For a few weeks between December and January 2019/2020, I was in the Brazilian Semiarid (Northeastern region) to conduct research activities, which included a workshop, field visits, and meeting with partners for future collaboration planning. The workshop was on ecosystem modelling with a focus on the role of the Caatinga vegetation on regional energy and … Continue reading No white Christmas: Rodolfo’s adventures in Brazil
Understanding plant functions and their adaptation to environment is essential to predict plants behaviour and the resulting whole ecosystem water and carbon cycling under the future climate. Many recent studies – more than five in 2017 alone – have analysed plant trait and carbon-cycling variations along an intensively studied Peruvian Amazon-Andes elevation transect (Fig. 1). … Continue reading Using optimality hypothesis to explain plant responses to elevation – a new paper by Yunke Peng et al. published in New Phytologist
Plants open and close their stomata in response to changes in the environment, so they can absorb the CO2 they need to grow, while also avoid drying out. When CO2 inside a leaf starts to fall, stomata opens so that more CO2 can enter and be used for photosynthesis. When plants become dehydrated, stomata close … Continue reading “Historical changes in stomatal limitations on photosynthesis…” – a new paper by Aliénor Lavergne, Colin Prentice et al. published in New Phytologist
Knowledge of the past climate states is important because it can help us understand present-day problems, particularly current climate changes. Although there are no direct analogues of anthropogenic climate change in the past, the climate mechanisms are the same throughout the time1–4. However, direct measurements of climate extend back only to the 17th century5 and, … Continue reading A more rigorous method for palaeoclimate reconstruction. By Mengmeng Liu
In southwestern China, Sichuan province, runs the great range of the Daxue Mountains, with the tallest peak, Mount Gongga, reaching over 7,500 m a.s.l. (Fig. 1). In that mountain range, Colin and a team of scientists and students undertook a three-week long fieldwork this August. The field team consisted of Colin, Giulia Mengoli (Imperial College) … Continue reading Once upon a time in Sichuan province… —Colin’s adventures of summer 2019
One of the greatest challenges in quantifying the global carbon balance is to correctly estimate how much carbon is accumulated in biomass versus how much is returned to the atmosphere as product of plant respiration. Alessio, Colin and others tackle this challenge in the recent paper published in Global Change Biology (Collalti et al., 2019). … Continue reading Photosynthesis and biomass both influence plant respiration—a new study by Alessio Collalti, Colin Prentice et al.
Wood density—dry mass per fresh volume (g cm-3)—is one of the most commonly assesed trait in plant ecology and ecophysiology. It is easy to measure and it indicates the amount of carbon a plant invests in wood, which is an important component of plant carbon budget. At the same time, wood density is just one … Continue reading Wood density under a microscope. By Kasia Ziemińska