IAB Research Project Description

Integrated Ecosystem Model for Alaska: A Collaborative Project for the Arctic Landscape Conservation Cooperative

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Since the release of the downscaled climate models for Alaska following the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007, the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) has developed several models that link changing climate scenarios to different ecological processes.

Specifically, UAF has led the development of the Boreal-ALFRESCO model which addresses how climate change scenarios interact with fire regimes and vegetation patterns; a modification of the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM) which links climate to vegetation succession and carbon sequestration potential, based on the prevalent arctic plant functional groups; and a new model (GIPL-1) that predicts how permafrost may change under different climate scenarios.

These three models in conjunction with other UAF/SNAP products, for example estimates of future water availability, provide important pieces of information. However, an integrated model framework that links these primary models along with associated data into a cohesive modeling framework would provide managers with more accurate predictions of future habitat conditions, in a more useable form.

The integration of these models was identified in the interagency and partnership WildREACH workshop to identify science and modeling needs for the Arctic. We intend to conduct, with the University of Alaska and other partners, the conceptual model development of integrated modeling platform along with associated data products.

The final product from this conceptual modeling effort will consist of three components:

1) a written description of the conceptual modeling framework including data requirements, coupling architecture, and programming tasks

2) a series of base data streams or spatial data layers integral in the modeling effort across the major component s that can be made available to the broader research and management community for use in other research efforts, and

3) results from the proof-of-concept coupling exercises summarized in a peer-reviewed manuscript or report made available to all project participants.

Project Funding

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
15 Feb 2010 – 31 Mar 2011
UAF Grant #6299
IAB Project #196

Media Contact

Marie Thoms
Communications/Web Manager
Institute of Arctic Biology
302A Irving I
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7000
email: methoms@alaska.edu
phone: 907.474.7412