Legacy carbon takes a hit as younger forest stands burn

Aftermath of forest fire

In 2014, massive wildfires swept through the Northwest Territories of Canada, burning over two million hectares of boreal forest, as well as the highly organic soils on which they stood. Researchers with the Bonanza Creek LTER used this unplanned experiment to learn whether the carbon released from burned land had been recently deposited or if… Read more »

You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone – or at least threatened

hemlock branches

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 »

Diverse soil improves plant diversity after all!

It stands to reason that variable environmental conditions would support greater plant diversity, but few experiments have offered concrete support for the “environmental heterogeneity hypothesis.” In re-establishing tallgrass prairie, the correlation took over 15 years to emerge.

LTER at American Geophysical Union 2019

AGU Centennial logo

Soil carbon — which constitutes nearly 80% of the terrestrial carbon stock — is getting a lot of attention at the 2019 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). Ecological process ranging from microbial metabolism to homeowner landscape decisions impact the size and stability of the soil carbon pool — which in turn affects… Read more »

Presenting at the American Geophysical Union Meeting?

AGU Centennial logo

Will you be attending the 2019 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting? Want your colleagues to know when and where you are presenting? Please fill out the form below and the LTER Network Office will compile and share a list of all the LTER presentations at the meeting. Previous abstract compilations are available on the LTER… Read more »

Synthesis group: metacommunity dynamics and community responses to disturbance

Plans We set out to answer the general question: How do metacommunity dynamics mediate community responses to disturbance across the ecosystems represented in the LTER network? Metacommunity theory provides a framework to predict when different types of community assembly processes should control the composition of the species pool both at local and regional scales. Thus,… Read more »

Connecting Communities: LTER at ESA 2019

Logo for ESA 2019 Annual Meeting

LTER presents two plenary talks, plus results from synthesis working groups.
Individual talks and posters are listed and cover topics as diverse as the ecology of segregation, connectivity in barrier island communities, and modeling complex landscapes using machine learning.

Plant communities likely to be “vastly different” in the future

Grassland plot experiments at Cedar Creek LTER in Minnesota.

Farmers have known for centuries that fertilizer and irrigation help boost crop growth. But how does long-term application of fertilizer and water affect the composition of surrounding plant communities? In a study based at the Cedar Creek LTER, early signs suggest that added water and nutrients support the survival of new species and encourage more… Read more »

When it Rains, it’s Gonna Pour

Fires and floods are becoming all too common for coastal Southern California residents — but are these ‘extreme’ events likely to become even more frequent? Answering this question requires a comprehensive understanding of precipitation patterns in the region and how they are likely to change in the coming decades. Most previous research on climate change… Read more »