation risk. We provide novel, compelling evidence that at least one key human activity, overfishing, can lead to distinct, cascading risk effects in natural ecosystems whose magnitude exceeds that of presumed lethal effects and may account for previously unexplained findings. We further discuss the conservation implications of human-caused indirect risk effects. Finally, we provide a predictive framework for when human alterations of risk in oceans should lead to cascading effects and outline a prospectus for future research. Given the speed and extent with which human activities are altering marine risk landscapes, it is crucial that conservation and management policy considers the indirect effects of these activities in order to increase the likelihood of success and avoid unfortunate surprises.

  16. 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.

  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. 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.

  20. Economic development and coastal ecosystem change in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Qiang; Bertness, Mark D.; Bruno, John F.; Li, Bo; Chen, Guoqian; Coverdale, Tyler C.; Altieri, Andrew H.; Bai, Junhong; Sun, Tao; Pennings, Steven C.; Liu, Jianguo; Ehrlich, Paul R.; Cui, Baoshan

    2014-08-01

    Despite their value, coastal ecosystems are globally threatened by anthropogenic impacts, yet how these impacts are driven by economic development is not well understood. We compiled a multifaceted dataset to quantify coastal trends and examine the role of economic growth in China's coastal degradation since the 1950s. Although China's coastal population growth did not change following the 1978 economic reforms, its coastal economy increased by orders of magnitude. All 15 coastal human impacts examined increased over time, especially after the reforms. Econometric analysis revealed positive relationships between most impacts and GDP across temporal and spatial scales, often lacking dropping thresholds. These relationships generally held when influences of population growth were addressed by analyzing per capita impacts, and when population density was included as explanatory variables. Historical trends in physical and biotic indicators showed that China's coastal ecosystems changed little or slowly between the 1950s and 1978, but have degraded at accelerated rates since 1978. Thus economic growth has been the cause of accelerating human damage to China's coastal ecosystems. China's GDP per capita remains very low. Without strict conservation efforts, continuing economic growth will further degrade China's coastal ecosystems.

  1. Economic development and coastal ecosystem change in China.

    PubMed

    He, Qiang; Bertness, Mark D; Bruno, John F; Li, Bo; Chen, Guoqian; Coverdale, Tyler C; Altieri, Andrew H; Bai, Junhong; Sun, Tao; Pennings, Steven C; Liu, Jianguo; Ehrlich, Paul R; Cui, Baoshan

    2014-08-08

    Despite their value, coastal ecosystems are globally threatened by anthropogenic impacts, yet how these impacts are driven by economic development is not well understood. We compiled a multifaceted dataset to quantify coastal trends and examine the role of economic growth in China's coastal degradation since the 1950s. Although China's coastal population growth did not change following the 1978 economic reforms, its coastal economy increased by orders of magnitude. All 15 coastal human impacts examined increased over time, especially after the reforms. Econometric analysis revealed positive relationships between most impacts and GDP across temporal and spatial scales, often lacking dropping thresholds. These relationships generally held when influences of population growth were addressed by analyzing per capita impacts, and when population density was included as explanatory variables. Historical trends in physical and biotic indicators showed that China's coastal ecosystems changed little or slowly between the 1950s and 1978, but have degraded at accelerated rates since 1978. Thus economic growth has been the cause of accelerating human damage to China's coastal ecosystems. China's GDP per capita remains very low. Without strict conservation efforts, continuing economic growth will further degrade China's coastal ecosystems.

  2. Economic development and coastal ecosystem change in China

    PubMed Central

    He, Qiang; Bertness, Mark D.; Bruno, John F.; Li, Bo; Chen, Guoqian; Coverdale, Tyler C.; Altieri, Andrew H.; Bai, Junhong; Sun, Tao; Pennings, Steven C.; Liu, Jianguo; Ehrlich, Paul R.; Cui, Baoshan

    2014-01-01

    Despite their value, coastal ecosystems are globally threatened by anthropogenic impacts, yet how these impacts are driven by economic development is not well understood. We compiled a multifaceted dataset to quantify coastal trends and examine the role of economic growth in China's coastal degradation since the 1950s. Although China's coastal population growth did not change following the 1978 economic reforms, its coastal economy increased by orders of magnitude. All 15 coastal human impacts examined increased over time, especially after the reforms. Econometric analysis revealed positive relationships between most impacts and GDP across temporal and spatial scales, often lacking dropping thresholds. These relationships generally held when influences of population growth were addressed by analyzing per capita impacts, and when population density was included as explanatory variables. Historical trends in physical and biotic indicators showed that China's coastal ecosystems changed little or slowly between the 1950s and 1978, but have degraded at accelerated rates since 1978. Thus economic growth has been the cause of accelerating human damage to China's coastal ecosystems. China's GDP per capita remains very low. Without strict conservation efforts, continuing economic growth will further degrade China's coastal ecosystems. PMID:25104138

  3. Ecosystem change in the southern Benguela and the underlying processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blamey, Laura K.; Shannon, Lynne J.; Bolton, John J.; Crawford, Robert J. M.; Dufois, Francois; Evers-King, Hayley; Griffiths, Charles L.; Hutchings, Laurence; Jarre, Astrid; Rouault, Mathieu; Watermeyer, Katherine E.; Winker, Henning

    2015-04-01

    Overfishing and human-induced climate change are putting severe pressure on marine ecosystems. In the southern Benguela, most of South Africa's commercial fisheries have a long history of exploitation and this, coupled with spatio-temporal changes in key species over the last three decades has severely impacted some of South Africa's fisheries and ecosystems. This review summarizes these spatio-temporal changes and investigates possible drivers thereof. It incorporates both past and current research, with a large portion of the latter having formed part of the University of Cape Town's Ma-Re BASICS (Marine Research in the Benguela and Agulhas Systems for supporting Interdisciplinary Climate-change Science) 2010-2013 program. Almost all described changes involve a temporal decline or a spatial shift in species. Fishing seems to have played a role in many of the observed stock declines, for example through geographically disproportionate catches in relation to stock distribution. In some cases, changes in the physical environment seem to have played an additional role, e.g., rock lobsters on the west coast have been affected by fishing as well as changes in the physical environment. In almost all cases these changes have taken place since the 1980s/1990s, except for one or two resources, which have experienced declines since at least the mid 20th century. Spatial shifts in species have either involved an eastward expansion of cool-water species, including kelps, rock lobster and pelagic fish, or a retraction of warm-water species such as the brown mussel, suggesting a cooling of inshore waters along the south-west coast since the 1980s. This suggested cooling is revealed in ocean temperature (SST Pathfinder), wind and upwelling data for the Cape Peninsula and south-west coast region during the same period. The absence or inconsistency of long-term data is problematic when trying to identify drivers of ecosystem change, and actual ecosystem change itself. We discuss

  4. How Does Climate Change Affect the Bering Sea Ecosystem?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sigler, Michael F.; Harvey, H. Rodger; Ashjian, Carin J.; Lomas, Michael W.; Napp, Jeffrey M.; Stabeno, Phyllis J.; Van Pelt, Thomas I.

    2010-11-01

    The Bering Sea is one of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world, sustaining nearly half of U.S. annual commercial fish catches and providing food and cultural value to thousands of coastal and island residents. Fish and crab are abundant in the Bering Sea; whales, seals, and seabirds migrate there every year. In winter, the topography, latitude, atmosphere, and ocean circulation combine to produce a sea ice advance in the Bering Sea unmatched elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere, and in spring the retreating ice; longer daylight hours; and nutrient-rich, deep-ocean waters forced up onto the broad continental shelf result in intense marine productivity (Figure 1). This seasonal ice cover is a major driver of Bering Sea ecology, making this ecosystem particularly sensitive to changes in climate. Predicted changes in ice cover in the coming decades have intensified concern about the future of this economically and culturally important region. In response, the North Pacific Research Board (NPRB) and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) entered into a partnership in 2007 to support the Bering Sea Project, a comprehensive $52 million investigation to understand how climate change is affecting the Bering Sea ecosystem, ranging from lower trophic levels (e.g., plankton) to fish, seabirds, marine mammals, and, ultimately, humans. The project integrates two research programs, the NSF Bering Ecosystem Study (BEST) and the NPRB Bering Sea Integrated Ecosystem Research Program (BSIERP), with substantial in-kind contributions from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. What is Novel About Novel Ecosystems: Managing Change in an Ever-Changing World

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Truitt, Amy M.; Granek, Elise F.; Duveneck, Matthew J.; Goldsmith, Kaitlin A.; Jordan, Meredith P.; Yazzie, Kimberly C.

    2015-06-01

    Influenced by natural climatic, geological, and evolutionary changes, landscapes and the ecosystems within are continuously changing. In addition to these natural pressures, anthropogenic drivers have increasingly influenced ecosystems. Whether affected by natural or anthropogenic processes, ecosystems, ecological communities, and ecosystem functioning are dynamic and can lead to "novel" or "emerging" ecosystems. Current literature identifies several definitions of these ecosystems but lacks an unambiguous definition and framework for categorizing what constitutes a novel ecosystem and for informing decisions around best management practices. Here we explore the various definitions used for novel ecosystems, present an unambiguous definition, and propose a framework for identifying the most appropriate management option. We identify and discuss three approaches for managing novel ecosystems: managing against, tolerating, and managing for these systems, and we provide real-world examples of each approach. We suggest that this framework will allow managers to make thoughtful decisions about which strategy is most appropriate for each unique situation, to determine whether the strategy is working, and to facilitate decision-making when it is time to modify the management approach.

  8. What is Novel About Novel Ecosystems: Managing Change in an Ever-Changing World.

    PubMed

    Truitt, Amy M; Granek, Elise F; Duveneck, Matthew J; Goldsmith, Kaitlin A; Jordan, Meredith P; Yazzie, Kimberly C

    2015-06-01

    Influenced by natural climatic, geological, and evolutionary changes, landscapes and the ecosystems within are continuously changing. In addition to these natural pressures, anthropogenic drivers have increasingly influenced ecosystems. Whether affected by natural or anthropogenic processes, ecosystems, ecological communities, and ecosystem functioning are dynamic and can lead to "novel" or "emerging" ecosystems. Current literature identifies several definitions of these ecosystems but lacks an unambiguous definition and framework for categorizing what constitutes a novel ecosystem and for informing decisions around best management practices. Here we explore the various definitions used for novel ecosystems, present an unambiguous definition, and propose a framework for identifying the most appropriate management option. We identify and discuss three approaches for managing novel ecosystems: managing against, tolerating, and managing for these systems, and we provide real-world examples of each approach. We suggest that this framework will allow managers to make thoughtful decisions about which strategy is most appropriate for each unique situation, to determine whether the strategy is working, and to facilitate decision-making when it is time to modify the management approach.

  9. Projected future climate change and Baltic Sea ecosystem management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andersson, Agneta

    2015-04-01

    Climate change is likely to have large effects on the Baltic Sea ecosystem. Simulations indicate 2-4oC warming and 50-80% decreasing ice cover by 2100. Precipitation may increase ~30% in the north, causing increased land runoff of allochthonous organic matter (AOM) and organic pollutants. Salinity will decrease by about 2 units. Coupled physical-biogeochemical models indicate that in the south, bottom-water anoxia may spread, reducing cod recruitment and increasing sediment phosphorus release, promoting cyanobacterial blooms. In the north, heterotrophic bacteria will be favoured by AOM while phytoplankton may become hampered. More trophic levels in the food web will increase energy losses and consequently reduce fish production. Future management of the Baltic Sea must consider effects of climate change on the ecosystem dynamics and functions, as well as effects of anthrophogenic nutrient and pollutant load. Monitoring should have a holistic approach and encompass both autotrophic (phytoplankton) and heterotrophic (e.g. bacterial) processes.

  10. Climate change impacts on ecosystems and ecosystem services in the United States: Process and prospects for sustained assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grimm, Nancy B.; Groffman, Peter M; Staudinger, Michelle D.; Tallis, Heather

    2016-01-01

    The third United States National Climate Assessment emphasized an evaluation of not just the impacts of climate change on species and ecosystems, but also the impacts of climate change on the benefits that people derive from nature, known as ecosystem services. The ecosystems, biodiversity, and ecosystem services component of the assessment largely drew upon the findings of a transdisciplinary workshop aimed at developing technical input for the assessment, involving participants from diverse sectors. A small author team distilled and synthesized this and hundreds of other technical input to develop the key findings of the assessment. The process of developing and ranking key findings hinged on identifying impacts that had particular, demonstrable effects on the U.S. public via changes in national ecosystem services. Findings showed that ecosystem services are threatened by the impacts of climate change on water supplies, species distributions and phenology, as well as multiple assaults on ecosystem integrity that, when compounded by climate change, reduce the capacity of ecosystems to buffer against extreme events. As ecosystems change, such benefits as water sustainability and protection from storms that are afforded by intact ecosystems are projected to decline across the continent due to climate change. An ongoing, sustained assessment that focuses on the co-production of actionable climate science will allow scientists from a range of disciplines to ascertain the capability of their forecasting models to project environmental and ecological change and link it to ecosystem services; additionally, an iterative process of evaluation, development of management strategies, monitoring, and reevaluation will increase the applicability and usability of the science by the U.S. public.

  11. Molecular changes of DOM cycling in forest ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hara, M.; Ohashi, M.; Piirainen, S.; Kortelainen, P.; Finer, L.; Kumagai, T.; Takahashi, K.; Sugiyama, Y.

    2011-12-01

    Fresh water is essential for sustaining all the life on the earth. Most of the fresh water available for human is stored in forest ecosystem in the forms of soil and ground water. Therefore, the chemical compositions of fresh water could be controlled by the forest ecosystem. Dissolved Organic Matter (DOM) is one of the main dissolved components of water. Since it controls the cycling processes of both organic and inorganic matters in water by variety of physical, chemical, and biochemical interactions, chatacterization of DOM in both qualitatively and quantitatively is very important. However, molecular-level study in DOM has been behind due to technological difficulties. Over the past years, high resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS) which enables us to identify individual molecular species of DOM had been hugely developed and brought radical changes to the analysis of many different substances in molecular level. The purpose of this study is to observe the cycling and alteration process of DOM in the forest ecosystem substantially using FT-ICR MS. We analyzed DOM samples by FT-ICR MS to determine the molecular-level characteristics of DOM. We also analyzed dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and characteristics of fluorescence spectra to elucidate the bulk characteristics of DOM in the forest ecosystem. In forest ecosystem, DOC increased from bulk deposition (1.0~3.3 mgC/L) and throughfall (0.8~3.6 mgC/L) to soil water of the A- (4.7~28.6 mgC/L) and B-horizon (4.5~29.2 mgC/L). DOC decreased as the water percolated through the soil deeper to ground water (0.3~1.7 mgC/L). In the whole forest ecosystem, fluorescence spectra showed strong humic-like fluorescence peaks rather than protein-like peaks. Each sample's result of FT-ICR MS including bulk deposition, throughfall, soil waters in different depths, and groundwater showed different molecular characteristics between one another. These results suggest that DOM in water is

  12. Rapid emergence of pathogens in agro-ecosystems: global threats to agricultural sustainability and food security.

    PubMed

    McDonald, Bruce A; Stukenbrock, Eva H

    2016-12-05

    Agricultural ecosystems are composed of genetically depauperate populations of crop plants grown at a high density and over large spatial scales, with the regional composition of crop species changing little from year to year. These environments are highly conducive for the emergence and dissemination of pathogens. The uniform host populations facilitate the specialization of pathogens to particular crop cultivars and allow the build-up of large population sizes. Population genetic and genomic studies have shed light on the evolutionary mechanisms underlying speciation processes, adaptive evolution and long-distance dispersal of highly damaging pathogens in agro-ecosystems. These studies document the speed with which pathogens evolve to overcome crop resistance genes and pesticides. They also show that crop pathogens can be disseminated very quickly across and among continents through human activities. In this review, we discuss how the peculiar architecture of agro-ecosystems facilitates pathogen emergence, evolution and dispersal. We present four example pathosystems that illustrate both pathogen specialization and pathogen speciation, including different time frames for emergence and different mechanisms underlying the emergence process. Lastly, we argue for a re-design of agro-ecosystems that embraces the concept of dynamic diversity to improve their resilience to pathogens. This article is part of the themed issue 'Tackling emerging fungal threats to animal health, food security and ecosystem resilience'.

  13. Potential Effects of Climate Change on Aquatic Ecosystems of the Great Plains of North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Covich, A. P.; Fritz, S. C.; Lamb, P. J.; Marzolf, R. D.; Matthews, W. J.; Poiani, K. A.; Prepas, E. E.; Richman, M. B.; Winter, T. C.

    1997-06-01

    The Great Plains landscape is less topographically complex than most other regions within North America, but diverse aquatic ecosystems, such as playas, pothole lakes, ox-bow lakes, springs, groundwater aquifers, intermittent and ephemeral streams, as well as large rivers and wetlands, are highly dynamic and responsive to extreme climatic fluctuations. We review the evidence for climatic change that demonstrates the historical importance of extremes in north-south differences in summer temperatures and east-west differences in aridity across four large subregions. These physical driving forces alter density stratification, deoxygenation, decomposition and salinity. Biotic community composition and associated ecosystem processes of productivity and nutrient cycling respond rapidly to these climatically driven dynamics. Ecosystem processes also respond to cultural effects such as dams and diversions of water for irrigation, waste dilution and urban demands for drinking water and industrial uses. Distinguishing climatic from cultural effects in future models of aquatic ecosystem functioning will require more refinement in both climatic and economic forecasting. There is a need, for example, to predict how long-term climatic forecasts (based on both ENSO and global warming simulations) relate to the permanence and productivity of shallow water ecosystems. Aquatic ecologists, hydrologists, climatologists and geographers have much to discuss regarding the synthesis of available data and the design of future interdisciplinary research.

  14. Potential effects of climate change on aquatic ecosystems of the Great Plains of North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Covich, A.P.; Fritz, S.C.; Lamb, P.J.; Marzolf, R.D.; Matthews, W.J.; Poiani, K.A.; Prepas, E.E.; Richman, M.B.; Winter, T.C.

    1997-01-01

    The Great Plains landscape is less topographically complex than most other regions within North America, but diverse aquatic ecosystems, such as playas, pothole lakes, ox-bow lakes, springs, groundwater aquifers, intermittent and ephemeral streams, as well as large rivers and wetlands, are highly dynamic and responsive to extreme climatic fluctuations. We review the evidence for climatic change that demonstrates the historical importance of extremes in north-south differences in summer temperatures and east-west differences in aridity across four large subregions. These physical driving forces alter density stratification, deoxygenation, decomposition and salinity. Biotic community composition and associated ecosystem processes of productivity and nutrient cycling respond rapidly to these climatically driven dynamics. Ecosystem processes also respond to cultural effects such as dams and diversions of water for irrigation, waste dilution and urban demands for drinking water and industrial uses. Distinguishing climatic from cultural effects in future models of aquatic ecosystem functioning will require more refinement in both climatic and economic forecasting. There is a need, for example, to predict how long-term climatic forecasts (based on both ENSO and global warming simulations) relate to the permanence and productivity of shallow water ecosystems. Aquatic ecologists, hydrologists, climatologists and geographers have much to discuss regarding the synthesis of available data and the design of future interdisciplinary research. ?? 1997 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  15. The impact of climate change on coastal ecosystems: chapter 6

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burkett, Virginia; Woodroffe, Colin D.; Nicholls, Robert J.; Forbes, Donald L.

    2014-01-01

    In this chapter we stress two important features of coasts and coastal ecosystems. First, these are dynamic systems which continually undergo adjustments, especially through erosion and re-deposition, in response to a range of processes. Many coastal ecosystems adjust naturally at a range of time scales and their potential for response is examined partly by reconstructing how such systems have coped with natural changes of climate and sea level in the geological past. Second, coasts have changed profoundly through the 20th Century due to the impacts of human development (such as urbanisation, port and industrial expansion, shore protection, and the draining and conversion of coastal wetlands), with these development-related drivers closely linked to a growing global population and economy. It remains a challenge to isolate the impacts of climate change and sea-level rise from either the natural trajectory of shoreline change, or the accelerated pathway resulting from other human-related stressors. There exists a danger of overstating the importance of climate change, or overlooking significant interactions of climate change with other drivers.

  16. Climate change on arctic environment, ecosystem services and society (CLICHE)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weckström, J.; Korhola, A.; Väliranta, M.; Seppä, H.; Luoto, M.; Tuittila, E.-S.; Leppäranta, M.; Kahilainen, K.; Saarinen, J.; Heikkinen, H.

    2012-04-01

    The predicted climate warming has raised many questions and concerns about its impacts on the environment and society. As a respond to the need of holistic studies comprising both of these areas, The Academy of Finland launched The Finnish Research Programme on Climate Change (FICCA 2011-2014) in spring 2010 with the main aim to focus on the interaction between the environment and society. Ultimately 11 national consortium projects were funded (total budget 12 million EUR). Here we shortly present the main objectives of the largest consortium project "Climate change on arctic environment, ecosystem services and society" (CLICHE). The CLICHE consortium comprises eight interrelated work packages (treeline, diversity, peatlands, snow, lakes, fish, tourism, and traditional livelihoods), each led by a prominent research group and a team leader. The research consortium has three main overall objectives: 1) Investigate, map and model the past, present and future climate change-induced changes in central ecosystems of the European Arctic with unprecedented precision 2) Deepen our understanding of the basic principles of ecosystem and social resilience and dynamics; identify key taxa, structures or processes that clearly indicate impending or realised global change through their loss, occurrence or behaviour, using analogues from the past (e.g. Holocene Thermal Maximum, Medieval Warm Period), experiments, observations and models 3) Develop adaptation and mitigation strategies to minimize the adverse effects of climate change on local communities, traditional livelihoods, fisheries, and tourism industry, and promote sustainable development of local community structures and enhance the quality of life of local human populations. As the project has started only recently no final results are available yet. However, the fieldwork as well as the co-operation between the research teams has thus far been very successful. Thus, the expectations for the final outcome of the project

  17. Climate Extremes and Land-Use Change: Effects on Ecosystem Processes and Services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bahn, Michael; Erb, Karlheinz; Hasibeder, Roland; Mayr, Stefan; Niedertscheider, Maria; Oberhuber, Walter; Tappeiner, Ulrike; Tasser, Erich; Viovy, Nicolas; Wieser, Gerhard

    2016-04-01

    Extreme climatic events, in particular droughts and heatwaves, have significant impacts on ecosystem carbon and water cycles and a range of related ecosystem services. It is expected that in the coming decades the return intervals and severities of extreme droughts will increase substantially and may result in the passing of thresholds of ecosystem functioning, potentially causing legacy effects, which are so far poorly understood. Observational evidence suggests that different land cover types (forest, grassland) are differently influenced by extreme drought, but there is a lack of knowledge whether and how future, increasingly severe climate extremes will affect their concurrent and lagged responses, as well as land-use decisions determining future shifts in land cover. The ClimLUC project aims to understand how extreme summer drought affects carbon and water dynamics of mountain ecosystems under different land uses, and to analyse implications for ecosystem service provisioning. Overall, we hypothesize that land-use change alters the effects of extreme summer drought on ecosystem processes and the related services, grassland responding more rapidly and strongly but being more resilient to extreme drought than forest. To address the aims and hypotheses, we will 1) test experimentally how (a) a managed, (b) an abandoned mountain grassland and (c) an adjacent subalpine forest respond to a progressive extreme drought and will analyse threshold responses of carbon and water dynamics and their implications for ecosystem services (timber and fodder production, carbon sequestration, water provisioning); 2) quantify carry-over effects of the extreme event on ecosystem processes and services; 3) project and attribute future carbon and water cycle responses to extreme drought and related socio-economic changes, based on a process-based dynamic general vegetation model; 4) analyse the interrelation between land-use changes and the occurrence and severity of past and future

  18. Communicating Climate and Ecosystem Change in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soreide, N. N.; Overland, J. E.; Calder, J. A.; Rodionov, S.

    2005-12-01

    There is an explosion of interest in Northern Hemisphere climate, highlighting the importance of recent changes in the Arctic on mid-latitude climate and its impact on marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Traditional sea ice and tundra dominated arctic ecosystems are being reorganizing into warmer sub-arctic ecosystem types. Over the previous two years we have developed a comprehensive, near real-time arctic change detection protocol to track physical and biological changes for presentation on the web: http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/detect. The effort provides a continuous update to the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) Report, released in November 2004. Principles for the protocol include an accessible narrative style, scientifically credible and objective indicators, notes multiple uses for the information, acknowledges uncertainties, and balances having too many indicators-which leads to information overload-and too few-which does not capture the complexity of the system. Screening criteria include concreteness, public awareness, being understandable, availability of historical time series, and sensitivity. The site provides sufficient information for an individual to make their own assessment regarding the balance of the evidence for tracking change. The product provides an overview, recent news, links to many arctic websites, and highlights climate, global impacts, land and marine ecosystems, and human consequences. Since its inception a year ago, it has averaged about 9000 hits an day on the web, and is a major information source as determined by Google search. The future direction focuses on understanding the causes for change. In spring 2005 we also presented a near real-time ecological and climatic surveillance website for the Bering Sea: www.beringclimate.noaa.gov. The site provides up-to-date information which ties northward shifts of fish, invertebrate and marine mammal populations to physical changes in the Arctic. This site is more technical than the

  19. Does eutrophication-driven evolution change aquatic ecosystems?

    PubMed

    Alexander, Timothy J; Vonlanthen, Pascal; Seehausen, Ole

    2017-01-19

    Eutrophication increases primary production and changes the relative abundance, taxonomic composition and spatial distribution of primary producers within an aquatic ecosystem. The changes in composition and location of resources alter the distribution and flow of energy and biomass throughout the food web. Changes in productivity also alter the physico-chemical environment, which has further effects on the biota. Such ecological changes influence the direction and strength of natural and sexual selection experienced by populations. Besides altering selection, they can also erode the habitat gradients and/or behavioural mechanisms that maintain ecological separation and reproductive isolation among species. Consequently, eutrophication of lakes commonly results in reduced ecological specialization as well as genetic and phenotypic homogenization among lakes and among niches within lakes. We argue that the associated loss in functional diversity and niche differentiation may lead to decreased carrying capacity and lower resource-use efficiency by consumers. We show that in central European whitefish species radiations, the functional diversity affected by eutrophication-induced speciation reversal correlates with community-wide trophic transfer efficiency (fisheries yield per unit phosphorus). We take this as an example of how evolutionary dynamics driven by anthropogenic environmental change can have lasting effects on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.This article is part of the themed issue 'Human influences on evolution, and the ecological and societal consequences'.

  20. Functional consequences of realistic biodiversity changes in a marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Bracken, Matthew E S; Friberg, Sara E; Gonzalez-Dorantes, Cirse A; Williams, Susan L

    2008-01-22

    Declines in biodiversity have prompted concern over the consequences of species loss for the goods and services provided by natural ecosystems. However, relatively few studies have evaluated the functional consequences of realistic, nonrandom changes in biodiversity. Instead, most designs have used randomly selected assemblages from a local species pool to construct diversity gradients. It is therefore difficult, based on current evidence, to predict the functional consequences of realistic declines in biodiversity. In this study, we used tide pool microcosms to demonstrate that the effects of real-world changes in biodiversity may be very different from those of random diversity changes. Specifically, we measured the relationship between the diversity of a seaweed assemblage and its ability to use nitrogen, a key limiting nutrient in nearshore marine systems. We quantified nitrogen uptake using both experimental and model seaweed assemblages and found that natural increases in diversity resulted in enhanced rates of nitrogen use, whereas random diversity changes had no effect on nitrogen uptake. Our results suggest that understanding the real-world consequences of declining biodiversity will require addressing changes in species performance along natural diversity gradients and understanding the relationships between species' susceptibility to loss and their contributions to ecosystem functioning.

  1. Vulnerability to climate-induced changes in ecosystem services of boreal forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holmberg, Maria; Rankinen, Katri; Aalto, Tuula; Akujärvi, Anu; Nadir Arslan, Ali; Liski, Jari; Markkanen, Tiina; Mäkelä, Annikki; Peltoniemi, Mikko

    2016-04-01

    Boreal forests provide an array of ecosystem services. They regulate climate, and carbon, water and nutrient fluxes, and provide renewable raw material, food, and recreational possibilities. Rapid climate warming is projected for the boreal zone, and has already been observed in Finland, which sets these services at risk. MONIMET (LIFE12 ENV/FI/000409, 2.9.2013 - 1.9.2017) is a project funded by EU Life programme about Climate Change Indicators and Vulnerability of Boreal Zone Applying Innovative Observation and Modeling Techniques. The coordinating beneficiary of the project is the Finnish Meteorological Institute. Associated beneficiaries are the Natural Resources Institute Finland, the Finnish Environment Institute and the University of Helsinki. In the MONIMET project, we use state-of-the-art models and new monitoring methods to investigate the impacts of a warming climate on the provision of ecosystem services of boreal forests. This poster presents results on carbon storage in soil and assessment of drought indices, as a preparation for assessing the vulnerability of society to climate-induced changes in ecosystem services. The risk of decreasing provision of ecosystem services depends on the sensitivity of the ecosystem as well as its exposure to climate stress. The vulnerability of society, in turn, depends on the risk of decreasing provision of a certain service in combination with society's demand for that service. In the next phase, we will look for solutions to challenges relating to the quantification of the demand for ecosystem services and differences in spatial extent and resolution of the information on future supply and demand.

  2. Mammalian herbivores confer resilience of Arctic shrub-dominated ecosystems to changing climate.

    PubMed

    Kaarlejärvi, Elina; Hoset, Katrine S; Olofsson, Johan

    2015-09-01

    Climate change is resulting in a rapid expansion of shrubs in the Arctic. This expansion has been shown to be reinforced by positive feedbacks, and it could thus set the ecosystem on a trajectory toward an alternate, more productive regime. Herbivores, on the other hand, are known to counteract the effects of simultaneous climate warming on shrub biomass. However, little is known about the impact of herbivores on resilience of these ecosystems, that is, the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and still remain in the same regime, retaining the same function, structure, and feedbacks. Here, we investigated how herbivores affect resilience of shrub-dominated systems to warming by studying the change of shrub biomass after a cessation of long-term experimental warming in a forest-tundra ecotone. As predicted, warming increased the biomass of shrubs, and in the absence of herbivores, shrub biomass in tundra continued to increase 4 years after cessation of the artificial warming, indicating that positive effects of warming on plant growth may persist even over a subsequent colder period. Herbivores contributed to the resilience of these systems by returning them back to the original low-biomass regime in both forest and tundra habitats. These results support the prediction that higher shrub biomass triggers positive feedbacks on soil processes and microclimate, which enable maintaining the rapid shrub growth even in colder climates. Furthermore, the results show that in our system, herbivores facilitate the resilience of shrub-dominated ecosystems to climate warming.

  3. Potential climate change impacts on temperate forest ecosystem processes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peters, Emily B.; Wythers, Kirk R.; Zhang, Shuxia; Bradford, John B.; Reich, Peter B.

    2013-01-01

    Large changes in atmospheric CO2, temperature and precipitation are predicted by 2100, yet the long-term consequences for carbon, water, and nitrogen cycling in forests are poorly understood. We applied the PnET-CN ecosystem model to compare the long-term effects of changing climate and atmospheric CO2 on productivity, evapotranspiration, runoff, and net nitrogen mineralization in current Great Lakes forest types. We used two statistically downscaled climate projections, PCM B1 (warmer and wetter) and GFDL A1FI (hotter and drier), to represent two potential future climate and atmospheric CO2 scenarios. To separate the effects of climate and CO2, we ran PnET-CN including and excluding the CO2 routine. Our results suggest that, with rising CO2 and without changes in forest type, average regional productivity could increase from 67% to 142%, changes in evapotranspiration could range from –3% to +6%, runoff could increase from 2% to 22%, and net N mineralization could increase 10% to 12%. Ecosystem responses varied geographically and by forest type. Increased productivity was almost entirely driven by CO2 fertilization effects, rather than by temperature or precipitation (model runs holding CO2 constant showed stable or declining productivity). The relative importance of edaphic and climatic spatial drivers of productivity varied over time, suggesting that productivity in Great Lakes forests may switch from being temperature to water limited by the end of the century.

  4. Climate change impact on peatland and forest ecosystems of Russia

    SciTech Connect

    Kondrasheva, N.Yu.; Kobak, K.I.; Turchinovich, I.Ye.

    1996-12-31

    Paleoclimatic and paleobotanic reconstructions allow a conclusion that ecosystems and natural zones significantly changed due to climate fluctuations. The average long-term carbon accumulation in peatlands of Russia was estimated as 45.6 mln tons of carbon per year. During the Holocene the rate of peat accumulation changed. During the Subboreal period the rate of peat accumulation gradually decreased to 17 gC/m2 yr, reaching its lowest value in the Subatlantic period. Apparently, the rate of peat accumulation decreased in Subboreal period due to sharp cooling and precipitation decrease. Future rates of peat accumulation might be higher than the present one. Forest ecosystems of north-western Russia also significantly changed during the Holocene. In Atlantic time the boundary between middle and south taiga was located 500 km northward compared to the present and broad-leaved forest occupied large areas. According to their forecast, a mean global air temperature increase by 1.4 C is expected to result in a considerable decrease in coniferous forest area and an increase in mixed and broad-leaved forest area.

  5. Climate change drives a shift in peatland ecosystem plant community: implications for ecosystem function and stability.

    PubMed

    Dieleman, Catherine M; Branfireun, Brian A; McLaughlin, James W; Lindo, Zoë

    2015-01-01

    The composition of a peatland plant community has considerable effect on a range of ecosystem functions. Peatland plant community structure is predicted to change under future climate change, making the quantification of the direction and magnitude of this change a research priority. We subjected intact, replicated vegetated poor fen peat monoliths to elevated temperatures, increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 ), and two water table levels in a factorial design to determine the individual and synergistic effects of climate change factors on the poor fen plant community composition. We identify three indicators of a regime shift occurring in our experimental poor fen system under climate change: nonlinear decline of Sphagnum at temperatures 8 °C above ambient conditions, concomitant increases in Carex spp. at temperatures 4 °C above ambient conditions suggesting a weakening of Sphagnum feedbacks on peat accumulation, and increased variance of the plant community composition and pore water pH through time. A temperature increase of +4 °C appeared to be a threshold for increased vascular plant abundance; however the magnitude of change was species dependent. Elevated temperature combined with elevated CO2 had a synergistic effect on large graminoid species abundance, with a 15 times increase as compared to control conditions. Community analyses suggested that the balance between dominant plant species was tipped from Sphagnum to a graminoid-dominated system by the combination of climate change factors. Our findings indicate that changes in peatland plant community composition are likely under future climate change conditions, with a demonstrated shift toward a dominance of graminoid species in poor fens.

  6. Fungal community on decomposing leaf litter undergoes rapid successional changes

    PubMed Central

    Voříšková, Jana; Baldrian, Petr

    2013-01-01

    Fungi are considered the primary decomposers of dead plant biomass in terrestrial ecosystems. However, current knowledge regarding the successive changes in fungal communities during litter decomposition is limited. Here we explored the development of the fungal community over 24 months of litter decomposition in a temperate forest with dominant Quercus petraea using 454-pyrosequencing of the fungal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region and cellobiohydrolase I (cbhI) genes, which encode exocellulases, to specifically address cellulose decomposers. To quantify the involvement of phyllosphere fungi in litter decomposition, the fungal communities in live leaves and leaves immediately before abscission were also analysed. The results showed rapid succession of fungi with dramatic changes in the composition of the fungal community. Furthermore, most of the abundant taxa only temporarily dominated in the substrate. Fungal diversity was lowest at leaf senescence, increased until month 4 and did not significantly change during subsequent decomposition. Highly diverse community of phyllosphere fungi inhabits live oak leaves 2 months before abscission, and these phyllosphere taxa comprise a significant share of the fungal community during early decomposition up to the fourth month. Sequences assigned to the Ascomycota showed highest relative abundances in live leaves and during the early stages of decomposition. In contrast, the relative abundance of sequences assigned to the Basidiomycota phylum, particularly basidiomycetous yeasts, increased with time. Although cellulose was available in the litter during all stages of decomposition, the community of cellulolytic fungi changed substantially over time. The results indicate that litter decomposition is a highly complex process mediated by various fungal taxa. PMID:23051693

  7. Potential impacts of climate change on biogeochemical functioning of Cerrado ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Bustamante, M M C; Nardoto, G B; Pinto, A S; Resende, J C F; Takahashi, F S C; Vieira, L C G

    2012-08-01

    The Cerrado Domain comprises one of the most diverse savannas in the world and is undergoing a rapid loss of habitats due to changes in fire regimes and intense conversion of native areas to agriculture. We reviewed data on the biogeochemical functioning of Cerrado ecosystems and evaluated the potential impacts of regional climate changes. Variation in temperature extremes and in total amount of rainfall and altitude throughout the Cerrado determines marked differences in the composition of species. Cerrado ecosystems are controlled by interactions between water and nutrient availability. In general, nutrient cycles (N, P and base cations) are very conservative, while litter, microbial and plant biomass are important stocks. In terms of C cycling, root systems and especially the soil organic matter are the most important stocks. Typical cerrado ecosystems function as C sinks on an annual basis, although they work as source of C to the atmosphere close to the end of the dry season. Fire is an important factor altering stocks and fluxes of C and nutrients. Predicted changes in temperature, amount and distribution of precipitation vary according to Cerrado sub-regions with more marked changes in the northeastern part of the domain. Higher temperatures, decreases in rainfall with increase in length of the dry season could shift net ecosystem exchanges from C sink to source of C and might intensify burning, reducing nutrient stocks. Interactions between the heterogeneity in the composition and abundance of biological communities throughout the Cerrado Domain and current and future changes in land use make it difficult to project the impacts of future climate scenarios at different temporal and spatial scales and new modeling approaches are needed.

  8. Bidecadal Urban Land Cover and Ecosystem Service Changes in the Three Urbanized Regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haas, Jan; Ban, Yifang

    2013-01-01

    In the past 20 years, China has experienced rapid urbanization as a consequence of economic reforms and population growth. Urbanization is still proceeding at staggering speed. Therefore, the development of effective analytical methods to monitor the unprecedented growth of Chinese cities and the resulting environmental impacts are crucial for urban planning and sustainable development. The overall objective of this research is to investigate urban land cover change between 1990 and 2010 and the resulting effects upon ecosystem services by analysis of multitemporal Landsat 5 and HJ1-A/B images in three highly urbanized regions.

  9. Seasonal changes of water carbon relations in savanna ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kutsch, W. L.; Merbold, L.; Archibald, S.

    2011-12-01

    During evolution plant species have developed different strategies to optimize the water carbon relations. These stratgies summarize to ecosystem properties. As an example we show how tropical and subtropical savannas and woodlands can respond flexibly to changes in temperature and water availability and thus optimize carbon and water fluxes between land surface and atmosphere. Several phenomena are presented and discussed in this overview from African flux sites in Zambia, Burkina Faso and South Africa: Pre-rain leaf development: Many trees developed new leaves before the first rain appeared. As a consequence of this early timing of leaf flush, the phenological increase of photosynthetic capacity (Amax) was steeper than in temperate forests. Mid-term response of conductance and photosynthesis to soil water relations: The regulation of canopy conductance was temporally changing in two ways: changes due to phenology during the course of the growing season and short-term (hours to days) acclimation to soil water conditions. The most constant parameter was water use efficiency. It was influenced by water vapour pressure deficit (VPD) during the day, but the VPD response curve of water usage only changed 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. Furthermore, we observed that the close relationship between stomatal conductance and photosynthesis resulted in different temperature optima of GPP that were close to the average daytime temperature. Adaptation of respiration to rain pulses: Finally, the response of respiration to rain pulses showed changes throughout the growing season. The first rain events early

  10. Vulnerability of ecosystems to climate change moderated by habitat intactness.

    PubMed

    Eigenbrod, Felix; Gonzalez, Patrick; Dash, Jadunandan; Steyl, Ilse

    2015-01-01

    The combined effects of climate change and habitat loss represent a major threat to species and ecosystems around the world. Here, we analyse the vulnerability of ecosystems to climate change based on current levels of habitat intactness and vulnerability to biome shifts, using multiple measures of habitat intactness at two spatial scales. We show that the global extent of refugia depends highly on the definition of habitat intactness and spatial scale of the analysis of intactness. Globally, 28% of terrestrial vegetated area can be considered refugia if all natural vegetated land cover is considered. This, however, drops to 17% if only areas that are at least 50% wilderness at a scale of 48×48 km are considered and to 10% if only areas that are at least 50% wilderness at a scale of 4.8×4.8 km are considered. Our results suggest that, in regions where relatively large, intact wilderness areas remain (e.g. Africa, Australia, boreal regions, South America), conservation of the remaining large-scale refugia is the priority. In human-dominated landscapes, (e.g. most of Europe, much of North America and Southeast Asia), focusing on finer scale refugia is a priority because large-scale wilderness refugia simply no longer exist. Action to conserve such refugia is particularly urgent since only 1 to 2% of global terrestrial vegetated area is classified as refugia and at least 50% covered by the global protected area network.

  11. Projected future climate change and Baltic Sea ecosystem management.

    PubMed

    Andersson, Agneta; Meier, H E Markus; Ripszam, Matyas; Rowe, Owen; Wikner, Johan; Haglund, Peter; Eilola, Kari; Legrand, Catherine; Figueroa, Daniela; Paczkowska, Joanna; Lindehoff, Elin; Tysklind, Mats; Elmgren, Ragnar

    2015-06-01

    Climate change is likely to have large effects on the Baltic Sea ecosystem. Simulations indicate 2-4 °C warming and 50-80 % decrease in ice cover by 2100. Precipitation may increase ~30 % in the north, causing increased land runoff of allochthonous organic matter (AOM) and organic pollutants and decreased salinity. Coupled physical-biogeochemical models indicate that, in the south, bottom-water anoxia may spread, reducing cod recruitment and increasing sediment phosphorus release, thus promoting cyanobacterial blooms. In the north, heterotrophic bacteria will be favored by AOM, while phytoplankton production may be reduced. Extra trophic levels in the food web may increase energy losses and consequently reduce fish production. Future management of the Baltic Sea must consider the effects of climate change on the ecosystem dynamics and functions, as well as the effects of anthropogenic nutrient and pollutant load. Monitoring should have a holistic approach, encompassing both autotrophic (phytoplankton) and heterotrophic (e.g., bacterial) processes.

  12. Disturbances, organisms and ecosystems: a global change perspective.

    PubMed

    Ponge, Jean-François

    2013-04-01

    The present text exposes a theory of the role of disturbances in the assemblage and evolution of species within ecosystems, based principally, but not exclusively, on terrestrial ecosystems. Two groups of organisms, doted of contrasted strategies when faced with environmental disturbances, are presented, based on the classical r-K dichotomy, but enriched with more modern concepts from community and evolutionary ecology. Both groups participate in the assembly of known animal, plant, and microbial communities, but with different requirements about environmental fluctuations. The so-called "civilized" organisms are doted with efficient anticipatory mechanisms, allowing them to optimize from an energetic point of view their performances in a predictable environment (stable or fluctuating cyclically at the scale of life expectancy), and they developed advanced specializations in the course of evolutionary time. On the opposite side, the so-called "barbarians" are weakly efficient in a stable environment because they waste energy for foraging, growth, and reproduction, but they are well adapted to unpredictably changing conditions, in particular during major ecological crises. Both groups of organisms succeed or alternate each other in the course of spontaneous or geared successional processes, as well as in the course of evolution. The balance of "barbarians" against "civilized" strategies within communities is predicted to shift in favor of the first type under present-day anthropic pressure, exemplified among others by climate warming, land use change, pollution, and biological invasions.

