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Seasonal biological carryover dominates northern vegetation growth

Biological cycles of a plant include many successional growth periods in which the past and the present are tightly connected. Figure shows schematic representation of the vegetation growth carryover (Source Lian et al Nat Comm 2021); image: Pixabay

The life-cycle continuity of plant growth implies that present states of vegetation growth may intrinsically affect subsequent growths, which is a type of biological memory, and can be referred to as vegetation-growth carryover (VGC). Thus, the state of ecosystems is influenced strongly by their past, and describing this carryover effect is important to accurately forecast their future behaviors. However, the processes involved in the lagged vegetation responses to precedent climate, soil, and growth conditions are highly complex and often non-linear. It should also be noted that the strength and persistence of this carryover effect on ecosystem dynamics in comparison to that of simultaneous environmental drivers are still poorly understood.

In a new study published in the journal Nature Communications authors hypothesize that the VGC has played a critical role in regulating the seasonal-to-interannual trajectory of vegetation growth. The study quantifies the impact of VGC on North Hemisphere (NH) vegetation growth with a large set of measurements, including satellite, eddy covariance (EC), and tree-ring chronologies, and compare the size of this effect against that of immediate and lagged impacts of climate change.

According to the authors, this work provides quantitative evidence that peak-to-late season vegetation productivity and greenness are primarily determined by a successful start of the growing season (via the interseasonal VGC effect), rather than by a transient or lagged response to climate. This carryover of seasonal vegetation productivity exerts strong positive impacts on seasonal vegetation growth over the Northern Hemisphere. “In particular, this VGC of early growing-season vegetation growth is even stronger than past and co-occurring climate on determining peak-to-late season vegetation growth, and is the primary contributor to the recently observed annual greening trend”, said Xu Lian and Shilong Piao from the College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University.

In order to examine whether this VGC effect operates at longer time scales of multiple years, authors performed lagged partial autocorrelations with interannual anomalies of satellite-observed NDVI and 2739 standardized tree-ring width (TRW) records. For a time lag of 1 year, a positive interannual VGC was present across northern lands, with 75.6% of vegetated areas (for NDVI) and 82.9% of the tree-ring samples (for TRW) showing positive lagged correlations. This positive interannual VGC indicates that a greener year is often followed by another greener year. When the study extended the time lags extended to 2 years, the positive correlation between current year NDVI (or TRW) and that of 2 years earlier was significant for only 14% of tree-ring samples or 5% of the total vegetated area (for NDVI). If time lags of 3 years were considered, the lagged correlation was found to be close to zero (Fig. 4a). Based on this results authors conclude that the effect of seasonal VGC persists into the subsequent year but not further.

The study also discusses process-based ecosystem models, a useful tool for predicting vegetation growth and examining the associated complex mechanisms. According to the authors, these current models greatly underestimate the VGC effect, and may therefore underestimate the CO2 sequestration potential of northern vegetation under future warming. To better simulate biological processes related to this carryover, the study highlighted that will be necessary not only using satellite and ground measurements to refine existing parameterizations, but also using leaf-level measurements to understand the physiological mechanisms controlling VGC patterns and to incorporate new process representation in model components

“Our analyses provide new insights into how vegetation changes under global warming. The VGC effect represents a key yet often underappreciated pathway through which warmer early growing season and associated earlier plant phenology subsequently enhance plant productivity in the mid-to late growing season, which can further persist into the following year”, explains Prof. Josep Penuelas from CREAF-CSIC Barcelona while he and Prof. Shilong Piao comment between them that “their results highlight the need for improved representation of the intrinsic VGC effect in dynamic vegetation models to avoid that they greatly underestimate the VGC effect, and may therefore underestimate the CO2 sequestration potential of northern vegetation under future warming.”Reference: Lian, X., Piao, S., Chen, A., Wang, K., Li, X., Buermann, W., Huntingford, C., Penuelas, J., Xu, H., Myneni, R. 2020. Seasonal biological carryover dominates northern vegetation growth. Nature Communications (2021) 12:983. Doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-21223-2.

