Publication Type:Journal Article
Source:ECOLOGICAL MODELLING, LONG TERM ECOL RES NETWORK, Volume 67, Number 1, PO BOX 211, 1000 AE AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS, p.19-35 (1993)
Although most ecological studies have been conducted at individual sites and over short time intervals, there is an increasing need to study and make predictions about how regions will change over relatively long periods. Such work requires that results be extrapolated beyond the bounds of an individual site. In this paper, we evaluated the extent to which the Central Plains Experimental Range (CPER) Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site may be considered to represent the shortgrass steppe of the central Great Plains. We identified the major controls over shortgrass steppe ecosystem structure and function as precipitation, temperature, soil texture and landuse, and determined the distribution of those variables for the CPER. We developed a geographic database of the four major control variables for a region comprising the central Great Plains and adjacent Central Lowlands, and compared the CPER to the region with respect to these variables. We found that the CPER could be considered to represent 18.6% of the shortgrass steppe within the central Great Plains, or 5.8% of the central Great Plains, with respect to key ecosystem controls. Although an individual site may represent a relatively small proportion of a region, results from a site or network of sites may be extrapolated in time and space through application of simulation models to regional spatial databases.
CONF ON MODELLING AS A TOOL TO INTEGRATE DATA AND ALLOW REGIONAL PREDICTIONS, ESTES PK, CO, SEP, 1990