The Ecosystems Center carries out research in ecosystems that range from the Arctic to the Antarctic, from Brazil to Martha’s Vineyard. In the Alaskan Arctic, scientists study the effect of warmer temperatures on tundra, stream and lake ecosystems. On the Arctic rivers of Eurasia, they measure how freshwater discharge is changing as the climate warms. On the western Antarctic peninsula, research focuses on the responses of the marine coastal ecosystem to rapid climate warming. In the western Amazon in Brazil, researchers assess how much the clearing of tropical forests will change the amount of greenhouse gas released into the atmosphere, while on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, scientists used controlled burns to restore coastal ecosystems. In central Massachusetts and in Abisko, Sweden, soil warming experiments are conducted to assess the forest’s response to climate warming. In northeastern Massachusetts, scientists study how changes in rural land use and urban development affect the flow of nutrients and organic matter into New England estuaries. In Boston Harbor, they measure the transfer of nitrogen from sediments to the water column as the harbor recovers from decades of sewage addition.

Recent Submissions

  • Deep soils modify environmental consequences of increased nitrogen fertilizer use in intensifying Amazon agriculture 

    Jankowski, KathiJo; Neill, Christopher; Davidson, Eric A.; Macedo, Marcia N.; Costa, Ciniro; Galford, Gillian L.; Maracahipes Santos, Leonardo; LeFebvre, Paul; Nunes, Darlisson; Cerri, Carlos E. P.; McHorney, Richard; O’Connell, Christine; Coe, Michael T. (Nature Publishing Group, 2018-09-07)
    Agricultural intensification offers potential to grow more food while reducing the conversion of native ecosystems to croplands. However, intensification also risks environmental degradation through emissions of the ...
  • Using canopy greenness index to identify leaf ecophysiological traits during the foliar senescence in an oak forest 

    Liu, Zhunqiao; An, Shuqing; Lu, Xiaoliang; Hu, Haibo; Tang, Jianwu (Ecological Society of America, 2018-07-31)
    Camera‐based observation of forest canopies allows for low‐cost, continuous, high temporal‐spatial resolutions of plant phenology and seasonality of functional traits. In this study, we extracted canopy color index (green ...
  • A robust calibration method for continental-scale soil water content measurements 

    Roberti, Joshua A.; Ayres, Edward; Loescher, Henry W.; Tang, Jianwu; Starr, Gregory; Durden, David J.; Smith, Derek E.; de la Reguera, Elizabeth; Morkeski, Kate; McKlveen, Margot; Benstead, Heidi; SanClements, Michael D.; Lee, Robert H.; Gebremedhin, Gebremedhin; Zulueta, Rommel C. (American Society of Agronomy, 2018-05-24)
    Technological advances have allowed in situ monitoring of soil water content in an automated manner. These advances, along with an increase in large-scale networks monitoring soil water content, stress the need for a robust ...
  • BioTIME : a database of biodiversity time series for the Anthropocene 

