Mangroves are the only forest able to grow in hyper arid regions like the UAE. Their ability to tolerate salt and endure extremely harsh and arid environments has been extensively investigated in the literature – both from the structural and functional point of view. However, the pathways through which different environmental conditions control water and carbon fluxes through mangroves still remain largely unexplored.
The main purpose of the Eastern Mangroves Eddy covariance station is to understand and model the ecohydrology and carbon assimilation patterns of Mangroves (and halophytes in general) in hyper-arid environments, where vegetation is subject to extreme temperatures and salinity.
The station measures the exchange of CO2 and water between the Mangrove canopy and the atmosphere (CO2 and water fluxes) through the Eddy covariance method with a temporal resolution of 10 Hz. These fluxes are proportional to the capacity of vegetation to fix carbon and can be used to model and parametrize Vegetation-Climate Interactions (V-Cis) in the land-atmosphere modules of Earth System Models.
The Eastern Mangroves Eddy covariance station acquires high-resolution (10 Hz) measurements of water vapor and CO2 atmospheric concentration, wind components (u,v,w) and air temperature above the canopy, and 5-minutes resolution data of Net Radiation, Temperature, Relative Humidity, Precipitation, Soil Temperature, and Soil Heat flux, plus a number of ancillary measurements like water level, and water salinity.
It is part of the European Fluxes Database Cluster (http://www.europe-fluxdata.eu/home/sites-list), and is presently under refurbishing to incorporate measurements of sap-flow (water flow across mangrove Xylem), canopy temperature and high accuracy water level in the framework of the international project “Exploring halophyte hydrodynamics and the role of vegetation traits on ecosystem response to disturbance at the terrestrial-aquatic interface”.
Fig 7: Eastern Mangroves Eddy-Covariance Station