skip to main content


Title: Carbonyl sulfide exchange in soils for better estimates of ecosystem carbon uptake

Carbonyl sulfide (COS) measurements are one of the emerging tools to better quantify gross primary production (GPP), the largest flux in the global carbon cycle. COS is a gas with a similar structure to CO 2; COS uptake is thought to be a proxy for GPP. However, soils are a potential source or sink of COS. This study presents a framework for understanding soil–COS interactions. Excluding wetlands, most of the few observations of isolated soils that have been made show small uptake of atmospheric COS. Recently, a series of studies at an agricultural site in the central United States found soil COS production under hot conditions an order of magnitude greater than fluxes at other sites. To investigate the extent of this phenomenon, soils were collected from five new sites and incubated in a variety of soil moisture and temperature states. We found that soils from a desert, an oak savannah, a deciduous forest, and a rainforest exhibited small COS fluxes, behavior resembling previous studies. However, soil from an agricultural site in Illinois, >800 km away from the initial central US study site, demonstrated comparably large soil fluxes under similar conditions. These new data suggest that, for the most part,more » soil COS interaction is negligible compared to plant uptake of COS. We present a model that anticipates the large agricultural soil fluxes so that they may be taken into account. Furthermore, while COS air-monitoring data are consistent with the dominance of plant uptake, improved interpretation of these data should incorporate the soil flux parameterizations suggested here.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [2]
  1. Univ. of California-Merced, Merced, CA (United States). Dept. of Environmental Engineering; Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, CA (United States)
  2. Univ. of California-Merced, Merced, CA (United States). Dept. of Environmental Engineering
  3. Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, CA (United States)
  4. Univ. of Illinois-Chicago, Chicago, IL (United States). Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences
  5. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States). Dept. of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
FG02-04ER63917; FG02-04ER63911; 1433257
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (Online); Journal Volume: 16; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 1680-7324
European Geosciences Union
Research Org:
Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, OR (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23); National Science Foundation (NSF)
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; southern great-plains; organic-matter; dimethyl sulfide; growing-season; global budget; gas-exchange; forest soils; trace gases; cos; atmosphere
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1361496