The Ecology of Agricultural Landscapes: Long-term Research on the Path to Sustainability
by S.K. Hamilton, J.E.Doll, G.P. Robertson (Editors)
Evidence has been mounting for some time that intensive row-crop agriculture as practiced in developed countries may not be environmentally sustainable, with concerns increasingly being raised about climate change, implications for water quantity and quality, and soil degradation. This volume synthesizes two decades of research on the sustainability of temperate, row-crop ecosystems of the Midwestern United States. The overarching hypothesis guiding this work has been that more biologically based management practices could greatly reduce negative impacts while maintaining sufficient productivity to meet demands for food, fiber and fuel, but that roadblocks to their adoption persist because we lack a comprehensive understanding of their benefits and drawbacks.
The research behind this… Read more
Alaska’s Changing Arctic: Ecological Consequences for Tundra, Streams, and Lakes
by John E. Hobbie (Editor), George W. Kling (Editor)
In this edition of the Long Term Ecological Research Network series, editors John Hobbie and George Kling and 58 co-authors synthesize the findings from the NSF-funded Arctic LTER project based at Toolik Lake, Alaska, a site that has been active since the mid-1970s. The book presents research on the core issues of climate-change science in the treeless arctic region of Alaska. As a whole, it examines both terrestrial and freshwater-aquatic ecosystems, and their three typical habitats: tundra, streams, and lakes.
The book provides a history of the Toolik Lake LTER site, and discusses its present condition and future outlook. It features contributions from top scientists from many fields, creating a multidisciplinary survey of the Alaskan arctic ecosystem. Chapter topics include glacial… Read more
Long-Term Response of a Forest Watershed Ecosystem: Clearcutting in the Southern Appalachians
by Wayne T. Swank (Author), Jackson R. Webster (Author)
Our North American forests are no longer the wild areas of past centuries; they are an economic and ecological resource undergoing changes from both natural and management disturbances. A watershed-scale and long-term perspective of forest ecosystem responses is requisite to understanding and predicting cause and effect relationships. This book synthesizes interdisciplinary studies conducted over thirty years, to evaluate responses of a clear-cut, cable-logged watershed at the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory in the Nantahala Mountain Range of western North Carolina. This research was the result of collaboration among Forest Service and university researchers on the most studied watershed in the Lab’s 78-year history. During the experiment, a variety of natural disturbances occurred:… Read more
Land of Extremes
by Alexander Huryn, John Hobbie
This book is a comprehensive guide to the natural history of the North Slope, the only arctic tundra in the United States. The first section provides detailed information on climate, geology, landforms, and ecology. The second provides a guide to the identification and natural history of the common animals and plants and a primer on the human prehistory of the region from the Pleistocene through the mid-twentieth century. The appendix provides the framework for a tour of the natural history features along the Dalton Highway, a road connecting the crest of the Brooks Range with Prudhoe Bay and the Arctic Ocean, and includes mile markers where travelers may safely pull off to view geologic formations, plants, birds, mammals, and fish. Featuring hundreds of illustrations that support the clear, authoritative text, Land of Extremes reveals the arctic tundra as an ecosystem teeming with… Read more
A Caribbean Forest Tapestry
by Nicholas Brokaw, Todd Crowl, Ariel Lugo, William McDowell, Frederick Scatena, Robert Waide, Michael Willig
Global change threatens ecosystems worldwide, and tropical systems with their high diversity and rapid development are of special concern. We can mitigate the impacts of change if we understand how tropical ecosystems respond to disturbance. For tropical forests and streams in Puerto Rico this book describes the impacts of, and recovery from, hurricanes, landslides, floods, droughts, and human disturbances in the Luquillo Mountains of Puerto Rico. These ecosystems recover quickly after natural disturbances, having been shaped over thousands of years by such events. Human disturbance, however, has longer-lasting impacts. Chapters are by authors with many years of experience in Puerto Rico and other tropical areas and cover the history of research in these mountains, a… Read more
Standard Soil Methods For Long-Term Ecological Research
by G. Philip Robertson, David C. Coleman, Caroline S. Bledsoe, Phillip Sollins
Standardized methods and measurements are crucial for ecological research, particularly in long-term ecological studies where the projects are by nature collaborative and where it can be difficult to distinguish signs of environmental change from the effects of differing methodologies.
