Recent News
  Media coverage

This summer (2004) we have a Science Journalism Intern, Emily Kuross. She has written about recent Cedar Creek research projects as well as the summer interns' perspectives on life at Cedar Creek.

Articles by Emily Kuross:
In the Defense of Species: When it comes to diversity, every little bit may count.
Ecology’s Cloudy Crystal Ball: Can we use ecology as a forecasting tool?
The Many Hands that Make Work Light: The intern experience at Cedar Creek Natural History Area. Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3
And the winners were crowned with Laurus nobilis: The Intern Olymics
Gestalt and Grasses: Looking at ecosystem parts to help understand the whole
Building Community
A Prairie Grows in St. Paul
Baa Baa Black Sheep, Do Not Singe Your Wool: Many experiments at Cedar Creek have implications for ecosystem restoration.
Beyond Materials and Methods: In any step of an experiment you’ll find planning, dedication, and maybe some fluorescent pink.

(Currently these articles are published only on the Cedar Creek website, though they may be published elsewhere in the future.)

Interns at work.

View clip (40 sec)

You will need Quicktime.

Rediscovering Biology: Molecular to Global Perspectives
Episode 12 of this series features Cedar Creek research on biodiversity and stability.
Summary: With current extinction rates exceeding those of previous mass extinctions, many biodiversity studies focus on efforts to count the Earth’s species before they are lost. This session explores current field experiments studying complex ecosystems and how environmental and biodiversity changes might affect their functions.

This show will air November 10, 2004 - 10:00 am and 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

You can view theAnnenberg/CPB Channel live online on broadband here.
It is a free satellite channel for schools, colleges, libraries, public broadcasting stations, public access channels, and other community agencies. For more information visit the Annenberg/CPB Channel website.

IMPRINT, the Bell Museum's quarterly magazine for members
Spring 2004
Plotting the Future: Why Biodiversity Matters in an Age of Global Warming by Jennifer Amie

Peter Reich discusses the BioCON experiment (located at Cedar Creek Natural History Area) and the role of biodiversity and soil nutrients in a plant community's ability to store carbon dioxide. He and other scientists are concerned about a possible saturation point for carbon dioxide storage in plants, rendering them unable to absorb ever increasing amounts.

The Bell Museum, University of Minnesota
Biodiversity 911: Saving Life on Earth
January 31-May 2, 2004

Biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth--from ants to orchids to savannas. This exhibit aimed to teach what biodiversity is, why it's declining, and how we can help to protect it. The exhibit included posters about Cedar Creek research.


Seiche, Minnesota Sea Grant Newsletter, Biologists Appreciate New Twist to an Old Gathering , November 2003.
Minnesota Sea Grant co-hosted the 17th annual meeting of the Society for Conservation Biology. Sea grant organized an opportunity for reporters to take a tour of Cedar Creek Natural History Area.

Newsweek, Atlantic Edition: Crisis in the Cupboard by Mac Margolis, June 9, 2003.

Public Television: Treasuring Our Natural Heritage, presented by Idaho Public Television and the Natural Heritage Center, first aired September 2002. Produced by Paul Bockhorst.
This three-part documentary series attempts to answer the question: What is biological diversity and why is it so important to our future? In the first installment of the series, Understanding the Work of Nature, David Tilman discusses the biodiversity research performed at Cedar Creek.

(you will need Quicktime to view video- free download)

Clip 1 (1:00 min.)

Clip 2 (1:19 min.)

Minnesota Public Radio
"Cedar Creek Research Spans the Past and Future," by Marisa Helms, September 20, 2002.
Marisa Helms speaks with David Tilman, Director of Cedar Creek about biodiversity, increasing carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere, and experiments at Cedar Creek related to these topics.
Listen to it here.

Ecology for the Ages: Legendary Cedar Creek Natural History Area Celebrates 60 Years
From the Fall 2002 edition of "M", published by the University of Minnesota, University Relations.

