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Coniferous forest biome :1975 to 1977 proposal : Volume 1

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  • The Coniferous Forest Biome was initially funded in 1970 by the National Science Foundation as a large-scale, interdisciplinary, interinstitutional research program to study coniferous forest and associated aquatic ecosystems. It was initiated as one of the Integrated Research Programs in the Ecosystem Analysis Section of the U.S./International Biological Program (US/IBP). The IBP was generated in response to a need to solve the major problems confronting mankind: rapidly increasing population, food and fiber shortages, and environmental degradation. Its major theme was "determination of the biological basis for productivity and human welfare." The US/IBP is sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council and terminates on 30 June 1974. This proposal requests continued support in the post-IBP period from 1 January 1975 to 31 December 1977. Our initial proposals were developed around the need for developing new approaches and theory in ecology and concentrated on integrating knowledge of the structure and function of selected terrestrial and linked aquatic ecosystems. Development of ecosystem theory is needed to forward basic ecological science and for practical land management purposes. This proposal emphasizes further extension of Biome research in space and time dimensions from the data base and theoretical understanding of coniferous forest ecosystems gained to date. This will be accomplished through studies that will be conducted at the stand, watershed, regional, ecosystem interaction, lake and stream integration levels. Modeling will be used as an integrating mechanism at each of the levels. The proposal is presented in three volumes. Volume 1 (parts 1 and 2) describes our research rationale, our proposed research in relation to our findings, research management, application of Biome results, budgets, and project summaries. Volume 2 (parts 3-5) represents an initial synthesis of program results to date. Part 3 describes the structure and dynamics of natural coniferous ecosystems in the Biome with emphasis on the Douglas-fir region. Modeling has been used as our major integrating mechanism. Part 4 is devoted to discussion of what we have learned about integrating ecosystem studies through modeling. We have just initiated studies on the behavior of stressed (e.g., insect defoliated) and manipulated (e.g., fertilized) ecosystems, and the preliminary information we have gained in this area is presented in part 5. In this discussion our findings are compared with the findings of other researchers where possible. There are many gaps in our knowledge of the effects of stress and manipulation on coniferous forest ecosystems, and as a result we have proposed research in that area. Volume 3 consists of the Appendix (part 6), which includes a list of Biome publications (contributions, bulletins, and internal reports), a section on model documentation, and curriculum vitae. The section on model documentation is particularly important since it provides a framework for evaluating complicated models by biologists and modelers alike.
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