Presentation on theme: "Understanding and mitigating the impacts of altered temperature and precipitation regimes on the function and biodiversity of rangeland communities April."— Presentation transcript:
Understanding and mitigating the impacts of altered temperature and precipitation regimes on the function and biodiversity of rangeland communities April 15 th, 2008 Stakeholders Meeting
Objectives of Today Introduce researchers, supporting organizations, stakeholders, and other interested parties Provide an overview of project objectives, progress to date, and future goals. Exchange ideas between stakeholders and research team
Project Objectives Understand how linkages between aspects of climate change and native rangeland ecology. Use this information to develop management suggestions to mitigate the negative aspects of climate change in these systems. Disseminate this information amongst stakeholders, the research community, and other interested parties
Introduction Little research has explored the effects of climate change and grazing on vegetation in temperature grasslands Critical for land managers Following a disturbance, seed bank and seed rain influences may become important factors in the formation of plant communities
Research Questions 1) How will climate change (temperature and precipitation) interact with defoliation to alter primary production and associated forage quality in northern temperate grasslands? 2) How will these changes cause shifts in plant community composition and range health? 3) How will these changes alter the community reproductive output? 4) What role will current year seed rain, versus seed bank, play in population dynamics? 5) How will these changes alter subsequent germination and recruitment?
Methods 1) Primary production and forage quality 2) Community composition and range health
Methods 3) Reproductive output 4) Seed rain, versus seed bank 5) Germination and recruitment
Education: University of Nairobi (Kenya) Ben Gurion University of the Negev (Israel)
Litter decomposition and, Carbon and Nitrogen flux
29 Decomposition of litter (including root litter) contribute approximately 70% to the total annual carbon flux Climate Soil organisms Litter decomposition Litter quality (1) (3) (2) Climate > Litter quality > Soil organisms
31 Research questions 1. Do climate effects and defoliation interact to affect litter decomposition, and belowground carbon storage? 2. How do rates of soil flux (e.g. N mineralization) change in response to defoliation and climate effects?
Biological Fingerprints of Climate Change and Grazing Management on Carbon and Nitrogen Cycling
1- How warming, precipitation and defoliation would affect composition and function of soil microbial community in rough fescue grassland? 2- How warming, precipitation and defoliation regulate in situ soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics in rough fescue grassland?
"We accept the views of most scientists that enough is known about the science and environmental impacts of climate change for us to take actions to address its consequences." Business Environmental Leadership Council, Pew Center on Global Climate Change
Education Wageningen University (Netherlands) Dutch Ecological Institute (NIOO)
Research question What is the effect of climate change on (rangeland) soil arthropod communities? MicrobivorePredatorFungivore
Soil Critters Species richness to date: 40 RRTU’s out of <1600 individuals Abundance e.g. Fescue grassland (Stavely, AB) Mites: 426,000/ m^2 (0-8cm depth) Springtails: 6,000/ m^2 (0-8cm depth)
Field Sites – AB (Kinsella) 240 mm precipitation during field season (May-Oct) 32 vascular plant spp. Agropyron smithii, Stipa curtiseta dominant grasses (Carex spp. also abundant) Artemisia frigida, Oxytropis campestris most common forbs Koeleria macrantha, Festuca hallii, Bouteloua gracilis also common
Field Sites – SK (GAP Pasture) 260 mm precipitation during field season (May-Oct) 32 vascular plant spp. Agropyron smithii, Stipa curtiseta dominant grasses (Carex spp. also abundant) Artemisia frigida, Sphaeralcea coccinea most common forbs Bouteloua gracilis, Koeleria macrantha also common
Field Sites – MB (Riding Mountain) 309 mm precipitation during field season (May-Oct) 44 vascular plant spp. Poa secunda dominant grass Galium boreale, Monarda fistulosa most common forbs Achillea millefolium, Artemisia ludoviciana, Aster laevis, Rosa arkansana, Solidago rigida, Symphoricarpos occidentalis, Thalictrum venulosum, Vicia americana also common
Total shoot biomass
Moss and lichen biomass
Total soil N
Communication efforts to date Webpage is launched – Reports written for SRD, and are publicly available Talks at SRM, Agronomy update, upcoming soil science.
climate.biology.ualberta.ca Goals for website: 1) Public outreach 2) Communication portal 3) Internal uses
climate.biology.ualberta.ca 1) Public outreach – Hello world! – General goals/research questions – Introduce researchers – Results!
climate.biology.ualberta.ca 1) Communication portal – Questions about project – Contact information, websites of individual researchers 2) Internal use – Data/file storage and transfer
climate.biology.ualberta.ca Increasing visibility: 1) Biological Sciences dept. webpage link 2) Google/Yahoo – General searches – Directories 3) Links from other pages – Supporting organizations – Feedback to Google ranking
NSERC Reporting Requirments Progress Report – Prepared by PIs – Due to NSERC, and stakeholders, June 30 th Comments on report – Prepared by participating organizations – Due directly to NSERC July 15th
Comments by Supporting Organizations i) the amount and type of interaction their organization has had with the academic members and trainees working on the project; ii) the progress achieved toward the project's objectives; iii) the level of support committed (cash and/or in-kind, if applicable) as indicated in the original proposal; iv) the significance and usefulness of the results (advancement of knowledge, technology transfer) to their organization; v) their satisfaction with the overall direction of the research; vi) their efforts towards exploiting the research results.
The future Gearing up for year 2! Ongoing studies – Funding options Communication – Field day – updates – Meetings