Next week is big for us! We have lots o PalEON work to check out at CANQUA/AMQUA and ESA.  

CANQUA/AMQUA Presentations

Connor NolanSaturday, August 119:20 AMRoom BA new multiarchive record of Holocene vegetation and climate in Maine: droughts, declines, and disturbances
Andria DawsonSaturday, August 1111:20 AMRoom BReconstructing land cover: a spatio-temporal approach to estimate past forest composition from fossil pollen records

ESA Presentations

Neil PedersonMonday, August 62:10 PM346-347Strange days and their changeling legacies in the life of trees in temperate mesic forests 
Jason McLachlanMonday, August 63:30 PM244Why we need statistical models of  paleodata  to predict the future
Mathias TrachselTuesday, August 78:20 AMESA Exhibit Hall; Poster 15-51Reconstructing settlement-era forest composition for the northeastern US: A comparison of pollen vegetation models STEPPS and LOVE/REVEALS
Bethany BlakelyWednesday, August 810:50 AM333-334 Forest transition reduces surface temperature by altering biophysical properties in second-growth canopies 
Kelly HeilmanWednesday, August 810:10 AM348-349Tree growth in a changing world: Factors mediating the effects of CO2 on tree ring growth and Water Use Efficiency 
Christy RollinsonThursday, August 92:30 PM333-334Connecting pattern and process: Climate-driven shifts in composition facilitate biomass stability over the past millennium 
Kevin BurkeThursday, August 93:40 PM333-334A comparison of climatic mechanisms and plant community novelty in North America and Europe from the last glacial maximum to present

10th World Dendro Conference Re-cap

Post by Ann Raiho, Kelly Heilman, and Andria Dawson. This post is cross-listed on the McLachlan lab website.

The 10th World Dendro Conference was held in Bhutan this summer! A Dendro Fieldweek was held the week prior to the conference where individuals learned about dendrochronology and reconstructing climate from tree rings, forest ecology and forest dynamics.  PalEON had 4 participants including two grad students from the McLachlan lab.  Below are the impressions and experiences from McLachlan members, Ann Raiho and Kelly Heilman and PalEONista, Andria Dawson.

Ann’s Impressions
Bhutan was an excellent destination for World Dendro for many reasons, mainly the country’s unique perspective on forest conservation. Bhutan is the only country in the world that could be considered carbon neutral or even carbon negative because of the amount of forest that the country preserves. Over 70% of Bhutan is forested and will remain so for the foreseeable future. The fourth king set in place a mandate that the country should always remain 70% forests. So many trees! Furthermore, Ed Cook and Paul Krusic have been working in Bhutan for over 25 years and have helped the Bhutanese establish a proliferate tree-ring lab that has been in operation since 2001.

Bhutan is known as the Land of the Thunder Dragon. The Bhutan flag (right) shows an image of Druk, the Thunder Dragon

I attended the Dendro Fieldweek. Around 30 international students and 20 Bhutanese students traveled 14 hours by bus to Bhumthang, Bhutan where there is a field station located next to the first queen’s palace.

Views from the Bus

The field week consisted of field work, tree ring analysis, and presentations of findings. There were groups working on dendroecology, dendrohydrology, and blue light intensity measurements. The dendroecology group was led by PalEONista, Neil Pederson!

Mounting and Measuring Tree Cores

Tree Cookies

We explored the relationship between fir and hemlock along an elevational gradient and found that fir growth may be more sensitive to increasing temperature. At the end of the week everyone presented in their groups, my group’s presentation was about dendroecology and how you can incorporate disturbance history and biomass estimates to tell a story about the forest’s development.  I snuck some LINKAGES (forest gap model) runs in to show how ecosystem models can be used in conjunction with tree ring data to learn about limiting resources over successional time scales. Our final night at the field station was spent dancing around a bonfire in traditional Bhutanese fashion (pinky’s locked together to form a circle) and singing karaoke.

