Bedmap2: Improved Ice Bed, Surface, and Thickness Datasets for Antarctica

The CryosphereThe Cryosphere, 7, 375–393, 2013
“We present Bedmap2, a new suite of gridded products describing surface elevation, ice-thickness and the seafloor and subglacial bed elevation of the Antarctic south of 60◦ S. We derived these products using data from a variety of sources, including many substantial surveys completed since the original Bedmap compilation (Bedmap1) in 2001. In particular, the Bedmap2 ice thickness grid is made from 25 million measurements, over two orders of magnitude more than were used in Bedmap1. In most parts of Antarctica the subglacial landscape is visible in much greater detail than was previously available and the improved data coverage has in many areas revealed the full scale of mountain ranges, valleys, basins and troughs, only fragments of which were previously indicated in local surveys.
Bedmap2 ice thickness grid

Bedmap2 ice thickness grid.

“The derived statistics for Bedmap2 show that the volume of ice contained in the Antarctic ice sheet (27 million cubic km) and its potential contribution to sea-level rise (58 m) are similar to those of Bedmap1, but the mean thickness of the ice sheet is 4.6 % greater, the mean depth of the bed beneath the grounded ice sheet is 72 m lower and the area of ice sheet grounded on bed below sea level is increased by 10 %. The Bedmap2 compilation highlights several areas beneath  the ice sheet where the bed elevation is substantially lower than the deepest bed indicated by Bedmap1. These products, along with grids of data coverage and uncertainty, provide new opportunities for detailed modelling of the past and future evolution of the Antarctic ice sheets.”

The Steady-state Mosaic of Disturbance and Succession across an Old-growth Central Amazon Forest Landscape

PNAS-4.coverPNAS, 28 January 2013

Jeffrey Q. Chambers, Robinson I. Negron-Juarez, Daniel Magnabosco Marra, Alan Di Vittorio, Joerg Tews, Dar Roberts, Gabriel H. P. M. Ribeiro, Susan E. Trumbore, and Niro Higuchi

“Old-growth forest ecosystems comprise a mosaic of patches in different successional stages, with the fraction of the landscape in any particular state relatively constant over large temporal and spatial scales. The size distribution and return frequency of disturbance events, and subsequent recovery processes, determine to a large extent the spatial scale over which this old-growth steady state develops. Here, we characterize this mosaic for a Central Amazon forest by integrating field plot data, remote sensing disturbance probability distribution functions, and individual-based simulation modeling. Results demonstrate that a steady state of patches of varying successional age occurs over a relatively large spatial scale, with important implications for detecting temporal trends on plots that sample a small fraction of the landscape. Long highly significant stochastic runs averaging 1.0 Mg biomass⋅ha−1⋅y−1 were often punctuated by episodic disturbance events, resulting in a sawtooth time series of hectare-scale tree biomass. To maximize the detection of temporal trends for this Central Amazon site (e.g., driven by CO2 fertilization), plots larger than 10 ha would provide the greatest sensitivity. A model-based analysis of fractional mortality across all gap sizes demonstrated that 9.1–16.9% of tree mortality was missing from plot-based approaches, underscoring the need to combine plot and remote-sensing methods for estimating net landscape carbon balance. Old-growth tropical forests can exhibit complex large-scale structure driven by disturbance and recovery cycles, with ecosystem and community attributes of hectare-scale plots exhibiting continuous dynamic departures from a steady-state condition.”

Mapping Invasion and Eradication of Feral Goats in the Alcedo Region of Isabela Island, Galapagos

International Journal of Remote SensingInternational Journal of Remote Sensing, Volume 34, Issue 7, 2013

Laura Brewington

“We conducted a time series analysis using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite data product over the Alcedo volcano region of Isabela Island in the Galápagos to determine vegetation changes before, during, and after a feral goat invasion and eradication project. Enhanced vegetation index (EVI) values for the Alcedo region of Isabela Island were analysed from 2000 to 2010 with respect to the presence of a large population of goats that was eradicated between 2004 and 2006. This study finds large-scale, seasonal vegetation pattern changes between 2000 and 2005, and 2005 and 2010. Statistically significant EVI decreases prior to and during eradication in zones where goats were present in high numbers and increases following eradication in zones with lower goat density are found. EVI appears to have changed little over the entire study period, though earlier imagery would likely reveal stronger positive post-eradication trends. Because EVI primarily reveals greenness and little about vegetation composition and structure, we find that long-term in situ vegetation monitoring is also needed to obtain a meaningful assessment of the effects of invasion and eradication at the species level.”

Representation of Ecological Systems within the Protected Areas Network of the Continental United States

PLOS ONEPLOS ONE, 23 January 2013

Jocelyn L. Aycrigg, Anne Davidson, Leona K. Svancara, Kevin J. Gergely, Alexa McKerrow, and J. Michael Scott

“If conservation of biodiversity is the goal, then the protected areas network of the continental US may be one of our best conservation tools for safeguarding ecological systems (i.e., vegetation communities). We evaluated representation of ecological systems in the current protected areas network and found insufficient representation at three vegetation community levels within lower elevations and moderate to high productivity soils. We used national-level data for ecological systems and a protected areas database to explore alternative ways we might be able to increase representation of ecological systems within the continental US. By following one or more of these alternatives it may be possible to increase the representation of ecological systems in the protected areas network both quantitatively (from 10% up to 39%) and geographically and come closer to meeting the suggested Convention on Biological Diversity target of 17% for terrestrial areas.

Percent area of ecological systems by protection status.

Percent area of ecological systems by protection status. Protection status designations are lands managed to maintain biodiversity (A) and lands managed to maintain biodiversity and multiple-use (B) for the continental US. Percent area is based on the area of each ecological system within each protection status divided by the total area of each ecological system.

“We used the Landscape Conservation Cooperative framework for regional analysis and found that increased conservation on some private and public lands may be important to the conservation of ecological systems in Western US, while increased public-private partnerships may be important in the conservation of ecological systems in Eastern US. We have not assessed the pros and cons of following the national or regional alternatives, but rather present them as possibilities that may be considered and evaluated as decisions are made to increase the representation of ecological systems in the protected areas network across their range of ecological, geographical, and geophysical occurrence in the continental US into the future.”