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Earth Systems Science

May 23, 2019

A verdant forest floor
A nine-year experiment by a UC Merced Department of Life and Environmental Sciences professor and his colleagues is illuminating the importance of soil carbon in maintaining healthy and functioning ecosystems because of its influence on the microbial communities that live in soil. These...
Two men pose with an oversized check on stage at a check presentation ceremony for the PG&E award to SNRI.
A team of UC Merced researchers was recently awarded $100,000 from Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) to identify ways to improve drought resilience and reduce the risk of wildfire in Sierra Nevada forests. Professor Roger Bales, who also...
Professor Asmeret Asefaw Berhe stands in front of a wall wearing a light blue lab coat and holding a tray of cake tins filled with soil samples.
Professor Asmeret Asefaw Berhe is a biogeochemist who studies the impact of climate change on Sierra Nevada soils. She’s also active in efforts to recruit and retain women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Those efforts were...
A man in a blue jacket, blue jeans and sunglasses stands in a snowy forest repairing an electronic sensor device.
Scientists from the Sierra Nevada Research Institute, UC Merced, UC Berkeley and the USDA Agricultural Research Service have designed the first ever wireless sensor network (WSN) capable of accurately monitoring the hydrology of large mountain river...
Subalpine meadows are among the Sierra Nevada’s most enchantingly picturesque landscapes. These sparsely wooded, grassy expanses are home to plants and animals found nowhere else, and they play an important role in regulating the flow of water from the...
What if nature were to become a polluter, discharging millions of tons of planet-warming carbon into the atmosphere in much the same way as diesel-fueled trucks or coal-fired power plants? This nature-as-polluter scenario might seem far-fetched, but it’s...
When scientists at UC Merced seek to better understand California’s biodiversity, they turn to cutting-edge genomics. They also turn to their neighbors. On a sunny Saturday in April, scientists joined forces with members of the local community to take...
Plant photosynthesis was stable for hundreds of years before the industrial revolution, but grew rapidly in the 20th century, according to new research published today in Nature. “Virtually all life on our planet depends on photosynthesis,” said UC...
“Collecting dust” isn’t usually considered a good thing. But dust from as near as the Central Valley and as far away as the Gobi Desert in Asia provides more nutrients — especially critical phosphorus — than previously thought to sustain the vegetation...
The rapid pace of global change has large impacts on nature, and on the work conservation biologists will have before them, too. From here on out, experts say, the fossil record is going to be critical to guide nature into the future. A new paper in the...

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