Associate Professor Remko Duursma

Remko DuursmaA/Professor Remko Duursma's research focuses on modelling vegetation function, including photosynthesis, growth, water use and radiation absorption of trees and forests.

A/Professor Duursma originally joined the Centre for Plant and Food Science (a precursor of HIE) in 2008 after a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Helsinki, Finland. He received his PhD in Natural Resources in 2004 at the University of Idaho, USA, and an MSc in Forestry from Wageningen University, the Netherlands, in 1999.

At the Institute, his research is currently on the development of models to predict the effects of elevated CO2 and changes in precipitation on water use and carbon uptake by Australian forests as part of the Hawkesbury Forest Experiment.

Please visit his personal site at (opens in a new window).

Areas of Research / Teaching Expertise

Plant Ecophysiology; Forest Hydrology; Forest Growth and Production Models; Process-Based Models of Vegetation Function; Mathematical Modelling; Quantitative Methods; Computational Methods and Data Analysis 

Selected Publications

Book Chapters

Duursma RA, Kolari P, Perämäki M, Hari P, (2008) Maximum transpiration rate and water tension during drought in Hari P and Kulmala L (Eds.) Boreal Forest and Climate Change. Springer. Dordrecht, Netherlands, pp: 382–387

Journal Articles

Li XM, Blackman CJ, Choat B, Duursma RA, Rymer PD, Medlyn BE, Tissue DT, (2018) 'Tree hydraulic traits are coordinated and strongly linked to climate-of-origin across a rainfall gradient', Plant Cell and Environment, vol.41, no.3, pp 646-660

Vezy R, Christina M, Roupsard O, Nouvellon Y, Duursma R, Medlyn B, Soma M, Charbonnier F, Blitz-Frayret C, Stape J.L, Laclau J.P, de Melo Virginio Filho E, Bonnefond J.M, Rapidel B, Do, FC, Rocheteau A, Picart D, Borgonovo C, Loustau D, le Maire G, (2018) 'Measuring and modelling energy partitioning in canopies of varying complexity using MAESPA model', Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, vol.s 253-254, pp 203-217

Broughton KJ, Bange MP, Duursma RA, Payton P, Smith RA, Tan DKY, Tissue DT, (2017) 'The effect of elevated atmospheric [CO2] and increased temperatures on an older and modern cotton cultivar', Functional Plant Biology, vol.44, no.12, pp 1207-1218

Broughton KJ, Smith RA, Duursma RA, Tan DKY, Payton P, Bange MP, Tissue DT, (2017) 'Warming alters the positive impact of elevated CO2 concentration on cotton growth and physiology during soil water deficit', Functional Plant Biology, vol.44, no.2, pp 267-278

Campany CE, Medlyn BE, Duursma RA, (2017) 'Reduced growth due to belowground sink limitation is not fully explained by reduced photosynthesis', Tree Physiology, vol.37, no.8, pp 1042-1054

Charbonnier F, Roupsard O, le Maire G, Guillemot J, Casanoves F, Lacointe A, Vaast P, Allinne C, Audebert L, Cambou A, Clement-Vidal A, Defrenet E, Duursma RA, Jarri L, Jourdan C, Khac E, Leandro P, Medlyn BE, Saint-Andre L, Thaler P, Van den Meersche K, Aguilar AB, Lehner P, Dreyer E, (2017) 'Increased light-use efficiency sustains net primary productivity of shaded coffee plants in agroforestry system', Plant Cell and Environment, vol.40, no.8, pp 1592-1608

Drake JE, Power SA, Duursma RA, Medlyn BE, Aspinwall MJ, Choat B, Creek D, Eamus D, Maier C, Pfautsch S, Smith RA, Tjoelker MG, Tissue DT, (2017) 'Stomatal and non-stomatal limitations of photosynthesis for four tree species under drought: A comparison of model formulations', Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, vol.247, pp 454-466