  13. Disturbances, organisms and ecosystems: a global change perspective

    PubMed Central

    Ponge, Jean-François

    2013-01-01

    The present text exposes a theory of the role of disturbances in the assemblage and evolution of species within ecosystems, based principally, but not exclusively, on terrestrial ecosystems. Two groups of organisms, doted of contrasted strategies when faced with environmental disturbances, are presented, based on the classical r-K dichotomy, but enriched with more modern concepts from community and evolutionary ecology. Both groups participate in the assembly of known animal, plant, and microbial communities, but with different requirements about environmental fluctuations. The so-called “civilized” organisms are doted with efficient anticipatory mechanisms, allowing them to optimize from an energetic point of view their performances in a predictable environment (stable or fluctuating cyclically at the scale of life expectancy), and they developed advanced specializations in the course of evolutionary time. On the opposite side, the so-called “barbarians” are weakly efficient in a stable environment because they waste energy for foraging, growth, and reproduction, but they are well adapted to unpredictably changing conditions, in particular during major ecological crises. Both groups of organisms succeed or alternate each other in the course of spontaneous or geared successional processes, as well as in the course of evolution. The balance of “barbarians” against “civilized” strategies within communities is predicted to shift in favor of the first type under present-day anthropic pressure, exemplified among others by climate warming, land use change, pollution, and biological invasions. PMID:23610648

  14. Community and ecosystem responses to recent climate change

    PubMed Central

    Walther, Gian-Reto

    2010-01-01

    There is ample evidence for ecological responses to recent climate change. Most studies to date have concentrated on the effects of climate change on individuals and species, with particular emphasis on the effects on phenology and physiology of organisms as well as changes in the distribution and range shifts of species. However, responses by individual species to climate change are not isolated; they are connected through interactions with others at the same or adjacent trophic levels. Also from this more complex perspective, recent case studies have emphasized evidence on the effects of climate change on biotic interactions and ecosystem services. This review highlights the ‘knowns’ but also ‘unknowns’ resulting from recent climate impact studies and reveals limitations of (linear) extrapolations from recent climate-induced responses of species to expected trends and magnitudes of future climate change. Hence, there is need not only to continue to focus on the impacts of climate change on the actors in ecological networks but also and more intensively to focus on the linkages between them, and to acknowledge that biotic interactions and feedback processes lead to highly complex, nonlinear and sometimes abrupt responses. PMID:20513710

  15. Rapid climate change: scientific challenges and the new NERC programme.

    PubMed

    Srokosz, M A

    2003-09-15

    In this paper the scientific challenges of observing, modelling, understanding and predicting rapid changes in climate are discussed, with a specific focus on the role of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation. The palaeo and present-day observational and modelling studies being carried out to meet these challenges, under the aegis of a new NERC Rapid Climate Change thematic programme (RAPID), are outlined. In particular, the paper describes the work being done to monitor changes in the meridional overturning circulation of the North Atlantic. The paper concludes with some speculative comments about potential mechanisms for rapid changes.

  16. Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity in a Rapidly Transforming Landscape in Northern Borneo.

    PubMed

    Labrière, Nicolas; Laumonier, Yves; Locatelli, Bruno; Vieilledent, Ghislain; Comptour, Marion

    2015-01-01

    Because industrial agriculture keeps expanding in Southeast Asia at the expense of natural forests and traditional swidden systems, comparing biodiversity and ecosystem services in the traditional forest-swidden agriculture system vs. monocultures is needed to guide decision making on land-use planning. Focusing on tree diversity, soil erosion control, and climate change mitigation through carbon storage, we surveyed vegetation and monitored soil loss in various land-use areas in a northern Bornean agricultural landscape shaped by swidden agriculture, rubber tapping, and logging, where various levels and types of disturbance have created a fine mosaic of vegetation from food crop fields to natural forest. Tree species diversity and ecosystem service production were highest in natural forests. Logged-over forests produced services similar to those of natural forests. Land uses related to the swidden agriculture system largely outperformed oil palm or rubber monocultures in terms of tree species diversity and service production. Natural and logged-over forests should be maintained or managed as integral parts of the swidden system, and landscape multifunctionality should be sustained. Because natural forests host a unique diversity of trees and produce high levels of ecosystem services, targeting carbon stock protection, e.g. through financial mechanisms such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), will synergistically provide benefits for biodiversity and a wide range of other services. However, the way such mechanisms could benefit communities must be carefully evaluated to counter the high opportunity cost of conversion to monocultures that might generate greater income, but would be detrimental to the production of multiple ecosystem services.

  17. Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity in a Rapidly Transforming Landscape in Northern Borneo

    PubMed Central

    Labrière, Nicolas; Laumonier, Yves; Locatelli, Bruno; Vieilledent, Ghislain; Comptour, Marion

    2015-01-01

    Because industrial agriculture keeps expanding in Southeast Asia at the expense of natural forests and traditional swidden systems, comparing biodiversity and ecosystem services in the traditional forest–swidden agriculture system vs. monocultures is needed to guide decision making on land-use planning. Focusing on tree diversity, soil erosion control, and climate change mitigation through carbon storage, we surveyed vegetation and monitored soil loss in various land-use areas in a northern Bornean agricultural landscape shaped by swidden agriculture, rubber tapping, and logging, where various levels and types of disturbance have created a fine mosaic of vegetation from food crop fields to natural forest. Tree species diversity and ecosystem service production were highest in natural forests. Logged-over forests produced services similar to those of natural forests. Land uses related to the swidden agriculture system largely outperformed oil palm or rubber monocultures in terms of tree species diversity and service production. Natural and logged-over forests should be maintained or managed as integral parts of the swidden system, and landscape multifunctionality should be sustained. Because natural forests host a unique diversity of trees and produce high levels of ecosystem services, targeting carbon stock protection, e.g. through financial mechanisms such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+), will synergistically provide benefits for biodiversity and a wide range of other services. However, the way such mechanisms could benefit communities must be carefully evaluated to counter the high opportunity cost of conversion to monocultures that might generate greater income, but would be detrimental to the production of multiple ecosystem services. PMID:26466120

  18. Marine ecology: gelatinous bells may ring change in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Hay, Steve

    2006-09-05

    Gelatinous plankton are critical components of marine ecosystems. Recent studies are providing evidence of increased population outbursts of such species. Jellyfish seem to respond when an ecosystem is over-fished, and their ecology is under-researched.

  19. Higher Education: A Rapidly Changing Landscape.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    WorkAmerica, 2002

    2002-01-01

    In a world of constantly changing demands for knowledge and technical skills for the work world, higher education has been slow to change to meet these demands. The numbers of American students receiving bachelor's degrees in engineering, mathematics, and computer science fell significantly between 1987 and 1998, while the demand rose. In…

  20. Hydrologically driven ecosystem processes determine the distribution and persistence of ecosystem-specialist predators under climate change

    PubMed Central

    Carroll, Matthew J.; Heinemeyer, Andreas; Pearce-Higgins, James W.; Dennis, Peter; West, Chris; Holden, Joseph; Wallage, Zoe E.; Thomas, Chris D.

    2015-01-01

    Climate change has the capacity to alter physical and biological ecosystem processes, jeopardizing the survival of associated species. This is a particular concern in cool, wet northern peatlands that could experience warmer, drier conditions. Here we show that climate, ecosystem processes and food chains combine to influence the population performance of species in British blanket bogs. Our peatland process model accurately predicts water-table depth, which predicts abundance of craneflies (keystone invertebrates), which in turn predicts observed abundances and population persistence of three ecosystem-specialist bird species that feed on craneflies during the breeding season. Climate change projections suggest that falling water tables could cause 56–81% declines in cranefly abundance and, hence, 15–51% reductions in the abundances of these birds by 2051–2080. We conclude that physical (precipitation, temperature and topography), biophysical (evapotranspiration and desiccation of invertebrates) and ecological (food chains) processes combine to determine the distributions and survival of ecosystem-specialist predators. PMID:26227623

  1. Hydrologically driven ecosystem processes determine the distribution and persistence of ecosystem-specialist predators under climate change.

    PubMed

    Carroll, Matthew J; Heinemeyer, Andreas; Pearce-Higgins, James W; Dennis, Peter; West, Chris; Holden, Joseph; Wallage, Zoe E; Thomas, Chris D

    2015-07-31

    Climate change has the capacity to alter physical and biological ecosystem processes, jeopardizing the survival of associated species. This is a particular concern in cool, wet northern peatlands that could experience warmer, drier conditions. Here we show that climate, ecosystem processes and food chains combine to influence the population performance of species in British blanket bogs. Our peatland process model accurately predicts water-table depth, which predicts abundance of craneflies (keystone invertebrates), which in turn predicts observed abundances and population persistence of three ecosystem-specialist bird species that feed on craneflies during the breeding season. Climate change projections suggest that falling water tables could cause 56-81% declines in cranefly abundance and, hence, 15-51% reductions in the abundances of these birds by 2051-2080. We conclude that physical (precipitation, temperature and topography), biophysical (evapotranspiration and desiccation of invertebrates) and ecological (food chains) processes combine to determine the distributions and survival of ecosystem-specialist predators.

  2. Understanding the future impacts of rapid ocean warming and acidification on the carbonate balance of coral reefs. ecosystems.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoegh-Guldberg, O.; Dove, S. G.

    2011-12-01

    Marine organisms and ecosystems are undergoing fundamental changes as a consequence of ocean warming and acidification, which must be understood if we are to anticipate and respond to the resulting changes to ecosystem services and functions. We have been investigating potential changes to the calcification and bioerosion rates of coral reefs using flow-through mesocosms at Heron Island on the southern Great Barrier Reef. In these experiments, we have been manipulating the temperature and pCO2 in order to simulate future ocean conditions described by IPCC scenarios (specifically B2, A1FI). We have also created pre-industrial conditions for comparison. Importantly, our system not only provides fine control over experimental conditions but also allows temperature and pCO2 to fluctuate with daily and seasonal changes measured (integrated over 3 h) at specific locations of interest on the Heron Island Reef, which allows a more 'realistic' analysis of the combined influences of ocean warming and acidification. In our first set of experiments, we have examined the impact of IPCC scenarios (year 2100) for a range of ecosystem phenomena relating to the carbonate balance of coral reefs including (1) phototrophic microborers within the dead skeletons of two coral species; (2) calcareous coralline algae, (3) turf algal communities in the presence and absence of grazing damselfish; (4) the calcification, growth, mortality and recruitment of the reef-building corals, and (5) microbial communities associated with corals. The overall conclusion of the studies conducted to date strongly suggests rapid movement to a negative carbonate balance for shallow water tropical coral reefs even under medium (B2) climate scenarios that involve SST increases of approximately +1.5oC and +250 ppm pCO2. Our conclusion is based on observations regarding key organisms that are involved in establishing the carbonate balance of coral reef organisms, and on the observed impacts of these conditions on

  3. Sensitivity and rapidity of vegetational response to abrupt climate change

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peteet, D.

    2000-01-01

    Rapid climate change characterizes numerous terrestrial sediment records during and since the last glaciation. Vegetational response is best expressed in terrestrial records near ecotones, where sensitivity to climate change is greatest, and response times are as short as decades.

  4. Sensitivity and rapidity of vegetational response to abrupt climate change.

    PubMed

    Peteet, D

    2000-02-15

    Rapid climate change characterizes numerous terrestrial sediment records during and since the last glaciation. Vegetational response is best expressed in terrestrial records near ecotones, where sensitivity to climate change is greatest, and response times are as short as decades.

  5. USGS: Science to understand and forecast change in coastal ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Myers, M.

    2007-01-01

    The multidisciplinary approach of the US Geological Survey (USGS), a principal science agency of the US Department of the Interior (DOI), to address the complex and cumulative impacts of human activities and natural events on the US coastal ecosystems has been considered remarkable for understanding and forecasting the changes. The USGS helps explain geologic, hydrologic, and biologic systems and their connectivity across landscapes and seascapes along the coastline. The USGS coastal science programs effectively address science and information to other scientists, managers, policy makers, and the public. The USGS provides scientific expertise, capabilities, and services to collaborative federal, regional, and state-led efforts, which are in line with the goals of Ocean Action Plan (OAP) and Ocean Research Priorities Plan (ORPP). The organization is a leader in understanding terrestrial and marine environmental hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, and landslides and assessing and forecasting coastal impacts using various specialized visualization techniques.

  6. Vulnerability of riparian ecosystems to elevated CO2 and climate change in arid and semiarid western North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Perry, Laura G.; Andersen, Douglas C.; Reynolds, Lindsay V.; Nelson, S. Mark; Shafroth, Patrick B.

    2012-01-01

    ecosystems to allow rapid detection and response to undesirable ecological change.

  7. Regional Approach for Linking Ecosystem Services and Livelihood Strategies Under Climate Change of Pastoral Communities in the Mongolian Steppe Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ojima, D. S.; Galvin, K.; Togtohyn, C.

    2012-12-01

    Dramatic changes due to climate and land use dynamics in the Mongolian Plateau affecting ecosystem services and agro-pastoral systems in Mongolia. Recently, market forces and development strategies are affecting land and water resources of the pastoral communities which are being further stressed due to climatic changes. Evaluation of pastoral systems, where humans depend on livestock and grassland ecosystem services, have demonstrated the vulnerability of the social-ecological system to climate change. Current social-ecological changes in ecosystem services are affecting land productivity and carrying capacity, land-atmosphere interactions, water resources, and livelihood strategies. The general trend involves greater intensification of resource exploitation at the expense of traditional patterns of extensive range utilization. Thus we expect climate-land use-land cover relationships to be crucially modified by the social-economic forces. The analysis incorporates information about the social-economic transitions taking place in the region which affect land-use, food security, and ecosystem dynamics. The region of study extends from the Mongolian plateau in Mongolia. Our research indicate that sustainability of pastoral systems in the region needs to integrate the impact of climate change on ecosystem services with socio-economic changes shaping the livelihood strategies of pastoral systems in the region. Adaptation strategies which incorporate integrated analysis of landscape management and livelihood strategies provides a framework which links ecosystem services to critical resource assets. Analysis of the available livelihood assets provides insights to the adaptive capacity of various agents in a region or in a community. Sustainable development pathways which enable the development of these adaptive capacity elements will lead to more effective adaptive management strategies for pastoral land use and herder's living standards. Pastoralists will have the

  8. Climate change impacts on potential recruitment in an ecosystem engineer

    PubMed Central

    Morgan, Emer; O' Riordan, Ruth M; Culloty, Sarah C

    2013-01-01

    Climate variability and the rapid warming of seas undoubtedly have huge ramifications for biological processes such as reproduction. As such, gametogenesis and spawning were investigated at two sites over 200 km apart on the south coast of Ireland in an ecosystem engineer, the common cockle, Cerastoderma edule. Both sites are classed as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), but are of different water quality. Cerastoderma edule plays a significant biological role by recycling nutrients and affecting sediment structure, with impacts upon assemblage biomass and functional diversity. It plays a key role in food webs, being a common foodstuff for a number of marine birds including the oystercatcher. Both before and during the study (early 2010–mid 2011), Ireland experienced its two coldest winters for 50 years. As the research demonstrated only slight variation in the spawning period between sites, despite site differences in water and environmental quality, temperature and variable climatic conditions were the dominant factor controlling gametogenesis. The most significant finding was that the spawning period in the cockle extended over a greater number of months compared with previous studies and that gametogenesis commenced over winter rather than in spring. Extremely cold winters may impact on the cockle by accelerating and extending the onset and development of gametogenesis. Whether this impact is positive or negative would depend on the associated events occurring on which the cockle depends, that is, presence of primary producers and spring blooms, which would facilitate conversion of this extended gametogenesis into successful recruitment. PMID:23532482

  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. Climate Change Alters Seedling Emergence and Establishment in an Old-Field Ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Classen, Aimee T; Norby, Richard J; Campany, Courtney E; Sides, Katherine E; Weltzin, Jake

    2010-01-01

    In shaping how ecosystems respond to climatic change, ecosystem structure can dominate over physiological responses of individuals, especially under conditions of multiple, simultaneous changes in environmental factors. Ecological succession drives large-scale changes in ecosystem structure over time, but the mechanisms whereby climatic change alters succession remain unresolved. Here, we investigate effects of atmospheric and climatic change on seedling establishment, recognizing that small shifts in seedling establishment of different species may have long-term repercussions on the transition of fields to forests in the future. Our 4-year experiment in an old-field ecosystem revealed that response of seedling emergence to different combinations of atmospheric CO2 concentration, air temperature, and soil moisture depends on seed phenology, the timing of seed arrival into an ecosystem. We conclude that seed phenology is an important plant trait that can shape, and help predict, the trajectories of ecosystems under climatic change.

  11. Phenotypic plasticity can potentiate rapid evolutionary change.

    PubMed

    Behera, Narayan; Nanjundiah, Vidyanand

    2004-01-21

    Using a computational model of string-like haploid genotypes, we verify the conjecture (J. Theor. Biol. 188 (1997) 153) that phenotypic plasticity can speed up evolution. The corresponding real-life situation was realized by Waddington in experiments carried out on the fruit fly Drosophila. Waddington found that after selecting for an environmentally induced trait over a number of generations, a new, true-breeding phenotype resulted that was absent in the starting population. The phenomenon, termed 'genetic assimilation', continues to attract interest because of the rapidity of the effect and because of its seemingly Lamarckian implications. By making use of a genetic algorithm-based approach developed previously, we show that conventional Darwinian selection acting on regulatory genes can account for genetic assimilation. The essential assumption in our model is that a structural gene can be in either of three allelic states. These correspond to its being (a) 'on' or 'off' constitutively or (b) in a plastic state in which the probability that it is 'on' or 'off' is influenced by regulatory loci in a dosage-dependent manner.

  12. Rapid changes in rotaviral genotypes in Ecuador.

    PubMed

    Hasing, Maria Eloisa; Trueba, Gabriel; Baquero, Maria Ines; Ponce, Karina; Cevallos, William; Solberg, Owen D; Eisenberg, Joseph N S

    2009-12-01

    Previous studies suggest that the emerging G9P[8] genotype was the most prevalent rotavirus genotype in Ecuador during 2005. This present study provides a temporal analysis of the distribution of rotavirus genotypes in two locations within Ecuador by adding additional years (2006 - early 2008) to the originally reported 2005 data. Data were collected in a rural (northern coastal Ecuador) and urban (Quito) area. In the rural area, a community sample of cases (those presenting diarrhea) and controls (those not presenting diarrhea) were collected between August 2003 and March 2008 resulting in a total of 3,300 stool samples (876 cases and 2,424 controls). Of these samples, 260 were positive for rotavirus by an immunochromatographic test (196 cases and 64 controls). In Quito, 59 fecal samples were collected from children presenting diarrhea and diagnosed with rotavirus. An RT-PCR analysis of samples collected between 2005 and 2007 suggested that G9 was replaced by G1 and G2 in the rural and urban settings. During this period G9 decreased from 79% to 9% while G2 increased from 0% to 43% in the rural communities, and G9 decreased from 79% to 37% while G2 increased from 3% to 57% in the urban area of Quito. This rapid replacement of G9 by G1 and G2 reinforces the necessity of surveillance to inform vaccination programs.

  13. Rapid Changes in Rotaviral Genotypes in Ecuador

    PubMed Central

    Hasing, Maria Eloisa; Trueba, Gabriel; Baquero, Maria Ines; Ponce, Karina; Cevallos, William; Solberg, Owen D.; Eisenberg, Joseph N.S.

    2010-01-01

    Previous studies suggest that the emerging G9P[8] genotype was the most prevalent rotavirus genotype in Ecuador during 2005. This present study provides a temporal analysis of the distribution of rotavirus genotypes in two locations within Ecuador by adding additional years (2006 – early 2008) to the originally reported 2005 data. Data were collected in a rural (northern coastal Ecuador) and urban (Quito) area. In the rural area, a community sample of cases (those presenting diarrhea) and controls (those not presenting diarrhea) were collected between August 2003 and March 2008 resulting in a total of 3,300 stool samples (876 cases and 2,424 controls). Of these samples, 260 were positive for rotavirus by an immunochromatographic test (196 cases and 64 controls). In Quito, 59 fecal samples were collected from children presenting diarrhea and diagnosed with rotavirus. An RT-PCR analysis of samples collected between 2005 and 2007 suggested that G9 was replaced by G1 and G2 in the rural and urban settings. During this period G9 decreased from 79% to 9% while G2 increased from 0% to 43% in the rural communities, and G9 decreased from 79% to 37% while G2 increased from 3% to 57% in the urban area of Quito. This rapid replacement of G9 by G1 and G2 reinforces the necessity of surveillance to inform vaccination programs. PMID:19856474

  14. Changing arctic ecosystems—What is causing the rapid increase of snow geese in northern Alaska?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hupp, Jerry W.; Ward, David H.; Whalen, Mary E.; Pearce, John M.

    2015-09-10

    Through the Changing Arctic Ecosystems (CAE) initiative, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) informs key resource management decisions for Arctic Alaska by providing scientific information on current and future ecosystem response to a warming climate. The Arctic Coastal Plain (ACP) of northern Alaska is a key study area within the USGS CAE initiative. This region has experienced a warming trend over the past decades, leading to decreased sea ice, permafrost thaw, and an advancement of spring phenology. The number of birds on the ACP also is changing, marked by increased populations of the four species of geese that nest in the region. The Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens) is the most rapidly increasing of these species. USGS CAE research is quantifying these changes and their implications for management agencies.

  15. Rapid Temporal Changes of Midtropospheric Winds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Merceret, Francis J.

    1997-01-01

    The statistical distribution of the magnitude of the vector wind change over 0.25-, 1-, 2-. and 4-h periods based on data from October 1995 through March 1996 over central Florida is presented. The wind changes at altitudes from 6 to 17 km were measured using the Kennedy Space Center 50-MHz Doppler radar wind profiler. Quality controlled profiles were produced every 5 min for 112 gates, each representing 150 m in altitude. Gates 28 through 100 were selected for analysis because of their significance to ascending space launch vehicles. The distribution was found to be lognormal. The parameters of the lognormal distribution depend systematically on the time interval. This dependence is consistent with the behavior of structure functions in the f(exp 5/3) spectral regime. There is a small difference between the 1995 data and the 1996 data, which may represent a weak seasonal effect.

  16. Land use changes and their effects on the value of ecosystem services in the small Sanjiang plain in China.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jing; Sun, Bo-Ming; Chen, Dan; Wu, Xin; Guo, Long-Zhu; Wang, Gang

    2014-01-01

    The small Sanjiang plain is one of the most important commodity grain production bases and the largest fresh water wetland in China. Due to the rapid expansion of agricultural activities in the past 30 years, the contradiction between economic development and the loss of ecosystem services has become an issue of increasing concern in the area. In this study, we analysed land use changes and the loss of ecosystem services value caused by these changes. We found that cropland sprawl was predominant and occurred in forest, wetland, and grassland areas in the small Sanjiang plain from 1980 to 2010. Using a model to evaluate ecosystem services value, we calculated that the decreased values of ecosystem services were 169.88 × 10(8) Yuan from 1980 to 2000 and 120.00 × 10(8) Yuan from 2000 to 2010. All of the ecosystem services were diminished from 1980 to 2010 except for food production. Therefore, the loss of ecosystem services value should be considered by the policymakers of land use and development.

  17. 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.

  18. Soil ecosystem functioning under climate change: plant species and community effects.

    PubMed

    Kardol, Paul; Cregger, Melissa A; Campany, Courtney E; Classen, Aimee T

    2010-03-01

    Feedbacks of terrestrial ecosystems to atmospheric and climate change depend on soil ecosystem dynamics. Soil ecosystems can directly and indirectly respond to climate change. For example, warming directly alters microbial communities by increasing their activity. Climate change may also alter plant community composition, thus indirectly altering the soil communities that depend on their inputs. To better understand how climate change may directly and indirectly alter soil ecosystem functioning, we investigated old-field plant community and soil ecosystem responses to single and combined effects of elevated [CO2], warming, and precipitation in Tennessee (USA). Specifically, we collected soils at the plot level (plant community soils) and beneath dominant plant species (plant-specific soils). We used microbial enzyme activities and soil nematodes as indicators for soil ecosystem functioning. Our study resulted in two main findings: (1) Overall, while there were some interactions, water, relative to increases in [CO2] and warming, had the largest impact on plant community composition, soil enzyme activity, and soil nematodes. Multiple climate-change factors can interact to shape ecosystems, but in our study, those interactions were largely driven by changes in water. (2) Indirect effects of climate change, via changes in plant communities, had a significant impact on soil ecosystem functioning, and this impact was not obvious when looking at plant community soils. Climate-change effects on enzyme activities and soil nematode abundance and community structure strongly differed between plant community soils and plant-specific soils, but also within plant-specific soils. These results indicate that accurate assessments of climate-change impacts on soil ecosystem functioning require incorporating the concurrent changes in plant function and plant community composition. Climate-change-induced shifts in plant community composition will likely modify or counteract the

  19. U.S. Climate change science program. Synthesis and Assessment Product 4.2: Thresholds of change in ecosystems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the past three decades, climate change has become a pronounced driver of ecosystem change. Changes in phenology, range shift of species, and increases in disturbances such as wildfires have all reflected ecosystem scales responses to a warming biosphere. There have also been abrupt, nonlinear cha...

  20. The need for simultaneous evaluation of ecosystem services and land use change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Euliss, Ned H.; Smith, Loren M.; Liu, Shu-Guang; Feng, Min; Mushet, David M.; Auch, Roger F.; Loveland, Thomas R.

    2010-01-01

    We are living in a period of massive global change. This rate of change may be almost without precedent in geologic history (1). Even the most remote areas of the planet are influenced by human activities. Modern landscapes have been highly modified to accommodate a growing human population that the United Nations has forecast to peak at 9.1 billion by 2050. Over this past century, reliance on services from ecosystems has increased significantly and, over past decades, sustainability of our modern, intensively managed ecosystems has been a topic of serious international concern (1). Numerous papers addressing a particular land-use change effect on specific ecosystem services have recently been published. For example, there is currently great interest in increasing biofuel production to achieve energy inde- pendence goals and recent papers have independently focused attention on impacts of land-use change on single ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration (2) and many others (e.g., water availability, biodiversity, pollination). However, land-use change clearly affects myriad ecosystem services simultaneously. Hence, a broader perspective and context is needed to evaluate and understand interrelated affects on multiple ecosystem services, especially as we strive for the goal of sustainably managing global ecosystems. Similarly, land uses affect ecosystem services synergistically; single land-use evaluations may be misleading because the overall impact on an ecosystem is not evaluated. A more holistic approach would provide a means and framework to characterize how land-use change affects provisioning of goods and services of complete ecosystems.

  1. How do salt-marsh ecosystems respond to changes in the environmental forcings?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Alpaos, A.; Mudd, S. M.; Carniello, L.

    2012-04-01

    How do salt-marsh ecosystems respond to changes in the environmental forcings? This is a question of paramount importance due to the critical role exerted by salt-marsh ecosystems within the tidal landscape. Salt marshes in fact buffer coastlines against, filter nutrients and pollutants from tidal waters, provide nursery areas for coastal biota, and serve as a sink for organic carbon. Observations of marsh degradation worldwide and the acceleration in the rate of global sea level rise highlight the importance of improving our understanding of the chief processes controlling salt-marsh response to current natural climate changes and to the effects of changes in sediment supply. To address this important issue, we have applied a analytical model of biomorphodynamic evolution of salt-marsh ecosystems in the vertical plane, accounting for two-way interactions between ecological and geomorphological processes. Our results show that marshes are more resilient to a step decrease in the rate of relative sea level rise (RRSLR) rather than to a step increase of the same magnitude. However, marshes respond more rapidly to an increase in sediment load or vegetation productivity, rather than to a decrease (of the same amount) in sediment load or vegetation productivity. We also observe that marsh stability is therefore positively correlated with tidal range: marshes with high tidal ranges respond more slowly to changes in the environmental forcings and therefore are less likely to be affected by perturbations. Finally, the model suggests that, in the case of a oscillating RRSLR, marsh stratigraphy will be unable to fully record short-term fluctuations in relative mean sea level, whereas it will be able to capture long-term fluctuations particularly in sediment rich, microtidal settings.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Centuries of human-driven change in salt marsh ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Gedan, K Bromberg; Silliman, B R; Bertness, M D

    2009-01-01

    Salt marshes are among the most abundant, fertile, and accessible coastal habitats on earth, and they provide more ecosystem services to coastal populations than any other environment. Since the Middle Ages, humans have manipulated salt marshes at a grand scale, altering species composition, distribution, and ecosystem function. Here, we review historic and contemporary human activities in marsh ecosystems--exploitation of plant products; conversion to farmland, salt works, and urban land; introduction of non-native species; alteration of coastal hydrology; and metal and nutrient pollution. Unexpectedly, diverse types of impacts can have a similar consequence, turning salt marsh food webs upside down, dramatically increasing top down control. Of the various impacts, invasive species, runaway consumer effects, and sea level rise represent the greatest threats to salt marsh ecosystems. We conclude that the best way to protect salt marshes and the services they provide is through the integrated approach of ecosystem-based management.

  5. Rapid Changes in Mercury's Sodium Exosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Potter, Drew

    2000-01-01

    Sodium in the atmosphere of Mercury can be detected by sunlight scattered in the D1 and D2 resonance lines. Images of the sodium emission show that the sodium density changes from day to day and is often concentrated in regions at high or mid latitudes. Drew Potter (NASA/JSC) and Tom Morgan (SWRI) suggested that sputtering by magnetospheric particles was the origin of the sodium. A problem with this is that the magnetic field of Mercury is strong enough that it is believed to shield the surface from solar particles much of the time, although particle precipitation at the magnetospheric cusps could deposit particles to the surface at high latitudes. Ann Sprague (UA/LPL) noted that the "spots" of sodium emission tended to coincide with major geologic features, such as the Caloris Basin. She proposed that the sodium is released from sodiumrich surface rocks that are associated with these features; however, some spots have appeared where there are no obvious geologic features. Some of the difficulty in ascribing a source for the sodium arises from the effect of terrestrial atmospheric blurring of the image. It is hard to tell exactly where the sodium emission originates after the atmosphere has blurred the image. Potter, Killen (SWRI), and Morgan recently developed a technique for correcting sodium images for atmospheric blurring, using images made with a large-area image slicer. They applied this technique to a series of Mercury sodium observations made in November, 1997 at the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope. Their technique for producing images from the spectroscopic data provides images of both the sodium emission and of the sunlight reflected from the surface.

  6. The Northern Bering Sea: An Arctic Ecosystem in Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grebmeier, J. M.; Cooper, L. W.

    2004-12-01

    Arctic systems can be rich and diverse habitats for marine life in spite of the extreme cold environment. Benthic faunal populations and associated biogeochemical cycling processes are influenced by sea-ice extent, seawater hydrography (nutrients, salinity, temperature, currents), and water column production. Benthic organisms on the Arctic shelves and margins are long-term integrators of overlying water column processes. Because these organisms have adapted to living at cold extremes, it is reasonable to expect that these communities will be among the most susceptible to climate warming. Recent observations show that Arctic sea ice in the North American Arctic is melting and retreating northward earlier in the season and the timing of these events can have dramatic impacts on the biological system. Changes in overlying primary production, pelagic-benthic coupling, and benthic production and community structure can have cascading effects to higher trophic levels, particularly benthic feeders such as walruses, gray whales, and diving seaducks. Recent indicators of contemporary Arctic change in the northern Bering Sea include seawater warming and reduction in ice extent that coincide with our time-series studies of benthic clam population declines in the shallow northern Bering shelf in the 1990's. In addition, declines in benthic amphipod populations have also likely influenced the movement of feeding gray whales to areas north of Bering Strait during this same time period. Finally a potential consequence of seawater warming and reduced ice extent in the northern Bering Sea could be the northward movement of bottom feeding fish currently in the southern Bering Sea that prey on benthic fauna. This would increase the feeding pressure on the benthic prey base and enhance competition for this food source for benthic-feeding marine mammals and seabirds. This presentation will outline recent biological changes observed in the northern Bering Sea ecosystem as documented in

  7. Acid rain in China. Rapid industrialization has put citizens and ecosystems at risk

    SciTech Connect

    Thorjoern Larssen; Espen Lydersen; Dagang Tang

    2006-01-15

    Acid rain emerged as an important environmental problem in China in the late 1970s. Many years of record economic growth have been accompanied by increased energy demand, greater coal combustion, and larger emissions of pollutants. As a result of significant emissions and subsequent deposition of sulfur, widespread acid rain is observed in southern and southwestern China. In fact, the deposition of sulfur is in some places higher than what was reported from the 'black triangle' in central Europe in the early 1980s. In addition, nitrogen is emitted from agriculture, power production, and a rapidly increasing number of cars. As a result, considerable deposition of pollutants occurs in forested areas previously thought to be pristine. Little is known about the effects of acid deposition on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in China. This article presents the current situation and what to expect in the future, largely on the basis of results from a five-year Chinese-Norwegian cooperative project. In the years ahead, new environmental challenges must be expected if proper countermeasures are not put into place. 31 refs., 4 figs.

  8. Changing sources of base cations during ecosystem development, Hawaiian Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kennedy, M. J.; Chadwick, O. A.; Vitousek, P. M.; Derry, L. A.; Hendricks, D. M.

    1998-11-01

    87Sr/86Sr evidence from a soil chronosequence in the Hawaiian Islands demonstrates that the atmosphere supplies >85% of putatively rock-derived Sr in older sites. Initially, bedrock is the dominant source for Sr and other lithophile elements such as Ca, but high rates of weathering and leaching of the substrate by 20 ka lead to a shift to atmospheric sources. The loss of weathering inputs coincides with other physio-chemical changes in the soil and results in a steep decline of base cations in the soil pool. While these patterns imply the potential for limitation of biological productivity by low base cation supply, the atmosphere provides a supply of base cations in excess of nutritional needs, even after nearly all rock-derived base cations have been leached from the soil. This raises the possibility that P limitation in terrestrial ecosystems may develop at least as much because of low rates of atmospheric deposition of P (relative to Ca, K, and other rock-derived elements) as because of its chemical interaction in soil.

  9. Global change accelerates carbon assimilation by a wetland ecosystem engineer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caplan, Joshua S.; Hager, Rachel N.; Megonigal, J. Patrick; Mozdzer, Thomas J.

    2015-11-01

    The primary productivity of coastal wetlands is changing dramatically in response to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations, nitrogen (N) enrichment, and invasions by novel species, potentially altering their ecosystem services and resilience to sea level rise. In order to determine how these interacting global change factors will affect coastal wetland productivity, we quantified growing-season carbon assimilation (≈gross primary productivity, or GPP) and carbon retained in living plant biomass (≈net primary productivity, or NPP) of North American mid-Atlantic saltmarshes invaded by Phragmites australis (common reed) under four treatment conditions: two levels of CO2 (ambient and +300 ppm) crossed with two levels of N (0 and 25 g N added m-2 yr-1). For GPP, we combined descriptions of canopy structure and leaf-level photosynthesis in a simulation model, using empirical data from an open-top chamber field study. Under ambient CO2 and low N loading (i.e., the Control), we determined GPP to be 1.66 ± 0.05 kg C m-2 yr-1 at a typical Phragmites stand density. Individually, elevated CO2 and N enrichment increased GPP by 44 and 60%, respectively. Changes under N enrichment came largely from stimulation to carbon assimilation early and late in the growing season, while changes from CO2 came from stimulation during the early and mid-growing season. In combination, elevated CO2 and N enrichment increased GPP by 95% over the Control, yielding 3.24 ± 0.08 kg C m-2 yr-1. We used biomass data to calculate NPP, and determined that it represented 44%-60% of GPP, with global change conditions decreasing carbon retention compared to the Control. Our results indicate that Phragmites invasions in eutrophied saltmarshes are driven, in part, by extended phenology yielding 3.1× greater NPP than native marsh. Further, we can expect elevated CO2 to amplify Phragmites productivity throughout the growing season, with potential implications including accelerated spread

  10. Searching for resilience: addressing the impacts of changing disturbance regimes on forest ecosystem services

    PubMed Central

    Seidl, Rupert; Spies, Thomas A.; Peterson, David L.; Stephens, Scott L.; Hicke, Jeffrey A.

    2016-01-01

    Summary 1. The provisioning of ecosystem services to society is increasingly under pressure from global change. Changing disturbance regimes are of particular concern in this context due to their high potential impact on ecosystem structure, function and composition. Resilience-based stewardship is advocated to address these changes in ecosystem management, but its operational implementation has remained challenging. 2. We review observed and expected changes in disturbance regimes and their potential impacts on provisioning, regulating, cultural and supporting ecosystem services, concentrating on temperate and boreal forests. Subsequently, we focus on resilience as a powerful concept to quantify and address these changes and their impacts, and present an approach towards its operational application using established methods from disturbance ecology. 3. We suggest using the range of variability concept – characterizing and bounding the long-term behaviour of ecosystems – to locate and delineate the basins of attraction of a system. System recovery in relation to its range of variability can be used to measure resilience of ecosystems, allowing inferences on both engineering resilience (recovery rate) and monitoring for regime shifts (directionality of recovery trajectory). 4. It is important to consider the dynamic nature of these properties in ecosystem analysis and management decision-making, as both disturbance processes and mechanisms of resilience will be subject to changes in the future. Furthermore, because ecosystem services are at the interface between natural and human systems, the social dimension of resilience (social adaptive capacity and range of variability) requires consideration in responding to changing disturbance regimes in forests. 5. Synthesis and applications. Based on examples from temperate and boreal forests we synthesize principles and pathways for fostering resilience to changing disturbance regimes in ecosystem management. We

  11. Searching for resilience: addressing the impacts of changing disturbance regimes on forest ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Seidl, Rupert; Spies, Thomas A; Peterson, David L; Stephens, Scott L; Hicke, Jeffrey A

    2016-02-01

    1. The provisioning of ecosystem services to society is increasingly under pressure from global change. Changing disturbance regimes are of particular concern in this context due to their high potential impact on ecosystem structure, function and composition. Resilience-based stewardship is advocated to address these changes in ecosystem management, but its operational implementation has remained challenging. 2. We review observed and expected changes in disturbance regimes and their potential impacts on provisioning, regulating, cultural and supporting ecosystem services, concentrating on temperate and boreal forests. Subsequently, we focus on resilience as a powerful concept to quantify and address these changes and their impacts, and present an approach towards its operational application using established methods from disturbance ecology. 3. We suggest using the range of variability concept - characterizing and bounding the long-term behaviour of ecosystems - to locate and delineate the basins of attraction of a system. System recovery in relation to its range of variability can be used to measure resilience of ecosystems, allowing inferences on both engineering resilience (recovery rate) and monitoring for regime shifts (directionality of recovery trajectory). 4. It is important to consider the dynamic nature of these properties in ecosystem analysis and management decision-making, as both disturbance processes and mechanisms of resilience will be subject to changes in the future. Furthermore, because ecosystem services are at the interface between natural and human systems, the social dimension of resilience (social adaptive capacity and range of variability) requires consideration in responding to changing disturbance regimes in forests. 5.Synthesis and applications. Based on examples from temperate and boreal forests we synthesize principles and pathways for fostering resilience to changing disturbance regimes in ecosystem management. We conclude that

  12. The changing Mediterranean Sea — a sensitive ecosystem?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turley, Carol M.

    1999-08-01

    seasonal climate and low land runoff contribute to the low productivity of the sea. Nutrients are a major controlling factor in oceanic productivity and often influence the type and succession of phytoplankton. Changes in river flow and agricultural practice can influence the concentration and ratio of different nutrients flowing into the sea. For example, changing agricultural practices have resulted in higher nitrogen and phosphorus flowing into the Adriatic and lagoons of the Nile which has lead to eutrophication. The predicted population increases, especially along the southern shores, seems likely to result in eutrophication and an increased risk of pollution in other areas unless well managed. A further warning tale from the Black Sea has recently come to light where damming of rivers has resulted in depletion of silica in the seawater. (Humborg, C., Ittekkot, V., Cociasu, A., & Bodungen, B. (1997). Effect of Danube River dam on Black Sea biogeochemistry and ecosystem structure. Nature, London, 386, 385-388.) This means that silica-requiring phytoplankton do not have their essential growth nutrient and may explain the unbalanced growth of other toxic forms which do not require silica. Similarly, the Aswan dam holds back massive amounts of silica carried by the Nile from entering the eastern Mediterranean. The future of the Mediterranean ecosystem does not look rosy. If we are to learn from scientific observations, such as those in the Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and Adriatic, scientists, economists and policy makers, from the 18 countries bordering the Mediterranean, must interface to ensure an adequate and appropriate response.

  13. Soil Moisture-Ecosystem-Climate Interactions in a Changing Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seneviratne, S. I.; Davin, E.; Hirschi, M.; Mueller, B.; Orlowsky, B.; Teuling, A.

    2011-12-01

    Soil moisture is a key variable of the climate system. It constrains plant transpiration and photosynthesis in several regions of the world, with consequent impacts on the water, energy and biogeochemical cycles (e.g. Seneviratne et al. 2010). Moreover it is a storage component for precipitation and radiation anomalies, inducing persistence in the climate system. Finally, it is involved in a number of feedbacks at the local, regional and global scales, and plays a major role in climate-change projections. This presentation will provide an overview on these interactions, based on several recent publications (e.g. Seneviratne et al. 2006, Orlowsky and Seneviratne 2010, Teuling et al. 2010, Hirschi et al. 2011). In particular, it will highlight possible impacts of soil moisture-ecosystem coupling for climate extremes such as heat waves and droughts, and the resulting interconnections between biophysical and biogeochemical feedbacks in the context of climate change. Finally, it will also address recent regional- to global-scale trends in land hydrology and ecosystem functioning, as well as issues and potential avenues for investigating these trends (e.g. Jung et al. 2010, Mueller et al. 2011). References Hirschi, M., S.I. Seneviratne, V. Alexandrov, F. Boberg, C. Boroneant, O.B. Christensen, H. Formayer, B. Orlowsky, and P. Stepanek, 2011: Observational evidence for soil-moisture impact on hot extremes in southeastern Europe. Nature Geoscience, 4, 17-21, doi:10.1038/ngeo1032. Jung, M., et al., 2010: Recent decline in the global land evapotranspiration trend due to limited moisture supply. Nature, 467, 951-954. doi:10.1038/nature09396 Mueller, B., S.I. Seneviratne, et al.: Evaluation of global observations-based evapotranspiration datasets and IPCC AR4 simulations, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L06402, doi:10.1029/2010GL046230 Orlowsky, B., and S.I. Seneviratne, 2010: Statistical analyses of land-atmosphere feedbacks and their possible pitfalls. J. Climate, 23(14), 3918

  14. Effects of climate change on forest ecosystems in Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kjartansson, Bjarki; Smith, Ben; Warlind, David; Olafsson, Haraldur

    2013-04-01

    The subartic region has been considered an area of high impact under future climate change senarios. We investigated the climatic effect on the change in potential forest distribution, structure and growth in Iceland from 1900 to 2100 by applying climatic time series to the dynamic vegetation model LPJ-GUESSN. For the historical period we utilized a combination of gridded climatic datasets to create a time series for monthly means of temperature, precipitation and radiation. These datasets where provided by the Icelandic Metrological office (IMO) and the Climatic research unit at East Anglia (CRU). For the future climate we added data from three different general circulation models (GCḾs) where each model had three different representative concentration pathways (RCP). In order to compensate for topographical differences within modeled grid cells we divide each grid cell into elevation zones with 50 meters vertical interval. Each elevation zone is modeled explicitly with downscaled temperature values adjusted for the elevation. This gave us the opportunity to observe different ecosystems with in each grid cell and how they developed over time both horizontally and vertically. We applied the climatic time series to drive the dynamic vegetation model LPJ-GUESSN. The model includes the features of the LPJ-GUESS model with added module where nitrogen is modeled explicitly. The addition of the nitrogen cycle allowed us to examine the nitrogen availability in soils and its effects on vegetation growth. Our results show that under the future scenario there is increased NPP under all RCṔs and GCḾs. We observe a general trend of increase in carbon pool buildup with varying degree around the island. There is an advance in forest limits into higher elevation areas. The lowland areas show a shift in species composition where conifers retreat upward from broadleaved species dominating the lower altitudes into the future. Increased temperature opens up areas in the

  15. 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.

