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We investigated the effects on the reservoir food web of a new temperature control device (TCD) on the dam at Shasta Lake, California. We followed a linked modeling approach that used a specialized reservoir water quality model to forecast operation-induced changes in phytoplankton production. A food web–energy transfer model was also applied to propagate predicted changes in phytoplankton up through the food web to the predators and sport fishes of interest. The food web–energy transfer model employed a 10% trophic transfer efficiency through a food web that was mapped using carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis. Stable isotope analysis provided an efficient and comprehensive means of estimating the structure...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecosystems
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The loss of coastal marshes is a topic of great concern, because these habitats provide tangible ecosystem services and are at risk from sea-level rise and human activities. In recent years, significant effort has gone into understanding and modeling the relationships between the biological and physical factors that contribute to marsh stability. Simulation-based process models suggest that marsh stability is the product of a complex feedback between sediment supply, flooding regime and vegetation response, resulting in elevation gains sufficient to match the combination of relative sea-level rise and losses from erosion. However, there have been few direct, empirical tests of these models, because long-term datasets...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecosystems
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A positive relationship between interannual sea level and plant growth is thought to stabilize many coastal landforms responding to accelerating rates of sea level rise. Numerical models of delta growth, tidal channel network evolution, and ecosystem resilience incorporate a hump-shaped relationship between inundation and plant primary production, where vegetation growth increases with sea level up to an optimum water depth or inundation frequency. In contrast, we use decade-long measurements of Spartina alterniflora biomass in seven coastal Virginia (USA) marshes to demonstrate that interannual sea level is rarely a primary determinant of vegetation growth. Although we find tepid support for a hump-shaped relationship...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecosystems
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Nitrogen (N) was added for 35 days in the form of 15NH4Cl to Kings Creek on Konza Prairie, Kansas. Standing stocks of N in key compartments (that is, nutrients, detritus, organisms) were quantified, and the amount of labeled N entering the compartments was analyzed. These data were used to calculate turnover and flux rates of N cycling through the food web, as well as nutrient transformation rates. Inorganic N pools turned over much more rapidly in the water column of this stream than in pelagic systems where comparable measurements have been made. As with other systems, the mass of ammonium was low but it was the key compartment mediating nutrient flux through the ecosystem, whereas dissolved organic N, the primary...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecosystems
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Despite the frequent citation of wetlands as effective regulators of water quality, few quantitative estimates exist for their cumulative retention of the annual river loads of nutrients or sediments. Here we report measurements of sediment accretion and associated carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus accumulation as sedimentation over feldspar marker horizons placed on floodplains of the non-tidal, freshwater Coastal Plain reaches of seven rivers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, USA. We then scale these accumulation rates to the entire extent of non-tidal floodplain in the Coastal Plain of each river, defined as riparian area extending from the Fall Line to the upper limit of tidal influence, and compare them to annual...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecosystems
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The objectives of this study were to identify processes that contribute to resilience of coastal wetlands subject to rising sea levels and to determine whether the relative contribution of these processes varies across different wetland community types. We assessed the resilience of wetlands to sea-level rise along a transitional gradient from tidal freshwater forested wetland (TFFW) to marsh by measuring processes controlling wetland elevation. We found that, over 5 years of measurement, TFFWs were resilient, although some marginally, and oligohaline marshes exhibited robust resilience to sea-level rise. We identified fundamental differences in how resilience is maintained across wetland community types, which...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecosystems
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Arid and semiarid ecosystems make up approximately 41% of Earth’s terrestrial surface and are suggested to regulate the trend and interannual variability of the global terrestrial carbon (C) sink. Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are common dryland soil surface communities of bryophytes, lichens, and/or cyanobacteria that bind the soil surface together and that may play an important role in regulating the climatic sensitivity of the dryland C cycle. Major uncertainties exist in our understanding of the interacting effects of changing temperature and moisture on CO2 uptake (photosynthesis) and loss (respiration) from biocrust and sub-crust soil, particularly as related to biocrust successional state. Here, we used...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecosystems
