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As high capacity all-optical networks and WDM technologies advance and merge together, aggregating low-speed traffic streams onto high-speed wavelengths becomes more critical. Efficient aggregation techniques, known as traffic grooming, allow higher bandwidth utilization and can reduce request blocking probability. These algorithms can also result in lower network cost in terms of electronic switching. In this paper we focus on traffic grooming in WDM mesh networks with dynamic traffic patterns. We offer two new grooming concepts called lightpath dropping and lightpath extension. These concepts are based on an alternative node architecture in which incoming optical signals can be dropped at a node, while optically continuing to the next node. Based on these concepts, we develop several grooming algorithms and study them under various network objectives. We also compare their performance with previously proposed lightpath-based grooming algorithms. Through extensive simulation results we show that our proposed approaches lead to lower request blocking probability and lower average number of logical hops when the number of transceivers per node is limited.