Data collected from research networks present opportunities to test theories and develop models about factors responsible for the long-term persistence and vulnerability of soil organic matter (SOM). Synthesizing datasets collected by different research networks presents opportunities to expand the ecological gradients and scientific breadth of information available for inquiry. Synthesizing these data is challenging, especially considering the legacy of soil data that have already been collected and an expansion of new network science initiatives. To facilitate this effort, here we present the SOils DAta Harmonization database (So- DaH; https://lter.github.io/som-website, last access: 22 December 2020), a flexible database designed to harmonize diverse SOM datasets from multiple research networks. SoDaH is built on several network science efforts in the United States, but the tools built for SoDaH aim to provide an open-access resource to facilitate synthesis of soil carbon data. Moreover, SoDaH allows for individual locations to contribute results from experimental manipulations, repeated measurements from long-term studies, and local- to regional-scale gradients across ecosystems or landscapes. Finally, we also provide data visualization and analysis tools that can be used to query and analyze the aggregated database. The SoDaH v1.0 dataset is archived and available at https://doi.org/10.6073/pasta/9733f6b6d2ffd12bf126dc36a763e0b4 (Wieder et al., 2020).
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Research networks provide a powerful observational platform for enhancing our understanding of ecosystems. For example, in the United States, three research networks funded by the National Science Foundation collect soil data that deepen understanding and improve the representation of soil biogeochemical processes in models. These include the LTER network (https://lternet.edu/, last access: 28 April 2021), Critical Zone Observatories and their successor sites (CZO; http://criticalzone.org/national/, last access: 28 April 2021, and CZ Net, https://criticalzone.org/, last access: 28 April 2021), and the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON; https://www.neonscience.org/, last access: 28 April 2021, NEON, 20201). Other coordinated
Financial support. This research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Directorate for Biological Sciences (grant nos. 1545288, 1929393, 1637686, 1832016, 1257032, and 1440409).
Acknowledgements. This paper stems from the synthesis group “Advancing Soil Organic Matter Research: Synthesizing Multi-scale Observations” supported by the Long-Term Ecological Research Network Office and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, UCSB, lead by Kate Lajtha and William R. Wieder. William R. Wieder was also supported by the Niwot Ridge LTER program, Stevan Earl by the Central Arizona– Phoenix LTER program to Kate Lajtha, and to the H. J. Andrews LTER program.
© Author(s) 2021.