The CAP LTER program focuses on investigating the urban socioecological system in a metropolitan area that includes the nation’s sixth largest city, Phoenix. Funded by the National Science Foundation, CAP LTER engages biological, physical, engineering, and social scientists in research that provides a foundation for understanding sustainability in an arid, but rapidly growing, metropolitan area.
The central research question that guides CAP LTER’s research is: How do the services provided by evolving urban ecosystems affect human outcomes and behavior, and how does human action (responses) alter patterns of ecosystem structure and function, and ultimately, urban sustainability, in a dynamic environment?
Research conducted under CAP LTER ranges from work on bird biodiversity to issues around water quality and is detailed under Research Projects. Long-term monitoring and long-term experiments are at the core of our program, and our research map indicates the study sites of many of our monitoring initiatives. Major findings from several of our research initiatives are summerized under Research Highlights. Our publications’ page lists our recently published, in press, and in review work, and older publications can be found through a publications search engine. We have synthesized our wide-ranging research into five key findings and are collaborating with numerous other LTER sites on research. Datasets from our work can be found under Data.