Brian Beckage

Brian Beckage
University of Vermont | UVM · Department of Plant Biology

About

114
Publications
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4,120
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Publications

Publications (114)
Article
Full-text available
High-resolution, daily precipitation climate products that realistically represent extremes are critical for evaluating local-scale climate impacts. A popular bias-correction method, empirical quantile mapping (EQM), can generally correct distributional discrepancies between simulated climate variables and observed data but can be highly sensitive...
Article
Full-text available
The ecological and evolutionary processes that allow alien species to establish and dominate native communities (i.e., become invasive) have been a rich area of research. Past areas of inquiry have included identifying the traits necessary to invade a community and/or determining how phylogenetic relatedness of the introduced species with the resid...
Article
Full-text available
Efficacious use of riparian buffers (RBs) is a mitigation strategy that can protect water quality in the face of climate change and agricultural intensification. We investigated the efficacy of RBs in reducing phosphorus (P) and identified effective RB designs using two quantitative meta-analytic approaches, i.e., traditional random-effects meta-an...
Article
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With mounting scientific evidence demonstrating adverse global climate change (GCC) impacts to water quality, water quality policies, such as the Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) under the U.S. Clean Water Act, have begun accounting for GCC effects in setting nutrient load-reduction policy targets. These targets generally require nutrient reductio...
Article
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Understanding possible climate futures that include carbon dioxide removal (CDR) and solar radiation modification (SRM) requires thinking not just about staying within the remaining carbon budget, but also about politics and people. However, despite growing interest in CDR and SRM, scenarios focused on these potential responses to climate change te...
Article
Most inland water bodies are not resolved by General Circulation Models, requiring that lake surface temperatures be estimated. Given the large spatial and temporal variability of the North American Great Lakes’ surface temperatures, such estimations can introduce errors when used as lower boundary conditions for dynamical downscaling. Lake surface...
Article
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Our ability to predict the outcome of invasion declines rapidly as non-native species progress through intertwined ecological barriers to establish and spread in recipient ecosystems. This is largely due to the lack of systemic knowledge on key processes at play as species establish self-sustaining populations within the invaded range. To address t...
Article
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessments (IPCC) Special Report on 1.5°C of global warming is clear. Nearly all pathways that hold global warming well below 2°C involve carbon removal (IPCC, 2015). In addition, solar geoengineering is being considered as a potential tool to offset warming, especially to limit temperature until negat...
Article
Objectives Information on the prevalence of face mask use to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2 is needed to model disease spread and to assess the effectiveness of policies that encourage face mask use. We sought to (1) estimate the prevalence of face mask use in northern Vermont and (2) assess the effect of age and sex on the likelihood of face mask...
Article
Full-text available
High-resolution, bias-corrected climate data is necessary for climate impact studies at local scales. Gridded historical data is convenient for bias-correction but may contain biases resulting from interpolation. Long-term, quality-controlled station data represent true climatological measurements, but as the distribution of climate stations is irr...
Article
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While climate models have rapidly advanced in sophistication over recent decades, they lack dynamic representation of human behavior and social systems despite strong feedbacks between social processes and climate. The impacts of climate change alter perceptions of risk and emissions behavior that, in turn, influence the rate and magnitude of clima...
Article
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We investigate phase transitions associated with three control methods for epidemics on small world networks. Motivated by the behavior of SARS-CoV-2, we construct a theoretical SIR model of a virus that exhibits presymptomatic, asymptomatic, and symptomatic stages in two possible pathways. Using agent-based simulations on small world networks, we...
Article
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The length of time that carbon remains in forest biomass is one of the largest uncertainties in the global carbon cycle, with both recent historical baselines and future responses to environmental change poorly constrained by available observations. In the absence of large-scale observations, models used for global assessments tend to fall back on...
Preprint
Full-text available
Objectives Information on prevalence of face mask usage in response to SARS-CoV-2 is required to both model disease spread and to improve compliance with mask usage. We sought to (1) estimate the prevalence of mask usage in northern Vermont and to (2) assess the effect of age and sex on mask usage. Methods We monitored the entrances to businesses...
Preprint
We investigate the efficacy of three social distancing controls on the spread of SARS-CoV-2 using an agent based SIR model on a small world network structure: 1) Global social distancing with a fixed probability of adherence. 2) Individually initiated social isolation when a threshold number of contacts are infected. 3) Use of personal protective e...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Montane environments are sentinels of global change, providing unique opportunities to assess impacts on species diversity. Multiple anthropogenic stressors such as climate change and atmospheric pollution may act concurrently or synergistically in restructuring communities. Thus, a major challenge for conservation is untangling the relative im...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract. The length of time that carbon remains in forest biomass is one of the largest uncertainties in the global carbon cycle, with both recent-historical baselines and future responses to environmental change poorly constrained by available observations. In the absence of large-scale observations, models tend to fall back on simplified assumpt...
