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Evaluation of ecosystem dynamics, plant geography and terrestrial carbon cycling in the LPJ dynamic global vegetation model

Authors

  • S. Sitch,

    1. Potsdam Institut für Klimafolgenforschung (PIK) e.V., Telegrafenberg, PO Box 60
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  • B. Smith,

    1. Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystems Analysis, Sölvegatan 13, University of Lund, S-22362 Lund, Sweden,
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  • I. C. Prentice,

    1. Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, PO Box 100164, D-07701 Jena, Germany, §Canadian Centre of Climate Modelling and Analysis, University of Victoria, PO Box 1700, STN, CSC, Victoria, B.C., V8W 2Y2, Canada
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  • A. Arneth,

    1. 203, D-14412 Potsdam, Germany,
    2. Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, PO Box 100164, D-07701 Jena, Germany, §Canadian Centre of Climate Modelling and Analysis, University of Victoria, PO Box 1700, STN, CSC, Victoria, B.C., V8W 2Y2, Canada
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  • A. Bondeau,

    1. Potsdam Institut für Klimafolgenforschung (PIK) e.V., Telegrafenberg, PO Box 60
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  • W. Cramer,

    1. Potsdam Institut für Klimafolgenforschung (PIK) e.V., Telegrafenberg, PO Box 60
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  • J. O. Kaplan,

    1. Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, PO Box 100164, D-07701 Jena, Germany, §Canadian Centre of Climate Modelling and Analysis, University of Victoria, PO Box 1700, STN, CSC, Victoria, B.C., V8W 2Y2, Canada
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  • S. Levis,

    1. Potsdam Institut für Klimafolgenforschung (PIK) e.V., Telegrafenberg, PO Box 60
    2. Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, PO Box 100164, D-07701 Jena, Germany, §Canadian Centre of Climate Modelling and Analysis, University of Victoria, PO Box 1700, STN, CSC, Victoria, B.C., V8W 2Y2, Canada
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      2Present address: National Center for Atmospheric Research, PO Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307, USA
  • W. Lucht,

    1. Potsdam Institut für Klimafolgenforschung (PIK) e.V., Telegrafenberg, PO Box 60
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  • M. T. Sykes,

    1. Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystems Analysis, Sölvegatan 13, University of Lund, S-22362 Lund, Sweden,
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  • K. Thonicke,

    1. Potsdam Institut für Klimafolgenforschung (PIK) e.V., Telegrafenberg, PO Box 60
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  • S. Venevsky

    1. Potsdam Institut für Klimafolgenforschung (PIK) e.V., Telegrafenberg, PO Box 60
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Stephen Sitch, Potsdam Institut für Klimafolgenforschung (PIK) e.V., Telegrafenberg, PO Box 60 12 03, D-144 12 Potsdam, Germany, fax +49 331 288 2640, e-mail: sitch@pik-potsdam.de
1Present address: Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Bundesstrasse 55, D-20146 Hamburg, Germany
2Present address: National Center for Atmospheric Research, PO Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307, USA

Abstract

The Lund–Potsdam–Jena Dynamic Global Vegetation Model (LPJ) combines process-based, large-scale representations of terrestrial vegetation dynamics and land-atmosphere carbon and water exchanges in a modular framework. Features include feedback through canopy conductance between photosynthesis and transpiration and interactive coupling between these ‘fast’ processes and other ecosystem processes including resource competition, tissue turnover, population dynamics, soil organic matter and litter dynamics and fire disturbance. Ten plants functional types (PFTs) are differentiated by physiological, morphological, phenological, bioclimatic and fire-response attributes. Resource competition and differential responses to fire between PFTs influence their relative fractional cover from year to year. Photosynthesis, evapotranspiration and soil water dynamics are modelled on a daily time step, while vegetation structure and PFT population densities are updated annually.

Simulations have been made over the industrial period both for specific sites where field measurements were available for model evaluation, and globally on a 0.5°° × 0.5°° grid. Modelled vegetation patterns are consistent with observations, including remotely sensed vegetation structure and phenology. Seasonal cycles of net ecosystem exchange and soil moisture compare well with local measurements. Global carbon exchange fields used as input to an atmospheric tracer transport model (TM2) provided a good fit to observed seasonal cycles of CO2 concentration at all latitudes. Simulated inter-annual variability of the global terrestrial carbon balance is in phase with and comparable in amplitude to observed variability in the growth rate of atmospheric CO2. Global terrestrial carbon and water cycle parameters (pool sizes and fluxes) lie within their accepted ranges. The model is being used to study past, present and future terrestrial ecosystem dynamics, biochemical and biophysical interactions between ecosystems and the atmosphere, and as a component of coupled Earth system models.

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