This is the first volume in the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network Series. Established in 1980, the LTER program is exploring a wide variety of biomes characteristic of the United States and developing a baseline for ecosystem dynamics over long time periods and broad spatial scales.The volumes in this series will include both comprehensive reviews of research from particular sites and topical overviews which use data from many sites to examine important questions in ecology. This volume, which focuses on the Konza Prairie in northeastern Kansas, is a synthesis of over 15 yearsof research in pristine tallgrass prairie. It gives a comprehensive site description and summarizes the key long-term studies that form the basis for the Konza Prairie Long-Term Ecological Research Program. It then presents a synthesis of the many research areas involved and develops a foundationfor future ecological studies in tallgrass prairie. With over 150 figures and tables, chapters that encompass microbial through landscape scales, and an emphasis on lessons learned from long-term studies, this volume provides a unique and comprehensive perspective on the structural and functionalecology of the grassland ecosystem that once covered most of central North America.