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Long-Term Greenhouse Gas Budget of a Subalpine Coniferous Forest

Applicant Buchmann Nina
Number 133763
Funding scheme R'EQUIP
Research institution Departement Umweltsystemwissenschaften ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Climatology. Atmospherical Chemistry, Aeronomy
Start/End 01.03.2011 - 29.02.2012
Approved amount 95'000.00
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All Disciplines (7)

Discipline
Climatology. Atmospherical Chemistry, Aeronomy
Environmental Research
Hydrology, Limnology, Glaciology
Agricultural and Forestry Sciences
Ecology
Meteorology
Other disciplines of Environmental Sciences

Keywords (10)

carbon dioxide; methane; nitrous oxide; long-term measurements; biogeochemistry; subalpine forest ecosystem; stable isotopes; greenhouse gas fluxes; climate change; forest

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
The interest to study impacts of climate change on the terrestrial biosphere, particularly on forests, has been ever increasing over the last decades, since forests are an integral part of the global climate system and at the same time provide many ecosystem services, i.e., direct and indirect benefits for people. However, rather recently the need to quantify a whole suite of greenhouse gases (GHG), namely H2O, CO2, CH4 and N2O, was recognized. In a European effort to establish a unique network of top-level ecosystem GHG flux sites (ESFRI project ICOS; International Carbon Observation System), the main interest for the Swiss participation is focusing on the role of high mountain ecosystems in the continental GHG budget. To maximize synergies with already existing infrastructure and long-term research efforts in the subalpine zone of Switzerland, we propose to extend the on-going CO2, CH4 and H2O vapor flux measurements at Davos, Switzerland and participate in this European effort to establish the ICOS network. Our goal is to establish cutting-edge eddy covariance flux measurements of climatically relevant GHGs. With the R'Equip proposal, we will be able to add a research site to ICOS which is unique in three aspects, in its high elevation location (at 1670 m), in its flux measurement history (since 1997) and in its broad range of on-going auxiliary measurements (soil, vegetation, air pollutants). The study site Davos is a long-term site (since 1997) of the Grassland Sciences group at ETH as well as the designated Swiss primary ecosystem site of ICOS, supported by WSL and EMPA as well as FOEN and SBF. Our research is embedded in the Swiss efforts to assess GHG fluxes and land surface-atmosphere feedbacks (e.g., SwissFluxNet, C2SM, NCCR Climate, CCES-Maiolica) as well as in international efforts (e.g., CarboEurope IP, GHG-Europe, Carbo-Extreme, ICOS, FluxNet), providing relevant background information on GHG budgets of different land use types and thus the basis for post-Kyoto negotiations and sustainable land use.Thus, our objectives are to quantify CO2, H2O vapor, CH4 and N2O fluxes at the ecosystem level continuously using state-of-the art infra-red laser absorption spectrometers, enabling us (1) to test hypotheses on the magnitude of such fluxes of a forest (rarely tested for CH4 and N2O despite first reports on such fluxes and soil N2O sink capacity), (2) to determine forest responses to climatic (extreme) events, and (3) to better understand soil and ecosystem CO2 fluxes for the long-term GHG balance of a subalpine forest to ensure sustainable use of natural resources for climate protection AND wood production.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Publications

Publication
NEP of a Swiss subalpine forest is significantly driven not only by current but also by previous year’s weather
Zielis S Etzold S Zweifel R Eugster W Haeni M Buchmann N (2014), NEP of a Swiss subalpine forest is significantly driven not only by current but also by previous year’s weather, in Biogeosciences , 11, 1627-1635.
The carbon balance of two contrasting mountain forest ecosystems in Switzerland: similar annual trends, but seasonal differences
Etzold S Ruehr NK Zweifel R Dobbertin M Zingg A Pluess P Häsler R Eugster W Buchmann N (2011), The carbon balance of two contrasting mountain forest ecosystems in Switzerland: similar annual trends, but seasonal differences, in Ecosystems, 14, 1289-1309.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
SLF, WSL Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
TreeNet Europe. TreeNet Kickoff Meeting Talk given at a conference Flux measurements at Davos 25.05.2011 Birmensdorf, Switzerland Eugster Werner; Buchmann Nina;