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Symbiotic N2-fixing tree species can accelerate ecosystem N dynamics through decomposition via direct pathways by producing readily decomposed leaf litter and increasing N supply to decomposers, as well as via indirect pathways by increasing tissue and detrital N in non-fixing vegetation. To evaluate the relative importance of these pathways, we compared three-year decomposition and N dynamics of N2-fixing red alder leaf litter (2.34 %N) to both low-N (0.68 %N) and high-N (1.21 %N) litter of non-fixing Douglas-fir, and decomposed each litter source in four forests dominated by either red alder or Douglas-fir. We also used experimental N fertilization of decomposition plots to assess elevated N availability as a...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecosystems
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Mangrove wetland restoration and creation efforts are increasingly proposed as mechanisms to compensate for mangrove wetland losses. However, ecosystem development and functional equivalence in restored and created mangrove wetlands are poorly understood. We compared a 20-year chronosequence of created tidal wetland sites in Tampa Bay, Florida (USA) to natural reference mangrove wetlands. Across the chronosequence, our sites represent the succession from salt marsh to mangrove forest communities. Our results identify important soil and plant structural differences between the created and natural reference wetland sites; however, they also depict a positive developmental trajectory for the created wetland sites that...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecosystems
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The sensitivity of plant production to precipitation underlies the functioning of ecosystems. Studies that relate long-term mean annual precipitation and production across multiple sites(spatial relationship) or examine interannual linkages within a site (temporal relationship) can reveal biophysical controls over ecosystem function but have limited ability to infer responses to extreme changes in precipitation that may become more common under climate change. To overcome limitations of using a single approach, we integrated satellite- and ground-based estimates of production with a standardized, multi-site precipitation manipulation experiment across a grassland elevation gradient in the southwestern USA. The responsiveness...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecosystems
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Disturbances affect almost all terrestrial ecosystems, but it has been difficult to identify general principles regarding these influences. To improve our understanding of the long-term consequences of disturbance on terrestrial ecosystems, we present a conceptual framework that analyzes disturbances by their biogeochemical impacts. We posit that the ratio of soil and plant nutrient stocks in mature ecosystems represents a characteristic site property. Focusing on nitrogen (N), we hypothesize that this partitioning ratio (soil N: plant N) will undergo a predictable trajectory after disturbance. We investigate the nature of this partitioning ratio with three approaches: (1) nutrient stock data from forested ecosystems...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecosystems
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Although limnologists have long been interested in regional patterns in lake attributes, only recently have they considered lakes connected and organized across the landscape, rather than as spatially independent entities. Here we explore the spatial organization of lake districts through the concept of landscape position, a concept that considers lakes longitudinally along gradients of geomorphology and hydrology. We analyzed long-term chemical and biological data from nine lake chains (lakes in a series connected through surface or groundwater flow) from seven lake districts of diverse hydrologic and geomorphic settings across North America. Spatial patterns in lake variables driven by landscape position were...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecosystems
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The use of spatially explicit models (SEMs) in ecology has grown enormously in the past two decades. One major advancement has been that fine-scale details of landscapes, and of spatially dependent biological processes, such as dispersal and invasion, can now be simulated with great precision, due to improvements in computer technology. Many areas of modeling have shifted toward a focus on capturing these fine-scale details, to improve mechanistic understanding of ecosystems. However, spatially implicit models (SIMs) have played a dominant role in ecology, and arguments have been made that SIMs, which account for the effects of space without specifying spatial positions, have an advantage of being simpler and more...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecosystems
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Ecosystem patterns and disturbance processes at one spatial scale often interact with processes at another scale, and the result of such cross-scale interactions can be nonlinear dynamics with thresholds. Examples of cross-scale pattern-process relationships and interactions among forest dieback, fire, and erosion are illustrated from northern New Mexico (USA) landscapes, where long-term studies have recently documented all of these disturbance processes. For example, environmental stress, operating on individual trees, can cause tree death that is amplified by insect mortality agents to propagate to patch and then landscape or even regional-scale forest dieback. Severe drought and unusual warmth in the southwestern...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecosystems
