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LTER Project

Project Description

The first QUEST project was funded by the NSF LTER Network Office in January 2011. The focus of this Working Group is to quantify uncertainty in hydrologic input-output budgets of headwater catchments in sites around the US. We held a workshop in Boston in March 2011 to address sources of uncertainty and methods for quantifying them. Small groups are currently working on papers reporting uncertainty in precipitation and streamwater.

Quantifying uncertainty in ecology: Examples from small watershed studies - Measurements from ecosystems are often reported without taking uncertainty into account. This omission stems in part from the fact that each ecosystem is unique, making it difficult to replicate sampling units. Without replication, it is still important to know the uncertainty in the measurements that go into describing ecosystem pools or fluxes; a challenge that is commonly encountered in small watershed studies. One of the initial QUEST working groups was tasked with developing methods for quantifying uncertainty in small watershed applications. John Campbell is leading this effort, which uses examples from watersheds operated by LTER, USGS and USFS. The article resulting from this work is being prepared for submission to Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

Sites and Participants:

HJ Andrews Experimental Forest and LTER (Blue River, OR)

  • Mark Harmon, Pl

Biscuit Brook (Frost Valley, NY)

  • Doug Burns

Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory and LTER (Otto, NC)

  • James Voss, Pl
  • Stephanie Laseter

Fernow Experimental Forest (Parsons, WV)

  • Mary Beth Adams

Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest and LTER (West Thornton, NH)

  • Gene Likens. Pl
  • Donald Buso
  • John Campbell
  • Mark Green
  • Ruth Yanai
  • Carrie Rose Levine

Luquillo Experimental Forest and LTER (Luquillo, Puerto Rico)

  • William McDowell, Pl

Marcell Experimental Forest (Grand Rapids, MN)

  • Stephen Sebestyen

Niwot Ridge LTER (Roosevelt National Forest, CO)

  • Mark Williams, Pl
  • Jordan Parman

Sleepers River Research Watershed (Danville, VT)

  • Jamie Shanley

Papers in Preparation:

Quantifying Uncertainty in Ecosystem Budgets of Small Watersheds
Lead Author: John Campbell
In preparation for Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment

Uncertainty of precipitation inputs in six contrasting headwater catchments including model uncertainty and natural variability
Lead Author: Shannon LaDeau

Uncertainty of streamwater outputs in nine contrasting headwater catchments including model uncertainty and natural variability
Lead Author: Brent Aulenbach