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Issues in Ecology is designed to report, in language understandable by non-scientists, the consensus of a panel of scientific experts on issues relevant to the environment. Issues in Ecology is supported by the Pew Scholars in Conservation Biology program and by the Ecological Society of America. It is published at irregular intervals, as reports are(More)
Nitrogen is a key element controlling the species composition, diversity, dynamics, and functioning of many terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems. Many of the original plant species living in these ecosystems are adapted to, and function optimally in, soils and solutions with low levels of available nitrogen. The growth and dynamics of herbivore(More)
We evaluate the greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas obtained by high-volume hydraulic fracturing from shale formations, focusing on methane emissions. Natural gas is composed largely of methane, and 3.6% to 7.9% of the methane from shale-gas production escapes to the atmosphere in venting and leaks over the lifetime of a well. These methane emissions(More)
Nitrogen inputs to the US from human activity doubled between 1961 and 1997, with most of the increase in the 1960s and 1970s. The largest increase was in use of inorganic N fertilizer, but emissions of NOx from fossil-fuel combustion also increased substantially. In 1961, N fixation in agricultural systems was the largest single source of reactive N in the(More)
Increases in concentrations of greenhouse gases projected for the 21st century are expected to lead to increased mean global air and ocean temperatures. The National Assessment of Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change (NAST 2001) was based on a series of regional and sector assessments. This paper is a summary of the coastal and marine(More)
Numerous freshwater ecosystems, dense concentrations of humans along the eastern seaboard, extensive forests and a history of intensive land use distinguish the New England/Mid-Atlantic Region. Human population densities are forecast to increase in portions of the region at the same time that climate is expected to be changing. Consequently, the effects of(More)
Recent projections of climatic change have focused a great deal of scientific and public attention on patterns of carbon (C) cycling as well as its controls, particularly the factors that determine whether an ecosystem is a net source or sink of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO 2). Net ecosystem production (NEP), a central concept in C-cycling research, has(More)
The use of a combination of the stable isotopes of sulfur, carbon, and nitrogen allows the flow of organic matter and trophic relations in salt marshes and estuaries to be traced while eliminating many ambiguities that accompany the use of a single isotopic tracer. Salt-marsh grasses take up the isotopically light sulfides formed during sulfate reduction,(More)