Integrating plant community and ecosystem responses to chronic global change drivers

Three individuals collecting samples in desert brush.

Project Summary: Many global change drivers (GCDs) lead to chronic alterations in resource availability. As communities change through time in response to these GCDs, the magnitude and direction of ecosystem responses is also predicted to change in a non-linear fashion. We propose to examine whether plant community dynamics are predictive of shifts in ecosystem function… Read more »

A synthesis to identify how metacommunity dynamics mediate community responses to disturbance across the ecosystems represented in the LTER network

Aerial of Cedar Creek

Metacommunity ecology considers both the local- and regional-scale factors that influence community assembly. Previous work has identified dispersal, niche differentiation, and habitat heterogeneity as crucial parameters that determine metacommunity dynamics and stability in response to disturbance. However, it remains unclear whether the parameter combinations that are predicted to confer stability do so over long time… Read more »

Global Patterns in Stream Energy and Nutrient Cycling

stream running through wetland

Project summary:¬†Dissolved organic matter (DOM) provides a significant source of energy and nutrients to ecosystems and its biogeochemical cycling is inextricably linked to dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN). In stream ecosystems in particular, there is considerable spatial and temporal variation in the relationships between the different fractions of DOM (dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen) and DIN…. Read more »

Advancing soil organic matter research: Synthesizing multi-scale observations, manipulations & models

deep soil profile, rich in organic matter, with grain growing on top

Soil organic matter is a massive storehouse for carbon, as well as a key regulator of nutrient cycling and soil quality in terrestrial ecosystems, yet ecology lacks a full understanding of the controls on stabilization and breakdown of soil organic matter. Two sets of competing theories underlie models that adequately predict site-specific dynamics, but result… Read more »

Scaling-Up Productivity Responses to Changes in Biodiversity

experimental plots with a variety of old field species

Project summary:¬†Although hundreds of short-term local experiments indicate that random changes in biodiversity can cause substantial changes in primary productivity, considerable debate remains regarding whether these influences of biodiversity are weaker or stronger at larger spatial and temporal scales in natural ecosystems. Given this knowledge gap, current models often implicitly assume no influence of biodiversity… Read more »

Synthesizing population and community synchrony to understand drivers of ecological stability across LTER sites

Gammarid amphipod.

Project Summary: Understanding factors that influence ecological stability is a key question in ecology. Population ecology has highlighted that synchrony within a species over space is an important indicator of species stability. Community ecology, in contrast, has highlighted that asynchrony between species within space may enhance the stability of aggregate properties (such as total productivity)…. Read more »

East Asia-Pacific Organic Matter Decomposition Processes Workshop

The workshop was designed as a pre-meeting for future collaboration of a multi-site organic matter decomposition experiment in the East Asia-Pacific region. The meeting and discussion among potential site collaborators worked towards a successful regional cross-site comparison study. The Taiwan Ecological Research Network (TERN) took the responsibility to organize, host and conduct this workshop and the follow-up on the decomposition field experiment and to publish the group results. Workshop funds were supported, in part, from the ILTER network.

Scaling From Plots to Landscapes and Regions: Relevance of Landscapes to Current Issues in Ecology

The workshop was held at the H.J. Andrews LTER site near Blue River Oregon on May 21 and 22, 2001 with support from the LTER Network Office. Twenty people attended, including participants from Brazil, Hungary and Korea. The workshop was intended to promote data exchange between the remote sensing community — which has begun to produce global land cover, leaf area index, and net primary production products — and the field sites where relevant validation data is being produced.