Assessment of Climatic Variability and Management Effects on Ecosystems Using Different Research Tools and Methods
The University of Oklahoma
Climatic and management factors in isolation or in combination influence the ecosystem properties and the energy, water, and elements. The considerable uncertainity is associated with the model projections due to the complex interactions and diverse nature of ecosystem variables under variable climatic and management conditions.
Dr. Bajgain's research focuses on use of various tools and methods such as field observations (eddy covariance and automated chamber), remote sensing data, and process-based, light use efficiency and statistical models to quantify biophysical and biogeochemical feedbacks of ecosystems to climate and management variability. A new drought algorithm was developed and tested to understand the response of tallgrass prairie to drought in the Southern Great Plains. Eddy covariance data showed that grassland converted to winter wheat was a net source of carbon at an annual scale.
Results from both statistical regression and biogenic models tested with the field measured data showed that human management coupled with weather events alterd the biophysical properties and biogeochemistry of ecosystems, resulting into higher greeenhouse gas emissions. The results highlight the importance of assesing and quantifying ecosystem responses to climatic and management factors and this information can be used to reduce the uncertainity of model projections.