An international workshop on “Advanced prediction of biome

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					An international workshop on “Advanced prediction of biome boundary shifts in
regional and global dynamic vegetation models”
March 4 - 7, 2008, Yokohama Institute for Earth Sciences, Japan Agency for Marine-
Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), Japan
Supported by: Science Council of Japan, DIVERSITAS bioDISCOVERY, Frontier Research
Center for Global Change (FRCGC), JAMSTEC, The Swiss Federal Research Institute,
Global Land Project (GLP)
Organisors: George Hurtt (University of New Hampshire, USA), Takashi Kohyama
(Hokkaido University, Japan), Paul Leadley (University of Paris 11, France), Heike Lischke
(Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Switzerland), Hisashi Sato (Frontier Research Center
for Global Change, Japan)

The main objective of this workshop is to address the following question: how to simulate
biome boundary shifts (BBS) in large scale dynamic vegetation models and how do such
simulations influence Earth System Models?
This workshop is a following step of several past activities on this topic. The goal of the
Pingree workshop (June 1999) was to improve gap models and the main output was that
mortality, reproduction and dispersal are important parameters and need to be included into
gap models. A follow-up workshop about plant dispersal and migration (June 2001,
Montpellier, France) dealt with measuring and modeling dispersal, relate migration abilities to
species traits and incorporate plant migration into vegetation models. The conclusion was that
understanding plant migration and its exact consequences for ecosystem functioning and
biodiversity still seemed far from reach. One outcome of this workshop was the paper of
Neilson et al. (2005 BioScience), which pointed out that migration is crucial in global change
and listed expanded Plant Functional Types (PFTs), implementation of migration in DGVMs
including upscaling and dealing with within cell heterogeneity as important future research
This workshop will provide a forum to discuss and develop improved methods for predicting
future dynamics of vegetation patterns at large spatial scales as affected by climate change
and land use, in particular at biome boundaries. The long-term goal is to improve existing
vegetation models or to develop new models that are reliable, robust and can be included in
earth system models for studying biosphere-atmosphere feedbacks. Participants will exchange
knowledge and views of ecological processes, model requirements, the required theoretical
background (e.g., upscaling) and computational methods (e.g., efficient implementations)
required for model development and testing. For this workshop, the focus will be shifted from
plant migration and dispersal alone to plant Biome Boundary Shifts (BBS) in general.
Furthermore, biodiversity is one but not the only good to be safeguarded, the interaction with
the entire Earth System, including human systems will be looked at.
The goals of this workshop are to:
      - Find out what has been achieved in the time since the last workshops: are there
           now DGVMs including migration? If not, why not? What are the problems?
      - Find ways how to include the processes leading to BBS into Earth System Models.
      - Initiate simulation studies to find out how important it is to include BBS in
           DGVMS and Earth System models. Demonstrate this in case studies of regions
           particularly vulnerable to BBS.
       -   Run global simulations with BBS.
During the workshop, participants will engage on four interacting topics:
      - Regional case studies in areas where biome boundary shifts could result in major
           impacts on global biogeochemical cycles or biodiversity.
      - Key factors regulating biome boundary shifts such as dispersal, disturbance,
           climate, and plant functional types.
      - Methodological issues especially those dealing with scaling of dispersal and
           environmental heterogeneity.
      - Model / remote sensing integration including model parameterization and testing
           with field and remote sensing.
This workshop will contribute to the Fast-Track Activity of the Global Land Project (GLP),
"Decreasing uncertainty in predicting biome boundary shifts" and to the bioDISCOVERY
Core Project of DIVERSITAS (international programme of biodiversity science).

Andrew Friend, University of Cambridge, UK
Ben Wigley, Uiversity of Cape Town, South Africa
Cecile Albert, Universite Joseph Fourier, France
Colin Prentice, University of Bristol, UK
Douglas Morton, University of Maryland, USA
Elena Shevliakova, Princeton University, USA
George Hurtt, University of New Hampshire, USA
Heike Lischke, Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Switzerland
Hisashi Sato, FRCGC-JAMSTEC, Japan
James Clark, Duke University, USA
Justin Fisk, University of New Hampshire
Paul Leadley, University of Paris 11, France
Paul Moorcroft, Harvard University, USA
Phil Platts, York University, UK
Rob Marchant, York University, UK
Robert Scheller, Conservation Biology Institute, USA
Simon Scheiter, University of Frankfurt, Germany
Soenke Zaehle, Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, France
Sophie Rickebusch, Universite Joseph Fourier, France
Steven Higgins, University of Frankfurt, Germany
Takashi Kohyama, Hokkaido University, Japan
Tetsukazu Yahara, Kyushu University, Japan
Thomas Hickler, Lund University, Sweden
Toby Marthews, University of Cambridge, UK
Toshihiko HARA, Hokkaido University, Japan
Ursula Heyder , Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
William Bond, Uiversity of Cape Town, South Africa