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Global Research Alliance N2O chamber methodology guidelines: Flux calculations

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-04, 10:25 authored by Rodney Venterea, Soren Petersen, Cecile de KleinCecile de Klein, Asger Pedersen, Alasdair NobleAlasdair Noble, Robert Rees, Joshua Gamble, Timothy Parkin
A critical step in determining soil‐to‐atmosphere nitrous oxide (N2O) exchange using non‐steady‐state chambers is converting collected gas concentration versus time data to flux values using a flux calculation (FC) scheme. It is well documented that different FC schemes can produce different flux estimates for a given set of data. Available schemes differ in their theoretical basis, computational requirements, and performance in terms of both accuracy and precision. Nonlinear schemes tend to increase accuracy compared with linear regression but can also decrease precision. The chamber bias correction method can be used if soil physical data are available, but this introduces additional sources of error. Here, the essential theoretical and practical aspects of the most commonly used FC schemes are described as a basis for their selection and use. A gold standard approach for application and selection of FC schemes is presented, as well as alternative approaches based on availability of soil physical property data and intensity of sample collection during each chamber deployment. Additional criteria for scheme selection are provided in the form of an error analysis tool that quantifies performance with respect to both accuracy and precision based on chamber dimensions and sampling duration, soil properties, and analytical measurement precision. Example error analyses are presented for hypothetical conditions illustrating how such analysis can be used to guide FC scheme selection, estimate bias, and inform design of chambers and sampling regimes.


Rights statement

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium,provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.© The Authors. Journal of Environmental Quality published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America,and Soil Science Society of America. This article has been contributed to by US Government employees and their work is in the public domain in the USA.


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Journal title

Journal of Environmental Quality




Venterea, R. T., Petersen, S. O., de Klein, C. A. M., Pedersen, A. R., Noble, A. D. L., Rees, R. M., … Parkin, T. B. (2020). Global Research Alliance N2O chamber methodology guidelines: Flux calculations. Journal of Environmental Quality, 49, 1141–1155. doi:10.1002/jeq2.20118

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