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Revista chilena de historia natural

Print version ISSN 0716-078X

Abstract

FRANKLIN, JERRY F  and  SWANSON, MARK E. Long-term ecological research in the forests of the United States: Key lessons for its application in Chile and around the world. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2010, vol.83, n.1, pp.185-194. ISSN 0716-078X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0716-078X2010000100011.

Long-term ecological research addresses questions to which short-term research projects cannot effectively respond because of the temporal scales over which many ecosystem processes operate. In North America, this type of research has yielded important information on key processes and organisms in many forest types, from eastern broadleaf forests to the coniferous forests of the west, and from tropical to boreal latitudes. Long-term ecological research (that conducted at the decade scale or longer) in the forests of North America has included watershed studies, silvicultural trials, establishment of permanent plots to assess forest demographics, and the study of disturbance regimes and predator-prey systems. Instituting such research in forest ecosystems of other regions of the world, especially at corresponding latitudes on either side of the equator, will help scientists understand patterns of natural disturbance and succession, the effects of alternative management strategies, and the impacts of climate change. Key recommendations based on North American long-term ecological research include: 1) the importance of multidisciplinary research, 2) the need to invest in data storage and management, 3) the deployment of both basic and advanced technology (e.g., eddy covariance systems), and 4) development of collaboration networks among regions, institutions, and individual researchers.

Keywords : demographics; long-term ecological research; multidisciplinary; watersheds; wildlife.

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