Conceptual Framework

Below is a figure outlining the conceptual framework for the Virginia Coast Reserve Long-Term Ecological Research Project. Description of past conceptual frameworks, including themes and key findings.

The VCR VII conceptual framework focuses on the climatic drivers of change (Theme 1), the coupled ecological and physical processes that drive ecosystem state change dynamics (Themes 2 & 3), and the consequences for ecosystem function (Theme 4) on the coastal barrier landscape. We continue to investigate processes within landscape units (intertidal, subtidal, barrier island) and propose new studies to address connectivity of state change dynamics, including sediment and organism transport, and coupled processes of adjacent and non-adjacent systems. These dynamics affect the sensitivity and resilience of foundation species and their influence on ecosystem function.