    Dornelas, Maria; Antao, Laura H.; Moyes, Faye; Bates, Amanda E.; Magurran, Anne E.; Adam, Dusan; Akhmetzhanova, Asem A.; Appeltans, Ward; Arcos, Jose Manuel; Arnold, Haley; Ayyappan, Narayanan; Badihi, Gal; Baird, Andrew H.; Barbosa, Miguel; Barreto, Tiago Egydio; Bässler, Claus; Bellgrove, Alecia; Belmaker, Jonathan; Benedetti-Cecchi, Lisandro; Bett, Brian J.; Bjorkman, Anne D.; Błazewicz, Magdalena; Blowes, Shane A.; Bloch, Christopher P.; Bonebrake, Timothy C.; Boyd, Susan; Bradford, Matt; Brooks, Andrew J.; Brown, James H.; Bruelheide, Helge; Budy, Phaedra; Carvalho, Fernando; Castaneda-Moya, Edward; Chen, Chaolun Allen; Chamblee, John F.; Chase, Tory J.; Collier, Laura Siegwart; Collinge, Sharon K.; Condit, Richard; Cooper, Elisabeth J.; Cornelissen, Johannes H. C.; Cotano, Unai; Crow, Shannan Kyle; Damasceno, Gabriella; Davies, Claire H.; Davis, Robert A.; Day, Frank P.; Degraer, Steven; Doherty, Tim S.; Dunn, Timothy E.; Durigan, Giselda; Duffy, J. Emmett; Edelist, Dor; Edgar, Graham J.; Elahi, Robin; Elmendorf, Sarah C.; Enemar, Anders; Ernest, S. K. Morgan; Escribano, Ruben; Estiarte, Marc; Evans, Brian S.; Fan, Tung-Yung; Farah, Fabiano Turini; Fernandes, Luiz Loureiro; Farneda, Fabio Z.; Fidelis, Alessandra; Fitt, Robert; Fosaa, Anna Maria; Franco, Geraldo Antonio Daher Correa; Frank, Grace E.; Fraser, William R.; García, Hernando; Gatti, Roberto Cazzolla; Givan, Or; Gorgone-Barbosa, Elizabeth; Gould, William A.; Gries, Corinna; Grossman, Gary D.; Gutierrez, Julio R.; Hale, Stephen; Harmon, Mark E.; Harte, John; Haskins, Gary; Henshaw, Donald L.; Hermanutz, Luise; Hidalgo, Pamela; Higuchi, Pedro; Hoey, Andrew S.; Hoey, Gert Van; Hofgaard, Annika; Holeck, Kristen; Hollister, Robert D.; Holmes, Richard; Hoogenboom, Mia; Hsieh, Chih-hao; Hubbell, Stephen P.; Huettmann, Falk; Huffard, Christine L.; Hurlbert, Allen H.; Ivanauskas, Natalia Macedo; Janík, David; Jandt, Ute; Jazdzewska, Anna; Johannessen, Tore; Johnstone, Jill F.; Jones, Julia; Jones, Faith A. M.; Kang, Jungwon; Kartawijaya, Tasrif; Keeley, Erin C.; Kelt, Douglas A.; Kinnear, Rebecca; Klanderud, Kari; Knutsen, Halvor; Koenig, Christopher C.; Kortz, Alessandra R.; Kral, Kamil; Kuhnz, Linda A.; Kuo, Chao-Yang; Kushner, David J.; Laguionie-Marchais, Claire; Lancaster, Lesley T.; Lee, Cheol Min; Lefcheck, Jonathan S.; Levesque, Esther; Lightfoot, David; Lloret, Francisco; Lloyd, John D.; Lopez-Baucells, Adria; Louzao, Maite; Madin, Joshua S.; Magnusson, Borgbor; Malamud, Shahar; Matthews, Iain; McFarland, Kent P.; McGill, Brian; McKnight, Diane; McLarney, William O.; Meador, Jason; Meserve, Peter L.; Metcalfe, Daniel J.; Meyer, Christoph F. J.; Michelsen, Anders; Milchakova, Nataliya; Moens, Tom; Moland, Even; Moore, Jon; Moreira, Carolina Mathias; Muller, Jorg; Murphy, Grace; Myers-Smith, Isla H.; Myster, Randall W.; Naumov, Andrew; Neat, Francis; Nelson, James A.; Nelson, Michael Paul; Newton, Stephen F.; Norden, Natalia; Oliver, Jeffrey C.; Olsen, Esben M.; Onipchenko, Vladimir G.; Pabis, Krzysztof; Pabst, Robert J.; Paquette, Alain; Pardede, Sinta; Paterson, David M.; Pelissier, Raphael; Penuelas, Josep; Perez-Matus, Alejandro; Pizarro, Oscar; Pomati, Francesco; Post, Eric; Prins, Herbert H. T.; Priscu, John C.; Provoost, Pieter; Prudic, Kathleen L.; Pulliainen, Erkki; Ramesh, B. B.; Ramos, Olivia Mendivil; Rassweiler, Andrew; Rebelo, Jose Eduardo; Reed, Daniel C.; Reich, Peter B.; Remillard, Suzanne M.; Richardson, Anthony J.; Richardson, J. Paul; Rijn, Itai van; Rocha, Ricardo; Rivera-Monroy, Victor H.; Rixen, Christian; Robinson, Kevin P.; Rodrigues, Ricardo Ribeiro; Rossa-Feres, Denise de Cerqueira; Rudstam, Lars; Ruhl, Henry A.; Ruz, Catalina S.; Sampaio, Erica M.; Rybicki, Nancy; Rypel, Andrew; Sal, Sofia; Salgado, Beatriz; Santos, Flavio A. M.; Savassi-Coutinho, Ana Paula; Scanga, Sara; Schmidt, Jochen; Schooley, Robert; Setiawan, Fakhrizal; Shao, Kwang-Tsao; Shaver, Gaius R.; Sherman, Sally; Sherry, Thomas W.; Sicinski, Jacek; Sievers, Caya; da Silva, Ana Carolina; da Silva, Fernando Rodrigues; Silveira, Fabio L.; Slingsby, Jasper; Smart, Tracey; Snell, Sara J.; Soudzilovskaia, Nadejda A.; Souza, Gabriel B. G.; Souza, Flaviana Maluf; Souza, Vinícius Castro; Stallings, Christopher D.; Stanforth, Rowan; Stanley, Emily H.; Sterza, Jose Mauro; Stevens, Maarten; Stuart-Smith, Rick; Suarez, Yzel Rondon; Supp, Sarah; Tamashiro, Jorge Yoshio; Tarigan, Sukmaraharja; Thiede, Gary P.; Thorn, Simon; Tolvanen, Anne; Toniato, Maria Teresa Zugliani; Totland, Orjan; Twilley, Robert R.; Vaitkus, Gediminas; Valdivia, Nelson; Vallejo, Martha Isabel; Valone, Thomas J.; Van Colen, Carl; Vanaverbeke, Jan; Venturoli, Fabio; Verheye, Hans M.; Vianna, Marcelo; Vieira, Rui P.; Vrska, Tomas; Vu, Con Quang; Vu, Lien Van; Waide, Robert B.; Waldock, Conor; Watts, David; Webb, Sara; Wesołowski, Tomasz; White, Ethan P.; Widdicombe, Claire E.; Wilgers, Wilgers; Williams, Richard; Williams, Stefan B.; Williamson, Mark; Willig, Michael R.; Willis, Trevor J.; Wipf, Sonja; Woods, Kerry D.; Woehler, Eric; Zawada, Kyle; Zettler, Michael L. (John Wiley & Sons, 2018-07-24)
    The BioTIME database contains raw data on species identities and abundances in ecological assemblages through time. These data enable users to calculate temporal trends in biodiversity within and amongst assemblages using ...
  • Comparison of phenology estimated from reflectance-based indices and solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) observations in a temperate forest using GPP-based phenology as the standard 

