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Spatial and Temporal Simulation of Soil CO2 Concentrations in a Small Forested Catchment in Virginia

Daniel L. Welsch and George M. Hornberger
Biogeochemistry
Vol. 71, No. 3 (Dec., 2004), pp. 415-436
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4151487
Page Count: 22
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Spatial and Temporal Simulation of Soil CO2 Concentrations in a Small Forested Catchment in Virginia
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Abstract

The question of how to extrapolate point measurements of soil CO2 processes to coarser scales remains unanswered because we know little about the spatial and temporal variability in the CO2 concentration of soil air. In this work, we describe a series of simple physically-based models that simulate soil temperature, soil tension, and soil C02 processes. We apply these models to simulate the spatial and temporal dynamics of soil CO2 concentrations throughout a small catchment in the Virginia Blue Ridge. Output from the simulations is compared with field measurements. We find that despite some model deficiencies, we are able to simulate the gross patterns through space and time of soil air C02 concentration. During the growing season when soil temperature is high, we find that soil water status is the limiting control on soil respiration and CO2 concentration. We also find that soil CO2 concentration can be high despite low respiration values due to decreased soil diffusivity as moisture fills pore spaces.

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