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.
We are beginning new studies of phenology at the Andrews Forest to better understand influences of existing complex climatic gradients on timing of springtime life history events for multiple trophic levels. Phenological events are highly sensitive to temperature and climatic variations and are some of the most responsive indicators to climate change. By studying timing of events at multiple sites in a very heterogeneous climatic landscape, we expect to learn much about plant, insect and bird responses to current abiotic variability (i.e.
Ecosystem productivity and soil food web structure – paired forest and grassland transects across Oregon
The vast majority of biodiversity on Earth lives in the soil; to what degree are this diversity and the ecosystem functions they perform regulated by climate and plant productivity? In this study, we seek to determine the relationship between climate/Net Primary Productivity (NPP) and soil food web structure. Research sites, each consisting of a forest and paired grassland, are located along east-west transects in Oregon; these transects encompass climates producing the greatest productivity and nearly the least productivity on the continent.
This session is intended both for social and biophysical scientists who want to help develop a proposal for the kind of “multi-site, highly collaborative and integrated research initiative” envisioned by the LTER planning group. The focus will be on what the LTER planning process calls the “centerpiece” of the group's conceptual framework, as well as one of “Grand Challenges” to be addressed at the network level – “the dynamics of coupled human-natural ecosystems.”
Disturbance by Waves Alters The Structure of Kelp Forest Food Webs by Changing Foundation Species Abundance
Most climate change research has concentrated on the direct effects of environmental change for individual species and their interactions. By affecting key foundation species and ecosystem engineers, however, climate change may have a variety of indirect that may complicate our abilities to predict the response of communities and ecosystems. In California, climate change has increased the frequency and intensity of storms over the last half century. Storms may directly alter the structure of kelp forest food webs via disturbance.
Ecological complexity, a new but rapidly developing field integrating complexity theory and ecosystem function, can provide insights to tackle critical environmental problems. Here, ecological complexity is not merely describing complicated systems, but complex in the sense of studying many interacting components controlled by drivers operating across multiple scales.
Recent Advances and Opportunities for Urban Long Term Ecological Research: Theory, Data, and Methods
The prospect for long term, interdisciplinary research continues to grow since the "regionalizing" of the Coweeta and North Temperate Lakes LTER sites and the initiation of the two urban LTER sites: Baltimore and Central-Arizona-Phoenix. Additional sites have recruited social scientists and expanded both the questions asked and the geographic extent of their interests. Thus, there is growing opportunities for collaboration among sites that might not identify themselves as "urban," in conjunction with the existing regional and urban sites.
Phenology is a critical aspect of nearly all ecological phenomena and processes. We propose a brain storming workgroup to take the next step in coordinating phenology monitoring and research across the LTER Network. The inspiration for this working group proposal has its roots in the 2006 ASM working group, the 2007 Sevilleta Workshop and the 2007 AGU Fall Meeting (see working group material). The paper by Henebry et al. 2007, "A White Paper on Phenology across LTER", provides overview, background, and potential starting points for this session.