Model–data integration for the next generation of forest FACE experiments

13th New Phytologist Workshop

November 2014, Max Planck Institute for History and the Sciences, Jena, Germany



Initiate a long-term collaboration among three, new, independently funded forest FACE experiments. We will identify a set of scientifically interesting cross-site questions, ensure that key measurements needed for model parameterization will be made, and establish a common data format that will facilitate the use of the data in models over many years.


Rational and scope

During the first generation of forest FACE experiments, there was little attempt to coordinate measurements and data across similar experiments large field manipulation experiments, compromising their value for subsequent synthesis, model testing and evaluation. Ecosystem modellers were not engaged until the end of the experiment. During recent efforts to synthesize results of forest FACE experiments and use the results in multi-model comparisons (two recent papers in New Phytologist), we have seen the value of initiating the experiment-model connection while experiments are in the planning stage. We now have an opportunity to do that with three new forest FACE experiments that have either just started (EucFACE in a mature eucalyptus forest in Australia), or are about to start (AmazonFACE in a primary tropical rain forest in Brazil and BIFor FACE in an old oak woodland near Birmingham, UK). This workshop will initiate what we expect to be a long-term association among the scientists investigating the responses to elevated CO2 in these three contrasting forest ecosystems, with objectives that go beyond the funded objectives of the individual experiments. A primary goal of this workshop will be to identify scientifically important questions about forest response to elevated CO2 that will benefit from the range of climates and soils represented here. For example, we can explore how wide variation in soil phosphorus, growing season length, and mean annual temperature affects the CO2 response. We will establish a modelling framework similar to what has been used in current FACE model-data synthesis activities (e.g., New Phytologist 202: 803–822), parameterize the models for the three sites, and use the models to generate testable hypotheses based on our cross-site science questions.


Organising Committee

Richard Norby (ORNL, TN, USA)

Belinda Medlyn (Macquarie University, Australia)

David Lapola (UNESP, Brazil)

Sönke Zaehle (Max Planck Institute Jena, Germany)



Note that participation in this workshop is by invitation only. For more information please contact us by email: or visit the website which has more information about the workshop.