The discovery of the tardigrade, Milnesium sp., in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, and the potential implication for biotic interactions
The McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, are a cold desert and represent one of the most inhospitable environments on earth. As a consequence the food webs are simple compared to most other terrestrial ecosystems, and limited to microbes and the nematode Scottnema lindsayae in dry areas, which includes most of the landscape. However, the few wet areas represent hotspots for soil organisms and support a greater diversity of soil fauna, often including the nematode genera Plectus and Eudorylaimus, and a few species of rotifers and tardigrades.
The propagating response of inner shelf circulation to wind relaxations along the central California Coast
Following relaxations prevailing equatorward winds, warm water from the Santa Barbara Channel flows poleward around Point Conception and along the central California coast. Sequences of satellite sea surface temperature images show the events as bands of warm water extending up to 20 km offshore. Characteristics of these flows were examined using time series of currents and temperature from an array of moorings along the inner shelf (15 m depth), a mooring on the mid-shelf (100 m depth), and surface current observations from high frequency radars.
The Niwot Ridge (NWT) LTER site was one of the five original LTER sites established in 1980. The LTER program is based at the University of Colorado-Boulder and is administered through the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) and in cooperation with the Mountain Research Station, with special use permits from the US Forest Service.
How will anticipated changes in climate interact with grassland plant community composition and diversity to affect the performance of seedlings? We ask this question for two reasons. 1) If plant species are to track spatial shifts in the locations of suitable climatic conditions, plant species must invade communities by means of seedling establishment; more diverse plant communities have been shown to be less invasible, but it is not known how warming will interact with diversity to affect invasion.
It has been hypothesized that the range limits of woody plants are determined by a trade-off between freezing tolerance and growth rate, such that species with high freezing tolerance have low growth rates. However, willows (genus Salix) appear to be an exception to this pattern as they have high growth rates and high freezing tolerance. To determine whether there is evidence for this trade-off in willows, I compared the growth and freezing tolerance of twenty-eight willow species collected across North America.
Seasonal use of a New England estuary by a top predator: implications for higher trophic levels at PIE LTER
Striped bass (Morone saxatilis) are a top predator that make annual migrations along the Atlantic coast to forage. Striped bass have rebounded from low numbers in the early 1980s and are now seasonally abundant in many New England estuaries. For these reasons, PIE LTER may provide critical foraging habitat for striped bass. In addition, striped bass could potentially alter trophic structures in estuarine environments.
The International Long-Term Ecosystem Research network (ILTER) includes national networks of scientists and their stakeholders engaged in long-term, site-based ecological, social and economic research. The LTER-Italy network, established in 2006, joined ILTER in 2007. The “Apennines (high elevation)” site joined LTER-Italy in 2007. It consists of “orographic islands” of alpine tundra along the Apennines chain, where many endemic and rare taxa occur that are critically endangered by climate warming.
Dr Colin Polsky, Dr. Robert Gilmore Pontius Jr, Albert Decatur, Dan Runfola, Nick Giner, Rahul Rakshit, Matt Salem, Nick Perdue, Tom Hamill
Looking for Lawns: How We Know What’s In Your Yard
The known biodiversity of tardigrades in North America is limited. Less than one-fourth of the known tardigrade species have been recorded in the United States. As part of the NSF-Biotic Surveys and Inventory and Research at Undergraduate Institutions programs we are attempting to expand the known biodiversity of North American Tardigrades by sampling 23 of America’s LTER sites. This work is a collaborative effort between Fresno City College, Baker University, Brigham Young University and the Academy of Natural Sciences Philadelphia.