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See detailModelling the Holocene migrational dynamics of Fagus sylvatica L. and Picea abies (L.) H. Karst
Lehsten, Lehsten; Dullinger, Stefan; Hülber, Karl et al

in Global Ecology and Biogeography (2014)

Aim: Vegetation dynamics and the competitive interactions involved are assumed to restrict the ability of species to migrate. But in most migration modelling approaches disturbance-driven succession and ... [more ▼]

Aim: Vegetation dynamics and the competitive interactions involved are assumed to restrict the ability of species to migrate. But in most migration modelling approaches disturbance-driven succession and competition processes are reduced to simple assumptions or are even missing. The aim of this study was to test a combination of a migration model and a dynamic vegetation model to estimate the migration of tree species controlled by climate, environment and local species dynamics such as succession and competition. Location: Europe. Methods: To estimate the effect of vegetation dynamics on the migration of European beech and Norway spruce, we developed a post-process migration tool (LPJ-CATS). This tool integrates outputs of the migration model CATS and the dynamic vegetation model LPJ-GUESS. The model LPJ-CATS relies on a linear dependency between the dispersal kernel and migration rate and is based on the assumption that competition reduces fecundity. Results: Simulating potential migration rates with the CATS model, which does not account for competition and disturbance, resulted in mean Holocene migra- tion rates of 435 ± 55 and 330 ± 95 m year−1 for the two species Picea abies and Fagus sylvatica, respectively. With LPJ-CATS, these mean migration rates were reduced to 250 ± 75 and 170 ± 60 m year−1 for spruce and beech, respectively. Moreover, LPJ-CATS simulated migration pathways of these two species that gen- erally comply well with those documented in the palaeo-records. Main conclusions: Our ‘hybrid’ modelling approach allowed for the simulation of generally realistic Holocene migration rates and pathways of the two study species on a continental scale. It suggests that competition can considerably modify spread rates, but also the magnitude of its effect depends on how close climate conditions are to the niche requirements of a particular species. [less ▲]

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See detailAnalysis of the global atmospheric methane budget using ECHAM-MOZ simulations for present-day, pre-industrial time and the Last Glacial Maximum
Basu, A.; Schultz, M. G.; Schröder, S. et al

in Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics Discussions (2014), 14

Atmospheric methane concentrations increased considerably from pre-industrial (PI) to present times largely due to anthropogenic emissions. However, firn and ice core records also document a notable rise ... [more ▼]

Atmospheric methane concentrations increased considerably from pre-industrial (PI) to present times largely due to anthropogenic emissions. However, firn and ice core records also document a notable rise of methane levels between the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and the pre-industrial era, the exact cause of which is not entirely clear. This study investigates these changes by analyzing the methane sources and sinks at each of these climatic periods. Wetlands are the largest natural source of methane and play a key role in determining methane budget changes in particular in the absence of anthropogenic sources. Here, a simple wetland parameterization suitable for coarse-scale climate simulations over long periods is introduced, which is derived from a high- resolution map of surface slopes together with various soil hydrology parameters from the CARAIB vegetation model. This parameterization was implemented in the chem- istry general circulation model ECHAM5-MOZ and multi-year time slices were run for LGM, PI and present-day (PD) climate conditions. Global wetland emissions from our parameterization are 72 Tg yr [less ▲]

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See detailCARAIB USER'S GUIDE
Minet, Julien ULg; Jacquemin, Ingrid ULg; François, Louis ULg

Learning material (2013)

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See detailTowards Participatory Integrated Valuation and Modelling of Ecosystem Services under Land-use Change
Fontaine, C.; Dendoncker, N.; De Vreese, R. et al

in Journal of Land Use Science (2013)

The lack of consideration for Ecosystem Services (ES) values in current decision-making is recognised as one of the main reasons leading to an intense competition and arguably unsustainable use of well ... [more ▼]

