Wildfires have made headlines worldwide in recent years — and for good reason. Evidence points to increasing wildfire frequency and intensity across many vulnerable ecosystems as climate change impacts grow ever more evident. However, periodic wildfires in ecosystems adapted to them can actually help inhibit plant disease outbreaks, according to new research from Cedar Creek… Read more »
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In agricultural landscapes, predatory insects provide an essential ecosystem service — valued at billions of dollars annually — by suppressing pests that damage crops. A new study that includes data from Kellogg Biological Station LTER (KBS LTER) found that natural pest suppression gains a big boost when agricultural landscapes are patchy and include a high… Read more »
As ecosystems respond to human activity, what organisms will emerge as new trailblazers, shaping the diversity and resilience of these changing environments? And how can land managers identify these species early on to better prepare for the future? Forests of southern Appalachia have a history fraught with human activity. Hardy and towering, American chestnut and… Read more »
The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently announced ten new awards for its Critical Zone Collaborative Network (CZCN), and LTER sites will play a prominent role in four of them. The awards fund a wide range of investigations to better understand the ‘critical zone’, the area of our planet where water, air, soil, rock and living… Read more »
Credit: Laura Templeton We’ve all spent the majority of 2020 stuck inside. As we’ve been staring out our windows longing to return to our ‘normal’ lives, where we can meet co-workers in the coffee room or catch up with our favorite podcasts on our commute, we might have noticed some interesting wildlife behavior. Maybe we… Read more »
As boreal forest wildfires increase in severity and frequency, new patterns of post-fire recovery are emerging. Research led by Jill Johnstone at Bonanza Creek LTER has found that recent wildfires led to changes in tree species dominance that are persisting through post-fire succession in Alaskan boreal forests, indicating the potential for a widespread shift in… Read more »
Credit: CAP-LTER. CC BY-SA 4.0 Anticipating the needs of cities in the future is a key aspect of urban sustainability. One approach to planning for sustainable cities is for researchers and practitioners to work together to develop scenarios that benefit communities as well as ecosystems. Central Arizona Phoenix LTER (CAP LTER) is taking an innovative approach… Read more »
High elevation and high latitude ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts because they represent the upward range limits for organisms that are adapted to cold temperatures and low nutrient levels. Two of the biggest threats to high elevation communities are nutrient deposition (e.g. nitrogen) and climate warming. A new study by Bueno de… Read more »
GCE LTER researchers simulated the effects of long term (press) and short term (pulse) salt water intrusions in tidal freshwater marshes. Press conditions were more disastrous for the ecosystem, altering the N cycle, while the landscape was able to recover from pulse conditions.
A 16-year time series of the cyanobacterium Synechococcus at Martha’s Vineyard Coastal Observatory at the Northeast U.S. Shelf LTER illustrates a regular seasonal pattern of Syn as well as daily dynamics.