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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: HYDROLOGIC PROCESSES, SCALE, CLIMATE VARIABILITY, AND WATER RESOURCES FOR SEMIARID WATERSHED MANAGEMENT

Location: Southwest Watershed Research

Title: Quantification of terrestrial ecosystem carbon dynamics in the conterminous United States combining a process-based biogeochemical model and MODIS and AmeriFlux data

Authors
item Chen, M. -
item Zhuang, Q. -
item Cook, D.R. -
item Coulter, R. -
item Pekour, M. -
item Scott, Russell
item Munger, J.W. -
item Bible, K. -

Submitted to: Biogeosciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 9, 2011
Publication Date: September 21, 2011
Repository URL: http://biogeosciences.net/8/2665-2011/
Citation: Chen, M., Zhuang, Q., Cook, D., Coulter, R., Pekour, M., Scott, R.L., Munger, J., Bible, K. 2011. Quantification of terrestrial ecosystem carbon dynamics in the conterminous United States combining a process-based biogeochemical model and MODIS and AmeriFlux data. Biogeosciences. 8:2665-2688.

Interpretive Summary: Quantification of net carbon exchanges between the terrestrial ecosystems and atmosphere is scientifically and politically important. Yet, this quantification is difficult and remains highly uncertain. A carbon exchange model was combined with satellite and land-based measurements of carbon exchange and ecosystem properties. This approach was applied over the United States from 2000 – 2005. The new version of TEM was an improvement from a previous version and generally captured the expected patterns of regional carbon dynamics in time and space. This study provides a new independent and more adequate measure of carbon fluxes for the conterminous United States, which will benefit studies of carbon-climate interactions and facilitate policy-making for carbon management and climate.

Technical Abstract: Satellite remote sensing provides continuous temporal and spatial information of terrestrial ecosystems. Using these remote sensing data and eddy flux measurements and biogeochemical models, such as the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM), should provide a more adequate quantification of carbon dynamics of terrestrial ecosystems. Here we use Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), Land Surface Water Index (LSWI) and carbon flux data of AmeriFlux to conduct such a study. We first modify the gross primary production (GPP) modeling in TEM by incorporating EVI and LSWI to account for the effects of the changes of canopy photosynthetic capacity, phenology and water stress. Second, we parameterize and verify the new version of TEM with eddy flux data. We then apply the model to the conterminous United States over the period 2000–2005 at a 0.05_ ×0.05_ spatial resolution. We find that the new version of TEM made improvement over the previous version and generally captured the expected temporal and spatial patterns of regional carbon dynamics. We estimate that regional GPP is between 7.02 and 7.78 PgC yr-1 and net primary production (NPP) ranges from 3.81 to 4.38 Pg Cyr-1 and net ecosystem production (NEP) varies within 0.08–0.73 PgC yr-1 over the period 2000–2005 for the conterminous United States. The uncertainty due to parameterization is 0.34, 0.65 and 0.18 PgC yr-1 for the regional estimates of GPP, NPP and NEP, respectively. The effects of extreme climate and disturbances such as severe drought in 2002 and destructive Hurricane Katrina in 2005 were captured by the model. Our study provides a new independent and more adequate measure of carbon fluxes for the conterminous United States, which will benefit studies of carbon-climate feedback and facilitate policy-making of carbon management and climate.

Last Modified: 7/24/2014
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