Doctor Craig Barton

Dr Craig Barton is the Technical Manager - Field Based Research Facilities and leads a team of specialised technical staff and has responsibility for the smooth operation of the Institute's field-based climate change facilities located on the Hawkesbury campus of Western Sydney University.

These facilities include CO2 /climate controlled whole tree chambers (WTC) and associated eucalypt plantation (Hawkesbury Forest Experiment, HFE), a Free Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) experiment in native woodland, Rain-out Shelters and an Eddy Covariance Flux site.

Craig took up this position in 2012 but has been working collaboratively with staff at the Hawkesbury campus since 2005. He formerly held a role as Senior research Scientist with NSW DPI (State Forests) and was instrumental in the establishment and running of the Whole Tree Chamber facility.

He obtained his PhD from Edinburgh University in 1997 where he studied the Effects of elevated CO2 on growth and physiology of Sitka spruce using a range of facilities including controlled glasshouses, open top chambers and branch bags.

He held a NERC Research Fellowship at the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology in Edinburgh where he worked as a modeller investigating the ability of remote sensing to detect pollution stress in vegetation.

He moved to Australia to take up a position with State Forests NSW in 2000 where he carried out research into carbon sequestration and carbon accounting for forests, tree water use and dryland salinity, and climate change impacts on eucalypts.

Areas of Research/Teaching Expertise

Craig has worked and published across a range of fields including Tree ecophysiology, remote sensing, tree water use, ground penetrating radar, allometrics, elevated CO2

Technical Expertise

  • Extensive experience with a range of instrumentation used in ecophysiological studies including data loggers, portable gas exchange systems, spectral radiometers, LAI measurement.
  • Designed and built controlled growth facilities and gas exchange systems and written control software for complex systems such as branch bags, open top chambers and whole tree chambers.
  • Is continuously expanding his expertise to include CAD design, 3D printing, electronics and microcontrollers which he has used to designed and built: a leaf temperature control system to determine critical temperatures using fluorescence, a temperature controlled respirometer for measuring root respiration, a network of 48 phenocams for the PACE facility and WiFi enabled stem/leaf clamp for monitoring hydraulic cavitation.

Selected publications

Crous KY, Cheesman AW, Middleby K, Rogers EIE, Wujeska-Klause A, Bouet AYM, Ellsworth DS, Liddell MJ, Cernusak LA, Barton CVM, (2023) 'Similar patterns of leaf temperatures and thermal acclimation to warming in temperate and tropical tree canopies', Tree Physiology, vol.43, no.8, pp 1383 - 1399

Gardner A, Jiang MK, Ellsworth DS, MacKenzie AR, Pritchard J, Bader MKF, Barton CVM, Bernacchi C, Calfapietra C, Crous KY, Dusenge ME, Gimeno TE, Hall M, Lamba S, Leuzinger S, Uddling J, Warren J, Wallin G, Medlyn BE, (2023) 'Optimal stomatal theory predicts CO2 responses of stomatal conductance in both gymnosperm and angiosperm trees', New Phytologist, vol.237, no.4, pp 1229-1241

Johnson SN, Barton CVM, Biru FN, Islam T, Mace WJ, Rowe RC, Cibils–Stewart X, (2023) 'Elevated atmospheric CO2 suppresses silicon accumulation and exacerbates endophyte reductions in plant phosphorus', Functional Ecology, vol.37, no.6, pp 1567 - 1579

Yang J, Medlyn BE, Barton CVM, Churchill AC, De Kauwe MG, Jiang M, Krishnananthaselvan A, Tissue DT, Pendall E, Power SA, (2023) 'Green-up and brown-down: Modelling grassland foliage phenology responses to soil moisture availability', Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, vol.328, Article no.109252

