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In many temperate and annual grasslands, above-ground net primary productivity (NPP) can be estimated by measuring peak above-ground biomass. Estimates of below-ground net primary productivity and, consequently, total net primary productivity, are more difficult. We addressed one of the three main objectives of the Global Primary Productivity Data Initiative for grassland systems to develop simple models or algorithms to estimate missing components of total system NPP. Any estimate of below-ground NPP (BNPP) requires an accounting of total root biomass, the percentage of living biomass and annual turnover of live roots. We derived a relationship using above-ground peak biomass and mean annual temperature as predictors...
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AimConservation planning requires the prioritization of a subset of taxa and geographical locations to focus monitoring and management efforts. Integration of the threats and opportunities posed by climate change often relies on predictions from species distribution models, particularly for assessments of vulnerability or invasion risk for multiple taxa. We evaluated whether species distribution models could reliably rank changes in species range size under climate and land use change.LocationConterminous U.S.A.Time period1977–2014.Major taxa studiedPasserine birds.MethodsWe estimated ensembles of species distribution models based on historical North American Breeding Bird Survey occurrences for 190 songbirds, and...
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Aim  Extrapolation of tower CO2 fluxes will be greatly facilitated if robust relationships between flux components and remotely sensed factors are established. Long-term measurements at five Northern Great Plains locations were used to obtain relationships between CO2fluxes and photosynthetically active radiation (Q), other on-site factors, and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) from the SPOT VEGETATION data set. Location  CO2 flux data from the following stations and years were analysed: Lethbridge, Alberta 1998–2001; Fort Peck, MT 2000, 2002; Miles City, MT 2000–01; Mandan, ND 1999–2001; and Cheyenne, WY 1997–98. Results  Analyses based on light-response functions allowed partitioning net CO2 flux...
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1. A classic biogeographic pattern is the alignment of diploid, tetraploid and hexaploid races of creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) across the Chihuahuan, Sonoran and Mohave Deserts of western North America. We used statistically robust differences in guard cell size of modern plants and fossil leaves from packrat middens to map current and past distributions of these ploidy races since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). 2 Glacial/early Holocene (26a??10 14C kyr bp or thousands of radiocarbon years before present) populations included diploids along the lower Rio Grande of west Texas, 650 km removed from sympatric diploids and tetraploids in the lower Colorado River Basin of south-eastern California/south-western Arizona....
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Aim The fluctuations of atmospheric methane (CH4) that have occurred in recent decades are not fully understood, particularly with regard to the contribution from wetlands. The application of spatially explicit parameters has been suggested as an effective method for reducing uncertainties in bottom-up approaches to wetland CH4 emissions, but has not been included in recent studies. Our goal was to estimate spatio-temporal patterns of global wetland CH4 emissions using a process model and then to identify the contribution of wetland emissions to atmospheric CH4fluctuations. Location Global. Methods A process-based model integrated with full descriptions of methanogenesis (TRIPLEX-GHG) was used to simulate...
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Aim To reassess the capacity of mangroves for ecosystem services in the light of recent data. Location Global mangrove ecosystems. Methods We review four long-standing roles of mangroves: (1) carbon dynamics – export or sink; (2) nursery role; (3) shoreline protection; (4) land-building capacity. The origins of pertinent hypotheses, current understanding and gaps in our knowledge are highlighted with reference to biogeographic, geographic and socio-economic influences. Results The role of mangroves as C sinks needs to be evaluated for a wide range of biogeographic regions and forest conditions. Mangrove C assimilation may be under-estimated because of flawed methodology and scanty data on key components of C...
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Management of terrestrial carbon fluxes is being proposed as a means of increasing the amount of carbon sequestered in the terrestrial biosphere. This approach is generally viewed only as an interim strategy for the coming decades while other longer-term strategies are developed and implemented — the most important being the direct reduction of carbon emissions. We are concerned that the potential for rapid, disturbance-induced losses may be much greater than is currently appreciated, especially by the decision-making community. Here we wish to: (1) highlight the complex and threshold-like nature of disturbances — such as fire and drought, as well as the erosion associated with each — that could lead to carbon losses;...
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Reconstructions of dry western US forests in the late 19th century in Arizona, Colorado and Oregon based on General Land Office records were used by Williams & Baker (2012; Global Ecology and Biogeography, 21, 1042–1052; hereafter W&B) to infer past fire regimes with substantial moderate and high-severity burning. The authors concluded that present-day large, high-severity fires are not distinguishable from historical patterns. We present evidence of important errors in their study. First, the use of tree size distributions to reconstruct past fire severity and extent is not supported by empirical age–size relationships nor by studies that directly quantified disturbance history in these forests. Second, the fire...
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Aim  To demonstrate how the interrelations of individual movements form large-scale population-level movement patterns and how these patterns are associated with the underlying landscape dynamics by comparing ungulate movements across species.Locations  Arctic tundra in Alaska and Canada, temperate forests in Massachusetts, Patagonian Steppes in Argentina, Eastern Steppes in Mongolia.Methods  We used relocation data from four ungulate species (barren-ground caribou, Mongolian gazelle, guanaco and moose) to examine individual movements and the interrelation of movements among individuals. We applied and developed a suite of spatial metrics that measure variation in movement among individuals as population dispersion,...
* 1 A classic biogeographic pattern is the alignment of diploid, tetraploid and hexaploid races of creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) across the Chihuahuan, Sonoran and Mohave Deserts of western North America. We used statistically robust differences in guard cell size of modern plants and fossil leaves from packrat middens to map current and past distributions of these ploidy races since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). * 2 Glacial/early Holocene (26?10 14C kyr bp or thousands of radiocarbon years before present) populations included diploids along the lower Rio Grande of west Texas, 650 km removed from sympatric diploids and tetraploids in the lower Colorado River Basin of south-eastern California/south-western...
