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Are we at risk of losing much of our western forests? – Accelerating mortality of forests in and around the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab

Something odd and very worrisome caught my eye scrolling through my photos of my labs work up at the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab . . . Every year since 2002 I and my lab have been heading up to the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab in Gothic Colorado to conduct repeated measures across an elevational gradient. Here we measure diversity, ecosystem […]

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‘Scaling in Ecology’ and the ESA 100th anniversary – symposium on ‘A focus on scaling for the next 100 years’

“Biological research is in crisis…. Technology gives us the tools to analyze organisms at all scales, but we are drowning in a sea of data and thirsting for some theoretical framework with which to understand it.” – Sydney Brenner. 2012  “The harmony of the world is made manifest in form and number, and the heart and soul and all the poetry […]

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New Research out in Nature – Size and Age of Plants Impact Their Productivity More Than Climate, UA Study Shows

UA professor Brian Enquist and postdoctoral researcher Sean Michaletz, along with collaborators Dongliang Cheng from Fujian Normal University in China and Drew Kerkhoff from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, have combined a new mathematical theory with data from more than 1,000 forests across the world to show that climate has a relatively minor direct effect on net primary productivity, or the amount of […]

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Interesting paper on intraspecific trait variation and range shifts

Angert AL, SN Sheth, and JR Paul. 2011. Incorporating population variation in thermal performance into geographic range shift predictions. Integrative and Comparative Biology,  “Therefore, species-level projections of distribution might overestimate the species’ ability to persist at any given location. However, current approaches to modeling distributions often do not consider variation among populations. Here, we estimated genetically-based differences in thermal performance curves for growth among 12 populations of the scarlet monkeyflower, Mimulus cardinalis, a perennial herb of western North America. We inferred the maximum relative growth rate (RGRmax), temperature optimum (Topt), and temperature breadth (Tbreadth) for each population. We used these data to test for tradeoffs in thermal performance, generate mechanistic population-level projections of distribution under current and future climates” 

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