Drigo B, Nielsen UN, Jeffries TC, Curlevski NJA, Singh BK, Duursma RA, Anderson IC, (2017) 'Interactive effects of seasonal drought and elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration on prokaryotic rhizosphere communities', Environmental Microbiology, vol.19, no.8, pp 3175-3185, Special Issue: SI

Medlyn BE, De Kauwe MG, Lin YS, Knauer J, Duursma RA, Williams CA, Arneth A, Clement R, Isaac P, Limousin JM, Linderson ML, Meir P, Martin-StPaul N, Wingate L,(2017) 'How do leaf and ecosystem measures of water-use efficiency compare?' New Phytologist, vol.216, no.3, pp 758-770

Blackman CJ, Pfautsch S, Choat B, Delzon S, Gleason SM, Duursma RA, (2016) 'Toward an index of desiccation time to tree mortality under drought', Plant Cell and Environment, vol.39, no.10, pp 2342-2345

Campany CE, Tjoelker MG, von Caemmerer S, Duursma RA, (2016) 'Coupled response of stomatal and mesophyll conductance to light enhances photosynthesis of shade leaves under sunflecks', Plant Cell and Environment, vol.39, no.12, pp 2762-2773

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

Duursma RA, Falster DS, (2016) 'Leaf mass per area, not total leaf area, drives differences in above-ground biomass distribution among woody plant functional types', New Phytologist , vol.212, no.2, pp 368-376

Duursma RA, Gimeno TE, Boer MM, Crous KY, Tjoelker MG, Ellsworth DS, (2016) 'Canopy leaf area of a mature evergreen Eucalyptus woodland does not respond to elevated atmospheric [CO2] but tracks water availability', Global Change Biology, vol.22, no.4, pp 1666-1676

Gherlenda AN, Esveld JL, Hall AAG, Duursma RA, Riegler M, (2016) 'Boom and bust: rapid feedback responses between insect outbreak dynamics and canopy leaf area impacted by rainfall and CO2', Global Change Biology, vol.22, no.11, pp 3632-3641

Kelly JWG, Duursma RA, Atwell BJ, Tissue DT, Medlyn BE, (2016) 'Drought x CO2 interactions in trees: a test of the low-intercellular CO2 concentration (C-i) mechanism', New Phytologist, vol.209, no.4, pp 1600-1612

Lu Y, Duursma RA, Medlyn BE, (2016) 'Optimal stomatal behaviour under stochastic rainfall', Journal of Theoretical Biology, vol.394, pp 160-171

Medlyn BE, De Kauwe MG, Duursma RA, (2016) 'New developments in the effort to model ecosystems under water stress', New Phytologist, vol.212, no.1, pp 5-7

Medlyn BE, De Kauwe MG, Zaehle S, Walker AP, Duursma RA, Luus K, Mishurov M, Pak B, Smith B, Wang Y-P, Yang X, Crous KY, Drake JE, Gimeno TE, Macdonald CA, Norby RJ, Power SA, Tjoelker MG, Ellsworth DS, (2016) 'Using models to guide field experiments: a priori predictions for the CO2 response of a nutrient- and water-limited native Eucalypt woodland', Global Change Biology, vol.22, no.8, pp 2834-2851

Mitchell PJ, O'Grady AP, Pinkard EA, Brodribb TJ, Arndt SK, Blackman CJ, Duursma RA, Fensham RJ, Hilbert DW, Nitschke CR, Norris J, Roxburgh SH, Ruthrof KX, Tissue DT, (2016) 'An ecoclimatic framework for evaluating the resilience of vegetation to water deficit', Global Change Biology, vol.22, no.5, pp 1677-1689

Moore CE, Brown T, Keenan TF, Duursma RA, Van Dijk AIJM, Beringer J, Culvenor D, Evans B, Huete A, Hutley LB, Maier S, Restrepo-Coupe N, Sonnentag O, Specht A, Taylor JR, Van Gorsel E, Liddell MJ, (2016) 'Reviews and syntheses: Australian vegetation phenology: New insights from satellite remote sensing and digital repeat photography', Biogeosciences, vol.13, no.17, pp 5085-5102

