Delta‐Flux: An Eddy Covariance Network for a Climate‐Smart Lower Mississippi Basin

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Lower Mississippi river basin, delta flux, eddy covariance towers, water cycle, climate-smart land management


Networks of remotely monitored research sites are increasingly the tool used to study regional agricultural impacts on carbon and water fluxes. However, key national networks such as the National Ecological Observatory Network and AmeriFlux lack contributions from the Lower Mississippi River Basin (LMRB), a highly productive agricultural area with opportunities for soil carbon sequestration through conservation practices. The authors describe the rationale to create the new Delta‐Flux network, which will coordinate efforts to quantify carbon and water budgets at seventeen eddy covariance flux tower sites in the LMRB. The network structure will facilitate climate‐smart management strategies based on production‐scale and continuous measurements of carbon and water fluxes from the landscape to the atmosphere under different soil and water management conditions. The seventeen instrumented field sites are expected to monitor fluxes within the most characteristic landscapes of the target area: row‐crop fields, pasture, grasslands, forests, and marshes. The network participants are committed to open collaboration and efficient regionalization of site‐level findings to support sustainable agricultural and forestry management and conservation of natural resources.


Part of this work was supported through a travel grant to B. Runkle from the University of Arkansas's Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability as well as the USGS under Cooperative Agreement G16AP00040 administered by the Arkansas Water Resources Center. K. Novick acknowledges grant DEB 1552747 from the National Science Foundation, Division of Environmental Biology, and K.W. Krauss acknowledges support from the USGS LandCarbon Program.