Skip to Main Content
The response of terrestrial ecosystems to global climate change: Towards an integrated approachAuthor(s): Lindsey E. Rustad
Source: Science of The Total Environment. 404(2-3): 222-235.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
View PDF (583.75 KB)
DescriptionAccumulating evidence points to an anthropogenic 'fingerprint' on the global climate change that has occurred in the last century. Climate change has, and will continue to have, profound effects on the structure and function of terrestrial ecosystems. As such, there is a critical need to continue to develop a sound scientific basis for national and international policies regulating carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions. This paper reflects on the nature of current global change experiments, and provides recommendations for a unified multidisciplinary approach to future research in this dynamic field. These recommendations include: (1) better integration between experiments and models, and amongst experimental, monitoring, and space-for-time studies; (2) stable and increased support for long-term studies and multi-factor experiments; (3) explicit inclusion of biodiversity, disturbance, and extreme events in experiments and models; (4) consideration of timing vs intensity of global change factors in experiments and models; (5) evaluation of potential thresholds or ecosystem ‘tipping points’; and (6) increased support for model–model and model–experiment comparisons. These recommendations, which reflect discussions within the TERACC international network of global change scientists, will facilitate the unraveling of the complex direct and indirect effects of global climate change on terrestrial ecosystems and their components.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, firstname.lastname@example.org if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- 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.
CitationRustad, Lindsey E. 2008. The response of terrestrial ecosystems to global climate change: Towards an integrated approach. Science of The Total Environment. 404(2-3).pp. 222-235.
KeywordsGlobal climate change, Global change experiments, TERACC, Terrestrial ecosystems
- From transient to steady-state response of ecosystems to atmospheric CO2-enrichment and global climate change: conceptual challenges and need for an integrated approach
- Evidence and implications of recent and projected climate change in Alaska's forest ecosystems
- A meta-analysis of the response of soil respiration, net nitrogen mineralization, and aboveground plant growth to experimental ecosystem warming
XML: View XML