Bridge to the future: important lessons from 20 years of ecosystem observations made by the OzFlux network

Beringer, Jason, Moore, Caitlin E., Cleverly, Jamie, Campbell, David I., Cleugh, Helen, De Kauwe, Martin G., Kirschbaum, Miko U.F., Griebel, Anne, Grover, Sam, Huete, Alfredo, Hutley, Lindsay B., Laubach, Johannes, Van Niel, Tom, Arndt, Stefan K., Bennett, Alison C., Cernusak, Lucas A., Eamus, Derek, Ewenz, Cacilia M., Goodrich, Jordan P., Jiang, Mingkai, Hinko-Najera, Nina, Isaac, Peter, Hobeichi, Sanaa, Knauer, Jürgen, Koerber, Georgia R., Liddell, Michael, Ma, Xuanlong, Macfarlane, Craig, Mchugh, Ian D., Medlyn, Belinda E., Meyer, Wayne S., Norton, Alexander J., Owens, Jyoteshna, Pitman, Andy, Pendall, Elise, Prober, Suzanne M., Ray, Ram L., Restrepo-Coupe, Natalia, Rifai, Sami W., Rowlings, David, Schipper, Louis, Silberstein, Richard P., Teckentrup, Lina, Thompson, Sally E., Ukkola, Anna M., Wall, Aaron, Wang, Ying Ping, Wardlaw, Tim J., and Woodgate, William (2022) Bridge to the future: important lessons from 20 years of ecosystem observations made by the OzFlux network. Global Change Biology, 28 (11). pp. 3489-3514.

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Abstract

In 2020, the Australian and New Zealand flux research and monitoring network, OzFlux, celebrated its 20th anniversary by reflecting on the lessons learned through two decades of ecosystem studies on global change biology. OzFlux is a network not only for ecosystem researchers, but also for those ‘next users’ of the knowledge, information and data that such networks provide. Here, we focus on eight lessons across topics of climate change and variability, disturbance and resilience, drought and heat stress and synergies with remote sensing and modelling. In distilling the key lessons learned, we also identify where further research is needed to fill knowledge gaps and improve the utility and relevance of the outputs from OzFlux. Extreme climate variability across Australia and New Zealand (droughts and flooding rains) provides a natural laboratory for a global understanding of ecosystems in this time of accelerating climate change. As evidence of worsening global fire risk emerges, the natural ability of these ecosystems to recover from disturbances, such as fire and cyclones, provides lessons on adaptation and resilience to disturbance. Drought and heatwaves are common occurrences across large parts of the region and can tip an ecosystem's carbon budget from a net CO2 sink to a net CO2 source. Despite such responses to stress, ecosystems at OzFlux sites show their resilience to climate variability by rapidly pivoting back to a strong carbon sink upon the return of favourable conditions. Located in under-represented areas, OzFlux data have the potential for reducing uncertainties in global remote sensing products, and these data provide several opportunities to develop new theories and improve our ecosystem models. The accumulated impacts of these lessons over the last 20 years highlights the value of long-term flux observations for natural and managed systems. A future vision for OzFlux includes ongoing and newly developed synergies with ecophysiologists, ecologists, geologists, remote sensors and modellers.

Item ID: 74485
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1365-2486
Keywords: agroecosystem, disturbance, eddy covariance, flux network, global change, modelling, remote sensing, stress, TERN
Copyright Information: © 2022 The Authors. Global Change Biology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC DE190101182, ARC DE200100086, ARC CE170100023, ARC DE210101654, ARC CE170100023, ARC DP190101823, ARC FL190100003
Research Data: https://www.ozflux.org.au/
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2022 00:44
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4102 Ecological applications > 410203 Ecosystem function @ 50%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4101 Climate change impacts and adaptation > 410102 Ecological impacts of climate change and ecological adaptation @ 30%
30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3002 Agriculture, land and farm management > 300202 Agricultural land management @ 20%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1806 Terrestrial systems and management > 180601 Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems @ 50%
19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1901 Adaptation to climate change > 190102 Ecosystem adaptation to climate change @ 25%
19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1904 Natural hazards > 190401 Climatological hazards (e.g. extreme temperatures, drought and wildfires) @ 25%
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