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Biological Diversity

In old forest, stream, and meadow ecosystems, the Andrews Forest has thousands of species of insects, 83 bird species, 19 gymnosperm species, and 9 species of fish. Biodiversity research at Andrews examines the causes and consequences of biological diversity in our landscape and seeks to understand how land use, disturbance, and climate change will affect these patterns and relationships. Studies range from the genetic to landscape scales, and include field observational studies, experiments, and modeling. We use "biodiversity" as a broad term/theme for many pieces of work that, for the most part, are not coordinated in a unified program of inquiry.

LTER6 brought a renewed energy and interest to the study of phenology to evaluate the influences of microclimatic heterogeneity, associated with complex terrain, on phenology (Goal I, objective 3) and to evaluate potential trophic responses to scenarios of change in climate, disturbance and land use (Goal II, objective 3). Focus was on a simplified model trophic system involving vascular plants, terrestrial and aquatic insects, and migratory neotropical and resident birds. The work usee and extended our long-term studies of plant phenology, climate, Lepidoptera, and aquatic insects in LTER5 and earlier, and allows us to expand our biotic studies to include birds. The model trophic system is ideal because the phonological behaviors across trophic levels are both independent (responding to different abiotic drivers) and dependent (due to trophic interactions), potentially leading to complex system behaviors.

Common moth species in the Andrews Forest

Research Details

Key Databases

List of all Biological Diversity databases

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