Nicholas G. Smith

Nicholas G. Smith
Texas Tech University | TTU · Department of Biological Sciences

PhD

About

81
Publications
36,216
Reads
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2,228
Citations
Introduction
Nicholas G. Smith currently works at the Department of Biological Sciences, Texas Tech University.
Additional affiliations
September 2017 - present
Texas Tech University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
January 2017 - September 2017
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Position
  • Fellow
March 2016 - January 2017
Purdue University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
August 2006 - May 2010
Purdue University
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (81)
Article
The mechanisms responsible for photosynthetic acclimation are not well understood, effectively limiting predictability under future conditions. Least‐cost optimality theory can be used to predict the acclimation of photosynthetic capacity based on the assumption that plants maximize carbon uptake while minimizing the associated costs. Here, we use...
Article
Full-text available
Thermal acclimation of plant respiration is highly relevant to climate projections; when included in models, it reduces the future rate of atmospheric CO 2 rise. Although all living plant tissues respire, few studies have examined differences in acclimation among tissues, and leaf responses have received greater attention than stems and roots. Here...
Article
Full-text available
Earth system models (ESMs) use photosynthetic capacity, indexed by the maximum Rubisco carboxylation rate (Vcmax), to simulate carbon assimilation and typically rely on empirical estimates, including an assumed dependence on leaf nitrogen determined from soil fertility. In contrast, new theory, based on biochemical coordination and co‐optimization...
Article
Realistic representations of plant carbon exchange processes are necessary to reliably simulate biosphere‐atmosphere feedbacks. These processes are known to vary over time and space, though the drivers of the underlying rates are still widely debated in the literature. Here, we measured leaf carbon exchange in >500 individuals of 98 species from th...
Article
Photosynthetic “least‐cost” theory posits that the optimal trait combination for a given environment is that where the summed costs of photosynthetic water and nutrient acquisition/use are minimised. The effects of soil water and nutrient availability on photosynthesis should be stronger as climate‐related costs for both resources increase. Two ind...
Article
Full-text available
Leaf dry mass per unit area (LMA), carboxylation capacity (Vcmax) and leaf nitrogen per unit area (Narea) and mass (Nmass) are key traits for plant functional ecology and ecosystem modelling. There is however no consensus about how these traits are regulated, or how they should be modelled. Here we confirm that observed leaf nitrogen across species...
Article
Full-text available
Under global warming, advances in spring phenology due to rising temperatures have been widely reported. However, the physiological mechanisms underlying the advancement in spring phenology still remain poorly understood. Here, we investigated the effect of temperature during the previous growing season on spring phenology of current year based on...
Article
Global warming has been linked to declines in tree growth. However, it is unclear how the asymmetry in daytime and nighttime warming influences this response. Here, we use 2947 residual tree‐ring width chronologies covering 32 species at 2493 sites, between 1901 and 2018, across the Northern Hemisphere, to analyze the effects of daytime and nightti...
Presentation
Full-text available
Comparison of biochar's for moisture retention and soil contamination adsorption.
Article
Low temperature thermal acclimation may require adjustments to nitrogen and water use to sustain photosynthesis due to slow enzyme functioning and high‐water viscosity. However, understanding of photosynthetic acclimation to temperatures below 11 °C is limited. We acclimated Populus balsamifera to 6 and 10 °C (6A and 10A, respectively) and provided...
Article
Full-text available
Empirical studies have shown that plant photosynthetic responses to environmental change can vary over time due to acclimation, but acclimation responses are often not included in Earth System Models. Photosynthetic least cost theory can be used to develop models of photosynthetic acclimation that are simple and testable. The theory is based on the...
Article
Nitrogen (N) limitation has been considered as a constraint on terrestrial carbon uptake in response to rising CO2 and climate change. By extension, it has been suggested that declining carboxylation capacity (Vcmax) and leaf N content in enhanced‐CO2 experiments and satellite records signify increasing N limitation of primary production. We predic...
Preprint
Full-text available
Under global warming, advances in spring phenology due to rising temperatures have been widely reported. However, the physiological mechanisms underlying the warming-induced earlier spring phenology remain poorly understood. Here, using multiple long-term and large-scale phenological datasets between 1951 and 2018, we show that warmer temperatures...
