New proposals to understand how the planet’s vegetation works

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Public Domain

An international team -where Josep Peñuelas has participated- explores the factors that most affect plant behavior and how they can be included in predictive models to improve them. The result, published in Nature Plants wants to improve understanding of the global carbon cycle and ecosystem services and their future if forests change due to climate change.

“The study found that by representing the principles of evolution, self-organization, and entropy maximization in models, they could better predict complex plant behavior and resulting vegetation as an emerging result of environmental conditions” explains Josep Peñuelas, CSIC’s researcher at CREAF.

Although each of these principles had previously been used to explain a particular aspect of vegetation dynamics, their combined implications were not fully understood. This approach means that a lot of complex variation and behavior at different scales, from leaves to landscapes, can now be better predicted without additional understanding of underlying details or more measurements.

You can read more about this research in the article IIASA has written, leader institution of the publication.

Article of reference

Franklin O, Harrison S, Dewar R, Farrior C, Brännström A, Dieckmann U, Pietsch S, Falster D, Penuelas J, et al. (2020). Organizing principles for vegetation dynamics. Nature Plants DOI: 10.1038/s41477-020-0655-x

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