WP1 Whole forest CO2 and H2O exchange in real-time (and joint project coordination; PI Alexander Knohl)

Objectives: Forest ecosystems play a key role for the climate system by exchanging CO2, water vapour and energy fluxes. At the same time they are affected by meteorological conditions and thus respond to drought events such as 2018/2019. The eddy covariance technique provides a powerful tool to continuously measure the net exchange between forest and atmosphere. In Digital Forest we aim to continuously measuring the “breath” of the forest, i.e. the CO2 and H2O fluxes, and provide the data in near real-time. Furthermore, we want to explore the effect of climate extremes on forest functioning based on our existing measurements since 2000 covering multiple drought events such as 2003, 2016, 2018, 2019.

Approach: We will complement our existing and fully operational eddy covariance flux tower with new sensors to better monitor soil water changes, a key variable expected to be affected by climate change, within the footprint of our flux measurements. Additionally, we plan to add infrared (IR) sensors to continuously monitor canopy surface temperature, which is expected to respond to drought stress and well links to thermal images from drones (WP3) or satellites (WP4). All data will be acquired at 30 min time resolution and be made available in near real-time for analysis (WP2-5) and visualisation (WP6). Machine learning approaches will be used to project CO2 and H2O fluxes based on weather forecast.