Mountain ecosystems are increasingly experiencing a suite of rapid social, economic, and biophysical changes, including demographics, land use/land cover, and climatic changes. Decades of studies of regional mountain ecosystems show that interactions between processes in different domains result in hierarchies primarily regulated by a small set of biotic, abiotic, and socio-economic processes that interact with each other to constitute self-organized processes over specific scale ranges on a physical template. Consequently, these regional mountain ecosystems are complex coupled natural-human systems, characterized by nonlinear responses and abrupt regime shifts. The primary objective of this working group is to address the issues of vulnerability, resilience, and sustainability of natural and human systems in complex mountain landscapes.
This working group will effectively create a network among the multiple ongoing initiatives within and outside of the LTER that seek knowledge on how processes function within complex mountain landscapes for the purpose of improving social and ecological resilience and sustainability. We will coordinate with the recently NSF-funded Research Coordination Network on Complex Mountain Landscapes (RCN-CML), the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) “Building Resilience in Social-Ecological Mountain Systems”, and the International Mountain LTER (IMLTER) to address working group topics.
We will explore the identification of data on drivers and response variables from LTER mountain sites and our collaborators to perform analyses relevant to the working group topics. The application of our approach to datasets from multiple mountain ecosystems across the world will facilitate site comparisons for addressing our topics.
In the first part of the workshop, there will be short introductory presentations on the workshop theme and status of ongoing projects. We will initiate an information-sharing discussion about similar ongoing research at other LTER sites and by our collaborators that address our topics in the second part of the workshop.
The outcomes of this working group will include LTER and out-of-network cross-site collaborations and discussions, and the development of a synthesis manuscript. Activities of the working group will continue after the LTER ASM meeting via scheduled meetings of the RCN-CML, MRI, and IMLTER.