We seek to identify the mechanisms underlying vegetation-atmosphere exchange, the coupling that exists between vegetation ecology and biogeochemical cycles and the time-scales on which such mechanisms operate in the Earth system. In the broadest sense, our research questions can be summarised as:
- What are the key biological processes that affect atmospheric composition and climate on time scales from seconds to centuries?
- How do interactive biological, chemical and physical processes operate in pristine conditions, compared to environments affected by human activities?
- How does vegetation respond to multiple stresses compared to longer-term environmental trends?
- What is the role of land use and land cover change compared to that of climate change, what are the impacts on vegetation and possible feedbacks in the Earth system?
These research questions aim to cross scales and disciplines, and to motivate a multifaceted research programme on the functioning of the terrestrial biota in the Earth system. An important focus of the group is to integrate observationally-derived biological understanding and process-knowledge into vegetation models.
Source: Arneth et al., 2010 Biogeosciences