Uncertainty analysis of gross primary production partitioned from net ecosystem exchange measurements

Rahul Raj, Nicholas Alexander Samuel Hamm, Christiaan Van Der Tol, Alfred Stein

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Gross primary production (GPP) can be separated from flux tower measurements of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2. This is used increasingly to validate process-based simulators and remote-sensing-derived estimates of simulated GPP at various time steps. Proper validation includes the uncertainty associated with this separation. In this study, uncertainty assessment was done in a Bayesian framework. It was applied to data from the Speulderbos forest site, The Netherlands. We estimated the uncertainty in GPP at half-hourly time steps, using a non-rectangular hyperbola (NRH) model for its separation from the flux tower measurements. The NRH model provides a robust empirical relationship between radiation and GPP. It includes the degree of curvature of the light response curve, radiation and temperature. Parameters of the NRH model were fitted to the measured NEE data for every 10-day period during the growing season (April to October) in 2009. We defined the prior distribution of each NRH parameter and used Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulation to estimate the uncertainty in the separated GPP from the posterior distribution at half-hourly time steps. This time series also allowed us to estimate the uncertainty at daily time steps. We compared the informative with the non-informative prior distributions of the NRH parameters and found that both choices produced similar posterior distributions of GPP. This will provide relevant and important information for the validation of process-based simulators in the future. Furthermore, the obtained posterior distributions of NEE and the NRH parameters are of interest for a range of applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1409-1422
Number of pages14
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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