Biocomplexity Resources


This list includes online resources regarding ecology research projects from Lake Ontario, the Pacific Northwest and the National Parks, a searchable ecology bibliography, and clearinghouse web sites that can direct users to active research topics.

  • A River Runs Through It. Students use river monitoring equipment to conduct water tests, fish observations, insect identifications and to collect data related to physical properties of the stream or river. This site provides research links, rubrics, lessons, worksheets and logs, and information for teachers. ( This site is likely no longer available. )
  • Biocomplexity in African Savannas. This is the web page for a research project that is investigating the role of climate, biogeochemistry, fire, and herbivory in controlling savanna structure and function as well as the mechanisms that may lead to savanna stability. This website includes a description of the objectives for this research project and reports on specific savannah ecosystems that are being investigated. Some of the research topics are distribution of fertile and infertile savannas, models of savanna ecosystems, and transitions between stable states in African savannas. (more info)
  • Biocomplexity of Aquatic Microbial Systems. The goal of this biocomplexity research project is to investigate the functional relationship between complexity in microbial communities and the biogeochemical cycles of natural ecosystems. The study includes sites in the Chesapeake Bay, the Choptank River, and the open ocean of the Sargasso Sea. The research will characterize the physical and chemical complexity of these systems in terms of chemical and hydrological variables. The web site includes a project summary, data, a published journal article and links to the researchers involved. This resource is part of the Biocomplexity collection. ( This site is likely no longer available. )
  • Biocomplexity: Riparian, Land, People and Lakes. This is the home page for a NSF funded biocomplexity project about lakes, their riparian vegetation and land use, and social and economic organizations of lake users. The project will study the self-organization of lake users and associated characteristics of shoreline and lake ecosystems. The website includes the project proposal, project summary, maps, data, PowerPoint presentations, publications and links to further information. (more info)
  • Biodiversity Bibliography: Ecology, Economics, and Policy. This site is a bibliographic index containing approximately 4,000 references on various aspects of biodiversity and conservation. Recent articles have abstracts included while most of the older articles do not. Articles can be searched according to category or by keyword list. ( This site may be offline. )
  • - An online data and information management resource for ecologists. is an open, voluntary collaboration of developers and researchers that aims to produce software, systems, publications, and services that are beneficial to the ecological and environmental sciences. This site provides a variety of database information for ecosystem research. (more info)
  • Evolutionary and Ecological Functional Genomics. This topic refers to research regarding genetic variations in order to better understand the functional significance of genetic changes in natural environments and how this may affect the evolutionary processes. These studies include investigators who try to combine evolution, ecology, functional analysis (physiology, biochemistry, neurobiology, endocrinology, functional morphology, etc.), and genetics in a single research program. (more info)
  • Floodplain Biocomplexity. This NSF-funded biocomplexity research project is founded on the principle that river flood plains are regional centers of ecological organization. Research is being conducted on the Nyack Flood Plain of the Flathead River, Montana, by faculty and students at the University of Montana's Flathead Lake Biological Station. The research addresses topics such as floodplain structure, groundwater and surface water flux, sediment and wood transport, nutrient flux, habitats and diversity. Important modifiers of this system include floods, drought, wildfire, human activities and invasions of nonnative species. The web site features a summary of the research project, illustrations of the principles involved, a bibliography, and contact information. Links to other Flathead Lake Biological Station research projects are also available. This resource is part of the Biocomplexity collection. (more info)
  • Forest Watch: Students and Scientists Working Together Determining the Health of New England Forests. This is a student-scientist partnership and education outreach program to study white pine health in New England. Primary and secondary students collect and process data on air pollution damage to forests near their schools. (more info)
  • Global Land Vegetation. The goal of this NASA Earth Science Enterprise-funded project is to increase the use of satellite data in high school and college science classrooms by developing classroom materials linked to guided inquiry computer exercises. (more info)
