Alessandro Cescatti

Alessandro Cescatti
European Commission | ec · Joint Research Centre (JRC)

Ph.D.

About

275
Publications
117,795
Reads
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20,504
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2006 - present
European Commission
Position
  • Senior Researcher
November 1994 - August 2006
Centro di Ecologia Alpina
Position
  • Group Leader
November 1991 - November 1994
University of Padova
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (275)
Preprint
Full-text available
Forest management interventions can act as value-based agents to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and slow anthropogenic climate change and thus might play a strategic role in the framework of the EU forestry-based mitigation strategy. To what extent diversified management actions could lead to quantitatively important changes in carbon sequestration...
Article
Full-text available
We present “EU-Trees4F”, a dataset of current and future potential distributions of 67 tree species in Europe at 10 km spatial resolution. We provide both climatically suitable future areas of occupancy and the future distribution expected under a scenario of natural dispersal for two emission scenarios (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5) and three time steps (2...
Article
Full-text available
The mitigation potential of vegetation-driven biophysical effects is strongly influenced by the background climate and will therefore be influenced by global warming. Based on an ensemble of remote sensing datasets, here we first estimate the temperature sensitivities to changes in leaf area over the period 2003–2014 as a function of key environmental...
Preprint
To become carbon neutral by 2050, the European Union (EU27) net carbon sink from forests should increase from the current level of about −360 Mt CO2e yr−1 to −450 Mt CO2e yr−1 by 2050. Reaching this target requires additional efforts, which should be based on a strategic view of the realistic evolution of European forests within the next decades, c...
Preprint
Sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) retrieved from satellites has shown potential as a remote sensing proxy for gross primary productivity (GPP). However, to fully exploit the potential of this signal, the robustness and stability of the SIF-GPP relationship across vegetation types and climates must be assessed. For this purpose, current stu...
Article
Full-text available
More than half of the solar energy absorbed by land surfaces is currently used to evaporate water 1. Climate change is expected to intensify the hydrological cycle 2 and to alter evapotranspiration, with implications for ecosystem services and feedback to regional and global climate. Evapotranspiration changes may already be under way, but direct o...
Article
Full-text available
The leaf economics spectrum1,2 and the global spectrum of plant forms and functions³ revealed fundamental axes of variation in plant traits, which represent different ecological strategies that are shaped by the evolutionary development of plant species². Ecosystem functions depend on environmental conditions and the traits of species that comprise...
Article
The terrestrial component of the Earth system has witnessed considerable changes in the past decades due to anthropogenic action. Throughout this period, the NASA Terra mission has been constantly monitoring the surface with the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument. When combined with the MODIS instrument on-board of the...
Article
Full-text available
Global warming is likely to cause a progressive drought increase in some regions, but how population and natural resources will be affected is still underexplored. This study focuses on global population and land-use (forests, croplands, pastures) exposure to meteorological drought hazard in the 21st century, expressed as frequency and severity...
Article
Full-text available
Forests play a key role in humanity’s current challenge to mitigate climate change thanks to their capacity to sequester carbon. Preserving and expanding forest cover is considered essential to enhance this carbon sink. However, changing the forest cover can further affect the climate system through biophysical effects. One such effect that is seld...
Preprint
Full-text available
Mapping carbon stocks in the tropics is essential for climate change mitigation. Passive microwave remote sensing allows estimating carbon from deep canopy layers through the Vegetation Optical Depth (VOD) parameter. Although their spatial resolution is coarser than that of optical vegetation indices or airborne Lidar data, microwaves present a hig...
Article
Full-text available
Mitigation pathways by Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) describe future emissions that keep global warming below specific temperature limits and are compared with countries’ collective greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction pledges. This is needed to assess mitigation progress and inform emission targets under the Paris Agreement. Currently, ho...
Article
Full-text available
A recent study on forest harvest in the EU (Ceccherini et al. 2020) reported a strong increase in clear-cut harvested area in recent years, based on remote sensing information. This triggered a heated debate and many critical comments. Apart from several fair and constructive criticisms, which were welcome, we found that some comments have been eit...
Article
Full-text available
Wetland methane (CH 4 ) emissions ( $${F}_{{{CH}}_{4}}$$ F C H 4 ) are important in global carbon budgets and climate change assessments. Currently, $${F}_{{{CH}}_{4}}$$ F C H 4 projections rely on prescribed static temperature sensitivity that varies among biogeochemical models. Meta-analyses have proposed a consistent $${F}_{{{CH}}_{4}}$$ F C H 4...
Article
Full-text available
Ecosystem respiration is a major component of the global terrestrial carbon cycle and is strongly influenced by temperature. The global extent of the temperature–ecosystem respiration relationship, however, has not been fully explored. Here, we test linear and threshold models of ecosystem respiration across 210 globally distributed eddy covariance...