Become a part of the FutureArctic network!

This call closed on the 31st of August 2019

FutureArctic offers a training at the inter-sectoral edge of environmental science, computer science, artificial intelligence, online sensor engineering and social sciences, by building a pioneer ‘ecosystem-of-things’ at the  natural laboratory.

We recruit 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs), who will be incorporated in a multidisciplinary and international research team. Each ESR will be hosted in a beneficiary institution and will receive additional training during secondments at the industrial and/or other academic partners’ facilities.


ESR8: Plant and soil metabolome in a warming subarctic.

Host: CREAF, co-host: IMEC. Contact person: Expected start date: between September 2019 to January 2020

Location: Barcelona. Profile: Ecology and metabolomics

Vacancy at CREAF ESR8b

Please send your job application (motivation letter & CV  in English) to



ESR 1: Microbiome structure of warmed grasslands.

Host: UAntwerpen, co-host: ILVO. Contact person: Expected start date: January 2020

Location: Belgium. Profile: Biology, Ecology.

ESR 2: Visual, NDVI and hyperspectral assessment of grassland plant and vegetation traits.

Host: ILVO, co-host: UAntwerpen. Contact person: Expected start date: January 2020

Location: Belgium. Profile: Agriculture, Biology, Plant Sciences, Remote Sensing

ESR 3: The functional rhizobiome in warming grasslands.

Host: UTARTU, co-host: VSI. Contact person: Expected start date: September 2019

Location: Estonia. Profile: Biology, Plant Ecology, Microbiology, Soil Science

ESR4: Microbiome physiology and microbial interactions.

Host: UNIVIE, co-host: UAntwerpen. Contact person:, Expected start date: January 2020

Location: Vienna. Austria. Profile: Ecology, Microbiology, Ecological Modelling

ESR5: Diel, synoptic and seasonal variability in sources of soil CO2 emissions.

Host: UIBK, co-host: MIRICO. Contact person:,  Expected start date: January 2020

Location: Austria. Profile: Ecology, Biology, Biogeochemistry

ESR6: The carbon balance in sub-arctic ecosystems.

Host: UCPH, co-host: SVARMI. Contact person: Expected start date: 1 October 2019

Location: Denmark. Profile: Greenhouse gas exchange, Biogeochemistry

ESR7: Plant phenology and plant stress evolution.

Host: LBHI, co-host: ILVO and CREAF. Contact person: Expected start date: January 2020

Location: Iceland. Plant Ecology, Ecophysiology, Environmental Sciences

ESR9: Fast prototyping platform to enable sensor communication technology.

Host: IMEC, co-host: DMR. Contact person: Expected start date: January 2020

Location: Belgium. Profile: Applied Engineer Electronics – ICT / Computer Science

ESR 10: Development of an autonomous UAV application for image based (e.g. hyperspectral) ecosystem climate response assessment.

Host: SVARMI, co-host: LBHI and CREAF. Contact person: Expected start date: January 2020

Location: Iceland. Profile: Remote Sensing, Environmental Sciences, Plant Ecology

ESR11: Development of an automated sampler for subsoil nutrient flows.

Host: DMR, co-host: UCPH. Contact person: Expected start date: 1 september 2019

Location: Denmark. Profile: Hydrogeology, Environmental Engineering

ESR12: Smart root imaging technology for root phenological studies.

Host: VSI, co-host: UTARTU. Contact person: or Expected start: date: September 2019

Location: Austria. Profile: computational image analysis, data science, bioinformatics

ESR13: Design and Evaluation of Learning Algorithms for complex ecosystem interaction analysis (“Ecoalgorithm”).

Host: IMEC, co-host: UAntwerpen. Contact person: Expected start date:

Location: Belgium. Profile:

ESR14: Optimizing storage & analysis of ecosystem data both on the edge & in the cloud.

Host: IMEC, co-host: SVARMI. Contact person: Expected start date:

Location: Belgium. Profile:

ESR15: “Big data” and shifts in research practices.

