Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER)

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The U.S. Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) network is a group of 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.
  • Select two 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?
    • The work should be in APA format and refernce inclusive

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