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Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER)

prepared by Sean Perry

What is LTER?

LTER stands for “long term ecological research” and involves research and analysis conducted on ecological issues that exist for large periods of time and occupy vast geographical areas. A network of 6 LTER sites was created by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 1980 to help document and analyze ecological change over an extensive amount of time. The number of LTER sites has now grown to 26, spanning from Alaska to the Caribbean, with two additional sites in Antarctica.

LTER Sites

Andrews Experimental Forest:USDA USFS, Oregon State University Arctic LTER site: University of Alaska Baltimore Ecosystem Study: USDA USFS, University of Maryland Bonanza Creek: USDA USFS, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Boreal Ecology Cooperative Research Unit California Current: University of California, Scripps Institution of Oceanography Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve: University of Minnesota Central Arizona-Phoenix: Arizona State University Coweeta: USDA USFS, University of Georgia Florida CoastalEverglades: Florida International University Georgia Coastal Ecosystems: University of Georgia Marine Institute Harvard Forest: USDA USFS, US Environmental Protection Agency, Harvard University Hubbard Brook: USDA USFS Jornada Basin: USDA ARS, New Mexico State University Kellogg Biological Station: Michigan State University Konza Prairie: The Nature Conservancy, Kansas State University Luquillo: McMurdo Dry Valleys: Moorea Coral Reef: University of California Santa Barbara, California State University Northridge NIwot Ridge: University of Colorado at Boulder North Temperate Lakes: Center for Limnology Palmer Antarctica: Columbia University Santa Barbara Coastal LTER: University of California Santa Barbara, Marine Science Institute Sevilleta: The University of New Mexico, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Shortgrass Steppe: USDA USFS Pawnee National Grassland, USDA ARS, Colorado State University, Central Plains Experimental Range, Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station Virginia Coast Reserve: University of Virginia, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, the Nature Conservancy

All sites are supported by the National Science Foundation.

Supplemental Monitoring Methods

Supplemental methods may be included when the core methods are insufficient to inform a particular management objective. These additional methods are not intended to replace the core methods. Instead they provide additional information necessary to answer local management questions. Supplemental methods in conjunction with the core methods allow these data to be used for multiple management objectives by providing basic ecosystem attribute information while also meeting local monitoring needs. Detailed descriptions of the supplemental methods can be found in Volume II of the Monitoring Manual.

Supplemental Method Indicators Assessed
Compaction test • Soil compaction
Infiltration • Soil infiltration capacity
Plant production • Total annual production
Species richness (modified Whitaker method) • Biodiversity
Plant density • Non-native invasive plant species
• Plant density
• Plant species of management concern
Vegetation structure • Visual obstruction
Tree density • Structure diversity
• Woody biomass
Riparian vegetation • Riparian vegetation composition
Channel/gully profiles • Channel shape



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protocols/long-term_ecological_research_lter.1396392167.txt.gz · Last modified: 2014/04/01 16:42 by sfperry