Max Planck Gesellschaft

--- Former member ---

Dr Xuanlong Ma

Ph.D., M.Sc.
Present Affiliation: Youth Professor in Lanzhou University, China (

Worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher in following groups from Jun 2017 to Oct 2019
Member of Empirical Inference of the Earth System (EIES)
Member of Biosphere-Atmosphere Interactions and Experimentation (BAIE)
Member of German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv)

Room: C2.020
Address: Hans-Knöll-Straße 10, D-07745, Jena, Germany

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

I am an ecologist and a remote sensing researcher. My areas of expertise are ecosystem function remote sensing and terrestrial ecology, and my main research interest is in using remote sensing to study and analyse broad-scale vegetation dynamics and terrestrial carbon cycling, with particular emphasis on vegetation phenological and functional responses to hydroclimatic impacts.

My primary role in MPI-BGC is to work on a research project to investigate effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning by integrating multi-temporal remote sensing and in-situ measurement (oBEF-Across). This project is funded by German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig. This project is a collaborative effort among MPI-BGC (Max-Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry), UL (University of Leipzig), and UFZ (Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research).

Follow project update on ResearchGate.

Professional background

  • 2019 - present, Youth Professor, College of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lanzhou University, China
  • 2017 - 2019, PostDoc, German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) & Max-Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Germany
  • 2015 - 2017, PostDoc, Remote Sensing Research Group, Climate Change Cluster, University of Technology Sydney, Australia
  • 2009 - 2014, Ph.D., Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resource Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

Research Interests

  • Assess ecological resilience under extreme climate impacts;
  • Understand carbon-water relationships at ecosystem-level and their response to climate change and variability;
  • Remote sensing of ecosystem process and function (phenology, photosynthesis, water-use-efficiency) by coupling satellite observations with eddy-covariance flux tower measurements;
  • Retrieve spatially continuous fields of plant functional traits by linking ecological and ecophysiological theories with physical principles of remote sensing spectroscopy and radiative transfer.

Professional Links


  • Member, American Geophysical Union (AGU)
  • Member, International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS)
  • Member, International Society of Biometeorology (ISB), Phenology Commission
  • Member, Australian Energy and Water Exchange Research Initiative (OzEWEX) Working Group I: Observational Data

Award & Scholarship

  • Kamide Lecture Award, 2019, Asia-Oceania Geoscience Society (AOGS)
  • Early Career Research Award, 2016, University of Technology Sydney (AUD$21,450)
  • Joint Ph.D. Scholarship, 2010, Chinese Scholarship Council, Ministry of Education, China & UTS, Australia (AUD$43,800)
  • CAS’s Ph.D. Scholarship, 2019, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China (CNY¥96,000)
  • National Scholarship for Graduate Student, 2006, Ministry of Education, China (Tuition fee waiver, research support, 3 years of stipend)

Community Service

Editorial / Reviewer Borad Member


  • Host: Workshop on Remote Sensing for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning, 2019 German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Annual Meeting, 30 August, 2019, UFZ, Leipzig, Germany;
  • Co-Chair: Session: Remote Sensing of Phenology, National Symposium on Quantitative Remote Sensing of China, 16 June, 2019, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China;
  • Co-Chair: Remote Sensing Session, 2018 German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Annual Meeting, 12 December, 2018, UFZ, Leipzig, Germany;
  • Co-Chair: S2.3 Quantifying functions in terrestrial ecosystems, International Conference on Ecological Informatics, 27 September, 2018, Jena, Germany;

Journal Referee

  • A: Austral Ecology, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology;
  • C: Climatic Change;
  • E: Environmental Modelling & Software;
  • G: Global Change Biology, Geophysical Research Letters;
  • I: IEEE-Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, International Journal of Digital Earth;
  • J: Journal of Applied Remote Sensing, Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, Journal of Soils and Sediments;
  • N: Nature Communications, New Phytologist;
  • R: Remote Sensing, Remote Sensing of Environment.


Public reach


Book Chapters

  • Huete, A., Ponce-Campos, G., Zhang, Y., Restrepo-Coupe, N., Ma, X., Moran, M. S. (2015). Monitoring photosynthesis from space. Vol. II. Land Resources: Monitoring, Modelling, and Mapping, in Remote Sensing Handbook edited by Prasad S. Thenkabail., Taylor and Francis. 3-22.

Peer-reviewed journal articles (19 published, 7 in review or revision)

In Review or Revision (x4)

  • Ma, X., Migliavacca, M. et al., Mahecha, M. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, in review.
  • Ma, X. et al. Remote Sensing of Environment, in revision.
  • Zhuang, W., Shi, H., Ma, X. et al. Agriculture and Forest Meteorology, in review.
  • Shi, Y., Jin, N., Ma, X. et al. Remote Sensing, in review.
  • Luo, Y., El-Madany, Ma, X. et al. Global Change Biology, in revision.
  • Liu, J., Ma, X. et al. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water, in revision.
  • Giovannini, L., Ma, X. et al. Remote Sensing of Environment, in revision.

2020 (x1)

  • Shen, J., Huete, A., Ma, X., Tran, N., Joiner, J., Beringer, J., Eamus, D., Yu, Q. (2020) The spatial pattern and temporal dynamics of photosynthesis activity across Australian rainfed croplands. Ecological Indicators, 108, 105669,XRNLcsY0 free access till 20 Oct 2019).

