Max Planck Gesellschaft


How do ecosystems respond to changing weather patterns, rising temperatures and increasing carbon dioxide concentrations? Is the effect of precipitation more important than that of temperature? Or are ecosystem dynamics more strongly affected by nutrient availability? What is the role of extreme events in shaping biogeochemical cycles? To find out the answers we need to understand the interactions among three complex systems: climate, vegetation, and soil. Thus, we combine experiments and in-situ long-term observation with Earth observations gathered by aircraft and satellites across a range of spatial scales, and embrace data-driven machine learning and theory-driven mechanistic modelling. With our research, we try to understand how the terrestrial biosphere reacts to and exerts feedbacks on ongoing environmental change and variation in atmospheric conditions.

Latest key papers

Estupinan-Suarez, L. M., Gans, F., Brenning, A., Gutierrez-Velez, V. H., Londono, M. C., Pabon-Moreno, D. E., Poveda, G., Reichstein, M., Reu, B., Sierra, C., Weber, U., Mahecha, M. D. (2021). A regional earth system data lab for understanding ecosystem dynamics: An example from tropical South America. Frontiers in Earth Science, 9: 613395. doi:10.3389/feart.2021.613395.

Gampe, D., Zscheischler, J., Reichstein, M., O’Sullivan, M., Smith, W. K., Sitch, S., Buermann, W. (2021). Increasing impact of warm droughts on northern ecosystem productivity over recent decades. Nature Climate Change, 11, 772-779. doi:10.1038/s41558-021-01112-8.
Krich, C., Migliavacca, M., Miralles, D. G., Kraemer, G., El-Madany, T. S., Reichstein, M., Runge, J., Mahecha, M. D. (2021). Functional convergence of biosphere-atmosphere interactions in response to meteorological conditions. Biogeosciences, 18(7), 2379-2404. doi:10.5194/bg-18-2379-2021.
O, S., Orth, R. (2021). Global soil moisture data derived through machine learning trained with in-situ measurements. Scientific Data, 8: 170. doi:10.1038/s41597-021-00964-1.
Orth, R. (2021). When the land surface shifts gears. AGU Advances, 2(2): e2021AV000414. doi:10.1029/2021AV000414.
Reichstein, M., Riede, F., Frank, D. (2021). More floods, fires and cyclones — plan for domino effects on sustainability goals. Nature, 592, 347-349. doi:10.1038/d41586-021-00927-x.

News and activities

September 1st 2021
Ranit De, Ladislav Hodac, Dushyant Kumar and Chenwei Xiao join BGI today!

August 23rd 2021
Olivia Hau joins BGI today!

August 17th 2021
HR alle wetter interviewed Markus Reichstein on how to support weather forecasting with AI in the future to predict extreme weather events. His part starts at 07:40 min

August 2nd 2021
Christian Reimers and José Cortés Reséndiz join BGI today!

July 31st 2021
De Standaard interviewed Markus Reichstein about extreme weather events (Dutch only)

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