Introduction and Goals:
In the Western US mountain regions, winter temperature increases will lead to the reduction and even loss of winter snowpacks.
A shift from snow to rain-dominated systems will alter seasonal patterns of streamflow, soil moisture, soil temperature, etc. affecting a myriad of ecosystem processes.
This proposed work will develop a working group and fund a student to aggregate and synthesize data relevant to the ecosystem implications of disappearing snow in the rain-snow transition of the Western US.
This proposed effort will “stimulate cross-site and Network-level synthesis” by addressing issues of collaboration within the LTER network. Scientific synthesis should be promoted as we better understand the nature of that collaboration.
The concept that the LTER program works as a network of interacting sites and scientists is grounded in the earliest documents of the US LTER (Callahan 1984) through the most recent decadal plan (US LTER 2007).
The initiatives proposed in recent documents (US LTER 2007) cannot be achieved without this interaction.
We propose to organize a working group that will analyze and synthesize long-term data on the relationship between precipitation variability and the structure of North American (NA) grassland plant communities.
This project will build on prior LTER-related synthetic efforts that have evaluated the response of aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) to precipitation variability [1-2] and the relationships among ANPP, plant community composition and resource availability [3-7] in NA grasslands.
We propose a new synthesis effort between the California Current Ecosystem (CCE) LTER, the Mo’orea Coral Reef (MCR) LTER and the Santa Barbara Channel (SBC) LTER to incorporate regional modeling of physical processes around islands in both the tropical Pacific and California Current regions.
While these LTERs are focused on two vastly different oceanic regions, they each contain a number of small islands that interfere with larger-scale ocean circulation by producing wakes, trapped circulation patterns and other island topographic effects.
A four-day workshop will use LTER data, including data from the EcoTrends project, to bridge the gap between the relatively mature theoretical understanding of thresholds and state changes in ecological systems and the emerging empirical databases that allow us to actually test models of state changes.
Many of these changes represent “tipping points” or dramatic changes in the states of the systems, and our workshop will use data from terrestrial, coastal, and open-ocean systems to illustrate common mechanisms underlying state changes and threshold dynamics.
The Maps and Local (MALS) project is a collaborative effort to develop common methods for research on social-ecological systems at the LTER network scale. (http://www.lter.uaf.edu/bnz_MALS.cfm)
Eleven sites have been funded to participate in MALS under the social science supplement for 2009-2010 and 2010-2011; another four sites are participating using other resources.
We are requesting Synthesis Working Group funds to support LTER participation in StreamchemDB.
StreamchemDB is focused on aquatic chemistry data, and builds on former data synthesis projects ClimDB and HydroDB, all of which have been collaborative LTER-Forest Service cross-site synthesis and cyber-infrastructure projects.
Long-term ecological studies have expanded our view of microbial biology with the incorporation of long-term monitoring programs of diversity, plant and animal ecology, and decomposition processes in the context of global climate change.
The full integration of meaningful cross-site ecological-genomic studies into LTER research will require either substantial new infrastructure or access to existing infrastructure in terms of both sequencing technology and data handling.
We propose to hold a workshop to explore challenges, opportunities, and potential outcomes of engaging the humanities and arts in consideration of future scenarios of landscape change in the face of climate change, land use, and human population growth.
We request funding to complete a peer-reviewed manuscript establishing a framework for successful graduate student cross-site socio-ecological research. This manuscript will build upon ideas generated at the LTER 2009 All Scientists Meeting in Estes Park, CO.