Sebastien Biraud (left), Deb Agarwal (of Berkeley Lab’s Computational Research Division), and Gilberto Pastorello (right) after a hike to the K34 LBA flux tower in Brazil. Berkeley Lab researchers represented the NGEE-Tropics and AmeriFlux project teams at a February workshop in Manaus, Brazil, held to explore the establishment of a network of carbon flux stations for the country.

EESA scientists who represent the Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments–Tropics (NGEE-Tropics) and AmeriFlux Management Project (AMP) teams recently convened the first joint international meeting to advance current plans for a Brazilian Flux Network. The workshop, “Brazilian Flux Networks Collaboration Workshop,” was held February 11-12 in Manaus, Brazil.

A network of carbon flux stations for Brazil–the fifth largest country by area at 3.2 million square miles–would go far to help properly distinguish the role of terrestrial ecosystems in the global carbon, energy, and water budgets.

Jeff Chambers (NGEE-Tropics), Gilberto Pastorello (NGEE-Tropics/AmeriFlux), and Robinson Negron-Jaurez (NGEE-Tropics) were instrumental in initiating the workshop. Sebastien Biraud, Deb Agarwal of Berkeley Lab’s Computational Research Division, Gilberto Pastorello, and Stephen Chan represented AmeriFlux at the February workshop, and Jeff Chambers, Robinson Negron-Juarez, Kolby Jardine, Deb and Gilberto represented NGEE-Tropics at the meeting.

Jeff Chambers describes achievements resulting from joint efforts by NGEE-Tropics and LBA for advancing our understanding of small- and large-scale biological processes.

The workshop took place at the National Institute for Amazon Research (INPA) and was jointly organized by Gilberto Pastorello and Alessandro Araujo (Embrapa), scientific director for the Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment project (LBA). Day one featured presentations by NGEE-Tropics and AmeriFlux representatives from Berkeley Lab and their Latin America-based partners, and discussions about the challenges and opportunities facing the largest regional flux networks in Brazil and Peru.

Sebastien Biraud, Deb Agarwal, and Stephen Chan showcased solutions adopted for the AmeriFlux network which have created conditions enabling it to thrive scientifically and operationally. A panel discussion explored goals for a Brazilian network and collaboration opportunities with both AmeriFlux and NGEE-Tropics. In the final presentation of the day, Jeff Chambers discussed successful outcomes of joint NGEE-Tropics-LBA efforts and described how important the data coming from these sites is to advancing our understanding of small- and large-scale biological processes. He also talked about plans for phase two of the project.

Workshop participants drove two hours north of Manaus on the second day of the workshop to visit the LBA’s ZF2 field research station. Synergistic activities between the regional networks in Brazil and AmeriFlux were the underlying theme of the day, with a focus on challenges and opportunities for flux research networks around the world, expertise sharing among teams, shared technical and scientific activities, and the critical need for collaboration with NGEE-Tropics and other similar efforts.

NGEE-Tropics, is a ten-year, multi-institutional project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER).  NGEE-Tropics aims to fill the critical gaps in knowledge of tropical forest-climate system interactions. Established in 1996, AmeriFlux is a network of PI-managed sites measuring ecosystem CO2, water, and energy fluxes in North, Central and South America. It was established to connect research on field sites representing major climate and ecological biomes, including tundra, grasslands, savanna, crops, and conifer, deciduous, and tropical forests. In 2012 DOE established the AmeriFlux Management Project (AMP) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) to support the broad AmeriFlux community and the AmeriFlux sites.