Colorado mountains
From Long-Term Data to Understanding: Toward a Predictive Ecology
2015 LTER ASM Estes Park, CO - August 30 - September 2, 2015

Quantifying Uncertainty in Ecosystem Studies (QUEST)

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Ruth Yanai
Craig R. See
John L. Campbell

Ecosystem calculations such as NPP are often complex and commonly not replicated.  In some cases, methods for estimating confidence in ecosystem pools and fluxes are lacking.  QUEST is a Research Coordination Network dedicated to promoting the use of uncertainty analysis in ecosystem studies.  Some sources of uncertainty are common across different types of ecosystem measurements.  How are gaps in data handled?  How are outliers identified and unusable values dealt with?  What about values below detection limits?  We decided to conduct a survey of scientists about the practices in place at their sites.  Are they reporting uncertainty in ecosystem estimates, and if not, why not?  Are better methods needed?  Please visit our web site at and take our survey.