National Ecological Observatory Network Inc.

Boulder City, CO, United States

National Ecological Observatory Network Inc.

Boulder City, CO, United States
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Luo Y.,University of Oklahoma | Melillo J.,The Ecosystems Center | Niu S.,University of Oklahoma | Beier C.,Technical University of Denmark | And 18 more authors.
Global Change Biology | Year: 2011

Many serious ecosystem consequences of climate change will take decades or even centuries to emerge. Long-term ecological responses to global change are strongly regulated by slow processes, such as changes in species composition, carbon dynamics in soil and by long-lived plants, and accumulation of nutrient capitals. Understanding and predicting these processes require experiments on decadal time scales. But decadal experiments by themselves may not be adequate because many of the slow processes have characteristic time scales much longer than experiments can be maintained. This article promotes a coordinated approach that combines long-term, large-scale global change experiments with process studies and modeling. Long-term global change manipulative experiments, especially in high-priority ecosystems such as tropical forests and high-latitude regions, are essential to maximize information gain concerning future states of the earth system. The long-term experiments should be conducted in tandem with complementary process studies, such as those using model ecosystems, species replacements, laboratory incubations, isotope tracers, and greenhouse facilities. Models are essential to assimilate data from long-term experiments and process studies together with information from long-term observations, surveys, and space-for-time studies along environmental and biological gradients. Future research programs with coordinated long-term experiments, process studies, and modeling have the potential to be the most effective strategy to gain the best information on long-term ecosystem dynamics in response to global change. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Baker D.F.,Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | Baker D.F.,Colorado State University | Bosch H.,University of Leicester | Doney S.C.,Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | And 2 more authors.
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics | Year: 2010

We quantify how well column-integrated CO2 measurements from the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) should be able to constrain surface CO 2 fluxes, given the presence of various error sources. We use variational data assimilation to optimize weekly fluxes at a 2°×5° resolution (lat/lon) using simulated data averaged across each model grid box overflight (typically every ∼33 s). Grid-scale simulations of this sort have been carried out before for OCO using simplified assumptions for the measurement error. Here, we more accurately describe the OCO measurements in two ways. First, we use new estimates of the single-sounding retrieval uncertainty and averaging kernel, both computed as a function of surface type, solar zenith angle, aerosol optical depth, and pointing mode (nadir vs. glint). Second, we collapse the information content of all valid retrievals from each grid box crossing into an equivalent multi-sounding measurement uncertainty, factoring in both time/space error correlations and data rejection due to clouds and thick aerosols. Finally, we examine the impact of three types of systematic errors: measurement biases due to aerosols, transport errors, and mistuning errors caused by assuming incorrect statistics. When only random measurement errors are considered, both nadir-and glint-mode data give error reductions over the land of ∼45% for the weekly fluxes, and ∼65% for seasonal fluxes. Systematic errors reduce both the magnitude and spatial extent of these improvements by about a factor of two, however. Improvements nearly as large are achieved over the ocean using glint-mode data, but are degraded even more by the systematic errors. Our ability to identify and remove systematic errors in both the column retrievals and atmospheric assimilations will thus be critical for maximizing the usefulness of the OCO data. © 2010 Author(s).

Springer Y.P.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Jarnevich C.S.,U.S. Geological Survey | Barnett D.T.,National Ecological Observatory Network Inc. | Monaghan A.J.,U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research | Eisen R.J.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene | Year: 2015

The Lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum L.) is the primary vector for pathogens of significant public health importance in North America, yet relatively little is known about its current and potential future distribution. Building on a published summary of tick collection records, we used an ensemble modeling approach to predict the present-day and future distribution of climatically suitable habitat for establishment of the Lone star tick within the continental United States. Of the nine climatic predictor variables included in our five present-day models, average vapor pressure in July was by far the most important determinant of suitable habitat. The present-day ensemble model predicted an essentially contiguous distribution of suitable habitat extending to the Atlantic coast east of the 100th western meridian and south of the 40th northern parallel, but excluding a high elevation region associated with the Appalachian Mountains. Future ensemble predictions for 2061-2080 forecasted a stable western range limit, northward expansion of suitable habitat into the Upper Midwest and western Pennsylvania, and range contraction along portions of the Gulf coast and the lower Mississippi river valley. These findings are informative for raising awareness of A. americanumtransmitted pathogens in areas where the Lone Star tick has recently or may become established. Copyright © 2015 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Malone S.L.,University of Alabama | Malone S.L.,Rocky Research | Staudhammer C.L.,University of Alabama | Loescher H.W.,National Ecological Observatory Network Inc. | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Geophysical Research G: Biogeosciences | Year: 2014

