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News Release 18-052

NSF-supported researchers to present new results on hurricanes and other extreme events

Ecosystem resilience and human well-being topic of ecological sciences conference

Satellite view of hurricanes off the US East Coast and in the Caribbean.

In 2017, hurricanes devastated ecosystems from tropical forests to salt marshes.


July 17, 2018

In the past year, extreme events -- including hurricanes, droughts and wildfires -- have plagued the U.S., affecting natural habitats and human communities.

The theme of the 2018 Ecological Society of America (ESA) meeting reflects the importance of these natural disasters. Conference participants will present the latest research findings on "extreme events, resilience and human well-being."

The meeting takes place Aug. 5 to 10 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, a city still rebuilding in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina more than a decade ago.

Worldwide, sea level is rising and river deltas are sinking, threatening the millions of people who live near these deltas. 

The opening plenary talk by Robert Twilley of Louisiana State University, "Ecosystem design approaches in the highly engineered landscape of the Mississippi River Delta," focuses on research funded by the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Coastal Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability (SEES) program. Twilley will also discuss globally threatened deltas in the presentation, "The resilience of coastal deltaic floodplains." The study is supported by NSF's Coastal SEES program.

More than 100 additional conference presentations and posters will feature research by scientists funded through NSF's Long Term Ecological Research (LTER), Critical Zone Observatories (CZO) and Biological Oceanography programs, among others. Twenty-eight NSF LTER and nine NSF CZO sites allow scientists to make sustained observations of extreme and unexpected events such as hurricanes. Long-term experiments at these sites provide researchers with opportunities to answer the question: "What conditions foster resilience?"

LTER and CZO sites in Puerto Rico, Florida and Georgia were hit hard by the 2017 hurricane season. Resilience in the face of repeated salt water flooding and forest damage has been challenging.

Scientists are now conducting research on the role of rainfall variability in ecosystems from tropical and coastal forests to estuaries and salt marshes. Nutrient and other experiments are also offering new insights into the interactions among myriad short-term and long-term environmental stresses.

For more information about NSF funding opportunities, join NSF program officers on Tuesday, Aug. 7, from 11:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. in room 352 of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. NSF representatives will talk about support for basic research and training in ecology and related disciplines: Navigating NSF: Opportunities for Funding Research and Training.

Below is an overview of NSF-funded presentations at the conference.

Monday, Aug. 6, 2018

Title

Time

Location

Maximize your 2018 Meeting Experience: Orientation and Networking for Student Attendees (Special Sessions)

10:15 - 11:30 a.m.

Convention Center-338

Experiential learning in subtropical ecology at the urban-wildland interface (Symposium 3)

2:30 - 3:00 p.m.

Marriott-River Bend 1

Putting streams and rivers on the map: Understanding aquatic ecosystem function at the continental scale (Symposium 2)

2:00 - 2:30 p.m.

Convention Center-352

Landscape variation in live forest carbon change explained by elevation and disturbance history (Contributed Talks 18)

2:30 - 2:50 p.m.

Convention Center-353

Do macroalgal mats limit microphytobenthos on mudflats? (Contributed Talks 9)

2:30 - 2:50 p.m.

Convention Center-R06

Multiple dimensions of experiential learning at El Verde Field Station, Puerto Rico (Symposium 3)

2:30 - 3:00 p.m.

Marriott-River Bend 1

Above- and belowground litter decomposition responds differently to nutrient enrichment in a Chihuahuan desert grassland (Contributed Talks 2)

3:20 - 3:40 p.m.

Convention Center-338

Increased soil salinity delays regeneration of maritime forest tree species (Contributed Talks 11)

3:20 - 3:40 p.m.

Convention Center-340-341

Novel disturbance regimes in a warming Arctic (Inspire 4)

3:30 - 5:00 p.m.

Convention Center-244

Mapping biodiversity in manipulated and natural grasslands using spectral diversity (Contributed Talks 18)

3:40 - 4:00 p.m.

