High Resolution Modeling of Plant and Insect Response to Climate Dynamics

Publication Type  Conference Presentation
Authors  Marc G Kramer
Secondary Authors  Raymond Carruthers
Affiliations  University of California Santa Cruz
Year  2009
Key Words  climate change, plant phenology, climate, microclimate, carbon, biogeochemistry, atmosphere

Species /community response and adaptation to localized climate dynamics is a critical area for research, especially when linked with the added threat of exotic species invasion that may be heightened by these changing conditions. By definition, climate change is expected to alter meteorological regimes and thus biological responses of many species. Consequently such change is anticipated to permeate through species changes to significantly impact entire biomes, in ways not yet understood. In particular, impacts in areas with complex terrain, strong climate and edaphic gradients will persist in forms that will exert strong influences on the structure and function of the impacted flora, fauna and entire ecosystems. Currently, few methods exist to explicitly develop continuous high-resolution spatio-temporal data sets that adequately capture the affects of climate and its biological consequence across the landscape. Improved computational approaches, datasets and more importantly, new methods of handling and summarizing large amount of quantitative information, including state-of-the-art numerical weather prediction models, are providing better tools that scientists and managers can apply to the area of invasive species control. Joint efforts between the US Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Department of Defense (DOD) and the University of California (UC) are attempting to develop and merge biological assessment needs, with new information collection and processing technologies. Collectively, the integration and coupling of these tools has been developed into a combined environmental modeling system MERCURY. Combined, these systems allow an appropriate level of biological detail and reality to allow resolution of many critical biological problems important for invasive species assessment and control. In this example case, application of the environmental modeling system MERCURY is being pilot tested in Northern California using a well known invasive weed, yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis) and an example insect herbivore, Chaetorellia succinea.


Marc Kramer studies interactions between climate, the biosphere and the pedosphere. He is interested in the structure and function of the Earth’s surface from a biogeochemical perspective. His work is presently focused on two primary themes: mechanisms of carbon stabilization in soil and the biogeochemical effects of climate on the Earth’s surface. To help address these questions and to better understand, measure and model earth surface processs, he has applied a relatively new active remote sensor called light detection and ranging (LiDAR). He is also focused on the application of computational fluid dynamic (CFD) models and numerical weather prediction (NWP) to study climate effects on the biosphere.

URL  http://www.es.ucsc.edu/personnel/Kramer/index.html
Conference Name  2009 State of the Laguna Conference and Science Symposium
Presentation Type: