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Ecologists Take the U.S.'s Environmental Pulse [Slide Show]

A new nationwide project aims to monitor the environment of the U.S. and enable comparisons of large-scale problems and variables such as climate change, pollution and sprawl

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HAWAIIAN VOLCANO:

On the slopes of Mauna Kea volcano on the island of Hawaii, the largest forest redoubt of native plant and animal species in the entire island chain persists. At this locale NEON will attempt to monitor the impacts of land-use changes as well as invasive species.....[ More ]

TUNDRA:

The Dalton Highway and Trans-Alaska Pipeline head into the Brooks Range of Alaska, not far from the Institute of Arctic Biology's Toolik Field Station where NEON will examine the impacts of climate change, permafrost and water pollution on the local ecosystems.....[ More ]

DESERT RANGE:

Creosote bushes dominate the Santa Rita Experimental Range in Arizona, which has already been under study by scientists for a century. The site will allow NEON to focus on how the rapid development of Tucson affects desert wildlands.....[ More ]

CLIMATE CHANGE:

Data collected in the Talladega National Forest in Alabama will be part of NEON. Observations from this location will enable research on the impacts of climate change on the ecological domain, and on how water distribution and its movement affect ecology.....[ More ]

INVASIVE SPECIES:

What impact does the eradication of invasive species, such as the kudzu pictured here in Tennessee, have on an ecosystem? The NEON tower in this region will attempt to answer that question as well as monitor other environmental challenges.....[ More ]

STREAMSCAPE:

A stream and surrounding wetlands at the University of Notre Dame Environmental Research Center will allow researchers to better understand how water flow helps transport nutrients and carbon. A total of 10 streams across the country will undergo purposely induced boosts of nitrogen and phosphorus levels over a decade, and the resulting data will be used to better understand the impacts of farming, which has contributed to similar jumps in fertilizer levels in waterways across the country.....[ More ]

ATLANTIC NEO-TROPICAL:

Researchers surveying Guanica State Forest in Puerto Rico as a site for a future NEON observation tower found vegetation shaped by strong winds (pictured) and mangrove forests, primarily atop a slowly dissolving subsurface of limestone.....[ More ]

OBSERVATION TOWER:

Sensors atop this tower in the Harvard Forest—a 1,400-hectare reserve in Massachusetts—have provided the longest-term measure ever collected by scientists in the U.S. of the interactions between an ecosystem and the atmosphere.....[ More ]

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