Churchill AC, Zhang H, Fuller KJ, Amiji B, Anderson IC, Barton CVM, Carrillo Y, Catunda KLM, Chandregowda MH, Igwenagu C, Jacob V, Kim GW, Macdonald CA, Medlyn BE, Moore BD, Pendall E, Plett JM, Post AK, Powell JR, Tissue DT, Tjoelker MG, Power SA, (2022) 'Pastures and Climate Extremes: Impacts of Cool Season Warming and Drought on the Productivity of Key Pasture Species in a Field Experiment', Frontiers in Plant Science, vol.13, Article no.836968

Griebel A, Peters JMR, Metzen D, Maier C, Barton CVM, Speckman HN, Boer MM, Nolan RH, Choat B,  Pendall E, (2022) 'Tapping into the physiological responses to mistletoe infection during heat and drought stress', Tree Physiology, vol.42, no.3, pp 523–536

Gimeno TE, Campany CE, Drake JE, Barton CVM, Tjoelker MG, Ubierna N, Marshall JD, (2021) 'Whole‐tree mesophyll conductance reconciles isotopic and gas‐exchange estimates of water‐use efficiency', New Phytologist, vol.229, no.5, pp 2535-2547

Macdonald CA, Anderson IC, Khachane A, Singh BP, Barton CVM, Duursma RA, Ellsworth DS, Singh BK, (2021) 'Plant productivity is a key driver of soil respiration response to climate change in a nutrient-limited soil', Basic and Applied Ecology, vol.50, pp 155-168

Noh NJ, Crous KY, Salomon RL, Li JQ, Ellsworth DS, Barton CVM, Pendall E, Tjoelker MG, (2021) 'Elevated CO2 alters the temperature sensitivity of stem CO2 efflux in a mature eucalypt woodland', Environmental and Experimental Botany, vol.188, Article no.104508

Roy J, Rineau F, De Boeck HJ, Nijs I, Putz T, Abiven S, Arnone JA, Barton CVM, Beenaerts N, Bruggemann N, Dainese M, Domisch T, Eisenhauer N, Garre S, Gebler A, Ghirardo A, Jasoni RL, Kowalchuk G, Landais D, Larsen SH, Leemans V, Le Galliard JF, Longdoz B, Massol F, Mikkelsen TN, Niedrist G, Piel C, Ravel O, Sauze J, Schmidt A, Schnitzler JP, Teixeira LH, Tjoelker MG, Weisser WW, Winkler B, Milcu A, (2021) 'Ecotrons: Powerful and versatile ecosystem analysers for ecology, agronomy and environmental science', Global Change Biology, vol.27, no.7, pp 1387-1407

Drake JE, Harwood R, Varhammar A, Barbour MM, Reich PB, Barton CVM, Tjoelker MG, (2020) 'No evidence of homeostatic regulation of leaf temperature in Eucalyptus parramattensis trees: integration of CO2 flux and oxygen isotope methodologies', New Phytologist, vol.228, no.5, pp 1511-1523

Griebel A, Metzen D, Boer MM, Barton CVM, Renchon AA, Andrews HM, Pendall E, (2020) 'Using a paired tower approach and remote sensing to assess carbon sequestration and energy distribution in a heterogeneous sclerophyll forest', Science of the Total Environment, vol.699, Article no.133918

Jiang M, Medlyn BE, Drake JE, Duursma RA, Anderson IC, Barton CVM, Boer MM, Carrillo Y, Castaneda-Gomez L, Collins L, Crous KY, De Kauwe MG, dos Santos BM, Emmerson KM, Facey SL, Gherlenda AN, Gimeno TE, Hasegawa S, Johnson SN, Kannaste A, Macdonald CA, Mahmud K, Moore BD, Nazaries L, Neilson EHJ, Nielsen UN, Niinemets U, Noh NJ, Ochoa-Hueso R, Pathare VS, Pendall E, Pihlblad J, Pineiro J, Powell JR, Power SA, Reich PB, Renchon AA, Riegler M, Rinnan R, Rymer PD, Salomon RL, Singh BK, Smith B, Tjoelker MG, Walker JKM, Wujeska-Klause A, Yang JY, Zaehle S, Ellsworth DS, (2020) 'The fate of carbon in a mature forest under carbon dioxide enrichment', Nature, vol.580, no.7802, pp 227-231