    Lu, Xiaoliang; Liu, Zhunqiao; Zhou, Yuyu; Liu, Yaling; An, Shuqing; Tang, Jianwu (MDPI AG, 2018-06-13)
    We assessed the performance of reflectance-based vegetation indices and solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) datasets with various spatial and temporal resolutions in monitoring the Gross Primary Production (GPP)-based ...
  • Transient coastal landscapes : rising sea level threatens salt marshes 

    Valiela, Ivan; Lloret, Javier; Bowyer, Tynan; Miner, Simon; Remsen, David P.; Elmstrom, Elizabeth; Cogswell, Charlotte; Thieler, E. Robert (2018-05)
    Salt marshes are important coastal environments that provide key ecological services. As sea level rise has accelerated globally, concerns about the ability of salt marshes to survive submergence are increasing. Previous ...
  • Short term changes in moisture content drive strong changes in Normalized Difference Vegetation Index and gross primary productivity in four Arctic moss communities 

    May, Jeremy L.; Parker, Thomas C.; Unger, Steven; Oberbauer, Steven F. (2018-04)
    Climate change is currently altering temperature and precipitation totals and timing in Arctic regions. Moss communities constitute much of the understory in Arctic vegetation, and as poikilohydric plants moss are highly ...
  • Performance of solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence in estimating water-use efficiency in a temperate forest 

    Lu, Xiaoliang; Liu, Zhunqiao; Zhou, Yuyu; Liu, Yaling; Tang, Jianwu (MDPI AG, 2018-05-20)
    Water-use efficiency (WUE) is a critical variable describing the interrelationship between carbon uptake and water loss in land ecosystems. Different WUE formulations (WUEs) including intrinsic water use efficiency (WUEi), ...
  • Long‐term nutrient addition increases respiration and nitrous oxide emissions in a New England salt marsh 

