BER Research Highlights

Search Date: October 19, 2017

3 Records match the search term(s):


April 18, 2005

Poster Presentation at the Capital on Carbon Sequestration Research

Selected through a National Competition sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research, research results on Carbon and Nitrogen Sequestration following Afforestation of Agricultural Soils was presented at a poster session in the Rayburn Office Building. At the Capital event April 19, Bradley University (Peoria, Illinois) undergraduate student, Nathan Mellor, and Professor Sherri Morris, discussed results on interactive effects of forest species, soil chemistry and overall ecosystem processes on soil carbon storage as forests are grown on formerly agricultural soils. An isotope tracer study also determined carbon mineralization rates of different forest systems. The project is providing effective training of young scientists while producing sound scientific information on carbon sequestration by terrestrial ecosystems.

Contact: Roger Dahlman, SC 23.3, (301) 903 4951
Topic Areas:

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER
      (formerly SC-23.3 Climate Change Research Division, OBER)


March 21, 2005

Office of Science Program Manager Co-Authors Book on Global Change

Biological and Environmental Research (BER) program manager Dr. Jeff Amthor co-authored a recently published book entitled Crops and Environmental Change: An Introduction to Effects of Global Warming, Increasing Atmospheric CO2 and O3 Concentrations, and Soil Salinization on Crop Physiology and Yield. The book published by Haworth Press was written with Prof. Seth Pritchard of the College of Charleston (South Carolina). It provides an in-depth look at the effects, both positive and negative, of climatic change, air pollution, and soil salinization on major crops, including major implications for future crop production and national and global food supply. Prepublication reviewers of the book were enthusiastic. Before joining the BER staff in 2002, Dr. Amthor held research positions at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Department of Agriculture, the University of California (Davis), and Yale University.

Contact: Jeff Amthor, SC-74, (301) 903-2507
Topic Areas:

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER
      (formerly SC-74 Environmental Sciences Division, OBER)


February 21, 2005

Previous Experimental Studies of Effects of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Concentration on Ecosystems Called into Question

A study just published in Nature, supported by the Canadian Government, the U. S. Department of Energy, and the U. S. National Science Foundation, raises important questions about past scientific research on the ecological effects of changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration. The result adds a significant wrinkle to, and may even call into question, decades worth of past research on effects of elevated CO2 concentration on plants and ecosystems. In the past, scientists typically exposed plants and ecosystems to present ambient (350 to 370 ppm) and elevated (550 to 750 ppm) CO2 levels, with the elevated level imposed instantaneously (a step-change increase). On the contrary, the CO2 increase in the Earths actual atmosphere is occurring gradually (roughly 1-2 ppm per year), and it is possible that ecosystems will respond differently to a gradual CO2 increase than they do to a step-change increase. This possibility has finally been experimentally tested by John Klironomos (University of Guelph), Mike Allen (University of California, Riverside), Matthias Rillig (University of Montana), and their colleagues. These scientists discovered that a more gradual increase in CO2 concentration, carried out over 21 generations of a model plant-soil system, resulted in different effects than an instantaneous increase in CO2 concentration maintained over the same 21 generations. In particular, the step-change increase resulted in significant perturbations to microorganisms living in the soil, while the gradual increase did not.

Contact: Jeff Amthor, SC-74, (301) 903-2507
Topic Areas:

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER
      (formerly SC-74 Environmental Sciences Division, OBER)