Foster David R.

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David R.

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  • Article
    Long-term ecological research in a human-dominated world
    (American Institute of Biological Sciences, 2012-04) Robertson, G. Philip ; Collins, Scott L. ; Foster, David R. ; Brokaw, Nicholas ; Ducklow, Hugh W. ; Gragson, Ted L. ; Gries, Corinna ; Hamilton, Stephen K. ; McGuire, A. David ; Moore, John C. ; Stanley, Emily H. ; Waide, Robert B. ; Williams, Mark W.
    The US Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network enters its fourth decade with a distinguished record of achievement in ecological science. The value of long-term observations and experiments has never been more important for testing ecological theory and for addressing today's most difficult environmental challenges. The network's potential for tackling emergent continent-scale questions such as cryosphere loss and landscape change is becoming increasingly apparent on the basis of a capacity to combine long-term observations and experimental results with new observatory-based measurements, to study socioecological systems, to advance the use of environmental cyberinfrastructure, to promote environmental science literacy, and to engage with decisionmakers in framing major directions for research. The long-term context of network science, from understanding the past to forecasting the future, provides a valuable perspective for helping to solve many of the crucial environmental problems facing society today.
  • Article
    The changing landscape : ecosystem responses to urbanization and pollution across climatic and societal gradients
    (Ecological Society of America, 2008-06) Grimm, Nancy B. ; Foster, David R. ; Groffman, Peter M. ; Grove, J. Morgan ; Hopkinson, Charles S. ; Nadelhoffer, Knute J. ; Pataki, Diane E. ; Peters, Debra P. C.
    Urbanization, an important driver of climate change and pollution, alters both biotic and abiotic ecosystem properties within, surrounding, and even at great distances from urban areas. As a result, research challenges and environmental problems must be tackled at local, regional, and global scales. Ecosystem responses to land change are complex and interacting, occurring on all spatial and temporal scales as a consequence of connectivity of resources, energy, and information among social, physical, and biological systems. We propose six hypotheses about local to continental effects of urbanization and pollution, and an operational research approach to test them. This approach focuses on analysis of “megapolitan” areas that have emerged across North America, but also includes diverse wildland-to-urban gradients and spatially continuous coverage of land change. Concerted and coordinated monitoring of land change and accompanying ecosystem responses, coupled with simulation models, will permit robust forecasts of how land change and human settlement patterns will alter ecosystem services and resource utilization across the North American continent. This, in turn, can be applied globally.