Article
Full-text available
The global terrestrial carbon sink is increasing1,2,3, offsetting roughly a third of anthropogenic CO2 released into the atmosphere each decade¹, and thus serving to slow⁴ the growth of atmospheric CO2. It has been suggested that a CO2-induced long-term increase in global photosynthesis, a process known as CO2 fertilization, is responsible for a la...
Article
Full-text available
Terrestrial ecosystems regulate Earth’s climate through water, energy, and biogeochemical transformations. Despite a key role in regulating the Earth system, terrestrial ecology has historically been underrepresented in the Earth system models (ESMs) that are used to understand and project global environmental change. Ecology and Earth system model...
Article
Full-text available
Plants invest a considerable amount of leaf nitrogen in the photosynthetic enzyme ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase-oxygenase (RuBisCO), forming a strong coupling of nitrogen and photosynthetic capacity. Variability in the nitrogen-photosynthesis relationship indicates different nitrogen use strategies of plants (i.e., the fraction nitrogen all...
Preprint
Full-text available
Under global warming, advances in spring phenology due to the rising temperature have been widely reported. However, the mechanisms underlying the warming-induced earlier spring phenology remain poorly understood. Here, using multiple long-term and large-scale phenological datasets between 1951 and 2018, we show that warmer temperatures during the...
Article
Understanding the drivers of plant phenology is critical to predict the impact of future warming on terrestrial ecosystem carbon cycling and feedbacks to climate. Using indoor growth chambers, air humidity is reported to influence spring phenology in temperate trees. However, previous studies have not investigated the effect of air humidity on the...
Preprint
Full-text available
Shifts in plant phenology under ongoing warming affect global vegetation dynamics and carbon assimilation of the biomes. The response of leaf senescence to climate is crucial for predicting changes in the physiological processes of trees at ecosystem scale. We used long-term ground observations, phenological metrics derived from PhenoCam, and satel...
Article
Earlier spring phenological events have been widely reported in plants under global warming. Recent studies reported a slowdown in the warming-induced advanced spring phenology in temperate regions. However, previous research mainly focused on daily mean temperature, thus neglecting the asymmetric phenological responses to daytime and nighttime tem...
Article
Irrigation of farmlands in xeric areas can increase soil salinity, reducing their suitability for food and fiber crops. One way to repurpose these lands is to convert them for use in grazing. To choose the best forage species, it is important to understand the impact of soil salinity on the growth and nutritional quality of potential forage grasses...
Article
Full-text available
Plant nitrogen acquisition requires carbon to be allocated belowground to build roots and sustain microbial associations. This carbon cost to acquire nitrogen varies by nitrogen acquisition strategy; however, the degree to which these costs vary due to nitrogen availability or demand has not been well tested under controlled conditions. We grew a s...
Article
Full-text available
Despite widespread evidence that biological invasion influences both the biotic and abiotic soil environments, the extent to which these two pathways underpin the effects of invasion on plant traits and performance remains unknown. Leveraging a long‐term (14‐year) field experiment, we show that an allelochemical‐producing invader affects plants thr...
Article
Full-text available
Global vegetation and land‐surface models embody interdisciplinary scientific understanding of the behaviour of plants and ecosystems, and are indispensable to project the impacts of environmental change on vegetation and the interactions between vegetation and climate. However, systematic errors and persistently large differences among carbon and...
Article
Full-text available
Leaf-level gas exchange data support the mechanistic understanding of plant fluxes of carbon and water. These fluxes inform our understanding of ecosystem function, are an important constraint on parameterization of terrestrial biosphere models, are necessary to understand the response of plants to global environmental change, and are integral to e...
Article
Full-text available
Ongoing climate change is increasing rainfall variability in many parts of the world; in particular, the heaviest rainfall events are becoming heavier. In terrestrial ecosystems, nitrogen deposition is increasing as a result of emissions from fossil fuel burning and volatilization of nitrogen‐based fertilizers. These changes in the timing and rate...
