Talk title: Decoupling of recent changes in foliage and stem production in local forests and its implications for future growth
Talk Abstract: Long-term studies of local mixed–species deciduous forests have shown that aboveground biomass is increasing more rapidly than expected. Changes in climate-related environmental factors (atmospheric CO2 concentrations, growing season length, mean temperature) are consistent with the observed patterns. However, the leaf biomass has not changed in parallel to increases in woody biomass. That is, leaves appear to be producing more biomass per unit area than before. What is the nature of the process controlling this effect? Have leaves become more efficient? Are there limits to such efficiencies? Are there implications from this study for understanding the dynamics of future forests?