OOS 4 - Novel Ecosystems As Described, Defined, and Monitored Using the National Vegetation Classification

Monday, August 8, 2016: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
Grand Floridian Blrm G, Ft Lauderdale Convention Center
Todd Keeler-Wolf, California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Alan S. Weakley, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The use of vegetation classification to define ecosystems is not new. However, the ability to define them with increasing accuracy and to make use of quantitative measures of vegetation to define states of change and degrees of divergence from earlier related ecosystems has improved greatly with the establishment of the National Vegetation Classification (NVC), a sample-driven, quantitative, peer-reviewed, inductive hierarchical system. This session, organized by the ESA Panel on Vegetation, considers the quantification and monitoring of novel ecosystems using the NVC and explores different vegetation-defined types of novel ecosystems, their characteristics, origins, and affects upon different regions of North America. Main types of novel terrestrial ecosystems include those in which introduced species have, with or without human interaction, shifted natural processes to alter prior species composition; those in which existing native species have increased due to indirect human influence, creating different conditions for the vegetation palette; those which have shown a decline of native key species due to pathogens; and those in which high biomass of introduced species have been added without any major process change. The talks begin with an overview by Keeler-Wolf, which sets the stage for how the National Vegetation Classification describes and tracks novel ecosystems-- using the hierarchy at different levels, structural definitions (layer dominance, cover, etc.), nomenclature (ruderal or semi-natural, for example), and methodology (data collection, re-sampling, and vegetation mapping). Following this introduction, speakers will discuss specific cases in which different kinds of novel ecosystems have originated in North America and have changed from former vegetation patterns. They discuss the type and rate of change, the events and the processes precipitating and perpetuating the change, and its effects on key occupants and patterns of biodiversity of these systems. They also discuss both natural limits of, and human efforts to alter novel vegetation expansion. A concluding talk (Long et al.) summarizes the detection and tracking of different types of novel vegetation through analysis of thousands of sample plots and vegetation mapping at the national level.
1:50 PM
 Novel, hybrid, alternative, transient, or just undesirable? A chronosequence perspective on postfire vegetation dynamics and invasive plants in the Mojave Ecoregion
Robert C. Klinger, United States Geological Survey; Matthew L. Brooks, U.S. Geological Survey; Emma C. Underwood, Information Center for the Environment Davis, CA, 95616; Randy McKinley, USG; Janelle Downs, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Jerry Tagestad, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
2:10 PM
 Cryptic invasion and hybridization of Phragmites australis (common reed) in southwestern wetland vegetation
Adam Lambert, University of California Santa Barbara; Kristin Saltonstall, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
2:30 PM
 Developing a cohesive set of indicators for monitoring the resilience of Gulf Coast salt marshes: Will restoration lead to both natural and novel ecosystem types?
Don Faber-Langendoen, NatureServe; Camille L. Stagg, U.S. Geological Survey; Scott Allen, U.S. Geological Survey; Kathleen L. Goodin, NatureServe; Jorge Brenner, The Nature Conservancy; Christopher A. Gabler, University of Texas – Rio Grand Valley
2:50 PM
 Tamarisk, water, beetles, and birds: The importance of vegetation in addressing the challenges of managing novel riparian ecosystems in the arid west
Bruce K. Orr, Stillwater Sciences; Tom L. Dudley, University of California, Santa Barbara; Glen T. Leverich, Stillwater Sciences; Zooey E. Diggory, Stillwater Sciences; Matthew J. Johnson, Northern Arizona University; James R. Hatten, U.S. Geological Survey; Kevin R. Hultine, Desert Botanical Garden; Devyn A, Orr, University of California Santa Barbara
3:10 PM
3:40 PM Cancelled
 Using resilience science to combat wildfires and conversion to invasive annuals in the cold deserts
Jeanne Chambers, USDA Forest Service; Mike Pellant, Bureau of Land Management
3:20 PM
 Oak trees, livestock grazing, and the persistence of native and exotic dominated grasslands in California
Karen A. Stahlheber, Michigan State University; Carla M. D'Antonio, University of California Santa Barbara; Nicole Molinari, University of California Santa Barbara
4:00 PM
 Determining landscape-scale changes in forest structure and possible management responses to Phytophthora ramorum in the Mt. Tamalpais watershed, Marin County, CA
Janet Klein, Marin Municipal Water District; Andrea Williams, Marin Municipal Water District; John Menke, Aerial Information Systems
4:20 PM
 In plain view: Co-existence and fluctuation of native and exotic plants in California’s prairies
Jennifer J. Buck-Diaz, California Native Plant Society; Julie Evens, California Native Plant Society
4:40 PM
 Classification and mapping of ruderal vegetation for the LANDFIRE program
Donald Long Jr., USDA Forest Service; Pat Comer, NatureServe; Marion S. Reid, NatureServe; Don Faber-Langendoen, NatureServe; Alexa McKerrow, United States Geological Survey