Temporally dynamic canopy heights derived from momentum flux data across AmeriFlux sites.
This study evaluates an innovative and robust method for deriving the canopy height, a key descriptor of the Earth surface, from continuously measured wind statistics and momentum fluxes. Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley show its applicability for tracking the temporal dynamics of vegetation canopies, including plant growth, harvest, land use change, and disturbance.
Networks of eddy covariance tower sites (i.e., meteorological observation towers with high frequency measurements of wind speed and surface fluxes) have collected ~108 hours of turbulent flux data worldwide. This study demonstrates the great potential of the flux-derived canopy heights for providing a new benchmark for regional and global Earth system models and satellite remote sensing of canopy structure.
Vegetation canopy height is a key descriptor of the Earth surface and is in use by many modeling and conservation applications. However, large-scale and time-varying data of canopy heights are often unavailable. This synthesis evaluates the calculation of canopy heights from the momentum flux data measured at eddy covariance flux tower sites. This study shows that the aerodynamic estimation of canopy heights robustly predicts the site-to-site and year-to-year differences in canopy heights across a wide variety of forests. The weekly canopy heights successfully capture the dynamics of vegetation canopies over growing seasons at cropland and grassland sites. These results demonstrate the potential of the flux-derived canopy heights for tracking the seasonal, interannual, and/or decadal dynamics of vegetation canopies including growth, harvest, land use change, and disturbance. Given the amount of data collected and the diversity of vegetation covered by the global networks of eddy covariance flux tower sites, the flux-derived canopy height has great potential for providing a new benchmark for regional and global Earth system models and satellite remote sensing of canopy structure.
Contacts (BER PM)
Terrestrial Ecosystem Science
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
This study is supported by FLUXNET and AmeriFlux Management Projects, sponsored by U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science (DE-SC0012456 and DE-AC02-05CH11231).
Chu, H. et al. “Temporal dynamics of aerodynamic canopy height derived from eddy covariance momentum flux data across North American Flux Networks.” Geophysical Research Letters 45(17), 9275-9287 (2018). [DOI: 10.1029/2018GL079306]
SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER
New Approach for Studying How Microbes Influence Their Environment
A diverse group of scientists suggests a common framework and targeting of known microbial processes [more...]
Nutrient-Hungry Peatland Microbes Reduce Carbon Loss Under Warmer Conditions
Enzyme production in peatlands reduces carbon lost to respiration under future high temperatures. [more...]
Amazon Forest Response to CO2 Fertilization Dependent on Plant Phosphorus Acquisition
AmazonFACE Model Intercomparison. The Science Plant growth is dependent on the availabi [more...]
A Slippery Slope: Soil Carbon Destabilization
Carbon gain or loss depends on the balance between competing biological, chemical, and physical reac [more...]
Field Evaluation of Gas Analyzers for Measuring Ecosystem Fluxes
How gas analyzer type and correction method impact measured fluxes. The Science A side- [more...]
List all highlights (possible long download time)