Wildfires have made headlines worldwide in recent years — and for good reason. Evidence points to increasing wildfire frequency and intensity across many vulnerable ecosystems as climate change impacts grow ever more evident. However, periodic wildfires in ecosystems adapted to them can actually help inhibit plant disease outbreaks, according to new research from Cedar Creek… Read more »
Two new synthesis working groups, awarded in 2021, capitalize on the intensive and extended record of observation at LTER sites to shed light on thorny ecological questions.
By Natasha Griffin, PhD candidate at Oregon State University The staff of the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest LTER site had almost no time to prepare when a massive wildfire swept through the region in early September. Stoked by dry late-summer conditions and extreme high winds, Oregon’s Holiday Farm fire began spreading rapidly as soon as… Read more »
As ecosystems respond to human activity, what organisms will emerge as new trailblazers, shaping the diversity and resilience of these changing environments? And how can land managers identify these species early on to better prepare for the future? Forests of southern Appalachia have a history fraught with human activity. Hardy and towering, American chestnut and… Read more »
By Haley Dunleavy, PhD Candidate at Northern Arizona University Leaving my house, I feel like a runaway. I am packed inside an economy-sized rental car with my field clothes, camping gear, and of course, face masks, heading 300 miles north to meet my advisor Michelle Mack and fellow lab members for a couple days of… Read more »
Climate change is hitting Arctic ecosystems hard – permafrost is rapidly thawing, releasing previously-frozen organic matter into the surrounding environment. Knowing not only how, but when, dissolved organic matter (DOM) and other nutrient concentrations are changing is important for predicting effects of climate change, but the picture is currently incomplete. A new paper from Arctic… Read more »
As boreal forest wildfires increase in severity and frequency, new patterns of post-fire recovery are emerging. Research led by Jill Johnstone at Bonanza Creek LTER has found that recent wildfires led to changes in tree species dominance that are persisting through post-fire succession in Alaskan boreal forests, indicating the potential for a widespread shift in… Read more »
The frequency of large coastal storms and hurricanes is on the rise, impacting the biological services that wetlands and marshes provide. Modeling makes it possible to predict how future storms may affect these ecosystems, but accurately modeling widespread impacts of large storms like Hurricane Sandy, which bombarded much of the U.S. eastern shoreline, requires significant… Read more »
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 »
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.