Spatial and Temporal Performance of the MiniFACE (Free Air CO2 Enrichment) System on Bog Ecosystems in Northern and Central Europe
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The Bog Ecosystem Research Initiative (BERI) projectwas initiated to investigate, at five climaticallydifferent sites across Europe, the effects of elevatedCO2 and N deposition on the net exchange ofCO2 and CH4 between bogs and the atmosphere,and to study the effects of elevated CO2 and Ndeposition on the plant biodiversity of bogcommunities. A major challenge to investigate theeffects of elevated CO2 on vegetation andecosystems is to apply elevated CO2concentrations to growing vegetation without changingthe physical conditions like climate and radiation.Most available CO2 enrichment methods disturb thenatural conditions to some degree, for instance closedchambers or open top chambers. Free Air CO2Enrichment (FACE) systems have proven to be suitableto expose plants to elevated CO2 concentrationswith minimal disturbance of their natural environment.The size and spatial scale of the vegetation studiedwithin the BERI project allowed the use of a modifiedversion of a small FACE system called MiniFACE. Thispaper describes the BERI MiniFACE design as well asits temporal and spatial performance at the five BERIfield locations. The temporal performance of theMiniFACE system largely met the quality criteriadefined by the FACE Protocol. One minute averageCO2 concentrations measured at the centre of thering stayed within 20% of the pre-set target for morethan 95% of the time. Increased wind speeds werefound to improve the MiniFACE system's temporalperformance. Spatial analyses showed no apparentCO2 gradients across a ring during a 4 day periodand the mean differences between each sampling pointand the centre of the ring did not exceed 10%.Observations made during a windy day, causing aCO2 concentration gradient, and observations madeduring a calm day indicated that short term gradientstend to average out over longer periods of time. On aday with unidirectional strong winds, CO2concentrations at the upwind side of the ring centrewere higher than those made at the centre and at thedownwind side of the ring centre, but the bell-shapeddistribution was found basically the same for thecentre and the four surrounding measurement points,implying that the short term (1 sec) variability ofCO2 concentrations across the MiniFACE ring isalmost the same at any point in the ring. Based on gasdispersion simulations and measured CO2concentration profiles, the possible interferencebetween CO2-enriched and control rings was foundto be negligible beyond a centre-to-centre ringdistance of 6 m.
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- Spatial and Temporal Performance of the MiniFACE (Free Air CO2 Enrichment) System on Bog Ecosystems in Northern and Central Europe
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
Volume 66, Issue 2 , pp 107-127
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- 1. National Research Council, IATA-CNR, Institute of Agrometeorology and Environmental Analysis, P. le delle Cascine 18, 50144, Firenze, Italy
- 2. Department of Environmental Sciences, Laboratory of Soil Science and Geology, Wageningen Agricultural University, The Netherlands
- 3. Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
- 4. Natura, Applied Biology and Environmental Eng., Les Reussilles, Switserland
- 5. Mekrijarvi Research Station, University of Joensuu, Ilomantsi, Finland
- 6. DPVTA, Dipartimeto di Produzione Vegetale e Tecnologie Agrarie, Universita' di Udine, Udine, Italy
- 7. Department of Ecology and Systematics, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
- 8. Department of Plant Ecology, Lund University, Ecology Building, Lund, Sweden