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National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

Project Description

Riverine exports of silicon (Si) directly influence global carbon (C) cycling through the growth of diatoms, ubiquitous autotrophs in marine and freshwater systems, which account for ~25% of global primary production. Rivers play essential roles in processing and supplying the Si necessary for diatom growth, but we have limited knowledge of the controls on river Si exports,especially how they vary across biomes. Prior work has shown conflicting importance of various drivers, such as lithology, riverine productivity, and terrestrial vegetation in controlling river Si exports. Capturing a baseline understanding of how these factors influence Si exports across biomes is essential for understanding freshwater and marine C cycles, especially during this period of rapid climatic warming. This synthesis will answer three specific research questions related to the roles of 1) terrestrial vegetation, 2) river productivity and 3) climate warming in controlling river Si exports across biomes. Our proposed sites span the globe (e.g., Antarctic, tropical, temperate, boreal, alpine, Arctic systems), and present a unique cross-network opportunity to connect LTER-based research with that of the Critical Zone Observatory and USGS. Together, we will create the first data-driven predictive framework of how riverine Si exports will respond to global change.

Group photo of LTER Carey River Si group at NCEAS

Principal Investigator(s)

Joanna C. Carey, Kathijo Jankowski

Project Dates

Start: January 9, 2020



Benjamin W. Abbott
University of Brighton
Sidney Bush
Oregon State University
Joanna C. Carey
Babson College
Linda Deegan
Marine Biological Laboratory
Ruth Heindel
Kathijo Jankowski
US Geological Survey (USGS)
Keira Johnson
Oregon State University
Jeremy B. Jones
University of Alaska, Fairbanks
Paul Julian
Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation
Pirkko Kortelainen
Finnish Environment Institute
Hjalmar Laudon
William H. McDowell
University of New Hampshire
William McDowell
University of New Hampshire
Diane M. McKnight
University of Colorado, Boulder
Amanda Poste
Norwegian Institute for Water Research
Antti Raike
Lienne Sethna
Indiana University
Arial Shogren
Michigan State University
Pamela Sullivan
Oregon State University
Patrick Thomas
Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg
Wilfred Wollheim
University of New Hampshire
Adam S. Wymore
University of New Hampshire