Long-term trends in ecological systems: An introduction to cross-site comparisons and relevance to global change studies

TitleLong-term trends in ecological systems: An introduction to cross-site comparisons and relevance to global change studies
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsPeters DC, Laney CM, Lugo AE, Collins SL, Driscoll CT, Groffman PM, J. Grove M, Knapp AK, Kratz TK, Ohman MD, Waide RB, Yao J
Book TitleLong-Term Trends in Ecological Systems: A Basis for Understanding Responses to Global Change
Chapter1
Pagination1-20
PublisherNational Technical Information Services
CitySpringfield, Virginia
Accession NumberJRN52676
ARIS Log Number256275
Keywordsatmospheric chemistry, climate change, cross-site comparisons, disturbance, ecological response, ecology, ecosystem, EcoTrends, experimental forests, global change, human demography, human population growth, Long Term Ecological Research (LTER), long-term datasets, precipitation, rangeland, rangeland research stations, surface water chemistry
Abstract

This chapter explains the importance of long-term data to ecological studies and the needs of creating a way to provide accessible and comparable multi-site long-term data. The Earth’s environment is changing in many ways at local, regional, and global scales. Dramatic changes have occurred in climate, land cover, and habitat availability over the past several centuries. Long-term data (> 10 years) are needed to assess the rate and direction of change, to distinguish directional trends in these changes (e.g., persistent increases or decreases) from short-term variability (e.g., multi-year cycles), and to forecast environmental conditions in the future.  It also sets up the stage for the rest of the chapters in the book, presenting the purposes, audience and practical applications of the book, explaining how the study sites, variables, and data sets are selected, and how the data are presented and analyzed, and laying out the organization of the book.

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