John Wesley Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis

All Working Groups

Filter Total Items: 65
Date published: June 29, 2016
Status: Active

Global Evaluation of the Impacts of Storms on freshwater Habitat and Structure of phytoplankton Assemblages (GEISHA)

Climate change is expected to cause more intense and frequent extreme weather events, but we only have a basic understanding of how these events might alter freshwater systems. Storms are likely to impact lake systems through delivery of sediments from watersheds and mixing of the water column, both of which could have important consequences for phytoplankton. Phytoplankton are the base of the...

Contacts: Vijay P Patil
Date published: June 29, 2016
Status: Active

Completing the dryland puzzle: creating a predictive framework for biological soil crust function and response to climate change

Drylands are integral to the Earth system and the present and future of human society. Drylands encompass more than 40% of the terrestrial landmass and support 34% of the world’s human population. Biocrusts are the “living skin” of Earth’s drylands, sometimes dominating the ground cover and figuring prominently in ecosystem structure and function. Biocrusts are a biological aggregate of...

Date published: November 2, 2015
Status: Active

NEON Workshop: Operationalizing Ecological Forecasts

Ecosystems are changing worldwide and critical decisions that affect ecosystem health and sustainability are being made every day. As ecologists, we have a responsibility to ensure that these decisions are made with access to the best available science. However, to bring this idea into practice, ecology needs to make a substantial leap forward towards becoming a more predictive science....

Date published: November 2, 2015
Status: Active

NEON Workshop: Harmonizing eco-informatics approaches to facilitate data integration

There is a wealth of biodiversity and environmental data that can provide the basis for addressing global scale questions of societal concern. However, our ability to access and integrate this data is hampered by the lack of standardized languages and systems to make this information accessible through the Internet. New tools (e.g. ontologies, standards, integration tools, unique identifiers)...

Date published: August 19, 2015
Status: Active

Local-scale ecosystem resilience amid global-scale ocean change: the coral reef example

Coral reefs are massive, wave resistant structures found throughout the tropics, where they have long attracted attention for their beauty, ecological importance, and rich biological diversity. However, in recent years attention to these systems has focused on their downturn in health and the potential that they effectively could disappear within a century. Yet while many coral reefs have...

Date published: August 19, 2015
Status: Active

River Corridor hot spots for biogeochemical processing: a continental scale synthesis

Rivers are the veins of the landscape, providing environmental benefits that are disproportionately high relative to their aerial extent; shedding flood waters, hosting aquatic ecosystems, transporting solutes and energy-rich materials, and storing and transforming pollutants into less harmful forms. From uplands to the coasts, rivers facilitate key biogeochemical reactions that cumulatively...

Date published: August 19, 2015
Status: Active

What lies below? Improving quantification and prediction of soil carbon storage, stability, and susceptibility to disturbance.

Soils are a vast reservoir of organic carbon (C), rendering the fate of soil C an important control on the global climate system. Widespread changes in soil C storage capacity present a potentially strong feedback to global change. Yet, a comprehensive understanding of how soil C will respond to climate and/or land use disturbance remains illusive, resulting in major uncertainties in global...

Contacts: Corey Lawrence
Date published: August 19, 2015
Status: Active

Predicting the next high-impact insect invasion: Elucidating traits and factors determining the risk of introduced herbivorous insects on North American native plants

Non-native insect invasions increasingly cause widespread ecological and economic damage in natural and agricultural ecosystems. Non-native insects specialized for feeding on specific plant groups are particularly problematic as they can potentially eliminate an entire genus of native plant species across a wide area. For example, emerald ash borer has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees...

Date published: October 6, 2014
Status: Active

Continental-scale overview of stream primary productivity, its links to water quality, and consequences for aquatic carbon biogeochemistry

Streams and rivers have a limited spatial extent, but are increasingly recognized as key components of regional biogeochemical cycles. The collective metabolic processing of organisms, known as ecosystem metabolism, is centrally important to nutrient cycling and carbon fluxes in these environments, but is poorly integrated into emerging biogeochemical concepts. This line of inquiry lags behind...

Date published: October 6, 2014
Status: Active

Operational Earthquake Forecasting – Implementing a Real-Time System for California

It is well know that every earthquake can spawn others (e.g., as aftershocks), and that such triggered events can be large and damaging, as recently demonstrated by L’Aquila, Italy and Christchurch, New Zealand earthquakes. In spite of being an explicit USGS strategic-action priority (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2012/1088; page 32), the USGS...

Date published: October 6, 2014
Status: Active

Characterizing landscape genomics and reconstructing pathways to plant ecological specialization and speciation

This proposal brings together biologists and geoscientists to evaluate the evolution of stress tolerance and adaptation to extreme environments in plants. Stress tolerance has been studied mainly from a physiological perspective using laboratory and field experiments. In contrast, this project will take a combined environmental and evolutionary perspective using national public databases and a...

Date published: October 6, 2014
Status: Active

North American Analysis and Synthesis on the Connectivity of "Geographically Isolated Wetlands" to Downstream Waters

Geographically Isolated Wetlands (GIWs) occur along gradients of hydrologic and ecological connectivity and isolation, even within wetland types (e.g., forested, emergent marshes) and functional classes (e.g., ephemeral systems, permanent systems, etc.). Within a given watershed, the relative positions of wetlands and open-waters along these gradients influence the type and magnitude of their...