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
136273 CarboCount CH: Quantifying greenhouse gas fluxes and their sensitivity to climate variations: A case study in Central Europe and Switzerland 01.01.2012 Sinergia

Abstract

The interest to study impacts of climate change on the terrestrial biosphere, particularly on forests, has been ever increasing over the last decades (IPCC AR4, Solomon et al. 2007), since forests are an integral part of the global climate system and at the same time provide many ecosystem services, i.e., direct and indirect benefits for people (MEA 2005). However, rather recently the need to quantify a whole suite of greenhouse gases (GHG), namely H2O, CO2, CH4 and N2O, was recognized. In a European effort to establish a unique network of top-level ecosystem GHG flux sites (ESFRI project ICOS; International Carbon Observation System), the main interest for the Swiss participation is focusing on the role of high mountain ecosystems in the continental GHG budget. To maximize synergies with already existing infrastructure and long-term research efforts in the subalpine zone of Switzerland, we propose to extend the on-going CO2, CH4 and H2O vapor flux measurements at Davos, Switzerland and participate in this European effort to establish the ICOS network. Our goal is to establish cutting-edge eddy covariance flux measurements of all climatically relevant GHGs and to add a new component, i.e, isotope measurements in N2O fluxes. With the R'Equip proposal, we will be able to add a research site to ICOS which is unique in three aspects, in its high elevation location (at 1670 m), in its flux measurement history (since 1997) and in its broad range of on-going auxiliary measurements (soil, vegetation, air pollutants). The study site Davos is a long-term site (since 1997) of the Grassland Sciences group at ETH as well as the designated Swiss primary ecosystem site of ICOS, supported by WSL and EMPA as well as FOEN and SBF. Our research is embedded in the Swiss efforts to assess GHG fluxes and land surface-atmosphere feedbacks (e.g., SwissFluxNet, C2SM, NCCR Climate, CCES-Maiolica) as well as in international efforts (e.g., CarboEurope IP, GHG-Europe, Carbo-Extreme, ICOS, FluxNet), providing relevant background information on GHG budgets of different land use types and thus the basis for post-Kyoto negotiations and sustainable land use. Currently, only three forests at higher altitudes are included in the global GHG flux network: Davos, Switzerland, Glacier Lakes Ecosystem Experiments Site and Niwot Ridge, USA. Equipment for measuring N2O ecosystem budgets has only appeared on the market recently, such that no long-term flux data sets of N2O over coniferous forest nor its isotopic signature exist up to now. Thus, our objectives are to quantify CO2, H2O vapor, CH4 and N2O fluxes at the ecosystem level continuously using state-of-the art infra-red laser absorption spectrometers, enabling us (1) to test hypotheses on the magnitude of such fluxes of a forest (rarely tested for CH4 and N2O despite first reports on such fluxes and soil N2O sink capacity), (2) to determine forest responses to climatic (extreme) events, and (3) to better understand soil and ecosystem CO2 fluxes for the long-term GHG balance of a subalpine forest to ensure sustainable use of natural resources for climate protection AND wood production.Within ICOS, all participants are required to provide the necessary facilities to obtain a unique, standardized and harmonized data set of greenhouse gas fluxes at the European level for policy makers as well as for scientists over the next 20 years. Since this type of commitment is far-reaching, in the current preparatory phase of ICOS (2008 to 2011), we aim to secure funding for 20 yrs of climate impact and ecosystem GHG research at the national level (N. Buchmann is the focal point representative for Switzerland; ICOS is rated A in the tentative ESFRI Roadmap for Switzerland, being the only project in the Environmental Sciences field). While all ICOS stations should be instrumented with the same state-of-the-art equipment, we would like to expand these on-going efforts and instrumentation by adding stable isotope analyses in N2O flux measurements. Here, we request a subset of such GHG flux equipment that is necessary to upgrade existing infrastructure and equipment of the forest site Davos and to expand into isotope fluxes to carry out highest quality level of system- and process-oriented GHG flux measurements.
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