Terrestrial Ecosystem Science

Description of Research

     The primary research lie in the realm of global change and its effects on terrestrial ecosystems. The research  focuses on refining carbon budgets of forest ecosystems through ecophysiological measurements and modeling. Through adapting and re-parameterizing the Canopy Conductance Constrained Assimilation model (4CA) which was originally developed for a pine ecosystem at Duke is now modified for a mixed hardwood forest. Once the model has been parameterized and validated at a specific site, climate change scenarios can be tested by using predicted values and implementing into the model predicting the outcome for that scenario for that site.

    While it is extremely important to assess carbon uptake and storage and changes to uptake capacity that might be expected under rising CO2 conditions, it is also important to investigate climate solutions such as afforestation, reforestation and forest management. 

     In addition to forests, wetland store and sequester carbon dioxide but also emit methane. Methane emissions and associated methane budgets in coastal and freshwater wetlands are investigated through eddy-covariance measurements. Greenhouse gases such as CO2 and CH4 require assessment with a bottom up approach such that in turn mitigating strategies can be found.

Contributing NCAS Faculty

Karina Schäfer
Karina Schäfer
Associate Professor