DGE Beacon, January 2004
Seminar Reports Special News
Peter B. Reich, Dept. Forest Resources, Univ. Minnesota spoke on January 14. His seminar was titled Causes and Consequences of Plant Functional Diversity; Biotic Influences on Ecosystem Responses to Global Change. His recent studies with experimental plots show that nitrogen enrichment can decrease the effect of simultaneous carbon dioxide enrichment on biomass during the first two to three years, but subsequently enhance the CO2 effect during the following years. A possible explanation is that species diversity also increases with increasing biomass thus adding another factor to the complex interaction of CO2 and N2 after some period of time.

The landscaping work party will take place on Sun-day, February 8, 2004. Come and help plant a tree or shrub that you may watch grow along with our Department. Everyone welcome and needed.

Field Lab Meetings Wednesdays, 12-1 PM
During Winter Quarter, members of the Field Lab. will read papers relating to the History of Jasper Ridge Ecosystem Research.
Jan. 21, Hugh Henry presented the paper for discussion: Gulmon, S.L., N.R. Chiariello, H.A. Mooney & C.C. Chu. 1983. Phenology and resource use in three co-occurring grassland annuals. Oecologie 58. 33-42.
The food tasting was of 8 packages of cheddar cheese of varying fat content from 0 to regular (~40%), although the lowest Hugh could find was 50% of regular (~20%). None of us liked the non-fat specimen, but the cheddar with 50% fat was acceptable.
Rachael Craig, NSF Program Manager for Biogeo-sciences and Carbon Cycle, Kent State University,
spoke on Jan. 20th about her research: "Probabilistic Estimates of Plant Distribution in a Changing Climate." These modeling studies involved the distribution and growth rates of Saguaro cacti in the Sonoran desert regions of Arizona and Mexico, mainly as a function of temperature and precipitation. About 100 years ago, CIW founded one of their first Depart-ments at Tuscon, and that Laboratory was a direct forerunner of the current Dept. Plant Biology at Stanford. Dr. Craig uses data on Saguaro growth from the Tuscon Desert Laboratory in her current modeling studies.
Jan. 28, Kathleen Brizgys reviewed the 1983 paper by Chris Field in Oecologia. Allocating leaf nitrogen for the maximization of carbon gain. Leaf age as a control on the allocation program. During the discussion, Chris added some background about how the plant species distribution has changed in the last 20 years along with the instrumentation.
The tasting included packages of different brands of chocolate chips. The taste differences between them were slight, but of interest was the more than three fold price difference between the least and most expensive.
David Victor, Director of the Program on Energy and Sustain-able Development at Stanford spoke Jan. 28 on the topic: Beyond Kyoto: What's Next for International Climate Policy. He clearly explained each country's reasons for joining or not joining in the Accord, especially how it's all tied to GNP and free trade along with short- and long-term costs and benefits. We were left with a better appreciation of the intricate problems yet to be solved before 'global warming' and various national interests will be in accord. For more info, go to David's WEB site:
Toward CO2 Stabilization: Integrating Climate, Human, and Ecosystem Impacts on the Global Carbon Cycle
January 30, 2004.  12:15 PM.
Chris Field
Terman Engineering Center, room M-33. Brown bag lunches are welcome
Editor Jan Brown