The pathways through which processes operating at lower levels of organization shape global forest responses and feedbacks to climate remain poorly resolved. This limits our ability to advance knowledge about the role of forests in the Earth system. However, increasing computational power and the launch of new remote sensing instruments mean forest ecology is on the cusp of a macrosystems revolution.
With an international network of collaborators, the Forest Futures Lab is leveraging theory, new global data-streams, ecosystem models, and machine learning to build and apply a framework for scaling effects of changing climate and disturbance on key forest processes, from individual trees to biomes. Products will be designed to feed directly into general circulation models (GCMs) of climate, fundamentally altering the way vegetation is represented.