Toward a Mexican eddy covariance network for carbon cycle science



[1] First Annual MexFlux Principal Investigators Meeting; Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, 4–8 May 2011; The carbon cycle science community has organized a global network, called FLUXNET, to measure the exchange of energy, water, and carbon dioxide (CO2) between the ecosystems and the atmosphere using the eddy covariance technique. This network has provided unprecedented information for carbon cycle science and global climate change but is mostly represented by study sites in the United States and Europe. Thus, there is an important gap in measurements and understanding of ecosystem dynamics in other regions of the world that are seeing a rapid change in land use. Researchers met under the sponsorship of Red Temática de Ecosistemas and Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia (CONACYT) to discuss strategies to establish a Mexican eddy covariance network (MexFlux) by identifying researchers, study sites, and scientific goals. During the meeting, attendees noted that 10 study sites have been established in Mexico with more than 30 combined years of information. Study sites span from new sites installed during 2011 to others with 9 to 6 years of measurements. Sites with the longest span measurements are located in Baja California Sur (established by Walter Oechel in 2002) and Sonora (established by Christopher Watts in 2005); both are semiarid ecosystems. MexFlux sites represent a variety of ecosystem types, including Mediterranean and sarcocaulescent shrublands in Baja California; oak woodland, subtropical shrubland, tropical dry forest, and a grassland in Sonora; tropical dry forests in Jalisco and Yucatan; a managed grassland in San Luis Potosi; and a managed pine forest in Hidalgo. Sites are maintained with an individual researcher's funds from Mexican government agencies (e.g., CONACYT) and international collaborations, but no coordinated funding exists for a long-term program.