Global Ecology Group
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About our group

Our research is motivated by the compelling need to understand the impacts of climate change and human activities on the Earth’s biosphere and the feedbacks to the climate. We strive to answer major science questions on global carbon/water cycles, climate-vegetation interactions, ecosystem dynamics, and coupled natural and human systems. We combine terrestrial biosphere modeling, remote sensing, field measurements, upscaling, model-data fusion, and statistical analysis to answer these science questions.


Dr. Jingfeng Xiao, Research Professor

E-mail: j dot xiao at unh dot edu


Highlights on recent papers:

Li, X.*, Xiao, J. (2019) Mapping photosynthesis solely from solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence: A global, fine-resolution dataset of gross primary production derived from OCO-2. Remote Sensing, 11(21), 2563;

Xiao, J., Chevallier, F., Gomez, C., Guanter, L., Hicke, J.A., Huete, A.R., Ichii, K., Ni, W., Pang, Y., Rahman, A.F., Sun, G., Yuan, W., Zhang, L., Zhang, X. (2019) Remote sensing of the terrestrial carbon cycle: A review of advances over 50 years. Remote Sensing of Environment, 233, 111383.

Wang, X.*, Xiao, J., Li, X., Cheng, G., Ma, M., Zhu, G., Arain, M.A., Black, T.A., Jassal, R.S. (2019) No trends in spring and autumn phenology during the global warming hiatus. Nature Communications, 10:2389,

Li, X.*, Xiao, J. (2019) A global, 0.05-degree product of solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence derived from OCO-2, MODIS, and reanalysis data. Remote Sensing, 11, 517.

Zhou, D., Xiao, J., Bonafoni, S., Berger, C., Deilami, K., Zhou, Y., Frolking, S., Yao, R., Qiao, Z., Sobrino, J.A. (2019) Satellite remote sensing of surface urban heat islands: Progress, challenges, and perspectives. Remote Sensing, 2019, 11, 48; doi:10.3390/rs11010048. (A review article)

Li, X.*, Xiao, J., He, B., Arain, M.A., Beringer, J., Desai, A.R., Emmel, C., Hollinger, D.Y., Krasnova, A., Mammarella, I., Noe, S.M., Ortiz, P.S., Rey-Sanchez, C., Rocha, A.V., Varlagin, A. (2018) Solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence is strongly correlated with terrestrial photosynthesis for a wide variety of biomes: First global analysis based on OCO-2 and flux tower observations. Global Change Biology, 24, 3990-4008.


Group news:



Jingfeng has been promoted to full research professor. Thanks, all our postdocs/scholars, students, collaborators, and funding agencies.

Jingfeng gave an invited talk at Geospatial Sciences Center of Excellence (GSCE), South Dakota State University (remotely). The talk is titled Understanding global land photosynthesis with solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence measured from space.


Are you interested in DNDC - a widely used biogeochemical model for simulating CO2, CH4, & N2O from site to globe? Now DNDC has the capability to simulate surface energy exchange & radiative forcing. Read our Global Biogeochem. Cycles paper led by Jia: Improving a biogeochemical model to simulate surface energy, greenhouse gas fluxes, and radiative forcing for different land use types in Northeastern United States.


Hang's paper titled Heatwave effects on gross primary production of northern mid-latitude ecosystems has been published in Environmental Research Letters. Heat waves depress photosynthesis for most ecosystem types except C4 sites. Forests are most resistant and resilient; C4 ecosystems have weaker stomatal control on water loss. Understanding the post-effect of heat waves is also vital.


A nice web app for Manchester residential yard carbon stock measurements has been recently released: Residents can see above/belowground C & tree species in their own yards in comparison to other yards that we sampled. This is funded by our NASA Carbon Cycle Science project (NNX14AJ18G), and created by our project team members Apryl Perry and Alix Contosta.


Xing's paper titled Global climatic controls on interannual variability of ecosystem productivity: similarities and differences inferred from solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence and enhanced vegetation index has been published in Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. [PDF]


Our new AFM paper shows that canopy conductance is the dominant factor regulating forest ecosystem WUE in spring & autumn, while the fraction of diffuse radiation (FDR) is the main driver in summer by depressing ET and promoting GPP. Nice work, Hang!


The new paper led by Dr. Li Zhang -Increased carbon uptake and water use efficiency in global semi-arid ecosystems came out in ERL today. In this study, we upscaled FLUXNET data to the globe and examined the trends in C uptake, ET, and WUE and their drivers for semi-arid regions globally over the period 1982-2015. Precipitation is the most important factor enhancing carbon uptake, ET, and WUE.

Jingfeng and Xing attended the ECOSTRESS Science and Applications Team Meeting at Ventura, California (February 11-13, 2020) and presented our early results from our recently funded ECOSTRESS project.


Our paper titled Biogeochemical and socioeconomic drivers of above- and below-ground carbon stocks in urban residential yards of a small city is published today in Landscape and Urban Planning. This is an outcome of our NASA Carbon Cycle Science project on the interactions between carbon cycling, land use and climate change within mixed agricultural, forested, suburban, and urban landscapes. Nice work, Alix!


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Prospective graduate students and postdocs (and visiting students or scholars):

Our group may have positions open for highly-motivated and productive graduate students or postdocs. Please contact me if you are interested. We also host highly-motivated visiting students or scholars.

Special issues:

Remote Sensing of Carbon Fluxes and Stocks, Remote Sensing, Guest Editors: Bassil El Masri, JIngfeng Xiao (deadline: November 30, 2019)


Afforestation and Reforestation: Drivers, Dynamics, and Impacts, Forests, Guest editors: J. Xiao, G. Sun, L. Hao, G. Dong, Z. Zhang


Impacts of Extreme Climate Events and Disturbances on Carbon Dynamics, Biogeosciences, Guest Editors: J. Xiao, S. Liu, P. Stoy


Advances in Upscaling of Eddy Covariance Measurements of Carbon and Water Fluxes, Journal of Geophysical Research - Biogeosciences, Guest Editors: J. Xiao, K.J. Davis, M. Reichestein, J.Chen