Numerous NEON data products are hosted at external repositories that best support specialized data, such as surface-atmosphere fluxes of carbon, water, and energy, and DNA sequences. For each data product that we host elsewhere, we provide links from the data product detail page to the corresponding webpage(s) at the external repository.
Data streams from the spectral sun photometer are sent directly to NASA for processing. The Aerosol Robotic Network, or AERONET, is run by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and is a central repository for sites around the world that use the same sensor. Data are generally available within a few days of collection.
To locate data, either view the Spectral Sun Photometer - Calibrated Sky Radiances data product details webpage, or visit AERONET’s global list of sites and look for site names beginning with “NEON_”. The NEON data portal does not provide direct downloads of this data product. AERONET also does a broad range of data processing and visualization, so this is a great resource for other data, including aerosol optical depth and water vapor.
NEON terrestrial sites are also registered with AmeriFlux, a community network for sharing data related to surface-atmosphere fluxes of carbon, water, and energy. A number of relevant NEON data products, available on NEON’s data portal, are also sent to AmeriFlux for co-hosting andare made available in the same format as other AmeriFlux site data. AmeriFlux will be producing NEON’s gap-filled meteorological data products as well as several additional derived data products. These are made available following AmeriFlux’s product release schedule. NEON data are sent to AmeriFlux on a quarterly basis, and are made available directly from AmeriFlux following AmeriFlux’s processing timeline.
Barcode of Life Databases (BOLD)
DNA barcoding is a method to help identify or confirm identifications of sampled species, particularly ones that are difficult to identify by morphology. Barcoding is used at NEON 1) for cases where an expert taxonomist or field taxonomist is not able to classify a cryptic or poorly described species or 2) to perform QA/QC on identifications. After the CO1 gene for each sample is sequenced by an external analytical facility, the sequence data and metadata are sent to the Barcode of Life Databases (BOLD). There is one project on BOLD for each of NEON’s four barcoding data products:
- Ground beetle sequences DNA barcode
- Mosquito sequences DNA barcode
- Fish sequences DNA barcode
- Small mammal sequences DNA barcode
For each of these products, sampling data are provided through the NEON data portal, and links are provided to the corresponding project at BOLD.
Since the barcoding data are generated at the end of a long processing chain, including waiting for all of the sampling and expert taxonomist identifications to be completed prior to sample selection for DNA barcoding, the latency can be a year or more.
The Global Biodiversity Information Facilities (GBIF) "is an international network and research infrastructure funded by the world's governments and aimed at providing anyone, anywhere, open access to data about all types of life on Earth". NEON's Biorepository packages all records associated with NEON samples and uploads them to GBIF, making these records part of a rich global database.
Several times per year, soil and freshwater (surface and benthic) samples are analyzed for microbial (bacteria, archaea and fungi) content. Additionally, zooplankton and macroinvertebrates are sampled and a portion of the CO1 gene is sequenced. Preserved samples (soils are field frozen and invertebrate samples are stored in ethanol) are shipped to a contracting lab for DNA extraction and analysis. In addition to being published on the NEON data portal, sequence data will eventually be uploaded to the Metagenomics Rapid Annotation using Subsystem Technology (MG-RAST) portal. The same data are propagated by MG-RAST to the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) and from EBI to the US National Center for Biotechnology Information Sequence Read Archive (NCBI SRA; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/bioproject/395925). There is currently a significant backlog of sequence data to be uploaded to MG-RAST that extends back to samples collected in 2016. NEON is working with MG-RAST developers to implement a streamlined uploading and submission process, however no firm timeline is currently in place. Once the data upload processes have matured, the lag between data collection and publication of metadata on the NEON data portal and availability of sequence data at MG-RAST will decrease to approximately 12 months after sample collection. For now, the NEON Data Portal provides the most expedient access to the NEON microbial, macroinvertebrate and zooplankton DNA sequencing data.
NEON has deployed a Stardot NetCam on the top and bottom of all terrestrial towers to study above- and below-canopy phenology. Every 15 minutes each camera captures back-to-back Red, Green, Blue (RGB) and Infrared (IR) images. Over time, these images can be used to detect seasonal changes in vegetative canopies (e.g., onset of leaf growth and senescence). At all aquatic sites, a phenocam is deployed to capture the land-water interface. Photos may also be used for qualitative estimates of snow cover, riparian characteristics, or weather.
Images are sent to and processed by PhenoCam, a cooperative network that archives and distributes imagery and derived data products from digital cameras deployed at research sites across North America and around the world. NEON’s phenocam images are generally available within one day for viewing and downloading from the PhenoCam Gallery, along with images and data from other phenocam sites across the world.