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LTER Key Research Findings

Among the many research results from LTER sites, some findings stand out as being particularly important to achieve the LTER goal of providing information to conserve, protect, and manage the nation's ecosystems. Short descriptions of key findings at each site emphasize the importance of long-term data in understanding the pace and pattern of ecological change.

Carbon Storage in the Southwest (SEV LTER)
There is broad consensus among scientists that the ongoing increase in atmospheric CO2 is changing global climate. The role of ecosystems in regulating atmospheric CO2 depends on the relative balance of gross primary production (GPP, total carbon assimilated by photosynthetic organisms) and ecosystem respiration (Re, total carbon released by respiration). Both GPP and Re respond to fluctuations...
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Climate And Disease (SEV LTER)
In the spring of 1993, a flu-like disease appeared in young healthy adults in the Four Corners region of the southwestern United States, with an early mortality rate of 70%. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control identified the cause as a previously-unknown hantavirus, a group of viruses carried by rodents and known to infect humans in Asia and Europe, but not previously identified in North America...
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Climate Forecasts (SEV LTER)
With widespread attention and national debate focused on the physical, biological and societal implications of increasing atmospheric concentrations of CO2, robust assessments of the response of Earth's climate to fluctuations in atmospheric CO2 are in high demand. Information about the climatic effects of past fluctuations in atmospheric CO2 concentrations can provide an important perspective...
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