Predictions regarding future climate change vary greatly among regions,
and these predictions include directional changes such as more arid
conditions in the US Southwest (Seager et al. 2007), as well as an
expectation of greater interannual variability (Easterling et al.
Working Group Goals: Given that this is the first
attempt to address the issue of network availability of vegetation data
our goals are extremely fundamental but critical at this stage:
Woody encroachment is occurring worldwide (Archer 1995), with negative
effects on biodiversity in North America (Ratajczak et al. in press) and
uncertain effects on ecosystem functioning (Barger et al. 2011). The
spatial properties of tree and grass dominance are well-studied and
strongly suggest that woody encroachment of grasslands represents a
shift to an alternative stable state (Archer et al. 1995, Shaver et al.
2001, Briggs et al. 2005, Young et al. 2007, Bond 2008, Sankaren et al.
2005, Browning et al. 2008, D’Odorico et al. 2011, Staver et al. 2011).
Zoning, building codes, subdivision ordinances, and neighborhood
association rules are the most pervasive institutions affecting land use
in the USA, yet their impact on land use change and ecosystem services
and the distribution of these environmental goods and “bads” is highly
variable and not well understood.
Rationale: While the importance of legacy effect
characterization to interpreting long-term records of ecological
conditions has continued to emerge (Bain et al. in review “Legacies in Material Flux: Structural Catchment Changes Pre-date Long-term Studies” BioScience)
some early structural legacies (e.g.
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.
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.
The goal of this workshop is to test hypotheses (identified in a 2010 working group) about ecological and social resilience of the water cycle to climate change and land use change in ten major river basins in the US and Canada.
The goal of this synthesis is to evaluate uncertainty in hydrologic inputs, outputs, and net hydrologic flux of major elements across small watersheds with diverse characteristics.
The long-term goal of this project is to contribute to a cultural change in ecology that makes uncertainty analysis an accepted and expected practice in the construction of ecosystem budgets.