Building EDENs: The rise of environmentally distributed ecological networks
Environmentally distributed ecological networks (EDENs) are growing increasingly important in ecology, coordinating research in more disciplines and over larger areas than ever before, while supplanting post hoc syntheses of uncoordinated research. With the rise of multiple broadly focused, continental-scale EDENs, these networks will be directing an increasingly large proportion of resources in ecology, which warrants a review of their use. EDENs have become important for monitoring populations and ecosystems across regions, focusing on everything from butterflies to soil carbon. They are also pivotal for testing the generality of ecological relationships, testing ecological responses to experimental manipulations across space, ensuring uniform methodology, and compressing the lead time for syntheses. We identify 10 major steps to running EDENs and discuss four avenues of growth for EDENs in the near future.
Keywords: eDENs, ecological networks, monitoring