Conditional CO2 flux analysis of a managed grassland with the aid of stable isotopes

Other literature type English OPEN
Zeeman, M. J. ; Tuzson, B. ; Emmenegger, L. ; Knohl, A. ; Buchmann, N. ; Eugster, W. (2009)

Short statured managed ecosystems, such as agricultural grasslands, exhibit high temporal changes in carbon dioxide assimilation and respiration fluxes for which measurements of the net CO<sub>2</sub> flux, e.g. by using the eddy covariance (EC) method, give only limited insight. We have therefore adopted a recently proposed concept for conditional EC flux analysis of forest to grasslands, in order to identify and quantify daytime sub-canopy respiration fluxes. To validate the concept, high frequency (&#x2248;5 Hz) stable carbon isotope analyis of CO<sub>2</sub> was used. We made eddy covariance measurements of CO<sub>2</sub> and its isotopologues during four days in August 2007, using a novel quantum cascade laser absorption spectrometer, capable of high time resolution stable isotope analysis. The effects of a grass cut during the measurement period could be detected and resulted in a sub-canopy source conditional flux classification, for which the isotope composition of the CO<sub>2</sub> could be confirmed to be of a respiration source. However, the conditional flux method did not work for an undisturbed grassland canopy. We attribute this to the flux measurement height that was chosen well above the roughness sublayer, where the natural isotopic tracer (&delta;<sub>13</sub>C) of respiration was too well mixed with background air.
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