June 2021: What’s New With NEON?

This month, we highlight the vital role of NEON data at some of the largest research institutions in the country. From informing scientists on the role of CO2 in tree life cycles, to revealing that fungus may hold the key to understanding the magnitude of a changing climate, data collected at NEON sites is proving essential for major ecological breakthroughs.

This Month’s Spotlight 

The latest news from NEON includes: 

  1. Smithsonian scientists look to NEON data to understand tree life cycles

    A recent story in the Washington Post detailed how the research conducted at a vast outdoor laboratory, the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC), is investigating the process of the tree life cycle, including using NEON data from the site. The NEON data is providing insight into how much carbon dioxide forests inhale during the day and exhale at night. Using this information and data collected from experiments being run at the SERC, Megonigal hopes to understand “the birth, life and death of trees.”

  2. Boston University researchers think mushrooms may hold answers to climate change effects
    Scientists from Boston University used NEON soil sample data to develop a one-of-a-kind model that reveals, for the first time, it is possible to accurately predict the abundance of different species of soil microbes in different parts of the world. This research from Jennifer Bhatnagar and her team will help anticipate how climate change could affect microbial processes like decomposition or nitrogen cycling.


  3. Soil carbon study used NEON data to settle research conflict
    Iowa State University researchers used NEON data to resolve conflicting findings in predicting the concentration of organic carbons in soil (SOC).Utilizing data from dozens of NEON sites across North America, the scientists found that considering climates’ nonlinearities and interactions improves spatial predictions of SOC, challenges the notion that climate is redundant after accounting for geochemistry.

Sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and operated by Battelle, NEON is a continental-scale ecological observatory network dedicated to providing high-quality, consistently generated, standardized data that is free and available to all users. By enabling scientists, researchers, and students to address critical questions and understand ecosystem changes over time, the NEON program allows the ecological community to tackle questions and problems at a scale that was not possible before. 
You can read about the latest work and research in the NEON Spotlight every month at Inside Battelle, and on our social media channels. For more information about NEON, visit NEONscience.org

June 02, 2021
Battelle Insider
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