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A diagnostic carbon flux model to monitor the effects of disturbance and interannual variation in climate on regional NEP


*Corresponding author.


Net ecosystem production (NEP) was estimated over a 10.9 × 104 km2 forested region in western Oregon USA for 2 yr (2002–2003) using a combination of remote sensing, distributed meteorological data, and a carbon cycle model (CFLUX). High spatial resolution satellite data (Landsat, 30 m) provided information on land cover and the disturbance regime. Coarser resolution satellite imagery (MODIS, 1 km) provided estimates of vegetation absorption of photosynthetically active radiation. A spatially distributed (1 km) daily time step meteorology was generated for model input by interpolation of meteorological station data. The model employed a light use efficiency approach for photosynthesis. It was run over a 1 km grid. This approach captured spatial patterns in NEP associated with climatic gradients, ecoregional differences in NEP generated by different management histories, temporal variation in NEP associated with interannual variation in climate and changes in NEP associated with recovery from disturbances such as the large forest fire in southern Oregon in 2002. Regional NEP averaged 174 gC m−2 yr−1 in 2002 and 142 gC m−2 yr−1 in 2003. A diagnostic modelling approach of this type can provide independent estimates of regional NEP for comparison with results of inversion or boundary layer budget approaches.