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    Author(s): Yiqi Luo; Jerry Melillo; Shuli Niu; Claus Beier; James S. Clark; Aime E.T. Classen; Eric Dividson; Jeffrey S. Dukes; R. Dave Evans; Christopher B. Field; Claudia I. Czimczik; Michael Keller; Bruce A. Kimball; Lara M. Kueppers; Richard J. Norby; Shannon L. Pelini; Elise Pendall; Edward Rastetter; Johan Six; Melinda Smith; Mark G. Tjoelker; Margaret S. Torn
    Date: 2011
    Source: Global Change Biology. 17: 843–854.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: International Institute of Tropical Forestry
    PDF: View PDF  (390.75 KB)

    Description

    Many serious ecosystem consequences of climate change will take decades or even centuries to emerge. Long-term ecological responses to global change are strongly regulated by slow processes, such as changes in species composition, carbon dynamics in soil and by long-lived plants, and accumulation of nutrient capitals. Understanding and predicting these processes require experiments on decadal time scales. But decadal experiments by themselves may not be adequate becausemany of the slowprocesses have characteristic time scales much longer than experiments can bemaintained. This article promotes a coordinated approach that combines long-term, large-scale global change experiments with process studies and modeling. Long-termglobal change manipulative experiments, especially in high-priority ecosystems such as tropical forests and high-latitude regions, are essential to maximize information gain concerning future states of the earth system. The long-term experiments should be conducted in tandem with complementary process studies, such as those using model ecosystems, species replacements, laboratory incubations, isotope tracers, and greenhouse facilities. Models are essential to assimilate data fromlong-term experiments and process studies togetherwith information fromlong-term observations, surveys, and space-for-time studies along environmental and biological gradients. Future research programs with coordinated long-term experiments, process studies, and modeling have the potential to be the most effective strategy to gain the best information on long-term ecosystem dynamics in response to global change.

    Publication Notes

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Luo, Yiqi; Melillo, Jerry; Niu, Shuli; Beier, Claus; Clark, James S.; Classen, Aime E.T.; Dividson, Eric; Dukes, Jeffrey S.; Evans, R. Dave; Field, Christopher B.; Czimczik, Claudia I.; Keller, Michael; Kimball, Bruce A.; Kueppers, Lara M.; Norby, Richard J.; Pelini, Shannon L.; Pendall, Elise; Rastetter, Edward; Six, Johan; Smith, Melinda; Tjoelker, Mark G.; Torn, Margaret S. 2011. Coordinated approaches to quantify long-term ecosystem dynamics in response to global change. Global Change Biology. 17: 843–854. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2010.02265.x

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    Keywords

    climate change, data assimilation, earth system, experimentation, global change, process study, terrestrial ecosystems

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