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11

Globalization: Ecological Consequences
of Global-Scale Connectivity in People,
Resources, and Information
Debra P.C. Peters
Jornada Basin Long Term Ecological Research Program and
U.S. Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service, Las Cruces, New Mexico
USA

1. Introduction
Globalization is a phenomenon affecting all facets of the Earth System. Within the context of
ecological systems, it is becoming increasingly apparent that global connectivity among
terrestrial systems, the atmosphere, and oceans is driving many ecological dynamics at finer
scales and pushing thresholds of change (Fagre et al., 2009; MEA, 2005; Rial et al., 2004). For
example, increasing atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gases are increasing
temperature and modifying precipitation regimes with short- and long-term impacts on
ecological systems (IPCC, 2007). Changes in climate also have secondary effects by
influencing disturbance regimes, such as changing the intensity of North American
hurricanes that link to rainfall patterns in Africa (Emanual, 2005; Trenberth, 2005). Climate
also interacts with terrestrial systems to alter wildfire regimes and to connect large areas
within a continent as well as connecting locations globally through particulates in the
atmosphere (Allen 2007; Dale et al., 2001; Kitzberger et al., 2007). Massive dust storms
driven by hot and dry weather interacting with human activities can connect continents,
such as dust storms in Asia that deposit dust particles in North America (Jaffe et al., 2003).
Glacier melt in polar regions is increasing sea level globally with consequences for near-
shore and inland ecosystems (Hopkinson et al., 2008). Movement of humans through
improved transportation is leading to spread of pests and pathogens with ecological
consequences for agricultural crops (Perrings et al., 2010). Long-distance movement of
invasive plants and animals is often facilitated by human activities (Crowl et al., 2008).
In addition, fine-scale ecological dynamics can propagate spatially to influence broad spatial
extents with feedbacks to global drivers (Peters et al., 2004a). Dust storms in Asia are
initiated as cultivated marginal lands in dry years that become connected by wind and
water. Erosion and deposition of soil, nutrients, and dust particles occur locally, but also
propagate to regions and continents (Field et al., 2010). As the dry conditions continue, large
dust storms can develop with transport of materials eventually to North America. Similar
intra- and inter-continental dynamics have been observed historically with the Dust Bowl in
the central U.S. (Peters et al., 2006a), in the southwestern US (Neff et al., 2008), and in
Antarctica (McConnell et al., 2007), and are occurring in the deserts of Africa and Asia to
contribute to most of the global mineral aerosol load (Tanaka & Chiba, 2006).

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2. such as connectivity within and among major river systems that leads to variable patterns in land use. Climate and human activities interact with patterns and processes at multiple.. which influence long-term climatic averages. finer scales (blue arrows). The term “driver” refers to atmospheric or Earth-surface processes and human activities that affect ecological systems. Other drivers also exhibit multi-scale patterns. Integrated framework to link local to global scales Recently. human settlement. and what are the consequences to ecological dynamics and ecosystem services globally. including the spread of invasive species or fire. and (3) meso-scale patterns as weather interacting with local and regional topography. how they are changing in response to globalization. local scale impacts increasingly drive ecosystem dynamics and land change at broader. connectivity across scales results from broad-scale drivers (climate and people) interacting with finer-scale patterns and processes that redistribute materials within and among linked terrestrial and aquatic systems (Fig. landuse. each class has different characteristics that connect ecological systems at fine to broad scales with consequences for globalization. These drivers can influence broad-scale patterns directly. including climate. Although human activities occur at multiple scales. and movement of the biota. and nutrient distribution. Broad-scale drivers can also impact broad-scale patterns indirectly through their interactions with disturbances. Thus. 2001. Dietz et al. The basic premise of the framework is that both the climate system and human activities operate across multiple spatial and temporal scales to influence and be influenced by ecological systems (Fig. 2002). 2008). it is critical that connections across different aspects of the Earth System be examined to improve both understanding and prediction of future ecological dynamics (Peters et al. A better understanding is needed about these various drivers. integrated framework. For example. Examples are provided to illustrate how various global change drivers can influence and interact with heterogeneity in land surface properties of vegetation and soil pattern to either synchronize.. as well as ecosystem dynamics are changing nonlinearly through time for many locations. invasive species. 2008). 2007). and at fine scales of local sites... Interactions among climate. 1) (Peters et al. 1). regional scales (Luck et al. attenuate or amplify impacts of drivers on ecological systems. This definition allows for interactions among drivers as well as feedback mechanisms between drivers and responses. the drivers influencing rainfall and temperature occur mainly at three scales: (1) global circulation patterns.. 2008). Patterns in drivers occur across a range of scales..com . from local sites within landscapes to regions and continents (Peters et al. and disturbance agents have both ecological and socio-economic consequences (Yates et al. The first objective is to describe three classes of events that emerge from a common. This chapter addresses two objectives. The second objective is to describe approaches to deal with global change impacts when locations may be connected at multiple scales. This framework is based on connectivity in material and information flow that links multiple scales of observation. and these constraints may act to overwhelm heterogeneity and processes at meso-scales. a conceptual framework was developed to understand and predict broad-scale ecosystem dynamics. (2) subcontinental to continental-scale phenomena driven by patterns such as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). human populations.212 The Systemic Dimension of Globalization Because global change drivers.intechopen. Connectivity via the www.

