Co-evolution of vegetation patterns and erosional dynamics under varying CO2 concentrations

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 5:30 PM
Gavan Sean McGrath, University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA, Australia and Kyungrock Paik, Korea University, Seoul, South Korea
Variations in atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide have in the past and are currently impacting vegetation water use efficiency (WUE). Changes to WUE have the potentially for strong eco-geomorphic feedbacks in water-limited ecosystems where vegetation develops self-organized patchiness. In this work we explore with a landscape evolution model, coupled to an individual-based and spatially explicit vegetation model, the erosional dynamics of hills under rising and falling CO2 concentations. We find the changes in hill form and vegetation distribution are highly sensitive to the initial vegetation pattern and display nonlinear transitions in both sediment yield and vegetation pattern to varying CO2 concentrations.