Noh NJ, Crous KY, Li J, Choury Z, Barton CVM, Arndt SK, Reich PB, Tjoelker MG, Pendall E, (2020) 'Does root respiration in Australian rainforest tree seedlings acclimate to experimental warming?', Tree physiology, vol.40, no.9, pp 1192-1204

Drake JE, Furze ME, Tjoelker MG, Carrillo Y, Barton CVM, Pendall E, (2019) 'Climate warming and tree carbon use efficiency in a whole-tree (CO2)-C-13 tracer study', New Phytologist, vol.222, no.3, pp 1313-1324

Drake JE, Tjoelker MG, Aspinwall MJ, Reich PB, Pfautsch S, Barton CVM, (2019) 'The partitioning of gross primary production for young Eucalyptus tereticornis trees under experimental warming and altered water availability', New Phytologist, vol.222, no.3, pp 1298-1312

Johnson SN, Ryalls JMW, Barton CVM, Tjoelker MG, Wright IJ, Moore BD, (2019) 'Climate warming and plant biomechanical defences: Silicon addition contributes to herbivore suppression in a pasture grass', Functional Ecology, vol.33, no.4, pp 587-596

Drake JE, Tjoelker MG, Varhammar A, Medlyn BE, Reich PB, Leigh A, Pfautsch S, Blackman CJ, Lopez R, Aspinwall MJ, Crous KY, Duursma RA, Kumarathunge D, De Kauwe MG, Jiang M, Nicotra AB, Tissue DT, Choat B, Atkin OK, Barton CVM, (2018) 'Trees tolerate an extreme heatwave via sustained transpirational cooling and increased leaf thermal tolerance', Global Change Biology, vol.24, no.6, pp 2390-2402

Kremer JMM, Nooten SS, Cook JM, Ryalls JMW, Barton CVM, Johnson SN, (2018) 'Elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations promote ant tending of aphids', Journal of Animal Ecology, vol.87, no.5, pp 1475-1483

Ledo A, Paul KI, Burslem DFRP, Ewel JJ, Barton C, Battaglia M, Brooksbank K, Carter J, Eid TH, England JR, Fitzgerald A, Jonson J, Mencuccini M, Montagu KD, Montero G, Mugasha WA, Pinkard E, Roxburgh S, Ryan CM, Ruiz-Peinado R, Sochacki S, Specht A, Wildy D, Wirth C, Zerihun A, Chave J, (2018) 'Tree size and climatic water deficit control root to shoot ratio in individual trees globally', New Phytologist, vol.217, no.1, pp 8-11

Renchon AA, Griebel A, Metzen D, Williams CA, Medlyn B, Duursma RA, Barton CVM, Maier C, Boer MM, Isaac P, Tissue D, de Dios VR, Pendall E, (2018) 'Upside-down fluxes Down Under: CO2 net sink in winter and net source in summer in a temperate evergreen broadleaf forest', Biogeosciences, vol.15, no.12, pp 3703-3716

Drake JE, Tjoelker MG, Aspinwall MJ, Reich PB, Barton CVM, Medlyn BE, Duursma RA, (2016) 'Does physiological acclimation to climate warming stabilize the ratio of canopy respiration to photosynthesis?' New Phytologist, vol.211, no.3, pp 850-863

Lin Y-S, Medlyn BE, Duursma RA, Prentice IC, Wang H, Baig S, Eamus D, De Dios VR, Mitchell P, Ellsworth DS, De Beeck MO, Wallin G, Uddling J, Tarvainen L, Linderson M-L, Cernusak LA, Nippert JB, Ocheltree TW, Tissue DT, Martin-StPaul NK, Rogers A, Warren JM, De Angelis P, Hikosaka K, Han Q, Onoda Y, Gimeno TE, Barton CVM, Bennie J, Bonal D, Bosc A, Löw M, Macinins-Ng C, Rey A, Rowland L, Setterfield SA, Tausz-Posch S, Zaragoza-Castells J, Broadmeadow MSJ, Drake JE, Freeman M, Ghannoum O, Hutley LB, Kelly JW, Kikuzawa K, Kolari P, Koyama K, Limousin J-M, Meir P, Da Costa ACL, Mikkelsen TN, Salinas N, Sun W, Wingate L, (2015) 'Optimal stomatal behaviour around the world', Nature Climate Change, vol.5, no.5, pp 459-464

