The LPICEA team at DESS, Tsinghua persists on their way to release the potency and usefulness of big data with big theories in plant ecology, and welcome students, postdocs, visitors with ANY background to reunion the force!
Theory in plant photosynthesis and ecosystem primary production
‘Although many believe that more is better, history tells us that least is best. We need theory and a firm grasp on the nature of the objects we study to predict the rest’ (Brenner 2012, p. 461).
Dr. Han Wang and her collaborative group believe in the necessity of theory in ecological researches. After spending five years to develop the theory of plant photosynthesis, she and her collaborators developed a universal model of terrestrial ecosystem production from first-principle (Pmodel, Wang et al. 2017 Nature Plants). Grounded on the solid theory, the Pmodel can therefore predict the observed temporal and spatial pattern of gross primary production with only two equations and three free parameters, but as good as complex models. The European Space Agency funded TerrA-P project adopted Pmodel to estimate gross primary production and aboveground biomass production from MERIS and Sentinel-3 data (https://terra-p.vito.be/). Pmodel was exploited by various communities. For example, it was used to understand the recent pause in the growth rate of atmospheric CO2 (Keenan et al. 2016 Nature Communication). It was also adapted to predict wheat yield in China (Qiao et al. in prep.).
Data in plant functional traits
In addition to test the predictions of their theory from observations, she and her collaborators have been conducting field campaigns on plant functional traits cross China since the year of 2005. All the traits data they collected are public available (Wang et al. Ecology 2017), together with the geographic and climatic information of the sampled sites. Based on their China Plant Trait Database, they have also published a series of papers on empirical analysis of the plant functional geography (Meng et al. 2015 Biogeosciences; Yang et al. New Phytologist 2018).