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  1. Abstract

    We examined the seasonality of photosynthesis in 46 evergreen needleleaf (evergreen needleleaf forests (ENF)) and deciduous broadleaf (deciduous broadleaf forests (DBF)) forests across North America and Eurasia. We quantified the onset and end (StartGPPand EndGPP) of photosynthesis in spring and autumn based on the response of net ecosystem exchange of CO2to sunlight. To test the hypothesis that snowmelt is required for photosynthesis to begin, these were compared with end of snowmelt derived from soil temperature. ENF forests achieved 10% of summer photosynthetic capacity ∼3 weeks before end of snowmelt, while DBF forests achieved that capacity ∼4 weeks afterward. DBF forests increased photosynthetic capacity in spring faster (1.95% d−1) than ENF (1.10% d−1), and their active season length (EndGPP–StartGPP) was ∼50 days shorter. We hypothesized that warming has influenced timing of the photosynthesis season. We found minimal evidence for long‐term change in StartGPP, EndGPP, or air temperature, but their interannual anomalies were significantly correlated. Warmer weather was associated with earlier StartGPP(1.3–2.5 days °C−1) or later EndGPP(1.5–1.8 days °C−1, depending on forest type and month). Finally, we tested whether existing phenological models could predict StartGPPand EndGPP. For ENF forests, air temperature‐ and daylength‐based models provided best predictions for StartGPP, while a chilling‐degree‐day model was best for EndGPP. The root mean square errors (RMSE) between predicted and observed StartGPPand EndGPPwere 11.7 and 11.3 days, respectively. For DBF forests, temperature‐ and daylength‐based models yielded the best results (RMSE 6.3 and 10.5 days).

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2025
  2. Abstract

    Climate change is rapidly altering composition, structure, and functioning of the boreal biome, across North America often broadly categorized into ecoregions. The resulting complex changes in different ecoregions present a challenge for efforts to accurately simulate carbon dioxide (CO2) and energy exchanges between boreal forests and the atmosphere with terrestrial ecosystem models (TEMs). Eddy covariance measurements provide valuable information for evaluating the performance of TEMs and guiding their development. Here, we compiled a boreal forest model benchmarking dataset for North America by harmonizing eddy covariance and supporting measurements from eight black spruce (Picea mariana)-dominated, mature forest stands. The eight forest stands, located in six boreal ecoregions of North America, differ in stand characteristics, disturbance history, climate, permafrost conditions and soil properties. By compiling various data streams, the benchmarking dataset comprises data to parameterize, force, and evaluate TEMs. Specifically, it includes half-hourly, gap-filled meteorological forcing data, ancillary data essential for model parameterization, and half-hourly, gap-filled or partitioned component flux data on CO2(net ecosystem production, gross primary production [GPP], and ecosystem respiration [ER]) and energy (latent [LE] and sensible heat [H]) and their daily aggregates screened based on half-hourly gap-filling quality criteria. We present a case study with the Canadian Land Surface Scheme Including Biogeochemical Cycles (CLASSIC) to: (1) demonstrate the utility of our dataset to benchmark TEMs and (2) provide guidance for model development and refinement. Model skill was evaluated using several statistical metrics and further examined through the flux responses to their environmental controls. Our results suggest that CLASSIC tended to overestimate GPP and ER among all stands. Model performance regarding the energy fluxes (i.e., LE and H) varied greatly among the stands and exhibited a moderate correlation with latitude. We identified strong relationships between simulated fluxes and their environmental controls except for H, thus highlighting current strengths and limitations of CLASSIC.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 18, 2024
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024
  4. Abstract

