Credit: Marilylle Soveran CC BY-NC 2.0Moss and lichen make up a large portion of biomass in alpine and arctic ecosystems. With rising global temperatures, vascular plants have begun to colonize these moss-dominated ecosystems, potentially altering the soil composition and ecosystem function of these unique environments. Researchers with the Niwot Ridge LTER investigated how bacterial composition,… Read more »
Credit: Alexander Montuschi. CC BY-NC 2.0.Radio transmitters have moved beyond the days of talking to your friends through walkie talkies. They are now being used to track alligators, the rulers of the swamp, to learn more about their movements between freshwater and marine environments. Once attached, the GPS and radio transmission devices can track the… Read more »
Credit: CC BY-NC 2.0 Alison Hurt https://flic.kr/p/5ZuUYIt’s kind of amazing what you can learn by taking a fresh look at old data. A re-analysis of data from a large and influential decomposition experiment suggests that—at least in arid lands—the degradation of organic matter by light plays a much bigger role than previously understood. Back in… Read more »
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 »
Recent research in Science concludes that high forest productivity relies on the presence of diverse tree species—a relationship that apparently hold true in biomes across the globe.
The global carbon cycle doesn’t have many off-ramps, but the deep ocean is one of them. Researchers with the California Coastal Ecosystem LTER have found that twice as much carbon finds its way to the deep ocean at mesoscale ocean fronts as elsewhere in the ocean.
As ecosystem dynamics change with warming global temperatures, researchers have begun investigating the potential of further northward invasions from nonnative species like the Asian earthworm. Past studies have shown that nonnative earthworms can significantly alter ecosystem functioning, and this experiment confirms that Asian earthworms can do as much—if not more—damage as their better-researched European counterparts…. Read more »
A major multi-site analysis of leaf litter decomposition in streams and rivers found that rising temperatures are unlikely to speed decomposition as much as predicted under metabolic theory. Although fresh water bodies cover only three percent of the Earth’s land surface, they are a key component of the global carbon and nutrient cycles and the rate of decomposition in streams affects both carbon dioxide emissions and supply of organic matter to downstream food webs.
Of the approximately 400 Gigatonnes of carbon released into the atmosphere over the past 200 years, only half has remained in the atmosphere. The other half has been absorbed by the earth’s natural carbon sinks— global oceans, soils, and plants— slowing the amount of climate change we might otherwise observe. While the earth currently acts as… Read more »
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Where Does Charcoal, or Black Carbon, in Soils Go? Scientists find surprising new answers in wetlands such as the Everglades April 18, 2013 — Scientists have uncovered one of nature’s long-kept secrets–the true fate of charcoal in the world’s soils. The ability to determine the fate of charcoal is critical to knowledge… Read more »