This second volume in the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network Series addresses these issues directly by providing a comprehensive standardized set of protocols for measuring soil properties.
The goal of the volume is to facilitate cross-site synthesis and evaluation of ecosystem processes. Chapters cover methods for studying physical and chemical properties of soils, soil biological properties, and soil organisms, and they include work from many… Read more
Ecology of the Shortgrass Steppe
by William Lauenroth, I. C. Burke
Ecology of the Shortgrass Steppe: A Long-Term Perspective summarizes and synthesizes more than sixty years of research that has been conducted throughout the shortgrass region in North America. The shortgrass steppe was an important focus of the International Biological Program’s Grassland Biome project, which ran from the late 1960s until the mid-1970s. The work conducted by the Grassland Biome project was preceded by almost forty years of research by U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers-primarily from the Agricultural Research Service-and was followed by the Shortgrass Steppe Long-Term Ecological Research project. This volume is an enormously rich source of data and insight into the structure and function of a semiarid grassland.
Agrarian Landscapes in Transition
by Charles L. Redman, David R. Foster
Agrarian Landscapes in Transition researches human interaction with the earth. With hundreds of acres of agricultural land going out of production every day, the introduction, spread, and abandonment of agriculture represents the most pervasive alteration of the Earth’s environment for several thousand years. What happens when humans impose their spatial and temporal signatures on ecological regimes, and how does this manipulation affect the earth and nature’s desire for equilibrium?
Studies were conducted at six Long Term Ecological Research sites within the US, including New England, the Appalachian Mountains, Colorado, Michigan, Kansas, and Arizona. While each site has its own unique agricultural history, patterns emerge that help make sense of how our actions have affected the earth, and how the earth pushes back…. Read more
Ecosystem Dynamics in a Polar Desert
by C. Priscu
The McMurdo Dry Valleys of southern Victoria Land comprise the largest ice‐free expanse (about 4000 km2) on the Antarctic continent. Research in this region began during British expeditions of the early 1900s and has yielded much information on specific physical, chemical and biological features of the area. Only recently have scientists begun to view the region as an integrated system which includes dynamic interactions among biotic and abiotic components of the environment.
The McMurdo Dry Valleys represents the coldest and driest desert on this planet. Photoautotrophic and heterotrophic microorganisms that are intimately linked with the presence of liquid water and nutrients dominate the biological assemblages. Owing to the low average temperature (−20° C) in the region, liquid water is a rare commodity that often exists for a short period only… Read more
Forests in Time
by David R. Foster, John D. Aber
This seminal book, based on innovative research at Harvard Forest, describes the dramatic natural and human-induced changes in the land and environment of New England over the past 1,000 years.
Selected as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2005 by Choice Magazine
Structure And Function Of A Chihuahuan Desert Ecosystem
by Kris M. Havstad, Laura F. Huenneke, William H. Schlesinger
The Jornada Basin LTER is located in the Chihuahuan Desert, the largest in North America. This region of south central New Mexico has a history of nearly 100 years as the basis for scientific research.
This work gives a thorough, encompassing review of the tremendous array of observations resulting from experiments conducted in this ecosystem.
Beginning with thorough descriptions of the most salient features of the region, the book then reviews a wide range of archived and active data sets on a diversity of biotic and abiotic features. It next presents a syntheses of important topics including livestock grazing and remediation efforts.
A concluding chapter provides a synthesis of the principles that have emerged from this body of work, and how… Read more
Foundations for Ecological Research West of the Antarctic Peninsula
by Robin M. Ross, Eileen Elizabeth Hofmann, Langdon Quetin
The Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Program was established in 1981 by the United States National Science Foundation in recognition of the need to study ecological processes over time spans longer than those of most research grants. The LTER Network now consists of 18 sites that span a variety of ecosystem types in the continental United States, Alaska, Puerto Rico, and Antarctica. The addition of the Palmer LTER at Palmer Station, Antarctica in October 1990 extended the geographical and ecological range of the LTER Network and provided the opportunity to link physical and ecological processes in the northern and southern hemispheres.
One criterion for establishment of a LTER site is the existence of historical data and observations that can… Read more
Long-Term Dynamics Of Lakes In The Landscape
by John J. Magnuson, Timothy K. Kratz, Barbara J. Benson
This site-synthesis volume presents 20 years of work at the North Temperate Lakes Long-Term Research Site. It provides the definitive information base for the ecology of temperate lakes, and a general assessment of the role of lakes within their landscapes.
