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Ecosystem management--Minnesota; Cedar Creek Natural History Area (Minn.); Water use--Minnesota--Cedar Creek Natural History Area


Previous articles in this series (Lawrence et al. 1957-58, 1960) have dealt with the nature of ecosystems, history of the ecosystem analysis approach, and some of the objectives and the methods that have been used at the Cedar Creek Natural History Area of the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Academy of Science. The area, which was acquired in large part through a generous grant from the Fleischmann Foundation, is located in Anoka and Isanti Counties in east central Minnesota. The work has been generously supported by the Hill Family Foundation since the early summer of 1957.

One main objective has been to learn what becomes of the solar energy striking the landscape. It has been estimated from studies elsewhere that a rather large portion, probably over half of the energy which strikes a given level area, is expended in evaporation from non-living surfaces of open water and moist soil, and in transpiration from living plant surfaces. The combined vaporization is called evapotranspiration. The Cedar Creek area is especially well suited for studying these water losses, or "uses" as we shall consider them here, because such a large variety of surfaces occur in close proximity to one another, and because water surface is exposer in ponds and the water table is usually at the surface or within a few inches of the surface in willow, alder, and tamarack swamps.

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