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The LTER Network Office sponsors a variety of working groups with the goal of scaling up place-based research to learn how ecosystems function across time, space, and differing conditions. Our 2021-2022 webinar series introduces the work of the six synthesis groups that are currently active. Their foci range widely and include the effects of drought at hundreds of sites globally, developing better ways of aligning genomic and ecological data, controls on river exports of silicon and more.

Past Webinars:

September 15, 2021

A global synthesis of multi-year drought effects on terrestrial ecosystems

Principal Investigators: Kate Wilkins, Colorado State University, Osvaldo Sala, Peter Wilfahrt, University of Bayreuth, Laureano Gherardi, Melinda Smith

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October 20, 2021

Advancing soil organic matter research: synthesizing multi-scale observations, manipulations & models

Principal Investigators: Will Wieder, Kate Lajtha.

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November 17, 2021

Ecological Metagenome-derived Reference Genomes and Traits (EMERGENT)

Principal Investigators: Jeff Blanchard, UMass Amherst/HFR, Janet Jansson, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Jorge Rodrigues, UC Davis, Lee Stanish, NEON, Margaret O’Brien, UC Santa Barbara, Jason McDermott, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

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Jan 19, 2022

From poles to tropics: A multi-biome synthesis investigating the controls on river Si exports

Principal Investigators: Joanna Carey, Babson College, KathiJo Jankowski, US Geological Survey

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 February 16, 2022

Ecosystem transitions: increased variability and regime shifts

Principal Investigators: Cristina Portales-Reyes, University of Georgia, Y. Anny Chung, University of Georgia

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March 16, 2022

Biosphere special issue on climate and LTERs

Presenters: Charley Driscoll and Julia Jones


Twenty-twenty marked the 40th anniversary of the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program. This presentation describes a cross-site synthesis effort on ecosystem response to climate change. Jones and Driscoll summarize results of analysis across forest and freshwater, dryland, coastal and marine LTER sites. At all 28 LTER sites, from the Arctic to Antarctica, air temperature and moisture variability have increased since 1930, with increased disturbance frequency and severity and unprecedented disturbance types. LTER research documents responses to these changes, including altered primary production, enhanced cycling of organic and inorganic matter, and changes in populations and communities. Although some responses are shared among diverse ecosystems, most are unique, involving region-specific drivers of change, interactions among multiple climate change drivers, and interactions with other human activities. Ecosystem responses to climate change are just beginning to emerge, and as climate change accelerates, long-term ecological research is crucial to understand, mitigate, and adapt to ecosystem response to changing climate.

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April 20, 2022

Identifying environmental drivers of plant reproduction across LTER sites

Principal Investigators: Jalene LaMontagne, DePaul University, Elizabeth Crone, Tufts University, Miranda Redmond, Colorado State University

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