Convention Center-353

Multi-year rainfall manipulation effects on grass and shrub phenology (Contributed Talks 15)

4:20 - 4:40 p.m.

Convention Center-R05

Plant metabolite production and the rhizosphere microbiome: Interactions between Populus root salicylates and their microbial consortia (Contributed Talks 11)

4:20 - 4:40 p.m.

Convention Center-340-341

Searching for process: microbial drivers of plant-soil feedbacks in the greenhouse and field (Contributed Talks 4)

4:20 - 4:40 p.m.

Convention Center-333-334

Regional telecoupling and impacts of wet periods across the Chihuahuan Desert of the United States and northern Mexico (Contributed Posters 3)

4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Convention Center-Exhibit Hall

Shrub (Prosopis velutina) recruitment in a semi-arid grassland: Precipitation-herbivory interactions reveal few constraints (Contributed Posters 3)

4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Convention Center-Exhibit Hall

Are commercial arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi an effective restoration investment? (Contributed Posters 9)

4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Convention Center-Exhibit Hall

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018

Title

Time

Location

Plant-soil history has lasting effects on belowground SOM decomposition (Contributed Talks 20)

8:40 - a.m.

Convention Center-338

Microbial responses to extreme drought after ten years of elevated rainfall and nitrogen (Organized Oral Session 10)

9:00 - 9:20 a.m.

Convention Center-346-347

Barrier island response to extreme events: The role of woody vegetation (Organized Oral Session 6)

9:00 - 9:20 a.m.

Convention Center-343

Unpacking the black box of disease models by coupling within- and among-host dynamics (Contributed Talks 26)

9:20 - 9:40 a.m.

Convention Center-335-336

Extreme events alter C dynamics across the Florida Everglades (Organized Oral Session 6)

9:50 - 10:10 a.m.

Convention Center-343

Intra-community diversity of invasive species impacts in space and time: Scaling up to ecosystem function (Contributed Talks 29)

9:50 - 10:10 a.m.

Convention Center-235-236

Soil and plant-induced heterogeneity effects on soil microbial community structure (Contributed Talks 35)

10:30 - 10:50 a.m.

Convention Center-339

Determinants of ecological responses to extreme precipitation events (Symposium 4)

10:40 - 11:10 a.m.

Convention Center-350-351

Landscape-scale marsh dynamics in an Atlantic barrier island system (Organized Oral Session 6)

10:50 - 11:10 a.m.

Convention Center-343

Role of extreme rain events and priority effects in the assembly of leaf microbial communities (Organized Oral Session 10)

11:10 ‑ 11:30 a.m.

Convention Center-346-347

Linking weather and recent mountain pine beetle epidemics using physiological and agent based models (Contributed Talks 52)

1:50 - 2:10 p.m.

Convention Center-355

Can top-down control of algal and detrital resources by crayfish mediate the effect of removing a dense riparian shrub, Rhododendron maximum, in headwater streams? (Contributed Talks 36)

1:50 - 2:10 p.m.

Convention Center-252

Responses of headwater-riparian food webs to multiple disturbances in tropical riverscapes (Contributed Talks 36)

2:10 - 2:30 p.m.

Convention Center-252

Ecological responses to a changing climate: Do observations and experiments tell us the same thing? (Organized Oral Session 15)

2:50 - 3:10 p.m.

Convention Center-346-347

The response of the mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) community in a tropical forest to large disturbance events (Contributed Talks 42)

2:50 - 3:10 p.m.

Convention Center-356

Distributed collaborative experiments as synthesis: Using the Nutrient Network to test theory and understand ecosystem resilience (Symposium 8)

3:10 - 3:40 p.m.

Convention Center-352

Remote sensing of plant spectral diversity to predict ecosystem function (Organized Oral Sesion 11)

3:20 - 3:40 p.m.

Convention Center-348-349

Soil microbial community responses to US grassland management in continental and humid subtropical climates (Inspire 12)

3:30 - 5:00 p.m.

Convention Center-244

Alterations in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal abundance during tallgrass prairie restoration: Implications for biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (Inspire 12)

3:30 - 5:00 p.m.

