“It was striking that there was little skepticism about the
fact that climate change is really happening” observed Co-PI of the
Southwestern Experimental Garden Array (SEGA) Dr. Amy Whipple of visitors to the
Babbitt Ranch Expo, held at the Arizona Nordic Village (formerly the Nordic
Center) in early October. And with over 300 people in attendance, it seems that
there’s a healthy public appetite to engage in the environmental research going
on across Babbitt Ranch lands.
Figure Caption: Aboveground biomass of ponderosa pine growing with different soil organisms communities at three sites along a temperature and moisture gradient. The bars indicate standard error of the mean – so only difference which are larger than the size of those ‘error bars’ are likely to be significant. Notice that plants are typically much smaller when grown in sterile potting soil, with a big benefit from having a home-team at the warm-dry sites.
Coping with the trend towards a warmer and drier climate in the western US can be a struggle for native vegetation. One solution tested in a study published recently by Kevin Grady and his team in the journal Restoration Ecology is to give plants a helping hand to migrate to cooler areas - by physically moving them there.
Crusty lichen-covered rocks might not sound like the most obvious place to spark a kid’s interest in science. But that’s exactly what’s happening in a new study that teaches school kids about climate change science using the SEGA network of sites and their own backyard