Reviews and syntheses: Carbonyl sulfide as a multi-scale tracer for carbon and water cycles - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles (Review Article) Biogeosciences Year : 2018

Reviews and syntheses: Carbonyl sulfide as a multi-scale tracer for carbon and water cycles

Mary Whelan
Sinikka Lennartz
Teresa Gimeno
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  • PersonId : 1205285
Richard Wehr
Georg Wohlfahrt
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  • PersonId : 902872
Yuting Wang
  • Function : Author
Linda Kooijmans
  • Function : Author
Timothy Hilton
  • Function : Author
Roisin Commane
Wu Sun
Huilin Chen
  • Function : Author
Le Kuai
  • Function : Author
Kadmiel Maseyk
  • Function : Author
Max Berkelhammer
King-Fai Li
  • Function : Author
Andrew Zumkehr
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Yoko Katayama
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Jérôme Ogée
Felix Spielmann
Florian Kitz
Bharat Rastogi
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Julia Marshall
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Kukka-Maaria Erkkilä
  • Function : Author
Lisa Wingate
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  • PersonId : 1136568
Laura Meredith
  • Function : Author
Wei He
Rüdiger Bunk
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Timo Vesala
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Johan Schmidt
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Cédric G Fichot
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Ulli Seibt
Eric Saltzman
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Stephen Montzka
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Joseph Berry
J. Elliott Campbell


For the past decade, observations of carbonyl sul-fide (OCS or COS) have been investigated as a proxy for carbon uptake by plants. OCS is destroyed by enzymes that interact with CO 2 during photosynthesis, namely carbonic an-hydrase (CA) and RuBisCO, where CA is the more important one. The majority of sources of OCS to the atmosphere are geographically separated from this large plant sink, whereas the sources and sinks of CO 2 are co-located in ecosystems. The drawdown of OCS can therefore be related to the uptake of CO 2 without the added complication of co-located emissions comparable in magnitude. Here we review the state of our understanding of the global OCS cycle and its applications to ecosystem carbon cycle science. OCS uptake is correlated well to plant carbon uptake, especially at the regional scale. OCS can be used in conjunction with other independent measures of ecosystem function, like solar-induced flu-orescence and carbon and water isotope studies. More work needs to be done to generate global coverage for OCS observations and to link this powerful atmospheric tracer to systems where fundamental questions concerning the carbon and water cycle remain.
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hal-02104411 , version 1 (15-05-2019)





Mary Whelan, Sinikka Lennartz, Teresa Gimeno, Richard Wehr, Georg Wohlfahrt, et al.. Reviews and syntheses: Carbonyl sulfide as a multi-scale tracer for carbon and water cycles. Biogeosciences, 2018, 15 (12), pp.3625-3657. ⟨10.5194/bg-15-3625-2018⟩. ⟨hal-02104411⟩
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