Convention Center-244

Inhibition or facilitation of dune development on barriers: The influence of back-beach vegetation on barrier island stable states (Contributed Talks 42)

4:00 - 4:20 p.m.

Convention Center-356

Precipitation controls above-belowground partitioning of net primary production across biomes (Contributed Posters 38)

4:20 - 4:40 p.m.

Convention Center-338

Simultaneous global change pressures mitigate species loss (Contributed Posters 13)

4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Convention Center-Exhibit Hall

Land-use legacies and extreme events interact to shape species composition in a secondary tropical forest (Contributed Talks 14)

4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Convention Center-Exhibit Hall

Dune building grasses and disturbance: distribution and response to burial (Contributed Talks 14)

4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Convention Center-Exhibit Hall

Potential facilitation by grasses of a rapidly expanding shrub in coastal grassland (Contributed Posters 19)

4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Convention Center-Exhibit Hall

 Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

Title

Time

Location

Chronic resource additions increasingly alter plant community composition through time (Contributed Talks 62)

8:00 - 8:20 a.m.

Convention Center-252

Incorporating environmental heterogeneity in estimates of ecosystem greenhouse gas emissions: Why species and topography matter (Contributed Talks 55)

8:20 - 8:40 a.m.

Convention Center-354

The human factor in big data and ecoinformatics (Symposium 9)

8:30 -9:00 a.m.

Convention Center-353

The roles of host tree genetics and environment in structuring arthropod communities: A macrosystems approach to community ecology (Contributed Talks 58)

10:10 - 10:30 a.m.

Convention Center-356

Which Matters More: Herbivory, Nitrogen, Climate or Metacommunity Effects In A Long-Term Grassland Experiment (Contributed Talks 62)

10:10 - 10:30 a.m.

Convention Center-252

Which matters more: Herbivory, nitrogen, climate or metacommunity effects in a long-term grassland experiment (Contributed Talks 62)

10:10 - 10:30 ;a.m.

Convention Center-252

EDI-addressing accessibility and re-usability of highly variable ecological data (Symposium 9)

10:10 - 10:40 a.m.

Convention Center 352

Integrating stakeholder feedback with land use change models to predict future scenarios of forest loss and landscape configuration (Contributed Talks 59)

10:30 - 10:50 a.m.

Convention Center-240-241

Use of a tower gradient to determine thresholds of response and recovery from severe drought across a range of semi-arid biomes (Organized Oral Sessions 16)

10:30 - 10:50 a.m.

Convention Center-346-347

Effects of changes in rainfall seasonality and amount on community composition and structure in two semi-arid grasslands (Contributed Talks 56)

10:50 - 11:10 a.m.

Convention Center-340-341

Plant water uptake along a diversity gradient: Evidence for complementarity in hydrological niches? (Organized Oral Sessions 16)

11:10 - 11:30 a.m.

Convention Center-346-347

Estimating basal energy sources in an aquatic food web (Contributed Talks 98)

3:20 - 3:40 p.m.

Convention Center-254

How does well-curated data aid long-term socioecological research? (Inspire 17)

1:30 - 3:00 p.m.

Convention Center-243

A tale of two thresholds: Mistakes and serendipity in a desert grassland (Inspire 18)

1:30 - 3:00 p.m.

Convention Center-244

Citizen science tools for predicting landscape-scale variability in drought resilience (Inspire 18)

1:30 - 3:00 p.m.

Convention Center-244

Publishing your ecological data is easier than you think (Inspire 17)

1:30 - 3:00 p.m.

Convention Center-243

What Is Keeping You from Publishing Your Data? (Inspire 17)

1:30 - 3:00 p.m.

Convention Center-243

Extreme events in drylands: We're skewed (Inspire 18)

1:30 - 3:00 p.m.

Convention Center-244

An experimental investigation of the hydrology of an ephemeral wetland in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica and the hydroecological consequences (Contributed Talks 75)

1:50 - 2:10 p.m.

