Terrestrial Ecosystem Science

   Mission:   The Terrestrial Ecosystem Science (TES) program within the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science’s Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) seeks to improve the representation of terrestrial ecosystem processes in Earth system models thereby improving the quality of climate model projections and providing the scientific foundation of solutions for DOE’s most pressing energy and environmental challenges.

NEW for 2014 - Please save these dates and watch for more details.

   DOE-TES/DOE-SBR Joint PI Meeting will be held May 6-7, 2014 in Potomac, MD

Information regarding registration, lodging, agenda, etc., are posted on http://www.orau.gov/tessbrpi2014.

Terrestrial Ecosystem Science

Why the Program's Research is Important

A significant fraction of the CO₂ released to the atmosphere during energy production is taken up by terrestrial ecosystems. This “sink” for anthropogenic carbon represents an important buffer, offsetting the greenhouse gas effects of CO2 emissions. However, the effects of related processes such as nutrient, water and energy cycling, in addition to climate variability and change on that uptake remain a mystery. Uncertainties about how terrestrial ecosystems will function in a changing climate hamper efforts to determine long-term impacts and stability of carbon in the biosphere. This limitation makes resolving the role of the terrestrial biosphere in the global carbon cycle a high priority. TES cycle

Future climatic changes will almost certainly affect critically sensitive ecosystems and their inherently important ecosystem processes. Understanding the foundational properties of these ecosystem processes is essential if we are to improve our ability to predicatively model terrestrial ecosystems and potential forcing feedbacks. TES research will continue to navigate the forefront of interactions between terrestrial ecosystems and a changing climate.

Program Approach

The TES program develops unique, foundational scientific insights about the terrestrial biosphere’s role in the global cycling of carbon, nutrients, and water.