Response of CO2 and H2O fluxes in a mountainous tropical rainforest in equatorial Indonesia to El Niño events
Abstract. The possible impact of El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events on the main components of CO2 and H2O fluxes between the tropical rainforest and the atmosphere is investigated. The fluxes were continuously measured in an old-growth mountainous tropical rainforest in Central Sulawesi in Indonesia using the eddy covariance method for the period from January 2004 to June 2008. During this period, two episodes of El Niño and one episode of La Niña were observed. All these ENSO episodes had moderate intensity and were of the central Pacific type. The temporal variability analysis of the main meteorological parameters and components of CO2 and H2O exchange showed a high sensitivity of evapotranspiration (ET) and gross primary production (GPP) of the tropical rainforest to meteorological variations caused by both El Niño and La Niña episodes. Incoming solar radiation is the main governing factor that is responsible for ET and GPP variability. Ecosystem respiration (RE) dynamics depend mainly on the air temperature changes and are almost insensitive to ENSO. Changes in precipitation due to moderate ENSO events did not have any notable effect on ET and GPP, mainly because of sufficient soil moisture conditions even in periods of an anomalous reduction in precipitation in the region.