The exchange of carbon between the Earth’s atmosphere and biosphere influences the atmospheric abundances of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). Airborne eddy covariance (EC) can quantify surface-atmosphere exchange from landscape-to-regional scales, offering a unique perspective on carbon cycle dynamics.Weuse extensive airborne measurements to quantify fluxes of sensible heat, latent heat, CO2, and CH4 across… More

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Prescribed fires are conducted extensively in pine-dominated forests throughout the Eastern USA to reduce the risk of wildfires and maintain fire-adapted ecosystems. We asked how fire behavior and fuel consumption during prescribed fires are associated with turbulence and energy fluxes, which affect the dispersion of smoke and transport of firebrands, potentially impacting local communities and… More

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Multiple lines of evidence suggest that plant water-use efficiency (WUE)-the ratio of carbon assimilation to water loss-has increased in recent decades. Although rising atmospheric CO2 has been proposed as the principal cause, the underlying physiological mechanisms are still being debated, and implications for the global water cycle remain uncertain. Here, we addressed this gap using… More

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Aerodynamic canopy height (ha) is the effective height of vegetation canopy for its influence on atmospheric fluxes and is a key parameter of surface‐atmosphere coupling. However, methods to estimate ha from data are limited. This synthesis evaluates the applicability and robustness of the calculation of ha from eddy covariance momentum‐flux data. At 69 forest sites,… More

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Understanding processes underlying forest carbon dynamics is essential for accurately predicting the outcomes of non-stand-replacing disturbance in intermediate-age forests. We quantified net ecosystem production (NEP), aboveground net primary production (ANPP), and the dynamics of major carbon (C) pools before and during the decade following invasive insect defoliation and prescribed fires in oak- and pine-dominated stands… More

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Ecosystem models often perform poorly in reproducing interannual variability in carbon and water fluxes, resulting in considerable uncertainty when estimating the land-carbon sink. While many aggregated variables (growing season length, seasonal precipitation, or temperature) have been suggested as predictors for interannual variability in carbon fluxes, their explanatory power is limited and uncertainties remain as to… 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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