Browsing by Subject "early warning signals"

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  • Torresan, Chiara; Benito Garzón, Marta; O’Grady, Michael; Robson, Thomas Matthew; Picchi, Gianni; Panzacchi, Pietro; Tomelleri, Enrico; Smith, Melanie; Marshall, John; Wingate, Lisa; Tognetti, Roberto; Rustad, Lindsey E.; Kneeshaw, Dan (2021)
    Climate-smart forestry (CSF) is an emerging branch of sustainable adaptive forest management aimed at enhancing the potential of forests to adapt to and mitigate climate change. It relies on much higher data requirements than traditional forestry. These data requirements can be met by new devices that support continuous, in situ monitoring of forest conditions in real time. We propose a comprehensive network of sensors, i.e., a wireless sensor network (WSN), that can be part of a worldwide network of interconnected uniquely addressable objects, an Internet of Things (IoT), which can make data available in near real time to multiple stakeholders, including scientists, foresters, and forest managers, and may partially motivate citizens to participate in big data collection. The use of in situ sources of monitoring data as ground-truthed training data for remotely sensed data can boost forest monitoring by increasing the spatial and temporal scales of the monitoring, leading to a better understanding of forest processes and potential threats. Here, some of the key developments and applications of these sensors are outlined, together with guidelines for data management. Examples are given of their deployment to detect early warning signals (EWS) of ecosystem regime shifts in terms of forest productivity, health, and biodiversity. Analysis of the strategic use of these tools highlights the opportunities for engaging citizens and forest managers in this new generation of forest monitoring.
  • Shetty, Sudarshan A.; Hugenholtz, Floor; Lahti, Leo; Smidt, Hauke; de Vos, Willem M. (2017)
    High individuality, large complexity and limited understanding of the mechanisms underlying human intestinal microbiome function remain the major challenges for designing beneficial modulation strategies. Exemplified by the analysis of intestinal bacteria in a thousand Western adults, we discuss key concepts of the human intestinal microbiome landscape, i.e. the compositional and functional 'core', the presence of community types and the existence of alternative stable states. Genomic investigation of core taxa revealed functional redundancy, which is expected to stabilize the ecosystem, as well as taxa with specialized functions that have the potential to shape the microbiome landscape. The contrast between Prevotella-and Bacteroides-dominated systems has been well described. However, less known is the effect of not so abundant bacteria, for example, Dialister spp. that have been proposed to exhibit distinct bistable dynamics. Studies employing time-series analysis have highlighted the dynamical variation in the microbiome landscape with and without the effect of defined perturbations, such as the use of antibiotics or dietary changes. We incorporate ecosystem-level observations of the human intestinal microbiota and its keystone species to suggest avenues for designing microbiome modulation strategies to improve host health.
  • Alibakhshi, Sara; Groen, Thomas A.; Rautiainen, Miina; Naimi, Babak (2017)
    The response of an ecosystem to external drivers may not always be gradual and reversible. Discontinuous and sometimes irreversible changes, called 'regime shifts' or 'Critical transitions', can occur. The likelihood of such shifts is expected to increase for a variety of ecosystems, and it is difficult to predict how close an ecosystem is to a critical transition. Recent modelling studies identified indicators of impending regime shifts that can be used to provide early warning signals of a critical transition. The identification of such transitions crucially depends on the ability to monitor key ecosystem variables, and their success may be limited by lack of appropriate data. Moreover, empirical demonstrations of the actual functioning of these indicators in real-world ecosystems are rare. This paper presents the first study which uses remote sensing data to identify a critical transition in a wetland ecosystem. In this study, we argue that a time series of remote sensing data can help to characterize and determine the timing of a critical transition. This can enhance our abilities to detect and anticipate them. We explored the potentials of remotely sensed vegetation (NDVI), water (MNDWI), and vegetation- water (VWR) indices, obtained from time series of MODIS satellite images to characterize the stability of a wetland ecosystem, Dorge Sangi, near the lake Urmia, Iran, that experienced a regime shift recently. In addition, as a control case, we applied the same methods to another wetland ecosystem in Lake Arpi, Armenia which did not experience a regime shift. We propose a new composite index (MVWR) based on combining vegetation and water indices, which can improve the ability to anticipate a critical transition in a wetland ecosystem. Our results revealed that MVWR in combination with autocorrelation at-lag-1 could successfully provide early warning signals for a critical transition in a wetland ecosystem, and showed a significantly improved performance compared to either vegetation (NDVI) or water (MNDWI) indices alone.