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Matthew Saunders
Assistant Professor, Botany

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Chiwara, P., Ogutu, B.O., Dash. J., Milton, E.J., Ardo, J., Saunders, M., Nicolini, G., Estimating terrestrial gross primary productivity in water limited ecosystems across Africa using the Southampton Carbon Flux (SCARF) model, Science of the Total Environment, 630, 2018, p1472 - 1483 Journal Article, 2018

Ana López-Ballesteros, Johannes Beck, Antonio Bombelli, Elisa Grieco, Eli ka Krko ka Lorencová, Lutz Merbold, Christian Brümmer, Wim Hugo, Robert Scholes, David Vačkář, Alex Vermeulen, Manuel Acosta, Klaus Butterbach-Bahl, Jörg Helmschrot, Dong-Gill Kim, Michael Jones, Veronika Jorch, Marian Pavelka, Ingunn Skjelvan and Matthew Saunders, Towards a feasible and representative pan-African research infrastructure network for GHG observations, Environmental Research Letters, 13, (8), 2018, p1-15 Journal Article, 2018 URL

David C. Walmsley, Jan Siemens, Reimo Kindler, Klaus Kaiser, Matthew Saunders, Andreas Fichtner, Martin Kaupenjohann, Bruce A. Osborne, Reduced nitrate leaching from an Irish cropland soil under non-inversion tillage with cover cropping greatly outweighs increased dissolved organic nitrogen leaching, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 265, 2018, p340 - 349 Journal Article, 2018

Nemo, R., Klumpp, K., Coleman, K., Dondini, M., Goulding, K., Hastings, A., Jones, MB., Leifeld, J., Osborne, B., Saunders, M., Scot, T., Teh, YA., Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) Equilibrium and Model Initialisation Methods: an Application to the Rothamsted Carbon (RothC) Model, Environmental Modeling and Assessment, 22, 2017, p215 - 229 Journal Article, 2017 DOI URL

Michael B Jones, Frank Kansiime, Matthew J Saunders, The potential use of papyrus (Cyperus papyrus L.) wetlands as a source of biomass energy for sub-Saharan Africa, Global Change Biology Bioenergy, 2016, pdoi: 10.1111/gcbb.12392 Journal Article, 2016 TARA - Full Text

Susan Waldron, Jagadeesh Yeluripati, Matthew Saunders, Anna Conniff, Steve Chapman, Dave Miller, Robin Matthews, Jo Smith, Sarah Govan, The Peatland Carbon Calculator Its use and future potential, ClimateXChange, 2015 Report, 2015 URL

Cerutti, PO., Sola, P., Chenevoy, A., Liyama, M., Yila, J., Zhou, W., Djoudi, H., Atyi, RA., Gautier, D., Gumbo, D., Kuehl, Y., Levang, P., Martius, C., Matthews, R., Nasi, R., Neufeldt, H., Njenga, M., Petrokofsky, G., Saunders, M., Sheperd, G., Sonwa, D., Sundberg, C., van Noordwijk, M., The socioeconomic and environmental impacts of wood energy chains in Sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic map protocol., Environmental Evidence, 4, (12), 2015, p1 - 7 Journal Article, 2015 DOI TARA - Full Text

Saunders M.J, Kansiime F, Jones M.B, Reviewing the carbon cycle dynamics and carbon sequestration potential of Cyperus papyrus L. wetlands in tropical Africa, Wetlands Ecology and Management, 22, (2), 2014, p143 - 155 Journal Article, 2014 DOI URL

Saunders M, Tobin B, Sweeney C, Gioria M, Benanti G, Cacciotti E, Osborne B.A, Impacts of exceptional and extreme inter-annual climatic events on the net ecosystem carbon dioxide exchange of a sitka spruce forest, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 184, 2014, p147 - 157 Journal Article, 2014 DOI URL

Artz, R., Saunders, M., Yeluripati, J., Potts, J., Elston, D., Chapman, S, An assessment of the proposed IPCC 2013 supplement to the 2006 guidelines: wetlands for the use of GHG accounting in Scottish peatlands., 2014 Report, 2014

