Skip to main content

News & Events

Noon seminar - Can carbonyl sulphide help us constrain ecosystem fluxes? Novel results from Oklahoma

Monday, September 24, 2012, 12:00PM - 1:00PM

Noon seminar - Can carbonyl sulphide help us constrain ecosystem fluxes? Novel results from Oklahoma


Kadmiel Maseyk

Université Pierre et Marie Curie Paris 6


ARC room 620

A promising new approach to constrain biosphere-atmosphere carbon and water exchange is the use of carbonyl sulfide (COS). COS is taken up by leaves via the same pathway as CO2, leading to a close coupling of vegetation COS and CO2 fluxes during photosynthesis. Therefore it has been proposed that the gross fluxes of photosynthesis and respiration can be quantified through the concurrent measurements of COS and CO2. A necessary requirement for this approach at ecosystem and continental scales are estimates of soil COS fluxes. Soil is largely considered a sink for COS, but our knowledge of in situ soil COS fluxes remains very limited. We measured soil COS fluxes in a wheat field in Oklahoma from April to June 2012, using a novel combination of an automated soil chamber coupled to a COS laser analyzer, in parallel with eddy covariance measurements of ecosystem COS fluxes. We provide the first continuous record of soil COS fluxes under natural conditions, and report on a phenomenon that has not been observed before. In contrast to the majority of published results, we found that the agricultural soil was a strong source of COS under most conditions during the campaign. The COS flux over the study period was highly correlated with soil temperature. Up to a soil temperature of around 15°C, the soil acted as a COS sink. Above 15°C, it acted a source of COS, with fluxes of up to 25 pmol m-2 s-1. To locate the source of the COS production, we investigated different soil components. Wheat roots were found to be emitting COS under all conditions. Root-free soil was a COS sink up to a soil temperature of around 25°C, but turned into a COS source at higher soil temperatures. We also observed COS production from the roots of several other species, indicating that this may be a widespread phenomenon. The post-harvest eddy covariance measurements showed good agreement with the soil fluxes, when the ecosystem became a strong net source of COS and soil fluxes were the largest. While these results do not invalidate the use of COS as an independent tracer of canopy carbon and water fluxes, they do highlight the need to account for potential root and soil processes in some environments.


Free and open to the public