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University of Washington, (2020)

Development of an open-source ecohydrology model using Landlab with applications in semi-arid landscapes

Nudurupati, Sai Siddhartha

Titre : Development of an open-source ecohydrology model using Landlab with applications in semi-arid landscapes

Auteur : Nudurupati, Sai Siddhartha

Université de soutenance  : University of Washington,

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2020

Résumé partiel
Ecosystems are in transition globally with critical societal consequences. Global warming, growing climatic extremes, land degradation, human-introduced herbivores, and climate-related disturbances (wildfires, diseases, insect outbreaks) drive rapid changes in ecosystem productivity and structure, with complex feedbacks in watershed hydrology, geomorphology and biogeochemistry. There is need to develop models that can represent ecosystem changes by incorporating the role of individual plant patches. In my research I developed ecohydrologic components in Landlab, an open source toolkit written in Python (http://landlab.github.io/#/), to study global change drivers in watersheds with emphasis on woody plant encroachment (WPE). I will first discuss the development of Landlab, its design, architecture, and illustrate examples of building models with Landlab. I will then present the development of ecohydrologic components and illustrate examples of coupling these components for simulating local soil moisture and plant dynamics with spatially explicit cellular automaton (CA)-based plant establishment, mortality, fire, and grazing processes. Several key features of arid and semiarid ecosystems will be discussed. Coexistence of tree-grass cover on north facing slopes (NFS) and shrub cover on south facing slopes (SFS) in central New Mexico is attributed to the competitive advantage of trees due to their longer seed dispersal range against shrubs in cooler and moist NFS. Incorporating a rule to represent inhibitory effects of shrubs on grasses enhance modeled shrub cover, while both trees and grasses are favored when runon is included in the local soil moisture model. Feedbacks among livestock grazing, grassland fire frequency and size, resource redistribution on woody plant encroachment are investigated using different ecohydrologic model configurations

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