The history of the research program at the Andrews Forest has been diverse, with the dominant themes changing over time. Emphasis in the 1950s centered on systems for roading and for harvesting old-growth forests. Research in the 1960s focused on effects of logging on water, sediment, and nutrient losses from small watersheds. During the International Biological Program of the 1970s, basic studies centered on the workings of the forest and stream ecosystems, especially in old-growth forests. In the 1980s, these basic studies continued under LTER and were augmented with applied research in silviculture, wildlife, landscape ecology, carbon dynamics, and other topics. Conflict over federal forestry in the 1990s focused attention on old-growth, spotted owl, and landscape ecology. With growing concern about climate change in the 2000s, analysis of long-term records and effects of mountain topography on ecosystem response to climate variability took center stage.
The mission of the overall Andrews Forest Program is to support research and education on forests, streams, and watersheds, and to foster strong collaboration among ecosystem science, education, natural resource management, and the humanities. The Andrews Forest Program has many components and is supported by a variety of grants, contracts and private donors. The largest of these is the LTER program. For the LTER program specifically, the central question that has been guiding research since the 1990s is: "How do land use, natural disturbances, and climate affect three key ecosystem properties: carbon and nutrient dynamics, biodiversity, and hydrology?" We are currently in the seventh, six-year funding cycle for the Andrews LTER ("LTER7") which focuses on "connectivity" and applies our strengths in long-term research, outreach and education, and research-management partnerships to characterize the mechanisms that determine how forested mountain ecosystems respond to changes in climate, land-use, and their interactions. As with our previous funding cycle, we are continuing to explore the Andrews Forest as part of a coupled natural/human system by examining forest governance as essential for the understanding of long-term ecosystem dynamics.
The Andrews Research Program:
Long-Term Research Categories Andrews Related Research Cross-Site Research Regional Research International Research/ILTER LTER Grants and Reports
Please visit our Research Highlights for information on our most recent research. LTER Transformative Science lists important contributions to ecological science from the Andrews Forest program, compiled at the request of the National Science Foundation.