Exploring the Forests of Bhutan

Kelly’s Impressions
A traditional Marchang ceremony opened the conference and kicked off a fun dendro-filled week.The first section of talks discussed fusing both forest inventory analyses and dendrochronology methods and included awesome talks from two of our own PalEON members (Ann and Andria Dawson). Throughout the week, I learned about researchers around the world using dendrochronology to reconstruct volcanic events, to explore past human-environment interactions, and to better understand the impacts of earthquakes of forest disturbances. My favorite section was the encouragingly large dendroecology section (I’m biased), which discussed quantifying forest disturbances, the impacts of management and land-use on tree growth, and ultimately exploring how ecological variation might affect growth-climate relationships. I gave a talk in this section titled “Anthropogenic changes impact drought sensitivity across a savanna-forest biome boundary,” which highlighted results showing that both stand structure changes and increases in CO2boundary can impact drought sensitivity at the savanna-forest boundary.

To wrap up the conference, Soumaya Belmecheri gave a stellar Florence Hawley Diversity Lecture that blended both her research reconciling the differences observed between tree ring data and Eddy Flux data and an eloquent call for supporting greater diversity in dendrochronology. In between our packed conference schedule and before leaving Bhutan, we squeezed in some culture and exploration. My favorites were the traditional dancing at the conference banquet, venturing up to the massive Buddha, trekking up to Taktsang Buddhist monastery (aka “Tiger’s Nest”) with Andria, and eating all the spicy ema datshi and momos possible!

Some short hikes brought us to amazing views! Left: views from the large Buddha temple in Thimphu. Middle: Buddha Dordenma statue. Right: A large prayer wheel on the way up to Taktsang monastery near Paro. Look closely at the prayer wheel and you’ll see one of the friendly dogs that accompanied us on our hikes and always found the best napping places!

Hiking to Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest) with Andria. Taktsang monastery is located on a cliffside around 10,000 ft elevation. We enjoyed the pine forests, prayer flags, and views of the valley on the way up!

Andria’s Impressions
Bhutan has undergone a wave of modernization over the last 40 years. They are now at a point in time where they have the infrastructure to conduct and disseminate scientific research. Ed and Paul have been working in collaboration with Bhutanese colleagues for some time; however, there is still a lot to learn about the forests of Bhutan (and how they fit into our global perspective of the biosphere). Our Bhutanese colleagues at the conferences continued to emphasize their commitment to collaboration with international colleagues.

I want to thank the people of the Kingdom of Bhutan for welcoming us. Their generosity and profound appreciation for the environment and all living things has had a profound impact on my perspective of life and humanity. Bhutan, you are far away (from North America) but never forgotten.

Left: PalEON Pals, Middle: Traditional Dancers at the Closing Banquet. We all joined later!, Right: A Good Reminder To Go Home With

PalEON at the 2017 Ecological Society of America Meeting

Going to Portland this year?  Check out the PalEONistas who are presenting this year!

PalEON PresenterDateTimeSessionTitle
Simon Goring (session organizer)Monday, August 710:15am-11:30amSS 7Standing on the Shoulders of Clients: Evolving Cyberinfrastructure in the Ecological Sciences
Megan SeeleyTuesday, August 84:30pmPS 26-137Environmental and historical controls on  Fagus grandifolia  settlement-era distributions in the upper Midwest 
Jack WilliamsTuesday, August 84:20pmOOS 14-9Macroecological insights from community-curated data repositories (CCDRs) of paleoecological sites: Neotoma and PalEON
Bethany BlakelyWednesday, August 910:50amCOS 77-9Historic land use increases transpiration and reduces canopy surface temperature through persistent changes in forest composition and structure
Simon GoringWednesday, August 92:50pmCOS 104-5The neotoma database: Recent developments and future directions
Andria DawsonWednesday, August 93:40pmCOS 105-7Estimating changes in prehistoric forest composition from sediment pollen in the Upper Midwestern United States
Kelly HeilmanThursday, August 1010:30amCOS 132-8Stabilization of savanna-forest alternative states to closed forests after ~150 years of land use and climate changes
Christy RollinsonThursday, August 104:00pmCOS 158-8Forest ecosystem stability in a millennium of climate change in terrestrial ecosystem models
Istem FerFriday, August 119:00amOOS 50-4Hierarchical Bayesian calibration of a dynamic vegetation model
Ann RaihoFriday, August 119:20amOOS 50-5Assimilating tree ring and fossil pollen data to improve understanding of unobservable forest processes
Dave MooreFriday, August 119:50amOOS 50-6Combining models and data to understand vegetation function across timescales
Malcolm ItterFriday, August 1110:50amOOS 50-9Assimilation of tree-ring and repeat census data to model interactions between climate and past forest dynamics