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Conceptual models of river–floodplain systems and biogeochemical theory predict that floodplain soil nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) mineralization should increase with hydrologic connectivity to the river and thus increase with distance downstream (longitudinal dimension) and in lower geomorphic units within the floodplain (lateral dimension). We measured rates of in situ soil net ammonification, nitrification, N, and P mineralization using monthly incubations of modified resin cores for a year in the forested floodplain wetlands of Difficult Run, a fifth order urban Piedmont river in Virginia, USA. Mineralization rates were then related to potentially controlling ecosystem attributes associated with hydrologic...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecosystems
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Shrubs, bunchgrasses and biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are believed to contribute to site resistance to plant invasions in the presence of cattle grazing. Although fire is a concomitant disturbance with grazing, little is known regarding their combined impacts on invasion resistance. We are the first to date to test the idea that biotic communities mediate the effects of disturbance on site resistance. We assessed cover of Bromus tectorum, shrubs, native bunchgrasses, lichens and mosses in 99 burned and unburned plots located on similar soils where fires occurred between 12 and 23 years before sampling. Structural equation modeling was used to test hypothesized relationships between environmental and disturbance...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecosystems
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Increases in the elevation of the soil surfaces of mangroves and salt marshes are key to the maintenance of these habitats with accelerating sea level rise. Understanding the processes that give rise to increases in soil surface elevation provides science for management of landscapes for sustainable coastal wetlands. Here, we tested whether the soil surface elevation of mangroves and salt marshes in Moreton Bay is keeping up with local rates of sea level rise (2.358 mm y-1) and whether accretion on the soil surface was the most important process for keeping up with sea level rise. We found variability in surface elevation gains, with sandy areas in the eastern bay having the highest surface elevation gains in both...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecosystems
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We asked whether 3–5 kg N y−1 atmospheric N deposition was sufficient to have influenced natural, otherwise undisturbed, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems of the Colorado Front Range by comparing ecosystem processes and properties east and west of the Continental Divide. The eastern side receives elevated N deposition from urban, agricultural, and industrial sources, compared with 1–2 kg N y−1 on the western side. Foliage of east side old-growth Englemann spruce forests have significantly lower C:N and lignin:N ratios and greater N:Mg and N:P ratios. Soil % N is higher, and C:N ratios lower in the east side stands, and potential net N mineralization rates are greater. Lake NO3 concentrations are significantly higher...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecosystems
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The amount, chemical composition, and source of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), together with in situ ultraviolet (UV-B) attenuation, were measured at 1–2 week intervals throughout the summers of 1999, 2000, and 2001 at four sites in Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado). Eight additional sites, four in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park/John Muir Wilderness (California) and four in Glacier National Park (Montana), were sampled during the summer of 2000. Attenuation of UV-B was significantly related to DOC concentrations over the three years in Rocky Mountain (R2 = 0.39, F = 25.71, P < 0.0001) and across all parks in 2000 (R2 = 0.44, F = 38.25, P < 0.0001). The relatively low R2 values, however, reflect significant...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecosystems
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The fate of terrestrially-derived dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is important to carbon (C) cycling in both terrestrial and aquatic environments, and recent evidence suggests that climate warming is influencing DOC dynamics in northern ecosystems. To understand what determines the fate of terrestrial DOC, it is essential to quantify the chemical nature and potential biodegradability of this DOC. We examined DOC chemical characteristics and biodegradability collected from soil pore waters and dominant vegetation species in four boreal black spruce forest sites in Alaska spanning a range of hydrologic regimes and permafrost extents (Well Drained, Moderately Well Drained, Poorly Drained, and Thermokarst Wetlands)....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecosystems


map background search result map search result map Hydrogeomorphology influences soil nitrogen and phosphorus mineralization in floodplain wetlands Hydrogeomorphology influences soil nitrogen and phosphorus mineralization in floodplain wetlands