7.1 Improve understanding of and ability to model feedbacks and interactions among the large-scale processes causing change (climate, natural disturbances, and human-caused perturbations) and the responses of terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems.
This Objective will focus on continuing and expanding observations, monitoring, and research to understand how variations in climate, disturbances, and human-caused perturbations are causing changes to terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. These scientific activities not only focus on landscape-scale composition, structure, and function, but also on flora, fauna, permafrost, and hydrology dynamics, and above- and below-ground carbon reservoirs. This research is also directed toward understanding how changes to ecosystems induce feedbacks to climate and disturbance regimes. Together, this group of activities provides the basis for improving regional and global scale ecological and earth science models, as well as coupled climate-ecosystem models that incorporate key disturbance processes, in particular wildland fire. The research activities that would be coordinated to address this Objective also provide the foundation needed for addressing the other Objectives within the Permafrost Goal.
Performance elements from the Arctic research plan
7.1.1 Carry out and synthesize results from field-based research and monitoring needed to improve understanding of important ecosystem processes and feedbacks, including their responses to environmental changes.
7.1.2 Carry out and synthesize research on and monitoring of the disturbance processes responsible for changes to key landscapes, including fire, warming permafrost, insects and pathogens, and human activities.
7.1.3 Facilitate and harmonize the production, integration, and distribution of key geospatial datasets from remotely-sensed and other data sources that are needed for monitoring key ecosystem processes and landscape changes and for model initialization, calibration, and validation.
7.1.4 Improve existing and develop advanced models for integrating climate, disturbance, above- and below-ground dynamics and interactions and feedbacks to characterize and predict Arctic landscape and ecosystem change.