Keynote Abstracts

Title Abstract Presenter
In the Footsteps of Giants: Early EAP Contributors

In an effort to better understand environmental challenges, a group of Asian scientists established the East Asia Pacific (EAP) ILTER. These remarkable scientists held its first regional meeting in 1995. Since then, they have connected regional scientists to global ecological research opportunities and tirelessly promoted and trained the next generation of young regional scientists, in addition to many other accomplishments.  Their contributions are truly remarkable. Their untold stories will be shared. 

 

In the 21st century, digital revolutions have changed every aspect of society, created new opportunities and challenges, and resulted in discontinuities in progress. The disciplines and communities which harness new technologies, such as autonomy, will become tomorrow’s leaders. Opportunities provided to young scientists, such as fellowships and mentorship, can speed the adoption of technologies which advance all scientific fields. We call for the EAP leaders to step into these roles, to meet their challenges, and to take advantage of their unique opportunities.      

Chang.William Y: changwy@hawaii.edu
Toward the concerted observations of biodiversity and ecosystem in Asia Pacific region

The growing complexity in the ecosystem structure and functions, under climate and land-use changes, requires interdisciplinary understandings on the processes and whole-system, accurate estimates of the changing functions, and delivering those knowledge to the society for sound decision making toward the sustainability of biodiversity and ecosystems. East Asia and Pacific regional network of International Long-Term Ecological Research network (ILTER) was established in 1995, and in-situ research on biodiversity, carbon and nitrogen cycles, ecohydrology, satellite remote sensing and modeling analysis of ecosystem structure, functions and services, have been conducted in the nine LTER networks and their collaborators. Some of these researches have been cooperated with the other observation networks such as AsiaFlux and OzFlux, Asia Pacific Biodiversity Observation Network (AP BON) and Phenological Eyes Network (PEN). Collaborative research provides us with deeper and broader understanding and prediction of consequences of biological processes underlying the current conditions and changes of ecosystem functions along the geographical and climatic gradients. With these growing development of in-situ terrestrial observations, broad communities of Earth Observations are expecting to find coordinated activities of these networks to link operational satellite remote sensing and in-situ data and knowledge in terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems, to advance the science as well as its delivery to sound decision making through GEOSS (Global Earth Observation System of Systems). In this presentation, I would like to communicate with the participants to (1) learn the strength of the related networks, (2) discuss the opportunities by having multi-network activities, (3) identify the gaps and challenges for further networking, and (4) find the way toward the coordination of research networks and linkage with broad Earth Observation communities.The growing complexity in the ecosystem structure and functions, under climate and land-use changes, requires interdisciplinary understandings on the processes and whole-system, accurate estimates of the changing functions, and delivering those knowledge to the society for sound decision making toward the sustainability of biodiversity and ecosystems. East Asia and Pacific regional network of International Long-Term Ecological Research network (ILTER) was established in 1995, and in-situ research on biodiversity, carbon and nitrogen cycles, ecohydrology, satellite remote sensing and modeling analysis of ecosystem structure, functions and services, have been conducted in the nine LTER networks and their collaborators. Some of these researches have been cooperated with the other observation networks such as AsiaFlux and OzFlux, Asia Pacific Biodiversity Observation Network (AP BON) and Phenological Eyes Network (PEN). Collaborative research provides us with deeper and broader understanding and prediction of consequences of biological processes underlying the current conditions and changes of ecosystem functions along the geographical and climatic gradients. With these growing development of in-situ terrestrial observations, broad communities of Earth Observations are expecting to find coordinated activities of these networks to link operational satellite remote sensing and in-situ data and knowledge in terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems, to advance the science as well as its delivery to sound decision making through GEOSS (Global Earth Observation System of Systems). In this presentation, I would like to communicate with the participants to (1) learn the strength of the related networks, (2) discuss the opportunities by having multi-network activities, (3) identify the gaps and challenges for further networking, and (4) find the way toward the coordination of research networks and linkage with broad Earth Observation communities.

