When addressing climate change the focus often is on temperature. However precipitation is a climate variable that is at least as important, but much more difficult to assess. This mini symposium will address several aspects of the changes in the precipitation climate. William Gosling shows how climates in the far past can be reconstructed using proxies. One of these proxies, biomarkers, will be discussed by Susanna Mölkänen, who uses them to reconstruct altitudinal gradients. John van Boxel discusses 20th century climate change in the Netherlands focussing on changes in precipitation extremes. The models that are used to study climate change are the topic of the presentation by Geert Lenderink from KNMI. Some of these models were also used by Emma Daniels (WUR) to study the effect of urbanisation on precipitation in the Netherlands. For anyone involved in climate change and precipitation this should be an interesting afternoon.
Day 2 of the NAEM breakfast 07:30, first lectures at 08:30… Two keynotes today thinking about ecological stoichiometry the first by Stan Harpole (Martin-Luther-Universitat-Halle-Wittenberg) focused on resource ratio theory, and then Martin Wassen (Utrecht University) thinking about N and P limitations. I also attended, parts of, three sessions today “Linkages between fire, vegetation, soil and ecosystem services”, “Novel ecosystems”, and “Scaling from trait to environment and back”. My top talks for today were:
Elmar Veenendaal (Wageningen University) Fire effects on tropical woody vegetation structure have been exaggerated? Working on long-term fire study plots (Kokondekro since 1932) suggest that for forest-savannah transition zones fire alone is insufficient to mediate a change between states; human manipulation of ecosystems is required as well to trigger the change.
Frank van Langevelde (Wageningen University) Feedbacks between fire and patches of woody vegetation in tropical grassland savannah Examination of tree distributions and fire within the Kruger National Park shows that landscapes contain more clustered tree populations when fire frequency is higher.
Plus today I have done lots of talking and made many new contacts. I have lots of follow up emails to write and promised papers to send around! Overall this has been a super meeting for meeting people – perfect for expanding my network of Dutch based ecologists – in a nice location, with good food and beer. Looking forward to next year already.