Skip to Main Content
Response of North American ecosystem models to multi-annual periodicities in temperature and precipitationAuthor(s): J. Alan Yeakley; Ron A. Moen; David D. Breshears; Martha K. Nungesser
Source: Landscape Ecology. 9(4): 249-260. (Editor’s Note: The Evaluation of Watershed Ecosystem Responses to Natural, Management, and Other Human Disturbances research work unit, Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory, provided partial funding for this publication.)
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
PDF: View PDF (569 KB)
DescriptionEcosystem models typically use input temperature and precipitation data generated stochastically from weather station means and variances. Although the weather station data are based on measurements taken over a few decades, model simulations are usually on the order of centuries. Consequently, observed periodicities in temperature and precipitation at the continental scale that have been correlated with large scale forcings, such as ocean-atmosphere dynamics and lunar and sunspot cycles, are ignored. We investigated how these natural climatic fluctuations affect aboveground biomass in ecosystem models by incorporating some of the more pronounced continental-scale cycles in temperature (4, 11, 80, 180 year periods) and precipitation (11 and 19 year periods) into models of three North American forests (using LINKAGES) and one North American grassland (using STEPPE). Even without inclusion of periodicities in climate, long-term dynamics of these models were characterized by internal frequencies resulting from vegetation birth, growth, and death processes. Our results indicate that long-term temperature cycles result in significantly lower predictions of forest biomass than observed in the control case for a forest on a biome transition (northern hardwoods/boreal forest). Lower-frequency, higher-amplitude temperature oscillation caused amplification of forest biomass response in forests containing hardwood species. Shortgrass prairie and boreal ecosystems, dominated by species with broad stress tolerance ranges, were relatively insensitive to climatic oscillations. Our results suggest periodicities in climate should be incorporated within long-term simulations of ecosystems with strong internal frequencies, particularly for systems on biome transitions.
- You may send email to email@example.com to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationYeakley, J. Alan; Moen, Ron A.; Breshears, David D.; Nungesser, Martha K. 1994. Response of North American ecosystem models to multi-annual periodicities in temperature and precipitation. Landscape Ecology. 9(4): 249-260. (Editor’s Note: The Evaluation of Watershed Ecosystem Responses to Natural, Management, and Other Human Disturbances research work unit, Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory, provided partial funding for this publication.)
- Extreme precipitation patterns and reductions of terrestrial ecosystem production across biomes
- Using inventory-based tree-ring data as a proxy for historical climate: Investigating the Pacific decadal oscillation and teleconnections
- Climate change as an ecosystem architect: implications to rare plant ecology, conservation, and restoration
XML: View XML