2019 (x3)

  • Ma, X.*, Mahecha, M.D., Migliavacca, M., van der Plas, F., Benavides, R., Ratcliffe, S., Kattge, J., Richter, R., Musavi, T., Baeten, L., Barnoaiea, I., Bohn, F., Bouriaud, O., Bussotti, F., Coppi, A., Domisch, T., Huth, A., Jaroszewicz, B., Joswig, J., Pabon-Moreno, D.E., Papale, D., Selvi, F., Vaglio Laurin, G., Valladares, F., Reichstein, M., Wirth, C. (2019) Inferring plant functional diversity from space: the potentials of Sentinel-2. Remote Sensing of Environment, 233, 111368.
  • Ma, X.*, Huete, A., Tran, N. (2019) Interaction of seasonal sun-angle and savanna phenology observed and modelled using MODIS. Remote Sensing, 11(12), 1398.
  • Jin, J., Ma, X., Chen, H., Wang, H., Kang, X., Wang, X., Wang, Y., Yong, B., Guo, F. (2019) Grassland production in response to changes in biological metrics over Tibetan Plateau. Science of the Total Environment, 666, 641-651.

2018 (x4)

  • Luo, Y., El-Madany, T., Filippa, G., Ma, X., Ahrens, B., Carrara, A., Gonzalez-Cascon, R., Cremonese, E., Galvagno, M., Hammer, T., Pacheco-Labrador, J., Martin, P., Moreno, G., Perez-Priego, O., Reichstein, M., Richardson, A., Römermann, C., Migliavacca, M. (2018). Using near-infrared-enabled digital repeat photography to track structural and physiological phenology in Mediterranean tree-grass ecosystems Remote Sensing, 10, 1293.
  • Sippel, S., Reichstein, M., Ma, X., Mahecha, M., Lange, H., Flach, M., Frank, D. (2018). Drought, heat, and the carbon cycle: a review. Current Climate Change Reports, 4(3), 266-286.
  • Shen, J., Huete, A., Tran, N., Devadas, R., Ma, X., Eamus, D., Yu, Q. (2018). Diverse sensitivity of winter crops over the growing season to climate and land surface temperature across the rainfed cropland-belt of eastern Australia. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 254, 99-110.
  • Zhang, X., Wang, N., Xie, Z., Ma, X, Huete, A. (2018). Water loss due to increasing planted vegetation over the Badain Jaran desert, China. Remote Sensing, 10(1), 134.

2017 (x1)

  • Maeda, E., Ma, X., Wagner, F., Kim, H., Oki, T., Eamus, D., Huete, A. (2017). Evapotranspiration seasonality across the Amazon basin. Earth System Dynamics. 8(2), 439-454.

2016 (x5)

  • Ma, X.*, Huete, A., Cleverly, J., Eamus, D., Chevallier, F., Joiner, J., Poulter, B., Zhang, Y., Guanter, L., Meyer, W., Xie, Z., Ponce-Campos, G. (2016). Drought rapidly disseminates the 2011 large carbon uptake in semi-arid Australia. Scientific Reports, 6.
  • Xie, Z., Huete, A., Ma, X., Restrepo-Coupe, N., Devadas, R., Clark, K., Lewis, M. (2016). Landsat and GRACE observations of arid wetland dynamics in a dryland river system under multi-decadal hydroclimatic extremes. Journal of Hydrology, 543B, 818-831.
  • Eamus, D., Huete, A., Cleverly, J., Nolan, R., Ma, X., Tarin, T., Santini, N. (2016). Mulga, a major tropical dry open forest of Australia: recent insights to carbon and water fluxes. Environmental Research Letters, 11, 125011.
  • Xie, Z., Huete, A., Restrepo-Coupe, N., Ma, X., Devadas, R., Graziella, C. (2016). Spatial partitioning and temporal evolution of Australia’s total water storage under extreme hydroclimatic impacts. Remote Sensing of Environment. 183, 43-52.
  • Cleverly, J., Eamus, D., Luo, Q., Restrepo-Coupe, N., Kljun, N., Ma, X., Ewenz, C., Li, L., Yu, Q., Huete, A. (2016). The importance of interacting climate modes on global carbon cycle extremes. Scientific Reports, 6, 23113.

2015 (x2)

  • Ma, X.*, Huete, A., Moran, M.S., Ponce-Campos, G., Eamus, D. (2015). Abrupt shifts in phenology and vegetation productivity under climate extremes. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences. 120(10), 2036-2052.
  • Broich, M., Huete, A., Paget, M., Ma, X., Tulbure, M., Restrepo-Coupe, N., Evans, B., Beringer, J., Devadas, R., Davies, K., Held, A. (2015). A spatially explicit land surface phenology data product for science, monitoring and natural resources management applications. Environmental Modelling & Software, 64, 191-204.

2014 (x2)

  • Ma, X., Huete, A.*, Yu, Q., Restrepo-Coupe, N., Beringer, J., Hutley, L. B., Kanniah, K. D., Cleverly, J., Eamus, D. (2014). Parameterization of an ecosystem light-use-efficiency model for predicting savanna GPP using MODIS EVI. Remote Sensing of Environment, 154, 253-271.
  • Broich, M., Huete, A., Tulbure, M. G., Ma, X., Xin, Q., Paget, M., Restrepo-Coupe, N., Davies, K., De- vadas, R., Held, A. (2014). Land surface phenological response to decadal climate variability across Australia using satellite remote sensing. Biogeosciences, 11, 5181-5198.

2013 (x1)

  • Ma, X., Huete, A.*, Yu, Q., Restrepo-Coupe, N., Davies, K., Broich, M., Ratana, P., Beringer, J., Hutley, L. B., Cleverly, J., Boulain, N., Eamus, D. (2013). Spatial patterns and temporal dynamics in savanna vegetation phenology across the North Australian Tropical Transect. Remote Sensing of Environment, 139, 97-115.

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