We analyzed energy partitioning in short- and long-hydroperiod freshwater marsh ecosystems in the Florida Everglades by examining energy balance components (eddy covariance derived latent energy (LE) and sensible heat (H) flux). The study period included several wet and dry seasons and variable water levels, allowing us to gain better mechanistic information about the control of and changes in marsh hydroperiods. The annual length of inundation is ∼5 months at the short-hydroperiod site (25°26′16.5″N, 80°35′40.68″W), whereas the long-hydroperiod site (25°33′6.72″N, 80°46′57.36″W) is inundated for ∼12 months annually due to differences in elevation and exposure to surface flow. In the Everglades, surface fluxes feed back to wet season precipitation and affect the magnitude of seasonal change in water levels through water loss as LE (evapotranspiration (ET)). At both sites, annual precipitation was higher than ET (1304 versus 1008 at the short-hydroperiod site and 1207 versus 1115 mm yr-1 at the long-hydroperiod site), though there were seasonal differences in the ratio of ET:precipitation. Results also show that energy balance closure was within the range found at other wetland sites (60 to 80%) and was lower when sites were inundated (60 to 70%). Patterns in energy partitioning covaried with hydroperiods and climate, suggesting that shifts in any of these components could disrupt current water and biogeochemical cycles throughout the Everglades region. These results suggest that the complex relationships between hydroperiods, energy exchange, and climate are important for creating conditions sufficient to maintain Everglades ecosystems. © 2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Jimenez K.L.,University of Alabama | Jimenez K.L.,University of South Florida | Starr G.,University of Alabama | Staudhammer C.L.,University of Alabama | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences | Year: 2012

Everglades freshwater marshes were once carbon sinks, but human-driven hydrologic changes have led to uncertainty about the current state of their carbon dynamics. To investigate the effect of hydrology on CO2 exchange, we used eddy covariance measurements for 2 years (2008-2009) in marl (short-hydroperiod) and peat (long-hydroperiod) wetlands in Everglades National Park. The importance of site, season, and environmental drivers was evaluated using linear and nonlinear modeling, and a novel method was used to test for temporally lagged patterns in the data. Unexpectedly, the long-hydroperiod peat marsh was a small CO2 source (19.9 g C m-2 from July to December 2008 and 80.0 g C m-2 in 2009), and at no time over the study period was it a strong sink. Contrary to previous research suggesting high productivity rates from a short-hydroperiod marsh, we estimated that the marl site was a small CO2 sink in 2008 (net ecosystem exchange [NEE] = -78.8 g C m-2) and was near neutral for carbon balance in 2009. In addition, both sites had relatively low gross ecosystem exchange (GEE) over the 2 years of this study. The two sites showed similar responses for NEE versus air temperature, ecosystem respiration (Reco) versus air temperature, and Reco versus water depth, although the magnitude of the responses differed. We saw small lags (30 min in most cases) between carbon fluxes and environmental drivers. This study is foundational for understanding the carbon balance of these ecosystems prior to implementation of the planned Everglades restoration of historical water flow that will likely alter the future trajectory of the carbon dynamics of the Everglades as a whole. © 2012. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Larson L.N.,Pennsylvania State University | Fitzgerald M.,Pennsylvania State University | Fitzgerald M.,National Ecological Observatory Network Inc. | Singha K.,Colorado School of Mines | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2013

Biological low-pH Fe(II)-oxidation creates terraced iron formations (TIFs) that remove Fe(III) from solution. TIFs can be used for remediation of acid mine drainage (AMD), however, as sediment depth increases, Fe(III)-reduction in anoxic subsurface areas may compromise treatment effectiveness. In this study we used near-surface electrical resistivity imaging (ERI) and in situ pore-water samplers to spatially resolve bulk conductivity changes within a TIF formed in a stream emanating from a large abandoned deep clay mine in Cambria County, Pennsylvania, USA. Because of the high fluid electrical conductivity of the emergent AMD (1860. μS), fresh water (42. μS) was added as a dilution tracer to visualize the spatial and temporal extent of hyporheic exchange and to characterize subsurface flow paths. Distinct hydrogeochemical niches were identified in the shallow subsurface beneath the stream by overlaying relative groundwater velocities (derived from ERI) with pore-water chemistry profiles. Niches were classified based on relatively "fast" versus "slow" rates of hyporheic exchange and oxic versus anoxic conditions. Pore-water concentrations and speciation of iron, pH, and redox potential differed between subsurface flow regimes. The greatest extent of hyporheic exchange was beneath the center of the stream, where a shallower (<10. cm) Fe(II)-oxidizing zone was observed. Meanwhile, less hyporheic exchange was observed near the channel banks, concurrent with a more pronounced, deeper (>70. cm) Fe(II)-oxidizing zone. At these locations, relatively slower groundwater exchange may promote biotic Fe(II)-oxidation and improve the long-term stability of Fe sequestered in TIFs. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Mikheyev A.S.,Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology | Vo T.,Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology | Wee B.,National Ecological Observatory Network Incorporated | Singer M.C.,University of Texas at Austin | Parmesan C.,University of Texas at Austin
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

Background: The isolation of microsatellite markers remains laborious and expensive. For some taxa, such as Lepidoptera, development of microsatellite markers has been particularly difficult, as many markers appear to be located in repetitive DNA and have nearly identical flanking regions. We attempted to circumvent this problem by bioinformatic mining of microsatellite sequences from a de novo-sequenced transcriptome of a butterfly (Euphydryas editha). Principal Findings: By searching the assembled sequence data for perfect microsatellite repeats we found 10 polymorphic loci. Although, like many expressed sequence tag-derived microsatellites, our markers show strong deviations from Hardy Weinberg equilibrium in many populations, and, in some cases, a high incidence of null alleles, we show that they nonetheless provide measures of population differentiation consistent with those obtained by amplified fragment length polymorphism analysis. Estimates of pairwise population differentiation between 23 populations were concordant between microsatellite-derived data and AFLP analysis of the same samples (r = 0.71, p,0.00001, 425 individuals from 23 populations). Significance: De novo transcriptional sequencing appears to be a rapid and cost-effective tool for developing microsatellite markers for difficult genomes. © Mikheyev et al.

