NWB LCC Pre-2013 Projects

The Following Projects have been previously funded or co-funded by the NWB LCC

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Synthesis of the state of science within the NWB LCC partnership community:
Federal and territorial/provincial agencies and governments, science-based non-governmental organizations, Tribal and First Nations governments, and universities, as it relates to the Information Needs Assessment (INA) of the NWB LCC. In general, the project should inform the INA process by broadly identifying the existing knowledge bases as well as the priorities and objectives for science and landscape   activities within the region. The purpose of this synthesis is to develop an understanding of the NWB LCC partnership community’s management responsibilities and inform how the NWB LCC can most effectively direct future support of applied science to inform management and landscape planning. Cooperators will work closely with the NWB LCC SC in the identification of priorities and scope of the synthesis. The resulting deliverables will be suitable for distribution to a broad range of stakeholders within the LCC community (scientists, managers, administrators, general public) and will address the following information needs:

1.     Scope and priorities of the scientific and land/resource management community: A primary need of the NWB LCC is to identify and describe the greater partnership community (i.e. science and land/resource management organizations that operate within the NIWF geographic region but are not currently represented on the SC). The Cooperators will start by working with the NWB SC to target known organizations. The Cooperators will work closely with the SC to define or characterize the scope of the partners into broad categories, starting with partner organizations serving on the SC and branching out into the larger partnership community. Categories will be defined by broad science or management objectives and priorities of each partner organization. This information will directly inform the July, 2012 Steering Committee meeting with a focus on Prioritization of Biological and Cultural Resources.

July 2012

Integrated Ecosystem Model for Alaska and Northwest Canada:
The Integrated Ecosystem Model (IEM) Project is designed to help resource managers’ understand the nature and rate of landscape change. Maps and other products generated by IEM will illustrate how arctic and boreal landscapes may be altered by climate-driven changes to vegetation, disturbance, hydrology, and permafrost.

IEM uses three ecosystem models that link changing climate scenarios to different ecological processes:

  • The Alaska Frame-Based Ecosystem Code (ALFRESCO). ALFRESCO simulates wildland fire, vegetation establishment, and succession.
  • The Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM). TEM models characteristics of organic soils, hydrology, vegetation succession, biomass, and carbon balance in soil.
  • The Geophysical Institute Permafrost Lab model (GIPL). GIPL simulates permafrost dynamics such as active layer thickness (the depth of summer seasonal thaw in perennially frozen ground) and mean annual soil temperatures.

The individual models provide important information on how the Alaskan and Northwestern Canada landscapes may respond to climate change. However, these processes do not act in isolation, and they each influence processes simulated in the other component models. Linking ALFRESCO, GIPL, and TEM together will produce a more realistic picture of potential future landscape conditions because it allows the models to simulate known interactions of ecosystem components and physical processes.

In addition to linking the models together, new functionality is being developed so that IEM can better simulate three additional ecosystem dynamics:

  • Tundra fire and treeline dynamics. Tundra fire and treeline and tundra succession dynamics are important to represent because they will allow IEM to better forecast changes in landscape structure and function.
  • Landscape-level thermokarst dynamics. Landscape-level thermokarst changes are important to represent because thawing of ice-rich permafrost and associated subsidence can result in substantial changes in vegetation and habitat.
  • Wetland dynamics. Wetland dynamics are important to represent because of their prevalence and importance in northern landscapes.

IEM FAQs 2013