Studies on Carbon Dioxide and Air Quality Concentration Measurements in the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (Poster and Presentation)
John Hom, USDA Forest Service
Studies on carbon concentration, CO2 and H2O flux, and the effects of multiple air pollutants on the urban forests are being conducted at the Baltimore Ecosystem Study LTER. Urban conditions may represent possible future scenarios: elevated carbon dioxide, ozone, nitrogen deposition and elevated temperatures. A 40 m Forest Service lookout tower near Baltimore is used to conduct air quality and meteorological flux research. This is the first permanent tower to estimate carbon flux and carbon sequestration in an urban/suburban forest ecosystem. A CO2 and H2O profile system and eddy flux system was installed in the winter/spring of 2001 and has been running continuously. The initial results of our profile system shows an elevated daily CO2 cycle associated with energy use and rush hour traffic. Highest CO2 concentrations measured at the top of the profile exceeded 428 ppm in the late evening during the winter, approximately 63 ppm (17%) above background ambient concentrations. The weekly CO2 cycle appears to have higher overall CO2 emissions for the weekdays (work week) than that of whe weekend. Estimates of suburban forest area and the amount of carbon stored are not well known, as they fall between the inventories of rural and urban forests. Metropolitan areas have an average tree cover of 33.4%, (urban counties) and support 25% of the USA’s total tree canopy cover. This study will improve our understanding for carbon flux and carbon sequestration in areas traditionally classified as non-forest lands.