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Continuous long-term measurements of soil-plant-atmosphere variables at a forest site
Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University.
Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University.
SLU, Department of Production Ecology, Uppsala.
SLU, Department of Soil Sciences, Uppsala.
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1999 (English)In: Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, ISSN 0168-1923, E-ISSN 1873-2240, Vol. 98-99, no 1-4, p. 53-73Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

It is a major challenge in modern science to decrease the uncertainty in predictions of global climate change. One of the largest uncertainties in present-day global climate models resides with the understanding of processes in the soil-vegetation-atmosphere-transfer (SVAT) system. Continuous, long-term data are needed in order to correctly quantify balances of water, energy and CO2 in this system and to correctly model it. It is the objective of this paper to demonstrate how a combined system of existing sensor, computer, and network technologies could be set up to provide continuous and reliable long-term SVAT-process data from a forested site under almost all environmental conditions. The Central Tower Site (CTS) system was set up in 1993-1994 in a 25 m high boreal forest growing on a highly heterogeneous till soil with a high content of stones and blocks. It has successfully monitored relevant states and fluxes in the system, such as atmospheric fluxes of momentum, heat, water vapour and CO2, atmospheric profiles of temperature, water vapour, CO2, short-and long-wave radiation, heat storage in soil and trees, sap-flow and a variety of ecophysiological properties, soil-water contents and tensions, and groundwater levels, rainfall and throughfall. System uptime has been more than 90% for most of its components during the first 5 years of operation. Results from the first 5 years of operation include e.g., budgets for energy, water and CO2, information on important but rarely occurring events such as evaporation from snow-covered canopies, and reactions of the forest to extreme drought. The carbon budget shows that the forest may be a sink of carbon although it is still growing. The completeness of the data has made it possible to test the internal consistency of SVAT models. The pioneering set-up at the CTS has been adopted by a large number of SVAT-monitoring sites around the world. Questions concerning tower maintenance, long-term calibration plans, maintenance of sensors and data-collection system, and continuous development of the computer network to keep it up to date are, however, only partly of interest as a research project in itself. It is thus difficult to get it funded from usual research-funding agencies. The full value of data generated by the CTS system can best be appreciated after a decade or more of continuous operation. Main uses of the data would be to evaluate how SVAT models handle the natural variability of climate conditions, quantification of water, carbon and energy budgets during various weather conditions, and development of new parameterisation schemes in global and regional climate models.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1999. Vol. 98-99, no 1-4, p. 53-73
National Category
Geochemistry
Research subject
Applied Geology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-5428DOI: 10.1016/S0168-1923(99)00092-1Local ID: 38713150-e76f-11db-8a98-000ea68e967bOAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-5428DiVA: diva2:978302
Note
Godkänd; 1999; 20070410 (pafi)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2017-11-24Bibliographically approved

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