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Flux Tower

TERRA - PNW Projects

TERRA-PNW projects range from site-level experiments on plant and soil processes to whole ecosystem studies of carbon dioxide and water vapor exchange with the atmosphere to regional studies that use data from satellites and field observations in biogeochemistry models to map the carbon balance of the Pacific Northwest.

TERRA-PNW projects include leading the AmeriFlux network of about 100 active research sites, where the goal is to understand how forests, grasslands, shrublands and croplands influence and are influenced by global climate change, and how climate and disturbance from human activities affect the carbon balance of the land. AmeriFlux has a pivitol role in the North American Carbon Program, which is part of the US Carbon Cycle Science Program. Bev Law is the Science Chair of AmeriFlux, where she is responsible for leading the science direction of the network and synthesis of results across the network. Part of this responsibility is to ensure that high quality data are collected and produced for the AmeriFlux data archive for use in such synthesis activities.

The TERRA-PNW research sites include three flux sites (Marys River Fir, Metolius New Young Pine, and Metolius Intermediate Pine) as well as four observation sites (Burns, Silverton, Walton, and Marys Peak).

The EPA-STAR program funded the Regional Analysis of Net Ecosystem Productivity (NEP) of Pacific Northwest (PNW) Forests.

NASA has funded a variety of projects both in the past and present. Current NASA projects include:

The NOAA funded a recently completed project, the Influence of Climate Variability on the Productivity and Distribution of Ponderosa Pine Ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest.

Current and future impacts of drought and fires on terrestrial carbon cycling, and evaluation of mitigation measures. We aim to improve our understanding of global change in terrestrial ecosystems using multi-scale observations, including AmeriFlux measurements, inventories, atmospheric CO2 observations, remote sensing data, and models to study the feedbacks between terrestrial ecosystems and climate.

We are currently working on:

  • Improving representation of terrestrial biogeochemical processes in climate-carbon models
  • Evaluating mitigation measures intended to reduce forest crown fire risk, drought stress, and provide wood for bioenergy under future climate change projections to determine feedbacks to climate using CLM4 and Life Cycle Assessment
  • Using atmospheric observations and AmeriFlux data to constrain and diagnose several terrestrial models and understand causes of variability in carbon cycling (e.g. NCARís CLM4)

We have an ongoing research program in the western US supported by NOAA and DOE. We are improving representation of terrestrial processes, such as carbon allocation in forests and drought-induced mortality in the Community Land Model (CLM4), the land model portion of the Community Earth System Model (CESM1.0.4) (DOE support).

We also recently completed a Joint Fire Sciences Program funded study on carbon, vegetation and wildlife dynamics at the site of the 2002 Biscuit Fire.


Terrestrial Ecosystems Research & Regional Analysis - Pacific Northwest
Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331
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