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Sensors 2009, 9(11), 8624-8657; doi:10.3390/s91108624

Understanding of Coupled Terrestrial Carbon, Nitrogen and Water Dynamics—An Overview

LREIS Institute of Geographic Sciences & Nature Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
Department of Forest Resources Management, Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia 2424 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 August 2009 / Revised: 12 October 2009 / Accepted: 26 October 2009 / Published: 29 October 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensor Algorithms)
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Coupled terrestrial carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and hydrological processes play a crucial role in the climate system, providing both positive and negative feedbacks to climate change. In this review we summarize published research results to gain an increased understanding of the dynamics between vegetation and atmosphere processes. A variety of methods, including monitoring (e.g., eddy covariance flux tower, remote sensing, etc.) and modeling (i.e., ecosystem, hydrology and atmospheric inversion modeling) the terrestrial carbon and water budgeting, are evaluated and compared. We highlight two major research areas where additional research could be focused: (i) Conceptually, the hydrological and biogeochemical processes are closely linked, however, the coupling processes between terrestrial C, N and hydrological processes are far from well understood; and (ii) there are significant uncertainties in estimates of the components of the C balance, especially at landscape and regional scales. To address these two questions, a synthetic research framework is needed which includes both bottom-up and top-down approaches integrating scalable (footprint and ecosystem) models and a spatially nested hierarchy of observations which include multispectral remote sensing, inventories, existing regional clusters of eddy-covariance flux towers and CO2 mixing ratio towers and chambers. View Full-Text
Keywords: terrestrial carbon and water dynamics; ecohydrological modeling; remote sensing; eddy-covariance flux tower; scaling terrestrial carbon and water dynamics; ecohydrological modeling; remote sensing; eddy-covariance flux tower; scaling

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Chen, B.; Coops, N.C. Understanding of Coupled Terrestrial Carbon, Nitrogen and Water Dynamics—An Overview. Sensors 2009, 9, 8624-8657.

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