28 Jul 2021

28 Jul 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

The ABCflux database: Arctic-Boreal CO2 flux observations and ancillary information aggregated to monthly time steps across terrestrial ecosystems

Anna-Maria Virkkala1, Susan M. Natali1, Brendan M. Rogers1, Jennifer D. Watts1, Kathleen Savage1, Sara June Connon1, Marguerite Mauritz2, Edward A. G. Schuur3, Darcy Peter1, Christina Minions1, Julia Nojeim1, Roisin Commane4, Craig A. Emmerton5, Mathias Goeckede6, Manuel Helbig7,8, David Holl9, Hiroki Iwata10, Hideki Kobayashi11, Pasi Kolari12, Efrén López-Blanco13,14, Maija E. Marushchak15,16, Mikhail Mastepanov14,17, Lutz Merbold18, Frans-Jan W. Parmentier19,20, Matthias Peichl21, Torsten Sachs22, Oliver Sonnentag8, Masahito Ueyama23, Carolina Voigt15,8, Mika Aurela24, Julia Boike25,26, Gerardo Celis27, Namyi Chae28, Torben R. Christensen14, M. Syndonia Bret-Harte29, Sigrid Dengel30, Han Dolman31, Colin W. Edgar29, Bo Elberling32, Eugenie Euskirchen29, Achim Grelle33, Juha Hatakka24, Elyn Humphreys34, Järvi Järveoja21, Ayumi Kotani35, Lars Kutzbach9, Tuomas Laurila24, Annalea Lohila24,12, Ivan Mammarella12, Yojiro Matsuura36, Gesa Meyer8,37, Mats B. Nilsson21, Steven F. Oberbauer38, Sang-Jong Park39, Roman Petrov40, Anatoly S. Prokushkin41, Christopher Schulze8,42, Vincent L. St.Louis5, Eeva-Stiina Tuittila43, Juha-Pekka Tuovinen24, William Quinton44, Andrej Varlagin45, Donatella Zona46, and Viacheslav I. Zyryanov41 Anna-Maria Virkkala et al.
  • 1Woodwell Climate Research Center, 149 Woods Hole Road Falmouth, MA, 02540-1644, USA
  • 2University of Texas, at El Paso, 500 W University Rd, El Paso, TX 79902, USA
  • 3Center for Ecosystem Science and Society, and Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, 86001
  • 4Dept. of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, NY 10964
  • 5Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2E9
  • 6Dept. Biogeochemical Signals, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany
  • 7Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • 8Departement de Geographie, Universite de Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • 9Institute of Soil Science, Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability (CEN), Universität Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
  • 10Department of Environmental Science, Shinshu University, Matsumoto, Japan
  • 11Research Institute for Global Change, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Yokohama, Japan
  • 12Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research/Physics, Faculty of Science, University of Helsinki, Finland
  • 13Department of Environment and Minerals, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, Kivioq 2, 3900, Nuuk, Greenland
  • 14Department of Bioscience, Arctic Research Center, Aarhus University, Frederiksborgvej 399, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark
  • 15Department of Environmental and Biological Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
  • 16Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
  • 17Oulanka research station, University of Oulu, Liikasenvaarantie 134, 93900 Kuusamo, Finland
  • 18Agroscope, Research Division Agroecology and Environment, Reckenholzstrasse 191, 8046 Zurich, Switzerland
  • 19Center for Biogeochemistry in the Anthropocene, Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, 0315 Oslo, Norway
  • 20Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University, 223 62 Lund, Sweden
  • 21Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, 901 83 Umeå, Sweden
  • 22GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Telegrafenberg, Potsdam, Germany
  • 23Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Osaka Prefecture University, 1-1 Gakuencho, Naka-ku, Sakai, 599-8531, Japan
  • 24Finnish Meteorological Institute, Climate system research, Helsinki, Finland
  • 25Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, Telegrafenberg A45, 14473 Potsdam, Germany & Geography Department, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin, Germany
  • 26Geography Department, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany
  • 27Agronomy Department, University of Floria, Gainesville, USA
  • 28Institute of Life Science and Natural Resources, Korea University, 145 Anam-ro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul, 02841, Republic of Korea
  • 29Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775, USA
  • 30Earth and Environmental Sciences Area. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
  • 31Department of Earth Sciences, VU University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • 32Center for Permafrost, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, Øster Voldagde 10
  • 33Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala
  • 34Department of Geography & Environmental Studies, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Dr. Ottawa, ON, K2B 5J5 Canada
  • 35Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
  • 36Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute
  • 37Environment and Climate Change Canada, Climate Research Division, Victoria, BC V8N 1V8, Canada
  • 38Department of Biological Sciences and Institute of Environment, Florida International University, Miami Florida 33199 USA
  • 39Division of Atmospheric Sciences, Korea Polar Research Institute, 26 Sondgomirae-ro Yeonsu-gu, Incheon, Republic of Korea 21990
  • 40Institute for Biological Problems of Cryolithozone of the Siberian Branch of the RAS - Division of Federal Research Centre “The Yakut Scientific Centre of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences
  • 41VN Sukachev Institute of forest SB RAS, Akademgorodok 50/28, Krasnoyarsk 660036 Russia
  • 42Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2E9
  • 43School of Forest Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Finland
  • 44Cold Regions Research Centre, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, N2L 3C5
  • 45A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences, 119071, Leninsky pr.33, Moscow, Russia
  • 46Department of Biology, San Diego State University

