Ecological processes may exhibit memory to past disturbances affecting the resilience of ecosystems to future disturbance. Understanding the role of ecological memory in shaping ecosystem responses to disturbance under global change is a critical step toward developing effective adaptive management strategies to maintain ecosystem function and biodiversity. We developed EcoMem, an R package for quantifying ecological memory functions using common environmental time series data (continuous, count, proportional) applying a Bayesian hierarchical framework. The package estimates memory functions for continuous and binary (e.g., disturbance chronology) variables making no a priori assumption on the form of the functions. EcoMem allows users to quantify ecological memory for a wide range of ecosystem processes and responses. The utility of the package to advance understanding of the memory of ecosystems to environmental drivers is demonstrated using a simulated dataset and a case study assessing the memory of boreal tree growth to insect defoliation.
Fields of Science
- 113 Computer and information sciences
- 1172 Environmental sciences
Itter, M. S., Vanhatalo, J., & Finley, A. O. (2019). EcoMem: An R package for quantifying ecological memory. Environmental Modelling & Software, 119, 305-308. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsoft.2019.06.004