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    Dr. Andy Black

    University of British Columbia

      Research areas

      During the last five years, UBC Biometeorology and Soil Physics Group has made continuous measurements of water vapor, CO2 and energy fluxes, using the eddy-covariance (EC) technique, at the BERMS Old Aspen (OA) and Old Black Spruce (OBS) sites. Additionally, climate variables (precipitation, radiation components, air-, soil- and bole- temperature, relative humidity and soil water content, etc.) were also measured. EC-measured CO2 exchange, i.e., net ecosystem exchange (NEE), at the two stands has been partitioned into gross ecosystem photosynthesis (GEP) and ecosystem respiration (R). Half-hourly data have been assessed for QA/QC, and gap-filled using an in-house suite of MATLAB software. QA/QC of the EC flux data also involved checking IRGA water vapour and CO2 response times, as well as energy balance closure. All meteorological and eddy-covariance data up to 2015, along with historical data (prior to CCRN) from OBS and OA have been transferred to the WISKI database. The cleaned quality data have also been shared with CCRN modelers, and other Canadian and international collaborators, such as SMAP and AirMOSS Projects (NASA), the ABoVE project (John Gamon, U of A) and the Phenocam project (Andrew Richardson, Harvard University). We have assisted in providing climate and flux data and instrumentation to other research teams working at OBS, e.g., Alexandre Roy (L-band freeze/thaw) and Oliver Sonnentag (boreal tree hydrodynamics).

      Time series of flux and climate data since the start of making continuous measurements at OA (since 1996) and OBS (since1999) have been constructed to determine interannual variability and any long-term trends. During 2016, OA was impacted by tent caterpillar defoliation, and we determined its impacts on carbon and water fluxes by modelling long-term fluxes assuming the stand wasn’t impacted by tent caterpillar defoliation, and quantified the effects of tent caterpillar infestation by subtracting measured from modelled fluxes. A paper on this has been accepted for publication in Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. We are completing a manuscript showing long-term variability in growing season evapotranspiration and conductance in boreal aspen and black spruce stands for the CCRN special issue of Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. In addition, we have provided data as well as intellectual contributions to at least 11 research papers and 9 presentations, and have authored a book chapter on Evapotranspiration. The project has also contributed to the training of four HQP (a PhD student, a Researcher, a Research Engineer, and a Research Associate).