Cover image: Pictured is grassland at the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve in California. Over 17 years, Kai Zhu et al. subjected this grassland to changes in temperature, precipitation, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen, both individually and in combination, to determine how simultaneous changes in multiple global environmental factors would affect primary production. Primary production was a ridge-shaped function of temperature and precipitation, with peak production increasing with added nitrogen and shifting to lower temperatures with added [...]
Warmer, wetter climate would impair California grasslands Zhu K., Chiariello N.R., Tobeck T., Fukami T., Field C.B. (2016). Nonlinear, interacting responses to climate limit grassland production under global change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1606734113. Paper link Rice University News link Carnegie Institution News link Inside Science -- American Institute of Physics link Associated Press link 17-year experiment finds present climate near optimal for plant growth Jade Boyd/Rice University HOUSTON — (Sep. [...]
Study: Ocean acidification already slowing coral reef growth Experiment dials back clock to test ocean reef growth in preindustrial conditions Albright R., Hosfelt J., Kwiatkowski L., Maclaren J.K., Mason B.M., Nebuchina Y., Ninokawa A., Pongratz J., Ricke K.L., Rivlin T., Schneider K., Sesboüé M., Shamberger K., Silverman J., Wolfe K., Zhu K., Caldeira K. (2016). Reversal of ocean acidification enhances net coral reef calcification. Nature. DOI 10.1038/nature17155 News release below (Rice link here). Jade Boyd/Rice University [...]
Greetings from Houston! I am now a Huxley Faculty Fellow in Department of BioSciences at Rice University. Biology began at Rice in 1912 with the appointment of Julian Huxley as the biology professor. Julian Huxley was the grandson of Thomas H. Huxley, a biologist himself and champion of Charles Darwin. Julian made many important contributions to the fields of ethology, ecology and cancer research, and was a powerful proponent of neo-Darwinism. His efforts are commemorated by [...]
Zhu K., Woodall C.W., Monteiro J.V.D., Clark J.S. (2015). Prevalence and strength of density-dependent tree recruitment. Ecology. 96, 2319-2327. My new paper on density dependence, as the cover paper in the cover of September 2015 issue of Ecology.
Is global change real? How about this year's temperature record? I helped to calculate the odds--really low, indeed! GO FIGURE: Figuring the odds of Earth's global hot streak The global heat streak of the 21st century can be explained with statistics that defy astronomical odds. First, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration calculates global average temperature going back to 1880. That's 135 years. So if no other forces were in play and temperatures last year were totally [...]