The Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network Office recently announced the award of three new synthesis working groupsto launch in 2020. Working with data from multiple LTER sites as well as other research networks, these synthesis projects will investigate larger patterns than what may be evident at a single site. MCM LTER is well represented in two of these working groups, as described below.
From poles to tropics: A multi-biome synthesis investigating the controls on river Si exports
Silicon is essential for the growth of diatoms, which account for a quarter of global primary production, yet our understanding of the controls on silica mobilization and transport is limited. A multi-biome synthesis investigating the controls on river Si exports will analyze data from several LTER sites as well as Critical Zone Observatory sites and US Geological Survey sites—together spanning tropical, temperate, Arctic and Antarctic rivers—to understand the roles of terrestrial vegetation, in-river productivity, and climate in controlling the movement of this important nutrient. MCM LTER participants include Co-PI Diane McKnight and Investigator Ruth Heindel.
Ecological Metagenome-derived Reference Genomes and Traits (EMERGENT)
Modern DNA sequencing techniques often reveal hundreds to thousands of species in a single sample. Yet interpreting the significance of this information—and using it to predict changes in ecosystem functioning—depends on the ability to connect it with ecological conditions and processes. The Ecological Metagenome-derived Reference Genomes and Traits (EMERGENT) synthesis project aims to develop a way forward to explore large genomic information typically stored in data centers (NCBI, EBI, DDBJ) and the repositories (Environmental Data Initiative, NEON and others) where the ecological data is maintained. MCM LTER participants include Co-PI Cristina Takacs-Vesbach and Investigator Lee Stanish.