Integrating research networks to study global change

March 28, 2014

Understanding and predicting the effects of global change on ecosystems is a compelling frontier in ecological research, write the authors of a synthesis paper in the March 2014 issue of Ecosphere. But many cultural, infrastructure and research challenges stand between ecologists and the ability to understand and predict ecosystem responses at regional, continental and global scales and over long periods of time.

The paper authors, including NEON staff Hank Loescher and Mike SanClements, analyzed the capacity of existing research infrastructures – including dozens of long-term research networks, coordinated distributed experiment and observation networks, and ecological observatory networks – to support broad-scale ecological research questions. They suggest technical tools and partnerships for integrating existing research resources to better support broad-scale studies, and invoke open science practices such as data sharing and collaboration to help overcome disparities in the available information, tools and expertise for different networks and researchers.

Dialog content.