Vegetation matters: Correcting chamber carbon flux measurements using plant volumes

Phoebe Alice Morton, Andreas Heinemeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chamber carbon flux measurements are routinely used to assess ecosystem carbon sink/source dynamics. Often these point measurements enclose considerable vegetation biomass, with fluxes upscaled in space and time for each vegetation type. Here we assess the importance of including the volume of peatland dwarf shrub vegetation in chamber flux calculations and outline a simple but effective method of assessing plant volumes. We show that inclusion of plant volumes significantly affects fluxes and that this effect becomes greater as the proportion of chamber volume occupied by plants increases. Moreover, we demonstrate that, with an initial destructive laboratory assessment for each plant species and a little practice at volume estimation, plant volumes can be accurately assessed non-destructively in the field.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)769–772
Number of pages4
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Early online date25 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

© 2018 The Authors.


  • Net ecosystem exchange
  • vegetation volume
  • carbon cycling
  • chamber flux measurements
  • Calluna vulgaris
  • peatlands

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