San Diego State University
Physical Sciences Building, 240
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-4614
Cohort 1 Theme 3: Water Prediction & Ecosystem Services
Advisor: Walter Oechel NOAA Mentor: Bryan Thomas (OAR) Expected Graduation: May 2021 Degree: Ecology
Research Title: Effects of Drought, Fire, and Stand Age on CO2 Flux in Semi-arid Chaparral Ecosystems.
Research Synopsis: As global atmospheric CO2 increases due to human activity, it is vital that we create measures to reduce levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. Terrestrial ecosystems could mitigate the rising levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. As such ecosystems can become carbon sinks ultimately absorbing the excess levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. With semi-arid shrublands making up a large portion of the global terrestrial surface area, it is vital that we better understand carbon flux within these ecosystems through eddy covariance techniques.
In this study, we aim to determine the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 and fluctuations in water vapor for a Mediterranean-type chamise (Adenostoma fasciculatum)-dominated chaparral ecosystem in Southern California using eddy covariance techniques. From this study we hope to gain insight into whether semi-arid Mediterranean type chaparral ecosystems are a carbon sink or source. While also determining the relationship between NEE and interannual variability in rainfall, which is often the limiting factor in semi-arid ecosystems as drought like conditions are prevalent.