Scaling phenological patterns of canopy carbon cycling: Integrating physiology, canopy imagery, and net ecosystem exchange

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Changing climate is predicted to shift the phenology of plant processes, with implications for ecosystem functions, such as carbon assimilation and storage. This project examines leaf-level parameters of carbon cycling and links them to canopy-scale measures of ecosystem exchange and near-remotely-sensed color indicies.  This project will examine the phenology and production response of an eastern decidous forest using high resolution ultispectral camera's to track bud-burst, pigment development, and senescence. High resolution cameras have been collecting data that the postdoc will begin analyzing. The 2015 field season is underway.

This project will contribute to a national database tracking phenological changes, and will be used by regional and national forest managers. Explicit description of carbon cycling in an eastern deciiduous forest corrects for overestiminations of carbon uptake under ambient and warmed conditions.


Heskel et al. (2016): "Convergence in the temperature response of leaf respiration across biomes and plant functional types", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113, 3832-3837, doi:10.1073/pnas.1520282113.

  • Mary Heskel & Jim Tang. Harvard Forest LTER annual meeting, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA. 2015. Phenological patterns and temperature sensitivity of daytime carbon cycling: Linking leaf-level physiology, canopy imagery, and net ecosystem exchange. March 17.
  • Mary Heskel et al. ESA Annual Meeting 2015. Warming and species range mediate the temperature response of respiration in plants at the temperate-boreal ecotone.
  • Mary Heskel et al. Harvard Plant Biology Symposium. 2015. Covergence in the temperature response of leaf respiration across biomes and plant functional types. May 6.
  • Jonathan Michelsen, Mary Heskel, Jim Tang, MBL Summer Student Research Symposium: Examining chlorophyll fluorescence and spectral signal to link ecosystem functions and physiology in a temperate forest.  Aug 20, 2015,
  • Mary Heskel et al. S. Harvard Forest Annual Ecology Symposium. 2016. Phenology and the temperature response of leaf respiration and photosynthesis. March 14.