Article
The rising atmospheric CO2 concentration leads to a CO2 fertilization effect on plants—that is, increased photosynthetic uptake of CO2 by leaves and enhanced water‐use efficiency. Yet, the resulting net impact of CO2 fertilization on plant growth and soil moisture savings at large scale is poorly understood. Drylands provide a natural experimental...
Article
Full-text available
Forest disturbance regimes are expected to intensify as Earth’s climate changes. Quantifying forest vulnerability to disturbances and understanding the underlying mechanisms is crucial to develop mitigation and adaptation strategies. However, observational evidence is largely missing at regional to continental scales. Here, we quantify the vulnerab...
Article
Full-text available
Empirical vegetation indices derived from spectral reflectance data are widely used in remote sensing of the biosphere, as they represent robust proxies for canopy structure, leaf pigment content, and, subsequently, plant photosynthetic potential. Here, we generalize the broad family of commonly used vegetation indices by exploiting all higher-orde...
Article
Full-text available
Climate model biases in the representation of albedo variations between land cover classes contribute to uncertainties on the climate impact of land cover changes since pre-industrial times, especially on the associated radiative forcing. Recent publications of new observation-based datasets offer opportunities to investigate these biases and their...
Article
Full-text available
The enhanced vegetation productivity driven by increased concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) [i.e., the CO2 fertilization effect (CFE)] sustains an important negative feedback on climate warming, but the temporal dynamics of CFE remain unclear. Using multiple long-term satellite- and ground-based datasets, we showed that global CFE has declined...
Article
Full-text available
The rapid polar sea ice retreat and its drivers are challenging and still unresolved questions in climate change research. In particular, the relationship between near-surface wind speed and sea ice extent remains unclear for two main reasons: 1) observed wind speeds over Polar Regions are very sparse, and 2) simulated winds by climate models are d...
Article
Full-text available
The rapid polar sea ice retreat and its drivers are challenging and still unresolved questions in climate change research. In particular, the relationship between near-surface wind speed and sea ice extent remains unclear for two main reasons: (1) observed wind speeds over Polar Regions are very sparse, and (2) simulated winds by climate models are...
Article
Full-text available
Aerosol- and cloud-induced changes in diffuse light have important impacts on the global land carbon cycle, as they alter light distribution and photosynthesis in vegetation canopies. However, this effect remains poorly represented or evaluated in current land surface models. Here, we add a light partitioning module and a new canopy light transmiss...
Article
Full-text available
Aerosol- and cloud-induced changes in diffuse light have important impacts on the global land carbon cycle, as they alter light distribution and photosynthesis in vegetation canopies. However, this effect remains poorly represented or evaluated in current land surface models. Here, we add a light partitioning module and a new canopy light transmiss...
Article
Full-text available
Forest production efficiency (FPE) metric describes how efficiently the assimilated carbon is partitioned into plants organs (biomass production, BP) or-more generally-for the production of organic matter (net primary production, NPP). We present a global analysis of the relationship of FPE to stand-age and climate, based on a large compilation of...
Data
The present dataset belongs the paper: Collalti A., Ibrom A., Stockmarr A., Cescatti A., Alkama R., Fernández-Martínez M., Matteucci G., Sitch S., Friedlingstein P., Ciais P., Goll D.S., Nabel J.E.M.S., Pongratz J., Arneth A., Haverd V., Prentice I.C.. “Forest production efficiency increases with growth temperature", Nature Communications, 11, 5322...
Article
Full-text available
To reach the Paris climate targets, the mitigation capacity needs to be maximized across all components of the Earth system, especially land. Mitigation actions through land management, such as cover crops in agricultural soils, are often evaluated in terms of their carbon sequestration potential, while radiative forcing related to surface albedo c...
Article
Full-text available
Clouds play an important role in the climate sys- tem: (1) cooling Earth by reflecting incoming sunlight to space and (2) warming Earth by reducing thermal energy loss to space. Cloud radiative effects are especially important in polar regions and have the potential to significantly alter the impact of sea ice decline on the surface radiation budge...
Article
Full-text available
Forests provide a series of ecosystem services that are crucial to our society. In the European Union (EU), forests account for approximately 38% of the total land surface1. These forests are important carbon sinks, and their conservation efforts are vital for the EU’s vision of achieving climate neutrality by 20502. However, the increasing demand...
Preprint
Full-text available
Aerosol and cloud-induced changes in diffuse light have important impacts on the global land carbon cycle by changing light distribution and photosynthesis in vegetation canopies. However, this effect remains poorly represented in current land surface models. Here we add a light partitioning module and a new canopy light transmission module to the...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The JRC PESETA IV study shows that ecosystems, people and economies in the EU will face major impacts from climate change if we do not urgently mitigate greenhouse gas emissions or adapt to climate change. The burden of climate change shows a clear north-south divide, with southern regions in Europe much more impacted, through the effects of extrem...
Article
Full-text available
Sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) retrieved from satellite spectrometers can be a highly valuable proxy for photosynthesis. The SIF signal is very small and notoriously difficult to measure, requiring sub-nanometre spectral-resolution measurements, which to date are only available from atmospheric spectrometers sampling at low spatial reso...
