Integrated Science for Society and the Environment
<ul><li>OUTLINE: </li></ul><ul><li>Background : </li></ul><ul><li>Millennium Ecosystem Assessment – Ecosystem Services </li></ul><ul><li>History of Funding at NSF </li></ul><ul><li>Integration of Education, CI, and Disciplines </li></ul><ul><li>Goals of the Planning Process </li></ul><ul><li>Central Premise and Conceptual Drivers: </li></ul><ul><li>Population growth and distribution </li></ul><ul><li>Consumption and resource availability (“hockey team” graph; N to be added) </li></ul><ul><li>Hierarchical Framework </li></ul><ul><li>Questions and approaches </li></ul><ul><li>Themes: </li></ul><ul><li>Altered biogeochemical and water cycles </li></ul><ul><li>Climate variability and climate change </li></ul><ul><li>Altered biotic structure </li></ul><ul><li>Social Sciences Overlay Project </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><li>Biogeochemistry and water example questions </li></ul><ul><li>Sevilleta Example </li></ul><ul><li>Summary </li></ul>
<ul><li>Objective 1: establish activities that will lead to multi-site, highly collaborative and integrated research initiatives that explicitly include synthesis components and, where appropriate, will be coupled with novel training opportunities in graduate and undergraduate education. </li></ul><ul><li>Objective 2: evaluate existing LTER Network governance structure and further stimulate the culture of collaboration within the LTER Network. </li></ul><ul><li>Objective 3: envision and develop education and training activities that will infuse LTER science into the K-12 science curriculum. </li></ul>A DECADE OF SYNTHESIS: GOALS OF THE LTER PLANNING PROCESS (from the proposal): This proposal describes an ambitious planning activity to develop a new LTER science agenda that when implemented will use the Network to its maximum potential and take LTER science to a higher level of research collaboration, synthesis and integration.
<ul><li>Build on the strengths of the existing LTER Network: </li></ul><ul><li>Research on </li></ul><ul><ul><li>climate variability and climate change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>biogeochemical cycles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>biotic structure and dynamics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Experience Integrating Ecology, Geosciences and Social Sciences </li></ul><ul><li>Well Defined Organizational Structure </li></ul><ul><li>Common Network-level Goals </li></ul><ul><li>Cyberinfrastructure and Information Management </li></ul><ul><li>Strong Graduate and Undergraduate Education </li></ul><ul><li>Schoolyard LTER </li></ul>
<ul><li>Human activities tend to be associated with changes in key resources and drivers (e.g., CO 2 , nitrogen, H 2 O, sea level rise). </li></ul><ul><li>These changes can be classified as either pulses (discrete events) and presses (continuous). </li></ul><ul><li>Individual species have evolved adaptations to capture and use resources and to respond to various environmental drivers. </li></ul><ul><li>Thus, changes in resource availability or environmental drivers are likely to have significant consequences for species interactions, community structure and ecosystem functioning. </li></ul><ul><li>Human social systems are also spatially and temporally dynamic, and also respond to, create and alter pulse and press events. </li></ul><ul><li>Social system drivers and dynamics (tax laws, regulations, preferences, behaviors) directly affect ecological processes. </li></ul><ul><li>Ecological processes have feedbacks that affect human social systems. </li></ul>Central Premise
Establish a framework for an integrated long-term multi-site research program based on (anthropogenic) pulse-press interactions in ecosystems and their feedbacks with human societies. Press factor – variable or driver that is applied continuously at rates ranging from low to high (e.g., atmospheric nitrogen deposition, elevated CO2). Includes changes in rates (increases, decreases) relative to some historical baseline. Pulse factor – variable or driver that is applied once or at periodic intervals (e.g., fire, extreme climatic events). Includes changes in the size, magnitude and frequency at which pulses occur. Scale issues – Pulses become presses over some temporal scale (e.g., annual burning in grasslands is a pulse in one season but a press across many years) Concept from Bender et al. 1984. Perturbation experiments in community ecology: Theory and practice. Ecology 65(1):1-13. Approach
Hierarchical structure of the LTER Planning Framework Climate Variability Climate Change Social-Ecological Systems Altered Biotic Structure Altered Biogeochemical Cycles
Framework Questions <ul><li>Q1: How do long-term press disturbances and short-term pulse disturbances interact to alter ecosystem structure and function? </li></ul><ul><li>Q2: How can biotic structure be both a cause and consequence of ecological fluxes of energy & matter? </li></ul><ul><li>Q3: How do altered ecosystem dynamics affect ecosystem services? </li></ul><ul><li>Q4: How do changes in vital ecosystem services feed back to alter human behavior? </li></ul><ul><li>Q5: What shapes human behavior with regard to ecosystems and how does this behavior feed back to affect ecosystem presses and pulses? </li></ul>
Socio-economic approaches <ul><li>Quantify regional scale vs. local scale drivers of human population redistribution and behavior. </li></ul><ul><li>Contrast how attitudes and drivers of human population dynamics vary among regions. </li></ul><ul><li>Catalogue impacts of population dynamics and decisions on ecosystem services and biotic structures. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop ecological scenarios and present scenarios to stakeholders. </li></ul><ul><li>Assess human perceptions, desires, and expectations for ecosystem goods and services. </li></ul><ul><li>Determine how changes in ecosystem services feed back to affect population preferences, movement patterns, etc. </li></ul>
US Long-term Ecological Research Network (LTER)
Resource and Amenity-based Migration and Land Use Dynamics 2. evolution of human attitudes and values as both ecosystems and human communities change over time. 3. experimental market ecology to examine institutional structures that affect ecosystems over time. 1. human settlement and development patterns in relation to natural resources and aesthetic and biodiversity amenities. WATER CARBON DIVERSITY