Saunders, M., Perks, M., Slee, B., Ray, D., Matthews, R., Can silvo-pastoral systems contribute to Scotland's emission reduction targets? Policy briefing to the Scottish Government., Scotland., CimateXChange, 2014 Report, 2014

Matthews, R., Smith, P., Smith, J., Ray, D., Perks, M., Slee, B., Saunders, M., The role of woodlands in meeting Scotland's greenhouse gas emission targets. In: Iason, G (Ed). Biodiversity in Woodland Ecosystems, The James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen, 2014, 24 Report, 2014

Benanti G, Saunders M, Tobin B, Osborne B, Contrasting impacts of afforestation on nitrous oxide and methane emissions, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 198-199, 2014, p82 - 93 Journal Article, 2014 DOI URL

Peichl M, Sonnentag O, Wohlfahrt G, Flanagan LB, Baldocchi DD, Kiely G, Galvagno M, Gianelle D, Marcolla B, Pio C, Migliavacca M, Jones MB, Saunders M, Convergence of potential net ecosystem production among contrasting C3 grasslands, Ecology Letters, 16, 2013, p502 - 512 Journal Article, 2013

Artz R.R.E, Chapman S.J, Saunders M, Evans C.D, Matthews R.B, Comment on "soil CO2, CH4 and N2O fluxes from an afforested lowland raised peat bog in Scotland: Implications for drainage and restoration" by Yamulki et al. (2013), Biogeosciences, 10, (11), 2013, p7623 - 7630 Journal Article, 2013 DOI URL

Stoy P.C, Mauder M, Foken T, Marcolla B, Boegh E, Ibrom A, Arain M.A, Arneth A, Aurela M, Bernhofer C, Cescatti A, Dellwik E, Duce P, Gianelle D, van Gorsel E, Kiely G, Knohl A, Margolis H, Mccaughey H, Merbold L, Montagnani L, Papale D, Reichstein M, Saunders M, Serrano-Ortiz P, Sottocornola M, Spano D, Vaccari F, Varlagin A, A data-driven analysis of energy balance closure across FLUXNET research sites: The role of landscape scale heterogeneity, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 171-172, 2013, p137 - 152 Journal Article, 2013 DOI URL

Abdalla M, Saunders M, Hastings A, Williams M, Smith P, Osborne B, Lanigan G, Jones MB, Simulating the impacts of land use in Northwest Europe on Nat Ecosystem Exchange (NEE): The role of arable ecosystems, grasslands and forest plantations in climate change mitigation., Science of the Total Environment, 465, (1), 2013, 325-336 Journal Article, 2013 DOI

Nicolau M, Saunders M, O'Neill M, Osborne B, Brabazon A, Evolving interpolating models of net ecosystem CO 2 exchange using grammatical evolution, 2012, - Miscellaneous, 2012 DOI URL

Saunders M, Tobin B, Black K, Gioria M, Nieuwenhuis M, Osborne B.A, Thinning effects on the net ecosystem carbon exchange of a Sitka spruce forest are temperature-dependent, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 157, 2012, p1 - 10 Journal Article, 2012 DOI URL

Olajuyigbe S, Tobin B, Saunders M, Nieuwenhuis M, Forest thinning and soil respiration in a Sitka spruce forest in Ireland, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 157, 2012, p86 - 95 Journal Article, 2012 URL DOI

Saunders MJ, Kansiime F, Jones MB,, Agricultural encroachment: implications for carbon sequestration in tropical African wetlands, Global Change Biology, 18, (4), 2012, p1312 - 1321 Journal Article, 2012

Walmsley D.C, Siemens J, Kindler R, Kirwan L, Kaiser K, Saunders M, Kaupenjohann M, Osborne B.A, Dissolved carbon leaching from an Irish cropland soil is increased by reduced tillage and cover cropping, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 142, (3-4), 2011, p393 - 402 Journal Article, 2011 DOI URL

