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Ecosystem ecology is the combined study of the physical and biological components of ecosystems. It focuses on how matter and energy flow through both organisms and the abiotic components of the environment.
Ecological and evolutionary processes shape the phenotypic composition of populations. Mesocosm experiments with threespine sticklebacks show how the interactions between phenotype, population density and environment determine evolutionary trajectories.
Freezing and thawing of soils leads to large pulses of nitrous oxide release. An empirical model shows that cropland winter nitrous oxide emissions are substantial, calling for a revision of the global nitrous oxide budget.
Clearing up after natural disturbances may not always be beneficial for the environment. We argue that a radical change is needed in the way ecosystems are managed; one that acknowledges the important role of disturbance dynamics.