WorldWideScience

Sample records for understanding ecosystem responses

  1. Harnessing long-term flux records to better understand ecosystem response to drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novick, K. A.; Ficklin, D. L.; Stoy, P. C.; Williams, C. A.; Bohrer, G.; Oishi, A. C.; Papuga, S. A.; Blanken, P.; Noormets, A.; Scott, R. L.; Wang, L.; Roman, D. T.; Yi, K.; Sulman, B. N.; Phillips, R.

    2016-12-01

    While ongoing climate change affects a number of meteorological drivers relevant to plant functioning, the predicted increase in the frequency and severity of droughts may ultimately have the biggest impact on ecosystem carbon cycling. Because it is difficult to experimentally manipulate all of the meteorological drivers that change during drought (including precipitation, light, temperature, and humidity), our understanding of the mechanisms by which plants respond to drought is generally limited to an understanding of how plants respond to variable soil moisture. As flux tower records grow in length and number, they permit us to harness natural spatial and temporal variability in hydrologic condition to better understand how ecosystems respond to the full suite of meteorological drivers that change during drought stress. Here, a series of case studies are presented that illustrate how long term flux data can be used to disentangle limitations to ecosystem functioning imposed by declining soil moisture as compared to rising atmospheric demand for water during drought. At the site-level, we pair observations from the Morgan-Monroe State Forest Ameriflux tower (active since 1999) with eco-physiological datasets collected during the severe 2012 Midwestern drought. We show that vapor pressure deficit (VPD) limits ecosystem carbon uptake and transpiration as much as soil moisture, but that individual species vary in their sensitivity to these drivers. We then present results from two cross-site Ameriflux syntheses that quantify how VPD as compared to soil moisture limitations to carbon and water cycling vary across broad climate gradients spanning semi-arid to mesic biomes. Informed by these results, we end by highlighting ways that flux network data may be leveraged together with other eco-physiological networks and databases to further expand our understanding of the mechanisms determining ecosystem response to drought.

  2. Shifts in ecosystem services in deprived urban areas: understanding people's responses and consequences for well-being

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marthe L. Derkzen

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Urban commons are under pressure. City development has led to the encroachment and ecological degradation of urban open space. Although there is growing insight that urban ecosystems need to be protected, there is hardly any attention for the consequences (of both pressures and protection efforts for vulnerable human population groups. We aim to understand how urban development affects the well-being of the urban poor, through shifts in ecosystem services (ES and people's responses to these shifts. We performed household interviews and group mapping sessions in seven urban lake communities in Bangalore, India. Changes at Bangalore's lakes can be summarized by three trends: privatization followed by conversion, pollution followed by degradation, and restoration followed by gentrification. Over time, this resulted in a shift in the types of ES supplied and demanded, the nature of use, and de facto governance: from provisioning, communal and public; to cultural, individual, and private. Lake dwellers responded by finding (other sources of income, accepting lower quality or less accessible ES, and/or completely stopping the use of certain ES. The consequences of ecosystem change for people's well-being differ depending on a household's ability to adapt and on individual circumstances, land tenure and financial capital in particular. To guarantee a future for Bangalore's lakes, restoration seems the only viable option. Although beautiful lake parks may be a solution for the well-off and not-too-poor, leaving the very poor without options to adapt to the new circumstances puts them at risk of becoming even more marginalized. We show that ecosystem degradation and restoration alike can impact the well-being of the urban poor. People's experiences allowed us to couple ecosystem change to well-being through ES and adaptation strategies. Hence, we revealed multiple cause-effect relations. Understanding these relations contributes to sustainable urban

  3. Does an understanding of ecosystems responses to rainfall pulses improve predictions of responses of drylands to climate change?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drylands will experience more intense and frequent droughts and floods. Ten-year field experiments manipulating the amount and variability of precipitation suggest that we cannot predict responses of drylands to climate change based on pulse experimentation. Long-term drought experiments showed no e...

  4. Understanding the mobile money ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tobbin, P.

    2011-01-01

    This paper discusses the structure of the new mobile money ecosystem and the roles of its key players. Mobile money is an evolving sector both in volume and in economic impact especially in the developing world. The paper is an exploratory study that investigates the structure of the ecosystem......, providing a foundation for future strategic analysis of the system. We adopt a theoretical insight from Moore's business ecosystem theory to explain the key roles of the actors in the mobile money ecosystem. And also draw extensively from the work of Iansiti and Levien to explain the best strategies...

  5. A dynamic ecosystem process model for understanding interactions between permafrost thawing and vegetation responses in the arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, C.; Travis, B. J.; Fisher, R. A.; Wilson, C. J.; McDowell, N.

    2010-12-01

    The arctic is expected to play an important role in the Earth’s future climate due to the large carbon stocks that are stored in permafrost and peatlands, a substantial proportion of which may be released to the atmosphere due to permafrost thawing. There may be positive feedbacks of permafrost thawing on plant growth by releasing stored nitrogen and increasing rooting depth; however, vegetation response to other changing variables such as CO2 and temperature can also modify soil hydrology and energy fluxes, leading to either positive or negative feedbacks on permafrost thawing. Disentangling the interactions between permafrost thawing and vegetation growth is critical for assessing the potential role of arctic regions on current and future global carbon cycling. We have developed a mechanistic, regional, and spatially explicit dynamic ecosystem process model through the integration of a 3-D soil hydrology and biogeochemistry model (Arctic Hydrology, ARCHY) and a dynamic vegetation model (Ecosystem Demography, ED), to quantify the importance of plant-permafrost interactions to soil and plant carbon storage. This model integrates important processes including photosynthesis, transpiration, respiration, 3-D competition for light, 3-D soil hydrology, energy fluxes (ice melting in the soil and solar radiation interception by canopy), nitrogen cycles (microbial decomposition, nitrogen transportation in soil, passive and active nitrogen uptake by plants), species migration, and drought-related mortality. A sensitivity analysis has been implemented to assess the importance of the hydrological cycle, the nitrogen cycle and energy fluxes in regulating the above and below-ground carbon cycles in arctic regions. Our model can fill an important gap between field and global land surface models for assessing plot and regional level hypotheses in the context of global climate.

  6. Community and ecosystem responses to elevational gradients

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sundqvist, Maja K.; Sanders, Nate; Wardle, David A.

    2013-01-01

    elevational gradients for understanding community and ecosystem responses to global climate change at much larger spatial and temporal scales than is possible through conventional ecological experiments. However, future studies that integrate elevational gradient approaches with experimental manipulations...... will provide powerful information that can improve predictions of climate change impacts within and across ecosystems.......Community structure and ecosystem processes often vary along elevational gradients. Their responses to elevation are commonly driven by changes in temperature, and many community- and ecosystem-level variables therefore frequently respond similarly to elevation across contrasting gradients...

  7. Shifts in ecosystem services in deprived urban areas : Understanding people’s responses and consequences for well-being

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Derkzen, Marthe L.; Nagendra, Harini; Van Teeffelen, Astrid J.A.; Purushotham, Anusha; Verburg, Peter H.

    2017-01-01

    Urban commons are under pressure. City development has led to the encroachment and ecological degradation of urban open space. Although there is growing insight that urban ecosystems need to be protected, there is hardly any attention for the consequences (of both pressures and protection efforts)

  8. Understanding the time-lag effect of terrestrial ecosystem response to drought: a regional case study of the 2000s Millennium Drought in Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, M.; A, G.; Velicogna, I.; Kimball, J. S.

    2016-12-01

    Drought is one of the major drivers of the reduction in terrestrial ecosystem productivity. Ecosystem productivity may not primarily be driven by present moisture conditions. Instead, earlier drought conditions may have the largest impact on vegetation growth. We investigate this time-lag effect in Australia by comparing MODIS NDVI data with multiple drought metrics that are sensitive to water deficits at different soil depths. These metrics include 1) soil moisture (SM) from microwave satellite-retrievals that is sensitive to top-centimeter SM variations; 2) the Palmer drought severity index (PDSI) which is sensitive to atmosphere moisture demand and shallow-depth ( 1 meter) SM changes; 3) the newly developed GRACE drought severity index (GRACE-DSI) that is sensitive to changes in overall terrestrial water storage component of the hydrologic cycle and complements satellite SM observations and the PDSI by providing information about deep groundwater storage changes. We quantify the temporal lags between NDVI and these drought metrics during 2002-2014. We find that the NDVI closely evolves with the GRACE-DSI but lags 1-3 months behind the PDSI and satellite-retrievals of SM in western Australia. This pattern however is reverse in eastern Australia. These contrasting NDVI response patterns indicate that vegetation in western Australia is more sensitive to water storage in relatively deeper soil depths than vegetation in the east. This suggests that, in western Australia, vegetation might experience a protracted recovery period after extreme drought since, usually, moisture recharge in deeper soil depths takes a relatively longer period. We conclude that the time-lag effect in Australia is associated with the relative depth of SM to which vegetation is most sensitive. We suggest that characterizing the relative vegetation moisture sensitive depth at the global scale is important for understanding the nature and pace of terrestrial ecosystem recovery from extreme

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  11. Toward Understanding, Managing, and Protecting Microbial Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodelier, Paul L. E.

    2011-01-01

    Microbial communities are at the very basis of life on earth, catalyzing biogeochemical reactions driving global nutrient cycles. However, unlike for plants and animals, microbial diversity is not on the biodiversity–conservation agenda. The latter, however, would imply that microbial diversity is not under any threat by anthropogenic disturbance or climate change. This maybe a misconception caused by the rudimentary knowledge we have concerning microbial diversity and its role in ecosystem functioning. This perspective paper identifies major areas with knowledge gaps within the field of environmental microbiology that preclude a comprehension of microbial ecosystems on the level we have for plants and animals. Opportunities and challenges are pointed out to open the microbial black box and to go from descriptive to predictive microbial ecology. PMID:21747797

  12. Towards understanding, managing and protecting microbial ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul eBodelier

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Microbial communities are at the very basis of life on earth, catalysing biogeochemical reactions driving global nutrient cycles. However, unlike for plants and animals, microbial diversity is not on the biodiversity conservation agenda. The latter, however, would imply that microbial diversity is not under any threat by anthropogenic disturbance or climate change. This maybe a misconception caused by the rudimentary knowledge we have concerning microbial diversity and its role in ecosystem functioning. This perspective paper indentifies major areas with knowledge gaps within the field of environmental microbiology that preclude a comprehension of microbial ecosystems on the level we have for plants and animals. Opportunities and challenges are pointed out to open the microbial black box and to go from descriptive to predictive microbial ecology.

  13. Toward understanding, managing, and protecting microbial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodelier, Paul L E

    2011-01-01

    Microbial communities are at the very basis of life on earth, catalyzing biogeochemical reactions driving global nutrient cycles. However, unlike for plants and animals, microbial diversity is not on the biodiversity-conservation agenda. The latter, however, would imply that microbial diversity is not under any threat by anthropogenic disturbance or climate change. This maybe a misconception caused by the rudimentary knowledge we have concerning microbial diversity and its role in ecosystem functioning. This perspective paper identifies major areas with knowledge gaps within the field of environmental microbiology that preclude a comprehension of microbial ecosystems on the level we have for plants and animals. Opportunities and challenges are pointed out to open the microbial black box and to go from descriptive to predictive microbial ecology.

  14. Ensemble ecosystem modeling for predicting ecosystem response to predator reintroduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Christopher M; Gordon, Ascelin; Bode, Michael

    2017-04-01

    Introducing a new or extirpated species to an ecosystem is risky, and managers need quantitative methods that can predict the consequences for the recipient ecosystem. Proponents of keystone predator reintroductions commonly argue that the presence of the predator will restore ecosystem function, but this has not always been the case, and mathematical modeling has an important role to play in predicting how reintroductions will likely play out. We devised an ensemble modeling method that integrates species interaction networks and dynamic community simulations and used it to describe the range of plausible consequences of 2 keystone-predator reintroductions: wolves (Canis lupus) to Yellowstone National Park and dingoes (Canis dingo) to a national park in Australia. Although previous methods for predicting ecosystem responses to such interventions focused on predicting changes around a given equilibrium, we used Lotka-Volterra equations to predict changing abundances through time. We applied our method to interaction networks for wolves in Yellowstone National Park and for dingoes in Australia. Our model replicated the observed dynamics in Yellowstone National Park and produced a larger range of potential outcomes for the dingo network. However, we also found that changes in small vertebrates or invertebrates gave a good indication about the potential future state of the system. Our method allowed us to predict when the systems were far from equilibrium. Our results showed that the method can also be used to predict which species may increase or decrease following a reintroduction and can identify species that are important to monitor (i.e., species whose changes in abundance give extra insight into broad changes in the system). Ensemble ecosystem modeling can also be applied to assess the ecosystem-wide implications of other types of interventions including assisted migration, biocontrol, and invasive species eradication. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  15. Towards a Stochastic Predictive Understanding of Ecosystem Functioning and Resilience to Environmental Changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pappas, C.

    2017-12-01

    Terrestrial ecosystem processes respond differently to hydrometeorological variability across timescales, and so does our scientific understanding of the underlying mechanisms. Process-based modeling of ecosystem functioning is therefore challenging, especially when long-term predictions are envisioned. Here we analyze the statistical properties of hydrometeorological and ecosystem variability, i.e., the variability of ecosystem process related to vegetation carbon dynamics, from hourly to decadal timescales. 23 extra-tropical forest sites, covering different climatic zones and vegetation characteristics, are examined. Micrometeorological and reanalysis data of precipitation, air temperature, shortwave radiation and vapor pressure deficit are used to describe hydrometeorological variability. Ecosystem variability is quantified using long-term eddy covariance flux data of hourly net ecosystem exchange of CO2 between land surface and atmosphere, monthly remote sensing vegetation indices, annual tree-ring widths and above-ground biomass increment estimates. We find that across sites and timescales ecosystem variability is confined within a hydrometeorological envelope that describes the range of variability of the available resources, i.e., water and energy. Furthermore, ecosystem variability demonstrates long-term persistence, highlighting ecological memory and slow ecosystem recovery rates after disturbances. We derive an analytical model, combining deterministic harmonics and stochastic processes, that represents major mechanisms and uncertainties and mimics the observed pattern of hydrometeorological and ecosystem variability. This stochastic framework offers a parsimonious and mathematically tractable approach for modelling ecosystem functioning and for understanding its response and resilience to environmental changes. Furthermore, this framework reflects well the observed ecological memory, an inherent property of ecosystem functioning that is currently not

  16. Arctic ecosystem responses to a warming climate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mortensen, Lars O.

    is frozen solid for the main part of the year. However, in recent decades, arctic temperatures have in-creased between two and three times that of the global averages, which have had a substantial impact on the physical environment of the arctic ecosystem, such as deglaciation of the Greenland inland ice......’ of ecosystem re-sponses to the future global climate change....

  17. Population-reaction model and microbial experimental ecosystems for understanding hierarchical dynamics of ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosoda, Kazufumi; Tsuda, Soichiro; Kadowaki, Kohmei; Nakamura, Yutaka; Nakano, Tadashi; Ishii, Kojiro

    2016-02-01

    Understanding ecosystem dynamics is crucial as contemporary human societies face ecosystem degradation. One of the challenges that needs to be recognized is the complex hierarchical dynamics. Conventional dynamic models in ecology often represent only the population level and have yet to include the dynamics of the sub-organism level, which makes an ecosystem a complex adaptive system that shows characteristic behaviors such as resilience and regime shifts. The neglect of the sub-organism level in the conventional dynamic models would be because integrating multiple hierarchical levels makes the models unnecessarily complex unless supporting experimental data are present. Now that large amounts of molecular and ecological data are increasingly accessible in microbial experimental ecosystems, it is worthwhile to tackle the questions of their complex hierarchical dynamics. Here, we propose an approach that combines microbial experimental ecosystems and a hierarchical dynamic model named population-reaction model. We present a simple microbial experimental ecosystem as an example and show how the system can be analyzed by a population-reaction model. We also show that population-reaction models can be applied to various ecological concepts, such as predator-prey interactions, climate change, evolution, and stability of diversity. Our approach will reveal a path to the general understanding of various ecosystems and organisms. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  18. A Responsive Cyber Risk Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-19

    Functional Mission Analysis (FMA) is a disciplined way to tease out these linkages and integrate that metadata into our reporting systems and...UNCLASSIFIED - Distribution A: Approved for public release; distribution unlimited AIR FORCE CYBERWORX REPORT 16-003: A RESPONSIVE CYBER RISK...facilitated design thinking sessions that bring stakeholders , industry and academic experts together to develop solutions to hard problems. These

  19. Ecosystemic Complexity Theory of Conflict: Understanding the Fog of Conflict

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brack, Greg; Lassiter, Pamela S.; Hill, Michele B.; Moore, Sarah A.

    2011-01-01

    Counselors often engage in conflict mediation in professional practice. A model for understanding the complex and subtle nature of conflict resolution is presented. The ecosystemic complexity theory of conflict is offered to assist practitioners in navigating the fog of conflict. Theoretical assumptions are discussed with implications for clinical…

  20. Trophodynamics as a Tool for Understanding Coral Reef Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stacy L. Bierwagen

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The increased frequency of publications concerning trophic ecology of coral reefs suggests a degree of interest in the role species and functional groups play in energy flow within these systems. Coral reef ecosystems are particularly complex, however, and assignment of trophic positions requires precise knowledge of mechanisms driving food webs and population dynamics. Competent analytical tools and empirical analysis are integral to defining ecosystem processes and avoiding misinterpretation of results. Here we examine the contribution of trophodynamics to informing ecological roles and understanding of coral reef ecology. Applied trophic studies of coral reefs were used to identify recent trends in methodology and analysis. Although research is increasing, clear definitions and scaling of studies is lacking. Trophodynamic studies will require more precise spatial and temporal data collection and analysis using multiple methods to fully explore the complex interactions within coral reef ecosystems.

  1. Global Analysis of Ecosystem Evapotranspiration Response to Precipitation Deficits

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Bin; Wang, Haiyan; Guo, Lanlan; Liu, Junjie

    2017-12-01

    Changes in ecosystem evapotranspiration (ET) due to precipitation deficits (PD) can relieve or aggravate soil moisture shortages, thus impacting drought severity. Previous findings have conflicted with regard to response of ET to PD. The present study relies on a global land ET synthesis data set (ETsyn) and observations from eddy-covariance towers (ETobs) to thoroughly examine the sensitivity of ET to PD, which is represented by the standardized precipitation index. There was a contrast in the response to PD between arid and humid ecosystems. ETsyn of arid ecosystems was typically reduced promptly in response to a reduction of precipitation, while ETsyn in humid ecosystems experienced a two-staged change: First, there was an enhancement, and then a reduction associated with persisting PD. Compared with ETsyn, ETobs suggests the occurrence of a more significant ET transition in response to PD. In arid ecosystems, ET typically negatively correlated with low PD, but this was limited by a large PD. Findings from this study are crucial for understanding the role of ET in drought evolution.

  2. Understanding interfirm relationships in business ecosystems with interactive visualization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basole, Rahul C; Clear, Trustin; Hu, Mengdie; Mehrotra, Harshit; Stasko, John

    2013-12-01

    Business ecosystems are characterized by large, complex, and global networks of firms, often from many different market segments, all collaborating, partnering, and competing to create and deliver new products and services. Given the rapidly increasing scale, complexity, and rate of change of business ecosystems, as well as economic and competitive pressures, analysts are faced with the formidable task of quickly understanding the fundamental characteristics of these interfirm networks. Existing tools, however, are predominantly query- or list-centric with limited interactive, exploratory capabilities. Guided by a field study of corporate analysts, we have designed and implemented dotlink360, an interactive visualization system that provides capabilities to gain systemic insight into the compositional, temporal, and connective characteristics of business ecosystems. dotlink360 consists of novel, multiple connected views enabling the analyst to explore, discover, and understand interfirm networks for a focal firm, specific market segments or countries, and the entire business ecosystem. System evaluation by a small group of prototypical users shows supporting evidence of the benefits of our approach. This design study contributes to the relatively unexplored, but promising area of exploratory information visualization in market research and business strategy.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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

  4. Global Ecosystem Response Types Derived from the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index and FPAR3g Series

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ivits, Eva; Horion, Stéphanie Marie Anne F; Fensholt, Rasmus

    2014-01-01

    Observing trends in global ecosystem dynamics is an important first step, but attributing these trends to climate variability represents a further step in understanding Earth system changes. In the present study, we classified global Ecosystem Response Types (ERTs) based on common spatio-temporal......Observing trends in global ecosystem dynamics is an important first step, but attributing these trends to climate variability represents a further step in understanding Earth system changes. In the present study, we classified global Ecosystem Response Types (ERTs) based on common spatio......-temporal patterns in time-series of Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) and FPAR3g anomalies (1982–2011) by using an extended Principal Component Analysis. The ERTs represent region specific spatio-temporal patterns of ecosystems responding to drought or ecosystems with decreasing severity...... produced here thus have potential in supporting global change studies by mapping reference conditions of long term ecosystem changes....

  5. Marine ecosystem responses to Cenozoic global change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  6. Integrating plant ecological responses to climate extremes from individual to ecosystem levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felton, Andrew J; Smith, Melinda D

    2017-06-19

    Climate extremes will elicit responses from the individual to the ecosystem level. However, only recently have ecologists begun to synthetically assess responses to climate extremes across multiple levels of ecological organization. We review the literature to examine how plant responses vary and interact across levels of organization, focusing on how individual, population and community responses may inform ecosystem-level responses in herbaceous and forest plant communities. We report a high degree of variability at the individual level, and a consequential inconsistency in the translation of individual or population responses to directional changes in community- or ecosystem-level processes. The scaling of individual or population responses to community or ecosystem responses is often predicated upon the functional identity of the species in the community, in particular, the dominant species. Furthermore, the reported stability in plant community composition and functioning with respect to extremes is often driven by processes that operate at the community level, such as species niche partitioning and compensatory responses during or after the event. Future research efforts would benefit from assessing ecological responses across multiple levels of organization, as this will provide both a holistic and mechanistic understanding of ecosystem responses to increasing climatic variability.This article is part of the themed issue 'Behavioural, ecological and evolutionary responses to extreme climatic events'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  7. Quantifying the functional responses of vegetation to drought and oxygen stress in temperate ecosystems.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Douma, J.C.; Bardin, V.; Bartholomeus, R.P.; van Bodegom, P.M.

    2012-01-01

    Our understanding of the generality of plant functional responses to water availability is limited; current field studies use either very rough approximations of water and oxygen availability or only focus on water-stressed ecosystems. Studies that relate species' responses to a surplus of water are

  8. Quantifying the functional responses of vegetation to drought and oxygen stress in temperate ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Douma, J.C.; Bardin, V.; Bartholomeus, R.P.; Bodegom, van P.M.

    2012-01-01

    1. Our understanding of the generality of plant functional responses to water availability is limited; current field studies use either very rough approximations of water and oxygen availability or only focus on water-stressed ecosystems. Studies that relate species' responses to a surplus of water

  9. Nonlinear ecosystem services response to groundwater availability under climate extremes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, J.; Zipper, S. C.; Motew, M.; Booth, E.; Kucharik, C. J.; Steven, L. I.

    2017-12-01

    Depletion of groundwater has been accelerating at regional to global scales. Besides serving domestic, industrial and agricultural needs, in situ groundwater is also a key control on biological, physical and chemical processes across the critical zone, all of which underpin supply of ecosystem services essential for humanity. While there is a rich history of research on groundwater effects on subsurface and surface processes, understanding interactions, nonlinearity and feedbacks between groundwater and ecosystem services remain limited, and almost absent in the ecosystem service literature. Moreover, how climate extremes may alter groundwater effects on services is underexplored. In this research, we used a process-based ecosystem model (Agro-IBIS) to quantify groundwater effects on eight ecosystem services related to food, water and biogeochemical processes in an urbanizing agricultural watershed in the Midwest, USA. We asked: (1) Which ecosystem services are more susceptible to shallow groundwater influences? (2) Do effects of groundwater on ecosystem services vary under contrasting climate conditions (i.e., dry, wet and average)? (3) Where on the landscape are groundwater effects on ecosystem services most pronounced? (4) How do groundwater effects depend on water table depth? Overall, groundwater significantly impacted all services studied, with the largest effects on food production, water quality and quantity, and flood regulation services. Climate also mediated groundwater effects with the strongest effects occurring under dry climatic conditions. There was substantial spatial heterogeneity in groundwater effects across the landscape that is driven in part by spatial variations in water table depth. Most ecosystem services responded nonlinearly to groundwater availability, with most apparent groundwater effects occurring when the water table is shallower than a critical depth of 2.5-m. Our findings provide compelling evidence that groundwater plays a vital

  10. Understanding Complex Human Ecosystems: The Case of Ecotourism on Bonaire

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Abel

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available It is suggested that ecotourism development on the island of Bonaire can be productively understood as a perturbation of a complex human ecosystem. Inputs associated with ecotourism have fueled transformations of the island ecology and sociocultural system. The results of this study indicate that Bonaire's social and economic hierarchy is approaching a new, stable systems state following a 50-yr transition begun by government and industry that stabilized with the appearance of ecotourism development and population growth. Ecotourism can be understood to have "filled in" the middle of the production hierarchy of Bonaire. Interpreted from this perspective, population growth has completed the transformation by expanding into production niches at smaller scales in the production hierarchy. Both a consequence and a cause, ecotourism has transformed the island's social structure and demography. The theory and methods applied in this case study of interdisciplinary research in the field of human ecosystems are also presented.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-12-19

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

  13. The evolving role of science in wilderness to our understanding of ecosystems and landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norman L. Christensen

    2000-01-01

    Research in wilderness areas (areas with minimal human activity and of large spatial extent) formed the foundation for ecological models and theories that continue to shape our understanding how ecosystems change through time, how ecological communities are structured and how ecosystems function. By the middle of this century, large expanses of wilderness had become...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    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. A global examination of the response of ecosystem water-use efficiency to drought based on MODIS data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Ling; He, Bin; Han, Le; Liu, Junjie; Wang, Haiyan; Chen, Ziyue

    2017-12-01

    Ecosystem water-use efficiency (WUE) plays an important role in carbon and water cycles. Currently, the response of WUE to drought disturbance remains controversial. Based on the global ecosystem gross primary productivity (GPP) product and the evapotranspiration product (ET), both of which were retrieved from the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS), as well as the drought index, this study comprehensively examined the relationship between ecosystem WUE (WUE=GPP/ET) and drought at the global scale. The response of WUE to drought showed large differences in various regions and biomes. WUE for arid ecosystems typically showed a negative response to drought, whereas WUE for humid ecosystems showed both positive and negative response to drought. Legacy effects of drought on ecosystem WUE were observed. Furthermore, ecosystems showed a sensitive response to abrupt changes in hydrological climatic conditions. The transition from wet to dry years should increase ecosystem WUE, and the opposite change in WUE should occur when an ecosystem experiences a transition from dry to wet years. This indicates the resilience of ecosystems to drought disturbance. Knowledge from this study should provide an in-depth understanding of ecosystem strategies for coping with drought. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Preface: long-term response of a forest watershed ecosystem, clearcutting in the Southern Appalachians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wayne Swank; Jackson Webster

    2014-01-01

    Our North American forests are no longer the wild areas of past centuries; they are an economic and ecological resource undergoing changes from both natural and management disturbances. A watershed-scale and long-term perspective of forest ecosystem responses is requisite to understanding and predicting cause and effect relationships. This book synthesizes...

  17. The riparian ecosystem management study: response of small mammals to streamside buffers in western Washington

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin G. Raphael; Randall J. Wilk

    2013-01-01

    One of the fundamental concepts behind the conservation strategy in the U.S. federal Northwest Forest Plan is the importance of habitat buff ers in providing functional stream and streamside ecosystems. To better understand the importance of riparian buff ers in providing habitat for associated organisms, we investigated responses of small mammals to various streamside...

  18. Ecosystem function in complex mountain terrain: Combining models and long-term observations to advance process-based understanding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wieder, William R.; Knowles, John F.; Blanken, Peter D.; Swenson, Sean C.; Suding, Katharine N.

    2017-04-01

    Abiotic factors structure plant community composition and ecosystem function across many different spatial scales. Often, such variation is considered at regional or global scales, but here we ask whether ecosystem-scale simulations can be used to better understand landscape-level variation that might be particularly important in complex terrain, such as high-elevation mountains. We performed ecosystem-scale simulations by using the Community Land Model (CLM) version 4.5 to better understand how the increased length of growing seasons may impact carbon, water, and energy fluxes in an alpine tundra landscape. The model was forced with meteorological data and validated with observations from the Niwot Ridge Long Term Ecological Research Program site. Our results demonstrate that CLM is capable of reproducing the observed carbon, water, and energy fluxes for discrete vegetation patches across this heterogeneous ecosystem. We subsequently accelerated snowmelt and increased spring and summer air temperatures in order to simulate potential effects of climate change in this region. We found that vegetation communities that were characterized by different snow accumulation dynamics showed divergent biogeochemical responses to a longer growing season. Contrary to expectations, wet meadow ecosystems showed the strongest decreases in plant productivity under extended summer scenarios because of disruptions in hydrologic connectivity. These findings illustrate how Earth system models such as CLM can be used to generate testable hypotheses about the shifting nature of energy, water, and nutrient limitations across space and through time in heterogeneous landscapes; these hypotheses may ultimately guide further experimental work and model development.

  19. Bridgework ahead! Innovation ecosystems vis-à-vis responsible innovation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Foley, Rider, E-mail: rwf6v@virginia.edu [University of Virginia, Engineering and Society, School of Engineering and Applied Science (United States); Wiek, Arnim [Arizona State University, Center for Nanotechnology in Society, Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes (United States)

    2017-02-15

    Public funding agencies largely support academic research as an effort to stimulate future product commercialization and foster broader societal benefits. Yet, translating research nurtured in academic settings into such outcomes is complex and demands functional interactions between government, academic, and industry, i.e., “triple helix,” organizations within an innovation ecosystem. This article argues that in the spirit of responsible innovation, research funding should build bridges that extend beyond the triple helix stakeholders to connect to peripheral organizations. To support that argument, evidence from agent network analysis gathered from two case studies reveals strong and weak connections, as well as gaps within innovation ecosystems in Switzerland and metropolitan Phoenix, USA. This article offers insights on how innovation ecosystems are aligned or misaligned with responsible innovation.

  20. Bridgework ahead! Innovation ecosystems vis-à-vis responsible innovation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Foley, Rider; Wiek, Arnim

    2017-01-01

    Public funding agencies largely support academic research as an effort to stimulate future product commercialization and foster broader societal benefits. Yet, translating research nurtured in academic settings into such outcomes is complex and demands functional interactions between government, academic, and industry, i.e., “triple helix,” organizations within an innovation ecosystem. This article argues that in the spirit of responsible innovation, research funding should build bridges that extend beyond the triple helix stakeholders to connect to peripheral organizations. To support that argument, evidence from agent network analysis gathered from two case studies reveals strong and weak connections, as well as gaps within innovation ecosystems in Switzerland and metropolitan Phoenix, USA. This article offers insights on how innovation ecosystems are aligned or misaligned with responsible innovation.

  1. Response of ocean ecosystems to climate warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarmiento, J. L.; Slater, R.; Barber, R.; Bopp, L.; Doney, S. C.; Hirst, A. C.; Kleypas, J.; Matear, R.; Mikolajewicz, U.; Monfray, P.; Soldatov, V.; Spall, S. A.; Stouffer, R.

    2004-09-01

    We examine six different coupled climate model simulations to determine the ocean biological response to climate warming between the beginning of the industrial revolution and 2050. We use vertical velocity, maximum winter mixed layer depth, and sea ice cover to define six biomes. Climate warming leads to a contraction of the highly productive marginal sea ice biome by 42% in the Northern Hemisphere and 17% in the Southern Hemisphere, and leads to an expansion of the low productivity permanently stratified subtropical gyre biome by 4.0% in the Northern Hemisphere and 9.4% in the Southern Hemisphere. In between these, the subpolar gyre biome expands by 16% in the Northern Hemisphere and 7% in the Southern Hemisphere, and the seasonally stratified subtropical gyre contracts by 11% in both hemispheres. The low-latitude (mostly coastal) upwelling biome area changes only modestly. Vertical stratification increases, which would be expected to decrease nutrient supply everywhere, but increase the growing season length in high latitudes. We use satellite ocean color and climatological observations to develop an empirical model for predicting chlorophyll from the physical properties of the global warming simulations. Four features stand out in the response to global warming: (1) a drop in chlorophyll in the North Pacific due primarily to retreat of the marginal sea ice biome, (2) a tendency toward an increase in chlorophyll in the North Atlantic due to a complex combination of factors, (3) an increase in chlorophyll in the Southern Ocean due primarily to the retreat of and changes at the northern boundary of the marginal sea ice zone, and (4) a tendency toward a decrease in chlorophyll adjacent to the Antarctic continent due primarily to freshening within the marginal sea ice zone. We use three different primary production algorithms to estimate the response of primary production to climate warming based on our estimated chlorophyll concentrations. The three algorithms give

  2. Biochar and Ecosystem Restoration: Plant Ecophysiological Responses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gale, N.; Halim, M. A.; Thomas, S. C.

    2017-12-01

    Charcoal is thought to facilitate rapid plant regeneration following fires by increasing the retention and availability of nutrients and water, increasing soil pH, and by sorbing toxic and inhibitory soil compounds - responses that have recently encouraged research on "biochar," or charcoal used as a soil amendment. Interest in biochar for use in the restoration of disturbed systems is growing; however, investigations of the effects of biochar on wild plants and trees are lacking. We present results from two experiments testing the influence of biochar on the growth and physiology of pioneers. In the first study, in a glasshouse, we examined the effects of maple biochar (10 and 20 t/ha) applied to a temperate managed forest soil on the ecophysiology of 13 herbaceous old-field species. In the second study, in field trials in Bangladesh (15 x 15 m plots), we examined the effects of acacia biochar (7.5 t/ha) on the growth of regenerating dipterocarp secondary forests. In both experiments, we measured changes in nutrient availability to help explain ecophysiological responses. Biochars enhanced the performance of early successional old-field pioneers: increasing aboveground biomass (37%), photosynthesis (17%), reproductive biomass (100%), and water use efficiency (44%), but with high species-specific variation that included negative responses. In tropical forests, biochars marginally improved the growth and recruitment of canopy dipterocarps and increased the photosynthetic performance and abundance of some, but not all, of the dominant understory species. In both experiments, growth enhancement was due to pulses of PO4-and K+ supplied by biochar in the short term; while null and negative responses were the result of nitrogen immobilization for species with high photosynthetic capacities. These results suggest that by providing a pulse of P and base cations, biochar can improve the restoration of disturbed landscapes by enhancing the physiological performance of

  3. Ecosystem functional response across precipitation extremes in a sagebrush steppe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew T. Tredennick

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Background Precipitation is predicted to become more variable in the western United States, meaning years of above and below average precipitation will become more common. Periods of extreme precipitation are major drivers of interannual variability in ecosystem functioning in water limited communities, but how ecosystems respond to these extremes over the long-term may shift with precipitation means and variances. Long-term changes in ecosystem functional response could reflect compensatory changes in species composition or species reaching physiological thresholds at extreme precipitation levels. Methods We conducted a five year precipitation manipulation experiment in a sagebrush steppe ecosystem in Idaho, United States. We used drought and irrigation treatments (approximately 50% decrease/increase to investigate whether ecosystem functional response remains consistent under sustained high or low precipitation. We recorded data on aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP, species abundance, and soil moisture. We fit a generalized linear mixed effects model to determine if the relationship between ANPP and soil moisture differed among treatments. We used nonmetric multidimensional scaling to quantify community composition over the five years. Results Ecosystem functional response, defined as the relationship between soil moisture and ANPP, was similar among irrigation and control treatments, but the drought treatment had a greater slope than the control treatment. However, all estimates for the effect of soil moisture on ANPP overlapped zero, indicating the relationship is weak and uncertain regardless of treatment. There was also large spatial variation in ANPP within-years, which contributes to the uncertainty of the soil moisture effect. Plant community composition was remarkably stable over the course of the experiment and did not differ among treatments. Discussion Despite some evidence that ecosystem functional response became more

  4. Multicompartment Ecosystem Mass Balances as a Tool for Understanding and Managing the Biogeochemical Cycles of Human Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lawrence A. Baker

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Nitrogen remains a ubiquitous pollutant in surface and groundwater throughout the United States, despite 30 years of pollution control efforts. A detailed multicompartment N balance for the Central Arizona-Phoenix ecosystem is used to illustrate how an ecosystem-level approach can be used to develop improved N management strategies. The N balance is used to demonstrate how nitrate in pumped groundwater used for crop irrigation could be used to reduce inputs of commercial fertilizer and decrease N leaching to aquifers. Effectively managing N pollution also will require an understanding of the complex factors that control the N balance, including targeted regulations, individual human behavior, land-use conversion, and other ecosystem management practices that affect the N balance. These sometimes countervailing factors are illustrated with several scenarios of wastewater treatment technology and population growth in the Phoenix area. Management of N eventually must be coupled to management of other elements, notably carbon, phosphorus, and salts. We postulate that an ecosystem framework for pollution management will result in strategies that are more effective, fairer, and less expensive than current approaches.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  6. Complex terrain influences ecosystem carbon responses to temperature and precipitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes, W. M.; Epstein, H. E.; Li, X.; McGlynn, B. L.; Riveros-Iregui, D. A.; Emanuel, R. E.

    2017-08-01

    Terrestrial ecosystem responses to temperature and precipitation have major implications for the global carbon cycle. Case studies demonstrate that complex terrain, which accounts for more than 50% of Earth's land surface, can affect ecological processes associated with land-atmosphere carbon fluxes. However, no studies have addressed the role of complex terrain in mediating ecophysiological responses of land-atmosphere carbon fluxes to climate variables. We synthesized data from AmeriFlux towers and found that for sites in complex terrain, responses of ecosystem CO2 fluxes to temperature and precipitation are organized according to terrain slope and drainage area, variables associated with water and energy availability. Specifically, we found that for tower sites in complex terrain, mean topographic slope and drainage area surrounding the tower explained between 51% and 78% of site-to-site variation in the response of CO2 fluxes to temperature and precipitation depending on the time scale. We found no such organization among sites in flat terrain, even though their flux responses exhibited similar ranges. These results challenge prevailing conceptual framework in terrestrial ecosystem modeling that assumes that CO2 fluxes derive from vertical soil-plant-climate interactions. We conclude that the terrain in which ecosystems are situated can also have important influences on CO2 responses to temperature and precipitation. This work has implications for about 14% of the total land area of the conterminous U.S. This area is considered topographically complex and contributes to approximately 15% of gross ecosystem carbon production in the conterminous U.S.

  7. Root Responses to Altered Ecosystem N/P Stoichiometry in a Mediterranean Tree-Grass Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nair, Richard; Moreno, Gerado; Morris, Kendalynn; Schrumpf, Marion; Migliavacca, Mirco

    2017-04-01

    Biological components of the soil system (plant roots, fungi, microbes) may respond to biogeochemical drivers (e.g. nutrient status, water availability, C availability) in dissimilar ways due to differing scales, activities and access to resources. Understanding individual components and their phenology in the soil system is therefore critical to interpret overall fluxes. In seasonally dry systems, plants balance belowground investment with other growth and maintenance in life strategies where water limitations (in dry periods), nutrient limitations (in wet periods) and temperature/light limitations (in winter) interact, varying the need to invest in gaining these three resources throughout the year. Additionally, root growth may also be desynchronized with overall nutrient demand due to the ability to take up nutrients outside of seasonal periods of demand for storage and subsequent reallocation. We examined root responses to an ecosystem level stoichiometry (+N / +N+P) manipulation experiment at a highly instrumented site in a strongly seasonal semi-arid tree-grass ('dehesa') system (Majadas del Tietar, Spain). We are interested in whether root growth and phenology is affected by differing demand for nutrients/water both between sites and at tree and grass-dominated subsites. Many non-invasive, ecosystem-scale methods to measure changes in biogeochemical cycling focus only on integrated whole-system fluxes or above-ground change and it is difficult to extract a root signal. However, local soil respiration fluxes and root growth introduces a variety of method-dependent artefacts and drawbacks necessitating multiple approaches and careful interpretation. Therefore, in coordination with indirect measurements (subcanopy fluxes via eddy covariance, soil respiration chambers) we are using direct soil coring, ingrowth cores and repeatable measurements from custom-built minirhizotron systems to attempt to assess site-level variation in root biomass and phenology. In this

  8. A probabilistic model of ecosystem response to climate change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shevliakova, E.; Dowlatabadi, H.

    1994-01-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Understanding Public Responses to Emerging Technologies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Macnaghten, Philip; Davies, S.R.; Kearnes, Matthew

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies aimed at understanding public responses to emerging technologies have given limited attention to the social and cultural processes through which public concerns emerge. When probed, these have tended to be explained either in cognitive social psychological terms, typically in the

  12. A multi-stable isotope framework to understand eutrophication in aquatic ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gooddy, Daren C; Lapworth, Dan J; Bennett, Sarah A; Heaton, Tim H E; Williams, Peter J; Surridge, Ben W J

    2016-01-01

    Eutrophication is a globally significant challenge facing aquatic ecosystems, associated with human induced enrichment of these ecosystems with nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). However, the limited availability of inherent labels for P and N has constrained understanding of the triggers for eutrophication in natural ecosystems and appropriate targeting of management responses. This paper proposes and evaluates a new multi-stable isotope framework that offers inherent labels to track biogeochemical reactions governing both P and N in natural ecosystems. The framework couples highly novel analysis of the oxygen isotope composition of phosphate (δ(18)OPO4) with dual isotope analysis of oxygen and N within nitrate (δ(15)NNO3, δ(18)ONO3) and with stable N isotope analysis in ammonium (δ(15)NNH4). The River Beult in England is used as an exemplar system for initial evaluation of this framework. Our data demonstrate the potential to use stable isotope labels to track the input and downstream fate of nutrients from point sources, on the basis of isotopic differentiation for both P and N between river water and waste water treatment work effluent (mean difference = +1.7‰ for δ(18)OPO4; +15.5‰ for δ(15)NNH4 (under high flow); +7.3‰ for δ(18)ONO3 and +4.4‰ for δ(15)NNO3). Stable isotope data reveal nutrient inputs to the river upstream of the waste water treatment works that are consistent with partially denitrified sewage or livestock sources of nitrate (δ(15)NNO3 range = +11.5 to +13.1‰) and with agricultural sources of phosphate (δ(18)OPO4 range = +16.6 to +19.0‰). The importance of abiotic and metabolic processes for the in-river fate of N and P are also explored through the stable isotope framework. Microbial uptake of ammonium to meet metabolic demand for N is suggested by substantial enrichment of δ(15)NNH4 (by 10.2‰ over a 100 m reach) under summer low flow conditions. Whilst the concentration of both nitrate and phosphate

  13. Plant hydraulic diversity buffers forest ecosystem responses to drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderegg, W.; Konings, A. G.; Trugman, A. T.; Pacala, S. W.; Yu, K.; Sulman, B. N.; Sperry, J.; Bowling, D. R.

    2017-12-01

    Drought impacts carbon, water, and energy cycles in forests and may pose a fundamental threat to forests in future climates. Plant hydraulic transport of water is central to tree drought responses, including curtailing of water loss and the risk of mortality during drought. The effect of biodiversity on ecosystem function has typically been examined in grasslands, yet the diversity of plant hydraulic strategies may influence forests' response to drought. In a combined analysis of eddy covariance measurements, remote-sensing data of plant water content variation, model simulations, and plant hydraulic trait data, we test the degree to which plant water stress schemes influence the carbon cycle and how hydraulic diversity within and across ecosystems affects large-scale drought responses. We find that current plant functional types are not well-suited to capture hydraulic variation and that higher hydraulic diversity buffers ecosystem variation during drought. Our results demonstrate that tree functional diversity, particularly hydraulic diversity, may be critical to simulate in plant functional types in current land surface model projections of future vegetation's response to climate extremes.

  14. Food security in a perfect storm: using the ecosystem services framework to increase understanding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poppy, G M; Chiotha, S; Eigenbrod, F; Harvey, C A; Honzák, M; Hudson, M D; Jarvis, A; Madise, N J; Schreckenberg, K; Shackleton, C M; Villa, F; Dawson, T P

    2014-04-05

    Achieving food security in a 'perfect storm' scenario is a grand challenge for society. Climate change and an expanding global population act in concert to make global food security even more complex and demanding. As achieving food security and the millennium development goal (MDG) to eradicate hunger influences the attainment of other MDGs, it is imperative that we offer solutions which are complementary and do not oppose one another. Sustainable intensification of agriculture has been proposed as a way to address hunger while also minimizing further environmental impact. However, the desire to raise productivity and yields has historically led to a degraded environment, reduced biodiversity and a reduction in ecosystem services (ES), with the greatest impacts affecting the poor. This paper proposes that the ES framework coupled with a policy response framework, for example Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR), can allow food security to be delivered alongside healthy ecosystems, which provide many other valuable services to humankind. Too often, agro-ecosystems have been considered as separate from other natural ecosystems and insufficient attention has been paid to the way in which services can flow to and from the agro-ecosystem to surrounding ecosystems. Highlighting recent research in a large multi-disciplinary project (ASSETS), we illustrate the ES approach to food security using a case study from the Zomba district of Malawi.

  15. Woody-plant ecosystems under climate change and air pollution-response consistencies across zonobiomes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matyssek, R; Kozovits, A R; Wieser, G; King, J; Rennenberg, H

    2017-06-01

    bottom-up (e.g., mechanistic) and top-down (systems-level) understanding. This global, synthetic approach is needed because high biological plasticity and physiographic variation across individual ecosystems currently limit development of predictive models of forest responses to CC-AP. Integrated research on C and nutrient cycling, O3-vegetation interactions and water relations must target mechanisms' ecosystem responsiveness. Worldwide case studies must be subject to biostatistical exploration to elucidate overarching response patterns and synthesize the resulting empirical data through advanced modelling, in order to provide regionally coherent, yet globally integrated information in support of internationally coordinated decision-making and policy development. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. Trait-based approaches for understanding microbial biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krause, S.; Le Roux, X.; Niklaus, P.A.; van Bodegom, P.M.; Lennon, J.T.; Bertilsson, S.A.; Grossart, H.P.; Philippot, L.; Bodelier, P.L.E.

    2014-01-01

    In ecology, biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) research has seen a shift in perspective from taxonomy to function in the last two decades, with successful application of trait-based approaches. This shift offers opportunities for a deeper mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity

  17. Hysteresis response of daytime net ecosystem exchange during drought

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Pingintha

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Continuous measurements of net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE using the eddy-covariance method were made over an agricultural ecosystem in the southeastern US. During optimum environmental conditions, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR was the primary driver controlling daytime NEE, accounting for as much as 67 to 89% of the variation in NEE. However, soil water content became the dominant factor limiting the NEE-PAR response during the peak growth stage. NEE was significantly depressed when high PAR values coincided with very low soil water content. The presence of a counter-clockwise hysteresis of daytime NEE with PAR was observed during periods of water stress. This is a result of the stomatal closure control of photosynthesis at high vapor pressure deficit and enhanced respiration at high temperature. This result is significant since this hysteresis effect limits the range of applicability of the Michaelis-Menten equation and other related expressions in the determination of daytime NEE as a function of PAR. The systematic presence of hysteresis in the response of NEE to PAR suggests that the gap-filling technique based on a non-linear regression approach should take into account the presence of water-limited field conditions. Including this step is therefore likely to improve current evaluation of ecosystem response to increased precipitation variability arising from climatic changes.

  18. Response of seafloor ecosystems to abrupt global climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 turnover and recovery events within the record expand known rates of marine biological recovery by an order of magnitude, from 1,000 y, and illustrate the crucial role of climate and oceanographic change in driving long-term successional changes in ocean ecosystems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 1,000 y, and illustrate the crucial role of climate and oceanographic change in driving long-term successional changes in ocean ecosystems.

  20. Global Ecosystem Response Types Derived from the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index and FPAR3g Series

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva Ivits

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Observing trends in global ecosystem dynamics is an important first step, but attributing these trends to climate variability represents a further step in understanding Earth system changes. In the present study, we classified global Ecosystem Response Types (ERTs based on common spatio-temporal patterns in time-series of Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI and FPAR3g anomalies (1982–2011 by using an extended Principal Component Analysis. The ERTs represent region specific spatio-temporal patterns of ecosystems responding to drought or ecosystems with decreasing severity in drought events as well as ecosystems where drought was not a dominant factor in a 30-year period. Highest explanatory values in the SPEI12-FPAR3g anomalies and strongest SPEI12-FPAR3g correlations were seen in the ERTs of Australia and South America whereas lowest explanatory value and lowest correlations were observed in Asia and North America. These ERTs complement traditional pixel based methods by enabling the combined assessment of the location, timing, duration, frequency and severity of climatic and vegetation anomalies with the joint assessment of wetting and drying climatic conditions. The ERTs produced here thus have potential in supporting global change studies by mapping reference conditions of long term ecosystem changes.

  1. Water use efficiency of China's terrestrial ecosystems and responses to drought.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-08

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. A decade of insights into grassland ecosystem responses to global environmental change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borer, Elizabeth T.; Grace, James B.; Harpole, W. Stanley; MacDougall, Andrew S.; Seabloom, Eric W.

    2017-01-01

    Earth’s biodiversity and carbon uptake by plants, or primary productivity, are intricately interlinked, underlie many essential ecosystem processes, and depend on the interplay among environmental factors, many of which are being changed by human activities. While ecological theory generalizes across taxa and environments, most empirical tests of factors controlling diversity and productivity have been observational, single-site experiments, or meta-analyses, limiting our understanding of variation among site-level responses and tests of general mechanisms. A synthesis of results from ten years of a globally distributed, coordinated experiment, the Nutrient Network (NutNet), demonstrates that species diversity promotes ecosystem productivity and stability, and that nutrient supply and herbivory control diversity via changes in composition, including invasions of non-native species and extinction of native species. Distributed experimental networks are a powerful tool for tests and integration of multiple theories and for generating multivariate predictions about the effects of global changes on future ecosystems.

  4. Global meta-analysis of leaf area index in wetlands indicates uncertainties in understanding of their ecosystem function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dronova, I.; Taddeo, S.; Foster, K.

    2017-12-01

    Projecting ecosystem responses to global change relies on the accurate understanding of properties governing their functions in different environments. An important variable in models of ecosystem function is canopy leaf area index (LAI; leaf area per unit ground area) declared as one of the Essential Climate Variables in the Global Climate Observing System and extensively measured in terrestrial landscapes. However, wetlands have been largely under-represented in these efforts, which globally limits understanding of their contribution to carbon sequestration, climate regulation and resilience to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. This study provides a global synthesis of >350 wetland-specific LAI observations from 182 studies and compares LAI among wetland ecosystem and vegetation types, biomes and measurement approaches. Results indicate that most wetland types and even individual locations show a substantial local dispersion of LAI values (average coefficient of variation 65%) due to heterogeneity of environmental properties and vegetation composition. Such variation indicates that mean LAI values may not sufficiently represent complex wetland environments, and the use of this index in ecosystem function models needs to incorporate within-site variation in canopy properties. Mean LAI did not significantly differ between direct and indirect measurement methods on a pooled global sample; however, within some of the specific biomes and wetland types significant contrasts between these approaches were detected. These contrasts highlight unique aspects of wetland vegetation physiology and canopy structure affecting measurement principles that need to be considered in generalizing canopy properties in ecosystem models. Finally, efforts to assess wetland LAI using remote sensing strongly indicate the promise of this technology for cost-effective regional-scale modeling of canopy properties similar to terrestrial systems. However, such efforts urgently require more

  5. Ecosystem Network Shifts As Indicators of Climate Response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodwell, A. E.; Kumar, P.

    2014-12-01

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

  6. Measuring spatial patterns in floodplains: A step towards understanding the complexity of floodplain ecosystems: Chapter 6

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scown, Murray W.; Thoms, Martin C.; DeJager, Nathan R.; Gilvear, David J.; Greenwood, Malcolm T.; Thoms, Martin C.; Wood, Paul J.

    2016-01-01

    Floodplains can be viewed as complex adaptive systems (Levin, 1998) because they are comprised of many different biophysical components, such as morphological features, soil groups and vegetation communities as well as being sites of key biogeochemical processing (Stanford et al., 2005). Interactions and feedbacks among the biophysical components often result in additional phenomena occuring over a range of scales, often in the absence of any controlling factors (sensu Hallet, 1990). This emergence of new biophysical features and rates of processing can lead to alternative stable states which feed back into floodplain adaptive cycles (cf. Hughes, 1997; Stanford et al., 2005). Interactions between different biophysical components, feedbacks, self emergence and scale are all key properties of complex adaptive systems (Levin, 1998; Phillips, 2003; Murray et al., 2014) and therefore will influence the manner in which we study and view spatial patterns. Measuring the spatial patterns of floodplain biophysical components is a prerequisite to examining and understanding these ecosystems as complex adaptive systems. Elucidating relationships between pattern and process, which are intrinsically linked within floodplains (Ward et al., 2002), is dependent upon an understanding of spatial pattern. This knowledge can help river scientists determine the major drivers, controllers and responses of floodplain structure and function, as well as the consequences of altering those drivers and controllers (Hughes and Cass, 1997; Whited et al., 2007). Interactions and feedbacks between physical, chemical and biological components of floodplain ecosystems create and maintain a structurally diverse and dynamic template (Stanford et al., 2005). This template influences subsequent interactions between components that consequently affect system trajectories within floodplains (sensu Bak et al., 1988). Constructing and evaluating models used to predict floodplain ecosystem responses to

  7. Impacts of Climate Change Induced Vegetation Responses on BVOC Emissions from Subarctic Heath Ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Valolahti, Hanna Maritta

    chemistry and physics. Vegetation is the main source of BVOCs. Their production is directly linked to temperature and the foliar biomass. On global scale, vegetation in subarctic and arctic regions has been modeled to have only minor contribution to annual total BVOC emissions. In these regions cold...... the understanding of the controls of BVOC emissions from subarctic ecosystems under climate change by studying the responses to long-term manipulations from leaf level to small ecosystem scale. Leaf-level studies showed different anatomical responses for warming and shading manipulations between studied species......, but no significant effects on BVOC emissions on plant individual level were found. The lack of changes in BVOC emissions after longterm exposure could be at least partially explained by long term-acclimation, which is supported by the observed anatomy responses. Whereas warming was not found to alter the BVOC...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  9. Soil microbial responses to nitrogen addition in arid ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert L Sinsabaugh

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The N cycle of arid ecosystems is influenced by low soil organic matter, high soil pH and extremes in water potential and temperature that lead to open canopies and development of biological soil crusts (biocrusts. We investigated the effects of N amendment on soil microbial dynamics in a Larrea tridentata-Ambrosia dumosa shrubland site in southern Nevada USA. Sites were fertilized with a NO3-NH4 mix at 0, 7, and 15 kg ha-1 yr-1 from March 2012 to March 2013. In March 2013, biocrust (0-0.5 cm and bulk soils (0-10 cm were collected beneath Ambrosia canopies and in the interspaces between plants. Biomass responses were assessed as bacterial and fungal SSU rRNA gene copy number and chlorophyll a concentration. Metabolic responses were measured by five ecoenzyme activities (EEA and rates of N transformation. By most measures, nutrient availability, microbial biomass and process rates were greater in soils beneath the shrub canopy compared to the interspace between plants, and greater in the surface biocrust horizon compared to the deeper 10 cm soil profile. Most measures responded positively to experimental N addition. Effect sizes were generally greater for bulk soil than biocrust. Results were incorporated into a meta-analysis of arid ecosystem responses to N.

  10. In situ nuclear magnetic response of permafrost and active layer soil in boreal and tundra ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kass, Mason Andrew; Irons, Trevor; Minsley, Burke J.

    2017-01-01

    of the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) response of the active layer and permafrost in a variety of soil conditions, types, and saturations. In this paper, we summarize the NMR data and present quantitative relationships between active layer and permafrost liquid water content and pore sizes and show......Characterization of permafrost, particularly warm and near-surface permafrost which can contain significant liquid water, is critical to understanding complex interrelationships with climate change, ecosystems, and disturbances such as wildfires. Understanding the vulnerability and resilience...

  11. Trait-based approaches for understanding microbial biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, Sascha; Le Roux, Xavier; Niklaus, Pascal A; Van Bodegom, Peter M; Lennon, Jay T; Bertilsson, Stefan; Grossart, Hans-Peter; Philippot, Laurent; Bodelier, Paul L E

    2014-01-01

    In ecology, biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) research has seen a shift in perspective from taxonomy to function in the last two decades, with successful application of trait-based approaches. This shift offers opportunities for a deeper mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity in maintaining multiple ecosystem processes and services. In this paper, we highlight studies that have focused on BEF of microbial communities with an emphasis on integrating trait-based approaches to microbial ecology. In doing so, we explore some of the inherent challenges and opportunities of understanding BEF using microbial systems. For example, microbial biologists characterize communities using gene phylogenies that are often unable to resolve functional traits. Additionally, experimental designs of existing microbial BEF studies are often inadequate to unravel BEF relationships. We argue that combining eco-physiological studies with contemporary molecular tools in a trait-based framework can reinforce our ability to link microbial diversity to ecosystem processes. We conclude that such trait-based approaches are a promising framework to increase the understanding of microbial BEF relationships and thus generating systematic principles in microbial ecology and more generally ecology.

  12. Trait-based approaches for understanding microbial biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sascha eKrause

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available In ecology, biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF research has seen a shift in perspective from taxonomy to function in the last two decades, with successful application of trait-based approaches. This shift offers opportunities for a deeper mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity in maintaining multiple ecosystem processes and services. In this paper, we highlight studies that have focused on BEF of microbial communities with an emphasis on integrating trait-based approaches to microbial ecology. In doing so, we explore some of the inherent challenges and opportunities of understanding BEF using microbial systems. For example, microbial biologists characterize communities using gene phylogenies that are often unable to resolve functional traits. Additionally, experimental designs of existing microbial BEF studies are often inadequate to unravel BEF relationships. We argue that combining eco-physiological studies with contemporary molecular tools in a trait-based framework can reinforce our ability to link microbial diversity to ecosystem processes. We conclude that such trait-based approaches are a promising framework to increase the understanding of microbial BEF relationships and thus generating systematic principles in microbial ecology and more generally ecology.

  13. Trait-based approaches for understanding microbial biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, Sascha; Le Roux, Xavier; Niklaus, Pascal A.; Van Bodegom, Peter M.; Lennon, Jay T.; Bertilsson, Stefan; Grossart, Hans-Peter; Philippot, Laurent; Bodelier, Paul L. E.

