Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory


Home-field advantage for leaf decay

Trees turning leavesColorado State University scientists have found that home-field advantage extends beyond the stadium and into science. The same 'home vs. away' theory can be applied to where leaves decay. Scientists calculated the home-field advantage for leaf decay in forests around the world and found that leaves decay up to 30 percent faster at "home" than "away".

Read more | Feb 09, 2009

Researcher evaluates greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural industry

Tractor plowingNitrous oxide is a potent greenhouse gas that impacts the Earth's protective ozone layer, and recent research suggests that standard measuring methods tend to underestimate the emissions of nitrous oxide, or N2O, as it relates to agricultural production systems. A new study published this month describes how a system developed by a Colorado State University researcher and federal colleagues gives the most accurate estimate of nitrous oxide emissions in agriculture at the farm, regional and global scales.

"Agriculture is responsible for the majority of human-generated N2O emissions, and without accurate estimates, we are unable to rigorously assess the environmental impacts of biofuel and other cropping systems," said William Parton, senior research scientist at CSU's Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory and co-author of the study published in American Geophysical Union's weekly newsletter.

Read more | Dec 18, 2008

Soil animals increase leaf decay in warmer, wetter regions with unexpected effects related to global warming

MosquitoAn NREL researcher spearheaded a global experiment to determine if unseen species found in soil are important on a global scale in increasing leaf decay and making a greater impact in warm regions' climate change. The findings: those species make a significant impact.

The study, published in the latest issue of "Global Change Biology," was directed by Diana Wall, ecosystem scientist and director of CSU's School of Global Environmental Sustainability. Wall organized a volunteer scientific network around the world to see if soil animals matter beyond local scales.

Read more | Dec 05, 2008

$12.5M National Science Foundation grant for teacher development

Hiker on trailThe Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory is the lead institution of a $12.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation's Mathematics and Science Partnership program to create a dynamic teacher development program targeted at middle school and high school teachers in the STEM disciplines - science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The collaborative, CSU-led program spearheaded by John Moore, director of CSU's Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, will connect the environmental sciences research and education of partner universities and sites within the NSF-funded Long-Term Ecological Research, or LTER, network with K-12 science and math teachers in partner schools and districts. The focus will be on human-ecosystem interactions to develop culturally relevant ecology from scientific and educational perspectives.

Read more | Nov 25, 2008

Some Guidelines for Helping Natural Resources Adapt to Climate Change

IHDP Magazine CoverCongratulation to Jill Baron and NREL Alum and colleague Chuluun Togtokh on their recent publications in IHDP Update (see Read more..) focusing on Mountainous Regions: Laboratories for Adaptation. An outstanding series of papers on human dimensions of coupled-natural human systems. IHDP Update 2.2008 see Some Guidelines for Helping Natural Resources Adapt to Climate Change, pg. 46

Read more | Nov 18, 2008