Article
Full-text available
In the last decades terrestrial ecosystems have reabsorbed on average more than one-quarter of anthropogenic emissions (Le Quéré et al., 2018). However, this large carbon sink is modulated by climate and is therefore highly variable in time and space. The magnitude and temporal changes in the sensitivity of terrestrial CO2 fluxes to climate drivers...
Preprint
Full-text available
Introductory paragraph We present a global analysis of the relationship of forest production efficiency (FPE) to stand age and climate, based on a large compilation of data on gross primary production and either biomass production or net primary production. FPE is important for both forest production and atmospheric carbon dioxide uptake. Earlier f...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract. Climate model biases in the representation of albedo variations between land cover types contribute to uncertainties on the climate impact of land cover changes since pre-industrial times, and especially on the associated Radiative Forcing. The recent publications of new observation-based datasets offer opportunities to investigate these...
Article
Full-text available
Changes in vegetation structure are expected to influence the redistribution of heat and moisture; however, how variations in the leaf area index (LAI) affect this global energy partitioning is not yet quantified. Here, we estimate that a unit change in LAI leads to 3.66 ± 0.45 and −3.26 ± 0.41 W m−2 in latent (LE) and sensible (H) fluxes, respecti...
Article
Full-text available
Wetlands are a major source of methane (CH 4 ) and contribute between 30 and 40% to the total CH 4 emissions. Wetland CH 4 emissions depend on temperature, water table depth, and both the quantity and quality of organic matter. Global warming will affect these three drivers of methanogenesis, raising questions about the feedbacks between natural me...
Article
Full-text available
Strong winds may uproot and break trees and represent a major natural disturbance for European forests. Wind disturbances have intensified over the last decades globally and are expected to further rise in view of the effects of climate change. Despite the importance of such natural disturbances, there are currently no spatially explicit databases...
Article
Full-text available
Land use and land cover change (LULCC) affects the climate through both biogeochemical (BGC) and biophysical (BPH) mechanisms. While BGC effects are assessed at global scale and are at the heart of climate treaties such as the Paris Agreement, BPH effects are totally absent despite their increasingly recognized impact, especially at local scale. Th...
Article
Full-text available
Strong winds may uproot and break trees and represent one of the major natural disturbances for European forests. Wind disturbances have intensified over the last decades globally and are expected to further rise in view of the climate change effects. Despite the importance of such natural disturbances, there are currently no spatially-explicit dat...
Article
Full-text available
Earlier vegetation greening under climate change raises evapotranspiration and thus lowers spring soil moisture, yet the extent and magnitude of this water deficit persistence into the following summer remain elusive. We provide observational evidence that increased foliage cover over the Northern Hemisphere, during 1982–2011, triggers an additiona...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract. Clouds plays an important role on the climate system through two main contrasting effects: (1) cooling the Earth by reflecting to space part of incoming solar radiation; (2) warming the surface by reducing the Earth’s loss of thermal energy to space. Recently, scientists have paid more attention to the warming role of clouds because of th...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract A recent article by Luyssaert et al. (Nature 562:259–262, 2018) analyses the climate impact of forest management in the European Union, considering both biogeochemical (i.e., greenhouse gases, GHG) and biophysical (e.g., albedo, transpiration, etc.) effects. Based on their findings, i.e. that additional net overall climate benefits from fo...
Article
Full-text available
In the last decades terrestrial ecosystems have reabsorbed on average more than one quarter of anthropogenic 10 emissions (Le Quéré et al., 2018). However, this large carbon sink is modulated by climate and is therefore highly variable in time and space. The magnitude and temporal changes of the sensitivity of terrestrial CO 2 fluxes to climate dri...
Article
Monitoring vegetation carbon in tropical regions is essential to the global carbon assessment and to evaluate the actions oriented to the reduction of forest degradation. Mainly, satellite optical vegetation indices and LiDAR data have been used to this purpose. These two techniques are limited by cloud cover and are sensitive only to the top of ve...
Preprint
Full-text available
Strong winds may uproot and break trees and represent one of the major natural disturbances for European forests. Wind disturbances have intensified over the last decades globally and are expected to further rise in view of the climate change effects. Despite the importance of such natural disturbances, there are currently no spatially-explicit dat...
Article
Full-text available
Sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) retrieved from satellite spectrometers can be a highly valuable proxy for photosynthesis. The SIF signal is very small and notoriously difficult to measure, requiring sub-nanometer spectral resolution measurements, which to-date are only available from atmospheric spectrometers sampling at coarse spatial r...
Article
Full-text available
When quantifying temperature changes induced by deforestation (e.g., cooling in high latitudes, warming in low latitudes), satellite data, in situ observations, and climate models differ concerning the height at which the temperature is typically measured/simulated. In this study the effects of deforestation on surface temperature, near-surface air...