1 red arrows). chemical constituents) within and among terrestrial and aquatic systems across a range of spatial and temporal scales (Fig. I define and illustrate three classes of events that connect ecological systems globally. people) move materials and resources (e.. animals. water. and fine-scale patterns provide the mechanistic understanding for broad-scale patterns (Allen & Starr.intechopen. (2) change in ecological response. Conceptual framework to link spatial and temporal scales to result in continental- scale patterns and dynamics leading to globalization with consequences to ecological dynamics at finer scales. dust. Adapted from Peters et al. and the conditions when fine-scale processes propagate nonlinearly to influence broad spatial extents. water. Changes in the drivers and pattern- process relationships through time and across space can alter ecosystem dynamics within particular locations (Fig 1. 2007).Globalization: Ecological Consequences of Global-Scale Connectivity in People. These cases differ in: (1) initial properties of the driver. propagules. black arrows). 3. the focus here is understanding and predicting the conditions when broad-scale drivers overwhelm fine- scale variability. Both downscaling of global change drivers to finer scales (blue arrows) and upscaling of ecological dynamics to regional and continental scales (red arrows) are shown. wind. Classes of driver impacts on ecological dynamics Although this framework shares some similarities with hierarchical systems where broad- scale drivers constrain fine-scale patterns. Transport vectors (e. and (3) the explanatory variables for the response. Fig. and detailed below. Resources. and Information 213 transfer of materials occurs both at the meso-scale and at fine scales within sites where terrestrial and aquatic systems are connected. and can change dynamics across locations and large regions (Allen..g. (2008). nutrients. These differences are summarized in Table 1. www. soil. 1982). 1. energy.g. diseases. and can be explained using this overarching framework.com .

3). These drivers.Initial driver Ecological asymptote intensity properties . and degree of urbanization (Fig. The most intense. 3. Long-term climate data combined with average on-site www. soils. The less well-known or appreciated feature of this class of events is that the driver acts to synchronize ecological dynamics over a large spatial extent. can occur for years to decades or centuries. widespread. Impacts of the event tend to be related to the intensity or magnitude of the driver.Sub-daily Rapid Physical Physical to to increase properties of properties of meso.months followed by event event scale gradual .Years to No Driver Driver to decades directional intensity intensity global change: scale varies with driver and event Attenuation Very high Local. also called press disturbances (Bender et al. long-term drought in recent US history occurred in the 1930s (Fig..214 The Systemic Dimension of Globalization Spatial extent of Explanatory variables for Initial conditions of driver ecological magnitude of ecological Class of event impact impact through time Spatial Intensity Duration Initially Through time extent Synchronization Low Meso.com .1 Synchronization of ecological responses across scales The first case occurs when a driver of low intensity over a large spatial extent for a long period of time overwhelms fine-scale heterogeneity in landscape structure of vegetation. Three classes of globalization events determined by ecological responses that result from interactions between drivers and ecosystems. topography. 1984).Distance to impacted system at onset Amplification Low to Local Sub-daily Increases Ecological Ecological moderate to non-linearly processes and processes and decades with properties properties thresholds (dominant Spatial extent of processes impact change increases through time through time and space) Land- atmosphere feedbacks Table 1.intechopen. An example is provided by global circulation patterns interacting with sub-continental to continental-scale phenomena to generate regional to continental-scale drought. 2).

