The Universities of Nevada (Las Vegas and Reno) and the Desert Research Institute have collaborated with land owner agencies in Nevada to establish two elevational transects of monitoring stations named the Nevada Climate-ecohydrology Assessment Network (NevCAN). The primary purpose of NevCAN is to collect data for long-term assessment of climate variability and change in Nevada and its impact on ecological and hydrological processes and function.
These basin-to-mountain top transects are located in the Sheep Range (located approximately 35 km NNW of Las Vegas) and in the Snake Range (east central NV along the UT border; approximately 335 km NNE of Las Vegas). The Sheep Range transect has five monitoring stations beginning at 900 m and ending at 3015 m (Hayford Peak). All of these monitoring stations are located on land managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and several of the stations are co-located with Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Soil Climate Analysis Network (SCAN) sites. The Snake Range transect has seven monitoring stations beginning at 1790 m on the west side of the range, 3355 m at the western subalpine site and ending at 1560 m on the eastern side of the range. An 8th monitoring station at 1564 m (Salt Desert, west) will be incorporated into the Snake Range transect as funding permits; this site has had an operational eddy covariance system since 2007. The Snake Range transect encompasses several collaborating land holder agencies including: the Long Now Foundation, Bureau of Land Management, Great Basin National Park and the Nevada Land Conservancy.
Monitoring stations are located in the elevational "middle" of each major plant community/vegetation type along each transect. Table 1 below lists the plant community zone, predominant plant species and altitude for each monitoring station. A configuration of sensors has been installed at each monitoring station including soil and plant sensors, a webcam and standard meteorological sensors.
Table 1. Site descriptions of locations along the two transects comprising the NevCAN. For data from these locations, visit the Sensor Data page.
|Transect||Zone||Dominant Plant Species||Altitude (m)|
|Snake||Salt Desert (west)||Sarcobatus vermiculatus, Artemisia tridentata tridentata||1755|
|Snake||Sagebrush (west)||Artemisia tridentata tridentata, Sarcobatus vermiculatus||1790|
|Snake||Pinyon-Juniper (west)||Pinus monophylla, Juniperus osteosperma||2200|
|Snake||Montane (west)||Abies concolor, Pinus flexilis||2810|
|Snake||Subalpine (west)||Pinus longaeva, Pinus flexilis||3355|
|Snake||Subalpine (east)||Picea engelmannii||3070|
|Snake||Sagebrush (east)||Artemisia tridentata tridentata||1835|
|Snake||Salt Desert (east)||Sarcobatus vermiculatus, Atriplex confertifolia||1560|
|Sheep||Desert Shrub||Larrea tridentata, Ambrosia dumosa||900|
|Sheep||Blackbrush||Yucca brevifolia, Atriplex canescens||1670|
|Sheep||Pinyon-Juniper||Pinus monophylla, Purshia stansburiana||2065|
|Sheep||Montane||Pinus ponderosa, Juniperus osteosperma||2320|
|Sheep||Subalpine (NRCS SCAN data)||Pinus longaeva, Ribes cereum||3015|