, Volume 7, Issue 5, pp 534–544 | Cite as

Net Ecosystem Exchanges of Carbon, Water, and Energy in Young and Old-growth Douglas-Fir Forests

  • Jiquan ChenEmail author
  • Kyaw Tha Paw U
  • Susan L. Ustin
  • Thomas H. Suchanek
  • Barbara J. Bond
  • Kimberley D. Brosofske
  • Matthias Falk


To be able to estimate the cumulative carbon budget at broader scales, it is essential to understand net ecosystem exchanges (NEE) of carbon and water in various ages and types of ecosystems. Using eddy-covariance (EC) in Douglas-fir dominated forests in the Wind River Valley, Washington, USA, we measured NEE of carbon, water, and energy from July through September in a 40-year-old stand (40YR) in 1998, a 20-year-old stand (20YR) in 1999, and a 450-year-old stand (450YR) during both years. All three stands were net carbon sinks during the dry, warm summers, with mean net daily accumulation of –0.30 g C m−2 d−1, –2.76 g C m−2 d−1, and –0.38 g C m−2 d−1, respectively, in the 20YR, 40YR, and 450YR (average of 1998, 1999) stands; but for individual years, the 450YR stand was a carbon source in 1998 (0.51 g C m−2 d−1) and a sink in 1999 (–1.26 g C m−2 d−1). The interannual differences for the summer months were apparent for cumulative carbon exchange at the 450YR stand, which had 46.9 g C m−2 loss in 1998 and 115.9 g C m−2 gain in 1999. As predicted, the 40YR stand assimilated the most carbon and lost the least amount of water to the atmosphere through evapotranspiration.

net ecosystem exchange carbon water energy Douglas-fir eddy-covariance microclimate 



This research was supported by the Office of Science, US Department of Energy, through the Western Regional Center of the National Institute for Global Environmental Change under cooperative agreement no. DE-FC03-90ER61010. A C. Bullard Fellowship was provided to J.C. at the Harvard Forest to complete the manuscript. Thanks are due to Oregon State researchers, under the direction of B. J. B., for constructing the towers in the Trout Creek Experimental Forests. N. Phillips, M. Ryan, and N. McDowell kindly provided tower access and safety training. A. Jarvis, D. Braun, M. Kevin, M. VanScoy, and an Earthwatch Team (1999) provided necessary field assistance for system installation and maintenance. J. Forsberg and C. Harrington provided site history information for the young stands. H. Loescher, J. Klopatek, N. McDowell, X. Wang, T. King, R. Bi, G. Parker, and two anonymous reviewers provided many valuable suggestions and comments on an early draft of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jiquan Chen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kyaw Tha Paw U
    • 2
  • Susan L. Ustin
    • 2
  • Thomas H. Suchanek
    • 3
  • Barbara J. Bond
    • 4
  • Kimberley D. Brosofske
    • 1
  • Matthias Falk
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Earth, Ecological, and Environmental SciencesUniversity of ToledoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Land, Air, and Water ResourcesUniversity of CaliforniaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation BiologyUniversity of CaliforniaUSA
  4. 4.Department of Forest ScienceOregon State UniversityUSA

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