Figure 1. Linkages involving species composition and diversity and ecosystem processes. Ecosystem processes include productivity and nutrient cycling. Regional processes include nutrient fluxes from terrestrial to aquatic systems. Community processes include competition and predation. Ecosystem services are the benefits derived by humans from ecological processes. Slightly modified from Chapin et al. 1997.
Examples of potential projects could include assessing the consequences of exotic species
introductions (e.g. Eurasian water milfoil) on native oligohaline ecosystems, (under the "Biotic
Introductions and Removal" link), or the effects of changing land use patterns in the watershed
(e.g. shifts in clear-cutting activities) on the entire estuary (under the "Land Use" link). Where
appropriate, investigators will be encouraged to use manipulative field experimentation to
address the focus areas listed above, and to assess the effects of multiple stressors concurrently.
While field experiments are not always feasible or appropriate, the use of carefully designed
manipulative experiments will help us move forward at the most rapid rate in achieving our
There are two levels of support for ACES projects, which are similar to those used by the
NSF's Ocean Sciences Division: Regular Grants, which will usually include multi-year funding
in the amounts of $50-$150K annually and be subject to rigorous peer review; and Small Grants
for Exploratory Research (SGER), with funding usually for one or possibly two years in the
range of $10-30K per year, and greater flexibility for investigators to initiate new areas of
study or develop proof of concept for potentially risky research efforts.