Duke University requests funds to enhance the National Phytotron. To obtain fundamental understanding and to develop predictive models of the processes that mediate plant activities and exchanges requires access to sophisticated controlled environment conditions. The Phytotron, an NSF-supported national research facility established in 1968, consists of 40 artificially lighted CE growth chambers and 6 glasshouses that provide more than 477 M2 of controlled environmental space for advanced research in environmental plant biology. The Phytotron hosts students, postdoctoral scientists, and senior scientists, most of whom are off - campus users. The CE units are used to reproduce different types of environments -- ranging from the arctic to the desert to the tropics. This allows researchers to have precise control over environmental conditions, e.g., air temperature, irradiance, carbon dioxide, relative humidity, and nutrient concentration, thereby allowing for research on the complex interactions between plants and their environment, which is virtually impossible to do under natur al uncontrolled field conditions. This proposal would provide for new monitoring equipment for the CE units, new growth chambers to meet newer demands for environmental controls, upgraded glasshouse materials and control units, and salaries for technical and oversight needs. The continued support of the National Phytotron enhances NSF s investment in ecological research, including graduate and postgraduate education, and will allow the National Phytotron to remain one of the most important centers for controlled environment research in ecology in the United States.