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Title: Spatial and temporal sampling strategy connecting NEON Terrestrial Observation System protocols

The National Ecological Observatory Network Terrestrial Observation System (NEON TOS) produces open‐access data products that allow data users to investigate the impact of change drivers on key “sentinel” taxa and soils. The spatial and temporal sampling strategy that coordinates implementation of these protocols enables integration across TOS products and with products generated by NEON aquatic, remote sensing, and terrestrial instrument subsystems. Here, we illustrate the plots and sampling units that make up the physical foundation of a NEON TOS site, and we describe the scales (subplot, plot, airshed, and site) at which sampling is spatially colocated across protocols and subsystems. We also describe how moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer‐enhanced vegetation index (MODIS‐EVI) phenology data are used to temporally coordinate TOS sampling within and across years at the continental scale of the observatory. Individually, TOS protocols produce data products that provide insight into populations, communities, and ecosystem processes. Within the spatial and temporal framework that guides cross‐protocol implementation, the ability to draw inference across data products is enhanced. To illustrate this point, we develop an example using R software that links two TOS data products collected with different temporal frequencies at both plot and site spatial scales. A thorough understanding of how TOS protocols are integrated with each other in space and time, and with other NEON subsystems, is necessary to leverage NEON data products to maximum effect. For example, a researcher must understand the spatial and temporal scales at which soil biogeochemistry data, soil microbe biomass data, and plant litter production and chemistry data may be combined to quantify soil nutrient stocks and fluxes across NEON sites. We present clear links among TOS protocols and across NEON subsystems that will enhance the utility of NEON TOS data products for the data user community.

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Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
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Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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    Time period


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