Andrews Forest LTER - History

Andrews LTER program has become a major center for analysis of forest and stream ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest. Today, several dozen university and Federal scientists use this LTER site as a common meeting ground, working together to gain basic understanding of ecosystems and to apply this new knowledge in management policy. The Andrews LTER program has its roots in the establishment of the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest by the US Forest Service in 1948. This began two decades of predominantly Forest Service research on the management of watersheds, soils, and vegetation. With the inception of the International Biological Programme-Coniferous Forest Biome (IBP-CFB) in 1969, university scientists began to play increasingly important roles in the Andrews program. The focus shifted from single disciplines to more integrated research on forest and stream ecosystems, especially old-growth forests. IBP-CFB ended in the late 1970s and LTER commenced in 1980. The first decade of LTER work developed a backbone of long-term field experiments as well as long-term measurement programs focused on climate, streamflow and water quality, and vegetation succession. Development of data and information management systems as part of the science program has been a major accomplishment. During LTER3 (1990-1996) we continued these long-term projects, but placed increasing emphasis on integration under the central theme: Develop concepts and tools needed to predict effects of natural disturbance, land use, and climate change on ecosystem structure, function, and species composition.


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