Assessments of carbon and water cycling in multiple agricultural ecosystems in the Inland Pacific Northwest using eddy covariance flux measurements and integrated basin-crop model simulation

Monday, 15 December 2014
Jinshu Chi, Fidel Maureira, Sarah Waldo, Patrick O'Keeffe, Shelley N Pressley, Claudio O Stockle and Brian K Lamb, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, United States
Local meteorology, crop management practices and site characteristics have important impacts on carbon and water cycling in agricultural ecosystems. This study focuses on carbon and water fluxes measured using eddy covariance (EC) methods and crop simulation models in the Inland Pacific Northwest (IPNW), in association with the Regional Approaches to Climate Change (REACCH) program. The agricultural ecosystem is currently challenged by higher pressure on water resources as a consequence of population growth and increasing exposure to impacts associated with different types of crop managements. In addition, future climate projections for this region show a likely increase in temperature and significant reductions in precipitation that will affect carbon and water dynamics. This new scenario requires an understanding of crop management by assessing efficient ways to face the impacts of climate change at the micrometeorological level, especially in regards to carbon and water flow. We focus on three different crop management sites. One site (LIND) under crop-fallow is situated in a low-rainfall area. The other two sites, one no-till site (CAF-NT) and one conventional tillage site (CAF-CT), are located in an area of high-rainfall with continuous cropping. In this study, we used CropSyst micro-basin model to simulate the responses in carbon and water budgets at each site. Based on the EC processed results for net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2, the CAF-NT site was a carbon sink during 2013 when spring garbanzo was planted; while the paired CAF-CT site, under similar crop rotation and meteorological conditions, was a carbon source during the same period. The LIND site was also a carbon sink where winter wheat was growing during 2013. Model results for CAF-NT showed good agreement with the EC carbon and water flux measurements during 2013. Through comparisons between measurements and modeling results, both short and long term processes that influence carbon and water cycling in the agricultural ecosystems are better understood.