The lack of consideration for Ecosystem Services (ES) values in current decision-making is recognised as one of the main reasons leading to an intense competition and arguably unsustainable use of well-located available land. In this paper, we present a framework for the Valuation Of Terrestrial Ecosystem Services (VOTES), aiming at structuring a methodology that is applicable for valuing ES in a given area through a set of indicators that are both meaningful for local actors and scientifically constructed. Examples from a case study area in central Belgium are used to illustrate the methodology: a stepwise procedure starting with the valuation of ES at present. The valuation of the social, biophysical and economic dimensions of ES are based on current land-use patterns. Subsequently, scenarios of land-use change are used to explore potential losses (and/or gains) of ES in the future of the study area. With the VOTES framework, we aim at [1] incorporating stakeholders inputs to widen the valuation process and increase trust in policy-oriented approach; [2] integrating valuation of ES with a sustainable development stance accounting for land-use change; and [3] developing suggestions to policy-makers for integrating ES monitoring in policy developments. [less ▲]

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See detailTesting palaeoclimate and palaeovegetation model reconstructions with palaeovegetation data : an application to the Middle Miocene
François, Louis ULg; Utescher, Torsten; Hamon, Noémie et al

Poster (2013, April)

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See detailRates of consumption of atmospheric CO2 through the weathering of loess during the next 100 yr of climate change
Goddéris, Y.; Brantley, S. L.; François, Louis ULg et al

in Biogeosciences (2013), 10

Quantifying how C fluxes will change in the future is a complex task for models because of the coupling between climate, hydrology, and biogeochemical reactions. Here we investigate how pedogenesis of the ... [more ▼]

Quantifying how C fluxes will change in the future is a complex task for models because of the coupling between climate, hydrology, and biogeochemical reactions. Here we investigate how pedogenesis of the Peoria loess, which has been weathering for the last 13 kyr, will respond over the next 100 yr of climate change. Using a cascade of numerical models for climate (ARPEGE), vegetation (CARAIB) and weathering (WITCH), we explore the effect of an increase in CO2 of 315 ppmv (1950) to 700 ppmv (2100 projection). The increasing CO2 results in an increase in temperature along the entire transect. In contrast, drainage increases slightly for a focus pedon in the south but decreases strongly in the north. These two variables largely determine the behavior of weathering. In addition, although CO2 production rate increases in the soils in response to global warming, the rate of diffusion back to the atmosphere also increases, maintaining a roughly constant or even decreasing CO2 concentration in the soil gas phase. Our simulations predict that temperature increasing in the next 100 yr causes the weathering rates of the silicates to increase into the future. In contrast, the weathering rate of dolomite – which consumes most of the CO2 – decreases in both end members (south and north) of the transect due to its retrograde solubility. We thus infer slower rates of advance of the dolomite reaction front into the subsurface, and faster rates of advance of the silicate reaction front. However, additional simulations for 9 pedons located along the north–south transect show that the dolomite weathering advance rate will increase in the central part of the Mississippi Valley, owing to a maximum in the response of vertical drainage to the ongoing climate change. The carbonate reaction front can be likened to a terrestrial lysocline because it represents a depth interval over which carbonate dissolution rates increase drastically. However, in contrast to the lower pH and shallower lysocline expected in the oceans with increasing atmospheric CO2, we predict a deeper lysocline in future soils. Furthermore, in the central Mississippi Valley, soil lysocline deepening accelerates but in the south and north the deepening rate slows. This result illustrates the complex behavior of carbonate weathering facing short term global climate change. Predicting the global response of terrestrial weathering to increased atmospheric CO2 and temperature in the future will mostly depend upon our ability to make precise assessments of which areas of the globe increase or decrease in precipitation and soil drainage. [less ▲]

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See detailA plant's perspective of extremes: Terrestrial plant responses to changing climatic variability
Reyer, C.; Leuzinger, S.; Ramming, A. et al

in Global Change Biology (2013), 19

We review observational, experimental and model results on how plants respond to extreme climatic conditions induced by changing climatic variability. Distinguishing between impacts of changing mean ... [more ▼]

