Leveraging environmental data for assessing ecosystems resilience and vulnerability to global change. Dr. Ibanez is a Professor in the School for Environment and Sustainability at Michigan University. Her research focuses on current challenges that plant communities are facing in the context of global change, i.e. climate change, invasive species, and landscape fragmentation.
Natural ecosystems provide humans and wildlife with a myriad of ecosystem services they rely on, including clean water, product, air purification, climate regulation, soil retention, food and shelter. Still, these services are being jeopardized under current global environmental change. For society to act accordingly, the scientific community needs to provide reliable and targeted predictions of potential effects of global change on these systems. In this talk we cover three examples of how we can leverage existing ecological data for forecasting ecosystems resilience or vulnerability to global drivers of change, e.g., elevated atmospheric CO2, warming and drought, and invasive species. These projects develop the tools for merging data available into system and cross-systems dynamics, e.g., demographic, physiological, fluxes, atmosphere-vegetation interactions, coupled natural-human systems, to provide an understanding of the systems’ performances under a variety of environmental conditions.