Category Archives: Uncategorized

New Heatwave Research


heatwave wtcWe know that the heat is uncomfortable for humans and animals, but how does our native flora fare? Our group was very excited to be part of an HIE research team studying how eucalypts cope with heatwaves, using our unique whole-tree chambers.

The research is published in Global Change Biology. Read the media coverage on or the Guardian. (I’m told it was also in The Australian .. but that’s paywalled)



Journal Club “Best Of” 2017

#oneforjournalclub has voted! Here are our top papers for 2017.

Our winner, for an elegant and insightful experiment into plant carbon balance:

Justine Karst, Jacob Gaster, Erin Wiley, Simon M. Landhäusser; Stress differentially causes roots of tree seedlings to exude carbon, Tree Physiology, Volume 37, Issue 2, 1 February 2017, Pages 154–164,

Our runner-up, for a fascinating combination of plant physiology and biogeography:

Larter, M., Pfautsch, S., Domec, J.-C., Trueba, S., Nagalingum, N. and Delzon, S. (2017), Aridity drove the evolution of extreme embolism resistance and the radiation of conifer genus Callitris. New Phytol, 215: 97–112. doi:10.1111/nph.14545

Honourable mentions also to two outstanding modelling papers:

Xu, X., Medvigy, D., Joseph Wright, S., Kitajima, K., Wu, J., Albert, L. P., Martins, G. A., Saleska, S. R. and Pacala, S. W. (2017), Variations of leaf longevity in tropical moist forests predicted by a trait-driven carbon optimality model. Ecol Lett, 20: 1097–1106. doi:10.1111/ele.12804

Feng, X., Dawson, T. E., Ackerly, D. D., Santiago, L. S. and Thompson, S. E. (2017), Reconciling seasonal hydraulic risk and plant water use through probabilistic soil–plant dynamics. Glob Change Biol, 23: 3758–3769. doi:10.1111/gcb.13640


Journal Club Goes to AGU 2017

There’s a gang of #oneforjournalclub folk heading to New Orleans for AGU – hoping to catch up with many friends and colleagues! Here’s where we’ll be, please stop by:

Monday, 11 December 2017 09:45 – 10:00 Convention Center – 386-387 B11K-08 Mistletoe infection alters the transpiration flow path and suppresses water regulation of host trees during extreme events Anne Griebel

Tuesday, 12 December 2017 13:40 – 18:00 Poster Hall D-F B23D-2107 Plant inputs, microbial carbon use in soil and decomposition under warming: effects of warming are depth dependent Yolima Carrillo / Elise Pendall

Wednesday, 13 December 2017 08:00 – 12:20 Poster Hall D-F B31A-1970 Applying the concept of ecohydrological equilibrium to predict steady-state leaf area index for Australian ecosystems Jinyan Yang

Wednesday, 13 December 2017 16:45 – 17:00 Convention Center – 388-390 B34A-04 When growth and photosynthesis don’t match: implications for carbon balance models Belinda Medlyn

Wednesday, 13 December 2017 17:15 – 17:30 Convention Center – 388-390 B34A-06 Challenging terrestrial biosphere models with data from the long-term multifactor Prairie Heating and CO2 Enrichment experiment Martin De Kauwe

Friday, 15 December 2017 08:00 – 12:20 Poster Hall D-F  B51D-1824 Lessons from simultaneous measurements of soil respiration and net ecosystem exchange of CO2 in temperate forests Alexandre Renchon

Friday, 15 December 2017 14:55 – 15:07 Convention Center – 388-390 B53I-07 How does warming affect carbon allocation, respiration and residence time in trees? An isotope tracer approach in a eucalypt Elise Pendall

Friday, 15 December 2017 16:45 – 17:00 Convention Center – 298-299 H54D-04 Plant ecosystem responses to rising atmospheric CO2: applying a “two-timing” approach to assess alternative hypotheses for mechanisms of nutrient limitation Belinda Medlyn

New ARC Discovery Project

We are very pleased to have been successful in the 2018 ARC Discovery round. Our project “Brown is the new green: grassland responses to heat and drought”  aims to improve our ability to predict grassland productivity in hot & dry conditions with a better understanding of physiological drought tolerance and leaf browning. My co-CIs on this exciting new project are Prof Elise Pendall, A/Prof Sally Power, Prof David Tissue (all from HIE) and Profs Alan Knapp and Melinda Smith from Colorado State.

Dr Lu Yaojie

Lu’s PhD thesis, “Optimal and Competitive Stomatal Behaviour”, has passed examination with flying colours. Congratulations to both Lu and his primary supervisor Dr Remko Duursma! Lu has published on optimal stomatal behaviour already and has a second outstanding contribution on competitive behaviour in preparation.

New EucFACE paper

The EucFACE experiment, running since Sept 2012, has fumigated a mature eucalyptus woodland in western Sydney. In a paper published today in Nature Climate Change, we show that despite a significant and sustained increase in leaf-level photosynthesis, there has been no detectable increase in above-ground productivity. On average, light-saturated rates of photosynthesis increased by 19%, whereas the 95% CI for the elevated CO2 effect on total above-ground production was (-25%, +9%). It seems likely that low soil P availability restricted the plants’ growth response. Read more about it:

ABC News: Carbon emissions are not soaked up by trees as well as initially thought, say scientists

New Scientist: Global greening may soak up less carbon dioxide than projected