How leaves and ecosystem processes are changing?
Currently I am a postdoc at the Enquist Lab at The University of Arizona. I am developing new remote sensing approaches that leverage the long record of multispectral reflectance and be able to track long-term changes in community-level leaf traits anywhere in the world over the last 4 decades. The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that part of the future of ecological remote sensing may be hiding in all of the worldwide satellite observations taken in the past and re-learning to use it.
My aim right now is integrating remotely sensed plant trait information, with our state of the art knowledge in vegetation-radiation interactions, plant function and ecosystem processes, so we can actually monitor how the whole biosphere works and have worked over the last decades. Lets see where we can get. Expect some research updates soon!
Ecosystem consequences of changing vegetation in the Sonoran Desert
Cattle grazing is carried throught the Mexican part of the Sonoran Desert. In order to increase its grazin capacity, vast amounts of xeric shrublands have been proposefully converted to grasslands dominated by a highly productive African/Asian grass, the buffelgrass (Cenchrus ciliaris L.).
Using data from two adjacent eddy covariance towers, we (the Plant Ecophysiology Lab from Universidad de Sonora) studied how this change in vegetation may be impacting carbon and water fluxes. We found that:
- Shrubland and buffelgrass savanna sites can be significant carbon sinks
- The change in vegetation may not alter net ecosystem production, but alters the seasonal and interannual dynamics due to phenological, physiological and morphological changes in the vegetation.
- Our findings provide some new insights into mechanisms operating at grassland-shrubland transitions