We review observational, experimental and model results on how plants respond to extreme climatic conditions induced by changing climatic variability. Distinguishing between impacts of changing mean climatic conditions and changing climatic variability on terrestrial ecosystems is generally underrated in current studies. The goals of our review are thus (1) to identify plant processes that are vulnerable to changes in the variability of climatic variables rather than to changes in their mean, and (2) to depict/evaluate available study designs to quantify responses of plants to changing climatic variability. We find that phenology is largely affected by changing mean climate but also that impacts of climatic variability are much less studied but potentially damaging. We note that plant water relations seem to be very vulnerable to extremes driven by changes in temperature and precipitation and that heatwaves and flooding have stronger impacts on physiological processes than changing mean climate. Moreover, interacting phenological and physiological processes are likely to further complicate plant responses to changing climatic variability. Phenological and physiological processes and their interactions culminate in even more sophisticated responses to changing mean climate and climatic variability at the species and community level. Generally, observational studies are well suited to study plant responses to changing mean climate, but less suitable to gain a mechanistic understanding of plant responses to climatic variability. Experiments seem best suited to simulate extreme events. In models, temporal resolution and model structure are crucial to capture plant responses to changing climatic variability. We highlight that a combination of experimental, observational and /or modeling studies have the potential to overcome important caveats of the respective individual approaches. [less ▲]

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See detailPaleoproductivity during the middle Miocene carbon isotope events: A data-model approach
Diester-Haass, Liselotte; Billups, Katharina; Jacquemin, Ingrid ULg et al

in Paleoceanography (2013), 28

To what extent are individual middle Miocene eccentricity-scale benthic foraminiferal carbon isotope maxima (the so-called CM events) related to changes in marine export productivity? Here we use benthic ... [more ▼]

To what extent are individual middle Miocene eccentricity-scale benthic foraminiferal carbon isotope maxima (the so-called CM events) related to changes in marine export productivity? Here we use benthic foraminiferal accumulation rates from three sites in the Pacific and Southern Oceans and a geochemical box model to assess relationships between benthic foraminiferal δ13C records, export productivity, and the global carbon cycle. Results from Deep Sea Drilling Project Hole 588 and Ocean Drilling Program Site 747 show a distinct productivity maximum during CM 6 at 13.8 Ma, the time of major expansion of ice on Antarctica. Productivity maxima during other CM events are only recorded at high-latitude Site 747. A set of numerical experiments tests whether changes in foraminiferal δ13C records (CM events) and export productivity can be simulated solely by sea level fluctuations and the associated changes in global weathering-deposition cycles, by sea level fluctuations plus global climatic cooling, and by sea level fluctuations plus invigorated ocean circulation. Consistent with data, the periodic forcing of sea level and albedo (and associated weathering cycles) produces δ13C variations of the correct temporal spacing, albeit with a reduced amplitude. A productivity response of the correct magnitude is achieved by enhancing ocean circulation during cold periods. We suggest that the pacing of middle Miocene δ13C fluctuations is associated with cyclical sea level variations. The amplitude, however, is muted perhaps due to the competing effects of a time-lagged response to sea level lowstands but an immediate response to invigorated ocean circulation during cold phases. [less ▲]

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See detailVegetation change in Siberia and the northeast of Russia during the Cenozoic cooling: a study based on diversity of plant functional types
Popova, Svetlana; Utescher, Torsten; Gromyko, Dmitry V. et al

in PALAIOS (2013), 28

Cenozoic vegetation change in Western Siberia and northeastern Russia is quantified based on the analysis of diversity of plant functional types (PFTs). Carpofloras (148 total) compiled from published ... [more ▼]