Norby RJ, De Kauwe MG, Domingues TF, Duursma RA, Ellsworth DS, Goll DS, Lapola DM, Luus KA, Mackenzie AR, Medlyn BE, Pavlick R, Rammig A, Smith B, Thomas R, Thonicke K, Walker AP, Yang X, Zaehle S, (2016) 'Model-data synthesis for the next generation of forest free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiments', New Phytologist, vol.209, no.1, pp 17-28

De Kauwe MG, Kala J, Lin Y-S, Pitman AJ, Medlyn BE, Duursma RA, Abramowitz G, Wang Y-P, Miralles DG, (2015) 'A test of an optimal stomatal conductance scheme within the CABLE land surface model', Geoscientific Model Development, vol.8, no.2, pp 431-452

De Kauwe MG, Zhou SX, Medlyn BE, Pitman AJ, Wang Y-P, Duursma RA, Prentice IC, (2015) 'Do land surface models need to include differential plant species responses to drought? Examining model predictions across a mesic-xeric gradient in Europe', Biogeosciences, vol.12, no.24, pp 7503-7518

Duan HL, O'Grady AP, Duursma RA, Choat B, Huang GM, Smith RA, Jiang YA, Tissue DT, (2015) 'Drought responses of two gymnosperm species with contrasting stomatal regulation strategies under elevated [CO2] and temperature', Tree Physiology, vol.35, no.7, pp 756-770

Duursma RA, (2015) 'Plantecophys - An R Package for Analysing and Modelling Leaf Gas Exchange Data', Plos One, vol.10, no.11, Article no.e0143346

Falster DS, Duursma RA, Ishihara MI, Barneche DR, FitzJohn RG, Vårhammar A, Aiba M, Ando M, Anten N, Aspinwall MJ, Baltzer JL, Baraloto C, Battaglia M, Battles JJ, Bond-Lamberty B, van Breugel M, Camac J, Claveau Y, Coll L, Dannoura M, Delagrange S, Domec J-C, Fatemi F, Wang Feng, Gargaglione V, Goto Y, Hagihara A, Hall JS, Hamilton S, Harja D, Hiura T, Holdaway R, Hutley LS, Ichie T, Jokela EJ, Kantola A, Kelly JWG, Kenzo T, King D, Kloeppel BD, Kohyama T, Komiyama A, Laclau J-P, Lusk CH, Maguire DA, le Maire G, Mäkelä A, Markesteijn L, Marshall J, McCulloh K, Miyata I, Mokany K, Mori S, Myster RW, Nagano M, Naidu SL, Nouvellon Y, O'Grady AP, O'Hara KL, Ohtsuka T, Osada N, Osunkoya OO, Peri PL, Petritan AM, Poorter L, Portsmuth A, Potvin C, Ransijn J, Reid D, Ribeiro SC, Roberts SD, Rodríguez R, Saldaña-Acosta A, Santa-Regina I, Sasa K, Selaya NG, Sillett SC, Sterck F, Takagi K, Tange T, Tanouchi H, Tissue DT, Umehara T, Utsugi H, Vadeboncoeur MA, Valladares F, Vanninen P, Wang JR, Wenk E, Williams R, de Aquino Ximenes F, Yamaba A, Yamada T, Yamakura T, Yanai RD, York RA, (2015) 'BAAD: a Biomass And Allometry Database for woody plants', Ecology, vol.96, pp 1445–1445

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

Nolf M, Creek D, Duursma R, Holtum J, Mayr S, Choat B, (2015) 'Stem and leaf hydraulic properties are finely coordinated in three tropical rain forest tree species', Plant Cell and Environment, vol.38, no.12, pp 2652-2661

Pangle R, Kavanagh K, Duursma R, (2015) 'Decline in canopy gas exchange with increasing tree height, atmospheric evaporative demand, and seasonal drought in co-occurring inland Pacific Northwest conifer species', Canadian Journal of Forest Research, vol.45, no.8, pp 1086-1101

