Max Planck Gesellschaft

Research group: Biosphere-Atmosphere Interactions and Experimentation

Mission | Focus Areas | Team | Projects | Experiments | Publications | Collaborations


The Biosphere-Atmosphere Experimentation and Interactions Group (BAIE) aims at improving the understanding of the interactions and feedbacks between climate, environmental changes, nutrient availability and the biogeochemical cycles of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus. To this end we combine tools and approaches from biometeorology and biogeochemistry such as eddy covariance flux observation, field manipulation experiments, soil and plant analysis, and proximal/remote sensing techniques. With a global focus, the group investigates the biosphere-atmosphere interactions by contributing to and analyzing globally distributed datasets (e.g. FLUXNET database, remote sensing products) using data-mining and model-data integration techniques. Exploiting this generalized information, our final goal is to enhance the description of the response of biosphere’s element cycling to climate variability in state-of-the-art global terrestrial biosphere models and up-scaling approaches.

In the picture: First row from left to right: Xuanlong Ma, Yunpeng Luo, David Martini, Tiana Hammer, Jinhong Guan; Second row from left to right: Thomas Wutzler, Mirco Migliavacca, Oscar Perez Priego, Tarek El-Madany, Richard Nair, Javier Pacheco Labrador. In the inset Kathrin Henkel and Kendal Morris.

Focus Areas

Focus #1: Climatic and environmental controls on ecosystem-atmosphere energy and mass exchanges:

  • Eddy covariance measurements of mass-energy exchanges between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere;
  • Characterization and partitioning of water fluxes;
  • Impacts of nutrient availability on carbon and water fluxes;
  • Contribution to and analysis of large dataset (e.g. FLUXNET database);

Focus #2: Phenology and Ecosystem Processes

  • Interactions and feedback between climate and land surface phenology;
  • Understanding the relationship between phenology and water cycles;
  • Development of tools for the measurements of land surface phenology;

Focus #3: Remote Sensing of Ecosystem Function

  • Understanding the information about photosynthesis, ecosystem functioning and stress encoded into hyperspectral remote sensing observations and sun induced fluorescence (SIF);
  • Evaluating factors affecting hyperspectral and SIF signals at different temporal scales;
  • Evaluating drivers of the photosynthesis-SIF relationship in climate manipulation experiments;

Latest News

February 2019
New articles where BAIE's members are coauthors about widespread reduction of daytime ecosystem respiration by Trevor Keenan link, and the use of SIF for monitoring canopy conductance by Nan Shou


January 2019
Khelvi Biriukova from University of Milan-Bicocca just joined the Department. Vicente Lavine Burchard and Egor Prikaziuk had a succesfull secondment period here in the context of TRUSTEE.

August 2018
Many publications from the MANIP experiment are published: Tarek's paper on spatiotemporal drivers of carbon, water and energy fluxes publishe on Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, Yunpeng's paper on Phenocam applications in a Mediterranean Tree-Grass ecosystem is published on Remote Sensing. REddyProc paper describing the widely used tool for flux gap-filling and partitioning is now accepted in Biogeosciences!!

June 21^st, 2018
Field work for the preparation of FLEXSense field campaings in Majadas.

>> news archive


Phone: +49.3641.57 - extension | E-mail: e-mail -

Name Position E-mail Phone Room
Mirco Migliavacca Group leader mmiglia ...6281 C2.008b
Tarek El-Madany Post-Doc telma ...6231 C2.010
JinHong Guan Post-Doc jguan ... C1.004
Tiana Hammer Technical Assistant thammer ...6264 C1.010
Kathrin Henkel Lab and Field Technician khenkel ....6506 A1.023
Yunpeng Luo PhD student yluo ...6208 C1.010
Xuanlong Ma PostDoc* ... ... C2.020
David Martini PhD student ... ... C2.020
Kendalynn Morris PhD student* kmorris ...6205 C1.020
Richard Nair PostDoc* rnair ...6220 C1.016
Javier Pacheco-Labrador Post-Doc jpacheco ...6280 C3.002a
Oscar Perez-Priego Post-Doc opriego ...6270 C1.012

Group members marked with * are shared with other research groups of the department.

Former team members, collaborators and guests

Verena Bessenbacher Technician
Cristina Novara Visiting PhD Student
Anna Berninger Internship


MANIP - Large-Scale Manipulation Experiment
MANIP, a long term experimental project, aims at understanding responses in different eddy covariance sites from nutrient loading (primarily N and P) and water availability, on ecosystem-level carbon, water fluxes, and their interannual variability.

Monitoring mass and energy fluxes in a manipulated Mediterranean tree-grass Dehesa (Mediterranean Savanna) ecosystem through the integration of ground and satellite data with airborne hyperspectral imagery

MoReDEHESHyReS - Modelling Responses of Dehesas with Hyperspectral Remote Sensing
MoReDEHESHyReS develops methodologies to exploit hyperspectral information from the Environmental Mapping and Analysis Program (EnMAP) mission in order to generate new products mapping new Essential Biodiversity Variables describing plant physiology and vegetation traits and structure.