  16. Effects of land use changes on the ecosystem service values of a reclamation farm in northeast China.

    PubMed

    Hao, Fanghua; Lai, Xuehui; Ouyang, Wei; Xu, Yiming; Wei, Xinfeng; Song, Kaiyu

    2012-11-01

    Intensive agricultural development can change land use, which can further affect regional ecosystem services and functions. With the rapid growth of the population and the national demand for food, the northeast of China, which is located in the high latitudes, has experienced four agricultural developments since the 1950s. The original wetlands of this area were developed for farmland. The evaluation of ecosystem services is conducted to reveal the ecosystem status and variable trends caused by land reclamation. The aim of this study is to provide scientific basis for environmental management and for the sustainable development of agriculture in Northeast China. With GIS-RS technology, a typical farm was chosen to analyze variations in the ecosystem service value in response to land use changes during the study period. The total ecosystem service value of the farm decreased from 7523.10 million Yuan in 1979 to 4023.59 million Yuan in 2009 with an annual rate of -1.6 % due to the decreasing areas of woodland and wetland. The increased areas of cropland, water area and grassland partly offset the loss of the total value, but the loss was still greater than the compensation. Waste treatment and climate regulation were the top two service functions with high service values, contributing to approximately 50 % of the total service value. The spatial difference of the ecosystem service value also was analyzed. The wetlands located in the central and northeastern sections of the farm changed significantly. From the aspect of ecosystem service value, the wetland and water area should be conserved, as they have the highest value coefficients. The accuracy of the value coefficient, however, needs to be studied further in future research.

  17. Effects of Land Use Changes on the Ecosystem Service Values of a Reclamation Farm in Northeast China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hao, Fanghua; Lai, Xuehui; Ouyang, Wei; Xu, Yiming; Wei, Xinfeng; Song, Kaiyu

    2012-11-01

    Intensive agricultural development can change land use, which can further affect regional ecosystem services and functions. With the rapid growth of the population and the national demand for food, the northeast of China, which is located in the high latitudes, has experienced four agricultural developments since the 1950s. The original wetlands of this area were developed for farmland. The evaluation of ecosystem services is conducted to reveal the ecosystem status and variable trends caused by land reclamation. The aim of this study is to provide scientific basis for environmental management and for the sustainable development of agriculture in Northeast China. With GIS-RS technology, a typical farm was chosen to analyze variations in the ecosystem service value in response to land use changes during the study period. The total ecosystem service value of the farm decreased from 7523.10 million Yuan in 1979 to 4023.59 million Yuan in 2009 with an annual rate of -1.6 % due to the decreasing areas of woodland and wetland. The increased areas of cropland, water area and grassland partly offset the loss of the total value, but the loss was still greater than the compensation. Waste treatment and climate regulation were the top two service functions with high service values, contributing to approximately 50 % of the total service value. The spatial difference of the ecosystem service value also was analyzed. The wetlands located in the central and northeastern sections of the farm changed significantly. From the aspect of ecosystem service value, the wetland and water area should be conserved, as they have the highest value coefficients. The accuracy of the value coefficient, however, needs to be studied further in future research.

  18. Evidence and implications of recent and projected climate change in Alaska's forest ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wolken, Jane M.; Hollingsworth, Teresa N.; Rupp, T. Scott; Chapin, Stuart III; Trainor, Sarah F.; Barrett, Tara M.; Sullivan, Patrick F.; McGuire, A. David; Euskirchen, Eugénie S.; Hennon, Paul E.; Beever, Erik A.; Conn, Jeff S.; Crone, Lisa K.; D'Amore, David V.; Fresco, Nancy; Hanley, Thomas A.; Kielland, Knut; Kruse, James J.; Patterson, Trista; Schuur, Edward A.G.; Verbyla, David L.; Yarie, John

    2011-01-01

    The structure and function of Alaska's forests have changed significantly in response to a changing climate, including alterations in species composition and climate feedbacks (e.g., carbon, radiation budgets) that have important regional societal consequences and human feedbacks to forest ecosystems. In this paper we present the first comprehensive synthesis of climate-change impacts on all forested ecosystems of Alaska, highlighting changes in the most critical biophysical factors of each region. We developed a conceptual framework describing climate drivers, biophysical factors and types of change to illustrate how the biophysical and social subsystems of Alaskan forests interact and respond directly and indirectly to a changing climate. We then identify the regional and global implications to the climate system and associated socio-economic impacts, as presented in the current literature. Projections of temperature and precipitation suggest wildfire will continue to be the dominant biophysical factor in the Interior-boreal forest, leading to shifts from conifer- to deciduous-dominated forests. Based on existing research, projected increases in temperature in the Southcentral- and Kenai-boreal forests will likely increase the frequency and severity of insect outbreaks and associated wildfires, and increase the probability of establishment by invasive plant species. In the Coastal-temperate forest region snow and ice is regarded as the dominant biophysical factor. With continued warming, hydrologic changes related to more rapidly melting glaciers and rising elevation of the winter snowline will alter discharge in many rivers, which will have important consequences for terrestrial and marine ecosystem productivity. These climate-related changes will affect plant species distribution and wildlife habitat, which have regional societal consequences, and trace-gas emissions and radiation budgets, which are globally important. Our conceptual framework facilitates

  19. Assessing ecosystem response to multiple disturbances and climate change in South Africa using ground- and satellite-based measurements and model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kutsch, W. L.; Falge, E. M.; Brümmer, C.; Mukwashi, K.; Schmullius, C.; Hüttich, C.; Odipo, V.; Scholes, R. J.; Mudau, A.; Midgley, G.; Stevens, N.; Hickler, T.; Scheiter, S.; Martens, C.; Twine, W.; Iiyambo, T.; Bradshaw, K.; Lück, W.; Lenfers, U.; Thiel-Clemen, T.; du Toit, J.

    2015-12-01

    Sub-Saharan Africa currently experiences rapidly growing human population, intrinsically tied to substantial changes in land use on shrubland, savanna and mixed woodland ecosystems due to over-exploitation. Significant conversions driving degradation, affecting fire frequency and water availability, and fueling climate change are expected to increase in the immediate future. However, measured data of greenhouse gas emissions as affected by land use change are scarce to entirely lacking from this region. The project 'Adaptive Resilience of Southern African Ecosystems' (ARS AfricaE) conducts research and develops scenarios of ecosystem development under climate change, for management support in conservation or for planning rural area development. This will be achieved by (1) creation of a network of research clusters (paired sites with natural and altered vegetation) along an aridity gradient in South Africa for ground-based micrometeorological in-situ measurements of energy and matter fluxes, (2) linking biogeochemical functions with ecosystem structure, and eco-physiological properties, (3) description of ecosystem disturbance (and recovery) in terms of ecosystem function such as carbon balance components and water use efficiency, (4) set-up of individual-based models to predict ecosystem dynamics under (post) disturbance managements, (5) combination with long-term landscape dynamic information derived from remote sensing and aerial photography, and (6) development of sustainable management strategies for disturbed ecosystems and land use change. Emphasis is given on validation (by a suite of field measurements) of estimates obtained from eddy covariance, model approaches and satellite derivations.

  20. [Environmental impact assessment of the land use change in china based on ecosystem service value].

    PubMed

    Ran, Sheng-hong; Lü, Chang-he; Jia, Ke-jing; Qi, Yong-hua

    2006-10-01

    The environmental impact of land use change is long-term and cumulative. The ecosystem service change results from land use change. Therefore, the ecosystem service function change is the key object in the environmental impact assessment of land use change. According to the specific situation of China, this paper adjusted the unit ecosystem service value of different land use types. Based on this, the ecosystem service value change of different provinces in China resulted from the land use change since the implementation of the last plan of land use (1997-2010) was analyzed. The results show that the ecosystem service value in China increased 0.91% from 1996 to 2004. Thereinto, Tianjin is the province that the ecosystem service value increased most quickly, which was 5.69% from 1996 to 2004, while Shanghai is the province that the value decreased most quickly, which was 9.79%. Furthermore, the change of 17 types of ecosystem services was analyzed. Among them, the climate regulation function enhanced 3.43% from 1996 to 2004 and the biology resource control was weakened by 2.26% in this period. The results also indicate that the increase of the area of water surface and forest is the main reason for why the ecosystem service value increased in China in that period.

  1. High latitude changes in ice dynamics and their impact on polar marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Moline, Mark A; Karnovsky, Nina J; Brown, Zachary; Divoky, George J; Frazer, Thomas K; Jacoby, Charles A; Torres, Joseph J; Fraser, William R

    2008-01-01

    Polar regions have experienced significant warming in recent decades. Warming has been most pronounced across the Arctic Ocean Basin and along the Antarctic Peninsula, with significant decreases in the extent and seasonal duration of sea ice. Rapid retreat of glaciers and disintegration of ice sheets have also been documented. The rate of warming is increasing and is predicted to continue well into the current century, with continued impacts on ice dynamics. Climate-mediated changes in ice dynamics are a concern as ice serves as primary habitat for marine organisms central to the food webs of these regions. Changes in the timing and extent of sea ice impose temporal asynchronies and spatial separations between energy requirements and food availability for many higher trophic levels. These mismatches lead to decreased reproductive success, lower abundances, and changes in distribution. In addition to these direct impacts of ice loss, climate-induced changes also facilitate indirect effects through changes in hydrography, which include introduction of species from lower latitudes and altered assemblages of primary producers. Here, we review recent changes and trends in ice dynamics and the responses of marine ecosystems. Specifically, we provide examples of ice-dependent organisms and associated species from the Arctic and Antarctic to illustrate the impacts of the temporal and spatial changes in ice dynamics.

  2. Centuries of Human-Driven Change in Salt Marsh Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gedan, K. Bromberg; Silliman, B. R.; Bertness, M. D.

    2009-01-01

    Salt marshes are among the most abundant, fertile, and accessible coastal habitats on earth, and they provide more ecosystem services to coastal populations than any other environment. Since the Middle Ages, humans have manipulated salt marshes at a grand scale, altering species composition, distribution, and ecosystem function. Here, we review historic and contemporary human activities in marsh ecosystems—exploitation of plant products; conversion to farmland, salt works, and urban land; introduction of non-native species; alteration of coastal hydrology; and metal and nutrient pollution. Unexpectedly, diverse types of impacts can have a similar consequence, turning salt marsh food webs upside down, dramatically increasing top down control. Of the various impacts, invasive species, runaway consumer effects, and sea level rise represent the greatest threats to salt marsh ecosystems. We conclude that the best way to protect salt marshes and the services they provide is through the integrated approach of ecosystem-based management.

  3. The Role of Remote Sensing in Modeling Landscape Change and Its Associated Carbon Cycle Impacts Across Terrestrial Arctic Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayes, D. J.; Goswami, S.; Jones, B. M.; Grosse, G.; Balser, A.; Wullschleger, S. D.

    2014-12-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems across the circumpolar Arctic region are undergoing unprecedented changes in structure and function as a result of rapid climate warming. Such changes have substantially altered energy, water and biogeochemical cycling in these regions, which has important global-scale consequences for climate and society. Recognizing the vulnerability of these ecosystems to change, scientists and decision-makers have identified a critical need for research that employs existing and new remote sensing technologies and methodologies to observe, monitor and understand changes in Arctic ecosystems. The unique capabilities provided by remote sensing imagery and data products have allowed us novel views of ecosystems and their dynamics over multiple scales in time and space across all regions of the globe. Here we offer a synthetic discussion of the recent and emerging science focused on understanding the dynamic landscape processes in Arctic terrestrial ecosystems using a variety of remotely-sensed information collected from passive and active sensors on ground-, aircraft- and satellite- based platforms. To consider the evolution of these technologies, methods and applications over recent decades, we look at key examples from the scientific literature that range from the use of radar sensors for local-scale characterization of active layer dynamics to the circumpolar-scale assessment of changes in vegetation productivity using long-term records of optical satellite imagery. This discussion has a particular focus on the use of remotely sensed data and products to parameterize, drive, evaluate and benchmark the modeling of Arctic ecosystem processes. We use these examples to demonstrate the opportunities for model-data integration, as well as to highlight the challenges of remote sensing studies in northern high latitude regions.

  4. Ecosystem Change in California Grasslands: Impacts of Species Invasion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koteen, L. E.; Harte, J.; Baldocchi, D. D.

    2009-12-01

    Grassland ecosystems of California have undergone dramatic changes, resulting in the almost complete replacement of native perennial grasses by non-native annuals across millions of hectares of grassland habitat. Our research investigates the effects of this community shift on carbon, water and energy cycles at two sites in northern coastal California. Our goal was to understand how changes to California’s grasslands have affected climate through 1. shifting the balance of carbon storage between terrestrial stocks and the atmosphere, and 2. altering the water and energy regimes that heat or cool the earth's surface. To compare the processes that govern material exchange before and after annual grass invasion, we made use of sites where native vegetation is found adjacent to locations that have undergone non-native invasion. In plots of each vegetation type, we monitored whole plant productivity, root and litter decay rates and soil respiration, as well as soil climatic controls on these processes. At one site, we also measured surface albedo and the components of the surface energy balance in each grass community, using the surface renewal method. Although seemingly subtle, the shift in California grassland communities from native perennial to non-native annual grass dominance has had profound consequences for ecosystem biogeochemical, radiative and hydrological cycles. Soil carbon storage was found to be significantly greater in native perennial grass communities. Across both study sites, we found that non-native grass invasion has resulted in the transfer of from 3 to 6 tons of carbon per hectare from the soil to the atmosphere, dependent on site and species. A soil density fractionation and a radiocarbon analysis also revealed the carbon to be more recalcitrant in native grass dominated locations. The primary plant traits that help explain why soil carbon losses follow annual grass invasion are: 1. differences between annual and perennial grasses in above

  5. Rapid toxicity assessment of sediments from estuarine ecosystems: A new tandem in vitro testing approach

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, B.T.; Long, E.R.

    1998-06-01

    Microtox{reg_sign} and Mutatox{reg_sign} were used to evaluate the acute toxicity and genotoxicity, respectively, of organic sediment extracts from Pensacola Bay and St. Andrew Bay, two estuaries that cover about 273 and 127 km{sup 2}, respectively, along the Gulf coast of Florida, USA. The sensitivity and selectivity of these two bioluminescent toxicity assays were demonstrated in validation studies with over 50 pesticides, genotoxins, and industrial pollutants, both as single compounds and in complex mixtures. The 50% effective concentration (EC50) values of insecticides, petroleum products, and polychlorinated biphenyls determined by Microtox all tended to group around the mean EC50 value of 1.2 (0.8) mg/L. The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon sensitivity of Mutatox was in general similar to that reported in the Ames test. Surficial sediment samples were collected, extracted with dichloromethane, evaporated and concentrated under nitrogen, dissolved in dimethyl sulfoxide, assayed for acute toxicity and genotoxicity, and compared with reference sediments. Samples with low EC50 values, and determined to be genotoxic, were detected in Massalina Bayou, Watson Bayou, East Bay, and St. Andrew Bay-East in St. Andrew Bay as well as Bayou Grande, Bayou Chico, and Bayou Texas in Pensacola Bay. An overview of these data sets analyzed by Spearman rank correlation showed a significant correlation between acute toxicity and genotoxicity. Microtox and Mutatox in tandem was a sensitive, cost-effective, and rapid screening tool that identified troublesome areas of pollution and assessed the potential sediment toxicity of lipophilic contaminants in aquatic ecosystems.

  6. Rapid toxicity assessment of sediments from estuarine ecosystems: A new tandem in vitro testing approach

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, B.T.; Long, E.R.

    1998-01-01

    Microtox?? and Mutatox?? were used to evaluate the acute toxicity and genotoxicity, respectively, of organic sediment extracts from Pensacola Bay and St. Andrew Bay, two estuaries that cover about 273 and 127 km2, respectively, along the Gulf coast of Florida, USA. The sensitivity and selectivity of these two bioluminescent toxicity assays were demonstrated in validation studies with over 50 pesticides, genotoxins, and industrial pollutants, both as single compounds and in complex mixtures. The 50% effective concentration (EC50) values of insecticides, petroleum products, and polychlorinated biphenyls determined by Microtox all tended to group around the mean EC50 value of 1.2 (0.8) mg/L. The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon sensitivity of Mutatox was in general similar to that reported in the Ames test. Surficial sediment samples were collected, extracted with dichloromethane, evaporated and concentrated under nitrogen, dissolved in dimethyl sulfoxide, assayed for acute toxicity and genotoxicity, and compared with reference sediments. Samples with low EC50 values, and determined to be genotoxic, were detected in Massalina Bayou, Watson Bayou, East Bay, and St. Andrew Bay-East in St. Andrew Bay as well as Bayou Grande, Bayou Chico, and Bayou Texar in Pensacola Bay. An overview of these data sets analyzed by Spearman rank correlation showed a significant correlation between acute toxicity and genotoxicity (p < 0.05). Microtox and Mutatox in tandem was a sensitive, cost-effective, and rapid (<24 h) screening tool that identified troublesome areas of pollution and assessed the potential sediment toxicity of lipophilic contaminants in aquatic ecosystems.

  7. Will Global Change Effect Primary Productivity in Coastal Ecosystems?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.; Peterson, David L. (Technical Monitor)

    1997-01-01

    Algae are the base of coastal food webs because they provide the source of organic carbon for the remaining members of the community. Thus, the rate that they produce organic carbon to a large extent controls the productivity of the entire ecosystem. Factors that control algal productivity range from the physical (e.g., temperature, light), chemical (e.g., nutrient levels) to the biological (e.g., grazing). Currently, levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide surficial fluxes of ultraviolet radiation are rising. Both of these environmental variables can have a profound effect on algal productivity. Atmospheric carbon dioxide may increase surficial levels of dissolved inorganic carbon. Our laboratory and field studies of algal mats and phytoplankton cultures under ambient and elevated levels of pCO2 show that elevated levels of inorganic carbon can cause an increase in photosynthetic rates. In some cases, this increase will cause an increase in phytoplankton numbers. There may be an increase in the excretion of fixed carbon, which in turn may enhance bacterial productivity. Alternatively, in analogy with studies on the effect of elevated pCO2 on plants, the phytoplankton could change their carbon to nitrogen ratios, which will effect the feeding of the planktonic grazers. The seasonal depletion of stratospheric ozone has resulted in elevated fluxes of UVB radiation superimposed on the normal seasonal variation. Present surface UV fluxes have a significant impact on phytoplankton physiology, including the inhibition of the light and dark reactions of photosynthesis, inhibition of nitrogenase activity, inhibition of heterocyst formation, reduction in motility, increased synthesis of the UV-screening pigment scytonemin, and mutation. After reviewing these issues, recent work in our lab on measuring the effect of UV radiation on phytoplankton in the San Francisco Bay Estuary will be presented.

  8. Ecosystem Services and Climate Change Considerations for Long Island (NY) Planning Post Hurricane Sandy

    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...

  9. Plant-trait-based modeling assessment of ecosystem-service sensitivity to land-use change.

    PubMed

    Quétier, Fabien; Lavorel, Sandra; Thuiller, Wilfried; Davies, Ian

    2007-12-01

    Evidence is accumulating that the continued provision of essential ecosystem services is vulnerable to land-use change. Yet, we lack a strong scientific basis for this vulnerability as the processes that drive ecosystem-service delivery often remain unclear. In this paper, we use plant traits to assess ecosystem-service sensitivity to land-use change in subalpine grasslands. We use a trait-based plant classification (plant functional types, PFTs) in a landscape modeling platform to model community dynamics under contrasting but internally consistent land-use change scenarios. We then use predictive models of relevant ecosystem attributes, based on quantitative plant traits, to make projections of ecosystem-service delivery. We show that plant traits and PFTs are effective predictors of relevant ecosystem attributes for a range of ecosystem services including provisioning (fodder), cultural (land stewardship), regulating (landslide and avalanche risk), and supporting services (plant diversity). By analyzing the relative effects of the physical environment and land use on relevant ecosystem attributes, we also show that these ecosystem services are most sensitive to changes in grassland management, supporting current agri-environmental policies aimed at maintaining mowing of subalpine grasslands in Europe.

  10. 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.

  11. Exploring Pacific Northwest ecosystem resilience: packaging climate change science for federal managers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bachelet, D. M.

    2014-12-01

    Climate change is projected to jeopardize ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest. Managing ecosystems for future resilience requires collaboration, innovation and communication. The abundance of data and documents describing the uncertainty around both climate change projections and impacts has become challenging to managers who have little funding and limited time to digest and incorporate these materials into planning and implementation documents. We worked with US Forest Service and BLM managers to help them develop vulnerability assessments and identify on-the-ground strategies to address climate change challenges on the federal lands in northwest Oregon (Siuslaw, Willamette and Mt. Hood National Forests; Eugene and Salem BLM Districts). We held workshops to promote dialogue about climate change, which were particularly effective in fostering discussions between the managers who often do not have the time to share their knowledge and compare experiences across administrative boundaries. We used the Adaptation for Conservation Targets (ACT) framework to identify measurable management objectives and rapidly assess local vulnerabilities. We used databasin.org to centralize usable information, including state-of-the-art CMIP5 climate projections, for the mandated assessments of vulnerability and resilience. We introduced participants to a decision support framework providing opportunities to develop more effective adaptation strategies. We built a special web page to hold the information gathered at the workshops and provide easy access to climate change information. We are now working with several Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) to design gateways - conservation atlases - to their relevant data repositories on databasin.org and working with them to develop web tools that can provide usable information for their own vulnerability assessments.

  12. Recent and widespread rapid morphological change in rodents.

    PubMed

    Pergams, Oliver R W; Lawler, Joshua J

    2009-07-31

    In general, rapid morphological change in mammals has been infrequently documented. Examples that do exist are almost exclusively of rodents on islands. Such changes are usually attributed to selective release or founder events related to restricted gene flow in island settings. Here we document rapid morphological changes in rodents in 20 of 28 museum series collected on four continents, including 15 of 23 mainland sites. Approximately 17,000 measurements were taken of 1302 rodents. Trends included both increases and decreases in the 15 morphological traits measured, but slightly more trends were towards larger size. Generalized linear models indicated that changes in several of the individual morphological traits were associated with changes in human population density, current temperature gradients, and/or trends in temperature and precipitation. When we restricted these analyses to samples taken in the US (where data on human population trends were presumed to be more accurate), we found changes in two additional traits to be positively correlated with changes in human population density. Principle component analysis revealed general trends in cranial and external size, but these general trends were uncorrelated with climate or human population density. Our results indicate that over the last 100+ years, rapid morphological change in rodents has occurred quite frequently, and that these changes have taken place on the mainland as well as on islands. Our results also suggest that these changes may be driven, at least in part, by human population growth and climate change.

  13. Biophysical controls on accretion and elevation change in Caribbean mangrove ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McKee, K.L.

    2011-01-01

    Habitat stability of coastal ecosystems, such as marshes and mangroves, depends on maintenance of soil elevations relative to sea level. Many such systems are characterized by limited mineral sedimentation and/or rapid subsidence and are consequently dependent upon accumulation of organic matter to maintain elevations. However, little field information exists regarding the contribution of specific biological processes to vertical accretion and elevation change. This study used biogenic mangrove systems in carbonate settings in Belize (BZ) and southwest Florida (FL) to examine biophysical controls on elevation change. Rates of elevation change, vertical accretion, benthic mat formation, and belowground root accumulation were measured in fringe, basin, scrub, and dwarf forest types plus a restored forest. Elevation change rates (mm yr-1) measured with Surface Elevation Tables varied widely: BZ-Dwarf (-3.7), BZ-Scrub (-1.1), FL-Fringe (0.6), FL-Basin (2.1), BZ-Fringe (4.1), and FL-Restored (9.9). Root mass accumulation varied across sites (82-739 g m-2 yr-1) and was positively correlated with elevation change. Root volumetric contribution to vertical change (mm yr-1) was lowest in BZ-Dwarf (1.2) and FL-Fringe (2.4), intermediate in FL-Basin (4.1) and BZ-Scrub (4.3), and highest in BZ-Fringe (8.8) and FL-Restored (11.8) sites. Surface growth of turf-forming algae, microbial mats, or accumulation of leaf litter and detritus also made significant contributions to vertical accretion. Turf algal mats in fringe and scrub forests accreted faster (2.7 mm yr-1) than leaf litter mats in basin forests (1.9 mm yr-1), but similarly to microbial mats in dwarf forests (2.1 mm yr-1). Surface accretion of mineral material accounted for only 0.2-3.3% of total vertical change. Those sites with high root contributions and/or rapid growth of living mats exhibited an elevation surplus (+2 to +8 mm yr-1), whereas those with low root inputs and low (or non-living) mat accumulation showed an

  14. Climate change: The 2015 Paris Agreement thresholds and Mediterranean basin ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Guiot, Joel; Cramer, Wolfgang

    2016-10-28

    The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Paris Agreement of December 2015 aims to maintain the global average warming well below 2°C above the preindustrial level. In the Mediterranean basin, recent pollen-based reconstructions of climate and ecosystem variability over the past 10,000 years provide insights regarding the implications of warming thresholds for biodiversity and land-use potential. We compare scenarios of climate-driven future change in land ecosystems with reconstructed ecosystem dynamics during the past 10,000 years. Only a 1.5°C warming scenario permits ecosystems to remain within the Holocene variability. At or above 2°C of warming, climatic change will generate Mediterranean land ecosystem changes that are unmatched in the Holocene, a period characterized by recurring precipitation deficits rather than temperature anomalies.

  15. Ecosystems and Biogeochemical Cycling in a Changing Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benway, Heather M.; Doney, Scott C.

    2010-11-01

    Fifth Annual Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry Summer Workshop; La Jolla, California, 19-22 July 2010; The Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry (OCB) program is a coordinating body for the U.S. research community that focuses on the ocean’s role as a component of the global Earth system, bringing together research in geochemistry, ocean physics, and ecology. The fifth annual Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry summer workshop, sponsored by the U.S. National Science Foundation, NASA, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, convened 107 participants at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, in California. The workshop opened with a session on the Arctic, which is undergoing rapid changes in response to warming, accelerated melting of large ice sheets, and reductions in seasonal sea ice cover. This session included two presentations that addressed implications of increasing sea ice melt for sea surface carbon dioxide (CO2) and carbonate ion concentrations in the western Arctic Ocean. Another presentation focused on recent observations of seasonally changing aragonite saturation in the northern coastal Gulf of Alaska. Moving on to the Bering Sea, a speaker described the impact of decreasing sea ice extent on autotrophs, including primary productivity, export, and community composition.

  16. Impacts of Global Change Scenarios on Ecosystem Services from the World's Rivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vorosmarty, C. J.

    2012-12-01

    Water is an essential building block of the Earth system and is critical to human prosperity. At the same time, humans are rapidly embedding themselves into the basic character of the water cycle without full knowledge of the consequences. Major sources of water system change include mismanagement and overuse, river flow distortion, pollution, watershed disturbance, invasive species, and greenhouse warming. A pandemic syndrome of risk to rivers-the chief renewable water supply supporting humans and aquatic biodiversity—is evident at the fully global scale, with a costly price-tag ($0.5Tr/yr) required for engineering-based management solutions aimed at fixing rather than preventing problems before they arise. A new project funded under the NSF's Coupled Natural-Human Systems program aims to improve our current understanding of the geography of water-related ecosystem services, accounting for both biophysical and economic controls on these services, and assessing how new management strategies could enhance the resiliency of the global water system over a 100-year time horizon. Within the context of the many sources of threat summarized above, we see the coupling of human-natural systems to be intrinsic to the science at hand, through which we have formulated our central hypothesis: Human-derived stresses imposed on the global water system will intensify over the 21st century, reducing water-related freshwater ecosystem provisioning and supporting services, increasing the costs of their remediation, limiting and shifting the geography of key economic sector outputs, and threatening biodiversity. Addressing this hypothesis has forced a substantial advancement in current capabilities, namely to (i) extend analysis into the 21st century through scenarios, (ii) develop explicit links to freshwater ecosystem services, (iii) assess how the condition of ecosystem services influences the world economy through individual sectors (food, energy, domestic water supply

  17. Topography-induced changes in ecosystem structure and its implications for response of terrestrial ecosystem to future climate variability and change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, J.; Guan, H.

    2006-12-01

    It is well known that climate is a primary control of the structure of terrestrial ecosystems. Ecosystems adapt to climate by adjusting either the type of vegetation or the canopy density. Within an established ecosystem is difficult to estimate the role of climate because there is little climate contrast, but this is remedied by observing the larger climate gradient across climate-controlled ecotones. In particular the complex topography of mountainous terrain provides a unique opportunity to constrain the climatic boundary condition of neighboring ecosystems and revealing the vegetation-climate relationship. We use a newly developed topography- and vegetation-based surface energy partitioning model (TVET) to quantify the boundary conditions for a juniper-creosote bush ecotone in central New Mexico, and demonstrate how extreme climate variability (e.g., sustainined drought) can lead to an ecotone shift. We also investigate the relationship between vegetation density and climate using remote sensing imagery for a nearby pinyon-juniper ecosystem in central New Mexico, and demonstrate how an ecosystem adapts to a small climate gradient by adjusting its density. Such studies help build a predictive understanding about the future evolution of terrestrial ecosystems due to climate variability and change.

  18. Simulation of the change of regional ecosystem services value based on CA-Markov

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Qiuji; Yao, Wanqiang

    2008-10-01

    During the last few years, the value of ecosystem services, the possibilities and rationalities of evaluating these services have attracted interests of many ecologists and economists. However, the dynamic change of ecosystem services is less studied. In this paper, the dynamic simulation method (i.e., CA-Markov) is used to simulate the change of ecosystem services value in research area. The main objective of this study is to give comprehensive and reasonable assessment of the ecosystem services value change in the research area which would provide scientific basis for environment, ecosystem construction and strategic decisions. Based on the remote sensing dada of year 1992 and 2003, the landscape information of research area is obtained, and the transfer matrix among various landscapes is calculated during the period, then the data of landscape of research area in year 2015 is predicted using the model of CA-Markov. Then the change of ecosystem services value is calculated based on the value coefficient of various landscapes. The research demonstrates that the CA-Markov is a good tool for simulating the change of ecosystem services value. The studied result can provide scientific basis for ecosystem construction and strategic decisions.

  19. A novel sensor platform for the rapid hydraulic characterisation of freshwater ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kriechbaumer, Thomas; Blackburn, Kim; Breckon, Toby; Gill, Andrew; Everard, Nick; Wright, Ros; Rivas Casado, Monica

    2014-05-01

    The spatially explicit quantification of hydraulic features provides valuable information for the physical habitat assessment of freshwater ecosystems. Collection of data on water velocities and depths using in-situ current meters or acoustic sensors on tethered boats is time-consuming and requires good site accessibility. Moreover, on smaller rivers precise spatial data referencing can be challenging, as river bank vegetation can block sky view to navigation satellites over a considerable proportion of the water surface. This paper describes the development and testing of a new small sized remote control sensor platform and a novel approach to spatial data referencing based on computer vision to enable the rapid hydraulic characterisation of habitats in small rivers. It highlights the manifold opportunities that recent achievements in the disciplines of computer science and electronics can create for the environmental sciences. The platform carries an acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) to rapidly collect large amounts of data on water velocities and river depths, from which the spatial and temporal water velocity distributions can be derived. The 1.30m long and 0.60m wide platform hull has been designed to enable single person deployment. Platform pitch and roll magnitudes and periods are quantified at a frequency of 512Hz through a low-cost inertial measurement unit on board, allowing the quantification of the errors that these platform motions can cause in the ADCP data. Jet propulsion and a tail thruster ensure high manoeuvrability, minimum draught operation and greater safety than propellers. An on-board Raspberry Pi computer enables time-synchronised logging of data from a GPS unit, the ADCP and further sensors that may be added to the platform. Real-time serial communication between the Raspberry Pi and the embedded propulsion system control (an Arduino Uno microcontroller) builds the basis for future platform autonomy. This can enable the autonomous

  20. Evidence from 12-year study links ecosystem changes in the Gulf of Maine with climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Aiken, George R.; Huntington, Thomas G.; Balch, William; Drapeau, David; Bowler, Bruce

    2012-01-01

    Investigators at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences (East Boothbay, Maine) and the U.S. Geological Survey collaborated to study ecosystem changes in the Gulf of Maine. As part of the Gulf of Maine North Atlantic Time Series (GNATS), a comprehensive long-term study of hydrographic, biological, optical and chemical properties, multiple cruises have been conducted each year since 2001 by using a portable laboratory aboard different vessels (figure 1) and occasionally a remotely controlled glider (figure 2). Data collected during these cruises, when analyzed within the context of a century of climatological and streamflow data, document changes in temperature, salinity, and coastal ocean productivity that appear to be related to recent increases in precipitation and streamflow. These results are evidence of a link between changing hydrologic conditions on land and changes in coastal ocean productivity.

  1. Migration as an Agent of Change in Caribbean Island Ecosystems.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marshall, Dawn

    1982-01-01

    There is need to assess the impact of migration on the Caribbean ecosystems. As a 150-year-old institution, emigration is related to the carrying capacity of the islands and the need to export the surplus population when capacity is threatened. Emigration, however, is a deterrent to development and individual independence. (KC)

  2. USING FISHER INFORMATION TO DETECT GRADUAL AND RAPID ECOSYSTEM REGIME SHIFTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    As ecosystems experience perturbations of varying regularity and intensity, they may either remain within the state space neighborhood of the current regime, or "flip" into the neighborhood of a regime with different characteristics. Although the possibility of such regime shifts...

  3. Monitoring of rapid land cover changes in eastern Japan using Terra/MODIS data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harada, I.; Hara, K.; Park, J.; Asanuma, I.; Tomita, M.; Hasegawa, D.; Short, K.; Fujihara, M.,

    2015-04-01

    Vegetation and land cover in Japan are rapidly changing. Abandoned farmland in 2010, for example, was 396,000 ha, or triple that of 1985. Efficient monitoring of changes in land cover is vital to both conservation of biodiversity and sustainable regional development. The Ministry of Environment is currently producing 1/25,000 scale vegetation maps for all of Japan, but the work is not yet completed. Traditional research is time consuming, and has difficulty coping with the rapid nature of change in the modern world. In this situation, classification of various scale remotely sensed data can be of premier use for efficient and timely monitoring of changes in vegetation.. In this research Terra/MODIS data is utilized to classify land cover in all of eastern Japan. Emphasis is placed on the Tohoku area, where large scale and rapid changes in vegetation have occurred in the aftermath of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake of 11 March 2011. Large sections of coastal forest and agricultural lands, for example, were directly damaged by the earthquake or inundated by subsequent tsunami. Agricultural land was also abandoned due to radioactive contamination from the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident. The classification results are interpreted within the framework of a Landscape Transformation Sere model developed by Hara et al (2010), which presents a multi-staged pattern for tracking vegetation changes under successively heavy levels of human interference. The results of the research will be useful for balancing conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems with the needs for regional redevelopment.

  4. 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...

  5. Climate change and potential reversal of regime shifts in desrt ecosystems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Globally, regime shifts from grasslands to shrublands (i.e., desertification) in arid and semiarid ecosystems are thought to be irreversible, similar to state changes in other ecosystems. The consequences of desertification, including loss of soil and nutrients to wind and water erosion, reductions ...

  6. Tropical land-cover change alters biogeochemical inputs to ecosystems in a Mexican montane landscape.

    PubMed

    Ponette-González, A G; Weathers, K C; Curran, L M

    2010-10-01

    In tropical regions, the effects of land-cover change on nutrient and pollutant inputs to ecosystems remain poorly documented and may be pronounced, especially in montane areas exposed to elevated atmospheric deposition. We examined atmospheric deposition and canopy interactions of sulfate-sulfur (SO4(2-)-S), chloride (Cl-), and nitrate-nitrogen (NO(3-)-N) in three extensive tropical montane land-cover types: clearings, forest, and coffee agroforest. Bulk and fog deposition to clearings was measured as well as throughfall (water that falls through plant canopies) ion fluxes in seven forest and five coffee sites. Sampling was conducted from 2005 to 2008 across two regions in the Sierra Madre Oriental, Veracruz, Mexico. Annual throughfall fluxes to forest and coffee sites ranged over 6-27 kg SO4(2-)-S/ha, 12-69 kg Cl-/ha, and 2-6 kg NO(3-)-N/ha. Sulfate-S in forest and coffee throughfall was higher or similar to bulk S deposition measured in clearings. Throughfall Cl- inputs, however, were consistently higher than Cl- amounts deposited to cleared areas, with net Cl- fluxes enhanced in evergreen coffee relative to semi-deciduous forest plots. Compared to bulk nitrate-N deposition, forest and coffee canopies retained 1-4 kg NO(3-)-N/ha annually, reducing NO(3-)-N inputs to soils. Overall, throughfall fluxes were similar to values reported for Neotropical sites influenced by anthropogenic emissions, while bulk S and N deposition were nine- and eightfold greater, respectively, than background wet deposition rates for remote tropical areas. Our results demonstrate that land-cover type significantly alters the magnitude and spatial distribution of atmospheric inputs to tropical ecosystems, primarily through canopy-induced changes in fog and dry deposition. However, we found that land cover interacts with topography and climate in significant ways to produce spatially heterogeneous patterns of anion fluxes, and that these factors can converge to create deposition hotspots

  7. Simulation of rapid ecological change in Lake Ontario

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McKenna, James E.; Chalupnicki, Marc; Dittman, Dawn E.; Watkins, James M.

    2017-01-01

    Lower trophic level processes are integral to proper functioning of large aquatic ecosystems and have been disturbed in Lake Ontario by various stressors including exotic species. The invasion of benthic habitats by dreissenid mussels has led to systemic changes and native faunal declines. Size-dependent physiological rates, spatial differences and connectivity, competition, and differential population dynamics among invertebrate groups contributed to the change and system complexity. We developed a spatially explicit, individual-based mechanistic model of the benthic ecosystem in Lake Ontario, with coupling to the pelagic system, to examine ecosystem dynamics and effects of dreissenid mussel invasion and native fauna losses. Benthic organisms were represented by functional groups; filter-feeders (i.e., dreissenid mussels), surface deposit-feeders (e.g., native amphipod Diporeia spp.), and deposit-feeders (e.g., oligochaetes and other burrowers). The model was stable, represented ecological structure and function effectively, and reproduced observed effects of the mussel invasion. Two hypotheses for causes of Diporeia loss, competition or disease-like mortality, were tested. Simple competition for food did not explain observed declines in native surface deposit-feeders during the filter-feeder invasion. However, the elevated mortality scenario supports a disease-like cause for loss of the native amphipod, with population changes in various lake areas and altered benthic biomass transfers. Stabilization of mussel populations and possible recovery of the native, surface-deposit feeding amphipod were predicted. Although further research is required on forcing functions, model parameters, and natural conditions, the model provides a valuable tool to help managers understand the benthic system and plan for response to future disruptions.

  8. Monitoring gradual ecosystem change using Landsat time series analyses: case studies in selected forest and rangeland ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vogelmann, James E.; Xian, George; Homer, Collin G.; Tolk, Brian

    2012-01-01

    The focus of the study was to assess gradual changes occurring throughout a range of natural ecosystems using decadal Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) and Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM +) time series data. Time series data stacks were generated for four study areas: (1) a four scene area dominated by forest and rangeland ecosystems in the southwestern United States, (2) a sagebrush-dominated rangeland in Wyoming, (3) woodland adjacent to prairie in northwestern Nebraska, and (4) a forested area in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Through analyses of time series data, we found evidence of gradual systematic change in many of the natural vegetation communities in all four areas. Many of the conifer forests in the southwestern US are showing declines related to insects and drought, but very few are showing evidence of improving conditions or increased greenness. Sagebrush communities are showing decreases in greenness related to fire, mining, and probably drought, but very few of these communities are showing evidence of increased greenness or improving conditions. In Nebraska, forest communities are showing local expansion and increased canopy densification in the prairie–woodland interface, and in the White Mountains high elevation understory conifers are showing range increases towards lower elevations. The trends detected are not obvious through casual inspection of the Landsat images. Analyses of time series data using many scenes and covering multiple years are required in order to develop better impressions and representations of the changing ecosystem patterns and trends that are occurring. The approach described in this paper demonstrates that Landsat time series data can be used operationally for assessing gradual ecosystem change across large areas. Local knowledge and available ancillary data are required in order to fully understand the nature of these trends.

  9. Social Transitions Cause Rapid Behavioral and Neuroendocrine Changes

    PubMed Central

    Maruska, Karen P.

    2015-01-01

    In species that form dominance hierarchies, there are often opportunities for low-ranking individuals to challenge high-ranking ones, resulting in a rise or fall in social rank. How does an animal rapidly detect, process, and then respond to these social transitions? This article explores and summarizes how these social transitions can rapidly (within 24 h) impact an individual’s behavior, physiology, and brain, using the African cichlid fish, Astatotilapia burtoni, as a model. Male A. burtoni form hierarchies in which a few brightly-colored dominant males defend territories and spawn with females, while the remaining males are subordinate, more drab-colored, do not hold a territory, and have minimal opportunities for reproduction. These social phenotypes are plastic and reversible, meaning that individual males may switch between dominant and subordinate status multiple times within a lifetime. When the social environment is manipulated to create males that either ascend (subordinate to dominant) or descend (dominant to subordinate) in rank, there are rapid changes in behavior, circulating hormones, and levels of gene expression in the brain that reflect the direction of transition. For example, within minutes, males ascending in status show bright coloration, a distinct eye-bar, increased dominance behaviors, activation of brain nuclei in the social behavior network, and higher levels of sex steroids in the plasma. Ascending males also show rapid changes in levels of neuropeptide and steroid receptors in the brain, as well as in the pituitary and testes. To further examine hormone–behavior relationships in this species during rapid social ascent, the present study also measured levels of testosterone, 11-ketotestosterone, estradiol, progestins, and cortisol in the plasma during the first week of social ascent and tested for correlations with behavior. Plasma levels of all steroids were rapidly increased at 30 min after social ascent, but were not correlated

  10. Social Transitions Cause Rapid Behavioral and Neuroendocrine Changes.

    PubMed

    Maruska, Karen P

    2015-08-01

    In species that form dominance hierarchies, there are often opportunities for low-ranking individuals to challenge high-ranking ones, resulting in a rise or fall in social rank. How does an animal rapidly detect, process, and then respond to these social transitions? This article explores and summarizes how these social transitions can rapidly (within 24 h) impact an individual's behavior, physiology, and brain, using the African cichlid fish, Astatotilapia burtoni, as a model. Male A. burtoni form hierarchies in which a few brightly-colored dominant males defend territories and spawn with females, while the remaining males are subordinate, more drab-colored, do not hold a territory, and have minimal opportunities for reproduction. These social phenotypes are plastic and reversible, meaning that individual males may switch between dominant and subordinate status multiple times within a lifetime. When the social environment is manipulated to create males that either ascend (subordinate to dominant) or descend (dominant to subordinate) in rank, there are rapid changes in behavior, circulating hormones, and levels of gene expression in the brain that reflect the direction of transition. For example, within minutes, males ascending in status show bright coloration, a distinct eye-bar, increased dominance behaviors, activation of brain nuclei in the social behavior network, and higher levels of sex steroids in the plasma. Ascending males also show rapid changes in levels of neuropeptide and steroid receptors in the brain, as well as in the pituitary and testes. To further examine hormone-behavior relationships in this species during rapid social ascent, the present study also measured levels of testosterone, 11-ketotestosterone, estradiol, progestins, and cortisol in the plasma during the first week of social ascent and tested for correlations with behavior. Plasma levels of all steroids were rapidly increased at 30 min after social ascent, but were not correlated with

  11. Changing landowners, changing ecosystem? Land-ownership motivations as drivers of land management practices.

    PubMed

    Sorice, Michael G; Kreuter, Urs P; Wilcox, Bradford P; Fox, William E

    2014-01-15

    Motivations for owning rural land are shifting from an agricultural-production orientation to a preference for natural and cultural amenities. Resultant changes in land management have significant implications for the type and distribution of landscape-level disturbances that affect the delivery of ecosystem services. We examined the relationship between motivations for owning land and the implementation of conservation land management practices by landowners in the Southern Great Plains of the United States. Using a mail survey, we classified landowners into three groups: agricultural production, multiple-objective, and lifestyle-oriented. Cross tabulations of landowner group with past, current, and future use of 12 different land management practices (related to prescribed grazing, vegetation management, restoration, and water management) found that lifestyle-oriented landowners were overall less likely to adopt these practices. To the degree that the cultural landscape of rural lands transitions from production-oriented to lifestyle-oriented landowners, the ecological landscape and the associated flow of ecosystem services will likely change. This poses new challenges to natural resource managers regarding education, outreach, and policy; however, a better understanding about the net ecological consequences of lower rates of adoption of conservation management practices requires consideration of the ecological tradeoffs associated with the changing resource dependency of rural landowners.

  12. Method for producing rapid pH changes

    DOEpatents

    Clark, John H.; Campillo, Anthony J.; Shapiro, Stanley L.; Winn, Kenneth R.