Driver intensity and importance of ecological properties are not related to the time since the event or distance from the event source.intechopen. Resources. 3) (data from http://www.com .Globalization: Ecological Consequences of Global-Scale Connectivity in People. the extended sequence of dry years was more pronounced in the western and central parts of the country. A number of research sites were monitored for vegetation change in the central Great Plains during the 1930s.cpc. It is expected that this synchronicity in climate drivers had large impacts on ecosystem dynamics over the same time period. excerpted from Peters et al. The PDSI is calculated based on precipitation and temperature data. soils. www. and Information 215 conditions have been used to characterize this drought within the longer-term record using the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI).noaa. These drivers. Data starting in 1895 for nine locations from different ecosystems and locations across the US show the variability in PDSI through time (Fig. and degree of urbanization to result in similar impacts. but these same locations act independent from each other during individual dry or wet years as well as during a period of multiple wet years (Peters et al. topography. Although all locations had at least one drought year (negative PDSI). Weaver & Albertson. also called press disturbances.gov/. it is known that synchronicity in ecosystem dynamics occurred at the regional scale during this drought. and the results showed high losses in grass recovery throughout the region (Albertson & Weaver. These results suggest that broad-scale drivers can have different influences on connectivity and ecological dynamics depending on changes in magnitude and duration of the driver. Fig. 2011). submitted). 1942. Impacts of the event tend to be linearly related to the intensity or magnitude of the driver. although comparable multi-site data across the country for this historical period do not exist.. 1965). 2.ncep. can occur for years to decades or centuries. Recent studies show that plant production can be synchronized at the landscape scale during long-term drought. Synchronization occurs when a driver of low intensity over a large spatial extent for a long period of time (thick blue line) overwhelms fine-scale heterogeneity in landscape structure of vegetation. However. 1940). as well as the local Available Water Content (AWC) of the soil (Palmer..

2007).. These patterns in emissions are reflected in continental-scale patterns in atmospheric deposition.com .216 The Systemic Dimension of Globalization Other examples of spatial synchronization in magnitude of drivers include higher human population density in the eastern US causing higher total sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions compared to the West (Driscoll et al. 4c. For example. The largest decreases in atmospheric deposition of nitrogen in the past several decades has occurred in the east (Fig. 2003). 4a. Synchronicity in climate drivers across the West (excluding California) and Midwest is shown by negative values during the drought of the 1930s (between red lines). d) as a result of the Clean Air Act and greater reductions in fossil fuel emissions at that broad scale (Peters et al. Studies of effects of broad-scale synchronicity in deposition of nutrients limiting to plants and animals are needed to determine if ecological responses are also synchronized or if they are dependent on fine-scale heterogeneity in other drivers and ecological patterns and processes. Fig. 2011)..b).. 2011). Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) through time from 1895 to 2008 for nine sites selected to cover the continental US and to represent major ecosystem types (background colors). Emissions of sulfur dioxide are the result of coal-fired electric utilities in the east (Dennis et al. Emissions of nitrogen oxides result from electric utilities and transportation sources in the east whereas ammonia emissions are higher in the west due to agricultural activities (Driscoll et al. 3.intechopen. nitrogen in precipitation is higher in the east compared to the northwest (Fig.. www.

