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The terrestrial carbon sink has been large in recent decades, but its size and location remain uncertain. Using forest inventory data and long-term ecosystem carbon studies, we estimate a total forest sink of 2.4 ± 0.4 petagrams of carbon per year (Pg C year(-1)) globally for 1990 to 2007. We also estimate a source of 1.3 ± 0.7 Pg C year(-1) from tropical(More)
Although researchers have begun cataloging the incredible diversity of bacteria found in soil, we are largely unable to interpret this information in an ecological context, including which groups of bacteria are most abundant in different soils and why. With this study, we examined how the abundances of major soil bacterial phyla correspond to the biotic(More)
For centuries, biologists have studied patterns of plant and animal diversity at continental scales. Until recently, similar studies were impossible for microorganisms, arguably the most diverse and abundant group of organisms on Earth. Here, we present a continental-scale description of soil bacterial communities and the environmental factors influencing(More)
The invasion of woody vegetation into deserts, grasslands and savannas is generally thought to lead to an increase in the amount of carbon stored in those ecosystems. For this reason, shrub and forest expansion (for example, into grasslands) is also suggested to be a substantial, if uncertain, component of the terrestrial carbon sink. Here we investigate(More)
Directional drilling and hydraulic-fracturing technologies are dramatically increasing natural-gas extraction. In aquifers overlying the Marcellus and Utica shale formations of northeastern Pennsylvania and upstate New York, we document systematic evidence for methane contamination of drinking water associated with shale-gas extraction. In active(More)
The correct timing of flowering is essential for plants to maximize reproductive success and is controlled by environmental and endogenous signals. We report that nitric oxide (NO) repressed the floral transition in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plants treated with NO, as well as a mutant overproducing NO (nox1), flowered late, whereas a mutant producing less NO(More)
Scenarios of changes in biodiversity for the year 2100 can now be developed based on scenarios of changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide, climate, vegetation, and land use and the known sensitivity of biodiversity to these changes. This study identified a ranking of the importance of drivers of change, a ranking of the biomes with respect to expected(More)
The ability of plants to supply water to their leaves is intimately associated with survival. Water supply to leaves depends on maintaining an intact water column in the xylem from the roots to shoots. Because this hydraulic pathway is under tension, it is vulnerable to breakage through the induction of air emboli (cavitation). Although the physiological(More)
Belowground competition occurs when plants decrease the growth, survival, or fecundity of neighbors by reducing available soil resources. Competition be-lowground can be stronger and involve many more neighbors than aboveground competition. Physiological ecologists and population or community ecologists have traditionally studied belowground competition(More)
Recent studies have highlighted the surprising richness of soil bacterial communities; however, bacteria are not the only microorganisms found in soil. To our knowledge, no study has compared the diversities of the four major microbial taxa, i.e., bacteria, archaea, fungi, and viruses, from an individual soil sample. We used metagenomic and small-subunit(More)