Plant toxins and trophic cascades alter fire regime and succession on a boreal forest landscape

Zhilan Feng, Jorge A. Alfaro-Murillo, Donald L. DeAngelis, Jennifer Schmidt, Matthew Barga, Yiqiang Zheng, Muhammad Hanis B Ahmad Tamrin, Mark Olson, Tim Glaser, Knut Kielland, F. Stuart Chapin, John Bryant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Two models were integrated in order to study the effect of plant toxicity and a trophic cascade on forest succession and fire patterns across a boreal landscape in central Alaska. One of the models, ALFRESCO, is a cellular automata model that stochastically simulates transitions from spruce dominated 1km 2 spatial cells to deciduous woody vegetation based on stochastic fires, and from deciduous woody vegetation to spruce based on age of the cell with some stochastic variation. The other model, the 'toxin-dependent functional response' model (TDFRM) simulates woody vegetation types with different levels of toxicity, an herbivore browser (moose) that can forage selectively on these types, and a carnivore (wolf) that preys on the herbivore. Here we replace the simple succession rules in each ALFRESCO cell by plant-herbivore-carnivore dynamics from TDFRM. The central hypothesis tested in the integrated model is that the herbivore, by feeding selectively on low-toxicity deciduous woody vegetation, speeds succession towards high-toxicity evergreens, like spruce. Wolves, by keeping moose populations down, can help slow the succession. Our results confirmed this hypothesis for the model calibrated to the Tanana floodplain of Alaska. We used the model to estimate the effects of different levels of wolf control. Simulations indicated that management reductions in wolf densities could reduce the mean time to transition from deciduous to spruce by more than 15 years, thereby increasing landscape flammability. The integrated model can be useful in estimating ecosystem impacts of wolf control and moose harvesting in central Alaska.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-92
Number of pages14
JournalEcological Modelling
Volume244
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 10 2012

Fingerprint

trophic cascade
boreal forest
toxin
herbivore
toxicity
functional response
carnivore
vegetation
cellular automaton
vegetation type
forage
floodplain

Keywords

  • Mathematical models
  • Plant-herbivore-predator interactions
  • Spatially explicit simulations
  • Succession
  • Toxin-determined functional response
  • Vegetation composition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecological Modeling

Cite this

Feng, Z., Alfaro-Murillo, J. A., DeAngelis, D. L., Schmidt, J., Barga, M., Zheng, Y., ... Bryant, J. (2012). Plant toxins and trophic cascades alter fire regime and succession on a boreal forest landscape. Ecological Modelling, 244, 79-92. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2012.06.022

Plant toxins and trophic cascades alter fire regime and succession on a boreal forest landscape. / Feng, Zhilan; Alfaro-Murillo, Jorge A.; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Schmidt, Jennifer; Barga, Matthew; Zheng, Yiqiang; Ahmad Tamrin, Muhammad Hanis B; Olson, Mark; Glaser, Tim; Kielland, Knut; Chapin, F. Stuart; Bryant, John.

In: Ecological Modelling, Vol. 244, 10.10.2012, p. 79-92.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Feng, Z, Alfaro-Murillo, JA, DeAngelis, DL, Schmidt, J, Barga, M, Zheng, Y, Ahmad Tamrin, MHB, Olson, M, Glaser, T, Kielland, K, Chapin, FS & Bryant, J 2012, 'Plant toxins and trophic cascades alter fire regime and succession on a boreal forest landscape', Ecological Modelling, vol. 244, pp. 79-92. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2012.06.022
Feng, Zhilan ; Alfaro-Murillo, Jorge A. ; DeAngelis, Donald L. ; Schmidt, Jennifer ; Barga, Matthew ; Zheng, Yiqiang ; Ahmad Tamrin, Muhammad Hanis B ; Olson, Mark ; Glaser, Tim ; Kielland, Knut ; Chapin, F. Stuart ; Bryant, John. / Plant toxins and trophic cascades alter fire regime and succession on a boreal forest landscape. In: Ecological Modelling. 2012 ; Vol. 244. pp. 79-92.
@article{cf3ad2acc6ff4136bc0d2d882906af8e,
title = "Plant toxins and trophic cascades alter fire regime and succession on a boreal forest landscape",
abstract = "Two models were integrated in order to study the effect of plant toxicity and a trophic cascade on forest succession and fire patterns across a boreal landscape in central Alaska. One of the models, ALFRESCO, is a cellular automata model that stochastically simulates transitions from spruce dominated 1km 2 spatial cells to deciduous woody vegetation based on stochastic fires, and from deciduous woody vegetation to spruce based on age of the cell with some stochastic variation. The other model, the 'toxin-dependent functional response' model (TDFRM) simulates woody vegetation types with different levels of toxicity, an herbivore browser (moose) that can forage selectively on these types, and a carnivore (wolf) that preys on the herbivore. Here we replace the simple succession rules in each ALFRESCO cell by plant-herbivore-carnivore dynamics from TDFRM. The central hypothesis tested in the integrated model is that the herbivore, by feeding selectively on low-toxicity deciduous woody vegetation, speeds succession towards high-toxicity evergreens, like spruce. Wolves, by keeping moose populations down, can help slow the succession. Our results confirmed this hypothesis for the model calibrated to the Tanana floodplain of Alaska. We used the model to estimate the effects of different levels of wolf control. Simulations indicated that management reductions in wolf densities could reduce the mean time to transition from deciduous to spruce by more than 15 years, thereby increasing landscape flammability. The integrated model can be useful in estimating ecosystem impacts of wolf control and moose harvesting in central Alaska.",
keywords = "Mathematical models, Plant-herbivore-predator interactions, Spatially explicit simulations, Succession, Toxin-determined functional response, Vegetation composition",
author = "Zhilan Feng and Alfaro-Murillo, {Jorge A.} and DeAngelis, {Donald L.} and Jennifer Schmidt and Matthew Barga and Yiqiang Zheng and {Ahmad Tamrin}, {Muhammad Hanis B} and Mark Olson and Tim Glaser and Knut Kielland and Chapin, {F. Stuart} and John Bryant",
year = "2012",
month = "10",
day = "10",
doi = "10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2012.06.022",
language = "English",
volume = "244",
pages = "79--92",
journal = "Ecological Modelling",
issn = "0304-3800",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Plant toxins and trophic cascades alter fire regime and succession on a boreal forest landscape