Convention Center-339

Light availability, leaf chemistry, and canopy structure in a tree diversity experiment (Organized Oral Session 23)

2:30 - 2:50 p.m.

Convention Center-348-349

Manganese limitation as a mechanism for reduced decomposition in soils under atmospheric nitrogen deposition (Contributed Talks 74)

2:50 - 3:10 p.m.

Convention Center-354

Long term studies reveal relative importance of plants and soil on microbial C-N cycling (Contributed Talks 75)

3:20 - 3:40 p.m.

Convention Center-339

The all singing all dancing ecologist? Forming communities of practice by cross training graduate students in empirical and modelling approaches (Contributed Talks 82)

3:20 - 3:40 p.m.

Convention Center-245

Natural hydrological disturbances in tropical stream ecology (Inspire 20)

3:30 - 5:00 p.m.

Convention Center-244

Nitrogen deposition alters plant-soil microbe interactions across congeneric grasses (Organized Oral Session 24)

3:40 - 4:00 p.m.

Convention Center-345

Coupling ecosystem complexity with leaf to canopy light and carbon cycling dynamics (Organized Oral Session 23)

3:40 - 4:00 p.m.

Convention Center-348-349

Influence of freshwater induced habitat changes on the movement and trophic dynamics of common snook (Centropomus undecimalis) (Contributed Posters 25)

4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Convention Center-ESA Exhibit Hal

Invasive plant expansion on spatially heterogeneous landscapes: hot spots and hot moments (Contributed Posters 30)

4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Convention Center-ESA Exhibit Hall

Environmental Data Initiative (EDI): Enabling reproducible ecology and environmental science (Contributed Posters 29)

4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Convention Center-ESA Exhibit Hall

Thursday, August 9th, 2018

Title

Time

Location

Resiliency of developing grasslands to drought indicated by experimental restorations spanning space and time (Symposium 14)

8:00 - 8:30 a.m.

Convention Center-352

Mesofauna, observation networks and ecogenomics (Inspire 22)

8:00 - 9:30 a.m.

Convention Center-244

Woody-plant encroachment in the Chihuahuan Desert: Precipitation, Herbivory and Precipitation effects on Prosopis glandulosa recruitment (Contributed Talks 90)

8:20 - 8:40 a.m.

Convention Center-355

Land-use regimes and the future of New England's forest carbon (Contributed Talks 98)

9:20 - 9:40 a.m.

Convention Center-240-241

Temperature drives patterns of seagrass restoration and resilience across spatial scales (Symposium 14)

9:40 - 10:10 a.m.

Convention Center-352

Species responses to nutrient addition depend on abundance and persistence (Contributed Talks 92)

9:50 - 10:10 a.m.

Convention Center-254

The response of soil biogeochemistry to drought and hurricanes in a wet tropical forest in Puerto Rico (Contributed Talks 93)

10:10 - 10:30 a.m.

Convention Center-357

Soil carbon and nitrogen elemental content and isotopic composition in residential lawns across six U.S. cities (Contributed Talks 107)

10:30 - 10:50 a.m.

Convention Center-235-236

Effects of large wildfires on water quality and water quantity in mesophytic forests of the Eastern US (Organized Oral Sessions 28)

11:10 - 11:30 a.m.

Convention Center-344

Nitrogen fixation facilitates dominance of arbuscular mycorrhizal trees (Contributed Talks 112)

1:30 - 1:50 p.m.

Convention Center-338

Can connectivity-mediated feedbacks to vegetation explain surprising ecological responses to catastrophic events? (Organized Oral Session 31)

1:30 - 1:50 p.m.

Convention Center 346-347

Remotely detected chemical composition and the spectral, functional and phylogenetic diversity of plant communities in a manipulated prairie grassland experiment predict belowground processes (Inspire 26)

1:30 - 3:00 p.m.

Convention Center-244

Patterns in ecosystem C dynamics in Everglades Freshwater Marsh (Inspire 25)

1:30 - 3:00 p.m.

