Transport and Transformation of Carbon in Aquatic Systems

Arctic LTER
The very high dissolved organic carbon (DOC) content of Imnavait Creek during spring snowmelt. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) released from thawing permafrost soil can be respired by microbes almost twice as fast if the DOC is first exposed to UV light. Arctic LTER long term data indicate that direct photochemical degradation of DOC from land... Read more »

Wildfire and thermokarst: impacts and recovery

Arctic LTER
The 2007 Anaktuvuk River fire. We have studied both the thermokarst and fire impacts on ecosystem processes at our Arctic LTER. In 2007, a massive tundra fire released ~2 Pg of carbon into the atmosphere. Climate-driven fire may accelerate warming, potentially offsetting the effects of arctic greening. Long term effects of wildfire on tundra were... Read more »

Urbanization Patterns and their Impacts on Biotic Diversity

Central Arizona - Phoenix LTER
Former student Jessica Alvarez Guevara doing her population survey of small mammals inside/outside urban Phoenix. She was letting the pocket mouse warm up from her body heat before releasing him so that he wouldn’t be a target for predators. An experiment that manipulated food resources and predation showed that different factors regulate plant-associated arthropod communities... Read more »

Disturbance Produces Multi-Decadal Legacies

Andrews Forest LTER
  The fire regime at AND LTER was previously believed to be dominantly stand-replacing. However, three quarters of 124 post-fire sites had multi-age cohorts of plant species, indicating mixed severity fires over the past 400 years. Pre-disturbance understory plant species persisted for decades after clear-cut logging and broadcast burning, contrary to the theory that severe... Read more »

Scaling Up to the Catchment

Coweeta LTER
Though Coweeta became one of the first LTER sites in 1980, the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory as funded by the United States Forest Service has been in existence since 1934. Today the LTER and the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory coexist in the same complex of buildings and laboratories, collaborating and sharing data that now spans nearly eight... Read more »

Forest Biodiversity

Coweeta LTER
Simple models predict that biodiversity of forests should be much lower than that actually observed. Because only a few limiting resources are evident for trees, simple models would indicate that a forest would ultimately stabilize with only the few species that are the strongest competitors for the few available niches. However, observed diversity is much... Read more »

Future Nitrogen Cycling

Coweeta LTER
Understanding how global change will affect patterns of nitrogen (N) loss from forests is an area of special importance for researchers. Atmospheric deposition of N associated with anthropogenic activities and the sensitivity of microbial processes that convert organic N to plant available forms to temperature both point to the likelihood of increased N export from... Read more »

Climate Change and Habitat

Coweeta LTER
Ecologists have long been interested in how patterns of species distribution and diversity shift with changing climates, a concern that has spiked as the reality of rapid global climate change becomes increasingly apparent. Knowing whether certain species are threatened by shifting climate patterns is important for planning management activities and predicting how ecosystem functions can... Read more »

Clean Water and Land Markets

Coweeta LTER
The growing population and increased consumption rates of the last hundred years make clear that we no longer have the luxury of using economic models that externalize environmental costs as if natural resources were infinite. The rapidly growing population in North Carolina- estimated to increase by 50% over the next quarter century and affect up... Read more »

Predicting Regional Climate

Coweeta LTER
Predicting the impact of climatic changes on biota and ecological processes hinges on accurate projections of regional climate change. Researchers have already shown that there exists enormous variation in the manifestation of global climate change from region to region, with different areas of the globe experiencing widely varying shifts in climate patterns. Perched precariously in... Read more »

Controlling Plant Invaders

Coweeta LTER
Invasive species are changing the structure and function of our native ecosystems, there is a need for effective management of these species to protect ecosystem services and biodiversity. Through a desk study which collated all published research on the primary plant invader of forests across 25 U.S. states, Microstegium vimineum, Coweeta researchers showed how ecological... Read more »