Presentation: Life on Ever-Shrinking Sea Ice: A Penguin’s Perspective (Fraser)

Bill Fraser, Polar Oceans Research Group, Oregon State University, NSF Palmer Station, Antarctica LTER Site The Western Antarctic Peninsula is among the most rapidly warming regions on Earth. Mid-winter temperatures have increased, on average, by more than six degrees Celsius (10.8ºF) over the last six decades, resulting in melting of sea ice and changes in… Read more »

Presentation: Sustainability of Salt Marshes: Still a Realistic Goal? (Alber)

Merryl Alber, University of Georgia, NSF Georgia Coastal Ecosystems LTER Site Intertidal marshes—lands between the tides—are ever-changing ecosystems. They’ve kept pace with changes in sea level over millennia, but today’s rate of sea-level rise and increasingly common droughts and storms pose new challenges. An influx of saltwater, for example, has the potential to change how… Read more »

Presentation: How Do Tiny Plankton Turn into Fish on a Changing Northeast U.S. Shelf? (Menden-Deuer)

Susanne Menden-Deuer, University of Rhode Island, NSF Northeast U.S. Shelf LTER Site The Northeast U.S. Shelf generates millions of dollars in revenue from fishing, energy development and shipping. It’s also used for waste disposal, recreation and conservation—and almost 30 percent of the U.S. population lives along its shores. Researchers at the NSF Northeast U.S. Shelf… Read more »

Presentation: Giant Kelp Forests: Stepping Stones to Biodiversity (Cavanaugh)

Kyle Cavanaugh, University of California-Los Angeles, NSF Santa  Barbara Coastal LTER Site Giant kelp is an example of a foundation species—one that physically modifies its environment and provides food and habitat for an entire ecological community. In contrast to long-lived foundation species such as forests, coral reefs and mangroves, giant kelp has a short life… Read more »

Presentation: Hurricanes as Resilience-Builders (Gaiser)

Evelyn Gaiser,  Florida International University, Florida Coastal Everglades LTER Site Ecosystem health—like human health—is the result of a combination of chronic and short-term stresses. When will these stresses result in a stronger system, and when will they launch a downward spiral? Researchers at the NSF Florida Coastal Everglades LTER Site combine field work, large-scale experiments,… Read more »

Presentation: Legacy of Acid Rain-A Tale of Two Species (Driscoll)

Air pollution control efforts have succeeded in reducing sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions, but decades of acid rain have leached calcium and magnesium from Northeastern forest soils. These changes have increased the mobility of dissolved organic matter, and possibly altered soil organic matter dynamics, altering the long-term trajectory for forest ecosystems. What does the acid rain story say about when, where, and how recovery is possible?

Presentation: Fire and ice: Carbon cycling feedbacks to climate (Mack)

About 30% of global carbon stocks reside in the vegetation and deep, carbon-rich soils of Arctic tundra and boreal forest biomes. Wildfires—which are becoming more frequent with warmer and drier weather in the Arctic—have the potential to either stabilize or accelerate regional and global warming through carbon feedbacks.

Presentation: Beyond Desertification (Bestelmeyer)

One of the classic state-change stories is that over-grazing and drought turn grasslands into shrubby, degraded landscapes. Land managers strive to avoid such irreversible changes, using strategies based on models of how ecosystems change. But misapplication of models can lead to poor management outcomes. Researchers at the Jornada Basin LTER site and its host the USDA Jornada Experimental Range have developed a new model of desert grassland ecosystem dynamics that is grounded in long-term data and experiments indicating possible trajectories.