  • Lake Ontario BioComplexity Study. This project concentrates on the distinct and enclosed freshwater bays and lake-level lagoons along the New York coast of Lake Ontario including the associated watersheds, wetlands, and human factors. The goals of this research are to develop watershed hydrologic simulation capability, model land use and land cover, and develop a hydrodynamic simulator to model water exchange between Lake Ontario and the bay ecosystems. (more info)
  • National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis. Users of this site can browse or perform keyword searches of more than 250 ecological research projects. Narrative or theoretical information is also available in the form of EcoEssays. This site also offers listings of job and research opportunities available at NCEAS and bi-annual calls for proposals. (more info)
  • National Park Service - Nature Net. Nature Net encompasses five web sites that cover air quality, biology, geology, social science and water resources within the National Park Service. Each category includes general information, descriptions of programs and policies, scientific information, publications, educational resources and photographs. (more info)
  • National Park Service - Park Geology. This site contains a variety of information about disturbed lands restoration, mineral management, and geology and soils in National Parks. Educational activities and a photographic database are also available. The web site also includes a park geology tour that allows users to select types of features they want to view, with links to photographs, maps and geology field notes from several parks. (more info)
  • Nearshore/Offshore Hydrodynamics and Population Ecology. This website describes a multi-year project analyzing the processes that govern the population dynamics of nearshore benthic species, such as larval production and transport, larval settlement, disturbance, predation, and competition for space. This web page provides a report on previous findings in this study, a program for future efforts on this projects, a discussion page for topics related to this research, and contact information for several professionals working in this branch of science. (more info)
  • Pacific Northwest Ecosystem Research Consortium. Goals of this project include understanding the ecological consequences of societal decisions related to changes in human populations and ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest. The website includes information on the personnel and projects of this research group. There is also access to digital maps and supporting material used in developing future scenarios for the Willamette River Basin. (more info)
  • Portal Long Term Research in Ecological Biodiversity. This site provides a summary of an on-going ecological biocomplexity research project that began in the mid-1970's. Coined the "Portal Project," because of its location near the southeastern Arizona town of Portal, research has been conducted on 24 plots for over 20 years. This research primarily focuses on the interactions of ants, rodents, and desert plant species. (more info)
  • Spatial Land Use Change and Ecological Effects at the Rural-Urban Interface: Project SLUCE 2. Project SLUCE seeks to understand the individual decision-making that drives land use decisions and to formulate and test alternative policies that could reduce environmental costs. The project is focusing on developing agent-based models of land use and cover change processes. This website allows the user to search for investigators, research projects, and even download data and software to allow individual applications of SLUCE modeling. (more info)
  • Sustaining Multiple Functions for Urban Wetlands. This website provides a summary of the Urban Wetlands research group at Oregon State University. This project will establish partnerships among public agencies, educators, and interdisciplinary teams of scientists from three regions of the US to summarize the state of our knowledge of wetlands in the urban landscape, and propose directions for future research. (more info)
  • The US Long Term Ecological Research Network. This is a collaborative effort involving more than 1100 scientists and students investigating ecological processes over long temporal and broad spatial scales. The studies include topics such as hydrology, metabolic rate of ecosystems, global change research, and climate data. (more info)
  • Windows Into Wonderland - Yellowstone Electronic Field Trips. This site contains slide shows and virtual field trips of Yellowstone National Park. There are several slide shows to chose from, including wolves of Yellowstone, bear research, fire ecology, the history of Yellowstone and the influence of art on Yellowstone Park. Each program features slides containing text and photographs. There is also an orientation slide show about the National Park system. More virtual field trips will be added in the future. This resource is part of the Biocomplexity collection. ( This site is likely no longer available. )


