Integrating terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems to constrain estimates of land-atmosphere carbon exchange


In this Perspective, we put forward an integrative framework to improve estimates of land-atmosphere carbon exchange based on the accumulation of carbon in the landscape as constrained by its lateral export through rivers. The framework uses the watershed as the fundamental spatial unit and integrates all terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems as well as their hydrologic carbon exchanges. Application of the framework should help bridge the existing gap between land and atmosphere-based approaches and offers a platform to increase communication and synergy among the terrestrial, aquatic, and atmospheric research communities that is paramount to advance landscape carbon budget assessments.

Nature Communications
Erik Emilson
Erik Emilson
Research Scientist, Watershed Ecology Team Lead, Associate Editor CJFR

I am interested in how forests support freshwater ecosystem services. My research combines microbial and molecular approaches to undertand how forest productivity and disturbances affect ecosystem functions in headwater streams and lakes.