Much biological research on climate change focuses on the impacts of warming and changes in precipitation over wide areas. Researchers are now increasingly recognizing that at the local scale they must understand the effects of climate change through the intertwined patterns of soils, vegetation, and water flowpaths—not forgetting the uses humans have made of the landscape.
In the December issue of BioScience researchers describe how aboveground and belowground responses to springtime warming are becoming separated in time in a forest in New England. This and other indirect effects of climate change could alter the dominant trees and other plants in the region as well as the wildlife present, with likely consequences for local industry and tourism.
The observations could be a bellwether for changes in forests elsewhere. The researchers, led by Peter M. Groffman, analyzed findings from the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire, which has been studied for 50 years. Warming means spring has advanced and fall has retreated over that time.
Together with increasing snow and rain, this has led to an increase in streamflow in winter and summer—but to a decline in the winter snowpack. The declining snowpack should favor deer at the expense of moose—which seems to be happening. And the earlier thaw means soils have been warming earlier in the springtime. Significantly, the interval between snowmelt and full leaf growth has increased—by 8 days over 50 years.
Soil nutrients can be more easily washed out during this transition period, and soil freezing can also occur. This can in turn threaten some tree species, including yellow birch and sugar maple—the main source of maple syrup. Soil invertebrates are also killed by soil freezing, so the species of birds that feed on them will likely change. Groffman and his colleagues stress that research into the likely effects of climate change should examine a full range of landscapes, including those affected by biological invaders. Research should also take advantage of the range of temperatures at different elevations to explore the effects of expected warming.
BioScience, published monthly, is the journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS). BioScience is a forum for integrating the life sciences that publishes commentary and peer-reviewed articles. The journal has been published since 1964. AIBS is a meta-level organization for professional scientific societies and organizations that are involved with biology. It represents nearly 160 member societies and organizations.
The complete list of peer-reviewed articles in the December, 2012 issue of BioScience is as follows. These are published ahead of print from 16 November.
Ethical Considerations in On-Ground Applications of the Ecosystem Services Concept.
Gary W. Luck, Kai M. A. Chan, Uta Eser, Erik Gómez-Baggethun, Bettina Matzdorf, Bryan Norton, and Marion B. Potschin
Noise in Bacterial Chemotaxis: Sources, Analysis, and Control.
Pratap R. Patnaik
Standardizing Selection Strengths to Study Selection in the Wild: A Critical Comparison and Suggestions for the Future.
Shuichi Matsumura, Robert Arlinghaus, and Ulf Dieckmann
Long-Term Integrated Studies Show Complex and Surprising Effects of Climate Change in the Northern Hardwood Forest.
Peter M. Groffman, Lindsey E. Rustad, Pamela H. Templer, John L. Campbell, Lynn M. Christenson, Nina K. Lany, Anne M. Socci, Matthew A. Vadeboncoeur, Paul G. Schaberg, Geoffrey F. Wilson, Charles T. Driscoll, Timothy J. Fahey, Melany C. Fisk, Christine L. Goodale, Mark B. Green, Steven P. Hamburg, Chris E. Johnson, Myron J. Mitchell, Jennifer L. Morse, Linda H. Pardo, and Nicholas L. Rodenhouse
Advanced Technologies and Data Management Practices in Environmental Science: Lessons from Academia.
Rebecca R. Hernandez, Matthew S. Mayernik, Michelle L. Murphy- Mariscal, and Michael F. Allen
The Value of Hidden Scientific Resources: Preserved Animal Specimens from Private Collections and Small Museums.
Mireia Casas-Marce, Eloy Revilla, Margarida Fernandes, Alejandro Rodríguez, Miguel Delibes, and José A. Godoy
Tim Beardsley | EurekAlert!
Matchmaking with consequences
17.10.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Taking screening methods to the next level
17.10.2017 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
It's possible to produce hydrogen to power fuel cells by extracting the gas from seawater, but the electricity required to do it makes the process costly. UCF...
Mercury, our smallest planetary neighbor, has very little to call an atmosphere, but it does have a strange weather pattern: morning micro-meteor showers.
Recent modeling along with previously published results from NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft -- short for Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
17.10.2017 | Life Sciences
17.10.2017 | Event News
17.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy