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New grant for climate change research

Saturday, December 1, 2007
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The Department of Energy has awarded $3.4 Million to a four-university consortium that includes Harvard University's Harvard Forest, North Carolina State, the University of Tennessee, and the University of Vermont for a four-year study of the effects of climate change on the ecological dynamics of ants and other soil invertebrates. In early 2008, ten 5-meter (16-foot) diameter open-top chambers will be installed at Harvard Forest and in North Carolina. The air and soil in these chambers will be warmed to between 1 and 7 degrees C above current conditions to simulate climatic conditions expected to occur in the eastern United States in the next century. The study will examine changes in the number of species of soil-dwelling invertebrates and changes in the size and activity of ants. We are particularly interested to see if northern species are excluded from our experimental chambers by increasing temperature, and if southern species colonize these "hot-spots" in the landscape. 

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