Monitoring of carbon and other greenhouse gases (GHG) in terrestrial ecosystems
A detailed and long-term observation of GHGs is a key element in the quantification of supplies, contributes to the understanding of the carbon biogeochemical cycle and to a prediction of the knowledge of the impact of climate change.
ICOS-PT (Integrated Carbon Observation System) is the Portuguese network for research and monitoring of carbon and other greenhouse gases (GHG) in terrestrial ecosystems, coordinated by CEF, which follows methodologies in accordance with the European ICOS Infrastructure.
The detailed and long-term observation of GHGs is a key element in the quantification of supplies, contributes to the understanding of the biogeochemical carbon cycle and to the prediction of the knowledge of the impact of climate change in different ecosystems: protected natural areas, production forests, agricultural crops or urban areas.
Data provided by ICOS-PT complement observations provided by other PORBIOTA domains providing high-quality long-term information on the environmental conditions laying behind observed ecological changes observed.
There are currently four Portuguese towers measuring greenhouse gas fluxes in cork-oak woodlands and grasslands, contributing to the evaluation of the sustainability of important economic activities, such as cork production. Another area of study is measuring the same fluxes in an urban environment close to an industrial area, assessing the impact of industry on air composition.
The greenhouse gas measurement towers are located in Porto, Verdemilho, Coruche and Companhia das Lezirias. All research stations measure exchanges of CO2 and H2O between the biosphere and the atmosphere with high precision and temporal details, together with micro-meteorological variables.
Coruche Tower; is inserted in a cork oak forest with low management impact. The main objective of forest management is the production of cork, but other ecosystem services are also considered (eg: biodiversity and carbon sequestration).
The tower located at Companhia das Lezirias (CdL); is also a cork oak forest with a lower density of trees. Both research stations (Coruche and Companhia das Lezirias) are positioned along an East-West transect, being a CdL tower influenced by the next ocean breeze. The CdL is being created and should be operational by June 2021.
Porto Station; is located about 2 km north of the old city centre and 5 km east of the maritime border, at an altitude of 132 m above sea level. The tower is equipped with CO2 and H2O flow sensor sensors and was positioned about 32 m above the ground surface. It also has sensors to balance energy, temperature and relative humidity.
Verdemilho Station; is located in a suburban area in the municipality of Aveiro, about 8 km east of the Atlantic Ocean. The tower is equipped with sensors for CO2 and H2O flow sensors, energy balance, temperature and relative humidity. In this location, continuous surveys of soil temperature (2, 10 and 20 cm deep), soil moisture (2, 15 and 30 cm deep) and heat flow in the soil (8 cm deep) are also carried out.