Unitat d'Ecologia Global


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Highly cited scientist in ecology/environment, plant and animal sciences, agricultural sciences, geosciences and in all science fields of the ISI essential science indicators. (h index: 96 GS, and more than 39.600 citations GS)

His recent subjects of study are: global ecology, global change, climate change, atmospheric pollution, biogenic Volatile Organic Compounds emissions, remote sensing, plant ecophysiology, and functioning and structure of terrestrial plants and ecosystems, chemical ecology, ecometabolomics, macroecology, biogeochemistry, environmental sustainability, food security.



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He is an ecologist working on global ecology, plant ecophysiology, remote sensing, and atmosphere-biosphere interactions.

Some of the most outstanding results of his research are the following ones: discovery of ecophysiological mechanisms linked to the carbon and oxygen use that help to explain species distribution; the development of increasingly used remote sensing techniques to assess plant and ecosystem functioning; the report of current evidences of global change, climate change, and air pollution interactions with structure and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems; the study of the biochemistry, function and effects of the emissions of the Volatile Organic Compounds by plants and ecosystems, the introduction of metabolomics in field ecology, as well as the development of policies for environmental protection and sustainable development.

Professor J. Peñuelas has published 6 books on ecology, more than 900 papers in scientific journals and books (more than 600 in journals of the Science Citation Index; 29 in Nature journals, 2 in Science, 6 in PNAS, 15 in Trends in Plant Science, 6 in Trends in Ecology and Evolution, as well as in highest profile scientific journals in Ecology and Environmental Sciences: 32 in Global Change Biology, 14 in Global Ecology and Biogeography, 4 in Ecology Letters; Remote sensing: 14 in Remote Sensing of Environment; and Plant Biology: 22 in New Phytologist), 300 in other journals and chapters of books, and more than 250 articles on popular science in Catalan and Spanish newspapers (La Vanguardia, Avui, El País, El Periódico...). It is also outstanding his labour popularizing science issues at international and national scale.

He has participated in more than 40 internatinal projects. He has been principal investigator or scientific coordinator of several European Union, Spanish and Catalan projects financed by public research agencies and by private funding. Among them he has been awarded with ERC-Synergy 2014-2019 grant.  He has supervised 39 PhD, 42 masters, and 45 post-docs.

He is currently member of the editorial board of Ecology Letters, Global Change Biology, Global Ecology and Biogeography, Trends in Plant Science, New Phytologist, Remote Sensing of the Environment, Atmospheric Pollution Research, e-Forestry, Journal of Plant Ecology, Journal of Botany and Plant Ecology and Diversity, Trees and Sensors. He collaborates in the reviewing of articles in many scientific journals, some of them of great prestige such as, Science, Nature, Nature Geoscience, Nature Climate Change, Nature Communications, Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (USA), Trends in Ecology and Evolution, among many others. He also evaluates scientific projects for several international and national programmes. He is member of several academies and international and national scientific associations

Prof. Peñuelas was Titular Professor of Ecology in the University of Barcelona until 1990 and is involved on seminars and postgraduate courses in many of the main national and international Universities. He has been visiting professor or visiting scientist in Los Angeles, Washington, Duke, Lancaster, Avignon, Paris, Saint Andrews, México, Tokyo, Sheffield, Boulder, Phoenix, Flagstaff, Vancouver, Boulder, Hawaii, Mexico, Danah Latu, Canberra, Beijing, ASU Phoenix, NAU Flagstaff, Berkeley, Stanford, Oxford, Cambridge.

He has received several awards-prizes both national and international (Omnium cultural 1975, Omnium cultural 1976, Comte de Barcelona 1990, NASA 1993, Japan Ministry of Science 1998, Premi Medi Ambient Institut d'Estudis Catalans-Caixa Sabadell 2008, National Research Prize of Catalonia 2010, ERC-Synergy 2014, silver badge of the Institut d’Estudis Catalans 2014, Premio Rey Jaime I 2015, adoptive song of Figueres 2016, Ramon margalef Prize in Ecology 2016…). He was the president of Institució Catalana d'Història Natural and adviser of CADS (Consell Asessor per al Desenvolupament Sostenible), Generalitat of Catalonia.



Recent or highlighted publications.

Grau, O., Peñuelas, J., Ferry, B., Freycon, V., Blanc5, L., Desprez, M., Baraloto, C., Chave, J., Descroix, A., Dourdain, A., Guitet, S., Janssens, I.A., Sardans, J., Hérault, B. 2017. Nutrient-cycling mechanisms other than the direct absorption from soil may control forest structure and dynamics in poor Amazonian soils. Scientific Reports 7:45017 | DOI: 10.1038/srep45017.

