Public Release: 

Scientists present El Nino

Topics include effects of the 2015-16 El Nino, carbon burial in aquatic ecosystems, pharmaceuticals in streams

National Science Foundation

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IMAGE: At NSF's Santa Barbara Coastal LTER site, a scuba diver records data on giant kelp growth. view more

Credit: NSF Santa Barbara Coastal LTER Site

The ecological effects of the strong 2015-2016 El Niño. Carbon burial in aquatic ecosystems. The presence of pharmaceuticals in streams.

These are just a few of the topics scientists affiliated with the National Science Foundation (NSF) Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network will discuss at the upcoming Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) annual meeting, Feb. 27 to March 3.

Researchers funded by NSF's Division of Ocean Sciences, Division of Environmental Biology and Office of Polar Programs conduct research at 25 NSF LTER sites around the world, including in aquatic ecosystems such as coral reefs, seagrass beds and salt marshes. LTER scientists study the factors driving environmental change, and map the potential ecosystem responses that could result.

Their presentations at ASLO will address social and ecological changes; ecosystem vulnerability, resilience and adaptability; and why long-term data are essential to understanding and predicting future responses to natural and human-caused environmental changes.

A special session will bring researchers together to report on the effects of the El Niño of 2015-2016, among the strongest environmental events on record in the Pacific Ocean. El Niño affected species from tropical coral reefs to northern plankton communities. The results offer insights into the future responses of marine ecosystems to such events.

Links to these and other NSF LTER presentations at ASLO are listed below. The meeting will be held in Honolulu.

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