Location: Rangeland Resources Research
Project Number: 5409-21610-001-06
Start Date: May 01, 2011
End Date: Jan 31, 2014
We will investigate four research themes by integrating long-term monitoring, experimental manipulations, and modeling. The four themes and guiding questions for a suite of experiments are: 1) Climate: How has climatic variation shaped the structure and function of SGS, and how will projected climate change influence processes? We will study how changes in precipitation regimes using the pulse-dynamic framework, affects above- and belowground community structure and interactions, aboveground trophic and disease interactions, nutrient dynamics, plant phenology, and plant genotypic structure, 2) Physiography: To what extent are ecological dynamics and responses to global change contingent on upon physiography? We will study ecohydrological and pedological controls on water distribution within and among landscapes and how landscape variability influences aboveground productivity, species composition, key processes, and sensitivity of SGS to forecasted climatic change, 3) Grazing, Fire and Land-use Change: How will alterations in grazing, fire, land-use and their interactions modify the structure and function of SGS? We will study how alterations in type and intensity of grazing, and interactions among grazing, fire and land-use change affect above- and belowground community composition, structure and production, diversity, and nutrient dynamics, and 4) Synthesis and Projections/Forecasting: How do climate, grazing, and land use change influence the SGS over multiple spatial and temporal scales? We aim to improve model-data synthesis at landscape scales by incorporating land-use and physiography into spatially explicit variations of our current models on soil development and food webs, and new meta-population models that incorporate historic and predicted land-use change.