Contrasting responses of autumn-leaf senescence to daytime and night-time warming

Autumn canopy_Pixabay Dec2018b

Autumn_Pixabay_Dec2018b
Climate change over the past several decades has modified the dates of plant flowering, leaf emergence, growth stages and senescence, with substantial ecological and environmental consequences. Picture by: Pixabay.

 

Plant phenology (collective term of the timing of plant flowering, leaf emergence, growth stages and senescence) is a sensitive indicator of climate change and plays an important role in regulating carbon uptake by plants. Previous studies based on both observations and model simulations, have found that air temperature has a positive influence on the onset of plant growth in the Northern Hemisphere; for example, higher spring temperature triggers earlier leaf-out and flowering dates and hence extends the growing season. These studies have focused on spring leaf-out by daytime temperature and the onset of snow-melt time, but the drivers controlling leaf senescence date (LSD) in autumn remain largely unknown.

In a new study in the journal Nature Climate Change authors used long-term ground phenological records (14,536 time series since the 1900s) and satellite greenness observations dating back to the 1980s. They showed that rising pre-season maximum daytime (Tday) and minimum night-time (Tnight) temperatures had contrasting effects on the timing of autumn LSD in the Northern Hemisphere (> 20° N).

If higher Tday leads to an earlier or later LSD, an increase in Tnight systematically drives LSD to occur oppositely. Contrasting impacts of daytime and night-time warming on drought stress may be the underlying mechanism. “Our LSD model considering these opposite effects improved autumn phenology modelling and predicted an overall earlier autumn LSD by the end of this century compared with traditional projections”, said Dr. Chaoyang Wu from the Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation and the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China.

“These results challenge the notion of prolonged growth under higher autumn temperatures, suggesting instead that leaf senescence in the Northern Hemisphere could begin earlier than currently expected, and may be a potentially unrecognized positive feedback to climate change and consequently a weakening in the capability of terrestrial carbon uptake”, said Prof. Josep Peñuelas from CREAF-CSIC Barcelona.

Reference: Wu, C, Wang, X., Wang, H., Ciais, P., Peñuelas, J., Myneni, R.B., Desai, A.R., Gough, C.M., Gonsamo, A., Black, A.T., Jassal, R.S., Ju, W., Yuan, W., Fu, Y., Shen, M., Li, S., Liu, R., Chen, J.M., Ge, Q. 2018. Contrasting responses of autumn-leaf senescence to daytime and night-time warming. Nature Climate Change 8, 1092-1096, doi: 10.1038/s41558-018-0346-z

Josep Peñuelas receives the Marsh Award for Climate Change Research (British Ecological Society)

The British Ecological Society (BES) honoured Prof. Josep Peñuelas with the 2018 Marsh Award for Climate Change Research. The BES annual awards honour exceptional ecologists across all career stages, recognising their contributions to advancing and communicating ecological knowledge.

BES recognises Prof. Peñuelas from the National Research Council of Spain (CSIC) for his research on the biological impacts of climate change has led to the discovery of ecophysiological mechanisms linked to carbon and oxygen use that help to explain plant species distribution.

The full list of 2018 BES award and prize winners is as follows:

    • Honorary Membership: Professor Andrew Watkinson from the University of East Anglia
      Honorary membership is the highest honour the BES gives, recognising exceptional contributions at international level to the generation, communication and promotion of ecological knowledge and solutions. Other people that currently hold Honorary Membership include Sir David Attenborough, Dame Georgina Mace, Sir Charles Godfray and Sir John Lawton.
    • Marsh Award for Ecology: Professor Katherine Willis, University of Oxford
      Provided by the Marsh Christian Trust and administered by the BES, this is awarded for a current research record which is having a significant impact on the development of the science of ecology or its application.
    • Marsh Award for Climate Change Research: Professor Josep Peñuelas, National Research Council of Spain (CSIC)
      Provided by the Marsh Christian Trust and administered by the BES, this is awarded for an outstanding contribution to climate change research.
    • Marsh Award for Ecologists in Africa: Dr Chabi Adéyèmi Marc Sylvestre Djagoun, University of Abomey-Calavi
      Provided by the Marsh Christian Trust and administered by the BES, this is awarded for an outstanding current research record, largely completed in Africa, which is having a significant impact on the development of the science of ecology or its application.
    • Founders’ Prize: Professor Gabriel Yvon-Durocher, University of Exeter
      The BES Founders’ Prize commemorates the enthusiasm and vision of the Society’s founders. It is awarded to an early-career ecologist who is starting to make a significant contribution to the science of ecology.
    • BES Award: Dr Emma Sayer, Lancaster University
      The BES Award is made in recognition of exceptional voluntary service to the Society and its community.
    • Ecological Engagement Award: Dr Ruth Waters, Natural England
      This award recognises an ecologist who has bridged the gap between ecology and the public.
    • Equality and Diversity Champion: Dr Rosie Trevelyan, Tropical Biology Association
      This award recognises an individual or group who has made innovative contributions to enhancing the practice of equality and diversity in the ecological community.

 

The winners Has been presented with their prizes during a ceremony held on December 18th at the Society’s annual conference.

 

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Josep Peñuelas IV Prize for the Excellence Ramon Muntaner

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Picture of the cerremony held in the Institut Ramon Muntaner last November 27th, 2018. The ceremony was presented by Prof. Joan Vallès, Universitat de Barcelona, Javi Martín, president of the Associació d’Amics de l’Institut Ramon Muntaner, Josep Colls, the director of the Institut and Francesc Cruanyes, Deputy Mayor.

 

Josep Peñuelas has been awarded with the IV Prize for the Excellence Ramon Muntaner n recognition of his professional career.

The Institute Ramon Muntaner created the Prize for the Excellence Ramon Muntaner Prize in 2014 dedicated to former students that have excelled in their professional career. This institute, funded in 1839, has registered amongst its students influential figures as Salvador Dalí, Josep Pla, Ramon Reig, o Alexandre Deulofeu.