Jianwu (Jim) Tang

Jim TangSenior Scientist

Tel: 508-289-7162 | Fax: 508-457-1548
E-mail: jtang@mbl.edu

Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley, 2003
M.S., Peking University, China, 1995
B.S., Peking University, China, 1992

CV: Full CV 2017
Projects: https://tangecosystem.wordpress.com/

Research Statement

I am interested in ecosystem biogeochemistry, soil-plant-atmosphere interactions, and global change ecology. My research focuses on the impacts of climate change and human activities on ecosystem processes and functions, and the feedback to the climate and Earth system. I use observational, experimental, and modeling approaches to understand and simulate carbon, nitrogen, and water cycles within ecosystems and between the Earth surface and the atmosphere across various scales. My research improves our understanding of ecosystem services and informs sound environmental and climate policies.

I study ecosystems that range from semiarid forests and savanna grassland in the Sierra Nevada of California, northern forests and prairie grassland in the Midwestern U.S., temperate forests and coastal wetlands in New England, and tundra ecosystems in the Arctic. Currently, I focus on three major topics under a unified theme of ecosystem ecology and biogeochemistry.

1) Soil respiration, respiration-photosynthesis interactions, and soil warming effects on belowground processes and greenhouse gas emissions in forest and tundra. I also examine the partitioning of soil respiration into microbial and root respiration. I conduct this work at Harvard Forest and in the Arctic of northern Alaska. Both Harvard Forest and the Toolik Field Station in the Arctic are Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites.

2) Effects of climate change on phenology and carbon cycles in forests. We use near-surface cameras and field-based spectroradiometers and fluorescence spectroscopy and link ground-based measures of phenology with imagery data obtained from satellites. This work is conducted at the Harvard Forest, on Martha’s Vineyard near Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and broader scales.

3) Greenhouse gas (CO2, CH4, and N2O) emissions from agro-ecosystems and wetlands and their responses to management and disturbance. The agriculture research is conducted in the University of Massachusetts’s Agricultural Station and in chicken farms in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. I am working to expand this work to Sub-Saharan Africa and Brazil to evaluate greenhouse gas emissions under increasingly intensified agriculture. The wetland work evaluates the role of “blue carbon” in coastal wetlands and the significance of wetland restoration in carbon sequestration.

Recent Publications (* indicates advisee)

Google Scholar: http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=cJs5jJQAAAAJ&hl=en
Research ID: www.researcherid.com/rid/K-6798-2014


He, H. X. Cheng, X. Li., R. Zhu, F. Hui, W. Wu, T. Zhao, J. Kang, J. Tang, 2017. Aerial photography based estimation of CH4 and N2O emissions from Adélie penguin colonies in Victoria Land, Antarctic, Scientific Reports. In press.

Kroeger, K. D., S. Crooks, S. Moseman-Valtierra, J. Tang, 2017. Avoided methane emission in degraded wetlands offers lowest hanging fruit for Blue Carbon, Scientific Reports, 7:11914, DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-12138-4.

Parker, T., J. Tang, M. Clark, M. Moody, N. Fetcher, Adapted differences in the phenology of the tundra species Eriophorum vaginatum reflect sites of origin when growing in a common garden, Ecology and Evolution, in press.

Carey, J.C., T. Parker, N. Fetcher, J. Tang, Biogenic silica accumulation varies across tussock tundra plant functional type, Functional Ecology. In press.

Wang, F., Y. Ding, E. Sayer, Q. Li, B. Zou, Q. Mo, Y. Li, X. Lu, J. Tang, W. Zhu, Z. Li. Tropical forest restoration: fast resilience of plant biomass contrasts with slow recovery of stable soil C stocks. Functional Ecology, In press.

Yang, H., X. Yang, M. Heskel, S. Sun, J. Tang, 2017. Seasonal variations of leaf and canopy properties tracked by ground-based NDVI imagery in a temperate forest, Scientific Reports, 7:1267, DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-01260-y.

Chen, Z., Y. Xu, X. Zhou, J, Tang, Y. Kuzyakov, H. Yu, J. Fan, W. Ding, Extreme rainfall and snowfall alter responses of soil respiration to nitrogen fertilization: a 3-year field experiment, Global Change Biology, 23: 3403–3417.

de la Reguera, E., E. A. Castner, J. N. Galloway, A. M. Leach, N. Leary, J. Tang, Defining system boundaries for assessing of an institutional nitrogen footprint, Sustainability: The Journal of Record.10:123-130.

Phillips, C.L., B. Bond-Lamberty, A. R. Desai, M. Lavoie, D. Risk, J. Tang, K. Todd-Brown, R. Vargas, 2016. The value of soil respiration measurements for interpreting and modeling terrestrial carbon cycling, Plant and Soil, 413:1-25.

Yang, H., J. Tang, X. Yang, Y. Zhang, M. A. Heskel,  X, Lu, S. Sun, J. W. Munger, Chlorophyll fluorescence tracks seasonal variations of photosynthesis from leaf to canopy in a temperate forest, Global Change Biology, 23: 2874-2886.

