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Project 2 (phase I):

BioScapes I: Coupled modeling of Climate, Dynamic Vegetation, and Surface Processes from the Last Glacial Maximum to Present

 

Investigator Names and Contact Info:

  • Todd Ehlers (Geology/Geophysics). Dept. of Geosciences, University of Tuebingen, Germany
  • Thomas Hickler (Quantitative BioGeography). Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Center & University of Frankfurt, Germany

 

Chilean Collaborators Involved:

  • Juan-Pablo Fuentes (Soil Ecology). Dept. Ciencias Forestales y Coservación de la Naturaleza, Santiago, Universidad de Chile, Chile
  • Jorge Pérez Quezada (Ecology of Ecosystems). Facultad de Ciencias Agronómicas, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile

 

 

Project 2a:

Landscape evolution modeling of coupled vegetation and paleoclimate controls on topography in Chile from the Last Glacial Maximum to Present.

 

PhD-Student:

Supervisor: Prof. Todd Ehlers, Co-supervisor: Prof. Thomas Hickler

 

Project 2b:

Dynamic modeling of vegetation changes in Chile from the Last Glacial Maximum to present using spatially downscaled climate model output and coupling to a landscape evolution model.

 

Postdoc:

  • Christian Werner. Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F) and Goethe University, Frankfurt/Main, Germany

Supervisor: Prof. Thomas Hickler, Co-supervisor: Prof. Todd Ehlers

 

 

 

Large scale climatic controls on local precipitation and temperature in Chile.

MSc-Student (2a):

  • Samuel Scherrer. University of Tuebingen, Geosciences, Germany

Supervisor: Prof. Todd Ehlers, Co- Supervisor: Dr. Sebastian Mutz

 

Timing and rates of long term uplift in the Coastal Cordillera, Chile.

MSc-Student (2a):

  • Marcel Anhorn. University of Tuebingen, Geosciences, Germany

Supervisor: Prof. Todd Ehlers

 

Storminess and extreme precipitation events in South America throughout the Late Cenozoic.

 

MSc-Student (2a):

  • Jana Geller. University of Tuebingen, Geosciences, Germany

Supervisor: Prof. Todd Ehlers, Co- Supervisor: Dr. Sebastian Mutz

 

 

Impacts of Late Cenozoic climate change on landscape evolution at selected sites in South America.

MSc-Student (2a):

  • Gayathri Guddeti. University of Tuebingen, Geosciences, Germany

Supervisor: Prof. Todd Ehlers, Co- Supervisor: Dr. Sebastian Mutz

 

 

Comparison of climate model, reanalysis and weather station data in South America.

 

MSc-Student (2a):

  • Ilze Muceniece. University of Tuebingen, Geosciences, Germany

Supervisor: Prof. Todd Ehlers, Co-Supervisor: Dr. Sebastian Mutz

 

 

 

 

Analysis of climate change in Chile: Last Glacial Maximum to present.

 

BSc-Student (2a):

  • Roland Schraven. University of Tuebingen, Geosciences, Germany

Supervisor: Prof. Todd Ehlers, Co-Supervisor: Dr. Kirstin Übernickel

 

Occurence of burrowing animals in Chile and their (potential) effects on soils

 

BSc-Student (2a):

  • Susila Bhagavathula. University of Tuebingen, Geosciences, Germany

Supervisor: Prof. Todd Ehlers, Co-Supervisor: Dr. Kirstin Übernickel

 

 

 

Project Summary:

BioScapes I is part of a series of independent EARTHSHAPE proposals that quantifies biotic, surface process, and paleoclimate interactions at the catchment scale and larger. In this contribution, we propose for the first time a coupling between state-of-the-art paleoclimate, dynamic vegetation, and surface process numerical models using high-performance computing. These models will be applied to test three of the original EARTHSHAPE hypotheses, as well as four related key scientific questions identified here. Model results will be used to evaluate the sensitivity of surface processes and topography to different climate and vegetation forcing. Our new coupled modeling approach will quantify how the individual and combined contributions of continuous climate and vegetation change from the LGM to present have influenced the erosion, sedimentation, and morphology (relief, fluvial profiles, hillslope geometry, drainage density, etc) of the EARTHSHAPE study areas in the Coastal Cordillera, Chile. Model results will be compared to existing observations (topography, paleovegetation and paleoclimate proxies), as well as new observations (erosion and sedimentation rates, palynology, etc) collected as part of the EARTHSHAPE program. Our approach bridges a diverse range of timescales ranging from hours to tens-of-thousands of years, and provides a physics-based integration of diverse EARTHSHAPE products essential to the success of this priority program. In summary, the key items delivered from this study include: 1) downscaled quantification of climate and vegetation changes in Chile from the LMG (~21 ka) to present using an ensemble of climate models; 2) quantification of how erosion and sedimentation rates in the EARTHSHAPE focus areas have responded to the legacy of these temporal changes; and 3) identification of the individual roles and relative significance of climate vs vegetation change on catchment evolution along a latitudinal transect of catchments encompassing one of Earth’s largest ecological and climate gradients. These goals are achieved through the new pairing of investigators with extensive prior experience in the fields of biogeography (dynamic vegetation modeling) and geology/geophysics (paleoclimate and landscape evolution modeling).