University of Colorado at Boulder

Colloquia Event

Friday November 12, 2010. 03:30 pm. GUGG 205

A Hydrologic Perspective on Land-Atmosphere Interactions: Moving from Point Observations to Watershed Fluxes

Diego Riveros-Iregui

University of Nebraska - Lincoln, School of Natural Resources

The feedbacks between the water and the carbon cycles are of critical importance to the global carbon balance. Forests and soils in temperate zones are important carbon pools given their potential as sinks for atmospheric carbon. Currently, there are significant unknowns related to the effects of different hydrologic regimes, terrain morphology, and landscape heterogeneity in controlling the exchange of CO2 between the land and the atmosphere. This research addresses the impact that laterally variable soil moisture, watershed network structure, and nonlinearities in atmospheric humidity has on CO2 flux from soils and forested canopies. Observations from snowmelt-dominated forests will be discussed, moving from point to watershed scales. Overall, results from multiple years highlight the need to better understand the biophysical mechanisms influencing landscape-scale CO2 fluxes, including the coupling of leaf, soil, and ecosystem-scale processes, as well as the role of a dynamic hydrologic cycle across scales.