Niwot Ridge LTER - Research Topics

Niwot Ridge LTER Science

An overarching theme of current research is the impact of climate change on Colorado tundra ecosystems, with a particular focus on the effects of altered snowpack and rainfall regimes. New facilities (e.g., the tundra laboratory), new research initiatives (e.g., the
100-year snow fence, the subnivean laboratory), and centralization of data management activities will assist us in meeting our research objectives.

Routine Measurements

Routine monitoring/measurements include (but are not limited to):

air temperature
relative humidity
wind speed and direction
solar radiation

stream discharge
snowpack ablation
snow water equivalent
soil moisture

atmospheric deposition [~125K photo and caption]
snowpack chemistry
surface water quality

Other Research

The bulk of the past and current research conducted on Niwot Ridge is of a less routine (but of a no less significant) nature and

lake-ice clearance and freeze-up
soil temperatures [~76K photo and caption]

atmospheric N loading
soil physical and chemical properties
wood, litter, and root decomposition
soil and microbial N transformations
microbial respiration
methane and nitrous oxide fluxes [~69K photo and caption]
plant biomass N & storage

aboveground phytomass [~78K photo and caption]
plant phenology
plant species composition
small mammal herbivore surveys
soil microarthropod densities
fossil insect assemblages


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