ECOSYSTEM SERVICES Water supply, water quality; environmental flows; fish and wildlife; aesthetic and recreational values; flood regulation ECOSYSTEM FUNCTION Water balance; nutrient regulation; local climate regulation; soil/substrate stability COMMUNITY STRUCTURE Functional types and heterogeneity of primary producers; soil/substrate formation; albedo, detrital organic matter PULSES & PRESSES Extreme events; altered storm runoff & floods; altered surface- & ground-water hydrology; altered precipitation and ET; altered snowpack; Increased human water demand; water quality degradation; interbasin water transfers; irrigation; salinization HUMAN BEHAVIOR Water demand; efficiency of use; regulatory & legal settings; human migration patterns; water compacts Q4 Q5 Q3 Q2 Q1 EXTERNAL DRIVERS such as climate change & atmospheric inputs
Altered Biogeochemical and Hydrological Cycles: Q1/Q2 What are the mechanisms and rates of feedback between hydrology, topography and ecology, and how do these vary as a function of local climate and climate variability? Are there threshold phenomena in these feedback mechanisms? Q1/Q2 How do hydrological changes impact ecosystems along downstream flow paths (surface and subsurface), including ultimately the coastal marine environment? And do they impact local climate? Q1 How do changes in climate and climate variability affect ecosystem services delivered by coupled terrestrial-aquatic ecosystems across a gradient of water availability? Q3 What are the controls on the ecosystem services of water supply (provisioning), water quality protection (regulating), protection from flooding (regulating), or cultural services? Q4 How do we prioritize ecosystem services and how do we resolve the conflicts and tradeoffs among them? Q4 How are regional populations, and components of those populations, differentially affected by these changes in ecosystem services (i.e., who is susceptible)? Q4/Q5 How do individuals, communities, and institutions respond to these changes? What new institutions or other radical changes in human behavior and action could lead to different outcomes? Q5 How do these responses translate into drivers affecting press and pulse disturbances and, consequently, ecosystem structure and function?
Disturbance Regimes Pulse : floods; sediment loading; point source contaminants; fire; local precipitation; heat extremes; Press : base flow flux, sediment reduction (erosion); nutrient inputs; landscape conversion; drought; warming; channel stabilization; ground water depletions; External Drivers (Solar output; tectonics) Biotic Structure Native/non-native interactions; microbial communities; vegetation stand structure; vegetation density (LAI); landscape patch mosaic; biodiversity status (all elements); Ecosystem Function ET/water budget; decomposition rates; nutrient cycling (e.g. nitrogen processing) /hydrology coupling; fluvial geomorphology; riverine groundwater recharge; ground water/surface water interactions; river primary production and metabolism Ecosystem Services Water quality/quantity; biodiversity maintenance; aesthetic values; fire reduction; hydrological security; Human Behavior Water use (urban/agric); recreation; urban/agricultural conversion (economic value); cultural fabric (historical social contingencies); changing demography; government regulations/ management (e.g. DSS); NGO initiatives; science literacy; Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5 Q1: How do long-term flow regulation and short-term flow variability (floods, droughts, and river drying) interact to alter the Rio Grande riverine corridor? Q2: How are feedbacks between water availability, decomposition, nutrient cycling, and fluvial geomorphology (ecosystem processes) and vegetation structure, patch dynamics, biodiversity, and microbial communities (biotic structure) affected by flow regulation and flow variability? Q3: How do changing river and riparian ecosystems affect the regional water budget, channel characteristics, water quality, fire regime, and biodiversity? Q4: How does the human population along the Middle Rio Grande respond to decreased water availability and quality, increased fire frequency, biodiversity losses, non-native species, and competing water demands? Q5: How do humans decisions and actions affect flow characteristics of the managed riverine corridor and responses to floods, fire, drought, and drying? SEV: Middle Rio Grande Riverine Social-Ecological System Regional Drivers Snowmelt hydrology; Regional economy; Compact requirements
overarching question: How do changing climate, biogeochemical cycles, and biotic structure affect ecosystem services and dynamics with feedbacks to human behavior? <ul><li>Important attributes of this research: </li></ul><ul><li>Multivariate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Expansion beyond univariate-based understanding to studying interactive effects of multiple stressors: we can model and manipulate these at multiple sites over long time frames and identify commonalities in ecosystem responses. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Interdisciplinary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People are typically viewed as drivers of change, but only infrequently as response variables - we will develop reciprocal models of causality that explicitly incorporate human behavior as both a cause and consequence of ecosystem change. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cross-site and cross-habitat </li></ul><ul><ul><li>multiple sites will allow us to identify the most important underlying processes through a combination of observation, modeling and experimentation </li></ul></ul>
<ul><li>RECENT AND NEXT STEPS: </li></ul><ul><li>Conference committee meeting in June 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>initiatives document </li></ul><ul><li>proposal framework </li></ul><ul><li>education </li></ul><ul><li>CI </li></ul><ul><li>Site Representatives meeting in Aug 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>presented site ideas </li></ul><ul><li>began integration of multi-site research </li></ul><ul><li>Sites develop detailed research plan </li></ul><ul><li>Aug 2006-June 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>All Scientist Meeting in Sept 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>flesh out questions and proposal </li></ul><ul><li>multi-site integration, phase II </li></ul><ul><li>(Science Council) </li></ul>
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