Colorado mountains
From Long-Term Data to Understanding: Toward a Predictive Ecology
2015 LTER ASM Estes Park, CO - August 30 - September 2, 2015

Community Convergence or Divergence in Response to Global Change

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It is necessary to understand how communities shift in response to altered resources in order to predict how ecosystem function will be impacted by global change. To date most studies have focused on mean shifts in richness or evenness in response to resource manipulations. For instance, studies of N addition have found reduced plant diversity with increased productivity. However, little work has been done to examine variance in plant community responses to global change factors, which may result in either the convergence of replicate communities or divergence to form distinct “altered community” types. If replicate communities diverge from one another in response to resource alterations, then our ability to predict community responses to global change may be limited. Stemming in part from an ASM working group in 2012, we have amassed a dataset of 53 studies that have directly manipulated resources in herbaceous communities with which to analyze shifts in plant communities in response to global change factors. During our working group we will provide a brief overview of the dataset and preliminary analyses currently underway. Then, we will spend the majority of the session brainstorming future uses for this expansive dataset. While we are particularly interested in ideas examining shifts in both mean and dispersion of communities, we welcome all ideas for future analyses of this dataset.

Kimberly La Pierre
Sally Koerner
Kevin Wilcox
Meghan Avolio
Number of 2 hour sessions requested: 
Equipment requested: 
lcd projector
Working Group Reports
Room Assignment: 
Ruesch Auditorium – Bilheimer (Capacity 50)