Duan H, Duursma RA, Huang G, Smith RA, Choat B, O'Grady AP, Tissue DT, (2014) 'Elevated [CO2] does not ameliorate the negative effects of elevated temperature on drought-induced mortality in Eucalyptus radiata seedlings', Plant, Cell and Environment, vol.37, no.7, pp 1598-1613

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

Duan H, Amthor JS, Duursma RA, O'Grady AP, Choat B, Tissue DT, (2013) 'Carbon dynamics of eucalypt seedlings exposed to progressive drought in elevated [CO2] and elevated temperature', Tree Physiology, vol.33, no.8, pp 779-792

Duursma RA, Medlyn BE, (2013) 'MAESPA: A model to study interactions between water limitation, environmental drivers and vegetation function at tree and stand levels, with an example application to [CO2] × drought interactions', Geoscientific Model Development, vol.5, no.4, pp 919-940

Duursma RA, Payton P, Bange MP, Broughton KJ, Smith RA, Medlyn BE, Tissue DT, (2013) 'Near-optimal response of instantaneous transpiration efficiency to vapour pressure deficit, temperature and [CO2] in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.)', Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, vol.168, pp 168-176

Medlyn BE, Duursma RA, De Kauwe MG, Prentice IC, (2013) 'The optimal stomatal response to atmospheric CO2 concentration: Alternative solutions, alternative interpretations', Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, vol.182-183, pp 200-203

Sterck FJ, Duursma RA, Pearcy RW, Valladares F, Cieslak M, Weemstra M, (2013) 'Plasticity influencing the light compensation point offsets the specialization for light niches across shrub species in a tropical forest understorey', Journal of Ecology, vol.101, no.4, pp 971-980

Zhou S, Duursma RA, Medlyn BE, Kelly JWG, Prentice IC, (2013) 'How should we model plant responses to drought? An analysis of stomatal and non-stomatal responses to water stress', Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, vol.182-183, pp 204-214

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, (2012) 'Effects of elevated atmospheric [CO2] on instantaneous transpiration efficiency at leaf and canopy scales in Eucalyptus saligna', Global Change Biology, vol.18, no.2, pp 585-295

Crous KY, Zaragoza-Castells J, Ellsworth DS, Duursma RA, Löw M, Tissue DT, Atkin OK, (2012) 'Light inhibition of leaf respiration in field-grown Eucalyptus saligna in whole-tree chambers under elevated atmospheric CO2 and summer drought', Plant, Cell and Environment, vol.35, no.5,pp 966-981

Duursma RA, Falster DS, Valladares F, Sterck FJ, Pearcy RW, Lusk CH, Sendall KM, Nordenstahl M, Houter NC, Atwell BJ, Kelly N, Kelly JWG, Liberloo M, Tissue DT, Medlyn BE, Ellsworth DS, (2012) 'Light interception efficiency explained by two simple variables: A test using a diversity of small- to medium-sized woody plants', New Phytologist, vol.193, no.2, pp 397-408

Duursma RA, Medlyn BE, (2012) 'MAESPA: a model to study interactions between water limitation, environmental drivers and vegetation function at tree and stand levels, with an example application to [CO2] x drought interactions', Geoscientific Model Development, vol.5, no.4, pp 919-940

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

Peltoniemi MS, Duursma RA, Medlyn BE, (2012) 'Co-optimal distribution of leaf nitrogen and hydraulic conductance in plant canopies', Tree Physiology, vol.32, no.5, pp 510-519

Peltoniemi M, Pulkkinen M, Kolari P, Duursma RA, Montagnani L, Wharton S, Lagergren F, Takagi K, Verbeeck H, Christensen T, Vesala T, Falk M, Loustau D, Makela A, (2012) 'Does canopy mean nitrogen concentration explain variation in canopy light use efficiency across 14 contrasting forest sites?',Tree Physiology, vol.32, no.2, pp 200-218

Warton DI, Duursma RA, Falster DS, Taskinen S, (2012) 'smatr 3-an R package for estimation and inference about allometric lines', Methods in Ecology and Evolution, vol.3, no.2, pp 257-259

