|Title||Distinguishing linear, nonlinear, transient and persistent vegetation dynamics to characterize empirical signatures of ecological resilience|
|Publication Type||Conference Paper|
|Year of Publication||2015|
|Authors||Bagchi S, Singh N, Bestelmeyer B, Briske D|
|Conference Name||100th Annual Meeting, Ecological Society of America|
|Conference Location||Baltimore, MD|
|ARIS Log Number||319956|
Background/Question/Methods To characterize and interpret ecological resilience and state change is a fundamental question in ecology. In the same ecosystem, across different communities, one can encounter relative stability, abrupt directional shifts, transient reversible change, as well as nondirectional drift through time. These behaviors can be regarded as varying expressions of ecological resilience. Analytical protocols, which can characterize and distinguish such behaviors and clarify relevant timescales, are generally limited in their ability to detect nonlinear events in multivariate ecological data. We explore whether and how four major types of vegetation dynamics: reversible change, nondirectional drift, abrupt directional change, and relative stability, can be distinguished in ecological time series. We analyzed 12 long-term replicated vegetation records based on permanent plots in North American grasslands to quantify the four types of vegetation dynamics through distance-based metrics of community change.