Host: UNIVIE, co-host: ILVO. Contact person: Expected start date: February 2020

Location: Austria. Profile: science and technology studies or a related social science discipline, solid knowledge of qualitative social science methods

IPCC 2019: IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land

IPCC 2019

Prof. Josep Peñuelas has participated in the IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land through the drafting of Chapter 2: Land-Climate Interactions.

Land and climate interact in complex ways through changes in forcing and multiple biophysical and biogeochemical feedbacks across different spatial and temporal scales. This chapter assesses climate impacts on land and land impacts on climate, the human contributions to these changes, as well as land-based adaptation and mitigation response options to combat projected climate changes.

IPCC press release

Chapter 2

Does the Amazon rainforest slow down man-made climate change?

A new study published in Nature Geosciences highlights a very important feedback in the Amazon rainforest that current climate models are not considering, but may, in fact, accelerate climate change. The article was written by an international team of 27 scientists, including Daniel Goll from the Department of Geography, and lead by Katrin Fleischer from the Technical University of Munich (TUM).

Current climate change projections assume that the Amazon rainforest removes large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere storing it in biomass, thereby dampening man-made climate change. The models is used for climate change projections assume that elevated carbon dioxide concentration have a stimulating effect on plant growth. There is evidence that this fertilization effect operates in temperate forests, however, it is not clear if tropical forest respond in similar ways. To test how tropical vegetation response to elevated carbon dioxide an ecosystem-scale experiment is needed. Currently, such an experiment, the first of its kind, is being established in Brazil (AmazonFACE:, but because ecosystems respond slowly it will take many years before we will know it’s outcome. In the new study in Nature Geosciences an ensemble of state-of-the-art ecosystem models was used to simulate this experiment before-hand. The results indicate that the commonly low soil phosphorus availability in the Amazon region can lead to a much more dampened response of tropical vegetation to elevated carbon dioxide than currently assumed. This finding has still to be confirmed by the real life experiment, but it shows that current climate models which omit phosphorus effects on plant growth are likely overestimating the carbon dioxide removal by tropical forests. The findings also suggest that the Amazon forest could be even more threatened by climate change than currently thought – adding further pressure on of the most rapidly diminishing ecosystems on Earth.

You can find the paper here:

amafacestudyTechnical illustration of the AmazonFACE experiment in a highly diverse, primary rainforest in Brazil.

You can find further information here:


German version

Verlangsamt der Amazonas-Regenwald den vom Menschen verursachten Klimawandel?

Eine neue in Nature Geosciences veröffentlichte Studie hebt eine sehr wichtige Rueckkopplung zwischen Amazonas-Regenwald und dem Klimasystem hervor, die derzeitige Klimamodelle nicht berücksichtigen, aber die möglicherweise den Klimawandel beschleunigt. Der Artikel wurde verfasst von einem, von Katrin Fleischer von der Technischen Universität München (TUM) angefuehrtem, internationalen Team von 27 Wissenschaftlern verfasst, darunter Daniel Goll vom Institut für Geographie.

Aktuelle Klimaprojektionen gehen davon aus, dass der Amazonas-Regenwald der Atmosphäre große Mengen an Kohlendioxid entzieht und diese in Biomasse speichert, wodurch der vom Menschen verursachte Klimawandel gedämpft wird. In den dafuer genutzten Klimamodellen wird angenommen, dass eine erhöhte Kohlendioxidkonzentration sich positiv auf das Pflanzenwachstum auswirkt. Ein solcher Duengeeffekt konnte in gemäßigten Wäldern nachgewiesen werden, aber es ist nicht klar, ob er in tropischen Wäldern tatsaechlich existiert. Um zu testen, wie die tropische Vegetation auf erhöhtes Kohlendioxid reagiert, ist ein Experiment im Ökosystemmaßstab erforderlich. Derzeit wird ein solches Experiment, das erste seiner Art, in Brasilien errichtet (AmazonFACE: Da Ökosysteme jedoch nur sehr langsam reagieren, wird es viele Jahre dauern, bis wir das Ergebnis haben. In der nun veroeffentlichten Studie wurde ein Ensemble modernster Ökosystemmodelle verwendet, um dieses Experiment vorab zu simulieren. Die Ergebnisse deuten darauf hin, dass die üblicherweise geringe Verfügbarkeit von dem Pflanzennaehrstoff Phosphor im Amazonasgebiet zu einer deutlich geringere Reaktion der tropischen Vegetation auf erhöhtes Kohlendioxid führen kann, als derzeit angenommen wird. Dieser Befund muss noch durch das reale Experiment bestätigt werden, aber es zeigt, dass aktuelle Klimamodelle, bei denen Phosphoreffekte auf das Pflanzenwachstum weggelassen werden, die Kohlendioxidentfernung durch tropische Wälder wahrscheinlich überschätzen. Die Ergebnisse deuten auch darauf hin, dass der Amazonas-Wald noch stärker vom Klimawandel bedroht sein könnte, als derzeit angenommen wird. Dies erhöht den Druck auf die am schnellsten abnehmenden Ökosysteme der Erde.

