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    Author(s): Evelyn Gaiser; David Bell; Max Castorani; Daniel Childers; Peter Groffman; C Rhett Jackson; John Kominoski; Debra Peters; Steward Pickett; Julie Ripplinger; Julie C. Zinnert
    Date: 2020
    Source: BioScience. 70(2): 141-156.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (2.0 MB)

    Description

    Detecting and understanding disturbance is a challenge in ecology that has grown more critical with global environmental change and the emergence of research on social–ecological systems. We identify three areas of research need: developing a flexible framework that incorporates feedback loops between social and ecological systems, anticipating whether a disturbance will change vulnerability to other environmental drivers, and incorporating changes in system sensitivity to disturbance in the face of global changes in environmental drivers. In the present article, we review how discoveries from the US Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network have influenced theoretical paradigms in disturbance ecology, and we refine a framework for describing social–ecological disturbance that addresses these three challenges. By operationalizing this framework for seven LTER sites spanning distinct biomes, we show how disturbance can maintain or alter ecosystem state, drive spatial patterns at landscape scales, influence social–ecological interactions, and cause divergent outcomes depending on other environmental changes.

    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

    Gaiser, Evelyn E; Bell, David M; Castorani, Max C N; Childers, Daniel L; Groffman, Peter M; Jackson, C Rhett; Kominoski, John S; Peters, Debra P C; Pickett, Steward T A; Ripplinger, Julie; Zinnert, Julie C. 2020. Long-term ecological research and evolving frameworks of disturbance ecology. BioScience. 70(2): 141-156. https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biz162.

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    Keywords

    Disturbance, LTER, ecological theory, social-ecological studies, ecological research networks.

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/60517