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Picture of the Day

Scientists to present new long-term ecological research results

Are the U.S. East Coast's salt marshes healthy? How do sea ice patterns affect penguin populations in Antarctica? What diet do blue whales off California specialize in? Is every El Niño the same? As the oceans continue to change in unprecedented ways, the annual Ocean Sciences Meeting (OSM) has become an important venue for exchanging new insights into these and other questions about marine ecosystems. To address ecological questions that cannot be resolved with short-term observations or experiments, the National Science Foundation established the Long-Term Ecological Research Program (LTER) in 1980. This research is located at specific sites chosen to represent major ecosystem types or natural biomes. It emphasizes the study of ecological phenomena over long periods of time. Long-term studies are essential to achieve an integrated understanding of how populations, communities and other components of ecosystems interact as well as to test ecological theory.

Visit Website | Image credit: Donna Patterson