Understanding Interactions within the LTER Network for Improved Collaboration

This proposed effort will “stimulate cross-site and Network-level synthesis” by addressing issues of collaboration within the LTER network. Scientific synthesis should be promoted as we better understand the nature of that collaboration.

The concept that the LTER program works as a network of interacting sites and scientists is grounded in the earliest documents of the US LTER (Callahan 1984) through the most recent decadal plan (US LTER 2007).

The initiatives proposed in recent documents (US LTER 2007) cannot be achieved without this interaction.

The Influence of Precipitation Variability on Diversity and Composition of North American Grasslands


We propose to organize a working group that will analyze and synthesize long-term data on the relationship between precipitation variability and the structure of North American (NA) grassland plant communities.

This project will build on prior LTER-related synthetic efforts that have evaluated the response of aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) to precipitation variability [1-2] and the relationships among ANPP, plant community composition and resource availability [3-7] in NA grasslands.

Cross-Site Synthesis between CCE, MCR and SBC: Working group to develop comparative regional ocean modeling effort

We propose a new synthesis effort between the California Current Ecosystem (CCE) LTER, the Mo’orea Coral Reef (MCR) LTER and the Santa Barbara Channel (SBC) LTER to incorporate regional modeling of physical processes around islands in both the tropical Pacific and California Current regions.

While these LTERs are focused on two vastly different oceanic regions, they each contain a number of small islands that interfere with larger-scale ocean circulation by producing wakes, trapped circulation patterns and other island topographic effects.

State Changes and Threshold Dynamics

A four-day workshop will use LTER data, including data from the EcoTrends project, to bridge the gap between the relatively mature theoretical understanding of thresholds and state changes in ecological systems and the emerging empirical databases that allow us to actually test models of state changes.

Many of these changes represent “tipping points” or dramatic changes in the states of the systems, and our workshop will use data from terrestrial, coastal, and open-ocean systems to illustrate common mechanisms underlying state changes and threshold dynamics.

Development of a hydrochemical database – StreamchemDB

We are requesting Synthesis Working Group funds to support LTER participation in StreamchemDB.

StreamchemDB is focused on aquatic chemistry data, and builds on former data synthesis projects ClimDB and HydroDB, all of which have been collaborative LTER-Forest Service cross-site synthesis and cyber-infrastructure projects.

Engaging Arts/Humanities in Future Scenarios Work

We propose to hold a workshop to explore challenges, opportunities, and potential outcomes of engaging the humanities and arts in consideration of future scenarios of landscape change in the face of climate change, land use, and human population growth.