Ecosystems resist devastation from hurricanes by choosing either of two strategies: high resistance or high resilience.
The Community Building working group from the LTER Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee will be facilitating a panel discussion on community engagement with colleagues from across the network
Social scientists research natural scientists at two LTER sites, and find that collaboration with communication experts is key to easier and more impactful public engagement.
Many scientists have pivotal experiences during their undergraduate education that lead them to choose a career in science, such as opportunities to conduct hands-on research or work closely with mentors. Unfortunately, it’s a challenge to measure the direct impact these foundational experiences have on participants. In a new paper, however, researchers from Harvard Forest LTER… Read more »
Credit: Jack Pearce via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)Species that are abundant often go ignored by conservation planning until an acute threat to their populations emerge – and by then, sometimes it’s too late. According to a new article in the journal Ecosphere, common species are often critically important as structural, dominant, or foundation species in… Read more »
David Buckley Borden was the 2016 artist and designer in residence at Harvard Forest. His creations were featured as an Art/Science Installation and Exhibition from October 2017 to November 2018. Hemlock Hospice paid tribute to the central ecological role of hemlock as a foundation species in Harvard Forest and served as the central theme of an… Read more »
Researchers Frederik Schulz (US Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Institute) and Lauren Alteio (University of Massachusetts) have discovered sixteen new giant viruses in soil samples from a long-term research site at the Harvard Forest LTER, described in a Nature Communications paper published in November 2018. Giant viruses are larger than most single celled organisms, and tend… Read more »
Every summer, NSF funds research opportunities for undergraduate students at many LTER sites across the country. These Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) expose students, often for the first time, to the world of ecological research through meaningful participation in ongoing research projects and tutelage under faculty. For many students, a summer spent participating in an… Read more »
I like to think of Dr. Neil Pederson as a detective. We met in his office at the Harvard Forest Long Term Ecological Research site (HFR-LTER), on the second floor of one of their many beautiful buildings in what feels like a college campus. Multiple sections of tree trunks sit here and there, polished so that the tree rings are clearly visible. Post-it notes and circular stickers mark years of particular interest.
To evaluate the effects of soil warming, scientists have measured soil gases including methane, nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide as well as nitrogen fluxes every month since 1991, comparing the heated plots to control plots nearby. One of the most interesting results they have documented comes from the forest’s tiniest organisms – the microbes that digest downed leaves and branches (also known as the ecosystem’s detritus). At first, the microbes worked overtime in the heated plots, releasing more carbon dioxide through their respiration.