Cenozoic vegetation change in Western Siberia and northeastern Russia is quantified based on the analysis of diversity of plant functional types (PFTs). Carpofloras (148 total) compiled from published sources are assigned to a total of nine time slices spanning the period from the middle Eocene to the late Pliocene. Comparisons among four defined key regions allow study of spatial diversity gradients and their evolution. Our novel PFT classification scheme, designed for use in biome modeling, comprises 26 herbaceous to arboreal PFTs based on physiognomic characters and bioclimatic tolerances of plants, completed by an aquatic PFT. Using multivariate statistics, localities with similar PFT spectra are grouped and interpreted in terms of biomes. The results are visualized on paleoveg- etation maps and in PFT diversity records documenting vegetation evolution by key region. In northeastern Russia, mixed and conifer forest biomes existed during the Neogene. Diversity spectra indicate that even in the late Neogene, warm and humid conditions prevailed in this region, probably related to coeval intensification of the East Asian monsoon system. In Western Siberia, mesophytic forests with higher proportions of broadleaved evergreens dominated during the earlier Paleogene. Subse- quent vegetation change is mainly expressed by a steadily increasing diversity of herbaceous PFTs. In the southern part of Western Siberia, distinct opening of the vegetation occurred in the late Miocene, connected to drying. The coeval declining trend of thermophilous PFTs in the north coincides with intensified cooling of the high latitudes. [less ▲]

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See detailCurrent net ecosystem exchange of CO2 in a young mixed forest: any heritage from the previous ecosystem?
Violette, Aurélie ULg; Heinesch, Bernard ULg; Erpicum, Michel ULg et al

Poster (2013)

For 15 years, networks of flux towers have been developed to determine accurate carbon balance with the eddy-covariance method and determine if forests are sink or source of carbon. However, for ... [more ▼]

For 15 years, networks of flux towers have been developed to determine accurate carbon balance with the eddy-covariance method and determine if forests are sink or source of carbon. However, for prediction of the evolution of carbon cycle and climate, major uncertainties remain on the ecosystem respiration (Reco, which includes the respiration of above ground part of trees, roots respiration and mineralization of the soil organic matter), the gross primary productivity (GPP) and their difference, the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of forests. These uncertainties are consequences of spatial and inter-annual variability, driven by previous and current climatic conditions, as well as by the particular history of the site (management, diseases, etc.). In this study we focus on the carbon cycle in two mixed forests in the Belgian Ardennes. The first site, Vielsalm, is a mature stand mostly composed of beeches (Fagus sylvatica) and douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) from 80 to 100 years old. The second site, La Robinette, was covered before 1995 with spruces. After an important windfall and a clear cutting, the site was replanted, between 1995 and 2000, with spruces (Piceas abies) and deciduous species (mostly Betula pendula, Aulnus glutinosa and Salix aurita). The challenge here is to highlight how initial conditions can influence the current behavior of the carbon cycle in a growing stand compared to a mature one, where initial conditions are supposed to be forgotten. A modeling approach suits particularly well for sensitivity tests and estimation of the temporal lag between an event and the ecosystem response. We use the forest ecosystem model ASPECTS (Rasse et al., Ecological Modelling 141, 35-52, 2001). This model predicts long-term forest growth by calculating, over time, hourly NEE. It was developed and already validated on the Vielsalm forest. Modelling results are confronted to eddy-covariance data on both sites from 2006 to 2011. The main difference between both sites seems to rely on soil respiration, which is probably partly a heritage of the previous ecosystem at the young forest site. [less ▲]

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See detailGrowth of subtropical forests in Miocene Europe : The roles of carbon dioxide and Antarctic ice volume.
Hamon, Noémie; Sepulchre, Pierre; Donnadieu, Yannick et al

in Geology (2012)

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See detailModelling the risk of ecosystem disruption in Europe with a dynamic vegetation model
Dury, Marie ULg; Hambuckers, Alain ULg; Warnant, Pierre et al

Conference (2012, April)

What will be the European ecosystem responses to future climate? With unprecedented speed and extent, the projected climate change might lead to a disruption of terrestrial plants functioning in many ... [more ▼]