    2014-01-01

    In ecology, biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) research has seen a shift in perspective from taxonomy to function in the last two decades, with successful application of trait-based approaches. This shift offers opportunities for a deeper mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity in maintaining multiple ecosystem processes and services. In this paper, we highlight studies that have focused on BEF of microbial communities with an emphasis on integrating trait-based approaches to microbial ecology. In doing so, we explore some of the inherent challenges and opportunities of understanding BEF using microbial systems. For example, microbial biologists characterize communities using gene phylogenies that are often unable to resolve functional traits. Additionally, experimental designs of existing microbial BEF studies are often inadequate to unravel BEF relationships. We argue that combining eco-physiological studies with contemporary molecular tools in a trait-based framework can reinforce our ability to link microbial diversity to ecosystem processes. We conclude that such trait-based approaches are a promising framework to increase the understanding of microbial BEF relationships and thus generating systematic principles in microbial ecology and more generally ecology. PMID:24904563

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  15. Towards an integrated understanding of how micro scale processes shape groundwater ecosystem functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Susanne I; Cuthbert, Mark O; Schwientek, Marc

    2017-08-15

    Micro scale processes are expected to have a fundamental role in shaping groundwater ecosystems and yet they remain poorly understood and under-researched. In part, this is due to the fact that sampling is rarely carried out at the scale at which microorganisms, and their grazers and predators, function and thus we lack essential information. While set within a larger scale framework in terms of geochemical features, supply with energy and nutrients, and exchange intensity and dynamics, the micro scale adds variability, by providing heterogeneous zones at the micro scale which enable a wider range of redox reactions. Here we outline how understanding micro scale processes better may lead to improved appreciation of the range of ecosystems functions taking place at all scales. Such processes are relied upon in bioremediation and we demonstrate that ecosystem modelling as well as engineering measures have to take into account, and use, understanding at the micro scale. We discuss the importance of integrating faunal processes and computational appraisals in research, in order to continue to secure sustainable water resources from groundwater. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Understanding of Grassland Ecosystems under Climate Change and Economic Development Pressures in the Mongolia Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Understanding system disturbance and ecosystem services in restored saltmarshes: Integrating physical and biogeochemical processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spencer, K. L.; Harvey, G. L.

    2012-06-01

    Coastal saltmarsh ecosystems occupy only a small percentage of Earth's land surface, yet contribute a wide range of ecosystem services that have significant global economic and societal value. These environments currently face significant challenges associated with climate change, sea level rise, development and water quality deterioration and are consequently the focus of a range of management schemes. Increasingly, soft engineering techniques such as managed realignment (MR) are being employed to restore and recreate these environments, driven primarily by the need for habitat (re)creation and sustainable coastal flood defence. Such restoration schemes also have the potential to provide additional ecosystem services including climate regulation and waste processing. However, these sites have frequently been physically impacted by their previous land use and there is a lack of understanding of how this 'disturbance' impacts the delivery of ecosystem services or of the complex linkages between ecological, physical and biogeochemical processes in restored systems. Through the exploration of current data this paper determines that hydrological, geomorphological and hydrodynamic functioning of restored sites may be significantly impaired with respects to natural 'undisturbed' systems and that links between morphology, sediment structure, hydrology and solute transfer are poorly understood. This has consequences for the delivery of seeds, the provision of abiotic conditions suitable for plant growth, the development of microhabitats and the cycling of nutrients/contaminants and may impact the delivery of ecosystem services including biodiversity, climate regulation and waste processing. This calls for a change in our approach to research in these environments with a need for integrated, interdisciplinary studies over a range of spatial and temporal scales incorporating both intensive and extensive research design.

  18. Transdisciplinary science: a path to understanding the interactions among ocean acidification, ecosystems, and society

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yates, Kimberly K.; Turley, Carol; Hopkinson, Brian M.; Todgham, Anne E.; Cross, Jessica N.; Greening, Holly; Williamson, Phillip; Van Hooidonk, Ruben; Deheyn, Dimitri D.; Johnson, Zachary

    2015-01-01

    The global nature of ocean acidification (OA) transcends habitats, ecosystems, regions, and science disciplines. The scientific community recognizes that the biggest challenge in improving understanding of how changing OA conditions affect ecosystems, and associated consequences for human society, requires integration of experimental, observational, and modeling approaches from many disciplines over a wide range of temporal and spatial scales. Such transdisciplinary science is the next step in providing relevant, meaningful results and optimal guidance to policymakers and coastal managers. We discuss the challenges associated with integrating ocean acidification science across funding agencies, institutions, disciplines, topical areas, and regions, and the value of unifying science objectives and activities to deliver insights into local, regional, and global scale impacts. We identify guiding principles and strategies for developing transdisciplinary research in the ocean acidification science community.

  19. Ecosystem function in waste stabilisation ponds: Improving water quality through a better understanding of biophysical coupling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghadouani, Anas; Reichwaldt, Elke S.; Coggins, Liah X.; Ivey, Gregory N.; Ghisalberti, Marco; Zhou, Wenxu; Laurion, Isabelle; Chua, Andrew

    2014-05-01

    Wastewater stabilisation ponds (WSPs) are highly productive systems designed to treat wastewater using only natural biological and chemical processes. Phytoplankton, microbial communities and hydraulics play important roles for ecosystem functionality of these pond systems. Although WSPs have been used for many decades, they are still considered as 'black box' systems as very little is known about the fundamental ecological processes which occur within them. However, a better understanding of how these highly productive ecosystems function is particularly important for hydrological processes, as treated wastewater is commonly discharged into streams, rivers, and oceans, and subject to strict water quality guidelines. WSPs are known to operate at different levels of efficiency, and treatment efficiency of WSPs is dependent on physical (flow characteristics and sludge accumulation and distribution) and biological (microbial and phytoplankton communities) characteristics. Thus, it is important to gain a better understanding of the role and influence of pond hydraulics and vital microbial communities on pond performance and WSP functional stability. The main aim of this study is to investigate the processes leading to differences in treatment performance of WSPs. This study uses a novel and innovative approach to understand these factors by combining flow cytometry and metabolomics to investigate various biochemical characteristics, including the metabolite composition and microbial community within WSPs. The results of these analyses will then be combined with results from the characterisation of pond hydrodynamics and hydraulic performance, which will be performed using advanced hydrodynamic modelling and advanced sludge profiling technology. By understanding how hydrodynamic and biological processes influence each other and ecosystem function and stability in WSPs, we will be able to propose ways to improve the quality of the treatment using natural processes, with

  20. Semantic eScience for Ecosystem Understanding and Monitoring: The Jefferson Project Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGuinness, D. L.; Pinheiro da Silva, P.; Patton, E. W.; Chastain, K.

    2014-12-01

    Monitoring and understanding ecosystems such as lakes and their watersheds is becoming increasingly important. Accelerated eutrophication threatens our drinking water sources. Many believe that the use of nutrients (e.g., road salts, fertilizers, etc.) near these sources may have negative impacts on animal and plant populations and water quality although it is unclear how to best balance broad community needs. The Jefferson Project is a joint effort between RPI, IBM and the Fund for Lake George aimed at creating an instrumented water ecosystem along with an appropriate cyberinfrastructure that can serve as a global model for ecosystem monitoring, exploration, understanding, and prediction. One goal is to help communities understand the potential impacts of actions such as road salting strategies so that they can make appropriate informed recommendations that serve broad community needs. Our semantic eScience team is creating a semantic infrastructure to support data integration and analysis to help trained scientists as well as the general public to better understand the lake today, and explore potential future scenarios. We are leveraging our RPI Tetherless World Semantic Web methodology that provides an agile process for describing use cases, identification of appropriate background ontologies and technologies, implementation, and evaluation. IBM is providing a state-of-the-art sensor network infrastructure along with a collection of tools to share, maintain, analyze and visualize the network data. In the context of this sensor infrastructure, we will discuss our semantic approach's contributions in three knowledge representation and reasoning areas: (a) human interventions on the deployment and maintenance of local sensor networks including the scientific knowledge to decide how and where sensors are deployed; (b) integration, interpretation and management of data coming from external sources used to complement the project's models; and (c) knowledge about

  1. Marine ecosystem response to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Edwards

    Full Text Available Against the backdrop of warming of the Northern Hemisphere it has recently been acknowledged that North Atlantic temperature changes undergo considerable variability over multidecadal periods. The leading component of natural low-frequency temperature variability has been termed the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO. Presently, correlative studies on the biological impact of the AMO on marine ecosystems over the duration of a whole AMO cycle (∼60 years is largely unknown due to the rarity of continuously sustained biological observations at the same time period. To test whether there is multidecadal cyclic behaviour in biological time-series in the North Atlantic we used one of the world's longest continuously sustained marine biological time-series in oceanic waters, long-term fisheries data and historical records over the last century and beyond. Our findings suggest that the AMO is far from a trivial presence against the backdrop of continued temperature warming in the North Atlantic and accounts for the second most important macro-trend in North Atlantic plankton records; responsible for habitat switching (abrupt ecosystem/regime shifts over multidecadal scales and influences the fortunes of various fisheries over many centuries.

  2. Ecosystem response to antibiotics entering the aquatic environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costanzo, Simon D; Murby, John; Bates, John

    2005-01-01

    Awareness of antibiotics in wastewaters and aquatic ecosystems is growing as investigations into alternate pollutants increase and analytical techniques for detecting these chemicals improve. The presence of three antibiotics (ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin and cephalexin) was evaluated in both sewage effluent and environmental waters downstream from a sewage discharge. Bacteria cultured from the sewage bioreactor and receiving waters were tested for resistance against six antibiotics (ciprofloxacin, tetracycline, ampicillin, trimethoprim, erythromycin and trimethoprim/sulphamethoxazole) and effects of short term exposure (24 h) to antibiotics on bacterial denitrification rates were examined. Antibiotics were detected entering the sewage treatment plant with varying levels of removal during the treatment process. Antibiotics were also detected in effluent entering receiving waters and detectable 500 m from the source. Among the bacteria cultured from the sewage bioreactor, resistance was displayed against all six antibiotics tested and bacteria cultured from receiving waters were resistant against two of the antibiotics tested. Rates of denitrification were observed to decrease in response to some antibiotics and not to others, though this was only observed at concentrations exceeding those likely to be found in the environment. Findings from this preliminary research have indicated that antibiotics are entering our aquatic systems and pose a potential threat to ecosystem function and potentially human health.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munson, S. M.; Bunting, E.

    2017-12-01

    Ecosystem transitions and thresholds are conceptually well-defined and have become a framework to address vegetation response to climate change and land-use intensification, yet there are few approaches to define the environmental conditions which can lead to them. We demonstrate a novel climate pivot point approach using long-term monitoring data from a broad network of permanent plots, satellite imagery, and experimental treatments across the southwestern U.S. The climate pivot point identifies conditions that lead to decreased plant performance and serves as an early warning sign of increased vulnerability of crossing a threshold into an altered ecosystem state. Plant responses and climate pivot points aligned with the lifespan and structural characteristics of species, were modified by soil and landscape attributes of a site, and had non-linear dynamics in some cases. Species with strong increases in abundance when water was available were most susceptible to losses during water shortages, reinforcing plant energetic and physiological tradeoffs. Future research to uncover the heterogeneity of plant responses and climate pivot points at multiple scales can lead to greater understanding of shifts in ecosystem productivity and vulnerability to climate change.

  7. New perspectives in ecosystem services science as instruments to understand environmental securities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villa, Ferdinando; Voigt, Brian; Erickson, Jon D.

    2014-01-01

    As societal demand for food, water and other life-sustaining resources grows, the science of ecosystem services (ES) is seen as a promising tool to improve our understanding, and ultimately the management, of increasingly uncertain supplies of critical goods provided or supported by natural ecosystems. This promise, however, is tempered by a relatively primitive understanding of the complex systems supporting ES, which as a result are often quantified as static resources rather than as the dynamic expression of human–natural systems. This article attempts to pinpoint the minimum level of detail that ES science needs to achieve in order to usefully inform the debate on environmental securities, and discusses both the state of the art and recent methodological developments in ES in this light. We briefly review the field of ES accounting methods and list some desiderata that we deem necessary, reachable and relevant to address environmental securities through an improved science of ES. We then discuss a methodological innovation that, while only addressing these needs partially, can improve our understanding of ES dynamics in data-scarce situations. The methodology is illustrated and discussed through an application related to water security in the semi-arid landscape of the Great Ruaha river of Tanzania. PMID:24535393

  8. Process Network Approach to Understanding How Forest Ecosystems Adapt to Changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, J.; Yun, J.; Hong, J.; Kwon, H.; Chun, J.

    2011-12-01

    Sustainability challenges are transforming science and its role in society. Complex systems science has emerged as an inevitable field of education and research, which transcends disciplinary boundaries and focuses on understanding of the dynamics of complex social-ecological systems (SES). SES is a combined system of social and ecological components and drivers that interact and give rise to results, which could not be understood on the basis of sociological or ecological considerations alone. However, both systems may be viewed as a network of processes, and such a network hierarchy may serve as a hinge to bridge social and ecological systems. As a first step toward such effort, we attempted to delineate and interpret such process networks in forest ecosystems, which play a critical role in the cycles of carbon and water from local to global scales. These cycles and their variability, in turn, play an important role in the emergent and self-organizing interactions between forest ecosystems and their environment. Ruddell and Kumar (2009) define a process network as a network of feedback loops and the related time scales, which describe the magnitude and direction of the flow of energy, matter, and information between the different variables in a complex system. Observational evidence, based on micrometeorological eddy covariance measurements, suggests that heterogeneity and disturbances in forest ecosystems in monsoon East Asia may facilitate to build resilience for adaptation to change. Yet, the principles that characterize the role of variability in these interactions remain elusive. In this presentation, we report results from the analysis of multivariate ecohydrologic and biogeochemical time series data obtained from temperate forest ecosystems in East Asia based on information flow statistics.

  9. Integrating community assembly and biodiversity to better understand ecosystem function: the Community Assembly and the Functioning of Ecosystems (CAFE) approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bannar-Martin, Katherine H; Kremer, Colin T; Ernest, S K Morgan; Leibold, Mathew A; Auge, Harald; Chase, Jonathan; Declerck, Steven A J; Eisenhauer, Nico; Harpole, Stanley; Hillebrand, Helmut; Isbell, Forest; Koffel, Thomas; Larsen, Stefano; Narwani, Anita; Petermann, Jana S; Roscher, Christiane; Cabral, Juliano Sarmento; Supp, Sarah R

    2018-02-01

    The research of a generation of ecologists was catalysed by the recognition that the number and identity of species in communities influences the functioning of ecosystems. The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) is most often examined by controlling species richness and randomising community composition. In natural systems, biodiversity changes are often part of a bigger community assembly dynamic. Therefore, focusing on community assembly and the functioning of ecosystems (CAFE), by integrating both species richness and composition through species gains, losses and changes in abundance, will better reveal how community changes affect ecosystem function. We synthesise the BEF and CAFE perspectives using an ecological application of the Price equation, which partitions the contributions of richness and composition to function. Using empirical examples, we show how the CAFE approach reveals important contributions of composition to function. These examples show how changes in species richness and composition driven by environmental perturbations can work in concert or antagonistically to influence ecosystem function. Considering how communities change in an integrative fashion, rather than focusing on one axis of community structure at a time, will improve our ability to anticipate and predict changes in ecosystem function. © 2017 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by CNRS and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munson, Seth M.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-01

    • Anthropogenic nitrogen (N) addition may substantially alter the terrestrial N cycle. However, a comprehensive understanding of how the ecosystem N cycle responds to external N input remains elusive. • Here, we evaluated the central tendencies of the responses of 15 variables associated with the ecosystem N cycle to N addition, using data extracted from 206 peer-reviewed papers. • Our results showed that the largest changes in the ecosystem N cycle caused by N addition were increases in soil inorganic N leaching (461%), soil NO₃⁻ concentration (429%), nitrification (154%), nitrous oxide emission (134%), and denitrification (84%). N addition also substantially increased soil NH₄+ concentration (47%), and the N content in belowground (53%) and aboveground (44%) plant pools, leaves (24%), litter (24%) and dissolved organic N (21%). Total N content in the organic horizon (6.1%) and mineral soil (6.2%) slightly increased in response to N addition. However, N addition induced a decrease in microbial biomass N by 5.8%. • The increases in N effluxes caused by N addition were much greater than those in plant and soil pools except soil NO₃⁻, suggesting a leaky terrestrial N system. © 2010 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2010 New Phytologist Trust.

  12. Understanding Public Responses to Domestic Threats

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Bruine de Bruin, Wandi; Florig, H. K; Fischhoff, Baruch; Downs, Julie S; Stone, Eric

    2007-01-01

    .... This project aims to understand the factors that affect people's decisions about how long to wait until returning to their homes, given the gradual decline in radiation levels resulting from radioactive decay...

  13. Understanding political responsibility in corporate citizenship

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tempels, Tjidde; Blok, Vincent; Verweij, Marcel

    2017-01-01

    In this article, we explore the debate on corporate citizenship and the role of business in global governance. In the debate on political corporate social responsibility it is assumed that under globalization business is taking up a greater political role. Apart from economic responsibilities

  14. Understanding Relationships among Agro-Ecosystem Services Based on Emergy Analysis in Luancheng County, North China

    OpenAIRE

    Fengjiao Ma; A. Egrinya Eneji; Jintong Liu

    2014-01-01

    Exploring the relationship between different services has become the focus of ecosystem services research in recent years. The agro-ecosystem, which accounts for one-third of the global land area, provides lots of services but also disservices, depending on resources provided by other systems. In this paper, we explored the agro-ecosystem from four aspects: a summary of different indicators in the agro-ecosystem, input and output changes with time, relationships between different ecosystem se...

  15. Response of grassland ecosystems to prolonged soil moisture deficit

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  16. Ecosystem Responses to Partial Harvesting in Eastern Boreal Mixedwood Stands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian D. Harvey

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Partial harvesting has been proposed as a key aspect to implementing ecosystem management in the Canadian boreal forest. We report on a replicated experiment located in boreal mixedwoods of Northwestern Quebec. In the winter of 2000–2001, two partial harvesting treatments, one using a dispersed pattern, and a second, which created a (400 m2 gap pattern, were applied to a 90-year-old aspen-dominated mixed stand. The design also included a clear cut and a control. Over the course of the following eight years, live tree, coarse woody debris, regeneration and ground beetles were inventoried at variable intervals. Our results indicate that all harvesting treatments created conditions favorable to balsam fir (Abies balsamea sapling growth and trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides sapling recruitment. However, balsam fir and trembling aspen regeneration and ground beetles response to gap cuts were closer to patterns observed in clear cuts than in dispersed harvesting. The underlying reasons for these differing patterns can be linked to factors associated with the contrasting light regimes created by the two partial harvesting treatments. The study confirms that partially harvesting is an ecologically sound approach in boreal mixedwoods and could contribute to maintaining the distribution of stand ages at the landscape level.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stevens, C.J.; Manning, P.; Berg, van den L.J.L.; Graaf, de M.C.C.; Wamelink, G.W.W.; Boxman, A.W.; Bleeker, A.; Vergeer, P.; Arroniz-Crespo, M.; Limpens, J.; Lamers, L.P.M.; Bobbink, R.; Dorland, E.

    2011-01-01

    While it is well established that ecosystems display strong responses to elevated nitrogen deposition, the importance of the ratio between the dominant forms of deposited nitrogen (NHx and NOy) in determining ecosystem response is poorly understood. As large changes in the ratio of oxidised and

  18. Linking an ecosystem model and a landscape model to study forest species response to climate warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong S. He; David J. Mladenoff; Thomas R. Crow

    1999-01-01

    No single model can address forest change from single tree to regional scales. We discuss a framework linking an ecosystem process model {LINKAGES) with a spatial landscape model (LANDIS) to examine forest species responses to climate warming for a large, heterogeneous landscape in northern Wisconsin, USA. Individual species response at the ecosystem scale was...

  19. Carbon-water Cycling in the Critical Zone: Understanding Ecosystem Process Variability Across Complex Terrain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barnard, Holly [Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States); Brooks, Paul [Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States)

    2016-06-16

    One of the largest knowledge gaps in environmental science is the ability to understand and predict how ecosystems will respond to future climate variability. The links between vegetation, hydrology, and climate that control carbon sequestration in plant biomass and soils remain poorly understood. Soil respiration is the second largest carbon flux of terrestrial ecosystems, yet there is no consensus on how respiration will change as water availability and temperature co-vary. To address this knowledge gap, we use the variation in soil development and topography across an elevation and climate gradient on the Front Range of Colorado to conduct a natural experiment that enables us to examine the co-evolution of soil carbon, vegetation, hydrology, and climate in an accessible field laboratory. The goal of this project is to further our ability to combine plant water availability, carbon flux and storage, and topographically driven hydrometrics into a watershed scale predictive model of carbon balance. We hypothesize: (i) landscape structure and hydrology are important controls on soil respiration as a result of spatial variability in both physical and biological drivers: (ii) variation in rates of soil respiration during the growing season is due to corresponding shifts in belowground carbon inputs from vegetation; and (iii) aboveground carbon storage (biomass) and species composition are directly correlated with soil moisture and therefore, can be directly related to subsurface drainage patterns.

  20. Northern Forest DroughtNet: A New Framework to Understand Impacts of Precipitation Change on the Northern Forest Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asbjornsen, H.; Rustad, L.; Templer, P. H.; Jennings, K.; Phillips, R.; Smith, M.

    2014-12-01

    Recent trends and projections for future change for the U.S. northern forests suggest that the region's climate is becoming warmer, wetter, and, ironically, drier, with more precipitation occurring as large events, separated by longer periods with no precipitation. However, to date, precipitation manipulation experiments conducted in forest ecosystems represent only ~5% of all such experiments worldwide, and our understanding of how the mesic-adapted northern forest will respond to greater frequency and intensity of drought in the future is especially poor. Several important challenges have hampered previous research efforts to conduct forest drought experiments and draw robust conclusions, including difficulties in reducing water uptake by deep and lateral tree roots, logistical and financial constraints to establishing and maintaining large-scale field experiments, and the lack of standardized approaches for determining the appropriate precipitation manipulation treatment (e.g., amount and timing of throughfall displacement), designing and constructing the throughfall displacement infrastructure, identifying key response variables, and collecting and analyzing the field data. The overarching goal of this project is to establish a regional research coordination network - Northern Forest DroughtNet - to investigate the impacts of changes in the amount and distribution of precipitation on the hydrology, biogeochemistry, and carbon (C) cycling dynamics of northern temperate forests. Specific objectives include the development of a standard prototype for conducting precipitation manipulation studies in forest ecosystems (in collaboration with the international DroughtNet-RCN) and the implementation of this prototype drought experiment at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest. Here, we present the advances made thus far towards achieving the objectives of Northern Forest DroughtNet, plans for future work, and an invitation to the larger scientific community interested

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. Understanding the Haemodynamic response to Laryngoscopy and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    It is however believed to be a reflex sympathetic and sympatho-adrenal response to airway stimulation or irritation. While the afferent limb of the reflex arc is via the cranial nerves of the upper airway, the efferent limb is via the sympathetic nerves. However, the central integrating station is not satisfactorily described in the ...

  3. School Phobia: Understanding a Complex Behavioural Response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chitiyo, Morgan; Wheeler, John J.

    2006-01-01

    School phobia affects about 5% of the school-age population. If left untreated, school phobia can have devastating long-term consequences in children challenged by this condition. Various treatment approaches have been used to explore this complex behavioural response, major among them being the psychoanalytic, psychodynamic, pharmacological and…

  4. Understanding Late Triassic low latitude terrestrial ecosystems: new insights from the Colorado Plateau Coring Project (CPCP)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irmis, R. B.; Olsen, P. E.; Parker, W.; Rasmussen, C.; Mundil, R.; Whiteside, J. H.

    2017-12-01

    The Chinle Formation of southwestern North America is a key paleontological archive of low paleolatitude non-marine ecosystems that existed during the Late Triassic hothouse world. These strata were deposited at 5-15°N latitude, and preserve extensive plant, invertebrate, and vertebrate fossil assemblages, including early dinosaurs; these organisms lived in an unpredictably fluctuating semi-arid to arid environment with very high atmospheric pCO2. Despite this well-studied fossil record, a full understanding of these ecosystems and their integration with other fossil assemblages globally has been hindered by a poor understanding of the Chinle Formation's age, duration, and sedimentation rates. Recently, the CPCP recovered a 520m continuous core through this formation from the northern portion of Petrified Forest National Park (PEFO) in northern Arizona, USA. This core has provided a plethora of new radioisotopic and magnetostratigraphic data from fresh, unweathered samples in unambiguous stratigraphic superposition. These constraints confirm that virtually all fossil-bearing horizons in Chinle outcrops in the vicinity of PEFO are Norian in age. Furthermore, they indicate that the palynomorph zone II and Adamanian vertebrate biozone are at least six million years long, whereas the overlying palynomorph zone III and Revueltian vertebrate biozone persisted for at least five million years, with the boundary between 216-214 Ma. This confirms that the rich late Adamanian-early Revueltian vertebrate fossil assemblages, where dinosaurs are exclusively rare, small-bodied carnivorous theropods, are contemporaneous with higher latitude assemblages in Europe, South America, and Africa where large-bodied herbivorous sauropodomorph dinosaurs are common. The age constraints also confirm that several palynomorph biostratigraphic ranges in the Chinle Formation differ from those of the same taxa in eastern North American (Newark Supergroup) and Europe. These data are consistent

  5. Understanding the structure of Exmoor's peatland ecosystems using laser-scanning technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luscombe, D. J.; Anderson, K.; Wetherelt, A.; Grand-Clement, E.; Le-Feuvre, N.; Smith, D.; Brazier, R. E.

    2012-04-01

    Upland blanket peatlands in the UK are of high conservation value and in an intact state, provide important landscape services, such as carbon sequestration and flood attenuation. The drainage of many such wetlands for agricultural reclamation has resulted in changes to upland blanket mire topography, ecology, hydrological processes and carbon fluxes. There is a need for spatially explicit monitoring approaches at peatland sites in the UK as although there has been a national effort to restore drained peat uplands, baseline and post restoration monitoring of changes to ecosystem structure and function is largely absent. Climate change policy and the emerging carbon markets also necessitate the need for enhanced system understanding to inform carbon targets and understand the impacts of restoration. Exmoor is the focus of this research because many areas of upland peat have, in the past, been extensively drained through government "moorland reclamation" programs. A large restoration project funded by South West Water is currently underway in association with Exmoor National Park, The Environment Agency and Natural England. Exmoor also provides an analogue for other westerly peatlands in the British Isles in terms of its climate, ecology and drainage characteristics. Our approach employed airborne LiDAR data gathered by the Environment Agency Geomatics Group coupled with Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) surveys. LiDAR data were processed to produce digital surface models (DSM) of the peatland surface at a 0.5m resolution. These data were further interrogated to separate vegetation structures and geomorphic features such as man-made drainage channels which have damaged the peatland. Over small extents the LiDAR derived DSM surface was then compared to a TLS derived DSM to examine the ability of these models to describe fine scale vegetation and geomorphic structure, which could then be extrapolated to larger spatial extents. Exploration of the data has shown that

  6. Biodiversity of Arctic marine ecosystems and responses to climate change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Michel, C.; Bluhm, B.; Gallucci, V.

    2012-01-01

    The Arctic Ocean is undergoing major changes in many of its fundamental physical constituents, from a shift from multi- to first-year ice, shorter ice-covered periods, increasing freshwater runoff and surface stratification, to warming and alteration in the distribution of water masses....... These changes have important impacts on the chemical and biological processes that are at the root of marine food webs, influencing their structure, function and biodiversity. Here we summarise current knowledge on the biodiversity of Arctic marine ecosystems and provide an overview of fundamental factors...... that structure ecosystem biodiversity in the Arctic Ocean. We also discuss climateassociated effects on the biodiversity of Arctic marine ecosystems and discuss implications for the functioning of Arctic marine food webs. Based on the complexity and regional character of Arctic ecosystem reponses...

  7. Neuromarketing: Understanding Customers' Subconscious Responses to Marketing

    OpenAIRE

    Jussi Numminen; Jarmo Heinonen; Mika Westerlund; Seppo Leminen; Lauri Palokangas; Jyrki Suomala

    2012-01-01

    This article presents neuromarketing as a way to detect brain activation during customer engagement. Neuromarketing is a field of marketing research that studies consumers' sensorimotor, cognitive, and affective response to marketing stimuli. We established a Virtual Customer Journey model based on the consultative selling process to study customer engagement by using brain scans. Consultative selling suggests that a customer’s shopping experience is managed by the salesperson’s behaviour and...

  8. Practice Alignment and intent as distinctions for understanding cross-boundary knowledge creation practices in knowledge ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aaen, Mathias

    This paper explores how practice alignment and intent across organizational boundaries may serve as an explanation for collaborative knowledge creation in a knowledge ecosystem. The paper is based on a longitudinal case study of a large multinational knowledge ecosystem consisting of many...... communities of practices and organisations. By applying a practice theory approach to five data sets collected over a five-year period, the study investigates how two distinctions may serve as a potential gateway into understanding knowledge creation across boundaries. The two distinctions – practice...... are identified and discussed. Potential implications for organisational and knowledge ecosystem conceptions are identified and discussed for further research....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Neuromarketing: Understanding Customers' Subconscious Responses to Marketing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jussi Numminen

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available This article presents neuromarketing as a way to detect brain activation during customer engagement. Neuromarketing is a field of marketing research that studies consumers' sensorimotor, cognitive, and affective response to marketing stimuli. We established a Virtual Customer Journey model based on the consultative selling process to study customer engagement by using brain scans. Consultative selling suggests that a customer’s shopping experience is managed by the salesperson’s behaviour and in-store marketing assets, and that the customer gets engaged step by step. A total of 16 test subjects were shown video clips and still pictures from a consultative sales process at Nokia’s flagship stores, and their brain activity was scanned. The results show that test subjects were able to associate themselves with people and events on the video and they felt safe and comfortable during the consultative selling process. The study implies that laboratories can build virtual environments that resemble real shopping environments where customers can participate in the buying process and respond to events displayed on the screen, and that neuroimaging is useful in providing valuable information on customer behaviour that is not achievable otherwise.

  11. Ecosystem features determine seagrass community response to sea otter foraging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hessing-Lewis, Margot; Rechsteiner, Erin U.; Hughes, Brent B.; Tinker, M. Tim; Monteith, Zachary L.; Olson, Angeleen M.; Henderson, Matthew Morgan; Watson, Jane C.

    2017-01-01

    Comparing sea otter recovery in California (CA) and British Columbia (BC) reveals key ecosystem properties that shape top-down effects in seagrass communities. We review potential ecosystem drivers of sea otter foraging in CA and BC seagrass beds, including the role of coastline complexity and environmental stress on sea otter effects. In BC, we find greater species richness across seagrass trophic assemblages. Furthermore, Cancer spp. crabs, an important link in the seagrass trophic cascade observed in CA, are less common. Additionally, the more recent reintroduction of sea otters, more complex coastline, and reduced environmental stress in BC seagrass habitats supports the hypotheses that sea otter foraging pressure is currently reduced there. In order to manage the ecosystem features that lead to regional differences in top predator effects in seagrass communities, we review our findings, their spatial and temporal constraints, and present a social-ecological framework for future research.

  12. Understanding the Factors Influencing Nonindustrial Private Forest Landowner Interest in Supplying Ecosystem Services in Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nana Tian

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Private forests provide a range of ecosystem services for society including provisioning, regulating, cultural, and supporting services. Sustaining the supply of such services depends on the interest of nonindustrial private forest (NIPF landowners in managing their forests for such services. Assessing factors that influence NIPF landowner intentions would be useful in identifying potential suppliers of ecosystem services and in designing and implementing outreach and education programs to elevate the interests of less interested landowners. Using data collected from a mail survey of NIPF landowners on the Cumberland Plateau of Tennessee, this study examined how landowner interest in supplying ecosystem services was influenced by socio-demographic characteristics, economic and market factors, land management objectives, and ownership motivations. To that end, a multivariate logistic regression model was employed to analyze the supply of three types of ecosystem services: carbon storage (regulating service, water quality (provisioning service, and aesthetics (cultural service. Results revealed that landowner interest in managing forests for ecosystem services were significantly related to socio-demographic factors, management and ownership characteristics, and availability of financial incentives. These findings will improve the understanding of the market segment of landowners as related to ecosystem services. The findings may facilitate the development of market protocols and outreach programs that promote payments for ecosystem services in Tennessee and elsewhere.

  13. A flux footprint analysis to understand ecosystem fluxes in an intensively managed landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez Rodriguez, L. C.; Goodwell, A. E.; Kumar, P.

    2017-12-01

    Flux tower studies in agricultural sites have mainly been done at plot scale, where the footprint of the instruments is small such that the data reveals the behaviour of the nearby crop on which the study is focused. In the Midwestern United States, the agricultural ecosystem and its associated drainage, evapotranspiration, and nutrient dynamics are dominant influences on interactions between the soil, land, and atmosphere. In this study, we address large-scale ecohydrologic fluxes and states in an intensively managed landscape based on data from a 25m high eddy covariance flux tower. We show the calculated upwind distance and flux footprint for a flux tower located in Central Illinois as part of the Intensively Managed Landscapes Critical Zone Observatory (IMLCZO). In addition, we calculate the daily energy balance during the summer of 2016 from the flux tower measurements and compare with the modelled energy balance from a representative corn crop located in the flux tower footprint using the Multi-Layer Canopy model, MLCan. The changes in flux footprint over the course of hours, days, and the growing season have significant implications for the measured fluxes of carbon and energy at the flux tower. We use MLCan to simulate these fluxes under land covers of corn and soybeans. Our results demonstrate how the instrument heights impact the footprint of the captured eddy covariance fluxes, and we explore the implication for hydrological analysis. The convective turbulent atmosphere during the daytime shows a wide footprint of more than 10 km2, which reaches 3km length for the 90% contribution, where buoyancy is the dominant mechanism driving turbulence. In contrast, the stable atmosphere during the night-time shows a narrower footprint that goes beyond 8km2 and grows in the direction of the prevalent wind, which exceeds 4 km in length. This study improves our understanding of agricultural ecosystem behaviour in terms of the magnitude and variability of fluxes and

  14. Integrating landscape system and meta-ecosystem frameworks to advance the understanding of ecosystem function in heterogeneous landscapes: An analysis on the carbon fluxes in the Northern Highlands Lake District (NHLD) of Wisconsin and Michigan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jiakuan

    2018-01-01

    The successful integration of ecosystem ecology with landscape ecology would be conducive to understanding how landscapes function. There have been several attempts at this, with two main approaches: (1) an ecosystem-based approach, such as the meta-ecosystem framework and (2) a landscape-based approach, such as the landscape system framework. These two frameworks are currently disconnected. To integrate these two frameworks, we introduce a protocol, and then demonstrate application of the protocol using a case study. The protocol includes four steps: 1) delineating landscape systems; 2) classifying landscape systems; 3) adjusting landscape systems to meta-ecosystems and 4) integrating landscape system and meta-ecosystem frameworks through meta-ecosystems. The case study is the analyzing of the carbon fluxes in the Northern Highlands Lake District (NHLD) of Wisconsin and Michigan using this protocol. The application of this protocol revealed that one could follow this protocol to construct a meta-ecosystem and analyze it using the integrative framework of landscape system and meta-ecosystem frameworks. That is, one could (1) appropriately describe and analyze the spatial heterogeneity of the meta-ecosystem; (2) understand the emergent properties arising from spatial coupling of local ecosystems in the meta-ecosystem. In conclusion, this protocol is a useful approach for integrating the meta-ecosystem framework and the landscape system framework, which advances the describing and analyzing of the spatial heterogeneity and ecosystem function of interconnected ecosystems. PMID:29415066

  15. Integrating landscape system and meta-ecosystem frameworks to advance the understanding of ecosystem function in heterogeneous landscapes: An analysis on the carbon fluxes in the Northern Highlands Lake District (NHLD) of Wisconsin and Michigan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Haile; Chen, Jiakuan

    2018-01-01

    The successful integration of ecosystem ecology with landscape ecology would be conducive to understanding how landscapes function. There have been several attempts at this, with two main approaches: (1) an ecosystem-based approach, such as the meta-ecosystem framework and (2) a landscape-based approach, such as the landscape system framework. These two frameworks are currently disconnected. To integrate these two frameworks, we introduce a protocol, and then demonstrate application of the protocol using a case study. The protocol includes four steps: 1) delineating landscape systems; 2) classifying landscape systems; 3) adjusting landscape systems to meta-ecosystems and 4) integrating landscape system and meta-ecosystem frameworks through meta-ecosystems. The case study is the analyzing of the carbon fluxes in the Northern Highlands Lake District (NHLD) of Wisconsin and Michigan using this protocol. The application of this protocol revealed that one could follow this protocol to construct a meta-ecosystem and analyze it using the integrative framework of landscape system and meta-ecosystem frameworks. That is, one could (1) appropriately describe and analyze the spatial heterogeneity of the meta-ecosystem; (2) understand the emergent properties arising from spatial coupling of local ecosystems in the meta-ecosystem. In conclusion, this protocol is a useful approach for integrating the meta-ecosystem framework and the landscape system framework, which advances the describing and analyzing of the spatial heterogeneity and ecosystem function of interconnected ecosystems.

  16. Using targeted active-learning exercises and diagnostic question clusters to improve students' understanding of carbon cycling in ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maskiewicz, April Cordero; Griscom, Heather Peckham; Welch, Nicole Turrill

    2012-01-01

    In this study, we used targeted active-learning activities to help students improve their ways of reasoning about carbon flow in ecosystems. The results of a validated ecology conceptual inventory (diagnostic question clusters [DQCs]) provided us with information about students' understanding of and reasoning about transformation of inorganic and organic carbon-containing compounds in biological systems. These results helped us identify specific active-learning exercises that would be responsive to students' existing knowledge. The effects of the active-learning interventions were then examined through analysis of students' pre- and postinstruction responses on the DQCs. The biology and non-biology majors participating in this study attended a range of institutions and the instructors varied in their use of active learning; one lecture-only comparison class was included. Changes in pre- to postinstruction scores on the DQCs showed that an instructor's teaching method had a highly significant effect on student reasoning following course instruction, especially for questions pertaining to cellular-level, carbon-transforming processes. We conclude that using targeted in-class activities had a beneficial effect on student learning regardless of major or class size, and argue that using diagnostic questions to identify effective learning activities is a valuable strategy for promoting learning, as gains from lecture-only classes were minimal.

  17. Electricity vs Ecosystemsunderstanding and predicting hydropower impact on Swedish river flow

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Arheimer

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The most radical anthropogenic impact on water systems in Sweden originates from the years 1900–1970, when the electricity network was developed in the country and almost all rivers were regulated. The construction of dams and changes in water flow caused problems for ecosystems. Therefore, when implementing the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD hydro-morphological indicators and targets were developed for rivers and lakes to achieve good ecological potential. The hydrological regime is one such indicator. To understand the change in flow regime we quantified the hydropower impact on river flow across Sweden by using the S-HYPE model and observations. The results show that the average redistribution of water during a year due to regulation is 19 % for the total discharge from Sweden. A distinct impact was found in seasonal flow patterns and flow duration curves. Moreover, we quantified the model skills in predicting hydropower impact on flow. The median NSE for simulating change in flow regime was 0.71 for eight dams studied. Results from the spatially distributed model are available for 37 000 sub-basins across the country, and will be used by the Swedish water authorities for reporting hydro-morphological indicators to the EU and for guiding the allocation of river restoration measures.

  18. Are there links between responses of soil microbes and ecosystem functioning to elevated CO2, N deposition and warming? A global perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Palacios, Pablo; Vandegehuchte, Martijn L; Shaw, E Ashley; Dam, Marie; Post, Keith H; Ramirez, Kelly S; Sylvain, Zachary A; de Tomasel, Cecilia Milano; Wall, Diana H

    2015-04-01

    In recent years, there has been an increase in research to understand how global changes' impacts on soil biota translate into altered ecosystem functioning. However, results vary between global change effects, soil taxa, and ecosystem processes studied, and a synthesis of relationships is lacking. Therefore, here we initiate such a synthesis to assess whether the effect size of global change drivers (elevated CO2, N deposition, and warming) on soil microbial abundance is related with the effect size of these drivers on ecosystem functioning (plant biomass, soil C cycle, and soil N cycle) using meta-analysis and structural equation modeling. For N deposition and warming, the global change effect size on soil microbes was positively associated with the global change effect size on ecosystem functioning, and these relationships were consistent across taxa and ecosystem processes. However, for elevated CO2, such links were more taxon and ecosystem process specific. For example, fungal abundance responses to elevated CO2 were positively correlated with those of plant biomass but negatively with those of the N cycle. Our results go beyond previous assessments of the sensitivity of soil microbes and ecosystem processes to global change, and demonstrate the existence of general links between the responses of soil microbial abundance and ecosystem functioning. Further we identify critical areas for future research, specifically altered precipitation, soil fauna, soil community composition, and litter decomposition, that are need to better quantify the ecosystem consequences of global change impacts on soil biodiversity. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  20. Understanding the links between ecosystem health and social system well-being: an annotated bibliography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawn M. Elmer; Harriet H. Christensen; Ellen M. Donoghue; [Compilers].

    2002-01-01

    This bibliography focuses on the links between social system well-being and ecosystem health. It is intended for public land managers and scientists and students of social and natural sciences. Multidisciplinary science that addresses the interconnections between the social system and the ecosystem is presented. Some of the themes and strategies presented are policy...

  1. Understanding Relationships among Agro-Ecosystem Services Based on Emergy Analysis in Luancheng County, North China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fengjiao Ma

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Exploring the relationship between different services has become the focus of ecosystem services research in recent years. The agro-ecosystem, which accounts for one-third of the global land area, provides lots of services but also disservices, depending on resources provided by other systems. In this paper, we explored the agro-ecosystem from four aspects: a summary of different indicators in the agro-ecosystem, input and output changes with time, relationships between different ecosystem services and disservices, and resource contribution to major services, using Luancheng County of North China as the study area. We then used emergy analysis to unify all the indicators. The conclusions were that the agro-ecosystem maintained provisioning and regulating services but with increasing volatility under continued growth in production inputs and disservice outputs. There was a positive correlation between most of the different services and disservices. Rainfall and groundwater resources were the most used input resources in the agro-ecosystem and all other major ecosystem services depended directly on them.

  2. Hydrology modifies ecosystem responses to warming through interactions between soil, leaf and canopy processes in a high Arctic ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

    Arctic ecosystems are experiencing temperature increases more strongly than the global average, and increases in precipitation are also expected amongst the climate impacts on this region in the future. These changes are expected to strongly influence both plant physiology and soil biogeochemistry, and therefore ecosystem carbon balance, hydrology and nutrient cycling. We have investigated the effects of a long-term (10 years) increase in temperature (T2), soil water (W) and the combination of both (T2W) on leaf-level structure and function and ecosystem CO2 and water fluxes in a tundra ecosystem at a field manipulation experiment in NW Greenland. Leaf-level gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence, carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and morphology were measured on Salix arctica plants in treatment and control plots in June-July 2011, and continuous measurements of net ecosystem fluxes of carbon and water were made using automatic chambers coupled to a trace gas analyzer. Contrasting responses to the treatments were observed between leaf-level and net ecosystem fluxes. Plants in the elevated temperature treatment had the highest leaf-level photosynthetic capacity in terms of net CO2 assimilation rates and photosystem II efficiencies, and lowest rates of non-photochemical energy dissipation during photosynthesis. The plants in the plots with both elevated temperatures and additional water had the lowest photosystem II efficiencies and the highest rates of non-photochemical energy dissipation. However, net photosynthetic rates remained similar to control plants with additional water, due in part to higher stomatal conductance (W) and lower dark respiration rates (T2W). In contrast, net ecosystem CO2 and water fluxes were highest in the T2W plots, due largely to a 35% increase in leaf area. Total growing season C accumulation was 3-5 times greater, water fluxes were 1.5-2 times higher, and water use efficiency was about 3 times higher in the combined treatment than the control

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

    OpenAIRE

    Kroeker Kristy J; Micheli Florenza; Gambi Maria Cristina; Martz Todd R

    2011-01-01

    Ocean acidification is predicted to impact all areas of the oceans and affect a diversity of marine organisms. However, the diversity of responses among species prevents clear predictions about the impact of acidification at the ecosystem level. Here, we used shallow water CO2 vents in the Mediterranean Sea as a model system to examine emergent ecosystem responses to ocean acidification in rocky reef communities. We assessed in situ benthic invertebrate communities in three distinct pH zones ...

  4. The Development and Validation of an Alternative Assessment to Measure Changes in Understanding of the Longleaf Pine Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dentzau, Michael W.; Martínez, Alejandro José Gallard

    2016-01-01

    A drawing assessment to gauge changes in fourth grade students' understanding of the essential components of the longleaf pine ecosystem was developed to support an out-of-school environmental education program. Pre- and post-attendance drawings were scored with a rubric that was determined to have content validity and reliability among users. In…

  5. Value Assessment of Ecosystem Services in Nature Reserves in Ningxia, China: A Response to Ecological Restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yan; Gao, Jixi; Wang, Jinsheng; Qiu, Jie

    2014-01-01

    Changes in land use can cause significant changes in the ecosystem structure and process variation of ecosystem services. This study presents a detailed spatial, quantitative assessment of the variation in the value of ecosystem services based on land use change in national nature reserves of the Ningxia autonomous region in China. We used areas of land use types calculated from the remote sensing data and the adjusted value coefficients to assess the value of ecosystem services for the years 2000, 2005, and 2010, analyzing the fluctuations in the valuation of ecosystem services in response to land use change. With increases in the areas of forest land and water bodies, the value of ecosystem services increased from 182.3×107 to 223.8×107 US$ during 2000–2010. Grassland and forest land accounted for 90% of this increase. The values of all ecosystem services increased during this period, especially the value of ecosystem services for biodiversity protection and soil formation and protection. Ecological restoration in the reserves had a positive effect on the value of ecosystem services during 2000–2010. PMID:24586571

  6. Ecosystem resilience and threshold response in the Galápagos coastal zone.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alistair W R Seddon

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC provides a conservative estimate on rates of sea-level rise of 3.8 mm yr(-1 at the end of the 21(st century, which may have a detrimental effect on ecologically important mangrove ecosystems. Understanding factors influencing the long-term resilience of these communities is critical but poorly understood. We investigate ecological resilience in a coastal mangrove community from the Galápagos Islands over the last 2700 years using three research questions: What are the 'fast and slow' processes operating in the coastal zone? Is there evidence for a threshold response? How can the past inform us about the resilience of the modern system? METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Palaeoecological methods (AMS radiocarbon dating, stable carbon isotopes (δ(13C were used to reconstruct sedimentation rates and ecological change over the past 2,700 years at Diablas lagoon, Isabela, Galápagos. Bulk geochemical analysis was also used to determine local environmental changes, and salinity was reconstructed using a diatom transfer function. Changes in relative sea level (RSL were estimated using a glacio-isostatic adjustment model. Non-linear behaviour was observed in the Diablas mangrove ecosystem as it responded to increased salinities following exposure to tidal inundations. A negative feedback was observed which enabled the mangrove canopy to accrete vertically, but disturbances may have opened up the canopy and contributed to an erosion of resilience over time. A combination of drier climatic conditions and a slight fall in RSL then resulted in a threshold response, from a mangrove community to a microbial mat. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Palaeoecological records can provide important information on the nature of non-linear behaviour by identifying thresholds within ecological systems, and in outlining responses to 'fast' and 'slow' environmental change between alternative stable states. This study

  7. An Ecosystem Approach for understanding status and changes of Nador lagoon (Morocco): application for of food web models and ecosystem indices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bocci, M.; Brigolin, D.; Pranovi, F.; Najih, M.; Nachite, D.; Pastres, R.

    2016-03-01

    The work applies food web models to the Lagoon of Nador (Morocco) and subsequently estimates ecosystem indices. This effort supports the evaluation of the ecosystem status and the implementation of the Ecosystem Approach (EcAp), endorsed by the contracting parties of the Barcelona Convention for the Mediterranean Sea. The Lagoon of Nador, on the Mediterranean coast of Morocco, suffered from eutrophication during recent decades. We used indices derived from Ecological Network Analysis for investigating the most relevant features of ecosystem functioning in the decade 2000-2010 (present scenario), and comparing them with those of the 1980s (past scenario). As the Lagoon includes different habitats, the methodology was applied to each of them, in order to assess their contribution to the functioning of the whole ecosystem. Results highlighted an increase in Total System Throughput (TST) in the present scenario when compared with the past one, also associated to an increase of Total Respiration (TR) and of the ratio between Total Primary Production and Total Respiration (TPP/TR). Under the present scenario Nador lagoon shows a decreased cycling efficiency. The sensitivity analysis highlighted the capability of TST and Comprehensive Cycling Index (CCI) in detecting changes, in agreement with other recent studies on responses of food web functioning to eutrophication. The results are discussed in respect to three specific aspects, related with the application of food Web Models and Ecological Network Analysis in the EcAp context: i) data availability; ii) spatialization of indicators; iii) selected set of indicators. The results also highlight the important role of sensitivity/uncertainty analysis when implementing food web models in data-scarce systems.

  8. From Formation to Ecosystem: Tansley's Response to Clements' Climax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Valk, Arnold G

    2014-01-01

    Arthur G. Tansley never accepted Frederic E. Clements' view that succession is a developmental process whose final stage, the climax formation, is determined primarily by regional climate and that all other types of vegetation are some kind of successional stage or arrested successional stage. Tansley was convinced that in a given region a variety of environmental factors could produce different kinds of climax formations. At the heart of their dispute was Clements' organicist view of succession, i.e., the formation was a complex organism with an ontogeny and phylogeny. As early as 1905, Tansley offered an alternative to Clements' complex organism, the quasi-organism, but Clements in private and public rejected this compromise. Tansley and other plant ecologists continued to criticize Clements' theories for the next 20 years, but with no impact on Clements. John Phillips, a South African plant ecologist who was a follower of Clements, published a series of papers in 1934 and 1935 defending Clementsian ecology. These papers were triggered by the publication of a letter by another ecologist working in Africa who claimed that there was a strong correlation between soils and various kinds of climax vegetation, which was contrary to what was predicted by Phillips and Clements. In 1935, Tansley published an attack on Phillips and Clements and their developmental theory of succession. In it, he proposed the concept of the ecosystem as a way to get around Clements' monoclimax theory by making the physical environment (e.g., soil chemistry, soil texture, soil moisture) as important a factor as climate, plants and other organisms in determining the composition and characteristics of ecological entities, i.e., ecosystems. Tansley's ecosystem concept quickly replaced Clements' monoclimax theory as a dominant paradigm in ecology.

  9. Understanding the Spatial and Temporal Variations in Hormone Transport within the Stream Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallakpour, I.; Ward, A. S.; Basu, N. B.

    2012-12-01

    Agricultural, urban, and industrial activities, including land application of manures and discharge of municipal and industrial wastewater, act as point and nonpoint sources for steroid hormones in soils, water, and sediments. Hormones are endocrine disruptors, and their occurrence in stream ecosystems has been implicated in the decline of certain species and change of sex in fish. Laboratory studies indicate that steroid hormones tend to have moderately large sorption coefficients and relatively short half-lives, from a few hours to a few days, suggesting that their persistence and subsequent leaching from soils will be limited. However, these chemicals continue to be detected in streams, indicating that laboratory studies may not capture the coupled hydrologic and biogeochemical dynamics occurring at the field or stream-reach scale. Understanding the spatial and temporal persistence of these chemicals downstream of a confined animal feeding operation (CAFO) or wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) requires a coupled hydrologic and biogeochemical model that takes into account multiple interacting species, sediment processes, and different aerobic and anaerobic reaction pathways and rates. In this study, we focus on two hormones, estrone (E1) and 17β-estradiol (E2), with redox dynamics controlling the conversion between E1 and E2. A 1D stream-reach model with a main-channel and a hyporheic zone was developed similar to the commonly used OTIS model. Processes such as photolysis, decay, and sorption to sediments were included in the model framework. The inclusion of coupled reactions, with specific reaction rates and pathways driven by different reaction pathway, that in turn can be dynamic during a storm event (for example, increasing discharge might lead to more aerobic conditions), was the novelty of the approach. The modeling framework was then used to quantify the relative importance of the different reaction pathways under varying flow conditions, and evaluate the

  10. Early ecosystem responses to watershed restoration along a headwater stream

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kallenbach, Emilie M.F.; Sand-Jensen, Kaj; Morsing, Jonas

    2018-01-01

    Along many streams, natural riparian vegetation has been replaced by agricultural fields or plantations resulting in ecosystem alterations due to changes of the interactions across the land-water ecotone. We studied the effect of restoration interventions by removing a dense spruce plantation in ...... and high reaeration. In conclusion, we show that anoxic or hypoxic oxygen levels occur in warm, low-flow summer periods and this stress is reduced when intense shading from spruce plantation is removed and in-stream oxygen production is stimulated....

  11. Understanding relationships between morphology and ecosystem structure in a shallow tidal basins of Venice lagoon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giuseppina Persichillo, Maria; Taramelli, Andrea; Valentini, Emiliana; Filipponi, Federico; Meisina, Claudia; Zucca, Francesco

    2014-05-01

    Coastal wetlands represent complex ecosystems prone to continue fluctuation of their internal equilibrium. They are valuable natural resources characterized by the continue interactions between geomorphological and biological components. Their adaptation to changing conditions is highly dependent on the rate and extent of spatial and temporal processes and their responses are still poorly understood. According to this, the vulnerability assessment to natural and human made hazard have became fundamental to analyse the resilience of these areas, their ability to cope with the impacts from externally driven forces or the efforts needed to minimize the impacts (Gitay et al., 2011). The objective of this research is to develop a comprehensive and replicable method through the application of Multi-Source data analysis, based on the integration of Earth Observation data and field survey, to analyse a shallow tidal basin of salt marshes, located in the northern part of the Venice lagoon. The study site is characterised by relatively elevated areas colonized by halophytic vegetation, and tidal flats, with not vegetated areas, characterized by lower elevations. Sub-pixel processing techniques (Spectral Mixing Analysis - SMA) were used to analyse the spatial distribution of both vegetation and sediments typology. Furthermore the classifications were assayed in terms of spatial (Power law) and temporal (Empirical Orthogonal Functions) patterns, in order to find the main characteristics of the aforementioned spatial trends and their variation over time. The principal aim is to study the spatio-temporal evolution of this coastal wetland area, in order to indentify tipping points, namely thresholds, beyond which the system reaches critical state and the main climatic, hydrodynamic and morphological variables that may influence and increase this behaviour. This research represents a new approach to study the geomorphological processes and to improve the management and

  12. Understanding Biological Rates and their Temperature Dependence, from Enzymes to Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prentice, E.; Arcus, V. L.

    2017-12-01

    Temperature responses over various scales in biological systems follow a similar pattern; negative curvature results in an optimum temperature (Topt) for activity/growth/turnover, with decreases in rates on either side of Topt. Previously this downturn in rates at high temperatures has been attributed to enzyme denaturation, where a failing of the basic driving units of metabolism was used to describe curvature at the enzyme and organism level. However, recent developments in our understanding of the factors governing enzyme rates at different temperatures have guided a new understanding of the responses of biological systems. Enzymes catalyse reactions by driving the substrate through a high energy species, which is tightly bound to the enzyme. Macromolecular rate theory (MMRT) has recently been developed to account for the changes in the system brought about by this tight binding, specifically the change in the physical parameter heat capacity (ΔCǂp), and the effect this has on the temperature dependence of enzyme reactions. A negative ΔCǂp imparts the signature negative curvature to rates in the absence of denaturation, and finds that Topt, ΔCǂp and curvature are all correlated, placing constraints on biological systems. The simplest of cells comprise thousands of enzymatically catalysed reactions, functioning in series and in parallel in metabolic pathways to determine the overall growth rate of an organism. Intuitively, the temperature effects of enzymes play a role in determining the overall temperature dependence of an organism, in tandem with cellular level regulatory responses. However, the effect of individual Topt values and curvature on overall pathway behaviour is less apparent. Here, this is investigated in the context of MMRT through the in vitro characterisation of a six-step metabolic pathway to understand the steps in isolation and functioning in series. Pathway behaviour is found to be approximately an average of the properties of the

  13. Modeling and validating tritium transfer in a grassland ecosystem in response to {sup 3}H releases

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Le Dizes, S.; Maro, D.; Rozet, M.; Hebert, D.; Solier, L.; Nicoulaud, V. [Institut de radioportection et de surete nucleaire - IRSN (France); Vermorel, F.; Aulagnier, C. [Electricite de France - EDF (France)

    2014-07-01

    Tritium ({sup 3}H) is a major radionuclide released in several forms (HTO, HT) by nuclear facilities under normal operating conditions. In terrestrial ecosystems, tritium can be found under two forms: tritium in tissue free water (TFWT) following absorption of tritiated water by leaves or roots and Organically Bound Tritium (OBT) resulting from TFWT incorporation by the plant organic matter during photosynthesis. In order to study transfers of tritium from atmospheric releases to terrestrial ecosystem such as grasslands, an in-situ laboratory has been set up by IRSN on a ryegrass field plot located 2 km downwind the AREVA NC La Hague nuclear reprocessing plant (North-West of France), as was done in the past for the assessment of transfer of radiocarbon in grasslands. The objectives of this experimental field are: (i) to better understand the OBT formation in plant by photosynthesis, (ii) to evaluate transfer processes of tritium in several forms (HT, HTO) from the atmosphere (air and rainwater) to grass and soil, (iii) to develop a modeling allowing to reproduce the dynamic response of the ecosystem to tritium atmospheric releases depending of variable environmental conditions. For this purpose, tritium activity measurements will be carried out in grass (monthly measurements of HTO, OBT), in air, rainwater, soil (daily measurements of HT, HTO) and CO{sub 2}, H{sub 2}O fluxes between soil and air compartments will be carried out. Then, the TOCATTA-c model previously developed to simulate {sup 14}C transfers to pasture on a hourly time-step basis will be adapted to take account for processes specific to tritium. The model will be tested by a comparison between simulated results and measurements. The objectives of this presentation are (1) to present the organization of the experimental design of the VATO study (Validation of TOCATTA) dedicated to transfers of tritium in a grassland ecosystem, (2) to document the major assumptions, conceptual modelling and

  14. Understanding the individual to implement the ecosystem approach to fisheries management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Taylor D.; Algera, Dirk A.; Gallagher, Austin J.; Hawkins, Emily; Horodysky, Andrij; Jørgensen, Christian; Killen, Shaun S.; McKenzie, David J.; Metcalfe, Julian D.; Peck, Myron A.; Vu, Maria; Cooke, Steven J.