Duursma RA, Barton CVM, Eamus D, Medlyn BE, Ellsworth DS, Forster MA, Tissue DT, Linder S, McMurtrie RE, (2011) 'Rooting depth explains [CO2] x drought interaction in Eucalyptus saligna', Tree Physiology, vol.31, no.9, 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

Medlyn BE, Duursma RA, Zeppel MJB, (2011) 'Forest productivity under climate change: A checklist for evaluating model studies', WIREs Climate Change, vol.2, no.3, pp 332-355

Zeppel MJB, Lewis JD, Medlyn B, Barton CVM, Duursma RA, Eamus D, Adams MA, Phillips N, Ellsworth DS, Forster MA, Tissue DT, (2011) 'Interactive effects of elevated CO2 and drought on nocturnal water fluxes in Eucalyptus saligna', Tree Physiology, vol.31, no.9, pp 932-944

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, no.7-8, pp 941-951

Duursma RA, Mäkelä A, Reid DEB, Jokela EJ, Porté AJ, Roberts SD, (2010) 'Self-shading affects allometric scaling in trees' Functional Ecology, vol.24, no.4. pp 723-730

Härkönen S, Pulkkinen M, Duursma RA, Mäkelä A, (2010) 'Estimating annual GPP, NPP and stem growth in Finland using summary models', Forest Ecology and Management, vol.259, pp 524-533

Ilvesniemi H, Pumpanen J, Duursma R, Hari P, Keronen P, Kolari P, Kulmala M, Mammarella I, Nikinmaa E, Rannie U, Pohja T, Siivola E, Vesala T, (2010) 'Water balance of a boreal Scots pine forest', Boreal Environment Research, vol.15, no.4, pp 375-396

Duursma RA, Kolari P, Perämäki M, Pulkkinen M, Mäkelä A, Nikinmaa E, Hari P, Aurela M, Berbigier P, Bernhofer Ch, Grünwald T, Loustau D, Mölder M, Verbeeck H,Vesala T, (2009) 'Contributions of climate, canopy structure, and leaf physiology to the variation in GPP of coniferous forests across Europe: a model-based analysis', Tree Physiology, vol.29, pp 621-639

Duursma RA, Kolari P, Perämäki M, Nikinmaa E, Hari P, Delzon S, Loustau D, Ilvesniemi H, Pumpanen J, Mäkelä A, (2008) 'Predicting the decline in daily maximum transpiration rate of two pine stands during drought based on constant minimum leaf water potential and plant hydraulic conductance', Tree Physiology, vol.28, pp 265-276

Duursma RA, Mäkelä A, (2007) 'Summary models for light interception and light-use efficiency for non-homogenous canopies', Tree Physiology, vol.27, pp 859-870

Duursma RA, Marshall JD, Robinson AP, Pangle RE, (2007) 'Description and test of a simple process-based model of forest growth for mixed-species stands', Ecological Modelling, vol.203, pp 297-311

Duursma RA, Marshall JD, (2006) 'Vertical canopy gradients in δ13C correspond with leaf nitrogen content in a mixed-species conifer forest',  Trees: Structure and Function, vol.20, pp 496-506

Duursma RA, Marshall JD, Nippert JB, Chambers CC, Robinson AP, (2005) 'Estimating leaf-level parameters for ecosystem process models: a study in mixed conifer canopies on complex terrain', Tree Physiology, vol.25, pp 1347-13591347-1359

Robinson AP, Duursma RA, Marshall JD, (2005) 'A quantitative tool for model validation: shifting the burden of proof', Tree Physiology, vol.25, pp 903-913

Harlow BA, Duursma RA, Marshall JD, (2005) 'Leaf longevity of western redcedar (Thuja plicata J. Donn ex D. Don) increases with depth in the canopy', Tree Physiology, vol.25, pp 635-640

Nippert JB, Duursma RA, Marshall JD, (2004) 'Seasonal variation in photosynthetic capacity of montane conifers', Functional Ecology, vol.18, pp 876-886