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National Science Foundation forum to address ecological connectivity and climate in a changing world

On Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will host its 8th annual Mini-Symposium on Long-Term Ecological Research, or LTER.

This year's forum focuses on ecological connectivity and climate.

We live in an increasingly connected world. In an ecological context, connectivity is defined as the transfer of organisms and materials by wind, water, humans and animals among interconnected locations.

In this symposium, LTER scientists will discuss new thinking about ecological systems, and about sampling strategies to account for changes on local, regional, continental and global scales.

A connectivity framework is helping LTER scientists address such phenomena as increasing frequency of floods, widespread drought, emergence and re-emergence of infectious diseases, the spread of invasive species and magnification of pollutants in ecosystems.

The focus of the symposium will be on how this connectivity framework is helpful for addressing climate change and its effects on sea level rise, the transport of air and water pollutants and increasing agricultural pests.

Analysis of these effects over the next 10 to 30 years will be aided, scientists believe, by a new framework for coupled social and ecological science currently being developed by the LTER Network and by increased collaboration with environmental observatories in the U.S. and around the world.

The symposium will feature talks on such topics as:

  • ecological connectivity in a changing world
  • the coastal nexus of environments: where land and sea interact
  • the airshed: connecting air, land and water
  • hydrologic connectivity, climate change and nutrient delivery to waters from lakes to the sea
  • connectivity and species change
  • how dust shapes ecosystems
  • biofuels and biodiversity: linking landscape change and ecosystem services

Who: LTER Scientists

What: Mini-Symposium on results of long-term ecological research

When: Thursday, February 26, 2009, 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Where: National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Room 110, Arlington, VA 22230


Contact: Cheryl Dybas
National Science Foundation

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