A systems approach to modeling effects of climate and land-use change on prairie wetland ecosystems

Science Center Objects

This effort is focused on developing an process-based, systems model for prairie-pothole wetlands to facilitate forecasts of how climate and land-use change will influence wetland processes and biota. The Pothole Hydrology Linked System Simulator model (PHyLiSS) simulates changes in hydrology, water chemistry, plant communities, invertebrates and other biota as a result of altered temperature and precipitation inputs. We use extensive biotic and abiotic datasets from the Missouri Coteau Wetland Ecosystem Observatory to parameterize, calibrate, and validate the model. Once completed, we will use PHyLiSS to explore questions related to: (1) how changes in climate will affect water levels and hydroperiods of prairie-pothole wetlands; (2) how these hydrological changes will influence wetland chemical characteristics; (3) how plant communities, aquatic invertebrates, amphibians, waterfowl and other biota will likely respond; (4) how alternate land uses will interact with climate to alter wetland processes, and; (5) how potential effects might be mitigated.