Carbon fluxes and carbon footprint
Our aim is to study the exchange of CO2 between apple orchards and the atmosphere to assess if they act as sink or source of carbon to the atmosphere. For this purpose we use ecophysiological and micrometeorological approaches, combining fluxes detected by an eddy covariance station with those from soil respiration and biometric measurements.
Carbon fluxes in apple orchards
We investigate the role of apple orchards in the carbon balance by measuring the CO2 exchange by the eddy covariance (EC) technique. Eddy covariance measurements are complemented by meteorological, chamber, and biometric measurements. This allows to understand the meteorological and biological factors influencing ecosystem carbon sink capacity, and to quantify the lateral flows represented by the biomass entering (organic fertilizers) or leaving (fruit production) the ecosystem.
The eddy covariance measurements are complemented by a life cycle assessment of the energy, and its carbon equivalent, used in the overall production cycle.
Carbon fluxes in Val di Mazia
We are studying gas exchange and carbon content in the soil and in the vegetation along an elevation gradient (2400-2900 m) in Matschertal. We aim to understand the role of the different vegetation communities (presenting C3 and CAM metabolism) in the dynamics of carbon accumulation, which is taking place in the territory free from ice after the recent glacier retreat.