Central Plains Experimental Range NEON - United States of America
Central Plains Experimental Range NEON
United States of America
The Central Plains Experimental Range (CPER) is a core terrestrial field site in NEON's Central Plains Domain 10. CPER is located at the western edge of the Pawnee National Grasslands in Colorado, 19 kilometers northeast of Nunn, Colorado. Remote sensing surveys of this field site collect lidar, spectrometer and high-resolution RGB camera data. The flux/meteorological tower at this site is 26' with 4 measurement levels. The tower top extends above the vegetation canopy to allow sensors mounted at the top and along the tower to capture the full profile of atmospheric conditions from the top of the vegetation canopy to the ground. The tower collects physical and chemical properties of atmosphere-related processes, such as humidity, wind, and net ecosystem gas exchange. Precipitation data are collected by a tipping bucket at the top of the tower and a series of throughfalls located in the soil array. This site has five soil plots placed in an array within the airshed of the flux tower. Field ecologists collect the following types of observational data at this site: Terrestrial organisms (birds, ground beetles, mosquitoes, plants, small mammals, soil microbes, ticks), Biogeochemical data, and soil data. Total data products planned for this site: 113
General Characteristics, Purpose, History
NEON collects a standard suite of data at CPER; however, data collected at this site serves as a benchmark for exploring the causes and consequences of environmental change taking place throughout the grasslands of the Central Plains Domain, with results relevant to arid and semi-arid grassland ecosystems worldwide. Overall, the Front Range of Colorado is growing at 3 times the national average with the population expected to surpass 5.7 million by 2030. Conversion of native vegetation to urban and suburban landscapes drastically alters biological diversity, reduces soil organic matter and alters the temporal and spatial distribution of plant biomass.
Affiliation and Network Specific Information