Using FLUXNET data to improve models of springtime vegetation activity onset in forest ecosystems
Melaas, E. ; Richardson, A. ; Friedl, M. ; Dragoni, D. ; Gough, C. ; Herbst, M. ; Montagnani, L. ; Moors, E.J. - \ 2013
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 171-172 (2013). - ISSN 0168-1923 - p. 46 - 56.
terrestrial biosphere model - deciduous forest - co2 exchange - temperate regions - soil-temperature - phenology model - carbon-dioxide - annual cycle - bud-burst - trees
Vegetation phenology is sensitive to climate change and variability, and is a first order control on the carbon budget of forest ecosystems. Robust representation of phenology is therefore needed to support model-based projections of how climate change will affect ecosystem function. A variety of models have been developed to predict species or site-specific phenology of trees. However, extension of these models to other sites or species has proven difficult. Using meteorological and eddy covariance data for 29 forest sites (encompassing 173 site-years), we evaluated the accuracy with which 11 different models were able to simulate, as a function of air temperature and photoperiod, spatial and temporal variability in the onset of spring photosynthetic activity. In parallel, we also evaluated the accuracy with which dynamics in remotely sensed vegetation indices from MODIS captured the timing of spring onset. To do this, we used a subset of sites in the FLUXNET La Thuile database located in evergreen needleleaf and deciduous broadleaf forests with distinct active and dormant seasons and where temperature is the primary driver of seasonality. As part of this analysis we evaluated predictions from refined versions of the 11 original models that include parameterizations for geographic variation in both thermal and photoperiod constraints on phenology. Results from cross-validation analysis show that the refined models predict the onset of spring photosynthetic activity with significantly higher accuracy than the original models. Estimates for the timing of spring onset from MODIS were highly correlated with the onset of photosynthesis derived from flux measurements, but were biased late for needleleaf sites. Our results demonstrate that simple phenology models can be used to predict the timing of spring photosynthetic onset both across sites and across years at individual sites. By extension, these models provide an improved basis for predicting how the phenology and carbon budgets of temperature-limited forest ecosystems may change in the coming decades.
Trophic interactions in a changing world: modelling aboveground-belowground interactions
Schröter, D. ; Brussaard, L. ; Deyn, G.B. de; Poveda, K. ; Brown, V.K. ; Berg, M.P. ; Wardle, D.A. ; Moore, J. ; Wall, D.H. - \ 2004
Basic and Applied Ecology 5 (2004)6. - ISSN 1439-1791 - p. 515 - 528.
terrestrial biosphere model - belowground food webs - climate-change - soil biodiversity - plant-growth - nitrogen mineralization - primary productivity - ecosystem processes - insect herbivory - global change
The rate and scale of human-driven changes can exert profound impacts on ecosystems, the species that make them up and the services they provide that sustain humanity. Given the speed at which these changes are occurring, one of society's major challenges is to coexist within ecosystems and to manage ecosystem services in a sustainable way. The effect of possible scenarios of global change on ecosystem services can be explored using ecosystem models. Such models should adequately represent ecosystem processes above and below the soil surface (aboveground and belowground) and the interactions between them. We explore possibilities to include such interactions into ecosystem models at scales that range from global to local. At the regional to global scale we suggest to expand the plant functional type concept (aggregating plants into groups according to their physiological attributes) to include functional types of aboveground–belowground interactions. At the scale of discrete plant communities, process-based and organism-oriented models could be combined into “hybrid approaches” that include organism-oriented mechanistic representation of a limited number of trophic interactions in an otherwise process-oriented approach. Under global change the density and activity of organisms determining the processes may change non-linearly and therefore explicit knowledge of the organisms and their responses should ideally be included. At the individual plant scale a common organism-based conceptual model of aboveground–belowground interactions has emerged. This conceptual model facilitates the formulation of research questions to guide experiments aiming to identify patterns that are common within, but differ between, ecosystem types and biomes. Such experiments inform modelling approaches at larger scales. Future ecosystem models should better include this evolving knowledge of common patterns of aboveground–belowground interactions. Improved ecosystem models are necessary tools to reduce the uncertainty in the information that assists us in the sustainable management of our environment in a changing world.