Preprints

Filtering by Subject: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

rassta: Raster-based Spatial Stratification Algorithms

Bryan Andre Fuentes, Minerva Justine Dorantes, John Robert Tipton

Published: 2021-11-17
Subjects: Agriculture, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Forest Sciences, Life Sciences

Spatial stratification of landscapes allows for the development of efficient sampling surveys, the inclusion of domain knowledge in data-driven modeling frameworks, and the production of information relating the spatial variability of response phenomena to that of landscape processes. This work presents the rassta package as a collection of algorithms dedicated to the spatial stratification of [...]

Airborne laser scanning proxies of canopy light transmission in forests

Adam Michael Erickson, Nicholas Coops

Published: 2021-10-29
Subjects: Biodiversity, Biogeochemistry, Computer Sciences, Earth Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Sciences, Forest Sciences, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Plant Sciences, Software Engineering, Statistics and Probability

Reliable estimates of canopy light transmission are critical to understanding the structure and function of vegetation communities but are difficult and costly to attain by traditional field inventory methods. Airborne laser scanning (ALS) data uniquely provide multi-angular vertically resolved representation of canopy geometry across large geographic areas. While previous studies have proposed [...]

Bridging knowledge gaps with hybrid machine-learning forest ecosystem models (ML-FEMs): inferential simulation of past understory light regimes

Adam Michael Erickson, Craig Nistchke

Published: 2021-10-29
Subjects: Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Biodiversity, Biogeochemistry, Computer Sciences, Earth Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Forest Sciences, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Plant Sciences

Soil moisture is a key limiting factor of plant productivity in boreal and montane regions, producing additional climate feedbacks through evaporation, regeneration, mortality, and respiration. Understory solar irradiation – the primary driver of surface temperature and evaporative demand – remains poorly represented in vegetation models due to a lack of 3-D canopy geometry. Existing models are [...]

Simulated decline of a northern forest due to anthropogenic controls on the regeneration-mortality balance

Adam Michael Erickson, Craig Nistchke, Gordon Stenhouse

Published: 2021-10-29
Subjects: Biodiversity, Biogeochemistry, Earth Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Sciences, Forest Sciences, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Plant Sciences

The population structure of forests is shaped by balancing the opposing forces of regeneration and mortality, each of which influence C turnover rates and are sensitive to climate. Regeneration underlies the migrational potential of forests to climatic change and remains underserved in modeling studies. Our objective was to test the hypothesis that warming may reduce tree regeneration rates while [...]

Emergence of anthropogenic fire regimes in the southern boreal of Canada

Adam Michael Erickson

Published: 2021-10-29
Subjects: Biogeochemistry, Earth Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Sciences, Forest Sciences, Life Sciences, Plant Sciences

While radiative forcing and thus land surface temperatures have been shown to positively correlate with fire severity, precipitation, and lightning strike frequency, the effects of human activity on fire regimes remain difficult to disentangle from geophysical drivers given co-variation between these factors. Here, I analyze fire regimes in the 1919-2012 period across Canada and compare national [...]

Tidal marsh resilience to sea level rise controlled by vertical accretion and landward migration under nature-based human adaptation scenarios

Xiaoguang Ouyang, Rod Connolly, Shing Yip Lee

Published: 2021-10-15
Subjects: Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Studies, Geography, Life Sciences, Marine Biology, Plant Sciences

Tidal marshes are not only lost to human disturbance but also face the threat of sea level rise (SLR). However, current earth system models used to estimate future changes in wetland extent omit wetland’s real responses to SLR without field observations. We synthesised global data on sediment accretion rate (SAR) and surface elevation change (SEC) for tidal marshes and developed a mathematical [...]

Tree cover change proves stability and instability in tropical ecosystems

Chandrakant Singh, Ruud van der Ent, Lan Wang-Erlandsson, et al.

Published: 2021-09-17
Subjects: Earth Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Forest Biology, Hydrology, Remote Sensing

The resilience of terrestrial ecosystems is predominantly based on space-for-time substitution. This substitution assumes that the contemporary spatial frequency distribution of ecosystems’ tree cover structure holds across time. However, this assumption is problematic, especially when temporal dynamics and adaptations are increasingly important to explicitly account for ongoing rapid changes [...]

The spatial dynamics of wheat yield and protein content at the field scale

Paul Christopher Stoy, Anam Khan, Aaron Wipf, et al.

