Laboratory for Atmospheric Research

Micrometeorology Research Group

Open for Submission

1. Ttile

Massman Special Issue: Biometeorology - from Agricultural origins to a last frontier in Physics

2. Journal

Agricultural and Forest Meteorology

3. Guest Editor

Heping Liu, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA (
Gabriel G. Katul, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA (

4. Statement of Goal and Scope

The field of biometeorology appeared some 100 years ago to guide agricultural practices in crop production and yields and to quantify environmental conditions that impacted them. As advances in irrigation proliferated, the need for assessment of evapotranspiration (ET) and photosynthesis motivated developments of many empirical and physically-based methods, which considered the role of radiation and energy balance on these fluxes (e.g. Penman’s equation). The addition of plant physiology (through stomatal conductance resulting in the Penman-Monteith equation) and the role of aerodynamics marked another milestone. The use of gradient-diffusion approximation to turbulent fluxes allowed measuring and modeling ET in natural settings and at Reynolds numbers that are still unattainable in direct numerical simulations today. Subsequent application of Monin-Obukhov similarity theory, flow dynamics and thermodynamics, soil physics, and plant physiology allowed complete coupling between flows of energy, water, and carbon in the soil-plant-atmosphere system at short time scales. Nowadays biometeorology has become an interdisciplinary field of science that tackles interactions between the biosphere and the atmosphere and how this interaction shapes the Earth system. However, these interactions have been substantially reshaped and urgency to progress on them intensified by multiple environmental stresses due to climate change and natural and anthropogenic disturbances of landscapes.

Identifying major science gaps and advancing understanding on issues related to biometeorology can be acquired through multiple approaches, which are oftentimes applied jointly. Reducing uncertainties in long-term eddy covariance measurements of turbulent fluxes is necessary to bridging biometeorology and bioclimatology. Understanding canopy flows and turbulent exchange processes in the lower atmosphere remains a challenging task in terms of how stability, canopy architectures, and complex landscapes modulate individual source/sink terms in the conservation equations of momentum and scalars, and how non-locally generated large-scale motion disturb and impact locally generated turbulence.

Progress on these issues require theoretical exploration and novel data analysis from long-term field campaigns in a 3-D setting to capture processes from micro- to boundary layer scales. Large eddy simulations (LES) of canopy flows are becoming useful tools to extrapolate understanding in space so as to address turbulent processes under non-ideal conditions and identify many other processes that cannot be captured in field campaigns. The complex interactions among the carbon, water, and energy budget components requires coupled studies of soil-land-atmosphere system across a suit of interconnected disciplines.

In this special issue in the journal "Agricultural and Forest Meteorology" in honor of Dr. William Massman’s contributions to biometeorology, we invite contributions to address issues and perspectives in theories, measurements, and modeling of the exchange processes of momentum, energy, and scalars across soil-land-atmosphere interface on the following topics.

5. Manuscript Submission

Go to the journal website
To ensure that all manuscripts are correctly identified for inclusion into the special issue, it is important that you select “SI: Massman special issue” when you reach the "Article Type" step in the submission process. The special issue is published both online and in print.

6. Timeline

Manuscript Due November 20, 2016;
First Round of Reviews February 2016;
Publication Date Summer 2017