Component 1. Ecosystem carbon budgets and driving forces ("Ecosystems")



The Ecosystem Component of the CarboEurope-IP will provide the carbon fluxes in and the carbon balance of major European landscape elements, reflecting their diversity, the inter-annual variability driven by climate and other factors, the flows of carbon between different ecosystem pools (biomass and soils), their exchanges with the atmosphere, and the magnitude of ecosystem pools themselves, and the controlling biogeochemical processes as a basis for bottom-up assessments of the European carbon balance.



The methodologies of the Ecosystem Component will address:

Harmonized measurement protocols will be applied. A separate research activity is devoted to resolve also these methodological problems, and to assure quality control and cross calibration between sites of the flux network.

In the present IP the flux network consists of 51Main Sites (including 12 intensive verification sites with detailed measurements of soil carbon stocks and turnover) and up to 50 AssociatedSites. The distribution of study sites covers reasonably well the distribution of ecosystems by area and by estimated Net Biome Productivity (NBP, Janssens et al., 2003). The flux network is composed of 16 clusters, which should ideally cover the main land-use types of a landscape or region A cluster is an ensemble of sites of at least three different major ecosystem types, which consists of three or more intensively studied ”Main Sites” and less intensively studied ”Associated Sites”. The Main Sites will supply continuous data over 5 years, while the Associated Sites will deliver data for at least 1 year. In addition there will be roving eddy covariance systems in order to quantify the effects of land management in forests, grassland and crops.

The Ecosystem Component will develop and apply a range of advanced ecosystem process based models, based on studies carried out during FP5 (e.g. the NUCOM model, Biome BGC, and others). These parameter rich, generally very realistic, models will be used to supply key parameters and to improve the larger scale models that will be applied at the scale of the continent in the Continental Integration Component.

The organisation and the flow of data and information within the Ecosystem Component and with the other Components of CarboEurope-IP are shown in the figure below. Component 1 links mainly to Component 4 (Continental Integration).

Main expected results

Organisation of the Ecosystem Component

Figure: The organisation of the Ecosystem Component through different Activities and their objectives. The arrows indicate the relation to other Activities in the CarboEurope-IP .

Activity 1.1 Eddy covariance flux network and data
Activity 1.2 Quality control and improvement of eddy flux data
Activity 1.3 Soils
Activity 1.4 Forest
Activity 1.5 Cropland
Activity 1.6 Grassland/wetlands


updated by Yvonne Hofmann,