Over multiple growing seasons, the B4Warmed experiment in Minnesota has warmed seedlings of evergreen and deciduous plants representing the northern-edge of southern-ranged species and the southern-edge of northern-ranged species. I was fortunate to work with the B4Warmed team for two summers in 2014 and 2013 taking measurements on the high-resolution short-term temperature response of dark respiration in leaves of these species (in ambient and warmed conditions). This week in Nature, Reich et al. describe their observations of acclimation in boreal and temperate forest species that are grown under this long-term elevated temperatures, and translate this acclimation impact into reduced carbon loss from respiration. They measured an incredible amount of R-T response curves, and found consistent patterns of acclimation - hopefully given much needed multi-species long-term support for including acclimation of R into larger-scale models.
I briefly discussed this paper and it's impact with a journalist, and the article was published in Science News: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/03/some-trees-could-help-fight-climate-change
I was very nervous to talk to the press, since each experiment has it's own objective, and scaling beyond those objectives and context can be difficult. For instance, I am unfamiliar with how many DGVM models are run - the specific equations can vary and have their own set of parameters, to which acclimation may or may not be a large factor in how carbon is accounted. Recent articles by Slot et al. and Vanderwel et al. show consistent acclimation across a broad range of plant functional types and groups, using a range of datasets. Identifying these trends of acclimation within `10 species, very definitively as in Reich et al. or across many studies and published values (as in the Slot and Vanderwel papers) - are both highly useful, but these studies do not directly address the impact of acclimation on future land surface temperatures via model tests. Lombardozzi et al. recently aimed to incorporate acclimation into such models, and based on these new papers, and others, hopefully we can hone in on how to best quantitatively capture this response. And in the meantime, I'll still be nervous speaking to press about 'conclusions' since, in science, everything is a work in progress by definition.