    2016-01-01

    Ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management (EAFMs) have emerged as requisite for sustainable use of fisheries resources. At the same time, however, there is a growing recognition of the degree of variation among individuals within a population, as well as the ecological consequences of this variation. Managing resources at an ecosystem level calls on practitioners to consider evolutionary processes, and ample evidence from the realm of fisheries science indicates that anthropogenic disturbance can drive changes in predominant character traits (e.g. size at maturity). Eco-evolutionary theory suggests that human-induced trait change and the modification of selective regimens might contribute to ecosystem dynamics at a similar magnitude to species extirpation, extinction and ecological dysfunction. Given the dynamic interaction between fisheries and target species via harvest and subsequent ecosystem consequences, we argue that individual diversity in genetic, physiological and behavioural traits are important considerations under EAFMs. Here, we examine the role of individual variation in a number of contexts relevant to fisheries management, including the potential ecological effects of rapid trait change. Using select examples, we highlight the extent of phenotypic diversity of individuals, as well as the ecological constraints on such diversity. We conclude that individual phenotypic diversity is a complex phenomenon that needs to be considered in EAFMs, with the ultimate realization that maintaining or increasing individual trait diversity may afford not only species, but also entire ecosystems, with enhanced resilience to environmental perturbations. Put simply, individuals are the foundation from which population- and ecosystem-level traits emerge and are therefore of central importance for the ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management. PMID:27293757

  15. Understanding Tropical Forest Abiotic Responses to Canopy Loss and Biomass Deposition from an Experimental Hurricane Manipulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Beusekom, A.; González, G.; Stankavitch, S.; Zimmerman, J. K.

    2017-12-01

    Understanding the nature and duration of the response of tropical forests to the extreme weather events of hurricanes is critical to understanding future forest regimes, as hurricanes are expected to increase in frequency with climate change. Here we present results from a manipulative experiment on hurricane disturbance effects in the Luquillo Experimental Forest (LEF) in Puerto Rico. The LEF is an example of a forest that would be in a frequent-hurricane region in Earth System Models (ESMs). Thus, the Canopy Trimming Experiment (CTE) was designed to study the key mechanisms behind such a forest's response after a major hurricane (category 4), and guide how repeated hurricanes might be expected to alter such ecosystems using these key mechanisms. Furthermore, with explicit forest manipulation instead of natural occurrence, it is possible to separate out which aspects of hurricane disturbance are most important to be accurately included in ESMs. Phase one of the experiments ran from 2005-2012, where it was found that short-term biotic responses of the forests were driven by canopy openness rather than by debris deposition. In phase two, running from 2014 through the present, we focus here on the abiotic changes forcing the overall response of the ecosystem. The manner in which these abiotic characteristics are disturbed and the speed at which they recover will be key to the continued existence of tropical forests under a climate with more frequent hurricane activity.

  16. Grazing responses in herbs in relation to herbivore selectivity and plant traits in an alpine ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evju, Marianne; Austrheim, Gunnar; Halvorsen, Rune; Mysterud, Atle

    2009-08-01

    Herbivores shape plant communities through selective foraging. However, both herbivore selectivity and the plant's ability to tolerate or resist herbivory may depend on the density of herbivores. In an alpine ecosystem with a long history of grazing, plants are expected to respond to both enhanced and reduced grazing pressures, and the interaction between plant traits and changes in species abundance are expected to differ between the two types of alteration of grazing regime. To understand the mechanisms behind species response, we investigated the relationship between sheep selectivity (measured in situ), plant traits and experimentally derived measures of change in species abundance as a response to the enhancement (from low to high density) or cessation (from low to zero density) of sheep grazing pressure over a six-year time period for 22 abundant herb species in an alpine habitat in south Norway. Sheep selected large, late-flowering herbs with a low leaf C/N ratio. Species that increased in abundance in response to enhanced grazing pressure were generally small and had high root/shoot ratios, thus exhibiting traits that reflect both resistance (through avoidance) and tolerance (through regrowth capacity) strategies. The abundance of selected species remained stable during the study period, and also under the enhanced grazing pressure treatment. There was, however, a tendency for selected species to respond positively to cessation of grazing, although overall responses to cessation of grazing were much less pronounced than responses to enhanced grazing. Avoidance through short stature (probably associated with increased light availability through the removal of tall competitors) as well as a certain amount of regrowth capacity appear to be the main mechanisms behind a positive response to enhanced grazing pressure in this study. The plant trait perspective clearly improves our insight into the mechanisms behind observed changes in species abundance when the

  17. Understanding Climate Variability of Urban Ecosystems Through the Lens of Citizen Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ripplinger, J.; Jenerette, D.; Wang, J.; Chandler, M.; Ge, C.; Koutzoukis, S.

    2017-12-01

    The Los Angeles megacity is vulnerable to climate warming - a process that locally exacerbates the urban heat island effect as it intensifies with size and density of the built-up area. We know that large-scale drivers play a role, but in order to understand local-scale climate variation, more research is needed on the biophysical and sociocultural processes driving the urban climate system. In this study, we work with citizen scientists to deploy a high-density network of microsensors across a climate gradient to characterize geographic variation in neighborhood meso- and micro-climates. This research asks: How do urbanization, global climate, and vegetation interact across multiple scales to affect local-scale experiences of temperature? Additionally, citizen scientist-led efforts generated research questions focused on examining microclimatic differences among yard groundcover types (rock mulch vs. lawn vs. artificial turf) and also on variation in temperature related to tree cover. Combining sensor measurements with Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) spatial models and satellite-based temperature, we estimate spatially-explicit maps of land surface temperature and air temperature to illustrate the substantial difference between surface and air urban heat island intensities and the variable degree of coupling between land surface and air temperature in urban areas. Our results show a strong coupling between air temperature variation and landcover for neighborhoods, with significant detectable signatures from tree cover and impervious surface. Temperature covaried most strongly with urbanization intensity at nighttime during peak summer season, when daily mean air temperature ranged from 12.8C to 30.4C across all groundcover types. The combined effects of neighborhood geography and vegetation determine where and how temperature and tree canopy vary within a city. This citizen science-enabled research shows how large-scale climate drivers and urbanization

  18. Long-term ecosystem level experiment at Toolik Lake, Alaska, and at Abisko, Northern Sweden: generalisations and differences in ecosystem and plant type responses to global change.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Wijk, M.T.; Clemmensen, K.E.; Shaver, G.R.; Williams, M.; Callaghan, T.V.; Chapin III, F.S.; Cornelissen, J.H.C.; Gough, L.; Hobbie, S.E.; Jonasson, S.; Lee, J.A.; Michelsen, A.; Press, M.C.; Richardson, S.J.; Rueth, H.

    2003-01-01

    Long-term ecosystem-level experiments, in which the environment is manipulated in a controlled manner, are important tools to predict the responses of ecosystem functioning and composition to future global change. We present the results of a meta-analysis performed on the results of long-term

  19. Long-term ecosystem level experiments at Toolik Lake, Alaska, and at Abisko, Northern Sweden: generalizations and differences in ecosystem and plant type responses to global change

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijk, van M.T.; Clemmensen, K.E.; Shaver, G.R.; Williams, M.; Callaghans, T.V.; Chapin, F.S.; Cornelissen, J.H.C.; Gough, L.; Hobbie, S.E.; Jonasson, S.; Lees, J.A.; Michelsen, A.; Press, M.C.; Richardsons, S.J.; Rueth, H.

    2004-01-01

    Long-term ecosystem-level experiments, in which the environment is manipulated in a controlled manner, are important tools to predict the responses of ecosystem functioning and composition to future global change. We present the results of a meta-analysis performed on the results of long-term

  20. Amazon forest ecosystem responses to elevated atmospheric CO2 and alterations in nutrient availability: filling the gaps with model-experiment integration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofhansl, Florian; Andersen, Kelly; Fleischer, Katrin; Fuchslueger, Lucia; Rammig, Anja; Schaap, Karst; Valverde-Barrantes, Oscar; Lapola, David

    2016-02-01

    The impacts of elevated CO2 (eCO2) and alterations in nutrient availability on the carbon (C) storage capacity and resilience of the Amazon forest remain highly uncertain. Carbon dynamics are controlled by multiple eco-physiological processes responding to environmental change, but we lack solid experimental evidence, hampering theory development and thus representation in ecosystem models. Here, we present two ecosystem-scale manipulation experiments, to be carried out in the Amazon, that examine tropical ecosystem responses to eCO2 and nutrient addition and thus will elucidate the representation of crucial ecological processes by ecosystem models. We highlight current gaps in our understanding of tropical ecosystem responses to projected global changes in light of the eco-physiological assumptions considered by current ecosystem models. We conclude that a more detailed process-based representation of the spatial (e.g. soil type; plant functional type) and temporal (seasonal and inter-annual variation) diversity of tropical forests is needed to enhance model predictions of ecosystem responses to projected global environmental change.

  1. Effects of Climatic Factors and Ecosystem Responses on the Inter-Annual Variability of Evapotranspiration in a Coniferous Plantation in Subtropical China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Mingjie; Wen, Xuefa; Wang, Huimin; Zhang, Wenjiang; Dai, Xiaoqin; Song, Jie; Wang, Yidong; Fu, Xiaoli; Liu, Yunfen; Sun, Xiaomin; Yu, Guirui

    2014-01-01

    Because evapotranspiration (ET) is the second largest component of the water cycle and a critical process in terrestrial ecosystems, understanding the inter-annual variability of ET is important in the context of global climate change. Eight years of continuous eddy covariance measurements (2003–2010) in a subtropical coniferous plantation were used to investigate the impacts of climatic factors and ecosystem responses on the inter-annual variability of ET. The mean and standard deviation of annual ET for 2003–2010 were 786.9 and 103.4 mm (with a coefficient of variation of 13.1%), respectively. The inter-annual variability of ET was largely created in three periods: March, May–June, and October, which are the transition periods between seasons. A set of look-up table approaches were used to separate the sources of inter-annual variability of ET. The annual ETs were calculated by assuming that (a) both the climate and ecosystem responses among years are variable (Vcli-eco), (b) the climate is variable but the ecosystem responses are constant (Vcli), and (c) the climate is constant but ecosystem responses are variable (Veco). The ETs that were calculated under the above assumptions suggested that the inter-annual variability of ET was dominated by ecosystem responses and that there was a negative interaction between the effects of climate and ecosystem responses. These results suggested that for long-term predictions of water and energy balance in global climate change projections, the ecosystem responses must be taken into account to better constrain the uncertainties associated with estimation. PMID:24465610

  2. A conceptual model of plant responses to climate with implications for monitoring ecosystem change

    Science.gov (United States)

    C. David. Bertelsen

    2013-01-01

    Climate change is affecting natural systems on a global scale and is particularly rapid in the Southwest. It is important to identify impacts of a changing climate before ecosystems become unstable. Recognizing plant responses to climate change requires knowledge of both species present and plant responses to variable climatic conditions. A conceptual model derived...

  3. The disappearing cryosphere: Impacts and ecosystem responses to rapid cryosphere loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrew G. Fountain; John L. Campbell; Edward A.G. Schuur; Sharon E. Stammerjohn; Mark W. Williams; Hugh W. Ducklow

    2012-01-01

    The cryosphere—the portion of the Earth's surface where water is in solid form for at least one month of the year—has been shrinking in response to climate warming. The extents of sea ice, snow, and glaciers, for example, have been decreasing. In response, the ecosystems within the cryosphere and those that depend on the cryosphere have been...

  4. Perception, acquisition and use of ecosystem services: human behavior, and ecosystem management and policy implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley T. Asah; Anne D. Guerry; Dale J. Blahna; Joshua J. Lawler

    2014-01-01

    Ecosystem services, fundamental to livelihoods and well-being, are reshaping environmental management and policy. However, the behavioral dimensions of ecosystem services and the responses of ordinary people to the management of those services, is less well understood. The ecosystem services framework lends itself to understanding the relationship between ecosystems...

  5. The interaction triangle as a tool for understanding stakeholder interactions in marine ecosystem based management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rockmann, C.; Leeuwen, van J.; Goldsborough, D.G.; Kraan, M.L.; Piet, G.J.

    2015-01-01

    Expectations about ecosystem based management (EBM) differ due to diverging perspectives about what EBM should be and how it should work. While EBM by its nature requires trade-offs to be made between ecological, economic and social sustainability criteria, the diversity of cross-sectoral

  6. Forest Soil Bacteria: Diversity, Involvement in Ecosystem Processes, and Response to Global Change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lladó, Salvador; López-Mondéjar, Rubén; Baldrian, Petr

    2017-06-01

    The ecology of forest soils is an important field of research due to the role of forests as carbon sinks. Consequently, a significant amount of information has been accumulated concerning their ecology, especially for temperate and boreal forests. Although most studies have focused on fungi, forest soil bacteria also play important roles in this environment. In forest soils, bacteria inhabit multiple habitats with specific properties, including bulk soil, rhizosphere, litter, and deadwood habitats, where their communities are shaped by nutrient availability and biotic interactions. Bacteria contribute to a range of essential soil processes involved in the cycling of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus. They take part in the decomposition of dead plant biomass and are highly important for the decomposition of dead fungal mycelia. In rhizospheres of forest trees, bacteria interact with plant roots and mycorrhizal fungi as commensalists or mycorrhiza helpers. Bacteria also mediate multiple critical steps in the nitrogen cycle, including N fixation. Bacterial communities in forest soils respond to the effects of global change, such as climate warming, increased levels of carbon dioxide, or anthropogenic nitrogen deposition. This response, however, often reflects the specificities of each studied forest ecosystem, and it is still impossible to fully incorporate bacteria into predictive models. The understanding of bacterial ecology in forest soils has advanced dramatically in recent years, but it is still incomplete. The exact extent of the contribution of bacteria to forest ecosystem processes will be recognized only in the future, when the activities of all soil community members are studied simultaneously. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  7. Understanding environmental drivers in the regulation of soil respiration dynamics after fire in semi-arid ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Lewandrowski, Wolfgang; Erickson, Todd E.; Dixon, Kingsley W.; Merritt, David J.

    2016-04-01

    Keywords: Pilbara, soil CO2 efflux, soil C, soil moisture, soil temperature Introduction Soil respiration (Rs) has become a major research focus given the increase in atmospheric CO2 emissions and the large contribution of these CO2 fluxes from soils (Van Groenigen et al., 2014). In addition to its importance in the global C cycle, Rs is a fundamental indicator of soil health and quality that reflects the level of microbial activity and provides an indication of the ability of soils to support plant growth (Oyonarte et al., 2012; Munoz-Rojas et al., 2015). Wildfires can have a significant impact on Rs rates, with the scale of the impact depending on environmental factors such as temperature and moisture, and organic C content in the soil. Vegetation cover can have a significant effect on regulating organic C contents; and while advances are made into understanding the effects of fire on organic C contents and CO2 fluxes (Granged et al., 2011; Willaarts et al., 2015; Muñoz-Rojas et al., 2016), there is limited knowledge of the variability of Rs across ecosystem types, vegetation communities, and responses to fire. In this research we aimed to assess the impacts of a wildfire on the soil CO2 fluxes and soil respiration in a semi-arid ecosystem of Western Australia (Pilbara biogeographical region), and to understand the main environmental drivers controlling these fluxes in different vegetation types. The study has application for other arid and semi-arid regions of the world. Methods The study area was selected following a wildfire that affected 25 ha in February 2014. Twelve plots were established in the burnt site (B) within a 400 m2 area, and 12 plots in an adjacent unburnt control site. At each site, three plots were installed below the canopy of each of the most representative vegetation types of the areas: Eucalyptus trees, Acacia shrubs and Triodia grasses, and three on bare soil. Soil sampling and measurement of soil CO2 efflux, temperature and moisture were

  8. Plant responses to precipitation in desert ecosystems: integrating functional types, pulses, thresholds, and delays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogle, Kiona; Reynolds, James F

    2004-10-01

    The 'two-layer' and 'pulse-reserve' hypotheses were developed 30 years ago and continue to serve as the standard for many experiments and modeling studies that examine relationships between primary productivity and rainfall variability in aridlands. The two-layer hypothesis considers two important plant functional types (FTs) and predicts that woody and herbaceous plants are able to co-exist in savannas because they utilize water from different soil layers (or depths). The pulse-reserve model addresses the response of individual plants to precipitation and predicts that there are 'biologically important' rain events that stimulate plant growth and reproduction. These pulses of precipitation may play a key role in long-term plant function and survival (as compared to seasonal or annual rainfall totals as per the two-layer model). In this paper, we re-evaluate these paradigms in terms of their generality, strengths, and limitations. We suggest that while seasonality and resource partitioning (key to the two-layer model) and biologically important precipitation events (key to the pulse-reserve model) are critical to understanding plant responses to precipitation in aridlands, both paradigms have significant limitations. Neither account for plasticity in rooting habits of woody plants, potential delayed responses of plants to rainfall, explicit precipitation thresholds, or vagaries in plant phenology. To address these limitations, we integrate the ideas of precipitation thresholds and plant delays, resource partitioning, and plant FT strategies into a simple 'threshold-delay' model. The model contains six basic parameters that capture the nonlinear nature of plant responses to pulse precipitation. We review the literature within the context of our threshold-delay model to: (i) develop testable hypotheses about how different plant FTs respond to pulses; (ii) identify weaknesses in the current state-of-knowledge; and (iii) suggest future research directions that will

  9. Improved understanding of drought controls on seasonal variation in Mediterranean forest canopy CO2 and water fluxes through combined in situ measurements and ecosystem modelling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Sabate

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Water stress is a defining characteristic of Mediterranean ecosystems, and is likely to become more severe in the coming decades. Simulation models are key tools for making predictions, but our current understanding of how soil moisture controls ecosystem functioning is not sufficient to adequately constrain parameterisations. Canopy-scale flux data from four forest ecosystems with Mediterranean-type climates were used in order to analyse the physiological controls on carbon and water flues through the year. Significant non-stomatal limitations on photosynthesis were detected, along with lesser changes in the conductance-assimilation relationship. New model parameterisations were derived and implemented in two contrasting modelling approaches. The effectiveness of two models, one a dynamic global vegetation model ("ORCHIDEE", and the other a forest growth model particularly developed for Mediterranean simulations ("GOTILWA+", was assessed and modelled canopy responses to seasonal changes in soil moisture were analysed in comparison with in situ flux measurements. In contrast to commonly held assumptions, we find that changing the ratio of conductance to assimilation under natural, seasonally-developing, soil moisture stress is not sufficient to reproduce forest canopy CO2 and water fluxes. However, accurate predictions of both CO2 and water fluxes under all soil moisture levels encountered in the field are obtained if photosynthetic capacity is assumed to vary with soil moisture. This new parameterisation has important consequences for simulated responses of carbon and water fluxes to seasonal soil moisture stress, and should greatly improve our ability to anticipate future impacts of climate changes on the functioning of ecosystems in Mediterranean-type climates.

  10. Ecosystem services and climate change: Understanding the differences and identifying opportunities for forest carbon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert L. Deal; Crystal Raymond; David L. Peterson; Cindy. Glick

    2010-01-01

    There are a number of misunderstandings about “ecosystem services” and “climate change” and these terms are often used incorrectly to describe different concepts. These concepts address different issues and objectives but have some important integrating themes relating to carbon and carbon sequestration. In this paper, we provide definitions and distinctions between...

  11. Understanding and Managing the Effects of Climate Change on Ecosystem Services in the Rocky Mountains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica E. Halofsky

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Public lands in the US Rocky Mountains provide critical ecosystem services, especially to rural communities that rely on these lands for fuel, food, water, and recreation. Climate change will likely affect the ability of these lands to provide ecosystem services. We describe 2 efforts to assess climate change vulnerabilities and develop adaptation options on federal lands in the Rocky Mountains. We specifically focus on aspects that affect community economic security and livelihood security, including water quality and quantity, timber, livestock grazing, and recreation. Headwaters of the Rocky Mountains serve as the primary source of water for large populations, and these headwaters are located primarily on public land. Thus, federal agencies will play a key role in helping to protect water quantity and quality by promoting watershed function and water conservation. Although increased temperatures and atmospheric concentration of CO2 have the potential to increase timber and forage production in the Rocky Mountains, those gains may be offset by wildfires, droughts, insect outbreaks, non-native species, and altered species composition. Our assessment identified ways in which federal land managers can help sustain forest and range productivity, primarily by increasing ecosystem resilience and minimizing current stressors, such as invasive species. Climate change will likely increase recreation participation. However, recreation managers will need more flexibility to adjust practices, provide recreation opportunities, and sustain economic benefits to communities. Federal agencies are now transitioning from the planning phase of climate change adaptation to implementation to ensure that ecosystem services will continue to be provided from federal lands in a changing climate.

  12. Understanding the value of plant diversity for ecosystem functioning through niche theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Forest; Purves, Drew W.; Loreau, Michel

    2016-01-01

    Biodiversity experiments have generated robust empirical results supporting the hypothesis that ecosystems function better when they contain more species. Given that ecosystems provide services that are valued by humans, this inevitably suggests that the loss of species from natural ecosystems could diminish their value. This raises two important questions. First, will experimental results translate into the real world, where species are being lost at an alarming rate? And second, what are the benefits and pitfalls of such valuation exercises? We argue that the empirical results obtained in experiments are entirely consistent with well-established theories of species coexistence. We then examine the current body of work through the lens of niche theory and highlight where closer links with theory could open up opportunities for future research. We argue that niche theory predicts that diversity–functioning relationships are likely to be stronger (and require more species) in the field than in simplified experimental settings. However, we caution that while many of the biological processes that promote coexistence can also generate diversity–function relationships, there is no simple mapping between the two. This implies that valuation exercises need to proceed with care. PMID:27928043

  13. The quest for a mechanistic understanding of biodiversity-ecosystem services relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duncan, Clare; Thompson, Julian R; Pettorelli, Nathalie

    2015-10-22

    Ecosystem services (ES) approaches to biodiversity conservation are currently high on the ecological research and policy agendas. However, despite a wealth of studies into biodiversity's role in maintaining ES (B-ES relationships) across landscapes, we still lack generalities in the nature and strengths of these linkages. Reasons for this are manifold, but can largely be attributed to (i) a lack of adherence to definitions and thus a confusion between final ES and the ecosystem functions (EFs) underpinning them, (ii) a focus on uninformative biodiversity indices and singular hypotheses and (iii) top-down analyses across large spatial scales and overlooking of context-dependency. The biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (B-EF) field provides an alternate context for examining biodiversity's mechanistic role in shaping ES, focusing on species' characteristics that may drive EFs via multiple mechanisms across contexts. Despite acknowledgements of a need for B-ES research to look towards underlying B-EF linkages, the connections between these areas of research remains weak. With this review, we pull together recent B-EF findings to identify key areas for future developments in B-ES research. We highlight a means by which B-ES research may begin to identify how and when multiple underlying B-EF relationships may scale to final ES delivery and trade-offs. © 2015 The Author(s).

  14. Children's empathy responses and their understanding of mother's emotions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tully, Erin C; Donohue, Meghan Rose; Garcia, Sarah E

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated children's empathic responses to their mother's distress to provide insight about child factors that contribute to parental socialisation of emotions. Four- to six-year-old children (N = 82) observed their mother's sadness and anger during a simulated emotional phone conversation. Children's facial negative affect was rated and their heart rate variability (HRV) was recorded during the conversation, and their emotion understanding of the conversation was measured through their use of negative emotion words and perspective-taking themes (i.e., discussing the causes or resolution of mother's emotions) in narrative accounts of the conversation. There were positive quadratic relationships between HRV and ratings of facial affect, narrative references to mother's negative emotions and perspective-taking themes. High and low HRV was associated with high facial negative affect, suggesting well-regulated sympathy and poorly regulated personal distress empathic responses, respectively. Moderate HRV was associated with low facial negative affect, suggesting minimal empathic engagement. High and low HRV were associated with the highest probabilities of both emotion understanding indicators, suggesting both sympathy and personal distress responses to mother's distress facilitate understanding of mother's emotions. Personal distress may motivate attempts to understand mother's emotions as a self-soothing strategy, whereas sympathy-related attempts to understand may be motivated by altruism.

  15. Understanding Computation of Impulse Response in Microwave Software Tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potrebic, Milka M.; Tosic, Dejan V.; Pejovic, Predrag V.

    2010-01-01

    In modern microwave engineering curricula, the introduction of the many new topics in microwave industrial development, or of software tools for design and simulation, sometimes results in students having an inadequate understanding of the fundamental theory. The terminology for and the explanation of algorithms for calculating impulse response in…

  16. From groundwater abstraction to vegetative response in fen ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Johansen, Ole Munch; Jensen, Jacob Birk; Pedersen, Morten Lauge

    2014-01-01

    periods. The predicted change in water table conditions in the fen habitat is compared to the variability found in 35 Danish fens, and the ecological response is discussed based on statistical water-level vegetation relations. The results provide a rare quantitative foundation for decision making...... resolution. A considerable flow reduction in the natural spring was monitored during a full-scale pumping test while no significant effects on the water table in the fen habitats were observed. A modelled abstraction scenario predicted a lowering of 2–3 cm in the centre of the main fen area during summer...

  17. Food Web Response to Habitat Restoration in Various Coastal Wetland Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, W. R.; Nelson, J. A.

    2017-12-01

    Coastal wetland habitats provide important ecosystem services, including supporting coastal food webs. These habitats are being lost rapidly. To combat the effects of these losses, millions of dollars have been invested to restore these habitats. However, the relationship between restoring habitat and restoring ecosystem functioning is poorly understood. Analyzing energy flow through food web comparisons between restored and natural habitats can give insights into ecosystem functioning. Using published stable isotope values from organisms in restored and natural habitats, we assessed the food web response of habitat restoration in salt marsh, mangrove, sea grass, and algal bed ecosystems. We ran Bayesian mixing models to quantify resource use by consumers and generated habitat specific niche hypervolumes for each ecosystem to assess food web differences between restored and natural habitats. Salt marsh, mangrove, and sea grass ecosystems displayed functional differences between restored and natural habitats. Salt marsh and mangrove food webs varied in the amount of each resource used, while the sea grass food web displayed more variation between individual organisms. The algal bed food web showed little variation between restored and natural habitats.

  18. The role of isohydric and anisohydric species in determining ecosystem-scale response to severe drought.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roman, D T; Novick, K A; Brzostek, E R; Dragoni, D; Rahman, F; Phillips, R P

    2015-11-01

    Ongoing shifts in the species composition of Eastern US forests necessitate the development of frameworks to explore how species-specific water-use strategies influence ecosystem-scale carbon (C) cycling during drought. Here, we develop a diagnostic framework to classify plant drought-response strategies along a continuum of isohydric to anisohydric regulation of leaf water potential (Ψ(L)). The framework is applied to a 3-year record of weekly leaf-level gas exchange and Ψ measurements collected in the Morgan-Monroe State Forest (Indiana, USA), where continuous observations of the net ecosystem exchange of CO2 (NEE) have been ongoing since 1999. A severe drought that occurred in the middle of the study period reduced the absolute magnitude of NEE by 55%, though species-specific responses to drought conditions varied. Oak species were characterized by anisohydric regulation of Ψ(L) that promoted static gas exchange throughout the study period. In contrast, Ψ(L) of the other canopy dominant species was more isohydric, which limited gas exchange during the drought. Ecosystem-scale estimates of NEE and gross ecosystem productivity derived by upscaling the leaf-level data agreed well with tower-based observations, and highlight how the fraction of isohydric and anisohydric species in forests can mediate net ecosystem C balance.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-17

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

  20. Response diversity, nonnative species, and disassembly rules buffer freshwater ecosystem processes from anthropogenic change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Jonathan W; Olden, Julian D

    2017-05-01

    Integrating knowledge of environmental degradation, biodiversity change, and ecosystem processes across large spatial scales remains a key challenge to illuminating the resilience of earth's systems. There is now a growing realization that the manner in which communities will respond to anthropogenic impacts will ultimately control the ecosystem consequences. Here, we examine the response of freshwater fishes and their nutrient excretion - a key ecosystem process that can control aquatic productivity - to human land development across the contiguous United States. By linking a continental-scale dataset of 533 fish species from 8100 stream locations with species functional traits, nutrient excretion, and land remote sensing, we present four key findings. First, we provide the first geographic footprint of nutrient excretion by freshwater fishes across the United States and reveal distinct local- and continental-scale heterogeneity in community excretion rates. Second, fish species exhibited substantial response diversity in their sensitivity to land development; for native species, the more tolerant species were also the species contributing greater ecosystem function in terms of nutrient excretion. Third, by modeling increased land-use change and resultant shifts in fish community composition, land development is estimated to decrease fish nutrient excretion in the majority (63%) of ecoregions. Fourth, the loss of nutrient excretion would be 28% greater if biodiversity loss was random or 84% greater if there were no nonnative species. Thus, ecosystem processes are sensitive to increased anthropogenic degradation but biotic communities provide multiple pathways for resistance and this resistance varies across space. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Ecosystem changes in the Neva Estuary (Baltic Sea): natural dynamics or response to anthropogenic impacts?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golubkov, Sergey; Alimov, Alexander

    2010-01-01

    The Neva Estuary situated in the eastern Gulf of Finland is one of the largest estuaries of the Baltic Sea with a large conurbation, St. Petersburg, situated on its coast. Eutrophication, alien species and large-scale digging and dumping of bottom sediment are the most prominent anthropogenic impacts on its ecosystem. However, many ecosystem responses, which are traditionally attribute to these impacts, are related to natural dynamics of the ecosystem. Fluctuations in discharge of the Neva River, intrusions of bottom hypoxic waters from the western part of the Gulf of Finland, higher summer temperatures and a shorter period of ice cover are climatic mediated factors inducing adverse changes in its ecosystem from the 1980s onwards. The main ecosystem responses to these factors are 2-3-fold increase of trophic status, deterioration of native zoobenthic communities and establishment of alien species, as well as the many fold decrease of fish catch and the population of ringed seal in the region. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas C Adam

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyerholt, Johannes; Zaehle, Sönke

    2015-12-01

    The response of the forest carbon (C) balance to changes in nitrogen (N) deposition is uncertain, partly owing to diverging representations of N cycle processes in dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs). Here, we examined how different assumptions about the degree of flexibility of the ecosystem's C : N ratios contribute to this uncertainty, and which of these assumptions best correspond to the available data. We applied these assumptions within the framework of a DGVM and compared the results to responses in net primary productivity (NPP), leaf N concentration, and ecosystem N partitioning, observed at 22 forest N fertilization experiments. Employing flexible ecosystem pool C : N ratios generally resulted in the most convincing model-data agreement with respect to production and foliar N responses. An intermediate degree of stoichiometric flexibility in vegetation, where wood C : N ratio changes were decoupled from leaf and root C : N ratio changes, led to consistent simulation of production and N cycle responses to N addition. Assuming fixed C : N ratios or scaling leaf N concentration changes to other tissues, commonly assumed by DGVMs, was not supported by reported data. Between the tested assumptions, the simulated changes in ecosystem C storage relative to changes in C assimilation varied by up to 20%. © 2015 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

  5. Carbon cycle responses of semi-arid ecosystems to positive asymmetry in rainfall.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haverd, Vanessa; Ahlström, Anders; Smith, Benjamin; Canadell, Josep G

    2017-02-01

    Recent evidence shows that warm semi-arid ecosystems are playing a disproportionate role in the interannual variability and greening trend of the global carbon cycle given their mean lower productivity when compared with other biomes (Ahlström et al. 2015 Science, 348, 895). Using multiple observations (land-atmosphere fluxes, biomass, streamflow and remotely sensed vegetation cover) and two state-of-the-art biospheric models, we show that climate variability and extremes lead to positive or negative responses in the biosphere, depending on vegetation type. We find Australia to be a global hot spot for variability, with semi-arid ecosystems in that country exhibiting increased carbon uptake due to both asymmetry in the interannual distribution of rainfall (extrinsic forcing), and asymmetry in the response of gross primary production (GPP) to rainfall change (intrinsic response). The latter is attributable to the pulse-response behaviour of the drought-adapted biota of these systems, a response that is estimated to be as much as half of that from the CO 2 fertilization effect during 1990-2013. Mesic ecosystems, lacking drought-adapted species, did not show an intrinsic asymmetric response. Our findings suggest that a future more variable climate will induce large but contrasting ecosystem responses, differing among biomes globally, independent of changes in mean precipitation alone. The most significant changes are occurring in the extensive arid and semi-arid regions, and we suggest that the reported increased carbon uptake in response to asymmetric responses might be contributing to the observed greening trends there. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Responses of LAI to rainfall explain contrasting sensitivities to carbon uptake between forest and non-forest ecosystems in Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Longhui; Wang, Ying-Ping; Beringer, Jason; Shi, Hao; Cleverly, James; Cheng, Lei; Eamus, Derek; Huete, Alfredo; Hutley, Lindsay; Lu, Xingjie; Piao, Shilong; Zhang, Lu; Zhang, Yongqiang; Yu, Qiang

    2017-09-15

    Non-forest ecosystems (predominant in semi-arid and arid regions) contribute significantly to the increasing trend and interannual variation of land carbon uptake over the last three decades, yet the mechanisms are poorly understood. By analysing the flux measurements from 23 ecosystems in Australia, we found the the correlation between gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (R e ) was significant for non-forest ecosystems, but was not for forests. In non-forest ecosystems, both GPP and R e increased with rainfall, and, consequently net ecosystem production (NEP) increased with rainfall. In forest ecosystems, GPP and R e were insensitive to rainfall. Furthermore sensitivity of GPP to rainfall was dominated by the rainfall-driven variation of LAI rather GPP per unit LAI in non-forest ecosystems, which was not correctly reproduced by current land models, indicating that the mechanisms underlying the response of LAI to rainfall should be targeted for future model development.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Everett, K.R.

    1990-08-31

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

  8. Understanding the nature of methane emission from rice ecosystems as basis of mitigation strategies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buendia, L.V.; Neue, H.U.; Wassmann, R. [International Rice Research Institute, Laguna (Philippines)] [and others

    1996-12-31

    Methane is considered as an important Greenhouse gas and rice fields are one of the major atmospheric methane sources. The paper aims to develop sampling strategies and formulate mitigation options based on diel (day and night) and seasonal pattern of methane emission. The study was conducted in 4 countries to measure methane flux using an automatic closed chamber system. A 24-hour bihourly methane emissions were continuously obtained during the whole growing season. Daily and seasonal pattern of methane fluxes from different rice ecosystems were evaluated. Diel pattern of methane emission from irrigated rice fields, in all sites, displayed similar pattern from planting to flowering. Fluxes at 0600, 1200, and 1800 h were important components of the total diel flux. A proposed sampling frequency to accurately estimate methane emission within the growing season was designed based on the magnitude of daily flux variation. Total methane emission from different ecosystems follow the order: deepwater rice > irrigated rice > rainfed rice. Application of pig manure increased total emission by 10 times of that without manure. Green manure application increased emission by 49% of that applied only with inorganic fertilizer. Removal of floodwater at 10 DAP and 35 DAP, within a period of 4 days, inhibited production and emission of methane. The level of variation in daily methane emission and seasonal emission pattern provides useful information for accurate determination of methane fluxes. Characterization of seasonal emission pattern as to ecologies, fertilizer amendments, and water management gives an idea of where to focus mitigation strategies for sustainable rice production.

  9. Investigating and Modeling Ecosystem Response to an Experimental and a Natural Ice Storm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fakhraei, H.; Driscoll, C. T.; Rustad, L.; Campbell, J. L.; Groffman, P.; Fahey, T.; Likens, G.; Swaminathan, R.

    2017-12-01

    Our understanding of ecosystem response to the extreme events is generally limited to rare observations from the natural historical events. However, investigating extreme events under controlled conditions can improve our understanding of these natural phenomena. A novel field experiment was conducted in a northern hardwood forest at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire in the northeastern United States to quantify the influence of ice storms on the ecological processes. During subfreezing conditions in the winters of 2016 and 2017, water from a nearby stream was pumped and sprayed on the canopy of eight experimental plots to accrete ice to a targeted thickness on the canopy. The experiment was conducted at three levels of icing thickness (0.25, 0.5, 0.75 in.) in 2016 comparable to the naturally occurring 1998 ice storm and a second 0.5 in. treatment 2017 which were compared with reference plots. The most notable response of the icing treatments was a marked increase in fine and course litter fall which increased exponentially with increases in the icing thickness. Post-treatment openings in the canopy caused short-term increases in soil temperature in the ice-treatment plots compared to the reference plots. No response from the ice storm treatments were detected for soil moisture, net N mineralization, net nitrification, or denitrification after both natural and experimental ice storm. In contrast to the marked increase in the stream water nitrate after the natural occurring 1998 ice storm, we have not observed any significant change in soil solution N concentrations in the experimental ice storm treatments. Inconsistency in the response between the natural and experimental ice storm is likely due to differences in geophysical characteristics of the study sites including slope and lateral uptake of nutrient by the trees outside the experimental plots. In order to evaluate the long-term impacts of ice storms on northern hardwood forests, we used

  10. Pollinator population size and pollination ecosystem service responses to enhancing floral and nesting resources

    OpenAIRE

    H?ussler, Johanna; Sahlin, Ullrika; Baey, Charlotte; Smith, Henrik G.; Clough, Yann

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Modeling pollination ecosystem services requires a spatially explicit, process?based approach because they depend on both the behavioral responses of pollinators to the amount and spatial arrangement of habitat and on the within? and between?season dynamics of pollinator populations in response to land use. We describe a novel pollinator model predicting flower visitation rates by wild central?place foragers (e.g., nesting bees) in spatially explicit landscapes. The model goes beyond...

  11. How extreme is enough to cause a threshold response of ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niu, S.; Zhang, F.; Yang, Q.; Song, B.; Sun, J.

    2017-12-01

    Precipitation is a primary determinant of terrestrial ecosystem productivity over much of the globe. Recent studies have shown asymmetric or threshold responses of ecosystem productivity to precipitation gradient. However, it's not clear how extreme is enough to cause a threshold response of ecosystem. We conducted a global meta-analysis of precipitation experiments, a site level precipitation gradient experiment, and a remote sensing data mining on the relationship between precipitation extreme vs NDVI extreme. The meta-analysis shows that ANPP, BNPP, NEE, and other carbon cycle variables, showed similar response magnitudes to either precipitation increase or decrease when precipitation levels were normalized to the medium value of treatments (40%) across all the studies. Overall, the response ratios of these variables were linearly correlated with changes in precipitation amounts and soil water content. In the field gradient study with treatments of 1/12, 1/8. 1/4, 1/2, control, and 5/4 of ambient precipitation, the threshold of NPP, SR, NEE occurred when precipitation was reduced to the level of 1/8-1/12 of ambient precipitation. This means that only extreme drought can induce a threshold response of ecosystem. The regional remote sensing data showed that climate extremes with yearly low precipitation from 1982 to 2013 rarely cause extreme responses of vegetation, further suggesting that it is very difficult to detect threshold responses to natural climatic fluctuation. Our three studies together indicate that asymmetrical responses of vegetation to precipitation are likely detected, but only in very extreme precipitation events.

  12. The impact of warming on greenhouse gas fluxes: an experimental comparison which reveals the varied response of ecosystems to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stockdale, James; Ineson, Philip

    2016-04-01

    Modelled predictions of the response of terrestrial systems to climate change are highly variable, yet the response of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) is a vital ecosystem behaviour to understand due to its inherent feedback to the carbon cycle. The establishment and subsequent monitoring of replicated experimental manipulations are a direct method to reveal these responses, yet are difficult to achieve as they typically resource-heavy and labour intensive. We actively manipulated the temperature at three agricultural grasslands in southern England and deployed novel 'SkyLine' systems, recently developed at the University of York, to continuously monitor GHG fluxes. Each 'SkyLine' is a low-cost and fully autonomous technology yet produces fluxes at a near-continuous temporal frequency and across a wide spatial area. The results produced by 'SkyLine' enable the detail response of each system to increased temperature over diurnal and seasonal timescales. Unexpected differences in NEE are shown between superficially similar ecosystems which, upon investigation, suggest that interactions between a variety of environmental variables are key and that knowledge of pre-existing environmental conditions help to predict a systems response to future climate. For example, the prevailing hydrological conditions at each site appear to affect its response to changing temperature. The high-frequency data shown here, combined with the fully-replicated experimental design reveal complex interactions which must be understood to improve predictions of ecosystem response to a changing climate.

  13. Monitoring Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem wetlands: Can long-term monitoring help us understand their future?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ray, Andrew M.; Sepulveda, Adam; Hossack, Blake R.; Patla, Debra; Thoma, David; Al-Chokhachy, Robert K.; Litt, Andrea R.

    2015-01-01

    In the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE), changes in the drying cycles of wetlands have been documented. Wetlands are areas where the water table is at or near the land surface and standing shallow water is present for much or all of the growing season. We discuss how monitoring data can be used to document variation in annual flooding and drying patterns of wetlands monitored across Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, investigate how these patterns are related to a changing climate, and explore how drying of wetlands may impact amphibians. The documented declines of some amphibian species are of growing concern to scientists and land managers alike, in part because disappearances have occurred in some of the most protected places. These disappearances are a recognized component of what is being described as Earth’s sixth mass extinction.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  16. Understanding litter decomposition in semiarid ecosystems: linking leaf traits, UV exposure and rainfall variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaxiola, Aurora; Armesto, Juan J

    2015-01-01

    Differences in litter quality, microbial activity or abiotic conditions cannot fully account for the variability in decomposition rates observed in semiarid ecosystems. Here we tested the role of variation in litter quality, water supply, and UV radiation as drivers of litter decomposition in arid lands. And show that carry-over effects of litter photodegradation during dry periods can regulate decomposition during subsequent wet periods. We present data from a two-phase experiment, where we first exposed litter from a drought-deciduous and an evergreen shrub to natural UV levels during five, rainless summer months and, subsequently, in the laboratory, we assessed the carry-over effects of photodegradation on biomass loss under different irrigation treatments representing the observed range of local rainfall variation among years (15-240 mm). Photodegradation of litter in the field produced average carbon losses of 12%, but deciduous Proustia pungens lost >25%, while evergreen Porlieria chilensis less than 5%. Natural exposure to UV significantly reduced carbon-to-nitrogen and lignin:N ratios in Proustia litter but not in Porlieria. During the subsequent wet phase, remaining litter biomass was lower in Proustia than in Porlieria. Indeed UV exposure increased litter decomposition of Proustia under low and medium rainfall treatments, whereas no carry-over effects were detected under high rainfall treatment. Consequently, for deciduous Proustia carry-over effects of UV exposure were negligible under high irrigation. Litter decomposition of the evergreen Porlieria depended solely on levels of rainfall that promote microbial decomposers. Our two-phase experiment revealed that both the carry-over effects of photodegradation and litter quality, modulated by inter-annual variability in rainfall, can explain the marked differences in decomposition rates and the frequent decoupling between rainfall and litter decomposition observed in semiarid ecosystems.

  17. Understanding litter decomposition in semiarid ecosystems: linking leaf traits, UV exposure and rainfall variability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aurora eGaxiola

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Differences in litter quality, microbial activity or abiotic conditions cannot fully account for the variability in decomposition rates observed in semiarid ecosystems. Here we tested the role of variation in litter quality, water supply, and UV radiation as drivers of litter decomposition in arid lands. And show that carry-over effects of litter photodegradation during dry periods can regulate decomposition during subsequent wet periods. We present data from a two-phase experiment, where we first exposed litter from a drought-deciduous and an evergreen shrub to natural UV levels during five, rainless summer-months and, subsequently, in the laboratory, we assessed the carry-over effects of photodegradation on biomass loss under different irrigation treatments representing the observed range of local rainfall variation among years (15 to 240 mm. Photodegradation of litter in the field produced average carbon losses of 12%, but deciduous Proustia pungens lost >25%, while evergreen Porlieria chilensis less than 5%. Natural exposure to UV significantly reduced carbon-to-nitrogen and lignin:N ratios in Proustia litter but not in Porlieria. During the subsequent wet phase, remaining litter biomass was lower in Proustia than in Porlieria. Indeed UV exposure increased litter decomposition of Proustia under low and medium rainfall treatments, whereas no carry-over effects were detected under high rainfall treatment. Consequently, for decidous Proustia carry-over effects of UV exposure were negligible under high irrigation. Litter decomposition of the evergreen Porlieria depended solely on levels of rainfall that promote microbial decomposers. Our two-phase experiment revealed that both the carry-over effects of photodegradation and litter quality, modulated by inter-annual variability in rainfall, can explain the marked differences in decomposition rates and the frequent decoupling between rainfall and litter decomposition observed in semiarid ecosystems.

  18. Responses of Ecosystem Service to Land Use Change in Qinghai Province

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ze Han

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Qinghai Province has a very fragile ecological environment and is an important component of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. To understand the disturbance caused by human activities to the local ecological system, it is necessary to evaluate the response of ecological service functions to land use change in Qinghai Province and to uncover the sensitivity of ecological service functions to land use change. This study uses a proxy-based method and proposes a sensitivity index to describe the degree of ecological service function response to the land use change in Qinghai Province. The findings were as follows. (1 From 1988 to 2008, the area of cultivated land, construction land and water in Qinghai Province increased, and forest land and grassland continuously decreased. The agricultural economy and the development of urbanization are the main driving factors in land use change in this area. Policies and eco-environmental engineering, such as the grain-for-green project, the Three-North shelterbelt project and the natural forest protection project, have certain effects on controlling the expansion of cultivated land. (2 The value of ecosystem services in Qinghai Province was 157.368 billion yuan, 157.149 billion yuan and 157.726 billion yuan in 1988, 2000 and 2008, respectively, decreasing and then increasing again. (3 The average sensitivity index values of ecological services in Qinghai Province for the periods 1988–2000 and 2000–2008 was 0.693 and 1.137, respectively. This means that for every 1% increase in land use change, the ecological service value fluctuated by 0.693% and 1.137% in those periods.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Global change analyses usually consider biodiversity as a global asset that needs to be preserved. Biodiversity is frequently analysed mainly as a response variable affected by diverse environmental drivers. However, recent studies highlight that gradients of biodiversity are associated with gradual changes in the distribution of key dominant functional groups characterized by distinctive traits and stoichiometry, which in turn often define the rates of ecosystem processes and nutrient cycling. Moreover, pervasive links have been reported between biodiversity, food web structure, ecosystem function and species stoichiometry. Here we review current global stoichiometric gradients and how future distributional shifts in key functional groups may in turn influence basic ecosystem functions (production, nutrient cycling, decomposition) and therefore could exert a feedback effect on stoichiometric gradients. The C-N-P stoichiometry of most primary producers (phytoplankton, algae, plants) has been linked to functional trait continua (i.e. to major axes of phenotypic variation observed in inter-specific analyses of multiple traits). In contrast, the C-N-P stoichiometry of higher-level consumers remains less precisely quantified in many taxonomic groups. We show that significant links are observed between trait continua across trophic levels. In spite of recent advances, the future reciprocal feedbacks between key functional groups, biodiversity and ecosystem functions remain largely uncertain. The reported evidence, however, highlights the key role of stoichiometric traits and suggests the need of a progressive shift towards an ecosystemic and stoichiometric perspective in global biodiversity analyses. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  20. Improving predictions of tropical forest response to climate change through integration of field studies and ecosystem modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Xiaohui; Uriarte, María; González, Grizelle; Reed, Sasha C.; Thompson, Jill; Zimmerman, Jess K.; Murphy, Lora

    2018-01-01

    Tropical forests play a critical role in carbon and water cycles at a global scale. Rapid climate change is anticipated in tropical regions over the coming decades and, under a warmer and drier climate, tropical forests are likely to be net sources of carbon rather than sinks. However, our understanding of tropical forest response and feedback to climate change is very limited. Efforts to model climate change impacts on carbon fluxes in tropical forests have not reached a consensus. Here we use the Ecosystem Demography model (ED2) to predict carbon fluxes of a Puerto Rican tropical forest under realistic climate change scenarios. We parameterized ED2 with species-specific tree physiological data using the Predictive Ecosystem Analyzer workflow and projected the fate of this ecosystem under five future climate scenarios. The model successfully captured inter-annual variability in the dynamics of this tropical forest. Model predictions closely followed observed values across a wide range of metrics including above-ground biomass, tree diameter growth, tree size class distributions, and leaf area index. Under a future warming and drying climate scenario, the model predicted reductions in carbon storage and tree growth, together with large shifts in forest community composition and structure. Such rapid changes in climate led the forest to transition from a sink to a source of carbon. Growth respiration and root allocation parameters were responsible for the highest fraction of predictive uncertainty in modeled biomass, highlighting the need to target these processes in future data collection. Our study is the first effort to rely on Bayesian model calibration and synthesis to elucidate the key physiological parameters that drive uncertainty in tropical forests responses to climatic change. We propose a new path forward for model-data synthesis that can substantially reduce uncertainty in our ability to model tropical forest responses to future climate.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. In situ nuclear magnetic resonance response of permafrost and active layer soil in boreal and tundra ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kass, M. Andy; Irons, Trevor P.; Minsley, Burke J.; Pastick, Neal J.; Brown, Dana R. N.; Wylie, Bruce K.

    2017-12-01

    Characterization of permafrost, particularly warm and near-surface permafrost which can contain significant liquid water, is critical to understanding complex interrelationships with climate change, ecosystems, and disturbances such as wildfires. Understanding the vulnerability and resilience of permafrost requires an interdisciplinary approach, relying on (for example) geophysical investigations, ecological characterization, direct observations, remote sensing, and more. As part of a multiyear investigation into the impacts of wildfires on permafrost, we have collected in situ measurements of the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) response of the active layer and permafrost in a variety of soil conditions, types, and saturations. In this paper, we summarize the NMR data and present quantitative relationships between active layer and permafrost liquid water content and pore sizes and show the efficacy of borehole NMR (bNMR) to permafrost studies. Through statistical analyses and synthetic freezing simulations, we also demonstrate that borehole NMR is sensitive to the nucleation of ice within soil pore spaces.

  3. In situ nuclear magnetic resonance response of permafrost and active layer soil in boreal and tundra ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. A. Kass

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Characterization of permafrost, particularly warm and near-surface permafrost which can contain significant liquid water, is critical to understanding complex interrelationships with climate change, ecosystems, and disturbances such as wildfires. Understanding the vulnerability and resilience of permafrost requires an interdisciplinary approach, relying on (for example geophysical investigations, ecological characterization, direct observations, remote sensing, and more. As part of a multiyear investigation into the impacts of wildfires on permafrost, we have collected in situ measurements of the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR response of the active layer and permafrost in a variety of soil conditions, types, and saturations. In this paper, we summarize the NMR data and present quantitative relationships between active layer and permafrost liquid water content and pore sizes and show the efficacy of borehole NMR (bNMR to permafrost studies. Through statistical analyses and synthetic freezing simulations, we also demonstrate that borehole NMR is sensitive to the nucleation of ice within soil pore spaces.

  4. In situ nuclear magnetic resonance response of permafrost and active layer soil in boreal and tundra ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kass, Mason A.; Irons, Trevor P; Minsley, Burke J.; Pastick, Neal J.; Brown, Dana R N; Wylie, Bruce K.

    2017-01-01

    Characterization of permafrost, particularly warm and near-surface permafrost which can contain significant liquid water, is critical to understanding complex interrelationships with climate change, ecosystems, and disturbances such as wildfires. Understanding the vulnerability and resilience of permafrost requires an interdisciplinary approach, relying on (for example) geophysical investigations, ecological characterization, direct observations, remote sensing, and more. As part of a multi-year investigation into the impacts of wildfires to permafrost, we have collected in situ measurements of the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) response of active layer and permafrost in a variety of soil conditions, types, and saturations. In this paper, we summarize the NMR data and present quantitative relationships between active layer and permafrost liquid water content and pore sizes. Through statistical analyses and synthetic freezing simulations, we also demonstrate that borehole NMR can image the nucleation of ice within soil pore spaces.

  5. Laurel Wilt in Natural and Agricultural Ecosystems: Understanding the Drivers and Scales of Complex Pathosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Randy C. Ploetz

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Laurel wilt kills members of the Lauraceae plant family in the southeastern United States. It is caused by Raffaelea lauricola T.C. Harr., Fraedrich and Aghayeva, a nutritional fungal symbiont of an invasive Asian ambrosia beetle, Xyleborus glabratus Eichhoff, which was detected in Port Wentworth, Georgia, in 2002. The beetle is the primary vector of R. lauricola in forests along the southeastern coastal plain of the United States, but other ambrosia beetle species that obtained the pathogen after the initial introduction may play a role in the avocado (Persea americana Miller pathosystem. Susceptible taxa are naïve (new-encounter hosts that originated outside Asia. In the southeastern United States, over 300 million trees of redbay (P. borbonia (L. Spreng. have been lost, and other North American endemics, non-Asian ornamentals and avocado—an important crop that originated in MesoAmerica—are also affected. However, there are no reports of laurel wilt on the significant number of lauraceous endemics that occur in the Asian homeland of R. lauricola and X. glabratus; coevolved resistance to the disease in the region has been hypothesized. The rapid spread of laurel wilt in the United States is due to an efficient vector, X. glabratus, and the movement of wood infested with the insect and pathogen. These factors, the absence of fully resistant genotypes, and the paucity of effective control measures severely constrain the disease’s management in forest ecosystems and avocado production areas.

  6. Understanding ecosystem services adoption by natural resource managers and research ecologists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engel, Daniel; Evans, Mary; Low, Bobbi S.; Schaeffer, Jeff

    2017-01-01

    The ecosystem services (ES) paradigm has gained much traction as a natural resource management approach due to its comprehensive nature and ability to provide quantitative tools to improve decision-making. However, it is still uncertain whether and how practitioners have adopted the ES paradigm into their work and how this aligns with resource management information needs. To address this, we surveyed natural resource managers within the Great Lakes region about their use of ES information in decision-making. We complemented our manager survey with in-depth interviews of a related population—research ecologists at the U.S. Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center. In this study, managers and ecologists almost unanimously agreed that ES were appropriate to consider in resource management. We also found high congruence between managers and ecologists in the ES considered most relevant to their work, with provision of habitat, recreation and tourism, biological control, and primary production being the ES ranked highly by both groups. However, a disconnect arose when research ecologists deemed the information they provide regarding ES as adequate for management needs, but managers disagreed. Furthermore, managers reported that they would use economic information about ES if they had access to that information. We believe this data deficiency could represent a gap in scientific coverage by ecologists, but it may also simply reflect an underrepresentation of ecological economists who can translate ecological knowledge of ES providers into economic information that many managers desired.

  7. A comparative gradient approach as a tool for understanding and managing urban ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher G. Boone; Elizabeth Cook; Sharon J. Hall; Marcia L. Nation; Nancy B. Grimm; Carol B. Raish; Deborah M. Finch; Abigail M. York

    2012-01-01

    To meet the grand challenges of the urban century - such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and persistent poverty - urban and ecological theory must contribute to integrated frameworks that treat social and ecological dynamics as interdependent. A socioecological framework that encapsulates theory from the social and ecological sciences will improve understanding...

  8. A Foray into Fungal Ecology: Understanding Fungi and Their Functions Across Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francis, N.; Dunkirk, N. C.; Peay, K.

    2015-12-01

    Despite their incredible diversity and importance to terrestrial ecosystems, fungi are not included in a standard high school science curriculum. This past summer, however, my work for the Stanford EARTH High School Internship program introduced me to fungal ecology through experiments involving culturing, genomics and root dissections. The two fungal experiments I worked on had very different foci, both searching for answers to broad ecological questions of fungal function and physiology. The first, a symbiosis experiment, sought to determine if the partners of the nutrient exchange between pine trees and their fungal symbionts could choose one another. The second experiment, a dung fungal succession project, compared the genetic sequencing results of fungal extractions from dung versus fungal cultures from dung. My part in the symbiosis experiment involved dissection, weighing and encapsulation of root tissue samples characterized based on the root thickness and presence of ectomycorrhizal fungi. The dung fungi succession project required that I not only learn how to culture various genera of dung fungi but also learn how to extract DNA and RNA for sequencing from the fungal tissue. Although I primarily worked with dung fungi cultures and thereby learned about their unique physiologies, I also learned about the different types of genetic sequencing since the project compared sequences of cultured fungi versus Next Generation sequencing of all fungi present within a dung pellet. Through working on distinct fungal projects that reassess how information about fungi is known within the field of fungal ecology, I learned not only about the two experiments I worked on but also many past related experiments and inquiries through reading scientific papers. Thanks to my foray into fungal research, I now know not only the broader significance of fungi in ecological research but also how to design and conduct ecological experiments.

  9. The Land-Use Legacy Effect: Groundwater mechanisms behind ecosystem responses to land use/cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, S. L.; Kendall, A. D.; Hyndman, D. W.

    2017-12-01

    While many studies have linked land use/land cover (LULC) to aquatic ecosystem responses, only a few have linked the dynamics of changing LULC to water quality through a mechanistic understanding of flow paths and travel times. The Huron River Watershed, along with most of the rest of of Michigan has undergone extensive LULC change over the past century, shifting from a primarily agricultural to a suburban landscape, and includes sites that cover a range of historical LULC trajectories. We coupled a multi-temporal GIS database of LULC data (circa 1800, 1880, 1938, 1955, 1968, 1978, 1995, and 2006) with a model of groundwater flow paths to create a "Legacy Map" of LULC for each 109x109m model cell in the study area. We then investigate relationships between time-varying LULC and lake water chemistry, ranging from nutrients to conservative ions, using multiple linear regression over a range of spatial scales. Our study illustrates that there are large areas where there may be a temporal mismatch between LULC of the current landscape and LULC expressed in the lake via water chemistry. Specifically, watershed areas that have long groundwater pathways may be delivering water more representative of historical LULC than current LULC. Moreover, some water chemistry variables (SRP, Cl, Na) have stronger links to current LULC and others (NH4) have a stronger link to legacy LULC. This study highlights the important role that "groundwatersheds" play in linking the landscape to aquatic systems. We then zoom out to apply this concept to Michigan's Lower Peninsula to show the extent that groundwatersheds and surface watersheds are also spatially mismatched. These two perspectives suggest a need to consider both groundwater legacies and groundwatersheds in nutrient management and watershed planning.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    Drought is an intermittent disturbance of the water cycle that profoundly affects the terrestrial carbon cycle. However, the response of the coupled water and carbon cycles to drought and the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Here we provide the first global synthesis of the drought effect on ecosystem water use efficiency (WUE?=?gross primary production (GPP)/evapotranspiration (ET)). Using two observational WUE datasets (i.e., eddy-covariance measurements at 95 sites (526 site-years) an...

