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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A growing literature is reporting on how the terrestrial carbon cycle is experiencing year-to-year variability because of climate anomalies and trends caused by global change. As CO2 concentration records in the atmosphere exceed 50 years and as satellite records reach over 30 years in length, we are becoming better able to address carbon cycle variability… More

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Many ecophysiological and biogeochemical processes respond rapidly to changes in biotic and abiotic conditions, while ecosystem-level responses develop much more slowly (e.g., over months, seasons, years, or decades). To better understand the role of the slow responses in regulating interannual variability in NEE, we partitioned NEE into two major ecological terms—gross primary productivity (GPP) and… More

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Terrestrial ecosystems currently offset one-quarter of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions because of a slight imbalance between global terrestrial photosynthesis and respiration. Understanding what controls these two biological fluxes is therefore crucial to predicting climate change. Yet there is no way of directly measuring the photosynthesis or daytime respiration of a whole ecosystem of interacting… More

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Throughout the southern US, past forest management practices have replaced large areas of native forests with loblolly pine plantations and have resulted in changes in forest response to extreme weather conditions. However, uncertainty remains about the response of planted versus natural species to drought across the geographical range of these forests. Taking advantage of a… More

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With an increasing fraction of the world’s forests being intensively managed for meeting humanity’s need for wood, fiber and ecosystem services, quantitative understanding of the functional changes in these ecosystems in comparison with natural forests is needed. In particular, the role of managed forests as long-term carbon (C) sinks and for mitigating climate change require… More

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Carbonyl sulfide (OCS), the most abundant sulfur gas in the atmosphere, has a summer minimum associated with uptake by vegetation and soils, closely correlated with CO 2 . We report the first direct measurements to our knowledge of the ecosystem flux of OCS throughout an annual cycle, at a mixed temperate forest. The forest took… More

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The functioning of Arctic ecosystems is not only critically affected by climate change,but it also has the potential for major positive feedback on climate. There is, however, relatively little information on the role, patterns, and vulnerabilities of CO2 fluxes during the nonsummer seasons in Arctic ecosystems. Presented here is a year-round study of CO2 fluxes… More

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