Mr.PARTS: Minirhizotron Phenology and Root Traits
Mr.PARTS aims to develop a new, remote-operated minirhizotron (a method for non-destructive and repeatable observation of soil systems), as well as new computer vision tools to ease interpretation of images. This will be used to investigate the drivers of root growth and phenology at high time resolution in both mesocosms and the field, linking root phenology with ecosystem carbon budgets.

TRuStEE: Training on Remote Sensing for Ecosystem modElling
A Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (MSCA-ITN-ETN) on remote sensing for ecosystem modelling.

oBEF Across: Observing effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning across time, space, and wavelength
The project addresses this topic by exploring the potential of the Sentinels, EnMap, and ESA-Flex missions for revealing influence of Biodiversity on Ecosystem Functioning (BEF) across environmental gradients, and to assess their temporal “stability”. This project will generate and test new hypothesis, for instance regarding the post-disturbance BEF recovery. Key questions in the context of “biodiversity patterns” and “biodiversity functions” will profit and be broadened. The 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).

FLEXSense - FLEX Sentinel Tandem Experiment?
In the FLEXSense project we provide ground observations in the MANIP experimental sites to interpret airborne measurements of fluorescence collected with the HyPlant sensor in the context of the FLEX Sentinel Tandem Experiment. The prohject is funded by ESA.



MANIP MAnipulation NItrogen and Phosphorous

SMANIE small-scale manipulation experiment

LTF long-term fate of N from fertilizer experiment


Follow link for the complete list of publications by the research group since July 2013.

Key publications

MANIP Project

Luo, Y., El-Madany, T.S., Filippa, G., Ma, X., Ahrens, B. , Carrara, A., Gonzalez-Cascon, R., Cremonese, E., Galvagno, M., Hammer, T. W., Pacheco-Labrador, J. , Martín, P.M., Moreno, G., Perez-Priego, O., Reichstein, M., Richardson, A.D., Römermann, C.,Migliavacca M. (2018) Using Near-Infrared-Enabled Digital Repeat Photography to Track Structural and Physiological Phenology in Mediterranean Tree–Grass Ecosystems. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 1293; doi:10.3390/rs10081293

Perez-Priego, O., Katul, G., Reichstein, M., El-Madany, T. S., Ahrens, B., Carrara, A., Scanlon, T. M., Migliavacca, M. (in press) Partitioning eddy covariance water flux components using physiological and micrometeorological approaches. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences. doi:10.1029/2018JG004637

Tarek S. El-Madany, Markus Reichstein, Oscar Perez-Priego, Arnaud Carrara, Gerardo Moreno, M. Pilar Martín, Javier Pacheco-Labrador, Georg Wohlfahrt, Hector Nieto, Ulrich Weber, Olaf Kolle, Yun-Peng Luo, Nuno Carvalhais, Mirco Migliavacca, (2018). Drivers of spatio-temporal variability of carbon dioxide and energy fluxes in a Mediterranean savanna ecosystem, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, Volume 262, Pages 258-278, link

Sippel, S., El-Madany, T. S., Migliavacca, M., Mahecha, M. D., Carrara, A., Flach, M., Kaminski, T., Otto, F. E. L., Thonicke, K., Vossbeck, M., Reichstein, M. (2018). Warm winter, wet spring, and an extreme response in ecosystem functioning on the Iberian Peninsula. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 99(1), S80-S85. doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-17-0135.1.

Hilman, B., Muhr, J., Trumbore, S. E., Carbone, M. S., Yuval, P., Wright, S. J., Moreno, G., Pérez-Priego, O., Migliavacca, M., Carrara, A., Grünzweig, J. M., Osem, Y., Weiner, T., Angert, A. (2018). Comparison of CO2 and O2 fluxes demonstrate retention of respired CO2 in tree stems from a range of tree species. Biogeosciences Discussions. doi:10.5194/bg-2018-256.

Migliavacca, M. , Perez-Priego, O., Rossini, M., El-Madany T.S., Moreno, G., van der Tol, C., Rascher, U., Berninger, A., Bessenbacher, V., Burkart, A. .. , Reichstein, M., '(2017). Plant functional traits and canopy structure control the relationship between photosynthetic CO2 uptake and far-red sun induced fluorescence in a Mediterranean grassland under different nutrient availability, New Phytologist, 214, 3, 1078-1091.

