EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Microclimatological conditions along a land use gradient in the tropical Andes of South Ecuador

Katja Trachte1, Franz Pucha Cofrep1,3, Volker Raffelsbauer1, Oliver Limberger2, Andreas Fries3, Galo Carillo-Rojas4, and Jörg Bendix2
Katja Trachte et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric processes, Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg, Germany
  • 2Laboratory for Climatology and Remote Sensing, Philipps University of Marburg, Germany
  • 3Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja, Ecuador
  • 4University of Cuenca, Ecuador

Knowledge about microclimatological conditions strongly contributes to our understanding of land surface – atmosphere interactions as drivers of the Earth’s surface energy budget. Particularly the radiative fluxes are major determinants providing energy for vital climate processes and are crucial for climate warming, water availability, primary productivity and ecosystem services. The partitioning into sensible and latent heat fluxes are highly dependent on the land coverage and represent feedback effects affecting the cycling of heat and water in the vegetation-atmosphere continuum. In the Reserva Biologica San Francisco (RBSF) on the eastern escarpment of the South Ecuadorian Andes on 2000m elevation above sea level (a.s.l.) two eddy-covariance measurement stations have been installed over natural rain forest and pasture ecosystem to observe atmospheric water and carbon fluxes. The aim is to assess net-ecosystem exchange (NEE) and evapotranspiration (ET) in order to estimate the impact of deforestation on the carbon sink function and the water availability. Additionally, microclimatological conditions in terms of e.g. radiative fluxes and soil conditions are supposed to further disentangle effects of the respective land surface properties on the environmental conditions. Over the last three years generally higher water fluxes could be observed during daytime over the forest ecosystem compared to pasture. Concerning NEE a clear carbon sink was revealed for both ecosystems indicated by a mean gross primary productivity (GPP) of 12.7 gC/m²day (forest) and 6.5 gC/m²day (pasture), while a mean ecosystem respiration (Reco) of 10.6 gC/m²day (forest) and 5.9 gC/m²day (pasture) was obtained. However, a mean NEE of 2.1 gC/m²day (forest) and 0.6 gC/m²day (pasture) clearly shows the stronger productivity of the forest ecosystem and thus, a higher carbon sink as a contribution to climate change mitigation.

How to cite: Trachte, K., Pucha Cofrep, F., Raffelsbauer, V., Limberger, O., Fries, A., Carillo-Rojas, G., and Bendix, J.: Microclimatological conditions along a land use gradient in the tropical Andes of South Ecuador, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11987,, 2022.