Using climate reanalysis products to identify ecological memory patterns in drylands

Erik Kusch
Seminar Date: 
29. March 2019 - 12:30 - 13:00
Cinema, Ground Floor, NERSC

Repeated climate stress events may cause fundamental shifts in species compositions or ecosystem functioning. However, few studies document such shifts. One reason for higher stability of ecosystems than previously expected may be ecological stress memory of vegetation. The study of memory effects of large-scale vegetation may therefore aid in predictions of future changes in biome distributions and resilience assessments on ecosystem or even species level. Such information is invaluable for management oriented decision support systems.

To date, many studies of memory effects have focused on classical information criteria of ecological science (e.g. precipitation and drought indices) which are usually provided at subpar spatial and/or temporal resolutions, and may not even be the most sensible variables to use within a vegetation-oriented memory effect framework. Using the ERA5 Reanalysis product, we identify vegetation memory patterns using novel input variables which lead to a marked enhancement of our understanding of extrinsic vegetation memory.

Erik Kusch is a Masters student at the University of Bergen and is co-supervised by Richard Davy and Alistair Seddon.