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Oak Ridge pegged for national ecological network
Date:6/26/2008

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., June 26, 2008 Dozens of instruments to be deployed on the Oak Ridge Reservation and other sites around the nation will provide valuable information related to climate change, biodiversity and invasive species, infectious diseases and other areas of interest.

Walker Branch Watershed and other portions of the Department of Energy reservation will be part of the National Ecological Observatory Network, a multi-decade continental-scale research platform supported by the National Science Foundation. Oak Ridge is one of 20 sites selected from more than 80 proposed locations. Sixteen are within the continental United States while Alaska has two and Hawaii and Puerto Rico each have one.

"Being selected as a candidate core site to represent the Southern Appalachians and Cumberland Plateau domain is a reflection of the unique environmental and infrastructure qualities and the long history of excellent research conducted at Walker Branch Watershed," said Pat Mulholland, a senior scientist in Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Environmental Sciences Division.

"This study will complement other DOE climate change research in Walker Branch and other areas of the Oak Ridge Reservation and reflects ORNL's leadership in the science of climate change and its impacts."

The watershed comprises a 240-acre forest and has been the site of short- and long-term studies of the ecological effects of environmental change. These studies have focused on the effects of energy technology-driven environmental changes on ecological processes within forest ecosystems over the past 40 years.

ORNL researchers continue to study the hydrological and biogeochemical responses to climate variability and change as well as conduct experiments on the response to climate change on forest growth, species composition, and stream organisms and metabolism.

With this new project, each site will include an intensively instrumented area as well
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Contact: Ron Walli
wallira@ornl.gov
865-576-0226
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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