Participant sites

Located in the boreal forest of interior Alaska, USA. Research at this site focuses on improving the understanding of the long-term consequences of changing climate and disturbance regimes in the Alaskan boreal forest. Our overall objective is to document the major controls over forest dynamics, biogeochemistry, and disturbance and their interactions in the face of a changing climate. The site was established in Fairbanks, Alaska in 1987 as part of the National Science Foundation's Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Program.

The Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory, a US Forest Service Experimental Forest, was established in 1934 to study the theory and practice of forest watershed hydrology. This 2185 ha watershed in the southern Appalachian mountains of western North Carolina was selected because the area's abundant evenly distributed rainfall and mountainous topography which contained  many smaller watersheds with perennial stream flow for research. Early research (1934-1965) focused on land use demonstrations, with research turning toward ecosystem science in the late 1960s. The ecosystem approach to research at Coweeta has expanded to the entire southern Appalachian region, examining the impacts of disturbance, land use change and climate change on forests, water yield and water quality, and biogeochemical cycling.

The Fernow Experimental Forest was established in 1934. Early research addressed high-elevation red spruce and the effects of fire on hardwood forests. The Fernow was closed during World War II, but a new research program was begun in 1948 to study the silviculture of mixed hardwood forests and watersheds of the central Appalachians. The Fernow, located near Parsons, West Virginia, lies within the Allegheny Mountain section of the unglaciated Allegheny Plateau. Elevations range from 533 to 1112 m, with generally steep slopes.

The 23,000 acre Fraser Experimental Forest was established in 1937 as a representative site for conducting studies in the alpine/subalpine environment of the central Rockies. It is located on the Sulfur District, Arapaho National Forest, approximately 70 miles west of Denver, on the west side of the continental divide. Most early research was oriented toward timber or water production resulting from forest management. Biogeochemical studies began in the 1960's, were restarted in the 70's, and have been continuous since 1982. Much of this work is done in cooperation with the National Park Service.

The Andrews Forest is situated in the western Cascade Range of Oregon in the 15,800-acre (6400-ha) drainage basin of Lookout Creek, a tributary of Blue River and the McKenzie River. Elevation ranges from 1350 feet (410 m) to 5340 feet (1630 m). Broadly representative of the rugged mountainous landscape of the Pacific Northwest, the Andrews Forest contains excellent examples of the region's conifer forests and associated wildlife and stream ecosystems.

The Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study (HBES) sustains long-term ecological research within the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, a 3,160 hectare reserve in the White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire, managed by the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station. On-site research has produced some of the most extensive and longest continuous data bases on the hydrology, biology, geology and chemistry of a forest and its associated aquatic ecosystems.

The goal of the Luquillo Long-Term Ecological Research Program (Luquillo LTER) is to understand how changing climate and land use are affecting the environment of northeastern Puerto Rico .  Luquillo LTER includes both terrestrial and aquatic studies, from the peaks of the Luquillo Mountains to the city of San Juan, encompassing strong gradients of both climate and land use. 

The Marcell Experimental Forest (MEF) is an 890-ha tract of land located 40 km north of Grand Rapids, Minnesota.The MEF contains six experimental watersheds, each consisting of an upland portion and a peatland that is the source of a stream leaving the watershed. These unique features provide a wide range of hydrological environments to study. The Marcell Experimental Forest has a large historical database concerning soils, hydrology, and chemical cycling and transport. Climatic and hydrologic data have been collected continuously at monitoring stations since 1960.

The San Dimas Experimental Forest (SDEF) is managed by the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, as a field laboratory for ecosystem and watershed studies in chaparral and related Mediterranean-climate ecosystems. From its establishment in 1933, the SDEF has been a center for hydrologic research in mountain watersheds.  This research has included intensive monitoring of precipitation and water yield in mountainous terrain and studies that manipulated the natural vegetation across watersheds to maximize water yield. 

The Santee Experimental Forest was established in 1937 and is located in Berkley County, South Carolina. The early research program addressed thinning and fire management in loblolly pine stands. Building on that base, it evolved to include silviculture, soil-site relationships, and forest hydrology. Presently the Forest encompasses 6,100 acres, containing all the major forest types in the lower coastal plain, three gauged watersheds, a hydroedaphytron facility, and laboratory and housing facilities. The Santee Experimental Forest is managed by the Center for Forested Wetlands Research (SRS-4353), Charleston, South Carolina, in cooperation with the Francis Marion National Forest.

The Tenderfoot Creek Experimental Forest (TCEF) was established in 1961 and is the only experimental forest formally dedicated to research on the east slope of the Northern Rockies. Established originally for watershed research, it's scope was expanded in the late 1980's to include research in fire history, fisheries, vegetation composition, animal communities, including rare, endangered, and sensitive species, and other physical and biological factors as they relate to landscape-level management. TCEF encompasses 9,125 acres (3,693 ha) at the headwaters of Tenderfoot Creek in the Little Belt Mountains on the Lewis and Clark National Forest in Meagher Country, Montana. It is approximately 40 miles (64 km) north of White Sulphur Springs, Montana, or 71 miles (114 km) southeast of Great Falls, Montana. Elevations range from 6,035 to 7,941 ft (1,840 to 2,421 m).