Chen, X. G. Zeng, Q. Xie, Y. Chen, Y. Huang, J. Qiu, J. Cai, C. Chen, J. Tang, A novel combined recirculating treatment system for intensive marine aquaculture, Aquaculture Research, 48:5062–5071.

Meredith, L. K., R. Commane, T. F. Keenan, S. T. Klosterman, J. W. Munger, P.  H. Templer, J. Tang, S. C. Wofsy, R. G. Prinn, 2017, Ecosystem fluxes of hydrogen in a mid-latitude forest driven by soil microbes and plants. Global Change Biology, 23: 906-919.

Zheng, H., H. Huang, C. Chen, Z. Fu, R. Yang, H. Xu, S. Tan, W. She, X. Liao, J. Tang, 2017. Traditional symbiotic farming technology in China promotes the sustainability of a flooded rice production system. Sustainability Science, 12:155–161.


Moseman-Valtierra,S., O. I. Abdul-Aziz, J. Tang, K. S. Ishtiaq, K. Morkeski, J. Mora, R. K. Quinn, R. M. Martin, K. Egan, E. Q. Brannon, J. Carey, K. D. Kroeger, 2016. Carbon dioxide fluxes reflect plant zonation and belowground biomass in a coastal marsh, Ecosphere, 7(11):e01560. 10.1002/ecs2.1560.

Zhang, Y., L. Guanter, J. A. Berry, C. van der Tol, X. Yang, J. Tang, 2016. Model-based analysis of the relationship between sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence and gross primary production across scales for remote sensing applications, Remote Sensing of Environment, 187:145-155.

Carey, J. C., J. Tang, P. H. Templer, K. D. Kroeger, T. W. Crowther, A. Burton, J. S. Dukes, B.  Emmett, S. Frey, M. Heskel, L. Jiang, M. Machmuller, J. E. Mohan, A. M. Panetta, P. B. Reich, S. Reinsch, X. Wang, S. D. Allison, C. Bamminger, S. D. Bridgham, S. L. Collins, G. de Dato, W. C. Eddy, B. J. Enquist, M. Estiarte, J. Harte,  A. Henderson, B.  R. Johnson, K. S. Larsen, Y. Luo, S. Marhan, J. Melillo, L. Pfeifer-Meister, J. Peñuelas, C. Poll, E. B. Rastetter, A. Reinmann, L. L. Reynolds, I. K. Schmidt, G. R. Shaver, A. L. Strong, V. Sussala, A. Tietema, 2016. Temperature response of soil respiration largely unaltered with experimental warming, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (PNAS), 113:13797–13802.

Tang, J., C. Körner, H. Muraoka, S. Piao, M. Shen, S. J. Thackeray, X. Yang, 2016. Emerging opportunities and challenges in phenology: A review. Ecosphere, 7(8):e01436,10.1002/ecs2.1436.

Yang, X., J. Tang, J. F. Mustard, J. Wu, K. Zhao, S. Serbin, J. Lee, 2016. Seasonal variability of multiple leaf traits captured by leaf spectroscopy at two temperate deciduous forests, Remote Sensing of Environment, 179:1-12.

Brannon, E. Q., S. M. Moseman-Valtierra, C. W. Rella, R. M. Martin, X. Chen, J. Tang, 2016. Evaluation of laser-based spectrometers for greenhouse gas flux measurements in coastal marshes. Limnology and Oceangraphy-Methods.14: 466-476.

Niu, S, A. T. Classen, J. Dukes, P. Kardol, L. Liu, Y. Luo, L. Rustad, J. Sun, J. Tang, P. H. Templer, R. Q. Thomas, D. Tian, S. Vicca, Y. Wang, J. Xia, S. Zaehle, 2016. Global patterns and substrate-based mechanisms of the terrestrial nitrogen cycle. Ecology Letters, 19: 697–709.

Chen, Y., E.J. Sayer, Z. Li, Q. Mo, Y. Li, Y. Ding, J. Wang, X. Lu, J. Tang, F. Wang, 2016. Nutrient limitation of woody debris decomposition in a tropical forest: Contrasting effects of N and P addition, Functional Ecology, 30:295-304, DOI:10.1111/1365-2435.12471.

Liu, L., C. Hu, P. Yang, Z. Ju, J. Olesen, J. Tang, 2016. Experimental warming-driven soil drying reduced N2O emissions from fertilized crop rotations of winter wheat-soybean/fallow, 2009-2014, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 219:71-82.


Liu, Z., H. Hu, H. Yu, X. Yang, H. Yang, C. Ruan, Y. Wang, J. Tang, 2015. Relationship between leaf physiological traits and canopy color indices during the spring leaf-expansion period in an oak forest, Ecosphere, 6(12):259. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/ES14-00452.1.

Wang, Y., H. Zhang, J. Tang, J. Xu, T. Kou, H. Huang, 2015. Accelerated phosphorus accumulation and acidification of soils under plastic greenhouse condition in four representative organic vegetable cultivation sites, Scientia Horticulturae,195(11):67–73.

Mo, Q., B. Zou, Y. Li, Y. Chen, W. Zhang, R. Mao, J. Wang, X. Lu, X. Li, J. Tang, Z. Li, F. Wang, 2015. Response of plant nutrient stoichiometry to fertilization varies with plant tissues in a tropical forest, Scientific Reports, 5:14605, DOI:10.1038/srep14605.

Gelfand, I., M. Cui, J. Tang, G. P. Robertson, 2015. Short-term drought response of N2O and CO2 emissions from mesic agricultural soils in the US Midwest. Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Environment, 212:127–133.

Chen, C., D. Li, Z. Gao, J. Tang, X. Guo, L. Wang, B. Wan, 2015, Seasonal and interannual variation of carbon exchange over a rice–wheat rotation system on the north China plain, Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, 32:1365-1380.

Yang, X., J. Tang, J. Mustard, J.-E. Lee, M. Rossini, J. Joiner, J. W. Munger, A. Kornfeld, A. D. Richardson, 2015. Solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence correlates with canopy photosynthesis on diurnal and seasonal scales in a temperate deciduous forest. Geophysical Research Letters, 42(8):2977–2987.

Liu, L., C. Hu, P. Yang, Z. Ju, J. Olesen, J. Tang, 2015. Effects of experimental warming and nitrogen addition on soil respiration and CH4 fluxes from crop rotations of winter wheat-soybean/fallow. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 207:38-47.

Chen, X., S. He, Y. Zhang, X. Huang, Y. Huang, D. Chen, X. Huang, J. Tang, 2015. Enhancement of nitrate removal at the sediment–water interface by carbon addition plus vertical mixing, Chemosphere, 136:305-310.

Shibata, H., C. Branquinho, W. H. McDowell, M. J. Mitchell, D. Monteith, J. Tang, L. Arvola, C. Cruz, C. Máguas, D. Cusack, L. Halada, J. Kopacek, S. Sajidu, H. Schubert, N. Tokuchi, J. Záhora. 2015. Consequence of altered nitrogen cycles in the coupled human and ecological system under changing climate: The need for long-term and site-based research, Ambio, 44:178-193.


Wang, Y., J. Tang, H. Zhang, T. Kou, 2014. Aggregate-associated organic carbon and nitrogen impacted by the long-term combined application of rice straw and pig manure in the red soils in south China. Soil Science, 179:522-528.

Hickman, J. E., C. A. Palm, P. Mutuo, J. M. Melillo, J. Tang, 2014. Nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions in response to increasing fertilizer addition in maize (Zea mays L.) agriculture in western Kenya, Nutrient Cycling in agroecosystems, 100(2):177-187.

Meredith, L. K., R. Commane, A. Dunn, J. W. Munger, J. Tang, S. C. Wofsy, R. G. Prinn, 2014. Ecosystem fluxes of hydrogen: a comparison of flux-gradient methods, Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 7:2787–2805.

Wang, X., L. Liu, S. Piao, I. Janssens, J. Tang, W. Liu, Y. Chi, J. Wang, S. Xu, 2014. Soil respiration under climate warming: differential response of heterotrophic and autotrophic respiration, Global Change Biology, 20: 3229-3237.

Wang, Y, J. Tang, H. Zhang, J. Schroder, Y. He, 2014, Phosphorus availability and sorption as affected by long-term fertilization, Agronomy Journal, 106:1583-1592. doi:10.2134/agronj14.0059.

Tang, J., S. Luyssaert, A. D. Richardson, W. Kutsch, I. A. Janssens, 2014. Steeper declines in forest photosynthesis than respiration explain age-driven decreases in forest, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (PNAS), 111(24): 8856-8860.

Zheng, H., H. Huang, L. Yao, J. Liu, H. He, J. Tang, 2014, Impacts of rice varieties and management on yield-scaled greenhouse gas emissions from rice fields in China: A meta-analysis, Biogeosciences, 11: 3685–3693.

Yang, X., J. Tang, J. Mustard, 2014. Beyond leaf color: comparing camera-based phenological metrics with leaf biochemical, biophysical and spectral properties throughout the growing season of a temperate deciduous forest, Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences, 119: 181–191, doi:10.1002/2013JG002460.


Research Projects
Martha's Vineyard

Tower-based measurement of leaf phenology on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.

Harvard Forest

Soil respiration measured from a belowground CO2 profile system and its comparison with an automated chamber system at Harvard Forest. (Collaborators: Eric Davidson, Kathleen Savage, and Jerry Melillo)


Arctic tundra

Soil respiration in response to warming experiment in an Arctic tundra ecosystem. (Collaborator: Gus Shaver)



Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Mailing Address

The Ecosystems Center
7 MBL Street
Woods Hole, MA 02543-1015

Physical Address

CV Starr Environmental Laboratory
11 Albatross Street
Woods Hole, MA

Support Us

Support the Ecosystems Center with a gift to the MBL Annual Fund!