What will be the European ecosystem responses to future climate? With unprecedented speed and extent, the projected climate change might lead to a disruption of terrestrial plants functioning in many regions. In the framework of the EcoChange project, transient projections over the 1901-2100 period have been performed with a process-based dynamic vegetation model, CARAIB DVM (Dury et al., 2011, iForest 4: 82, 99). The vegetation model was driven by the outputs of four climate models under the SRES A1B scenario: the ARPEGE/Climate model and three regional climate models (KNMI-RACMO2 , DMI-HIRHAM5 and HC-HadRM3Q0 RCMs) from the European Union project ENSEMBLES. DVMs are appropriate tools to apprehend potential climate change impacts on ecosystems and identify threatened regions over Europe. CARAIB outputs (soil moisture, runoff, net primary productivity, fire, etc.) were used to characterize the ecosystem evolution. To assess consequences on biodiversity, the evolution of 100 natural common European species (47 herbs, 12 shrubs and 41 trees) has been studied year-to-year over the 1901-2100 period. Under the combined effects of projected changes particularly in temperature and precipitations, CARAIB simulates important reductions in the annual soil water content. The species productivities vary strongly from year to year reaching during the driest years values much lower than present-day average productivity. According to CARAIB, a lot of species might go beyond their water tolerance very frequently, particularly after 2050, due to more intense summer droughts. In the northern part of Europe and in the Alps, with reduced temperature variability and positive soil water anomalies, NPP variability tends to decrease. Regions with more severe droughts might also be affected by an increase of the frequency and intensity of wildfires. With this background, the species distributions might be strongly modified. 15% of tree species and 30% of herb and shrub species (respectively 30% and 60% if the CO2 fertilization effect on species is not taken into account) might experience a loss of 30% or more of their current distribution. Proportions of new species appearance at the end of the century were also studied. Southern Europe might suffer important species extinction while the more suitable climate conditions in northern Europe might lead to a gain in species diversity. [less ▲]

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See detailModelling European tree species distribution change over the Holocene
Dury, Marie ULg; Dullinger, Stefan; Hülber, Karl et al

Conference (2012, March 01)

The postglacial re-colonization of Europe by temperate tree species from a few glacial refugia during the Holocene (10,000 BP) is a very interesting case to study the mechanisms of the vegetation dynamics ... [more ▼]

The postglacial re-colonization of Europe by temperate tree species from a few glacial refugia during the Holocene (10,000 BP) is a very interesting case to study the mechanisms of the vegetation dynamics. The relative roles that played the climate conditions, the species dispersal capacities and the competition between species in the re-colonization rates remain controversial. We investigate these different aspects with the CARAIB dynamic vegetation model (CARAIB DVM). Transient runs were performed over the Holocene using the HadCM3 AOGCM-reconstructed climate. European-wide species migration at 0.5° x 0.5° is represented in the model using migration rates derived from a high resolution cellular automaton, CATS-UPSCALE. Individual tree species migration rates were pre-calculated with CATS-UPSCALE every 1000 years over each grid cell used by the DVM in the climatic conditions reconstructed by the AOGCM. The impacts of competition on plant dispersal are not taken into account by the automaton. Thus, in CARAIB, a function has been constructed to reduce the potential CATS migration rates in competition conditions. It is based on the species dispersal kernel and on the net primary productivity of the different species present on the grid cell. The migration of one species, from its 10,000 BP refugia, is studied within a landscape defined by a set of other species for which no dispersal limitations are assumed. Here, we illustrate the results obtained for two wind-dispersed (Abies alba and Picea abies) and for a no wind-dispersed (Fagus sylvatica) tree species. The speeds and the paths of the postglacial spread obtained with the DVM are compared to the past distributions of the three species reconstructed from pollen and macrofossil data. The Holocene climate conditions simulated by the HadCM3 AOGCM do not constrain the European re-colonization of the studied species, except in Scandinavia at the beginning of the period for Picea abies. We observe that, during the past 10,000 years, species occupied regions where climate conditions were different from present observed species climate requirements, notably in the 10k species refugia. This result may imply that at present the species do not occupy their potential distribution area and thus that the postglacial re-colonization is not completed yet. We also show that species dispersal capacities cannot explain the observed species migration over the Holocene and that competition has played an important role. Indeed, when we use the potential migration rates (no competition), species spread too fast. [less ▲]

