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Responses of Productivity and Nutrient Dynamics 2003

A Long-Term Investigation of the Interplay of Biotic vs. Abiotic Factors in a Chilean Semiarid Community

Biotic Abiotic Factors Semi-Arid Chile

NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

Titre : A Long-Term Investigation of the Interplay of Biotic vs. Abiotic Factors in a Chilean Semiarid Community

Organismes NSF : Division of Environmental Biology (DEB)

Durée : August 1, 2003 — July 31, 2009

Description
The goal of this study is to continue, and to refocus, a long-term, large-scale experiment that investigates the importance of predation, competition and herbivory in a Chilean semi-arid community. Existing results show that the most dramatic effect on vegetation is this area has been in response to increased rainfall associated with a recent El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) event, rather than to herbivory or predation. This finding suggests the hypothesis that bottom-up effects structure this community during dry years, while biotic interactions (top-down regulation) become more important as animal numbers increase in response to increased productivity associated with rainfall. The specific purpose of this study is to continue our long-term experiment to confirm this suspected pattern of events, and to extend our observations to lizards, birds, and insects. This experiment promises, over the long-term, to provide an instructive example of how direct and indirect effects diverge through a community, and how their importance shifts as the physical environment changes. In addition to addressing basic ecological questions, this study provides important baseline data for understanding ecosystem change in the heavily desertified north-central Chilean semi-arid zone. It continues to be a valuable training ground for Chilean and American students and contributes directly to the development of science in both countries.

Partenaires : Peter Meserve pmeserve niu.edu (Principal Investigator) Douglas Kelt (Co-Principal Investigator)

Financement : $314,280.00

Présentation (National Science Foundation)

Page publiée le 17 juillet 2017, mise à jour le 31 octobre 2017