Muraoka, Hiroyuki: muraoka@green.gifu-u.ac.jp
Climate as driver of long-term trends in freshwater invertebrate communities

Long-term observations on riverine invertebrate communities are crucial to assess potential impacts of climate change on stream ecosystems. In my talk I will present results from three recent studies: In the first study we examined LTER data (10–32 years) of 26 streams and rivers from four European ecoregions, to investigate invertebrate community responses to changing climatic conditions. Taxa and ecoregions differed substantially in their responses. We did not observe overall changes in total taxonomic richness or abundance over time or with increasing temperatures, probably due to compensatory turnover in the composition of communities (e.g., increasing number of invasive species favored by extreme events). However, we found an apparent upstream community movement and changes in functional feeding group diversity, indicating that climate change may be associated with changes in trophㄣic interactions within aquatic food webs. In a second study we analyzed long-term data (1969-2010) of aquatic insects from a nature reserve. Here we showed that over the 42 years a 2°C warming and changes in discharge regime have caused a 82% decline in abundance and a 54% increase in turnover of freshwater insect communities. Moreover, the community phenology has changed towards a longer duration and an earlier peak of emergence. In a third study, we analyzed the changes in the temperature signature (i.e., weighted temperature preferences of species within a community) and community composition of invertebrate communities over 25 years, based on 3,782 samples over large elevational, latitudinal and longitudinal gradients in central Europe, where we registered a warming of 0.5 °C. The temperature signature of stream invertebrates increased at a similar pace as temperature did, indicating a thermophilization of the communities. The strongest changes occurred along the altitudinal gradient, indicating that stream invertebrates use the spatial configuration of river networks to track their temperature niche upstream. Moreover, community composition has profoundly changed: the community share of cold-dwelling species has declined by 31% and 41% in terms of total abundance and taxonomic richness, respectively. Locally, such a decline was compensated by an increase in medium-temperature and warm dwellers. All three studies provide evidence that climate change already induce changes in abundance, richness, turnover and trophic structure, which could be regarded as early indicators of an ongoing process towards a homogenization of freshwater communities. Besides, the need to further explore the interactive effects of climate change variables with other local stressors to develop appropriate conservation measures became evident.

Haase.Peter: Peter.Haase@senckenberg.de
Status and perspectives of ILTER

Since its founding in 1993 the International Long-term Ecological Research Network (ILTER) has gone through pronounced development phases. The current network comprises 44 active member LTER networks representing 700 LTER Sites and ~80 LTSER Platforms across all continents, active in the fields of ecosystem, critical zone and socio-ecological research. The critical challenges and most important achievements of the initial phase have now become state-of-the-art in networking for excellent science. At the same time increasing integration, accelerating technology, networking of resources and a strong pull for more socially relevant scientific information have been modifying the mission and goals of ILTER. This article provides a critical review of ILTER's mission, goals, development and impacts. Major characteristics, tools, services, partnerships and selected examples of relative strengths relevant for advancing ILTER are presented. We elaborate on the tradeoffs between the needs of the scientific community and stakeholder expectations. The embedding of ILTER in an increasingly collaborative landscape of global environmental observation and ecological research networks and infrastructures is also reflected by developments of pioneering regional and national LTER networks such as SAEON in South Africa, CERN/CEOBEX in China, TERN in Australia or eLTER RI in Europe. The primary role of ILTER is currently seen as a mechanism to investigate ecosystem structure, function, and services in response to a wide range of environmental forcings using long-term, place-based research. We suggest four main fields of activities and advancements for the next decade through development/delivery of a: (1) Global multi-disciplinary community of researchers and research institutes; (2) Strategic global framework and strong partnerships in ecosystem observation and research; (3) Global Research Infrastructure (GRI); and (4) a scientific knowledge factory for societally relevant information on sustainable use of natural resources.

Mirtl.Michael: michael.mirtl@umweltbundesamt.at
Wildlife Species in Dong Khanthung Provincial Protected Forest of southern Lao PDR

Dong Khanthung Protected Forest (DKPF) is a provincial protected area in southwestern Laos. These Protected Forests form a complex that supports what is regarded as a very rich fauna of unique species of endangered wildlife. However, the information about these unique wildlife species is very limited and so the capacity to conduct proper management is hindered by the lack of knowledge of even basic distributional data. Therefore, the aim of this study is initially raised the information about unique wildlife for improving the management and conservation of biodiversity in DKPF. The surveys were conducted in four villages of DKPF (NongNga, Pel, Khemand Tahin Village). Surveys were focused on fourteen wildlife species that consider as landscape species in DKPF. GPS, maps, cameras, camera trapping, posters, wildlife books and questionnaires were used for surveys. The results found 24 mammals, 32 birds, 22 reptiles, 8 amphibians and 37 fish. The survey also can be obtained some pictures, e.g. Woolly-necked stork (Ciconia episcopus), Lesser mouse deer (Traguluskanchil), Asiatic jackal (Canisaureus), Common barking deer (Muntiacus vaginalis), Sambardeer, Gaur, and Asian elephant. Habitats for these wildlife species need to be properly managed but also the consciousness of local Lao people for wildlife conservation, education, and also the employment are all needed in the area to enhance success in Nature and Wildlife Conservation.

