Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve

Scientist Tali Lee takes measurements of plant response to CO2 with student intern Ann Karpinski.

Key Research Findings:

Experimental studies by Cedar Creek scientists revealed that high-diversity mixtures of perennial prairie plants grown on nutrient-poor lands with no fertilization or irrigation have potential for use as a biofuel crop.
An ongoing experiment now in its third decade at Cedar Creek has shown that even very low levels of nitrogen fertilization can reduce plant diversity.
Cedar Creek research demonstrates that anticipated atmospheric CO2 levels predicted for 2075 will increase plant growth and carbon sequestration in grasslands in fertile areas, but only weakly in arid ecosystems with low nitrogen. These results suggest that ultimately atmospheric CO2 levels will rise faster than predicted by leading models.

Overview: Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve (CCESR), established in 1940, was designated a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service in 1975. In 1977 it was included as an Experimental Ecology Reserve in a proposed national network, and in 1982 it was one of 11 sites in the United States selected by the National Science Foundation for funding of Long Term Ecological Research (LTER).
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History: Early History of Cedar Creek - Background Events and Early Use and Development (1929-1947) Excerpted from Hodson, A.C., 1985. History of the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve. University of Minnesota Field Biology Program Occasional Papers Number 2.
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Research Topics: Successional dynamics; primary productivity and disturbance patterns; nutrient budgets and cycles; climatic variation and the wetland/upland boundary; plant-herbivore dynamics.
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