Seasonal dynamics of the COS and CO 2 exchange of a managed temperate grassland

Spielmann, Felix M.; Hammerle, Albin; Kitz, Florian; Gerdel, Katharina; Wohlfahrt, Georg

Gross primary productivity (GPP), the inline-formulaCO2 uptake by means of photosynthesis, cannot be measured directly on the ecosystem scale but has to be inferred from proxies or models. One newly emerged proxy is the trace gas carbonyl sulfide (COS). COS diffuses into plant leaves in a fashion very similar to inline-formulaCO2 but is generally not emitted by plants. Laboratory studies on leaf level gas exchange have shown promising correlations between the leaf relative uptake (LRU) of COS to inline-formulaCO2 under controlled conditions. However, in situ measurements including daily to seasonal environmental changes are required to test the applicability of COS as a tracer for GPP at larger temporal scales. To this end, we conducted concurrent ecosystem-scale inline-formulaCO2 and COS flux measurements above an agriculturally managed temperate mountain grassland. We also determined the magnitude and variability of the soil COS exchange, which can affect the LRU on an ecosystem level. The cutting and removal of the grass at the site had a major influence on the soil flux as well as the total exchange of COS. The grassland acted as a major sink for inline-formulaCO2 and COS during periods of high leaf area. The sink strength decreased after the cuts, and the grassland turned into a net source for inline-formulaCO2 and COS on an ecosystem level. The soil acted as a small sink for COS when the canopy was undisturbed but also turned into a source after the cuts, which we linked to higher incident radiation hitting the soil surface. However, the soil contribution was not large enough to explain the COS emission on an ecosystem level, hinting at an unknown COS source possibly related to dead plant matter degradation. Over the course of the season, we observed a concurrent decrease in inline-formulaCO2 and COS uptake on an ecosystem level. With the exception of the short periods after the cuts, the LRU under high-light conditions was rather stable and indicated a high correlation between the COS flux and GPP across the growing season.

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Spielmann, Felix M. / Hammerle, Albin / Kitz, Florian / et al: Seasonal dynamics of the COS and CO2 exchange of a managed temperate grassland. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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