Bridge to the future: Important lessons from 20 years of ecosystem observations made by the OzFlux network

Jason Beringer, Caitlin E. Moore, Jamie Cleverly, David I. Campbell, Helen Cleugh, Martin G. De Kauwe, Miko U. F. Kirschbaum, Anne Griebel, Sam Grover, Alfredo Huete, Lindsay B. Hutley, Johannes Laubach, Tom Van Niel, Stefan K. Arndt, Alison C. Bennett, Lucas A. Cernusak, Derek Eamus, Cacilia M. Ewenz, Jordan P. Goodrich, Mingkai JiangNina Hinko‐Najera, Peter Isaac, Sanaa Hobeichi, Jürgen Knauer, Georgia R. Koerber, Michael Liddell, Xuanlong Ma, Craig Macfarlane, Ian D. McHugh, Belinda E. Medlyn, Wayne S. Meyer, Alexander J. Norton, Jyoteshna Owens, Andy Pitman, Elise Pendall, Suzanne M. Prober, Ram L. Ray, Natalia Restrepo‐Coupe, Sami W. Rifai, David Rowlings, Louis Schipper, Richard P. Silberstein, Lina Teckentrup, Sally E. Thompson, Anna M. Ukkola, Aaron Wall, Ying‐Ping Wang, Tim J. Wardlaw, William Woodgate

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Abstract

In 2020, the Australian and New Zealand flux research and monitoring network, OzFlux, celebrated its 20th anniversary by reflecting on the lessons learned through two decades of ecosystem studies on global change biology. OzFlux is a network not only for ecosystem researchers, but also for those ‘next users’ of the knowledge, information and data that such networks provide. Here, we focus on eight lessons across topics of climate change and variability, disturbance and resilience, drought and heat stress and synergies with remote sensing and modelling. In distilling the key lessons learned, we also identify where further research is needed to fill knowledge gaps and improve the utility and relevance of the outputs from OzFlux. Extreme climate variability across Australia and New Zealand (droughts and flooding rains) provides a natural laboratory for a global understanding of ecosystems in this time of accelerating climate change. As evidence of worsening global fire risk emerges, the natural ability of these ecosystems to recover from disturbances, such as fire and cyclones, provides lessons on adaptation and resilience to disturbance. Drought and heatwaves are common occurrences across large parts of the region and can tip an ecosystem's carbon budget from a net CO2 sink to a net CO2 source. Despite such responses to stress, ecosystems at OzFlux sites show their resilience to climate variability by rapidly pivoting back to a strong carbon sink upon the return of favourable conditions. Located in under-represented areas, OzFlux data have the potential for reducing uncertainties in global remote sensing products, and these data provide several opportunities to develop new theories and improve our ecosystem models. The accumulated impacts of these lessons over the last 20 years highlights the value of long-term flux observations for natural and managed systems. A future vision for OzFlux includes ongoing and newly developed synergies with ecophysiologists, ecologists, geologists, remote sensors and modellers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3489-3514
Number of pages26
JournalGlobal Change Biology
Volume28
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We dedicate this paper to the memory of Dr Vanessa Haverd, who died in January 2021. An avid user of FluxNet data, Vanessa was a highly respected colleague of our OzFlux community who greatly valued her enthusiastic collaboration. Her innovative research demonstrated the power of combining modelled and observed data and highlighted the value of networks such as OzFlux. She is sorely missed by us all in the OzFlux community. In 2009 funding was provided to the Australia Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) (http://www.tern.org.au) through the Australian government?s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS), which provides support for many OzFlux sites along with other capabilities such as intensive ecosystem monitoring (SuperSites), remote sensing (AusCover), modelling (eMAST), TERN synthesis (ACEAS), coastal, soils and plot-based networks (AusPlots), long-term ecological research network facilities (LTERN) and transects (Australian Transect Network. WW is supported by an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellowship (DE190101182). A.M.U acknowledges support from an ARC DECRA fellowship (DE200100086). S.H. acknowledges the support of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes (CE170100023). M.J. acknowledges support from the ARC DECRA fellowship (DE210101654). A.H. & T.N. acknowledge support from TERN project ?Developing best-practice Himawari data products for enhanced sub-daily monitoring of Australia?s ecosystems?. M.D.K. and A.J.P. acknowledge support from the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes (CE170100023), the ARC Discovery Grant (DP190101823) and the NSW Research Attraction and Acceleration Program. BEM acknowledges support from Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship FL190100003. The research of A.J.N. was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (80NM0018D0004). X. M. was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (42171305) and Natural Science Foundation of Gansu Province, China (21JR7RA499).

Funding Information:
We dedicate this paper to the memory of Dr Vanessa Haverd, who died in January 2021. An avid user of FluxNet data, Vanessa was a highly respected colleague of our OzFlux community who greatly valued her enthusiastic collaboration. Her innovative research demonstrated the power of combining modelled and observed data and highlighted the value of networks such as OzFlux. She is sorely missed by us all in the OzFlux community. In 2009 funding was provided to the Australia Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) ( http://www.tern.org.au ) through the Australian government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS), which provides support for many OzFlux sites along with other capabilities such as intensive ecosystem monitoring (SuperSites), remote sensing (AusCover), modelling (eMAST), TERN synthesis (ACEAS), coastal, soils and plot‐based networks (AusPlots), long‐term ecological research network facilities (LTERN) and transects (Australian Transect Network. WW is supported by an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellowship (DE190101182). A.M.U acknowledges support from an ARC DECRA fellowship (DE200100086). S.H. acknowledges the support of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes (CE170100023). M.J. acknowledges support from the ARC DECRA fellowship (DE210101654). A.H. & T.N. acknowledge support from TERN project ‘Developing best‐practice Himawari data products for enhanced sub‐daily monitoring of Australia’s ecosystems’. M.D.K. and A.J.P. acknowledge support from the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes (CE170100023), the ARC Discovery Grant (DP190101823) and the NSW Research Attraction and Acceleration Program. BEM acknowledges support from Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship FL190100003. The research of A.J.N. was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (80NM0018D0004). X. M. was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (42171305) and Natural Science Foundation of Gansu Province, China (21JR7RA499).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Global Change Biology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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