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.

CC Meeting: 
Lin.Teng Chiu:

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