Technical Note: Estimating light-use efficiency of benthic habitats using underwater O2 eddy covariance

Karl M. Attard*, Ronnie N. Glud

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Light-use efficiency defines the ability of primary producers to convert sunlight energy to primary production and is computed as the ratio between the gross primary production and the intercepted photosynthetic active radiation. While this measure has been applied broadly within terrestrial ecology to investigate habitat resource-use efficiency, it remains underused within the aquatic realm. This report provides a conceptual framework to compute hourly and daily light-use efficiency using underwater span classCombining double low lineinline-formulaO2 eddy covariance, a recent technological development that produces habitat-scale rates of primary production under unaltered in situ conditions. The analysis, tested on two benthic flux datasets, documents that hourly light-use efficiency may approach the theoretical limit of 0.125thinsp;span classCombining double low lineinline-formulaO2 per photon under low-light conditions, but it decreases rapidly towards the middle of the day and is typically 10-fold lower on a 24thinsp;h basis. Overall, light-use efficiency provides a useful measure of habitat functioning and facilitates site comparison in time and space.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number16
Pages (from-to)4343-4353
Publication statusPublished - 28. Aug 2020


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