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Carbon Balance and Management


Background: Trends in Alaska ecosystem carbon fluxes were predicted from inputs of monthly MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) vegetation index time-series combined with the NASA-CASA (Carnegie Ames Stanford Approach) carbon cycle simulation model over the past decade. CASA simulates monthly net ecosystem production (NEP) as the difference in carbon fluxes between net primary production (NPP) and soil microbial respiration (Rh).

Results: Model results showed that NEP on a unit area basis was estimated to be highest (> +10 g C m-2 yr-1) on average over the period 2000 to 2010 within the Major Land Resource Areas (MRLAs) of the Interior Brooks Range Mountains, the Arctic Foothills, and the Western Brooks Range Mountains. The lowest (as negative land C source fluxes) mean NEP fluxes were predicted for the MLRAs of the Cook Inlet Lowlands, the Ahklun Mountains, and Bristol Bay-Northern Alaska Peninsula Lowlands. High levels of interannual variation in NEP were predicted for most MLRAs of Alaska.

Conclusions: The relatively warm and wet years of 2004 and 2007 resulted in the highest positive NEP flux totals across MLRAs in the northern and western coastal locations in the state (i.e., the Brooks Range Mountains and Arctic Foothills). The relatively cold and dry years of 2001 and 2006 were predicted with the lowest (negative) NEP flux totals for these MLRAs, and likewise across the Ahklun Mountains and the Yukon-Kuskokwim Highlands.


Published in Carbon Balance and Management by BMC. Available via doi: 10.1186/1750-0680-8-12.

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