Brandt, M., Rasmussen, K., Penuelas, j., Tian, f., Schurgers, g., Verger, a., Mertz, o., Palmer, j., Fensholt, r. 2017. Human population growth offsets climate driven woody vegetation increase in sub-Saharan Africa. Nature Ecology and Evolution, 1, 0081 (2017), doi: 10.1038/s41559-017-0081.

Reinsch, S., Koller, E., Sowerby, A., de Dato, G., Estiarte5, M., Guidolotti, G., Kovács-Láng, E., Kröel-Dulay, G., Lellei-Kovács, E., Larsen, K.S., Liberati, D., Peñuelas, J., Ransijn, J., Robinson, D.A., Schmidt, I.K., Smith, A.R., Tietema, A., Dukes, J.S., Beier, C., Emmett, B.A. 2017. Shrubland primary production and soil respiration diverge along European climate gradient. Scientific Reports 7:43952, doi:10.1038/srep43952

Brandt, M., Rasmussen, K., Penuelas, J., Tian, F., Schurgers, G., Verger, A., Mertz, O., Palmer, J., Fensholt, R. 2017. Human population growth offsets climate driven woody vegetation increase in sub-Saharan Africa. Nature Ecology and Evolution, accepted.

Walsh, B., Ciais, p., janssens, I.A., Penuelas, J., Riahi, K., Rydzak, F., van Vuuren, D., Obersteiner, M. 2017. Pathways for balancing CO2 emissions and sinks. Nature Communications, accepted.

Carey, J.C., Tang, J., Templer, P.H., Kroeger, K.D., Crowther, T.W., Burton, A.J., Dukes, J.S., Emmett, B., Frey, S.D., Heskel, M.A., Jiang, L., Machmuller, M.B., Mohan, J., Panetta, A.M., Reich, P.B., Reinsch, S., Wang, X., Allison, S.D., Bamminger, C., Bridgham, S., Collins, S.L., de Dato, G., Eddy, W.C., Enquist, B.J., Estiarte, M., Harte, J., Henderson, A., Johnson, B.R., Steenberg Larsen, K., Luo, Y., Marhan, S., Melillo, J., Peñuelas, J., Pfeifer-Meister, L., Poll, C., Rastetter, E., Reinmann, A.B., Reynolds, L.L.,  Schmidt, I.K., Shaver, G.R., Strong, A.L., Suseela, V., Tietema, A. 2016. Temperature response of soil respiration largely unaltered with experimental warming. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113(48), 13797–13802. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1605365113, 2016.

Zhao, C., Piao, S., Wang, X., Huang, Y., Ciais, P., Elliott, J., Huang, M., Janssens, I., Li, T., Lian, X., Liu, Y., Müller, C., Peng, S., Penuelas, J., Wang, T., Zeng, Z. 2016. Plausible rice yield losses under future climate warming. Nature plants 3, 16202 (2016), doi: 10.1038/nplants.2016.202.

Gamon, J., Huemmrich, J.K.F., Wong, C.Y.F., Ensminger, I., Garrity, S., Hollinger, D.Y., Noormets, A., Peñuelas, J. 2016. A remotely sensed pigment index reveals photosynthetic Q:1 phenology in evergreen conifers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113 (46), 13087–13092.

Campioli, M., Malhi, Y., Vicca, S., Luyssaert, S., Papale, D., Peñuelas, J., Reichstein, M., Migliavacca, M., Arain, A., Janssens, I. 2016. Evaluating the convergence between eddy-covariance and biometric methods for assessing carbon budgets of forests. Nature Communications 7 (2016), 1-12, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms13717.

Crowther, T.W., Rowe, C.W., Wieder, W.R., Carey, J.C., Machmuller, M.B., Todd-Brown, K.E.O., Snoek, L.B., Fang, S., Zhou, G., Allison, S.D., Blair, J.M., Bridgham, S.D., Burton, A.J., Carrillo, Y., Clark, J.S., Classen, A.T., Dijkstra, F.A., Elberling, B., Emmett, B., Estiarte, M., Frey, S.D., Guo, J., Harte, J., Jiang, L., Johnson, B.R., Kröel-Dulay, G., Larsen, K.S., Laudon, H., Lavallee, J.M., Luo, Y., Lupascu, M., Ma, L.N., Marhan, S., Michelsen, A., Mohan, J., Niu, S., Pendall, E., Peñuelas, J., Pfeifer-Meister, L., Poll, C., Reinsch, S., Reynolds, L.L., Schmidt, I.K., Sistla, S., Sokol, N.W., Templer, P.H., Treseder, K.K., Welker, J.M., Reich, P., Bradford, M.A. 2016. Quantifying global soil carbon losses in response to warming. Nature 540 (2016), 104–108, DOI: 10.1038/nature20150.

