Humans have altered the Earth’s climate and ecosystems by increasing carbon in the atmosphere, nitrogen and phosphorus in soil and water, disturbances such as fire, species extinctions, and the spread of invasive weeds, pests, and pathogens.
Researchers at the Cedar Creek Long Term Ecological Research Program (CDR LTER) use mathematical models, experiments, and long-term data from grasslands, savannas, and forests to forecast how these interacting human-driven environmental changes will alter Earth’s ecosystems and the ability of ecosystems to provide the services that support human well-being.
The Cedar Creek Long Term Ecological Research Site (CDR LTER) is a part of the NSF funded LTER Network, a group of research sites conducting long-term, ecological research. Over the course of 4 decades, CDR LTER has become one of the best known ecological research sites in the world. While research at CDR LTER has remained at the cutting edge of ecological inquiry, its scientists and staff maintain many of the original experiments and studies, some of which are now in their seventh decade. As with other LTER sites, CDR LTER freely provides high quality data to anyone, including scientists and educators around the world. In addition to its research mission, CDR LTER supports a large education and outreach program that reaches thousands of students, teachers, local residents, and the general public.
CDR LTER is based at the 2200 ha Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve (CCESR) in central Minnesota, a field station run by College of Biological Sciences at the University of Minnesota.