The static chamber technique is applied for quantification of surface fluxes of non-reactive gaseous compounds (e.g. greenhouse gases) at the biosphere-atmosphere interface. Static chambers are also called “closed chambers”. Obligatory, static chambers have to be sealed gas tight to the atmosphere and to the surrounding environment. Normally, frames are placed into the soil onto which the chambers are fixed.
The principle of the static chamber technique for calculation of flux rates is to monitor changes in concentration over time (enrichment or depletion). Measurements for quantification of surface fluxes using static chambers can be operated manually by syringes or vacutainers or with use of an automatic sampling system for continuous measurements in high temporal resolution.
Static chamber technique can be applied to many environmental in-situ studies in different ecosystems (agriculture, forest, aquatic systems) as well as laboratory experimental setups for simultaneous detection of concentration as well as fluxes of trace gases (e.g. N2O, CH4, CO2).
Static chamber technique is cost-effective as compared to other techniques for quantification of surface fluxes (e.g. micro-meteorological approaches such as Eddy Covariance) and is ideal for determination of spatial heterogeneity or for comparison of diffeent treatments (e.g. fertilization regimes). Disadvantages of (static) the chamber technique are their reduced areal representativeness (scale:0,25 m2 per chamber) and the effects of the chamber on soil environmental conditions. Due to large spatial and temporal variability of e.g. GHG production and consumption in soils, a large number of replicate chambers are often required.
The IMK-IFU has outstanding expertise in applying static automated and manual chamber technique since it constructs and operates for more than two decades different types of static chambers that have been adapted to the different experimental demands.