Quentin AG, Crous KY, Barton CVM, Ellsworth DS, (2015) 'Photosynthetic enhancement by elevated CO2 depends on seasonal temperatures for warmed and non-warmed Eucalyptus globulus trees', Tree Physiology, vol.35, no.11, pp 1249-1263

Duursma RA, Barton CVM, Lin Y-S, Medlyn BE, Eamus D, Tissue DT, Ellsworth DS, McMurtrie RE, (2014) 'The peaked response of transpiration rate to vapour pressure deficit in field conditions can be explained by the temperature optimum of photosynthesis', Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, vol.189-190, pp 2-10

Crous KY, Quentin AG, Lin Y-S, Medlyn BE, Williams DG, Barton CVM, Ellsworth DS, (2013) 'Photosynthesis of temperate Eucalyptus globulus trees outside their native range has limited adjustment to elevated CO2 and climate warming', Global Change Biology, vol.19, no.12, pp 3790-3807

Resco de Dios V, Díaz-Sierra R, Goulden ML, Barton CVM, Boer MM, Gessler A, Ferrio JP, Pfautsch S, Tissue DT, (2013) 'Woody clockworks: Circadian regulation of night-time water use in Eucalyptus globulus', New Phytologist, vol.200, no.3, pp 743-752

Medlyn BE, Duursma RA, Eamus D, Ellsworth DS, Colin Prentice I, Barton CVM, Crous KY, de Angelis P, Freeman M, Wingate L, (2012) 'Corrigendum: Reconciling the optimal and empirical approaches to modelling stomatal conductance', Global Change Biology, vol.18, no.11, p 3476

Barton CVM, Duursma RA, Medlyn BE, Ellsworth DS, Eamus D, Tissue DT, Adams MA, Conroy J, Crous KY, Liberloo M, Löw M, Linder S, McMurtrie RE, (2011) 'Effects of elevated atmospheric [CO2] on instantaneous transpiration efficiency at leaf and canopy scales in Eucalyptus saligna', Global Change Biology, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2011.02526.x

Duursma RA, Barton CVM, Eamus D, Medlyn BE, Ellsworth DS, Forster MA, Tissue DT, Linder S, McMurtrie RE, Phillips N,  (2011) 'Rooting depth explains [CO2] x drought interaction in Eucalyptus saligna', Tree Physiology, vol.31, pp 922-931

Medlyn BE, Duursma RA, Eamus D, Ellsworth DS, Prentice IC, Barton CVM, Crous KY, De Angelis P, Freeman M, Wingate L, (2011) 'Reconciling the optimal and empirical approaches to modelling stomatal conductance', Global Change Biology, vol.17, no.6, pp 2134-2144

Barton CVM, Ellsworth DS, Medlyn BE, Duursma RA, Tissue DT,  Adams MA, Eamus D, Conroy JP, McMurtrie RE, Parsby J, Linder S, (2010) 'Whole-tree chambers for elevated atmospheric CO2 experimentation and tree-scale flux measurements in south-eastern Australia: the Hawkesbury Forest Experiment', Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, vol.150, pp 941-951

Dieleman WIJ, Luyssaert S, Rey A, De Angelis P, Barton CVM, Broadmeadow MSJ, Broadmeadow SB, Chigwerewe KS, Crookshanks M, Dufrêne E, Jarvis PG, Kasurinen A,  Kellomäki S, Le Dantec V, Liberloo M, Marek M, Medlyn B, Pokorný R, Scarascia-Mugnozza G, Temperton VM, Tingey D, Urban O, Ceulemans R, Janssens IA, (2010) 'Soil [N] modulates soil C cycling in CO2-fumigated tree stands: a meta-analysis', Plant, Cell and Environment, vol.33, pp 2001-2011

