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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Automatic high-frequency measurements of full soil greenhouse gas fluxes in a tropical forest


Measuring in situ soil fluxes of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), methane (CH 4 ), and nitrous oxide (N 2 O) continuously at high frequency requires appropriate technology. We tested the combination of a commercial automated soil CO 2 flux chamber system (LI-8100A) with a CH 4 and N 2 O analyzer (Picarro G2308) in a tropical rainforest for 4 months. A chamber closure time of 2 min was sufficient for a reliable estimation of CO 2 and CH 4 fluxes (100% and 98.5% of fluxes were above minimum detectable flux - MDF, respectively). This closure time was generally not suitable for a reliable estimation of the low N 2 O fluxes in this ecosystem but was sufficient for detecting rare major peak events. A closure time of 25 min was more appropriate for reliable estimation of most N 2 O fluxes (85.6% of measured fluxes are above MDF±0.002 nmolm -2 s -1 ). Our study highlights the importance of adjusted closure time for each gas.

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