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Virginia Coast Reserve LTER - VCR


LTER Sites > Virginia Coast Reserve LTER

NSF Award(s) DEB-0080381 , DEB-9211772 , DEB-0621014 (View all sites)

Research activities of the VCR/LTER focus on the mosaic of transitions and steady-state systems that comprise the barrier-island/lagoon/mainland landscape of the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Primary study sites are located on Hog Island, Parramore Island and mainland marshes near Nassawadox VA. The VCR/LTER uses field laboratory and housing facilities at the Anheuser-Busch Coastal Research Center in Oyster, VA.
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Contact Information
Site Contacts
Principal Investigator: Karen McGlathery
Primary Contact: Karen McGlathery
Information Mgr: John Porter
Education Contact: Arthur Schwarzschild
Graduate Student Representative: Elizabeth Murphy
Social Science Representative: David Smith
Climate Science Representative: Bruce Hayden
Communication Representative:
University of Virginia Department of Environmental Sciences
291 McCormick Road
P.O. Box 400123
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4123
Phone: 434-924-0558
Fax: 434-982-2137
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Site History
The Virginia Coast Reserve/Long-Term Ecological Research Program began operation in 1987. In VCR/LTER I (1997-1992) we focused on geophysical controls (e.g., storms) on coastal ecosystems. In VCR/LTER II (1992-1994) we introduced the concept of ecological state change, which was linked in VCR/LTER III (1994-2000) to relationships between free surfaces (land, sea, freshwater table). Under the VCR/LTER IV grant (2000-2006), we have added a hypsometric perspective, which provides an alternate way of examining ecological patterns on the coastal landscape. LTER V (2006-2012) adds a focus on how fluxes of organisms and materials across the landscape influence ecosystem dynamics and state change.
Research Topics
Holocene barrier island geology; salt marsh ecology, geology, and hydrology; ecology/evolution of insular vertebrates; primary/secondary succession; life-form modeling of succession.
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Institutional Affiliations Research Sites
Site Location
Lat: 37.28300 | Long. -75.91300

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Climate Info.
Annual High Mean Low
Temperature 19.5 c 14.5c 8.9c
Precipitation 1496 mm/year 1065 mm/year 815 mm/year