Abstract. Past efforts to synthesize and quantify the magnitude and change in carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems across the rapidly warming Arctic-Boreal Zone (ABZ) have provided valuable information, but were limited in their geographical and temporal coverage. Furthermore, these efforts have been based on data aggregated over varying time periods, often with only minimal site ancillary data, thus limiting their potential to be used in large-scale carbon budget assessments. To bridge these gaps, we developed a standardized monthly database of Arctic-Boreal CO2 fluxes (ABCflux) that aggregates in-situ measurements of terrestrial net ecosystem CO2 exchange and its derived partitioned component fluxes: gross primary productivity and ecosystem respiration. The data span from 1989 to 2020 with over 70 supporting variables that describe key site conditions (e.g., vegetation and disturbance type), micrometeorological and environmental measurements (e.g., air and soil temperatures) and flux measurement techniques. Here, we describe these variables, the spatial and temporal distribution of observations, the main strengths and limitations of the database, and the potential research opportunities it enables. In total, ABCflux includes 244 sites and 6309 monthly observations; 136 sites and 2217 monthly observations represent tundra, and 108 sites and 4092 observations represent the boreal biome. The database includes fluxes estimated with chamber (19 % of the monthly observations), snow diffusion (3 %) and eddy covariance (78 %) techniques. The largest number of observations were collected during the climatological summer (June–August; 32 %), and fewer observations were available for autumn (September–October; 25 %), winter (December–February; 18 %), and spring (March–May; 25 %). ABCflux can be used in a wide array of empirical, remote sensing and modeling studies to improve understanding of the regional and temporal variability in CO2 fluxes, and to better estimate the terrestrial ABZ CO2 budget. ABCflux is openly and freely available online (, Virkkala et al., 2021a).

Anna-Maria Virkkala et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2021-233', Anonymous Referee #1, 17 Sep 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2021-233', Anonymous Referee #2, 02 Oct 2021

Anna-Maria Virkkala et al.

Data sets

The ABCflux Database: Arctic-Boreal CO2 Flux Observations Aggregated to Monthly Time Steps Virkkala, A.-M., Natali, S., Rogers, B. M., Watts, J. A., Savage, K., Connon, S. J., Mauritz, M., Schuur, E. A. G., Peter, D., and Minions, C. et al.

Anna-Maria Virkkala et al.


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Short summary
The effects of climate warming on carbon cycling across the Arctic-Boreal Zone (ABZ) remains poorly understood due to the relatively limited distribution of ABZ flux sites. Fortunately, this flux network is constantly increasing, but new measurements are published in various platforms, making it challenging to understand the ABZ carbon cycle as a whole. Here, we compiled a new database of Arctic-Boreal CO2 fluxes to help facilitate large-scale assessments of the ABZ carbon cycle.