First science meeting of the LEMONTREE project

The joint LEMONTREE science meeting and Tsinghua’s 110th anniversary celebration meeting was held online on May 13th, 2021. The theme of this forum is “ The overview of eco-evolutionary optimality theory and its application”.  

The LEMONTREE project, a 5-​year project of Land Ecosystem Models based On New Theory, ObseRvations and ExperimEnts (LEMONTREE), is led by Prof. Sandy Harrison at University of reading, who is also the Tsinghua excellent visiting professor in the Department of Earth System Science. The Lpicea group at Tsinghua University is one of the major participants of the LEMONTREE project. All Lpicea members contribute to the project by developing a new theory of eco-evolutionary optimality for Earth System Developments. More information on the LEMONTREE project can be found here:

At the beginning of the forum, Prof. Yong Luo, dean of DESS, Tsinghua University, briefly introduced the history of the department to participating scientists from all over the world, and expressed his sincere thanks to the organizers and participants of the forum,  and best wishes to the LEMONTREE project.

Prof. Sandy Harrison, as the co-host of the forum, introduced the starting point, theoretical basis, and target of LEMONTREE project.  The LEMONTREE draws on eco-​evolutionary optimality (EEO) theory as a basis for building ecosystem models, and aims to develop a next-​generation model of  terrestrial vegetation dynamics which could be incorporated into the land-​surface models.

Prof. Colin Prentice gave a keynote lecture on “The new theory and next-generation model of the land- atmosphere exchange of carbon, water and energy”. Colin believed that with this theory, we could begin to make well-founded and accurate predictions of observable features of plant and ecosystem function.

After Colin’s lecture, a number of short presentations, were also given by young scientists from Tsinghua, Imperial College London, and ETH. These presentations showed how the EEO theory had been applied to different aspects. Dr. Han Wang introduced leaf economics explained by optimality principles. Huiying Xu showed the coordination between hydraulic and photosynthetic traits. Jiulia Mengoli introduced how the first principles approach had been applied in the Land Surface Model. Koen Hufkens suggested we are supposed to use a more reasonable approach to systematically and successively integrate data and analysis in LEMONTREE.

At last, the representors and participants gathered together and had a 30 minutes lively discussion on the EEO theory and LEMONTREE project. And Prof. Sandy Harrison hoped that in the future, the participants of LEMONTREE can closely cooperate in more scientific research fields and make more influential results.

We are very happy to see that the meeting got more than 1000 online attendees. Many thanks for all the speakers, organizers and participants. Looking forward to the next LEMONTREE science meeting.

And Happy anniversary, Tsinghua!

Organizers of the forum


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