Gross Primary Productivity of Four European Ecosystems Constrained by Joint CO2 and COS Flux Measurements

F. M. Spielmann, G. Wohlfahrt*, A. Hammerle, F. Kitz, M. Migliavacca, G. Alberti, Andreas Ibrom, T. S. El‐Madany, K. Gerdel, G. Moreno, O. Kolle, T. Karl, A. Peressotti, G. Delle Vedove

*Corresponding author for this work

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Gross primary productivity (GPP), the gross uptake of carbon dioxide (CO2) by plant photosynthesis, is the primary driver of the land carbon sink, which presently removes around one quarter of the anthropogenic CO2 emissions each year. GPP, however, cannot be measured directly and the resulting uncertainty undermines our ability to project the magnitude of the future land carbon sink. Carbonyl sulfide (COS) has been proposed as an independent proxy for GPP as it diffuses into leaves in a fashion very similar to CO2, but in contrast to the latter is generally not emitted. Here we use concurrent ecosystem‐scale flux measurements of CO2 and COS at four European biomes for a joint constraint on CO2 flux partitioning. The resulting GPP estimates generally agree with classical approaches relying exclusively on CO2 fluxes but indicate a systematic underestimation under low light conditions, demonstrating the importance of using multiple approaches for constraining present‐day GPP.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)5284-5293
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • flux partitioning
  • GPP
  • LRU
  • ERU
  • OCS

Cite this

Spielmann, F. M., Wohlfahrt, G., Hammerle, A., Kitz, F., Migliavacca, M., Alberti, G., Ibrom, A., El‐Madany, T. S., Gerdel, K., Moreno, G., Kolle, O., Karl, T., Peressotti, A., & Delle Vedove, G. (2019). Gross Primary Productivity of Four European Ecosystems Constrained by Joint CO2 and COS Flux Measurements. Geophysical Research Letters, 46(10), 5284-5293.