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Carl Bernacchi

Profile picture for Carl Bernacchi

Contact Information

1201 W. Gregory Drive
196 E.R. Madigan Laboratory
Urbana, IL 61801

Research Areas


Research Description

Impacts of climate change on crop physiology, energy fluxes between the atmosphere and plant canopies, carbon sequestration, crop canopy responses to stress

The overall focus of my research is to understand the impacts of atmospheric and climatic change on crop species important to the Midwestern U.S. Included in these analyses are global change scenarios as well as natural variations in growth conditions over a wide range of temporal scales.

Specific research includes:

  1. determining how vegetation responds to atmospheric change with emphasis on energy fluxes between the atmosphere and plant canopies,
  2. measuring net ecosystem carbon exchange using eddy covariance techniques to estimate the carbon sequestration potential of Midwest agriculture, and
  3. working toward a mechanistic understanding of crop canopy responses to stresses, such as drought or insect infestation. In addition, I am also involved in numerous projects that focus on soybean physiological responses to growth in elevated CO2 and O3.

Specific research experiments in which I am involved include SoyFACE and the Ameriflux network. My participation with this project includes running two eddy covariance flux towers in Bondville, IL.


M.S., Bradley University
Ph.D., University of Illinois

Additional Campus Affiliations

Professor, Crop Sciences
Professor, Plant Biology
Affiliate, Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

Recent Publications

Berardi, D. M., Hartman, M. D., Brzostek, E. R., Bernacchi, C. J., DeLucia, E. H., von Haden, A. C., Kantola, I., Moore, C. E., Yang, W., Hudiburg, T. W., & Parton, W. J. (2024). Microbial-explicit processes and refined perennial plant traits improve modeled ecosystem carbon dynamics. Geoderma, 443, Article 116851.

Boughton, R. K., Smith, B. W., Boughton, E. H., Gomez-Casanovas, N., Bernacchi, C., DeLucia, E., Sparks, J., & Swain, H. M. (2024). Patch-burn management changes grazing behavior of cattle in humid subtropical grasslands. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 368, Article 109012.

Time, A., Gomez-Casanovas, N., Mwebaze, P., Apollon, W., Khanna, M., DeLucia, E. H., & Bernacchi, C. J. (2024). Conservation agrivoltaics for sustainable food-energy production. Plants People Planet, 6(3), 558-569.

Wolf, A., Chang, E., Kantola, I. B., Blanc-Betes, E., Masters, M. D., Marklein, A., Moore, C. E., Bernacchi, C. J., & DeLucia, E. H. (2024). Validating assumptions in calculating carbon dioxide removal by enhanced rock weathering in Kantola et al., 2023. Global change biology, 30(1), Article e17031.

Yang, Y., Peng, B., Guan, K., Pan, M., Franz, T. E., Cosh, M. H., & Bernacchi, C. J. (Accepted/In press). Within-field soil moisture variability and time-invariant spatial structures of agricultural fields in the US Midwest. Vadose Zone Journal.

View all publications on Illinois Experts