Choose Your Poison: Plant Disease Outbreaks May Be Curbed by Periodic Wildfire

A controlled burn in Cedar Creek oakland

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 »

2020 LTER Research Roundup

Now that 2021 is here, most of us are ready to put last year behind us for good. However, 2020 wasn’t all bad from an LTER standpoint. Dozens of impressive research articles from across the network were published in top journals. We featured many of these in our monthly newsletters, but we couldn’t get to… Read more »

The Edge of Agriculture: Pests and Crop Configuration

A prairie strip growing in wheat at the KBS LTER Main Cropping Systems Experiment.

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 »

Seeing the forest for the shrubs in Southern Appalachia

Rhododendron shrubs leave no space left unfilled as its branches stretch over the forest floor and streams. Photo credit: Maura Dudley.

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 »

LTER at American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2020

Like everything else in 2020, the Fall Meeting of the America Geophysical Union (AGU) will be different this year. Talks, posters, town halls, lectures, exhibits and mixers will all be available online and the meeting timeline has been extended to encompass nearly three weeks in early December. Running from December 1-17, the 2020 meeting offers… Read more »

Presenting at an upcoming meeting?

Will you be attending an upcoming scientific 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 Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, the American Geophysical Union Annual Fall… Read more »

Stop giving early and late Arctic seasons the ‘cold shoulder’, say LTER scientists

Streams LTER Research Assistant Frances Iannucci (a coauthor on the study) recording dissolved oxygen in a watershed associated with the Arctic LTER.

Climate change is hitting Arctic ecosystems hard – permafrost is rapidly thawing, releasing previously-frozen organic matter into the surrounding environment. Knowing not only how, but when, dissolved organic matter (DOM) and other nutrient concentrations are changing is important for predicting effects of climate change, but the picture is currently incomplete.  A new paper from Arctic… Read more »

Kellogg LTER Researchers Play Key Role in New Biology Integration Institute

Many ecological functions depend on symbiosis, where two organisms come together to form emergent traits neither displays alone. Microbes like bacteria and viruses are often at the center of these interactions. A new $12.5M National Science Foundation (NSF) grant will fund an ambitious endeavor to synthesize biological data across several disciplines to study the role… Read more »

LTER Sites Central to Several New NSF Critical Zone Cluster Awards

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 »