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SGS-LTER 1990 proposal




Shortgrass Steppe Long Term Ecological Research (SGS-LTER), author

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We propose to continue the long-term ecological research project in the shortgrass steppe, at the Central Plains Experimental Range in north central Colorado. The objective is to improve our understanding of the long-term processes responsible for the origin and sustainability of shortgrass steppe ecosystems. Our concept for long-term study of the shortgrass steppe is that the major controls over ecosystem structure and function are climate, geomorphology, and landuse management. Each of these controls has important spatial and temporal heterogeneity across a range of scales, and exerts its influence at a particular combination of levels. We hypothesize that the most important controls at the CPER are soil texture and landuse. We propose to continue current work and initiate new studies to further examine the influence of soil texture and landuse over shortgrass steppe ecosystem structure and function using field experimental research, simulation, and regional analysis.


Proposal submitted to National Science Foundation Ecosystems Studies Program; Principal investigators: W. K. Lauenroth, I. C. Burke, J. Van Schilfgaarde, J. R. Forwood.
The SGS-LTER research site was established in 1980 by researchers at Colorado State University as part of a network of long-term research sites within the US LTER Network, supported by the National Science Foundation. Scientists within the Natural Resource Ecology Lab, Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, and Biology Department at CSU, California State Fullerton, USDA Agricultural Research Service, University of Northern Colorado, and the University of Wyoming, among others, have contributed to our understanding of the structure and functions of the shortgrass steppe and other diverse ecosystems across the network while maintaining a common mission and sharing expertise, data and infrastructure.

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long term ecological research
Central Plains Experimental Range
Pawnee National Grassland
grassland ecology
shortgrass steppe


Associated Publications