Road-Related Disturbances in an Arctic Watershed: Analyses by a Spatially Explicit Model of Vegetation and Ecosystem Processes

  • P. W. Leadley
  • H. Li
  • B. Ostendorf
  • J. F. Reynolds
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 120)


Landscape models have proven very useful in assessing historical change in vegetation patterns, for predicting the impacts of human disturbance on ecosystems, and for developing strategies to manage natural resources (e.g., Shugart 1984; Turner 1987; Costanza et al. 1990; Turner and Dale 1991; Wu and Levin 1994). Landscape models may implicitly or explicitly consider the spatial heterogeneity of system properties such as plant biomass, soil nutrient concentration, and topography — defined by either qualitative indices (e.g., patchiness, diversity, contagion) and/or quantitative indices (e.g., autocorrelation, variance, trend) (Li and Reynolds 1995). Accounting for such spatial heterogeneity has been shown to be essential for modeling ecosystem response to disturbance (Turner 1989; Costanza et al. 1990; Turner and Dale 1991; DeAngelis and White 1994). Although the use of simplified, aggregate models to represent vegetation and ecosystem processes (particularly at the scale of a landscape) has inherent dangers (Bonan 1993), the questions posed by resource managers require the development of models that summarize our “state-of-the-art” ecological knowledge and realistically represent the dynamic function of ecosystems in time and space.