Atmospheric deposition of nitrogen in precipitation as (a) and (c) volume weighted concentration (mg/L) and (b) and (d) wet deposition (kg/ha). Top panels are long-term averages. Original data from http://nadp. In both examples. 2005) such that the severity of impact was negatively related to distance from the source of the event. but lose intensity include tsunamis and volcanoes. The tsunami in December 2004 resulted from a 9. 4. Closer locations to the earthquake were devastated by the impact of the wave regardless of land. a high intensity event occurs within short time period of days to weeks over a fairly large area that then propagates spatially. The rate of spread decreased through time and space (Merrifield et al. 1984) can propagate globally. However.com .intechopen. (2011).ecotrends. The interaction between a driver and fine-scale ecological and transport processes results in no relationship between driver intensity or magnitude and ecological impact.0 magnitude earthquake that influenced a large area under the Indian Ocean (Fig.. the rate of spread slows down and dissipates over time with an attenuation in intensity of impacts. Through time. 3. Figure from Peters et al. Examples of broad-scale pulses that propagate spatially. 5).uiuc. 6b). these broad- scale “pulse” events (Bender et al.or seascape structure. Resources. Synthesized data from http://www. 6a)..2 Attenuation of ecological responses across scales The second case occurs when a very high intensity driver occurs over a relatively short time period (days to weeks) to initially impact a large area (Fig. often to impact global systems. Fine-scale heterogeneity in landscape structure becomes increasingly important to the ecological response as the intensity of the driver decreases in time and space. impact decreased and structures in the www. As distance from the source increased.Globalization: Ecological Consequences of Global-Scale Connectivity in People.edu/.sws. An extremely high intensity wave and the following successive waves were spread globally within 44 hours (Fig. and Information 217 Fig.info. Bottom panels are slopes of regressions through time where positive values are pink and negative values are blue.

sulfur dioxide in the ash from the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines combined with water vapor in the upper atmosphere to reflect sunlight back to the atmosphere. and geologic formations were more effective at minimizing the impact to both ecological and human-dominated systems (Fernando & McCulley. low intensity drivers over a small spatial extent interact with properties of the ecological system to modify pattern-process relationships through time and space (Fig. 3. the propagation of these impacts and their high intensity with pulses of material inputs need to be examined within the broader context of global change drivers interacting across scales. forests.4 to 0. Fig. Attenuation occurs when a very high intensity driver occurs over a relatively short time period (days to weeks) over a large area (thick blue line).3 Amplification of ecological responses across scales In the third case. 2005). marshes. However. and decrease in air surface temperatures globally 0. Similarly. Effects of multi-year temperature decreases and atmospheric inputs to ecological systems are unknown and not well- recognized as to their potential importance because these are rare events. 5. Through time.218 The Systemic Dimension of Globalization form of vegetation.5oC for several years. buildings. these broad-scale “pulse” events dissipate and attenuate spatially. Ecological effects of volcanic eruptions can be indirect as a result of interactions across scales.com .intechopen. For example. 6c). This dense cloud closed European air space and affected air travel globally. the Icelandic volcano of 2010 spewed an ash cloud over much of the Northern Hemisphere within several weeks (Fig. www. Fine-scale heterogeneity in landscape structure becomes increasingly important to the ecological response as the intensity of the driver decreases in time and space. Magnitude of impact is not linearly related to driver characteristics.

. the interaction of these patterns with broad-scale drivers. Images from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (http://noaa.gov). 6. connectivity. The dominant process changes through time to result in threshold dynamics and qualitatively different kinds and rates of change than were involved in the initial interaction (Peters et al. This framework based on spatial nonlinearities complements antecedent concepts about the rate and spatial pattern of change by relating fine-scale processes to drivers and feedbacks at broader extents.com . www. 2004a). Daily layers from 14-25 April 2010 combined into one image. and Information 219 7).gov. (a) Tsunami in 2004 in the Indian Ocean began as 9. Initial spread was governed by physical processes whereas impact through time became increasingly influenced by landscape structure and biotic processes. and flows within and among fine. Fig. Resources.Globalization: Ecological Consequences of Global-Scale Connectivity in People. 2009). As the intensity dissipated.0 magnitude earthquake that (b) propagated globally within 44 hours (darker oceanic colors indicate greater intensity). The result is that ecological responses propagate non-linearly to affect a broad spatial extent as a result of transport processes at multiple scales. The thresholds indicate that distinct exogenous processes or endogenous positive feedbacks are governing rates of change.metoffice.intechopen. (c) Icelandic volcano in 2010 exhibited high intensity dynamics followed by global transmission and dissipation of intensity and energy through time and space “(darker colors indicate greater intensity).to meso-scale units. Based on maps found at http://www. the ecological and societal impacts decreased. and feedbacks among these elements across scales (Okin et al. The rate of propagation of fine-scale changes to broader spatial scales depends on the spatial configuration.uk/ aviation/vaac/vaacu)..