Li, X., Jiang, L., Meng, F., Wang, S., Niu, H., Iler, A., Duan, J., Zhang, Z., Luo, C., Cui, S., Zhang, L., Li, Y., Wang, Q., Zhou, Y., Bao, X., Dorji, T., Li, Y., Peñuelas, J., Du, M., Zhao, X., Zhao, L., Wang, G. 2016. Responses of sequential and hierarchical phenological events to warming and cooling in alpine meadows. Nature Communications, 7 (2016). doi: 10.1038/ncomms12489.

Li, X., Jiang, L., Meng, F., Wang, S., Niu, H., Iler, A., Duan, J., Zhang, Z., Luo, C., Cui, S., Zhang, L., Li, Y., Wang, Q., Zhou, Y., Bao, X., Dorji, T., Li, Y., Peñuelas, J., Du, M., Zhao, X., Zhao, L., Wang, G. 2016. Responses of sequential and hierarchical phenological events to warming and cooling in alpine meadows. Nature Communications, 7 (2016). doi: 10.1038/ncomms12489.

Zhu, Z., Piao, S., Myneni,R.B., Huang, M., Zeng, Z., Canadell, J.G., Ciais, P., Sitch, S., Friedlingstein, P., Arneth, A., Cao, C., Cheng, L., Kato, E., Koven, C., Li, Y., Lian, X., Liu, Y., Liu, R., Mao, J., Pan, Y., Peng, S., Peñuelas, J., Poulter, B., Pugh, T.A.M., Stocker, B.D., Viovy, N., Wang, X., Wang, Y., Xiao, Z., Yang, H., Zaehle, S., Zeng, N. 2016. Greening of the Earth and its drivers. Nature Climate Change, doi: 10.1038/NCLIMATE3004.

Liang, E., Wang, Y., Piao, S., Lu, X., Camarero, J.J., Zhu, H., Zhu, L., Ellison, A.A., Ciais, P., Peñuelas, J. 2016. Species interactions slow warming-induced upward shifts of treelines on the Tibetan Plateau. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2016, 19;113(16):4380-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1520582113.

Bastos, A., Janssens, I., Gouveia, C., Trigo, R., Ciais, P., Chevallier1, F., Peñuelas, J., Rödenbeck, C., Piao, S., Friedlingstein, P., Running, S. 2016. European land CO2 sink influenced by NAO and East-Atlantic Pattern coupling. Nature Communications, 2016 18; 7:10315. doi: 10.1038/ncomms10315

Kunstler G, Coomes DA, Falster D, Hui F, Kooyman RM, Laughlin DC, Poorter L, Vanderwel M, Vieilledent G, Wright SJ, Aiba M, Baraloto C, Caspersen J, Cornelissen JHC, Gourlet-Fleury S, Hanewinkel M, Herault B, Kattge J, Kurokawa H, Onoda Y, Peñuelas J, Poorter H, Uriarte M, Richardson S, Ruiz-Benito P, Sun I-F, Ståhl G, Swenson NG, Thompson J, Westerlund B, Wirth C, Zavala MA, Zeng H, Zimmerman J, Zimmermann NE, Westoby M. 2016. Plant functional traits have globally consistent effects on competition. Nature, 529, 204–207. doi:10.1038/nature16476

Campioli, M., Vicca, S., Luyssaert, S., Bilcke, J., Ceschia, E., Chapin III, F.S., Ciais, P., Fernández-Martínez, M., Malhi, Y., Obersteiner, M., Olefeldt, D., Papale, D., Piao, S.L., Peñuelas, J., Sullivan, P.F., Wang, X., Zenone, T., Janssens, I. 2015. Biomass production effciency controlled by management in temperate and boreal ecosystems. Nature Geoscience 8, 843–846 (2015) doi:10.1038/ngeo2553.

