The majority of grasslands around the world have been destroyed or converted for human use, either for agricultural or urban development. In North America, for example, only four percent of the once vast tallgrass prairies are left. Understanding grassland community dynamics could be a critical part of conserving those that remain. Plant-pollinator relationships are… Read more »
Researchers took advantage of a 24-year experiment maintained by the Kellogg Biological Station LTER to assess the possibility that cultivation practices might drive evolution of less-cooperative microbes.
Every step of a tree’s growth is on a strict time-table, from the first emergence of life sprouting up through the soil to the formation of vast green canopies that block out almost all of the sun’s light. These growth cycles (budding leaves, flowering, etc.) are controlled by various environmental factors that act as cues… Read more »
If you live in a city, chances are you’ve seen an abandoned lot or two. While urban dwellers may not immediately think of vacant lots as harboring rare species and scenic natural vistas, they are are often candidates for urban conservation, restoration, or greening projects. The success of such projects depends on understanding what processes control… Read more »
The ebb and flow of the tide through coastal salt marshes brings wide swings in temperature, salinity, oxygen levels and pH. Many of these fluctuations occur at short timescales (e.g. multiple times per day) and have a profound impact on both the types of microorganisms that can exist in such a dynamic environment, and how… Read more »
“Social forestry” describes the hybrid system of bottom-up grassroots oversight by local stakeholders and top-down, science-informed policy from larger governing bodies to determine forest management practices. Social scientists from the University of Freiburg in Germany and the University of Oregon analyzed the implementation of social forestry through a comparative case study of two National Forests… Read more »
As this winter continues to bring freezing temperatures and intense “bomb cyclone” snow storms to the eastern U.S., many are wondering: “When, exactly, will spring arrive?” Researchers with the Harvard Forest LTER were wondering the same thing as they conducted a study using drones to track timing of phenological events in a mixed forest ecosystem… Read more »
New research from the Baltimore Ecosystem Study LTER site reveals that pharmaceutical residues in urban streams may be facilitating the proliferation and persistence of highly resistant bacteria that can survive despite the presence of these drugs.
Tropical forests are sometimes referred to as the “lungs of the planet,” and for good reason – the high plant biomass of tropical regions produces a large portion of the oxygen we breathe and absorbs significant amounts of carbon dioxide. Rainfall, nutrient availability, and amount of disturbance (natural or human) a forest experiences can all… Read more »
A recent meta-analysis found that aridity and low soil nitrogen levels seem to limit — rather than stimulate — plants’ ability to increase production of fine roots under elevated carbon dioxide conditions.