Globally, soil organic matter (SOM) contains more than three times as much carbon as either the atmosphere or terrestrial vegetation. Yet it remains largely unknown why some SOM persists for millennia whereas other SOM decomposes readily—and this limits our ability to predict how soils will respond to climate change. Recent analytical and experimental advances have… More

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Global-scale studies suggest that dryland ecosystems dominate an increasing trend in the magnitude and interannual variability of the land CO2 sink. However, such analyses are poorly constrained by measured CO2 exchange in drylands. Here we address this observation gap with eddy covariance data from 25 sites in the water-limited Southwest region of North America with… More

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It is necessary to partition eddy covariance measurements of carbon dioxide exchange into its offsetting gross fluxes, canopy photosynthesis, and ecosystem respiration, to understand the biophysical controls on the net fluxes. And independent estimates of canopy photosynthesis (G) and ecosystem respiration (R) are needed to validate and parametrize carbon cycle models that are coupled with… More

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Carbon flux in arid and semiarid area shrublands, especially in old-growth shrub ecosystems, has been rarely studied using eddy covariance techniques. In this study, eddy covariance measurements over a 100-year old-growth chamise-dominated chaparral shrub ecosystem were conducted for 7 years from 1996 to 2003. A carbon sink, from −96 to −155 g C m−2 yr−1, was determined under normal… More

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