The University of Arizona Brazilian Partners Harvard University The University of Arizona

A Community Workshop:

How can we best use the Biosphere 2 Tropical Rainforest to advance understanding of tropical forest function under climate change?

March 6-7, 2009
University of Arizona Biosphere 2


What is the fate of tropical forests under climate change?
How much of what kinds of climate change does it take to break a rainforest?
How can we test new methods and instruments to investigate whole-system response to perturbations?

This workshop is the first step in developing a community-wide science plan for how to best use the tropical forest biome of Biosphere 2, the unique large mesocosm facility outside Tucson (now under management by the University of Arizona) to investigate science problems framed by the questions above. We envision broad participation in planning and subsequent research by the community of researchers knowledgeable about these questions.

More detailed substantive and logistical information will be posted shortly. The basics are these:

  1. MOTIVATIONS: (a) that a combination of drought and global warming threaten tropical forest function (even in intact forest areas), that even though we have learned alot from field studies (especially ecosystem experiments of precip alteration impacts at BCI in Panama, and Tapajos, and Caxiuana in the Amazon), there are important aspects of this problem we still don't understand, and (b) that the Biosphere 2 facility offers an opportunity to probe some of these questions with its unique combination of precisely controllable environment, ability to mass balance fluxes for the the whole system using cutting edge measurement technologies, and relatively large scale (at least, for an enclosed system).
  2. PURPOSE: bring together a group of experts familiar with aspects of these questions, and brainstorm about what experimental designs would make best use of the strengths (while avoiding the weaknesses) of Biosphere 2 to address these questions. We plan a two-day workshop: day 1 (Fri, March 6) focusing on science questions, day 2 (Sat March 7) focusing on experimental design.
  3. PRODUCT: an experimental plan (or possibly competing plans) that can be implemented within the next few years in Biosphere 2 by the community of researchers brought together in this work. We envision an open process that integrates scientists and students from the broad scientific community to produce the best science possible.

  • Leigh, et al. (1999) Tropical Rainforest Biome of Biosphere 2, Ecological Engineering.
    (covers the basic design and initial years of operation when Biospherians lived there)
  • Rascher et al. (2004) Functional Diversity of photosynthesis during drought in a model tropical forest, Plant Cell Env
    (results of short-term drought conducted during Columbia University's management of B2)

This workshop will be a joint project of Amazon-PIRE), Biosphere 2, and the Institute for Environment and Society (formerly Institute for the Study of Planet Earth, ISPE).
Limited travel funds are available.

For information contact:
Scott Saleska, Amazon-PIRE Director
Javier Espeleta, Associate director, Biosphere2 EarthScience
Marianne Ritter, Amazon-PIRE Program Coordinator

Confirmed Participants

Alessandro Araujo, INPA, Brazil
Joe Berry, Carnegie Institute
Paulo Brando (Jack Putz lab), University of Florida
Deborah Clark, La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica
Marcos Costa, Federal University of Vicosa, Brazil
Eric Davidson, Woods Hole Research Center
Chris Doughty, Stanford University
Rosie Fisher, University of Sheffield, U.K.
David Galbraith, University of Edinburgh, U.K.
Manuel Lerdau, University of Virginia
Linda Leigh
Yadvinder Malhi, Oxford University, U.K.
Tom Powell (Paul Moorcroft lab), Harvard University
Kathleen Savage, Woods Hole Research Center
Lissandra Souza, INPA, Brazil
Tana Wood (Whendee Silver lab), U.C. Berkeley

U of A

Greg Barron-Gafford, grad student, EEB
Prof. David Breshears, School of Natural Resources
Brad Christoffersen, grad student, EEB
Javier Espeleta, Assoc. Director, Biosphere 2
Prof. Brian Enquist, Ecol. & Evolutionary Biology
Prof. Alfredo Huete, Soil, Water, & Env. Sciences
Assoc. Prof. Travis Huxman, Ecol & Evolutionary Biology/Biosphere 2
Kolby Jardine, Ph.D., Biosphere 2
Lisa Patrick, Ph.D., EEB
Piyachat Ratana, Ph.D., SWES
Natalia Restrepo, Ph.D., EEB
Virginia Rich, Ph.D., EEB
Asst. Prof. Scott Saleska, Ecol. & Evolutionary Biology
Scott Stark, grad student, EEB
Joost van Haren, grad student, SWES
Prof. Xubin Zeng, Atmospheric Sciences



Previous Biosphere 2 Research

Biosphere 2 laboratory research programs 1998-2003 consolidated publications (to April 2006)

Preface: Biosphere 2—The Special Issue

Arbrell, et al.: Effect of elevated atmospheric CO2 on oviposition
behavior in Manduca sexta moths

Ananyev, et al.: Remote sensing of heterogeneity in photosynthetic efficiency, electron transport and dissipation of excess light in Populus deltoides stands under ambient and elevated CO2 concentrations, and in a tropical forest canopy, using a new laser-induced fluorescence transient device

Arian, et al.: Comparing micrometeorology of rain forests in Biosphere-2 and Amazon basin

Armstrong, et al.: Photosynthesis and Global Change

Barron-Gafford, et al.: Growth of Eastern Cottonwoods (Populus deltoides) in elevated [CO2] stimulates stand-level respiration and rhizodeposition of carbohydrates, accelerates soil nutrient depletion, yet stimulates above- and belowground biomass production

