Use of landscape simulation modeling to quantify resilience for ecological applications

Robert E. Keane, Rachel A. Loehman, Lisa M. Holsinger, Donald Falk, Philip Higuera, Sharon M. Hood, Paul F. Hessburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Goals of fostering ecological resilience are increasingly used to guide U.S. public land management in the context of anthropogenic climate change and increasing landscape disturbances. There are, however, few operational means of assessing the resilience of a landscape or ecosystem. We present a method to evaluate resilience using simulation modeling. In this method, we use historical conditions (e.g., in North America, prior to European settlement), quantified using simulation modeling, to provide a comparative reference for contemporary conditions, where substantial departures indicate loss of resilience. Contemporary ecological conditions are compared statistically to the historical time series to create a resilience index, which can be used to prioritize landscapes for treatment and inform possible treatments. However, managing for resilience based on historical conditions is tenuous in the Anthropocene, which is characterized by rapid climate change, extensive human land use, altered disturbance regimes, and exotic species introductions. To account for the future variability of ecosystems resulting from climate and disturbance regime shifts, we augment historical simulations with simulations of ecosystem dynamics under projected climate and land use changes to assess the degree of departure from benchmark historical conditions. We use a mechanistic landscape model (FireBGCv2) applied to a large landscape in western Montana, USA, to illustrate the methods presented in this paper. Spatially explicit ecosystem modeling provides the vehicle to generate the historical and future time series needed to quantify potential resilience conditions associated with past and potential future conditions. Our methods show that given selection of a useful set of metrics, managers could use simulations like ours to evaluate potential future management directions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere02414
JournalEcosphere
Volume9
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

Fingerprint

ecosystems
modeling
simulation
disturbance
time series analysis
climate change
time series
climate
ecosystem modeling
public lands
ecosystem dynamics
ecosystem
methodology
land management
land use change
managers
land use
ecological resilience
method
index

Keywords

  • climate change
  • ecosystem management
  • future ranges of variability (FRV)
  • historical ecology
  • historical range and variation (HRV)
  • land management
  • landscape ecology
  • landscape modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

Cite this

Keane, R. E., Loehman, R. A., Holsinger, L. M., Falk, D., Higuera, P., Hood, S. M., & Hessburg, P. F. (2018). Use of landscape simulation modeling to quantify resilience for ecological applications. Ecosphere, 9(9), [e02414]. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.2414

Use of landscape simulation modeling to quantify resilience for ecological applications. / Keane, Robert E.; Loehman, Rachel A.; Holsinger, Lisa M.; Falk, Donald; Higuera, Philip; Hood, Sharon M.; Hessburg, Paul F.

In: Ecosphere, Vol. 9, No. 9, e02414, 01.09.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Keane, RE, Loehman, RA, Holsinger, LM, Falk, D, Higuera, P, Hood, SM & Hessburg, PF 2018, 'Use of landscape simulation modeling to quantify resilience for ecological applications', Ecosphere, vol. 9, no. 9, e02414. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.2414
Keane, Robert E. ; Loehman, Rachel A. ; Holsinger, Lisa M. ; Falk, Donald ; Higuera, Philip ; Hood, Sharon M. ; Hessburg, Paul F. / Use of landscape simulation modeling to quantify resilience for ecological applications. In: Ecosphere. 2018 ; Vol. 9, No. 9.
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