About the lab

Our vision is "A sustainable world where ecological information is available and accessible to anyone." To achieve this vision, we integrate field observations, theory and modeling from leaf to the global scales. Remote sensing is the key tool in our group. Welcome to visit our website:


Featured research (21)

Emerging new-generation geostationary satellites have broadened the scope for studying the diurnal cycle of ecosystem functions. We exploit observations from the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R series to examine the effect of a severe U.S. heatwave in 2020 on the diurnal variations of ecosystem photosynthesis. We find divergent responses of photosynthesis to the heatwave across vegetation types and aridity gradients, with drylands exhibiting widespread midday and afternoon depression in photosynthesis. The diurnal centroid and peak time of dryland gross primary production (GPP) substantially shift toward earlier morning times, reflecting notable water and heat stress. Our geostationary satellite-based method outperforms traditional radiation-based upscaling methods from polar-orbiting satellite snapshots in estimating daily GPP and GPP loss during heatwaves. These findings underscore the potential of geostationary satellites for diurnal photosynthesis monitoring and highlight the necessity to consider the increased diurnal asymmetry in GPP under stress when evaluating carbon-climate interactions.
Recent remote-sensing-based global carbon, water and energy budgets over land still include considerable uncertainties. Most existing flux products of terrestrial carbon, water and energy components were developed individually, despite the inherently coupled processes among them. In this study, we present a new set of global daily surface downwelling shortwave radiation (SW), net radiation (Rnet), evapotranspiration (ET), gross primary productivity (GPP), terrestrial ecosystem respiration (TER) and net ecosystem exchange (NEE) datasets at 0.05◦ resolutions from 1982 to 2019, by improving a satellite-based and coupled-process model—the Breathing Earth System Simulator (BESS). The new version of BESS (v2.0) integrated a newly developed ecosystem respiration module, an optimality-based maximum carboxylation rate (Vcmax) model, and extended the temporal coverage of flux datasets from 1982 to 2019. We evaluated BESS products against the FLUXNET2015 dataset at the site scale, and against several remote sensing and/or machine learning products on a global scale. At the site scale, BESS products agreed well with FLUXNET measurements, capturing 84%, 53%, 65%, 51% and 31% of daily variation in Rnet, ET, GPP, TER and NEE, respectively. Interannual variation in BESS NEE showed relatively low consistency with the FLUXNET measurements, while the rest fluxes explained approximately half of the interannual variation. On a global scale, we found marked discrepancies in spatio-temporal patterns between BESS and several benchmark products. Over the period 1982–2019, BESSv2.0 estimated the mean annual global Rnet, ET, GPP, TER and NEE to be 340.97 ± 5.22 ZJ yr−1 (mean ± 1 SD), 67.67 ± 0.71 103 km3 yr−1, 125.74 ± 5.95 Pg C yr−1, 109.30 ± 3.16 Pg C yr−1, and − 16.28 ± 2.95 Pg C yr−1, respectively, with significant annual linear trends (P < 0.01) by −0.05 103 km3 yr−2 for ET, by 0.52 Pg C yr−2 for GPP, by 0.28 Pg C yr−2 for TER, and by −0.25 Pg C yr−2 for NEE. We further evaluated various coupled processes derived by BESS in terms of functional properties (i.e., Budyko relation, carbon-use efficiency, water-use efficiency, and light-use efficiency), which agreed well with FLUXNET observations, unlike the benchmark products. Overall, BESSv2.0 can serve as a set of reliable and independent products from other global satellite products, facilitating studies related to global carbon, water and energy budgets in a coupled and comprehensive manner.
