New publication about integrating fine root traits in vegetation models

Our new publication, a viewpoint released this week in New Phytologist, is now out! This research is an amazing group effort derived from our TropiRoots network, combining different tropical ecologists from around the world interested in root research.

Some members, funded by the Amazon-FLUX project, are also part of TropiRoots and co-authors in this paper. The workshop that led to this publication was funded by New Phytologist and hosted in Panama in April 2023. There, we had the opportunity to bring experimentalists, empiricists and modellers together while taking in the exuberant tropical forest on Barro Colorado Island.

One of the big advances brought by our publication is the possible integration between root functions in nature and models. We suggest avenues for improvement in both ways, not only translating data into models but also looking at model structures and parameters to guide us on what data on root traits are missing and would affect the performance of projections. This endeavour becomes even more important when trying to predict tropical forest responses to climate change, where root functions are likely to play important roles in scenarios of, for example, drought extremes and elevated CO2.

Citation: Daniela F. Cusack, Bradley Christoffersen, Chris M. Smith-Martin, Kelly M. Andersen, Amanda L. Cordeiro, Katrin Fleischer, S. Joseph Wright, Nathaly R. Guerrero-Ramírez, Laynara F. Lugli, Lindsay A. McCulloch, Mareli Sanchez-Julia, Sarah A. Batterman, Caroline Dallstream, Claire Fortunel, Laura Toro, Lucia Fuchslueger, Michelle Y. Wong, Daniela Yaffar, Joshua B. Fisher, Marie Arnaud, Lee H. Dietterich, Shalom D. Addo-Danso, Oscar J. Valverde-Barrantes, Monique Weemstra, Jing Cheng Ng, Richard J. Norby. 2024. Toward a coordinated understanding of hydro-biogeochemical root functions in tropical forests for application in vegetation models. New Phytologist.

New publication about integrating fine root traits in vegetation models
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