Fu, Y.H., Zhao, H., Piao, S., Peaucelle, M., Peng, S., Zhou, G., Ciais, P., Huang, M., Menzel, A., Peñuelas , J., Song, Y., Vitasse, Y., Zeng, Z., Janssens, I. 2015. Declining global warming effects on the phenology of spring leaf unfolding. Nature 526, 104–107 (01 October 2015) doi:10.1038/nature15402

Fernández-Martínez, M., Vicca, S., Janssens, I.A., Sardans, J., Luyssaert, S., Campioli, M., Chapin III, F.S., Ciais, P., Malhi, Y., Obersteiner, M., Papale, D., Piao, S.L., Reichstein, M., Rodà, F., Peñuelas, J. 2015. Reply to ‘Uncertain effects of nutrient availability on global forest carbon balance’ and ‘Data quality and the role of nutrients in forest carbon-use efficiency’. Nature Climate Change, 5, 960–961 (2015). doi:10.1038/nclimate2794

Piao, S., Tan, J., Chen, A., Fu, Y.H., Ciais, P., Liu, Q., Janssens, I.A., Vicca, S., Zeng, Z., Jeong, S., Li, Y., Myneni, R.B., Peng, S., Shen, M., Peñuelas, J. 2015. Leaf onset in the northern hemisphere triggered by daytime temperatura. Nature Communications 6:6911 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms7911

Kröel-Dulay, G., Ransijn, J., Kappel Schmidt, I., Beier, C., De Angelis, P., de Dato, G., Dukes, J.S., Emmett7, B., Estiarte, M., Garadnai, J., Kongstad,J., Kovács-Láng, E., Steenberg Larsen, K., Liberati, D., Ogaya, R., Riis-Nielsen,T., Smith, A.R., Sowerby, A., Tietema, A.,Penuelas, J. 2015. Increased sensitivity to climate change in disturbed ecosystems. Nature Communications 6:6682. doi: 10.1038/ncomms7682.

Wang, R., Balkanski, Y., Boucher, O., Ciais, P., Peñuelas, J. and Tao, S. 2015. Significant contribution of combustion-related emissions to the atmospheric phosphorus budget. Nature Geoscience 8: 48-54. DOI: 10.1038/NGEO2324.

Fernández-Martínez, M., Vicca, S., Janssens, I.A., Sardans, J., Luyssaert, S., Campioli, M., Chapin, III F.S., Ciais, P., Malhi, Y., Obersteiner, M., Papale, D., Piao, S.L., Reichstein, M., Rodà, F., Peñuelas, J. 2014. Nutrient availability as the key regulator of global forest carbon balance. Nature Climate Change 4: 471-476. Supplementary Information. Comentado en News and Views Nature Climate Change. Corrigendum: Nutrient availability as the key regulator of global forest carbon balance, Nature Climate Change 5 (4), 386-386

Peñuelas, J., Poulter, B., Sardans, J., Ciais, P., Van Der Velde, M., Bopp, L., Boucher, O., Godderis, Y., Hinsinger, P., Llusià, J., Nardin, E., Vicca, S., Obersteiner, M., Janssens, I.A. 2013. Human-induced nitrogen-phosphorus imbalances alter natural and managed ecosystems across the globe. Nature Communications 4: 2934. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3934.

Obersteiner, M., Peñuelas, J., Ciais, P., Van Der Velde, M., Janssens, I.A. 2013. The phosphorus trilema. Nature Geoscience 6: 897-898.

Peñuelas, J., Marino, G., Llusià, J., Morfopoulos, C., Farré-Armengol, G., Filella, I. 2013. Photochemical reflectance index as an indirect estimator of foliar isoprenoid emissions at the ecosystem level. Nature Communications 4: 2064. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3604.

Peng, S., Piao, S., Ciais, P., Myneni, R.B., Chen, A., Chevallier, F., Dolman, A.J., Janssens, I.A., Peñuelas, J., Zhang, G., Vicca, S., Wan, S., Wang, S., Zeng, H. 2013. Asymmetric effects of daytime and night-time warming on Northern Hemisphere vegetation. Nature 501: 88-92. doi:10.1038/nature12434

Rivas-Ubach, A., Sardans, J., Pérez-Trujillo, M., Estiarte, M., Peñuelas, J. 2012. Strong relationship between elemental stoichiometry and metabolome in plants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109: 4181-4186.

Carnicer, J., Coll, M., Ninyerola, M., Pons, X., Sánchez, G., Peñuelas, J. 2011. Widespread crown condition decline, food web disruption, and amplified tree mortality with increased climate change-type drought. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108: 1474-1478. DOI/10.1073/pnas.1010070108.

Peñuelas, J, Sardans J. 2009. Elementary factors. Nature 460: 803-804.

Peñuelas, J., Rutishauser, T. & Filella, I. 2009. Phenology Feedbacks on Climate Change. Science vol. 324, 887 – 888.

 Jump, A., Peñuelas, J. 2006. Genetic effects of chronic habitat fragmentation in a wind-pollinated tree. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 103 (21): 8096–8100.

Peñuelas, J. 2005. A big issue for trees. Nature 437:965-966.

Peñuelas, J, Fiella, I. 2001. Phenology: Responses to a warming world. Science, 294: 793-795.






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