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Plum Island Ecosystems LTER - PIE

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NSF Award(s) OCE-9726921 , OCE-0423565 , OCE-1058747 , OCE-1238212 (View all sites)

The Plum Island Ecosystems (PIE) LTER is an integrated research, education and outreach program whose goal is to develop a predictive understanding of the long-term response of watershed and estuarine ecosystems at the land-sea interface to changes in climate, land use, sea level and human activity. The principal study site is the Plum Island Sound estuary, its coupled Parker, Rowley and Ipswich River watersheds and the adjacent coastal ocean, the Gulf of Maine. The PIE LTER focuses on how several aspects of global change influence organic matter and inorganic nutrient biogeochemistry and estuarine foodwebs. The inputs of organic matter and nutrients from land, ocean and marshes interact with the external drivers (climate, land use, river discharge, sea level) to dictate the extent and degree of nutrient and organic matter processing and determine the spatial patterns of estuarine productivity and trophic structure.
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Contact Information
Site Contacts
Principal Investigator: Anne Giblin
Primary Contact: Anne Giblin
Information Mgr: Hap Garritt
Education Contact: Liz Duff
Graduate Student Representative: Christopher Whitney
Social Science Representative: Colin Polsky
Climate Science Representative: Anne Giblin
Communication Representative:
Address:
The Ecosystems Center
Marine Biological Laboratory
Woods Hole, MA 02543
Phone: 508-289-7488
Fax: 508-457-1548
Email: agiblin@mbl.edu
Website: http://pie-lter.ecosystems.mbl.edu/
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Site History
The Plum Island Ecosystems LTER (PIE LTER) was established in 1998. During the course of our research, we have designed and implemented a comprehensive study of a major, land-estuarine system in the Acadian biogeographic province in eastern New England. Our goal is to develop a predictive understanding of the long-term dynamics of watershed and estuarine ecosystems at the land-sea interface and to apply this knowledge to the wise management and development of policy to protect the natural resources of the coastal zone. The principal study site is the Plum Island Sound estuary, its coupled Parker and Ipswich River basins and the coastal ocean, the Gulf of Maine.

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Research Topics
The biosphere is undergoing unprecedented change as a result of human activities. Major global issues include growth of the human population, land use change, climate change, altered hydrologic cycles, and sea level rise. There are numerous ways that these globally important issues are affecting the biosphere. The PIE LTER focuses on how these issues influence organic matter and inorganic nutrient biogeochemistry and estuarine foodwebs. The inputs of organic matter and nutrients from land, ocean and marshes interact with the external drivers (climate, land use, river discharge, sea level) to dictate the extent and degree of nutrient and organic matter processing and determine the spatial patterns of estuarine productivity and trophic structure. Our overarching question is: How will trophic structure and primary and secondary productivity in estuaries be affected by changes in organic matter and nutrient loading and hydrodynamics caused by changing land use, climate and sea level?
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Institutional Affiliations Research Sites
Site Location
Lat: +42.75900 | Long. -70.89100

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Climate Info.
Annual High Mean Low
Temperature 22 c 10.0c -4c
Precipitation mm/year 1188 mm/year mm/year