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See detailCan accurate kinetic laws be created to describe chemical weathering ?
Schott, Jacques; Oelkers, Eric H.; Bénézeth, Pascale et al

in Comptes Rendus Geoscience (2012), 344

Knowledge of the mechanisms and rates of mineral dissolution and growth, especially close to equilibrium, is essential for describing the temporal and spatial evolution of natural processes like ... [more ▼]

Knowledge of the mechanisms and rates of mineral dissolution and growth, especially close to equilibrium, is essential for describing the temporal and spatial evolution of natural processes like weathering and its impact on CO2 budget and climate. The Surface Complexation approach (SC) combined with Transition State Theory (TST) provides an efficient framework for describing mineral dissolution over wide ranges of solution composition, chemical affinity, and temperature. There has been a large debate for several years, however, about the comparative merits of SC/TS versus classical growth theories for describing mineral dissolution and growth at near-to-equilibrium conditions. This study considers recent results obtained in our laboratory on oxides, hydroxides, silicates, and carbonates on near-equilibrium dissolution and growth via the combination of complementary microscopic and macroscopic techniques including hydrothermal atomic force microscopy, hydrogen-electrode concentration cell, mixed flow and batch reactors. Results show that the dissolution and precipitation of hydroxides, kaolinite, and hydromagnesite powders of relatively high BET surface area closely follow SC/TST rate laws with a linear dependence of both dissolution and growth rates on fluid saturation state (V) even at very close to equilibrium conditions (jDGj < 500 J/mol). This occurs because sufficient reactive sites (e.g. at kink, steps, and edges) are available at the exposed faces for dissolution and/or growth, allowing reactions to proceed via the direct and reversible detachment/attachment of reactants at the surface. In contrast, for magnesite and quartz, which have low surface areas, fewer active sites are available for growth and dissolution. Such minerals exhibit rates dependencies on V at near equilibrium conditions ranging from linear to highly non-linear functions of V, depending on the treatment of the crystals before the reaction. It follows that the form of the f(DG) function describing the growth and dissolution of minerals with low surface areas depends on the availability of reactive sites at the exposed faces and thus on the history of the mineral-fluid interaction and the hydrodynamic conditions under which the crystals are reacted. It is advocated that the crystal surface roughness could serve as a proxy of the density of reactive sites. The consequences of the different rate laws on the quantification of loess weathering along the Mississippi valley for the next one hundred years are examined. [less ▲]

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See detailUne approche participative des interactions entre les hommes, femmes et la biodiversité de la forêt tropicale dans la région du lac Tumba, RDC
Halleux, C.; Dendoncker, N.; Huynen, Marie-Claude ULg et al

Conference (2012)

L'objectif du projet BIOSERF est d'évaluer la durabilité d'un écosystème de forêt tropicale humide dans l'Ouest de la République démocratique du Congo sous des pressions démographiques, sociétales et ... [more ▼]

L'objectif du projet BIOSERF est d'évaluer la durabilité d'un écosystème de forêt tropicale humide dans l'Ouest de la République démocratique du Congo sous des pressions démographiques, sociétales et climatiques. Le projet se concentre sur les interactions entre la flore, la faune et la population humaine locale pour comprendre les processus modifiant la biodiversité et la disponibilité en services écosystémiques dans des zones tropicales humides. En collaboration étroite avec une ONG locale, il utilisera un modèle de végétation dynamique (CARAIB) qui sera associé à un modèle multi-agents, afin d'analyser l'utilisation de différents services écosystémiques comme par exemple la production de plantes médicinales, de bois et d'autres produits forestiers, ou de services liés à la création de réserves naturelles. Le modèle de végétation sera adapté pour prendre en compte les processus de régénération de plusieurs espèces de plantes, sélectionnées pour leur usage par les communautés humaines locales. Pour ce faire, une sélection de 5 espèces d'arbres utilisées fréquemment ou traditionnellement sera effectuée basée sur les résultats d'une enquête sociologique. Une étude combinée des communautés de disperseurs de graines permettra de prendre en compte leur rôle dans la régénération de la forêt. Le modèle multi-agents, quant à lui, devrait voir le jour lors d'un processus de modélisation d'accompagnement. Toutes les hypothèses de base de la modélisation peuvent être remises en cause durant le processus, au contact de la réalité du terrain. Cette méthode devrait permettre de mettre en débat les incertitudes liées à la notion de service écosystémique. A travers une approche post-normale, cette démarche de modélisation a pour vocation de faire dialoguer scientifiques, citoyens et décideurs et ceci afin d'améliorer la qualité du processus de prise de décision collective. La conception de différents scénarios permettra d'explorer différentes pistes de futurs possibles et/ou désirables. [less ▲]

