Potentials and limitations for estimating daytime ecosystem respiration by combining tower-based remote sensing and carbon flux measurements Public Deposited

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  • Vegetation carbon uptake and respiration constitute the largest carbon cycle of the planet with an annual turnover in the order of 120 GT. Currently, neither ecosystem carbon uptake (through photosynthesis) nor ecosystem carbon release (through respiration) can be measured directly during the daytime. Instead, flux-tower measurements rely on nighttime respiration based on the assumption of zero carbon uptake which are then projected to daytime using an exponential relationship to soil temperature at shallow soil depth. As an alternative to this approach, R could possibly also be determined from combining daytime eddy covariance measurements of net ecosystem production (NEP) and spectral observations of gross primary production (GPP). In previous work, we have shown that multi-angular observations can be used to determine GPP from the absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (APAR) and spectrally obtained observations of light-use efficiency (ε). The difference of NEP and GPP suggests that daytime respiration is greater and more dynamic than conventional estimates derived from nighttime flux values. Our findings also suggest that an accelerated ecosystem metabolism results in an exponential increase in respiration which eventually diminishes net ecosystem production. Respiration was also closely related to air and soil temperature. We conclude that tower-level spectral measurements provide considerable new insights into ecosystem fluxes as they allow independent yet complementary measurements of different aspects of the carbon and energy cycle.
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  • Hilker, T., Hall, F. G., Coops, N. C., Black, A. T., Jassal, R., Mathys, A., & Grant, N. (2014). Potentials and limitations for estimating daytime ecosystem respiration by combining tower-based remote sensing and carbon flux measurements. Remote Sensing of Environment, 150, 44-52. doi:10.1016/j.rse.2014.04.018
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