Grain by grain, sandbars are ecologically important to the Colorado River system for humans and wildlife, say scientists. How sand, silt and clay move along and become deposited within the river corridor in the Grand Canyon National Park, downstream from Glen Canyon Dam, has become an… Read more
Bees, butterflies and other insects are important plant pollinators in natural ecosystems and agricultural settings. However, pollinator populations have been decreasing in recent decades. Researchers say one factor contributing to the decline is the degradation and loss of their habitat. Northern Arizona University ecologist and conservation biologist Clare Aslan… Read more
Challenging long-held assumptions that phosphorus limits aboveground plant growth mainly in tropical regions, a new paper in Nature Communications by NAU authors suggests that this important nutrient actually helps govern plant production in temperate regions, too, and on every continent except Antarctica.
Analyzing data from phosphorus field experiments conducted worldwide between 1955-2017, authors Enqing Hou,… Read more
If the fate of carbon is a test that planet Earth is taking right now, one of the answer keys is likely to be found in soil, where microorganisms—which account for nearly 15 percent of global biomass, by some estimates—eat, store and respire carbon and other nutrients. As Earth warms, how these microbes change the way they live will have potentially big consequences for where the carbon goes.
Now, a team led… Read more
Dec. 7, 2018
Predicting and managing the global carbon cycle requires understanding the ecosystem processes that control carbon uptake and storage.
Although scientists generally think of carbon cycling in terms of the uptake and exchange between ecosystem plant and soil pools and the atmosphere, a new study of animals and the zoogeochemistry of the carbon cycle published in the journal Read more
Findings of a new study organized by the Permafrost Carbon Network (PCN) suggest that putting more effective greenhouse gas controls in place for the rest of this century could help mitigate the effects of climate change on the release of carbon from thawing soils of the northern permafrost region.