About ecosystem forecasting
Ecosystem Forecasting is the Use of Modeling Techniques to Gain Important Understanding Regarding Ecological Drivers & Responses.
Recommendations in recent reports of the National Academy of Sciences, the President’s Committee of Advisors on Science & Technology (PCAST), & the National Science Board call for improving our capability of ecosystem forecasting. There is a need to improve our understanding of how environmental drivers change community structure (biodiversity) & ecosystem function (goods and services), & it is very important to understand patterns of ecosystem resilience at a variety of temporal and spatial scale interactions. One avenue of tremendous promise is to improve ways of ecosystem forecasting using more sophisticated modeling techniques.
Benefits of ecological forecasts include:
- Improving decisions to sustain ecosystem productivity & lessen the impacts from extreme natural events & human activities;
- Bringing scientists & resource managers together to solve resource management problems;
- Focusing scientific research & monitoring priorities to reduce uncertainties in ecological forecasts;
- Forecasting recovery rates to increase effectiveness of ecosystem restoration projects.
Example suite of ecological forecasts:
Modeling the effects of size, location, & operational strategy of a proposed river diversions on local & landscape level salinity values, landscape change (delta building and/or wetland nourishment), habitat switching based on salinity variations, habitat use changes resulting from shifts in habitat type, & water quality.
For a full suite of restoration forecasts, animations & downloadable input data & model output, please visit the CLEAR MapServer online application