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Long Term Ecological Research

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The Harvard Forest Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) program is part of a national network of long-term ecological research sites. Within this framework we examine ecological dynamics in the New England region resulting from natural disturbances, environmental change, and human impacts. Emphasis is on processes including:

  • Pattern and process in dynamic forest ecosystems
  • Climatic change and variability
  • Invasive forest insects
  • the modern land-use regime
  • interacting global change drivers

[Field Trip during Annual Symposium]An interdisciplinary group of PI scientists, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students from many parts of Harvard and other institutions use four complementary approaches to long-term study:

  • long-term measurements of current structure and function
  • large, long-term experiments
  • historical studies of past conditions and dynamics
  • prospective modeling

Long-term studies span a broad range of spatial and temporal scales and seek to:

Leadership of Harvard Forest's LTER program:

Learn more by exploring abstracts from our annual LTER symposium, exploring our online video series, and watching a short documentary by Amy Li (Harvard '20) featuring the origins and trajectories of 30 years of LTER research here at Harvard Forest.  



More videos...