College of Biological Sciences
In order to understand and predict the complex ecological responses to environmental changes such as nitrogen deposition and species invasions and extinctions occurring at a continental and global scale, there is an urgent need for large-scale experiments. The Nutrient Network, or NutNet (nutnet.umn.edu) is a collaborative network of over 100 scientists at more than 75 sites on five continents. The NutNet is a uniquely global effort to gain a general understanding of the extent to which fertilization (e.g. nitrogen or phosphorus runoff, aerial nitrogen deposition) and consumers (e.g. introduced species) control plant communities and ecosystem services in grasslands around the world. The NutNet also provides an innovative networking environment that promotes global research collaborations that will advance our ability to predict ecosystem responses in the face of enormous global changes. In addition, the NutNet also serves to foster an inclusive research community of investigators around the world with a common research goal. The combined efforts of all NutNet participants will produce a replicated experimental infrastructure of unprecedented scope and will address pressing societal issues such as ecosystem responses to eutrophication. The researchers use MSI resources to host the main MySQL NutNet database and conduct analyses using R.
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