FRED database gathers root traits to advance understanding of belowground plant ecology

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) scientists have released a new global, centralized database of plant root traits, or identifying characteristics, that can advance our understanding of how the hidden structure of plants belowground may interact with and relate to life aboveground. The Fine-Root Ecology Database (FRED) brings together information from observations and experiments around the world into one accessible online resource.

Researcher Profile - A seat at the table: Colleen Iversen

Colleen Iversen’s quest to understand the world below ground has taken her to remarkably diverse ecosystems above ground. “My main focus all these years has been to try to understand the hidden world beneath our feet—the tangling of plant roots with the surrounding soil environment and the importance of these interactions for climate change,” said Colleen, who also is the lead for the Integrated Ecosystem Sciences theme in the Climate Change Science Institute.

Early Career Fellow of the Ecological Society of America

The Ecological Society of America (ESA) has announced Colleen Iversen, of the Ecosystem Observations and Experiments group and the Climate Change Science Institute in the Environmental Sciences Division, as an Early Career Fellow for 2017-2021 for advancing the science of ecology and showing promise for continuing contributions.

Getting to know our early career scientists: Jiafu Mao

CCSI scientist Jiafu Mao, of the Terrestrial Systems Modeling group in the Environmental Sciences Division, parlayed his interest in physics and mathematics as a student in China into a field of study he has always found interesting: how land and climate interact.

ORNL Contributes to Second SECURE Water Act Report to Congress

Scientists within ORNL’s Energy-Water Resource Systems team and Climate Chance Science Institute provided key data to the 2017 DOE SECURE Water Act Section 9505 Report to Congress. The findings indicate a need to allocate water use more cautiously in response to the trend of earlier snowmelt and change in runoff seasonality. ORNL researchers provided metrics on historic hydrologic observations and hydropower facility characteristics to support model development, calibration, and verification. The 9505 Assessment Report will be used to help policy makers evaluate potential climate change effects across the United States’ hydropower fleet.