University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
College of Biological Sciences
http://www.cbs.umn.edu/

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve is a large ecological research site in central Minnesota with natural habitats that represent the entire state. There is no place of comparable biological diversity so close to the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Cedar Creek is owned and operated by the University of Minnesota

Research at Cedar Creek focuses on understanding the fundamental processes and principals that govern the dynamics and functioning of communities and ecosystems. We explore topics of fundamental scientific interest, as well as those relevant to current environmental change.

Our work synthesizes the sometimes disparate approaches of ecophysiology and population, community and ecosystem ecology, and exploits the interplay between experimental results, observational data, and theoretical prediction.

 

 

Research Highlight - The BAC Experiment

The BAC (biodiversity and climate) experiment examines the interactive effects of global warming and biodiversity on prairie ecosystems. The experiment consists of 38 plots containing varying levels of biodiversity (1, 4, 16, or 32 prairie species). The plots are divided into three areas, each receiving a different warming treatment: a temperature increase of 1-3 °C (2-5 °F), a temperature increase of 3-5 °C (5-9 °F), and a control (no increase). Warming treatments occur from March to November.


Biotic factors to be monitored include any changes in plant phenology, such as budding time; and possibly an analysis of the microbial community. Abiotic factors to be tested include soil flux, which is the amount of CO2 being released from plant roots and underground microbial activity, and soil moisture. The results of this experiment will be analyzed in the hope of forming better models and management strategies about climate change in prairies.