Exploring the Seasonal Synchrony of Catchment Nitrogen Dynamics: The Search for a Unifying Theoretical Framework

Contrary to the predictions stemming from the nitrogen saturation hypothesis (Stoddard, 1994), some forested long-term research sites in Eastern North America exhibit peak streamwater nitrate exports during the growing season. Some initial hypotheses about climatic controls (Mullholland and Hill, 1997) have recently been questioned (Goodale et al., 2009). This is a proposal to fund a working group to advance a synthesis on the seasonal patterns of inputs, processing, and output of Nitrogen to watersheds across Eastern North America.

Synthesis of stream ecosystem responses to nutrient enrichment at multiple trophic levels

The goals of this proposed LTER Synthesis Working Group are (1) to initiate and coordinate the integration of data from multiple sites on stream ecosystem responses to nutrient amendment, (2) to synthesize these data with a quantitative evaluation of functional responses at the microbial, primary producer, consumer and whole-stream levels, (3) to produce an NSF Research Coordination Network proposal that will expand data integration and synthesis efforts to members of the broader national and international stream ecology communities and (4) to promote interaction between LTER and the NEON expe

Sensitivity of ecosystem properties to winter climate anomalies

Climate change alters ecosystem and community properties and although inter-annual variation occurs year-round (Dominguez et al. 2012), most research on the response of ecosystems to climate change occurs during the primary growing season (e.g. Knapp et al. 2002) or uses annual averages that homogenize across seasons (e.g. Knapp & Smith 2001, Hsu et al. 2012).

The Ecosystem Sensitivity to Rainfall Experiment (EcoSeRE): Design and Synthesis

Objectives
We are requesting funds to assemble a working group of scientists (primarily LTER and
ILTER) with interest and experience in designing and conducting climate change experiments. Our goal is to continue to design a network-level experiment, proposed previously as part of the LTER Decadal Planning process, to manipulate rainfall (i.e., impose drought) in terrestrial ecosystems.

Responses of soft sediment coastal ecosystems to sea level rise and coastal squeeze in the LTER Network

Goals:

Coastal ecosystems are highly valued as key economic and cultural assets for society. They provide a wealth of ecosystem functions including storm protection, nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, water filtration, detrital processing, fisheries, food web support, biodiversity and wildlife habitat. Rapidly growing populations and expanding development are intensifying pressures on these valuable ecosystems.

A guide to successful graduate student socio-ecological research: Insights from the Long Term Ecological Research Network

Background

Two separate working groups at the 2012 ASM provided opportunities for students to discuss their socio-ecological research experiences, and to identify best practices that meet the challenges of this research agenda.

The GSS working group, “Sharing Stories from Outside the Box,” was an opportunity for students to speak openly about the particular challenges of doing interdisciplinary, socio-ecological research at an LTER.

Mechanisms of convergence and divergence: understanding the variability of plant community responses to multiple resource manipulations

Introduction and Goals

Ecologists have been tasked with predicting how communities will respond to altered environmental conditions in the face of global change. This task, however, is complicated by the inherent complexity of many ecological systems. Indeed, within a system the species composition of experimental replicates does not always respond to resource manipulations in similar ways; instead replicates can diverge to form distinct alternative community types. An understanding of the processes leading to such divergence is currently lacking.

Urban aquatic ecosystems: a synthesis working group proposal

Background and Rationale

Aquatic ecosystems in urban environments are highly modified by human activity, engineering, and design. These systems are critical in delivering ecosystem services to urban residents, who comprise over 80% of the US population. This synthesis working group builds upon two impromptu meetings of interested persons held at the 2012 ASM[1].

Beyond the Numbers: Supporting an increasingly diverse LTER community

Mention “diversity” to most ecologists, and they start talking about species richness. Indeed, LTER leads the way investigating how biodiversity enhances ecosystem productivity, efficiency, and stability. The LTER Network has an opportunity to likewise take a prominent leadership role fostering a diverse scientific community and supporting the full inclusion and participation of all its members.

Soil Biogeochemistry: Synthesis of Past Data and Development of Protocols for a New Long-Term, Network-Wide Data Stream

Summary

We request funds for a working group to synthesize existing data within the LTER network on nitrogen mineralization and nitrification, soil respiration and soil moisture and to develop protocols for a new tightly coordinated, network-wide effort to develop a long-term data stream on these variables. The primary activity would be a workshop to be held at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies.