Isle Royale: portage; moose; the flattened grass is a moose bed.
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Play Suggestions

There are some simple things to try here, if you wish.

  1. Select Scenario + CCC Warming and run it to the end, and save a screen dump (or just a picture of the biomass plot - on Windows, you can use alt/Printscreen and save it via the Microsoft Paint program.) Note that the forest biomass nearly doubles between now (year 200) and the end of the run (year 400). To see how much of that is due to the CO2 fertilization effect, let's say that whatever fertilization effect there might be, has already happened. Set Parameters | World | CO2 fertilization off. Or, alternatively, set the max effect to 1.20 (there is a fertilization effect, and recent CO2 increases have reached the limit of that effect.) Re-run the scenario. What differences are there in the biomass plot?

    Suggestion: click on the word "White Cedar" on the display to highlight the species on the hexagons and the plot.

  2. This time, turn off the moosebot. (Parameters | Moosebot | init num = 0.) Did the moosebot affect the structure of the forest much? Hint: moose don't prefer the swampy species White Cedar and Black Spruce.
  3. Run on Scenario Upland + CCC, and compare it to the first CCC scenario.
  4. Run Upland + GISS. How does it differ from Upland + CCC? CCC is the Canadian Climate Center model climate projection, and GISS stands for Goddard Institute for Space Science. Note that until year 200, all the Upland scenarios are identical.
  5. In a number of the climate warming scenarios, Black Cherry takes over the forest. This species is simply the most heat-tolerant of the 17 species provided. There are more southerly tree species which would do better, once they travelled to Isle Royale and established themselves. From "now" to the end of these runs is 200 years. How long do you think it would take some more suitable southeastern US tree species to migrate to Lake Superior?
The point. What distinguishes this project from the famous VEMAP vegetation mapping program under climate change, is that MooseWood is looking at how the ecosystem changes along the way. VEMAP and similar projects take the new climate and paint an area with the vegetation community that matches that new climate, without a transition time. MooseWood looks more closely at the forces shaping the transition - CO2 fertilization, the animal community, and forest succession.

Ginger Booth, revised May 2005, original February 2003