    1981-01-01

    A method of initiating a rapid pH change in a solution by irradiating the solution with an intense flux of electromagnetic radiation of a frequency which produces a substantial pK change to a compound in solution. To optimize the resulting pH change, the compound being irradiated in solution should have an excited state lifetime substantially longer than the time required to establish an excited state acid-base equilibrium in the solution. Desired pH changes can be accomplished in nanoseconds or less by means of picosecond pulses of laser radiation.

  13. Method for producing rapid pH changes

    DOEpatents

    Clark, J.H.; Campillo, A.J.; Shapiro, S.L.; Winn, K.R.

    A method of initiating a rapid pH change in a solution comprises irradiating the solution with an intense flux of electromagnetic radiation of a frequency which produces a substantial pK change to a compound in solution. To optimize the resulting pH change, the compound being irradiated in solution should have an excited state lifetime substantially longer than the time required to establish an excited state acid-base equilibrium in the solution. Desired pH changes can be accomplished in nanoseconds or less by means of picosecond pulses of laser radiation.

  14. [Dynamic changes of ecosystem service value in Pinggu District of Beijing].

    PubMed

    Li, Bo; Song, Xiao-Yuan; Xie, Hua-Lin; Hao, Li-Xia; Zhang, Shu-Hui

    2008-10-01

    Based on the land use/cover data of 1995 and 2004, and by using ecosystem service value per unit area of different terrestrial ecosystem types in China, the dynamic changes of ecosystem service value in Pinggu District of Beijing were analyzed. The results showed that the total ecosystem service value of Pinggu District was decreased from 3.291 x 10(9) yuan in 1995 to 3.044 x 10(9) yuan in 2004, with a change rate of -7.50%. The decrease in the areas of farmland and waters was the primary cause of the loss in ecosystem service function. Aquatic ecosystem had the highest ecological service value per unit area, while forest ecosystem gave the greatest contribution to the total ecosystem service value. The dynamic changes of the ecological service value revealed the conspicuously irrationality of land use structure in the District. The area proportions of forestland, farmland, and waters should be increased, and the conversion from farmland to constructive land should be controlled strictly. As the emergency water source and eco-conservation division of Beijing City, Pinggu District should improve its eco-environment protection and economic development to support the ecological and drinking water source securities of the Capital Beijing.

  15. River diversion could change climate in delta ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    When humans divert excessive amounts of water from their natural courses, ensuing impacts on regional and global climate may threaten the fragile ecosystems around the mouths of rivers. David Smith, a geographer at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., is researching this problem by concentrating on river deltas, which are recognized for their fertile soils and abundance of water. As a result, river deltas are also sites of intense agricultural production and high population density.

  16. A multi-model analysis of risk of ecosystem shifts under climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warszawski, Lila; Friend, Andrew; Ostberg, Sebastian; Frieler, Katja; Lucht, Wolfgang; Schaphoff, Sibyll; Beerling, David; Cadule, Patricia; Ciais, Philippe; Clark, Douglas B.; Kahana, Ron; Ito, Akihiko; Keribin, Rozenn; Kleidon, Axel; Lomas, Mark; Nishina, Kazuya; Pavlick, Ryan; Tito Rademacher, Tim; Buechner, Matthias; Piontek, Franziska; Schewe, Jacob; Serdeczny, Olivia; Schellnhuber, Hans Joachim

    2013-12-01

    Climate change may pose a high risk of change to Earth’s ecosystems: shifting climatic boundaries may induce changes in the biogeochemical functioning and structures of ecosystems that render it difficult for endemic plant and animal species to survive in their current habitats. Here we aggregate changes in the biogeochemical ecosystem state as a proxy for the risk of these shifts at different levels of global warming. Estimates are based on simulations from seven global vegetation models (GVMs) driven by future climate scenarios, allowing for a quantification of the related uncertainties. 5-19% of the naturally vegetated land surface is projected to be at risk of severe ecosystem change at 2 ° C of global warming (ΔGMT) above 1980-2010 levels. However, there is limited agreement across the models about which geographical regions face the highest risk of change. The extent of regions at risk of severe ecosystem change is projected to rise with ΔGMT, approximately doubling between ΔGMT = 2 and 3 ° C, and reaching a median value of 35% of the naturally vegetated land surface for ΔGMT = 4 °C. The regions projected to face the highest risk of severe ecosystem changes above ΔGMT = 4 °C or earlier include the tundra and shrublands of the Tibetan Plateau, grasslands of eastern India, the boreal forests of northern Canada and Russia, the savanna region in the Horn of Africa, and the Amazon rainforest.

  17. Managing for Climate Change in Western Forest Ecosystems; The Role of Refugia in Adaptation Strategies (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Millar, C. I.; Morelli, T.

    2009-12-01

    Managing forested ecosystems in western North America for adaptation to climate change involves options that depend on resource objectives, landscape conditions, sensitivity to change, and social desires. Strategies range from preserving species and ecosystems in the face of change (resisting change); managing for resilience to change; realigning ecosystems that have been severely altered so that they can adapt successfully; and enabling species to respond to climate changes. We are exploring one extreme in this range of strategies, that is, to manage locations, species, communities, or ecosystems as refugia. This concept is familiar from the Quaternary literature as isolated locations where climates remained warm during cold glacial intervals and wherein species contracted and persisted in small populations. References to refugia have been made in the climate-adaptation literature but little elaborated, and applications have not been described. We are addressing this gap conceptually and in case-studies from national forest and national park environments in California. Using a classification of refugium categories, we extend the concept beyond the original use to include diverse locations and conditions where plant or animal species, or ecosystems of concern, would persist during future changing climatic backgrounds. These locations may be determined as refugial for reasons of local microclimate, substrate, elevation, topographic context, paleohistory, species ecology, or management capacity. Recognizing that species and ecosystems respond to climate change differently, refugium strategies are appropriate in some situations and not others. We describe favorable conditions for using refugium strategies and elaborate specific approaches in Sierra Nevada case studies.

  18. Terrestrial ecosystems in a changing environment: a dominant role for water.

    PubMed

    Bernacchi, Carl J; VanLoocke, Andy

    2015-01-01

    Transpiration--the movement of water from the soil, through plants, and into the atmosphere--is the dominant water flux from the earth's terrestrial surface. The evolution of vascular plants, while increasing terrestrial primary productivity, led to higher transpiration rates and widespread alterations in the global climate system. Similarly, anthropogenic influences on transpiration rates are already influencing terrestrial hydrologic cycles, with an even greater potential for changes lying ahead. Intricate linkages among anthropogenic activities, terrestrial productivity, the hydrologic cycle, and global demand for ecosystem services will lead to increased pressures on ecosystem water demands. Here, we focus on identifying the key drivers of ecosystem water use as they relate to plant physiological function, the role of predicted global changes in ecosystem water uses, trade-offs between ecosystem water use and carbon uptake, and knowledge gaps.

  19. 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

  20. 76 FR 55060 - Aquatic Ecosystems, Water Quality, and Global Change: Challenges of Conducting Multi-Stressor...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-09-06

    ... resilience of ecosystems and human systems to a variety of existing stresses and mal- adaptations. DATES: The... a result of existing global change stresses and mal-adaptations. The work described in this...

  1. Climate change forecasts, long-term spatio-temporal prediction and the resilience of dry ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shafran-Natan, Rakefet; Svoray, Tal; Avi, Perevolotsky

    2010-05-01

    Primary production is an important indicator to climatic changes in drylands, while reduction in productivity has many consequences on ecosystem functioning. We suggest that the response of dry ecosystems to climate change should lead to a change in spatial patterns of grasses without a substantial change in ecosystem resilience. We used field data and a recently published spatio-temporally explicit model to study factors affecting long-term variation in primary production in two dry ecosystems: semi-arid (SAE) and Mediterranean (DME) dominated by annual vegetation. The model was operated in both patch and landscape scales and was executed along 30 years (1979-2008) at SAE and along 21 years (1986-1990; 1993-2008) at DME. Model predictions were validated against samples that were harvested in each site at the end of the growing season, over 15 seasons (1994-2008) at SAE (0.63

  2. Changing Arctic ecosystems--the role of ecosystem changes across the Boreal-Arctic transition zone on the distribution and abundance of wildlife populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McNew, Lance; Handel, Colleen; Pearce, John; DeGange, Anthony R.; Holland-Bartels, Leslie; Whalen, Mary

    2013-01-01

    Arctic and boreal ecosystems provide important breeding habitat for more than half of North America’s migratory birds as well as many resident species. Northern landscapes are projected to experience more pronounced climate-related changes in habitat than most other regions. These changes include increases in shrub growth, conversion of tundra to forest, alteration of wetlands, shifts in species’ composition, and changes in the frequency and scale of fires and insect outbreaks. Changing habitat conditions, in turn, may have significant effects on the distribution and abundance of wildlife in these critical northern ecosystems. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is conducting studies in the Boreal–Arctic transition zone of Alaska, an environment of accelerated change in this sensitive margin between Arctic tundra and boreal forest.

  3. Climate Change and Ecosystem Services Output Efficiency in Southern Loblolly Pine Forests.

    PubMed

    Susaeta, Andres; Adams, Damian C; Carter, Douglas R; Dwivedi, Puneet

    2016-09-01

    Forests provide myriad ecosystem services that are vital to humanity. With climate change, we expect to see significant changes to forests that will alter the supply of these critical services and affect human well-being. To better understand the impacts of climate change on forest-based ecosystem services, we applied a data envelopment analysis method to assess plot-level efficiency in the provision of ecosystem services in Florida natural loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) forests. Using field data for n = 16 loblolly pine forest plots, including inputs such as site index, tree density, age, precipitation, and temperatures for each forest plot, we assessed the relative plot-level production of three ecosystem services: timber, carbon sequestered, and species richness. The results suggested that loblolly pine forests in Florida were largely inefficient in the provision of these ecosystem services under current climatic conditions. Climate change had a small negative impact on the loblolly pine forests efficiency in the provision of ecosystem services. In this context, we discussed the reduction of tree density that may not improve ecosystem services production.

  4. The Changing Nature of Transitions in the Evolution of a Floodplain Wetland Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thoms, M. C.

    2015-12-01

    Flood plain ecosystems are mosaics of physical units and the sediments contained within these often display a high degree of spatial and temporal complexity. This paper reconstructs the environmental history of a large floodplain ecosystem in North-west New South Wales. Sediment cores, up to 14 m in depth, extracted from the Narran floodplain ecosystem have undergone detailed stratigraphic, geochemical and textural analyses. When combined with a series of dates obtained from various depths in the cores a complex environmental history is revealed. The Narran floodplain ecosystem is between 40,000 to 85,000 years old that has undergone three major changes in state. From a relatively simple initial state, divergent evolution processes resulted in an ecosystem that experienced periodic and major changes in water and sediment inputs. Finally, a change in flow and sediment regimes approximately 25,000 years ago resulted in the formation of the current floodplain ecosystem. Three major thresholds have thus been recorded, the character of which differs markedly. This study highlights how various numerical methods, in association with standard sedimentological techniques, can assist in unravelling the environmental complexity, identification of thresholds, their character as well as the divergent and convergent trajectories of change in floodplain ecosystems.

  5. Climate Change and Ecosystem Services Output Efficiency in Southern Loblolly Pine Forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Susaeta, Andres; Adams, Damian C.; Carter, Douglas R.; Dwivedi, Puneet

    2016-09-01

    Forests provide myriad ecosystem services that are vital to humanity. With climate change, we expect to see significant changes to forests that will alter the supply of these critical services and affect human well-being. To better understand the impacts of climate change on forest-based ecosystem services, we applied a data envelopment analysis method to assess plot-level efficiency in the provision of ecosystem services in Florida natural loblolly pine ( Pinus taeda L.) forests. Using field data for n = 16 loblolly pine forest plots, including inputs such as site index, tree density, age, precipitation, and temperatures for each forest plot, we assessed the relative plot-level production of three ecosystem services: timber, carbon sequestered, and species richness. The results suggested that loblolly pine forests in Florida were largely inefficient in the provision of these ecosystem services under current climatic conditions. Climate change had a small negative impact on the loblolly pine forests efficiency in the provision of ecosystem services. In this context, we discussed the reduction of tree density that may not improve ecosystem services production.

  6. Reserve Design under Climate Change: From Land Facets Back to Ecosystem Representation.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Richard R; Bayne, Erin M

    2015-01-01

    Ecosystem distributions are expected to shift as a result of global warming, raising concerns about the long-term utility of reserve systems based on coarse-filter ecosystem representation. We tested the extent to which proportional ecosystem representation targets would be maintained under a changing climate by projecting the distribution of the major ecosystems of Alberta, Canada, into the future using bioclimatic envelope models and then calculating the composition of reserves in successive periods. We used the Marxan conservation planning software to generate the suite of reserve systems for our test, varying the representation target and degree of reserve clumping. Our climate envelope projections for the 2080s indicate that virtually all reserves will, in time, be comprised of different ecosystem types than today. Nevertheless, our proportional targets for ecosystem representation were maintained across all time periods, with only minor exceptions. We hypothesize that this stability in representation arises because ecosystems may be serving as proxies for land facets, the stable abiotic landscape features that delineate major arenas of biological activity. The implication is that accommodating climate change may not require abandoning the conventional ecosystem-based approach to reserve design in favour of a strictly abiotic approach, since the two approaches may be largely synonymous.

  7. Reserve Design under Climate Change: From Land Facets Back to Ecosystem Representation

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, Richard R.; Bayne, Erin M.

    2015-01-01

    Ecosystem distributions are expected to shift as a result of global warming, raising concerns about the long-term utility of reserve systems based on coarse-filter ecosystem representation. We tested the extent to which proportional ecosystem representation targets would be maintained under a changing climate by projecting the distribution of the major ecosystems of Alberta, Canada, into the future using bioclimatic envelope models and then calculating the composition of reserves in successive periods. We used the Marxan conservation planning software to generate the suite of reserve systems for our test, varying the representation target and degree of reserve clumping. Our climate envelope projections for the 2080s indicate that virtually all reserves will, in time, be comprised of different ecosystem types than today. Nevertheless, our proportional targets for ecosystem representation were maintained across all time periods, with only minor exceptions. We hypothesize that this stability in representation arises because ecosystems may be serving as proxies for land facets, the stable abiotic landscape features that delineate major arenas of biological activity. The implication is that accommodating climate change may not require abandoning the conventional ecosystem-based approach to reserve design in favour of a strictly abiotic approach, since the two approaches may be largely synonymous. PMID:25978759

  8. Climate change and Southern Ocean ecosystems I: how changes in physical habitats directly affect marine biota.

    PubMed

    Constable, Andrew J; Melbourne-Thomas, Jessica; Corney, Stuart P; Arrigo, Kevin R; Barbraud, Christophe; Barnes, David K A; Bindoff, Nathaniel L; Boyd, Philip W; Brandt, Angelika; Costa, Daniel P; Davidson, Andrew T; Ducklow, Hugh W; Emmerson, Louise; Fukuchi, Mitsuo; Gutt, Julian; Hindell, Mark A; Hofmann, Eileen E; Hosie, Graham W; Iida, Takahiro; Jacob, Sarah; Johnston, Nadine M; Kawaguchi, So; Kokubun, Nobuo; Koubbi, Philippe; Lea, Mary-Anne; Makhado, Azwianewi; Massom, Rob A; Meiners, Klaus; Meredith, Michael P; Murphy, Eugene J; Nicol, Stephen; Reid, Keith; Richerson, Kate; Riddle, Martin J; Rintoul, Stephen R; Smith, Walker O; Southwell, Colin; Stark, Jonathon S; Sumner, Michael; Swadling, Kerrie M; Takahashi, Kunio T; Trathan, Phil N; Welsford, Dirk C; Weimerskirch, Henri; Westwood, Karen J; Wienecke, Barbara C; Wolf-Gladrow, Dieter; Wright, Simon W; Xavier, Jose C; Ziegler, Philippe

    2014-10-01

    Antarctic and Southern Ocean (ASO) marine ecosystems have been changing for at least the last 30 years, including in response to increasing ocean temperatures and changes in the extent and seasonality of sea ice; the magnitude and direction of these changes differ between regions around Antarctica that could see populations of the same species changing differently in different regions. This article reviews current and expected changes in ASO physical habitats in response to climate change. It then reviews how these changes may impact the autecology of marine biota of this polar region: microbes, zooplankton, salps, Antarctic krill, fish, cephalopods, marine mammals, seabirds, and benthos. The general prognosis for ASO marine habitats is for an overall warming and freshening, strengthening of westerly winds, with a potential pole-ward movement of those winds and the frontal systems, and an increase in ocean eddy activity. Many habitat parameters will have regionally specific changes, particularly relating to sea ice characteristics and seasonal dynamics. Lower trophic levels are expected to move south as the ocean conditions in which they are currently found move pole-ward. For Antarctic krill and finfish, the latitudinal breadth of their range will depend on their tolerance of warming oceans and changes to productivity. Ocean acidification is a concern not only for calcifying organisms but also for crustaceans such as Antarctic krill; it is also likely to be the most important change in benthic habitats over the coming century. For marine mammals and birds, the expected changes primarily relate to their flexibility in moving to alternative locations for food and the energetic cost of longer or more complex foraging trips for those that are bound to breeding colonies. Few species are sufficiently well studied to make comprehensive species-specific vulnerability assessments possible. Priorities for future work are discussed.

  9. Social-Ecological Controls Over Earth-System Stewardship: a Framework for Sustainability in a Rapidly Changing World

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chapin, F. S.; Power, M. E.; Pickett, S.; Jackson, R. B.; Carter, D.; Harden, J. W.

    2010-12-01

    Human actions are having large and accelerating effects on Earth’s climate, environment, and ecosystems, thereby degrading ecosystem services required by society. This unsustainable trajectory demands a dramatic change in the relationship of humans with the environment and life-support systems of the planet. Earth-system stewardship is an action-oriented framework intended to foster social-ecological sustainability of a rapidly changing world. This builds on problem-relevant research about the social-ecological interactions that drive earth-system change. These include spiraling consumption in developed nations and the broadening gap between the livelihoods of rich and poor people within and among countries. Science that contributes effectively to reversing these trends requires an ongoing dialogue between scientists and users at multiple scales, communicated with sensitivity to social and cultural norms. Such science must motivate behavioral change and deliver information that is perceived as objective, timely, and useful to problem-solving. Recent developments identify four strategies that use current understanding in an environment of inevitable uncertainty and abrupt change: (1) reducing the magnitude of, and exposure and sensitivity to, known stresses; (2) focusing on proactive policies that shape change; and (3) avoiding or escaping unsustainable social-ecological traps. All social-ecological systems are vulnerable to change but have sources of adaptive capacity and resilience that can sustain ecosystem services and human well-being. Discovering and nurturing these sources of adaptive capacity requires, and defines active ecosystem stewardship.

  10. 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

    climate warming in the region (Macias-Fauria & Johnson 20013, PNAS). 2) In the low arctic tundra, un-treed to treed landscapes have sprouted in several parts of the tundra in a matter of decades, as opposed to the previously predicted response times of several centuries for boreal forest to advance to its new climate optimum (migrational lags). This takes place not through very rapid moving fronts, but through phenotypic responses of extant vegetation with highly flexible life forms, such as woody deciduous shrubs (Salix, Alnus, Betula). The resulting vegetation response creates strong energy feedbacks while at the same time potentially further reduces the speed of northward displacement of the boreal forest, that has to compete with a new treed ecosystem (Macias-Fauria et al. 2012, Nature Climate Change). In conclusion, control of rates of migration by factors other than climate in mountain systems can largely reduce the ability of vegetation to track climate change, and emergence of structurally novel ecosystems in low arctic tundra might largely alter current predictions based on climate response of vegetation, by accelerating ecosystem change and reducing migrational rates simultaneously.

  11. 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.

  12. Divergence of ecosystem services in U.S. National Forests and Grasslands under a changing climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duan, Kai; Sun, Ge; Sun, Shanlei; Caldwell, Peter V.; Cohen, Erika C.; McNulty, Steven G.; Aldridge, Heather D.; Zhang, Yang

    2016-04-01

    The 170 National Forests and Grasslands (NFs) in the conterminous United States are public lands that provide important ecosystem services such as clean water and timber supply to the American people. This study investigates the potential impacts of climate change on two key ecosystem functions (i.e., water yield and ecosystem productivity) using the most recent climate projections derived from 20 Global Climate Models (GCMs) of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5). We find that future climate change may result in a significant reduction in water yield but an increase in ecosystem productivity in NFs. On average, gross ecosystem productivity is projected to increase by 76 ~ 229 g C m‑2 yr‑1 (8% ~ 24%) while water yield is projected to decrease by 18 ~ 31 mm yr‑1 (4% ~ 7%) by 2100 as a result of the combination of increased air temperature (+1.8 ~ +5.2 °C) and precipitation (+17 ~ +51 mm yr‑1). The notable divergence in ecosystem services of water supply and carbon sequestration is expected to intensify under higher greenhouse gas emission and associated climate change in the future, posing greater challenges to managing NFs for both ecosystem services.

  13. Divergence of ecosystem services in U.S. National Forests and Grasslands under a changing climate.

    PubMed

    Duan, Kai; Sun, Ge; Sun, Shanlei; Caldwell, Peter V; Cohen, Erika C; McNulty, Steven G; Aldridge, Heather D; Zhang, Yang

    2016-04-21

    The 170 National Forests and Grasslands (NFs) in the conterminous United States are public lands that provide important ecosystem services such as clean water and timber supply to the American people. This study investigates the potential impacts of climate change on two key ecosystem functions (i.e., water yield and ecosystem productivity) using the most recent climate projections derived from 20 Global Climate Models (GCMs) of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5). We find that future climate change may result in a significant reduction in water yield but an increase in ecosystem productivity in NFs. On average, gross ecosystem productivity is projected to increase by 76 ~ 229 g C m(-2) yr(-1) (8% ~ 24%) while water yield is projected to decrease by 18 ~ 31 mm yr(-1) (4% ~ 7%) by 2100 as a result of the combination of increased air temperature (+1.8 ~ +5.2 °C) and precipitation (+17 ~ +51 mm yr(-1)). The notable divergence in ecosystem services of water supply and carbon sequestration is expected to intensify under higher greenhouse gas emission and associated climate change in the future, posing greater challenges to managing NFs for both ecosystem services.

  14. Divergence of ecosystem services in U.S. National Forests and Grasslands under a changing climate

    PubMed Central

    Duan, Kai; Sun, Ge; Sun, Shanlei; Caldwell, Peter V.; Cohen, Erika C.; McNulty, Steven G.; Aldridge, Heather D.; Zhang, Yang

    2016-01-01

    The 170 National Forests and Grasslands (NFs) in the conterminous United States are public lands that provide important ecosystem services such as clean water and timber supply to the American people. This study investigates the potential impacts of climate change on two key ecosystem functions (i.e., water yield and ecosystem productivity) using the most recent climate projections derived from 20 Global Climate Models (GCMs) of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5). We find that future climate change may result in a significant reduction in water yield but an increase in ecosystem productivity in NFs. On average, gross ecosystem productivity is projected to increase by 76 ~ 229 g C m−2 yr−1 (8% ~ 24%) while water yield is projected to decrease by 18 ~ 31 mm yr−1 (4% ~ 7%) by 2100 as a result of the combination of increased air temperature (+1.8 ~ +5.2 °C) and precipitation (+17 ~ +51 mm yr−1). The notable divergence in ecosystem services of water supply and carbon sequestration is expected to intensify under higher greenhouse gas emission and associated climate change in the future, posing greater challenges to managing NFs for both ecosystem services. PMID:27100360

  15. Biomass is the main driver of changes in ecosystem process rates during tropical forest succession.

    PubMed

    Lohbeck, Madelon; Poorter, Lourens; Martínez-Ramos, Miguel; Bongers, Frans

    2015-05-01

    Over half of the world's forests are disturbed, and the rate at which ecosystem processes recover after disturbance is important for the services these forests can provide. We analyze the drivers' underlying changes in rates of key ecosystem processes (biomass productivity, litter productivity, actual litter decomposition, and potential litter decomposition) during secondary succession after shifting cultivation in wet tropical forest of Mexico. We test the importance of three alternative drivers of ecosystem processes: vegetation biomass (vegetation quantity hypothesis), community-weighted trait mean (mass ratio hypothesis), and functional diversity (niche complementarity hypothesis) using structural equation modeling. This allows us to infer the relative importance of different mechanisms underlying ecosystem process recovery. Ecosystem process rates changed during succession, and the strongest driver was aboveground biomass for each of the processes. Productivity of aboveground stem biomass and leaf litter as well as actual litter decomposition increased with initial standing vegetation biomass, whereas potential litter decomposition decreased with standing biomass. Additionally, biomass productivity was positively affected by community-weighted mean of specific leaf area, and potential decomposition was positively affected by functional divergence, and negatively by community-weighted mean of leaf dry matter content. Our empirical results show that functional diversity and community-weighted means are of secondary importance for explaining changes in ecosystem process rates during tropical forest succession. Instead, simply, the amount of vegetation in a site is the major driver of changes, perhaps because there is a steep biomass buildup during succession that overrides more subtle effects of community functional properties on ecosystem processes. We recommend future studies in the field of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning to separate the effects of

  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. Developing priority variables ("ecosystem Essential Ocean Variables" - eEOVs) for observing dynamics and change in Southern Ocean ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Constable, Andrew J.; Costa, Daniel P.; Schofield, Oscar; Newman, Louise; Urban, Edward R.; Fulton, Elizabeth A.; Melbourne-Thomas, Jessica; Ballerini, Tosca; Boyd, Philip W.; Brandt, Angelika; de la Mare, Willaim K.; Edwards, Martin; Eléaume, Marc; Emmerson, Louise; Fennel, Katja; Fielding, Sophie; Griffiths, Huw; Gutt, Julian; Hindell, Mark A.; Hofmann, Eileen E.; Jennings, Simon; La, Hyoung Sul; McCurdy, Andrea; Mitchell, B. Greg; Moltmann, Tim; Muelbert, Monica; Murphy, Eugene; Press, Anthony J.; Raymond, Ben; Reid, Keith; Reiss, Christian; Rice, Jake; Salter, Ian; Smith, David C.; Song, Sun; Southwell, Colin; Swadling, Kerrie M.; Van de Putte, Anton; Willis, Zdenka

    2016-09-01

    Reliable statements about variability and change in marine ecosystems and their underlying causes are needed to report on their status and to guide management. Here we use the Framework on Ocean Observing (FOO) to begin developing ecosystem Essential Ocean Variables (eEOVs) for the Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS). An eEOV is a defined biological or ecological quantity, which is derived from field observations, and which contributes significantly to assessments of Southern Ocean ecosystems. Here, assessments are concerned with estimating status and trends in ecosystem properties, attribution of trends to causes, and predicting future trajectories. eEOVs should be feasible to collect at appropriate spatial and temporal scales and are useful to the extent that they contribute to direct estimation of trends and/or attribution, and/or development of ecological (statistical or simulation) models to support assessments. In this paper we outline the rationale, including establishing a set of criteria, for selecting eEOVs for the SOOS and develop a list of candidate eEOVs for further evaluation. Other than habitat variables, nine types of eEOVs for Southern Ocean taxa are identified within three classes: state (magnitude, genetic/species, size spectrum), predator-prey (diet, foraging range), and autecology (phenology, reproductive rate, individual growth rate, detritus). Most candidates for the suite of Southern Ocean taxa relate to state or diet. Candidate autecological eEOVs have not been developed other than for marine mammals and birds. We consider some of the spatial and temporal issues that will influence the adoption and use of eEOVs in an observing system in the Southern Ocean, noting that existing operations and platforms potentially provide coverage of the four main sectors of the region - the East and West Pacific, Atlantic and Indian. Lastly, we discuss the importance of simulation modelling in helping with the design of the observing system in the long

  18. Drought-induced changes in flow regimes lead to long-term losses in mussel-provided ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Vaughn, Caryn C; Atkinson, Carla L; Julian, Jason P

    2015-03-01

    Extreme hydro-meteorological events such as droughts are becoming more frequent, intense, and persistent. This is particularly true in the south central USA, where rapidly growing urban areas are running out of water and human-engineered water storage and management are leading to broad-scale changes in flow regimes. The Kiamichi River in southeastern Oklahoma, USA, has high fish and freshwater mussel biodiversity. However, water from this rural river is desired by multiple urban areas and other entities. Freshwater mussels are large, long-lived filter feeders that provide important ecosystem services. We ask how observed changes in mussel biomass and community composition resulting from drought-induced changes in flow regimes might lead to changes in river ecosystem services. We sampled mussel communities in this river over a 20-year period that included two severe droughts. We then used laboratory-derived physiological rates and river-wide estimates of species-specific mussel biomass to estimate three aggregate ecosystem services provided by mussels over this time period: biofiltration, nutrient recycling (nitrogen and phosphorus), and nutrient storage (nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon). Mussel populations declined over 60%, and declines were directly linked to drought-induced changes in flow regimes. All ecosystem services declined over time and mirrored biomass losses. Mussel declines were exacerbated by human water management, which has increased the magnitude and frequency of hydrologic drought in downstream reaches of the river. Freshwater mussels are globally imperiled and declining around the world. Summed across multiple streams and rivers, mussel losses similar to those we document here could have considerable consequences for downstream water quality although lost biofiltration and nutrient retention. While we cannot control the frequency and severity of climatological droughts, water releases from reservoirs could be used to augment stream flows and

  19. Drought-induced changes in flow regimes lead to long-term losses in mussel-provided ecosystem services

    PubMed Central

    Vaughn, Caryn C; Atkinson, Carla L; Julian, Jason P

    2015-01-01

    Extreme hydro-meteorological events such as droughts are becoming more frequent, intense, and persistent. This is particularly true in the south central USA, where rapidly growing urban areas are running out of water and human-engineered water storage and management are leading to broad-scale changes in flow regimes. The Kiamichi River in southeastern Oklahoma, USA, has high fish and freshwater mussel biodiversity. However, water from this rural river is desired by multiple urban areas and other entities. Freshwater mussels are large, long-lived filter feeders that provide important ecosystem services. We ask how observed changes in mussel biomass and community composition resulting from drought-induced changes in flow regimes might lead to changes in river ecosystem services. We sampled mussel communities in this river over a 20-year period that included two severe droughts. We then used laboratory-derived physiological rates and river-wide estimates of species-specific mussel biomass to estimate three aggregate ecosystem services provided by mussels over this time period: biofiltration, nutrient recycling (nitrogen and phosphorus), and nutrient storage (nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon). Mussel populations declined over 60%, and declines were directly linked to drought-induced changes in flow regimes. All ecosystem services declined over time and mirrored biomass losses. Mussel declines were exacerbated by human water management, which has increased the magnitude and frequency of hydrologic drought in downstream reaches of the river. Freshwater mussels are globally imperiled and declining around the world. Summed across multiple streams and rivers, mussel losses similar to those we document here could have considerable consequences for downstream water quality although lost biofiltration and nutrient retention. While we cannot control the frequency and severity of climatological droughts, water releases from reservoirs could be used to augment stream flows and

  20. Rapid climate changes recorded in Greenland ice cores

    SciTech Connect

    Alley, R.B.

    1995-12-31

    Exceptionally large, rapid climate changes have repeatedly affected the North Atlantic basin and beyond over the last 100,000 years, as recorded in Greenlandic ice cores. The changes involve regional or global conditions (large changes in methane, in storm tracks, and in atmospheric loading of windblown sea salt and continental dust) as well as local conditions (several degrees C in temperature, twofold change in snow accumulation). Changes occurred over decades to as little as a single year. {open_quotes}Flickering{close_quotes} behavior occurred at some transitions, with rapid fluctuations between two states over years to decades before longer-term stabilization in one of the states. Such changes almost certainly are linked to large-scale reorganizations of the atmosphere-ocean system. One significant event occurred as recently as 8,000 years ago, after the low-latitude ice sheets had largely melted, casting doubt on the hypothesis that the low-latitude ice sheets are necessary to destabilize North Atlantic climate.

  1. Minimizing impacts of land use change on ecosystem services using multi-criteria heuristic analysis.

    PubMed

    Keller, Arturo A; Fournier, Eric; Fox, Jessica

    2015-06-01

    Development of natural landscapes to support human activities impacts the capacity of the landscape to provide ecosystem services. Typically, several ecosystem services are impacted at a single development site and various footprint scenarios are possible, thus a multi-criteria analysis is needed. Restoration potential should also be considered for the area surrounding the permanent impact site. The primary objective of this research was to develop a heuristic approach to analyze multiple criteria (e.g. impacts to various ecosystem services) in a spatial configuration with many potential development sites. The approach was to: (1) quantify the magnitude of terrestrial ecosystem service (biodiversity, carbon sequestration, nutrient and sediment retention, and pollination) impacts associated with a suite of land use change scenarios using the InVEST model; (2) normalize results across categories of ecosystem services to allow cross-service comparison; (3) apply the multi-criteria heuristic algorithm to select sites with the least impact to ecosystem services, including a spatial criterion (separation between sites). As a case study, the multi-criteria impact minimization algorithm was applied to InVEST output to select 25 potential development sites out of 204 possible locations (selected by other criteria) within a 24,000 ha property. This study advanced a generally applicable spatial multi-criteria approach for 1) considering many land use footprint scenarios, 2) balancing impact decisions across a suite of ecosystem services, and 3) determining the restoration potential of ecosystem services after impacts.

  2. Climate Change Experiments in Arctic Ecosystems: Scientific Strategy and Design Criteria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wullschleger, S. D.; Hinzman, L. D.; McGuire, A. D.; Oberbauer, S. F.; Oechel, W. C.; Norby, R. J.; Thornton, P. E.; Schuur, E. A.; Shugart, H. H.; Walsh, J. E.; Wilson, C. J.

    2010-12-01

    Arctic and subarctic ecosystems are sensitive to changes in climate. These are among the largest and coldest of all ecosystems and are perceived by many as especially vulnerable to environmental change. Warming, in particular, is expected to be greatest in northern latitudes with potentially significant consequences for tundra, taiga, and peat lands. Observational evidence suggests that warming is already affecting physical and ecological processes in high-latitude ecosystems. Models predict that permafrost degradation and the northward expansion of shrubs into tundra represent important feedbacks on climate. Manipulative experiments can help understand the vulnerability of ecosystems to climate warming. Previous attempts to manipulate the environment of ecosystems in arctic and subarctic regions have focused on warming plant and soils, but treatments have been limited to small scales and modest increases in temperature. Manipulating the environment at larger scales and exposing ecosystems to higher temperatures for longer periods of time will be required to fully describe the physical, chemical, and biological mechanisms that govern land-atmosphere interactions. A variety of logistical and engineering challenges must be overcome and new approaches developed before we can address the questions being asked of the scientific community especially as we continue to move toward large-scale and long-term experiments. In light of the many uncertainties that surround the response of high-latitude ecosystems to global climate change, it is important that the scientific community consider how manipulative experiments can address and resolve ecosystem impacts and feedbacks to climate. A workshop sponsored by the Department of Energy, Office of Science was recently held at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. The goal of the workshop was to highlight conclusions from observational and modeling studies about the response of arctic and subarctic ecosystems to a changing climate

  3. Climate change creates rapid species turnover in montane communities.

    PubMed

    Gibson-Reinemer, Daniel K; Sheldon, Kimberly S; Rahel, Frank J

    2015-06-01

    Recent decades have seen substantial changes in patterns of biodiversity worldwide. Simultaneously, climate change is producing a widespread pattern of species' range shifts to higher latitudes and higher elevations, potentially creating novel assemblages as species shift at different rates. However, the direct link between species' turnover as a result of climate-induced range shifts has not yet been empirically evaluated. We measured rates of species turnover associated with species' range shifts in relatively undisturbed montane areas in Asia, Europe, North America, South America, and the Indo-Pacific. We show that species turnover is rapidly creating novel assemblages, and this can be explained by variable changes in species' range limits following warming. Across all the areas we analyzed, mean species' turnover was 12% per decade, which was nearly balanced between the loss of existing co-occurrences and the gain of novel co-occurrences. Turnover appears to be more rapid among ectothermic assemblages, and some evidence suggests tropical assemblages may be responding at more rapid rates than temperate assemblages.

  4. The Chinese Experience of Rapid Modernization: Sociocultural Changes, Psychological Consequences?

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Jiahong; Ryder, Andrew G.

    2016-01-01

    Mainland China has undergone profound changes dating back to the nineteenth century, including a contemporary period of rapid modernization that began in the 1980s. The result has been dramatic social, cultural, and economic shifts impacting the daily lives of Chinese people. In this paper, we explore the psychological implications of sociocultural transformation in China, emphasizing two central themes. First, rising individualism: findings from social and developmental psychology suggest that China’s rapid development has been accompanied by ever-increasing adherence to individualistic values. Second, rising rates of depression: findings from psychiatric epidemiology point to increasing prevalence of depression over this same time period, particularly in rural settings. We argue that links between sociocultural and psychological shifts in China can be usefully studied through a cultural psychology lens, emphasizing the mutual constitution of culture, mind, and brain. In particular, we note that the link between social change, individualism, and rising mental illness deserves careful attention. Our review suggests that shifting values and socialization practices shape emotion norms of concealment and display, with implications for depressive symptom presentation. The challenge comes with interpretation. Increasing prevalence rates of depression may indeed be a general response to the rapidity of sociocultural change, or a specific consequence of rising individualism—but may also result from increasingly ‘Western’ patterns of symptom presentation, or improvements in diagnostic practice. We conclude by considering the challenges posed to standard universal models of psychological phenomena. PMID:27092093

  5. Rapid changes in the gut microbiome during human evolution.

    PubMed

    Moeller, Andrew H; Li, Yingying; Mpoudi Ngole, Eitel; Ahuka-Mundeke, Steve; Lonsdorf, Elizabeth V; Pusey, Anne E; Peeters, Martine; Hahn, Beatrice H; Ochman, Howard

    2014-11-18

    Humans are ecosystems containing trillions of microorganisms, but the evolutionary history of this microbiome is obscured by a lack of knowledge about microbiomes of African apes. We sequenced the gut communities of hundreds of chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas and developed a phylogenetic approach to reconstruct how present-day human microbiomes have diverged from those of ancestral populations. Compositional change in the microbiome was slow and clock-like during African ape diversification, but human microbiomes have deviated from the ancestral state at an accelerated rate. Relative to the microbiomes of wild apes, human microbiomes have lost ancestral microbial diversity while becoming specialized for animal-based diets. Individual wild apes cultivate more phyla, classes, orders, families, genera, and species of bacteria than do individual humans across a range of societies. These results indicate that humanity has experienced a depletion of the gut flora since diverging from Pan.

  6. Phenological niches and the future of invaded ecosystems with climate change

    PubMed Central

    Wolkovich, Elizabeth M.; Cleland, Elsa E.

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, research in invasion biology has focused increasing attention on understanding the role of phenology in shaping plant invasions. Multiple studies have found non-native species that tend to flower distinctly early or late in the growing season, advance more with warming or have shifted earlier with climate change compared with native species. This growing body of literature has focused on patterns of phenological differences, but there is a need now for mechanistic studies of how phenology contributes to invasions. To do this, however, requires understanding how phenology fits within complex functional trait relationships. Towards this goal, we review recent literature linking phenology with other functional traits, and discuss the role of phenology in mediating how plants experience disturbance and stress—via climate, herbivory and competition—across the growing season. Because climate change may alter the timing and severity of stress and disturbance in many systems, it could provide novel opportunities for invasion—depending upon the dominant climate controller of the system, the projected climate change, and the traits of native and non-native species. Based on our current understanding of plant phenological and growth strategies—especially rapid growing, early-flowering species versus later-flowering species that make slower-return investments in growth—we project optimal periods for invasions across three distinct systems under current climate change scenarios. Research on plant invasions and phenology within this predictive framework would provide a more rigorous test of what drives invader success, while at the same time testing basic plant ecological theory. Additionally, extensions could provide the basis to model how ecosystem processes may shift in the future with continued climate change. PMID:24876295

  7. Evaluation of ecosystem services for good balance between climate change prevention and biodiversity conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ito, A.; Adachi, M.; Yamagata, Y.; Suzuki, R.; Saigusa, N.; Sekine, H.

    2011-12-01

    For appropriate decision making in ecosystem management for global warming prevention and biodiversity conservation, a reliable and practical method to evaluate ecosystem services is necessary. For this purpose, we are conducting a project focusing on the evaluation of ecosystem services with a financial support from the Ministry of Environment, Japan, during the period from 2011 to 2013. The project is titled "Development of a method for evaluation of ecosystem services aiming at trade-off mitigation between climate change prevention and biodiversity conservation" (Environmental Research Fund, No. F-1101) and jointly conducted through collaboration among: the National Institute for Environmental Studies, the Japan-Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, and Mitsubishi Research Institute. The objectives of the project include: (1) integration of observational data from field sites and satellites related to ecosystem functions, (2) development of a practical evaluation method of ecosystem services, and (3) contribution to mitigate conflicts between environmental mitigation options such as climate change prevention and biodiversity conservation. In this project, we have a couple of candidate sites in Asian region to conduct field studies including in situ observation of forest biomass, leaf area index, canopy structure, in conjunction with corresponding satellite observations. These data on functional traits will be related with important ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration and climate regulation, water supply, and genetic resource stemming from biodiversity.

  8. Regional zooplankton biodiversity provides limited buffering of pond ecosystems against climate change.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Patrick L; Shurin, Jonathan B

    2012-01-01

    1. Climate change and other human-driven environmental perturbations are causing reductions in biodiversity and impacting the functioning of ecosystems on a global scale. Metacommunity theory suggests that ecosystem connectivity may reduce the magnitude of these impacts if the regional species pool contains functionally redundant species that differ in their environmental tolerances. Dispersal may increase the resistance of local ecosystems to environmental stress by providing regional species with traits adapted to novel conditions. 2. We tested this theory by subjecting freshwater zooplankton communities in mesocosms that were either connected to or isolated from the larger regional species pool to a factorial manipulation of experimental warming and increased salinity. 3. Compensation by regional taxa depended on the source of stress. Warming tolerant regional taxa partially compensated for reductions in heat sensitive local taxa but similar compensation did not occur under increased salinity. 4. Dispersal-mediated species invasions dampened the effects of warming on summer net ecosystem productivity. However, this buffering effect did not occur in the fall or for periphyton growth, the only other ecosystem function affected by the stress treatments. 5. The results indicate that regional biodiversity can provide insurance in a dynamic environment but that the buffering capacity is limited to some ecosystem processes and sources of stress. Maintaining regional biodiversity and habitat connectivity may therefore provide some limited insurance for local ecosystems in changing environments, but is unable to impart resistance against all sources of environmental stress.

  9. Slowing down of North Pacific climate variability and its implications for abrupt ecosystem change.

    PubMed

    Boulton, Chris A; Lenton, Timothy M

    2015-09-15

    Marine ecosystems are sensitive to stochastic environmental variability, with higher-amplitude, lower-frequency--i.e., "redder"--variability posing a greater threat of triggering large ecosystem changes. Here we show that fluctuations in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) index have slowed down markedly over the observational record (1900-present), as indicated by a robust increase in autocorrelation. This "reddening" of the spectrum of climate variability is also found in regionally averaged North Pacific sea surface temperatures (SSTs), and can be at least partly explained by observed deepening of the ocean mixed layer. The progressive reddening of North Pacific climate variability has important implications for marine ecosystems. Ecosystem variables that respond linearly to climate forcing will have become prone to much larger variations over the observational record, whereas ecosystem variables that respond nonlinearly to climate forcing will have become prone to more frequent "regime shifts." Thus, slowing down of North Pacific climate variability can help explain the large magnitude and potentially the quick succession of well-known abrupt changes in North Pacific ecosystems in 1977 and 1989. When looking ahead, despite model limitations in simulating mixed layer depth (MLD) in the North Pacific, global warming is robustly expected to decrease MLD. This could potentially reverse the observed trend of slowing down of North Pacific climate variability and its effects on marine ecosystems.

  10. 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...

  11. Predicting ecosystem shifts requires new approaches that integrate the effects of climate change across entire systems

    PubMed Central

    Russell, Bayden D.; Harley, Christopher D. G.; Wernberg, Thomas; Mieszkowska, Nova; Widdicombe, Stephen; Hall-Spencer, Jason M.; Connell, Sean D.

