Field Measurements of Respiratory Del13CO2 and Photodegradation
Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 5:15 PM
Carbon decomposition dynamics have been studied in a variety of ecosystems and its variation can mostly be explained in terms of environmental variables (e.g. temperature and precipitation). However, carbon dynamics in arid, water limited regions have shown to be very different and are still largely unknown. Several studies have indicated the importance of photodegradation, the direct breakdown of organic matter by sunlight, in these arid regions.
A FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer) was set up to continuously measure concentrations of CO2, CH4, N2O, CO as well as del13C in CO2. The FTIR was connected to 2 different flux measurement systems: a Flux Gradient system and 2 flux chambers, providing a continuous data set of gas concentrations and biosphere-atmosphere gas fluxes at different heights and scales.
Field measurements showed photodegradation induced carbon fluxes. Also, respiratory del13CO2 was determined by use of Keeling plots, and was determined to vary between -25‰ and -21‰. A clear diurnal pattern in respiratory del13CO2 was found, suggesting either different (dominant) respiratory processes between day and night or the effect of diffusive fractionation.