Research | Gordon Bonan

Gordon Bonan, Section Head, Senior Scientist


My research examines the interactions of terrestrial ecosystems with climate. This research integrates ecological, biogeochemical, hydrological, and atmospheric sciences to study terrestrial ecosystems, their responses to climate change, feedbacks that amplify or mitigate climate change, and human perturbations in land cover, land use, and ecosystem functions that alter climate. I specialize in the development of and experimentation with coupled models of Earth's biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere system. Here are some select studies.

Multilayer plant canopy models

I have been developing a multilayer canopy parameterization for use with the Community Land Model (CLM). The first development examined vertical profiles of light and leaf nitrogen, linking these with leaf gas exchange and plant hydraulics. The model calculates stomatal conductance for each canopy layer so as to maximize photosynthesis within the limitations imposed by water-use efficiency, plant water storage, and soil-to-leaf water transport. See:

Bonan, G.B., M. Williams, R.A. Fisher, and K.W. Oleson. 2014. Modeling stomatal conductance in the earth system: linking leaf water-use efficiency and water transport along the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. Geoscientific Model Development 7:2193-2222. Read more...

A subsequent paper incorporated a theoretically- and physically-based parameterization of the roughness sublayer and turbulence within the canopy to calculate vertical profiles of wind speed, air temperature, and water vapor in canopies. See:

Bonan, G.B., E.G. Patton, I.N. Harman, K.W. Oleson, J.J. Finnigan, Y. Lu, and E.A. Burakowski. 2018. Modeling canopy-induced turbulence in the Earth system: a unified parameterization of turbulent exchange within plant canopies and the roughness sublayer (CLM-ml v0). Geoscientific Model Development 11:1467-1496. Read more...

See the multilayer canopy code here...

CGD People

Gordon Bonan, Section Head, Senior Scientist