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Developing quantitative skills for ecological data: the effects of climate warming on phenological variation and species interactions

By Jill Hamilton1, Zachary Tarble1

North Dakota State University

Students combine long-term observational data sets and experimental warming in an alpine meadow in Gothic, CO to test, evaluate, and interpret ecological data focusing on phenological variation and species interactions in a changing climate

Listed in Teaching Materials | resource by group DIG into Data FMN (2018)

Version 1.0 - published on 21 Nov 2018 doi:10.25334/Q44Q7G - cite this

Licensed under CC Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International according to these terms

Adapted from: The Biology of Climate Change: The effects of a changing climate on migrating and over-wintering species at a high-elevation field station v 1.0

AlpineWarmingMeadow.jpg

Description

This adaptation combines the teaching module ‘The Biology of Climate Change: The effects of a changing climate on migrating and over-wintering species at a high-elevation field station’ (Wu and Ellwein 2017) with a new dataset from a long-term Warming Meadow Experiment led by Dr. John Harte and colleagues monitoring biomass accumulation in shrubs in forbs in response to experimental warming (Harte and Shaw 1995, Price and Waser 1998, Saleska et al. 2002, Harte et al. 2015). The goal of this adaptation is to test hypotheses associated with phenological changes over time and examine the consequences of phenological mis-match between species, while developing skills associated with data visualization and analysis using observational and manipulated field experiments. This activity is designed to be carried out in a 1.15 hr lecture style course with potential options for homework as assigned.

The authors thank Carrie Wu for helpful advice developing the adaptation and John Harte and his numerous colleagues for contributing data to this module, as well as numerous RMBL scientists for their work on the Digital RMBL web site, and participants in the 2018 QUBES DIG into Data Faculty Mentoring Network for support and valuable discussions.

Please cite as:

Jill Hamilton and Zachary Tarble. 2018. Developing quantitative skills for ecological data: the effects of climate warming on phenological variation and species interactions.

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Notes

This lesson is an adaptation of the teaching module: Wu, C and A. Ellwein (2017) The Biology of Climate Change: The effects of a changing climate on migrating and over-wintering species at a high-elevation field station. Teaching Issues and Experiments in Ecology 13: http://tiee.esa.org/vol/v13/issues/data_sets/wu/abstract.html

This lesson incorporates new data from Dr. John Harte’s Warming Meadow experiment at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (Harte and Shaw 1995, Saleska et al. 2002, Harte et al. 2015; https://www.digitalrmbl.org/for-instructors/wm-teachers-guide/). For over 25 years, Dr. Harte has been artificially warming a subalpine meadow in Gothic, Colorado to evaluate the consequences of climate warming on community composition. Here we use biomass accumulation data from shrubs and forbs in control and heated plots within the Warming Meadow experiment. This activity is designed to be carried out in a 1.15 hr lecture style course with potential homework as assigned.

Cover Image: Winter and summer in a warming alpine meadow (Photos courtesy of Dr. John Harte)

DIG into Data FMN (2018)

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