SS 12
Organismal Sampling on a Continental Scale:  A Town Hall Discussion of the Terrestrial Soil, Biogeochemical, and Organismal Protocols of the National Ecological Observatory Network.

Monday, August 5, 2013: 8:00 PM-10:00 PM
200DE, Minneapolis Convention Center
Andrea S. Thorpe
Katherine M. Thibault , David T. Barnett , Eve-Lyn S. Hinckley , David Hoekman , Courtney L. Meier and Jacob Parnell
Currently under construction, the nationís first ecological observatory, the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), will quantify the impacts of climate change, land use, and biological invasions by collecting data at 60 sites across the country for 30 years. The resulting data will be freely available to all users through the NEON data portal. A primary focus of NEON is sampling key groups of organisms (sentinel taxa) and soil to measure biodiversity and phenology of native and invasive species, biomass and productivity, stoichiometry, genomics, and disease prevalence. Plot and organism observations will be made within a sampling design that captures heterogeneity representative of the site and allows inference to the regional and continental scales. In this session, NEON scientists will present the protocols for the soil, organismal (plants, small mammals, birds, mosquitos, ground beetles, and soil microbes), and infectious disease sampling. These protocols, which have been developed with the collaboration of expert working groups, can be viewed prior to the session at Many of these measurements will be co-located, allowing analysis of linkages across multiple trophic levels: for example, from soil microbial diversity and functional activity to soil biogeochemistry, to plant diversity and productivity. After a brief overview of the general sampling design and relationships among protocols, we will break-out into taxon-specific discussion groups. The session will close with a brief discussion of dominant themes and questions from each break-out group and how community input will be addressed in the Science Designs. Light refreshments will be provided.
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