The seasonal and interannual variability in surface energy exchange and evapotranspiration (E) of two temperate semi-arid grasslands in southeastern Arizona, USA, were investigated using multi-year (2004–2007) eddy covariance measurements. The study sites, a post-fire site (AG) and an unburned site (KG), received 43–87% of the annual precipitation (P) during the North American Monsoon season (July–September),… More

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Across the western United States, warm-season grasslands are being invaded by the exotic perennial grass, Eragrostis lehmanniana (Lehmann lovegrass). The objective of this study was to quantify the change in surface water balance, particularly the evaporation from bare soil, associated with E. lehmanniana invasion. Following a protracted drought, the Kendall grassland in the USDA-ARS Walnut… More

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Carbon dioxide is increasing in the atmosphere due to human activities. Over long time periods semiarid soils have sequestered inorganic carbon to accumulate the third largest global carbon pool. The hypothesis for this study was that these soils are maintaining this carbon pool under present climatic conditions and are a sink for some of the… More

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Validation comparisons between satellite-based surface energy balance models and tower-based flux measurements over heterogeneous landscapes can be strongly influenced by the spatial resolution of the remote sensing inputs. In this paper, a two-source energy balance model developed to use thermal and visible /near-infrared remotely sensed data is applied to Landsat imagery collected during the 2004… More

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Predicted reductions of cool-season rainfall may expand and accelerate drought-induced plant mortality currently unfolding across the Southwest US. To assess how repeated plant mortality affects ecosystem functional attributes, we quantified net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE), ecosystem respiration (Reco), and gross ecosystem photosynthesis (GEP) responses to precipitation (P) at a semidesert grassland over spring (Feb 1–Apr… More

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Global-scale studies indicate that semiarid regions strongly regulate the terrestrial carbon sink. However, we lack understanding of how climatic shifts, such as decadal drought, impact carbon sequestration across the wide range of structural diversity in semiarid ecosystems. Therefore, we used eddy covariance measurements to quantify how net ecosystem production of carbon dioxide (NEP) differed with… More

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The global terrestrial carbon sink offsets one-third of the world’s fossil fuel emissions, but the strength of this sink is highly sensitive to large-scale extreme events. In 2012, the contiguous United States experienced exceptionally warm temperatures and the most severe drought since the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s, resulting in substantial economic damage. It… More

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The global terrestrial carbon sink offsets one-third of the world’s fossil fuel emissions, but the strength of this sink is highly sensitive to large-scale extreme events. In 2012, the contiguous United States experienced exceptionally warm temperatures and the most severe drought since the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s, resulting in substantial economic damage. It… More

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