Considerable research has recently been devoted to understanding biogeochemical processes under winter snow cover, leading to enhanced appreciation of the importance of many winter ecological processes. In this study, a comprehensive investigation of the stable carbon isotope composition (δ13C) of CO2 within a high-elevation subalpine forest snowpack was conducted. Our goals were to study the… More

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Stable isotopes provide insight into ecosystem carbon cycling, plant physiological processes, atmospheric boundary-layer dynamics, and are useful for the integration of processes over multiple scales. Of particular interest is the carbon isotope content (δ13C) of nocturnal ecosystem-respired CO2 (δR). Recent advances in technology have made it possible to continuously examine the variation in δR within… More

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Separation of the net ecosystem exchange of CO2 (F) into its component fluxes of net photosynthesis (FA) and nonfoliar respiration (FR) is important in understanding the physical and environmental controls on these fluxes, and how these fluxes may respond to environmental change. In this paper, we evaluate a partitioning method based on a combination of… More

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CO2 transport processes relevant for estimating net ecosystem exchange (NEE) at the Niwot Ridge AmeriFlux site in the front range of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado, USA, were investigated during a pilot experiment. We found that cold, moist, and CO2-rich air was transported downslope at night and upslope in the early morning at this forest site… More

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The construction and deployment of a portable trace-gas measurement system (TGaMS) is described. The air-collection system (dubbed HYDRA) collects air samples from 18 different locations and was connected to either one or two LI-COR LI-7000 gas analyzers to measure CO2. An in situ “field calibration” method, that uses four calibration gases with an uncertainty on… More

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Snowpack temperatures from a subalpine forest below Niwot Ridge, Colorado, are examined with respect to atmospheric conditions and the 30-min above-canopy and subcanopy eddy covariance fluxes of sensible Qh and latent Qe heat. In the lower snowpack, daily snow temperature changes greater than 1°C day−1 occurred about 1–2 times in late winter and early spring,… More

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Sonic anemometers simultaneously measure the turbulent fluctuations of vertical wind (w’) and sonic temperature (Ts’), and are commonly used to measure sensible heat flux (H). Our study examines 30-min heat fluxes measured with a Campbell Scientific CSAT3 sonic anemometer above a subalpine forest. We compared H calculated with Ts to H calculated with a co-located… More

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Most terrestrial carbon sequestration at mid-latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere occurs in seasonal, montane forest ecosystems1. Winter respiratory carbon dioxide losses from these ecosystems are high, and over half of the carbon assimilated by photosynthesis in the summer can be lost the following winter2,3. The amount of winter carbon dioxide loss is potentially susceptible to… More

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The respiratory loss of CO2 from soil microbes beneath winter snow in forests from cold climates can significantly influence the annual carbon budget. We explored the magnitude of winter soil respiration using continuous measurements of beneath‐snow CO2 concentration within the footprint of a flux tower in a subalpine forest in the Rocky Mountains. We used… More

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