News from the NCO: 2017 Autumn

December 18, 2017 News from the NCO is a forum for sharing news and activities from the Network Communications Office and from across LTER Network. This is our water cooler. If you have personnel changes, new grants, cross-Network activities that might interest your LTER colleagues, please send them along to The NCO and NCEAS… Read more »

LTER Road Trip: Real time evolution

hydrologic research plot in the Southern Appalachian Mountain study area

Salamanders are very sensitive to changes in both precipitation and temperature, and scientists at the Coweeta Hydrologic Lab have discovered that they represent a hotbed of evolutionary activity.

2017 AGU Presentations

AGU logo

At the 2017 AGU Fall Meeting, held at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, from December 11-15, 2017, dozens of LTER researchers will present new results on a range of topics, from how ecosystems recover from droughts and hurricanes to what manufactured ice storms can reveal about how to prepare for winter’s worst. Links to the abstracts for over 100 LTER presentations at AGU 2017.

Test of Ecological Theory Informs Stream Restoration Choices

Stream running through a field with young trees planted alongside

In the United States, society spends billions of dollars each year on stream restoration. Knowing where restoration efforts are likely to be most effective could help get more restoration-bang for those bucks. A recent study of 13 river restoration projects by investigators from the Baltimore Ecosystem Study LTER found that restoration appeared to be more effective at… Read more »

A Changing Tide: Biodiversity on Sandy Beaches

Pile of kelp fronds on a beach

Credit: Ingrid Taylar. CC BY 2.0To maintain the image of a pristine beach—wide stretches of sand absent of fly-ridden piles of seaweed—managers often add sand to beaches and remove seaweed. This removal may lead to a more enjoyable experience for humans, but it constitutes a major loss of habitat for sandy beach critters, which use… Read more »

Striking a Balance in Private Land Conservation

Credit: Rutebega. CC BY-SA 3.0.In the digital age, while public access to information about parks and public land conservation is readily available, records on private-land conservation remain incomplete and inconsistent. To reveal the reasons behind the gaps in data on private-land conservation, LTER-funded researchers analyzed maps and documents, and conducted interviews focused on four major… Read more »

Wildfire Ponzi Scheme? The Continental Carbon Exchange

Wildfire in Alaskan black spruce forests.

If carbon is currency, wildfires are the brokers; that is, they distribute carbon between land and air. In the short-run, fire emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Over time, it also strengthens subsequent carbon uptake through plant regrowth. This exchange is like a natural Ponzi scheme – the carbon offsets from yesterday’s fires take up today’s emissions…. Read more »

Effects of Plant Colonization on Moss-Dominated Alpine Soils


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 »

Foraging Flexibility of Two Shark Species

Sharks are top predators in marine ecosystems, so small changes in shark populations can ripple down and affect entire marine communities. Understanding how sharks adapt to ecosystem changes may help scientists predict how other marine life could react to a changing ocean. Researchers from the Florida Coastal Everglades (FCE) LTER investigated how juveniles of two similar… Read more »