Barnard H.R.,University of Colorado at Boulder | Findley M.C.,University of Colorado at Boulder | Csavina J.,National Ecological Observatory Network Inc.
Tree Physiology | Year: 2014

Photosynthetically active radiation (PAR, 400-700 nm) is one of the primary controls of forest carbon and water relations. In complex terrain, PAR has high spatial variability. Given the high cost of commercial datalogging equipment, spatially distributed measurements of PAR have been typically modeled using geographic coordinates and terrain indices. Here, we present a design for a low-cost, field-deployable device for measuring and recording PAR built around an Arduino microcontroller- named PARduino. PARduino provides for widely distributed sensor arrays and tests the feasibility of using open-source, hobbyist- grade electronics for collecting scientific data. PARduino components include a quantum sensor, an EME Systems signal converter/amplifier and an Arduino Pro Mini microcontroller. Additional components include a real-time clock, a microSD Flash memory card and a custom printed circuit board. The components were selected for ease of assembly. We found strong agreement between the PARduino datalogger system and National Institute of Standards and Technology traceable sensors logged by an industry standard datalogger (slope = 0.99, SE < 0.01, P < 0.01; intercept = -14.84, SE = 0.78, P < 0.01). The average difference between the two systems was 22.0 μmol m-2 s-1 with PARduino typically underestimating PAR. The average percentage difference between systems was 3.49%. On average, PARduino performed within the factory absolute calibration of the PAR sensor; however, larger errors occurred at low PAR levels. Using open-source technologies such as this can make it possible to develop a spatially distributed sensor network within the constraints of a typical research budget. © The Author 2014.

Kampe T.U.,National Ecological Observatory Network Inc. | Johnson B.R.,National Ecological Observatory Network Inc. | Kuester M.A.,National Ecological Observatory Network Inc. | Keller M.,National Ecological Observatory Network Inc.
Journal of Applied Remote Sensing | Year: 2010

The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is an ecological observation platform for discovering, understanding and forecasting the impacts of climate change, land use change, and invasive species on continental-scale ecology. NEON will operate for 30 years and gather long-term data on ecological response changes and on feedbacks with the geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere. Local ecological measurements at sites distributed within 20 ecoclimatic domains across the contiguous United States, Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico will be coordinated with high resolution, regional airborne remote sensing observations. The Airborne Observation Platform (AOP) is an aircraft platform carrying remote sensing instrumentation designed to achieve sub-meter to meter scale ground resolution, bridging scales from organisms and individual stands to satellite-based remote sensing. AOP instrumentation consists of a VIS/SWIR imaging spectrometer, a scanning small-footprint waveform LiDAR for 3-D canopy structure measurements and a high resolution airborne digital camera. AOP data will be openly available to scientists and will provide quantitative information on land use change and changes in ecological structure and chemistry including the presence and effects of invasive species. AOP science objectives, key mission requirements, and development status are presented including an overview of near-term risk-reduction and prototyping activities. © 2010 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.

Johnson B.R.,National Ecological Observatory Network Inc. | Kampe T.U.,National Ecological Observatory Network Inc. | Kuester M.,National Ecological Observatory Network Inc.
Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering | Year: 2010

Airborne remote sensing plays a critical role in the scaling strategy underpinning the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) design. Airborne spectroscopy and waveform LiDAR will quantify plant species type and function, and vegetation structure and heterogeneity at the scale of individual shrubs and larger plants (1-3 meters) over hundreds of square kilometers. Panchromatic photography at better than 30 cm resolution will retrieve fine-scale information regarding land use, roads, impervious surfaces, and built structures. NEON will build three airborne systems to allow for routine coverage of NEON sites (60 sites nationally) and the capacity to respond to investigator requests for specific projects. The system design achieves a balance between performance, and development cost and risk. The approach takes full advantage of existing commercial airborne LiDAR and camera components. However, requirements for the spectrometer represent a significant advancement in technology. A pushbroom imaging spectrometer design is being proposed to simultaneously achieve high spatial, spectral and signal-to-noise ratio and a high degree of uniformity in response across wavelength and a wide field of view. To reduce risk during NEON construction, a spectrometer design verification unit is under development by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to demonstrate that the design and component technologies meet operational and performance requirements. This paper presents an overview of system design, key requirements and development status of the NEON airborne instrumentation. © 2010 SPIE.

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