Dakota Coteau Field Site NEON - United States of America
Dakota Coteau Field Site NEON
United States of America
The Dakota Coteau Field School (DCFS) terrestrial field site is located in Stuntsman County, North Dakota, approximately 100 miles northeast of Bismarck, in an area known as the "Prairie Pothole Region." It is encompassed in the Northern Plains Domain, which includes a patchwork of grasslands, agricultural, and wetland/aquatic communities embedded in a matrix of small agrarian communities. This site is managed by the State of North Dakota Land Trust and is moderately grazed throughout the year. NEON sampling at DCFS occurs across nonadjacent land parcels interspersed by private land. 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
General Characteristics, Purpose, History
Dakota Coteau Field School field site provides a clear contrast to the wilderness area at Chase Lake (which includes the terrestrial site, Woodworth), which will allow researchers to better understand how grazing impacts prairie ecosystems and biodiversity. Understanding the impact of cattle grazing on the mix of grass species and monitoring invasive grass species will be of particular interest here. NEON data will help researchers monitor the effects of climate change on the Northern Plains ecosystem. Over the last 30 years, the hydrological cycle in the plains has changed dramatically, trending wetter overall and diverging from the historical ten-year cycles. Temperatures are also rising, leading to changes in plant phenology cycles and species distribution that could negatively impact migratory bird populations and other animal species.
Affiliation and Network Specific Information