Kindler, Reimo; Siemens, Jan; Kaiser, Klaus; Walmsley, David C.; Bernhofer, Christian; Buchmann, Nina; Cellier, Pierre; Eugster, Werner; Gleixner, Gerd; Grunwald, Thomas; Heim, Alexander; Ibrom, Andreas; Jones, Stephanie K.; Jones, Mike; Klumpp, Katja; Kutsch, Werner; Steenberg Larsen, Klaus; Lehuger, Simon; Loubet, Benjamin; McKenzie, Rebecca; Moors, Eddy; Osborne, Bruce; Pilegaard, Kim; Rebmann, Corinna; Saunders, Matthew; Schmidt, Michael W.I.; Schrumpf, Marion; Seyfferth, Janine; Skiba, Ute; Soussana, Jean-Francois; Sutton, Mark A.; Tefs, Cindy; Vowinckel, Bernhard; Zeeman, Matthias J.; Kaupenjohann, Martin, Dissolved carbon leaching from soil is a crucial component of the net ecosystem carbon balance, Global Change Biology, 17, (2), 2011, p1167-1185 Journal Article, 2011 TARA - Full Text

Davis PA, Clifton Brown J, Saunders M, Lanigan G, Wright E, Fortune T, Burke J, Connolly J, Jones MB, Osborne B, Assessing the effects of agricultural management practices on carbon fluxes: Spatial variation and the need for replicated estimates of Net Ecosystem Exchange., Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 150, 2010, p564 - 574 Journal Article, 2010

Smith, P., Lanigan, G., Kutsch, W. L., Buchmann, N., Eugster, W., Aubinet, M., Ceschia, E., Beziat, P., Yeluripati J. B., Osborne, B., Moors, E. J., Brut, A., Wattenbach, M., Saunders, M. and Jones, M., Measurements necessary for assessing the net ecosystem carbon budget of croplands., Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 139, 2010, p302 - 315 Journal Article, 2010

Jones, M., Osborne, B., Williams, M., Saunders, M., Burke, J., Davis, P., Abdalla, M., Clifton-Brown, J., Connolly, J., Kumar, S., Nagy, M., Accounting for greenhouse gas sources and sinks in major Irish land-use categories: towards the establishment of a Co-ordinating Centre for FLUX measurements (CCFLUX), EPA Ireland STRIVE report series, EPA, 2010 Report, 2010

Ceschia, E., Beziat, P., Dejoux, J. F., Aubinet, M., Berhofer, Ch., Bodson, B., Buchmann, N., Carrara, A., Cellier, P., Di Tommasi, P., Elbers, J. A., Eugster, W., Grunwald, T., Jacobs, C. M. J., Jans, W. W. P., Jones, M., Kutsch, W., Lanigan, G., Magliulo, E., Marloie, O., Moors, E., J., Moureaux, C., Olioso, A., Osborne, B., Sanz, M. J., Saunders, M., Smith, P., Soegaard, H. and Wattenbach, M. , Management effects on net ecosystem carbon and GHG budgets at European crop sites., Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 139, 2010, p363 - 383 Journal Article, 2010

Moors E.J, Jacobs C, Jans W, Supit I, Kutsch W.L, Bernhofer C, Béziat P, Buchmann N, Carrara A, Ceschia E, Elbers J, Eugster W, Kruijt B, Loubet B, Magliulo E, Moureaux C, Olioso A, Saunders M, Soegaard H, Variability in carbon exchange of European croplands, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 139, (3), 2010, p325 - 335 Journal Article, 2010 DOI URL

