Welcome to MacArthur Agro-ecology Research Center!

Archbold leases Buck Island Ranch, the location of the MacArthur Agro-ecology Research Center (MAERC), at no cost from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The 10,500 acre ranch is run at full commercial scale to provide researchers the opportunity to investigate ecological and economic challenges in working landscapes.

Our Program:

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.

a view of the ranch

Cattle Management:


Buck Island Ranch is a 10,500 acre cattle ranch, among the top-20 commercial cow-calf producers in Florida.  MAERC’S herd is ~3,000 Brahma-cross cows bred to 150 Angus or Charolais bulls.  Over 2,300 calves are raised annually and typically sold May-August



Recent News:

Archbold Biological Station has become a part of the USDA’s Long-term Agroecosystem Research (LTAR) network. This will link Archbold and MAERC to other agroecoystems in the United States enabling cross-site data synthesis. ..read more