PalEON at AGU 2016

If you are going to AGU this year make sure to stop by and check out what PalEON has been working on!

AGU 2016 PalEON schedule color coded by day with lighter colors being posters, darker colors talks

AGU 2016 PalEON schedule color coded by day with lighter colors being posters, darker colors talks

PalEON at ESA and JSM 2015

Post by Jody Peters, PalEON Program Manager

Next week is a big week for PalEON at two meetings, the 100th annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America (ESA) in Baltimore, Maryland, August 9-14, and the Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) in Seattle, Washington, August 8-13.

From the contingent of PalEON-ites at JSM, Colorado State graduate student, John Tipton will be giving both an invited talk and an invited poster on “A multi-scale reconstruction of bivariate paleoclimate from tree rings widths using a biologically motivated growth model.”
The poster is hosted by STATMOS from 9:30-10:15 on Sunday, August 9 and the talk is an invited ASA ENVR Student Paper Awards session from 8:30-10:20 on Tuesday, August 11.

We also have a large number of PalEON-ites that will be going to ESA. Below is the schedule of PalEON talks and posters.

It is going to be a great week of sharing the work PalEON has been doing!

ESA 2015 schedule

2014 AGU PalEON Talks & Poster Schedule

If you are going to be at AGU next week, Dec 15-19. Be sure to see our PalEON-related presentations and posters. We can help fill up your schedule all week as we have people presenting everyday except Wednesday!

There are two PalEON related sessions being led by people in our group.

1. B24B Constraining Ecosystem Carbon Uptake and Long-Term Storage Using Models and Data II
Tuesday, December 16, 4:00 – 6:00 PM in Moscone West, 2002
Conveners: David Moore, Valerie Trouet, Ankur Desai, Michael Dietze

2. PP44B Understanding Uncertainties in Paleoclimate and Paleoecology: Age Models, Proxy Processes, and Beyond II
Thursday, December 18, 4:00 – 6:00 PM in Moscone West, 2010
Conveners: Connor Nolan, John Williams, Lorraine Lisiecki, Deborah Khider

The following is the schedule of PalEON presentations with the title, presenter, and session number. Presentations are color coded by location.

PalEON presentation & poster schedule for AGU 2014. Presentations are color coded by location.

PalEON presentation & poster schedule for AGU 2014. Presentations are color coded by location.

In case you are still looking for ways to fill up your time at AGU, we have a number of PalEON participants that will be discussing other work they are involved with. Drop by to see the range of projects PalEON-ites are up to.

Other, non-PalEON presentations & posters given by PalEON members. Presentations are color coded by location.

Other, non-PalEON presentations & posters given by PalEON members. Presentations are color coded by location.


PalEON Sessions at AGU, December 15-19, 2014


We have a number of PalEONistas leading, co-leading, or giving invited talks for AGU sessions that revolve around topics central to PalEON.  If you are going to the American Geophysical Union conference in December and these sessions are of interest to you, be sure to submit your abstract by Wednesday, August 6!