Convention Center-243

State change and connectivity: Essential linkages in drylands (Organized Oral Session 31)

1:50 - 2:10 p.m.

Convention Center-346-347

Testing microclimate effects of shrub encroachment and legacy influence of species composition (Contributed Talks 113)

1:50 - 2:10 p.m.

Convention Center-245

High asymbiotic N2 fixation rates in woody roots from a long-term decomposition experiment: abiotic and biotic controls (Contributed Talks 112)

2:10 - 2:30 p.m.

Convention Center-338

Moving from detecting past regime shifts to diagnosing critical transitions (Contributed Talks 114)

2:10 - 2:30 p.m.

Convention Center-333-334

The role of plant-microbe-soil interactions in determining the biogeochemical response of ecosystems to fire (Contributed Talks 112)

2:50 - 3:10 p.m.

Convention Center-338

Consequences of extreme rainfall patterns on nitrous oxide fluxes in Midwest cropping systems (Contributed Talks 111)

2:50 - 3:10 p.m.

Convention Center-357

Are plants just the salt of the Earth? (Inspire 27)

3:30 - 5:00 p.m.

Convention Center-243

Sodium as a catalyst for herbivore performance: A geographical perspective (Inspire 27)

3:30 - 5:00 p.m.

Convention Center-243

Elevated CO2 and N addition alter rhizosphere priming of soil organic matter decomposition (Contributed Talks 111)

3:40 - 4:00 p.m.

Convention Center-357

Plant diversity mediates leaf endophyte fungal diversity response to nutrient addition (Contributed Talks 110)

3:40 - 4:00 p.m.

Convention Center-240-241

Changing drivers of microbial community assembly along a high elevation successional gradient (Contributed Talks 123)

3:40 - 4:00 p.m.

Convention Center-252

Loaded but leaky: Chronic nutrient enrichment results in reduced and seasonally variable nutrient storage in detritus-based streams (Contributed Talks 111)

4:00 - 4:20 p.m.

Convention Center-357

Determining changes to landscape connectivity with "too much summer" at Niwot Ridge LTER (Organized Oral Session 31)

4:00 - 4:20 p.m.

Convention Center-346-347

Nutrient addition affects coastal grassland productivity and species dominance (Contributed Talks 56)

4:00 - 4:20 p.m.

Convention Center-340-341

The legacies of waxing and waning connectivity in a polar desert ecosystem (Organized Oral Session 31)

4:20 - 4:40 p.m.

Convention Center-346-347

Hydrochemical responses of an old-growth forest in the Pacific Northwest to future climate change under the Representative Concentration Pathway scenarios (Contributed Posters 38)

4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Convention Center-Exhibit Hall

Long-term nutrient addition in arctic tundra alters decomposition rates through multiple mechanisms (Contributed Posters 37)

4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Convention Center-Exhibit Hall

The Effects of Nitrogen Deposition on Microbial Communities in Desert Soils (Contributed Posters 37)

4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Convention Center-Exhibit Hall

Photosynthetic responses of 14 grassland species to 19 years of free-air CO2 enrichment and nitrogen addition (Contributed Posters 37)

4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Convention Center-Exhibit Hall

Mixed-severity fires in southern Appalachian forests (Contributed Posters 44)

4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Convention Center-Exhibit Hall

Plant-parasitic nematodes response to changing precipitation regimes across a climatic gradient (Contributed Posters 13)

4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Convention Center-ESA Exhibit Hall

Impact of changing rainfall patterns on denitrification nitrous oxide reductase lag (Contributed Posters 38)

4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Convention Center-Exhibit Hall

Functional dominance, not functional diversity, drives ecosystem function in alpine tundra (Contributed Posters 42)

4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Convention Center-Exhibit Hall

Reduction of growing season precipitation alters plant species composition across multiple grassland ecosystems (Contributed Posters 40)

4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Convention Center-Exhibit Hall

Coastal grassland species vary in physiological response to salinity stress (Contributed Posters 46)

4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Convention Center-Exhibit Hall

Social-ecological connectivity in urban ecosystems: What we have learned from 20 years of LTER research in Phoenix (Organized Oral Sessions 31)

4:40 - 5:00 p.m.

Convention Center-346-347

Unexpected patterns of belowground production during and after multiple extreme droughts (Contributed Talks 113)

4:40 - 5:00 p.m.

Convention Center-245

The effects of fire and fertilizer use on N-cycling soil microbes (Contributed Talks 111)

4:40 - 5:00 p.m.

Convention Center-357

Friday, August 10th, 2018

Title

Time

Location

Signatures of photodegradation in decomposing leaf litter within a temperate forest (Contributed Talks 130)

8:00 - 8:20 a.m.

Convention Center-338

Moving uphill: The role of early snowmelt and microbes in plant range shifts (Contributed Talks 131)

8:00 - 8:20 a.m.

Convention Center-245

Effects of rhododendron removal on stream macroinvertebrate community structure (Latebreaking Posters 49)

8:30 - 10:30 a.m.

Convention Center-ESA Exhibit Hall

Drivers and Mechanisms of Peat Collapse in Coastal Wetlands (Latebreaking Posters 74)

8:30 ‑ 10:30 a.m.

Convention Center-Exhibit Hall

Long term saltmarsh katydid (Orchelimum fidicinium) dynamics on Sapelo Island (Latebreaking Posters 74)

8:30 - 10:30 a.m.

Convention Center-Exhibit Hall

Hurricanes, forests, and water: Relationships between remotely-sensed vegetative damage, biomass, and streamflow in Puerto Rico after Hurricanes Irma and Maria (Latebreaking Posters 59)

8:30 - 10:30 a.m.

Convention Center-Exhibit Hall

Hurricanes Irma and María drove a pulse of salts through soils and streams of a tropical watershed (Latebreaking Posters 52)

8:30 - 10:30 a.m.

Convention Center-Exhibit Hall

Remote multispectral imaging and ground-based characterization of microbial mat communities in Taylor Valley, Antarctica (Latebreaking Posters 70)

8:30 - 10:30 a.m.

Convention Center-Exhibit Hall

Stream nutrient cycling along N and P gradients in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica (Latebreaking Posters 49)

8:30 - 10:30 a.m.

Convention Center-Exhibit Hall

Soil pH influences the overall interior root microbiome structure, but not its dominant phylotypes (Latebreaking Posters 54)

8:30 - 10:30 a.m.

Convention Center-Exhibit Hall

Density-dependent demography in encroaching populations of the shrub Larrea tridentata (Latebreaking Posters 65)

8:30 - 10:30 a.m.

Convention Center-Exhibit Hall

The fate of relic barrier island maritime forest (Latebreaking Posters 60)

8:30 - 10:30 a.m.

Convention Center-Exhibit Hall

Prolonged inundation turns a short-hydroperiod freshwater marsh from a CO2 sink to a source (Latebreaking Posters 74)

8:30 - 10:30 a.m.

Convention Center-ESA Exhibit Hall

Soil microbial response to Rhododendron maximum removal in Appalachian forests (Contributed Talks 141)

8:40 - 9:00 a.m.

Convention Center-252

Spatio-temporal forecasting pulsed-resource masting and its implications for wildlife (Symposium 5)

9:40 - 10:10 a.m.

Convention Center-352

Land managers drive plant community dynamics: A case study of change over time in Phoenix residential neighborhoods (Contributed Talks 143)

9:50 - 10:10 a.m.

Convention Center-235-236

Capacity of root endophytes to buffer dominant grass species against heat and drought (Organized Oral Sessions 40)

9:50 - 10:10 a.m.

Convention Center-345

Drought suppresses nematode predators and promotes root herbivores and microbivores in mesic, but not in arid grasslands (Contributed Talks 141)

10:10 - 10:30 a.m.

Convention Center-252

-NSF-

Media Contacts
Cheryl Dybas, NSF, (703) 292-7734, email: cdybas@nsf.gov

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2018, its budget is $7.8 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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