  11. Nutrient responses to ecosystem disturbances from annual to multi-millennial timescales

    Science.gov (United States)

    B. Buma

    2014-01-01

    The Novus Network annual meeting was held at H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest in Oregon, USA, from 22 May to 24 May 2013. The topic was: ‘Nutrient responses to ecosystem disturbances from annual to multi-millennial timescales’. The 2013 workshop brought together 28 researchers from 21 institutions spread across three continents. The participants – 17 faculty members,...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    Global warming is projected to continue, leading to intense fluctuations in precipitation and heat waves and thereby affecting the productivity and the relevant biological processes of grassland ecosystems. Here, we determined the functional responses to warming and altered precipitation in both typical and desert steppes. The results showed that watering markedly increased the aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) in a typical steppe during a drier year and in a desert steppe over two ...

  13. Coordinated approaches to quantify long-term ecosystem dynamics in response to global change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liu, Y.; Melillo, J.; Niu, S.

    2011-01-01

    from long-term experiments and process studies together with information from long-term observations, surveys, and space-for-time studies along environmental and biological gradients. Future research programs with coordinated long-term experiments, process studies, and modeling have the potential...... to be the most effective strategy to gain the best information on long-term ecosystem dynamics in response to global change....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-08-30

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  16. New tendencies in wildland fire simulation for understanding fire phenomena: An overview of the WFDS system capabilities in Mediterranean ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pastor, E.; Tarragó, D.; Planas, E.

    2012-04-01

    Wildfire theoretical modeling endeavors predicting fire behavior characteristics, such as the rate of spread, the flames geometry and the energy released by the fire front by applying the physics and the chemistry laws that govern fire phenomena. Its ultimate aim is to help fire managers to improve fire prevention and suppression and hence reducing damage to population and protecting ecosystems. WFDS is a 3D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model of a fire-driven flow. It is particularly appropriate for predicting the fire behaviour burning through the wildland-urban interface, since it is able to predict the fire behaviour in the intermix of vegetative and structural fuels that comprise the wildland urban interface. This model is not suitable for operational fire management yet due to computational costs constrains, but given the fact that it is open-source and that it has a detailed description of the fuels and of the combustion and heat transfer mechanisms it is currently a suitable system for research purposes. In this paper we present the most important characteristics of the WFDS simulation tool in terms of the models implemented, the input information required and the outputs that the simulator gives useful for understanding fire phenomena. We briefly discuss its advantages and opportunities through some simulation exercises of Mediterranean ecosystems.

  17. #TwittIR: Understanding and Establishing a Twitter Ecosystem for Interventional Radiologists and Their Practices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wadhwa, Vibhor; Brandis, Aaron; Madassery, Kumar; Horner, Peder E; Dhand, Sabeen; Bream, Peter; Shiloh, Aaron; Lessne, Mark L; Ryu, Robert K

    2018-01-01

    The use of social media among interventional radiologists is increasing, with Twitter receiving the most attention. Twitter is an ideal forum for open exchange of ideas from around the world. However, it is important for Twitter users to gain a rudimentary understanding of the many potential communication pathways to connect with other users. An intentional approach to Twitter is vital to efficient and successful use. This article describes several common communication pathways that can be utilized by physicians in their interventional radiology practice. Copyright © 2017 American College of Radiology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Ecosystem engineering by plants on wave-exposed intertidal flats is governed by relationships between effect and response traits

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heuner, M.; Silinski, A.; Schoelynck, J.; Bouma, T.J.; Puijalon, S.; Troch, P.; Fuchs, E.; Schröder, B.; Schröder, U.; Meire, P.; Temmerman, S.

    2015-01-01

    In hydrodynamically stressful environments, some species—known as ecosystem engineers—are able to modify the environment for their own benefit. Little is known however, about the interaction between functional plant traits and ecosystem engineering. We studied the responses of Scirpus

  19. Understanding the Spatio-Temporal Response of Coral Reef Fish Communities to Natural Disturbances: Insights from Beta-Diversity Decomposition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamy, Thomas; Legendre, Pierre; Chancerelle, Yannick; Siu, Gilles; Claudet, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how communities respond to natural disturbances is fundamental to assess the mechanisms of ecosystem resistance and resilience. However, ecosystem responses to natural disturbances are rarely monitored both through space and time, while the factors promoting ecosystem stability act at various temporal and spatial scales. Hence, assessing both the spatial and temporal variations in species composition is important to comprehensively explore the effects of natural disturbances. Here, we suggest a framework to better scrutinize the mechanisms underlying community responses to disturbances through both time and space. Our analytical approach is based on beta diversity decomposition into two components, replacement and biomass difference. We illustrate this approach using a 9-year monitoring of coral reef fish communities off Moorea Island (French Polynesia), which encompassed two severe natural disturbances: a crown-of-thorns starfish outbreak and a hurricane. These disturbances triggered a fast logistic decline in coral cover, which suffered a 90% decrease on all reefs. However, we found that the coral reef fish composition remained largely stable through time and space whereas compensatory changes in biomass among species were responsible for most of the temporal fluctuations, as outlined by the overall high contribution of the replacement component to total beta diversity. This suggests that, despite the severity of the two disturbances, fish communities exhibited high resistance and the ability to reorganize their compositions to maintain the same level of total community biomass as before the disturbances. We further investigated the spatial congruence of this pattern and showed that temporal dynamics involved different species across sites; yet, herbivores controlling the proliferation of algae that compete with coral communities were consistently favored. These results suggest that compensatory changes in biomass among species and spatial

  20. Human alterations, dynamic equilibrium, and riparian ecosystem responses along selected rivers in Tuscany, Italy (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hupp, C. R.; Rinaldi, M.

    2010-12-01

    Many, if not most, streams have been mildly to severely affected by human disturbance, which complicates efforts to understand riparian ecosystems. Mediterranean regions have a long history of human influences including: dams, stream channelization, mining of sediment, and levee /canal construction. Typically these alterations reduce the ecosystem services that functioning floodplains provide and may negatively impact the natural ecology of floodplains through reductions in suitable habitats, biodiversity, and nutrient cycling. Additionally, human alterations typically shift affected streams away from a state of natural dynamic equilibrium, where net sediment deposition is approximately in balance with net erosion. Lack of equilibrium typically affects the degree to which floodplain ecosystems are connected to streamflow regime. Low connectivity, usually from human- or climate-induced incision, may result in reduced flow on floodplains and lowered water tables. High connectivity may result in severe sediment deposition. Connectivity has a direct impact on vegetation communities. Riparian vegetation distribution patterns and diversity relative to various fluvial geomorphic channel patterns, landforms, and processes are described and interpreted for selected rivers of Tuscany, Central Italy; with emphasis on channel evolution following human impacts. Multivariate analysis reveals distinct quantitative vegetation patterns related to six fluvial geomorphic surfaces. Analysis of vegetation data also shows distinct associations of plants with adjustment processes related to the stage of channel evolution. Plant distribution patterns coincide with disturbance/landform/soil moisture gradients. Species richness increases from channel bed to terrace and on heterogeneous riparian areas, while species richness decreases from moderate to intense incision and from low to intense narrowing. As a feedback mechanism, woody vegetation in particular may facilitate geomorphic recovery

  1. Understanding Multifunctional Agricultural Land by Using Low Cost and Open Source Solutions to Quantify Ecosystem Function and Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsmoo, Joel; Anderson, Karen; Brazier, Richard; Macleod, Kit; Wilkinson, Mark

    2016-04-01

    There is a need to advance our understanding of how the spatial structure of farmed landscapes contributes to the provision of functions and services. Agricultural land is of critical importance in NW Europe, covering large parts of NW Europe's temperate land. Moreover, these agricultural areas are primarily intensively managed, with a focus on maximizing food and fibre production. Such landscapes therefore can provide a wealth of ecosystem goods and services (ESs) including regulation of climate, erosion regulation, hydrology, water quality, nutrient cycling and biodiversity conservation. However, it has been shown they are key sources of sediment, phosphorous, nitrogen and storm runoff contributing to flooding, and therefore it is likely that most agricultural landscapes do not maximize the services or benefits that they might provide. The focus of this study is the spatio-temporal assessment of carbon sequestration (particularly through proxies such as above-ground biomass) and hydrological processes on agricultural land. Understanding and quantifying both of these is important to (a) inform payments for ecosystem services frameworks, (b) evaluate and improve carbon sequestration models, (c) manage the flood risk, (d) downstream water security and (e) water quality. Quantifying both of these ESs is dependent on data describing the fine spatial and temporal structure and function of the landscape. Common practice has been to use remote sensing techniques, e.g. satellites, providing coarse spatial resolution (around 30cm at 20° off nadir) and/or temporal resolution (around 5 days revisit time at solutions have on the accuracy of the final product, the digital surface model (DSM), by using recently acquired data. Specifically, when applied in a structurally complex field site with irregular surface roughness patterns, over a land use gradient, from livestock grazing to agricultural crops. We will demonstrate the added value of using very fine detail data

  2. Response of Benthic Macrofauna to Eutrophication in a Mesocosm Experiment: Ecosystem Resilience Prevents Hypoxic Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Panagiotis D. Dimitriou

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available A benthic-pelagic mesocosm experiment was performed to study how the benthic macrofaunal community responds to a eutrophication gradient. The novel experimental setup allowed the induction of an eutrophication gradient in the water column and the detailed documentation of the response of the benthos in terms of biodiversity and ecosystem processes. Nine mesocosms were deployed in the facilities of the Hellenic Center for Marine Research in Crete in the eastern Mediterranean. The mesocosms were 4 m deep, contained 1.5 m3 coastal water, and included 85 liters of undisturbed sediment at the bottom. No water or sediment exchange was allowed. The experimental design included a Control and two eutrophication levels (Low and High for the 58-day duration of the experiment. Macrofaunal samples were collected at the end of the experiment from each mesocosm and compared to the ones collected at the beginning of the experiment from the sediment collection area. Results show that the High eutrophication treatment differed significantly from the Control and Low treatments in terms of macrofaunal species composition, diversity, ecological status and ecosystem processes. The increased availability of organic matter in the sediment caused differences in macrofaunal community structure by favoring deposit-feeding species with high bioturbation ability, which significantly increased their abundance. The increased bioturbation potential of the new community combined with the high organic matter consumption contributed to the oxygenation of the sediment within the mesocosm, preventing the creation of hypoxic conditions in the sediment and maintaining ecosystem health despite the highly eutrophic conditions and significant changes in sediment geochemical variables. In the oligotrophic eastern Mediterranean, healthy benthic ecosystems may use existing ecosystem processes to “buffer” the negative effects caused by eutrophication.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oechel, Walter C.

    1990-09-05

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

  4. Alien invasions in aquatic ecosystems: toward an understanding of brook trout invasions and potential impacts on inland cutthroat trout in western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jason B. Dunham; Susan B. Adams; Robert E. Schroeter; Douglas C. Novinger

    2002-01-01

    Experience from case studies of biological invasions in aquatic ecosystems has motivated a set of proposed empirical “rules” for understanding patterns of invasion and impacts on native species. Further evidence is needed to better understand these patterns, and perhaps contribute to a useful predictive theory of invasions. We reviewed the case of brook trout (

  5. UNDERSTANDING THE NEUROINFLAMMATORY RESPONSE FOLLOWING CONCUSSION TO DEVELOP TREATMENT STRATEGIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zachary Robert Patterson

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI have been associated with long-term cognitive deficits relating to trauma-induced neurodegeneration. These long-term deficits include impaired memory and attention, changes in executive function, emotional instability and sensorimotor deficits. Furthermore, individuals with concussions show a high co-morbidity with a host of psychiatric illnesses (e.g. depression, anxiety, addiction and dementia. The neurological damage seen in mTBI patients is the result of the direct impact and mechanical injury, followed by a delayed neuroimmune response that can last hours, days and even months after the injury. As part of the neuroimmune response, a cascade of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines are released and can be detected at the site of injury as well as subcortical, and often contralateral, regions. It has been suggested that the delayed neuroinflammatory response to concussions is more damaging then the initial impact itself. However, evidence exists for favourable consequences of cytokine production following traumatic brain injuries as well. In some cases, treatments that reduce the inflammatory response will also hinder the brain's intrinsic repair mechanisms. At present, there is no evidence-based pharmacological treatment for concussions in humans. The ability to treat concussions with drug therapy requires an in-depth understanding of the pathophysiological and neuroinflammatory changes that accompany concussive injuries. The use of neurotrophic factors (e.g. nerve growth factor and anti-inflammatory agents as an adjunct for the management of post-concussion symptomology will be explored in this review.

  6. Integrating Gene Transcription-Based Biomarkers to Understand Desert Tortoise and Ecosystem Health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, Lizabeth; Miles, A Keith; Drake, K Kristina; Waters, Shannon C; Esque, Todd C; Nussear, Kenneth E

    2015-09-01

    Tortoises are susceptible to a wide variety of environmental stressors, and the influence of human disturbances on health and survival of tortoises is difficult to detect. As an addition to current diagnostic methods for desert tortoises, we have developed the first leukocyte gene transcription biomarker panel for the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), enhancing the ability to identify specific environmental conditions potentially linked to declining animal health. Blood leukocyte transcript profiles have the potential to identify physiologically stressed animals in lieu of clinical signs. For desert tortoises, the gene transcript profile included a combination of immune or detoxification response genes with the potential to be modified by biological or physical injury and consequently provide information on the type and magnitude of stressors present in the animal's habitat. Blood from 64 wild adult tortoises at three sites in Clark County, NV, and San Bernardino, CA, and from 19 captive tortoises in Clark County, NV, was collected and evaluated for genes indicative of physiological status. Statistical analysis using a priori groupings indicated significant differences among groups for several genes, while multidimensional scaling and cluster analyses of transcription C T values indicated strong differentiation of a large cluster and multiple outlying individual tortoises or small clusters in multidimensional space. These analyses highlight the effectiveness of the gene panel at detecting environmental perturbations as well as providing guidance in determining the health of the desert tortoise.

  7. Integrating gene transcription-based biomarkers to understand desert tortoise and ecosystem health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, Lizabeth; Miles, A. Keith; Drake, Karla K.; Waters, Shannon C.; Esque, Todd C.; Nussear, Kenneth E.

    2015-01-01

    Tortoises are susceptible to a wide variety of environmental stressors, and the influence of human disturbances on health and survival of tortoises is difficult to detect. As an addition to current diagnostic methods for desert tortoises, we have developed the first leukocyte gene transcription biomarker panel for the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), enhancing the ability to identify specific environmental conditions potentially linked to declining animal health. Blood leukocyte transcript profiles have the potential to identify physiologically stressed animals in lieu of clinical signs. For desert tortoises, the gene transcript profile included a combination of immune or detoxification response genes with the potential to be modified by biological or physical injury and consequently provide information on the type and magnitude of stressors present in the animal’s habitat. Blood from 64 wild adult tortoises at three sites in Clark County, NV, and San Bernardino, CA, and from 19 captive tortoises in Clark County, NV, was collected and evaluated for genes indicative of physiological status. Statistical analysis using a priori groupings indicated significant differences among groups for several genes, while multidimensional scaling and cluster analyses of transcriptionC T values indicated strong differentiation of a large cluster and multiple outlying individual tortoises or small clusters in multidimensional space. These analyses highlight the effectiveness of the gene panel at detecting environmental perturbations as well as providing guidance in determining the health of the desert tortoise.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-05-01

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

  9. Understanding teacher responses to constructivist learning environments: Challenges and resolutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenfeld, Melodie; Rosenfeld, Sherman

    2006-05-01

    The research literature is just beginning to uncover factors involved in sustaining constructivist learning environments, such as Project-Based Learning (PBL). Our case study investigates teacher responses to the challenges of constructivist environments, since teachers can play strong roles in supporting or undermining even the best constructivist environments or materials. We were invited to work as mediators with a middle-school science staff that was experiencing conflicts regarding two learning environments, PBL (which was the school's politically correc learning environment) and traditional. With mediated group workshops, teachers were sensitized to their own and colleagues' individual learning differences (ILDs), as measured by two styles inventories (the LSI - Kolb, 1976; and the LCI - Johnston & Dainton, 1997). Using these inventories, a learning-environment questionnaire, field notes, and delayed interviews a year later, we found that there was a relationship between teachers' preferred styles, epistemological beliefs, and their preferred teaching environment. Moreover, when the participating teachers, including early-adopters and nonvolunteers to PBL, became more sensitive to their colleagues' preferences, many staff conflicts were resolved and some mismatched teachers expressed more openness to PBL. We argue that having teachers understand their own ILDs and related responses to constructivist learning environments can contribute to resolving staff conflicts and sustaining such environments. We present a cognitive model and a strategy which illustrate this argument.

  10. Sepsis: Multiple Abnormalities, Heterogeneous Responses, and Evolving Understanding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iskander, Kendra N.; Osuchowski, Marcin F.; Stearns-Kurosawa, Deborah J.; Kurosawa, Shinichiro; Stepien, David; Valentine, Catherine

    2013-01-01

    Sepsis represents the host's systemic inflammatory response to a severe infection. It causes substantial human morbidity resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. Despite decades of intense research, the basic mechanisms still remain elusive. In either experimental animal models of sepsis or human patients, there are substantial physiological changes, many of which may result in subsequent organ injury. Variations in age, gender, and medical comorbidities including diabetes and renal failure create additional complexity that influence the outcomes in septic patients. Specific system-based alterations, such as the coagulopathy observed in sepsis, offer both potential insight and possible therapeutic targets. Intracellular stress induces changes in the endoplasmic reticulum yielding misfolded proteins that contribute to the underlying pathophysiological changes. With these multiple changes it is difficult to precisely classify an individual's response in sepsis as proinflammatory or immunosuppressed. This heterogeneity also may explain why most therapeutic interventions have not improved survival. Given the complexity of sepsis, biomarkers and mathematical models offer potential guidance once they have been carefully validated. This review discusses each of these important factors to provide a framework for understanding the complex and current challenges of managing the septic patient. Clinical trial failures and the therapeutic interventions that have proven successful are also discussed. PMID:23899564

  11. A Biochemist's View of Ecosystem Rates and their Response to Changing Temperature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arcus, V. L.

    2017-12-01

    activation energy and thus, it is important to understand this relationship. Finally, I will consider the Arrhenius and TST equations and their failure for ecosystem processes and the reasons for this failure. Understanding the failure is a first step towards a resolution to this long-standing problem in ecosystem science.

  12. Final Technical Report: Response of Mediterranean-Type Ecosystems to Elevated Atmospheric CO2 and Associated Climate Change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oechel, Walter C

    2002-08-15

    This research incorporated an integrated hierarchical approach in space, time, and levels of biological/ecological organization to help understand and predict ecosystem response to elevated CO{sub 2} and concomitant environmental change. The research utilized a number of different approaches, and collaboration of both PER and non-PER investigators to arrive at a comprehensive, integrative understanding. Central to the work were the CO{sub 2}-controlled, ambient Lit, Temperature controlled (CO{sub 2}LT) null-balance chambers originally developed in the arctic tundra, which were re-engineered for the chaparral with treatment CO{sub 2} concentrations of from 250 to 750 ppm CO{sub 2} in 100 ppm increments, replicated twice to allow for a regression analysis. Each chamber was 2 meters on a side and 2 meters tall, which were installed over an individual shrub reprouting after a fire. This manipulation allowed study of the response of native chaparral to varying levels of CO{sub 2}, while regenerating from an experimental burn. Results from these highly-controlled manipulations were compared against Free Air CO{sub 2} Enrichment (FACE) manipulations, in an area adjacent to the CO{sub 2}LT null balance greenhouses. These relatively short-term results (5-7 years) were compared to long-term results from Mediterranean-type ecosystems (MTEs) surrounding natural CO{sub 2} springs in northern Italy, near Laiatico, Italy. The springs lack the controlled experimental rigor of our CO{sub 2}LT and FACE manipulation, but provide invaluable validation of our long-term predictions.

  13. Socio-hydrologic Modeling to Understand and Mediate the Competition for Water between Humans and Ecosystems: Murrumbidgee River Basin, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Emmerik, Tim; Sivapalan, Murugesu; Li, Zheng; Pande, Saket; Savenije, Hubert

    2014-05-01

    Around the world the demand for water resources is growing in order to satisfy rapidly increasing human populations, leading to competition for water between humans and ecosystems. An entirely new and comprehensive quantitative framework is needed to establish a holistic understanding of that competition, thereby enabling development and evaluation of effective mediation strategies. We present a case study centered on the Murrumbidgee river basin in eastern Australia that illustrates the dynamics of the balance between water extraction and use for food production and efforts to mitigate and reverse consequent degradation of the riparian environment. Interactions between patterns of water resources management and climate driven hydrological variability within the prevailing socio-economic environment have contributed to the emergence of new whole system dynamics over the last 100 years. In particular, data analysis reveals a pendulum swing between an exclusive focus on agricultural development and food production in the initial stages of water resources development and its attendant socio-economic benefits, followed by the gradual realization of the adverse environmental impacts, efforts to mitigate these with the use of remedial measures, and ultimately concerted efforts and externally imposed solutions to restore environmental health and ecosystem services. A quasi-distributed coupled socio-hydrologic system model that explicitly includes the two-way coupling between human and hydrological systems, including evolution of human values/norms relating to water and the environment, is able to mimic broad features of this pendulum swing. The model consists of coupled nonlinear differential equations that include four state variables describing the co-evolution of storage capacity, irrigated area, human population, and ecosystem health, which are all connected by feedback mechanisms. The model is used to generate insights into the dominant controls of the trajectory of

  14. Coastal and wetland ecosystems of the Chesapeake Bay watershed: Applying palynology to understand impacts of changing climate, sea level, and land use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willard, Debra A.; Bernhardt, Christopher E.; Hupp, Cliff R.; Newell, Wayne L.

    2015-01-01

    The mid-Atlantic region and Chesapeake Bay watershed have been influenced by fluctuations in climate and sea level since the Cretaceous, and human alteration of the landscape began ~12,000 years ago, with greatest impacts since colonial times. Efforts to devise sustainable management strategies that maximize ecosystem services are integrating data from a range of scientific disciplines to understand how ecosystems and habitats respond to different climatic and environmental stressors. Palynology has played an important role in improving understanding of the impact of changing climate, sea level, and land use on local and regional vegetation. Additionally, palynological analyses have provided biostratigraphic control for surficial mapping efforts and documented agricultural activities of both Native American populations and European colonists. This field trip focuses on sites where palynological analyses have supported efforts to understand the impacts of changing climate and land use on the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.

  15. Global patterns in lake ecosystem responses to warming based on the temperature dependence of metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraemer, Benjamin M; Chandra, Sudeep; Dell, Anthony I; Dix, Margaret; Kuusisto, Esko; Livingstone, David M; Schladow, S Geoffrey; Silow, Eugene; Sitoki, Lewis M; Tamatamah, Rashid; McIntyre, Peter B

    2017-05-01

    Climate warming is expected to have large effects on ecosystems in part due to the temperature dependence of metabolism. The responses of metabolic rates to climate warming may be greatest in the tropics and at low elevations because mean temperatures are warmer there and metabolic rates respond exponentially to temperature (with exponents >1). However, if warming rates are sufficiently fast in higher latitude/elevation lakes, metabolic rate responses to warming may still be greater there even though metabolic rates respond exponentially to temperature. Thus, a wide range of global patterns in the magnitude of metabolic rate responses to warming could emerge depending on global patterns of temperature and warming rates. Here we use the Boltzmann-Arrhenius equation, published estimates of activation energy, and time series of temperature from 271 lakes to estimate long-term (1970-2010) changes in 64 metabolic processes in lakes. The estimated responses of metabolic processes to warming were usually greatest in tropical/low-elevation lakes even though surface temperatures in higher latitude/elevation lakes are warming faster. However, when the thermal sensitivity of a metabolic process is especially weak, higher latitude/elevation lakes had larger responses to warming in parallel with warming rates. Our results show that the sensitivity of a given response to temperature (as described by its activation energy) provides a simple heuristic for predicting whether tropical/low-elevation lakes will have larger or smaller metabolic responses to warming than higher latitude/elevation lakes. Overall, we conclude that the direct metabolic consequences of lake warming are likely to be felt most strongly at low latitudes and low elevations where metabolism-linked ecosystem services may be most affected. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Xianshi; Zhang, Bo; Xue, Ying

    2010-06-01

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

  17. Responses of soil respiration and ecosystem productivity to climate change in southern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Xuhui

    Terrestrial carbon processes, such as soil respiration and its components, net primary production (NPP), net ecosystem carbon exchange (NEE), and litterfall, are the important global change issues, which are related to carbon sequestration and ecosystem carbon-cycle feedback to climate change. This dissertation summarized four independent projects using experimental and modeling approaches. In the first study, I took advantage of two manipulative experiments---one long-term with a 2°C increase and yearly clipping (Experiment 1) and one short-term with a 4.4°C increase and doubled precipitation (Experiment 2)---to investigate main and interactive effects of warming, clipping, and doubled precipitation on soil respiration in a tallgrass prairie ecosystem. The transient responses to clipping were also studied in Experiment 2 (referred to as the transient study). On average, warming increased soil respiration by 13.0% ( p 0.05) and reduced considerably by clipping (pBGB) and total biomass did not largely change. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hungate, Bruce

    2014-11-07

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

  20. Examining responses of ecosystem carbon exchange to environmental changes using particle filtering mathod

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yokozawa, M.

    2017-12-01

    Attention has been paid to the agricultural field that could regulate ecosystem carbon exchange by water management and residual treatments. However, there have been less known about the dynamic responses of the ecosystem to environmental changes. In this study, focussing on paddy field, where CO2 emissions due to microbial decomposition of organic matter are suppressed and alternatively CH4 emitted under flooding condition during rice growth season and subsequently CO2 emission following the fallow season after harvest, the responses of ecosystem carbon exchange were examined. We conducted model data fusion analysis for examining the response of cropland-atmosphere carbon exchange to environmental variation. The used model consists of two sub models, paddy rice growth sub-model and soil decomposition sub-model. The crop growth sub-model mimics the rice plant growth processes including formation of reproductive organs as well as leaf expansion. The soil decomposition sub-model simulates the decomposition process of soil organic carbon. Assimilating the data on the time changes in CO2 flux measured by eddy covariance method, rice plant biomass, LAI and the final yield with the model, the parameters were calibrated using a stochastic optimization algorithm with a particle filter method. The particle filter method, which is one of the Monte Carlo filters, enable us to evaluating time changes in parameters based on the observed data until the time and to make prediction of the system. Iterative filtering and prediction with changing parameters and/or boundary condition enable us to obtain time changes in parameters governing the crop production as well as carbon exchange. In this study, we focused on the parameters related to crop production as well as soil carbon storage. As the results, the calibrated model with estimated parameters could accurately predict the NEE flux in the subsequent years. The temperature sensitivity, denoted by Q10s in the decomposition rate of

  1. Understanding the biological responses of nanostructured metals and surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowe, Terry C.; Reiss, Rebecca A.

    2014-08-01

    Metals produced by Severe Plastic Deformation (SPD) offer distinct advantages for medical applications such as orthopedic devices, in part because of their nanostructured surfaces. We examine the current theoretical foundations and state of knowledge for nanostructured biomaterials surface optimization within the contexts that apply to bulk nanostructured metals, differentiating how their microstructures impact osteogenesis, in particular, for Ultrafine Grained (UFG) titanium. Then we identify key gaps in the research to date, pointing out areas which merit additional focus within the scientific community. For example, we highlight the potential of next-generation DNA sequencing techniques (NGS) to reveal gene and non-coding RNA (ncRNA) expression changes induced by nanostructured metals. While our understanding of bio-nano interactions is in its infancy, nanostructured metals are already being marketed or developed for medical devices such as dental implants, spinal devices, and coronary stents. Our ability to characterize and optimize the biological response of cells to SPD metals will have synergistic effects on advances in materials, biological, and medical science.

  2. Understanding and meeting your legal responsibilities as a nurse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terry, Louise; Carr, Graham; Halpin, Yvonne

    2017-11-15

    Nurses, midwives and nursing students are legally responsible for their actions. This article discusses the legal standard of care required in relation to nursing and midwifery practice and nurses' professional standards and code of conduct. It examines how courts in the UK determine if nurses have met their duty of care and how nurses must ensure they maintain competence to provide safe care. It examines why organisational knowing - understanding the organisation in which one is employed; its people, values and how it works - is important for all nurses, regardless of their level in the organisation. It also discusses workplace incivility and its adverse effects on nurses, patient care and healthcare organisations. The article explains that if nurses are uncertain why they are doing something, they should investigate this further, because the law expects nurses to be able to justify their actions, or failure to act. ©2017 RCN Publishing Company Ltd. All rights reserved. Not to be copied, transmitted or recorded in any way, in whole or part, without prior permission of the publishers.

  3. Characterizing Ecosystem and Watershed Response to Atmospheric Loading at the Urban Fringe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curto, V.; Lopez, S.; Hogue, T.; Rademacher, L.

    2006-12-01

    The southern California region, although highly urbanized and densely populated, is also characterized by steep mountain ranges with extensive forests and diverse ecosystems. Growing population pressure in the region has forced continuing development at the urban fringe. The large mountain systems situated on the windward side of the Los Angeles basin experience high atmospheric nitrogen deposition rates from various urban pollutants. Arroyo Seco, a watershed located on the eastern edge of the Los Angeles basin, is no exception to this trend. The present study uses hydrologic and geochemical data to assess current watershed dynamics and ecosystem responses to the impacts of regional urbanization. The Arroyo Seco stream runs through a deeply incised canyon originating in the San Gabriel Mountains and draining into the Los Angeles River. The current riparian habitat, which comprises only 15 percent of the total land cover within the watershed, contains over 705 species of plants and animals. We focused our studies on the upper reaches of the basin (~18 square miles), which remains undeveloped and consists primarily of chaparral and evergreen forests. This portion of the watershed has an average watershed slope of approximately 6 percent and relatively porous soils. However, estimated runoff ratio from the existing USGS gage and local precipitation gages indicates fairly high runoff (discharge/precipitation ratio of 0.29). Weekly stream samples have been collected over a several year period and analyzed for standard geochemical constituents and stable isotopes to assess deposition impacts on ecosystem function and overall watershed behavior. Stable isotopes of water measured in the weekly Arroyo Seco stream samples deviate from the global meteoric water line (GMWL), particularly during summer months. High evaporative rates in the summer may be responsible for the distinct summer pattern and overall deviation from the GMWL of stream isotope values. An

  4. Acclimation of methane production weakens ecosystem response to climate warming in a northern peatland

    Science.gov (United States)

    MA, S.; Huang, Y.; Jiang, J.; Ricciuto, D. M.; Hanson, P. J.; Luo, Y.

    2017-12-01

    Warming-induced increases in greenhouse gases from terrestrial ecosystems represent a positive feedback to twenty-first-century climate warming, but the magnitude of this stimulatory effect remains uncertain. Acclimation of soil respiration and photosynthesis have been found to slow down the feedback due to the substrate limitation and thermal adaptation. However, acclimation of ecosystem methane emission to climate warming has not been well illustrated, despite that methane is directly responsible for approximately 20% of global warming since pre-industrial time. In this study, we used the data-model fusion approach to explore the potential acclimation of methane emission to climate warming. We assimilated CH4 static chamber flux data at the Spruce and Peatland Responses Under Climatic and Environmental Change (SPRUCE) experimental site into the ecosystem model, TECO_SPRUCE. The SPRUCE project has been conducted to study the responses of northern peatland to climate warming (+0, +2.25, +4.5, +6.75, +9 °C) and elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration (+0 and +500 ppm). The warming treatments were initiated from June 2014. We estimated parameter values using environmental and flux data in those five warming treatment levels from 2014 to 2016 for the acclimation study. The key parameters that were estimated for methane emissions are the potential ratio of CO2 converted to CH4 (r_me), Q10 for CH4 production (Q10_pro), maximum oxidation rate (Omax) and the factor of transport ability at plant community level (Tveg). Among them, r_me and Q10_pro were well constrained in each treatment plot. Q10 decreased from 3.33 (control) to 1.22 (+9˚C treatment) and r_me decreased from 0.675 (control) to 0.505 (+9˚C treatment). The acclimation will dampen the warming effect on methane production and emission. Current ecosystem models assumed constant Q10 for CH4 production and CH4/CO2 conversion ratio in the future warmed climate. The assumption is likely to overestimate the methane

  5. Dryland ecosystem responses to precipitation extremes and wildfire at a long-term rainfall manipulation experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, R. F.; Collins, S. L.

    2017-12-01

    Climate is becoming increasingly more variable due to global environmental change, which is evidenced by fewer, but more extreme precipitation events, changes in precipitation seasonality, and longer, higher severity droughts. These changes, combined with a rising incidence of wildfire, have the potential to strongly impact net primary production (NPP) and key biogeochemical cycles, particularly in dryland ecosystems where NPP is sequentially limited by water and nutrient availability. Here we utilize a ten-year dataset from an ongoing long-term field experiment established in 2007 in which we experimentally altered monsoon rainfall variability to examine how our manipulations, along with naturally occurring events, affect NPP and associated biogeochemical cycles in a semi-arid grassland in central New Mexico, USA. Using long-term regional averages, we identified extremely wet monsoon years (242.8 mm, 2013), and extremely dry monsoon years (86.0 mm, 2011; 80.0 mm, 2015) and water years (117.0 mm, 2011). We examined how changes in precipitation variability and extreme events affected ecosystem processes and function particularly in the context of ecosystem recovery following a 2009 wildfire. Response variables included above- and below-ground plant biomass (ANPP & BNPP) and abundance, soil nitrogen availability, and soil CO2 efflux. Mean ANPP ranged from 3.6 g m-2 in 2011 to 254.5 g m-2 in 2013, while BNPP ranged from 23.5 g m-2 in 2015 to 194.2 g m-2 in 2013, demonstrating NPP in our semi-arid grassland is directly linked to extremes in both seasonal and annual precipitation. We also show increased nitrogen deposition positively affects NPP in unburned grassland, but has no significant impact on NPP post-fire except during extremely wet monsoon years. While soil respiration rates reflect lower ANPP post-fire, patterns in CO2 efflux have not been shown to change significantly in that efflux is greatest following large precipitation events preceded by longer drying

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  8. A Demonstration Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON): Understanding Marine Life and its Role in Maintaining Ecosystem Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muller-Karger, F. E.; Iken, K.; Miller, R. J.; Duffy, J. E.; Chavez, F.; Montes, E.

    2016-02-01

    The U.S. Federal government (NOAA, NASA, BOEM, and the Smithsonian Institution), academic researchers, and private partners are laying the foundation for a Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON). The goals of the network are to: 1) Observe and understand life, from microbes to whales, in different coastal and continental shelf habitats; 2) Define an efficient set of observations required for implementing a useful MBON; 3) Develop technology for biodiversity assessments including emerging environmental DNA (eDNA), remote sensing, and image analysis methods to coordinate with classical sampling; 4) Integrate and synthesize information in coordination with the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), the international Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network(GEO BON), and the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) sponsored by UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC); and 5) Understand the linkages between marine biodiversity, ecosystem processes, and the social-economic context of a region. Pilot projects have been implemented within three NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries (Florida Keys, Monterey Bay, and Channel Islands), the wider Santa Barbara Channel, in the Chukchi Sea, and through the Smithsonian's Tennenbaum Marine Observatories Network (TMON) at several sites in the U.S. and collaborating countries. Together, these MBON sites encompass a wide range of marine environments, including deep sea, continental shelves, and coastal habitats including estuaries, wetlands, and coral reefs. The present MBON partners are open to growth of the MBON through additional collaborations. Given these initiatives, GEO BON is proposing an MBON effort that spans from pole to pole, with a pathfinder effort among countries in the Americas. By specializing in coastal ecosystems—where marine biodiversity and people are concentrated and interact most—the MBON and TMON initiatives aim to provide policymakers with the science to

  9. Heavy metal pollution characteristics of surface sediments in different aquatic ecosystems in eastern China: a comprehensive understanding.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenzhong Tang

    Full Text Available Aquatic ecosystems in eastern China are suffering threats from heavy metal pollution because of rapid economic development and urbanization. Heavy metals in surface sediments were determined in five different aquatic ecosystems (river, reservoir, estuary, lake, and wetland ecosystems. The average Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn concentrations were 0.716, 118, 37.3, 32.7, 56.6, and 204 mg/kg, respectively, and the higher concentrations were mainly found in sediment samples from river ecosystems. Cd was the most anthropogenically enriched pollutant, followed by Zn and Pb, indicated by enrichment factors >1.5. According to consensus-based sediment quality guidelines, potential ecological risk indices, and risk assessment codes, all five types of aquatic ecosystems were found to be polluted with heavy metals, and the most polluted ecosystems were mainly rivers. Cd was the most serious pollutant in all five aquatic ecosystems, and it was mainly found in the exchangeable fraction (about 30% of the total Cd concentration, on average. The results indicate that heavy metal contamination, especially of Cd, in aquatic ecosystems in eastern China should be taken into account in the development of management strategies for protecting the aquatic environment.

  10. The Importance of Ecology-Based Nature Education Project in Terms of Nature Integration and Understanding the Human-Ecosystem Relationship

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meydan, Ali

    2011-01-01

    The aim of this project is to define the importance of 12-day ecology-based education training upon integration with nature and understanding the human-ecosystem relationship. In accordance with this purpose, there has been collected some survey data interviewing with the participants of "Lake Beysehir National Park and Ecology-based Nature…

  11. Responses of photosynthetic parameters to drought in subtropical forest ecosystem of China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Lei; Wang, Shaoqiang; Chi, Yonggang; Li, Qingkang; Huang, Kun; Yu, Quanzhou

    2015-12-15

    The mechanism underlying the effect of drought on the photosynthetic traits of leaves in forest ecosystems in subtropical regions is unclear. In this study, three limiting processes (stomatal, mesophyll and biochemical limitations) that control the photosynthetic capacity and three resource use efficiencies (intrinsic water use efficiency (iWUE), nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) and light use efficiency (LUE)), which were characterized as the interactions between photosynthesis and environmental resources, were estimated in two species (Schima superba and Pinus massoniana) under drought conditions. A quantitative limitation analysis demonstrated that the drought-induced limitation of photosynthesis in Schima superba was primarily due to stomatal limitation, whereas for Pinus massoniana, both stomatal and non-stomatal limitations generally exhibited similar magnitudes. Although the mesophyll limitation represented only 1% of the total limitation in Schima superba, it accounted for 24% of the total limitations for Pinus massoniana. Furthermore, a positive relationship between the LUE and NUE and a marginally negative relationship or trade-off between the NUE and iWUE were observed in the control plots. However, drought disrupted the relationships between the resource use efficiencies. Our findings may have important implications for reducing the uncertainties in model simulations and advancing the understanding of the interactions between ecosystem functions and climate change.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bobette E Jones

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

  13. Ecological Security and Ecosystem Services in Response to Land Use Change in the Coastal Area of Jiangsu, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caiyao Xu

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Urbanization, and the resulting land use/cover change, is a primary cause of the degradation of coastal wetland ecosystems. Reclamation projects are seen as a way to strike a balance between socioeconomic development and maintenance of coastal ecosystems. Our aim was to understand the ecological changes to Jiangsu’s coastal wetland resulting from land use change since 1977 by using remote sensing and spatial analyses. The results indicate that: (1 The area of artificial land use expanded while natural land use was reduced, which emphasized an increase in production-orientated land uses at the expense of ecologically important wetlands; (2 It took 34 years for landscape ecological security and 39 years for ecosystem services to regain equilibrium. The coastal reclamation area would recover ecological equilibrium only after a minimum of 30 years; (3 The total ecosystem service value decreased significantly from $2.98 billion per year to $2.31 billion per year from 1977 to 2014. Food production was the only one ecosystem service function that consistently increased, mainly because of government policy; (4 The relationship between landscape ecological security and ecosystem services is complicated, mainly because of the scale effect of landscape ecology. Spatial analysis of changing gravity centers showed that landscape ecological security and ecosystem service quality became better in the north than the south over the study period.

  14. Temporal and Spatial Variation in Peatland Carbon Cycling and Implications for Interpreting Responses of an Ecosystem-Scale Warming Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Natalie A. Griffiths; Paul J. Hanson; Daniel M. Ricciuto; Colleen M. Iversen; Anna M. Jensen; Avni Malhotra; Karis J. McFarlane; Richard J. Norby; Khachik Sargsyan; Stephen D. Sebestyen; Xiaoying Shi; Anthony P. Walker; Eric J. Ward; Jeffrey M. Warren; David J. Weston

    2017-01-01

    We are conducting a large-scale, long-term climate change response experiment in an ombrotrophic peat bog in Minnesota to evaluate the effects of warming and elevated CO2 on ecosystem processes using empirical and modeling approaches. To better frame future assessments of peatland responses to climate change, we characterized and compared spatial...

  15. Herbivore physiological response to predation risk and implications for ecosystem nutrient dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawlena, Dror; Schmitz, Oswald J

    2010-08-31

    The process of nutrient transfer through an ecosystem is an important determinant of production, food-chain length, and species diversity. The general view is that the rate and efficiency of nutrient transfer up the food chain is constrained by herbivore-specific capacity to secure N-rich compounds for survival and production. Using feeding trials with artificial food, we show, however, that physiological stress-response of grasshopper herbivores to spider predation risk alters the nature of the nutrient constraint. Grasshoppers facing predation risk had higher metabolic rates than control grasshoppers. Elevated metabolism accordingly increased requirements for dietary digestible carbohydrate-C to fuel-heightened energy demands. Moreover, digestible carbohydrate-C comprises a small fraction of total plant tissue-C content, so nutrient transfer between plants and herbivores accordingly becomes more constrained by digestible plant C than by total plant C:N. This shift in herbivore diet to meet the altered nutrient requirement increased herbivore body C:N content, the C:N content of the plant community from which grasshoppers select their diet, and grasshopper fecal C:N content. Chronic predation risk thus alters the quality of animal and plant tissue that eventually enters the detrital pool to become decomposed. Our results demonstrate that herbivore physiology causes C:N requirements and nutrient intake to become flexible, thereby providing a mechanism to explain context dependence in the nature of trophic control over nutrient transfer in ecosystems.

  16. Ecosystem responses to short-term climate variability in the Gulf of the Farallones, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jahncke, J.; Saenz, B. L.; Abraham, C. L.; Rintoul, C.; Bradley, R. W.; Sydeman, W. J.

    2008-05-01

    We conducted an integrated study from physics to upper trophic-level predators in the Gulf of the Farallones, California. We hypothesized that decreased zooplankton abundance for upper trophic-level predators in the Gulf of the Farallones during 2004 and 2005 was a response to reduced upwelling-favorable winds and primary production. Based on their trophic ecology, we hypothesized that planktivorous auklets and omnivorous murres will show differential responses to upwelling variability. We examined these hypotheses by analyzing time series on oceanographic variables associated to upwelling and the biological responses at low, mid and high trophic-levels. We found that reduced upwelling-favorable wind was correlated with anomalously high SST and low chlorophyll a concentration from July 2004 to August 2005. During 2005, low chlorophyll concentrations were related to reduced krill abundance in the upper water column and decreased seabird abundance in the vicinity of the breeding colony in the study area. Decreased krill abundance was associated with late timing of nesting and reduced breeding success, with auklets showing a more pronounced response. This study shows how short-term climate variability can affect primary through tertiary productivity, and supports an interpretation of “bottom-up” control of ecosystem dynamics.

  17. Understanding diversity in impact and responses among HIV/AIDS ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    AIDS-related illnesses on people's mind and spirit (the internal environment), and 2) the influence of institutional structures and processes (the external environment), in order to better understand 3) the actions taken by individuals and households ...

  18. Impacts to ecosystem services from aquatic acidification: using FEGS-CS to understand the impacts of air pollution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Increases in anthropogenic emissions of sulfur (S) and nitrogen (N) have resulted in increases in the associated atmospheric deposition of acidic compounds. In sensitive watersheds, this deposition has initiated a cascade of negative environmental effects on aquatic ecosystems, ...

  19. Soil and ecosystem respiration responses to grazing, watering and experimental warming chamber treatments across topographical gradients in northern Mongolia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharkhuu, Anarmaa; Plante, Alain F; Enkhmandal, Orsoo; Gonneau, Cédric; Casper, Brenda B; Boldgiv, Bazartseren; Petraitis, Peter S

    2016-05-01

    Globally, soil respiration is one of the largest fluxes of carbon to the atmosphere and is known to be sensitive to climate change, representing a potential positive feedback. We conducted a number of field experiments to study independent and combined impacts of topography, watering, grazing and climate manipulations on bare soil and vegetated soil (i.e., ecosystem) respiration in northern Mongolia, an area known to be highly vulnerable to climate change and overgrazing. Our results indicated that soil moisture is the most important driving factor for carbon fluxes in this semi-arid ecosystem, based on smaller carbon fluxes under drier conditions. Warmer conditions did not result in increased respiration. Although the system has local topographical gradients in terms of nutrient, moisture availability and plant species, soil respiration responses to OTC treatments were similar on the upper and lower slopes, implying that local heterogeneity may not be important for scaling up the results. In contrast, ecosystem respiration responses to OTCs differed between the upper and the lower slopes, implying that the response of vegetation to climate change may override microbial responses. Our results also showed that light grazing may actually enhance soil respiration while decreasing ecosystem respiration, and grazing impact may not depend on climate change. Overall, our results indicate that soil and ecosystem respiration in this semi-arid steppe are more sensitive to precipitation fluctuation and grazing pressure than to temperature change.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Looking Past Primary Productivity: Benchmarking System Processes that Drive Ecosystem Level Responses in Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowdery, E.; Dietze, M.

    2017-12-01

    As atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide levels continue to increase, it is critical that terrestrial ecosystem models can accurately predict ecological responses to the changing environment. Current predictions of net primary productivity (NPP) in response to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration are highly variable and contain a considerable amount of uncertainty. Benchmarking model predictions against data are necessary to assess their ability to replicate observed patterns, but also to identify and evaluate the assumptions causing inter-model differences. We have implemented a novel benchmarking workflow as part of the Predictive Ecosystem Analyzer (PEcAn) that is automated, repeatable, and generalized to incorporate different sites and ecological models. Building on the recent Free-Air CO2 Enrichment Model Data Synthesis (FACE-MDS) project, we used observational data from the FACE experiments to test this flexible, extensible benchmarking approach aimed at providing repeatable tests of model process representation that can be performed quickly and frequently. Model performance assessments are often limited to traditional residual error analysis; however, this can result in a loss of critical information. Models that fail tests of relative measures of fit may still perform well under measures of absolute fit and mathematical similarity. This implies that models that are discounted as poor predictors of ecological productivity may still be capturing important patterns. Conversely, models that have been found to be good predictors of productivity may be hiding error in their sub-process that result in the right answers for the wrong reasons. Our suite of tests have not only highlighted process based sources of uncertainty in model productivity calculations, they have also quantified the patterns and scale of this error. Combining these findings with PEcAn's model sensitivity analysis and variance decomposition strengthen our ability to identify which processes

  2. The dynamic regime concept for ecosystem management and restoration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mayer, A.; Rietkerk, M.G.

    2004-01-01

    Because the response of ecosystem patterns and processes to disturbance is rarely linear, the dynamic regime concept offers a more realistic construct than linear models for understanding ecosystems. Dynamic regimes, and shifts between them, have been reported for a diversity of ecosystem

  3. The Dynamic Regime Concept for Ecosystem Management and Restoration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mayer, A.L.; Rietkerk, M.

    2004-01-01

    Because the response of ecosystem patterns and processes to disturbance is rarely linear, the dynamic regime concept offers a more realistic construct than linear models for understanding ecosystems. Dynamic regimes, and shifts between them, have been reported for a diversity of ecosystem types (e.

  4. Responses of non-methane biogenic volatile organic compound emissions to climate change in boreal and subarctic ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Faubert, P.

    2010-07-01

    Non-methane biogenic volatile organic compound emissions (BVOCs) have important roles in the global atmospheric chemistry but their feedbacks to climate change are still unknown. This thesis reports one of the first estimates of BVOC emissions from boreal and subarctic ecosystems. Most importantly, this thesis assesses the BVOC emission responses to four effects of climate change in these ecosystems: (1) the direct effect of warming, and its indirect effects via (2) water table drawdown, (3) change in the vegetation composition, and (4) enhanced UV-B radiation. BVOC emissions were measured using a conventional chamber method in which the compounds were collected on adsorbent and later analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. On a subarctic heath, warming by only 1.9-2.5 degC doubled the monoterpene and sesquiterpene emissions. Such a high increase of BVOC emissions under a conservative warming cannot be predicted by the current models, which underlines the importance of a focus on BVOC emissions from the Subarctic under climate change. On a subarctic peatland, enhanced UV-B did not affect the BVOC emissions but the water table level exerted the major effect. The water table drawdown experimentally applied on boreal peatland microcosms decreased the emissions of monoterpenes and other VOCs (BVOCs with a lifetime>1 d) for the hollows (wet microsites) and that of all BVOC groups for the lawns (moderately wet microsites). The warming treatment applied on the lawn microcosms decreased the isoprene emission. The removal of vascular plants in the hummock (dry microsites) microcosms decreased the emissions of monoterpenes while the emissions between the microcosms covered with Sphagnum moss and bare peat were not different. In conclusion, the results presented in this thesis indicate that climate change has complex effects on the BVOC emissions. These results make a significant contribution to improving the modeling of BVOC emissions for a better understanding of

  5. Observations from Space: Marine Ecosystem and Environment Response to Typhoon/ Hurricanes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Danling; Yi, Sui

    Marine ecosystem is sensitive to environmental factors, including typhoon. Typhoon's activities have been strengthening in both intensity and spatial coverage in the past several decades, along with global changes; however, our knowledge about the impact of typhoons upon the marine ecosystem is very scarce. To understand how could typhoon/hurricane impact on marine ecosystem, we have conducted a series studies in the South China Sea, by using Satellite remote sensing and in situ observation data to investigate phytoplankton concentration, sea surface temperature (SST) and related factors before, during, and after typhoon. Results show that typhoon can induce large area of phytoplankton blooms with increases of Chlorophyll a (Chl a) concentrations and decrease of sea surface temperature (SST) about 4 oC. Analysis showed that typhoon can support nutrients to surface phytoplankton by upwelling and vertical mixing, and typhoon rain can also nourish marine phytoplankton. More observations confirmed that typhoon can induce cold eddy, and cold eddy can support eddy-shape phyto-plankton bloom by upwelling. Typhoon can also induce transport of nutrient-rich water from depth and from the coast to offshore regions, nourishing phytoplankton biomass. Comparative study show that slow-moving typhoon induced phytoplankton blooms of higher Chlorophyll-a (Chl-a), the strong typhoon induced phytoplankton blooms of a large area. Therefore, typhoons may have important contribution to the marine primary production. Those studies may help better understand the mechanism of typhoon impacts on marine ecosys-tem, and the role of typhoon in the global environmental changes. The series research were sup-ported by: NSFC (40976091, 40811140533) and GD NSF (8351030101000002); (2) CAS(kzcx2-yw-226 and LYQ200701); (3) The CAS/SAFEA International Partnership Program for Creative Research Teams (KZCX2-YW-T001). References: Tang, DanLing, H Kawamura, P Shi, W Takahashi, T Shimada, F. Sakaida, O

  6. Response of gross ecosystem productivity, light use efficiency, and water use efficiency of Mongolian steppe to seasonal variations in soil moisture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Sheng-Gong; Eugster, Werner; Asanuma, Jun; Kotani, Ayumi; Davaa, Gombo; Oyunbaatar, Dambaravjaa; Sugita, Michiaki

    2008-03-01

    The examination of vegetation productivity and use of light and water resources is important for understanding the carbon and water cycles in semiarid and arid environments. We made continuous measurements of carbon dioxide and water vapor fluxes over an arid steppe ecosystem in Mongolia by using the eddy covariance (EC) technique. These measurements allow an examination of EC-estimated gross ecosystem productivity (GEP), light use efficiency (LUE), and water use efficiency (WUE) of the steppe. Daily variations of GEP, LUE, and WUE were associated with daily variations of incident photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), ambient temperature (Ta), and vapor pressure deficit (VPD). The magnitudes of these variations were also dependent on canopy development. On the daily basis, GEP linearly correlated with evapotranspiration rate and PAR. LUE correlated positively with leaf area index, Ta, and soil moisture availability but negatively with the surface reflectivity for short-wave solar radiation. Throughout the growing season, both GEP and LUE responded strongly to precipitation-fed soil moisture in the top 20 cm of the soil. An examination of the responses of LUE and WUE to PAR under different soil moisture conditions shows that when soil water availability exceeded VPD, the steppe was most efficient in light use, whereas it was less efficient in water use. The multivariate analysis of variance also suggests that soil moisture availability, especially water status in the upper 20-cm soil layer with dense distribution of grass roots, is the most significant factor that governs GEP, WUE, and LUE. This study provides a preliminary assessment of the use of available water and light by the Mongolian arid steppe ecosystems under seasonally varying soil moisture conditions. A better understanding of these functional responses is required to predict how climate change may affect arid steppe ecosystems.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

    As a consequence of global climate-driven changes, marine ecosystems are experiencing polewards redistributions of species – or range shifts – across taxa and throughout latitudes worldwide. Research on these range shifts largely focuses on understanding and predicting changes in the distribution of

  8. Simulated response of conterminous United States ecosystems to climate change at different levels of fire suppression, CO2 emission rate, and growth response to CO2

    Science.gov (United States)

    James M. Lenihan; Dominique Bachelet; Ronald P. Neilson; Raymond Drapek

    2008-01-01

    A modeling experiment was designed to investigate the impact of fire management, CO2 emission rate, and the growth response to CO2 on the response of ecosystems in the conterminous United States to climate scenarios produced by three different general circulation models (GCMs) as simulated by the MCl Dynamic General...

  9. Ecosystem response to removal of exotic riparian shrubs and a transition to upland vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Lindsay V.; Cooper, David J.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding plant community change over time is essential for managing important ecosystems such as riparian areas. This study analyzed historic vegetation using soil seed banks and the effects of riparian shrub removal treatments and channel incision on ecosystem and plant community dynamics in Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona. We focused on how seeds, nutrients, and ground water influence the floristic composition of post-treatment vegetation and addressed three questions: (1) How does pre-treatment soil seed bank composition reflect post-treatment vegetation composition? (2) How does shrub removal affect post-treatment riparian vegetation composition, seed rain inputs, and ground water dynamics? and (3) Is available soil nitrogen increased near dead Russian olive plants following removal and does this influence post-treatment vegetation? We analyzed seed bank composition across the study area, analyzed differences in vegetation, ground water levels, and seed rain between control, cut-stump and whole-plant removal areas, and compared soil nitrogen and vegetation near removed Russian olive to areas lacking Russian olive. The soil seed bank contained more riparian plants, more native and fewer exotic plants than the extant vegetation. Both shrub removal methods decreased exotic plant cover, decreased tamarisk and Russian olive seed inputs, and increased native plant cover after 2 years. Neither method increased ground water levels. Soil near dead Russian olive trees indicated a short-term increase in soil nitrogen following plant removal but did not influence vegetation composition compared to areas without Russian olive. Following tamarisk and Russian olive removal, our study sites were colonized by upland plant species. Many western North American rivers have tamarisk and Russian olive on floodplains abandoned by channel incision, river regulation or both. Our results are widely applicable to sites where drying has occurred and vegetation

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2005-12-15

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weber, Carolyn F [Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL); Zak, Donald R [University of Michigan; Hungate, Bruce [Northern Arizona University; Jackson, Robert B [Duke University; Vilgalys, Rytas [Duke University; Evans, R David [Duke University; Schadt, Christopher Warren [ORNL; Megonigal, J. Patrick [Smithsonian; Kuske, Cheryl R [Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Responses of terrestrial herpetofauna to persistent, novel ecosystems resulting from mountaintop removal mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Jennifer M.; Brown, Donald J.; Wood, Petra

    2017-01-01

    Mountaintop removal mining is a large-scale surface mining technique that removes entire floral and faunal communities, along with soil horizons located above coal seams. In West Virginia, the majority of this mining occurs on forested mountaintops. However, after mining ceases the land is typically reclaimed to grasslands and shrublands, resulting in novel ecosystems. In this study, we examined responses of herpetofauna to these novel ecosystems 10–28 y postreclamation. We quantified differences in species-specific habitat associations, (sub)order-level abundances, and habitat characteristics in four habitat types: reclaimed grassland, reclaimed shrubland, forest fragments in mined areas, and nonmined intact forest. Habitat type accounted for 33.2% of the variation in species-specific captures. With few exceptions, forest specialists were associated with intact forest and fragmented forest sites, while habitat generalists were either associated with grassland and shrubland sites or were distributed among all habitat types. At the (sub)order level, salamander (Order Urodela) captures were highest at fragmented and intact forest sites, frog and toad (Order Anura) captures were lowest at intact forest sites, and snake (Suborder Serpentes) captures were highest at shrubland sites. Habitat type was a strong predictor for estimated total abundance of urodeles, but not for anurans or snakes. Tree stem densities in grasslands differed from the other three habitat types, and large trees (>38 cm diameter at breast height) were only present at forest sites. Overstory vegetation cover was greater in forested than in reclaimed habitat types. Ground cover in reclaimed grasslands was distinct from forest treatments with generally less woody debris and litter cover and more vegetative cover. It is important to consider the distributions of habitat specialists of conservation concern when delineating potential mountaintop mine sites, as these sites will likely contain unsuitable

  13. Interaction webs in arctic ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Niels M.; Hardwick, Bess; Gilg, Olivier

    2017-01-01

    How species interact modulate their dynamics, their response to environmental change, and ultimately the functioning and stability of entire communities. Work conducted at Zackenberg, Northeast Greenland, has changed our view on how networks of arctic biotic interactions are structured, how they ...... that the combination of long-term, ecosystem-based monitoring, and targeted research projects offers the most fruitful basis for understanding and predicting the future of arctic ecosystems....

  14. Behavioral accident avoidance science : understanding response in collision incipient conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hancock, P.A.; Ridder, S.N. de

    2003-01-01

    Road traffic accidents are the single greatest cause of fatality in the workplace and the primary cause of all accidental death in the U.S. to the age of seventy-eight. However, behavioral analysis of response in the final seconds and milliseconds before collision has been a most difficult

  15. Understanding Inertial and Frequency Response of Wind Power Plants: Preprint

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Muljadi, E.; Gevorgian, V.; Singh, M.; Santoso, S.

    2012-07-01

    The objective of this paper is to analyze and quantify the inertia and frequency responses of wind power plants with different wind turbine technologies (particularly those of fixed speed, variable slip with rotor-resistance controls, and variable speed with vector controls).

  16. Understanding Farmers' Response to Climate Variability in Nigeria ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In this study, farmers 'response to climate variability was examined. Primary and secondary data were used. A multi-stage sampling procedure was adopted in the collection of the primary data using structured questionnaires. Four vegetation zones out of seven where farming is mainly carried out were selected for the study.

