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Creators/Authors contains: "Buelo, Cal D."

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  1. null (Ed.)
  2. Abstract

    Determining when a disturbance has occurred, its severity, and when the system recovered, is important to numerous questions in the aquatic sciences. This problem can be conceptualized as the timing and degree of perturbation from a typical state, and when the system returns to that typical state. We present an algorithm for detecting disturbance and recovery designed for high‐frequency time series, e.g., data produced by automated sampling devices in instrumented buoys and flux towers. The algorithm quantifies differences in the empirical cumulative distribution functions of moving windows over reference and evaluation periods, and is sensitive to changes in the mean, variance, and higher statistical moments. Tests on simulated data show it accurately identifies disturbance and recovery. Three case studies illustrate the application of our algorithm in different empirical settings. A case study on dissolved oxygen in a Florida, USA estuary following a hurricane identified the disturbance and recovery 73 d later. A case study on air temperature and net ecosystem exchange in the Florida everglades identified cold snaps coinciding with periods of reduced carbon uptake. A case study on rotifer abundance following zebra mussel invasion in the Hudson River, NY showed rotifer collapse following invasion and recovery over a decade later. Methods such as ours can improve understanding response to disturbance and facilitate comparative and synthetic study of disturbance impacts across ecosystems.

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