DGE Newsletter, December 2004
The last of DGE's fall seminar series was held on Dec. 8 with Rodolfo Dirzo, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, speaking on the "Defaunation as a global environmental change: ecological consequences in tropical forests"
Prof. Dirzo presented some astonding ststistics including the fact that some 15.4 millions of hectars of tropical forests are being destroyed each year worldwide. This deforestation is leading to a similar loss of animals that he terms defaunation. More than 14 million animals are being killed each year as a result of hunting and loss of habitat in the Brazilian Amazon. The larger animals go first leaving a higher proportion of rhodents. His current research deals with the effects of this defaunation on plants and shows that plant diversity is lost as well.
Holiday Parties
Field Lab. Meetings
The Field Lab. held their annual special dinner at Chris & Nona's home on Sunday, Dec. 6 at 6 PM. Dave Kroodsma was in charge of getting the menu distributed and signed up for. There was a great variety of delicious appetizers, vegies surrounding the two turkeys, desserts & wines; a great party!

Dec. 17th was the date for the combined Plant Biology and Global Ecology Departments' party from 4-6 in the latter's building. Delicious Indian food was catered, and a variety of desserts was contributed by members. An impromptu band consisting of five players (Chris Field on trumpet) provided music for the carols.

Dec. 6, Elsa Cleland gave a practice talk at 11 AM for her thesis defense that will be on Dec. 10th.
The regular Lab. Meeting followed at noon. Plans for next quarter were discussed.
Asner Lab. News
Dec. 10: Greg's lab has recently had a paper accepted in Earth Interactions, an electronic journal of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). The paper is entitled "Ecosystem Structure throughout the Brazilian Amazon from Landsat Data and Spectral Unmixing". Authors are: Gregory P. Asner, David E. Knapp, Amanda N. Cooper, Mercedes M.C. Bustamante, and Lydia P. Olander. The citation info will appear at the Earth Interactions website
Personal Landmarks
A special Tea-Time on Dec. 8 was held to bid goodbye to Kathleen Brizgys who has been working on the Jasper Ridge Project. We are indeed sad to lose her smiling face, but wish her well for new plans that may involve obtaining a teaching credential.

Dec. 10, Elsa Cleland presented her thesis defense to an overflow audience that later convened at DGE to celebrate her last hurdle for the PhD Degree. Her work showed definitively, through studies at the Jasper Ridge Global Change Experiment, the effects on plant growth from the complex interaction between nitrogen and phosphorus that may be expected as CO2 increases in the atmosphere.

Editor Jan Brown
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