The Wisconsin temperate lakes LTER site has had a major role in the growth of our modern limonological understanding, and this book also chronicles the history of this work.
The book should be of interest to most American limonologists and a significant number of general ecologists.
Principles And Standards For Measuring Primary Production
by Timothy J. Fahey, Alan K. Knapp
Principles and Standards for Measuring Net Primary Production in Long-Term Ecological Studies is the first book to establish a standardized method for measuring net primary productivity (NPP) in ecological research. Primary productivity is the rate at which energy is stored in the organic matter of plants per unit area of the earth’s surface. As the beginning stage of the carbon cycle, our ability to accurately measure NPP is essential to any ecological analysis, as well as agronomy, forestry, fisheries, limnology and oceanography. In fact, NPP measurements are fundamental to ecosystem studies at thousands of sites around the world.
All 26 LTER sites will be expected to collect and report data using these new standards, but the standards should reach well beyond LTER sites. Identified… Read more
Alaska’s Changing Boreal Forest
by F. Stuart Chapin, Mark W. Oswood, Keith van Cleve, Leslie A. Viereck, David L. Verbyla
The boreal forest is the northern-most woodland biome, whose natural history is rooted in the influence of low temperature and high-latitude. Alaska’s boreal forest is now warming as rapidly as the rest of Earth, providing an unprecedented look at how this cold-adapted, fire-prone forest adjusts to change.
This volume synthesizes current understanding of the ecology of Alaska’s boreal forests and describes their unique features in the context of circumpolar and global patterns. It tells how fire and climate contributed to the biome’s current dynamics. As climate warms and permafrost (permanently frozen ground) thaws, the boreal forest may be… Read more
Biodiversity in Drylands
by Moshe Shachak, James R. Gosz, Steward T.A. Pickett, Avi Perevolotsky
Biodiversity in Drylands, the first internationally based synthesis volume in the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network Series, unifies the concepts of species and landscape diversity with respect to deserts. Within this framework, the book treats several emerging themes, among them:
- How animal biodiversity can be supported in deserts
- Diversity’s relation to habitat structure, environmental variability, and species interactions
- The relation between spatial scale and diversity
- How to use a landscape simulation model to understand diversity
- Microbial contributions to biodiversity in deserts
- Species diversity and ecosystem processes
- … Read more
Climate Variability and Ecosystem Response at Long-Term Ecological Research Sites
by David Greenland, Douglas G. Goodin, Raymond C. Smith
This volume in the Long-Term Ecological Research Network Series would present the work that has been done and the understanding and database that have been developed by work on climate change done at all the LTER sites.
Global climate change is a central issue facing the world, which is being worked on by a very large number of scientists across a wide range of fields.
The LTER sites hold some of the best available data measuring long term impacts and changes in the environment, and the research done at these sites has not previously been made widely available to the broader climate change research community… Read more
Structure And Function Of An Alpine Ecosystem: Niwot Ridge, Colorado
by William D. Bowman, Thomas R. Seastedt
This book will provide a complete overview of an alpine ecosystem, based on the long-term research conducted at the Niwot Ridge LTER. There is, at present, no general book on alpine ecology. The alpine ecosystem features conditions near the limits of biological existence, and is a useful laboratory for asking more general ecological questions, because it offers large environmental change over relatively short distances. Factors such as macroclimate, microclimate, soil conditions, biota, and various biological factors change on differing scales, allowing insight into the relative contributions of the different factors on ecological outcomes. Read more
by Alan K. Knapp, John M. Briggs, David C. Hartnett, Scott L. Collins
This is the first volume in the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network Series.
Established in 1980, the LTER program is exploring a wide variety of biomes characteristic of the United States and developing a baseline for ecosystem dynamics over long time periods and broad spatial scales. The volumes in this series will include both comprehensive reviews of research from particular sites and topical overviews which use data from many sites to examine important questions in ecology.
This volume, which focuses on the Konza Prairie in northeastern Kansas, is a synthesis of over 15 years of research in pristine tallgrass prairie. It gives a comprehensive site description and summarizes the key long-term studies that form the basis for… Read more