Perez-Priego, O., El-Madany T.S., Migliavacca, M., Kowalski A.S., Jung M., Carrara A. ,Kolle O., Martín M. P., Pacheco-Labrador J., Moreno G. , Reichstein, M. (2017) Evaluation of eddy covariance latent heat fluxes with independent lysimeter and sapflow estimates in a Mediterranean savannah ecosystem. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 236 DOI: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2017.01.009

Pacheco-Labrador J., El-Madany T.S., Martín P.M., Migliavacca M., Rossini M., Carrara A. and Zarco-Tejada P.J. (2017) Spatio-Temporal Relationships between Optical Information and Carbon Fluxes in a Mediterranean Tree-Grass Ecosystem. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 608; doi:10.3390/rs9060608

Biosphere-Atmosphere Interactions and FLUXNET synthesis

Knauer, J., El-Madany, T. S., Zaehle, S., Migliavacca, M. (2018). Bigleaf—An R package for the calculation of physical and physiological ecosystem properties from eddy covariance data. PLoS One, 13(8): e0201114. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0201114.

Wutzler, T., Lucas-Moffat, A., Migliavacca, M., Knauer, J., Sickel, K., Šigut, L., Menzer, O., Reichstein, M. (2018). Basic and extensible post-processing of eddy covariance flux data with REddyProc. Biogeosciences, 15, 5015–5030, 2018., 2018.

Musavi, T., Migliavacca, M., Reichstein, M., Kattge, J., Wirth, C., Black, T. A., Janssens, I., Knohl, A., Loustau, D., Roupsard, O., Varlagin, A., Rambal, S., Cescatti, A., Gianelle, D., Kondo, H., Tamrakar, R., Mahecha, M.D. (2017) Stand age and species richness dampen interannual variation of ecosystem-level photosynthetic capacity. Nature Ecology & Evolution. 1, 0048. doi:10.1038/s41559-016-0048.

Migliavacca, M. et al., (2015). Influence of physiological phenology on the seasonal pattern of ecosystem respiration in deciduous forests. Global Change Biology: DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12671.

Carvalhais, N., Forkel, M., Khomik, M., Bellarby, J., Jung, M., Migliavacca, M., Mu, M., Saatchi, S., Santoro, Thurner, M., , Ahrens, B., Beer, C., Cescatti, A., Randerson, J. T., Reichstein, M. (2014). Global covariation of carbon turnover times with climate in terrestrial ecosystems. Nature, 514, 213-217. doi:10.1038/nature13731

Migliavacca, M., Reichstein, M., Richardson, A.D., Colombo, R., Sutton, M., Lasslop, G., Tomelleri, E., Wohlfahrt, G., Carvalhais, N., Cescatti, A., Mahecha, M.D., Montagnani, L., Papale, D., Zaehle, S., Arain, A., Arneth, A., Baldocchi, D.D., Black, A.T., Dore, S., Gianelle, D., Helfter, C., Hollinger, D., Rodeghiero, M., Roupsard, O., Sebastia, M.-T., Seufert, G., Soussana, J.-F. and van der Molen, M.K. Semi-empirical modeling of abiotic and biotic factors controlling ecosystem respiration across eddy covariance sites (2011) Global Change Biology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2010.02243.x

Mahecha, M.D., Reichstein, M., Carvalhais, N., Lasslop, G., Lange, H., Seneviratne, S.I., Vargas, R., Ammann, C., Arain, M.A., Cescatti, A., Janssens, I.A., Migliavacca, M., Montagnani, L. and Richardson, A.D. (2010) Global Convergence in the Temperature Sensitivity of Respiration at Ecosystem Level. Science, 329, 838-840.
Please find a mini summary here Nature Geoscience Research Highlight and an in depth Perspective by Peter Reich: The Carbon Dioxide Exchange, Science, 329, 774-775, followed up by a Comment by Eric Davidson, Science, 330, 1176-1177. Moreover, we see the need to give some clarifications in response to media, Klarstellungen zum Medienecho, Chiarimento in risposta ai media

Migliavacca, M.; Meroni, M.; Manca, G.; Matteucci, G.; Montagnani, L.; Grassi G.; Zenone, T.; Teobaldelli, M.; Goded, I.; Colombo, R. and Seufert, G. (2009).Seasonal and interannual patterns of carbon and water fluxes of a poplar plantation in Northern Italy. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 149 (9), pp 1460-1476.

Phenology and Ecosystem Processes

Filippa, G., Cremonese, E., Migliavacca, M., Galvagno, G., Forkel, M., Wingate, L., Tomelleri, E., Morra di Cella, U., Richardson, A.D., Phenopix: A R package for image-based vegetation phenology, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, Volume 220, 15 April 2016, Pages 141-150, ISSN 0168-1923,

Forkel, M., Migliavacca, M., Thonicke, K., Reichstein, M., Schaphoff, S., Weber, U., Carvalhais, N. (2015). Codominant water control on global interannual variability and trends in land surface phenology and greenness. Global Change Biology, 21(9), 3414-3435. doi:10.1111/gcb.12950

Galvagno, M., Wohlfahrt, G., Cremonese, E., Rossini, M., Colombo, R., Filippa, G., Julitta, T., Manca, G., Siniscalco, C., di Cella, U Morra, and Migliavacca, M., Phenology and carbon dioxide source/sink strength of a subalpine grassland in response to an exceptionally short snow season (2013) Environmental Research Letters, 8 (2), 25008.

