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Adirondack Long-term Ecological Monitoring Program

Sixty-five years of research have been incorporated into over 30 ongoing monitoring efforts. The Adirondack Long-Term Ecological Monitoring Program (ALTEMP) currently monitors over 100 physical, chemical, and biological attributes to provide the long-term perspective necessary to detect changes and identify trends in the Adirondack ecosystem.Historical data are preserved and accessible. Data from more than 200 studies are maintained by the AEC, many dating from the 1930's. Intensive biological surveys were begun in the 1930's under the auspices of the Roosevelt Wildlife Research Station at the College. These surveys were followed in the 1950's by life history studies of most vertebrates. During the 1960's, the emphasis shifted to experimental studies involving large scale (>100 ha) manipulations of vegetation and herbivore populations.

Investigations relating to forest management practices are an integral part of the research program at the AEC and a major component of ForestALTEMP activities. Managed stands, together with undisturbed sites, are included in most ALTEMP surveys. Periodic measurement of a wide range of vegetative parameters collected from over 300 Continuous Forest Inventory (CFI) plots, white-tailed deer exclosure sites, and wildlife habitat survey points document plant community structure and composition, as well a wildlife habitat characteristics.

Information from ALTEMP studies are used to better understand the ramifications of forest management practices on plant and animal abundance and diversity. Successful regeneration of mature northern hardwood stands using the Shelterwood Method has resulted in the establishment of young, vigorous, even-aged forests which provide unique cover, nesting and feedings opportunities for many wildlife species.