The Jornada Basin Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program is part of a national network of long-term ecological research sites funded by the US National Science Foundation (NSF). The Jornada LTER program has been continuously funded since 1982 to develop general principles governing changes between grassland and shrubland ecosystems based on long-term data collected in the Chihuahuan Desert.
The Jornada Basin is located in southern New Mexico, USA, near the northern extent of the Chihuahuan Desert, which is the largest of the North American warm deserts. This region has undergone large shifts in the relative dominance of grasslands and shrublands over the past century. Research themes at the Jornada LTER focus on vegetation change, climate and land use impacts on ecosystem function, and the role of dryland processes in structuring communities and landscapes. We translate our findings to dryland ecosystems around the world, and forecast the dynamics of future ecosystem states in response to changing climate and land use.
We partner closely with the USDA-ARS Jornada Experimental Range (JER) and the NMSU Chihuahuan Desert Rangeland Research Center (CDRRC), allowing us to benefit from a long history of rangeland research, and to contribute to science-based management and sustainability practices.