Sychanh.Thongsay: thongsaysychanh@yahoo.com
Long-term Monitoring of Modified Myanma Selection System (MMSS

The Myanma Selection System (MSS) has been applied in the management of the natural teak-bearing forests in Myanmar for nearly 150 years now with the belief that it can sustain the forests and teak yields. Nevertheless, over the past years the teak forests have both depleted and degraded significantly. Without a doubt, the main causes of this resource depletion and degradation included illegal cuttings, legal over-exploitation, agricultural expansion, shifting cultivation and lack of timely silvicultural treatments. As a matter of fact the MSS itself has technical weaknesses such as applying it to natural forests where light-demanding economic species are prioritized, fixing exploitable sizes, and not setting and maintaining desirable residual stand structures. In consequence, in the long run, the insufficient ingrowth has devastated stand structures of teak and other commercial species threatening the value and sustainability of the forest.

The Myanma Modified Selection System (MMSS) has attempted to address the main technical shortcomings of MSS. This study aims to apply MMSS in the management of teak-bearing natural forests in Myanmar and to test the technical feasibility of MMSS for application on a large scale and assess its value. The study was conducted in compartment 20 of Kyaukmasin reserved forest (RF) of mixed deciduours teak bearing forest. It has an area of 445 acres (approx. 180 ha). On the other hand it demands more hard work, time, skills and expenditure. In this context a pilot project is crucial to study both technical and financial feasibilities of the modified system.

Oo.Thaung Naing : tnoo71@gmail.com
Early to mid-stage litter decomposition across biomesBridging the gaps by tea – a simple approach to collaboration in ecosystem science

Through litter decomposition enormous amount of carbon is emitted to the atmosphere. Numerous large-scale decomposition experiments have been conducted focusing on this fundamental soil process in order to understand the controls on the terrestrial carbon transfer to the atmosphere. However, previous studies were mostly based on site-specific litter and methodologies, adding major uncertainty to syntheses, comparisons and meta-analyses across different experiments and sites. In the TeaComposition initiative, the potential litter decomposition is investigated by using standardized substrates (Rooibos and Green tea) for comparison of litter mass loss in 336 sites (ranging from -9 to +26 °C MAT and from 60 to 3113 mm MAP) across different ecosystems worldwide. In this study we tested the effect of climate (temperature and moisture), litter type and land-use on early stage decomposition (3 months) across nine biomes. We show that litter quality was the predominant controlling factor in early stage litter decomposition, which explained about 65 % of the variability in litter decomposition at a global scale. The effect of climate, on the other hand, was not litter specific and explained < 0.5 % of the variation for Green tea and 5 % for Rooibos tea, and was of significance only under unfavorable decomposition conditions (i.e. xeric versus mesic environments). When the data were aggregated at the biome scale, climate played a significant role on decomposition of both litter types (explaining 64 % of the variation for Green tea and 72 % for Rooibos tea). No significant effect of land-use on early stage litter decomposition was noted within the temperate biome. Our results indicate that multiple drivers are affecting early stage litter mass loss with litter quality being dominant. In order to be able to quantify the relative importance of the different drivers over time, long-term studies combined with experimental trials are needed.

Djukic.Ika: Ika.Djukic@umweltbundesamt.at
The importance of long-term ecological research to our understanding ecosystem dynamics in the era of climate change: evidences from TERN

Both gradual climate change and extreme climate events have major effects on ecosystem dynamics. Not surprisingly evidences from empirical studies are rare because long-term studies, which are rare, are often required to disentangle background fluctuation and changes related to climate change. Due to the long-term nature LTER could provide the most direct evidences of ecosystem response to gradual climate change and extreme climate events. Using long-term data from Taiwan Ecological Research Network (Taiwan version of LTER), we illustrate that ecosystem state could be misinterpreted as in dynamic equilibrium, growth or recovery depending on the length of the monitoring. In addition, the response to disturbance could be interpreted as highly resilience or highly resistant depending on the time scale. Long-term data covering a number of typhoon disturbance events also illustrate that the effects of every disturbance could be different. Therefore, that our understanding of disturbance-ecosystem interactions should not be over-driven by rare and often catastrophic events that often attract lots of attention from the public and scientists.

