The secret biodiversity of Baltimore’s abandoned lots

If you live in a city, chances are you’ve seen an abandoned lot or two. While urban dwellers may not immediately think of vacant lots as harboring rare species and scenic natural vistas, they are are often candidates for urban conservation, restoration, or greening projects. The success of such projects depends on understanding what processes control… Read more »

Using Drones to Understand the Timing of Fall and Spring

Overhead view of Harvard Forest LTER site.

As this winter continues to bring freezing temperatures and intense “bomb cyclone” snow storms to the eastern U.S., many are wondering: “When, exactly, will spring arrive?” Researchers with the Harvard Forest LTER were wondering the same thing as they conducted a study using drones to track timing of phenological events in a mixed forest ecosystem… Read more »

2018 Ocean Science Meeting Presentations

The Ocean Sciences Meeting (OSM) has become an important venue for scientific exchange across a wide range of marine science disciplines, especially as human impacts on the oceans reach unprecedented levels. OSM, co-sponsored by the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO), and The Oceanography Society (TOS), will be held 11–16 February, in… Read more »

Early diagnosis: Spatial warning signs of ecological tipping points

Researchers at the North Temperate Lakes (NTL) LTER site have capitalized on the utility of Peter and Paul experimental lakes in northern Michigan in order to improve predictions of ecological tipping points in lake ecosystems. Their two-year study analyzes changes in the lakes’ spatial characteristics, and identifies statistical patterns in those characteristics as potential predictors of ecological… Read more »

Environmental Stewardship of the McMurdo Dry Valleys

The McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV), the largest ice-free portion of Antarctica, is a unique and fragile ecosystem that has been designated as an Antarctic Specially Managed Area (ASMA). Human activities, including scientific research, are thus carefully regulated to minimize potential damage to the landscape and ecosystem. A workshop, held in May 2016, outlined actions to… Read more »

2017 AGU Presentations

AGU logo

At the 2017 AGU Fall Meeting, held at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, from December 11-15, 2017, dozens of LTER researchers will present new results on a range of topics, from how ecosystems recover from droughts and hurricanes to what manufactured ice storms can reveal about how to prepare for winter’s worst. Links to the abstracts for over 100 LTER presentations at AGU 2017.

A Changing Tide: Biodiversity on Sandy Beaches

Pile of kelp fronds on a beach

Credit: Ingrid Taylar. CC BY 2.0To maintain the image of a pristine beach—wide stretches of sand absent of fly-ridden piles of seaweed—managers often add sand to beaches and remove seaweed. This removal may lead to a more enjoyable experience for humans, but it constitutes a major loss of habitat for sandy beach critters, which use… Read more »

Wildfire Ponzi Scheme? The Continental Carbon Exchange

Wildfire in Alaskan black spruce forests.

If carbon is currency, wildfires are the brokers; that is, they distribute carbon between land and air. In the short-run, fire emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Over time, it also strengthens subsequent carbon uptake through plant regrowth. This exchange is like a natural Ponzi scheme – the carbon offsets from yesterday’s fires take up today’s emissions…. Read more »

Fire-driven Changes to Gap Regeneration

Arctic wildfire

Interior Alaska: black spruce and mosses as far as the eye can see. New research suggests that image may change dramatically over the next century. As the intensity of fires in interior Alaska increases, forest regrowth is shifting from spruce to deciduous species such as trembling aspen and Alaska paper birch. But intense fires also… Read more »

Shaping the Alaskan Forest. Canopy-down or forest-floor-up?

white spruce forest in Alaska

While Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico recover from a devastating hurricane season, another natural disaster rages on the other side the continent. Following a record-hot summer and dry conditions, the northwestern United States and Canada have experienced one of the most intense fire seasons on record. As global temperatures rise, scientists will need a better… Read more »

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