5.2 Uncertainties in the measurement of ecosystem carbon dioxide flux due to differences in infrared gas analyzer response

Thursday, 31 May 2012: 10:45 AM
Alcott Room (Omni Parker House)
Russell L. Scott, USDA-ARS Southwest Watershed Research Center, Tucson, AZ

A key component for the application of eddy covariance technique, used worldwide to quantify ecosystem energy and material exchanges, are fast-response water and carbon dioxide gas analyzers. Here I compare the performance of closed (LI7200, Li-Cor Inc.) and open path infrared gas analyzers (LI7500) as well as between several open path Li7500 analyzers used in conjunction with a common sonic anemometer for quantifying daily to yearly net ecosystem exchange of carbon dioxide (NEE) and evapotranspiration (ET) in semiarid landscapes. While differences between ET fluxes are quite small, I observed significant and systematic differences between NEE values computed from data obtained with open and closed path analyzers, as well as those estimated between the same model of open path analyzers. These differences can contribute systematic error to daily and seasonal estimates of NEE and complicate our interpretation of source/sink behavior, both within one site and especially across sites.
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