Long-term observation of the atmospheric exchange of CO2 with a temperate deciduous forest in southern Ontario, Canada

Xuhui Lee, Jose D. Fuentes, Ralf M. Staebler, Harold H. Neumann

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131 Scopus citations


This paper reports the results of the analysis of eddy covariance CO2 data obtained at a successional forest of maple and aspen at Camp Borden in southern Ontario, Canada, between July 1995 and December 1997. Main findings are (1) The Michaelis-Menton model explains >50-65% of the observed variance of the daytime net ecosystem carbon exchange (NEE) during the growing season; leaf wetness appears to be an important variable contributing to the remaining variance. (2) The whole-ecosystem respiration rate as a function of the 5-cm soil temperature shows a seasonal "hysteresis" (higher rate in the later part of the year), suggesting a nonnegligible contribution by deep soil/roots and the influence of litter age. (3) There is evidence of photosynthetic activities immediately after the spring snowmelt/soil warming, but the daily NEE did not switch sign till about 40 days later; our best estimates of the annual net carbon uptake by the ecosystem (net ecosystem production (NEP)) are -1.0, -1.2, and -2.8 t C ha-1 yr-1 for the periods July 19, 1995, to July 18, 1996, January 1 to December 31, 1996, and January 1 to December 31, 1997, respectively, with an uncertainty of ±0.4 t C ha-1 yr-1. (4) The higher NEP value in 1997 than in 1996 was caused by lower growing season soil temperature, cooler spring and fall transitional periods, and higher photon flux in 1997; possible enhancement in canopy photosynthetic capacity may also have played a role. In addition, three main sources of uncertainties, data gap, fetch, and mass flow, are discussed. It is suggested that collective use of the methods available for assessing the whole-ecosystem respiration (friction velocity threshold, mass flow theory, and dark respiration from the forest light response) may increase the confidence level of NEP estimates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1999JD900227
Pages (from-to)15975-15984
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
Issue numberD13
StatePublished - Jul 20 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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