  17. Moral landscapes : Understanding agency in corporate responsibility initiatives

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Larssæther, S.; Nijhof, A.H.J.

    2009-01-01

    Drawing on literature in the field of Science Technology Studies (STS) it is argued in this article that including influences of non-human actors in the design of corporate responsibility programs has the potential to improve significantly the associated social and ecological effects. For this we

  18. Carbon-cycle implications of asymmetry in response of semi-arid ecosystem phenology and productivity to rainfall

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Benjamin; Haverd, Vanessa; Ahlström, Anders; Canadell, Josep

    2017-04-01

    Semi-arid savannahs and shrublands of the tropics and subtropics play a key role in the inter-annual variability of the global carbon cycle and are emerging as an important player - comparable with tropical forests - in terms of their contribution to the ongoing sink trend of the carbon exchange between the global land surface and atmosphere. Both the variability and carbon balance trend of the savannah-shrubland biome are characterised by shifting phenology, mediated by changes in the seasonality and relative contributions to ecosystem productivity of woody vegetation elements and grasses. Shifts in water availability associated with the impacts of global circulation systems on the distribution and amount of rainfall are a key driver of vegetation response in these ecosystems, which tolerate drought, but spring to life, becoming highly productive, during episodes of ample water supply. This "boom or bust" behaviour with respect to water availability may be expected to translate into an asymmetric response to rainfall change, positive anomalies in rainfall tending to lead to larger increases in productivity compared with the corresponding decrease in productivity resulting from a negative anomaly of comparable size. As rainfall distributions over time themselves exhibit asymmetry, an 'intrinsic' (ecosystem response-driven) and 'extrinsic' (climate or weather forcing-driven) component of asymmetry may be distinguished. We investigated the prevalence of asymmetry in forcing and response of ecosystem productivity to rainfall variability globally and for the illustrative case of Australia, which emerges as a global 'hot spot' for rainfall-driven variability in ecosystem gross primary production (GPP) and associated net ecosystem productivity (NEP). Employing two climate-driven ecosystem models, informed by multiple observation types (land-atmosphere fluxes, biomass, streamflow and remotely-sensed vegetation cover), we show that the inland region of Australia, dominated

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  20. Ecosystem Drought Response Timescales from Thermal Emission versus Shortwave Remote Sensing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erika Andujar

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Remote sensing is used for monitoring the impacts of meteorological drought on ecosystems, but few large-scale comparisons of the response timescale to drought of different vegetation remote sensing products are available. We correlated vegetation health products derived from polar-orbiting radiometer observations with a meteorological drought indicator available at different aggregation timescales, the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI, to evaluate responses averaged globally and over latitude and biome. The remote sensing products are Vegetation Condition Index (VCI, which uses normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI to identify plant stress, Temperature Condition Index (TCI, based on thermal emission as a measure of surface temperature, and Vegetation Health Index (VHI, the average of VCI and TCI. Globally, TCI correlated best with 2-month timescale SPEI, VCI correlated best with longer timescale droughts (peak mean correlation at 13 months, and VHI correlated best at an intermediate timescale of 4 months. Our results suggest that thermal emission (TCI may better detect incipient drought than vegetation color (VCI. VHI had the highest correlations with SPEI at aggregation times greater than 3 months and hence may be the most suitable product for monitoring the effects of long droughts.

  1. Obscuring ecosystem function with application of the ecosystem services concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Markus J; Hall, Damon M; Feldpausch-Parker, Andrea M; Peterson, Tarla Rai

    2010-02-01

    Conservationists commonly have framed ecological concerns in economic terms to garner political support for conservation and to increase public interest in preserving global biodiversity. Beginning in the early 1980s, conservation biologists adapted neoliberal economics to reframe ecosystem functions and related biodiversity as ecosystem services to humanity. Despite the economic success of programs such as the Catskill/Delaware watershed management plan in the United States and the creation of global carbon exchanges, today's marketplace often fails to adequately protect biodiversity. We used a Marxist critique to explain one reason for this failure and to suggest a possible, if partial, response. Reframing ecosystem functions as economic services does not address the political problem of commodification. Just as it obscures the labor of human workers, commodification obscures the importance of the biota (ecosystem workers) and related abiotic factors that contribute to ecosystem functions. This erasure of work done by ecosystems impedes public understanding of biodiversity. Odum and Odum's radical suggestion to use the language of ecosystems (i.e., emergy or energy memory) to describe economies, rather than using the language of economics (i.e., services) to describe ecosystems, reverses this erasure of the ecosystem worker. Considering the current dominance of economic forces, however, implementing such solutions would require social changes similar in magnitude to those that occurred during the 1960s. Niklas Luhmann argues that such substantive, yet rapid, social change requires synergy among multiple societal function systems (i.e., economy, education, law, politics, religion, science), rather than reliance on a single social sphere, such as the economy. Explicitly presenting ecosystem services as discreet and incomplete aspects of ecosystem functions not only allows potential economic and environmental benefits associated with ecosystem services, but also

  2. Cumulative response of ecosystem carbon and nitrogen stocks to chronic CO2 exposure in a subtropical oak woodland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hungate, Bruce A; Dijkstra, Paul; Wu, Zhuoting; Duval, Benjamin D; Day, Frank P; Johnson, Dale W; Megonigal, J Patrick; Brown, Alisha L P; Garland, Jay L

    2013-01-01

    Summary Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) could alter the carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) content of ecosystems, yet the magnitude of these effects are not well known. We examined C and N budgets of a subtropical woodland after 11 yr of exposure to elevated CO2. We used open-top chambers to manipulate CO2 during regrowth after fire, and measured C, N and tracer 15N in ecosystem components throughout the experiment. Elevated CO2 increased plant C and tended to increase plant N but did not significantly increase whole-system C or N. Elevated CO2 increased soil microbial activity and labile soil C, but more slowly cycling soil C pools tended to decline. Recovery of a long-term 15N tracer indicated that CO2 exposure increased N losses and altered N distribution, with no effect on N inputs. Increased plant C accrual was accompanied by higher soil microbial activity and increased C losses from soil, yielding no statistically detectable effect of elevated CO2 on net ecosystem C uptake. These findings challenge the treatment of terrestrial ecosystems responses to elevated CO2 in current biogeochemical models, where the effect of elevated CO2 on ecosystem C balance is described as enhanced photosynthesis and plant growth with decomposition as a first-order response. PMID:23718224

  3. Cumulative response of ecosystem carbon and nitrogen stocks to chronic CO₂ exposure in a subtropical oak woodland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hungate, Bruce A; Dijkstra, Paul; Wu, Zhuoting; Duval, Benjamin D; Day, Frank P; Johnson, Dale W; Megonigal, J Patrick; Brown, Alisha L P; Garland, Jay L

    2013-11-01

    Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO₂) could alter the carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) content of ecosystems, yet the magnitude of these effects are not well known. We examined C and N budgets of a subtropical woodland after 11 yr of exposure to elevated CO₂. We used open-top chambers to manipulate CO₂ during regrowth after fire, and measured C, N and tracer (15) N in ecosystem components throughout the experiment. Elevated CO₂ increased plant C and tended to increase plant N but did not significantly increase whole-system C or N. Elevated CO₂ increased soil microbial activity and labile soil C, but more slowly cycling soil C pools tended to decline. Recovery of a long-term (15) N tracer indicated that CO₂ exposure increased N losses and altered N distribution, with no effect on N inputs. Increased plant C accrual was accompanied by higher soil microbial activity and increased C losses from soil, yielding no statistically detectable effect of elevated CO₂ on net ecosystem C uptake. These findings challenge the treatment of terrestrial ecosystems responses to elevated CO₂ in current biogeochemical models, where the effect of elevated CO₂ on ecosystem C balance is described as enhanced photosynthesis and plant growth with decomposition as a first-order response. © 2013 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

  4. Response of Florida shelf ecosystems to climate change: from macro to micro scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robbins, Lisa; Raabe, Ellen

    2010-01-01

    U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) research in St. Petersburg, Fla., is focusing attention on marine environments of the Florida shelf at three levels, from regional to estuarine to the individual organism. The USGS is partnering on this project with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the University of South Florida (USF) in marine studies. The specific goals of these combined efforts are an improved understanding of the effects of ocean acidification on regional carbonate processes, changes in individual estuaries, and organism-level response. This understanding will assist in developing appropriate Federal, State, and local management responses to climate change in coastal areas.

  5. Community-level response of coastal microbial biofilms to ocean acidification in a natural carbon dioxide vent ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lidbury, Ian; Johnson, Vivienne; Hall-Spencer, Jason M; Munn, Colin B; Cunliffe, Michael

    2012-05-01

    The impacts of ocean acidification on coastal biofilms are poorly understood. Carbon dioxide vent areas provide an opportunity to make predictions about the impacts of ocean acidification. We compared biofilms that colonised glass slides in areas exposed to ambient and elevated levels of pCO(2) along a coastal pH gradient, with biofilms grown at ambient and reduced light levels. Biofilm production was highest under ambient light levels, but under both light regimes biofilm production was enhanced in seawater with high pCO(2). Uronic acids are a component of biofilms and increased significantly with high pCO(2). Bacteria and Eukarya denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis profile analysis showed clear differences in the structures of ambient and reduced light biofilm communities, and biofilms grown at high pCO(2) compared with ambient conditions. This study characterises biofilm response to natural seabed CO(2) seeps and provides a baseline understanding of how coastal ecosystems may respond to increased pCO(2) levels. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Precipitation regulates the response of net ecosystem CO2 exchange to environmental variation on U.S. rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    For virtually all terrestrial ecosystems, the balance between photosynthetic uptake of carbon dioxide (CO2) and CO2 loss to respiration varies among years in response to inter-annual variation in climate. Variability in CO2 exchange results from inter-annual differences in (1) climatic variables at ...

  7. Soil moisture and ecosystem function responses of desert grassland varying in vegetative cover to a saturating precipitation pulse

    Science.gov (United States)

    A critical linkage between hydrological and ecological processes is plant cover, yet the ecosystem-level responses of aridland systems of varying plant cover to extreme precipitation events, predicted to increase in number and severity in the future, has not been well studied. We tracked average ro...

  8. Managing the mismatches to provide ecosystem services human well-being: a conceptual framework for understanding the New Commons

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Duraiappah, AK

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available within and across individuals coupled with the spatial scales at which different institutions are organized and at which ecosystem services are produced create mismatches in the management of the New Commons. We define the New Commons as the mosaic...

  9. Interactive effects of air pollution and climate change on forest ecosystems in the United States: current understanding and future scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrzej Bytnerowicz; Mark Fenn; Steven McNulty; Fengming Yuan; Afshin Pourmokhtarian; Charles Driscoll; Tom Meixner

    2013-01-01

    A review of the current status of air pollution and climate change (CC) in the United States from a perspective of their impacts on forest ecosystems is provided. Ambient ozone (O3) and nitrogen (N) deposition have important and widespread ecological impacts in U.S. forests. Effects of sulphurous (S) air pollutants and other trace pollutants have...

  10. Application of Cosmic-ray Soil Moisture Sensing to Understand Land-atmosphere Interactions in Three North American Monsoon Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schreiner-McGraw, A.; Vivoni, E. R.; Franz, T. E.; Anderson, C.

    2013-12-01

    Human impacts on desert ecosystems have wide ranging effects on the hydrologic cycle which, in turn, influence interactions between the critical zone and the atmosphere. In this contribution, we utilize cosmic-ray soil moisture sensors at three human-modified semiarid ecosystems in the North American monsoon region: a buffelgrass pasture in Sonora, Mexico, a woody-plant encroached savanna ecosystem in Arizona, and a woody-plant encroached shrubland ecosystem in New Mexico. In each case, landscape heterogeneity in the form of bare soil and vegetation patches of different types leads to a complex mosaic of soil moisture and land-atmosphere interactions. Historically, the measurement of spatially-averaged soil moisture at the ecosystem scale (on the order of several hundred square meters) has been problematic. Thus, new advances in measuring cosmogenically-produced neutrons present an opportunity for observational and modeling studies in these ecosystems. We discuss the calibration of the cosmic-ray soil moisture sensors at each site, present comparisons to a distributed network of in-situ measurements, and verify the spatially-aggregated observations using the watershed water balance method at two sites. We focus our efforts on the summer season 2013 and its rainfall period during the North American monsoon. To compare neutron counts to the ground sensors, we utilized an aspect-elevation weighting algorithm to compute an appropriate spatial average for the in-situ measurements. Similarly, the water balance approach utilizes precipitation, runoff, and evapotranspiration measurements in the footprint of the cosmic-ray sensors to estimate a spatially-averaged soil moisture field. Based on these complementary approaches, we empirically determined a relationship between cosmogenically-produced neutrons and the spatially-aggregated soil moisture. This approach may improve upon existing methods used to calculate soil moisture from neutron counts that typically suffer from

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  12. Pollinator population size and pollination ecosystem service responses to enhancing floral and nesting resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Häussler, Johanna; Sahlin, Ullrika; Baey, Charlotte; Smith, Henrik G; Clough, Yann

    2017-03-01

    Modeling pollination ecosystem services requires a spatially explicit, process-based approach because they depend on both the behavioral responses of pollinators to the amount and spatial arrangement of habitat and on the within- and between-season dynamics of pollinator populations in response to land use. We describe a novel pollinator model predicting flower visitation rates by wild central-place foragers (e.g., nesting bees) in spatially explicit landscapes. The model goes beyond existing approaches by: (1) integrating preferential use of more rewarding floral and nesting resources; (2) considering population growth over time; (3) allowing different dispersal distances for workers and reproductives; (4) providing visitation rates for use in crop pollination models. We use the model to estimate the effect of establishing grassy field margins offering nesting resources and a low quantity of flower resources, and/or late-flowering flower strips offering no nesting resources but abundant flowers, on bumble bee populations and visitation rates to flowers in landscapes that differ in amounts of linear seminatural habitats and early mass-flowering crops. Flower strips were three times more effective in increasing pollinator populations and visitation rates than field margins, and this effect increased over time. Late-blooming flower strips increased early-season visitation rates, but decreased visitation rates in other late-season flowers. Increases in population size over time in response to flower strips and amounts of linear seminatural habitats reduced this apparent competition for pollinators. Our spatially explicit, process-based model generates emergent patterns reflecting empirical observations, such that adding flower resources may have contrasting short- and long-term effects due to apparent competition for pollinators and pollinator population size increase. It allows exploring these effects and comparing effect sizes in ways not possible with other

  13. Understanding the Posttranscriptional Regulation of Plant Responses to Abiotic Stress

    KAUST Repository

    AlShareef, Sahar A.

    2017-06-01

    Constitutive and alternative splicing of pre-mRNAs from multiexonic genes controls the diversity of the proteome; these precisely regulated processes also fine-tune responses to cues related to growth, development, and biotic and abiotic stresses. Recent work showed that AS is pervasive across plant species, with more than 60% of intron-containing genes producing different isoforms. Mammalian cell-based assays have discovered various AS small-molecule inhibitors that perturb splicing and thereby provide invaluable tools for use as chemical probes to uncover the molecular underpinnings of splicing regulation and as potential anticancer compounds. Here, I show that the macrolide Pladienolide B (PB) and herboxidiene (GEX1A) inhibits both constitutive and alternative splicing, mimics an abiotic stress signal, and activates the abscisic acid (ABA) pathway in plants. Moreover, PB and GEX1A activate genome-wide transcriptional patterns involved in abiotic stress responses in plants. PB and GEX1A treatment triggered the ABA signaling pathway, activated ABA-inducible promoters, and led to stomatal closure. Interestingly, PB and GEX1A elicited similar cellular changes, including alterations in the patterns of transcription and splicing, suggesting that these compounds might target the same spliceosome complex in plant cells. This work establishes PB and GEX1A as potent splicing inhibitors in plants that can be used to probe the assembly, dynamics, and molecular functions of the spliceosome and to study the interplay between splicing stress and abiotic stresses, as well as having potential biotechnological applications.

  14. Aboveground and belowground responses to nutrient additions and herbivore exclusion in Arctic tundra ecosystems in northern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, J. C.; Gough, L.; Simpson, R.; Johnson, D. R.

    2011-12-01

    The Arctic has experienced significant increased regional warming over the past 30 years. Warming generally increases tundra soil nutrient availability by creating a more favorable environment for plant growth, decomposition and nutrient mineralization. Aboveground there has been a "greening" of the Arctic with increased net primary productivity (NPP), and an increase in woody vegetation. Concurrent with the changes aboveground has been an increase in root growth at lower depths and a loss of soil organic C (40 -100 g C m-2 yr-1). Given that arctic soils contain 14% of the global soil C pool, understanding the mechanisms behind shifts of this magnitude that are changing arctic soils from a net sink to a net source of atmospheric C is critical. We took an integrated multi-trophic level approach to examine how altering soil nutrients and mammalian herbivore activity affects vegetation, soil fauna, and microbial communities as well as soil physical characteristics in moist acidic (MAT) and dry heath (DH) tundra. Our work was conducted at the Arctic LTER site in northern Alaska. We sampled the nutrient (controls and annual N+P additions) and herbivore (controls and exclosures) manipulations established in 1996 after 10 years of treatment. Models that incorporated the biomass estimates from the field were used to characterize the trophic structure of the belowground food web and to estimate carbon flux among soil organisms and C-mineralization rates. Both MAT and DH exhibited significant increases in NPP and root growth and changes in vegetation structure with transitions from a mixed community to deciduous shrubs in MAT and from lichens to grasses and shrubs in DH, with nutrient additions and herbivore exclosures. Belowground responses to the treatments were dependent on ecosystem type, but exposed alterations in trophic structure that included changes in microbial biomass, the establishment of microbivorous enchytreaids, increases in root-feeding nematodes, and

  15. Introduction to the special issue on “Understanding and predicting change in the coastal ecosystems of the northern Gulf of Mexico”

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brock, John C.; Barras, John A.; Williams, S. Jeffress

    2013-01-01

    The coastal region of the northern Gulf of Mexico owes its current landscape structure to an array of tectonic, erosional and depositional, climatic, geochemical, hydrological, ecological, and human processes that have resulted in some of the world's most complex, dynamic, productive, and threatened ecosystems. Catastrophic hurricane landfalls, ongoing subsidence and erosion exacerbated by sea-level rise, disintegration of barrier island chains, and high rates of wetland loss have called attention to the vulnerability of northern Gulf coast ecosystems, habitats, built infrastructure, and economy to natural and anthropogenic threats. The devastating hurricanes of 2005 (Katrina and Rita) motivated the U.S. Geological Survey Coastal and Marine Geology Program and partnering researchers to pursue studies aimed at understanding and predicting landscape change and the associated storm hazard vulnerability of northern Gulf coast region ecosystems and human communities. Attaining this science goal requires increased knowledge of landscape evolution on geologic, historical, and human time scales, and analysis of the implications of such changes in the natural and built components of the landscape for hurricane impact susceptibility. This Special Issue of the Journal of Coastal Research communicates northern Gulf of Mexico research results that (1) improve knowledge of prior climates and depositional environments, (2) assess broad regional ecosystem structure and change over Holocene to human time scales, (3) undertake process studies and change analyses of dynamic landscape components, and (4) integrate framework, climate, variable time and spatial scale mapping, monitoring, and discipline-specific process investigations within interdisciplinary studies.

  16. Using a Forest Health Index as an Outreach Tool for Improving Public Understanding of Ecosystem Dynamics and Research-Based Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osenga, E. C.; Cundiff, J.; Arnott, J. C.; Katzenberger, J.; Taylor, J. R.; Jack-Scott, E.

    2015-12-01

    An interactive tool called the Forest Health Index (FHI) has been developed for the Roaring Fork watershed of Colorado, with the purpose of improving public understanding of local forest management and ecosystem dynamics. The watershed contains large areas of White River National Forest, which plays a significant role in the local economy, particularly for recreation and tourism. Local interest in healthy forests is therefore strong, but public understanding of forest ecosystems is often simplified. This can pose challenges for land managers and researchers seeking a scientifically informed approach to forest restoration, management, and planning. Now in its second iteration, the FHI is a tool designed to help bridge that gap. The FHI uses a suite of indicators to create a numeric rating of forest functionality and change, based on the desired forest state in relation to four categories: Ecological Integrity, Public Health and Safety, Ecosystem Services, and Sustainable Use and Management. The rating is based on data derived from several sources including local weather stations, stream gauge data, SNOTEL sites, and National Forest Service archives. In addition to offering local outreach and education, this project offers broader insight into effective communication methods, as well as into the challenges of using quantitative analysis to rate ecosystem health. Goals of the FHI include its use in schools as a means of using local data and place-based learning to teach basic math and science concepts, improved public understanding of ecological complexity and need for ongoing forest management, and, in the future, its use as a model for outreach tools in other forested communities in the Intermountain West.

  17. Love and Responsibility: A New Understanding of Leadership.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foss, Berit; Eriksson, Katie; Nåden, Dagfinn

    2018-04-01

    The purpose of the study is to investigate the importance of substance for the disclosure of ontological evidence. The methodology is inspired by Gadamer's hermeneutic philosophy and involves clinical application research using a deductive approach. This means that leaders in a clinical context were taught and participated in a discussion about a theoretical model of leadership with caring science and ontological substance. The result shows that the leaders' attention and focus were primarily directed toward administration, finances, and outer structures. Caring science and ontological substance contributed toward disclosing ontological evidence, and leadership emerged as caring, love, inner responsibility, guilt, and vulnerability. In this study, substance has been combined with teaching and group discussion as a methodical approach. Substance is the guiding issue and has been shown to lead to truth. The method is in a true sense nothing without substance.

  18. How important is diversity for capturing environmental-change responses in ecosystem models?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Prowe, Friederike; Pahlow, M.; Dutkiewicz, S.

    2014-01-01

    Marine ecosystem models used to investigate how global change affects ocean ecosystems and their functioning typically omit pelagic plankton diversity. Diversity, however, may affect functions such as primary production and their sensitivity to environmental changes. Here we use a global ocean ec...

  19. Simulation of ecosystem service responses to multiple disturbances from an earthquake and several typhoons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chiang, L-C; Lin, Y-P; Schmeller, D.S.; Verburg, P.H.; Liu, Y.L.; Ding, T-S.

    2014-01-01

    Ongoing environmental disturbances (e.g., climate variation and anthropogenic activities) alter an ecosystem gradually over time. Sudden large disturbances (e.g., typhoons and earthquakes) can have a significant and immediate impact on landscapes and ecosystem services. This study explored how

  20. Response of CO2 exchange in a tussock tundra ecosystem to permafrost thaw and thermokarst development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jason Vogel; Edward A.G. Schuur; Christian Trucco; Hanna. Lee

    2009-01-01

    Climate change in high latitudes can lead to permafrost thaw, which in ice-rich soils can result in ground subsidence, or thermokarst. In interior Alaska, we examined seasonal and annual ecosystem CO2 exchange using static and automatic chamber measurements in three areas of a moist acidic tundra ecosystem undergoing varying degrees of permafrost...

  1. Functional traits drive plant community and ecosystem response to global change across arctic and alpine environments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chisholm, Chelsea Lee

    elevation. In summary, my research stresses the importance of including information on functional identity in studies at scales of the individual, community and ecosystem. I found strong links between functional trait identity and ecosystem functioning across alpine meadows and treeline ecotones. A common...

  2. Microbial Life in the Subseafloor at Mid-Ocean Ridges: A Key to Understanding Ancient Ecosystems on Earth and Elsewhere?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baross, J. A.; Delaney, J. R.

    2001-12-01

    Some planets and moons in our solar system were similar to Earth in their geological properties during the first few hundred million years after accretion. This is the period when life arose and became established on Earth. It follows that understanding the geophysical and geochemical characteristics of early Earth could provide insight into life-supporting environments on other solar bodies that have not evolved "Garden of Eden" conditions. Hydrothermal systems are primordial and their emergence coincided with the accumulation of liquid water on Earth. The interactions of water and rock associated with hydrothermal systems result in predictable suites of dissolved elements and volatiles. While the concentrations of these chemicals vary at different vent locations and were certainly different during the early Archaean, the overall chemical composition of aqueous hydrothermal fluid is likely to be the same because of the basaltic nature of oceanic crust. In present-day hydrothermal systems, those environments not contaminated by electron acceptors produced from pelagic photosynthesis would most closely mimic the earliest conditions on Earth. These conditions include the subseafloor and high temperature, anaerobic environments associated with hydrothermal systems. The microorganisms associated with these environments derive energy from sulfur, iron, hydrogen and organic compounds. New seafloor eruptions and diffuse flow vents provide unprecedented access to deep subseafloor microbial communities. For example, 12 new eruptions have occurred in the past 15 years including five in the Northeast Pacific. Hyperthermophiles were isolated from 5-30oC diffuse vent fluids from new eruption sites at CoAxial within months of the June, 1993 eruption and from the 1998 eruption at Axial Volcano, and from plume fluids within days of the February, 1996 eruption at the N. Gorda Ridge. The presence of such organisms in fluids that are 20 to 50°C below their minimum growth temperature

  3. Understanding the LCA and ISO water footprint: A response to ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Water footprinting has emerged as an important approach to assess water use related effects from consumption of goods and services. Assessment methods are proposed by two different communities, the Water Footprint Network (WFN) and the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) community. The proposed methods are broadly similar and encompass both the computation of water use and its impacts, but differ in communication of a water footprint result. In this paper, we explain the role and goal of LCA and ISO-compatible water footprinting and resolve the six issues raised by Hoekstra (2016) in “A critique on the water-scarcity weighted water footprint in LCA”. By clarifying the concerns, we identify both the overlapping goals in the WFN and LCA water footprint assessments and discrepancies between them. The main differing perspective between the WFN and LCA-based approach seems to relate to the fact that LCA aims to account for environmental impacts, while the WFN aims to account for water productivity of global fresh water as a limited resource. We conclude that there is potential to use synergies in research for the two approaches and highlight the need for proper declaration of the methods applied. This paper advances efforts to understand ways to accurately capture use of water in life cycle analysis in other contexts. As the paper indicates, there is a discussion about whether quantities of water should be weighted by some local stress factor. This paper attempts to brid

  4. The response of ecosystem carbon pools to management approaches in loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) plantations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, J. G.; Bacon, A. R.; Bracho, R. G.; Gonzalez-Benecke, C. A.; Fox, T. D.; Laviner, M. A.; Kane, M.; Burkhart, H.; Martin, T.; Will, R.; Ross, C. W.; Grunwald, S.; Jokela, E. J.; Meek, C.

    2016-12-01

    Extending from Virginia to east Texas in the southeastern United States, managed pine plantations are an important component of the region's carbon cycle. An objective of the Pine Integrated Network: Education, Mitigation, and Adaptation project (PINEMAP) is to improve estimates of how ecosystem carbon pools respond to the management strategies used to increase the growth of loblolly pine plantations. Experimental studies (108 total) that have been used to understand plantation productivity and stand dynamics by university-forest industry cooperatives were measured for the carbon stored in the trees, roots, coarse-wood, detritus in soil, forest floor, understory and soils to 1-meter. The age of the studied plantations ranged from 4-26 years at the time of sampling, with 26 years very near the period when these plantations are commonly harvested. Across all study sites, 455 experimental plots were measured. The average C storage across all pools, sites, and treatments was 192 Mg C ha-1, with the average percentage of the total coming from soil (44%), tree biomass (40%), forest floor (8%), root (5%), soil detritus (2%), understory biomass (1%), and coarse-wood (<1%) pools. Plots had as a treatment either fertilization, competition control, and stand density control (thinning), and every possible combination of treatments including `no treatment'. A paired plot analysis was used where two plots at a site were examined for relative differences caused by a single treatment and these differences averaged across the region. Thinning as a stand-alone treatment significantly reduced forest floor mass by 60%, and the forest floor in the thinned plus either competition control or fertilization was 18.9% and 19.2% less, respectively, than unthinned stands combined with the same treatments. Competition control increased C storage in tree biomass by 12% and thinning decreased tree biomass by 32%. Thinning combined with fertilization had lower soil carbon (0-1 m) than unthinned

  5. Response of arid ecosystems to the Holocene climate variability along west and central Mediterranean gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaouadi, Sahbi; Combourieu Nebout, Nathalie; Azuara, Julien; Lebreton, Vincent

    2017-04-01

    Decadal to millennial climate variability is a common feature recorded by environmental series. However interconnections between climate forcing (i.e. insolation, thermohaline circulation) and large atmospheric circulation patterns (i.e. North Atlantic Oscillation, Mediterranean Oscillation, Monsoon) still remain poorly understood considering their respective impacts on the global climate mechanisms. In the Mediterranean area, joint climatic influences from high temperate and low subtropical latitudes result in a high sensitivity of ecosystems to climate changes and especially to extreme events. Several vegetation records illustrate millennial changes in Mediterranean. Nevertheless notable discrepancies in the environmental response arise between Mediterranean edges (east vs west, north vs south). The new paleoenvironmental record from Sebkha Boujmel (33°N, southern Tunisia) covers the last 8kyr and exhibits eight humid/arid fluctuations with cyclic expansion of the desert, related to Middle and Late Holocene rapid climate changes (RCC) occurring at a centennial scale. Sebkha Boujmel record is replaced in the wider context of west Mediterranean and northern hemisphere. Asynchronies and disparity of the Mediterranean RCC occurrence documents north-south and west-east climate gradients in the west Mediterranean and pinpoint Sebkha Boujmel as the single vegetation record tracing as many climate events during the last 8kyr. Indeed the high sensitivity of arid environments triggers the prompt reaction of the southern Tunisian vegetation to Holocene RCC however tenuous. Pattern of RCC geographical occurrence in west and central Mediterranean is interpreted in the light of climate forcings involved for the Holocene centennial variability.

  6. Biological responses of a tropical coastal ecosystem to releases from electro-nuclear installations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Patel, B.; Patel, S.; Balani, M.C.

    1979-01-01

    The implications of low-level radioactive waste discharges from electronuclear installations on the biological responses of the arcid clam Anadara granosa have been studied. The rate of feeding, measured in terms of clearance of dye suspension, was not affected by exposure to acute doses of up to 5 R. Exposure to higher doses (up to 40 R) increased the rate by 70%. On further irradiation (100-700 R), however, it dropped significantly. The changes in the feeding rates following bioaccumulation of the fission product nuclides have also been studied. The effect of ionizing radiations at the cellular level was evaluated by studying the electrophoretic mobility of clam erythrocytes. The electrokinetic behaviour of erythrocytes was not affected following irradiation at low doses (0.1 kR), but on exposure to higher doses (1-8 kR) the EPM showed oscillatory behaviour. The paper also discusses the biological half-life of caesium-137, its localization in subcellular fractions of various tissues of A. granosa and the effects of low-level discharges on the intertidal ecosystem. (author)

  7. A Global-Scale Estimate of Ecosystem Services from Urban Agriculture: Understanding Incentives for Natural Capital in Cities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clinton, N.; Stuhlmacher, M.; Miles, A.; Uludere, N.; Wagner, M.; Georgescu, M.; Herwig, C.; Gong, P.

    2017-12-01

    Despite substantial interest in urban agriculture, little is known about the aggregate benefits conferred by natural capital for growing food in cities. Here we perform a scenario-based analysis to quantify ecosystem services from adoption of urban agriculture at varying intensity. To drive the scenarios, we created global-scale estimates of vacant land, rooftop and building surface area, at one kilometer resolution, from remotely sensed and modeled geospatial data. We used national scale agricultural reports, climate and other geospatial data at global scale to estimate agricultural production and economic returns, storm-water avoidance, energy savings from avoided heating and cooling costs, and ecosystem services provided by nitrogen sequestration, pollination and biocontrol of pests. The results indicate that vacant lands, followed by rooftops, represent the largest opportunities for natural capital put to agricultural use in urban areas. Ecosystem services from putting such spaces to productive use are dominated by agricultural returns, but energy savings conferred by insulative characteristics of growth substrate also provide economic incentives. Storm water avoidance was estimated to be substantial, but no economic value was estimated. Relatively low economic returns were estimated from the other ecosystem services examined. In aggregate, approximately $10-100 billion in economic incentives, before costs, were estimated. The results showed that relatively developed, high-income countries stand the most to gain from urban agricultural adoption due to the unique combination of climate, crop mixture and crop prices. While the results indicate that urban agriculture is not a panacea for urban food security issues, there is potential to simultaneously ameliorate multiple issues around food, energy and water in urbanized areas.

  8. The VULCAN Project: Toward a better understanding of the vulnerability of soil organic matter to climate change in permafrost ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plaza, C.; Schuur, E.; Maestre, F. T.

    2015-12-01

    Despite much recent research, high uncertainty persists concerning the extent to which global warming influences the rate of permafrost soil organic matter loss and how this affects the functioning of permafrost ecosystems and the net transfer of C to the atmosphere. This uncertainty continues, at least in part, because the processes that protect soil organic matter from decomposition and stabilize fresh plant-derived organic materials entering the soil are largely unknown. The objective of the VULCAN (VULnerability of soil organic CArboN to climate change in permafrost and dryland ecosystems) project is to gain a deeper insight into these processes, especially at the molecular level, and to explore potential implications in terms of permafrost ecosystem functioning and feedback to climate change. We will capitalize on a globally unique ecosystem warming experiment in Alaska, the C in Permafrost Experimental Heating Research (CiPEHR) project, which is monitoring soil temperature and moisture, thaw depth, water table depth, plant productivity, phenology, and nutrient status, and soil CO2 and CH4 fluxes. Soil samples have been collected from the CiPEHR experiment from strategic depths, depending on thaw depth, and allow us to examine effects related to freeze/thaw, waterlogging, and organic matter relocation along the soil profile. We will use physical fractionation methods to separate soil organic matter pools characterized by different preservation mechanisms of aggregation and mineral interaction. We will determine organic C and total N content, transformation rates, turnovers, ages, and structural composition of soil organic matter fractions by elemental analysis, stable and radioactive isotope techniques, and nuclear magnetic resonance tools. Acknowledgements: This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 654132. Web site: http://vulcan.comule.com

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul T. Rygiewicz; Vicente J. Monleon; Elaine R. Ingham; Kendall J. Martin; Mark G. Johnson

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marianne Bachand

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

  12. Responses of CO2 Fluxes to Arctic Browning Events in a Range of High Latitude, Shrub-Dominated Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phoenix, G. K.; Treharne, R.; Emberson, L.; Tømmervik, H. A.; Bjerke, J. W.

    2017-12-01

    Climatic and biotic extreme events can result in considerable damage to arctic vegetation, often at landscape and larger scale. These acute events therefore contribute to the browning observed in some arctic regions. It is of considerable concern, therefore, that such extreme events are increasing in frequency as part of climate change. However, despite the increasing importance of browning events, and the considerable impact they can have on ecosystems, to date there is little understanding of their impacts on ecosystem carbon fluxes. To address this, the impacts of a number of different, commonly occurring, extreme events and their subsequent browning (vegetation damage) on key ecosystem CO2 fluxes were assessed during the growing season at a range of event damaged sites of shrub dominated vegetation. Sites were located from the boreal to High Arctic (64˚N-79˚N) and had been previously been damaged by events of frost-drought, extreme winter warming, ground icing and caterpillar (Epirrita autumnata) outbreaks. Plot-level CO2 fluxes of Ecosystem Exchange (NEE), Gross Primary Productivity (GPP) and Ecosystem Respiration (Reco) were assessed using vegetation chambers. At a sub-set of sites, NDVI (greenness) in flux plots was also assessed by hand-held proximal sensor, allowing the relationship between NDVI of damage plots to CO2 flux to be calculated. Despite the contrasting sites and drivers, damage had consistent, major impacts on all fluxes. All sites showed reductions in GPP and NEE with increasing damage, despite efflux from Reco also declining with damage. When scaled to site-level, reductions of up to 81% of NEE, 51% of GPP and 37% of Reco were observed. In the plot-level NDVI-flux relationship, NDVI was shown to explain up to 91% of variation in GPP, and therefore supports the use of NDVI for estimating changes in ecosystem CO2 flux at larger scales in regions where browning has been driven by extreme events. This work is the first attempt to quantify the

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Adams, S.M.

    1999-03-29

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  15. Predicting wading bird and aquatic faunal responses to ecosystem restoration scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beerens, James M.; Trexler, Joel C.; Catano, Christopher P.

    2017-01-01

    In large-scale conservation decisions, scenario planning identifies key uncertainties of ecosystem function linked to ecological drivers affected by management, incorporates ecological feedbacks, and scales up to answer questions robust to alternative futures. Wetland restoration planning requires an understanding of how proposed changes in surface hydrology, water storage, and landscape connectivity affect aquatic animal composition, productivity, and food-web function. In the Florida Everglades, reintroduction of historical hydrologic patterns is expected to increase productivity of all trophic levels. Highly mobile indicator species such as wading birds integrate secondary productivity from aquatic prey (small fishes and crayfish) over the landscape. To evaluate how fish, crayfish, and wading birds may respond to alternative hydrologic restoration plans, we compared predicted small fish density, crayfish density and biomass, and wading bird occurrence for existing conditions to four restoration scenarios that varied water storage and removal of levees and canals (i.e. decompartmentalization). Densities of small fish and occurrence of wading birds are predicted to increase throughout most of the Everglades under all restoration options because of increased flows and connectivity. Full decompartmentalization goes furthest toward recreating hypothesized historical patterns of fish density by draining excess water ponded by levees and hydrating areas that are currently drier than in the past. In contrast, crayfish density declined and species composition shifted under all restoration options because of lengthened hydroperiods (i.e. time of inundation). Under full decompartmentalization, the distribution of increased prey available for wading birds shifted south, closer to historical locations of nesting activity in Everglades National Park.

  16. Restoration handbook for sagebrush steppe ecosystems with emphasis on greater sage-grouse habitat—Part 1. Concepts for understanding and applying restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyke, David A.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Pellant, Mike; Knick, Steven T.; Miller, Richard F.; Beck, Jeffrey L.; Doescher, Paul S.; Schupp, Eugene W.; Roundy, Bruce A.; Brunson, Mark; McIver, James D.

    2015-10-26

    Sagebrush steppe ecosystems in the United States currently occur on only about one-half of their historical land area because of changes in land use, urban growth, and degradation of land, including invasions of non-native plants. The existence of many animal species depends on the existence of sagebrush steppe habitat. The greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is a landscape-dependent bird that requires intact habitat and combinations of sagebrush and perennial grasses to exist. In addition, other sagebrush-obligate animals also have similar requirements and restoration of landscapes for greater sage-grouse also will benefit these animals. Once sagebrush lands are degraded, they may require restoration actions to make those lands viable habitat for supporting sagebrushobligate animals. This restoration handbook is the first in a three-part series on restoration of sagebrush ecosystems. In Part 1, we discuss concepts surrounding landscape and restoration ecology of sagebrush ecosystems and greater sage-grouse that habitat managers and restoration practitioners need to know to make informed decisions regarding where and how to restore specific areas. We will describe the plant dynamics of sagebrush steppe ecosystems and their responses to major disturbances, fire, and defoliation. We will introduce the concepts of ecosystem resilience to disturbances and resistance to invasions of annual grasses within sagebrush steppe. An introduction to soils and ecological site information will provide insights into the specific plants that can be restored in a location. Soil temperature and moisture regimes are described as a tool for determining resilience and resistance and the potential for various restoration actions. Greater sage-grouse are considered landscape birds that require large areas of intact sagebrush steppe; therefore, we describe concepts of landscape ecology that aid our decisions regarding habitat restoration. We provide a brief overview of

  17. Response of net ecosystem CO2 exchange and evapotranspiration of boreal forest ecosystems to projected future climate changes: results of a modeling study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olchev, Alexander; Kurbatova, Julia

    2014-05-01

    It is presented the modeling results describing the possible response of net ecosystem exchange of CO2 (NEE), gross (GPP) and net (NPP) primary production, as well as evapotranspiration (ET) of spruce forest ecosystems situated at central part of European part of Russia at the southern boundary of boreal forest community to projected future changes of climatic conditions and forest species composition. A process-based MixFor-SVAT model (Olchev et al 2002, 2008, 2009) has been used to describe the CO2 and H2O fluxes under present and projected future climate conditions. The main advantage of MixFor-SVAT is its ability not only to describe seasonal and daily dynamics of total CO2 and H2O fluxes at an ecosystem level, but also to adequately estimate the contributions of soil, forest understorey, and various tree species in overstorey into total ecosystem fluxes taking into account their individual responses to changes in environmental conditions as well as the differences in structure and biophysical properties. Results of modeling experiments showed that projected changes of climate conditions (moderate scenario A1B IPCC) and forest species composition at the end of 21 century can lead to small increase of annual evapotranspiration as well as to growth of NEE, GPP and NPP of the forests in case if the projected increase in temperature and elevated CO2 in the atmosphere in future will be strictly balanced with growth of available nutrients and water in plant and soil. It is obvious that any deficit of e.g. nitrogen in leaves (due to reduced transpiration, nitrogen availability in soil, etc.) may lead to decreases in the photosynthesis and respiration rates of trees and, as a consequence, to decreases in the GPP and NEE of entire forest ecosystem. Conducted modeling experiments have demonstrated that a 20% reduction of available nitrogen in tree leaves in a monospesific spruce forest stand may result in a 14% decrease in NEE, a 8% decrease in NPP, and a 4% decrease in

  18. Sphagnum physiology in the context of changing climate: emergent influences of genomics, modelling and host-microbiome interactions on understanding ecosystem function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weston, David J; Timm, Collin M; Walker, Anthony P; Gu, Lianhong; Muchero, Wellington; Schmutz, Jeremy; Shaw, A Jonathan; Tuskan, Gerald A; Warren, Jeffrey M; Wullschleger, Stan D

    2015-09-01

    Peatlands harbour more than one-third of terrestrial carbon leading to the argument that the bryophytes, as major components of peatland ecosystems, store more organic carbon in soils than any other collective plant taxa. Plants of the genus Sphagnum are important components of peatland ecosystems and are potentially vulnerable to changing climatic conditions. However, the response of Sphagnum to rising temperatures, elevated CO2 and shifts in local hydrology have yet to be fully characterized. In this review, we examine Sphagnum biology and ecology and explore the role of this group of keystone species and its associated microbiome in carbon and nitrogen cycling using literature review and model simulations. Several issues are highlighted including the consequences of a variable environment on plant-microbiome interactions, uncertainty associated with CO2 diffusion resistances and the relationship between fixed N and that partitioned to the photosynthetic apparatus. We note that the Sphagnum fallax genome is currently being sequenced and outline potential applications of population-level genomics and corresponding plant photosynthesis and microbial metabolic modelling techniques. We highlight Sphagnum as a model organism to explore ecosystem response to a changing climate and to define the role that Sphagnum can play at the intersection of physiology, genetics and functional genomics. © 2014 The Authors. Plant, Cell & Environment published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Controls on winter ecosystem respiration in temperate and boreal ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    T. Wang; P. Ciais; S.L. Piao; C. Ottle; P. Brender; F. Maignan; A. Arain; A. Cescatti; D. Gianelle; C. Gough; L Gu; P. Lafleur; T. Laurila; B. Marcolla; H. Margolis; L. Montagnani; E. Moors; N. Saigusa; T. Vesala; G. Wohlfahrt; C. Koven; A. Black; E. Dellwik; A. Don; D. Hollinger; A. Knohl; R. Monson; J. Munger; A. Suyker; A. Varlagin; S. Verma

    2011-01-01

    Winter CO2 fluxes represent an important component of the annual carbon budget in northern ecosystems. Understanding winter respiration processes and their responses to climate change is also central to our ability to assess terrestrial carbon cycle and climate feedbacks in the future. However, the factors influencing the spatial and temporal...

  20. Controls on winter ecosystem respiration in temperate and boreal ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ciais, P.; Wang, T.; Piao, S.L.; Ottlé, C.; Brender, P.; Moors, E.J.

    2011-01-01

    Winter CO2 fluxes represent an important component of the annual carbon budget in northern ecosystems. Understanding winter respiration processes and their responses to climate change is also central to our ability to assess terrestrial carbon cycle and climate feedbacks in the future. However, the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  2. Salt Marsh Ecosystem Responses to Restored Tidal Connectivity across a 14y Chronosequence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capooci, M.; Spivak, A. C.; Gosselin, K.

    2016-02-01

    Salt marshes support valuable ecosystem services. Yet, human activities negatively impact salt marsh function and contribute to their loss at a global scale. On Cape Cod, MA, culverts and impoundments under roads and railways restricted tidal exchange and resulted in salt marsh conversion to freshwater wetlands. Over the past 14 y, these structures have been removed or replaced, restoring tidal connectivity between marshes and a saltwater bay. We evaluated differences in plant community composition, sediment properties, and pore water chemistry in marshes where tidal connectivity was restored using a space-for-time, or chronosequence approach. Each restored marsh was paired with a nearby, natural salt marsh to control for variability between marshes. In each restored and natural salt marsh we evaluated the plant community by measuring species-specific percent cover and biomass and collected sediment cores for bulk density and pore water analyses. Plant communities responded rapidly: salt-tolerant species, such as Spartina alterniflora, became established while freshwater species, including Phragmites australis, were less abundant within 3 y of restoration. The number of plant species was generally greater in marshes restored within 10 y, compared to older and natural marshes. Sediment bulk density varied with depth and across sites. This likely reflects differences in site history and local conditions. Deeper horizons (24-30cm) generally had higher values in restored sites while surface values (0-3cm) were similar in restored and natural marshes. Porewater pH and sulfide were similar in restored and natural marshes, suggesting rapid microbial responses to seawater reintroduction. Overall, marsh properties and processes reflecting biological communities responded rapidly to tidal restoration. However, variability between study locations underscores the potential importance of site history, local hydrology, and geomorphology in shaping marsh biogeochemistry.

  3. Can Runoff Responses be Used to Predict Aquatic Biogeochemical Fluxes from Boreal Forest Ecosystems?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prestegaard, K. L.; Ziegler, S. E.; Billings, S. A.; Edwards, K. A.

    2017-12-01

    Climate change has direct effects on precipitation and temperature, which contribute to indirect changes in ecosystem productivity, runoff, biogeochemical processes, and species composition. In this research, we examine water balances in boreal forest watersheds to determine spatial and inter-annual variations in their responses to changes in precipitation. Our research indicates that Central and Western N. American boreal watersheds with mean annual precipitation (MAP) of less than 1000 mm exhibit positive relationships between annual precipitation and annual evapotranspiration, suggesting an increase in forest productivity during wet years often without increased runoff. In Maritime boreal watersheds in Eastern N. America and N. Europe, runoff is a significantly larger portion of the water balance and runoff increases with precipitation This regionalism in the water balance may have significant consequences for biogeochemical fluxes; for example, where MAP >1000 mm, a future wetter climate may result in increases in the terrestrial-to-aquatic transport of solutes. To test this idea, we examined inter-annual variations in hydrologic and dissolved organic carbon fluxes in watersheds in Newfoundland and Labrador along a longitudinal transect. Mean annual temperature varies from 0-5.2oC along the transect, and MAP varies from 1050 to 1500 mm. Data indicate an increase in evapotranspiration, runoff, and soil DOC fluxes with the increasing mean annual precipitation among watersheds along the transect. During the 2011-2015 period of study there was significant overlap in annual precipitation among the sites. Although wet water years also produced higher amounts of runoff from most watersheds, the annual soil DOC flux within each region was not significantly affected by these inter-annual changes in precipitation. Stream and groundwater monitoring data from the catchments reveal seasonal variations in evapotranspiration and runoff and their role in solute fluxes, and

  4. Are there links between responses of soil microbes and ecosystem functioning to elevated CO2, N deposition and warming? A global perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Garcia-Palacios, Pablo; Vandegehuchte, Martijn L.; Shaw, E. Ashley; Dam, Marie; Post, Keith H.; Ramirez, Kelly S.; Sylvain, Zachary A.; de Tomasel, Cecilia Milano; Wall, Diana H.

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, there has been an increase in research to understand how global changes' impacts on soil biota translate into altered ecosystem functioning. However, results vary between global change effects, soil taxa, and ecosystem processes studied, and a synthesis of relationships is lacking.

  5. Ecosystem services driven by the diversity of soil biota - understanding and management in agriculture - The Biodiversa SoilMan-Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potthoff, Martin; Pérès, Guénola; Taylor, Astrid; Schrader, Stefan; Landa, Blanca; Nicolai, Annegret; Sandor, Mignon; Öptik, Maarja; Gema, Guzmán; Bergmann, Holger; Cluzeau, Daniel; Banse, Martin; Bengtsson, Jan; Guernion, Muriel; Zaller, Johann; Roslin, Tomas; Scheu, Stefan; Gómez Calero, José Alfonso

    2017-04-01

    Soil biota diversity is ensuring primary production in terrestrial ecosystems and agricultural productivity. Water and nutrient cycling, soil formation and aggregation, decomposition and carbon sequestration as well as control of pest organisms are important functions in soil that are driven by biota and biota interactions. In agricultural systems these functions support and regulate ecosystem services directed to agricultural production and agricultural sustainability. A main goal of future cropping systems will be to maintain or raise agricultural productivity while keeping production sustainable in spite of increasing food demands and ongoing soil degradation caused by inappropriate soil management practices. Farm based tools that farmers use to engineer soils for plant production depend as soil management factors on decisions by farmers, which are triggered by regional traditions, knowledge and also by agriculture policies as a governance impact. However, biological impacts on soil fertility and soil health are often neglected or overseen when planning and shaping soil management in annual cropping systems or perennial systems like vineyards. In order to get progress in conservation farming and in agricultural sustainability not only knowledge creation is in need, but also a clash of perspectives has to be overcome within the societies (generals public, farmers associations, NGOs) The talk will present the conception of the recently startet SoilMan-project and summaries selected results from current and recent European research projects.

  6. Adaptive management for ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birgé, Hannah E; Allen, Craig R; Garmestani, Ahjond S; Pope, Kevin L

    2016-12-01

    Management of natural resources for the production of ecosystem services, which are vital for human well-being, is necessary even when there is uncertainty regarding system response to management action. This uncertainty is the result of incomplete controllability, complex internal feedbacks, and non-linearity that often interferes with desired management outcomes, and insufficient understanding of nature and people. Adaptive management was developed to reduce such uncertainty. We present a framework for the application of adaptive management for ecosystem services that explicitly accounts for cross-scale tradeoffs in the production of ecosystem services. Our framework focuses on identifying key spatiotemporal scales (plot, patch, ecosystem, landscape, and region) that encompass dominant structures and processes in the system, and includes within- and cross-scale dynamics, ecosystem service tradeoffs, and management controllability within and across scales. Resilience theory recognizes that a limited set of ecological processes in a given system regulate ecosystem services, yet our understanding of these processes is poorly understood. If management actions erode or remove these processes, the system may shift into an alternative state unlikely to support the production of desired services. Adaptive management provides a process to assess the underlying within and cross-scale tradeoffs associated with production of ecosystem services while proceeding with management designed to meet the demands of a growing human population. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. The response of ecosystem carbon pools to management approaches that increase the growth of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, J. G.; Bacon, A. R.; Bracho, R. G.; Grunwald, S.; Gonzalez-Benecke, C. A.; Jokela, E. J.; Markewitz, D.; Cucinella, J.; Akers, K.; Ross, C. W.; Peter, G. F.; Fox, T. D.; Martin, T.; Kane, M.

    2015-12-01

    Extending from Virginia to east Texas in the southeastern United States, managed pine forests are an important component of the region's carbon cycle. One objective of the Pine Integrated Network: Education, Mitigation, and Adaptation project (PINEMAP) is to improve estimates of how ecosystem carbon pools respond to the management strategies used to increase the growth of loblolly pine forests. Experimental studies (108 total) that had historically been used to understand forest productivity and stand dynamics by university-forest industry cooperatives have now been measured for the carbon stored in the trees, coarse-wood, forest floor, understory and soils to 1-meter (0-10 cm, 10-20 cm, 20-50 cm, and 50-100 cm). The age of the studied forests ranged from 4-26 years at the time of sampling, with 26 years very near the period when these forests are commonly harvested. The study sites encapsulated a wide regional range in precipitation (1080 mm -1780 mm) and potential evapotranspiration (716 mm - 1200 mm). The most prevalent three soil orders measured were Ultisols (62%), Alfisols (19%), and Spodosols (10%) with Entisols, Inceptisols and 1 Histosol making up the remainder (9%). Across all study sites, 455 experimental plots were measured. The plots had as a treatment either fertilization, competition control, and stand density control (thinning), including every possible combination of treatments and also 'no treatment'. The most common treatment regime, at 36% of the total number of plots, was the combination of competition control, fertilization, and thinning. The distribution of treatments relative to soils and climate prevented a simple analysis of single treatment effects and instead necessitated an examination how the carbon accumulation rate in wood, which is commonly measured and modeled in these forests, corresponded to the response of other C pools (e.g. forest floor and soil).

  9. Quantifying the Importance of the Rare Biosphere for Microbial Community Response to Organic Pollutants in a Freshwater Ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuanqi; Hatt, Janet K; Tsementzi, Despina; Rodriguez-R, Luis M; Ruiz-Pérez, Carlos A; Weigand, Michael R; Kizer, Heidi; Maresca, Gina; Krishnan, Raj; Poretsky, Rachel; Spain, Jim C; Konstantinidis, Konstantinos T

    2017-04-15

    A single liter of water contains hundreds, if not thousands, of bacterial and archaeal species, each of which typically makes up a very small fraction of the total microbial community (biosphere." How often, and via what mechanisms, e.g., clonal amplification versus horizontal gene transfer, the rare taxa and genes contribute to microbial community response to environmental perturbations represent important unanswered questions toward better understanding the value and modeling of microbial diversity. We tested whether rare species frequently responded to changing environmental conditions by establishing 20-liter planktonic mesocosms with water from Lake Lanier (Georgia, USA) and perturbing them with organic compounds that are rarely detected in the lake, including 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), 4-nitrophenol (4-NP), and caffeine. The populations of the degraders of these compounds were initially below the detection limit of quantitative PCR (qPCR) or metagenomic sequencing methods, but they increased substantially in abundance after perturbation. Sequencing of several degraders (isolates) and time-series metagenomic data sets revealed distinct cooccurring alleles of degradation genes, frequently carried on transmissible plasmids, especially for the 2,4-D mesocosms, and distinct species dominating the post-enrichment microbial communities from each replicated mesocosm. This diversity of species and genes also underlies distinct degradation profiles among replicated mesocosms. Collectively, these results supported the hypothesis that the rare biosphere can serve as a genetic reservoir, which can be frequently missed by metagenomics but enables community response to changing environmental conditions caused by organic pollutants, and they provided insights into the size of the pool of rare genes and species. IMPORTANCE A single liter of water or gram of soil contains hundreds of low-abundance bacterial and archaeal species, the so called rare biosphere. The

  10. Response of ecosystem services to land use change in Xiamen Island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, L.

    2009-12-01

    : Land use change was a major factor affecting ecosystem services. Taken Xiamen Island as an example, by integrating remote sensing data to examine land use patterns from 1950 to 2007, the regional ecosystem services of Xiamen Island were evaluated based on two revised methods aiming to identify the stress effects and mechanisms of land use change on ecosystem services. The results showed that during 1950~2007, in general, Xiamen Island’s land use intensity had been annually rising. The trends of Xiamen Island’s ecosystem services value acquired by two methods were both consistent with decreasing along with the growth of land use intensity. Before 1987, the ecosystem service value of Xiamen Island had increased by 1.07 million yuan, due to the expanding of 12.87 km2 water and wetland. After the establishment of Xiamen special economic zone in 1984, the rapid urbanization has resulted a sharp decline in ecosystem service value, the average annual loss reached by 619,773 yuan after 1987. As the utilization of land reaching saturation and the launching of ecological projects, such as the Xiamen Eastern Sea Comprehensive Improvement Project, it could be predicted that the decreasing trend of ecosystem services value was going to be slowed down in the near future. The first revised method referencing four eco-system services solved the problem of overestimated value caused by the second revised method based on provisioning service alone. By applying the ESV total correction method, the problem of over counting service value by correction made from a single aspect could be solved.Equivalent value per unit area of ecosystem services in China 2007 and revised value by second method Note: The modified coefficient of crop, orchard & forest, wetland and inland water provisioning ESV revised by the second method is 2.858, 2.405, 1.523, 1.843 respectively; for regulating, ultural and supporting ESV, the coefficient is 2.339, 15.339, 2.339 respectively.

  11. Lessons from Suiyo Seamount studies, for understanding extreme (ancient?) microbial ecosystems in the deep-sea hydrothermal fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maruyama, A.; Higashi, Y.; Sunamura, M.; Urabe, T.

    2004-12-01

    Deep-sea hydrothermal ecosystems are driven with various geo-thermally modified, mainly reduced, compounds delivered from extremely hot subsurface environments. To date, several unique microbes including thermophilic archaeons have been isolated from/around vent chimneys. However, there is little information about microbes in over-vent and sub-vent fields. Here, we report several new findings on microbial diversity and ecology of the Suiyo Seamount that locates on the Izu-Bonin Arc in the northwest Pacific Ocean, as a result of the Japanese Archaean Park project, with special concern to the sub-vent biosphere. At first, we succeeded to reveal a very unique microbial ecosystem in hydrothermal plume reserved within the outer rim of the seamount crater, that is, it consisted of almost all metabolically active microbes belonged to only two Bacteria phylotypes, probably of sulfur oxidizers. In the center of the caldera seafloor (ca. 1,388-m deep) consisted mainly of whitish sands and pumices, we found many small chimneys (ca. 5-10 cm) and bivalve colonies distributed looking like gray to black patches. These geo/ecological features of the seafloor were supposed to be from a complex mixing of hydrothermal venting and strong water current near the seafloor. Through quantitative FISH analysis for various environmental samples, one of the two representative groups in the plume was assessed to be from some of the bivalve colonies. Using the Benthic Multi-coring System (BMS), total 10 points were drilled and 6 boreholes were maintained with stainless or titanium casing pipes. In the following submersible surveys, newly developed catheter- and column-type in situ growth chambers were deployed in and on the boreholes, respectively, for collecting indigenous sub-vent microbes. Finally, we succeeded to detect several new phylotypes of microbes in these chamber samples, e.g., within epsilon-Proteobacteria, a photosynthetic group of alpha-Proteobacteria, and hyperthermophile

  12. A framework for predicting impacts on ecosystem services from (sub)organismal responses to chemicals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbes, Valery E; Salice, Chris J; Birnir, Bjorn; Bruins, Randy J F; Calow, Peter; Ducrot, Virginie; Galic, Nika; Garber, Kristina; Harvey, Bret C; Jager, Henriette; Kanarek, Andrew; Pastorok, Robert; Railsback, Steve F; Rebarber, Richard; Thorbek, Pernille

    2017-04-01

    Protection of ecosystem services is increasingly emphasized as a risk-assessment goal, but there are wide gaps between current ecological risk-assessment endpoints and potential effects on services provided by ecosystems. The authors present a framework that links common ecotoxicological endpoints to chemical impacts on populations and communities and the ecosystem services that they provide. This framework builds on considerable advances in mechanistic effects models designed to span multiple levels of biological organization and account for various types of biological interactions and feedbacks. For illustration, the authors introduce 2 case studies that employ well-developed and validated mechanistic effects models: the inSTREAM individual-based model for fish populations and the AQUATOX ecosystem model. They also show how dynamic energy budget theory can provide a common currency for interpreting organism-level toxicity. They suggest that a framework based on mechanistic models that predict impacts on ecosystem services resulting from chemical exposure, combined with economic valuation, can provide a useful approach for informing environmental management. The authors highlight the potential benefits of using this framework as well as the challenges that will need to be addressed in future work. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:845-859. © 2017 SETAC. © 2017 SETAC.

