Carbon dioxide fluxes over an ancient broadleaved deciduous woodland in southern England

Thomas, M.V.; Malhi, Y.; Fenn, K.M.; Fisher, J.B.; Morecroft, M.D.; Lloyd, C.R.; Taylor, M.E.; McNeil, D.D.. 2011 Carbon dioxide fluxes over an ancient broadleaved deciduous woodland in southern England. Biogeosciences, 8 (6). 1595-1613.

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We present results from a study of canopy-atmosphere fluxes of carbon dioxide from 2007 to 2009 above a site in Wytham Woods, an ancient temperate broadleaved deciduous forest in southern England. Gap-filled net ecosystem exchange (NEE) data were partitioned into gross primary productivity (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (R(e)) and analysed on daily, monthly and annual timescales. Over the continuous 24 month study period annual GPP was estimated to be 21.1Mg C ha(-1) yr(-1) and R(e) to be 19.8Mg C ha(-1) yr(-1); net ecosystem productivity (NEP) was 1.2Mg C ha(-1) yr(-1). These estimates were compared with independent bottom-up estimates derived from net primary productivity (NPP) and flux chamber measurements recorded at a plot within the flux footprint in 2008 (GPP = 26.5 +/- 6.8Mg C ha(-1) yr(-1), R(e) = 24.8 +/- 6.8Mg C ha(-1) yr(-1), biomass increment = similar to 1.7Mg C ha(-1) yr(-1)). Over the two years the difference in seasonal NEP was predominantly caused by changes in ecosystem respiration, whereas GPP remained similar for equivalent months in different years. Although solar radiation was the largest influence on daily values of CO(2) fluxes (R(2) = 0.53 for the summer months for a linear regression), variation in R(e) appeared to be driven by temperature. Our findings suggest that this ancient woodland site is currently a substantial sink for carbon, resulting from continued growth that is probably a legacy of past management practices abandoned over 40 years ago. Our GPP and R(e) values are generally higher than other broadleaved temperate deciduous woodlands and may represent the influence of the UK's maritime climate, or the particular species composition of this site. The carbon sink value of Wytham Woods supports the protection and management of temperate deciduous woodlands (including those managed for conservation rather than silvicultural objectives) as a strategy to mitigate atmospheric carbon dioxide increases.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biogeochemistry
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Pywell
UKCEH Fellows
ISSN: 1726-4170
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Please click on the OFFICIAL URL link to access full text, as Biogeosciences is an open access journal
NORA Subject Terms: Botany
Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 08 May 2012 15:18 +0 (UTC)

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