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ABSTRACT

We applied and compared bottom-up (process model-based) and top-down (atmospheric inversion-based) scaling approaches to evaluate the spatial and temporal patterns of net ecosystem production (NEP) over a 2.5 × 105 km2 area (the state of Oregon) in the western United States. Both approaches indicated a carbon sink over this heterogeneous region in 2003 (a relatively warm, dry year in western Oregon) and 2007 (near normal), with carbon uptake primarily in forested and agricultural areas. The statewide mean NEP for 2007 using the bottom-up approach was 80 gC m−2 yr−1, which compares with 145 gC m−2 yr−1 for the top-down approach. Seasonality of daily NEP at the ecoregion scale showed similar patterns across the two approaches, but with less sensitivity to seasonal drought in the top-down model. In 2003, simulated annual NEP was lower than in 2007 for both scaling approaches, but the reduction was stronger with the bottom-up approach. Estimates of mean NEP on forested lands from a forest inventory approach, and from the CarbonTracker inversion scheme, bracketed that of our bottom-up approach (ratios to bottom-up estimates were 1.3 and 0.3, respectively). These results support the need for a multiple constraint approach to evaluation of regional trace gas budgets.