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 »
A number of scientists led by Florida Coastal Everglades (FCE) Long Term Ecological Research scientist, James Fourqurean, have concluded that seagrasses may play a vital role in solving climate change. In an interesting paper in the May 21 issue of the journal Nature Geoscience, Fourqurean and his co-authors report that, on a unit area basis,… Read more »