Scientists with the Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research have received a four-year, $859,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to assess how cottonwood trees … Read more about NAU research team receives grant to study how trees adapt to insect damage and the changing environment
It is easy to study what you can see. Researchers know a lot about how plants work aboveground, but what happens out of sight under the surface may control more than we once thought.
Ecoss researchers in the Plant and Ecosystem Ecology—PEER—Lab at Northern Arizona University are digging into the soils of South Africa and Alaska to shed light on a poorly understood topic: how plant roots function. A $300,000 Mellon Foundation grant funds the South Africa study,… Read more
Plants can grow faster as atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations increase, but only if they have enough nitrogen or partner with fungi that help them get it, according to new research published in Science.
The study, which included researchers from Northern Arizona University, the University of Antwerp (Belgium), Indiana University and New South Wales University (Australia), was led by César Terrer Moreno, a Ph.D. student at Imperial College London.
The team synthesized more than 80 past experiments and found that higher… Read more
When leaves fall in the autumn, they are only just beginning their journey.
Leaves that fall into the water from streamside trees feed not only microbes, but also larval aquatic insects. The insects, in turn, are snatched up for food during all stages of their transformation into adults that fly from the water back to the forest. Is this journey through the riparian food web different for different kinds of leaves?
Northern Arizona University researchers in Jane Marks’ lab experimented with… Read more
The link between lineage and behavior has inspired research across the spectrum of life. For plants and animals, genetically close cousins tend to act in similar ways. Finches, for example, eat seeds, while swallows eat insects. For bacteria, however, the question is up for debate.
Does evolutionary history predict how different types of bacteria behave and function? Or, conversely, do unrelated bacteria typically overlap each other’s functions, providing the same ecosystem services—a concept known as functional redundancy? The answer determines… Read more
Like a Southern drawl popping up on the West Coast, our accents mark us as newcomers. With time they fade, leaving only traces of our past in the occasional slip of a word.
Northern Arizona University researchers led by Bruce Hungate, director of the Center for Ecosystem Science and Society, have found the microscopic equivalent of an accent in an invasive pest: the Japanese beetle. This microscopic “accent” is the amount of a rare but stable hydrogen isotope in… Read more