Bildunterschrift: AmazonFACE-Experiment in einem artenreichen Regenwald in Brasilien.

Prof. Peñuelas has visited India and Nepal in the frame of the ERC Imbalance-P project

Prof. Peñuelas had been on tour during May visiting India and Nepal to stablish new projects and research lines on phosphorus limitation and climate change impacts in these locations.

In India he visited several research centres to conduct meetings with local scientists from:

  • National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR). Scientists discussed about the limited stock of this vital macronutrient in nature and its Increasing limitation in an increasingly fertilized world with N and C.
    • Principal investigators
      • Dr. Ayay Parida. Director of the Institute of Life Sciences
      • Dr. Ramesh V. Sonti. Director of the National Institute of Plant Genome Research
      • Dr. Jitender Giri.
      • Dr. Raman Meenakshi Sundaram. PhD. Fellow-NAAS, ISGPB and IUSSTF
      • Dr. Jitendra Thakur.
      • Dr. Amar Pal Singh.
      • Dr. Ananda Sarkar
    • Postdoc researchers
    • PhD students
    • Technicians
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee
    • Dr. Harsh Chauhan
    • Dr. Jitender Giri from the National Institute of Plant Genome Research
  • Jawaharlal Nehru University. School of Environmental Sciences. Scientists discussed about antibiotic resistance and air pollution.
    • Postdoc researchers
    • PhD students
    • Technicians

During the stay Prof Peñuelas held seminars and conferences in the research centres listed above.

Dr. Jitender Giri and colleagues from the NIPGR
Dr. Jitender Giri, Prof Peñuelas and colleagues from the NIPGR

IIT-2 (2)
Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee

During his visit to Nepal he conducted meetings and fiels trips on research on treeline shifts, nutrients and emergent pollutants in response to global warming and global eutrophication and pollution in the Himalayas of Nepal.

This research involved scientists from:

  •  Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) – Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research:
    • Prof. Eryuan Liang
    • Dr. Shalik Ram Sigdel
    • Dr.  Haifeng Zhu
  • Nanjing Forestry University – College of Biology and the Environment:
    • Dr. Yafeng Wang
  • Tribhuvan University, Nepal
    • Prof. Binod Dawadi (Central Department of Hydrology and Meteorology)
    • Prof. Ram Kailash Prasad Yadav (Central Department of Botany)
    • Dr. Chitra Bahadur Baniya  (Central Department of Botany)

During the stay Prof Peñuelas held seminars and conferences and visit selected treeline plots across the central Himalayas in Nepal.


Tribhuvan University_30052019
Tribhuvan University, Nepal
Tribhuvan University_talk_30052019
Prof. Peñuelas seminar at Tribhuvan University, Nepal
Treeline central Himalayas_30052019b
Visit to selected treeline plots across the central Himalayas


Imbalance-P meeting on ecometabolomics and nutrients

Promising Imbalance-p meeting of ecometabolomics and nutrients at the Centre for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications (CREAF),  Bellaterra, Catalonia (March 18-19, 2019).