Article
Full-text available
The Lake Champlain Basin has socioeconomic and ecological significance for the Northeastern United States and Quebec, Canada. Temperatures and extreme precipitation events have been increasing across this region over the past three decades. Accurate, high-resolution climate simulations are critical to assessing potential climate change risk in the...
Chapter
North America supports a very wide variety of savanna ecosystems. The woody components of these savannas range from tall pine trees to wide‐branched oaks to sagebrush shrubs no more than a meter in height. This chapter provides a brief overview of the many different kinds of North American savannas. After clarifying some definitions and briefly des...
Chapter
Savannas are terrestrial biomes typically characterized by the coexistence of grasses and woody plants. Two broad physiognomies can be distinguished in savannas on the basis of the presence or absence of a woody overstory. This chapter establishes a conceptual framework that describes how savanna maintenance mechanisms (SMMs) vary with water availa...
Article
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General circulation models (GCMs) are essential for projecting future climate; however, despite the rapid advances in their ability to simulate the climate system at increasing spatial resolution, GCMs cannot capture the local and regional weather dynamics necessary for climate impacts assessments. Temperature and precipitation, for which dense obs...
Article
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The search for traits associated with plant invasiveness has yielded contradictory results, in part because most previous studies have failed to recognize that different traits are important at different stages along the introduction–naturalization–invasion continuum. Here we show that across six different habitat types in temperate Central Europe,...
Article
Aims We aim to understand how small-scale genotypic richness and genotypic interactions influence the biomass and potential invasiveness of the invasive grass, Phalaris arundinacea under two different disturbance treatments: intact plots and disturbed plots, where all the native vegetation has been removed. Specifically, we address the following qu...
Article
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Although not considered in climate models, perceived risk stemming from extreme climate events may induce behavioural changes that alter greenhouse gas emissions. Here, we link the C-ROADS climate model to a social model of behavioural change to examine how interactions between perceived risk and emissions behaviour influence projected climate chan...
Article
Vegetation systems with varying levels of tree cover are widely distributed globally, but the determinants of vegetation and tree cover still lack a consistent global framework. How these systems’ distribution responds to spatial variability of climate seasonality and associated fire regimes therefore remains unclear. Here, we focus on tree cover d...
Article
The northeastern United States has experienced a large increase in precipitation over recent decades. Annual and seasonal changes of total and extreme precipitation from station observations in the Northeast were assessed over multiple time periods spanning 1901-2014. Spatially averaged, both annual total and extreme precipitation across the Northe...
Poster
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In this study, we explored trait differences among native, naturalized and invasive species in a range of habitat types. We asked whether the naturalized and invasive species are different from the native species if their traits are considered (i) separately and (ii) together in multivariate trait space. To answer these questions, we used 24,935 ve...
Data
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The Coupled impacts of climate and land use change across a river–lake continuum: insights from an integrated assessment model of Lake Champlain's Missisquoi Basin, 2000–2040 supplementary data article
Article
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Global climate change (GCC) is projected to bring higher-intensity precipitation and higher-variability temperature regimes to the Northeastern United States. The interactive effects of GCC with anthropogenic land use and land cover changes (LULCCs) are unknown for watershed level hydrological dynamics and nutrient fluxes to freshwater lakes. Incre...
Article
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Natural fires ignited by lightning strikes following droughts frequently are posited as the ecological mechanism maintaining discontinuous tree cover and grass-dominated ground layers in savannas. Such fires, however, may not reliably maintain humid savannas. We propose that savanna trees producing pyrogenic shed leaves might engineer fire characte...
Article
Natural fires ignited by lightning strikes following droughts frequently are posited as the ecological mechanism maintaining discontinuous tree cover and grass-dominated ground layers in savannas. Such fires, however, may not reliably maintain humid savannas. We propose that savanna trees producing pyrogenic shed leaves might engineer fire characte...
Poster
Water quality of lakes has high social, ecological and economic relevance. Detailed forecasting tools for simulating lake dynamics have been developed and depend on inputs of weather conditions. The ability of scientists to provide future scenarios of lake water quality relies therefore on climate projections. The data produced by Global Climate Mo...