  13. Response of tundra ecosystems to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide. [Annual report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oechel, W.C.; Grulke, N.E.

    1988-12-31

    Our past research shows that arctic tussock tundra responds to elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} with marked increases in net ecosystem carbon flux and photosynthetic rates. However, at ambient temperatures and nutrient availabilities, homeostatic adjustments result in net ecosystem flux rates dropping to those found a contemporary CO{sub 2} levels within three years. Evidence for ecosystem-level acclimation in the first season of elevated CO{sub 2} exposure was found in 1987. Photosynthetic rates of Eriophorum vaginatum, the dominant species, adjusts to elevated CO{sub 2} within three weeks. Past research also indicates other changes potentially important to ecosystem structure and function. Elevated CO{sub 2} treatment apparently delays senescence and increases the period of positive photosynthetic activity. Recent results from the 1987 field season verify the results obtained in the 1983--1986 field seasons: Elevated CO{sub 2} resulted in increased ecosystem-level flux rates. Regressions fitted to the seasonal flux rates indicate an apparent 10 d extension of positive CO{sub 2} uptake reflecting a delay of the onset of plant dormancy. This delay in senescence could increase the frost sensitivity of the system. Major end points proposed for this research include the effects of elevated CO{sub 2} and the interaction of elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} with elevated soil temperature and increased nutrient availability on: (1) Net ecosystem CO{sub 2} flux; (2) Net photosynthetic rates; (3) Patterns and resource controls on homeostatic adjustment in the above processes to elevated CO{sub 2}; (4) Plant-nutrient status, litter quality, and forage quality; (5) Soil-nutrient status; (6) Plant-growth pattern and shoot demography.

  14. Human driven transitions in complex model ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harfoot, Mike; Newbold, Tim; Tittinsor, Derek; Purves, Drew

    2015-04-01

    Human activities have been observed to be impacting ecosystems across the globe, leading to reduced ecosystem functioning, altered trophic and biomass structure and ultimately ecosystem collapse. Previous attempts to understand global human impacts on ecosystems have usually relied on statistical models, which do not explicitly model the processes underlying the functioning of ecosystems, represent only a small proportion of organisms and do not adequately capture complex non-linear and dynamic responses of ecosystems to perturbations. We use a mechanistic ecosystem model (1), which simulates the underlying processes structuring ecosystems and can thus capture complex and dynamic interactions, to investigate boundaries of complex ecosystems to human perturbation. We explore several drivers including human appropriation of net primary production and harvesting of animal biomass. We also present an analysis of the key interactions between biotic, societal and abiotic earth system components, considering why and how we might think about these couplings. References: M. B. J. Harfoot et al., Emergent global patterns of ecosystem structure and function from a mechanistic general ecosystem model., PLoS Biol. 12, e1001841 (2014).

  15. Terrestrial ecosystems under warmer and drier climates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Y.

    2016-12-01

    Future warmer and drier climates will likely affect many of the world's terrestrial ecosystems. These changes will fundamentally reshape terrestrial systems through their components and across organization levels. However, it is unclear to what extent terrestrial ecosystems would be resilient enough to stay put to increased temperature and water stress by only adjusting carbon fluxes and water balances? And to what extent it would reach the thresholds at which terrestrial ecosystems were forced to alter species compositions and ecosystem structures for adapting to newer climates? The energy balance of terrestrial ecosystems link thermal and water conditions to defines terrestrial carbon processes and feedbacks to climate, which will inevitably change under warmer and drier climates. Recent theoretical studies provide a new framework, suggesting that terrestrial ecosystems were capable of balancing costs of carbon gain and water transport to achieve optimums for functioning and distribution. Such a paradigm is critical for understanding the dynamics of future terrestrial ecosystems under climate changes, and facilitate modeling terrestrial ecosystems which needs generalized principles for formulating ecosystem behaviors. This study aims to review some recent studies that explore responses of terrestrial ecosystems to rather novel climate conditions, such as heat-induced droughts, intending to provide better comprehension of complex carbon-water interactions through plants to an ecosystem, and relevant factors that may alleviate or worsen already deteriorated climates such as elevated CO2 and soil conditions.

  16. Ecosystem Respiration Rates of Arctic Tundra Mesocosms in Response to Cold-Season Temperatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberbauer, S. F.; Moser, J. G.; Olivas, P. C.; Starr, G.; Mortazavi, B.

    2013-12-01

    The cold season in the Arctic extends over 8 to 9 mo, during which air temperatures often reach as low as -40 °C. However, as a result of the insulating layer created by snow cover, temperatures seldom fall below -15 °C, and are likely warm enough to support some metabolism. Little research has been conducted on arctic plants and tundra during the cold season, despite its length and the fact that warming is predicted to be greatest during this period. The primary focus of cold-season research has been on rates of winter ecosystem respiration (ER) for estimates of annual carbon balance. The majority of these measurements during the winter or at winter temperatures indicate that some respiration is occurring. Although rates are low, they may contribute substantially to the annual carbon balance because of the length of the cold season. However, estimates of respiration at low temperatures differ substantially, have been taken at different temperatures using different methodologies, and importantly almost none provide quantitative relationships across a range of temperatures. We measured respiration rates of intact arctic tundra monoliths from 15 to -15 °C at 5 °C steps to facilitate improved model estimates of tundra respiration. Six tundra monoliths (~900 cm2) taken from Toolik Field Station, Alaska were conditioned for the cold season in growth chambers at shortened photoperiods and low, but above-freezing temperatures. Desired temperatures were obtained with a combination of growth chambers and a modified freezer. The average of five samplings of [CO2] at each temperature step was used to estimate the ER rates. Measurements were conducted with a closed system using incubation periods of 30 to 180 min, depending on the temperature. Carbon dioxide concentrations were measured by syringe samples injected into a N2 gas stream flowing through an infrared gas analyzer. Rates of ER calculated on an area basis were close to zero at -15 °C, but increased steadily with

  17. Seasonal greening of an Arctic ecosystem in response to early snowmelt and climate warming: do plant community responses differ from species responses?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steltzer, H.; Weintraub, M. N.; Sullivan, P.; Wallenstein, M. D.; Schimel, J.; Darrouzet-Nardi, A.; Shory, R.; Livensperger, C.; Melle, C.; Segal, A. D.; Daly, K.; Tsosie, T.

    2011-12-01

    In the Arctic and around the world, earlier plant growth and a longer growing season are indications that warmer temperatures or other global changes are changing the seasonality of the Earth's ecosystems. These changes in plant life histories have multi-trophic level consequences that affect food webs and biogeochemical cycles. Both the response of the plant community and of individual species can affect food and habitat resources for animals or nutrient resources for microbes. Our aim was to determine if the response of an Arctic plant community differs from individual species responses to climate change. For two years in an early snowmelt and climate warming experiment in moist acidic tussock tundra, we observed the seasonal greening of the ecosystem through near-surface measurements of surface greenness and through direct observations of the timing of plant life history events for five to eight common species that differ in growth form. In 2010 when snowmelt was accelerated by 4 days, earlier snowmelt alone or in combination with climate warming extended the life history of the dominant graminoids (E. vaginatum and C. bigelowii) and willow (S. pulchra) by 3 to 4 days. For these species, new leaf production began earlier, while the timing of senescence was similar to the controls. The effect of earlier snowmelt on the life histories of birch (B. nana) and cranberry (V. vitis-idaea) was less, but warming alone tended to increase life history duration. Warming led to earlier leaf expansion for birch and delayed senescence for cranberry. We found that the onset of greening for the plant community began four days earlier, due to the earlier loss of snow cover, and that warming accelerated the rate of greening. Peak season ended 4 days earlier in response to earlier snowmelt and climate warming, due to earlier senescence by birch. In 2011, our manipulation of the snowpack by increasing energy absorption accelerated snowmelt by 15 days and control plots were snowfree

  18. Response of the rare biosphere to environmental stressors in a highly diverse ecosystem (Zodletone spring, OK, USA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coveley, Suzanne; Elshahed, Mostafa S; Youssef, Noha H

    2015-01-01

    Within highly diverse ecosystems, the majority of bacterial taxa are present in low abundance as members of the rare biosphere. The rationale for the occurrence and maintenance of the rare biosphere, and the putative ecological role(s) and dynamics of its members within a specific ecosystem is currently debated. We hypothesized that in highly diverse ecosystems, a fraction of the rare biosphere acts as a backup system that readily responds to environmental disturbances. We tested this hypothesis by subjecting sediments from Zodletone spring, a sulfide- and sulfur-rich spring in Southwestern OK, to incremental levels of salinity (1, 2, 3, 4, and 10% NaCl), or temperature (28°, 30°, 32°, and 70 °C), and traced the trajectories of rare members of the community in response to these manipulations using 16S rRNA gene analysis. Our results indicate that multiple rare bacterial taxa are promoted from rare to abundant members of the community following such manipulations and that, in general, the magnitude of such recruitment is directly proportional to the severity of the applied manipulation. Rare members that are phylogenetically distinct from abundant taxa in the original sample (unique rare biosphere) played a more important role in the microbial community response to environmental disturbances, compared to rare members that are phylogenetically similar to abundant taxa in the original sample (non-unique rare biosphere). The results emphasize the dynamic nature of the rare biosphere, and highlight its complexity and non-monolithic nature.

  19. Plant Species Diversity Mediates Ecosystem Stability of Natural Dune Grasslands in Response to Drought

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rooijen, van Nils M.; Keersmaecker, de Wanda; Ozinga, Wim A.; Coppin, Pol; Hennekens, Stephan M.; Schaminée, Joop H.J.; Somers, Ben; Honnay, Olivier

    2015-01-01

    How plant species diversity can mediate the temporal stability of ecosystem functioning during periods of environmental stress is still a pressing question in ecology, certainly in the context of predicted increasing frequencies and intensities of climate extremes, such as drought. The vast

  20. Arctic ocean acidification: pelagic ecosystem and biogeochemical responses during a mesocosm study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Riebesell, U.; Gattuso, J.-P.; Thingstad, T.F.; Middelburg, J.J.

    2013-01-01

    The growing evidence of potential biological impacts of ocean acidification affirms that this global change phenomenon may pose a serious threat to marine organisms and ecosystems. Whilst ocean acidification will occur everywhere, it will happen more rapidly in some regions than in others. Due

  1. The response of terrestrial ecosystems to global climate change: Towards an integrated approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindsey E. Rustad

    2008-01-01

    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...

  2. Response of ecosystem metabolism to low densities of spawning Chinook salmon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benjamin, Joseph R.; Bellmore, J. Ryan; Watson, Grace A.

    2016-01-01

    Marine derived nutrients delivered by large runs of returning salmon are thought to subsidize the in situ food resources that support juvenile salmon. In the Pacific Northwest, USA, salmon have declined to runs. We explored whether low densities (how recipient ecosystems respond to low levels of marine derived nutrients may inform nutrient augmentation studies aimed at enhancing fish populations.

  3. Written Extended-Response Questions as Classroom Assessment Tools for Meaningful Understanding of Evolutionary Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nieswandt, Martina; Bellomo, Katherine

    2009-01-01

    This qualitative study analyzed grade 12 biology students' answers to written extended-response questions that describe hypothetical scenarios of animals' evolution. We investigated whether these type of questions are suitable for students (n = 24) to express a meaningful understanding of evolutionary theory. Meaningful understanding is comprised…

  4. Assessment of biotic response to heavy metal contamination in Avicennia marina mangrove ecosystems in Sydney Estuary, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nath, Bibhash; Chaudhuri, Punarbasu; Birch, Gavin

    2014-09-01

    Mangrove forests act as a natural filter of land-derived wastewaters along industrialized tropical and sub-tropical coastlines and assist in maintaining a healthy living condition for marine ecosystems. Currently, these intertidal communities are under serious threat from heavy metal contamination induced by human activity associated with rapid urbanization and industrialization. Studies on the biotic responses of these plants to heavy metal contamination are of great significance in estuary management and maintaining coastal ecosystem health. The main objective of the present investigation was to assess the biotic response in Avicennia marina ecosystems to heavy metal contamination through the determination of metal concentrations in leaves, fine nutritive roots and underlying sediments collected in fifteen locations across Sydney Estuary (Australia). Metal concentrations (especially Cu, Pb and Zn) in the underlying sediments of A. marina were enriched to a level (based on Interim Sediment Quality Guidelines) at which adverse biological effects to flora could occasionally occur. Metals accumulated in fine nutritive roots greater than underlying sediments, however, only minor translocation of these metals to A. marina leaves was observed (mean translocation factors, TFs, for all elements <0.13, except for Mn). Translocation factors of essential elements (i.e., common plant micro-nutrients, Cu, Ni, Mn and Zn) were greater than non-essential elements (As, Cd, Co, Cr and Pb), suggesting that A. marina mangroves of this estuary selectively excluded non-essential elements, while regulating essential elements and limiting toxicity to plants. This study supports the notion that A. marina mangroves act as a phytostabilizer in this highly modified estuary thereby protecting the aquatic ecosystem from point or non-point sources of heavy metal contamination. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Testing the field of dreams hypothesis: functional responses to urbanization and restoration in stream ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sudduth, Elizabeth B; Hassett, Brooke A; Cada, Peter; Bernhardt, Emily S

    2011-09-01

    As catchments become increasingly urban, the streams that drain them become increasingly degraded. Urban streams are typically characterized by high-magnitude storm flows, homogeneous habitats, disconnected riparian zones, and elevated nitrogen concentrations. To reverse the degradation of urban water quality, watershed managers and regulators are increasingly turning to stream restoration approaches. By reshaping the channel and reconnecting the surface waters with their riparian zone, practitioners intend to enhance the natural nutrient retention capacity of the restored stream ecosystem. Despite the exponential growth in stream restoration projects and expenditures, there has been no evaluation to date of the efficacy of urban stream restoration projects in enhancing nitrogen retention or in altering the underlying ecosystem metabolism that controls instream nitrogen consumption. In this study, we compared ecosystem metabolism and nitrate uptake kinetics in four stream restoration projects within urban watersheds to ecosystem functions measured in four unrestored urban stream segments and four streams draining minimally impacted forested watersheds in central North Carolina, U.S.A. All 12 sites were surveyed in June through August of 2006 and again in January through March of 2007. We anticipated that urban streams would have enhanced rates of ecosystem metabolism and nitrate uptake relative to forested streams due to the increases in nutrient loads and temperature associated with urbanization, and we predicted that restored streams would have further enhanced rates for these ecosystem functions by virtue of their increased habitat heterogeneity and water residence times. Contrary to our predictions we found that stream metabolism did not differ between stream types in either season and that nitrate uptake kinetics were not different between stream types in the winter. During the summer, restored stream reaches had substantially higher rates of nitrate uptake

  6. Simulated carbon sink response of shortgrass steppe, tallgrass prairie and forest ecosystems to rising [CO2], temperature and nitrogen input

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pepper, D. A.; Del Grosso, S. J.; McMurtrie, R. E.; Parton, W. J.

    2005-03-01

    The response of plant ecosystems to environmental change will determine whether the terrestrial biosphere will remain a substantial carbon sink or become a source during the next century. We use two ecosystem models, the Generic Decomposition And Yield model (G'DAY) and the daily time step version of the Century model (DAYCENT), to simulate net ecosystem productivity (NEP) for three contrasting ecosystems (shortgrass steppe in Colorado, tallgrass prairie in Kansas, and Norway spruce in Sweden) with varying degrees of water, temperature, and nutrient limitation, to determine responses to gradual increases in atmospheric CO2 concentration ([CO2]), temperature, and nitrogen input over 100 years. Using G'DAY, under rising [CO2], there is evidence of C sink "saturation," defined here as positive NEP reaching an upper limit and then declining toward zero, at all three sites (due largely to increased N immobilization in soil organic matter) but a positive C sink is sustained throughout the 100 years. DAYCENT also predicts a sustained C sink at all three sites under rising [CO2], with evidence of C sink saturation for the Colorado grassland and the C sink levels off after 80 years for the Kansas grassland. Warming reduces soil C and the C sink in both grassland ecosystems but increases the C sink in the forest. Warming increases decomposition and soil N mineralization, which stimulates net primary productivity (NPP) at all sites except when inducing water limitation. At the forest site some of the enhanced N release is allocated to a woody biomass pool with a low N:C ratio so that warming enhances NEP without increased N input at the forest site, but not at the grassland sites. Responses to combinations of treatments are generally additive for DAYCENT but more interactive for G'DAY, especially under combined rising [CO2] and warming at the strongly water- and N-limited shortgrass steppe. Increasing N input alleviates C sink saturation and enhances NEP, NPP, and soil C at

  7. Modeling the response of plants and ecosystems to CO{sub 2} and climate change. Final technical report, September 1, 1992--August 31, 1996

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reynolds, J.F.

    1998-04-10

    Objectives can be divided into those for plant modeling and those for ecosystem modeling and experimental work in support of both. The author worked in a variety of ecosystem types, including pine, arctic, desert, and grasslands. Plant modeling objectives are: (1) to construct generic models of leaf, canopy, and whole-plant response to elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change; (2) to validate predictions of whole-plant response against various field studies of elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change; (3) to use these models to test specific hypotheses and to make predictions about primary, secondary and tertiary effects of elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change on individual plants for conditions and time frames beyond those used to calibrate the model; and (4) to provide information to higher-level models, such as community models and ecosystem models. Ecosystem level modeling objectives are: (1) to incorporate models of plant responses to elevated CO{sub 2} into a generic ecosystem model in order to predict the direct and indirect effects of elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change on ecosystems; (2) to validate model predictions of total system-level response (including decomposition) against various ecosystem field studies of elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change; (3) to use the ecosystem model to test specific hypotheses and to make predictions about primary, secondary and tertiary effects of elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change on ecosystems for conditions and time frames beyond those used to calibrate the model; and (4) to use the ecosystem model to study effects of change in CO{sub 2} and climate at regional and global scales. Occasionally the author conducted some experimental work that was deemed important to the development of the models. This work was mainly physiological work that could be performed in the Duke University Phytotron, using existing facilities.

  8. Socio-hydrologic Modeling to Understand and Mediate the Competition for Water between Humans and Ecosystems: Murrumbidgee River Basin, Australia (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sivapalan, M.

    2013-12-01

    Competition for water between humans and ecosystems is set to become a flash point in coming decades in all parts of the world. An entirely new and comprehensive quantitative framework is needed to establish a holistic understanding of that competition, thereby enabling development of effective mediation strategies. This paper presents a case study centered on the Murrumbidgee river basin in eastern Australia that illustrates the dynamics of the balance between water extraction and use for food production and efforts to mitigate and reverse consequent degradation of the riparian environment. Interactions between patterns of water management and climate driven hydrological variability within the prevailing socio-economic environment have contributed to the emergence of new whole system dynamics over the last 100 years. In particular, data analysis reveals a pendulum swing between an exclusive focus on agricultural development and food production in the initial stages of water resource development and its attendant socio-economic benefits, followed by the gradual realization of the adverse environmental impacts, efforts to mitigate these with the use of remedial measures, and ultimately concerted efforts and externally imposed solutions to restore environmental health and ecosystem services. A quasi-distributed coupled socio-hydrologic system model that explicitly includes the two-way coupling between human and hydrological systems, including evolution of human values/norms relating to water and the environment, is able to mimic broad features of this pendulum swing. The model consists of coupled nonlinear differential equations that include four state variables describing the co-evolution of storage capacity, irrigated area, human population, and ecosystem health. The model is used to generate insights into the dominant controls of the trajectory of co-evolution of the coupled human-water system, to serve as the theoretical framework for more detailed analysis of

  9. On the Use of Hedonic Price Indices to Understand Ecosystem Service Provision from Urban Green Space in Five Latin American Megacities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ursula Loret de Mola

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Latin American (LA megacities are facing enormous challenges to provide welfare to millions of people who live in them. High rates of urbanization and limited administrative capacity of LA cities to plan and control urban growth have led to a critical deficit of urban green space, and therefore, to sub-optimal outcomes in terms of urban sustainability. This study seeks to assess the possibility of using real estate prices to provide an estimate of the monetary value of the ecosystem services provided by urban green space across five Latin American megacities: Bogota, Buenos Aires, Lima, Mexico City and Santiago de Chile. Using Google Earth images to quantify urban green space and multiple regression analysis, we evaluated the impact of urban green space, crime rates, business density and population density on real estate prices across the five mentioned megacities. In addition, for a subset of the data (Lima and Buenos Aires we analyzed the effects of landscape ecology variables (green space patch size, connectivity, etc. on real estate prices to provide a first insight into how the ecological attributes of urban green space can determine the level of ecosystem service provision in different urban contexts in Latin America. The results show a strong positive relationship between the presence of urban green space and real estate prices. Green space explains 52% of the variability in real estate prices across the five studied megacities. Population density, business density and crime had only minor impacts on real estate prices. Our analysis of the landscape ecology variables in Lima and Buenos Aires also show that the relationship between green space and price is context-specific, which indicates that further research is needed to better understand when and where ecological attributes of green space affect real estate prices so that managers of urban green space in LA cities can optimize ecological configuration to maximize ecosystem service

  10. Reconciling top-down and bottom-up estimates of CO2 fluxes to understand increased seasonal exchange in Northern ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastos, A.; Ciais, P.; Zhu, D.; Maignan, F.; Wang, X.; Chevallier, F.; Ballantyne, A.

    2017-12-01

    Continuous atmospheric CO2 monitoring data indicate enhanced seasonal exchange in the high-latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere (above 40oN), mainly attributed to terrestrial ecosystems. Whether this enhancement is mostly explained by increased vegetation growth due to CO2 fertilization and warming, or by changes in land-use and land-management practices is still an unsettled question (e.g. Forkel et al. (2016) and Zeng et al. (2013)). Previous studies have shown that models present variable performance in capturing trends in CO2 amplitude at CO2 monitoring sites, and that Earth System Models present large spread in their estimates of such trends. Here we integrate data of atmospheric CO2 exchange in terrestrial ecosystems by a set of atmospheric CO2 inversions and a range of land-surface models to evaluate the ability of models to reproduce changes in CO2 seasonal exchange within the observation uncertainty. We then analyze the factors that explain the model spread to understand if the trend in seasonal CO2 amplitude may indeed be a useful metric to constrain future changes in terrestrial photosynthesis (Wenzel et al., 2016). We then compare model simulations with satellite and other observation-based datasets of vegetation productivity, biomass stocks and land-cover change to test the contribution of natural (CO2 fertilization, climate) and human (land-use change) factors to the increasing trend in seasonal CO2 amplitude. Forkel, Matthias, et al. "Enhanced seasonal CO2 exchange caused by amplified plant productivity in northern ecosystems." Science 351.6274 (2016): 696-699. Wenzel, Sabrina, et al. "Projected land photosynthesis constrained by changes in the seasonal cycle of atmospheric CO2." Nature 538, no. 7626 (2016): 499-501.Zeng, Ning, et al. "Agricultural Green Revolution as a driver of increasing atmospheric CO2 seasonal amplitude." Nature 515.7527 (2014): 394.

  11. Issues in evaluation of ecosystem change in response to global change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  12. Modeling and validating tritium transfer in a grassland ecosystem in response to {sup 3}H releases

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Le Dizes, S. [Institute for Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety, IRSN/PRP-ENV/SERIS/LM2E, Centre de Cadarache, Saint-Paul-lez-Durance (France); Maro, D.; Rozet, M.; Hebert, D. [IRSN/PRP-ENV/SERIS/LRC, Cherbourg-Octeville (France)

    2015-03-15

    In this paper a radioecological model (TOCATTA) for tritium transfer in a grassland ecosystem developed on an hourly time-step basis is proposed and compared with the first data set obtained in the vicinity of the AREVA-NC reprocessing plant of La Hague (France). The TOCATTA model aims at simulating dynamics of tritium transfer in agricultural soil and plant ecosystems exposed to time-varying HTO concentrations in air water vapour and possibly in irrigation and rain water. In the present study, gaseous releases of tritium from the AREVA NC nuclear reprocessing plant in normal operation can be intense and intermittent over a period of less than 24 hours. A first comparison of the model predictions with the field data has shown that TOCATTA should be improved in terms of kinetics of tritium transfer.

  13. Threshold responses to interacting global changes in a California grassland ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Field, Christopher [Carnegie Inst. of Science, Stanford, CA (United States); Mooney, Harold [Stanford Univ., CA (United States); Vitousek, Peter [Stanford Univ., CA (United States)

    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.

  14. Recent drought effects on ecosystem carbon uptake in California ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, M.; Guan, K.; Brodrick, P. G.; Berry, J. A.; Asner, G. P.

    2016-12-01

    California is one of the Earth's most biodiverse places and most of California has experienced an extreme (millennium scale) drought in the period of 2012-2015. Although the effect of the drought on the water resources have been well studied, the responses of ecosystems has not been explored in this detail. This study used advanced remotely sensed data (e.g., remotely sensed vegetation indices and solar-induced fluorescence), an ecosystem model, and model-data fusion techniques to study the impacts of the severe drought on ecosystem carbon uptakes in California. We have found that: (1) the drought has significantly suppressed carbon uptake and light use efficiency in California ecosystems - except in the semi-deserts, and the moist forests in the northern coast; (2) effects on the photosynthetic capacity of the ecosystems extends after the drought is relieved; and (3) the drought has shifted both the timing and magnitude of the seasonality of the carbon uptake in non-forested regions. These findings provide a better understanding of the impacts of droughts, and provide an improved basis for prediction of ecosystem responses under a more extreme climate in the future.

  15. Forest Soil Bacteria: Diversity, Involvement in Ecosystem Processes, and Response to Global Change

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lladó, Salvador; López-Mondéjar, Rubén; Baldrian, Petr

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 81, č. 2 (2017), s. 1-27, č. článku e00063. ISSN 1092-2172 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GP14-09040P; GA MŠk(CZ) LD15086 Institutional support: RVO:61388971 Keywords : bacteria * decomposition * ecosystem processes Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology OBOR OECD: Microbiology Impact factor: 14.533, year: 2016

  16. Responses of aquatic ecosystems to environmental changes in Finland and China

    OpenAIRE

    Jan eWeckström; Mengna eLiao; Ge eYu; Susanne eAmsinck; Tommi eKauppila; Boqjang eQin; Guangwei eZhu; Jouko eSarvala; Kaarina eWeckström; Marjo eTarvainen; Teija eKirkkala; Leena eNurminen; Anne-Mari eVentelä

    2015-01-01

    The concern for the state of global freshwater reservoirs has increased due to deterioration of the water quality during the last decades. This has prompted monitoring and restoration efforts such as the European Water Framework Directive and the national-scale 2nd-investigation and monitoring of the water quality, water volume and biota resources in China. The challenge so far has been the determination of the “natural” state (reference conditions) of freshwater ecosystems. We used the sedim...

  17. Response of the boreal forest ecosystem to climatic change and its silvicultural implications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kellomaeki, S.; Haenninen, H.; Karjalainen, T. [Joensuu Univ. (Finland). Faculty of Forestry] [and others

    1996-12-31

    During the next 100 years, the mean annual temperature is expected to be 1-6 deg C higher than at present. It is also expected to be accompanied by a lengthening of the thermal growing season and increased precipitation. Consequently, climatic change will increase the uncertainty of the management of forest ecosystems in the future. In this context, this research project aimed to outline the ecological and silvicultural implications of climatic change with regard to (1) how the expected climatic change might modify the functioning and structure of the boreal forest ecosystem, and (2) how the silvicultural management of the forest ecosystem should be modified in order to maintain sustainable forest yield under changing climatic conditions. The experimental component of the project concerned first the effect that elevating temperature and elevating concentration of atmospheric carbon have on the ontogenetic development of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L) and on the subsequent increase in frost damage during winter. The second part of the study looked the effect of elevating temperature and elevating concentration of atmospheric carbon on the growth of Scots pine through photosynthesis, respiration, transpiration, nutrient supply, and changes in crown structure. This experiment was utilised in several subprojects of the overall project

  18. Responses of aquatic ecosystems to environmental changes in Finland and China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan eWeckström

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The concern for the state of global freshwater reservoirs has increased due to deterioration of the water quality during the last decades. This has prompted monitoring and restoration efforts such as the European Water Framework Directive and the national-scale 2nd-investigation and monitoring of the water quality, water volume and biota resources in China. The challenge so far has been the determination of the natural state (reference conditions of freshwater ecosystems. We used the sediment archives of five lakes and one brackish water embayment in Finland and China to assess the impact of selected variables of climatology, hydrology, nutrients, and changes in human population on these ecosystems during the last few centuries. The study sites represent catchment areas with varying land use. Despite the long distance between the sites and their different land-use characteristics, the direction and timing of changes during the last few centuries are well comparable between the high latitudes of Finland and the mid-low latitudes of China. This study reinforces the sensitivity of aquatic ecosystems to environmental change and underlines the usefulness of the palaeolimnological approach as a tool for determining reference conditions.

  19. Increased understanding of nutrient immobilization in soil organic matter is critical for predicting the carbon sink strength of forest ecosystems over the next 100 years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMurtrie, R E; Medlyn, B E; Dewar, R C

    2001-08-01

    The terrestrial biosphere is currently thought to be a significant sink for atmospheric carbon (C). However, the future course of this sink under rising [CO2] and temperature is uncertain. Some contrasting possibilities that have been suggested are: that the sink is currently increasing through CO2 fertilization of plant growth but will decline over the next few decades because of CO2 saturation and soil nutrient constraints; that the sink will continue to increase over the next century because rising temperature will stimulate the release of plant-available soil nitrogen (N) through increased soil decomposition; that, alternatively, the sink will not be sustained because the additional soil N released will be immobilized in the soil rather than taken up by plants; or that the sink will soon become negative because loss of soil C through temperature stimulation of soil respiration will override any CO2 or temperature stimulation of plant growth. Soil N immobilization is thus a key process; however, it remains poorly understood. In this paper we use a forest ecosystem model of plant-soil C and N dynamics to gauge the importance of this uncertainty for predictions of the future C sink of forests under rising [CO2] and temperature. We characterize soil N immobilization by the degree of variability of soil N:C ratios assumed in the model. We show that the modeled C sink of a stand of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) in northern Sweden is highly sensitive to this assumption. Under increasing temperature, the model predicts a strong C sink when soil N:C is inflexible, but a greatly reduced C sink when soil N:C is allowed to vary. In complete contrast, increasing atmospheric [CO2] leads to a much stronger C sink when soil N:C is variable. When both temperature and [CO2] increase, the C sink strength is relatively insensitive to variability in soil N:C; significantly, however, with inflexible soil N:C the C sink is primarily a temperature response whereas with

  20. Plants in water-controlled ecosystems: active role in hydrologic processes and response to water stress. I. Scope and general outline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Iturbe, I.; Porporato, A.; Laio, F.; Ridolfi, L.

    This series of four papers studies the complex dynamics of water-controlled ecosystems from the hydro-ecological point of view [e.g., I. Rodriguez-Iturbe, Water Resour. Res. 36 (1) (2000) 3-9]. After this general outline, the role of climate, soil, and vegetation is modeled in Part II [F. Laio, A. Porporato, L. Ridolfi, I. Rodriguez-Iturbe, Adv. Water Res. 24 (7) (2001) 707-723] to investigate the probabilistic structure of soil moisture dynamics and the water balance. Particular attention is given to the impact of timing and amount of rainfall, plant physiology, and soil properties. From the statistical characterization of the crossing properties of arbitrary levels of soil moisture, Part III develops an expression for vegetation water stress [A. Porporato, F. Laio, L. Ridolfi, I. Rodriguez-Iturbe, Adv. Water Res. 24 (7) (2001) 725-744]. This measure of stress is then employed to quantify the response of plants to soil moisture deficit as well as to infer plant suitability to given environmental conditions and understand some of the reasons for possible coexistence of different species. Detailed applications of these concepts are developed in Part IV [F. Laio, A. Porporato, C.P. Fernandez-Illescas, I. Rodriguez-Iturbe, Adv. Water Res. 24 (7) (2001) 745-762], where we investigate the dynamics of three different water-controlled ecosystems.

  1. Simulation of population response to ionizing radiation in an ecosystem with a limiting resource--Model and analytical solutions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sazykina, Tatiana G; Kryshev, Alexander I

    2016-01-01

    A dynamic mathematical model is formulated, predicting the development of radiation effects in a generic animal population, inhabiting an elemental ecosystem 'population-limiting resource'. Differential equations of the model describe the dynamic responses to radiation damage of the following population characteristics: gross biomass; intrinsic fractions of healthy and reversibly damaged tissues in biomass; intrinsic concentrations of the self-repairing pool and the growth factor; and amount of the limiting resource available in the environment. Analytical formulae are found for the steady states of model variables as non-linear functions of the dose rate of chronic radiation exposure. Analytical solutions make it possible to predict the expected severity of radiation effects in a model ecosystem, including such endpoints as morbidity, mortality, life shortening, biosynthesis, and population biomass. Model parameters are selected from species data on lifespan, physiological growth and mortality rates, and individual radiosensitivity. Thresholds for population extinction can be analytically calculated for different animal species, examples are provided for generic mice and wolf populations. The ecosystem model demonstrates a compensatory effect of the environment on the development of radiation effects in wildlife. The model can be employed to construct a preliminary scale 'radiation exposure-population effects' for different animal species; species can be identified, which are vulnerable at a population level to chronic radiation exposure. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Using Stable Isotopes to Link Nutrient Sources in the Everglades and Biological Sinks in Florida Bay: A Biogeochemical Approach to Evaluate Ecosystem Response to Changing Nutrient Regimes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoare, A. M.; Hollander, D. J.; Heil, C.; Glibert, P.; Murasko, S.; Revilla, M.; Alexander, J.

    2005-05-01

    Anthropogenic influences in South Florida have led to deterioration of its two major ecosystems, the Everglades wetlands and the Florida Bay estuary. Consequently, the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan has been proposed to restore the Everglades ecosystem; however, restoration efforts will likely exert new ecological changes in the Everglades and ultimately Florida Bay. The success of the Florida Everglades restoration depends on our understanding and ability to predict how regional changes in the distribution and composition of dissolved organic and inorganic nutrients will direct the downstream biogeochemical dynamics of Florida Bay. While the transport of freshwater and nutrients to Florida Bay have been studied, much work remains to directly link nutrient dynamics in Florida Bay to nutrient sources in the Everglades. Our study uses stable C and N isotopic measurements of chemical and biological materials from the Everglades and Florida Bay as part of a multi-proxy approach to link nutrient sources in the Everglades to biological sinks in Florida Bay. Isotopic analyses of dissolved and particulate species of water, aquatic vegetation and sedimentary organic matter show that the watersheds within the Everglades are chemically distinct and that these signatures are also reflected in the bay. A large east-west gradient in both carbon and nitrogen (as much as 10‰ for δ15N POM) reflect differing nutrient sources for each region of Florida Bay and is strongly correlated with upstream sources in the Everglades. Isotopic signatures also reflect seasonal relationships associated with wet and dry periods. High C and N measurements of DOM and POM measurements suggest significant influence from waste water in Canal C-111 in eastern Florida Bay, particularly during the dry season. These observations show that nutrients from the Everglades watersheds enter Florida Bay and are important in controlling biogeochemical processes in the bay. This study proves that

  3. Simulation of population response to ionizing radiation in an ecosystem with a limiting resource – Model and analytical solutions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sazykina, Tatiana G.; Kryshev, Alexander I.

    2016-01-01

    A dynamic mathematical model is formulated, predicting the development of radiation effects in a generic animal population, inhabiting an elemental ecosystem ‘population-limiting resource’. Differential equations of the model describe the dynamic responses to radiation damage of the following population characteristics: gross biomass; intrinsic fractions of healthy and reversibly damaged tissues in biomass; intrinsic concentrations of the self-repairing pool and the growth factor; and amount of the limiting resource available in the environment. Analytical formulae are found for the steady states of model variables as non-linear functions of the dose rate of chronic radiation exposure. Analytical solutions make it possible to predict the expected severity of radiation effects in a model ecosystem, including such endpoints as morbidity, mortality, life shortening, biosynthesis, and population biomass. Model parameters are selected from species data on lifespan, physiological growth and mortality rates, and individual radiosensitivity. Thresholds for population extinction can be analytically calculated for different animal species, examples are provided for generic mice and wolf populations. The ecosystem model demonstrates a compensatory effect of the environment on the development of radiation effects in wildlife. The model can be employed to construct a preliminary scale ‘radiation exposure-population effects’ for different animal species; species can be identified, which are vulnerable at a population level to chronic radiation exposure. - Highlights: • Mathematical model is formulated predicting radiation effects in elemental ecosystem. • Analytical formulae are found for steady states of variables as functions of exposure. • Severity of radiation effects are calculated, including population extinction. • Model parameterization is made for generic mice and wolf populations.

  4. Community-specific biogeochemical responses to atmospheric nitrogen deposition in subalpine meadow ecosystems of the Cascade Range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poinsatte, J. P.; Rochefort, R.; Evans, R. D.

    2014-12-01

    Elevated anthropogenic nitrogen (N) emissions result in higher rates of atmospheric N deposition (Ndep) that can saturate sensitive ecosystems. Consequences of increased Ndep include higher emissions of greenhouse gases, eutrophication of watersheds, and deterioration of vegetation communities. Most of the annual N deposition at higher elevations in the Cascades is stored in snowpack until spring snowmelt when it is released as a pulse that can be assimilated by plant and microbial communities, or lost as gaseous emissions or leachate. The relative magnitude of these fluxes is unknown, particularly with accelerated rates of snowpack loss due to climate change. We quantified storage of Ndep in winter snowpack and determined impacts of Ndep on biogeochemical processes in a lush-herbaceous community characterized by Valeriana sitchensis and Lupinus latifolius, a heath-shrub community characterized by Phyllodoce empetriformis and Cassiope mertensiana, and a wet-sedge community dominated by Carex nigricans. These communities were selected to represent early, mid, and late snowmelt vegetation regimes prevalent throughout the Cascades. Ammonium (NH4+) was the dominant form of Ndep in winter snowpack and Ndep rates were higher than anticipated based on nearby National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) measurements. Vegetation N uptake was the dominant N sink in the ecosystem, with the highest growing season uptake occurring in the lush-herbaceous community, while soil N leaching was the dominant N loss, with the lush-herbaceous also having the highest rates. Microbial biomass N fluctuated substantially across the growing season, with high biomass N immediately after snowmelt and again 30 days following snow release. Soil nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions peaked 30 days following snowmelt for all three communities and were greatest in the wet sedge community. These results indicate that subalpine communities have unique responses to Ndep that vary throughout the growing

  5. Seasonal reversal of temperature-moisture response of net carbon exchange of biocrusted soils in a cool desert ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, C.; Reed, S.; Howell, A.

    2017-12-01

    Carbon cycling associated with biological soil crusts, which occur in interspaces between vascular plants in drylands globally, may be an important part of the coupled climate-carbon cycle of the Earth system. A major challenge to understanding CO2 fluxes in these systems is that much of the biotic and biogeochemical activity occurs in the upper few mm of the soil surface layer (i.e., the `mantle of fertility'), which exhibits highly dynamic and difficult to measure temperature and moisture fluctuations. Here, we report data collected in a cool desert ecosystem over one year using a multi-sensor approach to simultaneously measuring temperature and moisture of the biocrust surface layer (0-2 mm), and the deeper soil profile (5-20 cm), concurrent with automated measurement of surface soil CO2 effluxes. Our results illuminate robust relationships between microclimate and field CO2 pulses that have previously been difficult to detect and explain. The temperature of the biocrust surface layer was highly variable, ranging from minimum of -9 °C in winter to maximum of 77 °C in summer with a maximum diurnal range of 61 °C. Temperature cycles were muted deeper in the soil profile. During summer, biocrust and soils were usually hot and dry and CO2 fluxes were tightly coupled to pulse wetting events experienced at the biocrust surface, which consistently resulted in net CO2 efflux (i.e., respiration). In contrast, during the winter, biocrust and soils were usually cold and moist, and there was sustained net CO2 uptake via photosynthesis by biocrust organisms, although during cold dry periods CO2 fluxes were minimal. During the milder spring and fall seasons, short wetting events drove CO2 loss, while sustained wetting events resulted in net CO2 uptake. Thus, the upper and lower bounds of net CO2 exchange at a point in time were functions of the seasonal temperature regime, while the actual flux within those bounds was determined by the magnitude and duration of biocrust

  6. Ecosystem services in ECOCLIM

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Lise Lotte; Boegh, Eva; Bendtsen, J

    that actions initiated to reduce anthropogenic GHG emissions are sustainable and not destructive to existing ecosystem services. Therefore it is important to address i.e. land use change in relation to the regulating services of the ecosystems, such as carbon sequestration and climate regulation. At present...... a thorough understanding of the ecosystem processes controlling the uptake or emissions of GHG is fundamental. Here we present ECOCLIM in the context of ecosystem services and the experimental studies within ECOCLIM which will lead to an enhanced understanding of Danish ecosystems....

  7. Soil bacterial and fungal diversity differently correlated with soil biochemistry in alpine grassland ecosystems in response to environmental changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yong; Dong, Shikui; Gao, Qingzhu; Liu, Shiliang; Ganjurjav, Hasbagan; Wang, Xuexia; Su, Xukun; Wu, Xiaoyu

    2017-03-01

    To understand effects of soil microbes on soil biochemistry in alpine grassland ecosystems under environmental changes, we explored relationships between soil microbial diversity and soil total nitrogen, organic carbon, available nitrogen and phosphorus, soil microbial biomass and soil enzyme activities in alpine meadow, alpine steppe and cultivated grassland on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau under three-year warming, enhanced precipitation and yak overgrazing. Soil total nitrogen, organic carbon and NH4-N were little affected by overgrazing, warming or enhanced precipitation in three types of alpine grasslands. Soil microbial biomass carbon and phosphorus along with the sucrase and phosphatase activities were generally stable under different treatments. Soil NO3-N, available phosphorus, urease activity and microbial biomass nitrogen were increased by overgrazing in the cultivated grassland. Soil bacterial diversity was positively correlated with, while soil fungal diversity negatively with soil microbial biomass and enzyme activities. Soil bacterial diversity was negatively correlated with, while soil fungal diversity positively with soil available nutrients. Our findings indicated soil bacteria and fungi played different roles in affecting soil nutrients and microbiological activities that might provide an important implication to understand why soil biochemistry was generally stable under environmental changes in alpine grassland ecosystems.

  8. A Collaborative Proposal: Simulating and Understanding Abrupt Climate-Ecosystem Changes During Holocene with NCAR-CCSM3.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhengyu Liu, Bette Otto-Bliesner

    2013-02-01

    We have made significant progress in our proposed work in the last 4 years (3 years plus 1 year of no cost extension). In anticipation of the next phase of study, we have spent time on the abrupt changes since the last glacial maximum. First, we have performed further model-data comparison based on our baseline TRACE-21 simulation and made important progress towards the understanding of several major climate transitions. Second, we have made a significant effort in processing the model output of TRACE-21 and have put this output on a website for access by the community. Third, we have completed many additional sensitivity experiments. In addition, we have organized synthesis workshops to facilitate and promote transient model-data comparison for the international community. Finally, we have identified new areas of interest for Holocene climate changes.

  9. Understanding Human-Coyote Encounters in Urban Ecosystems Using Citizen Science Data: What Do Socioeconomics Tell Us?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wine, Stuart; Gagné, Sara A.; Meentemeyer, Ross K.

    2015-01-01

    The coyote ( Canis latrans) has dramatically expanded its range to include the cities and suburbs of the western US and those of the Eastern Seaboard. Highly adaptable, this newcomer's success causes conflicts with residents, necessitating research to understand the distribution of coyotes in urban landscapes. Citizen science can be a powerful approach toward this aim. However, to date, the few studies that have used publicly reported coyote sighting data have lacked an in-depth consideration of human socioeconomic variables, which we suggest are an important source of overlooked variation in data that describe the simultaneous occurrence of coyotes and humans. We explored the relative importance of socioeconomic variables compared to those describing coyote habitat in predicting human-coyote encounters in highly-urbanized Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, USA using 707 public reports of coyote sightings, high-resolution land cover, US Census data, and an autologistic multi-model inference approach. Three of the four socioeconomic variables which we hypothesized would have an important influence on encounter probability, namely building density, household income, and occupation, had effects at least as large as or larger than coyote habitat variables. Our results indicate that the consideration of readily available socioeconomic variables in the analysis of citizen science data improves the prediction of species distributions by providing insight into the effects of important factors for which data are often lacking, such as resource availability for coyotes on private property and observer experience. Managers should take advantage of citizen scientists in human-dominated landscapes to monitor coyotes in order to understand their interactions with humans.

  10. Multivariate Spatio-Temporal Clustering: A Framework for Integrating Disparate Data to Understand Network Representativeness and Scaling Up Sparse Ecosystem Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, F. M.; Kumar, J.; Maddalena, D. M.; Langford, Z.; Hargrove, W. W.

    2014-12-01

    Disparate in situ and remote sensing time series data are being collected to understand the structure and function of ecosystems and how they may be affected by climate change. However, resource and logistical constraints limit the frequency and extent of observations, particularly in the harsh environments of the arctic and the tropics, necessitating the development of a systematic sampling strategy to maximize coverage and objectively represent variability at desired scales. These regions host large areas of potentially vulnerable ecosystems that are poorly represented in Earth system models (ESMs), motivating two new field campaigns, called Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE) for the Arctic and Tropics, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Multivariate Spatio-Temporal Clustering (MSTC) provides a quantitative methodology for stratifying sampling domains, informing site selection, and determining the representativeness of measurement sites and networks. We applied MSTC to down-scaled general circulation model results and data for the State of Alaska at a 4 km2 resolution to define maps of ecoregions for the present (2000-2009) and future (2090-2099), showing how combinations of 37 bioclimatic characteristics are distributed and how they may shift in the future. Optimal representative sampling locations were identified on present and future ecoregion maps, and representativeness maps for candidate sampling locations were produced. We also applied MSTC to remotely sensed LiDAR measurements and multi-spectral imagery from the WorldView-2 satellite at a resolution of about 5 m2 within the Barrow Environmental Observatory (BEO) in Alaska. At this resolution, polygonal ground features—such as centers, edges, rims, and troughs—can be distinguished. Using these remote sensing data, we up-scaled vegetation distribution data collected on these polygonal ground features to a large area of the BEO to provide distributions of plant functional types that can

  11. Climate-Ocean Variability and Ecosystem Response in the Northeast Pacific

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGowan; Cayan; Dorman

    1998-07-10

    The role of climatic variation in regulating marine populations and communities is not well understood. To improve our knowledge, the sign, amplitude, and frequency of climatic and biotic variations should be compared as a necessary first step. It is shown that there have been large interannual and interdecadal sea-surface temperature changes off the West Coast of North America during the past 80 years. Interannual anomalies appear and disappear rather suddenly and synchronously along the entire coastline. The frequency of warm events has increased since 1977. Although extensive, serial, biological observations are often incomplete, it is clear that climate-ocean variations have disturbed and changed our coastal ecosystems.

  12. From nitrogen enrichment to oxygen depletion: a mechanistic model of coastal marine ecosystems response

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cosme, Nuno Miguel Dias; Koski, Marja; Hauschild, Michael Zwicky

    oxygen (DO) consumption as a function of N input. Such indicator is the basis for an eXposure Factor (XF) applied in Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) to estimate impacts from N enrichment. The Large Marine Ecosystems (LME) biogeographical classification system was adopted to address the spatial......Nitrogen (N) emissions from anthropogenic sources may enrich coastal waters and lead to marine eutrophication impacts. Processes describing N-limited primary production (PP), zooplankton grazing, and bacterial respiration of sinking organic carbon, were modelled to quantify the potential dissolved...

  13. Water- and plant-mediated responses of ecosystem carbon fluxes to warming and nitrogen addition on the Songnen grassland in northeast China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Jiang

    Full Text Available Understanding how grasslands are affected by a long-term increase in temperature is crucial to predict the future impact of global climate change on terrestrial ecosystems. Additionally, it is not clear how the effects of global warming on grassland productivity are going to be altered by increased N deposition and N addition.In-situ canopy CO(2 exchange rates were measured in a meadow steppe subjected to 4-year warming and nitrogen addition treatments. Warming treatment reduced net ecosystem CO(2 exchange (NEE and increased ecosystem respiration (ER; but had no significant impacts on gross ecosystem productivity (GEP. N addition increased NEE, ER and GEP. However, there were no significant interactions between N addition and warming. The variation of NEE during the four experimental years was correlated with soil water content, particularly during early spring, suggesting that water availability is a primary driver of carbon fluxes in the studied semi-arid grassland.Ecosystem carbon fluxes in grassland ecosystems are sensitive to warming and N addition. In the studied water-limited grassland, both warming and N addition influence ecosystem carbon fluxes by affecting water availability, which is the primary driver in many arid and semiarid ecosystems. It remains unknown to what extent the long-term N addition would affect the turn-over of soil organic matter and the C sink size of this grassland.

  14. A Dark Hole in our Understanding of Marine Ecosystems and their Services: Perspectives from the mesopelagic community.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Arthur St. John

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available In the face of increasing anthropogenic pressures acting on the Earth system, urgent actions are needed to guarantee efficient resource management and sustainable development for our growing human population. Our oceans - the largest underexplored component of the Earth system - are potentially home for a large number of new resources, which can directly impact upon food security and the wellbeing of humanity. However, the extraction of these resources has repercussions for biodiversity and the oceans ability to sequester green house gases and thereby climate. In the search for new resources to unlock the economic potential of the global oceans, recent observations have identified a large unexploited biomass of mesopelagic fish living in the deep ocean. This biomass has recently been estimated to be 10 billion metric tonnes, 10 times larger than previous estimates however the real biomass is still in question. If we are able to exploit this community at sustainable levels without impacting upon biodiversity and compromising the oceans’ ability to sequester carbon, we can produce more food and potentially many new nutraceutical products. However, to meet the needs of present generations without compromising the needs of future generations, we need to guarantee a sustainable exploitation of these resources. To do so requires a holistic assessment of the community and an understanding of the mechanisms controlling this biomass, its role in the preservation of biodiversity and its influence on climate as well as management tools able to weigh the costs and benefits of exploitation of this community.

  15. Developing spatial biophysical accounting for multiple ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Remme, R.P.; Schroter, M.; Hein, L.G.

    2014-01-01

    Ecosystem accounting is receiving increasing interest as a way to systematically monitor the conditions of ecosystems and the ecosystem services they provide. A critical element of ecosystem accounting is understanding spatially explicit flows of ecosystem services. We developed spatial biophysical

  16. Biodiversity and ecosystem function responses to disturbance and fertilization in a 35-years' vineyard experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pingel, Martin; Uzman, Deniz; Reineke, Annette; Leyer, Ilona

    2016-04-01

    Soil management techniques such as tillage, herbicide weeding, fertilization, and cover crop management have strong effects on soil biota in vineyards such as macro- and mesofauna, microflora and plants. Soil biota, in turn, is a major driver of soil processes and ecosystem functions, however, large gaps in knowledge regarding interactions between management practices, biodiversity and ecosystem functions exist. In this context, we analyzed the effects of nitrogen fertilization and ground cover management on mesofauna and microflora diversity, soil organic matter and nutrients as well as decomposition rates in an experimental vineyard in Germany where specific management practices are constantly applied for more than 35 years. Plots in this vineyard (Rheingau region near Wiesbaden, Germany) are treated with different amounts of nitrogen fertilizer (0, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150 kg N/ha/year) in four replicates in combination with two types of inter-rows with different ground cover management (tillage vs. permanent cover). Mesofauna diversity (using Berlese funnels), Microflora (using a metagenomics approach) as well as soil variables (standard procedures) were analyzed by sampling and analyzing soil cores (0-10 cm) in the year 2015. In order to assess the decomposition rate, the Teabag Index method was applied. First results showed that the ground cover management had strong effects on biodiversity, decomposition rate, soil organic matter and nutrients rather than fertilization.

  17. The response of terrestrial ecosystems to climate variability associated with the North Atlantic Oscillation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mysterud, Alte; Stenseth, Nils Chr.; Yoccoz, Nigel G.; Ottersen, Geir; Langvatn, Rolf

    Climatic factors influence a variety of ecological processes determining patterns of species density and distribution in a wide range of terrestrial ecosystems. We review the effects of the NAO on processes and patterns of terrestrial ecosystems, including both plants and animals. In plants, the NAO index correlates with date of first flowering, tree ring growth and with quality of agricultural crops (wheat and wine grapes). Also, breeding dates are earlier after high NAO index winters for amphibians and birds in Europe. Population dynamical consequences of the NAO have also been reported for birds, and the differential impact of the NAO on two similar species may prevent competitive exclusion. Different effects of the NAO on large herbivore populations have been reported for different regions, depending on limiting factors and the correlation with local weather parameters. The NAO synchronizes population dynamics of lynx and some other carnivore populations in the eastern U.S. Most effects are on an ecological time scale; the evolutionary consequences of long term trends in the NAO are poorly documented. Important for predator and prey dynamics is (1) the disruption of phenology (the match-mismatch hypothesis), (2) that there may be delayed effects (cohort-effects), and (3) that effects of the NAO may interact with other factors such as density. We discuss the challenges related to nonlinearity, of using different climate indices, and how we can progress using these pattern-oriented NAO studies at coarse scales to conduct better process-oriented small-scale experiments.

  18. Responses in Arctic marine carbon cycle processes: conceptual scenarios and implications for ecosystem function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helen S. Findlay

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The Arctic Ocean is one of the fastest changing oceans, plays an important role in global carbon cycling and yet is a particularly challenging ocean to study. Hence, observations tend to be relatively sparse in both space and time. How the Arctic functions, geophysically, but also ecologically, can have significant consequences for the internal cycling of carbon, and subsequently influence carbon export, atmospheric CO2 uptake and food chain productivity. Here we assess the major carbon pools and associated processes, specifically summarizing the current knowledge of each of these processes in terms of data availability and ranges of rates and values for four geophysical Arctic Ocean domains originally described by Carmack & Wassmann (2006: inflow shelves, which are Pacific-influenced and Atlantic-influenced; interior, river-influenced shelves; and central basins. We attempt to bring together knowledge of the carbon cycle with the ecosystem within each of these different geophysical settings, in order to provide specialist information in a holistic context. We assess the current state of models and how they can be improved and/or used to provide assessments of the current and future functioning when observational data are limited or sparse. In doing so, we highlight potential links in the physical oceanographic regime, primary production and the flow of carbon within the ecosystem that will change in the future. Finally, we are able to highlight priority areas for research, taking a holistic pan-Arctic approach.

  19. Response of microalgae to elevated CO2 and temperature: impact of climate change on freshwater ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wei; Xu, Xiaoguang; Fujibayashi, Megumu; Niu, Qigui; Tanaka, Nobuyuki; Nishimura, Osamu

    2016-10-01

    To estimate the combined effects of elevated CO2 and temperature on microalgae, three typical and worldwide freshwater species, the green alga Scenedesmus acuminatus, the diatom Cyclotella meneghiniana, and the cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa, as well as mixes of these three species were continuously cultured in controlled environment chambers with CO2 at 390 and 1000 ppm and temperatures of 20, 25, and 30 °C. CO2 and temperature significantly affected the production of microalgae. The cell productivity increased under elevated CO2 and temperature. Although the green alga dominated in the mixed culture within all CO2 and temperature conditions, rising temperature and CO2 intensified the competition of the cyanobacterium with other microalgae. CO2 affected the extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) characteristics of the green alga and the cyanobacterium. Elevated CO2 induced the generation of humic substances in the EPS fractions of the green alga, the cyanobacterium, and the mixed culture. The extracellular carbohydrates of the diatom and the extracellular proteins of the cyanobacterium increased with elevated CO2 and temperature, while the extracellular carbohydrates and proteins of the green alga and the mixes increased under elevated CO2 and temperature. There were synergistic effects of CO2 and temperature on the productivity and the EPS of microalgae. Climate change related CO2 and temperature increases will promote autochthonous organic carbon production in aquatic ecosystems and facilitate the proliferation of cyanobacteria, which potentially changes the carbon cycling and undermines the functioning of ecosystems.

  20. Comprehensive Evaluation of Machine Learning Techniques for Estimating the Responses of Carbon Fluxes to Climatic Forces in Different Terrestrial Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xianming Dou

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Accurately estimating the carbon budgets in terrestrial ecosystems ranging from flux towers to regional or global scales is particularly crucial for diagnosing past and future climate change. This research investigated the feasibility of two comparatively advanced machine learning approaches, namely adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS and extreme learning machine (ELM, for reproducing terrestrial carbon fluxes in five different types of ecosystems. Traditional artificial neural network (ANN and support vector machine (SVM models were also utilized as reliable benchmarks to measure the generalization ability of these models according to the following statistical metrics: coefficient of determination (R2, index of agreement (IA, root mean square error (RMSE, and mean absolute error (MAE. In addition, we attempted to explore the responses of all methods to their corresponding intrinsic parameters in terms of the generalization performance. It was found that both the newly proposed ELM and ANFIS models achieved highly satisfactory estimates and were comparable to the ANN and SVM models. The modeling ability of each approach depended upon their respective internal parameters. For example, the SVM model with the radial basis kernel function produced the most accurate estimates and performed substantially better than the SVM models with the polynomial and sigmoid functions. Furthermore, a remarkable difference was found in the estimated accuracy among different carbon fluxes. Specifically, in the forest ecosystem (CA-Obs site, the optimal ANN model obtained slightly higher performance for gross primary productivity, with R2 = 0.9622, IA = 0.9836, RMSE = 0.6548 g C m−2 day−1, and MAE = 0.4220 g C m−2 day−1, compared with, respectively, 0.9554, 0.9845, 0.4280 g C m−2 day−1, and 0.2944 g C m−2 day−1 for ecosystem respiration and 0.8292, 0.9306, 0.6165 g C m−2 day−1, and 0.4407 g C m−2 day−1 for net ecosystem exchange

  1. Divergent responses of vegetation cover in Southwestern US ecosystems to dry and wet years at different elevations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrmann, Stefanie M.; Didan, Kamel; Barreto-Munoz, Armando; Crimmins, Michael A.