Article
Full-text available
1. Carbon cycling in grasslands can be impacted by livestock grazing, partially as an indirect result of herbivory‐induced compositional shifts in the plant community. However, the underlying mechanisms of how these shifts impact carbon cycling are not well documented. 2. We conducted a long‐term grazing experiment with four sheep stocking rates i...
Preprint
Despite widespread evidence that biological invasion influences both the biotic and abiotic soil environments, the extent to which these two pathways underpin the effects of invasion on plant traits and performance is unknown. Leveraging a long-term (14-yr) field experiment, we show that an allelochemical-producing invader affects plants through bi...
Article
Full-text available
A warmer world could extend the growing seasons for plants. Changes in spring phenology have been studied, yet autumn phenology remains poorly understood. Using >500,000 phenological records of four temperate tree species between 1951 and 2013 in Europe, we show that leaf senescence in warm autumns exhibits stronger climate responses, with a higher...
Preprint
Full-text available
Despite widespread evidence that biological invasion influences the biotic and abiotic soil environments, the extent to which each of these pathways underpins the effects of invasion on native plant traits and performance is unknown. Leveraging a long-term (14-yr) manipulative field experiment, we show that an allelochemical-producing invader, Alli...
Article
Full-text available
Past research has shown that plants possess the capacity to alter their instantaneous response of photosynthesis to temperature in response to a longer-term change in temperature (i.e., acclimate). This acclimation is typically the result of processes that influence net photosynthesis (Anet), including leaf biochemical processes such as the maximum...
Article
Full-text available
Terrestrial photosynthesis is the basis for vegetation growth and drives the land carbon cycle. Accurately simulating gross primary production (GPP, ecosystem-level apparent photosynthesis) is key for satellite monitoring and Earth system model predictions under climate change. While robust models exist for describing leaf-level photosynthesis, pre...
Article
Climate change and land management are altering forest fire frequency and intensity worldwide. In some Northeast U.S. forests, pitch pine (Pinus rigida Miller) is not suffering from presence but rather a lack of wildfire events. In their absence, prescribed fire is being used to diminish fuel loads, open canopies and reduce competition. Pyrogenic c...
Article
Full-text available
Plant respiration is an important contributor to the proposed positive global carbon-cycle feedback to climate change. However, as a major component, leaf mitochondrial ('dark') respiration (Rd ) differs among species adapted to contrasting environments and is known to acclimate to sustained changes in temperature. No accepted theory explains these...
Article
Full-text available
Plant traits—the morphological, anatomical, physiological, biochemical and phenological characteristics of plants—determine how plants respond to environmental factors, affect other trophic levels, and influence ecosystem properties and their benefits and detriments to people. Plant trait data thus represent the basis for a vast area of research sp...
Article
Full-text available
The directionality of the response of gross primary productivity (GPP) to climate has been shown to vary across the globe. This effect has been hypothesized to be the result of the interaction between multiple bioclimatic factors, including environmental energy (i.e., temperature and radiation) and water availability. This is due to the tight coupl...
Article
Full-text available
Terrestrial photosynthesis is the basis for vegetation growth and drives the land carbon cycle. Accurately simulating gross primary production (GPP, ecosystem-level apparent photosynthesis) is key for satellite monitoring and Earth System Model predictions under climate change. While robust models exist for describing leaf-level photosynthesis, pre...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The directionality of the response of gross primary productivity (GPP) to climate has been shown to vary across space and time. This effect has been hypothesized to be the result of the interaction between multiple bioclimatic factors, including environmental energy (i.e. temperature and radiation) and water availability. This is due to the tight c...
Poster
Full-text available
The directionality of the response of gross primary productivity (GPP) to climate has been shown to vary across space and time. This effect has been hypothesized to be the result of the interaction between multiple bioclimatic factors, including environmental energy (i.e. temperature and radiation) and water availability. This is due to the tight c...
Article
Arid ecosystems are an important component of the global carbon cycle. In these ecosystems, plant functional types are particularly important in realizing many ecosystem processes such as the dynamics and regulations of net ecosystem exchange of CO 2 (NEE) to the changing environment. Here, we measured the diurnal dynamics of NEE in patches of succ...