    2012-01-01

    Most studies that forecast the ecological consequences of climate change target a single species and a single life stage. Depending on climatic impacts on other life stages and on interacting species, however, the results from simple experiments may not translate into accurate predictions of future ecological change. Research needs to move beyond simple experimental studies and environmental envelope projections for single species towards identifying where ecosystem change is likely to occur and the drivers for this change. For this to happen, we advocate research directions that (i) identify the critical species within the target ecosystem, and the life stage(s) most susceptible to changing conditions and (ii) the key interactions between these species and components of their broader ecosystem. A combined approach using macroecology, experimentally derived data and modelling that incorporates energy budgets in life cycle models may identify critical abiotic conditions that disproportionately alter important ecological processes under forecasted climates. PMID:21900317

  12. Predicting climate change effects on wetland ecosystem services using species distribution modeling and plant functional traits.

    PubMed

    Moor, Helen; Hylander, Kristoffer; Norberg, Jon

    2015-01-01

    Wetlands provide multiple ecosystem services, the sustainable use of which requires knowledge of the underlying ecological mechanisms. Functional traits, particularly the community-weighted mean trait (CWMT), provide a strong link between species communities and ecosystem functioning. We here combine species distribution modeling and plant functional traits to estimate the direction of change of ecosystem processes under climate change. We model changes in CWMT values for traits relevant to three key services, focusing on the regional species pool in the Norrström area (central Sweden) and three main wetland types. Our method predicts proportional shifts toward faster growing, more productive and taller species, which tend to increase CWMT values of specific leaf area and canopy height, whereas changes in root depth vary. The predicted changes in CWMT values suggest a potential increase in flood attenuation services, a potential increase in short (but not long)-term nutrient retention, and ambiguous outcomes for carbon sequestration.

  13. Observing and diagnosing biological fluxes and canopy mechanisms with implications for climate change and ecosystem disturbance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reed, David E.

    Improving our predictions of ecosystem responses is an important challenge in ecological science due to the increasing number of stresses applied to biological systems. The assumption that ecosystems are operating in steady-state conditions at annual and longer time scales is far too simple of a model as ecosystems are an integral part of the earth system. Anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic forces acting on ecosystems within the earth system are numerous and include broad external factors such as climate change to specific internal factors such as infestations causing disturbance. This research quantifies changes in biogeochemical cycling and increases understanding of the mechanisms that control these cycles across two major ecosystems of the intermountain west with the broad goal of better predictive power of ecosystem responses. Eddy covariance methods were used to quantify carbon, water and energy fluxes at two different field sites in sagebrush ecosystems and one field site in a lodgepole pine ecosystem, in south-east Wyoming and northern Colorado. These measurements were supported with environmental and micrometeorological measurements in order to better understand physical mechanisms and canopy processes that control these biological fluxes. Results from the sagebrush component of this dissertation show how semi-arid sagebrush canopies interact with the lower atmosphere in ways that can alter environmental control of water loss with changing leaf area. This feedback has large implications combined with the large land area of these ecosystems and predictions of a dryer and more variable precipitation regime in the future. At the higher elevation lodgepole pine site, the ecosystem is undergoing a major mortality disturbance due to native bark beetles. Interestingly, even with ˜80% mortality of the canopy, few changes are observed to carbon and water cycling, as well as water use efficiency and energy cycling at the ecosystem scale. This calls into question

  14. Variability in biomass yields of large marine ecosystems (LMEs) during climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Sherman, K. )

    1993-06-01

    Results of ecosystem studies relating to variations in biomass yields are examined in relation to principle driving forces including climate change, coastal pollution, habitat degradation, and overexploitation of living marine resources. Among the ecosystems compared with regard to the different prime driving forces, affecting sustainability of biomass yields, are the Black Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Barents Sea, Kuroshio Current, California Current, Great Barrier Reef, Gulf of Mexico, Yellow Sea, Icelandic Shelf, and Northeast US Shelf ecosystems. The designation and management of large marine ecosystems (LMEs) is, at present, an evolving scientific and geopolitical process. Sufficient progress has been made to allow for useful comparisons among different processes influencing large-scale changes in the biomass yields of LMEs. The most severely impacted LMEs are off the coasts of the continents.

  15. Rapid water quality change in the Elwha River estuary complex during dam removal

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Foley, Melissa M.; Duda, Jeffrey J.; Beirne, Matthew M.; Paradis, Rebecca; Ritchie, Andrew; Warrick, Jonathan A.

    2015-01-01

    Dam removal in the United States is increasing as a result of structural concerns, sedimentation of reservoirs, and declining riverine ecosystem conditions. The removal of the 32 m Elwha and 64 m Glines Canyon dams from the Elwha River in Washington, U.S.A., was the largest dam removal project in North American history. During the 3 yr of dam removal—from September 2011 to August 2014—more than ten million cubic meters of sediment was eroded from the former reservoirs, transported downstream, and deposited throughout the lower river, river delta, and nearshore waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Water quality data collected in the estuary complex at the mouth of the Elwha River document how conditions in the estuary changed as a result of sediment deposition over the 3 yr the dams were removed. Rapid and large-scale changes in estuary conditions—including salinity, depth, and turbidity—occurred 1 yr into the dam removal process. Tidal propagation into the estuary ceased following a large sediment deposition event that began in October 2013, resulting in decreased salinity, and increased depth and turbidity in the estuary complex. These changes have persisted in the system through dam removal, significantly altering the structure and functioning of the Elwha River estuary ecosystem.

  16. A global synthesis reveals biodiversity loss as a major driver of ecosystem change.

    PubMed

    Hooper, David U; Adair, E Carol; Cardinale, Bradley J; Byrnes, Jarrett E K; Hungate, Bruce A; Matulich, Kristin L; Gonzalez, Andrew; Duffy, J Emmett; Gamfeldt, Lars; O'Connor, Mary I

    2012-05-02

    Evidence is mounting that extinctions are altering key processes important to the productivity and sustainability of Earth's ecosystems. Further species loss will accelerate change in ecosystem processes, but it is unclear how these effects compare to the direct effects of other forms of environmental change that are both driving diversity loss and altering ecosystem function. Here we use a suite of meta-analyses of published data to show that the effects of species loss on productivity and decomposition--two processes important in all ecosystems--are of comparable magnitude to the effects of many other global environmental changes. In experiments, intermediate levels of species loss (21-40%) reduced plant production by 5-10%, comparable to previously documented effects of ultraviolet radiation and climate warming. Higher levels of extinction (41-60%) had effects rivalling those of ozone, acidification, elevated CO(2) and nutrient pollution. At intermediate levels, species loss generally had equal or greater effects on decomposition than did elevated CO(2) and nitrogen addition. The identity of species lost also had a large effect on changes in productivity and decomposition, generating a wide range of plausible outcomes for extinction. Despite the need for more studies on interactive effects of diversity loss and environmental changes, our analyses clearly show that the ecosystem consequences of local species loss are as quantitatively significant as the direct effects of several global change stressors that have mobilized major international concern and remediation efforts.

  17. Trade-offs in water and carbon ecosystem services with land-use changes in grasslands.

    PubMed

    Kim, John H; Jobbágy, Esteban G; Jackson, Robert B

    2016-09-01

    Increasing pressures for food, fiber, and fuel continue to drive global land-use changes. Efforts to optimize ecosystem services under alternative land uses are often hampered by the complex interactions and trade-offs among them. We examined the effects of land-use changes on ecosystem carbon storage and groundwater recharge in grasslands of Argentina and the United States to (1) understand the relationships between both services, (2) predict their responses to vegetation shifts across environmental gradients, and (3) explore how market or policy incentives for ecosystem services could affect land-use changes. A trade-off of ecosystem services was evident in most cases, with woody encroachment increasing carbon storage (+29 Mg C/ha) but decreasing groundwater recharge (-7.3 mm/yr) and conversions to rain-fed cultivation driving opposite changes (-32 Mg C/ha vs. +13 mm/yr). In contrast, crops irrigated with ground water tended to reduce both services compared to the natural grasslands they replaced. Combining economic values of the agricultural products together with the services, we highlight potentials for relatively modest financial incentives for ecosystem services to abate land-use changes and for incentives for carbon to drive land-use decisions over those of water. Our findings also identify key opportunities and caveats for some win-win and lose-lose land-use changes for more integrative and sustainable strategies for land management.

  18. Long-term watershed research and monitoring to understand ecosystem change in parks and equivalent reserves

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Herrmann, R.

    1997-01-01

    Integrated watershed ecosystem studies in National Parks or equivalent reserves suggest that effects of external processes on 'protected' resources are subtle, chronic, and long-term. Ten years of data from National Park watersheds suggests that temperature and precipitation changes are linked to nitrogen levels in lakes and streams. We envision measurable biotic effects in these remote watersheds, if expected climate trends continue. The condition of natural resources within areas set aside for preservation are difficult to ascertain, but gaining this knowledge is the key to understanding ecosystem change and of processes operating among biotic and abiotic ecosystem components. There is increasing evidence that understanding the magnitude of variation within and between such processes can provide an early indication of environmental change and trends attributable to human-induced stress. The following four papers are case studies of how this concept has been implemented. These long-term studies have expanded our knowledge of ecosystem response to natural and human-induced stress. The existence of these sites with a commitment to gathering 'long-term' ecosystem-level data permits research activities aimed at testing more important hypotheses on ecosystem processes and structure.

  19. Divergence of ecosystem services in U.S. National Forests and Grasslands under a changing climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Ge; Duan, Kai; Sun, Shanlei; Caldwell, Peter; Cohen, Erika; McNulty, Steven; Zhang, Yang

    2016-04-01

    The 170 National Forests and Grasslands (NFs) in the conterminous United States are public lands that provide important ecosystem services such as clean water and timber supply to the American people. This modeling study investigates the potential impacts of climate change on two key ecosystem functions (i.e., water yield and ecosystem productivity) using the most recent climate projections derived from 20 Global Climate Models (GCMs) of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5). We find that future climate change may result in a significant reduction in water yield but an increase in forest productivity in NFs. On average, gross ecosystem productivity is projected to increase by 76 ~ 229 g C m-2 yr-1 (8% ~ 24%) while water yield is projected to decrease by 18 ~ 31 mm yr-1 (4% ~ 7%) by 2100 as a result of the combination of increased air temperature (+1.8 ~ +5.2 ℃) and precipitation (+17 ~ +51 mm yr-1). The notable divergence in ecosystem services of water supply and carbon sequestration is expected to intensify under higher greenhouse gas emission and associated climate change in the future, posing greater challenges to managing NFs for both ecosystem services.

  20. Estuaries of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem: Laboratories of Long-term Change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wingard, G.L.; Hudley, J.W.; Marshall, F.E.

    2010-01-01

    Restoring the greater Everglades ecosystem of south Florida is arguably the largest ecosystem restoration effort to date. A critical goal is to return more natural patterns of flow through south Florida wetlands and into the estuaries, but development of realistic targets requires acknowledgement that ecosystems are constantly evolving and changing in response to a variety of natural and human-driven stressors. Examination of ecosystems over long periods of time requires analysis of sedimentary records, such as those deposited in the wetlands and estuaries of south Florida. As sediment accumulates, it preserves information about the animals and plants that lived in the environment and the physical, chemical, and climatic conditions present. One of the methods used to interpret this information is paleoecology-the study of the ecology of previously living organisms. Paleoecologic investigations of south Florida estuaries provide quantitative data on historical variability of salinity and trends that may be applied to statistical models to estimate historical freshwater flow. These data provide a unique context to estimate future ecosystem response to changes related to restoration activities and predicted changes in sea level and temperature, thus increasing the likelihood of successful and sustainable ecosystem restoration.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Information Needs Assessment for Coastal and Marine Management and Policy: Ecosystem Services Under Changing Climatic, Land Use, and Demographic Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldsmith, Kaitlin A.; Granek, Elise F.; Lubitow, Amy

    2015-12-01

    Changing climatic, demographic, and land use conditions are projected to alter the provisioning of ecosystem services in estuarine, coastal, and nearshore marine ecosystems, necessitating mitigation and adaptation policies and management. The current paradigm of research efforts occurring in parallel to, rather than in collaboration with, decision makers will be insufficient for the rapid responses required to adapt to and mitigate for projected changing conditions. Here, we suggest a different paradigm: one where research begins by engaging decision makers in the identification of priority data needs (biophysical, economic, and social). This paper uses synthesized interview data to provide insight into the varied demands for scientific research as described by decision makers working on coastal issues in Oregon, USA. The findings highlight the need to recognize (1) the differing framing of ecosystem services by decision makers versus scientists; and (2) the differing data priorities relevant to inland versus coastal decision makers. The findings further serve to highlight the need for decision makers, scientists, and funders to engage in increased communication. This research is an important first step in advancing efforts toward evidence-based decision making in Oregon and provides a template for further research across the US.

  4. Information Needs Assessment for Coastal and Marine Management and Policy: Ecosystem Services Under Changing Climatic, Land Use, and Demographic Conditions.

    PubMed

    Goldsmith, Kaitlin A; Granek, Elise F; Lubitow, Amy

    2015-12-01

    Changing climatic, demographic, and land use conditions are projected to alter the provisioning of ecosystem services in estuarine, coastal, and nearshore marine ecosystems, necessitating mitigation and adaptation policies and management. The current paradigm of research efforts occurring in parallel to, rather than in collaboration with, decision makers will be insufficient for the rapid responses required to adapt to and mitigate for projected changing conditions. Here, we suggest a different paradigm: one where research begins by engaging decision makers in the identification of priority data needs (biophysical, economic, and social). This paper uses synthesized interview data to provide insight into the varied demands for scientific research as described by decision makers working on coastal issues in Oregon, USA. The findings highlight the need to recognize (1) the differing framing of ecosystem services by decision makers versus scientists; and (2) the differing data priorities relevant to inland versus coastal decision makers. The findings further serve to highlight the need for decision makers, scientists, and funders to engage in increased communication. This research is an important first step in advancing efforts toward evidence-based decision making in Oregon and provides a template for further research across the US.

  5. An Integrated Coral Reef Ecosystem Model to Support Resource Management under a Changing Climate.

    PubMed

    Weijerman, Mariska; Fulton, Elizabeth A; Kaplan, Isaac C; Gorton, Rebecca; Leemans, Rik; Mooij, Wolf M; Brainard, Russell E

    2015-01-01

    Millions of people rely on the ecosystem services provided by coral reefs, but sustaining these benefits requires an understanding of how reefs and their biotic communities are affected by local human-induced disturbances and global climate change. Ecosystem-based management that explicitly considers the indirect and cumulative effects of multiple disturbances has been recommended and adopted in policies in many places around the globe. Ecosystem models give insight into complex reef dynamics and their responses to multiple disturbances and are useful tools to support planning and implementation of ecosystem-based management. We adapted the Atlantis Ecosystem Model to incorporate key dynamics for a coral reef ecosystem around Guam in the tropical western Pacific. We used this model to quantify the effects of predicted climate and ocean changes and current levels of current land-based sources of pollution (LBSP) and fishing. We used the following six ecosystem metrics as indicators of ecosystem state, resilience and harvest potential: 1) ratio of calcifying to non-calcifying benthic groups, 2) trophic level of the community, 3) biomass of apex predators, 4) biomass of herbivorous fishes, 5) total biomass of living groups and 6) the end-to-start ratio of exploited fish groups. Simulation tests of the effects of each of the three drivers separately suggest that by mid-century climate change will have the largest overall effect on this suite of ecosystem metrics due to substantial negative effects on coral cover. The effects of fishing were also important, negatively influencing five out of the six metrics. Moreover, LBSP exacerbates this effect for all metrics but not quite as badly as would be expected under additive assumptions, although the magnitude of the effects of LBSP are sensitive to uncertainty associated with primary productivity. Over longer time spans (i.e., 65 year simulations), climate change impacts have a slight positive interaction with other drivers

  6. An Integrated Coral Reef Ecosystem Model to Support Resource Management under a Changing Climate

    PubMed Central

    Weijerman, Mariska; Fulton, Elizabeth A.; Kaplan, Isaac C.; Gorton, Rebecca; Leemans, Rik; Mooij, Wolf M.; Brainard, Russell E.

    2015-01-01

    Millions of people rely on the ecosystem services provided by coral reefs, but sustaining these benefits requires an understanding of how reefs and their biotic communities are affected by local human-induced disturbances and global climate change. Ecosystem-based management that explicitly considers the indirect and cumulative effects of multiple disturbances has been recommended and adopted in policies in many places around the globe. Ecosystem models give insight into complex reef dynamics and their responses to multiple disturbances and are useful tools to support planning and implementation of ecosystem-based management. We adapted the Atlantis Ecosystem Model to incorporate key dynamics for a coral reef ecosystem around Guam in the tropical western Pacific. We used this model to quantify the effects of predicted climate and ocean changes and current levels of current land-based sources of pollution (LBSP) and fishing. We used the following six ecosystem metrics as indicators of ecosystem state, resilience and harvest potential: 1) ratio of calcifying to non-calcifying benthic groups, 2) trophic level of the community, 3) biomass of apex predators, 4) biomass of herbivorous fishes, 5) total biomass of living groups and 6) the end-to-start ratio of exploited fish groups. Simulation tests of the effects of each of the three drivers separately suggest that by mid-century climate change will have the largest overall effect on this suite of ecosystem metrics due to substantial negative effects on coral cover. The effects of fishing were also important, negatively influencing five out of the six metrics. Moreover, LBSP exacerbates this effect for all metrics but not quite as badly as would be expected under additive assumptions, although the magnitude of the effects of LBSP are sensitive to uncertainty associated with primary productivity. Over longer time spans (i.e., 65 year simulations), climate change impacts have a slight positive interaction with other drivers

  7. Realizing the Potential of Ecosystem Services: A Framework for Relating Ecological Changes to Economic Benefits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wainger, Lisa; Mazzotta, Marisa

    2011-10-01

    Increasingly government agencies are seeking to quantify the outcomes of proposed policy options in terms of ecosystem service benefits, yet conflicting definitions and ad hoc approaches to measuring ecosystem services have created confusion regarding how to rigorously link ecological change to changes in human well-being. Here, we describe a step-by-step framework for producing ecological models and metrics that can effectively serve an economic-benefits assessment of a proposed change in policy or management. A focus of the framework is developing comparable units of ecosystem goods and services to support decision-making, even if outcomes cannot be monetized. Because the challenges to translating ecological changes to outcomes appropriate for economic analyses are many, we discuss examples that demonstrate practical methods and approaches to overcoming data limitations. The numerous difficult decisions that government agencies must make to fairly use and allocate natural resources provides ample opportunity for interdisciplinary teams of natural and social scientists to improve methods for quantifying changes in ecosystem services and their effects on human well-being. This framework is offered with the intent of promoting the success of such teams as they support managers in evaluating the equivalency of ecosystem service offsets and trades, establishing restoration and preservation priorities, and more generally, in developing environmental policy that effectively balances multiple perspectives.

  8. Global environmental change effects on ecosystems: the importance of land-use legacies.

    PubMed

    Perring, Michael P; De Frenne, Pieter; Baeten, Lander; Maes, Sybryn L; Depauw, Leen; Blondeel, Haben; Carón, María M; Verheyen, Kris

    2016-04-01

    One of the major challenges in ecology is to predict how multiple global environmental changes will affect future ecosystem patterns (e.g. plant community composition) and processes (e.g. nutrient cycling). Here, we highlight arguments for the necessary inclusion of land-use legacies in this endeavour. Alterations in resources and conditions engendered by previous land use, together with influences on plant community processes such as dispersal, selection, drift and speciation, have steered communities and ecosystem functions onto trajectories of change. These trajectories may be modulated by contemporary environmental changes such as climate warming and nitrogen deposition. We performed a literature review which suggests that these potential interactions have rarely been investigated. This crucial oversight is potentially due to an assumption that knowledge of the contemporary state allows accurate projection into the future. Lessons from other complex dynamic systems, and the recent recognition of the importance of previous conditions in explaining contemporary and future ecosystem properties, demand the testing of this assumption. Vegetation resurvey databases across gradients of land use and environmental change, complemented by rigorous experiments, offer a means to test for interactions between land-use legacies and multiple environmental changes. Implementing these tests in the context of a trait-based framework will allow biologists to synthesize compositional and functional ecosystem responses. This will further our understanding of the importance of land-use legacies in determining future ecosystem properties, and soundly inform conservation and restoration management actions.

  9. Invasive species: an increasing threat to marine ecosystems under climate change?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Artioli, Yuri; Galienne, Chris; Holt, Jason; Wakelin, Sarah; Butenschön, Momme; Schrum, Corinna; Daewel, Ute; Pushpadas, Dhania; Cannaby, Heather; Salihoglu, Baris; Zavatarelli, Marco; Clementi, Emanuela; Olenin, Sergej; Allen, Icarus

    2013-04-01

    Planktonic Non-Indigenous Species (NIS) are a potential threat to marine ecosystems: a successful invasion of such organisms can alter significantly the ecosystem structure with shift in species composition that can affect different levels of the trophic network and also with local extinction of native species in the more extreme cases. Such changes will also impact some ecosystem functions like primary and secondary production or nutrient cycling, and services, like fishery, aquaculture or carbon sequestration. Understanding how climate change influences the susceptibility of a marine ecosystem to invasion is challenging as the success and the impact of an invasion depend on many different factors all tightly interconnected (e.g. time of the invasion, location, state of the ecosystem…). Here we present DivERSEM, a new version of the biogeochemical model ERSEM modified in order to account for phytoplankton diversity. With such a model, we are able to simulate invasion from phytoplankton NIS, to assess the likelihood of success of such an invasion and to estimate the potential impact on ecosystem structure, using indicator like the Biopollution index. In the MEECE project (www.meece.eu), the model has been coupled to a 1D water column model (GOTM) in two different climate scenarios (present day and the IPCC SRES A1B scenario for 2100) in 4 different European shelf seas (North Sea, Baltic Sea, Black Sea and Adriatic Sea). The model has been forced with atmospheric data coming from the IPSL climate model, and nutrient concentration extracted from a set of 3D biogeochemical models running under the same climate scenario. The response of the ecosystem susceptibility to invasion to climate change has been analysed comparing the successfulness of invasions in the two time slices and its impact on community structure and ecosystem functions. At the same time, the comparison among the different basins allowed to highlight some of the characteristics that make the

  10. Degraded States, Novel Ecosystems, or Reconfigured Landscapes: How Should We View Ecosystem Change in a Changing World?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Climate change is predicted to cause gradual warming and changes in the amount and distribution of rainfall. Thus, the default assumption should be that attributes of rangelands will change, rather than stay as they have been. The talks in this symposium have described what may happen to rangeland c...

  11. Impact of Forest Seral Stage on use of Ant Communities for Rapid Assessment of Terrestrial Ecosystem Health

    PubMed Central

    Wike, Lynn D.; Martin, F. Douglas; Paller, Michael H.; Nelson, Eric A.

    2010-01-01

    Bioassessment evaluates ecosystem health by using the responses of a community of organisms that integrate all aspects of the ecosystem. A variety of bioassessment methods have been applied to aquatic ecosystems; however, terrestrial methods are less advanced. The objective of this study was to examine baseline differences in ant communities at different seral stages from clear cut to mature pine plantation as a precursor to developing a broader terrestrial bioassessment protocol. Comparative sampling was conducted at nine sites having four seral stages: clearcut, 5 year recovery, 15 year recovery, and mature stands. Soil and vegetation data were also collected at each site. Ants were identified to genus. Analysis of the ant data indicated that ants respond strongly to habitat changes that accompany ecological succession in managed pine forests, and both individual genera and ant community structure can be used as indicators of successional change. Ants exhibited relatively high diversity in both early and mature seral stages. High ant diversity in mature seral stages was likely related to conditions on the forest floor favoring litter dwelling and cold climate specialists. While ants may be very useful in identifying environmental stress in managed pine forests, adjustments must be made for seral stage when comparing impacted and unimpacted forests. PMID:20673195

  12. Variability and Change in Southern Ocean Ecosystems: Whither the Ice and What of Krill?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, E. J.

    2015-12-01

    Changes occurring in the Southern Ocean involve multiple physical, biogeochemical and ecological processes that have global connections. Developing a quantitative understanding of how biogeochemical cycles and ecosystems are affected by changes in these multiple processes is crucial for generating projections of the impacts of future change in the Southern Ocean. The changes occurring are not homogeneous, but instead show marked spatial and temporal variability, demonstrated most clearly by the regional nature of trends in sea-ice concentration over the last few decades. The impacts of these changes have also been observed at multiple trophic levels in Southern Ocean ecosystems, from primary producers to top predators, affecting the structure of the food webs in which they occur. Here, I consider briefly the changes occurring in the Southern Ocean and current views of expected future change, highlighting some of the complexity of the system interactions involved. I illustrate some of the major issues through a focus on sea-ice variability and change, noting the impacts on various ecosystem components, and particularly the effects on Antarctic krill. This perspective highlights that current knowledge of the detailed causes and consequences of change in Southern Ocean ecosystems, and hence future trajectories, are generally uncertain. It also shows the importance of understanding the intrinsic variability of the system and how interactions and feedbacks can influence the structure and functioning of ecosystems and associated biogeochemical cycles. Developing useful projections of the impacts of change requires integrated understanding of how physical, biogeochemical and ecological process interactions affect responses to change and provides a valuable focus for future research effort.

  13. Baltic Sea ecosystem-based management under climate change: Synthesis and future challenges.

    PubMed

    Blenckner, Thorsten; Österblom, Henrik; Larsson, Per; Andersson, Agneta; Elmgren, Ragnar

    2015-06-01

    Ecosystem-based management (EBM) has emerged as the generally agreed strategy for managing ecosystems, with humans as integral parts of the managed system. Human activities have substantial effects on marine ecosystems, through overfishing, eutrophication, toxic pollution, habitat destruction, and climate change. It is important to advance the scientific knowledge of the cumulative, integrative, and interacting effects of these diverse activities, to support effective implementation of EBM. Based on contributions to this special issue of AMBIO, we synthesize the scientific findings into four components: pollution and legal frameworks, ecosystem processes, scale-dependent effects, and innovative tools and methods. We conclude with challenges for the future, and identify the next steps needed for successful implementation of EBM in general and specifically for the Baltic Sea.

  14. Options for using Landsat and RapidEye satellite images aiming the water productivity assessments in mixed agro-ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de C. Teixeira, Antônio H.; Leivas, Janice F.; Bayma-Silva, Gustavo

    2016-10-01

    For water productivity (WP) assessments, the SAFER (Surface Algorithm for Evapotranspiration Retrieving) algorithm for evapotranspiration (ET) and the Monteith's light use efficiency (LUE) model for biomass production (BIO), were applied to Landsat and RapidEye satellite images, in the Brazilian semiarid region, inside the dry season of 2011, in a mixture of irrigated and rainfed agro-ecosystems. Firstly, with the Landsat image, the methodology from which the surface temperature (T0) is derived as a residue in the radiation balance was tested. Low differences were detected, being Landsat ET with the thermal band averaged 0.9 +/- 1.5 mm d-1, while without it the mean value was 0.8 +/- 1.5 mm d-1. The corresponding Landsat BIO values were respectively 28 +/- 59 and 28 +/- 58 kg ha-1 d-1, resulting in mean WP of 1.3 +/- 1.3 kg m-3, in both cases. After having confidence on the residual methodology for retrieving T0 it was applied to the RapidEye image, resulting in average pixel values for ET, BIO and WP of 0.6 +/- 1.5 mm d-1, 26 +/- 58 kg ha-1 d-1 and 0.9 +/- 1.3 kg m-3, representing 75%, 93% and 69% of the Landsat ones obtained without the thermal band. In addition, the Surface Resistance Algorithm (SUREAL) was used to classify the agro-ecosystems into irrigated crops and natural vegetation by using the RapidEye image. The incremental values for ET, BIO and WP in 2011 were 2.0 +/- 1.3 mm d-1, 88 +/- 87 kg ha d-1 and 2.5 +/- 0.6 kg m-3, respectively, as a result of the replacement of the natural species by crops.

  15. INCREASE - an Integrated Network on Climate Change REsearch Activities on Shrubland Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kappel Schmidt, Inger; Steenberg Larsen, Klaus; Beier, Claus; Tietema, Albert; Emmett, Bridget; De Angelis, Paolo; Duce, Pierpaolo; Cesaraccio, Carla; Spano, Donatella; Kroel-Dulay, Gyuri; Jones, Davey

    2013-04-01

    Climate change poses a serious challenge for the scientific communities to develop new concepts for research and modeling to provide better and more realistic answers and predictions of what the impact will be. INCREASE is an EU-funded research infrastructure based upon large scale field experiments with non-intrusive manipulations of temperature and precipitation since 1999. The experiments are placed in vulnerable scrubland ecosystems across Europe. Shrubland ecosystems were chosen because they represent an important natural resource, which are known to be sensitive to observed changes in environmental pressures. The experiments combine 2 different approaches to study climate effects on ecosystems. The first approach is known as "space for time" substitution, where the long term effect of a pressure on an ecosystem at any particular site is studied by moving to another site along temperature and precipitation gradients. This was done by carrying out the same studies in comparable ecosystems in UK, Denmark, the Netherlands, Hungary, Spain and Italy - which are naturally exposed to large differences in the climatic conditions. The other approach applied is "ecosystem manipulations", which means that the ecosystem is exposed to the changes in the field by realistic manipulations of temperature and water and in one experiment in combination with CO2. This combination of gradients and experimental manipulation increases the potential for evaluating the generality of the observed responses to the changes in the climatic drivers. Within INCREASE we improve the technology and methodology for studies of climate change effects on European shrublands and stimulate collaboration within the scientific community around climate manipulation experiments. In addition, data and results from the research infrastructures were collected into an integrated database (INCREASE DB) with the aim to improve capacities in the protection, management and storage of data and to provide a web

  16. Climate change and control of the southeastern Bering Sea pelagic ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunt, George L., Jr.; Stabeno, Phyllis; Walters, Gary; Sinclair, Elizabeth; Brodeur, Richard D.; Napp, Jeffery M.; Bond, Nicholas A.

    2002-12-01

    We propose a new hypothesis, the Oscillating Control Hypothesis (OCH), which predicts that pelagic ecosystem function in the southeastern Bering Sea will alternate between primarily bottom-up control in cold regimes and primarily top-down control in warm regimes. The timing of spring primary production is determined predominately by the timing of ice retreat. Late ice retreat (late March or later) leads to an early, ice-associated bloom in cold water (e.g., 1995, 1997, 1999), whereas no ice, or early ice retreat before mid-March, leads to an open-water bloom in May or June in warm water (e.g., 1996, 1998, 2000). Zooplankton populations are not closely coupled to the spring bloom, but are sensitive to water temperature. In years when the spring bloom occurs in cold water, low temperatures limit the production of zooplankton, the survival of larval/juvenile fish, and their recruitment into the populations of species of large piscivorous fish, such as walleye pollock ( Theragra chalcogramma), Pacific cod ( Gadus macrocephalus) and arrowtooth flounder ( Atheresthes stomias). When continued over decadal scales, this will lead to bottom-up limitation and a decreased biomass of piscivorous fish. Alternatively, in periods when the bloom occurs in warm water, zooplankton populations should grow rapidly, providing plentiful prey for larval and juvenile fish. Abundant zooplankton will support strong recruitment of fish and will lead to abundant predatory fish that control forage fish, including, in the case of pollock, their own juveniles. Piscivorous marine birds and pinnipeds may achieve higher production of young and survival in cold regimes, when there is less competition from large piscivorous fish for cold-water forage fish such as capelin ( Mallotus villosus). Piscivorous seabirds and pinnipeds also may be expected to have high productivity in periods of transition from cold regimes to warm regimes, when young of large predatory species of fish are numerous enough to

  17. New Challenges for Women Physicists in a Rapidly Changing China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Ling-An

    2005-10-01

    With the tremendous growth in China's economy, young people now enjoy a much wider choice of careers; but women are also beginning to face new challenges, such as discrimination in employment and retirement policies. The ratio of women in physics in universities has remained more or less constant, but that in research institutes has decreased in recent years, although the ratio of young women awarded research grants seems to be on the rise. More effort must be exerted to guarantee equal opportunity for women physicists, young and old, in a rapidly changing society.

  18. Opportunities to Improve Urban and Ecosystem Adaptation to Climate Change Through Conservation of Green Space.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heller, N. E.

    2014-12-01

    The conservation of biotic communities in urbanized ecosystems is critical in light of heightened vulnerability due to climate change. Conservation of large open spaces around cities and smaller 'green' spaces within cities - such as forest patches and wetlands - has the capacity to diminish the vulnerability of human communities to higher temperatures, water shortages, increased flooding and other impacts of climate change. In addition, native species need to migrate to track their climate niches and the chances of successful migration will be increased if species have access to habitat throughout the landscape. Thus there is a strong rationale to do more conservation and restoration for both ecosystem and urban adaptation to climate change. Despite this alignment, planning efforts in the urban and ecosystem sectors are rarely done synergistically. As a result it is not clear how well plans will achieve biodiversity along with other ecosystem services goals. In this talk, I will discuss how urban adaptation planning can better align with ecosystem adaptation planning by drawing on research exploring sustainability plans and urban ecology in US cities, including work conducted in the San Francisco Bay Area by the Terrestrial Biodiversity and Climate Change Collaborative (TBC3). This research shows that there are considerable opportunities for linking agendas across sectors in ways that could yield multiple benefits. There are however both social and ecological challenges. In some cases difficult choices will need to be made about which values and services are most important, or where in the landscape different values should be prioritized.

  19. Impact of climate change on the Baltic Sea ecosystem over the past 1,000 years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kabel, Karoline; Moros, Matthias; Porsche, Christian; Neumann, Thomas; Adolphi, Florian; Andersen, Thorbjørn Joest; Siegel, Herbert; Gerth, Monika; Leipe, Thomas; Jansen, Eystein; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S.

    2012-12-01

    Climate change has a strong impact on ecosystem health, particularly in marginal seas such as the Baltic, for example causing the spreading of anoxic areas (oxygen-free areas, the so-called dead zones) through strong feedbacks. Marked ecosystem changes in the Baltic Sea have been recorded in the sedimentary archive, but the reasons are not fully understood. Here we report an integrated study of high-resolution sediment records (past 1,000 years) in combination with an ecosystem modelling approach, providing new insights into the functioning of the Baltic Sea ecosystem under natural and human-influenced climatic changes. Between the Little Ice Age and the Modern Warm Period the surface water temperatures reconstructed using TEX86 palaeothermometry increased by ~2°C. Simultaneously, the anoxic areas in the Baltic Sea began to expand significantly as evident from the accumulation of laminated sediments. Ecosystem model simulations support our findings of widespread oxic areas during the Little Ice Age. Backed up by the modelling results that take into account anthropogenic-influenced nutrient load scenarios, our results provide evidence that surface temperature changes strongly influence deepwater oxygenation. This highlights the risk of a continued spreading of anoxic areas during scenarios of continued climate warming in the future.

  20. Ecohydrology of adjacent sagebrush and lodgepole pine ecosystems: the consequences of climate change and disturbance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bradford, John B.; Schlaepfer, Daniel R.; Lauenroth, William K.

    2014-01-01

    Sagebrush steppe and lodgepole pine forests are two of the most widespread vegetation types in the western United States and they play crucial roles in the hydrologic cycle of these water-limited regions. We used a process-based ecosystem water model to characterize the potential impact of climate change and disturbance (wildfire and beetle mortality) on water cycling in adjacent sagebrush and lodgepole pine ecosystems. Despite similar climatic and topographic conditions between these ecosystems at the sites examined, lodgepole pine, and sagebrush exhibited consistent differences in water balance, notably more evaporation and drier summer soils in the sagebrush and greater transpiration and less water yield in lodgepole pine. Canopy disturbances (either fire or beetle) have dramatic impacts on water balance and availability: reducing transpiration while increasing evaporation and water yield. Results suggest that climate change may reduce snowpack, increase evaporation and transpiration, and lengthen the duration of dry soil conditions in the summer, but may have uncertain effects on drainage. Changes in the distribution of sagebrush and lodgepole pine ecosystems as a consequence of climate change and/or altered disturbance regimes will likely alter ecosystem water balance.

  1. Ecosystem Diversity and Heterogeneity Determine the Resilience of the Amazon to Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moorcroft, P. R.; Levine, N. M.; Longo, M.; Powell, T.; Zhang, K.

    2015-12-01

    Amazon Forests, which play a vital role in global water, energy and carbon cycling, are predicted to experience both longer and more intensive dry seasons by the end of the 21st century. However, the climate sensitivity of this ecosystem remains uncertain: several studies have predicted large-scale die-back of the Amazon, while several more recent studies predict that the biome will remain largely intact. In this study we use an individual-based terrestrial ecosystem model to explore the sensitivity and ecological resilience of these forests to changes in climate. Our results show that water stress operating at the scale of individual plants, combined with spatial variation in soil texture, strongly influence the ecosystem's resilience to changes in dry season length. Further analysis shows that two key traits influencing the climatic sensitivity of individuals within the plant canopy are their phenology and hydraulic architecture. In contrast to existing predictions of either stability or catastrophic biomass loss, our analyses indicate that, as a result of these effects of ecosystem diversity and heterogeneity, the Amazon forest's response to a drying regional climate is likely to be an immediate, graded, heterogeneous transition from high biomass moist forests to transitional dry forests and woody savannah ecosystems. While fire, logging and other anthropogenic disturbances may exacerbate the impacts of climate-induced changes, our analysis indicates considerable spatial variation in the vulnerability of Amazon forests to human induced climate change.

  2. Addressing global change challenges for Central Asian socio-ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qi, Jiaguo; Bobushev, Temirbek S.; Kulmatov, Rashid; Groisman, Pavel; Gutman, Garik

    2012-06-01

    Central Asia is one of the most vulnerable regions on the planet earth to global climate change, depending on very fragile natural resources. The Soviet legacy has left the five countries (Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) with a highly integrated system but they are facing great challenges with tensions that hinder regional coordination of food and water resources. With increasing climate variability and warming trend in the region, food and water security issues become even more crucial now and, if not addressed properly, could affect the regional stability. The long-term drivers of these two most critical elements, food and water, are climate change; the immediate and probably more drastic factors affecting the food and water security are land uses driven by institutional change and economic incentives. As a feedback, changes in land use and land cover have directly implications on water uses, food production, and lifestyles of the rural community in the region. Regional and international efforts have been made to holistically understand the cause, extent, rate and societal implications of land use changes in the region. Much of these have been understood, or under investigation by various projects, but solutions or research effort to develop solutions, to these urgent regional issues are lacking. This article, serves as an introduction to the special issue, provides a brief overview of the challenges facing the Central Asian countries and various international efforts in place that resulted in the publications of this special issue.

  3. Integrated trend assessment of ecosystem changes in the Limfjord (Denmark): Evidence of a recent regime shift?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomczak, Maciej T.; Dinesen, Grete E.; Hoffmann, Erik; Maar, Marie; Støttrup, Josianne G.

    2013-01-01

    An integrated ecosystem assessment was carried out for the Limfjord over the period from 1984 to 2008 to describe changes in ecosystem structure and potentially important drivers. The Limfjord is a eutrophic transitional Danish fjord system with the main inflow from the North Sea in the west and main outflow to the Kattegat in the east. We showed that from 1990 to 1995, the ecosystem structure shifted from dominance by demersal fish species (eelpout, whiting, flounder, plaice) to that of pelagic fish species (sprat, herring, sticklebacks), small-bodied fish species (black goby, pipefish), jellyfish, common shore crab, starfish and blue mussels. We interpret this change as a regime shift that showed a similar temporal pattern to regime shifts identified in adjacent seas. The observed changes in trophic interactions and food web reorganisation suggested a non-linear regime shift. The analyses further showed the regime shift to be driven by a combination of anthropogenic pressures and possible interplay with climatic disturbance.

  4. Responses of terrestrial ecosystems' net primary productivity to future regional climate change in China.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Dongsheng; Wu, Shaohong; Yin, Yunhe

    2013-01-01

    The impact of regional climate change on net primary productivity (NPP) is an important aspect in the study of ecosystems' response to global climate change. China's ecosystems are very sensitive to climate change owing to the influence of the East Asian monsoon. The Lund-Potsdam-Jena Dynamic Global Vegetation Model for China (LPJ-CN), a global dynamical vegetation model developed for China's terrestrial ecosystems, was applied in this study to simulate the NPP changes affected by future climate change. As the LPJ-CN model is based on natural vegetation, the simulation in this study did not consider the influence of anthropogenic activities. Results suggest that future climate change would have adverse effects on natural ecosystems, with NPP tending to decrease in eastern China, particularly in the temperate and warm temperate regions. NPP would increase in western China, with a concentration in the Tibetan Plateau and the northwest arid regions. The increasing trend in NPP in western China and the decreasing trend in eastern China would be further enhanced by the warming climate. The spatial distribution of NPP, which declines from the southeast coast to the northwest inland, would have minimal variation under scenarios of climate change.

  5. [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.

  6. Changes in Ecosystem Services and related Livelihoods in the Mekong Delta: vulnerabilities and adaptation strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sebesvari, Z.; Renaud, F. G.

    2014-12-01

    The Mekong Delta (Vietnam) is highly vulnerable to the many impacts of global environmental change as well as to the accelerating anthropogenic changes in the catchment and in the delta itself. Today the delta is an agricultural landscape controlled by engineering structures such as channels, dykes, embankments, and sluice gates. These structures have been constructed gradually over the last 200 years mainly for irrigation and flood control in the upper part of the delta and to control saline intrusion in the coastal areas. Recent changes in the hydrology mainly driven by upstream hydropower development on the mainstream and the tributaries of the Mekong will likely have far reaching impacts on the delta´s social-ecological systems through changes in e.g. sedimentation processes, nutrient transport as well as the health of aquatic ecosystems. Further threats to the delta include sea level rise and an increase in seasonal rainfall variability leading to an increase in flood variability. These changes affect the lives of millions of low-income inhabitants who depend on the ecosystem services provided by the Mekong for their livelihoods and sustenance. Since the changes in ecosystem service provision are occurring relatively fast while the resource dependency of the delta population is very high, adaptation becomes a challenge. An assessment of livelihood dependencies on ecosystem services requires an understanding of ecosystem services affected by different drivers of change, as well as of the types of livelihoods likely to be jeopardized as a result of these changes. We will present main ecosystem services supporting specific livelihoods, discuss how they are threatened, and analyse the merits of potential solutions. Options based solely on grey infrastructure might be problematic on the long term while an integration of ecosystem based solution such as a (re)adaptation of agricultural production systems to floods in the upper delta might be a more sustainable

  7. Challenges for Ecosystem Services Provided by Coral Reefs In the Face of Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kikuchi, R. K.; Elliff, C. I.

    2014-12-01

    Coral reefs provide many ecosystem services of which coastal populations are especially dependent upon, both in cases of extreme events and in daily life. However, adaptation to climate change is still relatively unknown territory regarding the ecosystem services provided by coastal environments, such as coral reefs. Management strategies usually consider climate change as a distant issue and rarely include ecosystem services in decision-making. Coral reefs are among the most vulnerable environments to climate change, considering the impact that increased ocean temperature and acidity have on the organisms that compose this ecosystem. If no actions are taken, the most likely scenario to occur will be of extreme decline in the ecosystem services provided by coral reefs. Loss of biodiversity due to the pressures of ocean warming and acidification will lead to increased price of seafood products, negative impact on food security, and ecological imbalances. Also, sea-level rise and fragile structures due to carbonate dissolution will increase vulnerability to storms, which can lead to shoreline erosion and ultimately threaten coastal communities. Both these conditions will undoubtedly affect recreation and tourism, which are often the most important use values in the case of coral reef systems. Adaptation strategies to climate change must take on an ecosystem-based approach with continuous monitoring programs, so that multiple ecosystem services are considered and not only retrospective trends are analyzed. Brazilian coral reefs have been monitored on a regular basis since 2000 and, considering that these marginal coral reefs of the eastern Atlantic are naturally under stressful conditions (e.g. high sedimentation rates), inshore reefs of Brazil, such as those in Tinharé-Boipeba, have shown lower vitality rates due to greater impacts from the proximity to the coastal area (e.g. pollution, overfishing, sediment run-off). This chronic negative impact must be addressed

  8. Mechanisms driving change: altered species interactions and ecosystem function through global warming.

    PubMed

    Traill, Lochran W; Lim, Matthew L M; Sodhi, Navjot S; Bradshaw, Corey J A

    2010-09-01

    1. We review the mechanisms behind ecosystem functions, the processes that facilitate energy transfer along food webs, and the major processes that allow the cycling of carbon, oxygen and nitrogen, and use case studies to show how these have already been, and will continue to be, altered by global warming. 2. Increased temperatures will affect the interactions between heterotrophs and autotrophs (e.g. pollination and seed dispersal), and between heterotrophs (e.g. predators-prey, parasites/pathogens-hosts), with generally negative ramifications for important ecosystem services (functions that provide direct benefit to human society such as pollination) and potential for heightened species co-extinction rates. 3. Mitigation of likely impacts of warming will require, in particular, the maintenance of species diversity as insurance for the provision of basic ecosystem services. Key to this will be long-term monitoring and focused research that seek to maintain ecosystem resilience in the face of global warming. 4. We provide guidelines for pursuing research that quantifies the nexus between ecosystem function and global warming. These include documentation of key functional species groups within systems, and understanding the principal outcomes arising from direct and indirect effects of a rapidly warming environment. Localized and targeted research and monitoring, complemented with laboratory work, will determine outcomes for resilience and guide adaptive conservation responses and long-term planning.

