|Ostendorf, B; Hilbert, DW; Köstner, B; Tappeiner, U; Tasser, E: Toward a Predictive Understanding of Ecosystem Processes at the Scale of Landscapes, MODSIM 99 International Congress on Modelling and Simulation Proceedings, 3, 685-690 (1999)|
In this paper we stress the importance of considering patterns at the regional-scale in global change studies. Ultimately, the assessment of how ecosystems processes (e.g. water and carbon fluxes) respond to future changes relies on plot level process studies. However, logistics or limited resources restrict the direct estimation of processes at larger spatial scales. Describing examples from studies in four different biomes, we show how process-level studies may be integrated with information gained from spatial analyses and outline the need to consider the spatial variability of environmental conditions to make realistic estimates for larger regions. We conclude that understanding the underlying causes of spatial patterns is essential for assessing the response of ecosystems to climate change. Vegetation models can be used to identify those driving variables that are likely to dominate the future responses of the ecosystem.