    Wetlands are responsible for 20%–31% of global methane (CH4) emissions and account for a large source of uncertainty in the global CH4budget. Data‐driven upscaling of CH4fluxes from eddy covariance measurements can provide new and independent bottom‐up estimates of wetland CH4emissions. Here, we develop a six‐predictor random forest upscaling model (UpCH4), trained on 119 site‐years of eddy covariance CH4flux data from 43 freshwater wetland sites in the FLUXNET‐CH4 Community Product. Network patterns in site‐level annual means and mean seasonal cycles of CH4fluxes were reproduced accurately in tundra, boreal, and temperate regions (Nash‐Sutcliffe Efficiency ∼0.52–0.63 and 0.53). UpCH4 estimated annual global wetland CH4emissions of 146 ± 43 TgCH4 y−1for 2001–2018 which agrees closely with current bottom‐up land surface models (102–181 TgCH4 y−1) and overlaps with top‐down atmospheric inversion models (155–200 TgCH4 y−1). However, UpCH4 diverged from both types of models in the spatial pattern and seasonal dynamics of tropical wetland emissions. We conclude that upscaling of eddy covariance CH4fluxes has the potential to produce realistic extra‐tropical wetland CH4emissions estimates which will improve with more flux data. To reduce uncertainty in upscaled estimates, researchers could prioritize new wetland flux sites along humid‐to‐arid tropical climate gradients, from major rainforest basins (Congo, Amazon, and SE Asia), into monsoon (Bangladesh and India) and savannah regions (African Sahel) and be paired with improved knowledge of wetland extent seasonal dynamics in these regions. The monthly wetland methane products gridded at 0.25° from UpCH4 are available via ORNL DAAC (

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2024
  5. Across forests, photosynthesis and woody growth respond to different climate cues. 
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  6. Solar-Induced Chlorophyll Fluorescence (SIF) can provide key information about the state of photosynthesis and offers the prospect of defining remote sensing-based estimation of Gross Primary Production (GPP). There is strong theoretical support for the link between SIF and GPP and this relationship has been empirically demonstrated using ground-based, airborne, and satellite-based SIF observations, as well as modeling. However, most evaluations have been based on monthly and annual scales, yet the GPP:SIF relations can be strongly influenced by both vegetation structure and physiology. At the monthly timescales, the structural response often dominates but short-term physiological variations can strongly impact the GPP:SIF relations. Here, we test how well SIF can predict the inter-daily variation of GPP during the growing season and under stress conditions, while taking into account the local effect of sites and abiotic conditions. We compare the accuracy of GPP predictions from SIF at different timescales (half-hourly, daily, and weekly), while evaluating effect of adding environmental variables to the relationship. We utilize observations for years 2018–2019 at 31 mid-latitudes, forested, eddy covariance (EC) flux sites in North America and Europe and use TROPOMI satellite data for SIF. Our results show that SIF is a good predictor of GPP, when accounting for inter-site variation, probably due to differences in canopy structure. Seasonally averaged leaf area index, fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (fPAR) and canopy conductance provide a predictor to the site-level effect. We show that fPAR is the main factor driving errors in the linear model at high temporal resolution. Adding water stress indicators, namely canopy conductance, to a multi-linear SIF-based GPP model provides the best improvement in the model precision at the three considered timescales, showing the importance of accounting for water stress in GPP predictions, independent of the SIF signal. SIF is a promising predictor for GPP among other remote sensing variables, but more focus should be placed on including canopy structure, and water stress effects in the relationship, especially when considering intra-seasonal, and inter- and intra-daily resolutions. 
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  7. Abstract Despite the importance of high-latitude surface energy budgets (SEBs) for land-climate interactions in the rapidly changing Arctic, uncertainties in their prediction persist. Here, we harmonize SEB observations across a network of vegetated and glaciated sites at circumpolar scale (1994–2021). Our variance-partitioning analysis identifies vegetation type as an important predictor for SEB-components during Arctic summer (June-August), compared to other SEB-drivers including climate, latitude and permafrost characteristics. Differences among vegetation types can be of similar magnitude as between vegetation and glacier surfaces and are especially high for summer sensible and latent heat fluxes. The timing of SEB-flux summer-regimes (when daily mean values exceed 0 Wm −2 ) relative to snow-free and -onset dates varies substantially depending on vegetation type, implying vegetation controls on snow-cover and SEB-flux seasonality. Our results indicate complex shifts in surface energy fluxes with land-cover transitions and a lengthening summer season, and highlight the potential for improving future Earth system models via a refined representation of Arctic vegetation types. 
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