The latest updates on the LTER Network, new research papers, and announcements. 
View this email in your browser

October 2016
LTER in the News
NSF News From Other News Outlets
Recent LTER Publications
Changing Disturbance Regimes, Ecological Memory, and Forest Resilience | Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Disturbed Arctic ForestEach forest reflects a legacy of past disturbances—from the literal detritus left behind a storm or fire to the prominence of particular species traits that enable species to bounce back after a specific type of disturbance. Shifts in the frequency, severity, timing, and type of disturbances—ever more common due to climate change—can reduce the effectiveness of these legacies as a means of resilience. Forests in these instances find themselves maladapted, and future disturbances may provoke system transitions. By identifying which legacies support resilience, scientists can better anticipate when forests will remain resilient and when shifting disturbances may trigger abrupt ecosystem changes.
Excess Nutrient Pollution Sends Salt Marsh Microbes into Dormancy | Nature Communications
Salt MarshA recent experiment examined the impacts of increased nitrogen on salt marshes—and the all-important microbes within them. While the total microbial community remained the same, the number of dormant microbes within the marsh skyrocketed from 45 to 90% of all taxa, inducing a huge loss of diversity within the active population. Researchers propose that this phenomenon allows salt marsh microbes to maintain genetic diversity even in the face of disturbances and unfavorable conditions. They also expect, however, that the persistence of such conditions would fundamentally change the ecosystem functions delivered by these coastal habitats— functions ranging from absorbing nutrient runoff and carbon dioxide to buffering the coast against storms. 
Glacial Melt Drives Primary Production in Antarctic Dry Valley Lakes | PLOS ONE
Lake Fryxll
The ice-covered lakes in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, a polar desert, rely on glacial melt for almost all their inputs. A recent study of Lake Fryxell suggests that in this environment even small changes in climate can impact biological productivity in the lake. Warmer weather (1) decreases ice thickness, boosting light penetration into the lake, and (2) increases glacial stream flow, providing more nutrient input—pulse events which together increase primary production in the lake. 
Partners in Crime: Woody Plants and Liana Delay Forest Succession in Temperate Coastal Ecosystems | Ecosphere
MarshBarrier islands' harsh conditions, including nutrient and freshwater limitations and extremes of light and temperature, along with frequent large-scale disturbances, such as hurricanes, limit the number of plants species able to survive. As a result, successional trajectories can be convoluted. For instance, do lianas, climbing plants that simultaneously compete with existing flora while also opening up the canopy to other species, accelerate or delay the shift from woody communities to the historical climax community, maritime forest? New research suggests that both lianas' and shrubs'  expansion is self-reinforcing and together, could increasingly delay or prevent forest succession in temperate coastal sires.
Beyond The Network
Fall leaves at Cedar Creek
Recent research in Science concludes that high forest productivity relies on the presence of diverse tree species—a relationship that apparently hold true in biomes across the globe.  One of the first efforts to evaluate the biodiversity-productivity relationship in forests beyond a regional scale, the study used repeated forest inventories from 777,126 permanent sample plots—including those at Cedar Creek and Bonanza LTERs—in 44 countries containing more than 30 million trees of 8,737 species. Evidence of such a strong positive relationship between biodiversity and productivity in an assessment of this scope has profound ecological and economic implications. A continued loss of species in global forests will likely substantially reduce forests' role as a carbon sink and the profits of commercial forestry. 
Book Announcement:
Hubbard Brook: The Story of a Forest Ecosystem: For more than half a century, scientists at Hubbard Brook have explored how forest ecosystems work, from the flow of water and nutrients to the ecology and behavior of forest animals. In their book, Richard T. Holmes and Gene E. Likens provide an insider's view of the forest-turned-laboratory. They capture the rich history of research at the site, including how it has transformed environmental policy, resource management, and forestry practices— locally, regionally, and nationally.  

Over 300 delegates gathered at the first even Open Science Meeting of the International LTER Network, October 9-13. Highlights of the week included results from many long-term experiments on biodiversity, carbon and nutrient cycling, and the carbon-water-energy nexus; explorations of existing large scale infrastructure; workshops on managing uncertainty, integrating social science, and developing distributed experiments; field trips to Kruger National Park's flux tower, large animal exclosures, and nearly 70 year-old burn plots; and, of course, opportunities to observe the Park's amazing diversity with colleagues from around the world. 

Visit our storify to follow the active twitter conversation.
Photo Credits (top to bottom): Jill Johnstone (BNZ), Samantha Bond (PIE), Amy Chiuchiolo (MCM), John Porter (VCR), Jacob Miller (CDR), Marty Downs (LTER NCO)
Copyright © 2016 LTER Network Office, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list