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See detailGrowth of subtropical forests in Miocene Europe: The roles of carbon dioxide and Antarctic ice volume
Hamon, N.; Sepulchre, P.; Donnadieu, Y. et al

in Geology (2012), 40

The middle Miocene is a crucial period for the evolution of apes, and it corresponds to their appearance in Europe. The dispersion of apes was made possible by tectonic changes and the expansion of their ... [more ▼]

The middle Miocene is a crucial period for the evolution of apes, and it corresponds to their appearance in Europe. The dispersion of apes was made possible by tectonic changes and the expansion of their habitat, (sub-) tropical forest, in Europe. The context in which the middle Miocene climatic optimum occurred still lacks constraints in terms of atmospheric pCO2 and ice-sheet volume and extent. Using a coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation model (GCM) and dynamic vegetation model, we investigated the sensitivity of Miocene climate and vegetation to pCO2 levels and Antarctic ice-sheet confi gurations. Our results indicate that higher than present pCO2 is necessary to simulate subtropical forest in Western and Central Europe during the middle Miocene, but that a threshold at high pCO2 makes subtropical forest partly collapse. Moreover, removing ice over Antarctica modifi es oceanic circulation and induces warmer and slightly wetter conditions in Europe, which are consistent with the expansion of subtropical forest. These results suggest that a small East Antarctic Ice Sheet (25% of present-day ice volume) together with higher than present pCO2 values are in better agreement with available European middle Miocene data. [less ▲]

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See detailThermal optimality of net ecosystem exchange of carbon dioxide and underlying mechanisms
Niu, Shuli; Fei, Shenfeng; Yuan, Wenping et al

in New Phytologist (2012), 194

• It is well established that individual organisms can acclimate and adapt to temperature to optimize their functioning. However, thermal optimization of ecosystems, as an assemblage of organisms, has not ... [more ▼]

• It is well established that individual organisms can acclimate and adapt to temperature to optimize their functioning. However, thermal optimization of ecosystems, as an assemblage of organisms, has not been examined at broad spatial and temporal scales. • Here, we compiled data from 169 globally distributed sites of eddy covariance and quantified the temperature response functions of net ecosystem exchange (NEE), an ecosystem- level property, to determine whether NEE shows thermal optimality and to explore the underlying mechanisms. • We found that the temperature response of NEE followed a peak curve, with the optimum temperature (corresponding to the maximum magnitude of NEE) being positively correlated with annual mean temperature over years and across sites. Shifts of the optimum temperature of NEE were mostly a result of temperature acclimation of gross primary productivity (upward shift of optimum temperature) rather than changes in the temperature sensitivity of ecosystem respiration. • Ecosystem-level thermal optimality is a newly revealed ecosystem property, presumably reflecting associated evolutionary adaptation of organisms within ecosystems, and has the potential to significantly regulate ecosystem–climate change feedbacks. The thermal optimality of NEE has implications for understanding fundamental properties of ecosystems in changing environments and benchmarking global models. [less ▲]

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See detailModelling European tree species distribution change over the Holocene
Dury, Marie ULg; François, Louis ULg; Warnant, Pierre et al

Conference (2011, September)

The postglacial re-colonization of Europe by temperate tree species from a few glacial refugia during the Holocene (10,000 BP) is a very interesting case to study the mechanisms of the vegetation dynamics ... [more ▼]

The postglacial re-colonization of Europe by temperate tree species from a few glacial refugia during the Holocene (10,000 BP) is a very interesting case to study the mechanisms of the vegetation dynamics. The relative roles that played the climate conditions, the species dispersal capacities and the inter-specific competition in the re-colonization rates remain controversial. We investigate these different aspects with the CARAIB dynamic vegetation model (CARAIB DVM). Transient runs were performed over the Holocene using the HadCM3 AOGCM-reconstructed climate. European-wide species migration at 0.5° x 0.5° is represented in the model using migration rates derived from a high resolution cellular automaton, CATS-UPSCALE. Individual tree species migration rates were pre-calculated with CATS-UPSCALE every 1000 years over each grid cell used by the DVM in the climatic conditions reconstructed by the AOGCM. The impacts of competition between species on plant dispersal are not taken into account by the automaton. Thus, in CARAIB, a function has been constructed to reduce the potential CATS migration rates in competition conditions. It is based on the species dispersal kernel and on the species net primary productivity. The migration of one species, from its 10,000 BP refugia, is studied within a landscape defined by a set of other species for which no dispersal limitations are assumed. Here, we illustrate the results obtained for two wind-dispersed (Abies alba and Picea abies) and for a no wind-dispersed (Fagus sylvatica) tree species. We compare the HadCM3 climate outputs with reconstructions of some climate variables from fossil dataset. The speeds and the paths of the postglacial spread obtained with the DVM are compared to the past distributions of the three species reconstructed from pollen and macrofossil data. The Holocene climate conditions simulated by the HadCM3 AOGCM do not constrain the European re-colonization of the studied species, except in Scandinavia at the beginning of the period for Picea abies. We observe that, during the past 10,000 years, species occupied regions where climate conditions were different from present observed species climate requirements, notably in the 10k species refugia. This result may imply that at present the species do not occupy their potential distribution area and thus that the postglacial re-colonization is not completed yet. We also show that species dispersal capacities cannot explain the observed species migration over the Holocene and that competition has played an important role. Indeed, when we use the potential migration rates (no competition), species migration rates are too fast. [less ▲]

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See detailSimulating the Holocene re-colonization of Europe by tree species using dynamic vegetation models
Dury, Marie ULg; Lehsten, Dörte; Warnant, Pierre et al

Poster (2011, July)

Pollen and macro-fossil data collected from various localities in Europe provide the opportunity to reconstruct the speed and the routes of the post-glacial spread of European tree species. Moving from a ... [more ▼]

Pollen and macro-fossil data collected from various localities in Europe provide the opportunity to reconstruct the speed and the routes of the post-glacial spread of European tree species. Moving from a limited number of refugia at the end of the glacial period, tree species have progressively re-colonized the continent through the Holocene at seemingly species-specific migration rates. However, the relative roles of climatic fluctuations, dispersal capacities of individual species, and inter-specific competition in controlling these rates remains controversial. Here, we investigate these different aspects with two dynamic vegetation models (DVM), LPJ-GUESS and CARAIB. Transient runs of both models were performed over the Holocene, using HadCM3 GCM-reconstructed climate. Large-scale species migration at 0.5°x0.5° is represented in these models using migration rates derived from a small-scale cellular automaton, CATS. Individual tree species migration rates were pre-calculated with CATS every 1000 years over each grid cell used by the DVMs in the climatic conditions reconstructed by the GCM. In the DVMs, these migration speeds were influenced by the response to competition from other species. The DVMs were used to study the migration of one species, from its 10 kyr BP refugia, within a landscape defined by a set of other species for which no dispersal limitations are assumed. Here, we illustrate the results obtained for three wind-dispersed tree species: Abies alba, Picea abies, Fagus sylvatica and compare them to their past distributions reconstructed from pollen and macro-fossil data. [less ▲]

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