Article
The temperature response of photosynthesis is one of the key factors determining predicted responses to warming in global vegetation models (GVMs). The response may vary geographically, due to genetic adaptation to climate, and temporally, due to acclimation to changes in ambient temperature. Our goal was to develop a robust quantitative global mod...
Preprint
Full-text available
Leaf mitochondrial ('dark') respiration (Rd) is a key process influencing the feedback between climate change and atmospheric CO2 concentration. Yet no accepted theory accounts for its widely observed acclimation to temperature. Because Rd is closely linked to the maintenance of photosynthetic capacity (Vcmax), we propose that Rd thermal acclimatio...
Article
Full-text available
Triose phosphate utilization (TPU)-limited photosynthesis occurs when carbon export from the Calvin-Benson cycle cannot keep pace with carbon inputs and processing. This condition is poorly constrained by observations but may become an increasingly important driver of global carbon cycling under future climate scenarios. However, the consequences o...
Article
Ignite-style Session, Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting; Portland, Oregon, 11 August 2017
Article
Full-text available
Predicting the effects of climate change on tree species and communities is critical for understanding the future state of our forested ecosystems. We used a fully factorial precipitation (3 levels; ambient, -50% ambient, +50% ambient) by warming (4 levels; up to +4°C) experiment in an old-field ecosystem in the northeastern United States to study...
Article
Full-text available
Background and aimsSoil respiration is an important component of terrestrial carbon cycling and is sensitive to environmental change. Most previous studies focus on the effect of soil temperature and moisture on soil respiration, whereas the impact of spatial heterogeneity (e.g., microtopography) is seldom studied. Methods To test the impact of mic...
Article
Full-text available
Improving plant water use efficiency (WUE) has the potential to lower plant susceptibility to drought. Amending soils with biochar has been suggested as a way to improve WUE, as it has been shown to increase the water holding capacity of soils. Here, we investigated the influence of two different biochar soil amendments on WUE measured by gas excha...
Article
Full-text available
Investigation of post-amendment biochar impact on low clay soil moisture provides agriculture professionals with much needed data. While laboratory testing is available, we propose inexpensive containers, tools and measuring devices to enable agriculture professionals to directly assess biochar impact on gravimetric water content, shrinkage, and re...
Article
Leaf canopy carbon exchange processes, such as photosynthesis and respiration, are substantial components of the global carbon cycle. Climate models base their simulations of photosynthesis and respiration on an empirical understanding of the underlying biochemical processes, and the responses of those processes to environmental drivers. As such, d...
Article
While temperature responses of photosynthesis and plant respiration are known to acclimate over time in many species, few studies have been designed to directly compare process-level differences in acclimation capacity among plant types. We assessed short-term (7 day) temperature acclimation of the maximum rate of Rubisco carboxylation (Vcmax ), th...
Article
Full-text available
Photosynthetic temperature acclimation is a commonly observed process that is increasingly being incorporated into Earth System Models (ESMs). While short-term acclimation has been shown to increase carbon storage in the future, it is uncertain whether acclimation will directly influence simulated future climate through biophysical mechanisms. Here...
Chapter
Earth is currently going through a period of unprecedented, exponential change. As a result, the world’s flora are experiencing novel environmental conditions. One of the most steady, ongoing global changes is the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). Atmospheric CO2 levels are the highest they’ve been in 650,000 years and are continuing to inc...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic forces are projected to lead to warmer temperatures and altered precipitation patterns globally. The impact of these climatic changes on the uptake of carbon by the land surface will, in part, determine the rate and magnitude of these changes. However, there is a great deal of uncertainty in how terrestrial ecosystems will respond to...
Article
Full-text available
Plant productivity and tissue chemistry in temperate ecosystems are largely driven by water and nitrogen (N) availability. Although changes in rainfall patterns may influence nutrient limitation, few studies have considered how these two global change factors could interact to influence terrestrial ecosystem productivity and stoichiometry. Here, we...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Application of hemicellulose (cardboard and chipboard) PyC to reverse episodic drought effects encountered by pine barren species and decontamination of soil species extracted from firing ranges at Ft. Edwards JB, Wareham, MA