A new site for measuring multi-scale land-atmosphere carbon, water, and energy exchange at the Jornada experimental range

Deserts and semi-arid landscapes comprise 35% of the land surface area on Earth and an eminent challenge is to predict how global climate change will impact local to global-scale provisioning of ecosystems goods and services. Understanding the sources, sinks, pathways, and mechanisms controlling the cycling of carbon, water, and energy is key to meeting this challenge, which, in arid landscapes, remains poorly studied. This study utilizes and further advances a range of technologies and cyberinfrastructure tools at a new research site located on the Jornada Basin Experimental Range. Site-based infrastructure includes an eddy covariance tower that measures landscape level carbon, water, and energy exchange, a robotic tram system that measures atmospheric and ground based optical reflectance (400-1000nm), a group based sensor network, and an unmanned ground vehicle system that will remotely sense a range of ecological variables. A range of plant phenology measurements and multi-scale (leaf to landscape) will be made using methods developed in the Jornada LTER program to link ecosystem structural and functional attributes measured at the site and allow for inter-site comparisons with measurements being made at LTER sites. Plot to satellite level measurements or estimates of plant productivity and other measures will be made to permit scaling of ecosystems properties and processes.

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