The Ecometabolomics team deals with the global linkages between plant metabolism, functioning and life history and includes participants from ETH Zürich, Université de Genève, Universität Wien, Université de Toulouse, University of Manchester, Oxford University and CSIC-CREAF.

Ecometabolomics team_2019
Ecometabolomics team.

Annual meeting on IMBALANCE-P Iceland sites

Excellent working sessions at the annual meeting on Imbalance-P icelandic sites in Sitges. Interesting and valuable presentations that will enable to advance in the study of how various ecosystem processes are affected by temperature.

This sites are being investigated to study a natural soil warming generated by the earth-quake that shocked S-Iceland in May 2008.

ForHot Team_2019
ForHot team in Sitges, March 2019.

On May 29, 2008, there was an earthquake in S-Iceland that measured 6.3 on the Richter scale. One of its many implications was that geothermal systems close to its epicentre were disturbed. At Reykir, one of the campuses of the Agricultural University of Iceland, one such geothermal system moved from its previous location, to a new and previously “cold” area. The new belowground geothermal channels (in the bedrock) resulted in soil temperature to increase in the new area that is ca. 4 ha in size.

5th Annual Imbalance-P Meeting in Sitges (Barcelona)

Five years after the kick-off meeting in Barcelona, the Imbalance-P project comes back to Catalonia to celebrate the fifth annual meeting. We will gather together in Hotel Port (Sitges), where the sun and the sea breeze will help us having a nice time.

Just a few updates about the next annual meeting:

Call for presentations

From now on you can submit the titles of your presentations. Remember, they are about 14 minutes with 4 for discussion.
Preliminary program

Monday 11th
– Morning: 4 PI’s will discuss the current status and perspectives of the project
– Afternoon: Guyana meeting to prepare next campaign (2019).

– All day: Meetings of different working groups
– Social activities

Tuesday 12th
– Presentations all day (~ 9 – 18h) [Experimental – Synthesis blocks]
– Social activities in the evenings

Wednesday 13th
– Presentations in the morning [Synthesis – ESM blocks]
– Meetings in the afternoon
– Social activities in the evenings

Thursday 14th
– Presentations all day (~ 9 – 18h) [ESM – IAM blocks]
– Social activities in the evenings

Friday 15th
– Presentations in the morning [IAM block]
– Goodbyes in the afternoon

We hope to see you all there!



Josep Peñuelas named Distinguished Scientist by Chinese Academy of Sciences

This award distinguish well established and internationally recognized scientists in their respective research fields, having obtained outstanding scientific accomplishment and prestigious international honors, awards or prizes.

The fellowship aims to create or strengthen partnerships between CAS host institutions and the recipients’ home institutions.

Phosphorus in Soils and Plants, PSP6

6th symposium on Phosphorus in Soils and Plants, PSP6

Monday 10 September 2018 – Thursday 13 September 2018, Leuven (Belgium)

The symposium will be hosted by the KU Leuven, Belgium and will take place from 10 to the 13 September 2018.

The symposium will deal with such pressing matters as phosphorus scarcity, which can limit crop production in many agronomical ecosystems, and management of excess phosphorus, which gives rise to problems of eutrophication mostly in aquatic ecosystems. The scope of the topics will range from fundamental insights of phosphorus biogeochemical cycles to applications such as crop breeding, fertilizer development, soil management and performance of environmental impact assessments. The conference also aims to attract a large number of scientists from developing countries where phosphorus scarcity is a major issue.

You can find more information here:

Nature commends four Spanish scientists for outstanding mentoring

Four Spanish scientists have been recognised by Nature, the leading, international weekly journal of science, for exemplary personal mentoring of other scientists. The Nature Awards for Mentoring in Science have been hosted since 2005 in various countries and regions to champion the importance of mentoring and inspiring a generation of young scientists. The 2017 awards have for the first time taken place in Spain.

