Long-term Ecological Research Sites

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The U.S. Long-Term Ecological Research sites supported by the National Science Foundation. The 26
network sites include diverse ecosystems and shared research results
for the purpose of sustainably managing the nation’s biological
resources. The network includes universities and the USDA Rangeland
Research Unit, the USDA Forest Service Pawnee National Grassland,
and the Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station.
Select one of the following grasslands or desert ecosystems:
• The Jordan Basin LTER
• Konza Prairie LTER
• Sevilleta LTER
• Shortgrass Steppe LTER
Conduct research on the ecosystem you selected. You may wish to use
one of the following Internet search terms:
• Long-term ecological research network
• Long-term ecological research sites
Write 700 to 1,050 words addressing the following:
• Select a site from the LTER network.
• Describe the purpose of the LTER site that you selected.
• Selecttwo research projects from the site.
• Summarize the research hypothesis and results of the two projects
you chose.
• What are some of the environmental threats to the LTER site you
selected? How do these threats differ from other ecosystems including
grassland, shrubland, rangeland or deserts?
• Describe the plant species in this ecosystem and explain the spatial
and temporal factors that influence how these species are spatially
organized across the landscape. How does plant self-organization
influence the ecosystem’s insects, birds, and mammals? How can
researchers use this information to manage habitats?
• What role does fire play in the LTER site you selected? Which
research led to this understanding?? What role does fire play in other
ecosystems, including grasslands, shrublands, deserts, or rangeland
management? Do you think that fire management can lead to the
sustainable management in some of these ecosystems?
• How can the experimental results from your selected LTER site be
applied to sustainably manage other ecosystems including grassland,
shrubland, rangeland, or desert management?

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