Published: 2021-09-09
Subjects: Agriculture, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences

Wheat is a staple crop that is critical for feeding a hungry and growing planet, but its nutritive value has declined as global temperatures have warmed. The price offered to producers depends not only on yield but also grain protein content (GPC), which are often negatively related at the field scale but can positively covary depending in part on management strategies, emphasizing the need to [...]

C:N:P stoichiometry in six distinct habitats of a glacier terminus in the Yangtze River Source Area

Ze Ren, Hongkai Gao, Wei Luo, et al.

Published: 2021-07-01
Subjects: Biogeochemistry, Earth Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Sciences, Glaciology, Life Sciences, Other Environmental Sciences, Sustainability

Glaciers are among the least explored environments on Earth, especially from a perspective of nutrient stoichiometry. In this study, we documented and compared the nutrient availabilities (concentrations) and composition (stoichiometric ratios) of nutrients (C, N, and P) in six distinct habitats of a glacier terminus in the Yangtze River Source area, including surface ice (SI), basal ice (BI), [...]

Colonial history and global economics distort our understanding of deep-time biodiversity

Nussaïbah B. Raja, Emma Mary Dunne, Aviwe Matiwane, et al.

Published: 2021-06-24
Subjects: Earth Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Paleobiology, Paleontology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Sampling variations in the fossil record distort estimates of past biodiversity. However, compilations of global fossil occurrences used in these analyses not only reflect the geological and spatial aspects of the fossil record, but also the historical collation of these data. Here, we demonstrate how the legacy of colonialism as well as socio-economic factors such as wealth, education and [...]

Revision of thelodonts, acanthodians, conodonts, and the depositional environments in the Burgen outlier (Ludlow, Silurian) of Gotland, Sweden

Emilia Jarochowska, Oskar Bremer, Alexandra Yiu, et al.

Published: 2021-04-20
Subjects: Biodiversity, Earth Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Ludfordian strata exposed in the Burgen outlier in eastern Gotland record a time of initial faunal recovery after a global environmental perturbation manifested in the Ludfordian Carbon Isotope Excursion (LCIE). Vertebrate microfossils in the collection of the late Lennart Jeppsson, hosted at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, hold the key to reconstruct the dynamics of faunal immigration and [...]

Contributions of paleoecology to Easter Island’s prehistory: a thorough review

Valentí Rull

Published: 2020-07-22
Subjects: Earth Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Sciences, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Plant Sciences, Sustainability

Easter Island (Rapa Nui) is well known for the enigmas surrounding its unique megalithic statues, the moai, and the prehistoric (i.e., pre-European contact) Rapanui society that built them. These enigmas include, among others, the time of the island’s settlement, the geographical origin of the first settlers, the technology associated with moai transportation and emplacement, the occurrence (or [...]

An open, scalable, and flexible framework for automated aerial measurement of field experiments

Christophe Schnaufer, Julian Pistorius, David Shaner LeBauer

Published: 2020-05-25
Subjects: Agricultural Science, Agriculture, Bioresource and Agricultural Engineering, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Engineering, Life Sciences, Plant Breeding and Genetics Life Sciences, Plant Sciences, Research Methods in Life Sciences, Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology

Unoccupied areal vehicles (UAVs or drones) are increasingly used in field research. Drones capable of routinely and consistently capturing high quality imagery of experimental fields have become relatively inexpensive. However, converting these images into scientifically useable data has become a bottleneck. A number of tools exist to support this workflow, but there is no framework for making [...]

The environmental impacts of palm oil in context

Erik Meijaard, Thomas Brooks, Kimberly Carlson, et al.

Published: 2020-01-10
Subjects: Agriculture, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Food Science, Life Sciences, Other Food Science, Other Life Sciences, Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology

Delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires balancing demands on land between agriculture (SDG 2) and biodiversity (SDG 15). The production of vegetable oils in general, and palm oil in particular, is perhaps the most controversial illustration of these trade-offs. Global annual demand for vegetable oil for food, animal feed and fuel is currently at 210 million tons1 (Mt), with [...]

Reframing Lake Geneva ecological trajectory in a context of multiple but asynchronous drivers

Rosalie Bruel, Stéphanie Girardclos, Aldo Marchetto, et al.

Published: 2019-12-13
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology

There are no doubts long-term observatories provide unique insight on ecosystems trajectories. Can we use earliest data to set restoration goals? We take the example of Lake Geneva, for which descriptions of the ecosystem are available for as soon as the late 19th and early 20th century. Forel writes about how the luxuriant growth of plant communities provided important habitat for aquatic [...]

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