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Evaluation of climate-related carbon turnover processes in global vegetation models for boreal and temperate forests

Thurner, Martin and Beer, Christian and Ciais, Phillipe and Friend, Andrew and Akihiko, Ito and Kleidon, Axel and Lomas, Mark R. and Quegan, Shaun and Rademacher, Tim T. and Schaphoff, Sibyll and Tum, Markus and Wiltshire, Andy and Carvalhais, Nuno (2017) Evaluation of climate-related carbon turnover processes in global vegetation models for boreal and temperate forests. Global Change Biology, 23 (8), pp. 3076-3091. Wiley. DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13660 ISSN 1354-1013

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Official URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcb.13660/abstract


Turnover concepts in state-of-the-art global vegetation models (GVMs) account for various processes, but are often highly simplified and may not include an adequate representation of the dominant processes that shape vegetation carbon turnover rates in real forest ecosystems at a large spatial scale. Here, we evaluate vegetation carbon turnover processes in GVMs participating in the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP, including HYBRID4, JeDi, JULES, LPJml, ORCHIDEE, SDGVM, and VISIT) using estimates of vegetation carbon turnover rate (k) derived from a combination of remote sensing based products of biomass and net primary production (NPP). We find that current model limitations lead to considerable biases in the simulated biomass and in k (severe underestimations by all models except JeDi and VISIT compared to observation-based average k), likely contributing to underestimation of positive feedbacks of the northern forest carbon balance to climate change caused by changes in forest mortality. A need for improved turnover concepts related to frost damage, drought, and insect outbreaks to better reproduce observation-based spatial patterns in k is identified. As direct frost damage effects on mortality are usually not accounted for in these GVMs, simulated relationships between k and winter length in boreal forests are not consistent between different regions and strongly biased compared to the observation-based relationships. Some models show a response of k to drought in temperate forests as a result of impacts of water availability on NPP, growth efficiency or carbon balance dependent mortality as well as soil or litter moisture effects on leaf turnover or fire. However, further direct drought effects such as carbon starvation (only in HYBRID4) or hydraulic failure are usually not taken into account by the investigated GVMs. While they are considered dominant large-scale mortality agents, mortality mechanisms related to insects and pathogens are not explicitly treated in these models.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/114251/
Document Type:Article
Title:Evaluation of climate-related carbon turnover processes in global vegetation models for boreal and temperate forests
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Thurner, Martindepartment of environmental science and analytical chemistry (aces)UNSPECIFIED
Beer, Christiandepartment of environmental science and analytical chemistry (aces)UNSPECIFIED
Ciais, PhillipeLaboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (LSCE), Gif-sur-Yvette, FranceUNSPECIFIED
Friend, AndrewDepartment of Geography, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UKUNSPECIFIED
Akihiko, ItoNational Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, JapanUNSPECIFIED
Kleidon, AxelMax Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Lomas, Mark R.School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UKUNSPECIFIED
Quegan, ShaunSchool of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UKUNSPECIFIED
Rademacher, Tim T.Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UKUNSPECIFIED
Schaphoff, SibyllPotsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Potsdam, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Tum, Markusmarkus.tum (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Wiltshire, AndyMet Office Hadley Centre, Exeter, UKUNSPECIFIED
Carvalhais, Nunomax planck institute for biogeochemistryUNSPECIFIED
Date:5 April 2017
Journal or Publication Title:Global Change Biology
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1111/gcb.13660
Page Range:pp. 3076-3091
Keywords:boreal and temperate forest; climate-related spatial gradients; drought stress and insect outbreaks; forest mortality; frost stress; global vegetation model evaluation; ISI-MIP; remote sensing based NPP and biomass; vegetation carbon turnover rate
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Remote sensing and geoscience
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:German Remote Sensing Data Center > Land Surface
Deposited By: Zeidler, Julian
Deposited On:28 Sep 2017 14:21
Last Modified:06 Sep 2019 15:20

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