Barron-Gafford, et al.: Elevated CO2 differentially effects photosynthesis and carbon balance in poplar stands, a four year study

Barron-Gafford, et al.: Leaf- and stand-level responses of a forested mesocosm to independent manipulations of temperature and vapor pressure deficit

Dempster, et al.: Biosphere 2 engineering design

Druart, et al.: Molecular targets of elevated [CO2] in leaves and stems of Populus deltoides: implications for future tree growth and carbon sequestration

Finn, et al.: The mangrove mesocosm of Biosphere 2: Design,
establishment and preliminary results

Griffin, et al.: Leaf respiration is differentially affected by leaf vs. stand-level night-time warming

Griffin, et al.: Canopy position affects the temperature response of leaf respiration in Populus deltoides

Griffin, et al.: Plant growth in elevated CO2 alters mitochondrial
number and chloroplast fine structure

Ho, et al.: Influence of rain on air-sea gas exchange: Lessons from a model ocean

Leigh, et al.: The basis for rainforest diversity and Biosphere 2

Leigh, et al.: Tropical rainforest biome of Biosphere 2: Structure, composition and results of the first 2 years of operation

Lin, et al.: Ecosystem carbon exchange in two terrestrial ecosystem mesocosms under changing atmospheric CO2 concentrations

Lin, et al.: Ecosystem carbon exchange in two terrestrial ecosystem mesocosms under changing atmospheric CO2 concentrations

Lipson, et al.: Relationships Between Microbial Community Structure and Soil Processes Under Elevated Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

Previous Biosphere 2 Research (cont.)

Marino, et al.: Biosphere 2: Introduction and research progress

Murthy, et al.: Carbon dioxide efflux from a 550 m3 soil across a range of soil temperatures

Murthy, et al.: Increased leaf area dominates carbon flux response to elevated CO2 in stands of Populus deltoides (Bartr.)

Norby, et al.: Evaluating ecosystem responses to rising atmospheric CO2 and global warming in a multi-factor world

Osmond, et al.: Changing the way we think about global change research:
scaling up in experimental ecosystem science

Osmond, et al.: Experimental ecosystem and climate change research in controlled environments: lessons from the Biosphere 2 Laboratory 1996-2003

Pegoraro, et al.: Effect of elevatedCO2 concentration and vapour pressure deficit on isoprene emission from leaves of Populus deltoides during drought

Pegoraro, et al.: The interacting effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration, drought and leaf-to-air vapour pressure deficit on ecosystem isoprene fluxes

Pegoraro, et al.: Drought effect on isoprene production and consumption
in Biosphere 2 tropical rainforest

Pegoraro, et al.: The effect of elevated atmospheric CO2 and drought on sources and sinks of isoprene in a temperate and tropical rainforest mesocosm

Rascher, et al.: Functional diversity of photosynthesis during drought in a model tropical rainforest – the contributions of leaf area, photosynthetic electron transport and stomatal conductance to reduction in net ecosystem carbon exchange

Rosentiel, et al.: Increased CO2 uncouples growth from isoprene emission in an agriforest ecosystem

Scott, et al.: Characteristics of soils in the tropical rainforest biome of Biosphere 2 after 3 years

Trueman, et al.: Accelerated belowground C cycling in a managed agriforest ecosystem exposed to elevated carbon dioxide concentrations

Turnbull, et al.: The relative impacts of daytime and night-time warming on photosynthetic capacity in Populus deltoides

Vanharen, et al.: Drought-induced nitrous oxide flux dynamics in an enclosed tropical forest

Walter, et al.: The effect of elevated CO2 on diel leaf growth cycle, leaf carbohydrate content and canopy growth performance of Populus deltoides

Zabel, et al.: Construction and engineering of a created environment: Overview of the Biosphere 2 closed system

Zappa, et al.: Environmental turbulent mixing controls on air-water gas exchange in marine and aquatic systems

Relevant Papers

Baker, et al.: Seasonal drought stress in the Amazon: Reconciling models and observations

Campbell, et al.: Photosynthetic Control of Atmospheric Carbonyl Sulfide During the Growing Season

Clark, et al.: Tropical rain forest tree growth and atmospheric
carbon dynamics linked to interannual temperature
variation during 1984–2000

Fisher, et al.: Evidence from Amazonian forests is consistent with isohydric control of leaf water potential

Högberg, et al.: High temporal resolution tracing of photosynthate carbon from the tree canopy to forest soil microorganisms

Huete, et al.: Amazon rainforests green-up with sunlight in dry season

Malhi, et al.: Comprehensive assessment of carbon productivity,
allocation and storage in three Amazonian forests

Malhi, et al.: Climate Change, Deforestation, and the Fate of the Amazon

McDowell, et al.: Mechanisms of plant survival and mortality during drought: why do some plants survive while others succumb to drought?

Sala, et al.: Height-related growth declines in ponderosa pine are not due to carbon limitation

Saleska, et al.: Carbon in Amazon Forests: Unexpected Seasonal Fluxes and Disturbance-Induced Losses

Saleska, et al.: Amazon Forests Green-Up During 2005 Drought

Sandoval-Soto, et al.: Global uptake of carbonyl sulfide (COS) by terrestrial vegetation: Estimates corrected by deposition velocities normalized to the uptake of carbon dioxide (CO2)