Improving the dynamics of Northern Hemisphere high-latitude vegetation in the ORCHIDEE ecosystem model

Zhu, D., Peng, S.S., Ciais, P., Viovy, N., Druel, A., Kageyama, M., Krinner, G., Peylin, P., et al. (2015). Improving the dynamics of Northern Hemisphere high-latitude vegetation in the ORCHIDEE ecosystem model. Geoscientific Model Development 8 2263-2283. 10.5194/gmd-8-2263-2015.

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Processes that describe the distribution of vegetation and ecosystem succession after disturbance are an important component of dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs). The vegetation dynamics module (ORC-VD) within the process-based ecosystem model ORCHIDEE (Organizing Carbon and Hydrology in Dynamic Ecosystems) has not been updated and evaluated since many years and does not match the progress in modeling the rest of the physical and biogeochemical prcesses. Therefore, ORC-VD is known to produce unrealistic results. This study presents a new parameterization of ORC-VD for mid-to high latitude regions in the Northern Hemisphere, including processes that influence the existence, mortality and competition between tree functional types. A new set of metrics is also proposed to quantify the performance of ORC-VD, using up to five different datsets of satellite land cover, forest biomass from remote sensing and inventories, a data-driven estimate of gross primary productivity (GP) and two gridded datasets of soil organic carbon content. The scoring of ORC-VD derived from these metrics integrates uncertainties in the observational datasets. This multi-dataset evaluation framework is a generic method that could be applied to the evaluation of other DGVM models. The results of the original ORC-VD published in 2005 for mid-to-high latitudes and of the new parameterization are evaluated against the above- described datasets. Significant improvements were found in the modeling of the distribution of tree fnctional types north of 40 degrees N. Three additional sensitivity runs were carried out to separate the impact of different processes or drivers on simulated vegetation distribution, including soil freezing which limits net primary production through soil moisture availability in the root zone, elevated CO2 concentration since 1850, and the return frequency of cold climate extremes causing tree mortality during the spin-up phase of the model.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
Bibliographic Reference: Geoscientific Model Development; 8:2263-2283 (July 2015)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:53
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:25

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