Terrestrial Ecosystems and Climate

MedvigyRecovery of forest leaf area (LAI) following a fire. Data are shown in red points. Individual model simulations are shown by gray lines and the black line indicates the model ensemble average.

Terrestrial ecosystems' impact climate on timescales ranging from seconds to millennia. Relevant processes cut across fields and include within-plant transport of water driven by pressure and osmotic gradients, tree growth and carbon sequestration, competition between individuals for resources, and the geological cycling of essential rock-derived nutrients.

Predictive models of terrestrial ecosystems are challenged to self-consistently describe the range of scales and processes relevant to ecosystem-climate interactions and appropriately characterize the uncertainty in both parameters and process-representation.

While numerous data streams can be leveraged to improve models, the task is complex because the data also cut across processes and scales and have their own associated uncertainties.

Faculty involved in this research area include David Medvigy.