Matteo Detto

Pacala Lab | HMEI
Research Scholar
Guyot Hall

Understanding the impact of climate change on forest ecosystems is an enormous challenge.  Forests store a large amount of carbon in above-ground biomass and belowground pools. Climate change can potentially alter the way forest acquire and use resources, including water, nutrients, and carbon dioxide.

My research focuses on describing and explaining the spatial and temporal complexity displayed in  natural and anthropogenic systems as they pertain to biosphere-atmosphere exchanges.

My interests span from land-atmosphere interactions, in relation to the exchange of energy, water, CO2 and other greenhouse gasses, to the spatial organization of forest structure and species composition.

I have designed and employed a set of automated bio-environmental-monitoring systems within several different types of natural and managed ecosystems including, Mediterranean ecosystems and estuarine regions, temperate, tropical and boreal forests, and agricultural areas. I have particular interests in questions about ecological complexity of biosphere-atmosphere interactions and processes that act at multiple temporal and spatial scales. I have developed original statistical methods in order to analyze observational data and address these questions.

Selected Publications

1. M. Detto and Stephen Pacala. 2022. Plant hydraulics, stomatal control and the response of a tropical forest to water stress over multiple temporal scales. Global Change Biology  doi:10.1111/gcb.16179.

2. M. Detto, Levine J. and S.W. Pacala. 2021. Maintenance of high diversity in mechanistic forest dynamics models of competition for light. Ecological

3. M. Detto and X. Xu. 2020. Optimal Leaf Life Strategies determine Vc,max dynamic during ontogeny. New Phytologist DOI: 10.1111/nph.16712.

4. M. Detto, M. Visser, J. Wright and S. Pacala. 2019. Bias in the detection of negative density dependence in plant communities. Ecology Letters (Review and Synthesis) DOI:10.1111/ele.13372

5. M. Detto, S.J. Wright, O. Calderón and H.C. Muller-Landau. 2018. Resource acquisition and reproductive strategies of tropical forest in response to the ENSO cycle. Nature Communication 9:913, 1-8. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-03306-9

6. Megan Bartlett, M. Detto and S. Pacala, 2018. Predicting shifts in the functional composition of tropical forests under increased drought and CO2 from trade-offs among plant hydraulic traits. Ecology Letters, DOI: 10.1111/ele.13168.

7. Anna Trugman, M. Detto, M. Bartlett, D. Medvigy and S. Pacala. 2018. Tree carbon allocation explains forest drought-kill and recovery patterns. Ecology Letters. 10.1111/ele.13136

8. Detto, M. and H. C. Muller-Landau, 2013. Fitting ecological process models to spatial patterns using scale-wise variances and moment equations. The American Naturalist, 181(4), E68–82. doi:10.1086/669678

9. Detto, M., A. Molini, G. Katul, P. Stoy, S. Palmroth and D.D. Baldocchi, 2012. Causality and persistence in ecological systems: a nonparametric spectral Granger causality approach. The American Naturalist, 179(4), 524–35. doi:10.1086/664628

10. Vargas, R., M. Detto, D.D. Baldocchi and M.F. Allen, 2010. Multiscale analysis of temporal variability of soil CO2 production as influenced by weather and vegetation. Global Change Biology, 16(5), 1589–1605. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2486.2009.02111.x

11. Detto, M., N. Montaldo, J.D. Albertson , M. Mancini and G. Katul, 2006. Soil moisture and vegetation controls on evapotranspiration in a heterogeneous Mediterranean ecosystem on Sardinia, Italy. Water Resources Research, 42(8), doi:10.1029/2005WR004693