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A Bayesian approach for temporally scaling climate for modeling ecological systems.

Post van der Burg M, Anteau MJ, McCauley LA, Wiltermuth MT - Ecol Evol (2016)

Bottom Line: Our results showed that wetland water surface areas tended to be larger in wetter conditions, but also changed less in response to climate fluctuations in the contemporary era.We also found that the average timescale parameter was greater in the historical period, compared with the contemporary period.Our results suggest that perhaps some interaction between climate and hydrologic response may be at work, and further analysis is needed to determine which has a stronger influence.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: U.S. Geological Survey Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center 8711 37th Street Jamestown North Dakota 58401.

ABSTRACT
With climate change becoming more of concern, many ecologists are including climate variables in their system and statistical models. The Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) is a drought index that has potential advantages in modeling ecological response variables, including a flexible computation of the index over different timescales. However, little development has been made in terms of the choice of timescale for SPEI. We developed a Bayesian modeling approach for estimating the timescale for SPEI and demonstrated its use in modeling wetland hydrologic dynamics in two different eras (i.e., historical [pre-1970] and contemporary [post-2003]). Our goal was to determine whether differences in climate between the two eras could explain changes in the amount of water in wetlands. Our results showed that wetland water surface areas tended to be larger in wetter conditions, but also changed less in response to climate fluctuations in the contemporary era. We also found that the average timescale parameter was greater in the historical period, compared with the contemporary period. We were not able to determine whether this shift in timescale was due to a change in the timing of wet-dry periods or whether it was due to changes in the way wetlands responded to climate. Our results suggest that perhaps some interaction between climate and hydrologic response may be at work, and further analysis is needed to determine which has a stronger influence. Despite this, we suggest that our modeling approach enabled us to estimate the relevant timescale for SPEI and make inferences from those estimates. Likewise, our approach provides a mechanism for using prior information with future data to assess whether these patterns may continue over time. We suggest that ecologists consider using temporally scalable climate indices in conjunction with Bayesian analysis for assessing the role of climate in ecological systems.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Predicted relationship between the observed proportion of a wetland basin that was covered with water and Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index in North Dakota, U.S.A. The thin black line represents the posterior mean relationship for observations made prior to 1970 and the thicker lines represent 95% Bayesian credible intervals. The gray lines represent the average relationship for observations made after 2003.
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ece32092-fig-0002: Predicted relationship between the observed proportion of a wetland basin that was covered with water and Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index in North Dakota, U.S.A. The thin black line represents the posterior mean relationship for observations made prior to 1970 and the thicker lines represent 95% Bayesian credible intervals. The gray lines represent the average relationship for observations made after 2003.

Mentions: Examining the parameter estimates showed that the proportion of a wetland's area that was covered with water positively varied with SPEI, suggesting that drier periods resulted in lower proportions and wetter periods resulted in higher proportions. Likewise, wetlands in the contemporary era appeared to have a larger proportion of their basin areas covered with water compared to the historical era. The degree of change in these proportions in response to changes in SPEI also appeared to vary between the two eras. Wetlands tended to be more full, but less responsive to SPEI during the post‐2003 then the pre‐1970 era (Fig. 2).


A Bayesian approach for temporally scaling climate for modeling ecological systems.

Post van der Burg M, Anteau MJ, McCauley LA, Wiltermuth MT - Ecol Evol (2016)

Predicted relationship between the observed proportion of a wetland basin that was covered with water and Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index in North Dakota, U.S.A. The thin black line represents the posterior mean relationship for observations made prior to 1970 and the thicker lines represent 95% Bayesian credible intervals. The gray lines represent the average relationship for observations made after 2003.
© Copyright Policy - creativeCommonsBy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4863021&req=5

ece32092-fig-0002: Predicted relationship between the observed proportion of a wetland basin that was covered with water and Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index in North Dakota, U.S.A. The thin black line represents the posterior mean relationship for observations made prior to 1970 and the thicker lines represent 95% Bayesian credible intervals. The gray lines represent the average relationship for observations made after 2003.
Mentions: Examining the parameter estimates showed that the proportion of a wetland's area that was covered with water positively varied with SPEI, suggesting that drier periods resulted in lower proportions and wetter periods resulted in higher proportions. Likewise, wetlands in the contemporary era appeared to have a larger proportion of their basin areas covered with water compared to the historical era. The degree of change in these proportions in response to changes in SPEI also appeared to vary between the two eras. Wetlands tended to be more full, but less responsive to SPEI during the post‐2003 then the pre‐1970 era (Fig. 2).

Bottom Line: Our results showed that wetland water surface areas tended to be larger in wetter conditions, but also changed less in response to climate fluctuations in the contemporary era.We also found that the average timescale parameter was greater in the historical period, compared with the contemporary period.Our results suggest that perhaps some interaction between climate and hydrologic response may be at work, and further analysis is needed to determine which has a stronger influence.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: U.S. Geological Survey Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center 8711 37th Street Jamestown North Dakota 58401.

ABSTRACT
With climate change becoming more of concern, many ecologists are including climate variables in their system and statistical models. The Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) is a drought index that has potential advantages in modeling ecological response variables, including a flexible computation of the index over different timescales. However, little development has been made in terms of the choice of timescale for SPEI. We developed a Bayesian modeling approach for estimating the timescale for SPEI and demonstrated its use in modeling wetland hydrologic dynamics in two different eras (i.e., historical [pre-1970] and contemporary [post-2003]). Our goal was to determine whether differences in climate between the two eras could explain changes in the amount of water in wetlands. Our results showed that wetland water surface areas tended to be larger in wetter conditions, but also changed less in response to climate fluctuations in the contemporary era. We also found that the average timescale parameter was greater in the historical period, compared with the contemporary period. We were not able to determine whether this shift in timescale was due to a change in the timing of wet-dry periods or whether it was due to changes in the way wetlands responded to climate. Our results suggest that perhaps some interaction between climate and hydrologic response may be at work, and further analysis is needed to determine which has a stronger influence. Despite this, we suggest that our modeling approach enabled us to estimate the relevant timescale for SPEI and make inferences from those estimates. Likewise, our approach provides a mechanism for using prior information with future data to assess whether these patterns may continue over time. We suggest that ecologists consider using temporally scalable climate indices in conjunction with Bayesian analysis for assessing the role of climate in ecological systems.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus