Comprehensive Data Acquisition and Management System for Ecosystem-Scale Warming and Elevated CO2 Experiment


Ecosystem-scale manipulation experiments represent large science investments that require well-designed data acquisition and management systems to provide reliable, accurate information to project participants and third party users. The Spruce and Peatland Responses Under Climatic and Environmental Change (SPRUCE) project is such an experiment funded by the Department of Energy’s Terrestrial Ecosystem Science program. The SPRUCE experimental mission is to assess ecosystem-level biological responses of vulnerable, high-carbon terrestrial ecosystems to a range of climate warming manipulations and an elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) atmosphere. SPRUCE provides a platform for testing mechanisms controlling the vulnerability of organisms, biogeochemical processes, and ecosystems to climatic change (e.g., thresholds for organism decline or mortality, limitations to regeneration, biogeochemical limitations to productivity, and cycling and release of CO2 and methane to the atmosphere). As a result, the SPRUCE experiment will generate a wide range of continuous and discrete measurements. In a recent publication, project researchers lay out their approach to meeting the challenges of designing and constructing an efficient data system for managing high volume sources of in situ observations in a remote and harsh environmental location. The approach covers data flow starting from the sensors and ending at the archival and distribution points, discusses types of hardware and software used, examines design considerations that were used to choose them, and describes the data management practices chosen to control and enhance the data’s value.

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Krassovski, M. B., J. S. Riggs, L. A. Hook, W. R. Nettles, P. J. Hanson, and T. A. Boden. 2015. “A Comprehensive Data Acquisition and Management System for an Ecosystem-Scale Peatland Warming and Elevated CO2 Experiment,” Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods, and Data Systems 4, 203–13. DOI: 10.5194/gi-4-203-2015.