Leaf-Level Gas Exchange Reporting Format

With community input, team develops new reporting format for leaf-level gas exchange data and metadata for ESS-DIVE.

The image illustrates the relationships between gas exchange measurements and the components of the reporting format. The characteristics of the measurements, including experimental design, inform the content of metadata and data tables.

[Reprinted under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0) from Ely, K.S., et al. “A Reporting Format for Leaf-Level Gas Exchange Data and Metadata.” Ecological Informatics 61, 101232 (2021). DOI:10.1016/j.ecoinf.2021.101232]

The Science

Leaf-level gas exchange data inform the mechanistic understanding and model representation of plant fluxes of carbon and water in terrestrial biosphere models where parameters derived from gas exchange data also determine how plants will respond to global environmental change. The high value of leaf-level gas exchange data is exemplified by the many publications that reuse and synthesize gas exchange data. However, the previous lack of metadata and data reporting conventions have made full and efficient use of these data difficult. Researchers have proposed a reporting format for leaf-level gas exchange data and metadata to provide guidance to data contributors on how to store data in repositories to maximize their discoverability, facilitate their efficient reuse, and add value to individual datasets. The reporting format has been developed for use in the Environmental Systems Science Data Infrastructure for a Virtual Ecosystem (ESS-DIVE) and has received strong support from the global plant physiology community.

The Impact

Collecting leaf-level gas exchange data requires specialist training, is time consuming, can involve elaborate logistics, and often utilizes techniques adapted to particular experiments, instruments, and environments. Thus, resulting data products are low volume, have diverse and heterogeneous content, and are not easily shared. Adoption of a common reporting format will make these data more FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable.) These characteristics facilitate data synthesis, incorporation into models, and scientific discovery. Development of this reporting format has garnered considerable interest beyond the ESS community, with contributions from 80 experts from around the world, including data collectors, modelers, data scientists, and instrument manufacturers.

Summary

The leaf-level gas exchange reporting format provides recommendations on how to prepare these data for sharing in data repositories. The format comprises defined variable names and definitions, and for a number of the most common measurement types, lists the minimum required data variables. A comprehensive metadata description template has been developed to allow unambiguous interpretation of data by future users. The format strongly encourages archive of the original complete instrument output to allow for novel future use of these valuable data.

Principal Investigator

Alistair Rogers
Brookhaven National Laboratory
[email protected]

Program Manager

Daniel Stover
U.S. Department of Energy, Biological and Environmental Research (SC-33)
Environmental System Science
[email protected]

Funding

This research was funded by the Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) within the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science and by BER’s Environmental Systems Science Data Infrastructure for a Virtual Ecosystem (ESS-DIVE) community funds.

References

Ely, K.S., et al. "A Reporting Format for Leaf-Level Gas Exchange Data and Metadata." Ecological Informatics 61 101232  (2021). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoinf.2021.101232.