1. Finding Signal in the Noise: Dealing with Multiple Sources of Uncertainty in Paleoclimate and Paleoecology, Session ID: 3722 

The session is sponsored by Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology and co-sponsored by Biogeosciences,  Global Environmental Change, and Nonlinear Geophysics.

Paleoclimatic and paleoecological proxies contain useful signals of past environmental state and variability that are confounded by multiple forms of uncertainty. Identifying meaningful signals and rigorously quantifying the multiple sources of uncertainty is essential to making inferences about past environments and applying these inferences to validate or improve earth system models or to inform decision-makers. Uncertainty can arise from multiple sources including inexact chronologies, unrepresented processes, uncertainties in the mechanisms that sense and archive past environmental change, and our capacity to describe these processes mathematically. In this session we will explore advances in disentangling this complexity via the use of mechanistic forward models, hierarchical statistical models, and other techniques to make robust inferences about past environments with well-quantified uncertainties.

PalEONistas involved: Jack Williams, Connor Nolan, Andria Dawson, John Tipton

2. Constraining Ecosystem Carbon Uptake and Long Term Storage Using Models and Data, Session ID: 2624

This session will focus on both short and long term processes with controlling ecosystem carbon uptake and storage using both modeling and observational approaches. Find more details HERE.

PalEONistas involved: Dave Moore, Valerie Trouet, Mike Dietze

3. Ecological Disturbance: Observing and Predicting Disturbance Impacts, Session ID: 2482

This session focuses on studies that address the effects of ecological disturbance on carbon, water, and nutrient dynamics, as well as methods for understanding non-equilibrium conditions. Find more details HERE.

PalEONistas involved: Jaclyn Hatala Matthes, Dave Moore, Mike Dietze

4. Phenology, Session ID: 3265

We encourage the submission of abstracts that address topics including phenological modeling, scaling from organisms to ecosystems, fusion of models and data, ecologicalforecasting, relationships between phenology and ecosystem processes and services, and the role of phenology in policy decision-making. Find more details HERE.

PalEONistas involved: Dave Moore

5. Inter-site Syntheses to Explore the Biophysical Controls on Ecosystem Mass and Energy Cycling, Session ID: 3725

The session is sponsored by Biogeosciences and co-sponsored by Global Environmental Change and Hydrology.

Data syntheses across a small number of geographically- or ecologically-similar research sites, or ‘micro-network’, can be very useful for exploring the response of ecosystem mass and energy cycling to a constrained set of biophysical driving variables. Thus, micro-network syntheses represent an important bridge between studies focused on hypothesis testing and model development at the site level, and the upscaling of those results to regional and continental landscapes characterized by wide gradients in climate and land cover regimes.  In this session, we welcome studies focused on cross-site data syntheses from a small number (2-7) of field sites to better understand how ecosystem carbon, water, or energy fluxes respond to meteorological drivers, edaphic conditions, and/or land cover change.  We invite contributions that draw from a range of leaf-level, tree-level, plot-level, and/or ecosystem-scale eco-physicological data.

PalEONistas involved: Neil Pederson (with many PalEONista co-authors)




If you are going to AGU be sure to look around for PalEONs In addition to a number of PEONs that are attending AGU, we will have 3 PalEON posters and 1 talk that will be given. Here are the details. Check it out!

Posters – Monday morning
1) Goring et al. Effects of Euro-American settlement and historic climate variability on species-climate relationships and the co-occurrence of dominant tree species. AGU 2013. (Poster, B11G-0438)

2) Matthes et al. Representations of historic vegetation dynamics in CMIP5 and MsTMIP models (Poster B11E-0401)

3) Dawson et al. Spatio-temporal changes in forest composition inferred from fossil pollen records in the Upper Midwestern USA (Poster, B11G-0446)

Talk – Thursday morning
1) Steinkamp and Hickler. Is drought-induced forest dieback globally increasing? (Talk, B42B. Ecological Disturbance: Observing and Predicting the Impacts of Landscape Disturbance III)