Mapping carbon flux uncertainty and selecting optimal locations for future flux towers in the Great Plains

Landscape Ecology
By: , and 



Flux tower networks (e. g., AmeriFlux, Agriflux) provide continuous observations of ecosystem exchanges of carbon (e. g., net ecosystem exchange), water vapor (e. g., evapotranspiration), and energy between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere. The long-term time series of flux tower data are essential for studying and understanding terrestrial carbon cycles, ecosystem services, and climate changes. Currently, there are 13 flux towers located within the Great Plains (GP). The towers are sparsely distributed and do not adequately represent the varieties of vegetation cover types, climate conditions, and geophysical and biophysical conditions in the GP. This study assessed how well the available flux towers represent the environmental conditions or "ecological envelopes" across the GP and identified optimal locations for future flux towers in the GP. Regression-based remote sensing and weather-driven net ecosystem production (NEP) models derived from different extrapolation ranges (10 and 50%) were used to identify areas where ecological conditions were poorly represented by the flux tower sites and years previously used for mapping grassland fluxes. The optimal lands suitable for future flux towers within the GP were mapped. Results from this study provide information to optimize the usefulness of future flux towers in the GP and serve as a proxy for the uncertainty of the NEP map.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Mapping carbon flux uncertainty and selecting optimal locations for future flux towers in the Great Plains
Series title Landscape Ecology
DOI 10.1007/s10980-011-9699-7
Volume 27
Issue 3
Year Published 2012
Language English
Contributing office(s) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Landscape Ecology
First page 319
Last page 326
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