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Mangroves are species of halophytic intertidal trees and shrubs derived from tropical genera and are likely delimited in latitudinal range by varying sensitivity to cold. There is now sufficient evidence that mangrove species have proliferated at or near their poleward limits on at least five continents over the past half century, at the expense of salt marsh. Avicennia is the most cold-tolerant genus worldwide, and is the subject of most of the observed changes. Avicennia germinans has extended in range along the US Atlantic coast and expanded into salt marsh as a consequence of lower frost frequency and intensity in the southern USA. The genus has also expanded into salt marsh at its southern limit in Peru, and...
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Aims Extensive dieback of salt marsh dominated by the perennial grass Spartina alterniflora occurred throughout the Mississippi River deltaic plain during 2000. More than 100,000 ha were affected, with 43,000 ha severely damaged. The aim of this work was to determine if sudden dieback could have been caused by a coincident drought and to assess the significance of this event with respect to long-term changes in coastal vegetation. Location Multiple dieback sites and reference sites were established along 150 km of shoreline in coastal Louisiana, USA. Methods Aerial and ground surveys were conducted from June 2000 to September 2001 to assess soil conditions and plant mortality and recovery. Results Dieback areas...
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Aim: To test the hypothesis that anthropogenic alteration of stream-flow regimes is a key driver of compositional shifts from native to introduced riparian plant species. Location: The arid south-western United States; 24 river reaches in the Gila and Lower Colorado drainage basins of Arizona. Methods: We compared the abundance of three dominant woody riparian taxa (native Populus fremontii and Salix gooddingii, and introduced Tamarix) between river reaches that varied in stream-flow permanence (perennial vs. intermittent), presence or absence of an upstream flow-regulating dam, and presence or absence of municipal effluent as a stream water source. Results: Populus and Salix were the dominant pioneer trees along...
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Aim: Species richness has been observed to increase with productivity at large spatial scales, though the strength of this relationship varies among functional groups. In forests, canopy trees shade understorey plants, and for this reason we hypothesize that species richness of canopy trees will depend on macroclimate, while species richness of shorter growth forms will additionally be affected by shading from the canopy. In this study we test for differences in species richness-productivity relationships (SRPRs) among growth forms (canopy trees, shrubs, herbaceous species) in small forest plots. Location: We analysed 231 plots ranging from 34.0?? to 48.3?? N latitude and from 75.0?? to 124.2?? W longitude in the...
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Aim: Predictions of vegetation change with global warming require models that accurately reflect physiological processes underlying growth limitations and species distributions. However, information about environmental controls on physiology and consequent effects on species boundaries and ecosystem functions such as production is limited, especially for forested wetlands that are potentially important carbon sinks. Location: The bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) region of the south-eastern United States was studied to examine how production of an important forested wetland varies with latitude and temperature as well as local hydrology. Methods: We used published data to analyse litter production across a latitudinal...
In many temperate and annual grasslands, above-ground net primary productivity (NPP) can be estimated by measuring peak above-ground biomass. Estimates of below-ground net primary productivity and, consequently, total net primary productivity, are more difficult. We addressed one of the three main objectives of the Global Primary Productivity Data Initiative for grassland systems to develop simple models or algorithms to estimate missing components of total system NPP. Any estimate of below-ground NPP (BNPP) requires an accounting of total root biomass, the percentage of living biomass and annual turnover of live roots. We derived a relationship using above-ground peak biomass and mean annual temperature as predictors...
Ecoregional analysis of near-coastal sea-surface temperature in the North Pacific (In preparation), credited to Reusser, D.A., published in 2010. Published in Global Ecology and Biogeography, in 2010.
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AimElucidating patterns in species responses to habitat fragmentation is an important focus of ecology and conservation, but studies are often geographically restricted, taxonomically narrow or use indirect measures of species vulnerability. We investigated predictors of species presence after fragmentation using data from studies around the world that included all four terrestrial vertebrate classes, thus allowing direct inter-taxonomic comparison.LocationWorld-wide.MethodsWe used generalized linear mixed-effect models in an information theoretic framework to assess the factors that explained species presence in remnant habitat patches (3342 patches; 1559 species, mostly birds; and 65,695 records of patch-specific...
Aim A regional analysis was used to explore the influence of river regulation on the dominance of non-native, invasive shrubs and trees. We addressed the following questions: (1) How do large dams affect hydrological parameters that influence riparian vegetation? (2) How do flow regimes affect the dominance of non-native woody species? (3) How do changes in flow regimes affect the dominance of non-native woody species? Location South-western USA. Methods We sampled the canopy cover of woody species on 179 point bars along seven non-dammed and thirteen dammed river segments. Wilcoxon rank sum tests were used to determine differences between flow parameters in dammed and non-dammed rivers. We used correlation analyses...
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Aim Our scientific understanding of the extent and distribution of mangrove forests of the world is inadequate. The available global mangrove databases, compiled using disparate geospatial data sources and national statistics, need to be improved. Here, we mapped the status and distributions of global mangroves using recently available Global Land Survey (GLS) data and the Landsat archive.Methods We interpreted approximately 1000 Landsat scenes using hybrid supervised and unsupervised digital image classification techniques. Each image was normalized for variation in solar angle and earth-sun distance by converting the digital number values to the top-of-the-atmosphere reflectance. Ground truth data and existing...