8A.9 Characterizing the forest exchange during a deforestation experiment at the TERENO site Wüstebach

Tuesday, 10 June 2014: 5:30 PM
Queens Ballroom (Queens Hotel)
Clemens Drüe, University Trier, Trier, Germany; and P. Ney, A. Graf, T. Pütz, and G. Heinemann

The Wüstebach site in the German national park “Eifel” is part of the “Eifel/Lower Rhine Valley” Observatory within the German Terrestrial Environmental Observatories (TERENO) network. It is covered by dense spruce forest (picea abies). This species was planted after the area had been completely deforested as a consequence of severe battles during world war II.

In the national park, the forest will be left uncultivated and is expected to transform into a natural vegetation dominated by beech. To speed up this process, a limited area of 9ha has been deforested in summer 2013. The Wüstebach observatory hosts a 36-m tower with instrumentation for long-term monitoring of the atmosphere-canopy exchange processes. To characterize the entire exchange process, quantities are measured above, within and below the vegetation: eddy-covariance (EC) measurements, profile measurements throughout 1.2 times the canopy height, radiation fluxes, precipitation and soil property measurements, to name a few. On this tower, measurements of the exchange processes of the untouched forest have been taken over three years before the deforestation.

After the deforestation, a second smaller eddy covariance tower has been erected on clear-cut part of the observatory, while the 38-m tower in the untouched part of the site remains surrounded by forest. The measurements before the deforestation represent the initial situation for both parts, which is found to compare well to other forests of this kind. Both parts will be monitored for the next 10+ years. Thereby it is expected to characterize a) changes compared to the initial situation due to climate change and b) the differences in the mass balances of a growing forest compared to a transforming canopy.

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