Systems approaches in global change and biogeochemistry research

Pete Smith, Fabrizio Albanito, Madeleine Jane Bell, Jessica Bellarby, Sergey Blagodatsky, Arindam Datta, Marta Dondini, Nuala Fitton, Helen Flynn, Astley Francis St John Hastings, Jon Hillier, Edward Owen Jones, Matthias Kuhnert, Dali R. Nayak, Mark Pogson, Mark Lee Richards, Gosia Sozanska-Stanton, Shifeng Wang, Jagadeesh B. Yeluripati, Emily BottomsChris Brown, Jenny Farmer, Diana Marisa Silva Feliciano, Cui Hao, Andy Robertson, Sylvia Vetter, Hon Man Wong, Joanne Ursula Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Systems approaches have great potential for application in predictive ecology. In this paper, we present a range of examples, where systems approaches are being developed and applied at a range of scales in the field of global change and biogeochemical cycling. Systems approaches range from Bayesian calibration techniques at plot scale, through data assimilation methods at regional to continental scales, to multi-disciplinary numerical model applications at country to global scales. We provide examples from a range of studies and show how these approaches are being used to address current topics in global change and biogeochemical research, such as the interaction between carbon and nitrogen cycles, terrestrial carbon feedbacks to climate change and the attribution of observed global changes to various drivers of change. We examine how transferable the methods and techniques might be to other areas of ecosystem science and ecology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-321
Number of pages11
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1586
Early online date5 Dec 2011
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2012


  • system biology
  • ecology
  • systems approach
  • global change
  • biogeochemistry
  • model
  • soil organic-matter
  • Bayesian calibration
  • projected changes
  • carbon-dioxide
  • Europe
  • exchange
  • uncertainties
  • grasslands
  • scenarios


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