Chair of the judges: Josep Penuelas, Center for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications (CREAF) – National Research Council (CSIC), Barcelona

Judging panel:
Alison Abbott, Nature, Munich, Germany
Emilia R. Solano, CIEMAT, Madrid, Spain
Juan Lerma, Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante – UMH, Alicante, Spain
Mariano Barbacid, Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncológicas, Madrid, Spain
Pilar Ruiz Lapuente, Institute of Cosmos Sciences, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

At the ceremony held at the Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences in Madrid, Sir Philip Campbell PhD, the Editor-in-Chief of Nature, presented the awards and congratulated the recipients on their laudable contributions.

The joint-recipients of the lifetime achievement award are:

  • Professor Carlos Belmonte, founding Director of the Institute of Neuroscience of Alicante
  • Professor Margarita Salas, former Director of the CSIC Centre for Molecular Biology Severo Ochoa in Madrid


The joint-recipients of the mid-career achievement award are:

  • Professor Carlos López-Otín, a molecular biologist from the University of Oviedo
  • Professor Lluís Torner, a physicist and founding Director of the ICFO (Institute of Photonic Sciences) in Barcelona.


Carmen Vela, the Spanish Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation commented on the importance of the awards: “Nature is an internationally renowned science journal in which researchers from around the world seek to publish their work, so it is very important for us to receive the ‘Nature Mentoring Awards’ here this year. Spain is a country full of talented scientists, and many of them have been guided by Margarita Salas, Carlos Belmonte, Carlos López-Otín and Lluis Torner, four great Spanish researchers. I would like to express my gratitude for their work over these years”.

Sir Philip Campbell, who established the awards, said: “These awards have taken place in 13 countries or regions, including the western United States, Nordic countries, South Africa, Japan and China. These are very varied cultures, and yet the key characteristics of outstanding mentors are remarkably similar. Spain’s great examples are no exception – they are extraordinary in their ability to nurture emerging scientists of great diversity.”

Through the Nature Awards for Mentoring in Science Nature recognises outstanding scientific mentors in different regions around the world. Each winner receives a prize of €5,000.

More information about the panel of judges and eligibility criteria for this year’s awards can be found here.

About Nature Research

Nature Research is a portfolio of high-quality products and services across the life, physical, chemical and applied sciences – including journals, databases and researcher services – dedicated to serving the scientific community.

Nature (founded in 1869) is the leading, international weekly journal of science. Nature Research also publishes a range of Nature branded subscription journals, the leading open access multidisciplinary journal Nature Communications, other open access journals including Scientific Reports, and a range of Nature Partner Journals published in partnership with institutions and societies. Together, these journals publish some of the world’s most significant scientific discoveries.

Online, provides over nine million unique visitors per month with Nature Research content, including news and comment from Nature, and the leading scientific jobs board, Naturejobs. Nature Research also offers a range of researcher services, including online and in-person training and expert language and editing services. For more information, please visit and follow @nresearchnews. Nature Research is part of Springer Nature.

Preparing the 4th Imbalance-P Annual Meeting!

IMBALANCE_P_Logo_Color_kick off abstracts

After Barcelona, Vienna and Paris, we are very pleased to receive you in the Tropical surroundings of the Vossemeren in Lommel, Belgium!

From February 5th till February 9th, all Imbalance-P colleagues will join together to present their proceedings, to work on publications and to create new projects or  future collaborations. This  year’s meeting will take a whole week in order to make time for those smaller and larger cooperation meetings.

Updated information, including the registration form, can be found here:

We hope to see you all there!

Final meeting of the 2016-2017 course

On the 28th of June, the four PIs of Imbalance-P gathered together for the final meeting of the 2016-2017 course. The discussed subjects were:

– The 2016-17 field campaigns

– Integration of Earth System Models and Integrated Assessment Models

– The need to work on the proof of concept of our hypothesis.

– The possibility of engaging into citizen science.

– Discussion on the economics of the P market

– Preparation of the 4rth annual Imbalance-P meeting in Antwerp

– Preparing our teams for the next financial report, at the end of September

– Preparation of the following campaigns from August to October in Guyana (Nourages, Paracou and Guyafor transect) and Iceland.

