Published in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 2019
Spatial processes often drive ecosystem processes, biogeochemical cycles, and land-atmosphere feedbacks at the landscape-scale. Climate-sensitive disturbances, such as fire, land-use change, pests, and pathogens, often spread contagiously across the landscape. While the climate-change implications of these factors are often discussed, none of these processes are incorporated into earth system models as contagious disturbances because they occur at a spatial scale well below model resolution. Here we present a novel second-order spatially-implicit scheme for representing the size distribution of spatially contagious disturbances. We demonstrate a means for dynamically evolving spatial adjacency through time in response to disturbance. Our scheme shows that contagious disturbance types can be characterized as a function of their size and edge-to-interior ratio. This emergent disturbance characterization allows for description of disturbance across scales. This scheme lays the ground for a more realistic global-scale exploration of how spatially- complex disturbances interact with climate-change drivers, and forwards theoretical understanding of spatial and temporal evolution of disturbance.
Recommended citation: McCabe, T. D., & Dietze, M. C. (2019). Scaling Contagious Disturbance: A Spatially-Implicit Dynamic Model. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 7(March), 1–17. https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2019.00064 https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2019.00064