24 Apr 2023
 | 24 Apr 2023

Ideas and Perspectives: Sensing Energy and Matter fluxes in a biota dominated Patagonian landscape through environmental seismology – Introducing the Pumalín Critical Zone Observatory

Christian H. Mohr, Michael Dietze, Violeta Tolorza, Erwin Gonzalez, Benjamin Sotomayor, Andres Iroume, Sten Gilfert, and Frieder Tautz

Abstract. The Coastal Temperate Rainforests (CTRs) of Chilean Patagonia are a valuable forest biome on Earth given its prominent role for biogeochemical cycling, ecological value and dynamic of surface processes. The Patagonian CTRs are amongst the most carbon rich biomes on Earth. Together with frequent landscape disturbances, these forests potentially allow for episodic, massive release of carbon into the atmosphere. We argue that despite their particular biogeographic, geochemical, and ecological role, the Patagonian CTRs in particular, and the global CTRs in general, are not adequately represented in the current catalogue listing critical zone observatories (CZO). Here, we present the Pumalin CZO as the first of its kind, located in the Pumalin National park in northern Chilean Patagonia. We have identified four core research themes for the Pumalin CZO around which our activities circle in an integrative, quantitative, generic approach using a range of emerging techniques. We aim to gain quantitative understanding of these topics: (1) carbon sink functioning, (2) biota-driven landscape evolution, (3) water, biogeological and energy fluxes, and (4) disturbance regime understanding. Our findings highlight the multitude of active functions that trees in particular, and forests in general, may have on the entire chain of carbon cycling. This highlights the importance of an integrated approach, i.e., ‘one physical system’, as proposed by Richter and Billings (2015), and accounting for the recent advances in pushing nature conservation along the Chilean coast.

Christian H. Mohr 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 egusphere-2023-789', Anonymous Referee #1, 29 May 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-789', Susan Brantley, 02 Jun 2023

Christian H. Mohr et al.

Christian H. Mohr et al.


Total article views: 482 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
338 122 22 482 13 13
  • HTML: 338
  • PDF: 122
  • XML: 22
  • Total: 482
  • BibTeX: 13
  • EndNote: 13
Views and downloads (calculated since 24 Apr 2023)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 24 Apr 2023)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 478 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 478 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
Latest update: 09 Dec 2023
Short summary
Coastal temperate rainforests are underrepresented in the Critical Zone Observatory (CZO) catalogue, despite their outstanding ecological role. Here, we introduce the Pumalín CZO within the Patagonian Rainforest to explore carbon sink functioning, landscape evolution, matter and energy fluxes, and disturbance understanding using environmental seismology. First results highlight the Patagonian rainforest as particularly biomass rich and confirms the suitability of our blend of sensing techniques.