Trevor F. Keenan

Trevor F. Keenan
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | LBL · Climate Sciences Department

About

160
Publications
100,556
Reads
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11,262
Citations
Additional affiliations
February 2016 - March 2016
Macquarie University
Position
  • Researcher
January 2011 - present
Harvard University

Publications

Publications (160)
Article
Full-text available
Terrestrial ecosystems play a significant role in the global carbon cycle and offset a large fraction of anthropogenic CO 2 emissions. The terrestrial carbon sink is increasing, yet the mechanisms responsible for its enhancement, and implications for the growth rate of atmospheric CO 2 , remain unclear. Here using global carbon budget estimates, gr...
Article
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The study of leaf functional trait relationships, the so-called leaf economics spectrum1,2, is based on the assumption of high-light conditions (as experienced by sunlit leaves). Owing to the exponential decrease of light availability through canopies, however, the vast majority of the world's vegetation exists in at least partial shade. Plant func...
Article
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The timing of phenological events exerts a strong control over ecosystem function and leads to multiple feedbacks to the climate system1. Phenology is inherently sensitive to temperature (although the exact sensitivity is disputed2) and recent warming is reported to have led to earlier spring, later autumn3,4 and increased vegetation activity5,6. S...
Article
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Terrestrial plants remove CO2 from the atmosphere through photosynthesis, a process that is accompanied by the loss of water vapour from leaves. The ratio of water loss to carbon gain, or water-use efficiency, is a key characteristic of ecosystem function that is central to the global cycles of water, energy and carbon. Here we analyse direct, long...
Article
Uncertainties in model projections of carbon cycling in terrestrial ecosystems stem from inaccurate parameterization of incorporated processes (endogenous uncertainties) and processes or drivers that are not accounted for by the model (exogenous uncertainties). Here we assess endogenous and exogenous uncertainties using a model-data fusion framewor...
Article
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Increasing atmospheric CO2 and associated global warming are expected to alter the global hydrological cycle, thereby posing widespread threats to freshwater availability. However, future hydrological projections differ greatly between models, particularly over the tropical regions. The large difference between model projections directly limits pol...
Article
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Significance The magnitude of the CO 2 fertilization effect on terrestrial photosynthesis is uncertain because it is not directly observed and is subject to confounding effects of climatic variability. We apply three well-established eco-evolutionary optimality theories of gas exchange and photosynthesis, constraining the main processes of CO 2 fer...
Article
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The terrestrial carbon sink slows the accumulation of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) in the atmosphere by absorbing roughly 30% of anthropogenic CO 2 emissions, but varies greatly from year to year. The resulting variations in the atmospheric CO 2 growth rate (CGR) have been related to tropical temperature and water availability. The apparent sensitivity o...
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...
Article
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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
The distribution of bamboo is sensitive to climate change and is also potentially affected by increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations due to its C3 photosynthetic pathway. Yet the effect of CO2 in climate impact assessments of potential changes in bamboo distribution has to date been overlooked. In this study, we proposed a simple and quantitativ...
Article
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Vegetation dynamics are affected not only by the concurrent climate but also by memory-induced lagged responses. For example, favourable climate in the past could stimulate vegetation growth to surpass the ecosystem carrying capacity, leaving an ecosystem vulnerable to climate stresses. This phenomenon, known as structural overshoot, could potentia...
Article
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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
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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...
Article
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Large uncertainties in North American terrestrial carbon fluxes hinder regional climate projections. Terrestrial biosphere models (TBMs), the essential tools for understanding continental‐scale carbon cycle, diverge on whether temperate forests or croplands dominate carbon uptake in North America. Evidence from novel photosynthetic proxies, such as...
Article
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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
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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
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Terrestrial ecosystems remove about 30 per cent of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted by human activities each year¹, yet the persistence of this carbon sink depends partly on how plant biomass and soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks respond to future increases in atmospheric CO2 (refs. 2,3). Although plant biomass often increases in elevated CO2 (eCO2)...
