Doctor of Philosophy, Colorado State University (2015)
Bachelor of Arts, University of Montana (2007)
Eric Lambin, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
- China's ecosystems: Sacrificing the poor. Science 2016; 353 (6300): 657-658
- Local knowledge production, transmission, and the importance of village leaders in a network of Tibetan pastoralists coping with environmental change ECOLOGY AND SOCIETY 2016; 21 (1)
Predicted responses of arctic and alpine ecosystems to altered seasonality under climate change
GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY
2014; 20 (10): 3256-3269
Global climate change is already having significant impacts on arctic and alpine ecosystems, and ongoing increases in temperature and altered precipitation patterns will affect the strong seasonal patterns that characterize these temperature-limited systems. The length of the potential growing season in these tundra environments is increasing due to warmer temperatures and earlier spring snow melt. Here, we compare current and projected climate and ecological data from 20 Northern Hemisphere sites to identify how seasonal changes in the physical environment due to climate change will alter the seasonality of arctic and alpine ecosystems. We find that although arctic and alpine ecosystems appear similar under historical climate conditions, climate change will lead to divergent responses, particularly in the spring and fall shoulder seasons. As seasonality changes in the Arctic, plants will advance the timing of spring phenological events, which could increase plant nutrient uptake, production, and ecosystem carbon (C) gain. In alpine regions, photoperiod will constrain spring plant phenology, limiting the extent to which the growing season can lengthen, especially if decreased water availability from earlier snow melt and warmer summer temperatures lead to earlier senescence. The result could be a shorter growing season with decreased production and increased nutrient loss. These contrasting alpine and arctic ecosystem responses will have cascading effects on ecosystems, affecting community structure, biotic interactions, and biogeochemistry.
View details for DOI 10.1111/gcb.12568
View details for Web of Science ID 000342168500021
View details for PubMedID 24599697
- Unexpected climate impacts on the Tibetan Plateau: Local and scientific knowledge in findings of delayed summer GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE-HUMAN AND POLICY DIMENSIONS 2014; 28: 141-152
- Tibetan Pastoralists' Vulnerability to Climate Change: A Political Ecology Analysis of Snowstorm Coping Capacity HUMAN ECOLOGY 2014; 42 (1): 61-74
Climate Change and Water Use Partitioning by Different Plant Functional Groups in a Grassland on the Tibetan Plateau
2013; 8 (9)
The Tibetan Plateau (TP) is predicted to experience increases in air temperature, increases in snowfall, and decreases in monsoon rains; however, there is currently a paucity of data that examine the ecological responses to such climate changes. In this study, we examined the effects of increased air temperature and snowfall on: 1) water use partitioning by different plant functional groups, and 2) ecosystem CO2 fluxes throughout the growing season. At the individual plant scale, we used stable hydrogen isotopes (δD) to partition water use between shallow- and deep-rooted species. Prior to the arrival of summer precipitation (typically mid-July), snowmelt was the main water source in the soils. During this time, shallow and deep-rooted species partitioned water use by accessing water from shallow and deep soils, respectively. However, once the monsoon rains arrived, all plants used rainwater from the upper soils as the main water source. Snow addition did not result in increased snowmelt use throughout the growing season; instead, snowmelt water was pushed down into deeper soils when the rains arrived. At the larger plot scale, CO2 flux measurements demonstrated that rain was the main driver for net ecosystem productivity (NEP). NEP rates were low during June and July and reached a maximum during the monsoon season in August. Warming decreased NEP through a reduction in gross primary productivity (GPP), and snow additions did not mitigate the negative effects of warming by increasing NEP or GPP. Both the isotope and CO2 flux results suggest that rain drives productivity in the Nam Tso region on the TP. This also suggests that the effects of warming-induced drought on the TP may not be mitigated by increased snowfall. Further decreases in summer monsoon rains may affect ecosystem productivity, with large implications for livestock-based livelihoods.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0075503
View details for Web of Science ID 000324547300086
View details for PubMedID 24069425
Plant functional traits mediate reproductive phenology and success in response to experimental warming and snow addition in Tibet
GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY
2013; 19 (2): 459-472
Global climate change is predicted to have large impacts on the phenology and reproduction of alpine plants, which will have important implications for plant demography and community interactions, trophic dynamics, ecosystem energy balance, and human livelihoods. In this article we report results of a 3-year, fully factorial experimental study exploring how warming, snow addition, and their combination affect reproductive phenology, effort, and success of four alpine plant species belonging to three different life forms in a semiarid, alpine meadow ecosystem on the central Tibetan Plateau. Our results indicate that warming and snow addition change reproductive phenology and success, but responses are not uniform across species. Moreover, traits associated with resource acquisition, such as rooting depth and life history (early vs. late flowering), mediate plant phenology, and reproductive responses to changing climatic conditions. Specifically, we found that warming delayed the reproductive phenology and decreased number of inflorescences of Kobresia pygmaea C. B. Clarke, a shallow-rooted, early-flowering plant, which may be mainly constrained by upper-soil moisture availability. Because K. pygmaea is the dominant species in the alpine meadow ecosystem, these results may have important implications for ecosystem dynamics and for pastoralists and wildlife in the region.
View details for DOI 10.1111/gcb.12059
View details for Web of Science ID 000314219200012
View details for PubMedID 23504784
Masting in whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) depletes stored nutrients
2012; 196 (1): 189-199
• In masting trees, synchronized, heavy reproductive events are thought to deplete stored resources and to impose a replenishment period before subsequent masting. However, direct evidence of resource depletion in wild, masting trees is very rare. Here, we examined the timing and magnitude (local vs individual-level) of stored nutrient depletion after a heavy mast event in Pinus albicaulis. • In 2005, the mast year, we compared seasonal changes in leaf and sapwood nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) concentrations and leaf photosynthetic rates in cone-bearing branches, branches that never produced cones, and branches with experimentally removed cones. We also compared nutrient concentrations in cone branches and branches that had never had cones between 2005 and 2006, and measured tree ring width and new shoot growth during 2005. • During the mast year, N or P depletion occurred only in tissue fractions of reproductive branches, where photosynthetic rates were reduced. However, by the end of the following year, nutrients were depleted in all branches, indicating individual-level resource depletion. New shoot and radial growth were not affected by masting. • We provide direct evidence that mast events in wild trees deplete stored nutrients. Our results highlight the importance of evaluating reproductive costs over time and at the individual level.
View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2012.04257.x
View details for Web of Science ID 000308090000018
View details for PubMedID 22889129