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Vice President for Research Chris Cramer visited the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve on Thursday. Cedar Creek, located in East Bethel, MN and part of the UMN College of Biological Sciences, is a biological field station with many ecosystems and species found throughout the forests and grasslands of North America.

Faculty, staff, and students conduct research at Cedar Creek to understand how human activities, such as agriculture and fossil fuel combustion, are changing ecosystems. Many of the experiments consider the long-term consequences of human-driven environmental changes, taking into account factors such as biodiversity loss, nitrogen deposition, elevated carbon dioxide, warming and changes in precipitation, and exotic species invasions.
 

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Three people walk through a dense natural prairie
VPR Cramer (left) and David Tilman toured four of the more than 1,100 permanent, long-term experimental plots and 2,300 permanent observational plots at Cedar Creek.

 

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group of people stand among prairie research plots with various hardware contraptions and signs
Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve staff/faculty described multi-year studies and research activities in native prairie.

 

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Framed plastic sheets hanging by a tripod-like frame cover a prairie section
Research plots that contain experimentations of drought impacts on native prairie flora and ecosystems.

 

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Person standing in prairie grass explaining to observers with hand gestures.
Dr. Elizabeth Borer describes a multi-year project where researchers worldwide, including undergraduate students, examine the long-term consequences of human-driven environmental changes. 

 

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Several people walk through a dense forest along a raised grated pathway.
Cedar Creek's 2,200-hectare experimental ecological reserve is dedicated to understanding our planet’s ecosystems and how they are changing under human pressures.