– The link between biodiversity and nutrients and how land use affects biodiversity

–  Possibilities of new complementary funding

More news soon!

Successful 3rd Annual Paris Meeting!

From the 1st to the 3rd of February, we met in Pierre et Marie Curie University, in Paris, to gather together, share results and advance phosphorus-related science!

You can download our presentations here!

Three days of intense collaboration among the different imbalance-P groups, left us some pictures that we want to share with you.

See you all during the 4th Annual Meeting!

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3rd IMBALANCE-P annual meeting – Paris, 1st – 3th February 2017

IMBALANCE_P_Logo_Color_kick off abstractsThe ERC Synergy Imbalance-P project has been running for two years already. A lot of work has been done and some other still needs to be carried out. It is, therefore, time for us to meet again in a confortable city such as Paris.

The format will be similar to last time, researchers will present some of their work/results/projects within the Imbalance-P in short talks of about 15 minutes allowing participants to ask some questions. It is also planned to have time to allow researchers to discuss within the different working groups (experimental, synthesis, modelling…) and among them.

The main aims of the Paris meeting are to:

  1. Present and discuss past, present and future work within the Imbalance-P project.
  2. Share and discuss the results obtained by the different groups.
  3. Develop synergies amongst groups and researchers by increasing collaboration through sharing thoughts, ideas, objectives, experiments, observations and data.
  4. Create a venue where co-authors of different manuscripts can get together to forward their writing and possibilities for such activities to be initiated.

Scientific contact: Philippe Ciais (

Administrative Contact: Zoila Lopez (

Organisers: Marcos Fernández-Martínez ( & Josep Peñuelas (

The program of the meeting is available here.

Pont des Arts. Author: Benh LIEU SONG, This picture is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0


Prof. Josep Peñuelas has received the Doctor Honoris causa degree by the Estonian University of Life Sciences

Professor Josep Peñuelas has been appointed by the Estonian University of Life Sciences as Doctor Honoris causa, in base to his outstanding merits. The ceremony was held the 23th September, at the Estonian University of Life Sciences.

The honorary doctorate recognized him as scientist in the field of global ecology who has contributed considerably to promoting international co-operation at Eesti Maaülikool.

Honorary doctorate is the highest recognition by the university rewarded for exceptional service to the University.

Pictures of the ceremony

Video of the ceremony:

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IUFRO 2017 Congress – Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Biological Invasions

For the 125th anniversary congress of IUFRO (Freiburg, September 2017), Stephan Pietsch (IIASSA) has organised, together with Plinio Sist (IRAD) and Robert Nasi (CIFOR), as session entitled: “Progress in tropical forest management: Assuring sustainability, avoiding degradation and assisting restoration”.

Here we attach the full description of sessions under theme 4. The call will be opened until the end of november.

IUFRO 2017 – Session 4

Imbalance-P participates in the 53rd ATBC 2016 Meeting

Dr. Oriol Grau (CREAF) participated with a talk about his work on tropical forests in the 53rd meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (19-23 June 2016 – Montpellier, France).

The speach, entitled “Do soil characteristics determine forest structure and dynamics in poor Amazonian soils?” took place under the session “Management impacts on biodiversity and carbon/nutrient balances in the tropic” moderated by Prof. Stephan Pietch (IIASA).

Grau, O., Peñuelas, P., Ferry, B., Freycon, V., Lilian, B., Desprez, M., Baraloto, C., Chave, J., Descroix, L., Dourdain, A., Guitet, S., Janssens, I., Sardans, J., Herault, B. Do soil characteristics determine forest structure and dynamics in poor Amazonian soils? 53rd ATBC 2016, 19-23 June, Montellier, France.


Josep Peñuelas has been awarded Ramón Margalef’s Prize in Ecology 2016!

Ramon Margalef’s Prize in Ecology was created in 2004 by the Catalan Government to recognize people, all over the world, who have distinguished exceptionally in the field of ecological science. The award honors the memory of Professor Ramon Margalef (Barcelona, 1919-2004), who made a decisive contribution to establishing modern ecological science, to the point where he is regarded as one of the world’s leading figures in the field.

