Isotope Fluxes

Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 229)


The determination of net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) has become a fundamental tool for the investigation of the carbon balance of terrestrial ecosystems. The derivation of the annual sum of NEE is complicated by characteristic diurnal and seasonal variation in the governing gross flux components of assimilation and respiration. Therefore, additional information is required to achieve both the partitioning of NEE into its component fluxes and an understanding of the corresponding processes. This might be provided by a tracer, which could identify the individual contributions to the net flux at ecosystem scale.

The isotopic signature of CO2—that is, the CO2 isotope ratios with respect to 13CO2—can serve as a tracer because photosynthetic uptake discriminates against the heavier isotope. Isotope mass balances may be determined by measurements of 13CO2 iso-fluxes. A sufficient signal-to-noise ratio for the isotopic parameters is essential for the determination of 13CO2 iso-fluxes. The hyperbolic relaxed eddy accumulation (HREA) method allows for maximized differences of the isotopic signatures in samples for appropriate laboratory analysis.

HREA measurements of 13CO2 iso-fluxes were conducted at FLUXNET station DE-Bay (Waldstein-Weidenbrunnen) during three intensive measuring campaigns in 1999, 2000, and 2003. Furthermore, HREA 13CO2 iso-fluxes were measured at the extensively managed submontane grassland site “Voitsumra,” near the Waldstein-Weidenbrunnen site, during an intensive measuring campaign in 2010. Results of 13CO2 iso-flux measurements highlight their capabilities for NEE flux partitioning as well as for the examination of CO2 exchange mechanisms over forests.


Isotopic Signature Turbulent Flux Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry Eddy Covariance Sonic Anemometer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Technology (PT BEO-0339476 C, D) and the joint research project “FORKAST” by the Bavarian State Ministry of Sciences, Research and the Arts.


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Deutscher Wetterdienst, Climate and Environment ConsultancyRegional Office PotsdamPotsdamGermany
  2. 2.Research Institute of the Cement IndustryDüsseldorfGermany
  3. 3.Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule RegensburgRegensburgGermany
  4. 4.BischbergGermany
  5. 5.Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental ResearchUniversity of BayreuthBayreuthGermany

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