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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Eddy-covariance carbon balance, photosynthetic capacity and vegetation indices in a harvested boreal jack pine stand Hawthorne, Iain


Eddy-covariance (EC) CO₂ flux data were analysed and annual carbon (C) balances estimated for a four-year period (2004-2007) following clearcut harvesting of a boreal jack pine stand in northern Saskatchewan. The site was a source of C to the atmosphere for all years, with annual net ecosystem productivity (NEP) increasing from -153 g C m⁻² yr⁻¹ in 2004 to -63 g C m⁻² yr⁻¹ in 2007. This increase was mainly due to gross primary productivity (GPP) increasing significantly from 78 to 200 g C m⁻² yr⁻¹ , while ecosystem respiration (R) increased only slightly from 231 to 263 g C m⁻² yr⁻¹ over the same period. In the 2006 growing season (GS), a field campaign was conducted to investigate the relationships between monthly destructive measurements of leaf area index (LAI) and daily measurements of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and photosynthetic capacity (Amax). The latter was derived from 5-day, 16-day, 30-day and annual Michaelis-Menten light response analyses using daytime measurements of NEP and incident photosynthetically active radiation. Digital-camera data were used to evaluate the potential of using the rectilinear-lens vegetation index (RLVI) as a surrogate for NDVI of a young forest stand. Results showed that LAI was linearly related to NDVI and RLVI, which was largely the result of changes in the deciduous vegetation component across the GS. These results indicate that RLVI could be used as a surrogate for NDVI up to a GS maximum LAI of 0.91 m2 m⁻² observed in 2006. Measured mean (± 1 S.D.) GS LAI was 0.67 (± 0.24) m² m⁻² in 2006. LAI accounted for the majority of the variability in Amax at the 30-day time scale, while at shorter time scales air temperature was the dominant control. For 2004 to 2007, mean spring estimates of LAI were 0.25, 0.29, 0.38 (compared to 0.40 m² m⁻² from measurements) and 0.41 m² m⁻², respectively. Results suggest that a steady increase in the jack pine LAI component accounted for the annual increases in GPP and hence NEP over the four years.

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