USGS Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center

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Terrestrial Ecosystems Laboratory

Research in my laboratory centers on the ecology and biogeochemistry of forest ecosystems, as well as grassland and riparian systems. We examine how factors such as natural and human disturbances, climate and climate change, succession, and soil fertility shape ecosystem biogeochemistry - and the reciprocal effect of biogeochemical cycles on these and other factors. We are particularly interested in how activities within ecosystems shape nutrient inputs, losses, and whole-system nutrient balances, and in linkages between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

Our studies occur primarily in Pacific Northwest forests, with a strong focus on cycles of carbon and major nutrients through soils, plants, water, and air. Nitrogen is especially important in this work - both as a control on local ecosystem structure and function - and as a broker between ecosystem properties, land management and global change. Interest in the causes and consequences of nutrient limitation on land extends our studies into other regions and types of ecosystems, as well as into simulation modeling. Our interest in watersheds also compels us to understand how streams work in a landscape context.

Principal Investigator

Steven S. Perakis
Supervisory Research Ecologist
Office: 541-750-0991

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