AU - Feng, Zhilan

AU - Alfaro-Murillo, Jorge A.

AU - DeAngelis, Donald L.

AU - Schmidt, Jennifer

AU - Barga, Matthew

AU - Zheng, Yiqiang

AU - Ahmad Tamrin, Muhammad Hanis B

AU - Olson, Mark

AU - Glaser, Tim

AU - Kielland, Knut

AU - Chapin, F. Stuart

AU - Bryant, John

PY - 2012/10/10

Y1 - 2012/10/10

N2 - Two models were integrated in order to study the effect of plant toxicity and a trophic cascade on forest succession and fire patterns across a boreal landscape in central Alaska. One of the models, ALFRESCO, is a cellular automata model that stochastically simulates transitions from spruce dominated 1km 2 spatial cells to deciduous woody vegetation based on stochastic fires, and from deciduous woody vegetation to spruce based on age of the cell with some stochastic variation. The other model, the 'toxin-dependent functional response' model (TDFRM) simulates woody vegetation types with different levels of toxicity, an herbivore browser (moose) that can forage selectively on these types, and a carnivore (wolf) that preys on the herbivore. Here we replace the simple succession rules in each ALFRESCO cell by plant-herbivore-carnivore dynamics from TDFRM. The central hypothesis tested in the integrated model is that the herbivore, by feeding selectively on low-toxicity deciduous woody vegetation, speeds succession towards high-toxicity evergreens, like spruce. Wolves, by keeping moose populations down, can help slow the succession. Our results confirmed this hypothesis for the model calibrated to the Tanana floodplain of Alaska. We used the model to estimate the effects of different levels of wolf control. Simulations indicated that management reductions in wolf densities could reduce the mean time to transition from deciduous to spruce by more than 15 years, thereby increasing landscape flammability. The integrated model can be useful in estimating ecosystem impacts of wolf control and moose harvesting in central Alaska.

AB - Two models were integrated in order to study the effect of plant toxicity and a trophic cascade on forest succession and fire patterns across a boreal landscape in central Alaska. One of the models, ALFRESCO, is a cellular automata model that stochastically simulates transitions from spruce dominated 1km 2 spatial cells to deciduous woody vegetation based on stochastic fires, and from deciduous woody vegetation to spruce based on age of the cell with some stochastic variation. The other model, the 'toxin-dependent functional response' model (TDFRM) simulates woody vegetation types with different levels of toxicity, an herbivore browser (moose) that can forage selectively on these types, and a carnivore (wolf) that preys on the herbivore. Here we replace the simple succession rules in each ALFRESCO cell by plant-herbivore-carnivore dynamics from TDFRM. The central hypothesis tested in the integrated model is that the herbivore, by feeding selectively on low-toxicity deciduous woody vegetation, speeds succession towards high-toxicity evergreens, like spruce. Wolves, by keeping moose populations down, can help slow the succession. Our results confirmed this hypothesis for the model calibrated to the Tanana floodplain of Alaska. We used the model to estimate the effects of different levels of wolf control. Simulations indicated that management reductions in wolf densities could reduce the mean time to transition from deciduous to spruce by more than 15 years, thereby increasing landscape flammability. The integrated model can be useful in estimating ecosystem impacts of wolf control and moose harvesting in central Alaska.

KW - Mathematical models

KW - Plant-herbivore-predator interactions

KW - Spatially explicit simulations

KW - Succession

KW - Toxin-determined functional response

KW - Vegetation composition

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84864409619&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84864409619&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2012.06.022

DO - 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2012.06.022

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84864409619

VL - 244

SP - 79

EP - 92

JO - Ecological Modelling

JF - Ecological Modelling

SN - 0304-3800

ER -