| Index page | Outline | Fifth EAFES International Congress Abstract

EAFES Symposium ES03-4

Threshold dynamics of vegetation on Mongolian rangelands

SASAKI Takehiro (Tohoku University, Japan)

The concept of ecological threshold has spurred important advances in understanding the nonlinear behavior of ecosystems to various disturbances. Studies on lakes, coral reefs, and arid grasslands have shown that structural attributes of ecosystems can change abruptly along a disturbance gradient. Yet, such nonlinear response patterns are implicitly assumed to reflect the modification of system feedbacks and interactions. We know little about mechanistic linkages between nonlinear response patterns and underlying feedback mechanisms, and the irreversibility of nonlinear responses. Consequently, in many applied settings, the threshold concept is being adopted without sufficient evaluation of evidence. Here I present initial work towards the understanding of threshold dynamics on Mongolian rangeland ecosystems that should enhance the conceptual development as well as human decision-making.