Reconstructing ecosystem structure and function: merging paleoecology and ecosystem ecology

Final Report (Required, .pdf format only) : 
Kendra McLauchlan

Both slow and fast variables interact to produce ecosystem change observable in a human lifetime. Unfortunately, ecosystem processes that operate over hundreds to millions of years are difficult to document, but are likely essential for understanding future ecosystem changes. Ecologists have traditionally studied these long-term ecosystem variations using the chronosequence approach, which adopts a “space-for-time” substitution. Additionally, over the past decade innovative paleoecological techniques have been applied to lake sediment and tree-ring records to enable information about these slow ecosystem processes to be directly, albeit retrospectively, studied through time.

Currently, long-term measurements from many LTER sites are approaching 30 years. Thus, we have three elements of the perfect storm for understanding decadal to millennial scale ecosystem change. In this workshop, we seek to discuss possibilities for uniting paleorecords and long-term (LTER) records at decadal to millennial timescales. Our goal is to advance our understanding of tempo and time in ecosystem ecology through these unique, yet complementary, types of data.


Session Info

Working Group Session 2

Mon, 09/14/2009 - 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Reusch Auditorium Hobbs