The Catalan television interviewed him yesterday. You can see the video here: Els Matins de TV3

Workshop – Nutrient limitation on land: how accurate are our global land models?

Philippe Ciais, Josep Peñuelas, Sara Vicca and Daniel Goll in collaboration with Chinese colleagues, organised a workshop entitled: Nutrient limitation on land: how accurate are our global land models?

The workshop was hosted by the Northwest Agricultural and Forestry University from the 15th to 17th June 2016 in the Yangling, Shaanxi, China.

You can access the program here.

Yangling together

ERC Imbalance-P participates in the international workshop: “Phosphorus Cycling in Terrestrial Ecosystems”, May 23-25, 2016 Townsend

Phosphorus Cycling in Terrestrial Ecosystems: Taking a new approach to advancing our fundamental understanding through a model-data connection

Townsend, Tennessee, USA (May 22-25, 2016)

Aim of the Workshop:

Phosphorus (P) has been shown to limit a number of fundamental processes in a wide range of ecosystems; however, despite its importance, most earth system models do not currently include any manner of the P cycle. This hinders the utility of these models for generating and testing hypotheses and for forecasting the effects of global change. Importantly, a critical challenge for P modeling efforts is also a critical challenge for the scientific community as a whole; namely, determining a way forward for improving our understanding of the key drivers, processes, and global change responses of the P cycle. Bringing together P experts would allow for the addressing of this need through: (1) a more synthetic understanding and conceptualization of P cycle dynamics, (2) the merging of varied P and associated data, (3) improved process-based modeling of the P cycle, and (4) P data-model integration. Another potential success stems from the power of explicit collaborations between empiricists who study P cycling and modelers considering the inclusion of P into models.

Imbalance-P participation:

During the forth session of the workshop, entitled: “Understanding P processes in the context of global change”, Prof. Josep Peñuelas, Prof. Ivan Janssens and Dr. Daniel Goll  presented the some of the results of the ERC Imbalance-P project in the field of experimentation, data analysis and modelling.

The program of the workshop can be accessed here.


ERC Imbalance-P organises a bayesian modeling workshop with Dr. Kiona Ogle

Bayesian modeling workshop with Dr. Kiona Ogle
Paris, 30 & 31 January, 2017

Summary: This workshop will provide a brief introduction to Bayesian and hierarchical Bayesian modeling. It includes presentation and discussion of basic concepts, including important elements of Bayesian statistics and hierarchical Bayesian modeling. Participants will have the opportunity to develop and implement a Bayesian model in OpenBUGS (in R).

Description: Ecologists are often faced with analyzing relatively complicated data. For example, ecological data sets can be spatially, temporally, or hierarchically structured; they may be missing relevant information; and they likely arise from nonlinear and/or non-Gaussian processes. Additionally, many contemporary problems in ecology require the synthesis of multiple sources and types of data. To accommodate this complexity, Bayesian and hierarchical Bayesian statistical methods are emerging as powerful tools for analyzing such data. This two-daylong workshop will provide an overview of Bayesian modeling at a relatively introductory level. This includes presentation and discussion of basic concepts, including important elements of Bayesian statistics and hierarchical Bayesian modeling. We will also provide an OpenBUGS (Bayesian software package) demonstration. During the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to develop and implement a Bayesian model based on a selection of ecological problems and data. By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to understand the fundamentals of Bayesian modeling and develop basic hierarchical models. We will provide reference materials so participants can explore the topics in greater depth. These materials should serve as a jumping-off point for those interested in employing the methods in their own research, or for those who simply want to familiarize themselves with the topic.

postDr. Kiona Ogle

IMBALANCE-P participates on the 5th International Workshop on Higher Education

The meeting was held at the University of Vic (UVIC-UCC) over the period 9 – 12 June 2015 and the IMBALANCE-P group presented:

Bartrons M., Ciais, P., Janssens, I., Obersteiner, M., Peñuelas, J. Quantifying the responses of ecosystems and society in a world increasingly rich in N and C but limited in Phosphorus.

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