Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 2004


Published in Great Plains Research Vol. 14, No. 1, 2004. Copyright © 2004 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


This volume, the result of a 1998 symposium organized by the Ecological Society of America, bring together a number of leading experts to answer important questions about global change, precipitation regimes, and terrestrial ecosystems in several biomes of temperate North America. It is becoming increasingly apparent that anthropogenic activities combined with many other factors are substantially affecting terrestrial ecosystems and vegetation response patterns at a variety of temporal and spatial scales. Concern over global changes is leading to an increasing number of investigations into the impacts human activity may be having on climate patterns and what the potential consequences may be for terrestrial vegetation communities. A major consideration being addressed involves increasing rates of atmospheric carbon dioxide and the direct and indirect implications of CO2 increases on climate and vegetation patterns. There has been extensive investigation into the effects of increasing CO2 levels on temperature regimes and associated impacts in the environment. Less representative in the published literature are studies focusing on the impacts of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide levels on seasonality and precipitation and how changes in these two components of climate may affect terrestrial ecosystems.