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Comparing global models of terrestrial net primary productivity (NPP): importance of vegetation structure on seasonal NPP estimates


  • A. Bondeau,

    1. Potsdam Institut für Klimafolgenforschung (PIK), Postfach 60 12 03, Telegrafenberg, D-14412 Potsdam, Germany,
    2. Previous name: A. Fischer.
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  • D. W. Kicklighter,

    1. The Ecosystems Center, Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA,
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  • J. Kaduk,

    1. Max Planck Institut für Meteorologie, Bundesstr. 55, D-20146 Hamburg, Germany,
    2. Present address: Carnegie Institution of Washington, Department of Plant Biology, 260 Panama St, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
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  • ThE. Participants OF. ThE. Potsdam NpP. Model Intercomparison

    1. The following participated in the Potsdam NPP Model Intercomparison: A. Bondeau (previous name: A. Fischer), G. Churkina, W. Cramer, G. Colinet, J. Collatz, G. Dedieu, W. Emanuel, G. Esser, C. Field, L. François, A. Friend, A. Haxeltine, M. Heimann, J. Hoffstadt, J. Kaduk, L. Kergoat, D. W. Kicklighter, W. Knorr, G. Kohlmaier, B. Lurin, P. Maisongrande, P. Martin, R. McKeown, B. Meeson, B. Moore III, R. Nemani, B. Nemry, R. Olson, R. Otto, W. Parton, M. Plöchl, S. Prince, J. Randerson, I. Rasool, B. Rizzo, A. Ruimy, S. Running, D. Sahagian, B. Saugier, A. L. Schloss, J. Scurlock, W. Steffen, P. Warnant, and U. Wittenberg
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Dr A. Bondeau, fax: + 49–331–288–2600, E-mail:


Estimates of the seasonal absorbed fraction of photosynthetically active radiation (FPAR) and net primary productivity (NPP) are compared among four production efficiency models (PEMs) and seven terrestrial biosphere models simulating canopy development. In addition, the simulated FPARs of the models are compared to the FASIR-FPAR derived from NOAA-AVHRR satellite observations. All models reproduce observed summergreen phenology of temperate deciduous forests rather well, but perform less well for raingreen phenology of savannas. Some models estimate a much longer active canopy in savannas than indicated by satellite observations. As a result, these models estimate high negative monthly NPP during the dry season. For boreal and tropical evergreen ecosystems, several models overestimate LAI and FPAR. When the simulated canopy does respond to unfavourable periods, the seasonal NPP is largely determined by absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (APAR). When the simulated canopy does not respond to unfavourable periods, the light use efficiency (LUE) influences the seasonal NPP more. However, the relative importance of APAR and LUE can change seasonally.

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