The MacArthur Agro-ecology Research Center at Buck Island Ranch (MAERC) is dedicated to long-term research on the ecology of Florida's cattle ranches. The 10,500-acre ranch is owned by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and is leased at no cost to Archbold Expeditions. The MAERC research program contributes to a better understanding and broader awareness of the ecological, economic and cultural value of Florida's cattle ranches. The ranch is run at full commercial scale and is among the top 20 cattle producers in Florida. This provides researchers the opportunity to investigate ecological interactions in a real-world agricultural setting, and to evaluate the relationship between economic and ecological factors. The MAERC program focuses on the role of ranches in sustaining essential ecosystem services in South Florida, particularly food production, water quality and supply, and wildlife habitat and biodiversity.


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