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Lecture 1

REN R440 Lecture 1: Lecture 1

3 Pages
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Department
Renewable Resources
Course Code
REN R440
Professor
Nadir Erbilgin

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Description
Ren R 440: Lecture 1 Disturbance: a discrete event in time and space that alters the structure of populations, communities, ecosystems and/or changes resources, substrate availability or the physical environment -Disturbance can be: an event or source that causes disturbances the physical characteristics of that event (frequency, intensity, extent) the impact or severity of that event the short or long term consequences of that event through ecosystem response or succession Why study disturbances? -curiosity about the environment and dramatic disruptions of it -to understand the patterns of disturbances and of recovery -to conserve biodiversity from damage caused by disturbances -to better manipulate and restore damaged ecosystems and recover their services from a human use point of view these restored areas may be functional but they are no longer the same as they were in their natural states and so are referred to as anthromes rather than biomes, referring to the human design and the services humans have identified and restored in them Types of disturbance: -Natural: fires, floods, insect & disease epidemics, winds, volcanoes, landslides, ice storms, glaciers -Anthropogenic: agriculture, mine tailing, oil sands, pipelines, mine slurry, logging, urbanization, highways, road construction, powerlines, air pollution, toxic elements Disturbances may exist along a continuum of natural or anthropogenic influence, as human activities can worsen natural events, cause areas to become more susceptible to natural disturbances, or increase the frequency of natural disturbances (ie increased droughts/storms/insect outbreaks due to global warming) Characteristics of disturbances: Frequency: number of similar disturbance events at a given location per unit time, measured with return intervals, small scale events occur more frequently than large scale events (eg grassland fires vs forest fires or earthquakes vs volcanic eruptions) Intensity: describes the force of the disturbance (eg volcanic explosivity, earthquake magnitude, fire temperature, wind speed, depth of soil displacement from erosion, days without rain in a drought), can be affected by past disturbances and current conditions (eg fire affected by fuel loads, wind speed, temp, and humidity) Severity: amount of biomass lost or the degree of alteration of ecosystem structure or function, which can be related to intensity, ↑intensity ↑severity, measured with %mortality of species or kg of biomass lost, severe disturbances lead to primary succession (remove entire existing community), less severe disturbances lead to secondary succession (soil and seed banks remaining, or more) Magnitude: consists of intensity and severity, so the strength of the disturbance and the extent of the disturbance, it is possibl
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