The National Ecological Observatory Network

Boulder City, CO, United States

The National Ecological Observatory Network

Boulder City, CO, United States

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Hinckley E.-L.S.,Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research | Hinckley E.-L.S.,The National Ecological Observatory Network | Ebel B.A.,U.S. Geological Survey | Barnes R.T.,Bard College | And 6 more authors.
Hydrological Processes | Year: 2014

In the Colorado Front Range, forested catchments near the rain-snow transition are likely to experience changes in snowmelt delivery and subsurface water transport with climate warming and associated shifts in precipitation patterns. Snowpack dynamics are strongly affected by aspect: Lodgepole pine forested north-facing slopes develop a seasonal snowpack, whereas Ponderosa pine-dotted south-facing slopes experience intermittent snow accumulation throughout winter and spring. We tested the degree to which these contrasting water input patterns cause different near-surface hydrologic response on north-facing and south-facing hillslopes during the snowmelt period. During spring snowmelt, we applied lithium bromide (LiBr) tracer to instrumented plots along a north-south catchment transect. Bromide broke through immediately at 10- and 30-cm depths on the north-facing slope and was transported out of soil waters within 40days. On the south-facing slope, Br- was transported to significant depths only during spring storms and remained above the detection limit throughout the study. Modelling of unsaturated zone hydrologic response using Hydrus-1D corroborated these aspect-driven differences in subsurface transport. Our multiple lines of evidence suggest that north-facing slopes are dominated by connected flow through the soil matrix, whereas south-facing slope soils experience brief periods of rapid vertical transport following snowmelt events and are drier overall than north-facing slopes. These differences in hydrologic response were largely a function of energy-driven differences in water supply, emphasizing the importance of aspect and climate forcing when considering contributions of water and solutes to streamflow in catchments near the snow line. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Gibson C.M.,The National Ecological Observatory Network | Kao R.H.,The National Ecological Observatory Network | Blevins K.K.,The National Ecological Observatory Network | Travers P.D.,The National Ecological Observatory Network | Travers P.D.,Dolan Integration Group
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Although 21st century ecology uses unprecedented technology at the largest spatio-temporal scales in history, the data remain reliant on sound taxonomic practices that derive from 18th century science. The importance of accurate species identifications has been assessed repeatedly and in instances where inappropriate assignments have been made there have been costly consequences. The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) will use a standardized system based upon an integrative taxonomic foundation to conduct observations of the focal terrestrial insect taxa, ground beetles and mosquitoes, at the continental scale for a 30 year monitoring program. The use of molecular data for continental-scale, multi-decadal research conducted by a geographically widely distributed set of researchers has not been evaluated until this point. The current paper addresses the development of a reference library for verifying species identifications at NEON and the key ways in which this resource will enhance a variety of user communities. © 2012 Gibson et al.


Utz R.M.,The National Ecological Observatory Network | Fitzgerald M.R.,The National Ecological Observatory Network | Goodman K.J.,The National Ecological Observatory Network | Parker S.M.,The National Ecological Observatory Network | And 2 more authors.
Fisheries | Year: 2013

Large spatiotemporal-scale fisheries research amid pervasive environmental change requires scientific resources beyond the capabilities of individual laboratories. Here we introduce the aquatics program within a novel institution, the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), poised to substantially advance spatiotemporal scales of inquiry in fisheries research. NEON will collect high-quality data from sites distributed throughout the United States, including Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico, for 30 years. Data products will include hundreds of metrics that comprehensively quantify the biological, chemical, and hydrogeomorphic attributes of streams, lakes, and rivers in the observatory network. Coupling observations from NEON terrestrial, atmospheric, and airborne programs will facilitate unique inquiries in ecohydrology. All NEON-generated data will be rigorously quality controlled and posted to an entirely open-access web portal. Proposals that expand the observatory scope through additional observations, sites, or experiments are encouraged. Thus, NEON represents an unprecedented and dynamic resource for fisheries researchers in the coming decades.


PubMed | The National Ecological Observatory Network
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2012

Although 21(st) century ecology uses unprecedented technology at the largest spatio-temporal scales in history, the data remain reliant on sound taxonomic practices that derive from 18(th) century science. The importance of accurate species identifications has been assessed repeatedly and in instances where inappropriate assignments have been made there have been costly consequences. The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) will use a standardized system based upon an integrative taxonomic foundation to conduct observations of the focal terrestrial insect taxa, ground beetles and mosquitoes, at the continental scale for a 30 year monitoring program. The use of molecular data for continental-scale, multi-decadal research conducted by a geographically widely distributed set of researchers has not been evaluated until this point. The current paper addresses the development of a reference library for verifying species identifications at NEON and the key ways in which this resource will enhance a variety of user communities.

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