Johnson IG, Kathuria A, Parekh J, Barton C, (2009) 'Low-rainfall species trials in New South Wales Part 1: Survival, growth and form over the first 57 months', Australian Forestry, vol.72, pp 172-183

Morgan HD, Barton CVM, (2008) 'Forest-scale sap flux responses to rainfall in a dryland eucalyptus plantation', Plant and Soil, vol.305, no 1-2, pp 131-144

Walsh PG, Barton CVM, Haywood A, (2008) 'Growth and carbon sequestration rates at age ten years of some eucalypt species in the low- to medium-rainfall areas of New South Wales, Australia', Australian Forestry, vol.71, no.1, pp 70-77

Barton CVM, Montagu KD, (2005) 'Effect of spacing and water availability on root: shoot ratio in Eucalyptus camaldulensis', Forest Ecology and Management, vol.221, pp 52-62

Montagu KD, Duttmer K, Barton CVM, Cowie A, (2005)  'Developing general allometric relationships  for regional estimates of carbon sequestration – an example using Eucalyptus pilularis from seven contrasting sites', Forest Ecology and Management, vol.204, pp 115-129

Barton CVM, Montagu KD, (2004) 'Detection of tree roots and determination of root diameters by ground penetrating radar under optimal conditions', Tree Physiology, vol.24, pp 1323-1331

Zeppel MJB, Murray BR, Barton CVM, Eamus D, (2004) 'Seasonal responses of xylem sap velocity to VPD and solar radiation during drought in a stand of native trees in temperate Australia', Functional Plant Biology, vol.31, pp 461-470

Temperton VM, Grayston, SJ, Jackson G, Barton CVM, Millard P, Jarvis PG, (2003) 'Effects of elevated carbon dioxide concentration on growth and nitrogen fixation in Alnus glutinosa in a long-term field experiment', Tree Physiology, vol.23, pp 1051-1059

Barton CVM, (2001) 'A theoretical analysis of the influence of heterogeneity in chlorophyll distribution on leaf reflectance', Tree Physiology, vol.21, pp 789-795

Barton CVM, North PRJ, (2001) 'Remote sensing of canopy light use efficiency using the photochemical reflectance index - model and sensitivity analysis', Remote Sensing of Environment, vol.78, pp 264-273

Medlyn BE, Barton CVM, Broadmeadow MSJ, Ceulemans R, De Angelis P, Forstreuter M, Freeman M, Jackson SB, Kellomaki S, Laitat E, Rey A, Roberntz P, Sigurdsson BD, Strassemeyer J, Wang K, Curtis PS, Jarvis PG, (2001) 'Stomatal conductance of forest species after long-term exposure to elevated CO2 concentration: a synthesis', New Phytologist, vol.149, pp 247-264

Barton CVM, Jarvis PG, (1999) 'Growth response of branches of Picea sitchensis to four years exposure to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration', New Phytologist, vol.144, pp 233-243

Medlyn BE, Badeck FW, de Pury DGG, Barton CVM, Broadmeadow M, Ceulemans R, de Angelis P, Forstreuter, M, Jach  ME, Kellomäki S, Laitat E, Marek M, Philippot S, Rey A, Strassemeyer J, Laitinen K, Liozon R, Portier B, Roberntz P, Wang K, Jarvis PG, (1999) 'Effects of elevated [CO2] on photosynthesis in European forest species: a meta-analysis of model parameters', Plant Cell and Environment, vol.22, pp 1475-1495

Barton CVM, Lee HSJ, Jarvis PG, (1993) 'A branch bag and CO2 control system for long-term CO2 enrichment of mature Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr.)', Plant Cell and Environment, vol.16, pp 1139-1148