Forest ecosystems annually uptake and respire large amounts of carbon dioxide. In recent years, the uptake of carbon dioxide has outweighed the respiration makin the net ecosystem exchange a ‘sink’ for carbon dioxide. The sensitivity of forest environments, which are highly diverse, to climate change remains a difficult challenge to predict. This is partly because forests are most commonly monitored by stationary tower sites which can only ‘see’ a very small area around them. Using aircraft to monitor forest net ecosystem exchange, a larger area can be monitored to explore how heterogenous these environments actually are.
Wetlands are an important source of methane to the atmosphere. We are actively pursuing instrumentation to make aircraft flux measurements of wetland systems.