FT 9
Biodiversity, Environmental Change and Ecosystem Functioning at the Prairie-Forest Border: The Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve

Sunday, August 4, 2013: 8:45 AM-4:30 PM
Level One, Reg Area, 3rd Ave South Lobby, Minneapolis Convention Center
Organizer:
Jeffrey R. Corney
Trip Leader:
G. David Tilman
The University of Minnesota’s Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve (CCESR) is an internationally renowned ecological research and education facility, located 35 miles north of the Twin Cities, featuring 5,400 acres of land that encompasses a beautiful and diverse mosaic of prairie, savanna, wetlands, open water, and forests. Since its establishment in 1942, the people of Cedar Creek have been dedicated to understanding our planet’s ecosystems and how they are changing under human pressures. Since 1982, Cedar Creek has been designated as one of NSF’s Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites. Among the natural features that you’ll see on this tour, the Reserve’s Cedar Bog Lake is considered by many as the “birth place” of modern ecosystem science, starting with Raymond Lindeman’s ground-breaking ca. 1940s study on “The Trophic-Dynamic Aspect of Ecology.” To this day, research at Cedar Creek focuses on understanding the fundamental processes and principals that govern the dynamics and functioning of communities and ecosystems. The overarching goal of research at Cedar Creek is to use the interplay of long-term observations and theory to gain a mechanistic and predictive understanding of the dynamics and functioning of our ecosystems, and how they are impacted by human-driven environmental changes. This research includes comprehensive examinations of the effects of nitrogen deposition, biodiversity loss, alterations of species composition, climatic warming, and elevated carbon dioxide on grassland and savanna ecosystems. Among the hundreds of experiments conducted at Cedar Creek, this tour will feature the two key experimental platforms that have been our hallmark: 1) the “Big Biodiversity” platform, established in 1994, continues to be one of the largest and longest running grassland biodiversity experiments in the world; and 2) “BioCON,” one of this country’s last Free Air Carbon Enrichment (FACE) platforms in continuous operation since 1998. Starting in 1964, Cedar Creek scientists have been conducting one of this country’s longest-running experiments on fire and fire suppression in forest ecosystems. Using on-going long-term experiments and multi-scale analyses of the nearly 1,000 acres of land actively managed with prescribed burning, the influence of disturbance and resource variation on grassland and woodland dynamics continues to be explored. During this tour, you’ll get to see side-by-side comparisons of the effects of different prescribed burning regimes on Cedar Creek’s ecosystems. For more information about Cedar Creek, please visit our website at: www.cbs.umn.edu/cedarcreek

Registration Fee: $87

Equipment and Attire: Sturdy walking shoes, sun hats, sunscreen and water are recommended as we’ll be out in the open for extended periods of time. Long-sleeve shirts and light-weight long pants are recommended, as ticks and biting insects can be prevalent.

Itinerary: 8:00AM Leave Minneapolis Convention Center for Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve to arrive by 8:45AM. 3:45PM Leave Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve for Minneapolis Convention Center to arrive by 4:30PM.

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