Integration of ecosystem science data can help us understand Earth’s biological resources and boost efforts to maintain biodiversity, help regulate atmospheric carbon dioxide levels by enhancing carbon sinks and limiting carbon sources, and promote other ecosystem services. “Opportunity Knocks: Transformative Steps in Plant Data Synthesis” brings together scientists from multiple institutions to integrate plant trait data worldwide. Researchers are addressing problems in database management, data mining and statistics, ecological scaling, biodiversity science, ecological extrapolation, and global carbon cycle modeling to create an integrated data base of plant information. Complementary research initiatives are creating the world’s largest and most comprehensive plant trait data base and researcher network; supporting ongoing demographic, chemical and ecosystem studies of forest diversity, community dynamics and biomass pools; bringing together data from long-term ecological research sites across North America; and establishing an interactive network linking leading ecosystem modelers with leading global change ecophysiologists.
- Peter Reich; College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences