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Tierberg LTER
In 1986 the Karoo Biome Programme initiated the Tierberg Karoo Research Centre in the Prince Albert Succulent Karoo. Since 2014 SAEON continues to manage it as Tierberg LTER in order to: - deepen understanding of Karoo patterns and processes, - observe long-term processes, - conduct ecological experiments, - examine new questions (e.g. energy, water, nutrient cycles), and - serve as an undisturbed reference site for disturbed sites. The 100 ha of Tierberg LTER land and its adjacent farms represent three distinct land uses: (1) Tierberg with livestock excluded; (2) Sand River with a stocking density of Merino sheep and Nguni cattle at economically viable levels; and (3) Argentina, a historically overgrazed area, now stocked with sheep and horses at economically viable levels. All three areas are open to antelopes and other Karoo animals. Numerous short and long-term studies have been conducted at Tierberg and are being continued by SAEON in collaboration with various people and institutions. A bibliography of over 130 papers and books is available. Despite the long list of publications emanating from the site, there are still many understudied topics awaiting investigation. Scientists and students interested in doing research on the site are encouraged to contact the Arid Lands Node for more information. Facilities at Tierberg LTER include: - two huts with rustic accommodation, laboratory space, kitchen utilities and a longdrop toilet - rainwater tanks - cellphone and data connection (some networks) - automatic weather station Current ecological experiments conducted at Tierberg by SAEON include: - Mammal exclosures - Burnt plots - Plant demography - Fertiliser experiments - Animal-Soil-Plant inter-relationships
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