Vascular Plant Arctic Ecosystem Tundra Ecosystem Tussock Tundra Soil Moisture Index 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Binkley D, Vitousek P (1989) Soil nutrient availability In: Pearcy RW, Ehleringer J, Monney HA, Rundel PW (eds) Plant physiological ecology: field methods and instrumentation. Chapman and Hall, London, pp 75–96Google Scholar
  2. Bonan GB (1993) Do biophysics and physiology matter in ecosystem models? Climate Change 24: 281–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brown DG (1994) Predicting vegetation types at treeline using topography and biophysical distubance variables. J Veg Sci 5: 641–656CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Burt TP, Butcher DP (1985) Topographic controls of soil moisture distributions. J Soil sci 36: 469–486CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chapin FS III (1989) The cost of tundra plant structures: evaluation of concepts and currencies. Am Nat 133: 1–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chapin FS III, Fetcher N, Kielland K, Everett K, Linkins AE (1988) Productivity and nutrient cycling of Alaskan tundra: enhancement by flowing soil water. Ecology 69: 693–702CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chapin FS III, Moilanen L, Kielland K (1993) Preferential use of organic nitrogen for growth by a non-mycorrhizal arctic sedge. Nature 361: 150–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Costanza R, Sklar FH, White ML (1990) Modeling coastal landscape dynamics. BioScience 40: 91–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. DeAngelis DL, White PS (1994) Ecosystems as products of spatially and temporally varying forces, ecological processes, and landscapes: a theoretical perspective. In: Davis SM, Ogden JC (eds) Everglades: the ecosystem and its restoration. St Lucie Press, Delray Beach, pp 9–27Google Scholar
  10. Fortin M-J, Drapeau P, Legendre P (1989) Spatial autocorrelation and sampling design in plant ecology. Vegetatio 83: 209–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Giblin, AE, Nadelhoffer K, Shaver GR, Laundre JA, McKerrow AJ (1991) Biogeochemical diversity along a riverside toposequence in arctic Alaska. Ecol Monogr 61: 415–435CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Harley PC, Tenhunen JD, Murray KJ, Beyers J (1989) Irradiance and temperature effects on photosynthesis of tussock tundra Sphagnum mosses from the foothills of the Philip Smith Mountains, Alaska. Oecologia 79: 251–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hastings SJ, Luchessa SA, Oechel W, Tenhunen JD (1989) Standing biomass and production in water drainages of the foothills of the Philip Smith Mountains, Alaska. Holarct Ecol 12: 304–311Google Scholar
  14. Hatfield JL, Asrar G, Kanemasu ET (1984) Intercepted photosynthetically active radiation estimated by spectral reflectance. Remote Sens Envir on 14: 65–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kielland K, Chapin FS III (1992) Nutrient absorption and accumulation in arctic plants. In: Chapin FS III, Jefferies RL, Reynolds JF, Shaver GR, Svoboda J (eds) Arctic ecosystems in a changing climate: an ecophysiological perspective. Academic Press, San Diego, pp 321–336Google Scholar
  16. Leadley PW, Reymolds JF (1992) Long-term response of an arctic sedge to climate change: a simulation study. Ecol Appl 2: 323–340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Leadley PW, Reynolds JF, Chapin FS III (1996) A model of ammonium, nitrate, and glycine uptake by Eriophorum vaginatum roots in the field: ecological implications (submitted)Google Scholar
  18. Li H, Reynolds JF (1993) A new contagion index to quantify spatial patterns of landscapes. Landscape Ecol 8 (3): 155–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Li H, Reynolds JF (1995) On definition and quantification of heterogeneity. Oikos 73 (2): 280–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. McGuire AD, Melillo JM, Joyce LA, Kicklighter DW, Grace AL, Moore B III, Vorosmarty CJ (1992) Interactions between carbon and nitrogen dynamics in estimating net primary productivity for potential vegetation in North America. Global Biogeochem Cycles 6: 101–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Meininger CA, Spatt CD (1988) Variations of tardigrade assemblages in dust-impacted arctic mosses. Arct Alp Res 20: 24–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Monteith JL (1981) Does light limit crop production? In: Johnson CB (ed) Physiological processes limiting plant productivity, Butterworths, London, pp 23–38Google Scholar
  23. Murray KJ, Tenhunen JD, Kummerow J (1989) Limitations on moss growth and net primary production in tussock tundra areas of the foothills of the Philip Smith Mountains, Alaska. Oecologia 20: 256–262Google Scholar
  24. Nadelhoffer KJ, Giblin AE, Shaver GR, Linkins Ae (1992) Microbial processes and plant nutrient availability in arctic soils. In: Chapin FS III, Jefferies RL, Reynolds JF, Shaver GR, Svoboda J (eds) Arctic ecosystems in a changing climate: an ecophysiological perspective. Academic Press, San Diego, pp 281–300Google Scholar
  25. Oberbauer SF, Dawson TE (1992) Water relations of arctic vascular plants. In: Chapin FS III, Jefferies RL, Reynolds JF, Shaver GR, Svoboda J (eds) Arctic ecosystems in a changing climate: an ecophysiological perspective. Academic Press, San Diego, pp 259–280Google Scholar
  26. Ostendorf B, Reynolds JF (1993) Relationships between a terrain-based hydrologic model and patch-scale vegetation patterns in an arctic tundra landscape. Landscape Ecol 8: 229–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ostendorf B, Reynolds JF (1996) A model of arctic tundra vegetation derived from topographic gradients (submitted)Google Scholar
  28. Quinn P, Seven K, Chevallier P, Planchon O (1991) The prediction of hillslope flow paths for distributed hydrological modelling using digital terrain models. Hydrol Proc 5: 59–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Reich JW, Rastetter EB, Melillo JM, Kicklighter DW, Steudler PA, Peterson BJ, Grace AL, Moore B III, Vörösmarty CJ (1991) Potential net primary productivity in South America: application of a global model. Ecol Appl 14: 399–429CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Reynolds JF, Leadley PW (1992) Modeling the response of arctic plants to changing climate. In: Chapin FS III, Jefferies RL, Reynolds JF, Shaver GR, Svoboda J (eds) Arctic ecosystems in a changing climate: an ecophysiological perspective. Academic Press, San Diego pp 413–440Google Scholar
  31. Romme WH (1982) Fire and landscape diversity in subalpine forests of Yellowstone National Park. Ecol Monogr 52: 199–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Rossi RE, Mulla DJ, Journel AG, Franz EH (1992) Geostatistical tools for modeling and interpreting ecological spatial dependence. Ecol Monogr 62 (2): 277–314CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Santelmann MV, Gorham E (1988) The influence of airborne road dust on the chemistry of Sphagnum mosses. J Ecol 76: 1219–1231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Sellers PJ (1987) Canopy reflectance, photosynthesis, transpiration: the role of biophysics in the linearity of their interdependence. Remote Sens Environ 21: 143–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Shaver GR, Chapin FS III (1980) Response to fertilization by various plant growth forms in an Alaskan tundra: nutrient accumulation and growth. Ecology 61: 662–675CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Shaver GR, Chapin FS III (1991) Production: biomass relationships and element cycling in contrasting arctic vegetation types. Ecol Monogr 61: 1–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Shaver GR, Chapin FS III, Gartner BL (1986) Factors limiting seasonal growth and peak biomass accumulation in Eriophorum vaginatum in Alaskan tussock tundra. J Ecol 74: 257–278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Shugart HH (1984) A theory of forest dynamics. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Stow D, Burns B, Hope A (1989) Mapping arctic tundra vegetation using digital SPOT/HRV-XS data: a preliminary assessment. Int J Remote Sens 10: 1451–1457CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Tehnunen JD, Lange OL, Hahn S, Siegwolf R, Oberbauer SF (1992) The ecosystem role of poikilohydric tundra plants In: Chapin FS III, Jefferies RL, Reynolds JF, Shaver GR, Svoboda J (eds) Arctic ecosystems in a changing climate: an ecophysiological perspective. Academic Press, San Diego, pp 213–238Google Scholar
  41. Turner MG (ed) (1987) Landscape heterogeneity and disturbance. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New YorkGoogle Scholar
  42. Turner MG (1989) Landscape ecology: the effect of pattern on process. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 20: 171–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Turner MG, Dale VH (1991) Modeling landscape disturbance. In: Turner MG, Gardner RH (eds) Quantitative methods in landscape ecology. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 323–35Google Scholar
  44. Walker DA, Everett KR (1987) Road dust and its environmental impact on Alaskan taiga and tundra. Arct Alp Res 19: 479–489CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Walker DA, Binnan E, Evans BM, Lederer ND, Nordstrand E, Webber PJ (1989) Terrain, vegetation, landscape evolution of the R4D research site, Brooks Range Foothills, Alaska. Holarct Ecol 12: 238–261Google Scholar
  46. Wu J, Levin SA (1994) A spatial patch dynamic modeling approach to pattern and process in an annual grassland. Ecol Monogr 64: 447–464CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. W. Leadley
  • H. Li
  • B. Ostendorf
  • J. F. Reynolds

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations