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).
Latest key papers
Campioli, M., Malhi, Y., Vicca, S., Luyssaert, S., Papale, D., Peñuelas, J., Reichstein, M., Migliavacca, M., Arain, M. A., Janssens, I. A. (2016). Evaluating the convergence between eddy covariance and biometric methods for assessing carbon budgets of forests. Nature Communications, 7: 13717. doi: 10.1038/ncomms13717 (2016).
Jenny, J.-P., Normandeau, A., Francus, P., Taranu, Z. E., Gregory-Eaves, I., Lapointe, F., Jautzy, J., Ojala, A. E. K., Dorioz, J.-M., Schimmelmann, A., Zolitschka, B. (2016) Urban point sources of nutrients were the leading cause for the historical spread of hypoxia across European lakes. PNAS, Vol. 113, no. 45, 12655-12660. doi:10.1073/pnas.1605480113.
Knauer, J., Zaehle, S., Reichstein, M., Medlyn, B. E., Forkel, M., Hagemann, S., Werner, C. (2016) The response of ecosystem water-use efficiency to rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations: sensitivity and large-scale biogeochemical implications. New Phytologist. doi:10.1111/nph.14288.
Kwon M.J., Beulig F., Ilie J., Wildner M., Küsel K., Merbold L., Mahecha M.D., Zimov N., Zimov, S.A.,Heimann M., Schuur E.A.G., Kostka J.E., Kolle O., Hilke I., Göckede M. (accepted online 2016) Plants, microorganisms, and soil temperatures contribute to a decrease in methane fluxes on a drained Arctic floodplain. Global Change Biology. doi: 10.1111/gcb.13558