Biosphere-atmosphere interactions

TitleBiosphere-atmosphere interactions
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsCurtis PS
JournalNew Phytologist

Plant biologists have long been concerned with how climate affects the performance and distribution of species. Occasionally this has led to international collaborative efforts to place terrestrial ecosystem processes within the context of the earth system as a whole v the International Biosphere Programme of the 1960s and early 1970s being a notable example. By the late 1970s, with the steady accumulation of atmospheric CO2 concentration data from the Mauna Loa observatory, a new set of challenges presented themselves to ecologists and physiologists: the potential for fundamental, global-scale alterations in plant physiological processes caused by anthropogenic changes in atmospheric chemistry, and the demonstration that the effects of canopy-level biology could be seen well into the planetary boundary layer. By the mid-1980s, the field of global change biology was born and with it the opportunity for a new level of integration between the disciplines of plant physiology, ecosystem ecology, and earth system science. The annual American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall meeting (; Box 1) has accommodated the burgeoning field within its Biogeosciences Section, and the meeting is now a forum for an abundance of first-rate science of interest to ecophysiologists and the broader plant science community.