The diurnal sampling capability of geostationary satellites provides unprecedented opportunities for monitoring canopy photosynthesis at multiple temporal scales. At the diurnal scale, only geostationary satellites can currently provide sub-daily data at regular intervals, also it can help to minimize data gaps due to clouds at the seasonal scale. However, the potential of geostationary satellites for monitoring photosynthesis has not been explored in depth. In this study, we tracked diurnal to seasonal variations in gross primary production (GPP) using the product of near-infrared reflectance of vegetation and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) (NIRvP) over deciduous forests, mixed forests and a rice paddy during the growing season. For this purpose, we generated three levels of reflectance and PAR from Geostationary Korea Multi-Purpose Satellite-2A (GK-2A). We examined how NIRvP derived from GK-2A tracked in-situ GPP data collected from five flux tower sites in South Korea. Bi-directional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF) normalized NIRvP agreed well with in-situ GPP over the course of the growing season at hourly (R² = 0.68–0.77) and daily timesteps (R² = 0.71–0.83). Atmospheric correction and BRDF normalization improved the performance of NIRvP in tracking GPP at both the diurnal and seasonal time scales. Also, GK-2A showed a much higher percentage of available high-quality BRDF data over the whole growing season for all study sites than the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) (GK-2A: 85%; MODIS: 39%), especially during the cloudy monsoon period. Our findings demonstrated that the unique observation characteristics of geostationary satellites can contribute to large-scale monitoring of diurnal to seasonal GPP dynamics.
Mapping canopy photosynthesis in both high spatial and temporal resolution is essential for carbon cycle monitoring in heterogeneous areas. However, well established satellites in sun-synchronous orbits such as Sentinel-2, Landsat and MODIS can only provide either high spatial or high temporal resolution but not both. Recently established CubeSat satellite constellations have created an opportunity to overcome this resolution trade-off. In particular, Planet Fusion allows full utilization of the CubeSat data resolution and coverage while maintaining high radiometric quality. In this study, we used the Planet Fusion surface reflectance product to calculate daily, 3-m resolution, gap-free maps of the near-infrared radiation reflected from vegetation (NIRvP). We then evaluated the performance of these NIRvP maps for estimating canopy photosynthesis by comparing with data from a flux tower network in Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California, USA. Overall, NIRvP maps captured temporal variations in canopy photosynthesis of individual sites, despite changes in water extent in the wetlands and frequent mowing in the crop fields. When combining data from all sites, however, we found that robust agreement between NIRvP maps and canopy photosynthesis could only be achieved when matching NIRvP maps to the flux tower footprints. In this case of matched footprints, NIRvP maps showed considerably better performance than in situ NIRvP in estimating canopy photosynthesis both for daily sum and data around the time of satellite overpass (R2 = 0.78 vs. 0.60, for maps vs. in situ for the satellite overpass time case). This difference in performance was mostly due to the higher degree of consistency in slopes of NIRvP-canopy photosynthesis relationships across the study sites for flux tower footprint-matched maps. Our results show the importance of matching satellite observations to the flux tower footprint and demonstrate the potential of CubeSat constellation imagery to monitor canopy photosynthesis remotely at high spatio-temporal resolution.

Lab head

Youngryel Ryu
  • Department of Landscape Architecture and Rural Systems Engineering
About Youngryel Ryu
  • I am Professor at Seoul National University and studying biosphere-atmosphere interactions across a range of spatial and temporal scales by integrating theory, observation and modeling. Visit our group homepage: Home: http://environment.snu.ac.kr Twitter: twitter.com/ryuyr77

Members (9)

Xing Li
  • Seoul National University
Bolun Li
  • Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology
Changming Yin
  • Seoul National University
Zilong Zhong
  • McMaster University
Jongmin Kim
  • University of Virginia
Yorum Hwang
  • Seoul National University
Juwon Kong
  • Seoul National University
Jeehwan Bae
  • Seoul National University
Wonseok Choi
Wonseok Choi
  • Not confirmed yet

Alumni (9)

Hyungsuk Kimm
  • Seoul National University
Liu Jiangong
  • Columbia University
Kaige Yang
  • Seoul National University
Chongya Jiang
  • Chinese Academy of Sciences