Lin.Teng Chiu: tclin@ntnu.edu.tw
On the Nature of Social-Ecological System Resilience: A Case Study on Cross-scale Dynamics of Social-Ecological Systems

The Danungdafu Forestation Area (DFA) represents one of the most controversial case concerning land use and indigenous rights in Taiwan. Since 2012, we have been studying this social-ecological system from interdisciplinary perspectives, which include researches on governance, wildlife ecology, land use change, ecosystem processes and services, citizen science, regional sustainability indicator, land use preference, and agri-environmental policy. Research findings show that, historically, the transformations of the DFA have been dominated by external systems. On the other hand, resilience of the DFA social-ecological system has been enhanced by proactive governance efforts since the last system transformation in 2002. This can be further attributed to the following factors: improved biological and livelihood diversity; promoted community participation and social learning; strengthened social networking; and an emerging cross-scale governance institution.

From a nested hierarchy perspective, the DFA is actually a subsystem of the Central East Rift Valley social-ecological system (CERV) in Eastern Taiwan. Moreover, both the DFA and CERV are subsystems of a larger system at the national level. A critical question concerning resilience would be, how subsystems interact with larger systems? More specifically, do larger systems nurture, or constrain recovery of system resilience of subsystems (the remember effect)? Does dynamics of subsystems influence the system resilience of larger systems (the revolt effect)? How do governance systems and actors govern cross-scale dynamics of these social-ecological systems? Answers to these questions can help scholars and general public understand the nature of social-ecological system resilience.

Tai.Hsing-Sheng: hstai@gms.ndhu.edu.tw
Response of Species and Plant Community Distributions to Climate Change in Tropical Rain Forests, Thailand

Climate change causes effects on biodiversity and conservation and sustainable use of biological resources. This research conducted in Tung Yai-Huai Kha Khaeng World Heritage Site aims to map the distributions of important trees and plant communities and to assess shifts in distributions as the results of future climate change. Occurrences of trees were gathered from nationwide forest resource inventory. Maxent model was used to predict the distribution of trees; while cluster analysis and geographic information system (GIS) were employed to classify plant communities. One hundred tree species, including 28 evergreen species and 72 deciduous species had adequate records for modeling. The results revealed that quarterly rainfall patterns and average extreme temperature were more important to distribution of tree than annual rainfall and mean annual temperature. In the future, 68% of selected evergreen species would have less extent of occurrence and 30 species (evergreen and deciduous species) would shift their distributions greater than 30% from the current. These 100 species were clustered into 10 communities. The communities located in hill evergreen forest and dry evergreen forest would have less area in the future but the communities found in moist mixed deciduous forest would have more area as the consequences of additional annual rainfall of 200 mm, less rainfall in dry season of 90 mm, and mean annual temperature increase of 3°C in the future.

Trisurat.Yongyut: fforyyt@ku.ac.th
Shooting at a moving target: Evaluating ecosystem response to extreme events in a changing world

Analysis of the effects of extreme events such as heavy rainfall, drought, windstorms and forests on ecosystem processes has always been a great challenge.  This challenge has increased in recent decades because environmental change (climate, land use, biotic) has altered both the frequency as well as the ecosystem response, to these events of these events.  Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites provide unique opportunities for analysis of these challenging questions.  At the Hubbard Brook LTER site in the northern hardwood forests of New Hampshire, we have been characterizing variable response to the extreme winter climate events of soil freezing and ice storms over the past 20 years.  We hypothesize that the variable response to linked to a general nitrogen oligotrophication of this ecosystem which in turn is driven by changes in the carbon cycle associated with elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and deacidification.  We further hypothesize that these changes have reduced the resilience of the ecosystem to extreme treefall events such as windstorms or clear cutting.  Long term research is key to addressing these challenging research questions.

Groffman.Peter M.: Peter.Groffman@asrc.cuny.edu
The use of natural abundances of stable isotopes to elucidate the nitrogen dynamics in plant-soil systems

Nitrogen (N) dynamics in terrestrial ecosystems are quite complex because of the high spatial and temporal variabilities together with its high turnover due to the high biological N demand by plants and microbes. To elucidate the N dynamics in intact terrestrial ecosystems, the use of the natural abundance of stable N and oxygen (O) isotopes has been carried out in many ways. The recent methodological progress (Sigman et al. 2001; Casciotti et al. 2002) now can allow us to measure not only N but also O isotope ratios with samples with quite tiny amounts (e.g. 20nmol-N). We applied this analytical method to elucidate the fate of nitrate. Among many fates of nitrate in terrestrial ecosystems, plant nitrate uptake is quite difficult to evaluate. In this talk, I will introduce our latest results on the uptake of the soil nitrate by tundra plants where soil net nitrification rates are quite low with N and O isotopes.

Koba.Keisuke: keikoba@ecology.kyoto-u.ac.jp

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