  9. Analysis of Climate Change Effects on Baseflow Index and Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kang, H.

    2015-12-01

    Severe water shortages have been observed globally and the damage from climate change is predicted to increase consistently. Especially, groundwater which accounts for 95% of water resources that ecosystems rely on is very important. In order to protect the health of ecosystems from groundwater, research on climate change adaptation is necessary. This research aims at analyzing the effects of baseflow on Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems(GDEs) through Baseflow Index(BFI) utilizing run-off discharge according to the climate change. In order to analyze the effects on GDEs, Nakdong basin was selected for demonstration. So as to compute the baseflow in the basin, Soil and Water Assessment Tool(SWAT) was employed. This research compared and analyzed distribution of BFI over the past 30 years and expected BFI in connection with climate change. RCP 8.5 provided by IPCC was utilized and the result showed that changes of BFI in four periods, P1(1980-2009), F1(2010-2039), F2(2040-2069) and F3(2070-2099), varied according to weather conditions. So as to analyze the correlation between baseflow each period and GDEs, this research employed ecosystems health index and carried out correlation analysis according to each GDEs. Analysis showed that correlation between baseflow and Benthic Macro-invertebrate(BMI) was over R2 0.7 and correlation to the rest was low. This means BMI prove to be sensitive in BFI. The purpose of this research is to figure out the characteristics of baseflow about the impact of climate change and analyze the impact of baseflow on GDEs through the correlation analysis between baseflow and ecosystems health index. BMI has high correlation to baseflow and the rest do not. Generally, however, GDEs are hugely inter-related to water so that baseflow which accounts for over 40 percent cannot be excluded. Therefore, based on this research, management system on baseflow ought to be established with more endeavors to protect and preserve ecosystems.

  10. Impact of land use and land cover changes on ecosystem services in Menglun, Xishuangbanna, Southwest China.

    PubMed

    Hu, Huabin; Liu, Wenjun; Cao, Min

    2008-11-01

    Changing the landscape has serious environmental impacts affecting the ecosystem services, particularly in the tropics. In this paper, we report changes in ecosystem services in relation to land use and land cover over an 18-year period (1988--2006) in the Menglun Township, Xishuangbanna, Southwest China. We used Landsat TM/ETM and Quickbird data sets to estimate changes in ten land use and land cover categories, and generalized value coefficients to estimate changes in the ecosystem services provided by each land category. The results showed that over the 18-year period, the land use and land cover in the study area experienced significant changes. Rubber plantations increased from 12.10% of total land cover to 45.63%, while forested area and swidden field decreased from 48.73 and 13.14 to 27.57 and 0.46%, respectively. During this period, the estimated value of ecosystem services dropped by US $11.427 million (approximately 27.73%). Further analysis showed that there were significant changes in ecological functions such as nutrient cycling, erosion control, climate regulation and water treatment as well as recreation; the obvious increase in the ecological function is provision of raw material (natural rubber). Our findings conclude that an abrupt shift in land use from ecologically important tropical forests and traditionally managed swidden fields to large-scale rubber plantations result in a great loss of ecosystem services in this area. Further, the study suggests that provision of alternative economic opportunities would help in maintaining ecosystem services and for an appropriate compensation mechanisms need to be established based on rigorous valuation.

  11. Past and Future Ecosystem Change in the Coastal Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gell, P.

    2017-02-01

    The coastal zone is in a constant state of flux. Long term records of change attest to high amplitude sea level changes. Relative stability though the Late Holocene has allowed for the evolution of barrier dune systems, estuaries and coastal lakes with associated plant and faunal associations. This evolution has been interspersed with changes in the balance between climate driven changes in outflow from catchments. These interactions have been considerably disturbed through the impacts of industrialised people who have diverted and consumed water and invested in infrastructure that has impacted on river flows and the tidal prism in estuaries. This has impacted their provisioning services to humans. It has also impacted their regulating services in that development along the coastline has impacted on the resilience of the littoral zone to absorb natural climate extremes. Looking from the past we can see the pathway to the future and more easily recognise the steps needed to avoid further coastal degradation. This will increasingly need to accommodate the impacts of future climate trends, increased climate extremes and rising seas. Coastal societies would do well to identify their long term pathway to adaptation to the challenges that lie ahead and plan to invest accordingly.

  12. Regional Climate Variations and Change for Terrestrial Ecosystems Workshop Review

    EPA Science Inventory

    North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior Southeast Climate Science Center (SECSC), hosted the Regional Climate Variations and Change for ...

  13. EFFECTS OF GLOBAL CHANGE ON CORAL REEF ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Corals and coral reefs of the Caribbean and through the world are deteriorating at an accelerated rate. Several stressors are believed to contrbute to this decline, including global changes in atmospheric gases and land use patterns. In particular, warmer water temperatures and...

  14. Rapid and persistent change of microbial community and gross N turnover under experimentally simulated climate change conditions in alpine grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Changhui; Chen, Zhe; Unteregelsbacher, Sebastian; Gschwendtner, Silvia; Schloter, Michael; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus; Dannenmann, Michael

    2013-04-01

    evidence for a rapid but persistent change of the microbial community under expected climate change conditions, leading to strongly increased N mineralization and nitrification with associated high risks for N losses along hydrological and gaseous pathways. Furthermore, our study demonstrates that archaea are key players for nitrification in the investigated ecosystem, and that molecular approaches to determine N cycle gene abundance may have a so far overlooked and unexpectedly high power to predict gross rates of N turnover. Finally, we show that winter is a so far rarely considered key period for understanding seasonal patterns and annual sum of N turnover in alpine grasslands.

  15. Impacts of climate change on prioritizing conservation areas of hydrological ecosystem services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lien, Wan Yu; Lin, Yu Pin

    2015-04-01

    Ecosystem services (ESs) including hydrological services play important roles in our daily life and provide a lot of benefits for human beings from ecological systems. The systems and their services may be threatened by climate change from global to local scales. We herein developed a systematic approach to assess the impacts of climate change on the hydrological ecosystem services, such as water yield, nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorous) retention, and soil retention in a watershed in Northern Taiwan. We first used an ecosystem service evaluation model, InVEST, to estimate the amount and spatial patterns of annual and monthly hydrological ecosystem services under historical weather data, and different climate change scenarios based on five GMSs. The monthly and annual spatiotemporal variations of the ESs were analyzed in this study. Finally, the multiple estimated ESs were considered as the protection conservation targets and regarded as the input data of the systematic conservation planning software, Zonation, to systematically prioritize reserve areas of the ESs under the climate change scenarios. The ES estimation results indicated that the increasing rainfall in wet season leads to the higher water yield and results in the higher sediment and nutrient export indirectly. The Zonation successfully fielded conservation priorities of the ESs. The conservation priorities of the ESs significantly varied spatially and monthly under the climate change scenarios. The ESs results also indicated that the areas where ESs values and conservation priorities with low resilience under climate change should be considered as high priority protected area to ensure the hydrological services in future. Our proposed approach is a novel systematic approach which can be applied to assess impacts of climate change on spatiotemporal variations of ESs as well as prioritize protected area of the ESs under various climate change scenarios. Keyword: climate change, ecosystem service

  16. An atmospheric perspective on land and ocean ecosystems in a time of global change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keeling, R. F.

    2014-12-01

    We are now century or more into the "great geophysical experiment" of rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. As this "experiment" slowly plays out, a major need is to track changes in land and ocean ecosystems which are impacted both changes in physical climate and chemical climate (e.g. changing CO2 levels.). Measurements of CO2 concentration and related variables (such as O2 and the isotopes of CO2) in background air continue to provide key insights into how these systems are changing. One surprise coming from these observations is evidence that land ecosystems are serving as a sink for a significant fraction the excess carbon dioxide from fossil-fuel burning. Ecosystems remote from direct human influences have evidently been thrown out of steady state by a range of processes and are accumulating carbon unusually. Evidence for this sink is compelling found from a variety of methods, including from measurements of atmospheric O2 abundance. Additional compelling evidence for large changes in land ecosystem comes from measurements of the seasonal cycle in atmospheric CO2. In contrast, there is little evidence that marine ecosystems - at least those remote from coastal influences - have undergone such large changes. While the oceans are absorbing excess CO2, this is mostly a physical, not a biological, process. But just as the absence of evidence is not evidence for absence, it could just be that we lack strong long-term atmospheric constraints on marine ecosystems. Whereas atmospheric CO2 data provides a wealth of information on land processes, they do a poor job of resolving ocean biological processes because the buffering chemistry of CO2 in seawater slows the response of atmospheric CO2 to processes originating from within the ocean. This talk will highlight evidence for changes in land ecosystems from measurements and CO2 and its isotopes, and will illustrate a path forward to resolving changes in marine ecosystems and related impacts on the ocean

  17. Impacts of climate change on nutrient cycling in semi-arid and arid ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Belnap, J.

    1995-09-01

    Effective precipitation is a major factor in determining nutrient pathways in different ecosystems. Soil flora and fauna play a critical role in nutrient cycles of all ecosystems. Temperature, timing, and amounts of precipitation affect population composition, activity levels, biomass, and recovery rates from disturbance. Changes in these variables can result in very different inputs and outputs for different nutrients. As a result, areas with less effective precipitation have very different nutrient cycles than more mesic zones. Climate change, therefore, can profoundly affect the nutrient cycles of ecosystems. Nitrogen cycles may be especially sensitive to changes in temperature and to timing and amounts of precipitation. Rainfall contains varying amounts of nitrogen compounds. Changes in amounts of rainfall will change amounts of nitrogen available to these systems. Because rainfall is limited in semi-arid and regions, these systems tend to be more dependent on microbial populations for nitrogen input. Consequently, understanding the effects of climate change on these organisms is critical in understanding the overall effect on ecosystems.

  18. Understanding the structure and functioning of polar pelagic ecosystems to predict the impacts of change

    PubMed Central

    Drinkwater, K. F.; Grant, S. M.; Heymans, J. J.; Hofmann, E. E.; Hunt, G. L.; Johnston, N. M.

    2016-01-01

    The determinants of the structure, functioning and resilience of pelagic ecosystems across most of the polar regions are not well known. Improved understanding is essential for assessing the value of biodiversity and predicting the effects of change (including in biodiversity) on these ecosystems and the services they maintain. Here we focus on the trophic interactions that underpin ecosystem structure, developing comparative analyses of how polar pelagic food webs vary in relation to the environment. We highlight that there is not a singular, generic Arctic or Antarctic pelagic food web, and, although there are characteristic pathways of energy flow dominated by a small number of species, alternative routes are important for maintaining energy transfer and resilience. These more complex routes cannot, however, provide the same rate of energy flow to highest trophic-level species. Food-web structure may be similar in different regions, but the individual species that dominate mid-trophic levels vary across polar regions. The characteristics (traits) of these species are also different and these differences influence a range of food-web processes. Low functional redundancy at key trophic levels makes these ecosystems particularly sensitive to change. To develop models for projecting responses of polar ecosystems to future environmental change, we propose a conceptual framework that links the life histories of pelagic species and the structure of polar food webs. PMID:27928038

  19. 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

  20. CO2 and fire influence tropical ecosystem stability in response to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

    2016-07-01

    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.

  1. Ecosystem heterogeneity determines the ecological resilience of the Amazon to climate change.

    PubMed

    Levine, Naomi M; Zhang, Ke; Longo, Marcos; Baccini, Alessandro; Phillips, Oliver L; Lewis, Simon L; Alvarez-Dávila, Esteban; Segalin de Andrade, Ana Cristina; Brienen, Roel J W; Erwin, Terry L; Feldpausch, Ted R; Monteagudo Mendoza, Abel Lorenzo; Nuñez Vargas, Percy; Prieto, Adriana; Silva-Espejo, Javier Eduardo; Malhi, Yadvinder; Moorcroft, Paul R

    2016-01-19

    Amazon forests, which store ∼ 50% of tropical forest carbon and play a vital role in global water, energy, and carbon cycling, are predicted to experience both longer and more intense dry seasons by the end of the 21st century. However, the climate sensitivity of this ecosystem remains uncertain: several studies have predicted large-scale die-back of the Amazon, whereas several more recent studies predict that the biome will remain largely intact. Combining remote-sensing and ground-based observations with a size- and age-structured terrestrial ecosystem model, we explore the sensitivity and ecological resilience of these forests to changes in climate. We demonstrate that water stress operating at the scale of individual plants, combined with spatial variation in soil texture, explains observed patterns of variation in ecosystem biomass, composition, and dynamics across the region, and strongly influences the ecosystem's resilience to changes in dry season length. Specifically, our analysis suggests that in contrast to existing predictions of either stability or catastrophic biomass loss, the Amazon forest's response to a drying regional climate is likely to be an immediate, graded, heterogeneous transition from high-biomass moist forests to transitional dry forests and woody savannah-like states. Fire, logging, and other anthropogenic disturbances may, however, exacerbate these climate change-induced ecosystem transitions.

  2. 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.

  3. Coral Reefs Under Rapid Climate Change and Ocean Acidification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoegh-Guldberg, O.; Mumby, P. J.; Hooten, A. J.; Steneck, R. S.; Greenfield, P.; Gomez, E.; Harvell, C. D.; Sale, P. F.; Edwards, A. J.; Caldeira, K.; Knowlton, N.; Eakin, C. M.; Iglesias-Prieto, R.; Muthiga, N.; Bradbury, R. H.; Dubi, A.; Hatziolos, M. E.

    2007-12-01

    Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is expected to exceed 500 parts per million and global temperatures to rise by at least 2°C by 2050 to 2100, values that significantly exceed those of at least the past 420,000 years during which most extant marine organisms evolved. Under conditions expected in the 21st century, global warming and ocean acidification will compromise carbonate accretion, with corals becoming increasingly rare on reef systems. The result will be less diverse reef communities and carbonate reef structures that fail to be maintained. Climate change also exacerbates local stresses from declining water quality and overexploitation of key species, driving reefs increasingly toward the tipping point for functional collapse. This review presents future scenarios for coral reefs that predict increasingly serious consequences for reef-associated fisheries, tourism, coastal protection, and people. As the International Year of the Reef 2008 begins, scaled-up management intervention and decisive action on global emissions are required if the loss of coral-dominated ecosystems is to be avoided.

  4. Coral reefs under rapid climate change and ocean acidification.

    PubMed

    Hoegh-Guldberg, O; Mumby, P J; Hooten, A J; Steneck, R S; Greenfield, P; Gomez, E; Harvell, C D; Sale, P F; Edwards, A J; Caldeira, K; Knowlton, N; Eakin, C M; Iglesias-Prieto, R; Muthiga, N; Bradbury, R H; Dubi, A; Hatziolos, M E

    2007-12-14

    Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is expected to exceed 500 parts per million and global temperatures to rise by at least 2 degrees C by 2050 to 2100, values that significantly exceed those of at least the past 420,000 years during which most extant marine organisms evolved. Under conditions expected in the 21st century, global warming and ocean acidification will compromise carbonate accretion, with corals becoming increasingly rare on reef systems. The result will be less diverse reef communities and carbonate reef structures that fail to be maintained. Climate change also exacerbates local stresses from declining water quality and overexploitation of key species, driving reefs increasingly toward the tipping point for functional collapse. This review presents future scenarios for coral reefs that predict increasingly serious consequences for reef-associated fisheries, tourism, coastal protection, and people. As the International Year of the Reef 2008 begins, scaled-up management intervention and decisive action on global emissions are required if the loss of coral-dominated ecosystems is to be avoided.

  5. Natural ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fleishman, Erica; Belnap, Jayne; Cobb, Neil; Enquist, Carolyn A.F.; Ford, Karl; MacDonald, Glen; Pellant, Mike; Schoennagel, Tania; Schmit, Lara M.; Schwartz, Mark; van Drunick, Suzanne; Westerling, Anthony LeRoy; Keyser, Alisa; Lucas, Ryan

    2013-01-01

    Natural Ecosystems analyzes the association of observed changes in climate with changes in the geographic distributions and phenology (the timing of blossoms or migrations of birds) for Southwestern ecosystems and their species, portraying ecosystem disturbances—such as wildfires and outbreaks of forest pathogens—and carbon storage and release, in relation to climate change.

  6. Mid-Holocene Rapid Oceanographic Change Around The Faroe Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Staines-Urias, F.; Kuijpers, A.; Hansen, B.

    2010-12-01

    Oceanographic conditions during the Holocene—sea surface temperature, primary productivity and bottom current variability—are investigated based on granulometric data, foraminiferal assemblages and stable isotope analyses completed on sediments from two cores (61°15.884’N, 11°09.654’W, 1217m depth and 61°43.03'N; 05°49.36'W, 346m depth) from the Faroe Islands region. The first core is located on the western slope of the Faroe Bank Channel. Here, changes in bottom current strength are associated with changes in the flux of dense water from the Nordic Seas into the North Atlantic. The second core was obtained from the eastern Faroese shelf near the Faroe-Shetland Channel. A pronounced environmental shift centered about 4500 y BP is observed in both locations. Benthic foraminiferal assemblages (i.e. Cassidulina obtusa, Bolivina pygmaea, Gavelinopsis praegeri, Trifarina angulosa) and grain size changes indicate weaker bottom currents from ca. 8000 to 5000 y BP. A rapid increase in the intensity of the bottom currents is observed around 4800 y BP followed by a trend towards weaker currents starting ca. 4500 y BP. Furthermore, changes in planktic foraminifera assemblages (i.e. Globigerina bulloides, Neogloboquadrina pachyderma, Turborotalita quinqueloba, Globigerinita uvula) as well as in the isotopic signal of G. bulloides indicate sudden changes in the ocean surface conditions around 4500 y BP, from colder, productive waters to warmer, more oligotrophic conditions. The comparable variability between the planktic and the sedimentological records indicate a strong linkage between changing conditions in the bottom and the overlaying surface waters. The pronounced Holocene environmental shift observed in all records is particularly interesting as similar synchronous changes have been extensively documented in tropical regions but are either weakly recorded, or non-existent, at more extensively studied temperate latitudes and polar regions.

  7. Ecosystem-based fisheries management requires a change to the selective fishing philosophy.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Shijie; Smith, Anthony D M; Punt, André E; Richardson, Anthony J; Gibbs, Mark; Fulton, Elizabeth A; Pascoe, Sean; Bulman, Catherine; Bayliss, Peter; Sainsbury, Keith

    2010-05-25

    Globally, many fish species are overexploited, and many stocks have collapsed. This crisis, along with increasing concerns over flow-on effects on ecosystems, has caused a reevaluation of traditional fisheries management practices, and a new ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) paradigm has emerged. As part of this approach, selective fishing is widely encouraged in the belief that nonselective fishing has many adverse impacts. In particular, incidental bycatch is seen as wasteful and a negative feature of fishing, and methods to reduce bycatch are implemented in many fisheries. However, recent advances in fishery science and ecology suggest that a selective approach may also result in undesirable impacts both to fisheries and marine ecosystems. Selective fishing applies one or more of the "6-S" selections: species, stock, size, sex, season, and space. However, selective fishing alters biodiversity, which in turn changes ecosystem functioning and may affect fisheries production, hindering rather than helping achieve the goals of EBFM. We argue here that a "balanced exploitation" approach might alleviate many of the ecological effects of fishing by avoiding intensive removal of particular components of the ecosystem, while still supporting sustainable fisheries. This concept may require reducing exploitation rates on certain target species or groups to protect vulnerable components of the ecosystem. Benefits to society could be maintained or even increased because a greater proportion of the entire suite of harvested species is used.

  8. Ecosystem-based fisheries management requires a change to the selective fishing philosophy

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Shijie; Smith, Anthony D. M.; Punt, André E.; Richardson, Anthony J.; Gibbs, Mark; Fulton, Elizabeth A.; Pascoe, Sean; Bulman, Catherine; Bayliss, Peter; Sainsbury, Keith

    2010-01-01

    Globally, many fish species are overexploited, and many stocks have collapsed. This crisis, along with increasing concerns over flow-on effects on ecosystems, has caused a reevaluation of traditional fisheries management practices, and a new ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) paradigm has emerged. As part of this approach, selective fishing is widely encouraged in the belief that nonselective fishing has many adverse impacts. In particular, incidental bycatch is seen as wasteful and a negative feature of fishing, and methods to reduce bycatch are implemented in many fisheries. However, recent advances in fishery science and ecology suggest that a selective approach may also result in undesirable impacts both to fisheries and marine ecosystems. Selective fishing applies one or more of the “6-S” selections: species, stock, size, sex, season, and space. However, selective fishing alters biodiversity, which in turn changes ecosystem functioning and may affect fisheries production, hindering rather than helping achieve the goals of EBFM. We argue here that a “balanced exploitation” approach might alleviate many of the ecological effects of fishing by avoiding intensive removal of particular components of the ecosystem, while still supporting sustainable fisheries. This concept may require reducing exploitation rates on certain target species or groups to protect vulnerable components of the ecosystem. Benefits to society could be maintained or even increased because a greater proportion of the entire suite of harvested species is used. PMID:20435916

  9. Climate Change and River Ecosystems: Protection and Adaptation Options

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palmer, Margaret A.; Lettenmaier, Dennis P.; Poff, N. Leroy; Postel, Sandra L.; Richter, Brian; Warner, Richard

    2009-12-01

    Rivers provide a special suite of goods and services valued highly by the public that are inextricably linked to their flow dynamics and the interaction of flow with the landscape. Yet most rivers are within watersheds that are stressed to some extent by human activities including development, dams, or extractive uses. Climate change will add to and magnify risks that are already present through its potential to alter rainfall, temperature, runoff patterns, and to disrupt biological communities and sever ecological linkages. We provide an overview of the predicted impacts based on published studies to date, discuss both reactive and proactive management responses, and outline six categories of management actions that will contribute substantially to the protection of valuable river assets. To be effective, management must be place-based focusing on local watershed scales that are most relevant to management scales. The first priority should be enhancing environmental monitoring of changes and river responses coupled with the development of local scenario-building exercises that take land use and water use into account. Protection of a greater number of rivers and riparian corridors is essential, as is conjunctive groundwater/surface water management. This will require collaborations among multiple partners in the respective river basins and wise land use planning to minimize additional development in watersheds with valued rivers. Ensuring environmental flows by purchasing or leasing water rights and/or altering reservoir release patterns will be needed for many rivers. Implementing restoration projects proactively can be used to protect existing resources so that expensive reactive restoration to repair damage associated with a changing climate is minimized. Special attention should be given to diversifying and replicating habitats of special importance and to monitoring populations at high risk or of special value so that management interventions can occur if the

  10. Rapid assessment of risks to a mobile marine mammal in an ecosystem-scale marine protected area.

    PubMed

    Grech, A; Marsh, H

    2008-06-01

    Ecosystem-scale networks of marine protected areas (MPAs) are important conservation tools, but their effectiveness is difficult to quantify in a time frame appropriate to species conservation because of uncertainties in the data available. The dugong (Dugong dugon) is a mobile marine species that occurs in shallow inshore waters of an ecosystem-scale network of MPAs (the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area [GBRWHA]). We developed a rapid approach to assess risk to dugongs in the region and evaluate options to ameliorate that risk. We used expert opinion and a Delphi technique to identify and rank 5 human factors with the potential to adversely affect dugongs and their sea grass habitats: netting, indigenous hunting, trawling, vessel traffic, and poor-quality terrestrial runoff. We then quantified and compared the distribution of these factors with a spatially explicit model of dugong distribution. We estimated that approximately 96% of habitat of high conservation value for dugongs in the GBRWHA is at low risk from human activities. Using a sensitivity analysis, we found that to decrease risk, commercial netting or indigenous hunting had to be reduced in remote areas and the effects of vessel traffic, terrestrial runoff, and commercial netting had to be reduced in urban areas. This approach enabled us to compare and rank risks so as to identify the most severe risks and locate specific sites that require further management attention.

  11. Shifting species interactions in terrestrial dryland ecosystems under altered water availability and climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McCluney, Kevin E.; Belnap, Jayne; Collins, Scott L.; González, Angélica L.; Hagen, Elizabeth M.; Holland, J. Nathaniel; Kotler, Burt P.; Maestre, Fernando T.; Smith, Stanley D.; Wolf, Blair O.

    2012-01-01

    Species interactions play key roles in linking the responses of populations, communities, and ecosystems to environmental change. For instance, species interactions are an important determinant of the complexity of changes in trophic biomass with variation in resources. Water resources are a major driver of terrestrial ecology and climate change is expected to greatly alter the distribution of this critical resource. While previous studies have documented strong effects of global environmental change on species interactions in general, responses can vary from region to region. Dryland ecosystems occupy more than one-third of the Earth's land mass, are greatly affected by changes in water availability, and are predicted to be hotspots of climate change. Thus, it is imperative to understand the effects of environmental change on these globally significant ecosystems. Here, we review studies of the responses of population-level plant-plant, plant-herbivore, and predator-prey interactions to changes in water availability in dryland environments in order to develop new hypotheses and predictions to guide future research. To help explain patterns of interaction outcomes, we developed a conceptual model that views interaction outcomes as shifting between (1) competition and facilitation (plant-plant), (2) herbivory, neutralism, or mutualism (plant-herbivore), or (3) neutralism and predation (predator-prey), as water availability crosses physiological, behavioural, or population-density thresholds. We link our conceptual model to hypothetical scenarios of current and future water availability to make testable predictions about the influence of changes in water availability on species interactions. We also examine potential implications of our conceptual model for the relative importance of top-down effects and the linearity of patterns of change in trophic biomass with changes in water availability. Finally, we highlight key research needs and some possible broader impacts

  12. Shifting species interactions in terrestrial dryland ecosystems under altered water availability and climate change.

    PubMed

    McCluney, Kevin E; Belnap, Jayne; Collins, Scott L; González, Angélica L; Hagen, Elizabeth M; Nathaniel Holland, J; Kotler, Burt P; Maestre, Fernando T; Smith, Stanley D; Wolf, Blair O

    2012-08-01

    Species interactions play key roles in linking the responses of populations, communities, and ecosystems to environmental change. For instance, species interactions are an important determinant of the complexity of changes in trophic biomass with variation in resources. Water resources are a major driver of terrestrial ecology and climate change is expected to greatly alter the distribution of this critical resource. While previous studies have documented strong effects of global environmental change on species interactions in general, responses can vary from region to region. Dryland ecosystems occupy more than one-third of the Earth's land mass, are greatly affected by changes in water availability, and are predicted to be hotspots of climate change. Thus, it is imperative to understand the effects of environmental change on these globally significant ecosystems. Here, we review studies of the responses of population-level plant-plant, plant-herbivore, and predator-prey interactions to changes in water availability in dryland environments in order to develop new hypotheses and predictions to guide future research. To help explain patterns of interaction outcomes, we developed a conceptual model that views interaction outcomes as shifting between (1) competition and facilitation (plant-plant), (2) herbivory, neutralism, or mutualism (plant-herbivore), or (3) neutralism and predation (predator-prey), as water availability crosses physiological, behavioural, or population-density thresholds. We link our conceptual model to hypothetical scenarios of current and future water availability to make testable predictions about the influence of changes in water availability on species interactions. We also examine potential implications of our conceptual model for the relative importance of top-down effects and the linearity of patterns of change in trophic biomass with changes in water availability. Finally, we highlight key research needs and some possible broader impacts

  13. Public health impacts of ecosystem change in the Brazilian Amazon

    PubMed Central

    Bauch, Simone C.; Birkenbach, Anna M.; Pattanayak, Subhrendu K.; Sills, Erin O.

    2015-01-01

    The claim that nature delivers health benefits rests on a thin empirical evidence base. Even less evidence exists on how specific conservation policies affect multiple health outcomes. We address these gaps in knowledge by combining municipal-level panel data on diseases, public health services, climatic factors, demographics, conservation policies, and other drivers of land-use change in the Brazilian Amazon. To fully exploit this dataset, we estimate random-effects and quantile regression models of disease incidence. We find that malaria, acute respiratory infection (ARI), and diarrhea incidence are significantly and negatively correlated with the area under strict environmental protection. Results vary by disease for other types of protected areas (PAs), roads, and mining. The relationships between diseases and land-use change drivers also vary by quantile of the disease distribution. Conservation scenarios based on estimated regression results suggest that malaria, ARI, and diarrhea incidence would be reduced by expanding strict PAs, and malaria could be further reduced by restricting roads and mining. Although these relationships are complex, we conclude that interventions to preserve natural capital can deliver cobenefits by also increasing human (health) capital. PMID:26082548

  14. Caribbean mesophotic coral ecosystems are unlikely climate change refugia.

    PubMed

    Smith, Tyler B; Gyory, Joanna; Brandt, Marilyn E; Miller, William J; Jossart, Jonathan; Nemeth, Richard S

    2016-08-01

    Deeper coral reefs experience reduced temperatures and light and are often shielded from localized anthropogenic stressors such as pollution and fishing. The deep reef refugia hypothesis posits that light-dependent stony coral species at deeper depths are buffered from thermal stress and will avoid bleaching-related mass mortalities caused by increasing sea surface temperatures under climate change. This hypothesis has not been tested because data collection on deeper coral reefs is difficult. Here we show that deeper (mesophotic) reefs, 30-75 m depth, in the Caribbean are not refugia because they have lower bleaching threshold temperatures than shallow reefs. Over two thermal stress events, mesophotic reef bleaching was driven by a bleaching threshold that declines 0.26 °C every +10 m depth. Thus, the main premise of the deep reef refugia hypothesis that cooler environments are protective is incorrect; any increase in temperatures above the local mean warmest conditions can lead to thermal stress and bleaching. Thus, relatively cooler temperatures can no longer be considered a de facto refugium for corals and it is likely that many deeper coral reefs are as vulnerable to climate change as shallow water reefs.

  15. Object-based rapid change detection for disaster management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thunig, Holger; Michel, Ulrich; Ehlers, Manfred; Reinartz, Peter

    2011-11-01

    Rapid change detection is used in cases of natural hazards and disasters. This analysis lead to quick information about areas of damage. In certain cases the lack of information after catastrophe events is obstructing supporting measures within disaster management. Earthquakes, tsunamis, civil war, volcanic eruption, droughts and floods have much in common: people are directly affected, landscapes and buildings are destroyed. In every case geospatial data is necessary to gain knowledge as basement for decision support. Where to go first? Which infrastructure is usable? How much area is affected? These are essential questions which need to be answered before appropriate, eligible help can be established. This study presents an innovative strategy to retrieve post event information by use of an object-based change detection approach. Within a transferable framework, the developed algorithms can be implemented for a set of remote sensing data among different investigation areas. Several case studies are the base for the retrieved results. Within a coarse dividing into statistical parts and the segmentation in meaningful objects, the framework is able to deal with different types of change. By means of an elaborated normalized temporal change index (NTCI) panchromatic datasets are used to extract areas which are destroyed, areas which were not affected and in addition areas which are developing new for cases where rebuilding has already started. The results of the study are also feasible for monitoring urban growth.

  16. Ecological network indicators of ecosystem status and change in the Baltic Sea.

    PubMed

    Tomczak, Maciej T; Heymans, Johanna J; Yletyinen, Johanna; Niiranen, Susa; Otto, Saskia A; Blenckner, Thorsten

    2013-01-01

    Several marine ecosystems under anthropogenic pressure have experienced shifts from one ecological state to another. In the central Baltic Sea, the regime shift of the 1980s has been associated with food-web reorganization and redirection of energy flow pathways. These long-term dynamics from 1974 to 2006 have been simulated here using a food-web model forced by climate and fishing. Ecological network analysis was performed to calculate indices of ecosystem change. The model replicated the regime shift. The analyses of indicators suggested that the system's resilience was higher prior to 1988 and lower thereafter. The ecosystem topology also changed from a web-like structure to a linearized food-web.

  17. Climate-ecosystem change off southern California: Time-dependent seabird predator-prey numerical responses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sydeman, William J.; Thompson, Sarah Ann; Santora, Jarrod A.; Koslow, J. Anthony; Goericke, Ralf; Ohman, Mark D.

    2015-02-01

    Climate change may increase both stratification and upwelling in marine ecosystems, but these processes may affect productivity in opposing or complementary ways. For the Southern California region of the California Current Ecosystem (CCE), we hypothesized that changes in stratification and upwelling have affected marine bird populations indirectly through changes in prey availability. To test this hypothesis, we derived trends and associations between stratification and upwelling, the relative abundance of potential prey including krill and forage fish, and seabirds based on the long-term, multi-disciplinary CalCOFI/CCE-LTER program. Over the period 1987 through 2011, spring and summer seabird density (all species combined) declined by ~2% per year, mostly in the northern sector of the study region. Krill showed variable trends with two species increasing and one deceasing, resulting in community reorganization. Nearshore forage fish, dominated by northern anchovy (Engraulis mordax) as well as offshore mesopelagic species, show declines in relative abundance over this period. The unidirectional decline in springtime seabird density is largely explained by declining nearshore fish abundance in the previous season (winter). Interannual variability in seabird density, especially in the 2000s, is explained by variability in krill abundance. Changes in the numerical responses of seabirds to prey abundance correspond to a putative ecosystem shift in 1998-1999 and support aspects of optimal foraging (diet) theory. Predator-prey interactions and numerical responses clearly explain aspects of the upper trophic level patterns of change in the pelagic ecosystem off southern California.

  18. Lake Michigan offshore ecosystem structure and food web changes from 1987 to 2008

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rogers, Mark W.; Bunnell, David B.; Madenjian, Charles P.; Warner, David M.

    2014-01-01

    Ecosystems undergo dynamic changes owing to species invasions, fisheries management decisions, landscape modifications, and nutrient inputs. At Lake Michigan, new invaders (e.g., dreissenid mussels (Dreissena spp.), spiny water flea (Bythotrephes longimanus), round goby (Neogobius melanostomus)) have proliferated and altered energy transfer pathways, while nutrient concentrations and stocking rates to support fisheries have changed. We developed an ecosystem model to describe food web structure in 1987 and ran simulations through 2008 to evaluate changes in biomass of functional groups, predator consumption, and effects of recently invading species. Keystone functional groups from 1987 were identified as Mysis, burbot (Lota lota), phytoplankton, alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus), nonpredatory cladocerans, and Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). Simulations predicted biomass reductions across all trophic levels and predicted biomasses fit observed trends for most functional groups. The effects of invasive species (e.g., dreissenid grazing) increased across simulation years, but were difficult to disentangle from other changes (e.g., declining offshore nutrient concentrations). In total, our model effectively represented recent changes to the Lake Michigan ecosystem and provides an ecosystem-based tool for exploring future resource management scenarios.

  19. Risk and contributing factors of ecosystem shifts over naturally vegetated land under climate change in China

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Yuanyuan; Tang, Qiuhong; Wang, Lixin; Liu, Xingcai

    2016-01-01

    Identifying the areas at risk of ecosystem transformation and the main contributing factors to the risk is essential to assist ecological adaptation to climate change. We assessed the risk of ecosystem shifts in China using the projections of four global gridded vegetation models (GGVMs) and an aggregate metric. The results show that half of naturally vegetated land surface could be under moderate or severe risk at the end of the 21st century under the middle and high emission scenarios. The areas with high risk are the Tibetan Plateau region and an area extended northeastward from the Tibetan Plateau to northeast China. With the three major factors considered, the change in carbon stocks is the main contributing factor to the high risk of ecosystem shifts. The change in carbon fluxes is another important contributing factor under the high emission scenario. The change in water fluxes is a less dominant factor except for the Tibetan Plateau region under the high emission scenario. Although there is considerable uncertainty in the risk assessment, the geographic patterns of the risk are generally consistent across different scenarios. The results could help develop regional strategies for ecosystem conservation to cope with climate change. PMID:26867481

  20. Thermal Change and the Dynamics of Multi-Host Parasite Life Cycles in Aquatic Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Barber, Iain; Berkhout, Boris W.; Ismail, Zalina

    2016-01-01

    Altered thermal regimes associated with climate change are impacting significantly on the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of the Earth’s natural ecosystems, with important implications for the biology of aquatic organisms. As well as impacting the biology of individual species, changing thermal regimes have the capacity to mediate ecological interactions between species, and the potential for climate change to impact host–parasite interactions in aquatic ecosystems is now well recognized. Predicting what will happen to the prevalence and intensity of infection of parasites with multiple hosts in their life cycles is especially challenging because the addition of each additional host dramatically increases the potential permutations of response. In this short review, we provide an overview of the diverse routes by which altered thermal regimes can impact the dynamics of multi-host parasite life cycles in aquatic ecosystems. In addition, we examine how experimentally amenable host–parasite systems are being used to determine the consequences of changing environmental temperatures for these different types of mechanism. Our overarching aim is to examine the potential of changing thermal regimes to alter not only the biology of hosts and parasites, but also the biology of interactions between hosts and parasites. We also hope to illustrate the complexity that is likely to be involved in making predictions about the dynamics of infection by multi-host parasites in thermally challenged aquatic ecosystems. PMID:27252219

  1. Risk and contributing factors of ecosystem shifts over naturally vegetated land under climate change in China.

    PubMed

    Yin, Yuanyuan; Tang, Qiuhong; Wang, Lixin; Liu, Xingcai

    2016-02-12

    Identifying the areas at risk of ecosystem transformation and the main contributing factors to the risk is essential to assist ecological adaptation to climate change. We assessed the risk of ecosystem shifts in China using the projections of four global gridded vegetation models (GGVMs) and an aggregate metric. The results show that half of naturally vegetated land surface could be under moderate or severe risk at the end of the 21(st) century under the middle and high emission scenarios. The areas with high risk are the Tibetan Plateau region and an area extended northeastward from the Tibetan Plateau to northeast China. With the three major factors considered, the change in carbon stocks is the main contributing factor to the high risk of ecosystem shifts. The change in carbon fluxes is another important contributing factor under the high emission scenario. The change in water fluxes is a less dominant factor except for the Tibetan Plateau region under the high emission scenario. Although there is considerable uncertainty in the risk assessment, the geographic patterns of the risk are generally consistent across different scenarios. The results could help develop regional strategies for ecosystem conservation to cope with climate change.

  2. Non-equilbrium dynamics of ecosystem processes in a changing world

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reid, Joseph Pignatello

    The relatively mild and stable climate of the last 10,000 years betrays a history of environmental variability and rapid changes. Humans have recently accelerated global environmental change, ushering in the Anthropocene. Meeting accelerating demands for food, energy, and goods and services has accelerated species extinctions, shows of reactive nitrogen and phosphorus, and warming of the atmosphere. I address the over- arching question of how ecosystems will respond to changing and variable environments through several focused studies. Each study examines an ecosystem response to ex- pected environmental changes in the future. To address how the changing environment affects the sizes and turnover rates of slowly and quickly cycling soil carbon pools, I analyzed the responses of grassland soils to simulated species diversity loss, increased deposition of nitrogen and increased atmospheric CO2. I used a soil respiration experiment to fit models of soil carbon pool turnover to respired carbon dioxide. Species diversity, nitrogen deposition and atmospheric CO2 had no effect on the total soil carbon after 8 years of treatments. Although total soil carbon did not change, the rates of cycling in the fast and slow pools changed in response to elevated CO2 and diversity loss treatments. Nitrogen treatments increased the size of the slowly cycling carbon pool. Precipitation variability has increased around most of the world since the industrial revolution. I used plant mesocosms in a greenhouse experiment to manipulate rainfall variability and mycorrhizal associations. I hypothesized that 1) rewetting events re- sult in higher nitrogen uxes from dry soils than moist soils, 2) a repeated pattern of events caused by low-frequency simulated rainfall results in higher nitrogen uxes and 3) the better ability of ectomycorrhizal fungi relative to arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi to decompose and assimilate organic nitrogen reduces leaching losses of nitrogen caused by both rewetting

  3. Selected physical, biological and biogeochemical implications of a rapidly changing Arctic Marginal Ice Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barber, David G.; Hop, Haakon; Mundy, Christopher J.; Else, Brent; Dmitrenko, Igor A.; Tremblay, Jean-Eric; Ehn, Jens K.; Assmy, Philipp; Daase, Malin; Candlish, Lauren M.; Rysgaard, Søren

    2015-12-01

    The Marginal Ice Zone (MIZ) of the Arctic Ocean is changing rapidly due to a warming Arctic climate with commensurate reductions in sea ice extent and thickness. This Pan-Arctic review summarizes the main changes in the Arctic ocean-sea ice-atmosphere (OSA) interface, with implications for primary- and secondary producers in the ice and the underlying water column. Changes in the Arctic MIZ were interpreted for the period 1979-2010, based on best-fit regressions for each month. Trends of increasingly open water were statistically significant for each month, with quadratic fit for August-November, illustrating particularly strong seasonal feedbacks in sea-ice formation and decay. Geographic interpretations of physical and biological changes were based on comparison of regions with significant changes in sea ice: (1) The Pacific Sector of the Arctic Ocean including the Canada Basin and the Beaufort, Chukchi and East Siberian seas; (2) The Canadian Arctic Archipelago; (3) Baffin Bay and Hudson Bay; and (4) the Barents and Kara seas. Changes in ice conditions in the Barents sea/Kara sea region appear to be primarily forced by ocean heat fluxes during winter, whereas changes in the other sectors appear to be more summer-autumn related and primarily atmospherically forced. Effects of seasonal and regional changes in OSA-system with regard to increased open water were summarized for photosynthetically available radiation, nutrient delivery to the euphotic zone, primary production of ice algae and phytoplankton, ice-associated fauna and zooplankton, and gas exchange of CO2. Changes in the physical factors varied amongst regions, and showed direct effects on organisms linked to sea ice. Zooplankton species appear to be more flexible and likely able to adapt to variability in the onset of primary production. The major changes identified for the ice-associated ecosystem are with regard to production timing and abundance or biomass of ice flora and fauna, which are related to

  4. Decadal changes in the Canary Current Upwelling Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santos, A. M.; Luis, J. M.; Relvas-Almeida, P.

    2013-12-01

    The Canary Current Upwelling System (CCUS) covers the latitudinal range 12-43 degrees N and has some singularities in relation to the other three major Eastern Boundary Upwelling Systems (EBUS), namely a major interruption in the continuity of the system at the Strait of Gibraltar and it is the only one with a sardine species from a different genus (Sardina vs Sardinops). Long-term trends in ocean temperature and coastal upwelling were investigated using the AVHRR Pathfinder SST (sea surface temperature) Version 5.1 dataset, in situ SST from the International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set (ICOADS), and upwelling indices from the Pacific Fisheries Environmental Laboratory (PFEL). The analysis is applied to the eastern boundary of the North Atlantic, from 10 to 45 degrees N extending until 30 degrees W, focusing mainly in the CCUS because the strong dynamic link between the atmosphere and the ocean makes upwelling regions highly sensitive to global change and ideal to monitor and investigate its effects. The detail in SST variability results in a large extent from the fine analysis and the numerical processing carefully designed to avoid trend bias in the climatological studies. The obtained fields of SST trends show a generalized warming of the entire region. However, alternate patches of significantly different warming rates are observed, ranging from large scale down to mesoscale. Known coastal upwelling features are seen to warm at a lower rate than corresponding offshore waters, pointing to an intensification of the upwelling in the last decades. Wind data are used to attempt to explain the variability of some upwelling structures. Our results evidence the main role that mesoscale processes play in the modulation of the spatial and temporal variability of SST, namely at the decadal scale. This result prevents any global conclusion about the intensification of the upwelling at the scale of the entire CCUS. The bulk of the sardine population is located

  5. 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.

