Long-term forest ecosystem research: a programmatic view
Long-term research provides the building blocks of knowledge needed to address natural resource and environmental issues. "Long-term" has frequently been considered to span decades with a time frame that usually encompasses at least one generation of scientists and frequently two or more generations. In the rich history of forest science, the origin of long-term studies can be found in many different forms, ranging from a dedicated lifetime of investigation by a single or small group of scientists on specific topics to large interdisciplinary studies of forest ecosystems comprised of collaborative partnerships between universities, federal and state agencies, and other institutions. Scientific advances in many specific disciplines of forest science (e.g., forest genetics, biometrics, etc.) are well established over time, but interdisciplinary forest ecosystem studies are of more recent origin (20-40 years).