Welcome to QUEST

Ecosystem nutrient budgets often report values for pools and fluxes without any indication of uncertainty, which makes it difficult to evaluate the significance of findings or make comparisons across systems. QUEST is a research network that has evolved around the idea that uncertainty analysis should be an accepted and expected practice in the construction of ecosystem budgets.

We are currently working on three major research efforts. The JSPS project is a cross-site comparison of stream export in watersheds at Hubbard Brook (NH), Coweeta (NC), and Gomadan-San (Japan). The LTER project is a cross-site comparison of input-output budgets of LTER watersheds around the US. The NYSERDA LTM project is an evaluation of current monitoring programs for sulfur, nitrogen, mercury deposition effects in New York state.

We are currently funded through NSF as a Research Coordination Network.

Corrie Blodgett is pictured in a quantitative soil pit in the Bartlett Experimental Forest, 2004

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Welcome to QUEST

Ecosystem studies often report values for pools and fluxes without any indication of uncertainty. This omission arises from the complexity of the calculations and multiple sources of uncertainty involved (e.g., natural variability, measurement error, model structure, model parameters) and from the difficulty of making replicated observations and the relevant scales. Estimates of uncertainty are critical for determining the significance of observed differences, for analyzing trends over time, and for guiding future research investments.

The QUEST Research Coordination Network is dedicated to advancing uncertainty analysis in ecosystem studies. Efforts focus on outreach and research on quantifying uncertainty in five topic areas: soils, biomass, atmospheric deposition, stream water export, and ecosystem budgets.

This website includes sample code, links to papers, and news announcements. We seek input on developing discussion boards, wikis, and tutorials, and we support new collaborations and open-access publication.



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