Of these.. although the band of landfall can stretch to central Texas. For example. disturbance)... Williamson et al. These cross-scale interactions can result in surprising behavior that cannot be predicted based on historical drivers or local inputs. A shift to a new stage results in the crossing of a threshold and fundamental change in the behavior of the storm (Landsea et al. 4. 1993). resources. For example.intechopen. 2004b).. 2008. water and sediment redistribution from small river channels to the ocean. Large fires often generate their own weather that leads to multiple ignition sources with inputs to the atmosphere that connects broad spatial extents (Fig. 9c). 2006b. 9b). similar to wildfire and other cascading events (Fig. Yellowstone National Park). and information by a variety of transport vectors (animals. and desertification dynamics from small. the challenges associated with understanding and predicting these complex dynamics are also increasing. Approaches to understanding and prediction of connected systems As evidence mounts that ecological systems are becoming increasingly connected through the transport of materials. Crowl et al. each storm is influenced by the atmospheric conditions at the time such that each follows its own storm track. However. 9a). water.. Furthermore. transport of materials from adjacent and non- adjacent locations should first be examined for importance relative to local inputs (Peters et al. future hurricanes that connect deserts in North America with northwestern Africa under climate change are under-appreciated.. This surprising amount of rainfall initiated perennial grass recruitment events with legacy effects to the present (Peters et al. 2008. Landsea. 2007.. yet may provide explanations for extreme system behavior and opportunities for future regime shifts or the development of novel ecosystems (Hobbs et al. in rare cases. Some African thunderstorms move off-shore to create tropical depressions in the Atlantic Ocean (Avila & Clark 1989). 8a. wind. 8b). some develop into tropical storms and some storms build into sufficient intensity and extent to develop into hurricanes that strike the coast of North America. 2001. Although Hurricane Dolly did not start in western Africa. 9a).g. Because errors of commission increase with the number of measurements. small thunderstorms in northwestern Africa can develop through time into hurricanes that influence North America after passing through a series of storm stages with increasing intensity and spatial extent (Fig. Most hurricanes follow a landfall track similar to Hurricane Hugo (Fig. a hurricane can hit land in extreme southern Texas and move to the northwest before heading eastward (Fig. 2006). If redistribution across locations is important to ecological dynamics.. Nonlinear spread of invasive species across continents. isolated patches to inter-continental transport of dust are additional dynamics that follow this model (Allen. then there are four main approaches to measuring or sampling both local inputs and fluxes or flows through time across a defined spatial extent: (1) Cross-location comparisons of existing data can provide important insights into patterns in driver and response data that may be www... submitted). 2008). Fig. including teleconnections between storms in Africa and the El Niño Southern Oscillation in the tropical Pacific (Glantz et al. 1998). Hurricane Dolly in 2008 created extremely wet summer conditions as far inland as the Chihuahuan deserts of North America with 86% of the total annual rainfall falling in July (Fig.com . 1991). often from lightning or human causes. 9) (Dunn.220 The Systemic Dimension of Globalization Examples of this behavior that can emerge across scales include wildfire that starts with a single ignition source. Marshall et al. Goldenberg et al. 1940. and cascades to influence large landscapes (e. Each stage is controlled by a different set of physical-atmospheric-chemical processes.. Peters et al.

