Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Oak Ridge Pegged for National Ecological Network

30.06.2008
Dozens of instruments to be deployed on the Oak Ridge Reservation and other sites around the nation will provide valuable information related to climate change, biodiversity and invasive species, infectious diseases and other areas of interest.

Walker Branch Watershed and other portions of the Department of Energy reservation will be part of the National Ecological Observatory Network, a multi-decade continental-scale research platform supported by the National Science Foundation. Oak Ridge is one of 20 sites selected from more than 80 proposed locations. Sixteen are within the continental United States while Alaska has two and Hawaii and Puerto Rico each have one.

“Being selected as a candidate core site to represent the Southern Appalachians and Cumberland Plateau domain is a reflection of the unique environmental and infrastructure qualities and the long history of excellent research conducted at Walker Branch Watershed,” said Pat Mulholland, a senior scientist in Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Environmental Sciences Division.

“This study will complement other DOE climate change research in Walker Branch and other areas of the Oak Ridge Reservation and reflects ORNL’s leadership in the science of climate change and its impacts.”

The watershed comprises a 240-acre forest and has been the site of short- and long-term studies of the ecological effects of environmental change. These studies have focused on the effects of energy technology-driven environmental changes on ecological processes within forest ecosystems over the past 40 years.

ORNL researchers continue to study the hydrological and biogeochemical responses to climate variability and change as well as conduct experiments on the response to climate change on forest growth, species composition, and stream organisms and metabolism.

With this new project, each site will include an intensively instrumented area as well as a variety of mobile instruments. All of the state-of-the-art instruments connected via wireless data communication devices will be standardized and focused on a core set of questions. The instruments will measure carbon dioxide and other gas exchanges between the forest, soil and atmosphere as well as physical, chemical and microbial properties of vegetation, soils and the stream. Some instruments will track specific organism populations. Data will be transmitted electronically to a central processing center and made available to scientists as well as the public.

When complete, this new effort will provide a continental-scale research platform for discovering and understanding the impacts of climate change, land-use change and invasive species on ecology. The National Science Foundation has funded NEON since September 2004. The network is expected to gather ecological data for more than 30 years.

Researchers are already looking forward to new views of ecology that will be created by continental-scale data. Just as meteorologists today can predict the path of a tornado or hurricane, ecologists using NEON data in the future may be able to more accurately forecast biological phenomena such as the spread of avian flu and the West Nile virus or the emergence of an invasive species.

“Being part of the NEON network will attract leading national and international ecologists to Oak Ridge,” Mulholland said. “NEON infrastructure will also provide unique educational and research opportunities for students at all levels through website access to NEON results and on-site studies.”

More information about Walker Branch Watershed is available at: http://walkerbranch.ornl.gov. Additional information about NEON is available at: http://wwwneoninc.org.

UT-Battelle manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the Department of Energy.

Ron Walli | newswise
Further information:
http://walkerbranch.ornl.gov
http://wwwneoninc.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Safeguarding sustainability through forest certification mapping
27.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Dune ecosystem modelling
26.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>