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 Scientists team up on study to save endangered African penguins
16.11.2017 | Florida Atlantic University

nachricht Climate change: Urban trees are growing faster worldwide
13.11.2017 | Technische Universität München

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: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>