    2016-12-01

    In the semiarid Southwestern United States, prolonged drought conditions since the early 2000s have resulted in widespread declines of the vegetation productivity in this water-constrained ecosystem, as revealed by analyses of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). However, the spatial pattern of the NDVI response to dry years is not uniform: a divergent response of NDVI to precipitation is observed between the low-lying desert and the high montane forests at elevations above 2,500 meter. We analyzed relationships between 15 years of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) NDVI and gridded climate data (PRISM) along elevation gradients at scales from regional to local. Our elevation-explicit analysis captures the transition from water-limited to temperature-limited ecosystems, with a sign-reversal in the correlation coefficient between precipitation and NDVI observed at about 2,500-3,000m altitude. We suggest warmer temperatures and less snow cover associated with drier years as explanations for high elevation gains in vegetation productivity during dry years.

  2. Plant hydraulic responses to long-term dry season nitrogen deposition alter drought tolerance in a Mediterranean-type ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pivovaroff, Alexandria L; Santiago, Louis S; Vourlitis, George L; Grantz, David A; Allen, Michael F

    2016-07-01

    Anthropogenic nitrogen (N) deposition represents a significant N input for many terrestrial ecosystems. N deposition can affect plants on scales ranging from photosynthesis to community composition, yet few studies have investigated how changes in N availability affect plant water relations. We tested the effects of N addition on plant water relations, hydraulic traits, functional traits, gas exchange, and leaf chemistry in a semi-arid ecosystem in Southern California using long-term experimental plots fertilized with N for over a decade. The dominant species were Artemisia california and Salvia mellifera at Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve and Adenostoma fasciculatum and Ceanothus greggii at Sky Oaks Field Station. All species, except Ceanothus, showed increased leaf N concentration, decreased foliar carbon to N ratio, and increased foliar N isotopic composition with fertilization, indicating that added N was taken up by study species, yet each species had a differing physiological response to long-term N addition. Dry season predawn water potentials were less negative with N addition for all species except Adenostoma, but there were no differences in midday water potentials, or wet season water potentials. Artemisia was particularly responsive, as N addition increased stem hydraulic conductivity, stomatal conductance, and leaf carbon isotopic composition, and decreased wood density. The alteration of water relations and drought resistance parameters with N addition in Artemisia, as well as Adenostoma, Ceanothus, and Salvia, indicate that N deposition can affect the ability of native Southern California shrubs to respond to drought.

  3. Integration of observations, modelling approaches and remote sensing to address ecosystem response to climate change and disturbance in Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falge, Eva; Brümmer, Christian

    2017-04-01

    African societies face growing global change challenges and several associated risks. These include rapidly changing patterns of human settlements and an intensified use of ecosystem services. At the same time, climate variability and change are amplifying stress on the functionality of ecosystems and their critical role as important greenhouse gas sinks. A recent review (Valentini et al. 2014) attests Africa a key role in the global carbon cycle contributing an absolute annual carbon sink (-0.61 ± 0.58 Pg C yr-1), which may partly been offset through understudied emissions of CH4 and N2O. The net sink strength is characterized by a substantial sub-regional spatial variability due to biome distribution and degree of anthropogenic influences. 52% of the global carbon emissions by fire are due to African wildfires, which contribute with 1.03 ± 0.22 Pg C yr-1 twice the emissions caused by land use change in Africa (0.51 ± 0.10 Pg C yr-1). Moreover, a quarter of the interannual variability of the global carbon budget is due to the year-to-year variation (± 0.5 Pg C yr-1) of carbon fluxes on the African continent. Among the archetypes to address the above-mentioned challenges in an integrated and multidisciplinary way are better data bases which serve as constraints for atmospheric data and models, thorough attempts to reduce GHG flux uncertainties, or enhanced understanding of climatic, hydrological, and socio-economic drivers of temporal and spatial variability of GHG balances. Some examples from the ARS-AfricaE project that will serve to illustrate the wide range of such activities include: Measurements of CO2 exchange, ecosystem structure and eco-physiological properties at paired sites with natural and managed vegetation, Further development and application of the adaptive Dynamic Global Vegetation Model 2 (aDGVM2) to investigate the influence of different atmospheric CO2 scenarios on carbon pools and fluxes of a selected ecosystem in Skukuza, Kruger National

  4. Leveraging the Novel Climates of Arboreta to Understand Tree Responses to Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ettinger, A.; Wolkovich, E. M.; Joly, S.

    2016-12-01

    Rising global temperatures are expected to cause large-scale changes to forests, including altered mortality and recruitment rates, and dramatic changes in species composition, but exactly how tree growth will be affected by climate change is uncertain. Studies to date suggest that temperate and boreal tree responses to warming range from growing faster, slower, or at unchanged rates. Here we present an approach and preliminary findings that will improve predictions of tree responses to climate change by studying how tree traits, including phenology (e.g. the timing of leaf-out), wood density, leaf mass area, and height, relate to climate sensitivity (i.e. growth responses to annual changes in climate, Figure 1). We demonstrate how arboreta can be used to understand tree responses to climate change using 500 individuals across 65 tree species growing at the Arnold Arboretum, Boston, Massachusetts. Arboretum provide a unique opportunities for understanding temperate tree responses to climate change: they provide large collections of woody species growing together that enable traits to be studied across diverse species in a phylogenetic context. Furthermore, many species in arboreta are nonnative and have been exposed to "novel" climates that may resemble future conditions in their native distributions. We use a phylogenetic approach to understand how annual growth and climate sensitivity relate to focal traits, and asses what these findings may tell us about tree responses to climate change.

  5. Uncertainty analysis of a coupled ecosystem response model simulating greenhouse gas fluxes from a temperate grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liebermann, Ralf; Kraft, Philipp; Houska, Tobias; Breuer, Lutz; Müller, Christoph; Kraus, David; Haas, Edwin; Klatt, Steffen

    2015-04-01

    Among anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, CO2 is the dominant driver of global climate change. Next to its direct impact on the radiation budget, it also affects the climate system by triggering feedback mechanisms in terrestrial ecosystems. Such mechanisms - like stimulated photosynthesis, increased root exudations and reduced stomatal transpiration - influence both the input and the turnover of carbon and nitrogen compounds in the soil. The stabilization and decomposition of these compounds determines how increasing CO2 concentrations change the terrestrial trace gas emissions, especially CO2, N2O and CH4. To assess the potential reaction of terrestrial greenhouse gas emissions to rising tropospheric CO2 concentration, we make use of a comprehensive ecosystem model integrating known processes and fluxes of the carbon-nitrogen cycle in soil, vegetation and water. We apply a state-of-the-art ecosystem model with measurements from a long term field experiment of CO2 enrichment. The model - a grassland realization of LandscapeDNDC - simulates soil chemistry coupled with plant physiology, microclimate and hydrology. The data - comprising biomass, greenhouse gas emissions, management practices and soil properties - has been attained from a FACE (Free Air Carbon dioxide Enrichment) experiment running since 1997 on a temperate grassland in Giessen, Germany. Management and soil data, together with weather records, are used to drive the model, while cut biomass as well as CO2 and N2O emissions are used for calibration and validation. Starting with control data from installations without CO2 enhancement, we begin with a GLUE (General Likelihood Uncertainty Estimation) assessment using Latin Hypercube to reduce the range of the model parameters. This is followed by a detailed sensitivity analysis, the application of DREAM-ZS for model calibration, and an estimation of the effect of input uncertainty on the simulation results. Since first results indicate problems with

  6. Response of a stoichiometrically imbalanced ecosystem to manipulation of nutrient supplies and ratios.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zarraz M Lee

    Full Text Available Cuatro Ciénegas Basin (CCB is a desert ecosystem that hosts a large diversity of water bodies. Many surface waters in this basin have imbalanced nitrogen (N to phosphorus (P stoichiometry (total N:P > 100 by atoms, where P is likely to be a limiting nutrient. To investigate the effects of nutrient stoichiometry on planktonic and sediment ecosystem components and processes, we conducted a replicated in situ mesocosm experiment in Lagunita, a shallow pond located in the southwest region of the basin. Inorganic N and P were periodically added to mesocosms under three different N:P regimes (P only, N:P = 16 and N:P = 75 while the control mesocosms were left unamended. After three weeks of fertilization, more than two thirds of the applied P was immobilized into seston or sediment. The rapid uptake of P significantly decreased biomass C:P and N:P ratios, supporting the hypothesis that Lagunita is P-limited. Meanwhile, simultaneous N and P enrichment significantly enhanced planktonic growth, increasing total planktonic biomass by more than 2-fold compared to the unenriched control. With up to 76% of added N sequestered into the seston, it is suspected that the Lagunita microbial community also experienced strong N-limitation. However, when N and P were applied at N:P = 75, the microbes remained in a P-limitation state as in the untreated control. Two weeks after the last fertilizer application, seston C:P and N:P ratios returned to initial levels but chlorophyll a and seston C concentrations remained elevated. Additionally, no P release from the sediment was observed in the fertilized mesocosms. Overall, this study provides evidence that Lagunita is highly sensitive to nutrient perturbation because the biota is primarily P-limited and experiences a secondary N-limitation despite its high TN:TP ratio. This study serves as a strong basis to justify the need for protection of CCB ecosystems and other low-nutrient microbe-dominated systems from

  7. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Ecosystems

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Ecosystems provides data and information on the extent and classification of ecosystems circa 2000, including coastal,...

  8. Testing functional trait-based mechanisms underpinning plant responses to grazing and linkages to ecosystem functioning in grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, S. X.; Li, W. H.; Lan, Z. C.; Ren, H. Y.; Wang, K. B.; Bai, Y. F.

    2014-09-01

    Abundant evidence has shown that grazing alters plant functional traits, ecological strategies, community structure, and ecosystem functioning of grasslands. Few studies, however, have examined how plant responses to grazing are mediated by resource availability and functional group identity. We test functional trait-based mechanisms underlying the responses of different life forms to grazing and linkages to ecosystem functioning along a soil moisture gradient in the Inner Mongolia grassland. A principal component analysis (PCA) based on 9 traits × 276 species matrix showed that the plant size spectrum (i.e., individual biomass), leaf economics spectrum (leaf N content and leaf density), and light competition spectrum (height and stem-leaf biomass ratio) distinguished plant species responses to grazing. The three life forms exhibited differential strategies as indicated by trait responses to grazing. The annuals and biennials adopted grazing-tolerant strategies associated with high growth rate, reflected by high leaf N content and specific leaf area. The perennial grasses exhibited grazing-tolerant strategies associated with great regrowth capacity and high palatability scores, whereas perennial forbs showed grazing-avoidant strategies with short stature and low palatability scores. In addition, the dominant perennial bunchgrasses exhibited mixed tolerance-resistance strategies to grazing and mixed acquisitive-conservative strategies in resource utilization. Grazing increased the relative abundance of perennial forbs with low palatability in the wet and fertile meadow, but it promoted perennial grasses with high palatability in the dry and infertile typical steppe. Our findings suggest that the effects of grazing on plant functional traits are dependent on both the abiotic (e.g., soil moisture) and biotic (e.g., plant functional group identity and composition) factors. Grazing-induced shifts in functional group composition are largely dependent on resource

  9. Biochemical responses of filamentous algae in different aquatic ecosystems in South East Turkey and associated water quality parameters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Çelekli, Abuzer; Arslanargun, Hamdullah; Soysal, Çiğdem; Gültekin, Emine; Bozkurt, Hüseyin

    2016-11-01

    To the best of our knowledge, any study about biochemical response of filamentous algae in the complex freshwater ecosystems has not been found in the literature. This study was designed to explore biochemical response of filamentous algae in different water bodies from May 2013 to October 2014, using multivariate approach in the South East of Turkey. Environmental variables were measured in situ: water temperature, oxygen concentration, saturation, conductivity, salinity, pH, redox potential, and total dissolved solid. Chemical variables of aqueous samples and biochemical compounds of filamentous algae were also measured. It was found that geographic position and anthropogenic activities had strong effect on physico-chemical variables of water bodies. Variation in environmental conditions caused change in algal biomass composition due to the different response of filamentous species, also indicated by FTIR analysis. Biochemical responses not only changed from species to species, but also varied for the same species at different sampling time and sampling stations. Multivariate analyses showed that heavy metals, nutrients, and water hardness were found as the important variables governing the temporal and spatial succession and biochemical compounds. Nutrients, especially nitrate, could stimulate pigment and total protein production, whereas high metal content had adverse effects. Amount of malondialdehyde (MDA), H2O2, total thiol groups, total phenolic compounds, proline, total carbohydrate, and metal bioaccumulation by filamentous algae could be closely related with heavy metals in the ecosystems. Significant increase in MDA, H2O2, total thiol group, total phenolic compounds, and proline productions by filamentous algae and chlorosis phenomenon seemed to be an important strategy for alleviating environmental factors-induced oxidative stress as biomarkers. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Assessing the response of the Australian carbon balance to climate variability by assimilating satellite observations in a distributed ecosystem model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Exbrayat, Jean-François; Bloom, A. Anthony; Smallman, T. Luke; Williams, Mathew

    2016-04-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems offset about 25% of anthropogenic emissions of fossil fuel responsible for the current global warming. This long-term carbon sink exhibits a large inter-annual variability that recent studies have associated to the response of semi-arid ecosystems to variations in climate conditions and especially the occurrence of extreme events. For example, wet conditions during the 2010-2011 La Niña episode led to the strongest annual terrestrial carbon sink ever observed. Satellite observations of plant productivity and modelling experiments indicate that this anomalous sink was mostly located in the southern hemisphere where Australia experienced record-breaking rainfall. However, the durability of this extra-sink has yet to be assessed as dry conditions returned in northern Australia at the end of 2011, causing large-scale fires. In this paper we investigate the influence of climate variability on Australian ecosystems and we particularly focus on the resilience of the La Niña driven 2010-2011 sink to subsequent dry years. Therefore, we use the CARbon Data MOdel fraMework (CARDAMOM) data-assimilation system to retrieve the 21st century Australian terrestrial carbon cycle simulated by an ecosystem model in agreement with climate data and Earth Observations relevant to the biosphere: burned area, leaf area index and biomass. Accordingly with previous studies results indicate a strong influence of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation on the inter-annual variability of the Australian carbon balance at the continent-scale. More precisely, in 2010-2011 the La Niña-driven wet conditions led the continent to become a strong sink of atmospheric carbon. Then, dry conditions accompanied by intense fires returned at the end of 2011 and our analyses indicate that the totality of the northern Australian sink (north of 30°S) was re-emitted by late 2011 as fires immediately burnt the extra-fuel produced during the record wet seasons. These results raise concerns on

  11. Understanding Litter Input Controls on Soil Organic Matter Turnover and Formation are Essential for Improving Carbon-Climate Feedback Predictions for Arctic, Tundra Ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wallenstein, Matthew [Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO (United States)

    2017-12-05

    The Arctic region stored vast amounts of carbon (C) in soils over thousands of years because decomposition has been limited by cold, wet conditions. Arctic soils now contain roughly as much C that is contained in all other soils across the globe combined. However, climate warming could unlock this oil C as decomposition accelerates and permafrost thaws. In addition to temperature-driven acceleration of decomposition, several additional processes could either counteract or augment warming-induced SOM losses. For example, increased plant growth under a warmer climate will increase organic matter inputs to soils, which could fuel further soil decomposition by microbes, but will also increase the production of new SOM. Whether Arctic ecosystems store or release carbon in the future depends in part on the balance between these two counteracting processes. By differentiating SOM decomposition and formation and understanding the drivers of these processes, we will better understand how these systems function. We did not find evidence of priming under current conditions, defined as an increase in the decomposition of native SOM stocks. This suggests that decomposition is unlikely to be further accelerated through this mechanism. We did find that decomposition of native SOM did occur when nitrogen was added to these soils, suggesting that nitrogen limits decomposition in these systems. Our results highlight the resilience and extraordinary C storage capacity of these soils, and suggest shrub expansion may partially mitigate C losses from decomposition of old SOM as Arctic soils warm.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-10-01

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

  13. Large clean mesocosms and simulated dust deposition: a new methodology to investigate responses of marine oligotrophic ecosystems to atmospheric inputs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Guieu

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Intense Saharan dust deposition occurs over large oligotrophic areas in the Mediterranean Sea and in the Tropical Atlantic, and its impact on the biogeochemical functioning of such oligotrophic ecosystems needs to be understood. However, due to the logistical difficulties of investigating in situ natural dust events, and due to the inherent limitations of microcosm laboratory experiments, new experimental approaches need to be developed. In this paper, we present a new experimental setup based on large, clean mesocoms deployed in the frame of the DUNE (a DUst experiment in a low-Nutrient, low-chlorophyll Ecosystem project. We demonstrate that these tools are highly relevant and provide a powerful new strategy to in situ studies of the response of an oligotrophic ecosystem to chemical forcing by atmospheric deposition of African dust. First, we describe how to cope with the large amount of dust aerosol needed to conduct the seeding experiments by producing an analogue from soil collected in a source area and by performing subsequent appropriate physico-chemical treatments in the laboratory, including an eventual processing by simulated cloud water. The comparison of the physico-chemical characteristics of produced dust analogues with the literature confirms that our experimental simulations are representative of dust, aging during atmospheric transport, and subsequent deposition to the Mediterranean. Second, we demonstrate the feasibility in coastal areas to installing, in situ, a series of large (6 × 52 m3 mesocosms without perturbing the local ecosystem. The setup, containing no metallic parts and with the least possible induced perturbation during the sampling sequence, provides an approach for working with the required conditions for biogeochemical studies in oligotrophic environments, where nutrient and micronutrients are at nano- or subnano-molar levels. Two, distinct "seeding experiments" were conducted by deploying three

  14. Pivoting from Arabidopsis to wheat to understand how agricultural plants integrate responses to biotic stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Here we argue for a research initiative on gene-for-gene (g-f-g) interactions between wheat and its parasites. One aim is to begin a conversation between the disparate communities of plant pathology and entomology. Another is to understand how responses to biotic stress are integrated in an import...

  15. Understanding information exchange during disaster response: Methodological insights from infocentric analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toddi A. Steelman; Branda Nowell; Deena. Bayoumi; Sarah. McCaffrey

    2014-01-01

    We leverage economic theory, network theory, and social network analytical techniques to bring greater conceptual and methodological rigor to understand how information is exchanged during disasters. We ask, "How can information relationships be evaluated more systematically during a disaster response?" "Infocentric analysis"—a term and...

  16. Understanding cassava yield response to soil and fertilizer nutrient supply in West Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ezui, K.S.; Franke, A.C.; Ahiabor, B.D.K.; Tetteh, F.M.; Sogbedji, J.; Janssen, B.H.; Mando, A.; Giller, K.E.

    2017-01-01

    Background and aims: Enhanced understanding of plant and nutrient interactions is key to improving yields. We adapted the model for QUantitative Evaluation of the Fertility of Tropical Soils (QUEFTS) to assess cassava yield response to soil and fertilizer nutrients in West Africa. Methods: Data

  17. Understanding Spanish-Language Response in a National Health Communication Survey: Implications for Health Communication Research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramírez, A Susana; Willis, Gordon; Rutten, Lila Finney

    2017-05-01

    Spanish-speaking Latinos account for 13% of the U.S. population yet are chronically under-represented in national surveys; additionally, the response quality suffers from low literacy rates and translation challenges. These are the same issues that health communicators face when understanding how best to communicate important health information to Latinos. The Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) offers a unique opportunity to understand the health communication landscape and information needs of the U.S. We describe the challenges in recruiting Spanish-speaking HINTS respondents and strategies used to improve rates and quality of responses among Spanish-speaking Latinos. Cognitive interviewing techniques helped to better understand how Spanish-speaking Latinos were interpreting the survey questions, and the extent to which these interpretations matched English-speaking respondents' interpretations. Some Spanish-speaking respondents had difficulty with the questions because of a lack of access to health care. Additionally, Spanish-speaking respondents had a particularly hard time answering questions that were presented in a grid format. We describe the cognitive interview process, and consider the impact of format changes on Spanish-speaking people's responses and response quality. We discuss challenges that remain in understanding health information needs of non-English-speakers.

  18. Invertebrates, ecosystem services and climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2012 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2012 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  19. Responses of Soil CO2 Fluxes to Short-Term Experimental Warming in Alpine Steppe Ecosystem, Northern Tibet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Xuyang; Fan, Jihui; Yan, Yan; Wang, Xiaodan

    2013-01-01

    Soil carbon dioxide (CO2) emission is one of the largest fluxes in the global carbon cycle. Therefore small changes in the size of this flux can have a large effect on atmospheric CO2 concentrations and potentially constitute a powerful positive feedback to the climate system. Soil CO2 fluxes in the alpine steppe ecosystem of Northern Tibet and their responses to short-term experimental warming were investigated during the growing season in 2011. The results showed that the total soil CO2 emission fluxes during the entire growing season were 55.82 and 104.31 g C m-2 for the control and warming plots, respectively. Thus, the soil CO2 emission fluxes increased 86.86% with the air temperature increasing 3.74°C. Moreover, the temperature sensitivity coefficient (Q 10) of the control and warming plots were 2.10 and 1.41, respectively. The soil temperature and soil moisture could partially explain the temporal variations of soil CO2 fluxes. The relationship between the temporal variation of soil CO2 fluxes and the soil temperature can be described by exponential equation. These results suggest that warming significantly promoted soil CO2 emission in the alpine steppe ecosystem of Northern Tibet and indicate that this alpine ecosystem is very vulnerable to climate change. In addition, soil temperature and soil moisture are the key factors that controls soil organic matter decomposition and soil CO2 emission, but temperature sensitivity significantly decreases due to the rise in temperature. PMID:23536854

  20. Complex response of white pines to past environmental variability increases understanding of future vulnerability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virginia Iglesias

    Full Text Available Ecological niche models predict plant responses to climate change by circumscribing species distributions within a multivariate environmental framework. Most projections based on modern bioclimatic correlations imply that high-elevation species are likely to be extirpated from their current ranges as a result of rising growing-season temperatures in the coming decades. Paleoecological data spanning the last 15,000 years from the Greater Yellowstone region describe the response of vegetation to past climate variability and suggest that white pines, a taxon of special concern in the region, have been surprisingly resilient to high summer temperature and fire activity in the past. Moreover, the fossil record suggests that winter conditions and biotic interactions have been critical limiting variables for high-elevation conifers in the past and will likely be so in the future. This long-term perspective offers insights on species responses to a broader range of climate and associated ecosystem changes than can be observed at present and should be part of resource management and conservation planning for the future.

  1. Monetary accounting of ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Remme, R.P.; Edens, Bram; Schröter, Matthias; Hein, Lars

    2015-01-01

    Ecosystem accounting aims to provide a better understanding of ecosystem contributions to the economy in a spatially explicit way. Ecosystem accounting monitors ecosystem services and measures their monetary value using exchange values consistent with the System of National Accounts (SNA). We

  2. Long term responses of a subtropical rainforest ecosystem to logging in the Australian Main Range Volcanics CZO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santini, T.; Larsen, J.; Howell, S. R.

    2014-12-01

    The recently established Main Range National Park Critical Zone Observatory is located within the Australian Gondwana Rainforests remnant basalt volcanic landscape, which is the largest area of subtropical rainforest in the world and represents an excellent natural laboratory in which to investigate processes of landscape evolution, soil weathering, vegetation succession, and nutrient cycling. In 1962, permanent monitoring plots were established within the Main Range Volcanics rainforest to investigate the effects of logging on vegetation dynamics and hydrology. Establishment of the CZO site within the National Park includes these plots as well as a rainforest to eucalypt forest ecotone, and has extended the range of parameters being collected to include soil chemical and physical properties, micrometeorology, and fauna. Here, we present preliminary results from a study integrating vegetation dynamics with changes in soil chemistry, microbiology, and hydrology within the logging plots to gain a more holistic understanding of how the rainforest ecosystem responds to anthropogenic forcings such as logging.

  3. Above-ground and below-ground plant responses to fertilization in two subarctic ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veen, G.F.; Sundqvist, Maja K.; Metcalfe, D.; Wilson, S.D.

    2015-01-01

    Soil nutrient supply is likely to change in the Arctic due to altered process rates associated with climate change. Here, we compare the responses of herbaceous tundra and birch forest understory to fertilization, considering both above- and below-ground responses. We added nitrogen and phosphorus

  4. Evolutionary context for understanding and manipulating plant responses to past, present and future atmospheric [CO2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leakey, Andrew D. B.; Lau, Jennifer A.

    2012-01-01

    Variation in atmospheric [CO2] is a prominent feature of the environmental history over which vascular plants have evolved. Periods of falling and low [CO2] in the palaeo-record appear to have created selective pressure for important adaptations in modern plants. Today, rising [CO2] is a key component of anthropogenic global environmental change that will impact plants and the ecosystem goods and services they deliver. Currently, there is limited evidence that natural plant populations have evolved in response to contemporary increases in [CO2] in ways that increase plant productivity or fitness, and no evidence for incidental breeding of crop varieties to achieve greater yield enhancement from rising [CO2]. Evolutionary responses to elevated [CO2] have been studied by applying selection in controlled environments, quantitative genetics and trait-based approaches. Findings to date suggest that adaptive changes in plant traits in response to future [CO2] will not be consistently observed across species or environments and will not be large in magnitude compared with physiological and ecological responses to future [CO2]. This lack of evidence for strong evolutionary effects of elevated [CO2] is surprising, given the large effects of elevated [CO2] on plant phenotypes. New studies under more stressful, complex environmental conditions associated with climate change may revise this view. Efforts are underway to engineer plants to: (i) overcome the limitations to photosynthesis from today's [CO2] and (ii) benefit maximally from future, greater [CO2]. Targets range in scale from manipulating the function of a single enzyme (e.g. Rubisco) to adding metabolic pathways from bacteria as well as engineering the structural and functional components necessary for C4 photosynthesis into C3 leaves. Successfully improving plant performance will depend on combining the knowledge of the evolutionary context, cellular basis and physiological integration of plant responses to varying

  5. Response of an invasive native wetland plant to environmental flows: implications for managing regulated floodplain ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vivian, Lyndsey M; Marshall, David J; Godfree, Robert C

    2014-01-01

    The natural flow regimes of rivers underpin the health and function of floodplain ecosystems. However, infrastructure development and the over-extraction of water has led to the alteration of natural flow regimes, resulting in the degradation of river and floodplain habitats globally. In many catchments, including Australia's Murray-Darling Basin, environmental flows are seen as a potentially useful tool to restore natural flow regimes and manage the degradation of rivers and their associated floodplains. In this paper, we investigated whether environmental flows can assist in controlling an invasive native floodplain plant in Barmah Forest, south-eastern Australia. We experimentally quantified the effects of different environmental flow scenarios, including a shallow (20 cm) and deeper (50 cm) flood of different durations (12 and 20 weeks), as well as drought and soil-saturated conditions, on the growth and survival of seedlings of Juncus ingens, a native emergent macrophyte that has become invasive in some areas of Barmah Forest following river regulation and alteration of natural flow regimes. Three height classes of J. ingens (33 cm, 17 cm and 12 cm) were included in the experiment to explicitly test for relationships between treatments, plant survival and growth, and plant height. We found that seedling mortality occurred in the drought treatment and in the 20-week flood treatments of both depths; however, mortality rates in the flood treatments depended on initial plant height, with medium and short plants (initial heights of ≤17 cm) exhibiting the highest mortality rates. Both the 20 cm and 50 cm flood treatments of only 12 weeks duration were insufficient to cause mortality in any of the height classes; indeed, shoots of plants in the 20 cm flood treatment were able to elongate through the water surface at rapid rates. Our findings have important implications for management of Barmah Forest and floodplain ecosystems elsewhere, as it demonstrates

  6. Modeling the response of plants and ecosystems to global change. Progress report, September 1, 1989--August 31, 1990

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reynolds, J.F.; Harley, P.; Hilbert, D.W.; Kemp, P.R.; Cornelius, J.M.; Tenhunen, J.D.

    1990-05-03

    An initiated close collaboration with experimentalists at Kansas State University that will provide data necessary to models of response to global change. This collaboration also includes co-operative experimental work carried out by staff at SERG that expands the range of ecosystem level processes measured in the open top chambers at Manhatan, Kansas. Several factors suggest that close co-operation between our two groups will be especially advantageous for the realization of the broad goals of the DOE CO{sub 2} consortium: (1) The experimental effort is very extensive, chambers and smaller closed chambers are experiments will provide information at levels. (2) We have been in close contact with the Kansas State group for some time and are beginning a major addition to the open chamber studies this summer. Consequently, we will be present at the field site for much of the summer, working directly with the group. (3) Several members of our group have extensive experience working in grasslands and our ecosystem model is currently well structured to handle grassland simulations.

  7. The rain-runoff response of tropical humid forest ecosystems to use and reforestation in the Western Ghats of India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnaswamy, Jagdish; Bonell, Michael; Venkatesh, Basappa; Purandara, Bekal K.; Lele, Sharachchandra; Kiran, M. C.; Reddy, Veerabasawant; Badiger, Shrinivas; Rakesh, K. N.

    2012-11-01

    SummaryThe effects of forest degradation and use and establishment of tree-plantations on degraded or modified forest ecosystems at multi-decadal time-scales using tree-plantations on the streamflow response are less studied in the humid tropics when compared to deforestation and forest conversion to agriculture. In the Western Ghats of India (Uttar Kannada, Karnataka State), a previous soil hydraulic conductivity survey linked with rain IDF (intensity-duration-frequency) had suggested a greater occurrence of infiltration-excess overland within the degraded forest and reforested areas and thus potentially higher streamflow (Bonell et al., 2010). We further tested these predictions in Uttar Kannada by establishing experimental basins ranging from 7 to 23 ha across three ecosystems, (1) remnant tropical evergreen Forest (NF), (2) heavily-used former evergreen forest which now has been converted to tree savanna, known as degraded forest (DF) and (3) exotic Acacia plantations (AC, Acacia auriculiformis) on degraded former forest land. In total, 11 basins were instrumented (3 NF, 4 AC and 4 DF) in two geomorphological zones, i.e., Coastal and Up-Ghat (Malnaad) and at three sites (one Coastal, two Up-Ghat). The rainfall-streamflow observations collected (at daily and also at a 36 min time resolutions in the Coastal basins) over a 2-3 year period (2003-2005) were analysed. In both the Coastal and Up-Ghat basins, the double mass curves showed during the rainy season a consistent trend in favour of more proportion of streamflow in the rank order DF > AC > NF. These double mass curves provide strong evidence that overland flow is progressively becomes a more dominant stormflow pathway. Across all sites, NF converted 28.4 ± 6.41stdev% of rainfall into total streamflow in comparison to 32.7 ± 6.97stdev% in AC and 45.3 ± 9.61stdev% in DF. Further support for the above trends emerges from the quickflow ratio QF/Q for the Coastal basins. There are much higher values for both

  8. 3D lidar imaging for detecting and understanding plant responses and canopy structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omasa, Kenji; Hosoi, Fumiki; Konishi, Atsumi

    2007-01-01

    Understanding and diagnosing plant responses to stress will benefit greatly from three-dimensional (3D) measurement and analysis of plant properties because plant responses are strongly related to their 3D structures. Light detection and ranging (lidar) has recently emerged as a powerful tool for direct 3D measurement of plant structure. Here the use of 3D lidar imaging to estimate plant properties such as canopy height, canopy structure, carbon stock, and species is demonstrated, and plant growth and shape responses are assessed by reviewing the development of lidar systems and their applications from the leaf level to canopy remote sensing. In addition, the recent creation of accurate 3D lidar images combined with natural colour, chlorophyll fluorescence, photochemical reflectance index, and leaf temperature images is demonstrated, thereby providing information on responses of pigments, photosynthesis, transpiration, stomatal opening, and shape to environmental stresses; these data can be integrated with 3D images of the plants using computer graphics techniques. Future lidar applications that provide more accurate dynamic estimation of various plant properties should improve our understanding of plant responses to stress and of interactions between plants and their environment. Moreover, combining 3D lidar with other passive and active imaging techniques will potentially improve the accuracy of airborne and satellite remote sensing, and make it possible to analyse 3D information on ecophysiological responses and levels of various substances in agricultural and ecological applications and in observations of the global biosphere.

  9. The innate immune response to RSV: Advances in our understanding of critical viral and host factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yan; López, Carolina B

    2017-01-11

    Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) causes mild to severe respiratory illness in humans and is a major cause of hospitalizations of infants and the elderly. Both the innate and the adaptive immune responses contribute to the control of RSV infection, but despite successful viral clearance, protective immunity against RSV re-infection is usually suboptimal and infections recur. Poor understanding of the mechanisms limiting the induction of long-lasting immunity has delayed the development of an effective vaccine. The innate immune response plays a critical role in driving the development of adaptive immunity and is thus a crucial determinant of the infection outcome. Advances in recent years have improved our understanding of cellular and viral factors that influence the onset and quality of the innate immune response to RSV. These advances include the identification of a complex system of cellular sensors that mediate RSV detection and stimulate transcriptome changes that lead to virus control and the discovery that cell stress and apoptosis participate in the control of RSV infection. In addition, it was recently demonstrated that defective viral genomes (DVGs) generated during RSV replication are the primary inducers of the innate immune response. Newly discovered host pathways involved in the innate response to RSV, together with the potential generation of DVG-derived oligonucleotides, present various novel opportunities for the design of vaccine adjuvants able to induce a protective response against RSV and similar viruses. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. The YNP Metagenome Project: Environmental Parameters Responsible for Microbial Distribution in the Yellowstone Geothermal Ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William P. Inskeep

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The Yellowstone geothermal complex contains over 10,000 diverse geothermal features that host numerous phylogenetically deeply-rooted and poorly understood archaea, bacteria and viruses. Microbial communities in high-temperature environments are generally less diverse than soil, marine, sediment or lake habitats and therefore offer a tremendous opportunity for studying the structure and function of different model microbial communities using environmental metagenomics. One of the broader goals of this study was to establish linkages among microbial distribution, metabolic potential and environmental variables. Twenty geochemically distinct geothermal ecosystems representing a broad spectrum of Yellowstone hot-spring environments were used for metagenomic and geochemical analysis and included approximately equal numbers of: (1 phototrophic mats, (2 ‘filamentous streamer’ communities, and (3 archaeal-dominated sediments. The metagenomes were analyzed using a suite of complementary and integrative bioinformatic tools, including phylogenetic and functional analysis of both individual sequence reads and assemblies of predominant phylotypes. This volume identifies major environmental determinants of a large number of thermophilic microbial lineages, many of which have not been fully described in the literature nor previously cultivated to enable functional and genomic analyses. Moreover, protein family abundance comparisons and in-depth analyses of specific genes and metabolic pathways relevant to these hot-spring environments reveal hallmark signatures of metabolic capabilities that parallel the distribution of phylotypes across specific types of geochemical environments.

  11. On incorporating fire into our thinking about natural ecosystems: A response to Saha and Howe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeley, Jon E.; Bond, William J.

    2001-01-01

    Ecologists long have had a fascination with fire impacts, although they have been slow to incorporate this ecological factor into serious thinking about the structure of communities and evolution of species (Bond and van Wilgen 1996).  The remarks by Saha and Howe (2001, in this issue) illustrate some of the problems ecologists have in trying to apply fire to their thinking about natural ecosystems.  Fire is commonly perceived qualitatively in terms of presence or absence, and the variation in frequency and intensity, as well as other components of the fire regime (e.g., fig. 1), is ignored.  Often not considered is the fact that plant life histories are fine-tuned to particular fire regims, and in this regard, landscapes present a range of selective peaks and valleys, both figuratively and literally.  Because landscape patterns affect the propagation of natural fires, it is imperative that the degree of human disturbance be considered (e.g. Marsh [1864] 1965; Gadgil and Guhu 1993) and the limitations of basing evolutionary arguments on anthropogenically derived landscapes be recognized (e.g., Janzen and Martin 1982).

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-10-26

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

  13. Understanding the role of p53 in adaptive response to radiation-induced germline mutations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Langlois, N.L.; Quinn, J.S.; Somers, C.M.; Boreham, D.R.; Mitchel, R.E.J.

    2003-01-01

    Full text: Radiation-induced adaptive response is now a widely studied area of radiation biology. Studies have demonstrated reduced levels of radiation-induced biological damage when an 'adaptive dose' is given before a higher 'challenge dose' compared to when the challenge dose is given alone. It has been shown in some systems to be a result of inducible cellular repair systems. The adaptive response has been clearly demonstrated in many model systems, however its impact on heritable effects in the mammalian germline has never been studied. Expanded Simple Tandem Repeat (ESTR) loci have been used as markers demonstrating that induced heritable mutations in mice follow a dose-response relationship. Recent data in our laboratory show preliminary evidence of radiation-induced adaptive response suppressing germline mutations at ESTR loci in wild type mice. The frequency of heritable mutations was significantly reduced when a priming dose of 0.1 Gy was given 24 hours prior to a 1 Gy acute challenging dose. We are now conducting a follow-up study to attempt to understand the mechanism of this adaptive response. P53 is known to play a significant role in governing apoptosis, DNA repair and cancer induction. In order to determine what function p53 has in the adaptive response for heritable mutations, we have mated radiation treated Trp53+/- male mice (C57Bl) to untreated, normal females (C57Bl). Using DNA fingerprinting, we are investigating the rate of inherited radiation-induced mutations on pre- and post-meiotic radiation-treated gametocytes by examining mutation frequencies in offspring DNA. If p53 is integral in the mechanism of adaptive response, we should not see an adaptive response in radiation-induced heritable mutations in these mice. This research is significant in that it will provide insight to understanding the mechanism behind radiation-induced adaptive response in the mammalian germline

  14. Ordination techniques for analysing response of biological communities to toxic stress in experimental ecosystems.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijngaarden, van R.P.A.; Brink, van den P.J.; Oude Voshaar, J.H.; Leeuwangh, P.

    1995-01-01

    The ordination techniques Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Redundancy Analysis (RDA) are considered to be useful tools for evaluating community responses in experimental ecotoxicology. Concepts and interpretation of these techniques are summarized. Application of PCA and RDA is illustrated in

  15. Evolving social responsibility understandings, motivations, and career goals of undergraduate students initially pursuing engineering degrees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rulifson, Gregory A.

    Engineers impact the lives of every person every day, and need to have a strong sense of social responsibility. Understanding what students think about social responsibility in engineering and their futures is very important. Further, by identifying influences that change these ideas and shape their conceptualizations, we can intervene to help prepare students for their responsibilities as part of the profession in the future. This thesis presents the experiences, in their own words, of 34 students who started in engineering. The study is composed of three parts: (i) engineering students' ideas about socially responsible engineering and what influenced these ideas, (ii) how students see themselves as future socially responsible engineers and how this idea changes over their first three years of college, and (iii) what social responsibility-related reasons students who leave engineering have for choosing a new major. Results show that students are complicated and have varied paths through and out of engineering studies. Students came up with their own ideas about socially responsible engineering that converged over the years on legal and safety related aspects of the profession. Relatedly, students identified with the engineering profession through internships and engineering courses, and rarely described socially responsible aspirations that could be accomplished with engineering. More often, those students who desired to help the disadvantaged through their engineering work left engineering. Their choice to leave was a combination of an unsupportive climate, disinterest in their classes, and a desire to combine their personal and professional social responsibility ambitions. If we want engineering students to push the engineering profession forward to be more socially responsible, we can identify the effective influences and develop a curriculum that encourages critical thinking about the social context and impacts of engineering. Additionally, a social

  16. The Effects of Iron Complexing Ligands on the Long Term Ecosystem Response to Iron Enrichment of HNLC waters

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mark L. Wells; Mary Jane Perry; William P. Cochlan; Charles G. Trick

    2006-11-18

    The central hypothesis of this project is that natural iron-complexing organic ligands in seawater differentially regulate iron availability to large (microplankton) and small (nano and picoplankton) class of phytoplankton and thereby strongly influence the potential carbon sequestration in High Nitrate Low Chlorophyll (HNLC) regions of the ocean. The primary project goals are to: 1) determine how different natural and synthetic Fe chelators affect Fe availability to phytoplankton species that are representative of offshore HNLC waters, 2) elucidate how the changes in absolute concentrations of these chelators affect the longer-term ecosystem response to alleviation of Fe limitation, and 3) ascertain how changes in the ligand composition affect rates of cell sinking and aggregation - representative measures of the efficiency of carbon sequestration to the deep.

  17. Response and recovery of a pristine groundwater ecosystem impacted by toluene contamination - A meso-scale indoor aquifer experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herzyk, Agnieszka; Fillinger, Lucas; Larentis, Michael; Qiu, Shiran; Maloszewski, Piotr; Hünniger, Marko; Schmidt, Susanne I.; Stumpp, Christine; Marozava, Sviatlana; Knappett, Peter S. K.; Elsner, Martin; Meckenstock, Rainer; Lueders, Tillmann; Griebler, Christian

    2017-12-01

    Microbial communities are the driving force behind the degradation of contaminants like aromatic hydrocarbons in groundwater ecosystems. However, little is known about the response of native microbial communities to contamination in pristine environments as well as their potential to recover from a contamination event. Here, we used an indoor aquifer mesocosm filled with sandy quaternary calciferous sediment that was continuously fed with pristine groundwater to study the response, resistance and resilience of microbial communities to toluene contamination over a period of almost two years, comprising 132 days of toluene exposure followed by nearly 600 days of recovery. We observed an unexpectedly high intrinsic potential for toluene degradation, starting within the first two weeks after the first exposure. The contamination led to a shift from oxic to anoxic, primarily nitrate-reducing conditions as well as marked cell growth inside the contaminant plume. Depth-resolved community fingerprinting revealed a low resistance of the native microbial community to the perturbation induced by the exposure to toluene. Distinct populations that were dominated by a small number of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) rapidly emerged inside the plume and at the plume fringes, partially replacing the original community. During the recovery period physico-chemical conditions were restored to the pristine state within about 35 days, whereas the recovery of the biological parameters was much slower and the community composition inside the former plume area had not recovered to the original state by the end of the experiment. These results demonstrate the low resilience of sediment-associated groundwater microbial communities to organic pollution and underline that recovery of groundwater ecosystems cannot be assessed solely by physico-chemical parameters.

  18. Recent aquatic ecosystem response to environmental events revealed from 210Pb sediment profiles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mulsow, S.; Piovano, E.; Cordoba, F.

    2009-01-01

    The 210 Pb dating method was first introduced by , and since then has been applied to study sediment from lakes, estuaries and coastal marine environments. Hundreds of studies around the world have used 210 Pb as a geochronological tool in aquatic ecosystems. However little attention has been paid to the potential of this naturally occurring isotope as an environmental tracer of ecological events. Here we report three instances in which 210 Pb profiles measured on undisturbed sediment cores from lakes, rivers and fjords show us the potential of 210 Pb profile as a tracer of natural and anthropogenic processes. The methodology used here is a suite of techniques combining biogeochemistry (micro-electrodes), paleomagnetism (susceptibility), sediment characteristics (LOI) and visualization (SPI and X-ray) applied to the interpretation of 210 Pb profiles. We measured 210 Pb profiles on sediments from a river, Cruces River (Chile), which recorded a clear shift in the water chemistry caused by a pulp mill effluent to the river. Here metal mobilization and remobilization of the tracer may be the cause of the observed profile. We also measured 210 Pb profiles in sediment from two fjords of Southern Chile (Pillan and Renihue), the sudden deposition change of fresh 210 Pb with depth observed could very well be the result of bioturbation but it occurred in a seafloor area deprived of bioturbators. In this case, 210 Pb recorded the onset of aquaculture activities (fish farming) that took place two decades ago. Finally, 210 Pb profiles measured in two lakes in the 'pampa Argentina': Epecuen and Venado showed a particular shape with depth. These profiles apparently registered a sudden depositional event with recent 210 Pb material, probably related to strong shifts in precipitation and drought cycles in that part of the world. These three examples show that 210 Pb profiles provide valuable information not only on geochronology, but also related to natural and anthropogenic short

  19. Ecosystem responses to long-term nutrient management in an urban estuary: Tampa Bay, Florida, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greening, H.; Janicki, A.; Sherwood, E. T.; Pribble, R.; Johansson, J. O. R.

    2014-12-01

    In subtropical Tampa Bay, Florida, USA, we evaluated restoration trajectories before and after nutrient management strategies were implemented using long-term trends in nutrient loading, water quality, primary production, and seagrass extent. Following citizen demands for action, reduction in wastewater nutrient loading of approximately 90% in the late 1970s lowered external total nitrogen (TN) loading by more than 50% within three years. Continuing nutrient management actions from public and private sectors were associated with a steadily declining TN load rate and with concomitant reduction in chlorophyll-a concentrations and ambient nutrient concentrations since the mid-1980s, despite an increase of more than 1 M people living within the Tampa Bay metropolitan area. Water quality (chlorophyll-a concentration, water clarity as indicated by Secchi disk depth, total nitrogen concentration and dissolved oxygen) and seagrass coverage are approaching conditions observed in the 1950s, before the large increases in human population in the watershed. Following recovery from an extreme weather event in 1997-1998, water clarity increased significantly and seagrass is expanding at a rate significantly different than before the event, suggesting a feedback mechanism as observed in other systems. Key elements supporting the nutrient management strategy and concomitant ecosystem recovery in Tampa Bay include: 1) active community involvement, including agreement about quantifiable restoration goals; 2) regulatory and voluntary reduction in nutrient loadings from point, atmospheric, and nonpoint sources; 3) long-term water quality and seagrass extent monitoring; and 4) a commitment from public and private sectors to work together to attain restoration goals. A shift from a turbid, phytoplankton-based system to a clear water, seagrass-based system that began in the 1980s following comprehensive nutrient loading reductions has resulted in a present-day Tampa Bay which looks and

  20. Ecosystem Evapotranspiration as a Response to Climate and Vegetation Coverage Changes in Northwest Yunnan, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Hao; Luo, Peng; Wang, Jun; Mou, Chengxiang; Mo, Li; Wang, Zhiyuan; Fu, Yao; Lin, Honghui; Yang, Yongping; Bhatta, Laxmi Dutt

    2015-01-01

    Climate and human-driven changes play an important role in regional droughts. Northwest Yunnan Province is a key region for biodiversity conservation in China, and it has experienced severe droughts since the beginning of this century; however, the extent of the contributions from climate and human-driven changes remains unclear. We calculated the ecosystem evapotranspiration (ET) and water yield (WY) of northwest Yunnan Province, China from 2001 to 2013 using meteorological and remote sensing observation data and a Surface Energy Balance System (SEBS) model. Multivariate regression analyses were used to differentiate the contribution of climate and vegetation coverage to ET. The results showed that the annual average vegetation coverage significantly increased over time with a mean of 0.69 in spite of the precipitation fluctuation. Afforestation/reforestation and other management efforts attributed to vegetation coverage increase in NW Yunnan. Both ET and WY considerably fluctuated with the climate factors, which ranged from 623.29 mm to 893.8 mm and -51.88 mm to 384.40 mm over the time period. Spatially, ET in the southeast of NW Yunnan (mainly in Lijiang) increased significantly, which was in line with the spatial trend of vegetation coverage. Multivariate linear regression analysis indicated that climatic factors accounted for 85.18% of the ET variation, while vegetation coverage explained 14.82%. On the other hand, precipitation accounted for 67.5% of the WY. We conclude that the continuous droughts in northwest Yunnan were primarily climatically driven; however, man-made land cover and vegetation changes also increased the vulnerability of local populations to drought. Because of the high proportion of the water yield consumed for subsistence and poor infrastructure for water management, local populations have been highly vulnerable to climate drought conditions. We suggest that conservation of native vegetation and development of water

  1. Soil microbial responses to climate warming in Northern Andean alpine ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallery, R. E.; Lasso, E.

    2017-12-01

    The historically cooler temperatures and waterlogged soils of tropical alpine grasslands (páramo) have resulted in low decomposition rates and a large buildup of organic matter, making páramo one of the most important carbon sinks in tropical biomes. The climatic factors that favored the carbon accumulation are changing, and as a result páramo could play a disproportionate role in driving climate feedbacks through increased carbon released from these large soil carbon stores. Open top chamber warming experiments were established in the Colombian Andes in 2016 to quantify the magnitude of climate change on carbon balance and identify microbial and plant traits that regulate these impacts. Two focal sites differ in mean annual temperature, precipitation, and plant community richness. Heterotrophic respiration (RH,) was measured from soil cores incubated at temperatures representing current and projected warming. The warming effect on RH was sensitive to soil moisture, which could reflect shifts in microbial community composition and/or extracellular enzyme production or efficiency as soils dry. Bacterial, archaeal, and fungal communities in ambient and warmed plots were measured through high-throughput amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA and ITS1 rRNA gene regions. Communities showed strong spatial structuring both within and among páramo, reflecting the topographic heterogeneity of these ecosystems. Significant differences in relative abundance of dominant microbial taxa between páramo could be largely explained by soil bulk density, water holding capacity, and non-vascular plant cover. Phototrophs common to anoxic soils (e.g., Rhodospirillaceae, Hyphomicrobiaceae) were abundant. Taxa within Euryarchaeota were recovered, suggesting methanogenesis potential. Exploration of the magnitude and temperature sensitivity of methane flux is needed in these seasonally anoxic soils whose dynamics could have significant implications for the global climate system.

  2. Ecosystem Evapotranspiration as a Response to Climate and Vegetation Coverage Changes in Northwest Yunnan, China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hao Yang

    Full Text Available Climate and human-driven changes play an important role in regional droughts. Northwest Yunnan Province is a key region for biodiversity conservation in China, and it has experienced severe droughts since the beginning of this century; however, the extent of the contributions from climate and human-driven changes remains unclear. We calculated the ecosystem evapotranspiration (ET and water yield (WY of northwest Yunnan Province, China from 2001 to 2013 using meteorological and remote sensing observation data and a Surface Energy Balance System (SEBS model. Multivariate regression analyses were used to differentiate the contribution of climate and vegetation coverage to ET. The results showed that the annual average vegetation coverage significantly increased over time with a mean of 0.69 in spite of the precipitation fluctuation. Afforestation/reforestation and other management efforts attributed to vegetation coverage increase in NW Yunnan. Both ET and WY considerably fluctuated with the climate factors, which ranged from 623.29 mm to 893.8 mm and -51.88 mm to 384.40 mm over the time period. Spatially, ET in the southeast of NW Yunnan (mainly in Lijiang increased significantly, which was in line with the spatial trend of vegetation coverage. Multivariate linear regression analysis indicated that climatic factors accounted for 85.18% of the ET variation, while vegetation coverage explained 14.82%. On the other hand, precipitation accounted for 67.5% of the WY. We conclude that the continuous droughts in northwest Yunnan were primarily climatically driven; however, man-made land cover and vegetation changes also increased the vulnerability of local populations to drought. Because of the high proportion of the water yield consumed for subsistence and poor infrastructure for water management, local populations have been highly vulnerable to climate drought conditions. We suggest that conservation of native vegetation and development of water

  3. Benchmarking Terrestrial Ecosystem Models in the South Central US

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kc, M.; Winton, K.; Langston, M. A.; Luo, Y.

    2016-12-01

    Ecosystem services and products are the foundation of sustainability for regional and global economy since we are directly or indirectly dependent on the ecosystem services like food, livestock, water, air, wildlife etc. It has been increasingly recognized that for sustainability concerns, the conservation problems need to be addressed in the context of entire ecosystems. This approach is even more vital in the 21st century with formidable increasing human population and rapid changes in global environment. This study was conducted to find the state of the science of ecosystem models in the South-Central region of US. The ecosystem models were benchmarked using ILAMB diagnostic package developed as a result of International Land Model Benchmarking (ILAMB) project on four main categories; viz, Ecosystem and Carbon Cycle, Hydrology Cycle, Radiation and Energy Cycle and Climate forcings. A cumulative assessment was generated with weighted seven different skill assessment metrics for the ecosystem models. This synthesis on the current state of the science of ecosystem modeling in the South-Central region of US will be highly useful towards coupling these models with climate, agronomic, hydrologic, economic or management models to better represent ecosystem dynamics as affected by climate change and human activities; and hence gain more reliable predictions of future ecosystem functions and service in the region. Better understandings of such processes will increase our ability to predict the ecosystem responses and feedbacks to environmental and human induced change in the region so that decision makers can make an informed management decisions of the ecosystem.

  4. Improving predictions of tropical forest response to climate change through integration of field studies and ecosystem modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiaohui Feng; María Uriarte; Grizelle González; Sasha Reed; Jill Thompson; Jess K. Zimmerman; Lora Murphy

    2018-01-01

    Tropical forests play a critical role in carbon and water cycles at a global scale. Rapid climate change is anticipated in tropical regions over the coming decades and, under a warmer and drier climate, tropical forests are likely to be net sources of carbon rather than sinks. However, our understanding of tropical forest response and feedback to climate change is very...

  5. Are stomatal responses the key to understanding the cost of fungal disease resistance in plants?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Withers, Catherine M; Gay, Alan P; Mur, Luis A J

    2011-07-01

    Preventing disease in cereal crops is important for maintaining productivity and as the availability and efficacy of chemical control becomes reduced the emphasis on breeding for disease resistance increases. However, there is evidence that disease resistance may be physiologically costly to the plant and we ask if understanding stomatal responses to fungal attack is the key to minimising reductions in growth associated with disease resistance. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry.

  6. Multivariate and phylogenetic analyses assessing the response of bacterial mat communities from an ancient oligotrophic aquatic ecosystem to different scenarios of long-term environmental disturbance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Pajares

    Full Text Available Understanding the response of bacterial communities to environmental change is extremely important in predicting the effect of biogeochemical modifications in ecosystem functioning. The Cuatro Cienegas Basin is an ancient oasis in the Mexican Chihuahuan desert that hosts a wide diversity of microbial mats and stromatolites that have survived in extremely oligotrophic pools with nearly constant conditions. However, thus far, the response of these unique microbial communities to long-term environmental disturbances remains unexplored. We therefore studied the compositional stability of these bacterial mat communities by using a replicated (3x mesocosm experiment: a Control; b Fluct: fluctuating temperature; c 40C: increase to 40 ºC; d UVplus: artificial increase in UV radiation; and f UVmin: UV radiation protection. In order to observe the changes in biodiversity, we obtained 16S rRNA gene clone libraries from microbial mats at the end of the experiment (eight months and analyzed them using multivariate and phylogenetic tools. Sequences were assigned to 13 major lineages, among which Cyanobacteria (38.8% and Alphaproteobacteria (25.5% were the most abundant. The less extreme treatments (Control and UVmin had a more similar composition and distribution of the phylogenetic groups with the natural pools than the most extreme treatments (Fluct, 40C, and UVplus, which showed drastic changes in the community composition and structure, indicating a different community response to each environmental disturbance. An increase in bacterial diversity was found in the UVmin treatment, suggesting that protected environments promote the establishment of complex bacterial communities, while stressful environments reduce diversity and increase the dominance of a few Cyanobacterial OTUs (mainly Leptolyngbya sp through environmental filtering. Mesocosm experiments using complex bacterial communities, along with multivariate and phylogenetic analyses of molecular

  7. Evaluating Cumulative Ecosystem Response to Restoration Projects in the Lower Columbia River and Estuary, 2008

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

    Draft annual report for the Cumulative Effects Study for the US Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District. This is the fifth annual report of a seven-year project (2004 through 2010) to evaluate the cumulative effects of habitat restoration actions in the 235-km-long Columbia River estuary. The project, called the Cumulative Effects Study, is being conducted for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District (CENWP), by the Marine Sciences Laboratory of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), the Pt. Adams Biological Field Station of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), and the Columbia River Estuary Study Taskforce (CREST). The goal of the Cumulative Effects Study is to develop a methodology to evaluate the cumulative effects of multiple habitat restoration projects intended to benefit ecosystems supporting juvenile salmonids in the lower Columbia River and estuary (LCRE). Literature review in 2004 revealed no existing methods for such an evaluation and suggested that cumulative effects could be additive or synergistic. From 2005 through 2008, annual field research involved intensive, comparative studies paired by habitat type (tidal swamp versus marsh), trajectory (restoration versus reference site), and restoration action (tide gate versus culvert versus dike breach). During 2008, the specific objectives for the Cumulative Effects Study were to do the following: (1) Summarize the adaptive management framework for LCRE habitat restoration activities; (2) Finalize the levels-of-evidence approach and ecological theory underpinning the analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of the cumulative effects of multiple habitat restoration projects in the LCRE; (3) Summarize new results from analyses from 2005-2008 project research for the purpose of cumulative effects evaluation in the LCRE; (4) Initiate a synthesis and evaluation of cumulative effects in the LCRE; (5) Assess management implications, lessons learned, decision-making, 2009-2010 research

  8. Relict Mountain Permafrost Area (Loess Plateau, China) Exhibits High Ecosystem Respiration Rates and Accelerating Rates in Response to Warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mu, Cuicui; Wu, Xiaodong; Zhao, Qian; Smoak, Joseph M.; Yang, Yulong; Hu, Lian; Zhong, Wen; Liu, Guimin; Xu, Haiyan; Zhang, Tingjun

    2017-10-01

    Relict permafrost regions are characterized by thin permafrost and relatively high temperatures. Understanding the ecosystem respiration rate (ERR) and its relationship with soil hydrothermal conditions in these areas can provide knowledge regarding the permafrost carbon cycle in a warming world. In this study, we examined a permafrost area, a boundary area, and a seasonally frozen ground area within a relict permafrost region on the east edge of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China. Measurements from July 2015 to September 2016 showed that the mean annual ecosystem CO2 emissions for the boundary area were greater than the permafrost area. The Q10 value of the ERRs in the seasonally frozen ground area was greater than the permafrost area, indicating that the carbon emissions in the nonpermafrost areas were more sensitive to warming. The 1 year open-top chamber (OTC) warming increased soil temperatures in both the permafrost and seasonally frozen ground areas throughout the year, and the warming increased the ERRs by 1.18 (0.99-1.38, with interquartile range) and 1.13 (0.75-1.54, with interquartile range) μmol CO2 m-2 s-1 in permafrost and seasonally frozen ground areas, respectively. The OTC warming increased annual ERRs by approximately 50% for both permafrost and seasonally frozen ground areas with half the increase occurring during the nongrowing seasons. These results suggest that the ERRs in relict permafrost are high in comparison with arctic regions, and the carbon balance in relict permafrost areas could be greatly changed by climate warming.