Eugster W, Moffat A.M, Ceschia E, Aubinet M, Ammann C, Osborne B, Davis P.A, Smith P, Jacobs C, Moors E, Le Dantec V, Béziat P, Saunders M, Jans W, Grünwald T, Rebmann C, Kutsch W.L, Czerný R, Janou- D, Moureaux C, Dufranne D, Carrara A, Magliulo V, Di Tommasi P, Olesen J.E, Schelde K, Olioso A, Bernhofer C, Cellier P, Larmanou E, Loubet B, Wattenbach M, Marloie O, Sanz M.-J, Søgaard H, Buchmann N, Management effects on European cropland respiration, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 139, (3), 2010, p346 - 362 Journal Article, 2010 DOI URL

Osborne, B., Saunders, M., Walmsley, D., Jones, M. and Smith, P., Key questions and uncertainties associated with the assessment of the cropland greenhouse gas balance., Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 139, 2010, p293 - 301 Journal Article, 2010

Kutch, W. L., Aubinet M., Buchmann, N., Smith, P., Osborne, B., Eugster, W., Wattenbach, M., Schrumpf, M., Schulze, E. D., Tomelleri, E., Ceschia, E., Bernhofer, C., Beziat, P., Carrara, A., Di Tommasi, P., Grunwald, T., Jones, M., Magliulo, V., Marloie, O., Moureaux, C., Olioso, A., Sanz, M. J., Saunders, M., Sogaard, H. and Ziegler, W., The net biome production of full crop rotations in Europe., Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 139, 2010, p336 - 345 Journal Article, 2010

Albanito F., Saunders M. and Jones M.B., Automated diffusion chambers to monitor diurnal and seasonal dynamics of the soil CO2 concentration profile., European Jounal of Soil Science, 60, 2009, p507 - 514 Journal Article, 2009

Luyssaert S, Reichstein M, Schulze E.-D, Janssens I.A, Law B.E, Papale D, Dragoni D, Goulden M.L, Granier A, Kutsch W.L, Linder S, Matteucci G, Moors E, Munger J.W, Pilegaard K, Saunders M, Falge E.M, Toward a consistency cross-check of eddy covariance flux-based and biometric estimates of ecosystem carbon balance, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 23, (3), 2009 Journal Article, 2009 URL DOI

Kansiime F., Saunders M., Loiselle S., Functioning and dynamics of wetland vegetation of Lake Victoria: An overview, Wetlands Ecology and Management, 15, (6), 2007, p443-451 Journal Article, 2007 DOI

Saunders, M.J.,Jones, M.B. and Kansiime, F., Carbon and water cycles in tropical papyrus wetlands, Wetlands Ecology and Management, 15, 2007, p489 - 498 Journal Article, 2007

Tools for Wetland Ecosystem Resource Management in East Africa: Focus on the Lake Victoria Papyrus Wetlands. in, editor(s)J.T.A. Verhoeven, B. Beltman, R. Bobbink, and D.F. Whigham. , Wetlands and Natural Resource Management., Berlin, Springer, 2006, pp97 - 121, [Steven Loiselle, Andres Cozar, Anne van Dam, Frank Kansiime, Peter Kelderman, Matt Saunders and Silvio Simonit.] Book Chapter, 2006

Research Expertise


I specialise in the field of plant and environment physiology, and my research focuses on the response of plants to changes in their physical, chemical and biological environments and how this information can be used to assess the resilience and adaptive capacity of terrestrial ecosystems to global environmental change. My work utilises an integrated experimental and model-based approach to assess the physiological and environmental processes that regulate plant productivity, carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas dynamics, plant-water relations and energy budgets at the leaf, whole plant and ecosystem scale. Recent projects have focussed on the impacts of land use change, habitat restoration and extreme climatic events on carbon, water and nutrient dynamics in natural and agricultural ecosystems in both temperate and tropical climates. This work has directly contributed to the development of policy relevant, sustainable land management tools that are centred on the role of terrestrial ecosystems in climate change adaptation and mitigation.


Agro-environment; Bioenergy crops; Candida species; Carbon Cycle; Climate Change; Cyperus papyrus L.; Environmental science; Greenhouse Gases; Nitrogen Cycle; Plant Ecophysiology; Sustainable development; Tropical Wetlands



Wetlands Professional Platform. 2004 – 2007