    Martin, Rose M.; Wigand, Cathleen; Elmstrom, Elizabeth; Lloret, Javier; Valiela, Ivan (John Wiley & Sons, 2018-04-20)
    Salt marshes may act either as greenhouse gas (GHG) sources or sinks depending on hydrological conditions, vegetation communities, and nutrient availability. In recent decades, eutrophication has emerged as a major driver ...
  • Steering operational synergies in terrestrial observation networks : opportunity for advancing Earth system dynamics modelling 

    Baatz, Roland; Sullivan, Pamela L.; Li, Li; Weintraub, Samantha R.; Loescher, Henry W.; Mirtl, Michael; Groffman, Peter M.; Wall, Diana H.; Young, Michael; White, Tim; Wen, Hang; Zacharias, Steffen; Kühn, Ingolf; Tang, Jianwu; Gaillardet, Jerome; Braud, Isabelle; Flores, Alejandro N.; Kumar, Praveen; Lin, Henry; Ghezzehei, Teamrat; Jones, Julia; Gholz, Henry L.; Vereecken, Harry; Van Looy, Kris (Copernicus Publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union, 2018-05-23)
    Advancing our understanding of Earth system dynamics (ESD) depends on the development of models and other analytical tools that apply physical, biological, and chemical data. This ambition to increase understanding and ...
  • Changes in species abundance after seven years of elevated atmospheric CO2 and warming in a Subarctic birch forest understorey, as modified by rodent and moth outbreaks 

    Svensson, Brita M.; Carlsson, Bengt Å.; Melillo, Jerry M. (PeerJ, 2018-05-29)
    A seven-year long, two-factorial experiment using elevated temperatures (5 °C) and CO2 (concentration doubled compared to ambient conditions) designed to test the effects of global climate change on plant community composition ...
  • Constraining marsh carbon budgets using long‐term C burial and contemporary atmospheric CO2 fluxes 

    Forbrich, Inke; Giblin, Anne E.; Hopkinson, Charles S. (John Wiley & Sons, 2018-02-06)
    Salt marshes are sinks for atmospheric carbon dioxide that respond to environmental changes related to sea level rise and climate. Here we assess how climatic variations affect marsh‐atmosphere exchange of carbon dioxide ...
  • Effect of growth temperature on photosynthetic capacity and respiration in three ecotypes of Eriophorum vaginatum 

    Schedlbauer, Jessica L.; Fetcher, Ned; Hood, Katherine; Moody, Michael M.; Tang, Jianwu (John Wiley & Sons, 2018-03-06)
    Ecotypic differentiation in the tussock‐forming sedge Eriophorum vaginatum has led to the development of populations that are locally adapted to climate in Alaska's moist tussock tundra. As a foundation species, E. vaginatum ...
  • Long‐term nutrient addition alters arthropod community composition but does not increase total biomass or abundance 

    Asmus, Ashley; Koltz, Amanda; McLaren, Jennie; Shaver, Gaius R.; Gough, Laura (2017-09)
    A simple bottom–up hypothesis predicts that plant responses to nutrient addition should determine the response of consumers: more productive and less diverse plant communities, the usual result of long‐term nutrient addition, ...
  • A model suite of green algae within the Scenedesmaceae for investigating contrasting desiccation tolerance and morphology 

    Cardon, Zoe G.; Peredo, Elena L.; Dohnalkova, Alice C.; Gershone, Hannah L.; Bezanilla, Magdalena (The Company of Biologists, 2018-04-10)
    Microscopic green algae inhabiting desert microbiotic crusts are remarkably diverse phylogenetically, and many desert lineages have independently evolved from aquatic ancestors. Here we worked with five desert and aquatic ...
  • Nitrate is an important nitrogen source for Arctic tundra plants 

    Liu, Xue-Yan; Koba, Keisuke; Koyama, Lina A.; Hobbie, Sarah E.; Weiss, Marissa S.; Inagaki, Yoshiyuki; Shaver, Gaius R.; Giblin, Anne E.; Hobara, Satoru; Nadelhoffer, Knute J.; Sommerkorn, Martin; Rastetter, Edward B.; Kling, George W.; Laundre, James A.; Yano, Yuriko; Makabe, Akiko; Yano, Midori; Liu, Cong-Qiang (National Academy of Sciences, 2018-03-27)
    Plant nitrogen (N) use is a key component of the N cycle in terrestrial ecosystems. The supply of N to plants affects community species composition and ecosystem processes such as photosynthesis and carbon (C) accumulation. ...
  • Homogenization of plant diversity, composition, and structure in North American urban yards 

    Pearse, William D.; Cavender-Bares, Jeannine; Hobbie, Sarah E.; Avolio, Meghan L.; Bettez, Neil D.; Roy Chowdhury, Rinku; Darling, Lindsay; Groffman, Peter M.; Grove, J. Morgan; Hall, Sharon J.; Heffernan, James B.; Learned, Jennifer; Neill, Christopher; Nelson, Kristen; Pataki, Diane E.; Ruddell, Benjamin L.; Steele, Meredith K.; Trammell, Tara (John Wiley & Sons, 2018-02-15)
    Urban ecosystems are widely hypothesized to be more ecologically homogeneous than natural ecosystems. We argue that urban plant communities assemble from a complex mix of horticultural and regional species pools, and ...
  • Opportunities and challenges of high-resolution remote sensing of sun-induced fluorescence 

    Lu, Xinchen; Cheng, Xiao; Li, Xianglan; Tang, Jianwu (2017-08-17)
    Estimating plant photosynthesis and gross primary production (GPP) regionally and globally remains challenging despite its primary role in driving ecosystem productivity and carbon cycling. Recently, satellite-derived ...
  • Soil carbon dynamics in soybean cropland and forests in Mato Grosso, Brazil 

    Nagy, R. Chelsea; Porder, Stephen; Brando, Paulo; Davidson, Eric A.; Figueira, Adelaine Michela e Silva; Neill, Christopher; Riskin, Shelby H.; Trumbore, Susan E. (John Wiley & Sons, 2018-01-05)
    Climate and land use models predict that tropical deforestation and conversion to cropland will produce a large flux of soil carbon (C) to the atmosphere from accelerated decomposition of soil organic matter (SOM). However, ...
  • ORCHIDEE-PEAT (revision 4596), a model for northern peatland CO2, water, and energy fluxes on daily to annual scales 

    Qiu, Chunjing; Zhu, Dan; Ciais, Philippe; Guenet, Bertrand; Krinner, Gerhard; Peng, Shushi; Aurela, Mika; Bernhofer, Christian; Brümmer, Christian; Bret-Harte, M. Syndonia; Chu, Housen; Chen, Jiquan; Desai, Ankur R.; Dušek, Jiˇrí; Euskirchen, Eugenie; Fortuniak, Krzysztof; Flanagan, Lawrence B.; Friborg, Thomas; Grygoruk, Mateusz; Gogo, Sébastien; Grünwald, Thomas; Hansen, Birger U.; Holl, David; Humphreys, Elyn; Hurkuck, Miriam; Kiely, Gerard; Klatt, Janina; Kutzbach, Lars; Largeron, Chloé; Laggoun-Défarg, Fatima; Lund, Magnus; Lafleur, Peter M.; Li, Xuefei; Mammarella, Ivan; Merbold, Lutz; Nilsson, Mats B.; Olejnik, Janusz; Ottosson-Löfvenius, Mikaell; Oechel, Walter; Parmentier, Frans-Jan W.; Peichl, Matthias; Pirk, Norbert; Peltola, Olli; Pawlak, Włodzimierz; Rasse, Daniel; Rinne, Janne; Shaver, Gaius R.; Schmid, Hans Peter; Sottocornola, Matteo; Steinbrecher, Rainer; Sachs, Torsten; Urbaniak, Marek; Zona, Donatella; Ziemblinska, Klaudia (Copernicus Publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union, 2018-02-05)
    Peatlands store substantial amounts of carbon and are vulnerable to climate change. We present a modified version of the Organising Carbon and Hydrology In Dynamic Ecosystems (ORCHIDEE) land surface model for simulating ...

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