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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGIES FOR CONSERVATION OF WESTERN RANGELANDS

Location: Range Management Research

Title: A multi-scale, hierarchial model of pulse dynamics in aridland ecosystems

Authors
item Collins, Scott -
item Belnap, Jayne -
item Grimm, Nancy -
item Rudgers, J -
item Dahm, Cliff -
item D'Odorico, Paolo -
item Livak, Marci -
item Natvig, Don -
item Peters, Debra

Submitted to: Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 9, 2014
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Ecological processes in aridlands are often described by the pulse-reserve paradigm where rain events drive biological activity until moisture is depleted leaving a reserve. This paradigm is frequently applied to processes stimulated by one or a few rainfall events within a growing season. Here we expand the original framework in time and space, and include other pulses that interact with rainfall.This new Hierarchical Pulse Dynamics Framework integrates space and time through pulse-driven exhanges, interactions, transitions, and transfers that occur across individual to multiple pulses extending from micro to watershed scales. Climate change will likely alter the size, frequency, and intensity of precipitation pulses in the future, and aridland ecosystems are known to be highly sensitive to climate variability. Thus, a more comprehensive understanding of aridland pulse dynamics will be needed to determine how these ecosystems will respond to, and be shaped by, increased climate variability.

Technical Abstract: Ecological processes in aridlands are often described by the pulse-reserve paradigm where rain events drive biological activity until moisture is depleted leaving a reserve. This paradigm is frequently applied to processes stimulated by one or a few rainfall events within a growing season. Here we expand the original framework in time and space, and include other pulses that interact with rainfall.This new Hierarchical Pulse Dynamics Framework integrates space and time through pulse-driven exhanges, interactions, transitions, and transfers that occur across individual to multiple pulses extending from micro to watershed scales. Climate change will likely alter the size, frequency, and intensity of precipitation pulses in the future, and aridland ecosystems are known to be highly sensitive to climate variability. Thus, a more comprehensive understanding of aridland pulse dynamics will be needed to determine how these ecosystems will respond to, and be shaped by, increased climate variability.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014
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