Article
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Drylands are an essential component of the Earth System and are among the most vulnerable to climate change. In this Review, we synthesize observational and modelling evidence to demonstrate emerging differences in dryland aridity dependent on the specific metric considered. Although warming heightens vapour pressure deficit and, thus, atmospheric...
Article
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An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
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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
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In October 2020, under COVID‐19 quarantine, AmeriFlux held its largest and one of its most successful annual meetings. Historically, ∼100 scientists attend; this meeting had over 400 registrants and participants. Participants expressed that this was among the best virtual meetings that they had ever attended, and 100% of post‐meeting survey respond...
Article
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Global warming alters surface water availability (precipitation minus evapotranspiration, P–E) and hence freshwater resources. However, the influence of land–atmosphere feedbacks on future P–E changes and the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Here we demonstrate that soil moisture (SM) strongly impacts future P–E changes, especially in drylands...
Article
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Non-technical summary: We summarize some of the past year's most important findings within climate change-related research. New research has improved our understanding of Earth's sensitivity to carbon dioxide, finds that permafrost thaw could release more carbon emissions than expected and that the uptake of carbon in tropical ecosystems is weakeni...
Article
Land surface models range in complexity of terrestrial evapotranspiration, yet it is unknown how model complexity translates to accuracy of modeled evapotranspiration estimates. Here, we use the International Land Model Benchmarking system to assess ET estimates from three models of varying complexity driven by the same forcing datasets: an earth s...
Article
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Photosynthesis responds quickly to changes in light, increasing with incoming photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) until the leaves become light saturated. This instantaneous response to PPFD, which is widely studied and incorporated into models of photosynthesis, is overlaid on non-instantaneous photosynthetic changes resulting from the accli...
Article
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How, where, and why carbon (C) moves into and out of an ecosystem through time are long‐standing questions in biogeochemistry. Here, we bring together hundreds of thousands of C‐cycle observations at the Harvard Forest in central Massachusetts, USA, a mid‐latitude landscape dominated by 80–120‐year‐old closed‐canopy forests. These data answered fou...
Article
Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration ([CO2]) is increasing, which increases leaf‐scale photosynthesis and intrinsic water‐use efficiency. These direct responses have the potential to increase plant growth, vegetation biomass, and soil organic matter; transferring carbon from the atmosphere into terrestrial ecosystems (a carbon sink). A substant...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
The maximum rate of carboxylation (Vcmax) is an essential leaf trait determining the photosynthetic capacity of plants. Existing approaches for estimating Vcmax at large scale mainly rely on empirical relationships with proxies such as leaf nitrogen/chlorophyll content or hyperspectral reflectance, or on complicated inverse models from gross primar...
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
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The eddy covariance (EC) technique is used to measure the Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE) of CO2 between ecosystems and the atmosphere, offering a unique opportunity to study ecosystem responses to climate change. NEE is the difference between the total CO2 release due to all respiration processes (RECO), and the gross carbon uptake by photosynthesis...
Article
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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
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
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Clarifying how increased atmospheric CO2 concentration (eCO2) contributes to accelerated land carbon sequestration remains important since this process is the largest negative feedback in the coupled carbon–climate system. Here, we constrain the sensitivity of the terrestrial carbon sink to eCO2 over the temperate Northern Hemisphere for the past f...
Article
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Elevated CO2 (eCO2) experiments provide critical information to quantify the effects of rising CO2 on vegetation1–6. Many eCO2 experiments suggest that nutrient limitations modulate the local magnitude of the eCO2 effect on plant biomass1,3,5, but the global extent of these limitations has not been empirically quantified, complicating projections o...
Article
•Many plant phenological events are sensitive to temperature, leading to changes in the seasonal cycle of ecosystem function as the climate warms. To evaluate the current and future implications of temperature changes for plant phenology, researchers commonly use a metric of temperature sensitivity, which quantifies the change in phenology per degr...