Fay et al.. Most experiments to-date are short-term (< 5 years) and have focused on local inputs rather than the horizontal transport of materials (e.com .. wind erosion.. These feedbacks amplify the influence of the driver. in particular transport processes at multiple. synchronized across locations (e. Most ecosystems models simulate local climate inputs. Li et al. 2008).. 3. Heisler-White et al. 2004a) The result is that ecological responses propagate non-linearly to affect a broad spatial extent (increasingly thicker red arrows).. 4). 2000l.. Amplification occurs when low intensity drivers interact with properties of the ecological system.Globalization: Ecological Consequences of Global-Scale Connectivity in People.. hundreds of long-term data sets from 50 sites in the US were examined in this screening approach to determine both broad-scale patterns in drivers and responses. Analyses can also be used to determine if responses at one location are correlated with drivers or responses at another location as an indicator of synchronicity. 2008. interacting scales. 2004. 2009). and Information 221 Fig. Driver intensity is low until land-atmosphere interactions become the dominant process that feed back to fine-scale patterns and processes. Okin.intechopen.g. (4) www. O’Brien et al. 7. 2011). 2009a. and to tease apart the relative importance of local inputs and transport of materials. 2008. 2010. to modify pattern-process relationships through time and space (Peters et al. Figs.. and potential connectivity among locations (Peters. and hydrologic models examine the importance of transport to ecological dynamics (Daly et al. Resources. 2007).. Ivanov et al. 2008. 2009b) and tracer experiments used in streams (Mulholland et al. (2) Experimental manipulations can be used to examine the role of similar events of a driver in different systems across a range of scales. although fire spread models. Recently.. (3) Simulation models can be used to compare dynamics within and among ecosystem types to a variety of drivers.. Notable exceptions are experiments that modify vegetation structure in order to alter resource redistribution (Jones & Post.g. Peters et al.

Moran et al..g. 2011).g.. dry winds: at least one fire grew 10.intechopen. Fires in southern California in October 2003 were fueled by hot. In the US. (a) Small ignition sources (e. 8.nasa. 2011).000 acres in just 6 hours (http://earthobservatory.. a lightning strike) can initiate a wildfire that spreads nonlinearly to influence very large landscapes (Allen.. 2008). 2006.222 The Systemic Dimension of Globalization One of the most promising approaches is provided by network-level observatories that collect similar types of measurements in similar ways (Peters. Comparable standardization in cyberinfrastructure is being developed to promote data and metadata protocols for archival and retrieval that are necessary for open data access and multi-site comparisons globally (Reichman et al. www. Multi-site comparisons of historic data have proven to be very insightful (Lugo et al. The 2009 fire in Yellowstone National Park started by lightning on 13 September grew to 9300 ha by 1 October. 2007). the National Ecological Observatory Network). and have led to the development of emerging networks with standardized data protocols across diverse ecosystems (e..com .gov).. these national-level networks include sites operated by the USDA Forest Service and Agricultural Research Service. Fig. continents. (b) Multiple ignition sources are common as fires increase in size regionally with large smoke and particulate plumes released to the atmosphere to connect region. and the globe. 2010). Photo taken from the International Space Station looking southwest towards Teton Range showing Yellowstone Lake in center with reflection of smoke plume (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov). and the Long Term Ecological Research Program (Peters et al.

(a) Hurricanes in North America start as thunderstorms in west Africa that move off-shore to create tropical depressions.csc.edu).intechopen. a tropical storm results that continues to build until a hurricane develops.noaa. Resources. Each stage is driven by a different set of linked atmospheric-oceanic processes with thresholds occurring between stages (http://maps. As the depression builds in size and intensity.atmos/uiuc. and Information 223 Fig. 9.Globalization: Ecological Consequences of Global-Scale Connectivity in People. Hurricanes are one example of an amplification event that starts small and propagates nonlinearly through time and space to influence very large areas that can connect continents on non-intuitive ways. http://ww2010.com . (b) Although most hurricanes follow a similar track as www.gov.