Richardson, A.D., Keenan, T.F., Migliavacca, M., Ryu, Y., Sonnentag, O., Toomey, M. Climate change, phenology, and phenological control of vegetation feedbacks to the climate system (2013) Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 169, pp. 156-173.

Migliavacca, M., Sonnentag, O., Keenan, T.F., Cescatti, A., O'Keefe, J., Richardson, A.D. On the uncertainty of phenological responses to climate change, and implications for a terrestrial biosphere model (2012) Biogeosciences, 9 (6), pp. 2063-2083.

Migliavacca, M., Galvagno M., Cremonese E., Rossini M., Meroni M., Sonnentag O.,Cogliati S., Manca G., Diotri F., Busetto L., Cescatti A., Colombo R., Fava F., Morra di Cella U.,Pari E., Siniscalco C. & Richardson A.D. Using digital repeat photography and eddy covariance data to model grassland phenology and photosynthetic CO2 uptake (2012) Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 151, 1325-1337.

Migliavacca, M., Cremonese E., Colombo R., Busetto L., Galvagno M., Ganis L., Meroni M., PariE., Rossini M., Siniscalco C. and Morra di Cella U. (2008). European larch phenology in the Alps: can we grasp the role of ecological factors by combining field observations and inverse modelling? International Journal of Biometeorology. Vol. 52, No. 7, pp. 587-605.

Ecosystem modelling and integration with remote/proximal sensing

Migliavacca, M. , Perez-Priego, O., Rossini, M., El-Madany T.S., Moreno, G., van der Tol, C., Rascher, U., Berninger, A., Bessenbacher, V., Burkart, A. .. , Reichstein, M., '(2017). Plant functional traits and canopy structure control the relationship between photosynthetic CO2 uptake and far-red sun‐induced fluorescence in a Mediterranean grassland under different nutrient availability, New Phytologist, 214, 3, 1078-1091.

Perez-Priego, O., Guan, J., Rossini, M., Fava, F., Wutzler, T., Moreno, G., Carvalhais, N., Carrara, A., Kolle, O., Julitta, T., Schrumpf, M., Reichstein, M., Migliavacca, M. (2015). Sun-induced Chlorophyll fluorescence and PRI improve remote sensing GPP estimates under varying nutrient availability in a typical Mediterranean savanna ecosystem. Biogeosciences, 12(14), 11891-11934. doi:10.5194/bgd-12-11891-2015

Musavi, T., Mahecha, M.D., Migliavacca, M., Reichstein, M., van de Weg, M. J., van Bodegom, P. M., Bahn, M., Wirth, C., Reich, P. B., Schrodt, F., Kattge, J. (2015). The imprint of plants on ecosystem functioning: A data-driven approach. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 43, 119-131. doi:10.1016/j.jag.2015.05.009.

Migliavacca, M., Dosio, A., Camia, A., Hobourg, R., Houston-Durrant, T., Kaiser, J. W., Khabarov, N., Krasovskii, A. A., Marcolla, B., Miguel-Ayanz, J. S., Ward, D. S., Cescatti, A. (2013). Modeling biomass burning and related carbon emissions during the 21st century in Europe. Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences,118(4), 1732-1747. doi:10.1002/2013JG002444

Migliavacca, M.., Dosio, A., Kloster, S., Ward, DS., Camia, A., Houborg, R., Houston Durrant, T., Khabarov, N., Krasovskii, AA., San Miguel-Ayanz, J., and Cescatti, A., Modeling burned area in Europe with the Community Land Model (2013) Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences.

Houborg, R., Cescatti, A., Migliavacca, M., Kustas, W.P. Satellite retrievals of leaf chlorophyll and photosynthetic capacity for improved modeling of GPP (2013) Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 177, pp 10-23.

Migliavacca, M.; Meroni, M.; Busetto, L.; Colombo, R.; Zenone, T.; Matteucc,i G.; Manca, G. and Seufert, G. Modeling Gross Primary Production of Agro-Forestry Ecosystems by Assimilation of Satellite Derived Information in a Process-Based Model (2009) Sensors, 9(2), 922-942; doi:10.3390/s90200922.

Rossini, M., Meroni, M., Migliavacca, M., Manca, G., Cogliati, S., Busetto, L., Picchi, V., Cescatti, A., Seufert, G. and Colombo, R., High resolution field spectroscopy measurements for estimating gross ecosystem production in a rice field (2010) Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 150: 1283-1296

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