There are ongoing federally funded research projects where researchers are working to understand the carbon cycle of Indiana. The AmeriFlux site in the Morgan-Monroe State Forest (MMSF) represents a highly successful example of a synergetic collaboration.
Included in this collaboration are Indiana University (IU), which provides the research team, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IN-DNR), which provides the site, and the US Department of Energy (DOE), which provides most of the funding. Substantial funding also comes from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Carbon Cycle Science program.
View from the top of the tower in Morgan-Monroe State Forest
The site has been operational since 1998 and has regularly contributed data of carbon uptake by the deciduous forest ecosystem and other variables relevant for the biosphere-atmosphere exchange of carbon to national and international research networks.
The core of the project (current principal investigator: Dr. Danilo Dragoni of IU Department of Geography) is an assessment of the carbon sequestration of this forest ecosystem using micrometeorological and biometric approaches, two independent but highly complementary scientific methodologies.
The main long-term research questions are:
- what is the magnitude of carbon sequestration at MMSF,
- what are the long-term trends of forest productivity, and
- how will carbon assimilation be affected in the future under climate change?
The site, which was recently included in the IU-Research and Teaching Preserve, has been attracting research activities from several IU faculties, graduate and undergraduate students, mainly from SPEA and the Department of Geography. These research activities resulted in over 50 scientific publications and 100 public presentations.
More than $6 million of federal funding has been secured in the past ten years to conduct research in this site.