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  1. Integration of ecosystem science into radioecology: A consensus perspective

    In the Fall of 2016 a workshop was held which brought together over 50 scientists from the ecological and radiological fields to discuss feasibility and challenges of reintegrating ecosystem science into radioecology. There is a growing desire to incorporate attributes of ecosystem science into radiological risk assessment and radioecological research more generally, fueled by recent advances in quantification of emergent ecosystem attributes and the desire to accurately reflect impacts of radiological stressors upon ecosystem function. This work is a synthesis of the discussions and consensus of the workshop participant's responses to three primary questions, which were: 1) How can ecosystemmore » science support radiological risk assessment? 2) What ecosystem level endpoints potentially could be used for radiological risk assessment? and 3) What inference strategies and associated methods would be most appropriate to assess the effects of radionuclides on ecosystem structure and function? The consensus of the participants was that ecosystem science can and should support radiological risk assessment through the incorporation of quantitative metrics that reflect ecosystem functions which are sensitive to radiological contaminants. The participants also agreed that many such endpoints exit or are thought to exit and while many are used in ecological risk assessment currently, additional data need to be collected that link the causal mechanisms of radiological exposure to these endpoints. Finally, the participants agreed that radiological risk assessments must be designed and informed by rigorous statistical frameworks capable of revealing the causal inference tying radiological exposure to the endpoints selected for measurement.« less
  2. Global patterns and drivers of ecosystem functioning in rivers and riparian zones

    River ecosystems receive and process vast quantities of terrestrial organic carbon, the fate of which depends strongly on microbial activity. Variation in and controls of processing rates, however, are poorly characterized at the global scale. In response, we used a peer-sourced research network and a highly standardized carbon processing assay to conduct a global-scale field experiment in greater than 1000 river and riparian sites. We found that Earth’s biomes have distinct carbon processing signatures. Slow processing is evident across latitudes, whereas rapid rates are restricted to lower latitudes. Both the mean rate and variability decline with latitude, suggesting temperature constraintsmore » toward the poles and greater roles for other environmental drivers (e.g., nutrient loading) toward the equator. These results and data set the stage for unprecedented “next-generation biomonitoring” by establishing baselines to help quantify environmental impacts to the functioning of ecosystems at a global scale.« less
  3. A global database of nitrogen and phosphorus excretion rates of aquatic animals

    Though their importance varies greatly among species and ecosystems, animals can be important in modulating ecosystem-level nutrient cycling. Nutrient cycling rates of individual animals represent valuable data for testing the predictions of important frameworks such as the Metabolic Theory of Ecology (MTE) and ecological stoichiometry (ES). They also represent an important set of functional traits that may reflect both environmental and phylogenetic influences. Over the past two decades, studies of animal-mediated nutrient cycling have increased dramatically, especially in aquatic ecosystems. Here we present a global compilation of aquatic animal nutrient excretion rates. The dataset includes 10,534 observations from freshwater andmore » marine animals of N and/or P excretion rates. Furthermore, these observations represent 491 species, including most aquatic phyla. Coverage varies greatly among phyla and other taxonomic levels. The dataset includes information on animal body size, ambient temperature, taxonomic affiliations, and animal body N:P. We used this data set to test predictions of MTE and ES, as described in Vanni and McIntyre (2016; Ecology DOI: 10.1002/ecy.1582).« less
  4. The influence of land cover on the sensitivity of streams to metal pollution

  5. Understanding variation in salamander ionomes: A nutrient balance approach

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"Capps, Krista A."

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