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 »
Cross site investigation using LTER Data.
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
The goal of this synthesis is to evaluate uncertainty in hydrologic inputs, outputs, and net hydrologic flux of major elements across small watersheds with diverse characteristics.
The long-term goal of this project is to contribute to a cultural change in ecology that makes uncertainty analysis an accepted and expected practice in the construction of ecosystem budgets.
We are requesting funds to assemble a working group of LTER scientists with extensive experience in conducting long-term experiments in the LTER Network, the skills and interest in synthetically interpreting the results of those experiments, and in using data from these studies to address new questions relevant to pressing global change issues.
Recent work has suggested that freshwater ecosystems may play a significant role in the global carbon cycle, potentially emitting 1.2 Pg C y-1 to the atmosphere [1, 2]. The majority of the CO2 that is degassed from streams and rivers comes from the decomposition of allochthonous leaf litter inputs [3, 4]. The process of decomposition fuels aquatic food webs, helps to regulate surface water acidity, and links biogeochemical cycles [5, 6].
Introduction and Goals:
In the Western US mountain regions, winter temperature increases will lead to the reduction and even loss of winter snowpacks.
A shift from snow to rain-dominated systems will alter seasonal patterns of streamflow, soil moisture, soil temperature, etc. affecting a myriad of ecosystem processes.
This proposed work will develop a working group and fund a student to aggregate and synthesize data relevant to the ecosystem implications of disappearing snow in the rain-snow transition of the Western US.