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Monday, April 9 • 2:15pm - 2:30pm
SYMPOSIA-02: Regional Impacts of Wet Periods in a Telecoupling Framework

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AUTHORS: MD Petrie, Department of Plant & Environmental Sciences, New Mexico State University; DPC Peters, ND Burruss – USDA Agricultural Research Service, Jornada Experimental Range, Las Cruces NM; W Ji, NP Hanan – Department of Plant & Environmental Sciences, New Mexico State University; H Savoy, USDA- Agricultural Research Service, Jornada Experimental Range, Las Cruces NM

ABSTRACT: Telecoupling in aridlands is influenced by environmental and ecological conditions associated with the Land Surface Template (LST) and precipitation patterns, such that variation in telecoupling may be shaped by multiple factors. For example, extreme drought events in the American southwest influences vegetation over large regions, and overwhelms the effects of many LST factors. Multi-year wet periods that can restore services provided by managed rangelands have received less attention. In the northern Chihuahuan Desert, rainfall events are stochastic and single high rainfall years are localized, suggesting that widespread positive telecoupling is improbable. Yet, multi-year wet periods may homogenize stochastic rainfall patterns through time and across space, interact with favorable local LST conditions, and in this way promote positive telecoupling that is not possible in single years.Using remote sensing data from 1983-present and a suite of harmonized LST datasets, we sought to quantify telecoupling during multi-year wet periods in the northern Chihuahuan Desert, and to discern how landscape coupling was influenced by patterns in LST and regional forcing events. We hypothesized that high precipitation would aggregate through time, and that the magnitude and duration of the forcing event would dictate its regional extent. We also hypothesized that the pattern and persistence of telecoupling would be best predicted by specific LST factors including soil type and prior-year vegetation NDVI. That is, telecoupling in this region is instigated by the aggregation of high precipitation, but its pattern within the rainfall area is contingent on local factors. Wet periods are changing, and it is clear that they will play an important role in shaping the future quality of managed rangelands. By identifying and quantifying telecoupling during wet periods, we develop new insight on how climate and landscapes interact, and define the specific conditions that support the sustainability of ecosystem services in aridlands.

Monday April 9, 2018 2:15pm - 2:30pm CDT
LaSalle 5 (7th Floor)