Meir Group - Tropical forest ecosystems

Research in the Meir Group focuses on the functioning of tropical forest ecosystems, and how this varies in relation to climate, soils and species composition.

Honorary Professor

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Selected publications

  • Zimmermann M, Leifeld J, Conen F, Meir P . (2012). Can composition and physical protection of soil organic matter explain soil respiration temperature sensitivity? Biogeochemistry, 107 , 423-436 DOI: 10.1007/s10533-010-9562-y
  • van de Weg MJ, Meir P, Grace J et al. (2012). Photosynthetic parameters, dark respiration and leaf traits in the canopy of a Peruvian tropical montane cloud forest. Oecologia, 168, 23-34, DOI: 10.1007/s00442-011-2068-z 
  • van der Molen MK, Dolman AJ, Ciais P, incl Meir P et al. (2011). Drought and ecosystem carbon cycling.Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 151, 765-773.
  • Fierer N, McCain CM, Meir P, et al. (2011). Microbes do not follow the elevational diversity patterns of plants and animals. Ecology, 92, 797-804.
  • Meir, P. & Woodward, F. I. 2010 Amazonian rain forests and drought: response and vulnerability. New Phytologist187, 553-557.
  • da Costa ACL, Galbraith D, Almeida S, Portela BTT, da Costa M, Silva JD, Braga AP, de Goncalves PHL, de Oliveira AAR, Fisher R, Phillips OL, Metcalfe DB, Levy P & Meir P (2010) Effect of 7 years of experimental drought on vegetation dynamics and biomass storage of an eastern Amazonian rainforest. New Phytologist, 187, 579-591.
  • Meir P and Pennington RT (2009). Climatic change and seasonally dry tropical forests. In: Seasonally Dry Tropical Forests, Eds H. Mooney, R. Dirzo. Island Press.
  • Domingues TF, Meir P, Saiz G, Feldpausch TR, Veenendaal EM, Schrodt F, Bird M, Djagbletey G, Hien F, Compaore H, Diallo A, Grace J & Lloyd J. (2010). Co-limitation of photosynthetic capacity by nitrogen and phosphorus along a precipitation gradient in West Africa. Plant Cell and Environment 33, 959-980.
  • Metcalfe D.B, Meir P. Aragao LEOC et al. (2010). Progressive increases in Amazon rainforest leaf dark respiration over five years following an experimentally imposed drought. Functional Ecology 24, 524-533.
  • Meir P, Brando PM, Nepstad D, Vasconcelos S, Costa ACL, Davidson E, Almeida S, Fisher RA, Sotta ED, Zarin D, G. Cardinot (2009). The effects of drought on Amazonian rain forests. Amazonia and Global Change, Geophysical Monograph Series, 186, 429-449. 
  • Philips, O, Aragao LEO et al. [incl Meir P] (2009). Drought sensitivity of Amazon rain forest. Science, 323, 1344-1347.
  • Meir P, Metcalfe DB, Costa ACL, Fisher RA (2008). The fate of assimilated carbon during drought: impacts on respiration in Amazon rain forests. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, London B 363(1498):1849-55.

All publications

Drought impacts on Amazon rainforest microbes: unusual soil fungi dominate, a large biogeochemical switch and likely increased drought resistance

Story | Tuesday 16 March 2021
A new study shows that long-term drought in biodiverse Amazonian tropical rainforest can fundamentally change the soil, increasing the abundance of an unusual group of fungal species that may help the trees resist drought, and by altering the underlying biogeochemistry.

Patrick Meir

Story | Thursday 23 March 2017


'Plumbing' failure kills tallest rainforest trees

Story | Tuesday 24 November 2015

Carbon in soil poses climate change risk

Story | Thursday 4 September 2014
Carbon stored in the world’s soils is more vulnerable to climate change than expected, a study suggests.

Rainforests may be more resilient than feared

Story | Monday 11 March 2013

2012 ARC grant success

Story | Friday 23 November 2012

2011 Future Fellowship success

Story | Tuesday 15 November 2011

PS PhD Exit Seminar: Tree structure and carbon cycling in a tropical rainforest under long-term drought

Event | Wed 26 October 2022
Tropical forests are highly productive and biodiverse, exchanging more carbon with the atmosphere than any other terrestrial ecosystem and representing the apex of taxonomic and structural diversity on land.