. & Weaver. (c) For example. Simulation models with an explicit consideration of thresholds and cross-scale interactions of the linked land-atmosphere- surface water system will be required for prediction. Conclusions In an era of globalization. J. and how the different elements of the Earth System are connected. Under such a highly connected system. factors that influence rainfall in the Gulf of Mexico may be equally important as local drivers to future extreme rainfall events in the Chihuahuan Desert and the American Southwest regions.224 The Systemic Dimension of Globalization Hurricane Hugo. and accessibility tools are on the near horizon that will allow global information transfer and use that are needed for synthesis (Carpenter et al. Experimental manipulations across locations and biomes that include transport vectors at multiple scales are critically needed. Jin Yao assisted in figure preparation. These hurricanes (e. Reference Albertson. hurricanes begin in the Gulf of Mexico and strike land in extremely south Texas and move to the northwest before heading east. F. such as precipitation. in some cases..com . 2009). it is imperative that ecologists consider the possibility that local inputs are not governing observed dynamics. submitted). 7. Conceptualizing ecological systems as inter-connected across many scales in the Earth System is one way to explain this high variation. extremely high precipitation amounts leading to unusual grass recruitment in the Chihuahuan Desert in 2008 resulted from a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Three classes of events were described here as ways to accomplish this shift in thinking and application. Future research is needed to identify where.hpc. 5. Acknowledgements Funding support was provided by the National Science Foundation to New Mexico State University as part of the Jornada Basin Long Term Ecological Research Program (DEB- 0618210). 12.ncep.. These challenges are large. www.intechopen. Infrequent connectivity between locations on different continents may become more common in the future as the intensity of hurricanes increases with climate change.gov/) can result in very large amounts of rainfall over short periods of time in locations that are typically very dry.g. but the development of cyberinfrastructure software. and may overwhelm dynamics driven historically by local rainfall inputs. 6.W. apparent impacts of local climate change will require an examination of drivers in non-contiguous locations across the globe. with high unexplained variation. 23-51. This large pulse of rainfall resulted in a broad-scale perennial grass recruitment event that has persisted to the present (Peters et al.noaa. This realization will require a “mind shift” away from the traditional approaches of relating ecological dynamics to local drivers.. Ecologists need to be ready (conceptually and quantitatively) to take full advantage of these tools. History of the native vegetation of western Kansas during seven years of continuous drought. when. For example.edu ).nmsu. Hurricane Dolly produced 86% of the total annual rainfall in one month in locations in the Chihuahuan Desert (http://usda-ars. (1942). Ecological Monographs. hardware. In this example. but rather that the redistribution of materials from adjacent or non-contiguous locations are overwhelming these local effects.E. Hurricane Dolly: http://www.

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The book The Systemic Dimension of Globalization consists of 14 chapters divided into three sections: Globalization and Complex Systems. The Systemic Dimension of Globalization.intechopen. Prof. China 51000 Rijeka. 288 pages Publisher InTech Published online 01. August. Globalization and Natural Systems. Shanghai. Office Block. The Systemic Dimension of Globalization Edited by Prof. Available from: http://www.C. 2011 Today science is moving in the direction of synthesis of the achievements of various academic disciplines. Peters (2011). Yan An Road (West). Piotr Pachura (Ed. 2011 Published in print edition August. Globalization and Social Systems. The Authors of respective chapters represent a great diversity of disciplines and methodological approaches as well as a variety of academic culture. Croatia Phone: +385 (51) 770 447 Phone: +86-21-62489820 Fax: +385 (51) 686 166 Fax: +86-21-62489821 www. 200040.). Resources. and Information.com/books/the-systemic-dimension-of- globalization/globalization-ecological-consequences-of-global-scale-connectivity-in-people-resources-and- informati InTech Europe InTech China University Campus STeP Ri Unit 405. Hotel Equatorial Shanghai Slavka Krautzeka 83/A No. Piotr Pachura ISBN 978-953-307-384-2 Hard cover. a multidimensional approach to globalization phenomenon is an ambitious undertaking. This is the value of this book and this merit will be appreciated by a global community of scholars.65. How to reference In order to correctly reference this scholarly work. The idea to prepare and present to the international academic milieu. feel free to copy and paste the following: Debra P.com .intechopen. InTech. Globalization: Ecological Consequences of Global-Scale Connectivity in People. ISBN: 978- 953-307-384-2.