SERC researcher and FCE LTER Lead Principal Investigator Evelyn Gaiser is featured in the Miami Herald on Everglades research. For the last 16 years, nearly 80 scientists and their students from 29 organizations have embarked on one of the longest and largest studies ever conducted on South Florida’s coastal Everglades. They now fear the system may be at what lead investigator Evelyn Gaiser calls a “tipping point,” where change is happening faster than scientists expected.
The first few nights of February 2017 have been chilly by South Florida standards. This episode of WLRN's Topical Currents examines how these temperature dips affect South Florida plants and landscapes, featuring the Southeast Environmental Research Center's Dr. Jennifer Rehage. Listen to the full interview here.
Every year during the austral summer, satellite imagery reveals a wide belt of unusually reflective seawater encircling Antarctica between about 38°S and 60°S. This bright, patchy halo, known as the Great Calcite Belt (GCB), covers 16% of the entire global ocean. New research by Balch et al. identifies key factors behind the formation of the GCB and explores its effects on carbon cycling.
Researchers have discovered that the ice-covered lakes in Antarctica's McMurdo Dry Valley uphold the thawed fragments of black carbon from ancient wildfires. The study was published in the American Geophysical Union journal Geophysical Research Letters, and was co-authored by Drs. Yan Ding and Rudolf Jaffe of the Southeast Environmental Research Center at Florida International University.
A classically trained musician, Evelyn Gaiser recently translated high-frequency lake data to musical compositions in order to better understand and describe changes. Dr. Gaiser is an aquatic ecologist who studies long-term dynamics of ecosystems in response to environmental change. She is the executive director of FIU’s School of Environment, Arts, and Society and lead principal investigator of the Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research program.
Radio France Internationale recently broadcasted a program in which Dr. Lakhdar Boukerrou gave an overview on all FIU/USAID WA-WASH work in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Niger. For more information on the program and its activities, objectives, and progress during each phase of work, you can visit their website here.
In response to months-long protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline project in North Dakota, FIU hosted a discussion between faculty experts in water security and native rights and local members of the Seminole nation. The event, co-sponsored by the Program in the Study of Spirituality, was filled with students who wanted to understand the controversial project and find out how they could get involved in Standing Rock or other water security issues closer to home.
When it comes to storing carbon, scientists have put a price tag on the value of mangroves in South Florida's Everglades -- and it's in the billions. Mangrove forests absorb carbon dioxide, and much of that carbon remains trapped in the trees' biomass. Based on a scientific cost estimate, the stored carbon is worth between $2-3.4 billion USD. The sizeable price tag reflects the cost of restoring freshwater flow to areas that need it most, preserving the Everglades' mangroves. Read more here.
Two cold spells, two years apart, in two subtropical regions of the world have given scientists clues to what happens when an extreme climate event strikes. By tracking conditions before, during and after a 2008 cold spell in China and a 2010 cold spell in Florida, FIU researchers found chilling effects on plants and animals, but not all were equal. Tropical species suffered more than their temperate counterparts, which were able to resist and recover from the record low temperatures.
In an effort to understand the diets of plant-loving fish, FIU Ph.D. student Jessica Sanchez and marine sciences professor Joel Trexler delved into the world of herbivory in freshwater ecosystems. They wanted to develop a research framework for other scientists to follow in studies on the evolution of these diets. Their efforts resulted in a scientific paper that was published in a recent issue of Ecosphere. It was the 800th scientific paper published by research faculty in SERC.