The global terrestrial biosphere, i.e. the vegetation and soils, strongly reacts to variations in atmospheric conditions but also influences the atmosphere via exchange of matter and energy (e.g. trace gases, latent and sensible heat). These interactions occur on time-scales that range from seconds to millennia, and ascend from the molecular to the global spatial scale. They are mediated by the action of organisms which shape important biogeochemical and biogeophysical processes in their ecosystems, which in turn are forming landscapes, regions, and biomes. Hence we study the nature and the role of these interactions between the biosphere and the atmosphere, using a modelling approach, which integrates observations from organisms to global scale. This research should ultimately help understanding how the biosphere is reacting to and is exerting feedbacks on ongoing environmental change (e.g. changing water cycle, global warming, increasing atmospheric CO2 levels, and nitrogen deposition).


June 2014, Jakob Zscheischler sucessfully defended his PhD thesis at the ETH Zürich. Congratulatioms

Apr 2014, Sebastian Sippel joined the department as new PhD Student and was awarded a scholarship by the German National Academic Foundation.
Welcome and congrats!

Apr 2014, Jürgen Knauer joined the department as new Master Student

Latest papers

Reichstein, M., Bahn, M., Mahecha, M.D. et al. (2014) Linking plant and ecosystem functional biogeography. PNAS doi: 10.1073/pnas.1216065111 doi:10.1073/pnas.1216065111

Zaehle, S. et al. (2014), Evaluation of 11 terrestrial carbon–nitrogen cycle models against observations from two temperate Free-Air CO2 Enrichment studies, New Phytologist, 202, 803-822. click for abstract

Reichstein M., Bahn, M., Ciais, P., Frank, D., Mahecha, M.D., Seneviratne, S.I., , Zscheischler, J., Beer, C. et al. (2013) Climate extremes and the carbon cycle. Nature, 500, 287–295. click for a short summary!

Zaehle, S. (2013): Terrestrial nitrogen-carbon cycle interactions at the global scale. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B - Biological Sciences, 368, Art. 20130125.

Forkel, M., Carvalhais, N., Verbesselt, J., Mahecha, M.D., Neigh, C.S.R. and Reichstein, M. (2013): Trend Change Detection in NDVI Time Series: Effects of Inter-Annual Variability and Methodology. Remote Sensing, 5, 2113-2144.

Zscheischler, J., Mahecha, M.D., Harmeling, S. and Reichstein, M. (in press) Detection and attribution of large spatiotemporal extreme events in Earth observation data. Ecological Informatics. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoinf.2013.03.004.

Measured and modeled seasonal ecosystem carbon fluxes Mahecha, M.D., Reichstein, M., Jung, M., et al. (2010) Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences, 115, G02003. >>