We can tell when deciduous trees’ photosynthesis cycles change, whether we’re aware of the phenomenon or not—we witness this every autumn, as the leaves change colour and fall off. But in evergreen trees, the colour change is much subtler and therefore harder to track. An international team of researchers found that sensor data from satellites can be helpful in tracking photosynthesis cycles in entire forests of evergreens. This information is important in studies of climate change, since the frequency of photosynthesis cycles could point to the amount of carbon dioxide in the air absorbed by the trees.
John A. Gamon, K. Fred Huemmrich, Christopher Y. S. Wong, Ingo Ensminger,, Steven Garrity, David Y. Hollinger, Asko Noormets, and Josep Peñuelas
Corresponding Canadian author:
John A. Gamon, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2E9
Original paper published in PNAS on October 31, 2016.