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Soil water availability drives changes in community traits along a hydrothermal gradient in Loess Plateau Grasslands

Plant functional traits can be used to predict ecosystem responses to climate gradients, yet precipitation explains very little variation for most traits. Soil water availability directly influences plant water uptake and thus may assist with the improvement of plant trait–water relationships. However, this promise remains poorly realized due to rare […]


Changing the climate conversation in Arizona

NAU joins with ASU, UA and Arizona communities to confront climate crisis As Arizona confronts the impacts of a hotter world, Northern Arizona University is joining partners from Arizona State University, the University of Arizona and communities from throughout the state to convene the first statewide, solutions-focused climate summit. Climate […]

Long-term elevated CO2 shifts composition of soil microbial communities in a Californian annual grassland, reducing growth and N utilization potentials

The continuously increasing concentration of atmospheric CO2 has considerably altered ecosystem functioning. However, few studies have examined the long-term (i.e. over a decade) effect of elevated CO2 on soil microbial communities. Using 16S rRNA gene amplicons and a GeoChip microarray, we investigated soil microbial communities from a Californian annual grassland […]

Characterization of growing bacterial populations in McMurdo Dry Valley soils through stable isotope probing with 18O-water

Soil microbial communities of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica (MDV) contain representatives from at least fourteen bacterial phyla. However, given low rates of microbial activity, it is unclear whether this richness represents functioning rather than dormant members of the community. We used stable isotope probing (SIP) with 18O-water to determine if […]

Science in the Classroom

During the 2016-2017 academic year, Ecoss teamed up with STEM City to serve as a Flagstaff community STEM partner in the Scientists in the Classroom Program (  Each month, Ecoss students, postdocs, faculty, and staff members visited Ms. Kathryn Wertz’s 6th grade science class at Sinagua Middle School to share […]

Combining and comparing multiple serial dilution assays of particles in solution: application to brucellosis in elk of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

The concentration detection threshold (CDT) is the concentration of particles in solution beyond which a (serial dilution) assay detects particle presence. By our account, CDTs typically are not estimated but are fixed at some value. Setting a CDT to zero (d=0d=0) implies perfect detection, a common assumption, and setting d>0d>0 […]

Contrasting changes in gross primary productivity of different regions of North America as affected by warming in recent decades

Ecosystem responses to the increasing warming in recent decades across North America (NA) are spatially heterogeneous and partly uncertain. Here we examined the spatial and temporal variability of warming across different eco-regions of NA using long-term (1979–2010) climate data (North America Regional Reanalysis (NARR)) with 3-hourly time-step and 0.25° × 0.25° spatial […]