Small Water Bodies with Big CO2 Effects

water-pocked landscape of coastal tundra

Credit: Via @ArcticLagoons on Twitter Arctic coastal watershed systems are some of the most threatened regions on Earth and have undergone substantial climatic, physical, and biological change with the warming of our Earth. Now, researchers at the Beaufort Lagoon Ecosystems LTER site have discovered that small coastal water bodies, especially ponds, are releasing carbon to… Read more »

Sea level rise impacting nitrogen cycle in tidal freshwater marshes

GCE LTER researchers simulated the effects of long term (press) and short term (pulse) salt water intrusions in tidal freshwater marshes. Press conditions were more disastrous for the ecosystem, altering the N cycle, while the landscape was able to recover from pulse conditions.

Legacy carbon takes a hit as younger forest stands burn

Aftermath of forest fire

In 2014, massive wildfires swept through the Northwest Territories of Canada, burning over two million hectares of boreal forest, as well as the highly organic soils on which they stood. Researchers with the Bonanza Creek LTER used this unplanned experiment to learn whether the carbon released from burned land had been recently deposited or if… Read more »

Understanding Farmer Attitudes Can Help Address Water Quality Issues

satellite view of gulf of mexico dead zone

The Gulf of Mexico dead zone is predicted to be a near record size in 2019. By the end of summer, the hypoxic region at the mouth of the Mississippi River is expected to occupy over 22,000 square kilometers—an area the size of Massachusetts. The culprit? Nitrogen-based fertilizers applied to crops across the Midwest that… Read more »

Can corals ride the tide of climate change?

Damselfish and their coral host (Pocillopora eydouxi).

Researchers at Mo’orea LTER did not observe evidence that corals acclimatize to ocean acidification, but they did observe that some are more sensitive to it than others.

When it Rains, it’s Gonna Pour

Fires and floods are becoming all too common for coastal Southern California residents — but are these ‘extreme’ events likely to become even more frequent? Answering this question requires a comprehensive understanding of precipitation patterns in the region and how they are likely to change in the coming decades. Most previous research on climate change… Read more »

Got Shrubs? Woody plants are changing ecological communities around the globe

The Knights Who Say “Ni” would be delighted by a growing trend across many of the planet’s major biomes—tree and grass species are being taken over by shrubbery. Unfortunately, this phenomenon isn’t so favorable for native vegetation that struggles to compete with an invading shrub army (the term ecologists often use is ‘woody plant encroachment’)…. Read more »

LTER Road Trip: A Shrubby Invasion

PhD researcher Joe Brown looking out over a barrier island in the Virginia Coast Reserve.

Islands on the Move I stood on a windy barrier island, hair whipping around my face as my boots crunched across beach seashells. The waves crashed into the sand, here and there stirring up food for one of the many gulls seeking rest or prey on this island. Before me stretched the Atlantic Ocean, as… Read more »

Oyster Reef Soundscapes (VCR)

Martin Volaric (UVA Environmental Sciences) & Eli Stine (Music) Researchers studying intertidal oyster reefs are using sound recordings as a proxy for reef activity. During Summer 2018, researchers at the VCR-LTER made a series of recordings with two goals in mind:Credit: Cora Ann Johnston1) Pair sound with environmental measurements to study how reefs respond to… Read more »

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