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
This paper describes the formation of, and initial results for, a new FLUXNET coordination network for ecosystem-scale methane (CH 4 ) measurements at 60 sites globally, organized by the Global Carbon Project in partnership with other initiatives and regional flux tower networks. The objectives of the effort are presented along with an overview of...
Article
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The global distribution of the optimum air temperature for ecosystem-level gross primary productivity (Topteco) is poorly understood, despite its importance for ecosystem carbon uptake under future warming. We provide empirical evidence for the existence of such an optimum, using measurements of in situ eddy covariance and satellite-derived proxies...
Article
Plant water-use efficiency (WUE, the carbon gained through photosynthesis per unit of water lost through transpiration) is a tracer of the plant physiological controls on the exchange of water and carbon dioxide between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere. At the leaf level, rising CO 2 concentrations tend to increase carbon uptake (in the ab...
Article
The terrestrial biosphere plays a critical role in mitigating climate change by absorbing anthropogenic CO2 emissions through photosynthesis. The rate of photosynthesis is determined jointly by environmental variables and the intrinsic photosynthetic capacity of plants (i.e. maximum carboxylation rate; V c max 25 ). A lack of an effective means...
Article
Full-text available
Satellite retrievals of information about the Earth’s surface are widely used to monitor global terrestrial photosynthesis and primary production and to examine the ecological impacts of droughts. Methods for estimating photosynthesis from space commonly combine information on vegetation greenness, incoming radiation, temperature and atmospheric de...
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
Full-text available
The global land surface absorbs about a third of anthropogenic emissions each year, due to the difference between two key processes: ecosystem photosynthesis and respiration. Despite the importance of these two processes, it is not possible to measure either at the ecosystem scale during the daytime. Eddy-covariance measurements are widely used as...
Article
Full-text available
The El Niño-Southern Oscillation exerts a large influence on global climate regimes and on the global carbon cycle. Although El Niño is known to be associated with a reduction of the global total land carbon sink, results based on prognostic models or measurements disagree over the relative contribution of photosynthesis to the reduced sink. Here,...
Article
Full-text available
Life on Earth comes in many forms, but all life-forms share a common element in carbon. It is the basic building block of biology, and by trapping radiation it also plays an important role in maintaining the Earth’s atmosphere at a temperature hospitable to life. Like all matter, carbon can neither be created nor destroyed, but instead is continuou...
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
Forest carbon use efficiency (CUE, the ratio of net to gross primary productivity) represents the fraction of photosynthesis that is not used for plant respiration. Although important, it is often neglected in climate change impact analyses. Here, we assess the potential impact of thinning on projected carbon-cycle dynamics and implications for for...
Article
Full-text available
We develop and evaluate a method to estimate O3 deposition and stomatal O3 uptake across networks of eddy covariance flux tower sites where O3 concentrations and O3 fluxes have not been measured. The method combines standard micrometeorological flux measurements, which constrain O3 deposition velocity and stomatal conductance, with a gridded datase...
Article
Full-text available
Global ecosystem function is highly dependent on climate and atmospheric composition, yet ecosystem responses to environmental changes remain uncertain. Cold, high-latitude ecosystems in particular have experienced rapid warming¹, with poorly understood consequences2–4. Here, we use a satellite-observed proxy for vegetation cover—the fraction of ab...
Article
Despite decades of research, gaining a comprehensive understanding of carbon (C) cycling in forests remains a considerable challenge. Uncertainties stem from persistent methodological limitations and the difficulty of resolving top-down estimates of ecosystem C exchange with bottom-up measurements of individual pools and fluxes. To address this, we...
Data
Fig. S1 MODIS FPAR vs MODIS EVI data. Fig. S2 Functional relationship of the fractional reduction in light use efficiency (fLUE) and soil moisture. Fig. S3 Neural network‐based predicted vs observed light use efficiency (LUE). Fig. S4 Overview of sites by cluster. Fig. S5 Coevolution of ecosystem state variables throughout droughts. Fig. S6 Ti...
Article
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Whether and how the timing of extreme events affects the direction and magnitude of legacy effects on tree growth is poorly understood. In this study, we use a global database of Ring‐Width Index (RWI) from 2500 sites to examine the impact and legacy effects (the departure of observed RWI from expected RWI) of extreme drought events during 1948‐200...
Article
Full-text available
We develop and evaluate a method to estimate O3 deposition and stomatal O3 uptake across networks of eddy covariance flux tower sites where O3 concentrations and O3 fluxes have not been measured. The method combines standard micrometeorological flux measurements, which constrain O3 deposition velocity and stomatal conductance, with a gridded datase...