D rought I mpacts on R egional E cosystems Net work. NSF Funded Network. NEON Climate Domains. Google: DIREnet. Ponderosa Pine Mortality. Pinyon Pine Mortality. DIRENET Data Archiving Goals:. Target Data Types:. Architectural Concept:.
Drought Impacts on Regional Ecosystems Network
NEON Climate Domains
Ponderosa Pine Mortality
Pinyon Pine Mortality
DIRENET Data Archiving Goals:
Target Data Types:
Core SERF System Framework
Core SERF user-interaction tools
Cross-data type integration and analysis schema
Drought Impact Data
Access Control and Security
Core Database Infrastructure
Dynamic Web-accessible Interface
May 17, 2003 North of San Francisco Peaks
September 20, 2003 North of San Francisco Peaks
Coordinating Studies on Southwest Forests & Woodlands
Neil Cobb, Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ and Eck Doerry, Department of Computer Science, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ
Extending the Network
Although our network emerged from a need to understand an extreme event that is regionally resetting major ecosystem types, the potential for DIREnet easily extends to other complementary themes and programs (Figure 5) including 1) an examination of drought as a special case of extreme events (Gutshick & BassiriRad 2003), 2) a global perspective on drought impacts (Kogan 1997), 3) the major environmental challenges suggested by the national Research Council for NEON (Tilman et al 2003), and associated work on climate change (CLIMAS), and 4) the socioeconomic implications of drought (Swetnam et al in prep).
A severe regional drought that began in the late 1990’s rapidly and dramatically altered southwestern forest and woodland ecosystems (Fig. 1). The drought became a catalyst, bringing researchers and land managers together to consider a long-term strategy to understand the drought in light of global climate change. The result of these interactions was the Drought Impacts on Regional Ecosystems Network (DIREnet). The network consists of 45 core participants from 24 institutions and coordinates studies on drought impacts on forest and woodlands of the Southwest. It also seeks to understand the role of climate change in mediating such extreme events. DIREnet will promote specific research questions and collaborations that could not be addressed without such pan-regional coordination. An example of promoting collaborations is a recent study documenting the impacts of the drought and ensuing bark-beetle outbreaks, and proposing a linkage to climate change (Breshears et al 2005). This is an important study that documents the extent (Fig. 1) and intensity (Fig. 2) of a major drought that was hotter than past droughts and may be one of the first documented global change droughts.
Figure 5. Extensions of network activities
The success of DIREnet will in large part be measured by our ability to foresee and make connections with other networks and programs. For example, how well would the proposed NEON climate domains help us document the ecological impacts of this or future droughts. Figure 6 shows that the Rocky Mountain-Colorado Plateau (Domain 13) contained the vast majority of the mortality observed in southwestern forests and woodlands. Thus, if NEON infrastructure had been dispersed across three fixed platforms and one mobile platform, it would have greatly aided our ability to understand the processes and document the patterns of the drought-related mortality across the region and over different time scales. The drought and its relationship with climate change should be used as a model in developing NEON infrastructure and determining its deployment.
Breshears, D.D., N.S. Cobb, P.M. Rich, K.P. Price, C.D. Allen, R.G. Balice, W.H. Romme, J.H. Kastens, M.L. Floyd, J. Belnap, J.J. Anderson, O.B. Myers, and C.W. Meyer. 2005. Regional vegetation die-off in response to global-change type drought. (In Press, Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences USA).
Ponderosa Pine Mortality
Pinyon Pine Mortality
The overall plan for the network is illustrated in Figure 3. The network activities include identifying research themes, targeting funding opportunities and products, developing a coordination plan that includes a powerful online research forum, and the development of education (Figure 4) and outreach efforts.
Figure 1. Distribution of Tree Mortality
Figure 6. Distribution of tree mortality in relation to NEON climate domains. Arrows show mortality across the Rocky Mtns-Colorado Plateau (Domain 13) and the Great Basin (Domain 15).
Core Network Participants
Neil Cobb, Northern Arizona U. Eck Doerry, Northern Arizona U.
Core Participants (Steering Committee)
Craig Allen, USGS/Bandelier NP Mike Allen, U. California-Riverside
Bill Romme, Colorado State University Julio Betancourt, USGS/U of Arizona
David D. Breshears, University of Arizona Scott Collins, UNM/ Sevilleta LTER
Lisa Floyd, Prescott College Vince Gutshick, New Mexico State U.
Jeff Mitton, UC-Boulder Eugene Schupp, Utah State U.
Tom Swetnam, U of Arizona Robin Tausch, USFS-Rocky Mtn. Res. Sta.
Scott Anderson, Northern Arizona U. John Bailey, Northern Arizona U.
Jarret Barber, Montana State University Karen Eisenhart, U. of Colorado
Catherine Gehring, Northern Arizona U. Bruce Hungate, Northern Arizona U.
George Koch, Northern Arizona U. Tom Kolb, Northern Arizona U.
Joel McMillin, USFS –FHM Arizona Mark Miller, USGS, CPFS
Margaret Moore, Northern Arizona U. Esteban Muldavin, U. New Mexico
Tomoe Natori, Dine College Jose Negron, USFS-Forest Health Colorado
Kiona Ogle, Montana State University Catherine Ortega, Fort Lewis College
John Prather, Northern Arizona U. Deana Pennington, LTER Network Office
Paul M. Rich, Los Alamos National Lab Christine Turner, USGS
Pete Fule, Northern Arizona University Tom Sisk, Northern Arizona U
Tad Theimer, Northern Arizona U. Phillip vanMantgem, USGS
Thomas Whitham, Northern Arizona U. Yaguang Xu, Northern Arizona U.
The Southwest Ecological Research Forum (SERF): exploring a novel informatics metaphor
Figure 2. Rapid conversion of Pinyon-Juniper Woodland to Juniper Woodland, resulting from drought followed by Pinyon-specific bark beetle outbreak
SERF Design Goals:
1) Spatial and temporal climate variability (Comrie et al. 1998) correlate with tree mortality (Logan & Powell 2001), fire (Swetnam & Betancourt 1992) and ecosystem productivity across the region (Allen et al. 1998);
2) Northern populations of Southwest tree species will experience less drought stress and hence less selection for drought tolerance
3) Evolutionary paths will be redirected. There is evidence that extreme events such as these droughts exert the major selection pressures (Gutschick & BassiriRad 2003) and may explain diverse patterns of trait associations;
4) Drought & tree mortality will greatly alter fire regimes across the region in complex ways;
5) Consequences of the death and changing distributions of dominant trees will be community-wide (Whitham et al. 2003). For example, with over 1000 species dependent upon pinyon pine (Brown et al. 2001), drought will affect diverse taxa from microbes to vertebrates and only a coordinated network can bring the findings of such diverse taxa and disciplines together;
6) Ecosystems will be completely transformed (versus intact ecosystems moving upwards along gradients of temperature and precipitation) (Scheffer et al. 2001);
7) Invasive species will expand across the region as a result of wide-scale disturbance; and
8) The recovery phase is prolonged and may account for major effects on inclusive fitness (Gutschick & BassiriRad 2003), thus, it is imperative to follow the patterns of resource use, growth, development, and reproduction over long periods and diverse geographic locations, by coordinating research of many groups and institutions.
Figure 3. Functions of the Network
Progress to date:
Figure 4. Website of Graduate Class dedicated to understanding ecological impacts of climate change