Over two-thirds of terrestrial carbon is stored belowground and a significant amount of atmospheric CO2 is respired by roots and microbes in soils. For this analysis, soil respiration (Rs) data were assembled from 31 AmeriFlux and CarboEurope sites representing deciduous broadleaf, evergreen needleleaf, grasslands, mixed deciduous/evergreen and woodland/savanna ecosystem types. Lowest to highest rates of… More

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The U.S. carbon budget has been the focus of recent scientific debate [Fan et al., 1998; Pacala et al., 2001; Gurney et al., 2002] Even conservative estimates suggest that U.S. ecosystems take up a significant amount of carbon, largely as a result of historical land use practices [Houghton et al., 1999; Schimel et al.,2000; Pacala… More

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A significant fraction of Earth consists of mountainous terrain. However, the question of how to monitor the surface–atmosphere carbon exchange over complex terrain has not been fully explored. This article reports on studies by a team of investigators from U.S. universities and research institutes who carried out a multiscale and multidisciplinary field and modeling investigation… More

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High-elevation forests represent a large fraction of potential carbon uptake in North America, but this uptake is not well constrained by observations. Additionally, forests in the Rocky Mountains have recently been severely damaged by drought, fire, and insect outbreaks, which have been quantified at local scales but not assessed in terms of carbon uptake at… More

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Future climate change is expected to affect ecosystem-atmosphere CO2 exchange, particularly through the influence of temperature. To date, however, few studies have shown that differences in the response of net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) to temperature among ecosystems can be explained by differences in the photosynthetic and respiratory processes that compose NEE. Using a new… More

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We evaluated the hypothesis that CO2 uptake by a subalpine, coniferous forest is limited by cool temperature during the growing season. Using the eddy covariance approach we conducted observations of net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) across two growing seasons. When pooled for the entire growing season during both years, light-saturated net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEEsat)… More

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Components of the energy budget were measured above a subalpine coniferous forest over two complete annual cycles. Sensible and latent heat fluxes were measured by eddy covariance. Bowen ratios ranged from 0.7 to 2.5 in the summer (June–September) depending upon the availability of soil water, but were considerably higher (∼3–6) during winter (December–March). Energy budget… More

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The dynamics of forest-atmosphere CO2 carbon isotope exchange were examined in a coniferous forest in Colorado, United States. Tunable diode laser absorption spectrometry provided extensive characterization of the carbon isotope content (δ13C) of CO2. Observed patterns in δ13C of forest air were associated with photosynthesis, respiration, and atmospheric boundary layer dynamics. Similar relationships between δ13C… More

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The nocturnal drainage flow of air causes significant uncertainty in ecosystem CO2, H2O, and energy budgets determined with the eddy covariance measurement approach. In this study, we examined the magnitude, nature, and dynamics of the nocturnal drainage flow in a subalpine forest ecosystem with complex terrain. We used an experimental approach involving four towers, each… More

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