Ecological change, climate variation addressed at international conference, September 20-24

Ecosystem responses to increasing urbanization in cities like Phoenix, links between declining Eastern hemlock trees and river and stream ecosystems, coral reef dependence on symbiotic crabs, and the history and future of long-term ecological research are among subjects to be addressed at the 6th Long-Term Ecological Research All-Scientists Meeting, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The conference will be held from Sept. 20-24, 2006, in Estes Park, Colo.

More than 700 scientists who conduct long-term ecological research (LTER) will attend. Among those speaking are James Collins, NSF assistant director for biological sciences, and David Lightfoot, NSF assistant director for social, behavioral and economic sciences.

"It's more important than ever to understand how Earth's biosphere is changing over the long term," said Collins. "NSF's LTER program is at the forefront of scientific research in developing that understanding."

NSF supports a network of 26 LTER sites located in the world's major biomes, from the coldest desert to tropical coral reefs. The network also includes sites that address the range of human influence on ecosystems, from almost none in Antarctica to significant in urban Phoenix and Baltimore.The research is funded primarily by NSF's Directorate for Biological Sciences, with additional support from the Directorate for Geosciences, Office of Polar Programs, and Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences.

Highlights of the meeting include:

The LTER Network: Past, Present...and Future

In a special session on the history of the LTER network, scientists involved in the effort since it began, including John Magnuson of the University of Wisconsin at Madison and Paul Risser of the University of Oklahoma, will review the LTER network's beginnings. According to Magnuson, scientists realized in the late 1970s they needed to better understand ecological dyna

Contact: Cheryl Dybas
National Science Foundation

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