  6. Effects of UV radiation on aquatic ecosystems and interactions with climate change.

    PubMed

    Häder, D-P; Helbling, E W; Williamson, C E; Worrest, R C

    2011-02-01

    The health of freshwater and marine ecosystems is critical to life on Earth. The impact of solar UV-B radiation is one potential stress factor that can have a negative impact on the health of certain species within these ecosystems. Although there is a paucity of data and information regarding the effect of UV-B radiation on total ecosystem structure and function, several recent studies have addressed the effects on various species within each trophic level. Climate change, acid deposition, and changes in other anthropogenic stressors such as pollutants alter UV exposure levels in inland and coastal marine waters. These factors potentially have important consequences for a variety of aquatic organisms including waterborne human pathogens. Recent results have demonstrated the negative impacts of exposure to UV-B radiation on primary producers, including effects on cyanobacteria, phytoplankton, macroalgae and aquatic plants. UV-B radiation is an environmental stressor for many aquatic consumers, including zooplankton, crustaceans, amphibians, fish, and corals. Many aquatic producers and consumers rely on avoidance strategies, repair mechanisms and the synthesis of UV-absorbing substances for protection. However, there has been relatively little information generated regarding the impact of solar UV-B radiation on species composition within natural ecosystems or on the interaction of organisms between trophic levels within those ecosystems. There remains the question as to whether a decrease in population size of the more sensitive primary producers would be compensated for by an increase in the population size of more tolerant species, and therefore whether there would be a net negative impact on the absorption of atmospheric carbon dioxide by these ecosystems. Another question is whether there would be a significant impact on the quantity and quality of nutrients cycling through the food web, including the generation of food proteins for humans. Interactive effects

  7. [Responses of ecosystem services value to land use change in national nature reserves in Xinjiang, China].

    PubMed

    Wang, Yan; Gao, Ji-Xi; Wang, Jin-Sheng; Leng, Ling; Qiu, Jie; Yang, Shan-Shan

    2014-05-01

    With GIS and RS technology, characteristics of land use change and ecosystem services value of different years in six national nature reserves in Xinjiang, China were analyzed with remote sensing image of the year 2000-2010. Results showed that the area of water body and grassland decreased while the area of forest, farmland, wetland, unused land and construction land increased in 2000-2010. Variation rate of land use change in 2000-2005 was faster, as 2.4-6.3 times as that in 2005-2010. The total ecosystem services value mostly consisted of that of water body, grassland and forest, accounting for 93% approximately. During the study, the values of all kinds of the ecosystem services increased except for grassland and water body, the total ecosystem services value increased firstly and then decreased, and overall emerged as a reducing trend with the rate of 1.2%. In the process of the development of the west regions, it is necessary to pay more attention to the protection of natural resources and ecosystem restoration, so as to achieve sustainable development of resources, environment and social economy in the western regions.

  8. Changing skewness: an early warning signal of regime shifts in ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Guttal, Vishwesha; Jayaprakash, Ciriyam

    2008-05-01

    Empirical evidence for large-scale abrupt changes in ecosystems such as lakes and vegetation of semi-arid regions is growing. Such changes, called regime shifts, can lead to degradation of ecological services. We study simple ecological models that show a catastrophic transition as a control parameter is varied and propose a novel early warning signal that exploits two ubiquitous features of ecological systems: nonlinearity and large external fluctuations. Either reduced resilience or increased external fluctuations can tip ecosystems to an alternative stable state. It is shown that changes in asymmetry in the distribution of time series data, quantified by changing skewness, is a model-independent and reliable early warning signal for both routes to regime shifts. Furthermore, using model simulations that mimic field measurements and a simple analysis of real data from abrupt climate change in the Sahara, we study the feasibility of skewness calculations using data available from routine monitoring.

  9. Watershed scale impacts of bioenergy, landscape changes, and ecosystem response

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaubey, Indrajeet; Cibin, Raj; Chiang, Li-Chi

    2013-04-01

    In recent years, high US gasoline prices and national security concerns have prompted a renewed interest in alternative fuel sources to meet increasing energy demands, particularly by the transportation sector. Food and animal feed crops, such as corn and soybean, sugarcane, residue from these crops, and cellulosic perennial crops grown specifically to produce bioenergy (e.g. switchgrass, Miscanthus, mixed grasses), and fast growing trees (e.g. hybrid poplar) are expected to provide the majority of the biofeedstock for energy production. One of the grand challenges in supplying large quantities of grain-based and lignocellulosic materials for the production of biofuels is ensuring that they are produced in environmentally sustainable and economically viable manner. Feedstock selection will vary geographically based on regional adaptability, productivity, and reliability. Changes in land use and management practices related to biofeedstock production may have potential impacts on water quantity and quality, sediments, and pesticides and nutrient losses, and these impacts may be exacerbated by climate variability and change. We have made many improvements in the currently available biophysical models (e.g. Soil and Water Assessment Tool or SWAT model) to evaluate sustainability of energy crop production. We have utilized the improved model to evaluate impacts of both annual (e.g. corn) and perennial bioenergy crops (e.g. Miscanthus and switchgrass at) on hydrology and water quality under the following plausible bioenergy crop production scenarios: (1) at highly erodible areas; (2) at agriculturally marginal areas; (3) at pasture areas; (4) crop residue (corn stover) removal; and (5) combinations of above scenarios. Overall results indicated improvement in water quality with introduction of perennial energy crops. Stream flow at the watershed outlet was reduced under energy crop production scenarios and ranged between 0.3% and 5% across scenarios. Erosion and sediment

  10. Historical changes of the Mediterranean Sea ecosystem: modelling the role and impact of primary productivity and fisheries changes over time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piroddi, Chiara; Coll, Marta; Liquete, Camino; Macias, Diego; Greer, Krista; Buszowski, Joe; Steenbeek, Jeroen; Danovaro, Roberto; Christensen, Villy

    2017-03-01

    The Mediterranean Sea has been defined “under siege” because of intense pressures from multiple human activities; yet there is still insufficient information on the cumulative impact of these stressors on the ecosystem and its resources. We evaluate how the historical (1950–2011) trends of various ecosystems groups/species have been impacted by changes in primary productivity (PP) combined with fishing pressure. We investigate the whole Mediterranean Sea using a food web modelling approach. Results indicate that both changes in PP and fishing pressure played an important role in driving species dynamics. Yet, PP was the strongest driver upon the Mediterranean Sea ecosystem. This highlights the importance of bottom-up processes in controlling the biological characteristics of the region. We observe a reduction in abundance of important fish species (~34%, including commercial and non-commercial) and top predators (~41%), and increases of the organisms at the bottom of the food web (~23%). Ecological indicators, such as community biomass, trophic levels, catch and diversity indicators, reflect such changes and show overall ecosystem degradation over time. Since climate change and fishing pressure are expected to intensify in the Mediterranean Sea, this study constitutes a baseline reference for stepping forward in assessing the future management of the basin.

  11. Historical changes of the Mediterranean Sea ecosystem: modelling the role and impact of primary productivity and fisheries changes over time

    PubMed Central

    Piroddi, Chiara; Coll, Marta; Liquete, Camino; Macias, Diego; Greer, Krista; Buszowski, Joe; Steenbeek, Jeroen; Danovaro, Roberto; Christensen, Villy

    2017-01-01

    The Mediterranean Sea has been defined “under siege” because of intense pressures from multiple human activities; yet there is still insufficient information on the cumulative impact of these stressors on the ecosystem and its resources. We evaluate how the historical (1950–2011) trends of various ecosystems groups/species have been impacted by changes in primary productivity (PP) combined with fishing pressure. We investigate the whole Mediterranean Sea using a food web modelling approach. Results indicate that both changes in PP and fishing pressure played an important role in driving species dynamics. Yet, PP was the strongest driver upon the Mediterranean Sea ecosystem. This highlights the importance of bottom-up processes in controlling the biological characteristics of the region. We observe a reduction in abundance of important fish species (~34%, including commercial and non-commercial) and top predators (~41%), and increases of the organisms at the bottom of the food web (~23%). Ecological indicators, such as community biomass, trophic levels, catch and diversity indicators, reflect such changes and show overall ecosystem degradation over time. Since climate change and fishing pressure are expected to intensify in the Mediterranean Sea, this study constitutes a baseline reference for stepping forward in assessing the future management of the basin. PMID:28290518

  12. Historical changes of the Mediterranean Sea ecosystem: modelling the role and impact of primary productivity and fisheries changes over time.

    PubMed

    Piroddi, Chiara; Coll, Marta; Liquete, Camino; Macias, Diego; Greer, Krista; Buszowski, Joe; Steenbeek, Jeroen; Danovaro, Roberto; Christensen, Villy

    2017-03-14

    The Mediterranean Sea has been defined "under siege" because of intense pressures from multiple human activities; yet there is still insufficient information on the cumulative impact of these stressors on the ecosystem and its resources. We evaluate how the historical (1950-2011) trends of various ecosystems groups/species have been impacted by changes in primary productivity (PP) combined with fishing pressure. We investigate the whole Mediterranean Sea using a food web modelling approach. Results indicate that both changes in PP and fishing pressure played an important role in driving species dynamics. Yet, PP was the strongest driver upon the Mediterranean Sea ecosystem. This highlights the importance of bottom-up processes in controlling the biological characteristics of the region. We observe a reduction in abundance of important fish species (~34%, including commercial and non-commercial) and top predators (~41%), and increases of the organisms at the bottom of the food web (~23%). Ecological indicators, such as community biomass, trophic levels, catch and diversity indicators, reflect such changes and show overall ecosystem degradation over time. Since climate change and fishing pressure are expected to intensify in the Mediterranean Sea, this study constitutes a baseline reference for stepping forward in assessing the future management of the basin.

  13. Predicting effects of climate and land use change on human well-being via changes in ecosystem services

    EPA Science Inventory

    Landuse and climate change have affected biological systems in many parts of the world, and are projected to further adversely affect associated ecosystem goods and services, including provisioning of clean air, clean water, food, and biodiversity. Such adverse effects on ecosyst...

  14. Climate change impacts on terrestrial ecosystems in the multi-state region centered on Chicago

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This paper describes the potential impacts of warming temperatures and changing precipitation on plants wildlife, invasive species, pests and agricultural ecosystems across the multistate region centered on Chicago, Illinois. We define the region broadly to include several hundred kilometers. We c...

  15. Exploring spatiotemporal changes in ecosystem-service values and hotspots in China.

    PubMed

    Li, Guangdong; Fang, Chuanglin; Wang, Shaojian

    2016-03-01

    Although ecosystems are valuable, they have been allowed to deteriorate globally in recent decades. However, the spatiotemporal changes in ecosystem-service values (ESVs) and their hotspots in China are not well understood. Here, long-term land-cover data, the spatial analysis method and an econometric analysis model were used to examine these changes. The results indicate that the total terrestrial ESV decreased from US$2398.31 billion in 1990 to US$2347.56 billion in 2010 (converted to 2009 dollar values), which provides strong evidence for the tendency of ecosystems in China to deteriorate over time, albeit slightly. We also found that the changes in ESVs had significant spatial heterogeneity. Our analysis showed that the relationship between ESV and gross domestic product (GDP) is generally negative, but this relationship is not always fixed. The Loess Plateau, Guizhou, Hubei, Henan and Xinjiang continually presented concentrated hotspot areas of ESV changes, whereas coastal regions continually presented concentrated cold-spot areas. Overlap analyses and logistic regressions demonstrate that national ecological programs have clear effects on the improvement of ecosystems but that the effectiveness of different policies varies on spatial and temporal scales. The results of this study will support more effective decision-making around the implementation of ecological conservation policies.

  16. Ecosystem regime change inferred from the distribution of trace metals in Lake Erie sediments

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Fasong; Depew, Richard; Soltis-Muth, Cheryl

    2014-01-01

    Many freshwater and coastal marine ecosystems across the world may have undergone an ecosystem regime change due to a combination of rising anthropogenic disturbances and regional climate change. Such a change in aquatic ecosystems is commonly seen as shifts in algal species. But considerably less detail is known about the eutrophication history in terms of changes in algal productivity, particularly for a large lake with a great deal of spatial variability. Here we present an analysis of trace metals (Cu, Ni, Cd, and Pb) on a sediment core recovered from Lake Erie, off the Vermilion coast of northern Ohio, USA, to reconstruct the eutrophication history of the lake over the past 210 years. Following a slow eutrophication during European settlement, Lake Erie experienced a period of accelerated eutrophication, leading to an ecosystem regime transition into a eutrophic lake state in 1950. Our results suggested that the lake's biological productivity has ever since maintained fairly high even though a significant input reduction was realized from rigorous nutrient abatements that began as early as in 1969. This work underscored the role of in-lake biogeochemical cycling in nutrient dynamics of this already eutrophic lake. PMID:25434300

  17. IMPACTS OF AIR POLLUTION AND CLIMATE CHANGE ON FOREST ECOSYSTEMS - EMERGING RESEARCH NEEDS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Outcomes from the 22nd meeting for Specialists in Air Pollution Effects on Forest Ecosystems "Forests under Anthropogenic Pressure - Effects of Air Pollution, Climate Change and Urban Development", September 10-16, 2006, Riverside, CA, USA are summarized. Tropospheric ozone is st...

  18. Ecosystem regime change inferred from the distribution of trace metals in Lake Erie sediments.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Fasong; Depew, Richard; Soltis-Muth, Cheryl

    2014-12-01

    Many freshwater and coastal marine ecosystems across the world may have undergone an ecosystem regime change due to a combination of rising anthropogenic disturbances and regional climate change. Such a change in aquatic ecosystems is commonly seen as shifts in algal species. But considerably less detail is known about the eutrophication history in terms of changes in algal productivity, particularly for a large lake with a great deal of spatial variability. Here we present an analysis of trace metals (Cu, Ni, Cd, and Pb) on a sediment core recovered from Lake Erie, off the Vermilion coast of northern Ohio, USA, to reconstruct the eutrophication history of the lake over the past 210 years. Following a slow eutrophication during European settlement, Lake Erie experienced a period of accelerated eutrophication, leading to an ecosystem regime transition into a eutrophic lake state in 1950. Our results suggested that the lake's biological productivity has ever since maintained fairly high even though a significant input reduction was realized from rigorous nutrient abatements that began as early as in 1969. This work underscored the role of in-lake biogeochemical cycling in nutrient dynamics of this already eutrophic lake.

  19. Ecosystem regime change inferred from the distribution of trace metals in Lake Erie sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuan, Fasong; Depew, Richard; Soltis-Muth, Cheryl

    2014-12-01

    Many freshwater and coastal marine ecosystems across the world may have undergone an ecosystem regime change due to a combination of rising anthropogenic disturbances and regional climate change. Such a change in aquatic ecosystems is commonly seen as shifts in algal species. But considerably less detail is known about the eutrophication history in terms of changes in algal productivity, particularly for a large lake with a great deal of spatial variability. Here we present an analysis of trace metals (Cu, Ni, Cd, and Pb) on a sediment core recovered from Lake Erie, off the Vermilion coast of northern Ohio, USA, to reconstruct the eutrophication history of the lake over the past 210 years. Following a slow eutrophication during European settlement, Lake Erie experienced a period of accelerated eutrophication, leading to an ecosystem regime transition into a eutrophic lake state in 1950. Our results suggested that the lake's biological productivity has ever since maintained fairly high even though a significant input reduction was realized from rigorous nutrient abatements that began as early as in 1969. This work underscored the role of in-lake biogeochemical cycling in nutrient dynamics of this already eutrophic lake.

  20. Rapid genomic DNA changes in allotetraploid fish hybrids.

    PubMed

    Wang, J; Ye, L H; Liu, Q Z; Peng, L Y; Liu, W; Yi, X G; Wang, Y D; Xiao, J; Xu, K; Hu, F Z; Ren, L; Tao, M; Zhang, C; Liu, Y; Hong, Y H; Liu, S J

    2015-06-01

    Rapid genomic change has been demonstrated in several allopolyploid plant systems; however, few studies focused on animals. We addressed this issue using an allotetraploid lineage (4nAT) of freshwater fish originally derived from the interspecific hybridization of red crucian carp (Carassius auratus red var., ♀, 2n=100) × common carp (Cyprinus carpio L., ♂, 2n=100). We constructed a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library from allotetraploid hybrids in the 20th generation (F20) and sequenced 14 BAC clones representing a total of 592.126 kb, identified 11 functional genes and estimated the guanine-cytosine content (37.10%) and the proportion of repetitive elements (17.46%). The analysis of intron evolution using nine orthologous genes across a number of selected fish species detected a gain of 39 introns and a loss of 30 introns in the 4nAT lineage. A comparative study based on seven functional genes among 4nAT, diploid F1 hybrids (2nF1) (first generation of hybrids) and their original parents revealed that both hybrid types (2nF1 and 4nAT) not only inherited genomic DNA from their parents, but also demonstrated rapid genomic DNA changes (homoeologous recombination, parental DNA fragments loss and formation of novel genes). However, 4nAT presented more genomic variations compared with their parents than 2nF1. Interestingly, novel gene fragments were found for the iqca1 gene in both hybrid types. This study provided a preliminary genomic characterization of allotetraploid F20 hybrids and revealed evolutionary and functional genomic significance of allopolyploid animals.

  1. Can ecosystem-scale translocations mitigate the impact of climate change on terrestrial biodiversity? Promises, pitfalls, and possibilities: Ecosystem-scale translocations.

    PubMed

    Boyer, Stéphane; Case, Bradley S; Lefort, Marie-Caroline; Waterhouse, Benjamin R; Wratten, Stephen D

    2016-01-01

    Because ecological interactions are the first components of the ecosystem to be impacted by climate change, future forms of threatened-species and ecosystem management should aim at conserving complete, functioning communities rather than single charismatic species. A possible way forward is the deployment of ecosystem-scale translocation (EST), where above- and below-ground elements of a functioning terrestrial ecosystem (including vegetation and topsoil) are carefully collected and moved together. Small-scale attempts at such practice have been made for the purpose of ecological restoration. By moving larger subsets of functioning ecosystems from climatically unstable regions to more stable ones, EST could provide a practical means to conserve mature and complex ecosystems threatened by climate change. However, there are a number of challenges associated with EST in the context of climate change mitigation, in particular the choice of donor and receptor sites. With the aim of fostering discussion and debate about the EST concept, we  1) outline the possible promises and pitfalls of EST in mitigating the impact of climate change on terrestrial biodiversity and 2) use a GIS-based approach to illustrate how  potential source and receptor sites, where EST could be trialed and evaluated globally, could be identified.

  2. Climate change and ecosystems dynamics over the last 6000 years in the Middle Atlas, Morocco

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nourelbait, Majda; Rhoujjati, Ali; Benkaddour, Abdelfattah; Carré, Matthieu; Eynaud, Frederique; Martinez, Philippe; Cheddadi, Rachid

    2016-04-01

    The present study aims at reconstructing past climate changes and their environmental impacts on plant ecosystems during the last 6000 years in the Middle Atlas, Morocco. Mean January temperature (Tjan), annual precipitation (Pann), winter (Pw) and summer (Ps) precipitation, and a seasonal index (SI) have all been quantified from a fossil pollen record. Several bio- and geo-chemical elements have also been analysed to evaluate the links between past climate, landscape, and ecosystem changes. Over the last 6000 years, climate has changed within a low temperature and precipitation range with a trend of aridity and warming towards the present. Tjan has varied within a ca. 2 °C range, and Pann within less than 100 mm yr-1. The long-term changes reconstructed in our record between 6 ka cal BP and today are consistent with the aridity trend observed in the Mediterranean basin. Despite the overall limited range of climate fluctuation, we observe major changes in the ecosystem composition, the carbon isotopic contents of organic matter (δ13C), the total organic carbon and nitrogen amount, and the carbon to nitrogen ratio (C / N) after ca. 3750 cal BP. The main ecosystem changes correspond to a noticeable transition in the conifer forest between the Atlas cedar, which expanded after 3750 cal BP, and the pine forest. These vegetation changes impacted the sedimentation type and its composition in the lake. Between 5500 and 5000 cal BP, we observe an abrupt change in all proxies which is coherent with a decrease in Tjan without a significant change in the overall amount of precipitation.

  3. Understanding the role of ecohydrological feedbacks in ecosystem state change in drylands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Turnbull, L.; Wilcox, B.P.; Belnap, J.; Ravi, S.; D'Odorico, P.; Childers, D.; Gwenzi, W.; Okin, G.; Wainwright, J.; Caylor, K.K.; Sankey, T.

    2012-01-01

    Ecohydrological feedbacks are likely to be critical for understanding the mechanisms by which changes in exogenous forces result in ecosystem state change. We propose that in drylands, the dynamics of ecosystem state change are determined by changes in the type (stabilizing vs amplifying) and strength of ecohydrological feedbacks following a change in exogenous forces. Using a selection of five case studies from drylands, we explore the characteristics of ecohydrological feedbacks and resulting dynamics of ecosystem state change. We surmise that stabilizing feedbacks are critical for the provision of plant-essential resources in drylands. Exogenous forces that break these stabilizing feedbacks can alter the state of the system, although such changes are potentially reversible if strong amplifying ecohydrological feedbacks do not develop. The case studies indicate that if amplifying ecohydrological feedbacks do develop, they are typically associated with abiotic processes such as runoff, erosion (by wind and water), and fire. These amplifying ecohydrological feedbacks progressively modify the system in ways that are long-lasting and possibly irreversible on human timescales.

  4. Rapid changes in water hardness and alkalinity: Calcite formation is lethal to Daphnia magna.

    PubMed

    Bogart, Sarah J; Woodman, Samuel; Steinkey, Dylan; Meays, Cindy; Pyle, Greg G

    2016-07-15

    There is growing concern that freshwater ecosystems may be negatively affected by ever-increasing anthropogenic inputs of extremely hard, highly alkaline effluent containing large quantities of Ca(2+), Mg(2+), CO3(2-), and HCO3(-) ions. In this study, the toxicity of rapid and extreme shifts in water hardness (38-600mg/L as CaCO3) and alkalinity (30-420mg/L as CaCO3) to Daphnia magna was tested, both independently and in combination. Within these ranges, where no precipitation event occurred, shifts in water hardness and/or alkalinity were not toxic to D. magna. In contrast, 98-100% of D. magna died within 96h after exposure to 600mg/L as CaCO3 water hardness and 420mg/L as CaCO3 alkalinity (LT50 of 60h with a 95% CI of 54.2-66.0h). In this treatment, a CaCO3 (calcite) precipitate formed in the water column which was ingested by and thoroughly coated the D. magna. Calcite collected from a mining impacted stream contained embedded organisms, suggesting field streams may also experience similar conditions and possibly increased mortality as observed in the lab tests. Although further investigation is required to determine the exact fate of aquatic organisms exposed to rapid calcite precipitation in the field, we caution that negative effects may occur more quickly or at lower concentrations of water hardness and alkalinity in which we observed effects in D. magna, because some species, such as aquatic insects, are more sensitive than cladocerans to changes in ionic strength. Our results provide evidence that both calcite precipitation and the major ion balance of waters should be managed in industrially affected ecosystems and we support the development of a hardness+alkalinity guideline for the protection of aquatic life.

  5. Temporal trends in nutrient ratios: chemical evidence of Mediterranean ecosystem changes driven by human activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Béthoux, Jean P.; Morin, Pascal; Ruiz-Pino, Diana P.

    Over the last few decades, the Mediterranean ecosystem has experienced changes in biodiversity due to climatic and environmental change or to accidental inputs of exotic species. But the plankton community, which is the base of the food chain and remains only partly described, is also probably experiencing a drastic change. Observed changes in nutrient concentrations and ratios in the deep waters of the western Mediterranean, as well as differences between the eastern and western Mediterranean, suggest that shifts have occurred in the relative distribution of nutrients and therefore probably phytoplankton species over the whole sea. A shift from a diatom-dominated ecosystem to a non-siliceous one (as already observed in some coastal areas, with increasing algal blooms and eutrophication events) may involve the whole Mediterranean Sea and have consequences for fishery and tourism activities.

  6. Threshold responses to interacting global changes in a California grassland ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Field, Christopher; Mooney, Harold; Vitousek, Peter

    2015-02-02

    Building on the history and infrastructure of the Jasper Ridge Global Change Experiment, we conducted experiments to explore the potential for single and combined global changes to stimulate fundamental type changes in ecosystems that start the experiment as California annual grassland. Using a carefully orchestrated set of seedling introductions, followed by careful study and later removal, the grassland was poised to enable two major kinds of transitions that occur in real life and that have major implications for ecosystem structure, function, and services. These are transitions from grassland to shrubland/forest and grassland to thistle patch. The experiment took place in the context of 4 global change factors – warming, elevated CO2, N deposition, and increased precipitation – in a full-factorial array, present as all possible 1, 2, 3, and 4-factor combinations, with each combination replicated 8 times.

  7. Ecosystem heterogeneity determines the ecological resilience of the Amazon to climate change

    PubMed Central

    Longo, Marcos; Baccini, Alessandro; Phillips, Oliver L.; Lewis, Simon L.; Alvarez-Dávila, Esteban; Segalin de Andrade, Ana Cristina; Brienen, Roel J. W.; Erwin, Terry L.; Feldpausch, Ted R.; Monteagudo Mendoza, Abel Lorenzo; Nuñez Vargas, Percy; Prieto, Adriana; Silva-Espejo, Javier Eduardo; Malhi, Yadvinder; Moorcroft, Paul R.

    2016-01-01

    Amazon forests, which store ∼50% of tropical forest carbon and play a vital role in global water, energy, and carbon cycling, are predicted to experience both longer and more intense dry seasons by the end of the 21st century. However, the climate sensitivity of this ecosystem remains uncertain: several studies have predicted large-scale die-back of the Amazon, whereas several more recent studies predict that the biome will remain largely intact. Combining remote-sensing and ground-based observations with a size- and age-structured terrestrial ecosystem model, we explore the sensitivity and ecological resilience of these forests to changes in climate. We demonstrate that water stress operating at the scale of individual plants, combined with spatial variation in soil texture, explains observed patterns of variation in ecosystem biomass, composition, and dynamics across the region, and strongly influences the ecosystem’s resilience to changes in dry season length. Specifically, our analysis suggests that in contrast to existing predictions of either stability or catastrophic biomass loss, the Amazon forest’s response to a drying regional climate is likely to be an immediate, graded, heterogeneous transition from high-biomass moist forests to transitional dry forests and woody savannah-like states. Fire, logging, and other anthropogenic disturbances may, however, exacerbate these climate change-induced ecosystem transitions. PMID:26711984

  8. Climate change and geothermal ecosystems: natural laboratories, sentinel systems, and future refugia.

    PubMed

    O'Gorman, Eoin J; Benstead, Jonathan P; Cross, Wyatt F; Friberg, Nikolai; Hood, James M; Johnson, Philip W; Sigurdsson, Bjarni D; Woodward, Guy

    2014-11-01

    Understanding and predicting how global warming affects the structure and functioning of natural ecosystems is a key challenge of the 21st century. Isolated laboratory and field experiments testing global change hypotheses have been criticized for being too small-scale and overly simplistic, whereas surveys are inferential and often confound temperature with other drivers. Research that utilizes natural thermal gradients offers a more promising approach and geothermal ecosystems in particular, which span a range of temperatures within a single biogeographic area, allow us to take the laboratory into nature rather than vice versa. By isolating temperature from other drivers, its ecological effects can be quantified without any loss of realism, and transient and equilibrial responses can be measured in the same system across scales that are not feasible using other empirical methods. Embedding manipulative experiments within geothermal gradients is an especially powerful approach, informing us to what extent small-scale experiments can predict the future behaviour of real ecosystems. Geothermal areas also act as sentinel systems by tracking responses of ecological networks to warming and helping to maintain ecosystem functioning in a changing landscape by providing sources of organisms that are preadapted to different climatic conditions. Here, we highlight the emerging use of geothermal systems in climate change research, identify novel research avenues, and assess their roles for catalysing our understanding of ecological and evolutionary responses to global warming.

  9. Land use intensification alters ecosystem multifunctionality via loss of biodiversity and changes to functional composition.

    PubMed

    Allan, Eric; Manning, Pete; Alt, Fabian; Binkenstein, Julia; Blaser, Stefan; Blüthgen, Nico; Böhm, Stefan; Grassein, Fabrice; Hölzel, Norbert; Klaus, Valentin H; Kleinebecker, Till; Morris, E Kathryn; Oelmann, Yvonne; Prati, Daniel; Renner, Swen C; Rillig, Matthias C; Schaefer, Martin; Schloter, Michael; Schmitt, Barbara; Schöning, Ingo; Schrumpf, Marion; Solly, Emily; Sorkau, Elisabeth; Steckel, Juliane; Steffen-Dewenter, Ingolf; Stempfhuber, Barbara; Tschapka, Marco; Weiner, Christiane N; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Werner, Michael; Westphal, Catrin; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Fischer, Markus

    2015-08-01

    Global change, especially land-use intensification, affects human well-being by impacting the delivery of multiple ecosystem services (multifunctionality). However, whether biodiversity loss is a major component of global change effects on multifunctionality in real-world ecosystems, as in experimental ones, remains unclear. Therefore, we assessed biodiversity, functional composition and 14 ecosystem services on 150 agricultural grasslands differing in land-use intensity. We also introduce five multifunctionality measures in which ecosystem services were weighted according to realistic land-use objectives. We found that indirect land-use effects, i.e. those mediated by biodiversity loss and by changes to functional composition, were as strong as direct effects on average. Their strength varied with land-use objectives and regional context. Biodiversity loss explained indirect effects in a region of intermediate productivity and was most damaging when land-use objectives favoured supporting and cultural services. In contrast, functional composition shifts, towards fast-growing plant species, strongly increased provisioning services in more inherently unproductive grasslands.

  10. Effects of disturbance and climate change on ecosystem performance in the Yukon River Basin boreal forest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wylie, Bruce K.; Rigge, Matthew B.; Brisco, Brian; Mrnaghan, Kevin; Rover, Jennifer R.; Long, Jordan

    2014-01-01

    A warming climate influences boreal forest productivity, dynamics, and disturbance regimes. We used ecosystem models and 250 m satellite Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data averaged over the growing season (GSN) to model current, and estimate future, ecosystem performance. We modeled Expected Ecosystem Performance (EEP), or anticipated productivity, in undisturbed stands over the 2000–2008 period from a variety of abiotic data sources, using a rule-based piecewise regression tree. The EEP model was applied to a future climate ensemble A1B projection to quantify expected changes to mature boreal forest performance. Ecosystem Performance Anomalies (EPA), were identified as the residuals of the EEP and GSN relationship and represent performance departures from expected performance conditions. These performance data were used to monitor successional events following fire. Results suggested that maximum EPA occurs 30–40 years following fire, and deciduous stands generally have higher EPA than coniferous stands. Mean undisturbed EEP is projected to increase 5.6% by 2040 and 8.7% by 2070, suggesting an increased deciduous component in boreal forests. Our results contribute to the understanding of boreal forest successional dynamics and its response to climate change. This information enables informed decisions to prepare for, and adapt to, climate change in the Yukon River Basin forest.

  11. Incorporating climate change into ecosystem service assessments and decisions: a review.

    PubMed

    Runting, Rebecca K; Bryan, Brett A; Dee, Laura E; Maseyk, Fleur J F; Mandle, Lisa; Hamel, Perrine; Wilson, Kerrie A; Yetka, Kathleen; Possingham, Hugh P; Rhodes, Jonathan R

    2017-01-01

    Climate change is having a significant impact on ecosystem services and is likely to become increasingly important as this phenomenon intensifies. Future impacts can be difficult to assess as they often involve long timescales, dynamic systems with high uncertainties, and are typically confounded by other drivers of change. Despite a growing literature on climate change impacts on ecosystem services, no quantitative syntheses exist. Hence, we lack an overarching understanding of the impacts of climate change, how they are being assessed, and the extent to which other drivers, uncertainties, and decision making are incorporated. To address this, we systematically reviewed the peer-reviewed literature that assesses climate change impacts on ecosystem services at subglobal scales. We found that the impact of climate change on most types of services was predominantly negative (59% negative, 24% mixed, 4% neutral, 13% positive), but varied across services, drivers, and assessment methods. Although uncertainty was usually incorporated, there were substantial gaps in the sources of uncertainty included, along with the methods used to incorporate them. We found that relatively few studies integrated decision making, and even fewer studies aimed to identify solutions that were robust to uncertainty. For management or policy to ensure the delivery of ecosystem services, integrated approaches that incorporate multiple drivers of change and account for multiple sources of uncertainty are needed. This is undoubtedly a challenging task, but ignoring these complexities can result in misleading assessments of the impacts of climate change, suboptimal management outcomes, and the inefficient allocation of resources for climate adaptation.

  12. Contemporary mire net ecosystem green-house gas balance: controls and susceptibility to change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nilsson, Mats; Eriksson, Tobias; Grelle, Achim; Larsson, Anna; Laudon, Hjalmar; Lindroth, Anders; Ottosson-Löfvenius, Mikaell; Peichl, Matthias; Sagerfors, Jörgen; Ågren, Anneli; Öquist, Mats

    2015-04-01

    In this presentation I will address three main issues: 1 - What is the contemporary carbon sequestration function of high latitude mire ecosystems relative to Holocene average? 2 - The relative importance of the component carbon (C) fluxes for the annual mire Net Ecosystem Carbon Balance (NECB); 3 - The importance of gross primary production (GPP) versus ecosystem respiration (Reco) for the annual Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE); The annual boreal mire NECB is made up principally by the biosphere-atmosphere exchange of CO2 (NEE) and CH4 and the runoff C-export. One important research issue is to further understand what controls the relative contribution from the component fluxes to the annual mire NECB. A second important major research issue is to reveal the relative importance of gross photosynthesis (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Reco) respectively for the annual mire NEE. The relative importance of GPP and Reco respectively for the NECB also encounters the effect of changes in the lengths of the growing season and non-growing season respectively. In this presentation we use ten years of data on annual fluxes of NEE, methane and water discharge C export at a nutrient poor minerogenic boreal mire, Degerö Stormyr, in northern Sweden to address the above questions. Winter time NEE together with methane emission and water discharge C export reduces the growing season NEE with approximately 60%, thus substantially controlling the annual boreal mire NEE.

  13. Early results from the Northern Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Change and Hazard Susceptibility Project

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brock, John C.; Lavoie, Dawn L.; Poore, Richard Z.

    2011-01-01

    The northern Gulf of Mexico coastal region and its diverse ecosystems are threatened by population and development pressure and by the impacts of rising sea level and severe storms such as the series of hurricanes that has impacted the northern Gulf in recent years. In response to the complex management issues facing the region, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) organized a multidisciplinary research program to coordinate the activities of USGS and other scientists working in the northern Gulf of Mexico region (fig. 1). The Northern Gulf of Mexico (NGOM) Ecosystem Change and Hazard Susceptibility Project aims to develop a thorough understanding of the dynamic coastal ecosystems on the northern Gulf coast, the impact of human activities on these ecosystems, and the vulnerability of ecosystems and human communities to more frequent and more intense hurricanes in the future. A special issue of Geo-Marine Letters published in December 2009 is devoted to early results of studies completed as part of this project. These studies, which have been conducted at sites throughout the northern Gulf region, from the Chandeleur Islands to Apalachicola Bay, have focused on three themes: (1) The underlying geologic framework that exerts controls over coastal processes (2) The impact of human activities on nearshore water quality (3) Hurricanes and associated effects

  14. Wild Weather: Brown Dwarfs with Dynamic, Rapidly Changing Clouds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heinze, Aren N.; Metchev, Stanimir

    2015-01-01

    Brown dwarfs have exotic clouds made of silicates and molten iron. Uneven distribution of these clouds over a brown dwarf's photosphere will cause the object to exhibit periodic flux variations as it rotates. Several brown dwarfs that vary in this way have been discovered. Others, however, have been found to exhibit non-periodic variations. As recently as two years ago, the reality of these was regarded with skepticism --- quite reasonably, since measurement systematics can mimic non-periodic variations, and theory did not predict the swift, global changes in brown dwarf cloud distributions that the data seemed to imply. However, new evidence shows that aperiodic variability is real: the photometric amplitude and phase of some brown dwarfs do change on a rotational timescale. We present four new brown dwarfs with confirmed aperiodic behavior, and show that there is a wide range in the degree of their departure from perfect periodicity. The extent of this departure should be determined mostly by the rapidity of cloud evolution on the brown dwarf, and therefore aperiodicity constitutes a direct probe of the atmospheric dynamics of these fascinating objects.

  15. Ecosystem shifts under climate change - a multi-model analysis from ISI-MIP

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warszawski, Lila; Beerling, David; Clark, Douglas; Friend, Andrew; Ito, Akihito; Kahana, Ron; Keribin, Rozenn; Kleidon, Axel; Lomas, Mark; Lucht, Wolfgang; Nishina, Kazuya; Ostberg, Sebastian; Pavlick, Ryan; Tito Rademacher, Tim; Schaphoff, Sibyll

    2013-04-01

    Dramatic ecosystem shifts, relating to vegetation composition and water and carbon stocks and fluxes, are potential consequences of climate change in the twenty-first century. Shifting climatic conditions, resulting in changes in biogeochemical properties of the ecosystem, will render it difficult for endemic plant and animal species to continue to survive in their current habitat. The potential for major shifts in biomes globally will also have severe consequences for the humans who rely on vital ecosystem services. Here we employ a novel metric of ecosystem shift to quantify the magnitude and uncertainty in these shifts at different levels of global warming, based on the response of seven biogeochemical Earth models to different future climate scenarios, in the context of the Intersectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP). Based on this ensemble, 15% of the Earth's land surface will experience severe ecosystem shifts at 2°C degrees of global warming above 1980-2010 levels. This figure rises monotonically with global mean temperature for all models included in this study, reaching a median value of 60% of the land surface in a 4°C warmer world. At both 2°C and 4°C of warming, the most pronounced shifts occur in south-eastern India and south-western China, large swathes of the northern lattitudes above 60°N, the Amazon region and sub-Saharan Africa. Where dynamic vegetation composition is modelled, these shifts correspond to significant reductions in the land surface of vunerable vegetation types. We show that global mean temperature is a robust predictor of ecosystem shifts, whilst the spread across impact models is the greatest contributor to uncertainty.

  16. The Southern Ocean ecosystem under multiple climate change stresses--an integrated circumpolar assessment.

    PubMed

    Gutt, Julian; Bertler, Nancy; Bracegirdle, Thomas J; Buschmann, Alexander; Comiso, Josefino; Hosie, Graham; Isla, Enrique; Schloss, Irene R; Smith, Craig R; Tournadre, Jean; Xavier, José C

    2015-04-01

    A quantitative assessment of observed and projected environmental changes in the Southern Ocean (SO) with a potential impact on the marine ecosystem shows: (i) large proportions of the SO are and will be affected by one or more climate change processes; areas projected to be affected in the future are larger than areas that are already under environmental stress, (ii) areas affected by changes in sea-ice in the past and likely in the future are much larger than areas affected by ocean warming. The smallest areas (<1% area of the SO) are affected by glacier retreat and warming in the deeper euphotic layer. In the future, decrease in the sea-ice is expected to be widespread. Changes in iceberg impact resulting from further collapse of ice-shelves can potentially affect large parts of shelf and ephemerally in the off-shore regions. However, aragonite undersaturation (acidification) might become one of the biggest problems for the Antarctic marine ecosystem by affecting almost the entire SO. Direct and indirect impacts of various environmental changes to the three major habitats, sea-ice, pelagic and benthos and their biota are complex. The areas affected by environmental stressors range from 33% of the SO for a single stressor, 11% for two and 2% for three, to <1% for four and five overlapping factors. In the future, areas expected to be affected by 2 and 3 overlapping factors are equally large, including potential iceberg changes, and together cover almost 86% of the SO ecosystem.

  17. The response of terrestrial ecosystems to global climate change: towards an integrated approach.

    PubMed

    Rustad, Lindsey E

    2008-10-15

    Accumulating evidence points to an anthropogenic 'fingerprint' on the global climate change that has occurred in the last century. Climate change has, and will continue to have, profound effects on the structure and function of terrestrial ecosystems. As such, there is a critical need to continue to develop a sound scientific basis for national and international policies regulating carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions. This paper reflects on the nature of current global change experiments, and provides recommendations for a unified multidisciplinary approach to future research in this dynamic field. These recommendations include: (1) better integration between experiments and models, and amongst experimental, monitoring, and space-for-time studies; (2) stable and increased support for long-term studies and multi-factor experiments; (3) explicit inclusion of biodiversity, disturbance, and extreme events in experiments and models; (4) consideration of timing vs intensity of global change factors in experiments and models; (5) evaluation of potential thresholds or ecosystem 'tipping points'; and (6) increased support for model-model and model-experiment comparisons. These recommendations, which reflect discussions within the TERACC international network of global change scientists, will facilitate the unraveling of the complex direct and indirect effects of global climate change on terrestrial ecosystems and their components.

  18. Effects of solar ultraviolet radiation on terrestrial ecosystems. Patterns, mechanisms, and interactions with climate change.

    PubMed

    Ballaré, C L; Caldwell, M M; Flint, S D; Robinson, S A; Bornman, J F

    2011-02-01

    Ultraviolet radiation (UV) is a minor fraction of the solar spectrum reaching the ground surface. In this assessment we summarize the results of previous work on the effects of the UV-B component (280-315 nm) on terrestrial ecosystems, and draw attention to important knowledge gaps in our understanding of the interactive effects of UV radiation and climate change. We highlight the following points: (i) The effects of UV-B on the growth of terrestrial plants are relatively small and, because the Montreal Protocol has been successful in limiting ozone depletion, the reduction in plant growth caused by increased UV-B radiation in areas affected by ozone decline since 1980 is unlikely to have exceeded 6%. (ii) Solar UV-B radiation has large direct and indirect (plant-mediated) effects on canopy arthropods and microorganisms. Therefore, trophic interactions (herbivory, decomposition) in terrestrial ecosystems appear to be sensitive to variations in UV-B irradiance. (iii) Future variations in UV radiation resulting from changes in climate and land-use may have more important consequences on terrestrial ecosystems than the changes in UV caused by ozone depletion. This is because the resulting changes in UV radiation may affect a greater range of ecosystems, and will not be restricted solely to the UV-B component. (iv) Several ecosystem processes that are not particularly sensitive to UV-B radiation can be strongly affected by UV-A (315-400 nm) radiation. One example is the physical degradation of plant litter. Increased photodegradation (in response to reduced cloudiness or canopy cover) will lead to increased carbon release to the atmosphere via direct and indirect mechanisms.

  19. Global-change drivers of ecosystem functioning modulated by natural variability and saturating responses.

    PubMed

    Flombaum, Pedro; Yahdjian, Laura; Sala, Osvaldo E

    2017-02-01

    Humans are altering global environment at an unprecedented rate through changes in biodiversity, climate, nitrogen cycle, and land use. To address their effects on ecosystem functioning, experiments most frequently explore one driver at a time and control as many confounding factors as possible. Yet, which driver exerts the largest influence on ecosystem functioning and whether their relative importance changes among systems remain unclear. We analyzed experiments in the Patagonian steppe that evaluated the aboveground net primary production (ANPP) response to manipulated gradients of species richness, precipitation, temperature, nitrogen fertilization (N), and grazing intensity. We compared the effect on ANPP relative to ambient conditions considering intensity and direction of manipulations for each driver. The ranking of responses to drivers with comparable manipulation intensity was as follows: biodiversity>grazing>precipitation>N. For a similar intensity of manipulation, the effect of biodiversity loss was 4.0, 3.6, and 1.5, times larger than N deposition, decreased precipitation, and increased grazing intensity. We interpreted our results considering two hypotheses. First, the response of ANPP to changes in precipitation and biodiversity is saturating, so we expected larger effects when the driver was reduced, relative to ambient conditions, than when it was increased. Experimental manipulations that reduced ambient levels had larger effects than those that increased them. Second, the sensitivity of ANPP to each driver is inversely related to the natural variability of the driver. In Patagonia, the ranking of natural variability of drivers is as follows: precipitation>grazing>temperature>biodiversity>N. So, in general, the ecosystem was most sensitive to drivers that varied the least. Comparable results from Cedar Creek (MN) support both hypotheses and suggest that sensitivity to drivers varies among ecosystem types. Given the importance of understanding

  20. Transitions in Arctic ecosystems: Ecological implications of a changing hydrological regime

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wrona, Frederick J.; Johansson, Margareta; Culp, Joseph M.; Jenkins, Alan; Mârd, Johanna; Myers-Smith, Isla H.; Prowse, Terry D.; Vincent, Warwick F.; Wookey, Philip A.