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Hot Springs Microbes Hold Key To Dating Sedimentary Rocks, Researchers Say part of SERC Web Resource Collection

This is a ScienceDaily article about the effect of microbes on sedimentary rock formation. It covers the process of calcium carbonate crystalization, the effect of microbes on that process, and how ...

Mix and match: how climate selects phytoplankton part of SERC Web Resource Collection

This is a research article from the journal Nature on the link between climate-driven physical processes and evolution of microbial communities in the ocean. Topics covered include oceanic nutrient ...

Garbage-eating Geobacter part of SERC Web Resource Collection

This Geotimes article highlights recent work done by Derek Lovley on the microbe Geobacter. The article discusses the ability of Geobacter to eat metal wastes as well as the prospect of using ...

More Nitrogen Upstream, Fewer Filters Downstream part of SERC Web Resource Collection

This USGS-sponsored site provides an explanation for the low oxygen conditions of the "dead zone" stemming from the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico watersheds. The factors that ...

Dead zones off New Jersey part of SERC Web Resource Collection

This Geotimes article gives a brief overview of the New Jersey dead zone. Unlike the Mississippi delta hypoxia, which is thought to occur from nutrient overloading from farms along the Mississippi ...

Mississippi River Basin and Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia part of SERC Web Resource Collection

This EPA site provides links to introductory information about the Gulf of Mexico dead zone. It offers answers to questions such as: what is the hypoxic zone, how did it form, what strategies are ...

Nitrogen sources and Gulf hypoxia: Potential for environmental credit trading part of SERC Web Resource Collection

A zone of hypoxic and anoxic waters has become a dominant feature of the northern Gulf of Mexico. Nitrogen draining into the Gulf from the Mississippi Basin has been identified as the primary source ...

Microbial Mining part of SERC Web Resource Collection

This article discusses the use of microbial populations in the bioleaching of valuble ores from rock near or within the subsurface of the Earth.

Winogradsky Column Unit: Chemical and Physical Change part of SERC Web Resource Collection

This two-part activity leads Physical Science students, grades 8-12, to explore chemical change using Winogradsky Columns. Part 1 constructs student concepts concerning chemical and physical changes. ...

Dead Zone: Galveston Researcher Examines Loss of Marine Life part of SERC Web Resource Collection

This Texas A&M newspaper article provides very general info regarding the possible link between poor water quality in the Gulf of Mexico and farm runoff. Researcher Antonietta Quigg ...

Restoring Life to the Dead Zone: Addressing Gulf Hypoxia, a National Problem part of SERC Web Resource Collection

This USGS fact sheet provides an introductory synopsis of some of the causes of poor water quality in the Gulf of Mexico. The dead zone is caused by increased nutrients from the Mississippi River, ...

Elusive dead zone tracked in the Pacific part of SERC Web Resource Collection

This MSNBC newspaper article provides general information about poor water quality off the Oregon coast. The article recounts how scientists are hunting for very low levels of oxygen, a sign of what ...

Dissolved Oxygen and Biochemical Oxygen Demand part of SERC Web Resource Collection

This EPA website provides general information about dissolved oxygen, including what it is, sampling and equipment considerations, and sampling and analysis protocols. The site also features a chart ...

Turbidity and TSS part of SERC Web Resource Collection

This image-rich website describes turbidity and total suspended solids (TSS). It includes overviews about what they are, why they are measured, how they are measured, and why they vary. ...

Evidence of Climate Change over the Last 10,000 Years from the Sediments of Lakes in the Upper Mississippi Basin part of SERC Web Resource Collection

This USGS fact sheet discusses paleoecological records derived from sediments in the upper midwestern US (e.g. Minnesota). The paleoecological record was derived from varved (seasonally-laminated) ...

Paleoceanography part of SERC Web Resource Collection

This National Climate Data Center collection features links to climate data derived from ocean records. These include CLIMAP (sea surface temperature reconstructions), SPECMAP (a reconstruction based ...

The Twilight Zone of the Marine Carbon Cycle and Climate Change Past and Future part of SERC Web Resource Collection

This Ocean and Climate Change Institute article provides information regarding carbon cycling and the ocean. It discusses where and how carbon moves through the ocean system, focusing on carbon ...

North Carolina Division of Water Quality: Environmental Sciences Section. part of SERC Web Resource Collection

This is the webpage for the Environmental Sciences Section of the North Carolina Division of Water Quality (DWQ), which provides the DWQ with scientific and technical support required to regulate and ...

The Secchi Disk part of SERC Web Resource Collection

This Great North American Secchi Dip-In website offers a comprehensive guide to Secchi disk use. It features links to a series of pages that answer questions such as: what is a Secchi disk; what (or ...