Anthropogenic Impacts on Terrestrial Ecosystems

Human activities are significantly and rapidly altering the form and function of terrestrial ecosystems. For example, we are changing the chemical composition of the atmosphere, converting natural landscapes to urban areas, and transporting floral and faunal species far beyond their natural boundaries. Through both field and lab based experiments, we strive to gain a better understanding of how such anthropogenic changes impact ecosystems. Using a wide range of measurement techniques, our study foci vary in scale from individual leaves to entire ecosystems, Recently, we have included the response of resident fauna who depend upon vegetation for both food and habitat.

Recent & Current Projects include:

Arctic Tundra Pictures:

view from Atigun Pass   Tussock tundra landscape with cotton grass
     
View from Atigun Pass, on the north slope of Alaska.   Tussock tundra landscape with cotton grass (Eriophorum angustifolium)in full bloom.
     
View of Toolik Lake    
     
View of Toolik Lake, from long-term experimental treatment plots, including the shade house treatments.    
     
New Zealand Pictures:    
The beach at Okarito Village   Franz Joseph Glacier, on the South Island of New Zealand
     
The beach at Okarito Village, located on the west coast of the South Island of New Zealand.   Kevin Griffin in front of the Franz Joseph Glacier, on the South Island of New Zealand.
     
Tree ferns in Okarito Forest   Okarito Forest
     
Tree ferns in Okarito Forest, located on the west coast of the South Island of New Zealand.   Canopy view of the temperate rainforest in Okarito Forest, located on the west coast of the South Island of New Zealand.
     
Hawaii Pictures:    
     
‘Ohi’a tree (Metrosideros polymorpha) blossom.   Natalie Boelman making bioacoustic recordings
     
‘Ohi’a tree (Metrosideros polymorpha) blossom. The ‘Ohi’a tree is endemic native to Hawai’I and is an important food plant for native birds.   Natalie Boelman making bioacoustic recordings of native and exotic songbird communities in Hawai’i Volcano National Park, on the Big Island of Hawai’i.