Fluxes of carbon dioxide, water vapor, and heat were measured above crop canopy using the eddy covariance method during the 2008 maize growing season, over an agricultural field within an oasis located in the middle reaches of Heihe River basin, northwest China. The values for friction velocity, the Monin–Obukhov stability parameter, and energy balance closure indicated that the eddy covariance system at this study site provided reliable flux estimates. Results from measurements showed that the mean sensible heat flux was 70 W m−2 with a maximum value of 164 W m−2 (May) and a minimum value of 45 W m−2 (July) during the maize growing season. In contrast, the mean latent heat was 278 W m−2 with a maximum value of 383 W m−2 (July) and minimum of 101 W m−2 (May). The mean downward soil heat flux was 55 W m−2 with a maximum value of 127 W m−2 (May) and minimum of 49 W m−2 (July). The magnitude of mean daytime net CO2 uptake was −11.50 μmol m−2 s−1 with a maximum value of −28.32 μmol m−2 s−1 (18 and 19 July) and a minimum values of −0.32 μmol m−2 s−1 (18 and 19 May). Correlation was observed between daytime half-hourly carbon dioxide flux and canopy conductance. In addition, the relationship between carbon dioxide flux and photosynthetically active radiation for selected days during different stages of maize growing season indicated the carbon dioxide flux uptake by the canopy was controlled by actual photosynthetic activity related to the variation of green leaf area index for the different growing stages.

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