Thursday, April 5, 2007
Toward a better understanding of soil respiration in complex forested ecosystems
Carbon dioxide emanating from soil respiration is the second largest flux of carbon to the atmosphere from terrestrial ecosystems. We'll look at a real-world attempt to better understand rates and origins of soil respiration in a complex, old-growth forest ecosystem located in the vicinity of the Wind River Canopy Crane Facility in south-central Washington State. Complexity of this forest stand is largely a function of tree structure, which significantly affects
within-canopy microclimate thus limiting eddy-covariance techniques, and floral and faunal assemblages, which serve to confuse autotrophic and heterotrophic contributions to soil respiration.
Ken Bible is Site Director for the Wind River Canopy Crane Research Facility overseeing experiential education and long-term studies in forest structure and function. The WRCCRF is a cooperative educational and scientific venture among the University of Washington College of Forest Resources, the USFS Pacific Northwest Research Station, and the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. The site has recently been selected as part of the NEON Project Execution Plan.