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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Introduction of a guideline for measurements of greenhouse gas fluxes from soils using non-steady-state chambers

Maier, Martin; Weber, Tobias K. D.; Fiedler, Jan; Fuss, Roland; Glatzel, Stephan; Huth, Vytas; Jordan, Sabine; Jurasinski, Gerald; Kutzbach, Lars; Schäfer, Klaus; Weymann, Daniel; Hagemann, Ulrike


Method Soils represent a major global source and sink of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Many studies of GHG fluxes between soil, plant and atmosphere rely on chamber measurements. Different chamber techniques have been developed over the last decades, each characterised by different requirements and limitations. In this manuscript, we focus on the non-steady-state technique which is widely used for manual measurements but also in automatic systems. Although the measurement method appears very simple, experience gained over the years shows that there are many details which have to be taken into account to obtain reliable measurement results. Aim This manuscript aims to share lessons learnt and pass on experiences in order to assist the reader with possible questions or unexpected challenges, ranging from the planning of the design of studies and chambers to the practical handling of the chambers and the quality assurance of the gas and data analysis. This concise introduction refers to a more extensive Best Practice Guideline initiated by the Working Group Soil Gases (AG Bodengase) of the German Soil Science Society (Deutsche Bodenkundliche Gesellschaft). The intention was to collect and aggregate the expertise of different working groups in the research field. As a compendium, this Best Practice Guideline is intended to help both beginners and experts to meet the practical and theoretical challenges of measuring soil gas fluxes with non-steady-state chamber systems and to improve the quality of the individual flux measurements and thus entire GHG studies by reducing sources of uncertainty and error.


carbon dioxide; chamber measurements; greenhouse gases; methane; nitrous oxide; soil gas flux

Published in

Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science
2022, volume: 185, number: 4, pages: 447-461

Authors' information

Maier, Martin
University of Freiburg
Weber, Tobias K. D.
University of Hohenheim
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Soil and Environment
Fuss, Roland
Thünen Institute of Climate-Smart Agriculture
Glatzel, Stephan
University of Vienna
Huth, Vytas
University of Rostock
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Soil and Environment
Jurasinski, Gerald
University of Rostock
Kutzbach, Lars
University of Hamburg
Schäfer, Klaus
Atmospheric Physics Consutlting, Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Weymann, Daniel
German Research Foundation
Hagemann, Ulrike
Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF)

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG13 Climate action

UKÄ Subject classification

Climate Research
Environmental Management
Environmental Sciences

Publication Identifiers


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