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The effects of small-scale trait variability on regional-scale ecosystem behavior

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Diagram of soil precipitation

Many types of local variability affect water and carbon fluxes - factors like differences in behavior between different species, competition between different species, variability in soil properties, topography, etc… For regional or global studies, it is all but impossible to represent many of these local sources of variability, both because it’s computationally infeasible and because not enough information about the landscape is available. Our group instead studies the ‘effective ecosystem-scale’ ecosystem traits that account for all the small-scale variability and represent differences in behavior at intermediate stand-scales. These traits are either determined directly from remote sensing, or through model-data fusion, whereby the parameters that best match a set of observed fluxes at larger scales are determined. We study the effects of trait variability at regional scales both in the context of plant hydraulics. We also often use the CARbon DAta MOdel fraMework (CARDAMOM), a terrestrial carbon cycle model that uses model-data fusion in combination with several remote sensing data streams.

Selected Publications

Optimal model complexity for terrestrial carbon cycle prediction

Famiglietti, C.A., T.L. Smallman, P.A. Levine, S. Flack-Parin, G.R. Quetin, V. Meyer, N.C. Parazoo, S.G. Stettz, Y. Yang, D. Bonal, A.A. Bloom, M. Williams, and A.G. Konings (2021), Optimal model complexity for terrestrial carbon cycle prediction. Biogeosciences, 18:2727-2754.

Carbon flux variability from a relatively simple ecosystem model with assimilated data is consistent with terrestrial biosphere model estimates

Quetin G.R, A.A Bloom, K.W. Bowman, and A.G. Konings (2020). Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 12: e2019MS001889.

Global variations in ecosystem scale isohydricity

Konings, A. G. and P. Gentine (2017). Global Change Biology,  23 (2): 891-905.

Sensitivity of grassland productivity to aridity controlled by stomatal and xylem regulation

Konings, A. G., A.P. Williams, and P. Gentine (2017). Nature Geoscience, 10: 284-288.