March 27, 2021
New Reporting Format for Soil Respiration
Researchers develop new reporting format for ESS-DIVE soil respiration data and metadata based on input from the global research community.
Field observations of the soil-to-atmosphere carbon dioxide (CO2) flux—soil respiration (RS)—are a prime example of ‘long tail’ data, or data that existed in many dispersed publications and incompatible formats, without either centralized databases or a standard reporting format. These storage and formatting gaps have hindered scientific transparency, analytical reproducibility, and syntheses with respect to this globally important component of the carbon cycle. To begin addressing these gaps, scientists developed a reporting format focused on RS fluxes, with the goal of optimizing data discoverability and usability while not placing an undue burden on data contributors.
This new RS reporting format was developed with considerable community input, and provides a realistic and flexible framework for data providers, instrument manufacturers, and database designers. More generally, such reporting formats provide consistency and interpretability, making data more findable (by providing a pathway to data archiving), accessible (through free and open data repositories), and usable.
Soil respiration—the soil-to-atmosphere CO2 flux— observations have historically lacked centralized databases and standard reporting formats, thereby hindering scientific transparency, analytical reproducibility, and syntheses with respect to this globally important component of the carbon cycle. To develop a relevant and useful reporting format, scientists investigated previous RS data collection efforts, examined lessons learned from related databases and data-oriented networks (e.g., FLUXNET) in earth and ecological sciences, and engaged in the process of community consultation. The proposed reporting format focuses on chamber-level data and metadata, specifying measurement conditions and, for a given measurement period defined by beginning and ending timestamps, a mean RS flux (or CO2 concentration) and associated ancillary measurements. Drawing from research community input , the research team also developed research data and metadata templates to support data collection that adheres to the reporting format. Fundamentally, this format aims to enable findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR) data, while providing ‘future-proofing’ capabilities to support re-analyses using as yet unknown algorithms or approaches. This proposed reporting format is openly available online and is intended to be a dynamic document, subject to further community feedback and/or change.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
U.S. Department of Energy, Biological and Environmental Research (SC-33)
Environmental System Science
This research was supported by community funds from Environmental Systems Science Data Infrastructure for a Virtual Ecosystem (ESS-DIVE), through the Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) within the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science. This research was also supported by the AmeriFlux Management Project, funded by DOE’s Office of Science under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231.
- Github repository
- User-friendly Gitbook
- Leaf Physiology and Soil Respiration Standards ESS-DIVE Webinar
Bond-Lamberty, B., et al. "A Reporting Format for Field Measurements of Soil Respiration." Ecological Informatics 62, 101270 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoinf.2021.101280.