Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 26 Issue 03

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Volume 26, No. 3
Pages 14 - 17


Coastal Long Term Ecological Research: Introduction to the Special Issue

Merryl Alber Daniel ReedKaren McGlathery
First Paragraph

The US National Science Foundation’s Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) network was established in 1980 to provide the scientific expertise, research platforms, and long-term data sets necessary to document and analyze environmental change (http://www.lternet.edu). There are currently 25 sites in the US LTER network representing a range of ecosystems, including deserts, prairies, forests, tundra, lakes, urban areas, estuaries, coastal reefs, the pelagic ocean, and production agriculture. Although the research questions being addressed vary across the network, each site collects data on primary production, population dynamics, the cycling of both organic and inorganic matter, and disturbance patterns. Long-term data in these core areas enable changes in critical ecological processes to be tracked over time and facilitate comparisons among different ecosystem types.


Alber, M., D. Reed, and K. McGlathery. 2013. Coastal long term ecological research: Introduction to the special issue. Oceanography 26(3):14–17, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2013.40.

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