Associated Press
"Rare natural lab offers many ecosystems" by Chris Williams.
Summary: "All the major ecosystems in the (northern) states are here; we can get information for the ecosystems from the Rockies to Maine," said David Tilman, who directs the Cedar Creek Natural History Area, now one of the most studied pieces of ground on earth.Tilman's colleague at the university, Peter Reich, is conducting an experiment that examines how plants react to increased nitrogen and carbon dioxide. It is called BioCon -- for biodiversity, carbon dioxide and nitrogen. White plastic pipes form a sort of picket fence around six large rings of plants. Inside the rings, Reich has planted and divided different combination of plants.The results so far suggest that highly diverse ecosystems will do a better job of turning carbon dioxide into oxygen than the less-diverse ecosystems spawned by industrialization.
Featured in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Dec. 9, 2002 and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dec 15, 2002.

NRC Handelsblad, major Dutch newspaper
"Minder ziekte, hogere opbrengst: Ecoloog David Tilman over het nut van biodiversiteit" ("Less disease, higher yield: Ecologist David Tilman talks about the value of biodiversity") by Sander Voormolen, November 23, 2002

National Public Radio
Talk of the Nation Science Friday, with Ira Flato,Aug. 9, 2002.
"Agriculture and Sustainability / Conjoined Twins" with guests David Tilman, Henry Kawamoto, Jill Auburn, Per Pinstrup-Andersen, and Joel Cohen.
Summary: Catch too many fish for too long, and the population might crash. Farm a patch of ground too aggressively, and the fertility of the soil can be endangered. In this hour, Ira Flato takes a look at agriculture and sustainability: how can people worldwide ensure that there's plenty of food now, as well as in years to come? Plus, an update on a now-separated pair of conjoined twins.
Listen to it here.

Great Lakes Radio Consortium, "Curbing Nitrogen Pollution" by Daniel Grossman, July 15, 2002.
Across the country, forests, streams and coastlines are getting extra doses of nutrients containing the element nitrogen. Researchers say the long-term impact of these unwanted compounds on the environment could be serious. Daniel Grossman reports on some efforts to reduce nitrogen pollution.
Listen to it here.

  Journal articles

The following are the most recent articles associated with Cedar Creek Natural History Area in the journals Science, Nature, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Community assembly and invasion: An experimental test of neutral versus niche processes
Joseph Fargione, Cynthia S. Brown, and David Tilman
Proceedings of the National Acedemy of Sciences, 2003, 100 (15), pp. 8916-8920
Full Text


The following are the most recent articles associated with Cedar Creek Natural History Area in Ecology, Journal of Ecology, Ecology Letters, Oecologia:

Seed limitation and the regulation of community structure in oak savanna grassland
Bryan L. Foster and David Tilman
Journal of Ecology, December 2003, vol. 91(6): 999
Full text

Savanna at Cedar Creek
Natural History Area

Plant diversity, soil microbial communities, and ecosystem function: Are there any links?
Donald R. Zak, William E. Holmes, David C. White, Aaron D. Peacock, and David Tilman
Ecology, 2003, vol. 84(8): 2042-2050
Full text

Phoenix clones: recovery after long-term defoliation-induced dormancy.
Patricia A. Morrow and Joel P. Olfelt
Ecology Letters, 2003, vol. 6: 119-125
Full text

Legumes enhance the N status of grassland assemblages but do not increase their responsiveness to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Tali Lee, Peter Reich, MG Tjoelker.
Oecologia, 2003, vol. 137:22-31.
Full text

Click for archives of Cedar Creek-related journal publication

Archives of media coverage


In-Cites: An interview with Dr. David Tilman August 2001

Washington Post: "Study of plants makes a case for biodiversity" by William Souder, April 16, 2001, page A7
Click to purchase article from Washington Post.

New York Times: "Simple Method Found to Increase Crop Yields Vastly" by Carol Yoon. August 22, 2000, page D1-2.
Click to purchase article from New York Times.

New York Times: "Lost Rivets and Threads, and Ecosystems Pulled Apart" by William K. Stevens. July 4, 2000.
Click to purchase article from New York Times.

Popular Science: Science answers the most critical questions for the 21st century: Home Wreckers by Paul Raeburn, pages 48-50, January 2000.

Nature: Ecology goes underground by Jon Copley, 2000, vol. 406, pages 452-454.

Science: Rift over biodiversity divides ecologists by Jocelyn Kaiser, 2000, vol. 289, pages 1282-1283.

