Journal of Ecology and Environment

pISSN 2287-8327 eISSN 2288-1220


Home Article View

Short communication

Published online December 14, 2023

Journal of Ecology and Environment (2023) 47:21

The US National Ecological Observatory Network and the Global Biodiversity Framework: national research infrastructure with a global reach

Katherine M. Thibault1* , Christine M. Laney1 , Kelsey M. Yule2 , Nico M. Franz2 and Paula M. Mabee1

1National Ecological Observatory Network, Battelle, Boulder, CO 80301, USA
2Arizona State University, School of Life Sciences, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA

Correspondence to:Katherine M. Thibault

Received: October 25, 2023; Revised: November 15, 2023; Accepted: November 15, 2023

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit The publisher of this article is The Ecological Society of Korea in collaboration with The Korean Society of Limnology


The US National Science Foundation’s National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is a continental-scale program intended to provide open data, samples, and infrastructure to understand changing ecosystems for a period of 30 years. NEON collects co-located measurements of drivers of environmental change and biological responses, using standardized methods at 81 field sites to systematically sample variability and trends to enable inferences at regional to continental scales. Alongside key atmospheric and environmental variables, NEON measures the biodiversity of many taxa, including microbes, plants, and animals, and collects samples from these organisms for long-term archiving and research use. Here we review the composition and use of NEON resources to date as a whole and specific to biodiversity as an exemplar of the potential of national research infrastructure to contribute to globally relevant outcomes. Since NEON initiated full operations in 2019, NEON has produced, on average, 1.4 M records and over 32 TB of data per year across more than 180 data products, with 85 products that include taxonomic or other organismal information relevant to biodiversity science. NEON has also collected and curated more than 503,000 samples and specimens spanning all taxonomic domains of life, with up to 100,000 more to be added annually. Various metrics of use, including web portal visitation, data download and sample use requests, and scientific publications, reveal substantial interest from the global community in NEON. More than 47,000 unique IP addresses from around the world visit NEON’s web portals each month, requesting on average 1.8 TB of data, and over 200 researchers have engaged in sample use requests from the NEON Biorepository. Through its many global partnerships, particularly with the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, NEON resources have been used in more than 900 scientific publications to date, with many using biodiversity data and samples. These outcomes demonstrate that the data and samples provided by NEON, situated in a broader network of national research infrastructures, are critical to scientists, conservation practitioners, and policy makers. They enable effective approaches to meeting global targets, such as those captured in the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.

Keywords: biodiversity, biorepository, climate change, ecological observatory, NEON, open data

Share this article on

Related articles in JEE

Close ✕

Journal of Ecology and Environment

pISSN 2287-8327 eISSN 2288-1220