A reporting format for leaf-level gas exchange data and metadata


Kim S. Ely, Brookhaven National Laboratory
Alistair Rogers, Brookhaven National Laboratory
Deborah A. Agarwal, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Elizabeth A. Ainsworth, U.S.D.A. Agricultural Research Service Urbana
Loren P. Albert, West Virginia University
Ashehad Ali, Universität Göttingen
Jeremiah Anderson, Brookhaven National Laboratory
Michael J. Aspinwall, Auburn University
Chandra Bellasio, Universitat de les Illes Balears
Carl Bernacchi, U.S.D.A. Agricultural Research Service Urbana
Steve Bonnage, ADC Bioscientific Ltd
Thomas N. Buckley, University of California, Davis
James Bunce, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Washington DC
Angela C. Burnett, Brookhaven National Laboratory
Florian A. Busch, University of Birmingham
Amanda Cavanagh, University of Essex
Lucas A. Cernusak, James Cook University
Robert Crystal-Ornelas, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Joan Damerow, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Kenneth J. Davidson, Brookhaven National Laboratory
Martin G. De Kauwe, UNSW Sydney
Michael C. Dietze, Boston University
Tomas F. Domingues, Universidade de Sao Paulo - USP
Mirindi Eric Dusenge, Göteborgs Universitet
David S. Ellsworth, Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment
John R. Evans, ANU Research School of Biology
Paul P.G. Gauthier, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Bruno O. Gimenez, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Elizabeth P. Gordon, LI COR Biosciences
Christopher M. Gough, Virginia Commonwealth University
Aud H. Halbritter, Universitetet i Bergen
David T. Hanson, The University of New Mexico
Mary Heskel, Macalester College

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© 2021 The Authors Leaf-level gas exchange data support the mechanistic understanding of plant fluxes of carbon and water. These fluxes inform our understanding of ecosystem function, are an important constraint on parameterization of terrestrial biosphere models, are necessary to understand the response of plants to global environmental change, and are integral to efforts to improve crop production. Collection of these data using gas analyzers can be both technically challenging and time consuming, and individual studies generally focus on a small range of species, restricted time periods, or limited geographic regions. The high value of these data is exemplified by the many publications that reuse and synthesize gas exchange data, however the lack of metadata and data reporting conventions make full and efficient use of these data difficult. Here we propose a reporting format for leaf-level gas exchange data and metadata to provide guidance to data contributors on how to store data in repositories to maximize their discoverability, facilitate their efficient reuse, and add value to individual datasets. For data users, the reporting format will better allow data repositories to optimize data search and extraction, and more readily integrate similar data into harmonized synthesis products. The reporting format specifies data table variable naming and unit conventions, as well as metadata characterizing experimental conditions and protocols. For common data types that were the focus of this initial version of the reporting format, i.e., survey measurements, dark respiration, carbon dioxide and light response curves, and parameters derived from those measurements, we took a further step of defining required additional data and metadata that would maximize the potential reuse of those data types. To aid data contributors and the development of data ingest tools by data repositories we provided a translation table comparing the outputs of common gas exchange instruments. Extensive consultation with data collectors, data users, instrument manufacturers, and data scientists was undertaken in order to ensure that the reporting format met community needs. The reporting format presented here is intended to form a foundation for future development that will incorporate additional data types and variables as gas exchange systems and measurement approaches advance in the future. The reporting format is published in the U.S. Department of Energy's ESS-DIVE data repository, with documentation and future development efforts being maintained in a version control system.

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Ecological Informatics

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