Leaf Sizes and Temperatures

Big Data Science

MSI PI Peter Reich (Forest Resources) is a co-author on a recent study that studied the factors that result in size of plants’ leaves. The study was the cover article on the September 1, 2017 issue of the prestigious journal Science.

Professor Reich and his colleagues studied thousands of leaves from all continents, climate zones, and plant types. They discovered that cold, as well as heat, can be the main factor in determining how large a plant’s leaves can get.

A story about this research appeared on the University News website: The mystery of leaf size solved. The article itself can be found on the Science website: Global climatic drivers of leaf size.

Professor Reich is using MSI for a project to develop a new, improved type of global land model. These models are used for climate research, and more accurate models allow for better predictions.