Article
Full-text available
The mountain regions of the northeastern United States are a critical socioeconomic resource for Vermont, New York State, New Hampshire, Maine, and southern Quebec. While global climate models (GCMs) are important tools for climate change risk assessment at regional scales, even the increased spatial resolution of statistically downscaled GCMs (com...
Article
Forest Transition Theory (FTT) suggests that reforestation may follow deforestation as a result of and interplay between changing social, economic and ecological conditions. We develop a simplistic but empirically data driven land use transition agent-based modeling platform, interactive land use transition agent-based model (ILUTABM), that is able...
Data
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Figure S1. Distribution of the different patterns of plasticity of the traits within each study.
Article
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Adaptation to heterogeneous environments can occur via phenotypic plasticity, but how often this occurs is unknown. Reciprocal transplant studies provide a rich dataset to address this issue in plant populations because they allow for a determination of the prevalence of plastic versus canalized responses. From 31 reciprocal transplant studies, we...
Presentation
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Measuring The Climate Change Impact on Water Quality Using a Weather Generator Pegasus Workflow. In continuation of the ongoing efforts to understanding the climate change impact on Lake Champlain basin, we present the current status: Our previous efforts have successfully linked human and natural system with climate-change and human drivers using...
Article
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We present evidence of increasing persistence in daily precipitation in the Northeastern United States that suggests global circulation changes are affecting regional precipitation patterns. Meteorological data from 222 stations in 10 Northeastern states are analyzed using Markov Chain parameter estimates to demonstrate that a significant mode of p...
Article
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This analysis uses over 50 years of hourly observations of temperature, relative humidity, and opaque cloud cover and daily precipitation from 11 climate stations across the Canadian Prairies to analyze the monthly, seasonal and long-term climate coupling in the warm season. On climate timescales, temperature depends on cloud forcing, while relativ...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Research on savanna ecosystems has largely focused on tropical savannas to the exclusion of savannas in temperate and high latitude regions. We examine the possibility of generalizing to savannas outside of the tropics recent findings that show that tree cover in the tropics exhibits a bimodal distribution of either hi...
Article
Full-text available
The Lake Champlain basin is a critical ecological and socioeconomic resource of the northeastern United States and southern Quebec, Canada. While general circulation models (GCMs) provide an overview of climate change in the region, they lack the spatial and temporal resolution necessary to fully anticipate the effects of rising global temperatures...
Article
Full-text available
Due to the inherent uncertainty in predicting the evolution of phase-spaces in social-ecological systems (SESs), these systems cannot be “optimally” managed through top-down, command and control type of governance designs. Instead, generalized autocatalytic set theory, a type of network and complexity theory with foundations in mathematical graph t...
Article
of terrestrial carbon (C) dynamics must account for interannual variation in ecosystem C exchange associated with climate change, increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration, and species dynamics. We used a dynamic ecosystem model to (i) project the potential dynamics of C in New England forests under nine climate change scenarios (CCSs) for the 21st...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
[No full text available] Background/Question/Methods Plants are able to create and maintain successful phenotypes in different environments and under heterogeneous conditions. The phenotypic adjustment to environmental variation could be explained by the interaction between the environment and genotype (phenotypic plasticity) or as a consequence...
Conference Paper
The primary objective of this study is to identify macro emergent phenomena pertaining to landuse transitions within the Missisquoi Watershed, Vermont, by accounting for land managers' landuse decision making processes with respect to landscape characteristics, climate change scenarios and public policies. Due to the heterogeneity and the complexit...
Chapter
The predictability of many complex systems is limited by computational irreducibility, but we argue that the nature of computational irreducibility varies across physical, biological and human social systems. We suggest that the computational irreducibility of biological and social systems is distinguished from physical systems by functional contin...
Article
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Global change may induce shifts in plant community distributions at multiple spatial scales. At the ecosystem scale, such shifts may result in movement of ecotones or vegetation boundaries. Most indicators for ecosystem change require timeseries data, but here a new method is proposed enabling inference of vegetation boundary movement from one ‘sna...
Article
Projections of vegetation distribution that incorporate the transient responses of vegetation to climate change are likely to be more efficacious than those that assume an equilibrium between climate and vegetation. We examine the non-equilibrium dynamics of a temperate forest region under historic and projected future climate change using the dyna...
Article
Full-text available
Citation: Beckage, B., L. J. Gross, and S. Kauffman. 2011. The limits to prediction in ecological systems. Ecosphere 2(11):125. Abstract. Predicting the future trajectories of ecological systems is increasingly important as the magnitude of anthropogenic perturbation of the earth systems grows. We distinguish between two types of predictability: th...