This Month’s SpotlightThe latest news from NEON includes:
- Climate change has worsened, as 3.3 billion people globally are now vulnerable to associated impacts, according to a report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). A recent study investigated microbial responses to climate change in three major ecosystems, and it recommends that microbe-centric experiments should be combined with existing infrastructures—like NEON, university research stations, and Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER)—to lower experimental costs.
- Understanding and predicting ecological tipping points has become increasingly valued as anthropogenic impacts on ecosystems and catastrophic shifts in some systems continue. NEON has sparked an opportunity for researchers to monitor a wide range of ecosystems and uniquely study regime shifts and tipping points in ecological systems. The variety of these data can capture a range of potential community shifts while also monitoring an extensive set of environmental drivers—a combination critical for assessing whether changes are a result of external forcings or internal dynamics. A recent study recommended a variety of NEON data products that can assist with these types of analysis.
- Understanding and predicting how the diversity of tree species is spatially distributed within forest biomes is critical to helping ecologists understand how global climate change is impacting the diversity of tree species, as well as essential ecosystem functions and services of forests. The National Ecological Observatory Network’s Airborne Observation Platform (NEON AOP)—a modern airborne remote sensing platform—curates data from passive hyperspectral resolution and active lidar data. This provides opportunities to understand how biodiversity patterns vary across space and time, from field observations to larger scales.
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.