by Jennifer Donovan, public relations director
The Midwest Regional Center of the National Institute for Climate Change Research, based at Michigan Tech, has awarded $1.5 million in US Department of Energy grants for four new collaborative research projects in seven states, as well as eight continuing projects.
The newly funded initiatives involve researchers from the University of Michigan, Ohio State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Minnesota, the University of California, Kansas State University and the University of Illinois.
They will investigate forest carbon dynamics; interactions among water, carbon dioxide and nitrogen in a grassland ecosystem; the effects of warming and changes in rainfall on root systems and soil carbon decomposition in a grassland ecosystem; and the interaction of elevated temperature and carbon dioxide on a soybean ecosystem.
“I’m very excited by the new group of projects the Midwestern Regional Center is funding,” said Andrew Burton, director of the center and associate professor in SFRES. “These new studies will continue the center’s and Michigan Tech’s strong involvement in examining the way forests, wetlands, grasslands and crops will respond to changing temperature and moisture.”
Since the center was established in December 2005, it has supported $7 million in collaborative research projects in its 13-state region.
“The research we have supported will improve our basic understanding of how terrestrial ecosystems may respond to climatic change and will help provide a solid scientific basis for determining appropriate responses,” Burton said.