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  Regional Research

Map of regional studies in the PNW.

The Andrews Forest LTER program and scientists have long history of study of biota and ecological and geophysical processes across the Pacific Northwest to test science concepts beyond the confines of the Andrews Forest and to explore ecological and socio-ecological phenomena operating at larger scales. This collection of regional studies is central to our research program (some of these are shown in Figure 1). Some studies capitalize on the regional network of research sites (e.g., Experimental Forests and Research Natural Areas) crossing the strong west-to-east environmental gradient characteristic of the region (e.g., decomposition studies by Harmon) and other studies evaluate large geographic areas (e.g., the Willamette River Basin Futures project in which the Andrews Forest has a role).

The Andrews Forest is also a prominent partner in three newly-funded projects: 1) The Portland-Vancouver Urban Long-term Research Area Experimental (ULTRA-Ex) project -- a 2-year project funded by the National Science Foundation; 2) The Willamette Water 2100 project – a 5-year interdisciplinary project funded by the National Science Foundation to anticipate water scarcity in our region in response to climate and land use change; and 3) The Climate Decision Support Consortium, funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to serve as the one of the sites for NOAA’s Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) program.

We also continue to conduct research using Forest Service Inventory plots and our network of long-term vegetation plots (See Vegetation Component and experimental watersheds arrayed north-south along the Cascade Range. Most of the regional program of work is done in collaboration or partnership with others. Although, relatively little of the LTER budget goes toward these regional activities, the Andrews group is placing increasing emphasis on research at broad scales because many ecological questions and socio-ecological associated with global change and mountainous topography (Goals 1, II, and III) cannot be address without considering ecological and social variation and processes that operate across a wide range of spatial scales.

Regional Research Connections and Partnerships

The following is a list of regional scale projects and landscape-scale ecosystems studies within the Pacific Northwest Region. The Andrews LTER contributes to these efforts in various ways (e.g. data sharing, study design and analysis and writing and interpretation) and the knowledge and information that these efforts produce and communicate contribute to meeting LTER goals and objectives

Accomplishments and reports: