Terrestrial Ecosystem Science

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AmeriFlux Management Project

DOE-SC-Biological and Environmental Research

Diagram showing how eddy covariance measurements are captured from wind

DOE established the AmeriFlux Management Project (AMP), led by Berkeley Lab, to support the AmeriFlux Network’s science community and their research sites.

The largest flows of carbon between land and atmosphere come from terrestrial ecosystem photosynthesis and respiration. They have profound impacts on atmospheric composition and climate. The AmeriFlux Network, established in 1996, has more than 150 active flux sites, independently operated and funded, and more than 220 registered sites, located throughout the Western Hemisphere. The sites are diverse, ranging from the Amazonian rainforests to the North Slope of Alaska. Some span critical gradients, such as elevation or rainfall. Site researchers use eddy covariance to observe ecosystem level exchanges of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, water, and energy. These measurements are used to assess terrestrial ecosystems’ responses and feedbacks to the environment, such as changes in climate and land use, or impacts of extreme events, such as extended droughts, wildfire, or massive storms. The high quality AmeriFlux data sets are used by the scientific community to examine crucial linkages, and improve understanding of ecosystem process and climate prediction.  The contributions advance our foundational understanding of the Earth system to inform future energy and resource decisions.

AMP’s primary goals:

  • Ensure high quality data and availability of continuous, long-term ecosystem measurements for flux sites throughout the Western hemisphere
  • Provide operational support to 44 AmeriFlux sites, selected for their diverse ecosystems and quality, long-term data, to assure ongoing collection of continuous, high quality data
  • Ensure high quality AmeriFlux measurements through site visits with portable eddy covariance systems, regular calibrations, and data quality checks
  • Provide open-access data that are consistent, standardized, and tailored to user needs,
  • Strengthen the AmeriFlux community by managing the AmeriFlux website and community list, producing annual investigator meetings, and offering hands-on training such as the AmeriFlux Data Workshops
  • Evaluate and use innovative instrumentation and measurement methods
  • Offer three rapid response systems to AmeriFlux site teams to take advantage of unexpected research opportunities, such as quantify the consequences of a disturbance (wildfire, pest infestation)
  • Promote best safety practices at AmeriFlux sites