Towards a coupled paradigm of NH3-CO2 biosphere-atmosphere exchange modelling
Stomatal conductance, one of the major plant physiological controls within NH3 biosphere–atmosphere exchange models, is commonly estimated from semi-empirical multiplicative schemes or simple light- and temperature-response functions. However, due to their inherent parameterization on meteorological proxy variables, instead of a direct measure of stomatal opening, they are unfit for the use in climate change scenarios and of limited value for interpreting field-scale measurements. Alternatives based on H2O flux measurements suffer from uncertainties in the partitioning of evapotranspiration at humid sites, as well as a potential decoupling of transpiration from stomatal opening in the presence of hygroscopic particles on leaf surfaces. We argue that these problems may be avoided by directly deriving stomatal conductance from CO2 fluxes instead. We reanalysed a data set of NH3 flux measurements based on CO2-derived stomatal conductance, confirming the hypothesis that the increasing relevance of stomatal exchange with the onset of vegetation activity caused a rapid decrease of observed NH3 deposition velocities. Finally, we argue that developing more mechanistic representations of NH3 biosphere–atmosphere exchange can be of great benefit in many applications. These range from model-based flux partitioning, over deposition monitoring using low-cost samplers and inferential modelling, to a direct response of NH3 exchange to climate change.