Date:
2018/06/14

Time:
10:45

Room:
K309 Gustaf


Crops in a Changing World: Hidden Forest-Agriculture Teleconnections

(Oral)

Laura López-Hoffman
,
Xiao Feng
,
Ta-Ken Huang
,
Aaron Lien
,
Abigail L. S. Swann
,
David D. Breshears
,
Jose R. Soto
,
Elizabeth Baldwin
,
Mauricio Nunez-Regueiro
,
Trang Dang
,
Daniel S. Park
,
Robert Merideth
,
Daniel Ferguson
,
Brian Enquist
,
Kacey Ernst

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Advances in climate change modeling have uncovered eco-climate teleconnections where changes in weather or the environment in one location affect distant regions. Recent studies demonstrate that loss of forest cover in one region (sending regions or locations) can alter temperature, precipitation and gross primary production (GPP) in far regions (receiving regions or locations). Here we show how these eco-climate teleconnections in turn, bring changes to agricultural yields and revenue in distant locations. In effect, forests provide telecoupled ecosystem services that sustain food production in receiving locations. However, these telecouplings are seldom acknowledged and remain unquantified. Thus, there is a critical need for research to quantify how forest loss in one location may further impact agricultural production in other areas. We conducted Community Earth System Model (CESM) model experiments in which we simulate forest die-off in different NEON regions in the United States. We modeled multiple scenarios of forest loss in sending regions to project a range of hypothesized climate impacts in receiving agricultural regions. Furthermore, we quantified the teleconnection by transforming changes of climate into changes in agricultural production and monetarizing the change of agricultural production in different NEON regions. Through a network analysis, we were able to differentiate NEON regions that have a predominantly role of sending (e.g., Pacific Southwest) from those that were primarily receiving telecoupled ecosystem services (e.g., Southeast). Our study contributes to the growing body of literature documenting telecoupled systems and provides novel information that will aid policy makers in the US to acknowledge linkages between forest conservation and agricultural production, and develop management strategies accordingly.


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