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Dennis D. Baldocchi, Jose D. Fuentes, David R. Bowling, Andrew A. Turnipseed, and Russell K. Monson


The rate at which isoprene is emitted by a forest depends on an array of environmental variables, the forest’s biomass, and its species composition. At present it is unclear whether errors in canopy-scale and process-level isoprene emission models are due to inadequacies in leaf-to-canopy integration theory or the imperfect assessment of the isoprene-emitting biomass in the flux footprint. To address this issue, an isoprene emission model (CANVEG) was tested over a uniform aspen stand and a mixed-species, broad-leaved forest.

The isoprene emission model consists of coupled micrometeorological and physiological modules. The micrometeorological module computes leaf and soil energy exchange, turbulent diffusion, scalar concentration profiles, and radiative transfer through the canopy. Environmental variables that are computed by the micrometeorological module, in turn, drive physiological modules that calculate leaf photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, transpiration and leaf, bole and soil/root respiration, and rates of isoprene emission.

The isoprene emission model accurately predicted the diurnal variation of isoprene emission rates over the boreal aspen stand, as compared with micrometeorological flux measurements. The model’s ability to simulate isoprene emission rates over the mixed temperate forest, on the other hand, depended strongly upon the amount of isoprene-emitting biomass, which, in a mixed-species forest, is a function of the wind direction and the horizontal dimensions of the flux footprint. When information on the spatial distribution of biomass and the flux footprint probability distribution function were included, the CANVEG model produced values of isoprene emission that compared well with micrometeorological measurements. The authors conclude that a mass and energy exchange model, which couples flows of carbon, water, and nutrients, can be a reliable tool for integrating leaf-scale, isoprene emission algorithms to the canopy dimension over dissimilar vegetation types as long as the vegetation is characterized appropriately.

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Sanjib Sharma, Ridwan Siddique, Nicholas Balderas, Jose D. Fuentes, Seann Reed, Peter Ahnert, Robert Shedd, Brian Astifan, Reggina Cabrera, Arlene Laing, Mark Klein, and Alfonso Mejia


The quality of ensemble precipitation forecasts across the eastern United States is investigated, specifically, version 2 of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Global Ensemble Forecast System Reforecast (GEFSRv2) and Short Range Ensemble Forecast (SREF) system, as well as NCEP’s Weather Prediction Center probabilistic quantitative precipitation forecast (WPC-PQPF) guidance. The forecasts are verified using multisensor precipitation estimates and various metrics conditioned upon seasonality, precipitation threshold, lead time, and spatial aggregation scale. The forecasts are verified, over the geographic domain of each of the four eastern River Forecasts Centers (RFCs) in the United States, by considering first 1) the three systems or guidance, using a common period of analysis (2012–13) for lead times from 1 to 3 days, and then 2) GEFSRv2 alone, using a longer period (2004–13) and lead times from 1 to 16 days. The verification results indicate that, across the eastern United States, precipitation forecast bias decreases and the skill and reliability improve as the spatial aggregation scale increases; however, all the forecasts exhibit some underforecasting bias. The skill of the forecasts is appreciably better in the cool season than in the warm one. The WPC-PQPFs tend to be superior, in terms of the correlation coefficient, relative mean error, reliability, and forecast skill scores, than both GEFSRv2 and SREF, but the performance varies with the RFC and lead time. Based on GEFSRv2, medium-range precipitation forecasts tend to have skill up to approximately day 7 relative to sampled climatology.

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Jose D. Fuentes, Marcelo Chamecki, Rosa Maria Nascimento dos Santos, Celso Von Randow, Paul C. Stoy, Gabriel Katul, David Fitzjarrald, Antonio Manzi, Tobias Gerken, Amy Trowbridge, Livia Souza Freire, Jesus Ruiz-Plancarte, Jair Max Furtunato Maia, Julio Tóta, Nelson Dias, Gilberto Fisch, Courtney Schumacher, Otavio Acevedo, Juliane Rezende Mercer, and Ana Maria Yañez-Serrano


We describe the salient features of a field study whose goals are to quantify the vertical distribution of plant-emitted hydrocarbons and their contribution to aerosol and cloud condensation nuclei production above a central Amazonian rain forest. Using observing systems deployed on a 50-m meteorological tower, complemented with tethered balloon deployments, the vertical distribution of hydrocarbons and aerosols was determined under different boundary layer thermodynamic states. The rain forest emits sufficient reactive hydrocarbons, such as isoprene and monoterpenes, to provide precursors of secondary organic aerosols and cloud condensation nuclei. Mesoscale convective systems transport ozone from the middle troposphere, enriching the atmospheric boundary layer as well as the forest canopy and surface layer. Through multiple chemical transformations, the ozone-enriched atmospheric surface layer can oxidize rain forest–emitted hydrocarbons. One conclusion derived from the field studies is that the rain forest produces the necessary chemical species and in sufficient amounts to undergo oxidation and generate aerosols that subsequently activate into cloud condensation nuclei.

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Dennis Baldocchi, Eva Falge, Lianhong Gu, Richard Olson, David Hollinger, Steve Running, Peter Anthoni, Ch. Bernhofer, Kenneth Davis, Robert Evans, Jose Fuentes, Allen Goldstein, Gabriel Katul, Beverly Law, Xuhui Lee, Yadvinder Malhi, Tilden Meyers, William Munger, Walt Oechel, K. T. Paw U, Kim Pilegaard, H. P. Schmid, Riccardo Valentini, Shashi Verma, Timo Vesala, Kell Wilson, and Steve Wofsy

FLUXNET is a global network of micrometeorological flux measurement sites that measure the exchanges of carbon dioxide, water vapor, and energy between the biosphere and atmosphere. At present over 140 sites are operating on a long-term and continuous basis. Vegetation under study includes temperate conifer and broadleaved (deciduous and evergreen) forests, tropical and boreal forests, crops, grasslands, chaparral, wetlands, and tundra. Sites exist on five continents and their latitudinal distribution ranges from 70°N to 30°S.

FLUXNET has several primary functions. First, it provides infrastructure for compiling, archiving, and distributing carbon, water, and energy flux measurement, and meteorological, plant, and soil data to the science community. (Data and site information are available online at the FLUXNET Web site, Second, the project supports calibration and flux intercomparison activities. This activity ensures that data from the regional networks are intercomparable. And third, FLUXNET supports the synthesis, discussion, and communication of ideas and data by supporting project scientists, workshops, and visiting scientists. The overarching goal is to provide information for validating computations of net primary productivity, evaporation, and energy absorption that are being generated by sensors mounted on the NASA Terra satellite.

Data being compiled by FLUXNET are being used to quantify and compare magnitudes and dynamics of annual ecosystem carbon and water balances, to quantify the response of stand-scale carbon dioxide and water vapor flux densities to controlling biotic and abiotic factors, and to validate a hierarchy of soil–plant–atmosphere trace gas exchange models. Findings so far include 1) net CO2 exchange of temperate broadleaved forests increases by about 5.7 g C m−2 day−1 for each additional day that the growing season is extended; 2) the sensitivity of net ecosystem CO2 exchange to sunlight doubles if the sky is cloudy rather than clear; 3) the spectrum of CO2 flux density exhibits peaks at timescales of days, weeks, and years, and a spectral gap exists at the month timescale; 4) the optimal temperature of net CO2 exchange varies with mean summer temperature; and 5) stand age affects carbon dioxide and water vapor flux densities.

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