  9. Photosynthetic responses to temperature across leaf-canopy-ecosystem scales: a 15-year study in a Californian oak-grass savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Siyan; Osuna, Jessica L; Verfaillie, Joseph; Baldocchi, Dennis D

    2017-06-01

    Ecosystem CO 2 fluxes measured with eddy-covariance techniques provide a new opportunity to retest functional responses of photosynthesis to abiotic factors at the ecosystem level, but examining the effects of one factor (e.g., temperature) on photosynthesis remains a challenge as other factors may confound under circumstances of natural experiments. In this study, we developed a data mining framework to analyze a set of ecosystem CO 2 fluxes measured from three eddy-covariance towers, plus a suite of abiotic variables (e.g., temperature, solar radiation, air, and soil moisture) measured simultaneously, in a Californian oak-grass savanna from 2000 to 2015. Natural covariations of temperature and other factors caused remarkable confounding effects in two particular conditions: lower light intensity at lower temperatures and drier air and soil at higher temperatures. But such confounding effects may cancel out. At the ecosystem level, photosynthetic responses to temperature did follow a quadratic function on average. The optimum value of photosynthesis occurred within a narrow temperature range (i.e., optimum temperature, T opt ): 20.6 ± 0.6, 18.5 ± 0.7, 19.2 ± 0.5, and 19.0 ± 0.6 °C for the oak canopy, understory grassland, entire savanna, and open grassland, respectively. This paradigm confirms that photosynthesis response to ambient temperature changes is a functional relationship consistent across leaf-canopy-ecosystem scales. Nevertheless, T opt can shift with variations in light intensity, air dryness, or soil moisture. These findings will pave the way to a direct determination of thermal optima and limits of ecosystem photosynthesis, which can in turn provide a rich resource for baseline thresholds and dynamic response functions required for predicting global carbon balance and geographic shifts of vegetative communities in response to climate change.

  10. Exposure to violence predicting cortisol response during adolescence and early adulthood: understanding moderating factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aiyer, Sophie M; Heinze, Justin E; Miller, Alison L; Stoddard, Sarah A; Zimmerman, Marc A

    2014-07-01

    Previous research on the association between violence and biological stress regulation has been largely cross-sectional, and has also focused on childhood. Using longitudinal data from a low-income, high-risk, predominantly African-American sample (n = 266; 57 % female), we tested hypotheses about the influence of cumulative exposure to violence during adolescence and early adulthood on cortisol responses in early adulthood. We found that cumulative exposure to violence predicted an attenuated cortisol response. Further, we tested whether sex, mothers' support, or fathers' support moderated the effect of exposure to violence on cortisol responses. We found that the effect of cumulative exposure to violence on cortisol was modified by sex; specifically, males exposed to violence exhibited a more attenuated response pattern. In addition, the effect of cumulative exposure to violence on cortisol was moderated by the presence of fathers' support during adolescence. The findings contribute to a better understanding of how cumulative exposure to violence influences biological outcomes, emphasizing the need to understand sex and parental support as moderators of risk.

  11. Expanding Understanding of Response Roles: An Examination of Immediate and First Responders in the United States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Curtis Harris

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available 2017 was a record year for disasters and disaster response in the U.S. Redefining and differentiating key response roles like “immediate responders” and “first responders” is critical. Traditional first responders are not and cannot remain the only cadre of expected lifesavers following a mass casualty event. The authors argue that the U.S. needs to expand its understanding of response roles to include that of the immediate responders, or those individuals who find themselves at the incident scene and are able to assist others. Through universal training and education of the citizenry, the U.S. has the opportunity increase overall disaster resiliency and community outcomes following large-scale disasters. Such education could easily be incorporated into high school curriculums or other required educational experiences in order to provide all persons with the knowledge, skills, and basic abilities needed to save lives immediately following a disaster.

  12. Towards a better understanding of people's responses to renewable energy technologies: Insights from Social Representations Theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batel, Susana; Devine-Wright, Patrick

    2015-04-01

    In the past few years, social research has been examining what contributes to the attitude-behaviour gap in people's responses to large-scale renewable energy technologies. The NIMBY explanation for the gap has long dominated that area of research, but has also been criticised. Alternative proposals to NIMBY were advanced, but it is still evident that some of those maintain presuppositions of NIMBY and that this area of research needs more integration, namely at a theoretical level. In this paper we argue that to overcome those aspects it is relevant, first, to situate the promotion of renewable energy production as a social change process in today's societies, and, second, to therefore consider the socio-psychological aspects involved in people's responses to social change. We discuss specifically how the Theory of Social Representations may help us with that and contribute to a better understanding of people's responses to renewable energy technologies. © The Author(s) 2014.

  13. Contrasting responses of forest ecosystems to rising atmospheric CO2: Implications for the global C cycle

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Norby, Richard J [ORNL; DeLucia, E. H. [University of Illinois; Moore, D J [University of Illinois

    2005-01-01

    In two parallel but independent experiments, Free Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) technology was used to expose plots within contrasting evergreen loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) and deciduous sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua L.) forests to the level of CO2 anticipated in 2050. Net primary production (NPP) and net ecosystem production (NEP) increased in both forests. In the year 2000, after exposing pine and sweetgum to elevated CO2 for approximately 5 and 3 years, a complete budget calculation revealed increases in net ecosystem production (NEP) of 41% and 44% in the pine forest and sweetgum forest, respectively, representing the storage of an additional 174 gC m-2 and 128 gC m-2 in these forests. The stimulation of NPP without corresponding increases in leaf area index or light absorption in either forest resulted in 23-27% stimulation in radiation-use efficiency, defined as NPP per unit absorbed photosynthetically active radiation. Greater plant respiration contributed to lower NPP in the loblolly pine forest than in the sweetgum forest, and these forests responded differently to CO2 enrichment. Where the pine forest added C primarily to long-lived woody tissues, exposure to elevated CO2 caused a large increase in the production of labile fine roots in the sweetgum forest. Greater allocation to more labile tissues may cause more rapid cycling of C back to the atmosphere in the sweetgum forest compared to the pine forest. Imbalances in the N cycle may reduce the response of these forests to experimental exposure to elevated CO2 in the future, but even at the current stimulation observed for these forests, the effect of changes in land use on C sequestration are likely to be larger than the effect of CO2-induced growth stimulation.

  14. Life-history traits predict perennial species response to fire in a desert ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shryock, Daniel F.; DeFalco, Lesley A.; Esque, Todd C.

    2014-01-01

    The Mojave Desert of North America has become fire-prone in recent decades due to invasive annual grasses that fuel wildfires following years of high rainfall. Perennial species are poorly adapted to fire in this system, and post-fire shifts in species composition have been substantial but variable across community types. To generalize across a range of conditions, we investigated whether simple life-history traits could predict how species responded to fire. Further, we classified species into plant functional types (PFTs) based on combinations of life-history traits and evaluated whether these groups exhibited a consistent fire-response. Six life-history traits varied significantly between burned and unburned areas in short (up to 4 years) or long-term (up to 52 years) post-fire datasets, including growth form, lifespan, seed size, seed dispersal, height, and leaf longevity. Forbs and grasses consistently increased in abundance after fire, while cacti were reduced and woody species exhibited a variable response. Woody species were classified into three PFTs based on combinations of life-history traits. Species in Group 1 increased in abundance after fire and were characterized by short lifespans, small, wind-dispersed seeds, low height, and deciduous leaves. Species in Group 2 were reduced by fire and distinguished from Group 1 by longer lifespans and evergreen leaves. Group 3 species, which also decreased after fire, were characterized by long lifespans, large non-wind dispersed seeds, and taller heights. Our results show that PFTs based on life-history traits can reliably predict the responses of most species to fire in the Mojave Desert. Dominant, long-lived species of this region possess a combination of traits limiting their ability to recover, presenting a clear example of how a novel disturbance regime may shift selective environmental pressures to favor alternative life-history strategies.

  15. Ecosystem Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecosystem goods and services are the many life-sustaining benefits we receive from nature and contribute to environmental and human health and well-being. Ecosystem-focused research will develop methods to measure ecosystem goods and services.

  16. A coupled carbon and plant hydraulic model to predict ecosystem carbon and water flux responses to disturbance and environmental change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackay, D. S.; Ewers, B. E.; Roberts, D. E.; McDowell, N. G.; Pendall, E.; Frank, J. M.; Reed, D. E.; Massman, W. J.; Mitra, B.

    2011-12-01

    Changing climate drivers including temperature, humidity, precipitation, and carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations directly control land surface exchanges of CO2 and water. In a profound way these responses are modulated by disturbances that are driven by or exacerbated by climate change. Predicting these changes is challenging given that the feedbacks between environmental controls, disturbances, and fluxes are complex. Flux data in areas of bark beetle outbreaks in the western U.S.A. show differential declines in carbon and water flux in response to the occlusion of xylem by associated fungi. For example, bark beetle infestation at the GLEES AmeriFlux site manifested in a decline in summer water use efficiency to 60% in the year after peak infestation compared to previous years, and no recovery of carbon uptake following a period of high vapor pressure deficit. This points to complex feedbacks between disturbance and differential ecosystem reaction and relaxation responses. Theory based on plant hydraulics and extending to include links to carbon storage and exhaustion has potential for explaining these dynamics with simple, yet rigorous models. In this spirit we developed a coupled model that combines an existing model of canopy water and carbon flow, TREES [e.g., Loranty et al., 2010], with the Sperry et al., [1998] plant hydraulic model. The new model simultaneously solves carbon uptake and losses along with plant hydraulics, and allows for testing specific hypotheses on feedbacks between xylem dysfunction, stomatal and non-stomatal controls on photosynthesis and carbon allocation, and autotrophic and heterotrophic respiration. These are constrained through gas exchange, root vulnerability to cavitation, sap flux, and eddy covariance data in a novel model complexity-testing framework. Our analysis focuses on an ecosystem gradient spanning sagebrush to subalpine forests. Our modeling results support hypotheses on feedbacks between hydraulic dysfunction and 1) non

  17. Biogeochemistry and ecosystems of continental margins in the western North Pacific Ocean and their interactions and responses to external forcing - an overview and synthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, K.-K.; Kang, C.-K.; Kobari, T.; Liu, H.; Rabouille, C.; Fennel, K.

    2014-12-01

    In this special issue we examine the biogeochemical conditions and marine ecosystems in the major marginal seas of the western North Pacific Ocean, namely, the East China Sea, the Japan/East Sea to its north and the South China Sea to its south. They are all subject to strong climate forcing as well as anthropogenic impacts. On the one hand, continental margins in this region are bordered by the world's most densely populated coastal communities and receive tremendous amount of land-derived materials. On the other hand, the Kuroshio, the strong western boundary current of the North Pacific Ocean, which is modulated by climate oscillation, exerts strong influences over all three marginal seas. Because these continental margins sustain arguably some of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world, changes in these stressed ecosystems may threaten the livelihood of a large population of humans. This special issue reports the latest observations of the biogeochemical conditions and ecosystem functions in the three marginal seas. The studies exemplify the many faceted ecosystem functions and biogeochemical expressions, but they reveal only a few long-term trends mainly due to lack of sufficiently long records of well-designed observations. It is critical to develop and sustain time series observations in order to detect biogeochemical changes and ecosystem responses in continental margins and to attribute the causes for better management of the environment and resources in these marginal seas.

  18. Coordination of the cortisol and testosterone responses: A dual axis approach to understanding the response to social status threats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turan, Bulent; Tackett, Jennifer L; Lechtreck, Maria T; Browning, Wesley R

    2015-12-01

    facilitate performance. These findings have implications for developing a dual axis understanding of physiological responses during social threats and competition and their function. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Safeguarding production agriculture and natural ecosystems against biological terrorism. A U.S. Department of Agriculture emergency response framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sequeira, R

    1999-01-01

    Foreign pest introductions and outbreaks represent threats to agricultural productivity and ecosystems, and, thus, to the health and national security of the United States. It is advisable to identify relevant techniques and bring all appropriate strategies to bear on the problem of controlling accidentally and intentionally introduced pest outbreaks. Recent political shifts indicate that the U.S. may be at increased risk for biological terrorism. The existing emergency-response strategies of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) will evolve to expand activities in coordination with other emergency management agencies. APHIS will evolve its information superstructure to include extensive application of simulation models for forecasting, meteorological databases and analysis, systems analysis, geographic information systems, satellite image analysis, remote sensing, and the training of specialized cadres within the emergency-response framework capable of managing the necessary information processing and analysis. Finally, the threat of key pests ranked according to perceived risk will be assessed with mathematical models and "what-if" scenarios analyzed to determine impact and mitigation practices. An infrastructure will be maintained that periodically surveys ports and inland regions for the presence of exotic pest threats and will identify trend abnormalities. This survey and monitoring effort will include cooperation from industry groups, federal and state organizations, and academic institutions.

  20. Shifting baselines in Antarctic ecosystems; ecophysiological response to warming in Lissarca miliaris at Signy Island, Antarctica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam J Reed

    Full Text Available The Antarctic Peninsula has experienced a rapid increase in atmospheric temperature over the last 50 years. Whether or not marine organisms thriving in this cold stenothermal environment are able to cope with warming is of concern. Here, we present changes to the growth and shell characteristics of the ecologically important, small and short lived brooding bivalve Lissarca miliaris from Signy Island, Antarctica. Using material collected from the 1970's to the present day, we show an increase in growth rate and adult shell deterioration accompanied by a decrease in offspring size, associated with an increase in annual average temperatures. Critical changes to the bivalve's ecology seen today evidence the problem of a shift in baseline since the onset of warming recorded in Antarctica. These small bivalves are demonstrating ecophysiological responses to subtle warming that, provided warming continues, could soon surpass a physiological tipping point, adding to warming associated threats such as increased predatory pressure and ocean acidification.

  1. Shifting baselines in Antarctic ecosystems; ecophysiological response to warming in Lissarca miliaris at Signy Island, Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, Adam J; Thatje, Sven; Linse, Katrin

    2012-01-01

    The Antarctic Peninsula has experienced a rapid increase in atmospheric temperature over the last 50 years. Whether or not marine organisms thriving in this cold stenothermal environment are able to cope with warming is of concern. Here, we present changes to the growth and shell characteristics of the ecologically important, small and short lived brooding bivalve Lissarca miliaris from Signy Island, Antarctica. Using material collected from the 1970's to the present day, we show an increase in growth rate and adult shell deterioration accompanied by a decrease in offspring size, associated with an increase in annual average temperatures. Critical changes to the bivalve's ecology seen today evidence the problem of a shift in baseline since the onset of warming recorded in Antarctica. These small bivalves are demonstrating ecophysiological responses to subtle warming that, provided warming continues, could soon surpass a physiological tipping point, adding to warming associated threats such as increased predatory pressure and ocean acidification.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oechel, W.C.

    1992-04-01

    Northern ecosystems contain up to 455 Gt of C in the soil active layer and upper permafrost. The soil carbon in these layers is equivalent to approximately 60% of the carbon currently in the atmosphere as CO{sub 2}. Much of this carbon is stored in the soil as dead organic matter. Its fate is subject to the net effects of global change on the plant and soil systems of northern ecosystems. The arctic alone contains about 60 Gt C, 90% of which is present in the soil active layer and upper permafrost. The arctic is assumed to have been a sink for CO{sub 2} during the historic and recent geologic past. The arctic has the potential to be a very large, long-term source or sink of CO{sub 2} with respect to the atmosphere. In situ experimental manipulations of atmospheric CO{sub 2}, indicated that there is little effect of elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} on leaf level photosynthesis or whole-ecosystem CO{sub 2} flux over the course of weeks to years, respectively. However, there may be longer- term ecosystem responses to elevated CO{sub 2} that could ultimately affect ecosystem CO{sub 2} balance. In addition to atmospheric CO{sub 2}, climate may affect net ecosystem carbon balance. Recent results indicate that the arctic has become a source of CO{sub 2} to the atmosphere. This change coincides with recent climatic variation in the arctic, and suggests a positive feedback of arctic ecosystems on atmospheric CO{sub 2} and global change. The research proposed in this application has four principal aspects: (A) Long-term response of arctic plants and ecosystems to elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2}; (B) Circumpolar patterns of net ecosystem CO{sub 2} flux; (C) In situ controls by temperature and moisture on net ecosystem CO{sub 2} flux; (D) Scaling of CO{sub 2} flux from plot, to landscape, to regional scales (In conjunction with research proposed for NSF support).

  3. Effects of thinning on drought vulnerability and climate response in north temperate forest ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Amato, Anthony W; Bradford, John B; Fraver, Shawn; Palik, Brian J

    2013-12-01

    Reducing tree densities through silvicultural thinning has been widely advocated as a strategy for enhancing resistance and resilience to drought, yet few empirical evaluations of this approach exist. We examined detailed dendrochronological data from a long-term (> 50 years) replicated thinning experiment to determine if density reductions conferred greater resistance and/or resilience to droughts, assessed by the magnitude of stand-level growth reductions. Our results suggest that thinning generally enhanced drought resistance and resilience; however, this relationship showed a pronounced reversal over time in stands maintained at lower tree densities. Specifically, lower-density stands exhibited greater resistance and resilience at younger ages (49 years), yet exhibited lower resistance and resilience at older ages (76 years), relative to higher-density stands. We attribute this reversal to significantly greater tree sizes attained within the lower-density stands through stand development, which in turn increased tree-level water demand during the later droughts. Results from response-function analyses indicate that thinning altered growth-climate relationships, such that higher-density stands were more sensitive to growing-season precipitation relative to lower-density stands. These results confirm the potential of density management to moderate drought impacts on growth, and they highlight the importance of accounting for stand structure when predicting climate-change impacts to forests.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. Response of coniferous forest ecosystems on mineral soils to nutrient additions: A review of Swedish experiences

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nohrstedt, H.Oe.

    2001-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) is the only nutrient that promotes forest growth when given individually. An extra stem growth of 15 m 3 /ha is obtained during a 10 yr period following an application of 150 kg N/ha. Larger growth increases have often been the result of more intensive N fertilization. Lime or wood ash give a minor growth stimulation on sites with a carbon (C) to N ratio below 30 in the humus layer, while the opposite effect prevails on N-poor sites. Nutrients given as soluble fertilizers are readily taken up by trees. Boron deficiency may be induced in northern Sweden after N fertilization or liming. The ground vegetation may be altered by single-shot N fertilization, but long-term effects occur only for intensive regimes. Lime or wood ash may modify the flora if soil pH is significantly altered: the change will be in response to N availability. Fruit-body production of mycorrhizal fungi is disfavoured by chronic N input, but also by lime or ash. However, the mycorrhizal structures on root tips are less affected. Faunistic studies are not common and those present are mostly devoted to soil fauna. A practical N dose of 150 kg N/ha has no clear effect, but higher doses may reduce the abundance in some groups. Hardened wood ash does not significantly affect the soil fauna. Lime favours snails and earthworms, while other groups are often disfavoured. The response of aquatic fauna to terrestrial treatments has hardly been studied. N fertilization generally results in insignificant effects on fish and benthic fauna. Lime and wood ash reduce the acidity of the topsoil, but practical doses (2-3 t/ha) are too low to raise the alkalinity of runoff unless outflow areas are treated. N fertilizer use in forestry and N-free fertilizers lack effects on acidification. N fertilization may, however, be strongly acidifying if nitrification is induced and followed by nitrate leaching. N fertilization often results in increased long-term C retention in trees and soil, but does not promote

  6. The numeracy understanding in medicine instrument: a measure of health numeracy developed using item response theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schapira, Marilyn M; Walker, Cindy M; Cappaert, Kevin J; Ganschow, Pamela S; Fletcher, Kathlyn E; McGinley, Emily L; Del Pozo, Sam; Schauer, Carrie; Tarima, Sergey; Jacobs, Elizabeth A

    2012-01-01

    Health numeracy can be defined as the ability to understand and apply information conveyed with numbers, tables and graphs, probabilities, and statistics to effectively communicate with health care providers, take care of one's health, and participate in medical decisions. To develop the Numeracy Understanding in Medicine Instrument (NUMi) using item response theory scaling methods. A 20-item test was formed drawing from an item bank of numeracy questions. Items were calibrated using responses from 1000 participants and a 2-parameter item response theory model. Construct validity was assessed by comparing scores on the NUMi to established measures of print and numeric health literacy, mathematic achievement, and cognitive aptitude. Community and clinical populations in the Milwaukee and Chicago metropolitan areas. Twenty-nine percent of the 1000 respondents were Hispanic, 24% were non-Hispanic white, and 42% were non-Hispanic black. Forty-one percent had no more than a high school education. The mean score on the NUMi was 13.2 (s = 4.6) with a Cronbach α of 0.86. Difficulty and discrimination item response theory parameters of the 20 items ranged from -1.70 to 1.45 and 0.39 to 1.98, respectively. Performance on the NUMi was strongly correlated with the Wide Range Achievement Test-Arithmetic (0.73, P < 0.001), the Lipkus Expanded Numeracy Scale (0.69, P < 0.001), the Medical Data Interpretation Test (0.75, P < 0.001), and the Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test (0.82, P < 0.001). Performance was moderately correlated to the Short Test of Functional Health Literacy (0.43, P < 0.001). The NUMi was found to be most discriminating among respondents with a lower-than-average level of health numeracy. The NUMi can be applied in research and clinical settings as a robust measure of the health numeracy construct.

  7. Observed response of vulnerable forest ecosystems to ongoing site condition changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bidló, András; Gulyás, Krisztina; Gálos, Borbála; Horváth, Adrienn

    2017-04-01

    In the last decades, several symptoms of drought damages have been observed in the Hungarian forests (e.g. sparse canopy, leaf drop, top drying, fungal diseases). Forest responses are also influenced by other factors beyond climate (e.g. available water content, soil conditions, biotic damages, adaptive capacity, etc.). Our aim was to prepare a complex analysis of the change of all site conditions, that could lead to the observed health status decline of the forest tree species. For a case study region in Hungary (Keszthely Mountains, near to Lake Balaton) precipitation and temperature tendencies as well as the frequency of extreme dry summers have been determined for the period 1961-2100. Soil conditions have been investigated in 9 profiles and soil mapping analysis has been carried out including 100 sites with hand soil auger. For the investigation of the water-balance we used the modified Thornthwaite-type monthly model and determined water stress when the relative extractable water (REW) decreased below 40% (Granier et al., 1999). In the last 30 years three severe droughts have been detected when duration of extremely dry and hot periods exceeded 3-4 years. Not only orographic and microclimate conditions but also soil types show a large diversity within a relatively small distance in the case study area. On rendzina with shallow topsoil layer thickness, low water holding capacity, black pine was planted. Brown earth with medium and brown forest soils with deep topsoil layer thickness is favourable for oak (sessile or Turkey) and beech. These microscale differences between the three site condition types resulted different available water contents quantified by the modified Thornthwaite-type monthly water-balance model. Our results show the different sensitivity of the studied sites to water stress. It means that the local scale orographic and soil conditions can enhance the projected drought risk of the region. However, the favourable microclimatic effects of

  8. Century-Scale Responses of Ecosystem Carbon Storage and Flux to Multiple Environmental Changes in the Southern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanqin Tian; Guangsheng Chen; Chi Zhang; Mingliang Liu; Ge Sun; Arthur Chappelka; Wei Ren; Xiaofeng Xu; Chaoqun Lu; Shufen Pan; Hua Chen; Dafeng Hui; Steven McNulty; Graeme Lockaby; Eric Vance

    2012-01-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems in the southern United States (SUS) have experienced a complex set of changes in climate, atmospheric CO2 concentration, tropospheric ozone (O3), nitrogen (N) deposition, and land-use and land-cover change (LULCC) during the past century. Although each of these factors has received attention for its alterations on ecosystem carbon (C) dynamics,...

  9. Ecosystem processes and human influences regulate streamflow response to climate change at long-term ecological research sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Julia A. Jones; Irena F. Creed; Kendra L. Hatcher; Robert J. Warren; Mary Beth Adams; Melinda H. Benson; Emery Boose; Warren A. Brown; John L. Campbell; Alan Covich; David W. Clow; Clifford N. Dahm; Kelly Elder; Chelcy R. Ford; Nancy B. Grimm; Donald L Henshaw; Kelli L. Larson; Evan S. Miles; Kathleen M. Miles; Stephen D. Sebestyen; Adam T. Spargo; Asa B. Stone; James M. Vose; Mark W. Williams

    2012-01-01

    Analyses of long-term records at 35 headwater basins in the United States and Canada indicate that climate change effects on streamflow are not as clear as might be expected, perhaps because of ecosystem processes and human influences. Evapotranspiration was higher than was predicted by temperature in water-surplus ecosystems and lower than was predicted in water-...

  10. Variations of Ecosystem Service Value in Response to Land-Use Change in the Kashgar Region, Northwest China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aynur Mamat

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Increasing anthropogenic activities have significantly altered ecosystems in arid oasis regions. Estimating the impact on a wide range of ecosystem services is important for decision making and the sustainable development of these regions. This study analyzed time-series Landsat data to determine the influences of oasis land-use changes on the ecosystem services in the Kashgar region in Northwest China. The following results were found. The total value of the ecosystem services in the Kashgar region were approximately $10,845.3, $11,218.6, $10,291.7, and $10,127.3 million in 1986, 1996, 2005, and 2015, respectively. The water supply, waste treatment, biodiversity protection, and recreation and cultural services were the four ecosystem services with the highest service value, contributing 77.05% of the total ecosystem services. The combined contribution rate of food production and raw material value was only about 4.02%, relatively small. The sensitivity analysis indicated that the estimated total ecosystem service value (ESV for this study area was relatively inelastic with respect to the value coefficients. The findings of this study will be crucial for maintaining the stability and sustainable development of the oasis region, where socio-economic development and the integrity of the natural ecosystem complement each other. Furthermore, the results provide a scientific basis for decision makers in land use management, and provide a reference for researchers in the Northwest China.

  11. Ecosystem vulnerability assessment and synthesis: a report from the Climate Change Response Framework Project in northern Wisconsin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chris Swanston; Maria Janowiak; Louis Iverson; Linda Parker; David Mladenoff; Leslie Brandt; Patricia Butler; Matt St. Pierre; Anantha Prasad; Stephen Matthews; Matthew Peters; Dale Higgins; Avery. Dorland

    2011-01-01

    The forests of northern Wisconsin will likely experience dramatic changes over the next 100 years as a result of climate change. This assessment evaluates key forest ecosystem vulnerabilities to climate change across northern Wisconsin under a range of future climate scenarios. Warmer temperatures and shifting precipitation patterns are expected to influence ecosystem...

  12. Response of a subalpine grassland to simulated grazing: Aboveground productivity along soil phosphorus gradients

    Science.gov (United States)

    C. Thiel-Egenter; A. C. Risch; M. F. Jurgensen; D. S. Page-Dumroese; B. O. Krusi; M. Schutz

    2007-01-01

    Interactions between grassland ecosystems and vertebrate herbivores are critical for a better understanding of ecosystem processes, but diverge widely in different ecosystems. In this study, we examined plant responses to simulated red deer (Cervus elaphus L.) grazing using clip-plot experiments in a subalpine grassland ecosystem of the Central...

  13. Responses of ecosystem carbon dioxide exchange to nitrogen addition in a freshwater marshland in Sanjiang Plain, Northeast China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Lihua; Song, Changchun; Nkrumah, Philip N

    2013-09-01

    It has widely been documented that nitrogen (N) stimulates plant growth and net primary production. But how N affects net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) is still dispute. We conduct an experimental study to assess the response of NEE to N addition in a freshwater marsh. Experimental treatments involved elevated N and control treatments on triplicate 1 m(2) plots. Gas exchange, air temperature, plant biomass and leaf area as well as N% of leaf were measured from 2004 to 2005. The results indicated that N addition initially decreased the CO2 sequestration but the trend changed in the second year. It was concluded that N addition enhanced the greenhouse effect in marshland as far as global warming potential (GWP) is concerned. This increase was attributed to a substantial increase in CH4 and N2O emissions after N addition. We recommended long-term studies to further clarify the effect of N addition on NEE. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Bacterioplankton community responses to key environmental variables in plateau freshwater lake ecosystems: A structural equation modeling and change point analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Xiaofeng; Wang, Jie; Liao, Jingqiu; Gao, Zhe; Jiang, Dalin; Sun, Jinhua; Zhao, Lei; Huang, Yi; Luan, Shengji

    2017-02-15

    Elevated environmental pressures negatively affect the bacterial community structure. However, little knowledge about the nonlinear responses of spatially related environmental variable across multiple plateau lake ecosystems on bacterioplankton communities has been gathered. Here, we used 454 pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes to study the associations of bacterial communities in terms of environmental characteristics as well as the potentially ecological threshold-inducing shifts of the bacterial community structure along the key environmental variables based on hypothesized structural equation models and the SEGMENTED method in 21 plateau lakes. Our results showed that water transparency was the major driving force and that total nitrogen was more significant than total phosphorus in determining the taxon composition of the bacterioplankton community. Significant community threshold estimates for bacterioplankton were observed at 7.36 for pH and 25.6% for the percentage of the agricultural area, while the remarkable change point of the cyanobacteria community structure responding to pH was at 7.74. Furthermore, the findings indicated that increasing nutrient loads can induce a distinct shift in dominance from Proteobacteria to Cyanobacteria, as well as a sharp decrease and adjacent increase when crossing the change point for Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes along the gradient of the agricultural area. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Knowledge to Action - Understanding Natural Hazards-Induced Power Outage Scenarios for Actionable Disaster Responses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kar, B.; Robinson, C.; Koch, D. B.; Omitaomu, O.

    2017-12-01

    The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 identified the following four priorities to prevent and reduce disaster risks: i) understanding disaster risk; ii) strengthening governance to manage disaster risk; iii) investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience and; iv) enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response, and to "Build Back Better" in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction. While forecasting and decision making tools are in place to predict and understand future impacts of natural hazards, the knowledge to action approach that currently exists fails to provide updated information needed by decision makers to undertake response and recovery efforts following a hazard event. For instance, during a tropical storm event advisories are released every two to three hours, but manual analysis of geospatial data to determine potential impacts of the event tends to be time-consuming and a post-event process. Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a Spatial Decision Support System that enables real-time analysis of storm impact based on updated advisory. A prototype of the tool that focuses on determining projected power outage areas and projected duration of outages demonstrates the feasibility of integrating science with decision making for emergency management personnel to act in real time to protect communities and reduce risk.

  16. Understanding the Value of a Computer Emergency Response Capability for Nuclear Security

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gasper, Peter Donald [Idaho National Laboratory; Rodriguez, Julio Gallardo [Idaho National Laboratory

    2015-06-01

    The international nuclear community has a great understanding of the physical security needs relating to the prevention, detection, and response of malicious acts associated with nuclear facilities and radioactive material. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Nuclear Security Recommendations (INFCIRC_225_Rev 5) outlines specific guidelines and recommendations for implementing and maintaining an organization’s nuclear security posture. An important element for inclusion into supporting revision 5 is the establishment of a “Cyber Emergency Response Team (CERT)” focused on the international communities cybersecurity needs to maintain a comprehensive nuclear security posture. Cybersecurity and the importance of nuclear cybersecurity require that there be a specific focus on developing an International Nuclear CERT (NS-CERT). States establishing contingency plans should have an understanding of the cyber threat landscape and the potential impacts to systems in place to protect and mitigate malicious activities. This paper will outline the necessary components, discuss the relationships needed within the international community, and outline a process by which the NS-CERT identifies, collects, processes, and reports critical information in order to establish situational awareness (SA) and support decision-making

  17. Different responses of ecosystem carbon exchange to warming in three types of alpine grassland on the central Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganjurjav, Hasbagan; Hu, Guozheng; Wan, Yunfan; Li, Yue; Danjiu, Luobu; Gao, Qingzhu

    2018-02-01

    Climate is a driver of terrestrial ecosystem carbon exchange, which is an important product of ecosystem function. The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau has recently been subjected to a marked increase in temperature as a consequence of global warming. To explore the effects of warming on carbon exchange in grassland ecosystems, we conducted a whole-year warming experiment between 2012 and 2014 using open-top chambers placed in an alpine meadow, an alpine steppe, and a cultivated grassland on the central Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. We measured the gross primary productivity, net ecosystem CO 2 exchange (NEE), ecosystem respiration, and soil respiration using a chamber-based method during the growing season. The results show that after 3 years of warming, there was significant stimulation of carbon assimilation and emission in the alpine meadow, but both these processes declined in the alpine steppe and the cultivated grassland. Under warming conditions, the soil water content was more important in stimulating ecosystem carbon exchange in the meadow and cultivated grassland than was soil temperature. In the steppe, the soil temperature was negatively correlated with ecosystem carbon exchange. We found that the ambient soil water content was significantly correlated with the magnitude of warming-induced change in NEE. Under high soil moisture condition, warming has a significant positive effect on NEE, while it has a negative effect under low soil moisture condition. Our results highlight that the NEE in steppe and cultivated grassland have negative responses to warming; after reclamation, the natural meadow would subject to loose more C in warmer condition. Therefore, under future warmer condition, the overextension of cultivated grassland should be avoided and scientific planning of cultivated grassland should be achieved.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oechel, W.C.

    1993-02-01

    Northern ecosystems contain up to 455 Gt of C in the soil active layer and upper permafrost, which is equivalent to approximately 60% of the carbon currently in the atmosphere as CO{sub 2}. Much of this carbon is stored in the soil as dead organic matter. Its fate is subject to the net effects of global change on the plant and soil systems of northern ecosystems. The arctic alone contains about 60 Gt C, 90% of which is present in the soil active layer and upper permafrost, and is assumed to have been a sink for CO{sub 2} during the historic and recent geologic past. Depending on the nature, rate, and magnitude of global environmental change, the arctic may have a positive or negative feedback on global change. Results from the DOE- funded research efforts of 1990 and 1991 indicate that the arctic has become a source of CO{sub 2} to the atmosphere. Measurements made in the Barrow, Alaska region during 1992 support these results. This change coincides with recent climatic variation in the arctic, and suggests a positive feedback of arctic ecosystems on atmospheric CO{sub 2} and global change. There are obvious potential errors in scaling plot level measurements to landscape, mesoscale, and global spatial scales. In light of the results from the recent DOE-funded research, and the remaining uncertainties regarding the change in arctic ecosystem function due to high latitude warming, a revised set of research goals is proposed for the 1993--94 year. The research proposed in this application has four principal aspects: (A) Long- term response of arctic plants and ecosystems to elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2}. (B) Circumpolar patterns of net ecosystem CO{sub 2} flux. (C) In situ controls by temperature and moisture on net ecosystem CO{sub 2} flux. (D) Scaling of CO{sub 2} flux from plot, to landscape, to regional scales.

  19. Multiproxy evidence for terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem responses during the 8.2 ka cold event as recorded at Højby Sø, Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hede, Mikkel Ulfeldt; Rasmussen, Peter; Noe-Nygaard, Nanna

    2010-01-01

    A sediment succession from Højby Sø, a lake in eastern Denmark, covering the time period 9400–7400 cal yr BP was studied using high-resolution geochemistry, magnetic susceptibility, pollen, macrofossil, diatom, and algal pigment analysis to investigate responses of the terrestrial and aquatic...... ecosystems to the 8.2 ka cold event. A reduced pollen production by thermophilous deciduous tree taxa in the period c. 8250–8000 cal yr BP reveal that the forest ecosystem was affected by low temperatures during the summer and winter/early-spring seasons. This finding is consistent with the timing of the 8...... cal yr BP. Alteration of the terrestrial environment then resulted in a major aquatic ecosystem change with nutrient enrichment of the lake and enhanced productivity, which lasted until c. 7900 cal yr BP. Keywords: 8.2 ka cold event; Lake sediments; Palaeoclimate; Pollen; Macrofossils; Geochemistry...

  20. Effects of CO2 enrichment on the photosynthetic light response of sun and shade leaves of canopy sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) in a forest ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrick; Thomas

    1999-10-01

    To investigate whether sun and shade leaves respond differently to CO2 enrichment, we examined photosynthetic light response of sun and shade leaves in canopy sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua L.) trees growing at ambient and elevated (ambient + 200 microliters per liter) atmospheric CO2 in the Brookhaven National Laboratory/Duke University Free Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) experiment. The sweetgum trees were naturally established in a 15-year-old forest dominated by loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.). Measurements were made in early June and late August 1997 during the first full year of CO2 fumigation in the Duke Forest FACE experiment. Sun leaves had a 68% greater leaf mass per unit area, 63% more leaf N per unit leaf area, 27% more chlorophyll per unit leaf area and 77% greater light-saturated photosynthetic rates than shade leaves. Elevated CO2 strongly stimulated light-saturated photosynthetic rates of sun and shade leaves in June and August; however, the relative photosynthetic enhancement by elevated CO2 for sun leaves was more than double the relative enhancement of shade leaves. Elevated CO2 stimulated apparent quantum yield by 30%, but there was no interaction between CO2 and leaf position. Daytime leaf-level carbon gain extrapolated from photosynthetic light response curves indicated that sun leaves were enhanced 98% by elevated CO2, whereas shade leaves were enhanced 41%. Elevated CO2 did not significantly affect leaf N per unit area in sun or shade leaves during either measurement period. Thus, the greater CO2 enhancement of light-saturated photosynthesis in sun leaves than in shade leaves was probably a result of a greater amount of nitrogen per unit leaf area in sun leaves. A full understanding of the effects of increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations on forest ecosystems must take account of the complex nature of the light environment through the canopy and how light interacts with CO2 to affect photosynthesis.

  1. Longitudinal patterns and response lengths of algae in riverine ecosystems: A model analysis emphasising benthic-pelagic interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jäger, Christoph G; Borchardt, Dietrich

    2018-04-07

    In riverine ecosystems primary production is principally possible in two habitats: in the benthic layer by sessile algae and in the surface water by planktonic algae being transported downstream. The relevance of these two habitats generally changes along the rivers' continuum. However, analyses of the interaction of algae in these two habitats and their controlling factors in riverine ecosystems are, so far, very rare. We use a simplified advection-diffusion model system combined with ecological process kinetics to analyse the interaction of benthic and planktonic algae and nutrients along idealised streams and rivers at regional to large scales. Because many of the underlying processes affecting algal dynamics are influenced by depth, we focus particularly on the impact of river depth on this interaction. At constant environmental conditions all state variables approach stable spatial equilibria along the river, independent of the boundary conditions at the upstream end. Because our model is very robust against changes of turbulent diffusion and stream velocity, these spatial equilibria can be analysed by a simplified ordinary differential equation (ode) version of our model. This model variant reveals that at shallower river depths, phytoplankton can exist only when it is subsidised by detaching benthic algae, and in turn, at deeper river depths, benthic algae can exist only in low biomasses which are subsidised by sinking planktonic algae. We generalise the spatial dynamics of the model system using different conditions at the upstream end of the model, which mimic various natural or anthropogenic factors (pristine source, dam, inflow of a waste water treatment plant, and dilution from e.g. a tributary) and analyse how these scenarios influence different aspects of the longitudinal spatial dynamics of the full spatial model: the relation of spatial equilibrium to spatial maximum, the distance to the spatial maximum, and the response length. Generally, our

  2. Combining Long-Term Watershed Monitoring at Buck Creek with Spatially Extensive Ecosystem Data to Understand the Processes of Acid Rain Effects and Recovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, G. B.; Ross, D. S.; Sullivan, T. J.; McDonnell, T. C.; Bailey, S. W.; Dukett, J. E.

    2014-12-01

    The Buck Creek Monitoring Watershed, in the western Adirondack Region of New York, has provided long-term data back to 1982 for tracking acid rain effects and recovery, and for supporting fundamental research on environmental change. At Buck Creek, monitoring acidic deposition effects as they worsened, then diminished, has advanced our understanding of key biogeochemical processes such as Al mobilization. Although Al mobilization has been one of the primary adverse effects of acidic deposition, in the recovery phase it is now affecting terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in new ways that could be both positive and negative, as soils and surface waters respond to further declines in acidic deposition. Using stream Al measurements from Buck Creek over varying seasons and flows, a new index, the base cation surplus (BCS), was developed to account for dissolved organic carbon (DOC) effects on the relationship between ANC and inorganic Al. Mobilization of inorganic Al, the form toxic to biota, occurs below a BCS of zero, regardless of DOC concentrations. Soil and stream data from Adirondack surveys showed that a BCS value of zero corresponds to a soil base saturation value in the B horizon of approximately 12%. Additional Adirondack survey work indicated that, where sugar maple stands grew in soils with base saturation values below 12%, seedling regeneration was nearly zero, suggesting a link between Al mobilization and impairment of tree regeneration. In recovering Adirondack lakes, the BCS was also used to show that increasing trends in DOC were accelerating decreases of inorganic Al beyond what would be expected from the increasing trends of ANC. Similar decreases of inorganic Al in Buck Creek, were coupled with increases in organic Al concentrations, which resulted in no trend in total Al concentrations despite a strong increase in pH. Sampling of Buck Creek soils in 1997, and again in 2009-2010, indicated a substantial decrease in forest floor exchangeable Al, of

  3. Investigate the plant biomass response to climate warming in permafrost ecosystem using matrix-based data assimilation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, X.; Du, Z.; Schuur, E.; Luo, Y.

    2017-12-01

    Permafrost is one of the most vulnerable regions on the earth with over 40% world soil C represented in this region. Future climate warming potentially has a great impact on this region. On one hand, rising temperature accelerates permafrost soil thaw and release more C from land. On the other hand, warming may also increase the plant growing season length and therefore negatively feedback to climate change by increasing annual land C uptake. However, whether permafrost vegetation biomass change in response to warming can sequester more C has not been well understood. Manipulated air warming experiments reported that air warming has very limited impacts on grass land productivity and biomass growth in permafrost region [Mauritz et al., 2017]. It is hard to reveal the mechanisms behind the limited air warming response directly from experiment data. We employ a vegetation C cycle matrix model based on Community land model 4.5 (CLM4.5) and data assimilation technique to investigate how much do phenology and physiology processes contribute to the response respectively. Our results indicate phenology contributes the most in response to warming. The shift of vegetation parameter distributions after 2012 indicate vegetation acclimation may explain the modest response in plant biomass to air warming. The results suggest future model development need to take vegetation acclimation more seriously. The novel matrix-based model allows data assimilation to be conducted more efficiently. It provides more functional understanding of the models as well as the mechanism behind experiment data.

  4. Mechanistic insights on the responses of plant and ecosystem gas exchange to global environmental change: lessons from Biosphere 2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Meler, Miquel A; Rucks, Jessica S; Aubanell, Gerard

    2014-09-01

    Scaling up leaf processes to canopy/ecosystem level fluxes is critical for examining feedbacks between vegetation and climate. Collectively, studies from Biosphere 2 Laboratory have provided important insight of leaf-to-ecosystem investigations of multiple environmental parameters that were not before possible in enclosed or field studies. B2L has been a testing lab for the applicability of new technologies such as spectral approaches to detect spatial and temporal changes in photosynthesis within canopies, or for the development of cavity ring-down isotope applications for ecosystem evapotranspiration. Short and long term changes in atmospheric CO2, drought or temperature allowed for intensive investigation of the interactions between photosynthesis and leaf, soil and ecosystem respiration. Experiments conducted in the rainforest biome have provided some of the most comprehensive dataset to date on the effects of climate change variables on tropical ecosystems. Results from these studies have been later corroborated in natural rainforest ecosystems and have improved the predictive capabilities of models that now show increased resilience of tropics to climate change. Studies of temperature and CO2 effects on ecosystem respiration and its leaf and soil components have helped reconsider the use of simple first-order kinetics for characterizing respiration in models. The B2L also provided opportunities to quantify the rhizosphere priming effect, or establish the relationships between net primary productivity, atmospheric CO2 and isoprene emissions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Understanding human impacts to tropical coastal ecosystems through integrated hillslope erosion measurements, optical coastal waters characterization, watershed modeling, marine ecosystem assessments, and natural resource valuations in two constrasting watersheds in Puerto Rico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz-Zayas, J.; Melendez, J.; Barreto, M.; Santiago, L.; Torres-Perez, J. L.; Ramos-Scharron, C. E.; Figueroa, Y.; Setegn, S. G.; Guild, L. S.; Armstrong, R.

    2017-12-01

    Coastal ecosystems are an asset to many tropical island economies. In Puerto Rico, however, many invaluable coastal ecosystems are at risk due to multiple social and natural environmental stressors. To quantify the role of anthropogenic versus natural stressors, an integrated multidisciplinary approach was applied in two contrasting watersheds in Puerto Rico. The Rio Loco (RL) watershed in Southeastern Puerto Rico is hydrologically modified with interbasin water transfers, hydroelectric generation, and with water extraction for irrigation and water supply. Intensive agricultural production dominates both the lower and upper portions of the basin. In contrast, the Rio Grande de Manatí (RGM) shows a natural flow regime with minor flow regulation and limited agriculture. The Surface Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was applied to each watershed to assess the effects of land use changes on water and sediment fluxes to coastal areas. From 1977 to 2016, forest areas increased in both watersheds due to the abandonment of farms in the mountains. However, in upper and lower RL, agricultural lands have remained active. Coffee plantations in the upper watershed contribute with high sediment loads, particularly in unpaved service roads. We hypothesize that water fluxes will be higher in the larger RGM than in RL. However, suspended sediment fluxes will be higher in the agriculturally active RL basin. A willingness-to-pay approach was applied to assess how residents from each watershed value water and coastal ecosystems revealing a general higher natural resources valuation in the RGM than in RL. Coastal ecosystems at each site revealed structural differences in benthic coral communities due to local currents influenced largely by coastal morphology. The optical properties of coastal waters are also being determined and linked to fluvial sediment fluxes. Stakeholder meetings are being held in each watershed to promote transfer of scientific insights into a sustainable coastal and

  6. Yeast as a model to understand the interaction between genotype and the response to calorie restriction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schleit, Jennifer; Wasko, Brian M; Kaeberlein, Matt

    2012-08-31

    Calorie restriction is reported to enhance survival and delay the onset of age-related decline in many different species. Several proteins have been proposed to play a role in mediating the response to calorie restriction, including the target of rapamycin kinase, sirtuins, and AMP kinase. An enhanced mechanistic understanding of calorie restriction has popularized the concept of "calorie restriction mimetics", drugs that mimic the beneficial effects of caloire restriction without requiring a reduction in nutrient intake. In theory, such drugs should delay the onset and progression of multiple age-related diseases, similar to calorie restriction in mammals. Despite the potential benefits of such calorie restriction mimetics, however, relatively little is known about the interaction between genetic variation and individual response to calorie restriction. Limited evidence from model systems indicates that genotype plays a large role in determining both the magnitude and direction of effect that calorie restriction has on longevity. Here we present an overview of these data from the perspective of using yeast as a model to study aging and describe an approach we are taking to further characterize the molecular mechanisms underlying genotype-dependent responses to calorie restriction. Copyright © 2012 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Emergent Global Patterns of Ecosystem Structure and Function from a Mechanistic General Ecosystem Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emmott, Stephen; Hutton, Jon; Lyutsarev, Vassily; Smith, Matthew J.; Scharlemann, Jörn P. W.; Purves, Drew W.

    2014-01-01

    Anthropogenic activities are causing widespread degradation of ecosystems worldwide, threatening the ecosystem services upon which all human life depends. Improved understanding of this degradation is urgently needed to improve avoidance and mitigation measures. One tool to assist these efforts is predictive models of ecosystem structure and function that are mechanistic: based on fundamental ecological principles. Here we present the first mechanistic General Ecosystem Model (GEM) of ecosystem structure and function that is both global and applies in all terrestrial and marine environments. Functional forms and parameter values were derived from the theoretical and empirical literature where possible. Simulations of the fate of all organisms with body masses between 10 µg and 150,000 kg (a range of 14 orders of magnitude) across the globe led to emergent properties at individual (e.g., growth rate), community (e.g., biomass turnover rates), ecosystem (e.g., trophic pyramids), and macroecological scales (e.g., global patterns of trophic structure) that are in general agreement with current data and theory. These properties emerged from our encoding of the biology of, and interactions among, individual organisms without any direct constraints on the properties themselves. Our results indicate that ecologists have gathered sufficient information to begin to build realistic, global, and mechanistic models of ecosystems, capable of predicting a diverse range of ecosystem properties and their response to human pressures. PMID:24756001

  8. Hurricane Effects on a Shallow Lake Ecosystem and Its Response to a Controlled Manipulation of Water Level

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karl E. Havens

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available In order to reverse the damage to aquatic plant communities caused by multiple years of high water levels in Lake Okeechobee, Florida (U.S., the Governing Board of the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD authorized a "managed recession" to substantially lower the surface elevation of the lake in spring 2000. The operation was intended to achieve lower water levels for at least 8 weeks during the summer growing season, and was predicted to result in a large-scale recovery of submerged vascular plants. We treated this operation as a whole ecosystem experiment, and assessed ecological responses using data from an existing network of water quality and submerged plant monitoring sites. As a result of large-scale discharges of water from the lake, coupled with losses to evaporation and to water supply deliveries to agriculture and other regional users, the lake surface elevation receded by approximately 1 m between April and June. Water depths in shoreline areas that historically supported submerged plant communities declined from near 1.5 m to below 0.5 m. Low water levels persisted for the entire summer. Despite shallow depths, the initial response (in June 2000 of submerged plants was very limited and water remained highly turbid (due at first to abiotic seston and later to phytoplankton blooms. Turbidity decreased in July and the biomass of plants increased. However, submerged plant biomass did not exceed levels observed during summer 1999 (when water depths were greater until August. Furthermore, a vascular plant-dominated assemblage (Vallisnera, Potamogeton, and Hydrilla that occurred in 1999 was replaced with a community of nearly 98% Chara spp. (a macro-alga in 2000. Hence, the lake’s submerged plant community appeared to revert to an earlier successional stage despite what appeared to be better conditions for growth. To explain this unexpected response, we evaluated the impacts that Hurricane Irene may have had on the lake in the

  9. Hurricane effects on a shallow lake ecosystem and its response to a controlled manipulation of water level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Havens, K E; Jin, K R; Rodusky, A J; Sharfstein, B; Brady, M A; East, T L; Iricanin, N; James, R T; Harwell, M C; Steinman, A D

    2001-04-04

    In order to reverse the damage to aquatic plant communities caused by multiple years of high water levels in Lake Okeechobee, Florida (U.S.), the Governing Board of the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) authorized a "managed recession" to substantially lower the surface elevation of the lake in spring 2000. The operation was intended to achieve lower water levels for at least 8 weeks during the summer growing season, and was predicted to result in a large-scale recovery of submerged vascular plants. We treated this operation as a whole ecosystem experiment, and assessed ecological responses using data from an existing network of water quality and submerged plant monitoring sites. As a result of large-scale discharges of water from the lake, coupled with losses to evaporation and to water supply deliveries to agriculture and other regional users, the lake surface elevation receded by approximately 1 m between April and June. Water depths in shoreline areas that historically supported submerged plant communities declined from near 1.5 m to below 0.5 m. Low water levels persisted for the entire summer. Despite shallow depths, the initial response (in June 2000) of submerged plants was very limited and water remained highly turbid (due at first to abiotic seston and later to phytoplankton blooms). Turbidity decreased in July and the biomass of plants increased. However, submerged plant biomass did not exceed levels observed during summer 1999 (when water depths were greater) until August. Furthermore, a vascular plant-dominated assemblage (Vallisneria, Potamogeton, and Hydrilla) that occurred in 1999 was replaced with a community of nearly 98% Chara spp. (a macro-alga) in 2000. Hence, the lake"s submerged plant community appeared to revert to an earlier successional stage despite what appeared to be better conditions for growth. To explain this unexpected response, we evaluated the impacts that Hurricane Irene may have had on the lake in the previous

  10. Towards understanding oral health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaura, Egija; ten Cate, Jacob M

    2015-01-01

    During the last century, dental research has focused on unraveling the mechanisms behind various oral pathologies, while oral health was typically described as the mere absence of oral diseases. The term 'oral microbial homeostasis' is used to describe the capacity of the oral ecosystem to maintain microbial community stability in health. However, the oral ecosystem itself is not stable: throughout life an individual undergoes multiple physiological changes while progressing through infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age. Recent discussions on the definition of general health have led to the proposal that health is the ability of the individual to adapt to physiological changes, a condition known as allostasis. In this paper the allostasis principle is applied to the oral ecosystem. The multidimensionality of the host factors contributing to allostasis in the oral cavity is illustrated with an example on changes occurring in puberty. The complex phenomenon of oral health and the processes that prevent the ecosystem from collapsing during allostatic changes in the entire body are far from being understood. As yet individual components (e.g. hard tissues, microbiome, saliva, host response) have been investigated, while only by consolidating these and assessing their multidimensional interactions should we be able to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the ecosystem, which in turn could serve to develop rational schemes to maintain health. Adapting such a 'system approach' comes with major practical challenges for the entire research field and will require vast resources and large-scale multidisciplinary collaborations. 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel

  11. An eco-hydrological modeling framework for assessing trade-offs among ecosystem services in response to alternative land use scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mckane, R.; Abdelnour, A. G.; Brookes, A.; Djang, K.; Stieglitz, M.; Pan, F.; Bolte, J.; Papenfus, M.; Burdick, C.

    2012-12-01

    Scientists, policymakers, community planners and others have discussed ecosystem services for decades, however, society is still in the early stages of developing methodologies to quantify and value the services that ecosystems provide. For example, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently established the Sustainable and Healthy Communities Research Program to develop such methodologies, so that natural capital can be better accounted for in decisions that affect the supply of the ecosystem goods and services upon which human well-being depends. Essential to this goal are highly integrated models that can be used to define policy and management strategies for entire ecosystems, not simply individual components of the ecosystem. We developed the VELMA (Visualizing Ecosystems for Land Management Assessments) eco-hydrologic modeling framework to help address this emerging risk assessment objective. Here we describe a proof-of-concept application of VELMA to the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, a forested 64 km2 basin and Long Term Ecological Research site in the western Cascade Range of Oregon, USA. VELMA is a spatially-distributed eco-hydrologic model that links a land surface hydrologic model with a terrestrial biogeochemistry model for simulating the integrated responses of vegetation, soil, and water resources to interacting stressors. We used the model to simulate the effects of three different land use scenarios (100% old-growth, 100% clearcut harvest, and present-day land cover consisting of 45% old-growth and 55% harvested) on trade-offs among five ecosystem services: timber production, carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas regulation, water quantity, and water quality. Compared to the old-growth simulation, over a 60-yr period the clearcut simulation reduced total ecosystem carbon stocks (-40%), and initially increased total stream discharge (+28%), stream nitrogen export (>300%), and total CO2 and N2O radiative forcing (>200%). The simulation for

  12. Using Modeling and Simulation to Complement Testing for Increased Understanding of Weapon Subassembly Response.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wong, Michael K. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Davidson, Megan [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    2017-09-01

    As part of Sandia’s nuclear deterrence mission, the B61-12 Life Extension Program (LEP) aims to modernize the aging weapon system. Modernization requires requalification and Sandia is using high performance computing to perform advanced computational simulations to better understand, evaluate, and verify weapon system performance in conjunction with limited physical testing. The Nose Bomb Subassembly (NBSA) of the B61-12 is responsible for producing a fuzing signal upon ground impact. The fuzing signal is dependent upon electromechanical impact sensors producing valid electrical fuzing signals at impact. Computer generated models were used to assess the timing between the impact sensor’s response to the deceleration of impact and damage to major components and system subassemblies. The modeling and simulation team worked alongside the physical test team to design a large-scale reverse ballistic test to not only assess system performance, but to also validate their computational models. The reverse ballistic test conducted at Sandia’s sled test facility sent a rocket sled with a representative target into a stationary B61-12 (NBSA) to characterize the nose crush and functional response of NBSA components. Data obtained from data recorders and high-speed photometrics were integrated with previously generated computer models in order to refine and validate the model’s ability to reliably simulate real-world effects. Large-scale tests are impractical to conduct for every single impact scenario. By creating reliable computer models, we can perform simulations that identify trends and produce estimates of outcomes over the entire range of required impact conditions. Sandia’s HPCs enable geometric resolution that was unachievable before, allowing for more fidelity and detail, and creating simulations that can provide insight to support evaluation of requirements and performance margins. As computing resources continue to improve, researchers at Sandia are hoping

  13. Responses to abiotic environmental stresses among phylloplane and soil isolates of Beauveria bassiana from two holm oak ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Bravo, María; Garrido-Jurado, Inmaculada; Valverde-García, Pablo; Enkerli, Jürg; Quesada-Moraga, Enrique

    2016-11-01

    The response of entomopathogenic mitosporic ascomycete (EMAs) to abiotic stresses might be adapted to the microhabitats in which they inhabit. In phylloplane, these organisms are more exposed to such stresses than they are in soil, which may have led to adaptation to this environment. In the present work, we investigate whether Beauveria bassiana genotype or isolation habitat, i.e., soil or phylloplane, within the same geographic area influences their responses to key environmental stresses, such as temperature, moisture and ultraviolet radiation (UV-B), which can affect their successful use in microbial control. Twenty isolates of B. bassiana obtained from the soil and phylloplane in two ecosystems from southern Spain (holm oak dehesa and a reforested area) were selected to study the population distribution of these isolates and evaluate their thermal, humidity and UV-B requirements. Molecular characterization was conducted by using elongation factor-1α (EF-1α), the intergenic nuclear region Bloc and 15 microsatellite primers. The cluster analysis based on concatenated EF-1α and Bloc sequences grouped the 20 isolates into five clades within B. basiana, with Clades a, b, d and e containing both soil and phylloplane isolates and Clade c including three phylloplane isolates. The dendrogram and the minimal spanning network generated from the genetic distances among multilocus genotypes showed four divergent groups corresponding to the five clades obtained based on the sequence data (Clades b and d were represented in the same group), with a high degree of shared alleles within groups and few alleles shared among groups. Although no relationship was found between MLG and the habitat (soil or phylloplane) of isolation, isolates grouped into Clade c, all of which were collected from phylloplane, formed a separate group of MLGs. To investigate our hypothesis, the responses to temperature (germination and colony growth evaluated in the range 15-35°C), water activity

  14. Country-wide assessment of estuary health: An approach for integrating pressures and ecosystem response in a data limited environment

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Van Niekerk, L

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Population and development pressures increase the need for proactive strategic management on a regional or country-wide scale - reactively protecting ecosystems on an estuary-by-estuary basis against multiple pressures is ‘resource hungry...

  15. EnviroAtlas’s National Assessment of Cultural Ecosystem Services: Leveraging Social Media to Understand America’s Most Valued Landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    While the United States is home to many special places that deliver numerous cultural ecosystem services (CES), there has yet to be a national assessment of these benefits. Identifying and characterizing locations that are appreciated for their beauty, opportunities for outdoor a...

  16. Using physiology and behaviour to understand the responses of fish early life stages to toxicants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sloman, K A; McNeil, P L

    2012-12-01

    The use of early life stages of fishes (embryos and larvae) in toxicity testing has been i