New article published on drivers of productivity and light use efficiency of a spruce forest


The efficiency by which a forest uses sunlight to perform photosynthesis is an important feature for climate and ecosystem modeling. However, the light that is actually captured by forests and is useable for photosynthesis is difficult to assess. In this article, a sophisticated approach is shown to estimate the light use efficiency of a spruce forest in Germany and analyze environmental influences on it and on photosynthesis. The results indicate that about 4% of the light useable for photosynthesis was actually used by the forest during the 2021 growing season and that seasonal variations of chlorophyll in the canopy are a good indicator for carbon capture.

  Image of a spruce forest Copyright: © Jordan Bates and Carsten Montzka, Forschungszentrum Jülich