Long-term Ecosystem Response to Rising Carbon Dioxide and Nitrogen

Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and increasing nutrient pollution each generally tend to increase plant growth. What happens to plants when you add both together? What happens to the ecosystem as a whole? We started adding both CO2 and nitrogen to plots in 2006 and found that the whole can be much less than the sum of its parts. We work closely with the Global Change Research Wetland (GCREW) at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (drone footage of site) to peer into the future through the eyes of an ecosystem.

Recent story from College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Data from site

Marsh Tolerance for Sea-level Rise

Marshes can accumulate soil to keep up with some rates of sea-level rise, but how much is too much, and what other factors may influence that threshold? We undertook the first ever CO2 x N x sea-level manipulation to answer these questions.


Mangrove Encroachment  and Climatic Warming

Mangroves have been moving northward into coastal marshes for the last several decades. Does decreasing freeze frequency alone drive that trend? What consequences does mangro-vasion have for ecosystem carbon balance and wetland viability?


Does natural variation in soil microbial community potential have any bearing on what happens in an ecosystem? My hunch is “no” for most places by and large, but we have some evidence from certain unique ecosystems that says “yes”. We’re manipulating soil microbes in controlled-inoculum experiments to figure it out.


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