95th ESA Annual Meeting (August 1 -- 6, 2010)

SYMP 20 - Legacy Effects and Material Fluxes:  Climatic and Human Forcings to the Landscape

Thursday, August 5, 2010: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
403-405, David L Lawrence Convention Center
Daniel J. Bain
Mark B. Green and Sherry L. Martin
Mark B. Green
Material fluxes have changed over the last four centuries, but detailed records exist for only four decades. While increased inputs are an important driver, human alteration of the landscape is similarly important as it impacts hydrology and thus the landscape’s attenuation of inputs. Fundamentally, understanding the terrestrial and aquatic response to climate change requires separation of the embedded legacy effects. This symposium addresses these legacies by highlighting key areas. First, we focus on advances in the synthetic understanding of legacy effects from national efforts by the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Sciences, Inc. and the National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics. In both cases, traditionally engineering dominated fields are looking toward ecology for help in explaining observations. Since material flux depends on water dynamics and the terrestrial-aquatic interface structure, these exciting projects aim to connect ecology, hydrology, and geomorphology. Following the presentations on emerging efforts, we turn to the Long Term Ecological Research Network and highlight the absolute necessity of cataloging the history of disturbance. Without this constraint, our understanding of legacies is plagued by too many equifinalities. We simply cannot attribute the changes we are detecting without a disturbance history. The third part of the symposium addresses the notion that disturbance legacies on the landscape are not always translated to material flux legacies. While small scale legacies, particularly in soil function, are commonly reported in the literature, scaling that understanding up to large basins can be problematic. Controlled manipulations are not often realistic for large basins. Speakers will present advances in both practical and theoretical tools, such as stable isotope tracers and modeling frameworks that address larger scale legacies. We tie themes back together by looking to urban systems as a promising area for untangling climate effects and legacy effects. The beautiful and painstaking work that produces urban ecological histories like Mannahatta also produces unprecedented data sets and highlights the immense potential for human transformation of the landscape. When these sets are coupled with measurement, there is tremendous opportunity for understanding and predicting how our human impacted ecosystems may evolve during climate forcing. Further, this portion will detail the exciting results that are emerging from measurements in urban systems. The symposium concludes with opportunities to discuss the talks and potential advances in studying legacy effects.
ESA Urban Ecosystems Ecology Section, ESA Long Term Studies Section
1:55 PM
Land-use and climate change and the footprint of human activity
Rob Jackson, Stanford and Duke universities
3:10 PM
3:20 PM
Spatial heterogeneity in atmospheric deposition and human engineering:  Delivery of automobile emissions to aquatic systems
Emily M. Elliott, University of Pittsburgh; Katherine M. Middlecamp, University of Pittsburgh; Marion T. Sikora, University of Pittsburgh
3:45 PM
Land use legacies: Using coupled backcast land use change and groundwater travel time models for watershed management
Bryan Pijanowski, Purdue University; Deepak Ray, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; Anthony Kendall, Michigan State University
4:10 PM
Mannahatta:  Understanding the legacies underlying urban systems
Eric Sanderson, Wildlife Conservation Society
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