Net Ecosystem Exchange

Manual chamber-based measurements of CO2 (and H2O) fluxes are important for understanding ecosystem carbon metabolism. Small opaque chambers can be used to measure leaf, stem and soil respiration. Larger transparent chambers can be used to measure net ecosystem exchange of CO2, and small jars often serve this purpose for laboratory incubations of soil and plant material. We developed an Android application (app), called Flux Puppy, to facilitate chamber-based flux measurements in the field and laboratory.
The net ecosystem exchange (NEE) is the difference between ecosystem CO2 assimilation and CO2 losses to the atmosphere. Ecosystem respiration (Reco), the efflux of CO2 from the ecosystem to the atmosphere, includes the soil-to-atmosphere carbon flux (i.e., soil respiration; Rsoil) and aboveground plant respiration. Therefore, Rsoil is a fraction of Reco and theoretically has to be smaller than Reco at daily, seasonal, and annual scales.