How healthy are our oceans?
with Dr. Ben Halpern, Director, Center for Marine Assessment and Planning
Thursday, December 13, 5:30-6:30 PM (Pacific Daylight Time)
Basement auditorium, 735 State Street, Santa Barbara
This event is free and open to all.
The talk will also be broadcast live on the internet.
A study published in Global Change Biology finds an invasive grass species may be one reason fires are bigger and more frequent in certain regions of the western United States. Results demonstrate that cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) invasion has substantially altered the regional fire regime. Although this result has been suspected by managers for decades, this study is the first to document recent cheatgrass-driven fire regimes at a regional scale.
Assessing the ecological importance of clouds has substantial implications for our basic understanding of ecosystems and for predicting how they will respond to a changing climate. This study was conducted in a coastal Bishop pine forest ecosystem that experiences regular cycles of stratus cloud cover and inundation in summer. The study concludes that clouds are important to the ecological functioning of these coastal forests, providing summer shading and cooling that relieve pine and microbial drought stress as well as regular moisture inputs that elevate plant and microbial metabolism.
Synthesizing frontiers in modeling drought- and insect-induced tree mortality with climate change
Principal Investigator(s): William Anderegg, Jeffrey Hicke, and Rosie Fisher
Establishing an open-source animal-tracking analysis platform for archival geolocators
Principal Investigator(s): Eli Bridge, David Winkler, Eldar Rakhimberdiev, and Nathaniel Seavy
Global impacts of climate change on kelp forest ecosystems
Principal Investigator(s): Jarrett Byrnes, Sean Connell, and Mark Novak
Land use change and infectious diseases
Principal Investigator(s): Andrew Dobson, Nita Bharti, and Matt Bonds
Developing comprehensive management models for marine mammals
Principal Investigator(s): Leah Gerber
Dance with neighbors: What have we learned about species coexistence in tree communities from the global stem-mapped forest plots?
Principal Investigator(s): Fangliang He, Rick Condit, Stephen Hubbell, and Thorsten Wiegand
When is a mutualist a cheater? A synthesis of conceptual and data-based perspectives on the causes and consequences of variation in mutualist quality
Principal Investigator(s): Emily Jones and Maren Friesen
Warming food webs
Principal Investigator(s): Mary O'Connor and Hamish Greig
Synthesizing top-down and bottom-up approaches to ecological energetics
Principal Investigator(s): Jane Shevtsov
A standard assessment framework for ecosystem services
Principal Investigator(s): Dean Urban, Lydia Olander, and Pat Comer
Fungal pathogens and disease-induced extinction: Are fungal diseases different?
Principal Investigator(s): Jamie Voyles, Cheryl Briggs, and Marm Kilpatrick
The REAP and Kepler Projects are pleased to announce the beta release of the open source Kepler Sensor Platform.
The Kepler Sensor Platform enables:
Lake Baikal, the Sacred Sea of Siberia
with Dr. Stephanie Hampton, Deputy Director, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS)
Thursday, September 13, 5:30-6:30 PM (Pacific Daylight Time)
NCEAS lounge, 3rd floor, 735 State Street, Santa Barbara
This event is free, open to all, and will feature light refreshments.
From the many millions who count on ocean fisheries for their livelihoods to the uncounted lives saved by intact coral reefs during the 2004 Asian tsunami, people all over the world depend upon healthy oceans. But how healthy are our oceans? A new measurement tool, the Ocean Health Index, answers that question for every coastal country in the world. The Index goes far beyond just the "pristineness" of the world's oceans to measure the overall benefits people are receiving from the oceans.
In response to the growing need for a way to easily access and analyze massive amounts of heterogeneous data in the fields of earth and environmental sciences, UC Santa Barbara’s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, a core partner in a joint effort to streamline such research, presents DataONE, the Data Observation Network for Earth.
Far more wild plant species may be responding to global warming than previous large-scale estimates have suggested. It follows a detailed NCEAS working group study, released in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study shows that many plant species, which appear to not be affected by warmer spring temperatures, are in fact responding as much to warmer winters.
More information about this project's research , participants and publications
Utilizing and synthesizing data from nearly 200 published articles, NCEAS researchers examined the effects of various environmental stressors on plant growth and decomposition, two crucial processes in any ecosystem. They measured the rate of species loss in different ecosystems, and found that where there was greater plant species loss, there was an increased negative impact on plant growth and an alteration in decomposition. The effects of biodiversity loss on biomass were similar to the effects from other environmental stressors, including global warming, pollution, and acid rain.
More information about this project's research, participants and publications
Upon the second anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, a national panel of researchers offers a new model for understanding what happened in this disaster, how to think of such events in the future, and why existing tools were inadequate to fully predict what lay before them. The findings of the NCEAS' "Ecotoxicology of the gulf oil spill: A holistic framework for assessing impacts" working group are published in the May issue of BioScience.
NCEAS researchers report in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment that almost 70 percent of the most damaging non-native forest insects and diseases currently afflicting U.S. forests arrive via imported live plants. Once introduced, some of these imported insects and disease organisms establish, and a fraction become major economic pests. The authors describe several possible means to increase bio-security, including intensified efforts at plant inspection stations, precautionary measures that restrict plants from entering the U.S. until risks have been assessed, expanding post-entry quarantines, developing better advance knowledge about pest insects and pathogens, and developing integrated systems approaches that depend on expanded partnerships between researchers and industry.
A new study published in Landscape Ecology evaluates the ways that spatial uncertainty, landscape characteristics, and genetic stochasticity interact to influence the strength and variability of conclusions about landscape-genetics relationships.