95th ESA Annual Meeting (August 1 -- 6, 2010)

OOS 20 - The Role of Student Research in Long-Term Studies: Insights into Climate Change and Disturbance Theory

Tuesday, August 3, 2010: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
315-316, David L Lawrence Convention Center
Chelse M. Prather
Amber Hardison
T. A. Crowl
With climate change becoming more publicized and natural and anthropogenic disturbances on the rise, ecologists feel increasing pressure from the public and policy makers to develop theory regarding the effects of disturbances and climate change on populations, communities and ecosystems. Much of the current climate change and disturbance theory comes from sites where ecological research has occurred over decadal time scales, i.e. long-term study sites. At these sites, researchers are able to capture organism and ecosystem responses to natural disturbances because they have access to long-term study plots and/or the resources to implement disturbance or climate manipulations. For students, working at long-term sites can be challenging because the duration of graduate degrees are short compared to the timescales over which these complex changes occur. How can students begin to address such complexity over their short research windows? Students may actually be in an excellent position to address these issues because they are just beginning their careers, and are often more flexible than established researchers to use cross-disciplinary research that may be appropriate for these complex questions. Principal investigators at long-term study sites may integrate individual researchers' work, including graduate students' theses and dissertations, to develop components of disturbance and climate change theories. In this symposium, we seek to explore: what is the role of student research in the development of these theories, and how are students at long-term research sites well-positioned to answer these complex questions? This symposium seeks to highlight recent graduate student contributions to disturbance and climate change theories. First, Scott Collins, a faculty member who studies the effects of climate change on plant community structure, will reflect on the contributions of student research to these long term / large scale manipulations in his work, from which seminal publications about shrub encroachment have come. We will then have a series of graduate students and recent graduates speak about their unique experience conducting research at long-term sites, and how their individual research has (or will) inform current theories. These speakers study lakes, streams, forests, deserts and tundra from the arctic to the tropics.
1:50 PM
Long-term trends in ice cover, stability, phosphorus and water quality in eutrophic Lake Mendota
Amy M. Kamarainen, Harvard University; Richard C. Lathrop, University of Wisconsin - Madison; Stephen R. Carpenter, University of Wisconsin - Madison
2:10 PM
Amplification of seasonal acidification in poorly-buffered neotropical streams following an historically large ENSO event
Gaston E. Small, University of St. Thomas; Marcelo Ardón, Duke University; Alan P. Jackman, University of California, Davis; John H. Duff, U.S. Geological Survey; Frank J. Triska, U.S. Geological Survey; Alonso Ramírez, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras; Marcia Snyder, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Catherine M. Pringle, University of Georgia
2:30 PM
Can 20,000 seedlings lie? Demographic responses to climate and disturbance from three longterm experiments
David M. Bell, University of Wyoming; James Clark, Duke University; Michelle H. Hersh, Eastern Michigan University; Ines Ibanez, University of Michigan; Jacqueline Mohan, University of Georgia
2:50 PM
Carbon storage capacity under varying disturbance regimes
Ensheng Weng, Princeton University; Nikola Petrov, University of Oklahoma; Yiqi Luo, University of Oklahoma; Weile Wang, NASA ARC-CREST; Han Wang, The University of Oklahoma
3:10 PM
3:40 PM
Ecosystem scale response to changing climate in the Northeast : Links between trees, moose and nutrient cycling at Hubbard Brook
Lynn Christenson, Vassar College; Peter M. Groffman, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies; Myron J. Mitchell, SUNY ESF; Gary Lovett, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
See more of: Organized Oral Session