|Title||Using mechanistic models to scale ecological processes across space and time|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2003|
|Authors||Rastetter E.B, Aber J.D, Peters DC, Ojima D.S., Burke IC|
|Date Published||January 1, 2003|
|ARIS Log Number||145568|
|Keywords||ecosystem moels, long-term ecological research, mechanistic models, scaling, spatial projection|
Human activities affect the natural environment at local to global scales. To understand these effects, knowledge derived from short-term studies on small plots needs to be projected to much broader spatial and temporal scales. One way to project short-term, plot- scale knowledge to broader scales is to embed that knowledge in a mechanistic model of the ecosystem. The National Science Foundation's Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program makes two vital contributions to this type of modeling effort: (1) a commitment to multidisciplinary research at individual sites, which results in a broad range of mutually consistent data, and (2) long-term data sets essential for estimating rate constants for slower ecosystem processes that dominate long-term ecosystems dynamics. In this paper, we present four examples of how a mechanistic approach to modeling ecological processes can be used to make projections to broader scales. The models are all applied to sites in the LTER network.