U.S. News & World Report: Keeping the delicate balance of nature by Laura Tangley. November 15, 1999.
Click to purchase article from U.S. News & World Report

Nature cover story (August 5, 1999):
Spatial scaling laws yield a synthetic theory of biodiversity by M. E. Ritchie and H. Olff, 1999, Nature vol. 400, pages 557-560. Abstract

Smithsonian: New light on diversity: Holes in the canopy mean opportunity for new trees, but only if they are already waiting in the wings by John P. Wiley, Jr. May 1999.

Science: New, nonchemical pest control proposed by A. S. Moffat, 1999, vol. 284, page 1249.

New York Times: "Ecologist measures nature's mosaic, one plot at a time" by William Stevens, appearing Tuesday, October 6, 1998, Pages B11 and B15.
Click to purchase article from the New York Times
New Scientist: Life support by Bob Holmes. 1998, 159 (2147) page 30-34
City Pages: The Hot Zone by Monika Bauerlein, July 9, 1997, VOL 18 #866
Smithsonian: Nitrogen by James Trefil. October 1997.
New York Times: "A delicate creature yields its secrets" by Jane Brody, appearing in "Science Times" and highlighting work of John Haarstad. Tuesday, August 12, 1997, Page B7.
Click to purchase article from the New York Times

National Public Radio, Talk of the Nation Science Friday, with Ira Flato:
On April 19, 1996, David Tilman explained connections among biodiversity, productivity, and ecosystem stability.
Listen to it here

Frontiers, Newsletter of the National Science Foundation: Biodiversity: A Productive Way to Grow. November 1996

New York Times: "New studies reassess importance of biodiversity" by Carol Yoon. September 2, 1997, Page B12.

New York Times: "Ecosystem's Productivity Rises with Diversity of its Species" by Carol Yoon, appearing Tuesday, March 5, 1996, Page B8. Based on Tilman, Wedin and Knops. 1996. Nature 379: 718-720.
Click to purchase article from the New York Times

New York Times: "Too Much of a Good Thing Makes Benign Nitrogen a Triple Threat" by William Stevens, appearing in "Science Times," Tuesday, December 10, 1996, Page B5. Based on Wedin and Tilman. 1996. Science 274: 1720-1723.
Click to purchase article from the New York Times

Science: Green grass, cool climate? by J. Kaiser, 1996, vol. 274, pages 1620-1611.

Science: Exploring biodiversity's benefits by E. Culotta, 1996, vol. 273, pages 1045-1046.

Science: Biodiversity is a boon to ecosystems, not species by A. S. Moffat, 1996, vol. 271, page 1497.

Nature: Diversity and sustainability on the prairie by P. Kareiva, 1996, vol. 379, pages 673-674.

Nature: Body size and biodiversity by S. Nee and J. H. Lawton, 1996, vol. 380, pages 672-673.

Nature: Global diversity and body size by B. J. Finlay, G. F. Esteban, and T. Fenchel, 1996, vol. 383, pages 132-133.

Public Television: Web of Life, produced by WQED TV, first airing on public television in April 1995. Research done at Cedar Creek on the effects of biodiversity is among the topics discussed in this video.
Watch 5 minute clip of Cedar Creek section
(you will need Quicktime to view video- free download)

View clip (5 min.)

Science: Ecologists dare to ask: how much does diversity matter? by Y. Baskin, 1994, vol. 264, pages 202-203.

Nature: Diversity begets productivity, by P. Kareiva, 1994, vol. 368, pages 686-687.

New York Times: "Study Bolsters Value of Species Diversity" by William Stevens, page B7 of the Tuesday, February 1, 1994, Science Times section of The New York Times. Based on D. Tilman and J.A. Downing. 1994. Nature 367:363-365.

New York Times: "Extinction of the fittest may be the legacy of lost habitats" by William Stevens, page B8 of the September 27, 1994. Based on Tilman et al. 1994. Nature 371:65-66.
Click to purchase article from New York Times.

Discover: More Productive, Less Diverse by Carl Zimmer, September 1994.

Good Housekeeping: There is strength in numbers, by Linda J. Brown, July 1994 , page 96. Based on D. Tilman and J.A. Downing. 1994. Nature 367:363-365.

Daily Telegraph in London, England: "Your number's up: the maths of extinction" by Roger Highfield, featuring an interview with Robert May, and appearing in the October 26, 1994. Based on Tilman, May, Lehman and Nowak 1994. Nature 371:65-66.

Science: Out of adversity, new clues to prairie diversity. 1992, vol. 256, page 610.

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