    2016-03-01

    Numerous international scientific assessments and related articles have, during the last decade, described the observed and potential impacts of climate change as well as other related environmental stressors on Arctic ecosystems. There is increasing recognition that observed and projected changes in freshwater sources, fluxes, and storage will have profound implications for the physical, biogeochemical, biological, and ecological processes and properties of Arctic terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. However, a significant level of uncertainty remains in relation to forecasting the impacts of an intensified hydrological regime and related cryospheric change on ecosystem structure and function. As the terrestrial and freshwater ecology component of the Arctic Freshwater Synthesis, we review these uncertainties and recommend enhanced coordinated circumpolar research and monitoring efforts to improve quantification and prediction of how an altered hydrological regime influences local, regional, and circumpolar-level responses in terrestrial and freshwater systems. Specifically, we evaluate (i) changes in ecosystem productivity; (ii) alterations in ecosystem-level biogeochemical cycling and chemical transport; (iii) altered landscapes, successional trajectories, and creation of new habitats; (iv) altered seasonality and phenological mismatches; and (v) gains or losses of species and associated trophic interactions. We emphasize the need for developing a process-based understanding of interecosystem interactions, along with improved predictive models. We recommend enhanced use of the catchment scale as an integrated unit of study, thereby more explicitly considering the physical, chemical, and ecological processes and fluxes across a full freshwater continuum in a geographic region and spatial range of hydroecological units (e.g., stream-pond-lake-river-near shore marine environments).

  1. Rapid Middle Eocene temperature change in western North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Methner, Katharina; Mulch, Andreas; Fiebig, Jens; Wacker, Ulrike; Gerdes, Axel; Graham, Stephan A.; Chamberlain, C. Page

    2016-09-01

    Eocene hyperthermals are among the most enigmatic phenomena of Cenozoic climate dynamics. These hyperthermals represent temperature extremes superimposed on an already warm Eocene climate and dramatically affected the marine and terrestrial biosphere, yet our knowledge of temperature and rainfall in continental interiors is still rather limited. We present stable isotope (δ18O) and clumped isotope temperature (Δ47) records from a middle Eocene (41 to 40 Ma) high-elevation mammal fossil locality in the North American continental interior (Montana, USA). Δ47 paleotemperatures of soil carbonates delineate a rapid +9/-11 °C temperature excursion in the paleosol record. Δ47 temperatures progressively increase from 23 °C ± 3 °C to peak temperatures of 32 °C ± 3 °C and subsequently drop by 11 °C. This hyperthermal event in the middle Eocene is accompanied by low δ18O values and reduced pedogenic carbonate concentrations in paleosols. Based on laser ablation U/Pb geochronology of paleosol carbonates in combination with magnetostratigraphy, biostratigraphy, stable isotope, and Δ47 evidence, we suggest that this pronounced warming event reflects the Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum (MECO) in western North America. The terrestrial expression of northern hemisphere MECO in western North America appears to be characterized by warmer and wetter (sub-humid) conditions, compared to the post-MECO phase. Large and rapid shifts in δ18O values of precipitation and pedogenic CaCO3 contents parallel temperature changes, indicating the profound impact of the MECO on atmospheric circulation and rainfall patterns in the western North American continental interior during this transient warming event.

  2. Disturbances catalyze the adaptation of forest ecosystems to changing climate conditions.

    PubMed

    Thom, Dominik; Rammer, Werner; Seidl, Rupert

    2017-01-01

    The rates of anthropogenic climate change substantially exceed those at which forest ecosystems - dominated by immobile, long-lived organisms - are able to adapt. The resulting maladaptation of forests has potentially detrimental effects on ecosystem functioning. Furthermore, as many forest-dwelling species are highly dependent on the prevailing tree species, a delayed response of the latter to a changing climate can contribute to an extinction debt and mask climate-induced biodiversity loss. However, climate change will likely also intensify forest disturbances. Here, we tested the hypothesis that disturbances foster the reorganization of ecosystems and catalyze the adaptation of forest composition to climate change. Our specific objectives were (i) to quantify the rate of autonomous forest adaptation to climate change, (ii) examine the role of disturbance in the adaptation process, and (iii) investigate spatial differences in climate-induced species turnover in an unmanaged mountain forest landscape (Kalkalpen National Park, Austria). Simulations with a process-based forest landscape model were performed for 36 unique combinations of climate and disturbance scenarios over 1000 years. We found that climate change strongly favored European beech and oak species (currently prevailing in mid- to low-elevation areas), with novel species associations emerging on the landscape. Yet, it took between 357 and 706 years before the landscape attained a dynamic equilibrium with the climate system. Disturbances generally catalyzed adaptation and decreased the time needed to attain equilibrium by up to 211 years. However, while increasing disturbance frequency and severity accelerated adaptation, increasing disturbance size had the opposite effect. Spatial analyses suggest that particularly the lowest and highest elevation areas will be hotspots of future species change. We conclude that the growing maladaptation of forests to climate and the long lead times of autonomous

  3. Human relations with soil are changing rapidly: SSSA's new Work Group on Soil Change

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Humanity has rapidly become Earth’s chief agent of soil change, and geologists have named the epoch in which we live the Anthropocene, due to the global scale of human impact on the environment, including soil. In response to the increasing influence of humans on soil processes, the disciplines of ...

  4. Critical research needs for identifying future changes in Gulf coral reef ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Feary, David A.; Burt, John A.; Bauman, Andrew G.; Al Hazeem, Shaker; Abdel-Moati, Mohamed A.; Al-Khalifa, Khalifa A.; Anderson, Donald M.; Amos, Carl; Baker, Andrew; Bartholomew, Aaron; Bento, Rita; Cavalcante, Geórgenes H.; Chen, Chaolun Allen; Coles, Steve L.; Dab, Koosha; Fowler, Ashley M.; George, David; Grandcourt, Edwin; Hill, Ross; John, David M.; Jones, David A.; Keshavmurthy, Shashank; Mahmoud, Huda; Moradi Och Tapeh, Mahdi; Mostafavi, Pargol Ghavam; Naser, Humood; Pichon, Michel; Purkis, Sam; Riegl, Bernhard; Samimi-Namin, Kaveh; Sheppard, Charles; Vajed Samiei, Jahangir; Voolstra, Christian R.; Wiedenmann, Joerg

    2014-01-01

    Expert opinion was assessed to identify current knowledge gaps in determining future changes in Arabian/ Persian Gulf (thereafter ‘Gulf’) coral reefs. Thirty-one participants submitted 71 research questions that were peer-assessed in terms of scientific importance (i.e., filled a knowledge gap and was a research priority) and efficiency in resource use (i.e., was highly feasible and ecologically broad). Ten research questions, in six major research areas, were highly important for both understanding Gulf coral reef ecosystems and also an efficient use of limited research resources. These questions mirrored global evaluations of the importance of understanding and evaluating biodiversity, determining the potential impacts of climate change, the role of anthropogenic impacts in structuring coral reef communities, and economically evaluating coral reef communities. These questions provide guidance for future research on coral reef ecosystems within the Gulf, and enhance the potential for assessment and management of future changes in this globally significant region. PMID:23643407

  5. Critical research needs for identifying future changes in Gulf coral reef ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Feary, David A; Burt, John A; Bauman, Andrew G; Al Hazeem, Shaker; Abdel-Moati, Mohamed A; Al-Khalifa, Khalifa A; Anderson, Donald M; Amos, Carl; Baker, Andrew; Bartholomew, Aaron; Bento, Rita; Cavalcante, Geórgenes H; Chen, Chaolun Allen; Coles, Steve L; Dab, Koosha; Fowler, Ashley M; George, David; Grandcourt, Edwin; Hill, Ross; John, David M; Jones, David A; Keshavmurthy, Shashank; Mahmoud, Huda; Moradi Och Tapeh, Mahdi; Mostafavi, Pargol Ghavam; Naser, Humood; Pichon, Michel; Purkis, Sam; Riegl, Bernhard; Samimi-Namin, Kaveh; Sheppard, Charles; Vajed Samiei, Jahangir; Voolstra, Christian R; Wiedenmann, Joerg

    2013-07-30

    Expert opinion was assessed to identify current knowledge gaps in determining future changes in Arabian/Persian Gulf (thereafter 'Gulf') coral reefs. Thirty-one participants submitted 71 research questions that were peer-assessed in terms of scientific importance (i.e., filled a knowledge gap and was a research priority) and efficiency in resource use (i.e., was highly feasible and ecologically broad). Ten research questions, in six major research areas, were highly important for both understanding Gulf coral reef ecosystems and also an efficient use of limited research resources. These questions mirrored global evaluations of the importance of understanding and evaluating biodiversity, determining the potential impacts of climate change, the role of anthropogenic impacts in structuring coral reef communities, and economically evaluating coral reef communities. These questions provide guidance for future research on coral reef ecosystems within the Gulf, and enhance the potential for assessment and management of future changes in this globally significant region.

  6. Algorithm Development and Application of High Order Numerical Methods for Shocked and Rapid Changing Solutions

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-12-06

    problems studied in this project involve numerically solving partial differential equations with either discontinuous or rapidly changing solutions ...REPORT Algorithm Development and Application of High Order Numerical Methods for Shocked and Rapid Changing Solutions 14. ABSTRACT 16. SECURITY...discontinuous Galerkin finite element methods, for solving partial differential equations with discontinuous or rapidly changing solutions . Algorithm

  7. Understanding of Grassland Ecosystems under Climate Change and Economic Development Pressures in the Mongolia Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qi, J.; Chen, J.; Shan, P.; Pan, X.; Wei, Y.; Wang, M.; Xin, X.

    2011-12-01

    The land use and land cover change, especially in the form of grassland degradation, in the Mongolian Plateau, exhibited a unique spatio-temporal pattern that is a characteristic of a mixed stress from economic development and climate change of the region. The social dimension of the region played a key role in shaping the landscape and land use change, including the cultural clashes with economic development, conflicts between indigenous people and business ventures, and exogenous international influences. Various research projects have been conducted in the region to focus on physical degradation of grasslands and/or on economic development but there is a lack of understanding how the social and economic dimensions interact with grassland ecosystems and changes. In this talk, a synthesis report was made based on the most recent workshop held in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, of China, that specifically focused on climate change and grassland ecosystems. The report analyzed the degree of grassland degradation, its climate and social drivers, and coupling nature of economic development and conservation of traditional grassland values. The goal is to fully understand the socio-ecological-economic interactions that together shape the trajectory of the grassland ecosystems in the Mongolia Plateau.

  8. Ecosystem change and stability over multiple decades in the Swedish subarctic: complex processes and multiple drivers

    PubMed Central

    Callaghan, Terry V; Jonasson, Christer; Thierfelder, Tomas; Yang, Zhenlin; Hedenås, Henrik; Johansson, Margareta; Molau, Ulf; Van Bogaert, Rik; Michelsen, Anders; Olofsson, Johan; Gwynn-Jones, Dylan; Bokhorst, Stef; Phoenix, Gareth; Bjerke, Jarle W.; Tømmervik, Hans; Christensen, Torben R.; Hanna, Edward; Koller, Eva K.; Sloan, Victoria L.

    2013-01-01

    The subarctic environment of northernmost Sweden has changed over the past century, particularly elements of climate and cryosphere. This paper presents a unique geo-referenced record of environmental and ecosystem observations from the area since 1913. Abiotic changes have been substantial. Vegetation changes include not only increases in growth and range extension but also counterintuitive decreases, and stability: all three possible responses. Changes in species composition within the major plant communities have ranged between almost no changes to almost a 50 per cent increase in the number of species. Changes in plant species abundance also vary with particularly large increases in trees and shrubs (up to 600%). There has been an increase in abundance of aspen and large changes in other plant communities responding to wetland area increases resulting from permafrost thaw. Populations of herbivores have responded to varying management practices and climate regimes, particularly changing snow conditions. While it is difficult to generalize and scale-up the site-specific changes in ecosystems, this very site-specificity, combined with projections of change, is of immediate relevance to local stakeholders who need to adapt to new opportunities and to respond to challenges. Furthermore, the relatively small area and its unique datasets are a microcosm of the complexity of Arctic landscapes in transition that remains to be documented. PMID:23836792

  9. Estimating California ecosystem carbon change using process model and land cover disturbance data: 1951-2000

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Liu, J.; Vogelmann, J.E.; Zhu, Z.; Key, C.H.; Sleeter, B.M.; Price, D.T.; Chen, J.M.; Cochrane, M.A.; Eidenshink, J.C.; Howard, S.M.; Bliss, N.B.; Jiang, H.

    2011-01-01

    Land use change, natural disturbance, and climate change directly alter ecosystem productivity and carbon stock level. The estimation of ecosystem carbon dynamics depends on the quality of land cover change data and the effectiveness of the ecosystem models that represent the vegetation growth processes and disturbance effects. We used the Integrated Biosphere Simulator (IBIS) and a set of 30- to 60-m resolution fire and land cover change data to examine the carbon changes of California's forests, shrublands, and grasslands. Simulation results indicate that during 1951–2000, the net primary productivity (NPP) increased by 7%, from 72.2 to 77.1 Tg C yr−1 (1 teragram = 1012 g), mainly due to CO2 fertilization, since the climate hardly changed during this period. Similarly, heterotrophic respiration increased by 5%, from 69.4 to 73.1 Tg C yr−1, mainly due to increased forest soil carbon and temperature. Net ecosystem production (NEP) was highly variable in the 50-year period but on average equalled 3.0 Tg C yr−1 (total of 149 Tg C). As with NEP, the net biome production (NBP) was also highly variable but averaged −0.55 Tg C yr−1 (total of –27.3 Tg C) because NBP in the 1980s was very low (–5.34 Tg C yr−1). During the study period, a total of 126 Tg carbon were removed by logging and land use change, and 50 Tg carbon were directly removed by wildland fires. For carbon pools, the estimated total living upper canopy (tree) biomass decreased from 928 to 834 Tg C, and the understory (including shrub and grass) biomass increased from 59 to 63 Tg C. Soil carbon and dead biomass carbon increased from 1136 to 1197 Tg C.Our analyses suggest that both natural and human processes have significant influence on the carbon change in California. During 1951–2000, climate interannual variability was the key driving force for the large interannual changes of ecosystem carbon source and sink at the state level, while logging and fire

  10. Impacts of climate-driven changes on coastal lagoon ecosystem and related good and services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solidoro, Cosimo; Libralato, Simone; Melaku Canu, Donata; Cossarini, Gianpiero; Giorgi, FIlippo

    2014-05-01

    Effects of IPCC climate change scenarios on a temperate coastal lagoon ecosystem, the lagoon of Venice (Italy), along with goods and services provided by this ecosystem are assessed though a downscaling experiment linking regional atmospheric model to local hydrodynamical, biogeochemical, ecosystem and target species population dynamic models. Simulations of spatio-temporal dynamics of biogeochemical properties provide evidence of significant impacts of climate change. Under both the A2 and B2 scenarios we observe a modification of the seasonal precipitation pattern which affects the timing of nutrient inputs to the lagoon and causes a reduction in plankton productivity. Simulations indicate that this changes propagate -along the food web through a multi-path cascade and that overall ecosystem good and services resulting from climatic scenarios significantly differ depending on the dynamics of the extremes (yearly maximum) values. Changes in the nutrient load maximum discharge (scenario A2) favors primary producers that have higher maximum values (peaks) that propagate up in the food web to groups directly related to the grazing food chain. Conversely, small modifications of the timing of the nutrient peaks (as in B2 scenario) implies less exploitation of nutrients by primary producers due to temperature limitations and the enhancement of the groups in the food web that are more related to detritus-based food chain. This implies significant differences on on fisheries landings in future scenarios, even assuming same fishing effort.. Ecological indicators highlighted also divergent changes in food web biodiversity and complexity in the two future scenarios. Simulations also shows that economic activity directly related to target species, such as clam aquaculture activity will suffer , and point to the need for management policies to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.

  11. Combined effects of global climate change and regional ecosystem drivers on an exploited marine food web.

    PubMed

    Niiranen, Susa; Yletyinen, Johanna; Tomczak, Maciej T; Blenckner, Thorsten; Hjerne, Olle; Mackenzie, Brian R; Müller-Karulis, Bärbel; Neumann, Thomas; Meier, H E Markus

    2013-11-01

    Changes in climate, in combination with intensive exploitation of marine resources, have caused large-scale reorganizations in many of the world's marine ecosystems during the past decades. The Baltic Sea in Northern Europe is one of the systems most affected. In addition to being exposed to persistent eutrophication, intensive fishing, and one of the world's fastest rates of warming in the last two decades of the 20th century, accelerated climate change including atmospheric warming and changes in precipitation is projected for this region during the 21st century. Here, we used a new multimodel approach to project how the interaction of climate, nutrient loads, and cod fishing may affect the future of the open Central Baltic Sea food web. Regionally downscaled global climate scenarios were, in combination with three nutrient load scenarios, used to drive an ensemble of three regional biogeochemical models (BGMs). An Ecopath with Ecosim food web model was then forced with the BGM results from different nutrient-climate scenarios in combination with two different cod fishing scenarios. The results showed that regional management is likely to play a major role in determining the future of the Baltic Sea ecosystem. By the end of the 21st century, for example, the combination of intensive cod fishing and high nutrient loads projected a strongly eutrophicated and sprat-dominated ecosystem, whereas low cod fishing in combination with low nutrient loads resulted in a cod-dominated ecosystem with eutrophication levels close to present. Also, nonlinearities were observed in the sensitivity of different trophic groups to nutrient loads or fishing depending on the combination of the two. Finally, many climate variables and species biomasses were projected to levels unseen in the past. Hence, the risk for ecological surprises needs to be addressed, particularly when the results are discussed in the ecosystem-based management context.

  12. Increases in Growing Season Length and Changes in Precipitation at Six Different Arctic and Subarctic Ecosystems from 1906-Present

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Culler, L. E.; Finger, R.; Plane, E.; Ayres, M.; Virginia, R. A.

    2015-12-01

    Ecological dynamics across the Arctic are responding to rapid changes in climate. As a whole, the Arctic has warmed at approximately twice the rate of the rest of the world, but changes in temperature and precipitation experienced at regional and local scales are most important for coupled human-natural systems. In addition, biologically-relevant climate indices are necessary for quantifying ecological responses of terrestrial and aquatic systems to varying climate. We compared climatic changes at six different Arctic and sub-Arctic locations, including two in Greenland (Kangerlussuaq, Sisimiut), one in Sweden (Abisko), and three in Alaska (Barrow, Nome, Fairbanks). We amassed weather data (daily temperature and precipitation), dating as far back as 1906, from public-access databases and used these data to calculate indices such as length of growing season, growing season degree days (GDD), and growing season precipitation. Annual GDD increased at all locations (average of 13% increase in GDD since 1980), but especially in western Greenland (16 and 37% in Kangerlussuaq and Sisimiut, respectively). Changes in growing season precipitation were more variable, with only Barrow, AK and Abisko, Sweden experiencing increased precipitation. All other sites experienced stable or slightly declining precipitation. Increasing temperatures and relatively stable precipitation translates to increased evapotranspiration potential, which influences soil moisture, lake depth, vegetation, carbon emissions, and fire susceptibility. Understanding local and regional trends in temperature and precipitation can help explain observed phenological changes and other processes at population, community, and ecosystem levels. In addition, identification of locations most susceptible to future change will allow scientists to closely monitor their ecological dynamics, anticipate changes in coupled human-natural systems, and consider adaptation plans for the most rapidly changing systems.

  13. Quantifying the effect of trend, fluctuation, and extreme event of climate change on ecosystem productivity.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yupeng; Yu, Deyong; Su, Yun; Hao, Ruifang

    2014-12-01

    Climate change comprises three fractions of trend, fluctuation, and extreme event. Assessing the effect of climate change on terrestrial ecosystem requires an understanding of the action mechanism of these fractions, respectively. This study examined 11 years of remotely sensed-derived net primary productivity (NPP) to identify the impacts of the trend and fluctuation of climate change as well as extremely low temperatures caused by a freezing disaster on ecosystem productivity in Hunan province, China. The partial least squares regression model was used to evaluate the contributions of temperature, precipitation, and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) to NPP variation. A climatic signal decomposition and contribution assessment model was proposed to decompose climate factors into trend and fluctuation components. Then, we quantitatively evaluated the contributions of each component of climatic factors to NPP variation. The results indicated that the total contribution of the temperature, precipitation, and PAR to NPP variation from 2001 to 2011 in Hunan province is 85 %, and individual contributions of the temperature, precipitation, and PAR to NPP variation are 44 % (including 34 % trend contribution and 10 % fluctuation contribution), 5 % (including 4 % trend contribution and 1 % fluctuation contribution), and 36 % (including 30 % trend contribution and 6 % fluctuation contribution), respectively. The contributions of temperature fluctuation-driven NPP were higher in the north and lower in the south, and the contributions of precipitation trend-driven NPP and PAR fluctuation-driven NPP are higher in the west and lower in the east. As an instance of occasionally triggered disturbance in 2008, extremely low temperatures and a freezing disaster produced an abrupt decrease of NPP in forest and grass ecosystems. These results prove that the climatic trend change brought about great impacts on ecosystem productivity and that climatic fluctuations and

  14. Salinization of Freshwater-Dependent Coastal Ecosystems: Understanding Landscapes in Transition Along the Leading Edge of Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emanuel, R. E.; Bernhardt, E. S.; Ardón, M.; Wright, J. P.; BenDor, T.; Bhattachan, A.

    2015-12-01

    Climate change is transforming the outer edge of the Southern US coastal plain. Lower-lying parts of this region, characterized by extensive freshwater-dependent ecosystems, will be largely inundated by gradual sea level rise by the end of this century. In the interim, however, ocean waters are already penetrating and influencing freshwater-dependent coastal landscapes due to a combination of human and natural factors. This landward movement of salinity from the coast onto the coastal plain or "saltwater intrusion" is a critical water resource issue representing the leading edge of climate change for many coastal areas. The salinization of surface waters and adjacent lands has implications for crop and timber yields in managed ecosystems, ecosystem carbon sequestration in unmanaged ecosystems, and degradation of coastal water quality due to extraction of soil nutrients by seasalts. With this in mind, we seek to understand more broadly how vulnerability of coastal landscapes to saltwater intrusion shapes and is shaped by both natural and anthropogenic processes. We present a novel framework that couples intensive, in situ monitoring of hydrological and ecological conditions with a geospatial saltwater intrusion vulnerability index (SIVI). We discuss application of this framework to the Albemarle-Pamlico region of coastal North Carolina, where we are learning how climate, natural landscape structure, and human activities interact to mediate or exacerbate the vulnerability of freshwater-dependent lands to saltwater intrusion. We discuss the involvement of stakeholders and local knowledge in the research process as well. This work advances understanding of vulnerability to climate change in coastal regions by moving beyond simple inundation models to gain a more sophisticated understanding of the human and natural processes influencing salinization of surface waters and adjacent lands. As the Albemarle-Pamlico and similar regions worldwide transform in response to and

  15. Estimating nocturnal ecosystem respiration from the vertical turbulent flux and change in storage of CO2

    SciTech Connect

    Gu, Lianhong; Van Gorsel, Eva; Leuning, Ray; Delpierre, Nicolas; Black, Andy; Chen, Baozhang; Munger, J. William; Wofsy, Steve; Aubinet, M.

    2009-11-01

    Micrometeorological measurements of nighttime ecosystem respiration can be systematically biased when stable atmospheric conditions lead to drainage flows associated with decoupling of air flow above and within plant canopies. The associated horizontal and vertical advective fluxes cannot be measured using instrumentation on the single towers typically used at micrometeorological sites. A common approach to minimize bias is to use a threshold in friction velocity, u*, to exclude periods when advection is assumed to be important, but this is problematic in situations when in-canopy flows are decoupled from the flow above. Using data from 25 flux stations in a wide variety of forest ecosystems globally, we examine the generality of a novel approach to estimating nocturnal respiration developed by van Gorsel et al. (van Gorsel, E., Leuning, R., Cleugh, H.A., Keith, H., Suni, T., 2007. Nocturnal carbon efflux: reconciliation of eddy covariance and chamber measurements using an alternative to the u*-threshold filtering technique. Tellus 59B, 397 403, Tellus, 59B, 307-403). The approach is based on the assumption that advection is small relative to the vertical turbulent flux (FC) and change in storage (FS) of CO2 in the few hours after sundown. The sum of FC and FS reach a maximum during this period which is used to derive a temperature response function for ecosystem respiration. Measured hourly soil temperatures are then used with this function to estimate respiration RRmax. The new approach yielded excellent agreement with (1) independent measurements using respiration chambers, (2) with estimates using ecosystem light-response curves of Fc + Fs extrapolated to zero light, RLRC, and (3) with a detailed process-based forest ecosystem model, Rcast. At most sites respiration rates estimated using the u*-filter, Rust, were smaller than RRmax and RLRC. Agreement of our approach with independent measurements indicates that RRmax provides an excellent estimate of nighttime

  16. Seismic paleoceanography and the stratigraphic signature of rapid climate changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berne, Serge; Sierro, Francisco Javier

    2015-04-01

    The term "seismic paleoceanography" was introduced in 2004 by R. Schneider, a former Chair of Images, during the EC-funded « Promess » project, for highlighting the importance of seismic data in paleoceanographic reconstructions during this particular project. The interest of seismic stratigraphy prior to drilling operations, such as those of the IODP, has long been recognized, and became a pre-requisite for the submission of scientific proposals. However, this kind of expedition generally relies on relatively low resolution, multi-channel seismic data where only the impact of major climate changes can be visualized. In contrast, a large proportion of the Images community, more familiar with the Marion Dufresne, mainly considers seismic data as a support for selecting the best coring sites. The large amount of shallow cores, borehole and seismic (at various frequencies) data available in the Gulf of Lions allows us to illustrate the importance of very high- and ultra high- resolution seismic data for tracking the signature of rapid climate changes. The flooding events associated to "Bond Cycles" (bundles of several Dansgaard-Oeschger cycles) during MIS 3- MIS 2, are an example of the interesting feedbacks between seismic interpretation and high-resolution paleoceanography. These events where first identified in the Gulf of Lions through the multi-proxy analysis of cores retrieved at site PRGL1-4 (Sierro et al., 2009). In return, the re-examination of seismic data allows us to identify a series of corresponding seismic bounding surfaces (characterized by toplap and onlap terminations) along the continental slope. In terms of seismic amplitudes, the seismic surface associated to the transition between Heinrich Stadial 4 and Interstadial 8 appears as the most pronounced event during the entire MIS3-MIS2, suggesting that the magnitude of the associated sea-level change was the most important of this interval. Even more subtle events, such as the Melt Water Pulse 19

  17. Planetary Habitability and Rapid Environmental Change: The Biological Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schulze-Makuch, D.; Fairen, A.; Irwin, L.

    2012-12-01

    Environmental conditions can change drastically and rapidly during the natural history of a planetary body. We have detailed evidence of these dramatic events from Venus, Earth, Mars, and Titan. Most of these occurrences seem to be triggered by astronomical events such as asteroid impacts or supernova explosions; others are triggered by the planet or moon itself (e.g., supervolcano eruptions). The associated question is always how these events affect the habitability of a planet, particularly the origin and presence of life. Under what conditions would such a drastic event be so catastrophic that it would prohibit the origin of life or be so devastating to existing organisms, that life would not be able to recover and be all but extinguished from a planet? Under what conditions would such an event be positive for the evolution of life, for example spurring life via mass extinctions and associated vacant habitats to the invention of new body plans and higher complexity? Here, we provide insights of what we can learn from the natural history of our own planet, which experienced many environmental disasters and abrupt climate changes, from the impact event that created the Moon to the extinction of the dinosaurs. We apply these insights to other planetary bodies and the question about the presence of life. One example is Mars, which underwent drastic environmental changes at the end of the Noachian period. Assuming that microbial life became established on Mars, could it have survived, perhaps by retreating to environmental niches? Life just starting out would have certainly been more vulnerable to extinction. But how far would it have to have evolved to be more resistant to potential extinction events? Would it have to be global in distribution to survive? Another example is Venus. Should Venus be seen as an example where life, which possibly arose in the first few hundred million years when the planet was still in the habitable zone, would have had no chance to

  18. Aquatic Ecosystems, Water Quality, and Global Change: Challenges of Conducting Multi-Stressor Vulnerability Assessments (Final Report)

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA announced the availability of the final report, Aquatic Ecosystems and Global Change: The Challenges of conducting Multi-Stressor Global Change Vulnerability Assessments. This report investigates the issues and challenges associated with identifying, calculating, and ...

  19. Ecological ethics in captivity: balancing values and responsibilities in zoo and aquarium research under rapid global change.

    PubMed

    Minteer, Ben A; Collins, James P

    2013-01-01

    Ethical obligations to animals in conservation research and management are manifold and often conflicting. Animal welfare concerns often clash with the ethical imperative to understand and conserve a population or ecosystem through research and management intervention. The accelerating pace and impact of global environmental change, especially climate change, complicates our understanding of these obligations. One example is the blurring of the distinction between ex situ (zoo- and aquarium-based) conservation and in situ (field-based) approaches as zoos and aquariums become more active in field conservation work and as researchers and managers consider more intensive interventions in wild populations and ecosystems to meet key conservation goals. These shifts, in turn, have consequences for our traditional understanding of the ethics of wildlife research and management, including our relative weighting of animal welfare and conservation commitments across rapidly evolving ex situ and in situ contexts. Although this changing landscape in many ways supports the increased use of captive wildlife in conservation-relevant research, it raises significant ethical concerns about human intervention in populations and ecosystems, including the proper role of zoos and aquariums as centers for animal research and conservation in the coming decades. Working through these concerns requires a pragmatic approach to ethical analysis, one that is able to make trade-offs among the many goods at stake (e.g., animal welfare, species viability, and ecological integrity) as we strive to protect species from further decline and extinction in this century.

  20. Multiple stressors, nonlinear effects and the implications of climate change impacts on marine coastal ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Hewitt, Judi E; Ellis, Joanne I; Thrush, Simon F

    2016-08-01

    Global climate change will undoubtedly be a pressure on coastal marine ecosystems, affecting not only species distributions and physiology but also ecosystem functioning. In the coastal zone, the environmental variables that may drive ecological responses to climate change include temperature, wave energy, upwelling events and freshwater inputs, and all act and interact at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. To date, we have a poor understanding of how climate-related environmental changes may affect coastal marine ecosystems or which environmental variables are likely to produce priority effects. Here we use time series data (17 years) of coastal benthic macrofauna to investigate responses to a range of climate-influenced variables including sea-surface temperature, southern oscillation indices (SOI, Z4), wind-wave exposure, freshwater inputs and rainfall. We investigate responses from the abundances of individual species to abundances of functional traits and test whether species that are near the edge of their tolerance to another stressor (in this case sedimentation) may exhibit stronger responses. The responses we observed were all nonlinear and some exhibited thresholds. While temperature was most frequently an important predictor, wave exposure and ENSO-related variables were also frequently important and most ecological variables responded to interactions between environmental variables. There were also indications that species sensitive to another stressor responded more strongly to weaker climate-related environmental change at the stressed site than the unstressed site. The observed interactions between climate variables, effects on key species or functional traits, and synergistic effects of additional anthropogenic stressors have important implications for understanding and predicting the ecological consequences of climate change to coastal ecosystems.

  1. A century of climate and ecosystem change in Western Montana: What do temperature trends portend?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pederson, G.T.; Graumlich, L.J.; Fagre, D.B.; Kipfer, T.; Muhlfeld, C.C.

    2010-01-01

    The physical science linking human-induced increases in greenhouse gasses to the warming of the global climate system is well established, but the implications of this warming for ecosystem processes and services at regional scales is still poorly understood. Thus, the objectives of this work were to: (1) describe rates of change in temperature averages and extremes for western Montana, a region containing sensitive resources and ecosystems, (2) investigate associations between Montana temperature change to hemispheric and global temperature change, (3) provide climate analysis tools for land and resource managers responsible for researching and maintaining renewable resources, habitat, and threatened/endangered species and (4) integrate our findings into a more general assessment of climate impacts on ecosystem processes and services over the past century. Over 100 years of daily and monthly temperature data collected in western Montana, USA are analyzed for long-term changes in seasonal averages and daily extremes. In particular, variability and trends in temperature above or below ecologically and socially meaningful thresholds within this region (e.g., -17.8??C (0??F), 0??C (32??F), and 32.2??C (90??F)) are assessed. The daily temperature time series reveal extremely cold days (??? -17.8??C) terminate on average 20 days earlier and decline in number, whereas extremely hot days (???32??C) show a three-fold increase in number and a 24-day increase in seasonal window during which they occur. Results show that regionally important thresholds have been exceeded, the most recent of which include the timing and number of the 0??C freeze/thaw temperatures during spring and fall. Finally, we close with a discussion on the implications for Montana's ecosystems. Special attention is given to critical processes that respond non-linearly as temperatures exceed critical thresholds, and have positive feedbacks that amplify the changes. ?? Springer Science + Business Media B

  2. Using Rapid-Response Scenario-Building Methodology for Climate Change Adaptation Planning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ludwig, K. A.; Stoepler, T. M.; Schuster, R.

    2015-12-01

    Rapid-response scenario-building methodology can be modified to develop scenarios for slow-onset disasters associated with climate change such as drought. Results of a collaboration between the Department of the Interior (DOI) Strategic Sciences Group (SSG) and the Southwest Colorado Social-Ecological Climate Resilience Project are presented in which SSG scenario-building methods were revised and applied to climate change adaptation planning in Colorado's Gunnison Basin, United States. The SSG provides the DOI with the capacity to rapidly assemble multidisciplinary teams of experts to develop scenarios of the potential environmental, social, and economic cascading consequences of environmental crises, and to analyze these chains to determine actionable intervention points. By design, the SSG responds to acute events of a relatively defined duration. As a capacity-building exercise, the SSG explored how its scenario-building methodology could be applied to outlining the cascading consequences of slow-onset events related to climate change. SSG staff facilitated two workshops to analyze the impacts of drought, wildfire, and insect outbreak in the sagebrush and spruce-fir ecosystems. Participants included local land managers, natural and social scientists, ranchers, and other stakeholders. Key findings were: 1) scenario framing must be adjusted to accommodate the multiple, synergistic components and longer time frames of slow-onset events; 2) the development of slow-onset event scenarios is likely influenced by participants having had more time to consider potential consequences, relative to acute events; 3) participants who are from the affected area may have a more vested interest in the outcome and/or may be able to directly implement interventions.

  3. Woody-plant ecosystems under climate change and air pollution-response consistencies across zonobiomes?

    PubMed

    Matyssek, R; Kozovits, A R; Wieser, G; King, J; Rennenberg, H

    2017-03-14

    Forests store the largest terrestrial pools of carbon (C), helping to stabilize the global climate system, yet are threatened by climate change (CC) and associated air pollution (AP, highlighting ozone (O3) and nitrogen oxides (NOx)). We adopt the perspective that CC-AP drivers and physiological impacts are universal, resulting in consistent stress responses of forest ecosystems across zonobiomes. Evidence supporting this viewpoint is presented from the literature on ecosystem gross/net primary productivity and water cycling. Responses to CC-AP are compared across evergreen/deciduous foliage types, discussing implications of nutrition and resource turnover at tree and ecosystem scales. The availability of data is extremely uneven across zonobiomes, yet unifying patterns of ecosystem response are discernable. Ecosystem warming results in trade-offs between respiration and biomass production, affecting high elevation forests more than in the lowland tropics and low-elevation temperate zone. Resilience to drought is modulated by tree size and species richness. Elevated O3 tends to counteract stimulation by elevated carbon dioxide (CO2). Biotic stress and genomic structure ultimately determine ecosystem responsiveness. Aggrading early- rather than mature late-successional communities respond to CO2 enhancement, whereas O3 affects North American and Eurasian tree species consistently under free-air fumigation. Insect herbivory is exacerbated by CC-AP in biome-specific ways. Rhizosphere responses reflect similar stand-level nutritional dynamics across zonobiomes, but are modulated by differences in tree-soil nutrient cycling between deciduous and evergreen systems, and natural versus anthropogenic nitrogen (N) oversupply. The hypothesis of consistency of forest responses to interacting CC-AP is supported by currently available data, establishing the precedent for a global network of long-term coordinated research sites across zonobiomes to simultaneously advance both

  4. Global methane and nitrous oxide emissions from terrestrial ecosystems due to multiple environmental changes

    DOE PAGES

    Tian, Hanqin; Chen, Guangsheng; Lu, Chaoqun; ...

    2015-03-16

    Greenhouse gas (GHG)-induced climate change is among the most pressing sustainability challenges facing humanity today, posing serious risks for ecosystem health. Methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) are the two most important GHGs after carbon dioxide (CO2), but their regional and global budgets are not well known. In this paper, we applied a process-based coupled biogeochemical model to concurrently estimate the magnitude and spatial and temporal patterns of CH4 and N2O fluxes as driven by multiple environmental changes, including climate variability, rising atmospheric CO2, increasing nitrogen deposition, tropospheric ozone pollution, land use change, and nitrogen fertilizer use.

  5. Climate Change, Coral Reef Ecosystems, and Management Options for Marine Protected Areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keller, Brian D.; Gleason, Daniel F.; McLeod, Elizabeth; Woodley, Christa M.; Airamé, Satie; Causey, Billy D.; Friedlander, Alan M.; Grober-Dunsmore, Rikki; Johnson, Johanna E.; Miller, Steven L.; Steneck, Robert S.

    2009-12-01

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) provide place-based management of marine ecosystems through various degrees and types of protective actions. Habitats such as coral reefs are especially susceptible to degradation resulting from climate change, as evidenced by mass bleaching events over the past two decades. Marine ecosystems are being altered by direct effects of climate change including ocean warming, ocean acidification, rising sea level, changing circulation patterns, increasing severity of storms, and changing freshwater influxes. As impacts of climate change strengthen they may exacerbate effects of existing stressors and require new or modified management approaches; MPA networks are generally accepted as an improvement over individual MPAs to address multiple threats to the marine environment. While MPA networks are considered a potentially effective management approach for conserving marine biodiversity, they should be established in conjunction with other management strategies, such as fisheries regulations and reductions of nutrients and other forms of land-based pollution. Information about interactions between climate change and more “traditional” stressors is limited. MPA managers are faced with high levels of uncertainty about likely outcomes of management actions because climate change impacts have strong interactions with existing stressors, such as land-based sources of pollution, overfishing and destructive fishing practices, invasive species, and diseases. Management options include ameliorating existing stressors, protecting potentially resilient areas, developing networks of MPAs, and integrating climate change into MPA planning, management, and evaluation.

  6. Climate change, coral reef ecosystems, and management options for marine protected areas.

    PubMed

    Keller, Brian D; Gleason, Daniel F; McLeod, Elizabeth; Woodley, Christa M; Airamé, Satie; Causey, Billy D; Friedlander, Alan M; Grober-Dunsmore, Rikki; Johnson, Johanna E; Miller, Steven L; Steneck, Robert S

    2009-12-01

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) provide place-based management of marine ecosystems through various degrees and types of protective actions. Habitats such as coral reefs are especially susceptible to degradation resulting from climate change, as evidenced by mass bleaching events over the past two decades. Marine ecosystems are being altered by direct effects of climate change including ocean warming, ocean acidification, rising sea level, changing circulation patterns, increasing severity of storms, and changing freshwater influxes. As impacts of climate change strengthen they may exacerbate effects of existing stressors and require new or modified management approaches; MPA networks are generally accepted as an improvement over individual MPAs to address multiple threats to the marine environment. While MPA networks are considered a potentially effective management approach for conserving marine biodiversity, they should be established in conjunction with other management strategies, such as fisheries regulations and reductions of nutrients and other forms of land-based pollution. Information about interactions between climate change and more "traditional" stressors is limited. MPA managers are faced with high levels of uncertainty about likely outcomes of management actions because climate change impacts have strong interactions with existing stressors, such as land-based sources of pollution, overfishing and destructive fishing practices, invasive species, and diseases. Management options include ameliorating existing stressors, protecting potentially resilient areas, developing networks of MPAs, and integrating climate change into MPA planning, management, and evaluation.

  7. A Coupled SD and CLUE-S Model for Exploring the Impact of Land Use Change on Ecosystem Service Value: A Case Study in Baoshan District, Shanghai, China.

    PubMed

    Wu, Meng; Ren, Xiangyu; Che, Yue; Yang, Kai

    2015-08-01

    Most of the cities in developing countries are experiencing rapid urbanization. Land use change driven by urban sprawl, population growth, and intensified socio-economic activities have led to a steep decline of ecosystem service value (ESV) in rapid urbanization areas, and decision-makers often ignore some valuable ecosystem service functions and values in land use planning. In this paper, we attempt to build a modeling framework which integrated System Dynamics model with Conversion of Land Use and its Effects at Small Extent model to simulate the dynamics of ESV of landscape and explore the potential impacts of land use change on ESV. We take Baoshan district of Shanghai as an example which is a fast urbanization area of metropolitan in China. The results of the study indicate that: (1) The integrated methodology can improve the characterization and presentation of the dynamics of ESV, which may give insight into understanding the possible impacts of land use change on ESV and provide information for land use planning. (2) Land use polices can affect the magnitude and location of ESV both directly and indirectly. Land use changes tend to weaken and simplify ecosystem service functions and values of landscape at urban rural fringe where land use change is more intensive. (3) The application of the methodology has proved that the integration of currently existing models within a single modeling framework could be a beneficial exploration, and should be encouraged and enhanced in the future research on the changing dynamics of ESV due to the complexity of ecosystem services and land use system.

  8. A Coupled SD and CLUE-S Model for Exploring the Impact of Land Use Change on Ecosystem Service Value: A Case Study in Baoshan District, Shanghai, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Meng; Ren, Xiangyu; Che, Yue; Yang, Kai

    2015-08-01

    Most of the cities in developing countries are experiencing rapid urbanization. Land use change driven by urban sprawl, population growth, and intensified socio-economic activities have led to a steep decline of ecosystem service value (ESV) in rapid urbanization areas, and decision-makers often ignore some valuable ecosystem service functions and values in land use planning. In this paper, we attempt to build a modeling framework which integrated System Dynamics model with Conversion of Land Use and its Effects at Small Extent model to simulate the dynamics of ESV of landscape and explore the potential impacts of land use change on ESV. We take Baoshan district of Shanghai as an example which is a fast urbanization area of metropolitan in China. The results of the study indicate that: (1) The integrated methodology can improve the characterization and presentation of the dynamics of ESV, which may give insight into understanding the possible impacts of land use change on ESV and provide information for land use planning. (2) Land use polices can affect the magnitude and location of ESV both directly and indirectly. Land use changes tend to weaken and simplify ecosystem service functions and values of landscape at urban rural fringe where land use change is more intensive. (3) The application of the methodology has proved that the integration of currently existing models within a single modeling framework could be a beneficial exploration, and should be encouraged and enhanced in the future research on the changing dynamics of ESV due to the complexity of ecosystem services and land use system.

  9. Implications of agricultural land use change to ecosystem services in the Ganges delta.

    PubMed

    Islam, G M Tarekul; Islam, A K M Saiful; Shopan, Ahsan Azhar; Rahman, Md Munsur; Lázár, Attila N; Mukhopadhyay, Anirban

    2015-09-15

    Ecosystems provide the basis for human civilization and natural capital for green economy and sustainable development. Ecosystem services may range from crops, fish, freshwater to those that are harder to see such as erosion regulation, carbon sequestration, and pest control. Land use changes have been identified as the main sources of coastal and marine pollution in Bangladesh. This paper explores the temporal variation of agricultural land use change and its implications with ecosystem s