94th ESA Annual Meeting (August 2 -- 7, 2009)

SYMP 18 - Paleoecosystem Ecology: Reconstructing Material and Energy Flows of the Past

Thursday, August 6, 2009: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
Grand Pavillion V, Hyatt
Kendra K. McLauchlan
David Nelson
David Nelson
Long-term processes of global change are altering biogeochemical cycles, climate, and land use, and thus the composition, structure, and function of the world's ecosystems. Ecosystem studies have aimed to understand the processes that mediate the flow of energy and materials through ecosystems to better understand patterns and processes that may be important in the future. Observational and experimental approaches are useful for studying ecosystem processes on relatively short time-scales (i.e., years to decades). But ecosystem processes that operate over hundreds to millions of years are difficult to document, although they are likely essential for understanding future ecosystem changes. Ecologists have traditionally studied these long-term ecosystem variations using the chronosequence approach, which adopts a “space-for-time” substitution. Additionally, over the past decade innovative paleoecological techniques have been applied to lake sediment (lacustrine) records to enable information about these slow ecosystem processes to be directly, albeit retrospectively, studied through time. We aim to synthesize information derived from the complimentary, yet unique, chronosequence and paleoecological approaches that form the emerging field of paleoecosystem ecology. The purpose of this symposium is to highlight recent and exciting examples of how paleoecosysem ecology studies have informed theories of ecosystem change over time and to address the challenges that lie ahead. For example, do lacustrine records support a “space-for-time” assumption? How can paleoecosystem studies best inform conservation and management decisions during periods of rapid climate change? How do nutrient cycling and the fate of primary productivity change during ecosystem development? The topics addressed by speakers will include comparisons of chronosequence studies and sediment records, evaluations of the role of vegetation and climate in influencing terrestrial nutrient cycles, and investigations that utilize geochemical techniques to advance our understanding of tempo and time in ecosystem ecology. This synthesis will help pave the way for discussion and collaboration among ecosystem ecologists, paleoecologists, biogeochemists, pedologists, and global-change scientists.
ESA Biogeosciences Section, ESA Paleoecology Section
8:05 AM
Reconciling terrestrial and lacustrine paleoecosystem records in North America
Kendra K. McLauchlan, Kansas State University; Peter Leavitt, University of Regina
8:25 AM
Two millennia of biogeochemical and vegetation responses to disturbance and climate in a Colorado watershed
Bryan N. Shuman, University of Wyoming; M. F. Mechinech, University of Minnesota; Vania Stefanova, University of Minnesota; A. K. Henderson, University of Minnesota; J. P. Donnelly, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
8:45 AM
Biogeochemical coupling between terrestrial succession and lake development at Glacier Bay, Alaska: A comparison of sediment records with a classic chronosequence
Daniel R. Engstrom, St. Croix Watershed Research Station, Science Museum of Minnesota; Sherilyn C. Fritz, University of Nebraska
9:05 AM
9:20 AM
Evidence of the Holocene – Anthropocene transition from lake sediment records: Sedimentology, chemostratigraphy, and paleoecology
William O. Hobbs, Science Museum of Minnesota; Alexander P. Wolfe, University of Alberta
9:40 AM
Linking watershed alder coverage to lake nutrient availability: Biogeochemical records from southwestern Alaska
Feng Sheng Hu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Denise Devotta, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
10:00 AM
The tempo of soil differentiation along granitic catenas: How poor soils get poorer and rich soils get richer
Tony Hartshorn, Arizona State University; Lesego Khomo, University of Cape Town; Jean Louise Dixon, Montana State University; Carl Bern, United States Geological Survey; Andrew Kurtz, Boston University; Arjun Heimsath, Arizona State University; Kevin Rogers, University of Witwatersrand; Oliver Chadwick, University of California
10:20 AM
The plural of anecdote is not data: Rigorously testing a boreal forest chronosequence
Ben P. Bond-Lamberty, Joint Global Change Research Institute; Chuankuan Wang, Northeast Forestry University; Stith T. Gower, University of Wisconsin Madison
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