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Long Term Ecological Research Program

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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

An interdisciplinary group of PI scientists, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students from many parts of Harvard and other institutions use three complementary approaches to long-term study:

  • historical studies of past conditions and dynamics
  • intensive measurements of current structure and function
  • measurements of integrated ecosystem response to experimental manipulations under relatively controlled conditions

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

Learn more by exploring abstracts from our annual LTER symposium or watching a 2020 documentary by Amy Li (Harvard '20) featuring 30 years of the Harvard Forest LTER Program.

LTER Proposals and Reviews